Sunday, May 31, 2009

G is for GARDENS

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

All gardens are a form of autobiography.
Robert Dash
I know that if odour were visible, as colour is,
I'd see the summer garden in rainbow clouds.
Robert Bridges

I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.
Amy Lowell

In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death.
Sam Llewelyn

Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination.
Mrs. C.W. Earle

My garden is a forest ledge
Which older forest s bound;
The banks slope down to the blue lake-edge,
Then plunge to depths profound!
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A garden, sir, wherein all rainbowed flowers were heaped together.
Charles Kingsley

No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden.
Hugh Johnson

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.
Hanna Rion

My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.
Abram L. Urban

Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?
Betsy Cañas Garmon

It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.
James Douglas

I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Despite the gardener's best intentions, Nature will improvise.
Michael P. Garafalo

Take thy plastic spade,
It is thy pencil; take thy seeds, thy plants,
They are thy colours.
William Mason

It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves.
Robert Louis Stevenson

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.
W.E. Johns

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Edgar Allan Poe


Our oneness is the wrestlers’, fierce and close,
Thrusting and thrust;
One life in dual effort for one prize,—
We fight, and must;
For soul with soul does battle evermore
Till love be trust.

Our distance is love’s severance; sense divides,
Each is but each;
Never the very hidden spirit of thee
My life doth reach;
Twain! Since love athwart the gulf that needs
Kisses and speech.

Ah! wrestle closelier! we draw nearer so
Than any bliss
Can bring twain souls who would be whole and one,
Too near to kiss:
To be one thought, one voice before we die,—
Wrestle for this.

Louisa S. Bevington

The language of friendship

The language of friendship is not words but meanings.

Henry David Thoreau


"There are places and moments in which one is so completely alone that one sees the world entire."

Renard, Jules

Strange and miraculous

"It is we who are the measure of what is strange and miraculous: if we sought a universal measure the strange and miraculous would not occur and all things would be equal"

Lichtenberg, Georg

Kind of fun

It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

Disney, Walt

Courage and tolerance

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.

Ralph W. Sockman

Saturday, May 30, 2009

F is for FLOWERS

What a desolate place would be a world without a flower! It would be a face without a smile, a feast without a welcome. Are not flowers the stars of the earth, and are not our stars the flowers of heaven?

Mrs. Clara Lucas Balfour

Sweet letters of the angel tongue,
I've loved ye long and well,
And never have failed in your fragrance sweet
To find some secret spell,--
A charm that has bound me with witching power,
For mine is the old belief,
That midst your sweets and midst your bloom,
There's a soul in every leaf!

Mathurin M. Ballou, Flowers

He must have an artist's eye for color and form who can arrange a hundred flowers as tastefully, in any other way, as by strolling through a garden, and picking here one and there one, and adding them to the bouquet in the accidental order in which they chance to come. Thus we see every summer day the fair lady coming in from the breezy side hill with gorgeous colors and most witching effects. If only she could be changed to alabaster, was ever a finer show of flowers in so fine a vase? But instead of allowing the flowers to remain as they were gathered, they are laid upon the table, divided, rearranged on some principle of taste, I know not what, but never again have that charming naturalness and grace which they first had.

Henry Ward Beecher

It gives one a sudden start in going down a barren, stony street, to see upon a narrow strip of grass, just within the iron fence, the radiant dandelion, shining in the grass, like a spark dropped from the sun.

Henry Ward Beecher

What a pity flowers can utter no sound! A singing rose, a whispering violet, a murmuring honeysuckle--oh, what a rare and exquisite miracle would these be!

Henry Ward Beecher

Flowers are Love's truest language; they betray,
Like the divining rods of Magi old,
Where precious wealth lies buried, not of gold,
But love--strong love, that never can decay!

Park Benjamin

To create a little flower is the labor of ages.

William Blake

Thick on the woodland floor
Gay company shall be,
Primrose and Hyacinth
And frail Anemone,
Perennial Strawberry-bloom,
Woodsorrel's pencilled veil,
Dishevel'd Willow-weed
And Orchis purple and pale.

