classes ::: Taigu_Ryokan, book, Zen, Poetry,
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branches ::: Sky Above
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object:Sky Above
author class:Taigu Ryokan
subject class:Zen
subject class:Poetry

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Sky Above
select ::: Being, God, injunctions, media, place, powers, subjects,
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--- DICTIONARIES (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)

--- QUOTES [0 / 0 - 211 / 211] (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)

KEYS (10k)


   4 Anonymous

   3 William Gibson

   3 Suzanne Collins

   3 Patrick Rothfuss

   3 Marcel Proust

   3 Lauren Oliver

   3 J K Rowling

   3 Edgar Albert Guest

   3 Daphne du Maurier

   3 Chief Joseph

   3 Albert Camus

   2 Robert Browning
   2 Richard Flanagan

   2 Neil Gaiman

   2 Leon Trotsky

   2 Kate Chopin

   2 Julie Buntin

   2 John Green

   2 James Joyce

   2 Fernando Pessoa

   2 Evelyn Waugh

   2 Emma Lazarus

   2 Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   2 Elizabeth Hoyt

   2 Daniel James Brown

   2 Blake Crouch

   2 Barack Obama

   2 Alice Walker

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Sky above, earth below, fire within. ~ Karen Marie Moning
2:Only the sky above us do we hold in common. ~ Alice Walker
3:Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life. ~ Marcel Proust
4:THE SKY ABOVE northeast India looked like mango skin. ~ Rebecca Skloot
5:I love you above everything on this earth and in the sky above. ~ Jo Nesb
6:She wished to be happy, and fell asleep with an entire sky above her. ~ Amy Zhang
7:The sky above was a vault of blackness-and everywhere, the stars! ~ Justin Cronin
8:I died in my boots like a pioneer With the whole wide sky above me. ~ Stephen Vincent Benet
9:The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. ~ Anonymous
10:Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me. ~ Immanuel Kant
11:The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. ~ William Gibson
12:The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead station. ~ William Gibson
13:I wish to God I may die if I don’t love you. There ain’t no sky above us if I don’t love you ~ James Baldwin
14:At the age of twenty-five, he had conquered not only the entire planet but all the sky above it. ~ Melanie Benjamin
15:... back then the sky seemed so vast.

