Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wrestling



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

Hymn To The Night



Aspasie, trillistos.

I heard the trailing garments of the Night
Sweep through her marble halls!
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light
From the celestial walls!

I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
Stoop o'er me from above;
The calm, majestic presence of the Night,
As of the one I love.

I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
The manifold, soft chimes,
That fill the haunted chambers of the Night,
Like some old poet's rhymes.

From the cool cisterns of the midnight air
My spirit drank repose;
The fountain of perpetual peace flows there, -
From those deep cisterns flows.

O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear
What man has borne before!
Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care,
And they complain no more.

Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer!
Descend with broad-winged flight,
The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair,
The best-beloved Night!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: LIII



For Esther was a woman most complete
In all her ways of loving. And with me
Dealt as one deals who careless of deceit
And rich in all things is of all things free.
She did not stop with me to feel her way
Into my heart, because she all hearts knew,
But, like some prodigal heir of yesterday
Just in possession, counted not her due
And grandly gave. O brave humility!
O joy that kneels! O pride that stoops to tears!
She spent where others had demanded fee,
Served where all service had of right been hers,
Casting her bread of life upon love's ways,
Content to find it after many days.

Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

Love´s Alchemy



Some that have deeper digg'd love's mine than I,
Say, where his centric happiness doth lie.
I have loved, and got, and told,
But should I love, get, tell, till I were old,
I should not find that hidden mystery.
O ! 'tis imposture all ;
And as no chemic yet th' elixir got,
But glorifies his pregnant pot,
If by the way to him befall
Some odoriferous thing, or medicinal,
So, lovers dream a rich and long delight,
But get a winter-seeming summer's night.

Our ease, our thrift, our honour, and our day,
Shall we for this vain bubble's shadow pay?
Ends love in this, that my man
Can be as happy as I can, if he can
Endure the short scorn of a bridegroom's play?
That loving wretch that swears,
'Tis not the bodies marry, but the minds,
Which he in her angelic finds,
Would swear as justly, that he hears,
In that day's rude hoarse minstrelsy, the spheres.
Hope not for mind in women ; at their best,
Sweetness and wit they are, but mummy, possess'd.

John Donne

Longings



Like the beautiful bodies of those who died before growing old,
sadly shut away in sumptuous mausoleum,
roses by the head, jasmine at the feet -
so appear the longings that have passed
without being satisfied, not one of the granted
a single night of pleasure, or one of its radiant mornings.

Constantine P Cavafy

The Charnel Rose: A Symphony



She rose in moonlight, and stood, confronting sea,
With her bare arms uplifted,
And lifted her voice in the silence foolishly:
And her face was small, and her voice was small.
'O moon!' she cried, 'I think how you must tire
Forever circling earth, so silently;
Earth, who is dark and makes you no reply.'
She only heard the little waves rush and fall;
And saw the moon go quietly down the sky.

Like a white figurehead in the seafaring wind,
She stood in the moonlight,
And heard her voice cry, ghostly and thinned,
Over the seethe of foam,
Saying, 'O numberless waters, I think it strange
How you can always shadow her face, and change
And yet never weary of her, having no ease.'
But the sea said nothing, no word at all:
Unquietly, as in sleep, she saw it rise and fall;
And the moon spread a net of silver over the foam.

She lifted her hands and let them fall again,
Impatient of the silence. And in despair,
Hopeless of final answer against her pain,
She said, to the stealthy air,
'O air, far traveller, who from the stars are blown,
Float pollen of suns, you are an unseen sea
Lifting and bearing the words, eternally.
O air, do you not weary of your task?'
- She stood in the silence, frightened and alone,
And heard her syllables ask and ask.

And then, as she walked in the moonlight, so alone,
Lost and small in a soulless sea,
Hearing no voice make answer to her own,
From that infinity, -
Suddenly she was aware of a low whisper,
A dreadful heartless sound; and she stood still, -
There in the beach grass, on a sandy hill, -
And heard the stars, making a ghostly whisper;
And the soulless whisper of sun and moon and tree;
And the sea, rising and falling with a blind moan.

