We Ain’t Got Forever And Ever

Implora Pace

Hush’d are the winds, and still the evening gloom,

Not e’en a zephyr wanders through the grove,

Whilst I return to view my Margaret’s tomb,

And scatter flowers on the dust I love.

Within this narrow cell reclines her clay,

That clay where once such animation beam’d;

The king of terrors seiz’d her as his prey,

Not worth, nor beauty, have her life redeem’d.

Oh !    could that king of terrors pity feel,

Or Heaven reverse the dread decree of fate,

Not here the mourner would his grief reveal,

Not here the muse her virtues would relate.

But wherefore weep !    her matchless spirit soars,

Beyond where splendid shines the orb of day,

And weeping angels lead her to those bowers,

Where endless pleasures virtuous deeds repay.

And shall presumptuous mortals Heaven arraign !

And madly God-like Providence accuse !

Ah !    no far fly from me attemps so vain,

I’ll ne’er submission to my God refuse.

Yet is remembrance of those virtues dear,

Yet fresh the memory of that beauteous face;

Still they call forth my warm affection’s tear,

Such sorrow brings me honour, not disgrace.

– Lord Byron, On The Death Of A Young Lady

Nachtmahr (1790), Johann Heinrich Füssli

The Terror of Silence


To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it’s because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that’s where phrases like ‘deadly dull’ or ‘excruciatingly dull’ come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient, low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention.

— David Foster Wallace