Five Days of Wisdom. Day 2: Boethius and Lady Philosophy

“Did I not often in days of old, before my servant Plato lived, wage stern warfare with the rashness of folly? In his lifetime, too, Socrates, his master, won with my aid the victory of an unjust death. And when, one after the other, the Epicurean herd, the Stoic, and the rest, each of them as far as in them lay, went about to seize the heritage he left, and were dragging me off protesting and resisting, as their booty, they tore in pieces the garment which I had woven with my own hands, and, clutching the torn pieces, went off, believing that the whole of me had passed into their possession. And some of them, because some traces of my vesture were seen upon them, were destroyed through the mistake of the lewd multitude, who falsely deemed them to be my disciples.”  –Boethius, Consolation of Philsophy, Book I, Sec III

Ah, Lady Wisdom!  Consolation to exiles and the crushed in heart!  The Sophists, Stoics, and Epicureans of old may have torn away bits of your robe to ply their deceptive craft, but our own have conspired to strip you entirely.  Yet you are patient teacher to those who have ears to hear and hearts that yearn for the salve of your words.  

   You who delighted 

   in the children of man. 

   Creator’s handmaiden.

   You yet delight

   with every inception.  

   Fair handmaiden of the High King:

   there are yet those who cry for you,

   panting for you

as for water in the wasteland.

   Majestic beauty undiminished,

you yet strike fear in fools

laughing them to destruction.

Yet you tenderly bind the wounds

of your sons and daughters,

and lay them to rest in your lap.

   Be not far off! Come quickly!

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