It’s a dank dark morning here in Belgium and I am huddled cosily under a blanket in my dank dark study and this poem seeped into my head.
O westron wynde when wyll thow blow
The smalle rayne downe can rayne –
Cryst, yf my love wer in my armys
And I in my bed agayne!
(Anon., 1520; from Paul Keegan, ed., The New Penguin Book of English Verse (London: Allen Lane, the Penguin Press, 2000), p. 74)
There’s a lot of smalle rayne falling here, but it’s nice to be inside and warm. Have a lovely weekend, dear friends!
(Jean Mansel, illuminated page in Vie de Nostre Seigneur Jésus Christ (11.1 x 15.8 cm, fol. 174), fifteenth century; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; found here with the following explanation of conception and ensoulment:
This illumination from a fifteenth-century French manuscript shows a couple in bed. The Holy Trinity—father, son and Holy Ghost—watch from the upper left corner and send them a childlike form. This recalls the iconography of the Annunciation. The scroll quotes Genesis from the Latin Bible: ‘Let us create man in our image and likeness’ (Faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudem nostram). The slippers by the bed refer to God’s commandment to Moses to remove his sandals before the holy ground of the burning bush, and so point to the holiness of the sacrament of marriage. The woman’s extended right arm probably signifies Eve’s offering the apple from the Tree of Knowledge, reminding us that we all inherit Original Sin at conception. The burning candle on the mantelpiece indicates the beginning of a new life. Ensoulment and conception are tightly linked here, and so probably took place in the same moment, contrary to Aristotelian and vernacular ideas.)