Tuesday 6 October 2009

How quickly passes the glory of the world

In historical terms Beowulf is indeed a text of unparalleled importance, quite apart from its literary merits. But even so I still believe there are passages of great depth and simple beauty, including my personal favourite;

Our eternal Lord grants some men wisdom, some wealth, makes others great. The world is God's, He allows a man to grow famous, and his family rich, gives him land and towns to rule and delight in ... and who in human unwisdom, in the middle of such power, remembers that it will all end, and too soon?


  1. One of my favourite little mementoes from earlier times is the Jester or Fool, whose task it was to remind the high and the mighty of their proper place in the eternal scheme of things. I wonder what benefits and delights would come about if our prime ministers and presidents had something similar? ;-)

  2. The fool is priceless. My favourite is Lear's. Alas, the fool has learned to take himself seriously. How else does one explain Gordon Brown? :-))