And as she faded into the night,
A glimmer of white,
With her arms uplifted and her face bowed down;
Sinking, again, into the sleep of sands,
The sea-sands white and brown;
Or among the sea-grass rustling as one more blade,
Pushing before her face her cinquefoil hands;
Or sliding, stealthy as foam, into the sea,
With a slow seethe and whisper:

Too late to find her, yet not too late to see,
Came he, who sought forever unsatisfied,
And saw her enter and shut the darkness,
Desired and swift,
And caught at the rays of the moon, yet found but darkness,
Caught at the flash of his feet, to fill his hands
With the sleepy pour of sands.

'O moon!' he said: 'was it you I followed?
You, who put silver madness into my eyes? -'
But he only heard, in the dark, a stifled laughter,
And the rattle of dead leaves blowing.
'O wind! -' he said - 'was it you I followed?
Your hand I felt against my face? -'
But he only heard, in the dark, a stifled laughter,
And shadows crept past him. with furtive pace,
Breathing night upon him; and one by one
The ghosts of leaves flew past him, seeking the sun.

And a silent star slipped golden down the darkness,
Down the great wall, leaving no trace in the sky,
And years went with it, and worlds. And he dreamed still
Of a fleeter shadow among the shadows running,
Foam into foam, without a gesture or cry,
Leaving him there, alone, on a lonely hill.

I. Part 2

Evening: in the twilight town
One by one the stars stepped down,
Each to assume his destined place:
And there he saw the destined face.

Her eyes were void, here eyes were deep:
She came like one who moved in sleep:
And when she looked across the night
Beneath, among, those points of light,
Into his heart she shot a pang,
As if a voice within him sang,
Sang and was silent. Down the street,
And lost in darkness, fled the feet;
Ambiguous, the street-lamp's gleam
Mocked at her eyes, and then the dream
From shuttered window, shadowed hall,
Chuckled beyond a lampless wall.

Among the crowding lights he went,
Where faces massed like lillies blent,
And this time plucked and made his own
Above snarled music's undertone:
Breathing the perfume of her hair,
He touched her arm, but suddenly there
As in a dance of shadows fleeing
(His eyes were shut for fear of seeing)
He watched red roses dropt apart
Each to disclose a charnel heart.

Ghostly with powder in the night,
Her hand upon his arm was white:
Her gown was light, and lightly blew,
A gauze of flame it burned him through.
Under the singing lamp she stood,
And smiled in subtly fugitive mood,
From depth to depth of wingless skies
Withdrawing batlike down her eyes:
And in his heart an echo came
Of quick dust quaking under flame.

Pale walls enclosed them.One light shed
A yellow flicker across the bed.
Loud steps rang through the street, and then
The hush of night grew deep again.
Two shadows on the wall made one -
What human walls were here flung down,
The light extinguished as in pain,
The weak light dying in the brain?
Green leaves pushed up through yielding air
Greedy for life she loosed her hair
With conscious and indifferent hands.
. . . High on his cliff, above hard sands,
He saw the moonlit ocean come
In ever-inward rings of foam,
Heard them break to shoot and seethe
Ever inward far beneath:
The ringed horizon rhythmic coming
And in the moonlight silent foaming:
But the dream changed: thick minutes dripped:
Between his fingers a fleet light slipped:
Was gone, was lost:
And on the sand, or in his brain,
He saw red roses fall again:
Rose-wreathed skeletons advanced
And clumsily lifted foot and danced:
And he saw the roses drop apart
Each to disclose a charnel heart.

Whose were these loathed and empty eyes?
Who, falling, in these wingless skies?
This was not she: he rose, withdrew:
One shadow on the wall made two,
The human walls stood up again:
Far in the night, or in his brain,
He heard her whisper, felt her pass,
Shadow of spirit over glass.

