The queen observes one by one the problems of earthly life starting with our material existence.
A thousand ills
Although earth-nature welcomes heaven’s breath
Inspiring Matter with the will to live,
A thousand ills assail the mortal’s hours
And wear away the natural joy of life;
Our bodies are an engine cunningly made,
But for all its parts as cunningly are planned,
Contrived ingeniously with demon skill,
Its apt inevitable heritage
Of mortal danger and peculiar pain,
Its payment of the tax of Time and Fate,
Its way to suffer and its way to die.
Although earth-nature welcomes the heavenly gift of life, yet a thousand ills assail living beings wearing off the natural joy of life. Our bodies itself are an engine made as a cunning device that is ingeniously built on purpose by a demon skill that makes it vulnerable to dangers and pains. It pays the tax of Time and Fate and has a thousand ways to suffer and die.
Stamp of our humanity
This is the ransom of our high estate,
The sign and stamp of our humanity.
These dangers and ills are the ransom we must pay for assuming the body. This imperfection and limitation are the sign and stamp of our humanity.
Grisly company of maladies
A grisly company of maladies
Come, licensed lodgers, into man’s bodily house,
Purveyors of death and torturers of life.
A deadly host of maladies come and lodge within our body as if by native right torturing life and bringing with them death.
Forces of illness
In the malignant hollows of the world,
In its subconscient cavern-passages
Ambushed they lie waiting their hour to leap,
Surrounding with danger the sieged city of life:
Admitted into the citadel of man’s days
They mine his force and maim or suddenly kill.
These forces of illness lodge in the dark hidden corners of the world and the subconscient domains of man. They lie hidden in waiting for their hour to leap and surround with danger the sieged city of life. Once admitted into the fortress of man’s life they undermine our resistance to illness and maim or suddenly kill.
Ourselves within us lethal forces nurse;
We make of our own enemies our guests:
Out of their holes like beasts they creep and gnaw
The chords of the divine musician’s lyre
Till frayed and thin the music dies away
Or crashing snaps with a last tragic note.
We ourselves nurse lethal forces within us making our very enemies our guests. These lethal forces emerge from hidden places and creep and gnaw and snap the chords of life meant to be the lyre of the divine musician until they are frayed and the music dies or crashing snaps with a tragic note.
All that we are is like a fort beset:
All that we strive to be alters like a dream
In the grey sleep of Matter’s ignorance.
We are like a fort persistently in trouble. All that we strive to be changes abruptly like a dream in the grey obscurity and unconsciousness and ignorance of Matter and material existence.
Thus the queen describes the predicament of our present embodied earthly existence.