Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Venerable Quote from the Venerable Bede

The latest episode of the Tudors "Death of a Monarchy" begins with Henry VIII quoting a well-known passage from "An Ecclesiastical History of the English People" by the Venerable Bede which I had read in my Medieval History class last year. This particular passage really spoke to me then, and I still really like it, so I'll share it with you. (keep in mind that it was written in 731 AD)

"Your majesty, when we compare the present life of man on earth with that time of which we have no knowledge, it seems to me like the swift flight of a sparrow through the banqueting-hall where you are sitting at dinner on a winter’s day with your thanes and counsellors. In the midst there is the comforting fire to warm the hall; outside, the storms of winter rain or snow are raging. This sparrow flies swiftly in through one door of the hall, and out through the other. While he is inside, he is safe from the winter storms; but after a few moments of comfort, he vanishes from sight into the wintry world from which he came. Even so, man appears on earth for a little while; but what went before and what follows, we know nothing.”

(photos by http://ultramaryna.deviantart.com/, a fabulous photographer whose dark self portraits really caught my eye)


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