(urth) Severian's Mausoleum

António Pedro Marques entonio at gmail.com
Fri Nov 21 09:21:18 PST 2014

Faithless in that you can have no faith in it. 
Interesting verses. 

No dia 21/11/2014, às 15:20, "Norwood, Frederick Hudson" <NORWOODR at mail.etsu.edu> escreveu:

> Just as in the poem the door is faithless for letting in the cold wind, Severian’s door is faithless for failing to remain closed.
> Rick Norwood
> From: Urth [mailto:urth-bounces at lists.urth.net] On Behalf Of Robert Pirkola
> Sent: Friday, November 21, 2014 10:16 AM
> To: urth at urth.net
> Subject: (urth) Severian's Mausoleum
> I was struck by the term "faithless door" in the passage describing
> Severian's mausoleum " . . . it was the smallness of the room, the
> thick walls of masonry, and the single, narrow window with its one
> bar, together with the faithless door (so massively heavy) that 
> remained eternally ajar."  (*Shadow and Claw*, pg. 17).
> I do not know, and still do not know, what a faithless door is but
> while trying to find out, I came across this poem attributed to 
> William Gifford, called *Epitaph* (1852), which has interesting resonances
> with Severian's story:
> Where ragged nettles mark the rising ground,
> And pois’nous night-shade breathes infection round,
> Bill Brazen rots. In the good patriarch’s phrase,
> “Evil and few were his unhallow’d days:”
> Yet in these few and evil the rank knave
> Choused of a head-stone his poor father’s grave;
> Abused his mother; grudged his children bread,
> And coffin’d them in wig boxes when dead;
> Bullied his sister; kicked his wife to th’ door;
> Belied the parish books, and starved the poor.
> Till grown too bad for this bad town, kind Heaven
> Suffer’d the miscreant westward to be driven;
> Where three long years in solitary state
> He dragg’d the drunken hours through scorn and hate;
> Till as he lay one night devoid of rest,
> And conscience woke the worm within his breast,
> A wint’ry blast, with hoarse, tremendous roar,
> Rush’d through the gallery, burst the faithless door,
> Approach’d him, touch’d—“Christ Jesus! save,” he cried,
> “A wretch! a hateful wretch!"—shook, groan’d, and died.
> Now buried here, the scorn that dogg’d his way
> Through life, still scents, and opens on his clay.
> * * * * * *
> Stranger! this scene demands an awful pause:
> A vicious world takes arms in virtue’s cause:
> Vice cowers beneath the shame she boasts to brave,
> And finds chastisement on this side the grave.
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