And now the sky above me... is low, and narrow, and heavy. ~ Inio Asano
16:Good morning.
Lead with gratitude.
The air in your lungs, the sky above you.
Proceed from there. ~ Lin Manuel Miranda
17:O sky above me, you modest, glowing sky! O you, my happiness before sunrise! Day is coming: so let us part! ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
18:“To be a woman is toharness the power ofthe earth below you,sky above you, andfire within you.” ~ Grace Gegenheimer © Raymond Meeks
19:We sat on the terrace and talked as the sun slipped into the western sea and the stars filled the sky above us. ~ Michael Schmicker
20:High to low, roof to floor, wall to wall, and door to door; Basement deep to sky above, fill this home with light and love. ~ Dani Harper
21:The Moon always finds an opportunity to turn our attention from the ground beneath our feet to the sky above our head! ~ Mehmet Murat ildan
22:The sky above the island was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel—which is to say it was a bright, cheery blue. ~ Robert J Sawyer
23:He was like a star in the night sky above and she but a sparrow. No matter how high she might try to fly, she'd never reach him. ~ Elizabeth Hoyt
24:The sky above us is something we have very little control of, and the space beyond is something we don't completely understand. ~ Morena Baccarin
25:I pray you weep no more my love, let no tears fall for my demise, lift your face to the sky above, and let the sun dry your eyes... ~ Anthony Ryan
26:Then I plop into the sand, look up at the vast starry sky above, and cry until my tears run dry. I am alone, as I always have been. ~ Kate Stradling
27:There’s a faint popping noise, and the entire wall of the incident room shifts to the colour of the night sky above a Japanese city. ~ Charles Stross
28:She was my ground, my favorite sound,
my country road, my city street,
my sky above, my only love,
and the ground beneath my feet ~ Salman Rushdie
29:THE SKY ABOVE the harbor of Lashain was capped with writhing clouds the color of coal slime, sealing off any speck of light from stars or moons. ~ Scott Lynch
30:The night is alive with stars, and when I lie down and look up, I get lost up there. I feel like I’m falling, but upward, into the abyss of sky above me. ~ Markus Zusak
31:Give me the clear blue sky above my head, and the green turf beneath my feet, a winding road before me, and a three hours' march to dinner - and then to thinking! ~ Henry Hazlitt
32:The range in brightness from the purple glow [of the sunset] to the dark sky above is too great for most films, and naturally it is beyond the range of printed pictures. ~ James Elkins
33:The sky above the buildings outside their apartment windows is the color of a dusty chalkboard, and the light coming down onto the street is exactly the color of boredom. ~ Jennifer Egan
34:But at the end of the day, when the military command looks up, it sees us — the minister of defense and the prime minister. When we look up, we see nothing but the sky above us. ~ Ehud Barak
35:Those who adhere to the ideology of rejecting Israel’s right to exist, they might as well reject the earth beneath them or the sky above, because Israel is not going anywhere. ~ Barack Obama
36:What is there," Owain wondered aloud, to the sky above him and the soil below, "persuades this man still that my words do not mean what they seem to mean in sane men's ears? ~ Edith Pargeter
37:. .his cell phone didn't work in Three Pines, and neither did email. He almost expected to see messages fluttering back and forth in the sky above the village, unable to descend. ~ Louise Penny
38:In Malta, the Wars of Religion reached their climax. If both sides believed that they saw Paradise in the bright sky above them, they had a close and very intimate knowledge of Hell. ~ Ernle Bradford
39:Tracy had never been so conscious of the sky above the earth, the dangerous clouds that gathered there, the way humans lived beneath such grandeur and threat every moment of their lives. ~ Paul Russell
40:The gospel is far greater than most of us imagine. It isn’t just good news for us—it’s good news for animals, plants, stars, and planets. It’s good news for the sky above and the earth below. ~ Randy Alcorn
41:All was glorious - a cloudless sky above, a most delicious view around. . . . How great is our good fortune! I care not what may be the condition of the earth; it is the sky that is for me now. ~ Jacques Charles
42:...and Lublamai no longer thought of screaming but only of watching as those dark markings rolled and boiled in perfect symetry across the wings like clouds in a night sky above, in water below. ~ China Mi ville
43:I nod up at the sky above us swirling with the ghosts of the witches. “Lord thundering fuck, what is that?” “Your prior victims, I would imagine. I’ve freed the witches.” He looks at the gate under me ~ Tara Brown
44:The ones I loved fly as birds in the open sky above me. Soaring, weaving, calling to me to join them. I want so badly to folow them, but the seawater saturates my wings, making it impossible to lift them. ~ Suzanne Collins
the azure sea in front of you,
the turquoise sky above you,
the amber mountain beneath your feet,
and the golden daisy in your hands.
How are you not the richest person on earth? ~ Khang Kijarro Nguyen
46:until I had turned the car around and was on my way back up the lane. I looked back at the farmhouse in my rearview mirror, and a trick of the light made it seem as if two moons hung in the sky above it, like a pair ~ Neil Gaiman
47:The years have come and gone without a single word from you. Only the sky above us do we hold in common. I look at it often as if, somehow, reflected from its immensities, I will one day find myself gazing into your eyes. ~ Alice Walker
48:A simple touch, but it speaks so much to me. It’s the way I would touch Circ—the way he would touch me. More’n a touch—a feeling. These two mean a great deal to each other, that much is as clear as the cloudless sky above us. ~ David Estes
49:There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea. ~ Daphne du Maurier
50:They say the sea is actually black and that it merely reflects the blue sky above. So it was with me. I allowed you to admire yourself in my eyes. I provided a service. I listened and listened and listened. You stored yourself in me. ~ Anonymous