I. Part 3

And a silent star slipped golden down the darkness,
Taking his life with it, like a little cloud
Consumed in fire and speed, diffused in darkness:
Tangled and caught together, the days, the years,
His voice, his lifted hands,
Were ravelled and sped; where, by the sea, he bowed
And dreamed of the foam that crept back into the sea,
And the wandering leaves that crept back into the tree.

I. Part 4

Roses, he thought, were kin to her,
Pure text of dust; and learning these
He might more surely win to her,
Speak her own tongue to pledge and please.
What vernal kinship, then, was this
That spoke and perished in a breath?
In leaves, she was near enough to kiss,
And yet, impalpable as death.
Spading dark earth, he tore apart
Exquisite roots: she fled from him.
Her stigma, in the crocus heart,
Probed for delicately, would swim
Lazily faint away on air,
Not to be caught or held: she fled
Before him, wavering, everywhere,
A summer's secret behind he shed.
Music? He found it under earth,
Quick veins of fire: he heard her sing.
Upward it broke, a springing mirth,
A fugitive and amazing thing,
It flashed before his crazy feet,
He danced upon it, it would not stay,
His hands against its brightness beat,
But still it broke in light away.
O bird - he cried - if bird you are,
Keep still those frantic wings a while! . . .
Thus dancing for the evening star,
In hope to capture it by guile.

I. Part 5

The moon rose, and the moon set;
And the stars rushed up and whirled and set;
And again they swarmed, after a shaft of sunlight;
And the dark blue dusk closed above him, like an ocean of regret.

White trident fires were lit on the tops of towers;
Monstrous and black the towers broke the sky.
The ghostly fountain shot and tumbled in showers;
Gaunt leaves turned down above it, thirstily.
The gold fish, and the fish with fins of silver,
Quivered in lamplight, rose with sinister eye,
And darted into the darkness, silently.

The faces that looked at him were his own faces,
They streamed along the streets, they licked like fire,
Flowed with undulant paces,
Reflected in the darkness stared at him,
Contemplative, despairing,
Swept silently aside, becoming dim,
With a vague impotent gesture at the sky,
Uncontrolled and little caring;
And he watched them with an introspective eye.

To shape this world of leaderless ghostly passions -
Or else be mobbed by it - there was the question:
Green leaves above him whispered the slow question,
Black ripples on the pool chuckled of passions.
And between the uneasy shoulders of two trees,
Huge, against impalpable gust of blue,
A golden star slid down to leafy seas,
A star he somehow knew.

Youths tripped after him, laughing, but he fled them:
He heard them mock him, in affected tones.
Their lamia mouthes, so smiling, bade him fear them.
His own face leered at him, with timid lust,
Was overwhelmed in night.
He turned aside, and walked in graveyard dust, -
In the dew-dabbled, clinging dust, -
And terror seized him, seeing the stones so white;
And the wet grass, frozen and motionless in the moonlight;
And the green-tongued moonlight, crawling in thick dust.

Was it murky vapor, here, that dulled the stars? -
Or his own guilty breath that clouded heaven? -
Pale hands struck down with spades.
And it was he, with dew upon his face,
Who dug the foul earth in that dripping place,
Turning his back on heaven.
And it was he who found the desired dead;
And kissed the languid head;
While shadows frisked about him in moonlight,
Whirled and capered and leapt,
Caught each other and mimicked lust in the moonlight,
In the dew-wet dust, above the dead who slept.

But this - was it this he rose from and desired?
Black mould of leaves clung wetly about his feet.
He was lost, and alone, and tired,
A mist curled round him coldly, touched his face,
Shadows with eyes were gathering in that place;
And he dreamed of a lamplit street.
But roses fell through the darkness,
They writhed before him out of the mould,
Opened their hearts to pour out darkness,
Darkness of flesh, of lust grown old.
He struggled against them, beat,
Broke them with hands to feel the blood flow warm,
Reeled, when they opened their hearts,
Feeling them with their eyes closed push and swarm,
Thronging about his throat, pressing his mouth,
Beating his temples, choking his breath . . .
Help, you stars! - wet darkness showered upon him.
He was dissolved in a deep cold dream of death.

