|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare:
Had not his clouded with his brow's repine;
But hers, which through the crystal tears gave light
Shone like the moon in water seen by night. 492
'O! where am I?' quoth she, 'in earth or heaven,
Or in the ocean drench'd, or in the fire?
What hour is this? or morn or weary even?
Do I delight to die, or life desire? 496
But now I liv'd, and life was death's annoy;
But now I died, and death was lively joy.
'O! thou didst kill me; kill me once again:
Thy eyes' shrewd tutor, that hard heart of thine, 500
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Professor by Charlotte Bronte:
so boldly achieved of speaking to Mdlle. Henri; it was my
intention to ask her how she came to be possessed of two English
baptismal names, Frances and Evans, in addition to her French
surname, also whence she derived her good accent. I had
forgotten both points, or, rather, our colloquy had been so brief
that I had not had time to bring them forward; moreover, I had
not half tested her powers of speaking English; all I had drawn
from her in that language were the words "Yes," and "Thank you,
sir." "No matter," I reflected. "What has been left incomplete
now, shall be finished another day." Nor did I fail to keep the
promise thus made to myself. It was difficult to get even a few
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu:
I felt the stars of the spirits of Love
Gather and gleam round my delicate youth,
And I heard the song of the spirits of Truth;
To quench my longing I bent me low
By the streams of the spirits of Peace that flow
In that magical wood in the land of sleep.
HUMAYUN TO ZOBEIDA
(From the Urdu)
You flaunt your beauty in the rose, your glory in the dawn,
Your sweetness in the nightingale, your whiteness in the swan.
You haunt my waking like a dream, my slumber like a moon,
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass:
company was expected, and who they were, although I was an
outsider, being the property, not of Col. Lloyd, but of a servant
of the wealthy colonel. On these occasions, all that pride,
taste and money could do, to dazzle and charm, was done.
Who could say that the servants of Col. Lloyd were not well clad
and cared for, after witnessing one of his magnificent
entertainments? Who could say that they did not seem to glory in
being the slaves of such a master? Who, but a fanatic, could get
up any sympathy for persons whose every movement was agile, easy
and graceful, and who evinced a consciousness of high
superiority? And who would ever venture to suspect that Col.
My Bondage and My Freedom