51:In the hour before a thunderstorm, the color of the forest deepens: the pine needles take on a dense vibrant greenness they possess at no other time, the slender trunks go black, and the leaden sky above sinks lower by the minute. ~ Michael McDowell
52:One definition occurred to both of them—that he had come out into the light of that lucid and radiant ignorance in which all beliefs had begun. The sky above them was full of mythology. Heaven seemed deep enough to hold all the gods. ~ G K Chesterton
53:Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other, then we will have no more wars. We shall all be alike-brothers of one father and one another, with one sky above us and one country around us, and one government for all. ~ Chief Joseph
54:You wake up one morning to realize life has, literally, passed you by. Even though the living felt long and filled with happiness beyond measure, the reliving brings to mind how fleeting time is compared to the stars in the sky above us. ~ Tymber Dalton
55:I stared at the great open expanse above me. The sky above me was proof, proof I had won. My eyes burned against the light; after what seemed like days buried beneath dirt and roots and rock, the sight of stars was enough to move me to tears. ~ S Jae Jones
56:warm, the sky above a deep and cloudless cobalt. The man checked the pockets of his slacks, and then of his single-breasted coat. No wallet. No money clip. No ID. No keys. No phone. Just a small Swiss Army knife in one of the inner pockets. * ~ Blake Crouch
57:I love you, Daria Followhill, and I think you love me, too. In fact, I think we fell at the same time. You, like rain, in drizzles, over the weeks. Me, like the fucking sky above my head, all at once, crashing without the faintest chance of stopping. ~ L J Shen
58:This is what I discovered among men as the greatest wonder, that the earth did not exist, nor the sky above, nor trees, nor mountains, nor any other thing, and the sun did not burn, the moon did not shine, and the beautiful ocean did not sparkle. ~ Oliver P tzsch
59:My head reeled at the sheer and startling beauty, the wide, bare openness of it. The sense of space, the vastness of the sky above and on either side made my heart race, I would have travelled a thousand miles to see this. I had never imagined such a place. ~ Susan Hill
60:The road to Manderley lay ahead. There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea. ~ Daphne du Maurier
61:The two weary but still talkative wizards sat in a pair of fan-backed chairs and pitched pebbles at the drunken satyr in the fountain. They talked about wars, enchantments, and obscure facts until the sky above the forest began to be fringed with pale blue. ~ John Bellairs
62:The dusk had arrived on the wings of a night moth, silent and soft. The sky above me darkened to a deep, beautiful purple. Stars glowed high above, and below them, as if inspired by their light, tiny fireflies awoke and crawled from their shelter in the leaves. ~ Ilona Andrews
63:I knew why I was claustrophobic, all right. But knowing why didn't make it go away. I wondered what it would be like to see the dark blue sky above us not as heavy drapes of cloth, the top of a circus tent, but as an infinite expanse. As everybody else saw it. ~ Jennifer Echols
64:The morning was deepening as he crossed the muddy bailey towards the keep, the sky above brilliant blue as a brisk breeze swept across the land. Gusty winds not only chased fat, puffy clouds across the sky, but it also kicked about leaves and clutter in the ward. ~ Kathryn Le Veque
65:There are so many dreams beyond our nights, and so much sunshine beyond our gray walls. But we can't see it when we stay at home. There is so much sky above our roof. Is the door so old that it won't open, or are we at home because we're afraid of catching a chill? ~ Francoise Hardy
66:She was seeking herself and finding herself in just such sweet, half-darkness which met her moods. But the voices were not soothing that came to her from the darkness and the sky above and the stars. They jeered and sounded mournful notes without promise, devoid even of hope. ~ Kate Chopin
67:I thought the bush was on fire, but in a moment I heard a rustling, then a bright light pierced the sky above and a soft wind fluttered as though the universe had whiffled a fart right in my face—a gentle poot, pleasant of smell, a waffle of heaven’s intestinal deliverance. Anyway, ~ Bob Odenkirk
68:Winter came and the city [Chicago] turned monochrome -- black trees against gray sky above white earth. Night now fell in midafternoon, especially when the snowstorms rolled in, boundless prairie storms that set the sky close to the ground, the city lights reflected against the clouds ~ Barack Obama
69:And when statesmen or others worry him [the scientist] too much, then he should leave with his possessions. With a firm and steadfast mind one should hold under all conditions, that everywhere the earth is below and the sky above and to the energetic man, every region is his fatherland. ~ Tycho Brahe
70:When all the dark clouds roll away And the sun begins to shine I see my freedom from across the way And it comes right in on time Well it shines so bright and it gives so much light And it comes from the sky above Makes me feel so free makes me feel like me And lights my life with love. ~ Van Morrison
71:He was sailing over a boundless expanse of sea, with a blood-red sky above, and the angry waters, lashed into fury beneath, boiling and eddying up, on every side. There was another vessel before them, toiling and labouring in the howling storm: her canvas fluttering in ribbons from the mast. ~ Charles Dickens
72:I’m focused on the sky above us. The clouds float there so nicely, form a set of shapes, and then float some more to change to a different one. Wouldn't it be so easy to be like that—change, shift, adjust — without so much as a thought of the next storm about to roll in threatening to decimate you. ~ K Bromberg
73:My eyes are bright, my hair has come loose from its ribbon, and Stella's scarf is waving around my neck. But that's not what I see when I look at the picture. I see three unlikely friends holding hands. And Ryan, Kenny, and Melanie are standing behind us, rapt.
And in the sky above us, I see a miracle. ~ Wendy Mass
74:The ocean to my right was maroon, the sky above it silver. There were sand trails through the thick purple ice plant that grew along the roadside... but now the sky is the color of peaches...

