Friday, September 29, 2017

Borrowed Light

Foaming gall. High disdain. Borrowed light.

When handled with imagination or precision or a touch of the unexpected, adjectives can lose their sting.


MYCETES:
Then hear thy charge, valiant Theridamas,
The chiefest captain of Mycetes' host,
The hope of Persia, and the very legs
Whereon our state doth lean as on a staff,
That holds us up and foils our neighbour foes:
Thou shalt be leader of this thousand horse,
Whose foaming gall with rage and high disdain
Have sworn the death of wicked Tamburlaine.
Go frowning forth; but come thou smiling home,
As did Sir Paris with the Grecian dame:
Return with speed; time passeth swift away;
Our life is frail, and we may die to-day.
THERIDAMAS:
Before the moon renew her borrow'd light,
Doubt not, my lord and gracious sovereign,
But Tamburlaine and that Tartarian rout
Shall either perish by our warlike hands,
Or plead for mercy at your highness' feet.

MYCETES:
Go, stout Theridamas; thy words are swords,
And with thy looks thou conquerest all thy foes.
I long to see thee back return from thence,
That I may view these milk-white steeds of mine
All loaden with the heads of kill├Ęd men,
And from their knees e'en to their hoofs below,
Besmear'd with blood that makes a dainty show.

-- Marlowe, Tamburlaine the Great, Part the First.

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