Beauty and Nature
Spring flowers blossom without prelude,
Renewing life with suddenness,
With this symbphony of hues marking the origin,
Appearing as the descent from Heaven
Of the echo of that first fiat lux
Which bestowed existence and life besides.
The flowers bloom turning to the sun
And grow in response to her warming rays.
But in the street of my Beloved,
They bloom before every other orchard,
And blaze in colors before other gardens.
For from her abode there radiates that love
Whose warmth nurtures these flowers,
The love of the eternal spring which never passes away
And which, engulfing the early blossoms,
Causes them to bloom to their fullness
To realize their celestial likeness,
As an early sign of whither comes the spring
And wherein is to be found that eternal spring flower,
The flower which, warmed by the rays of Divine Love,
Whithers not away nor dies.
-Seyyed Hossein Nasr
April 7, 1985
Solitary Angler (Fisherman)
He who has been instructed thus
far in the things of love, and who has learned to see the beautiful in
due order and succession, when he comes toward the end will suddenly
perceive a nature of wondrous beauty...a nature which in the first place
is everlasting, not growing and decaying, or waxing and waning;
secondly, not fair in one point of view and foul in another, or at one
time or in one relation or at one place fair, at another time or in
another relation or at another place foul, as if fair to some and foul
to others;...but Beauty absolute, self-sufficient, simple, and
everlasting, which without diminution and without increase, or any
change, is imparted to the ever-growing and perishing beauties of all
other things. he who from these ascending under the influence of true
love, begins to perceive that Beauty, is not far from the end. And the
true order of going, or being led by another, to the things of love, is
to begin from the beauties of earth and mount upwards for the sake of
that other Beauty, using these as steps only, and from one going on to
two, and from two to all fair forms, and fromfair forms to fair
practices, and from fair practices to fair notions, until from fair
notions he arrives at the notion of absolute Beauty, and at last knows
what the essence of Beauty is.
-Plato (Symposium, 211)
How precious is creation.
That one awareness would
Save it from desecration.
Look. A butterfly.
One of the small white ones.
Today I will try
To remember God all day.
Repeat His Holy Name,
Meditate, and pray.
-Harry Woods Pal
Man was very goodly to look
on, bearing the likeness of his Father....And....downward-tending
Nature..., seeing the beauty of the form of God, smiled with insatiate
love of Man, showing the reflection of that most beautiful form in the
water, and its shadow on earth. And he, seeing this form, a form like
to his own, in earth and water, loved it, and willed to dwell there.
And the deed followed close on teh design; and he took up his abode in
matter devoid of reason. And Nature, when she had got him with whom
she was in love, wrapped him in her clasp.
*Seyyed Hossein Nasr selections are from Poems of the Way,
published in 1999 by the Foundation for Traditional Studies
* Harry Woods Pal selections are from his Terse Verse, composed from
1970 - 2000.