It was a ball of bright saffron sinking into the sea, turning the water purple, the sky orange and green. ~ Andre Dubus III
75:There was the blue sky above her and all those many roses, the ones that gave off the scent of cloves in the rain and the ones that left a trace of lemon on your fingers, the ones that were the color of blood, and those that were as white as clouds. Each one was sweeter than the next and as red as gemstones. ~ Alice Hoffman
76:Neither spoke as they stared at the inky sky above them. Roman had been to the most glorious spots the world had to offer and he could honestly say nothing compared to the sight of the canopy of stars above him. And there sure as hell had never been anyone who even came close to making him feel what Hunter did…not ~ Sloane Kennedy
77:Oh, and it also features God. Yes, God. The Creator. The Lord Of All That Which Is And Is Not. The God of the Earth below and the sky above. The God of the Moon and the stars and Cher. No, I’m not high. At least, not at the moment. Oh, and he doesn’t like me calling him God. He prefers Jack. Yes, Jack. Again, I’m not high. Let ~ J R Rain
78:The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

"It's not like I'm using," Case heard someone say, as he shouldered his way through the crowd around the door of the Chat. "It's like my body's developed this massive drug defi-

It was a Sprawl voice and a Sprawl joke. ~ William Gibson
79:At the Docks’ altitude, gravity was still about three-quarters of a gee. Air fountains hung a breathable atmosphere over the middle part of the platform. The day before, she had taken a sailboat across the clear-bottomed sea. That was a strange experience indeed: planetary clouds below your keel, stars and indigo sky above. ~ Vernor Vinge
80:Her eyes were fixed on the endless sky above. Part of me already knew it, but my brain refused to accept it. Ash and I would never be friends. We probably would never be upgraded to frenemy status, either, but she was incredibly strong, stubborn, and I honestly thought she’d be like a cockroach, outliving nuclear fallout. ~ Jennifer L Armentrout
81:The woman who'd shot him had eyes the color of the sky above the moors just after a storm: blue-gray sky after black clouds. That particular shade of blue had been one of the few things his mother had found beautiful in England.
Raphael agreed.
Despite the fear that shone in them, Lady Jordan's blue-gray eyes were beautiful. ~ Elizabeth Hoyt
82:The snow drifted down and down, all in ghostly silence, and lay thick and unbroken on the ground. It was a place of whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here. Yet she stepped out all the same. ~ George R R Martin
83:I have every useless thing in the world in my house there. The only thing wanting is the necessary thing, a great patch of open sky like this. Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life, little boy,” he added, turning to me. “You have a soul in you of rare quality, an artist’s nature; never let it starve for lack of what it needs. ~ Marcel Proust
84:In the open sky above the hushed streets, the moon was a porcelain plate on a black table as I walked home. A breeze raised the collar of my jeans jacket as I sliced through the silvery silence, past unlit buildings and quivering trees and cars idle by the curb. The air felt like glass. I crossed empty corners under the mauve light of overhead lamps. ~ Andrew Cotto
85:Love, the deadliest of all things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.
But that isn't it, exactly.
The condemner and the condemned. The executioner; the blade; the last-minute reprieve; the gasping breath and the rolling sky above you and the thank you, thank you, thank you God.
Love: It will kill you and save you, both. ~ Lauren Oliver
86:Love, the deadliest of all things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.
But that isn’t it, exactly.
The condemner and the condemned. The executioner; the blade; the last-minute reprieve; the gasping breath and the rolling sky above you and the thank you, thank you, thank you, God.
Love: It will kill you and save you, both. ~ Lauren Oliver
87:Monotony? Have we not always had the same stars and the same sky above us, changing only in its shades of blue and gray and purple black? And who shall say that such themes are exhausted? Have we not always had love and passion, war and peace, summer and winter and spring and fall with us? And are these things unable longer to impel us to spiritual variations? ~ Robert Frost
88:It is a strange phrase, ‘falling in love,’” said one of the princesses in the tower. Tears stood out on her cheeks, and even these were pretty, reflecting the blue sky above her. “It sounds like something you do accidentally, by yourself. But isn’t someone else always to blame? They should call it strangling in love. Walloped in love. Knocked-out-of-nowhere in love. ~ Lauren Oliver
89:Homer Wells was in Wally’s room, reading David Copperfield and thinking about Heaven – ‘…that sky above me, where, in the mystery to come, I might yet love her with a love unknown on earth, and tell her what the strife had been within me when I loved her here.’ I think I would prefer to love Candy here, ‘on earth,’ Homer Wells was thinking – when Olive interrupted them. ~ John Irving
90:When the short days of winter came, dusk fell before we had well eaten our dinners. When we met in the street the houses had grown sombre. The space of sky above us was the colour of ever-changing violet and towards it the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns. The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed. Our shouts echoed in the silent street. ~ James Joyce
91:I don't think I'm from this galaxy at all. I believe I came from the Andromeda galaxy, not so far, but far enough. Maybe that's why I'm an outcast.' He drew the spiral of Andromeda close to the Milky Way, almost touching. Then he pointed to Andromeda in the night sky above us.