White fires were lit upon the tops of towers,
The towers shouldered the sky:
The ghostly fountain shot and tumbled in showers,
Gaunt leaves leaned down above it, thirstily.
And he looked with laughter upon the lamplit ripples
Each with its little image of the light,
And thought the minds of men were like black ripples,
Ripples of darkness, darkly huddled in night,
Each of them with its image of lamp or star,
Thinking itself the star.

And it seemed to him, as he looked upon them, laughing,
That he was the star they all in light reflected.
He was the god who had been rejected,
Stoned and trampled upon a filthy street,
Hung up in lamplight for young men to beat,
Cursed and spat upon; and all for saying
There was no life save life of fast and praying.
Or had he been a beggar, with bare feet?
Or a cruel ascetic, trampling roses down? . . .
Roses are death! he cried. He turned in hatred,
And saw red fires burst up above the town;
And a swarm of faces rising, green with hatred.

And silence descended, on dripping trees:
And dew-spats slowly spat from leaves to stones.
He had walked these gardens, he thought, before.
The fountain chuckled;
The leaves rustled, in whispers, along a shore.
And the moon rose, and the moon set;
And the stars rushed up, and swarmed, and set;
And again they swarmed, after a shaft of sunlight;
And the blue dusk closed above him, like an ocean of regret.

II. Part 1

And at times it seemed,
Walking with her of whom he subtly dreamed,
That her young body was ringed with flame,
Hover of fire,
And that she went and came,
Impalpable fiery blossom of desire,
Into his heart and out of his heart again,
With every breath, and every breath was pain.
And if he touched her hand, she drew away,
Becoming something vast; and stretched her hair
Suddenly, like black rain, across the sun.
Till he grew fearful, seeing her there,
To think that he loved such a one,
Who rose against the sky to shut out day.

But at times it seemed,
Walking with her of whom he subtly dreamed,
(Music beneath the sea)
That she was texture of earth no less than he;
Among the leaves her face
Gleamed with familiar grace;
And walking slowly through old gardens,
Among the cool blue cedars,
Spreading her hands in the silent dazzle of sunlight,
Her voice and the air were sweetly married;
Her laughter trembled like music out of the earth;
her body was like the cool blue cedars,
Fragrant in sunlight.
And he quivered, to think that he was the blade, in sunlight,
To flash, and strip these boughs, and spill their fragrance.

Wind hurried the last year's leaves, their shadows hurried,
And clouds blew down the sky.
Where would they be with a year gone by?
Let us be quick: there is time to overcome:
The earth grows old, the moon is already dead,
But you are young, you tremble because you love me,
It is all we have. Let nothing more be said.

What do we care for a star that floats down heaven,
That fiery tear of time?
It spoke to us once, it will not speak again,
It will be no more remembered than last year's rain;
There will be other dusks for us to walk through,
And other stars will float down heaven.
Time is undone: Between our hands it slips,
Goes out between us, the breath upon our lips.

Do not look over your shoulder to see it falling!
Shadows gather and brood, under the trees.
The world grows silent, it listens to hear us walking;
Let the star perish: we wander as we please.
Or is the earth beneath us an old star falling,
Falling through twilight to leafy seas?
The night grows damp: I will take your arm.
Follow the lanterns, lest we come to harm.

IV. Part 6

Twilight: a cold green sky.
Low massed clouds, with dazzling sinister edges,
And a sea gull, falling in high pale sunlight.

Dusk, - the encroachment of poisonous shadows,
The leisurely lighting of lamps;
And a gradual silence of restless trees.

Mist of twilight in my heart:
I who was always catching at fire.
Mould of black leaves under my feet;
I, whose star was desire.

Earth spins in her shadow.
Let us turn and go back
To the first of out loves -
The one who was moonlight and the fall of white roses!

We are struck down, we hear no music.
The moisture of night is in our hands.
Time takes us. We are eternal.

