Wednesday, July 13, 2011

G.K. Chesterton on Stained Glass

Once in a while GKC surprises me with his ability to turn a phrase. I'm sure a lot of it is my own unfamiliarity with 100-year old cadences. But once in a while a passage like this just nails it (from The Ball and the Cross):

All the colours were transparent. It seemed like a triumphant prophecy of some perfect world where everything being innocent will be intelligible; a world where even our bodies, so to speak, may be as of burning glass. Such a world is faintly though fiercely figured in the coloured windows of Christian architecture. The sea that lay before them was like a pavement of emerald, bright and almost brittle; the sky against which its strict horizon hung was almost absolutely white, except that close to the sky line, like scarlet braids on the hem of a garment, lay strings of flaky cloud of so gleaming and gorgeous a red that they seemed cut out of some strange blood-red celestial metal, of which the mere gold of this earth is but a drab yellow imitation.

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