'Maybe that's where I'm from too,' my father said. We could still see the stars. ~ Hannah Lillith Assadi
92:Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full. ~ Leon Trotsky
93:The ones I loved fly as birds in the open sky above me. Soaring, weaving, calling to me to join them. I want so badly to follow them, but the seawater saturates my wings, making it impossible to lift them. The ones I hated have taken to the water, horrible scaled things that tear my salty flesh with needle teeth. Biting again and again. Dragging me beneath the surface. ~ Suzanne Collins
94:What is terrifying, I think, about the World Government is not that the world is held under an iron fist, but that the world is sand scooped up in a sieve. The people running it have no more idea than us why there are lights in the sky above the Arby's or why there are ghost cars. Terrifying, right? I think the grand conspiracy of our world is just an argument between idiots. ~ Joseph Fink
95:And he came to understand how those almost mystical bonds of trust and affection, if nurtured correctly, might lift a crew above the ordinary sphere, transport it to a place where nine boys somehow became one thing—a thing that could not quite be defined, a thing that was so in tune with the water and the earth and the sky above that, as they rowed, effort was replaced by ecstasy. ~ Daniel James Brown
96:Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other, then we shall have no more wars. We shall all be alike, brothers of one father and one mother with one sky above us and one country around us and one government for all. Then the Great Spirit Chief who rules above will smile upon this land and send rain to wash out the bloody spots made by brothers' hands upon the face of the Earth. ~ Chief Joseph
97:Sapphique strapped the wings to his arms and flew, over oceans and plains, over glass cities and mountains of gold. Animals fled; people pointed up. He flew so far, he saw the sky above him and the sky said, "Turn back, my son, for you have climbed too high." Sapphique laughed, as he rarely did. "Not this time. This time I beat on you until you open."
But Incarceron was angered, and struck him down. ~ Catherine Fisher
98:She stooped for a stone and dropped it down.

'Fancy being where that is now,' she said, peering into the blackness; 'fancy going round and round like a mouse in a pail, clutching at the slimy sides, with the water filling your mouth, and looking up to the little patch of sky above.'

'You had better come in,' said Benson, very quietly. 'You are developing a taste for the morbid and horrible.' ("The Well") ~ W W Jacobs
99:38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,* neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Anonymous
100:New Season

No coats today. Buds bulge on chestnut trees,
And on the doorstep of a big, old house
A young man stands and plays his flute.

I watch the silver notes fly up
And circle in the blue sky above the traffic,
Travelling where they will.

And suddenly this paving-stone
Midway between my front door and the bus stop
Is a starting point.

