Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Our Lady of Sighs

The second sister is called Mater Suspiriorum — Our Lady
of Sighs. She never scales the clouds, nor walks abroad
upon the winds. She wears no diadem. And her eyes, if
they were ever seen, would be neither sweet nor subtle; no
man could read their story; they would be found filled with
perishing dreams, and with wrecks of forgotten delirium.
But she raises not her eyes; her head, on which sits a
dilapidated turban, droops for ever, for ever fastens on the
dust. She weeps not. She groans not. But she sighs
inaudibly at intervals. Her sister. Madonna, is oftentimes
stormy and frantic, raging in the highest against heaven,
and demanding back her darlings. But Our Lady of Sighs
never clamours, never defies, dreams not of rebellious
aspirations. She is humble to abjectness. Hers is the
meekness that belongs to the hopeless. Murmur she may,
but it is in her sleep. Whisper she may, but it is to herself
in the twilight. Mutter she does at times, but it is in
solitary places that are desolate as she is desolate, in ruined
cities, and when the sun has gone down to his rest.

- Thomas De Quincey


Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow by Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859)

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