Conrad Potter Aiken

On A Similar Character (From The Greek)



You give your cheks a rosy stain,
With washes dye your hair;
But paint and washes both are vain
To give a youthful air.

Those wrinkles mock your daily toil,
No labor will efface 'em,
You wear a mask of smoothest oil,
Yet still with ease we trace 'em.

An art so fruitless then forsake,
Which though you much excel in,
You never can contrive to make
Old Hecuba young Helen.


William Cowper

A little road not made man



A little road not made of man,
Enabled of the eye,
Accessible to thill of bee,
Or cart of butterfly.

If town it have, beyond itself,
'T is that I cannot say;
I only sigh,--no vehicle
Bears me along that way.

Emily Dickinson

The Appeal



It I have given you delight
By aught that I have done,
Let me lie quiet in that night
Which shall be yours anon:

And for the little, little, span
The dead are born in mind,
Seek not to question other than
The books I leave behind.

Rudyard Kipling

In Imitation of Cowley : The Garden



Fain would my Muse the flow'ry Treasures sing,
And humble glories of the youthful Spring;
Where opening Roses breathing sweets diffuse,
And soft Carnations show'r their balmy dews;
Where Lilies smile in virgin robes of white,
The thin Undress of superficial Light,
And vary'd Tulips show so dazzling gay,
Blushing in bright diversities of day.
Each painted flow'ret in the lake below
Surveys its beauties, whence its beauties grow;
And pale Narcissus on the bank, in vain
Transformed, gazes on himself again.
Here aged trees Cathedral Walks compose,
And mount the Hill in venerable rows:
There the green Infants in their beds are laid,
The Garden's Hope, and its expected shade.
Here Orange-trees with blooms and pendantis shine,
And vernal honours to their autumn join;
Exceed their promise in the ripen'd store,
Yet in the rising blossom promise more.
There in bright drops the crystal Fountains play,
By Laurels shielded from the piercing day;
Where Daphne, now a tree as once a maid,
Still from Apollo vindicates her shade,
Still turns her Beauties from th' invading beam,
Nor seeks in vain for succour to the Stream.
The stream at once preserves her virgin leaves,
At once a shelter from her boughs receives,
Where Summer's beauty midst of Winter stays,
And Winter's Coolness spite of Summer's rays.

Alexander Pope

Fullness

There is a fullness of all things, even of sleep and love.

Homer

If you would be loved

If you would be loved, love, and be loveable.

Benjamin Franklin

XYZ

X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.

Dickson, R A

Solitude

Solitude, though it may be silent as light, is like light, the mightiest of agencies; for solitude is essential to man. All men come into this world alone; all leave it alone.

Thomas De Quincey

If you want to sin

If you want to sin, sin wholeheartedly and openly. Sins too have their lessons to teach the earnest sinner, as virtues - the earnest saint. It is the mixing up of the two that is so disastrous. Nothing can block you so
effectively as compromise, for it shows lack of earnestness, without which nothing can be done.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

Hypocrite

The hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself.

Hannah Arendt
Know yourself and you will win all battles.
Sun Tzu

The face of a lover

"The face of a lover is an unknown, precisely because it is invested with so much of oneself. It is a mystery, containing, like all mysteries, the possibility of torment."

James Baldwin

Optimism

[Optimism] is a mania for saying things are well when one is in hell.

Voltaire

True ease

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.

Alexander Pope

Monday, May 30, 2011

Song



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

Impromptu, to Lady Winchelsea



In vain you boast Poetic Names of yore,
And cite those Sapho's we admire no more:
Fate doom'd the Fall of ev'ry Female Wit,
But doom'd it then when first Ardelia writ.
Of all Examples by the World confest,
I knew Ardelia could not quote the best;
Who, like her Mistress on Britannia's Throne;
Fights, and subdues in Quarrels not her own.
To write their Praise you but in vain essay;
Ev'n while you write, you take that Praise away:
Light to the Stars the Sun does thus restore,
But shines himself till they are seen no more.