From here I can go anywhere I choose. ~ Wendy Cope
101:38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,* neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. + 39No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. + ~ Anonymous
102:Drop heavy,” Kaz shouted, and Wylan let loose with every rocket, flash bomb, and bit of demo he’d been able to fit into the boat. The sky above the Van Eck house exploded in an array of light, smoke, and sound as the guards dove for cover.
Kaz put his arms to work, feeling the boat slide into the current as they passed into the glittering traffic of Geldcanal.
“In and out without him ever knowing?” said Rotty. ~ Leigh Bardugo
103:I do a lot of work in travel and tourism, and I think this story is in the book. This woman is in a hammock, and she's got the beach below her and the sky above her, and the ocean beyond her. She's relaxing. She's got a drink in her hand and a book. Every woman sees this picture and says, I want to be in that hammock. Every guy sees the picture and says, I want to be in that hammock with that woman. It works for everybody. ~ Frank Luntz
104:The bluebells made such a pool that the earth had become like water, and all the trees and bushes seemed to have grown out of the water. And the sky above seemed to have fallen down on to the earth floor; and I didn’t know if the sky was the earth or the earth was water. I had been turned upside down. I had to hold the rock with my fingernails to stop me falling into the sky of the earth or the water of the sky. But I couldn’t hold on. ~ Graham Joyce
105:He laid a hand on my shoulder. “Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating.” He lifted his hands high above his head as if stretching for the sky. “But there are other ways to understanding!” he shouted, laughing like a child. He threw both arms to the cloudless arch of sky above us, still laughing. “Look!” he shouted tilting his head back. “Blue! Blue! Blue! ~ Patrick Rothfuss
106:Oh, the sudden change of perspective brought about by travel and absence! How different everything was here: the people in the streets, the houses, the color of the air, the sky above the roofs, a low sky, very close, with molded clouds, and which looked as if it had come out of a painting. A unique setting, a subtle atmosphere of silvery greys, the patina of centuries on the old walls—a shimmering marvel for the eyes of a painter. ("The Dead Town") ~ Georges Rodenbach
107:I said nothing. It may have been that I was thinking; but if so, my mind was too much filled with sleep to be conscious of its thought. Instead, I became profoundly aware of my physical surroundings. The sky above my face in all its grandeur seemed to have been made solely for my benefit, and to be presented for my inspection now. I lay upon the ground as upon a woman, and the very air that surrounded me seemed a thing as admirable as crystal and as fluid as wine. ~ Gene Wolfe
108:And he came to understand how those almost mystical bonds of trust and affection, if nurtured correctly, might lift a crew above the ordinary sphere, transport it to a place where nine boys somehow became one thing - a thing that could not quite be defined, a thing that was so in tune with the water and the earth and the sky above that, as they rowed, effort was replaced by ecstasy. It was a rare thing, a sacred thing, a thing devoutly to be hoped for.
p 48 ~ Daniel James Brown
109:On days like today,
even if I see something that would
make a good picture,
I don't take it out of my pouch.
I take my time
as I walk...
here, between the sky above
and the earth
Its rhythm follows
the pace of my
A song emerges from
my parted
As I look around at the world,
out from myself,
I continue walking.
But I carried on
my strange song and
all the way home.
I never took out my camera. ~ Hitoshi Ashinano
110:Today, suddenly, I reached an absurd but unerring conclusion. In a moment of enlightenment, I realized that I’m nobody, absolutely nobody. When the lightning flashed, I saw that what I had thought to be a city was in fact a deserted plain and, in the same sinister light that revealed me to myself, there seemed to be no sky above it. I was robbed of any possibility of having existed before the world. If I was ever reincarnated, I must have done so without myself, without a self to reincarnate. ~ Fernando Pessoa
111:I recall an August afternoon in Chicago in 1973 when I took my daughter, then seven, to see what Georgia O’Keeffe had done with where she had been. One of the vast O’Keeffe ‘Sky Above Clouds’ canvases floated over the back stairs in the Chicago Art Institute that day, dominating what seemed to be several stories of empty light, and my daughter looked at it once, ran to the landing, and kept on looking. "Who drew it," she whispered after a while. I told her. "I need to talk to her," she said finally. ~ Joan Didion
112:It wasn't the best view of the landscape around their buried bunker, but it wasn’t the worst, either. In the distance, low rolling hills stood, a pretty shade of brown, like coffee mash with just the right amount of pig’s milk in it. The sky above the hills was the same dull gray of his childhood and his father’s childhood and his grandfather’s childhood. The only moving feature on the landscape was the clouds. They hung full and dark over the hills. They roamed free like the herded beasts from the picture books. ~ Hugh Howey
113:Cheng Xin now recalled the strange feeling she had experienced each time she had looked at Van Gogh’s painting. Everything else in the painting—the trees that seemed to be on fire, and the village and mountains at night—showed perspective and depth, but the starry sky above had no three-dimensionality at all, like a painting hanging in space. Because the starry night was two-dimensional. How could Van Gogh have painted such a thing in 1889? Did he, having suffered a second breakdown, truly leap across five centuries ~ Liu Cixin
114:She went and stood at an open window and looked out upon the deep tangle of the garden below. All the mystery and witchery of the night seemed to have gathered there amid the perfumes and the dusky and torturous outlines of flowers and foliage. She was seeking herself and finding herself in just such sweet, half-darkness which met her moods. But the voices were not soothing that came to her from the darkness and the sky above and the stars. They jeered and sounded mournful notes without promise, devoid even of hope. ~ Kate Chopin
