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Today's Stichomancy for Stephen Colbert

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Man against the Sky by Edwin Arlington Robinson:

Although, to the serene outsider, There still would seem to be a way.


By what serene malevolence of names Had you the gift of yours, Theophilus? Not even a smeared young Cyclops at his games Would have you long, -- and you are one of us.

Told of your deeds I shudder for your dreams, And they, no doubt, are few and innocent. Meanwhile, I marvel; for in you, it seems, Heredity outshines environment.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:

One poor retiring minute in an age Would purchase thee a thousand thousand friends, Lending him wit that to bad debtors lends: O, this dread night, wouldst thou one hour come back, I could prevent this storm, and shun thy wrack!

'Thou cease!ess lackey to eternity, With some mischance cross Tarquin in his flight: Devise extremes beyond extremity, To make him curse this cursed crimeful night: Let ghastly shadows his lewd eyes affright; And the dire thought of his committed evil

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:

dotage, gazing about them at things they did not see. Their deserted salon, so filled with memories to them, was feebly lighted by a single lamp which seemed expiring. Without the sparkling of the flame upon the hearth, they might soon have been in total darkness.

A friend had just left them; and the chair on which he had been sitting, remained where he left it, between the two Corsicans. Piombo was casting glances at that chair,--glances full of thoughts, crowding one upon another like remorse,--for the empty chair was Ginevra's. Elisa Piombo watched the expressions that now began to cross her husband's pallid face. Though long accustomed to divine his feelings from the changeful agitations of his face, they seemed to-night so

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 Prufrock/Other Observations by T. S. Eliot:

The Jew Of Malta


Among the smoke and fog of a December afternoon You have the scene arrange itself--as it will seem to do-- With "I have saved this afternoon for you"; And four wax candles in the darkened room, Four rings of light upon the ceiling overhead, An atmosphere of Julietís tomb Prepared for all the things to be said, or left unsaid. We have been, let us say, to hear the latest Pole Transmit the Preludes, through his hair and finger tips.

Prufrock/Other Observations