Its my pleasure to quote from Greater Magic, by John Northern Hilliard, my 9th impression, revised edition, (c) 1938, 1942, 1945, 1947, Carl Waring Jones, Minneapolis publisher. Please forgive any typos. Enjoy. . .
"In the beginning --
There was magic in the world. There was the magic of day and night, of springtime and winter, of buds creaming into bloom, of first grains cleavi g their green shoot through the unviolated earth, and of rivers flowing down to the sea.
There was the magic of winds and clouds, and of the tides, which were alive and moved at the thunderbidding of unknown gods.
And there was the magic of birth and of life and the disturbing, impenetrable magic of death.
And to the first people, who had come down out of primeval trees to crouch in caves against long nights of fear, everything was magic. Some of it was white magic and good, but mostly it was black magic and bad. The winds in the trees were the voices of malignant spirits; devils tramped among the hills until the dawn, and the darkness outside whimpered with the ghosts of their returning dead.
And so they called upon their priests and wizards, who wrought magic charms and incantations against the terrors of death and darkness, thunder and lightning, blood and destruction, and fabricated rude talismans and amulets to placate the unknown gods that too heavy a burden of fear and sorrow might not be laid upon the tribe.
That was in the Beginning.
And at the end --
There will be magic in the workd, as in the beginning. It will be the same magic, and as perplexing to the people of the twilight as it was to those in the morning of the world.
What the first man faced at the bgeginning, the last man will face at the end.
In vain do the men of science try to displel this ancient magic that is our heritage. It still troubles us that there should be day and night, sprintime and winter, the going out the the coming in of the tides, and the ineluctable routine of the sun, the moon and the starts.
And there will be the same magic of life -- the miracle of birth and the impenetrable mystery of death.
And we shall be joyous of the one and desolate of the other, and knowing no more of either mystery than did the first people, who heard their dead whimpering through the long nights.
And like them, we shall call upon our priests and wizards to fashion certain charms and spells and provide amulets and phylacteries against the malignant spirits and to placate the gods of the tribe.
We know no more of these things than the first man did. And the last man will know no more than we do.
It began in mystery. It will end in mystery."
John Northern Hilliard