Robert Seymour Bridges

I have loved flowers that fade,
Within those magic tents
Rich hues have marriage made
With sweet unmemoried scents.

Robert Seymour Bridges

Brazen helm of daffodillies,
With a glitter toward the light.
Purple violets for the mouth,
Breathing perfumes west and south;
And a sword of flashing lilies,
Holden ready for the fight.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Where fall the tears of love the rose appears,
And where the ground is bright with friendship's tears,
Forget-me-not, and violets, heavenly blue,
Spring glittering with the cheerful drops like dew.

William Cullen Bryant

Who that has loved knows not the tender tale
Which flowers reveal, when lips are coy to tell?

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

Rose, what is become of thy delicate hue?
And where is the violet's beautiful blue?
Does aught of its sweetness the blossom beguile?
That meadow, those daisies, why do they not smile?

John Byrom

Ye field flowers! the gardens eclipse you 'tis true:
Yet wildings of nature, I dote upon you,
For ye waft me to summers of old,
When the earth teem'd around me with fairy delight,
And when daisies and buttercups gladden'd my sight,
Like treasures of silver and gold.

Thomas Campbell

I know not which I love the most,
Nor which the comeliest shows,
The timid, bashful violet
Or the royal-hearted rose:
The pansy in purple dress,
The pink with cheek of red,
Or the faint, fair heliotrope, who hangs,
Like a bashful maid her head.

Phoebe Cary

Not a flower
But shows some touch, in freckle, streak or stain,
Of his unrivall'd pencil. He inspires
Their balmy odors, and imparts their hues,
And bathes their eyes with nectar, and includes
In grains as countless as the seaside sands,
The forms with which he sprinkles all the earth
Happy who walks with him!

William Cowper

Flowers are words
Which even a babe may understand.

Bishop Arthur Cleveland Coxe,

Like saintly vestals, pale in prayer, their pure breath sanctifies the air.

Julia Caroline Ripley Dorr

The harebells nod as she passes by,
The violet lifts its tender eye,
The ferns bend her steps to greet,
And the mosses creep to her dancing feet.

Julia Caroline Ripley Dorr, Over the Wall

The rose is fragrant, but it fades in time:
The violet sweet, but quickly past the prime:
White lilies hang their heads, and soon decay,
And white snow in minutes melts away.

John Dryden

I always think the flowers can see us, and know what we are thinking about.

George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

I think I am quite wicked with roses. I like to gather them, and smell them till they have no scent left.

George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

The amen! of nature is always a flower.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I remember, I remember
The roses, red and white,
The violets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs, where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,--
The tree is living yet.

Thomas Hood

He is happiest who hath power to gather wisdom from a flower.

Mary Howitt

Growing one's own choice words and fancies
In orange tubs, and beds of pansies'
One's sighs and passionate declarations,
In odorous rhetoric of carnations.

Leigh Hunt (James Henry Leigh Hunt)

One thing is certain and the rest is lies:
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.

Omar Khayyam

Leaves are the Greek, flowers the Italian, phase of the spirit of beauty that reveals itself through the flora of the globe.

Thomas Starr King

I do love violets; they tell the history of woman's love.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon (Mrs. George MacLean)

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies.

Christopher Marlowe

Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose.

John Milton

Sweet flowers alone can say what passion fears revealing.

Thomas Moore

Yet, no--not words, for they
But half can tell love's feeling;
Sweet flowers alone can say
What passion fears revealing:
A once bright rose's wither'd leaf,
A tow'ring lily broken,--
Oh, these may paint a grief
No words could e'er have spoken.

Thomas Moore

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.

Iris Murdoch

Flowers belong to Fairyland: the flowers and the birds and the butterflies are all that the world has kept of its golden age--the only perfectly beautiful things on earth--joyous, innocent, half divine--useless, say they who are wiser than God.

Ouida (pseudonym of Marie Louise de la Ramee)

He bore a simple wild-flower wreath:
Narcissus, and the sweet brier rose;
Vervain, and flexible thyme, that breathe
Rich fragrance; modest heath, that glows
With purple bells; the amaranth bright,
That no decay, no fading knows,
Like true love's holiest, rarest light;
And every purest flower, that blows
In that sweet time, which Love most blesses,
When spring on summer's confines presses.

