Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Great Bronze Winged Horse

On this piazza, ten paces from its beginning toward the door, I saw a prodigous horse like a winged steed, made of bronze with its wings spread and of excessive size. One of its hooves covered a circle five feet in diameter on the surface of the base, and from this circle at the bottom of the hoof up to where the chest began, found to be nine feet. Its head was free and unbridled, with two small ears, one pointed forwards, the other back, and a long, wavy mane falling down over the right side of the neck.

Many children were trying to ride on its back, but none of them could hold a firm seat because of the horse’s great speed and hard jolting. Some of them were falling off, others were ready to fall: some lay supine, others got up again and tried to remound. They grabbed the horse’s desne mane and wrapped their hands in it, vainly trying to hold on to the long hairs. Some of the fallen were trying to rise beneath the body that had shaken them off.

... One could not tell, in the end, whether this careless race-horse satisfied any of his jockeys, but I doubted it, for the figures seemed sad and weary ... It seemed to be bringing these maltreated children to the open portal ...

-- Hypnerotomachia Poliphila


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