115:The sky above Belgrade is expansive and high, shifting yet always beautiful; clear with its chill splendour during the winter; turning into a single downcast cloud during summer storms, driven by the crazy winds and bearing rain mixed with the dust of the Pannonian plain; seeming to flower along with the ground during spring; and growing heavy with roils of autumnal stars during fall. Always beautiful and bountiful, it is a reward to this odd township for all that is missing and a comfort for everything that should not be. ~ Ivo Andri
116:‗In life, at sometime or another we come to a point where all relationships cease—where there is only us and Allah. There are no parents, brother or sister, or any friend. Then we realise that there is no earth under us nor is there sky above, but only Allah who is supporting us in this emptiness. Then we realise our worth – it is not more than a grain of sand or the leaf of a plant. Then we realise our existence is only confined to our being. Our demise makes not a whit of difference to the world around us, nor to the scheme of things. ~ Umera Ahmed
117:Imagine you’re a fish, swimming in a pond. You can move forward and back, side to side, but never up out of the water. If someone were standing beside the pond, watching you, you’d have no idea they were there. To you, that little pond is an entire universe. Now imagine that someone reaches down and lifts you out of the pond. You see that what you thought was the entire world is only a small pool. You see other ponds. Trees. The sky above. You realize you’re a part of a much larger and more mysterious reality than you had ever dreamed of. ~ Blake Crouch
118:The window opened in the same direction as the king's, and there, summer-bright and framed by the darkness of the stairwell, was the same view. Costis passed it, and then went back up the stairs to look again. There were only the roofs of the lower part of the palace and the town and the city walls. Beyond those were the hills on the far side of the Tustis Valley and the faded blue sky above them. It wasn't what the king saw that was important, it was what he couldn't see when he sat at the window with his face turned toward Eddis. ~ Megan Whalen Turner
119:I checked Delores, she appeared to be running on a lake top, a girl on a fairy horse sprinting across fresh water. As I looked, Delores let go of the bay’s mane and sat straight up, riding only with her legs and hips, her arms out as if to fly. She tilted her head back, too, and she looked so perfect doing it that I didn’t dare try to copy her. This was something only for her, something I could only witness, and she galloped down that hill with her soul somewhere up in the sky above her. We both knew it, and we never had to mention it. T ~ Joseph Monninger
120:I sat on the beach and watched him go. I watched until I could no longer distinguish him from the gulls that were wheeling and diving over the water, a few miles away. He was just one more dirty speck wandering the sky. I didn’t move. I wasn’t sure I could get up. In time, the horizon turned a dusky rose and the blue sky above deepened to black. I stretched out on the beach, and watched the stars spill through the darkness overhead. I watched until a dizziness overcame me, and I could imagine spilling off the ground, and falling up into the night. ~ Joe Hill
121:When the Shoosters emerged from their hiding place the morning after the battle, it felt as if the world of Aerwiar had ended. Dark clouds roiled in the sky above the deserted town, and the streets were clogged with the dust, bones, and armor of countless Fangs. Soon Shaggy emerged from the tavern, and the Shoosters felt great relief at his appearance. They had been neighbors for decades and were the only members of the Glipwood Township who chose to stay rather than flee to Torrboro or Dugtown the night the Igibys fought their way out of the Black Carriage. ~ Andrew Peterson
122:All over the city lights were coming on in the purple-blue dusk. The street lights looked delicate and frail, as though they might suddenly float away from their lampposts like balloons. Long twirling ribbons of light, red, green, violet, were festooned about the doorways of drugstores and restaurants--and the famous electric signs of Broadway had come to life with glittering fish, dancing figures, and leaping fountains, all flashing like fire. Everything was beautiful. Up in the deepening sky above the city the first stars appeared white and rare as diamonds. ~ Elizabeth Enright
123:The sky above them was an intense velvety black, changing to bands of Indian red on the horizon, where the great stars burned like street-lamps. From time to time a greenish wave of the Northern Lights would roll across the hollow of the high heavens, flick like a flag, and disappear; or a meteor would crackle from darkness to darkness, trailing a shower of sparks behind. Then they could see the ridged and furrowed surface of the floe tipped and laced with strange colours—red, copper, and bluish; but in the ordinary starlight everything turned to one frost-bitten gray. ~ Rudyard Kipling
124:Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other then we shall have no more wars. We shall be all alike - brothers of one father and mother, with one sky above us and one country around us and one government for all. Then the Great Spirit Chief who rules above will smile upon this land and send rain to wash out the bloody spots made by brothers' hands upon the face of the earth. For this time the Indian race is waiting and praying. I hope no more groans of wounded men and women will ever go to the ear of the Great Spirit Chief above, and that all people may be one people. ~ Chief Joseph
125:The brooding landscape they were currently traversing, the lowering sky above their heads and the rugged terrain beneath their feet, were all conspiring to make her feel like an unfortunate Brontë sister, traipsing endlessly across the moors after unobtainable fulfillment. Perry himself was not entirely without Heathcliffian qualities—the absence of levity, the ruthless disregard for a girl’s comfort, the way he had of scrutinizing you as if you were a puzzle to be solved. Would he solve her? Perhaps she wasn’t complicated enough for him. (On the other hand, perhaps she was too complicated.) ~ Kate Atkinson
126:The Circle of Blood its perfection will find,
The philosopher's stone shall eternity bind.
New strength will arise in the young at that hour,
Making one man immortal, for he holds the power.

