Grant Duff Douglas Ainslie


The Legend of Barlaam and JoasaphEdit

English originalEdit

Then Barlaam made the Prince to know how that the world with snares was full, and told the tale of the man who fell through fear of death into a well. "He from an unicorn did flee and heeded not the well till he had fallen therein, but caught perchance on his downward path at the little branch of a tree that clung within a crevice; and deep below in the abyss he gazing sees a dragon lying him with red cruel eyes espying; and by the stone where his toes do rest an aspic with a fourfold crest, while the frail branch to which he clings as over the abyss it swings, two mice, one white and the other black, behold! with busy jaws attack. But lo! some drops of honey slipping adown the bough he would be lipping (for ah! so sweet), and at once with scorn drives from his thoughts the unicorn, the mice, the aspic's fourfold crest, the waiting dragon and the rest, and only thinks how he shall try some drops of the honey to come by. The unicorn, O Prince, is death, the well is the world, where every breath is drawn in peril, the two mice are the night and the day which eat away the branch of life, and the honey dripping the joys of the world which man entice, yet always from his lips are slipping. The aspic with the fourfold crest figures the elements at rest within our body, which resolved the human frame is quick dissolved. The dragon, cruel and flamboyant, is the vast belly of Hell aye waiting for those who in lust's arms do pant, careless of all but pleasure's sating."

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