FOR REASONS perhaps best explained by sleep researchers or shrinks, slumber’s lifting veil this morning stopped half way up to strand a drowsy Bunyip in that delightful realm of semi-conscious reveries and random, silly thoughts. The fetching Maureen from the golf club sometimes figures at these moments, but alas, not today. Rather than a keen instructor’s pleasure at guiding the recent divorcee’s legs to a practical spread and polishing her grip for the sweeter shot, it was the far less appealing phantasm of our Prime Minister that bounced about the pillow to the unlikely accompaniment of the poet John Milton – very strange combination indeed.
The author of Paradise Lost had a problem with women, as every primary schooler knows, and poured much of his angst at a short,embarrassing and unhappy first marriage into Samson Agonistes. Could that be at the root of a subconscious connection, the link between a man scarred upon the marital couch and the modern woman who has thrashed about on the beds of so many others?
Then, over coffee and a crumpet, a double revelation!
It was Milton who railed in Areopagitica against censorship, an obvious link to the shrew who would, and probably will, impose further limits and restrictions on free speech. And there was more when memory dredged up a snatch of Agonistes -- a lovely bit wherein Milton taps the nautical to introduce Delilah, who sails into his hero’s heart beribboned and full-breasted as a square rig before the wind.
But who is this, what thing of sea or land,--
Female of sex it seems,--
That so bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,
Comes this way sailing
Like a stately ship
Of Tarsus, bound for th' isles
Of Javan or Gadire,
With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Sails fill'd, and streamers waving,
Courted by all the winds that hold them play,
An amber scent of odorous perfume
Readers are asked to forgive the indulgence of this post. It was a strange dream and demanded at least some attempt at an explanation.