Monday, 2 March 2009

The bulls of Bashan

Well, Cassiodorus is quite hard work. It's taking up my entire rat-exercising hour every night, but I am now nearly half-way through the first volume, and I've ordered the other two from amazon. I'm enjoying it in an austere sort of way. Setting a fixed target of stuff to read and then just working through it is the opposite of thinking, and enjoyable in its way -- no tyranny of the blank page here.

You can buy stickers from Muji that you put down the spines of books -- they have two thin ribbons attached, so that you've got a pair of place-keepers like the ones sometimes built into a hardback binding.

Yesterday I did both Psalms 22 (23), which is painful, and 23 (24), which is soothing. Psalm 22 reminded of this extract from a translation which I came across once:
Then Lord depart not now from me
In this my present griefe
Since I have none to be my helpe
My succour and reliefe.
So many Buls do compasse me
That be full strong of head:
Yea Buls so fat as though they had
In Basan fieldes bene fed.

They gape upon me gredely
As though they would me slay:
Much lyke a Lion roring out
And ramping for his prey.
But I droope downe like water shed,
My jointes in sunder breake:
My hart doth in my body melt,
Like waxe against the heate.

It's supposed to be from the 1569 Geneva Bible but I've never found the same version elsewhere. Maybe I should try the Rare Books room sometime. I taught under the name of Eadwig Basan a few years back -- it wasn't my idea but my boss's, because there were two of us who were arranging our own division of labour, so he put us down under that name in the lecture list.

No comments:

Post a Comment