Hypnerotomachia Poliphili - Fields and meadows
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili – Francesca Colonna [translated by Joscelyn Godwin]
Looking over the plain, I saw it blooming everywhere with varieties of plants distributed colourwise. For yellow, there were ranunculus and frogfoot or oxeye. For peacock blue there were satyrion, lesser centaury, crowned melitot and tiny euphrasia. For gold, there were scandix and flowering navew; and for azure there were chicory and the gladiolus that grows in the corn. There were flowering and fruiting strawberries, tiny leaved achillea with its white flower clusters, serratula, cuckoo bread, and countless other beautiful flowers. Lost in the wonder of the place, I felt consoled.
Leafy orange, lemon and lime trees were planted here and there, elegantly spaced at regular distances and precise intervals with their equal branches hanging one pace from the ground. They were thick with foliage of a glass green colour and were formed like cones, with long spires and rounded bases, rich in flowers and fruits and exhaling a delicious perfume. My contracted heart filled itself generously with this, invaded as it had been by the pestilential stink and corrosive reptilean breath [of a dragon].
I stood thus for a long time, musing in suspense and wonder at having found myself in this present place which was so delectable to my senses, and in particular at having carefully examined the marvellous fountain. The variety of plants, the colour of the flowers, the plantation of trees, the noble and comfortable arrangement of the site, the sweet and unceasing bird song, the temperature and purity of the air, would all have made me perfectly contented if only I had found some habitation.