Alexander Pope

The Answer



A Rose, in tatters on the garden path,
Cried out to God and murmured 'gainst His Wrath,
Because a sudden wind at twilight's hush
Had snapped her stem alone of all the bush.
And God, Who hears both sun-dried dust and sun,
Had pity, whispering to that luckless one,
"Sister, in that thou sayest We did not well --
What voices heardst thou when thy petals fell?"
And the Rose answered, "In that evil hour
A voice said, `Father, wherefore falls the flower?
For lo, the very gossamers are still.'
And a voice answered, `Son, by Allah's will!'"

Then softly as a rain-mist on the sward,
Came to the Rose the Answer of the Lord:
"Sister, before We smote the dark in twain,
Ere yet the stars saw one another plain,
Time, Tide, and Space, We bound unto the task
That thou shouldst fall, and such an one should ask."
Whereat the withered flower, all content,
Died as they die whose days are innocent;
While he who questioned why the flower fell
Caught hold of God and saved his soul from Hell.


Rudyard Kipling

A little bread—a crust—a crumb



A little bread—a crust—a crumb—
A little trust—a demijohn—
Can keep the soul alive—
Not portly, mind! but breathing—warm—
Conscious—as old Napoleon,
The night before the Crown!

A modest lot—A fame petite—
A brief Campaign of sting and sweet
Is plenty! Is enough!
A Sailor's business is the shore!
A Soldier's—balls! Who asketh more,
Must seek the neighboring life!

Emily Dickinson

On A Plant Of Virgin's-Bower, Designed To Cover A Garden-seat



Thrive, gentle plant! and weave a bower
For Mary and for me,
And deck with many a splendid flower
Thy foliage large and free.

Thou camest from Eartham, and wilt shade,
(If truly I divine,)
Some future day the illustrious head
Of him who made thee mine.

Should Daphne show a jealous frown,
And Envy seize the Bay,
Affirming none so fit to crown
Such honoured brows as they.

Thy cause with zeal we shall defend,
And with convincing power!
For why should not the Virgin's friend
Be crowned with Virgin's Bower?


William Cowper

Stage Direction



It is a shabby backdrop of bright stars:
one of the small interstices of time:
the worn out north star northward, and Orion
to westward spread in ruined light. Eastward,
the other stars disposed, — or indisposed; —
x-ward or y-ward, the sick sun inflamed;
and all his drunken planets growing pale.
We watch them, and our watching is this hour.

It is a stage of ether, without space, —
a space of limbo without time, —
a faceless clock that never strikes;

and it is bloodstream at its priestlike task, —
the indeterminate and determined heart,
that beats, and beats, and does not know it beats.

Here the dark synapse between nerve and nerve;
the void, between two atoms in the brain;
darkness, without term or form, that sinks
between two thoughts.

Here we have sounded, angel! —
O angel soul, O memory of man! —
And felt the nothing that sustains our wings.
And here have seen the catalogue of things —
All in the maelstrom of the limbo caught,
and whirled concentric to the funnel’s end,
sans number, and sans meaning, and sans purpose;
the lack of meaning has a heart-beat, and
the lack of number wears a cloak of stars.

Conrad Potter Aiken

Long Ago



I’d like to speak of this memory…
but it’s so faded now…as though nothing is left—
because it was so long ago, in my early adolescent years.

A skin as though of jasmines…
that August evening— was it August?—
I can still just recall the eyes: blue, I think they were…
Ah yes, blue: a sapphire blue.


Constantine P Cavafy

A Valediction of Weeping



LET me pour forth
My tears before thy face, whilst I stay here,
For thy face coins them, and thy stamp they bear,
And by this mintage they are something worth.
For thus they be
Pregnant of thee ;
Fruits of much grief they are, emblems of more ;
When a tear falls, that thou fall'st which it bore ;
So thou and I are nothing then, when on a divers shore.