Thomas Love Peacock

Sweet flower, thou tellest how hearts as pure and tender as thy leaf, as low and humble as thy stem, will surely know the joy that peace imparts.

James Gates Percival

In Eastern lands they talk in flowers,
And they tell in a garland their loves and cares;
Each blossom that blooms in their garden bowers,
On its leaves a mystic language bears.

James Gates Percival

"If flowers have souls," said Undine, "the bees, whose nurses they are, must seem to them darling children at the breast. I once fancied a paradise for the spirits of departed flowers." "They go," answered I, "not into paradise, but into a middle state; the souls of lilies enter into maidens' foreheads, those of hyacinths and forget-me-nots dwell in their eyes, and those of roses in their lips."

Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

Flowers preach to us if we will hear.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Flowers are like the pleasures of the world.

William Shakespeare

Sweet flowers are slow, and weeds make haste.

William Shakespeare

And the spring arose on the garden fair like the spirit of Love felt everywhere.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Day stars! that ope your frownless eyes to twinkle
From rainbow galaxies of earth's creation,
And dew-drops on her lonely altars sprinkle
As a libation.

Horace (Horatio) Smith

Ye bright Mosaics! That with storied beauty,
The floor of Nature's temple tesselate,
What numerous emblems of instructive duty
Your forms create!

Horace (Horatio) Smith

Sweet is the rose, but grows upon a brere;
Sweet is the juniper, but sharp his bough;
Sweet is the eglantine, but stiketh nere;
Sweet is the firbloome, but its braunches rough;
Sweet is the cypress, but its rynd is tough;
Sweet is the nut, but bitter is his pill;
Sweet is the broome-flowre, but yet sowre enough;
And sweet is moly, but his root is ill.

Edmund Spenser

Roses red and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres that in the forrest grew.

Edmund Spenser

With roses musky-breathed,
And drooping daffodilly,
And silver-leaved lily.
And ivy darkly-wreathed
I wove a crown before her,
For her I love so dearly.

Lord Alfred Tennyson, Anacreontics

There is to the poetical sense a ravishing prophecy and winsome intimation in flowers that now and then, from the influence of mood of circumstance, reasserts itself like the reminiscence of childhood, or the spell of love.

Henry Theodore Tuckerman

To analyze the charms of flowers is like dissecting music; it is one of those things which it is far better to enjoy than to attempt to understand.

Henry Theodore Tuckerman

The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly.

William Wordsworth,

Pansies, lilies, kingcups, daisies,
Let them live upon their praises.

William Wordsworth, To the Small Celandine


The lark now leaves his watery nest,
...And climbing shakes his dewy wings.
He takes this window for the East,
...And to implore your light he sings--
Awake, awake! the morn will never rise
Till she can dress her beauty at your eyes.

The merchant bows unto the seaman's star,
...The plowman from the sun his season takes;
But still the lover wonders what they are
...Who look for day before his mistress wakes.
Awake, awake! break through your veils of lawn!
Then draw your curtains, and begin the dawn!

William Davenant (1606-1668)

Each Life Converges to Some Centre

Each life converges to some centre
Expressed or still;
Exists in every human nature
A goal,

Admitted scarcely to itself, it may be,
Too fair
For credibility's temerity
To dare.

Adored with caution, as a brittle heaven,
To reach
Were hopeless as the rainbow's raiment
To touch,

Yet persevered toward, surer for the distance;
How high
Unto the saints' slow diligence
The sky!

Ungained, it may be, by a life's low venture,
But then,
Eternity enables the endeavoring

Emily Dickinson

Two solitudes

Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.

Rainer Maria Rilke

No wise man

No wise man ever wished to be younger.

Jonathan Swift

Conquering fear

"To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom."

Bertrand Russell

Tedious disease

What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease.

