W. H. Auden
Prologue (Our Hunting Fathers)
They are our past and our future; the poles between which our desire is unceasingly discharged
A desire in which love and hatred so perfectly oppose themselves that we cannot voluntarily move, but await the extraordinary compulsion of the deluge and the earthquake
Their finish has inspired the limits of all arts and ascetic movements
Their affections and indifferences have been a guide to all reformers and tyrants
Their appearances in our dreams and machinery have brought a vision of n*** and fabulous epochs
O pride so hostile to our charity
But what their pride has retained we may by charity more generously recover