Wednesday, January 20, 2010

'Only the Sun's descendants understand'

Henrik Ibsen, believe it or not, wrote comedies as well as the serious plays he's best known for. In the simply titled "Love's Comedy," he offers this nice lil' exchange:

[Rises as if to make a speech.]
In the remotest east there grows a plant;
And the sun's cousin's garden is its haunt--

Ah, it's the tea-plant!

Yes. ... It has its home in fabled lands serene;
Thousands of miles of desert lie between;--
Fill up, Lind! -- So. -- Now in a tea-oration,
I'll show of tea and Love the true relation.
[The guests cluster round him.]
It has its home in the romantic land;
Alas, Love's home is also in Romance,
Only the Sun's descendants understand
The herb's right cultivation and advance.
With Love it is not otherwise than so.
Blood of the Sun along the veins must flow
If Love indeed therein is to strike root,
And burgeon into blossom, into fruit.

The oration continues for some time ...

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