George Dennison Prentice

Friday, May 29, 2009

E is for EYE

That fine part of our construction, the eye, seems as much the receptacle and seat of our passions as the mind itself; and at least it is the outward portal to introduce them to the house within, or rather the common thoroughfare to let our affections pass in and out.

Joseph Addison

In her eyes a thought
Grew sweeter and sweeter, deepening like the dawn,
A mystical forewarning.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Pythagoras

The eyes are the amulets of the mind.

William R. Alger

A gray eye is a sly eye,
And roguish is a brown one;
Turn full upon me thy eye,--
Ah, how its wavelets drown one!
A blue eye is a true eye;
Mysterious is a dark one,
Which flashes like a spark-sun!
A black eye is the best one.

William R. Alger,

Ah! the soft starlight of virgin eyes.

Honore de Balzac

I need no dictionary of quotations to remind me that the eyes are the windows of the soul.

Max Beerbohm

The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one:
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.

Francis William Bourdillon,

Folded eyes see brighter colors than the open ever do.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The learned compute that seven hundred and seven millions of millions of vibrations have penetrate the eye before the eye can distinguish the tints of a violet.

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton,

Heart on her lips, and soul within her eyes,
Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies.

Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron

In every object there is inexhaustible meaning; the eye sees in it what the eye brings means of seeing.

Thomas Carlyle,

The eyes, like sentinels, hold the highest place in the body.
[Lat., Oculi, tanquam, speculatores, altissimum locum obtinent.]

Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

My eyes make pictures, when they are shut.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, A Day Dream

Eyes, that displaces
The neighbor diamond, and out-faces
That sun-shine by their own sweet graces.

Richard Crashaw,

Not in mine eyes alone in Paradise.

Dante ("Dante Alighieri

One of the most wonderful things in nature is a glance; it transcends speech; it is the bodily symbol of identity.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

People forget that it is the eye which makes the horizon, and the rounding mind's eye which makes this or that man a type or representative of humanity with the name of hero or saint.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Say, what other metre is it
Than the meeting of the eyes?
Nature poureth into nature
Through the channels of that feature
Riding on the ray of sight,
Fleeter far than whirlwinds go,
Or for service, or delight,
Hearts to hearts their meaning show.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some eyes threaten like a loaded and levelled pistol, and others are as insulting as hissing or kicking; some have no more expression than blueberries, while others are as deep as a well which you can fall into.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Eyes are bold as lions,--roving, running, leaping, here and there, far and near. They speak all languages. They wait for no introduction; they are no Englishmen; ask no leave of age or rank; they respect neither property nor riches, neither learning nor power, nor virtue, nor sex, but intrude, and come again, and go through and through you in a moment of time. What inundation of life and thought is discharged from one soul into another through them!

Ralph Waldo Emerson,

Among the blind, the squinter rules.
[Lat., Inter caecos regnat strabus.]

Desiderius Gerhard Erasmus

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
[Lat., In regione caecorum rex est luscus.]

Desiderius Gerhard Erasmus

It is well known that a one-eyed man can rule among the blind.
[Lat., Scitum est inter caecos luscum requare posse.]

Desiderius Gerhard Erasmus

The eyes of other people are the eyes that ruin us.

Benjamin Franklin

Eyes so transparent,
That through them one sees the soul.
[Lat., Ils sont si transparents qu'ils laissent voir votre ame.]

Pierre Jules Theophile Gautier

Tell me, eyes, what 'tis ye're seeking;
For ye're saying something sweet,
Fit the ravish'd ear to greet.
Eloquently, softly speaking.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

He travels with his eyes.

Walter Harte

I everywhere am thinking
Of thy blue eyes' sweet smile;
A sea of blue thoughts is spreading
Over my heart the while.

Heinrich Heine

The eyes have one language every where.
[The eyes have one language everywhere.]

George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum

Men trust their ears less than their eyes.

Herodotus ("Father of History")

Those eyes that were so bright, love,
Have now a dimmer shine;
But what they've lost in light, love,
Is what they gave to mine.
And still those orbs reflect, love,
The beams of former hours,
That ripen'd all my joys, love,
And tinted all my flowers.

Thomas Hood

Those true eyes
Too pure and too honest in aught to disguise
The sweet soul shining through them.

Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton

A heaven of dreams in her large lotus eyes, darkly divine.

Gerald Massey

Eyes of most unholy blue!

Thomas Moore

Those eyes, whose light seem'd rather given
To be ador'd than to adore--
Such eyes as may have looked from heaven,
But ne'er were raised to it before!

Thomas Moore

Thou my star at the stars are gazing
Would I were heaven that I might behold thee with many eyes.

Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus

One eye-witness is of more weight than ten hearsays. Those who hear, speak of shat they have heard; whose who see, know beyond mistake.
[Lat., Pluris est oculatus testis unus, quam auriti decem.
Qui audiunt, audita dicunt; qui vident, plane sciunt.]

Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus

Why has not man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, Man is not a Fly.
Say, what the use, were finer optics giv'n,
T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heav'n?

Alexander Pope

Bright as the sun her eyes the gazers strike,
And, like the sun, they shine on all alike.

Alexander Pope

The eye is the window of the soul, the mouth the door. The intellect, the will, are seen in the eye; the emotions, sensibilities, and affections, in the mouth. The animals look for man's intentions right into his eyes. Even a rat, when you hunt him and bring him to bay, looks you in the eye.

Hiram Powers

The eyes are the pioneers that first announce the soft tale of love.

Sextus Aurelius Propertius

Whatever of goodness emanates from the soul, gathers its soft halo in the eyes; and if the heart be a lurking place of crime, the eyes are sure to betray the secret. A beautiful eye makes silence eloquent, a kind eye makes contradiction assent, an enraged eye makes beauty a deformity; so you see, forsooth, the little organ plays no inconsiderable, if not a dominant, part.

Frederick Saunders

O, the eye's light is a noble gift of heaven! All beings live from light; each fair created thing, the very plants, turn with a joyful transport to the light.

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

Eyes will not see when the heart wishes them to be blind. Desire conceals truth as darkness does the earth.

Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind.

William Shakespeare

Sometimes from her eyes I did receive fair speechless messages.

William Shakespeare

Think ye by gazing on each other's eyes
To multiply your lovely selves?

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Long while I sought to what I might compare
Those powerful eyes, which light my dark spirit;
Yet found I nought on earth, to which I dare
Resemble th' image of their goodly light
Not to the sun, for they do shine by night;
Nor to the moon, for they are changed never;
Nor to the stars, for they have purer sight;
Nor to the fire, for they consume not ever;
Nor to the lightning, for they still persever;
Nor to the diamond, for they are more tender;
Nor unto crystal, for nought may they sever;
Nor unto glass, such baseness might offend her;
Then to the Maker's self the likest be;
Whose light doth lighten all that here we see.

Edmund Spenser

It is wonderful indeed to consider how many objects the eye is fitted to take in at once, and successively in an instant, and at the same time to make a judgment of their position, figure, and color. It watches against our dangers, guides our steps, and lets in all the visible objects, whose beauty and variety instruct and delight.

Sir Richard Steele

Were you the earth dear love, and I the skies
My love would shine on you like to the sun
And look upon you with ten thousand eyes
Till heaven waxed blind and till the world were done.

Joshua Sylvester, Love's Omnipotence

The eye strays not while under the guidance of reason.

Syrus (Publilius Syrus)

Eyes not down-dropped nor over-bright, but fed with the clear-pointed flame of chastity.

Lord Alfred Tennyson

Pure vestal thoughts in the translucent fane of her still spirit.

Lord Alfred Tennyson

Her eyes are homes of silent prayer.

Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam (XXXII)

A pair of bright eyes with a dozen glances suffice to subdue a man; to enslave him, and inflame; to make him even forget; they dazzle him so that the past becomes straightway dim to him; and he so prizes them that he would give all his life to possess them. What is the fond love of dearest friends compared to his treasure? Is memory as strong as expectancy, fruition as hunger, gratitude as desire?

William Makepeace Thackeray

How blue were Ariadne's eyes
When, from the sea's horizon line,
At eve, she raised them on the skies!
My Psyche, bluer far are thine.

