A Fragmented Tower

la torre, with cat

I confess I hoard information. This fragment of notes comes from my undergraduate days. It occasioned me to perform Old Testament research twice.  Once was related to a 16th century socio-economic pamphlet referencing the Plagues of Egypt. The other came when I was interested in researching the Tower of Babel

So here, transcribed from the original paper, is my note. I’ve transcribed it as it appears on the back of a letter, kept for years in my files, and now discarded.

I’ve added links next to the obscure references, transforming my hand-written note into a hypertext marvel of the modern age. Enjoy!

Tower of Babel

Gen xi, 1-9

KRAMER ‘Man’s Golden Age: a parallel to GEN XI’, Journal of Oriental Studies
pp191-4 [google search]
JAOS 63of [this must be a reference to the Journal of the American Oriental Society]

Parrot, La Tour de Babel 1953 [a facsimile of this book, in English, exists online as a .pdf at the University of Chicago]

ET The Tower of Babel (1955)

Expository Times

Nought is so unintelligent as fear
For, while it speaks with obscure stammering lips,
It comprehends not what is plainly said.
You cannot Parley with it. Thus it will fare
Ever with their temerity who think
To storm and raze the Unknown. Preposterous Towers
Absolute wreck, and tounge’s confusion.-
Such, through all change of circumstance and time,
Will be their brief and doleful history!

NOEMA
Have you no sure conception how the Tower
Was overthrown? Whether a frolic troop
Of Seraphim invisible rode by,
And with the point of their light-poised spears
Tilted, and down it went? Or lightning real,
With thunder in reserve succesive launched
By Heaven’s almighty Captain, smote its front,
And routed its pretenders?
Who shall say? I saw no armoured Seraphim, nor heard Thunders unparalleled or lightnings strange,
But only complete sickness of the air,
Clouds vomiting fire, and with deep rumblings vexed,
To which the Earth responded; and the Tower
Collapsed in their commotion. It may be
that one of Nature’s mindless accidents
The ruin wrought, or that the Unseen Power
Made that loud music with man’s folly chime,
And with a fixed [coinncidence/countenance?] rebuked
[his/this] weak extravagance. We cannot know.
Even in that star whose denizen I was
Ere Earth’s more blest inhabitant I turned,
God’s face was all as dim as seems it here