On a round ball
A workman, that hath copies by, can lay
An Europe, Afric, and an Asia,
And quickly make that, which was nothing, all.
So doth each tear,
Which thee doth wear,
A globe, yea world, by that impression grow,
Till thy tears mix'd with mine do overflow
This world, by waters sent from thee, my heaven dissolvèd so.

O ! more than moon,
Draw not up seas to drown me in thy sphere ;
Weep me not dead, in thine arms, but forbear
To teach the sea, what it may do too soon ;
Let not the wind
Example find
To do me more harm than it purposeth :
Since thou and I sigh one another's breath,
Whoe'er sighs most is cruellest, and hastes the other's death.

John Donne

Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: LII



I lived with Esther, not for many days,
If days be counted by the fall of night
And the sun's rising, yet through years of praise,
If truth be timepiece of joys infinite.
And what a life it was! No vain sweet dream
Of love in idleness which all men know,
But a full drama fashioned on the theme
Of strength victorious over death and woe.
Here was no faltering. Ours the triumph was
Of that strong logic which beholds each day
As a new world to conquer, and the cause
Itself complete of a more glorious fray.
To--day our cycle was. In it sublime
We sat enthroned as on the neck of Time.

Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

Footsteps of Angels



When the hours of Day are numbered,
And the voices of the Night
Wake the better soul, that slumbered,
To a holy, calm delight;

Ere the evening lamps are lighted,
And, like phantoms grim and tall,
Shadows from the fitful firelight
Dance upon the parlor wall;

Then the forms of the departed
Enter at the open door;
The beloved, the true-hearted,
Come to visit me once more;

He, the young and strong, who cherished
Noble longings for the strife,
By the roadside fell and perished,
Weary with the march of life!

They, the holy ones and weakly,
Who the cross of suffering bore,
Folded their pale hands so meekly,
Spake with us on earth no more!

And with them the Being Beauteous,
Who unto my youth was given,
More than all things else to love me,
And is now a saint in heaven.

With a slow and noiseless footstep
Comes that messenger divine,
Takes the vacant chair beside me,
Lays her gentle hand in mine.

And she sits and gazes at me
With those deep and tender eyes,
Like the stars, so still and saint-like,
Looking downward from the skies.

Uttered not, yet comprehended,
Is the spirit's voiceless prayer,
Soft rebukes, in blessings ended,
Breathing from her lips of air.

Oh, though oft depressed and lonely,
All my fears are laid aside,
If I but remember only
Such as these have lived and died!


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I have three treasures

I have three treasures. Guard and keep them: The first is deep love, The second is frugality, And the third is not to dare to be ahead of the world. Because of deep love, one is courageous.Because of frugality, one is generous. Because of not daring to be ahead of the world, one becomes the leader of the world.

Lao Tzu

The greatest way

"The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."

Socrates

Past

People are all over the world telling their one dramatic story and how their life has turned into getting over this one event. Now their lives are more about the past than their future.

Chuck Palahniuk

When in doubt

When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence

Samuel Butler

A fine quotation

A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit and a pebble in the hand of a fool.

Joseph Roux

Who?

Who is it that can tell me who I am?

William Shakespeare

Old words

So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent.

William Shakespeare

Observation

Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.

Marcus Aurelius

You know

You know that when I hate you, it is because I lovey ou to a point of passion that unhinges my soul.

Julie-Jeanne-Eleonore de Lespinasse (1732-1776)

Magic

A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person--perhaps someone dead for thousands of years.

Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you.   Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another.

Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.

Carl Sagan

What we need

"What we need is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out."

Bertrand Russell

Friday, May 27, 2011

If



If freckles were lovely, and day was night,
And measles were nice and a lie warn’t a lie,
Life would be delight, —
But things couldn’t go right
For in such a sad plight
I wouldn’t be I.

If earth was heaven and now was hence,
And past was present, and false was true,
There might be some sense
But I’d be in suspense
For on such a pretense
You wouldn’t be you.

If fear was plucky, and globes were square,
And dirt was cleanly and tears were glee
Things would seem fair, —
Yet they’d all despair,
For if here was there
We wouldn’t be we.


E. E. Cummings