Sir Aubrey de Vere, Psyche

Deep brown eyes running over with glee;
Blue eyes are pale, and gray eyes are sober;
Bonnie brown eyes are the eye's for me.

Constance Fenimore Woolson

Dover Beach

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the A gaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold

Purple and red

She is coming, my own, my sweet;
...Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
...Were it earth in an earthy bed;
My dust would hear her and beat,
...Had I lain for a century dead,
Would start and tremble under her feet,
...And blossom in purple and red.

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-92)

A man´s world

"I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it."

Marilyn Monroe


Better trust all and be deceived,
And weep that trust and that deceiving
Than doubt one heart that, if believed,
Had blessed one's life with true believing.

Oh, in this mocking world, too fast,
The doubting fiend o'ertakes our youth;
Better be cheated to the last
Than lose the blessed hope of truth.

Frances Anne Kemble


"Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation..."

Oscar Wilde

Spiritual affinity

"It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations."

Khalil Gibran

Magic vase

Life is a magic vase filled to the brim; so made that you cannot dip into it nor draw from it; but it overflows intothe hand that drops treasures into it - drop in malice andit overflows hate; drop in charity and it overflows love.

John Ruskin

Old in a hurry

Without a sense of humor, you're old in a hurry.

Janice Clark

Judging characters

You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.

Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990)

Smal mercies

I am thankful for small mercies. I compared notes with one of my friends who expects everything of the universe, and is disappointed when anything is less than the best, and I found that I begin at the other extreme, expecting nothing, and am always full of thanks for moderate goods.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The art of being happy

"The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things."

Henry Ward Beecher

Infinite causes

"Nature is full of infinite causes that have never occured in experience"

Vinci, Leonardo da

Thursday, May 28, 2009

D is for DESTINY

Books have their own destiny. [Lat., Habent sua fata libelli.]

Maurus Terentianus, Poetics

Alas! we are the sport of destiny.

William Makepeace Thackeray

We bear each one our own destiny.
[Lat., Quisque suos patimur manes.]

Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil), The Aeneid (VI, 743)

The seed ye sow, another reaps;

The wealth ye find, another keeps;

The robes ye weave, another wears;

The arms ye forge, another bears.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

And from his ashes may be made

The violet of his native land.

Lord Alfred Tennyson.

We are but as the instrument of heaven.

Owen Meredith (pseudonym of Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, Lord Lytton)

Every man meets his Waterloo at last.

Wendell Phillips, Speech

Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet Prince of Denmark (Hamlet at V, i)

No living man can send me to the shades
Before my time; no man of woman born,
Coward or brave, can shun his destiny.

Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad

All, soon or late, are doom'd that path to tread.

Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey

That old miracle
Needs no explanations.
The heart reads aright
Its destiny sometimes.

Owen Meredith (pseudonym of Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, Lord Lytton)

Destiny is always dark.

George Herbert

Each thing, both in small and in great, fulfilleth the task which destiny hath set down.

Hippocrates of Iphicrates

That each thing, both in small and in great, fulfilleth the task which destiny hath set down.

Hippocrates of Iphicrates

Woman is born for love, and it is impossible to turn her from seeking it.

Margaret Fuller (Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli)

Man supposes that he directs his life and governs his actions, when his existence is irretrievably under the control of destiny.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Character is fate. (Destiny)

Heraclitus of Ephesus

There are certain events which to each man's life are as comets to the earth, seemingly strange and erratic portents; distinct from the ordinary lights which guide our course and mark our seasons, yet true to their own laws, potent in their own influences.

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

For I am a weed,
Flung from the rock, on Ocean's foam, to sail,
Where'er the surge may sweep, the tempest's breath prevail.

Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron), Childe Harold (canto III, st. 2)

Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well.


My death and life,
My bane and antidote, are both before me.

Joseph Addison, Cato (act V, sc. 1)

For rarely man escapes his destiny.
[It., Che l'uomo il suo destin fugge di raro.]

Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (XVIII, 58)

Life treads on life, and heart on heart;
We press too close in church and mart
To keep a dream or grave apart.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Vision of Poets (conclusion)