But beware: when the twelfth star shows its own force,
His life here on earth runs its natural course.
And if youth is destroyed, the the oak tree will stand
To the end of all time, rooted fast in the land.

As the star dies, the eagle arises supreme,
Fulfilling his ancient and magical dream.
For a star goes out in the sky above,
If it freely chooses to die for love. ~ Kerstin Gier
127:No free man needs a God; but was I free?
How fully I felt nature glued to me
And how my childish palate loved the taste
Half-fish, half-honey, of that golden paste!

My picture book was at an early age
The painted parchment papering our cage:
Mauve rings around the moon; blood-orange sun;
Twinned Iris; and that rare phenomenon
The iridule - when, beautiful and strange,
In a bright sky above a mountain range
One opal cloudlet in an oval form
Reflects the rainbow of a thunderstorm
Which in a distant valley has been staged -
For we are most artistically caged. ~ Vladimir Nabokov
128:The sky above us seems huge, vast. It’s clear and crisp and visibility is so good that, when I look up, I feel like I'm staring at an inverted, endless ocean. I'm sure the blue is the colour of water above sand and the tiny, wispy clouds look like waves breaking over distant swells. I envy the birds I see overhead, zipping joyfully from left to right and so far above the death and decay that pollute the lower levels. A day like this should be enjoyed completely. I should be able to forget what dwells in the towns around us, I should find it in myself to dismiss what happened at that crossing, I should. ~ Jack Croxall
129:It's so weird," Chloe said finally, "that it doesn't feel different now." "What?" I asked her. "Everything," she said. "I mean, this is what we've been waiting for, right? High school's over. It's a whole new thing but it feels exactly the same." "That's because nothing new has started yet," Jess told her. She had her face tipped up, eyes on the sky above us. "By the end of the summer, then things will feel new. Because they will be." Chloe pulled another tiny bottle—this time gin—out of her jacket pocket and popped the top. "It sucks to wait, though," she said, taking a sip of it. "I mean, for everything to begin. ~ Sarah Dessen
130:And then he heard it. Hoofbeats, coming toward him from off in the darkness. Unhurried, steady, like the grim reaper coming from Hades knowing it had all the time in the world. Gareth let his cheek drop against the statue's cold neck and swore, knowing who it was even before the rider, astride a savage beast whose hide was as black as the sky above, materialized from out of the night. The horseman halted just below the statue and did not even bother to look up. "Party's over. You may come down now, Gareth." It was his brother. The Duke of Blackheath.   ~ Danelle Harmon~ Danelle Harmon~ Danelle Harmon~ Danelle Harmon ~ Danelle Harmon
131:And all at once I knew how Margo Roth Spiegelman felt when she wasn't being Margo Roth Spiegelman: she felt empty. She felt the unscaleable wall surrounding her. I thought of her asleep on the carpet with only that jagged sliver of sky above her. Maybe Margo felt comfortable there because Margo the person lived like that all the time: in an abandoned room with blocked-out windows, the only light pouring in through holes in the roof. Yes. The fundamental mistake I had always made—and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make—was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl. ~ John Green
132:[P]erhaps the burrows in which our lives were spent really were dark and dirty, and perhaps we ourselves were well suited to these burrows, but in the blue sky above our heads, up among the thinly scattered stars, there were special, artificial points of gleaming light, creeping unhurriedly through the constellations, points created here out of steel, semiconductors, and electricity, and now flying through space. And every one of us, even the blue-faced alcoholic we had passed on the way here, huddling like a toad in a snowdrift, even Mitiok's brother, and of course Mitiok and I — we all had our own little embassy up there in the cold pure blueness. ~ Victor Pelevin
133:And so on this rainbow day, with storms all around them, and blue sky above, they rode only as far as the valley. But from there, before they turned to go back, the monuments appeared close, and they loomed grandly with the background of purple bank and creamy cloud and shafts of golden lightning. They seemed like sentinels — guardians of a great and beautiful love born under their lofty heights, in the lonely silence of day, in the star-thrown shadow of night. They were like that love. And they held Lucy and Slone, calling every day, giving a nameless and tranquil content, binding them true to love, true to the sage and the open, true to that wild upland home. ~ Zane Grey
134:Have you ever tried to demarcate the hours between the moment you thought you'd never fall asleep and the instant after opening your eyes, your bedroom flooded with the befuddling, sugary pink of dawn? Between point A and point B you exist, you are alive, your breath slowing, your body temperature dropping, the shadows cast by your furniture elongating and shrinking as the moon revolves through the sky above your flimsy house, if that's even where you really are. Every night, anything could happen, and you would never be the wiser. What I'm trying to say is that day, I learned that time doesn't belong to you. All you have is what you remember. A fraction; less. ~ Julie Buntin
135:Have you ever tried to demarcate the hours between the moment you thought you’d never fall asleep and the instant after opening your eyes, your bedroom flooded with the befuddling, sugary pink of dawn? Between point A and point B you exist, you are alive, your breath slowing, your body temperature dropping, the shadows cast by your furniture elongating and shrinking as the moon revolves through the sky above your flimsy house, if that’s even where you really are. Every night, anything could happen, and you would never be the wiser. What I’m trying to say is that day, I learned that time doesn’t belong to you. All you have is what you remember. A fraction; less. ~ Julie Buntin
136:A soft liquid joy like the noise of many waters flowed over his memory and he felt in his heart the soft peace of silent spaces of fading tenuous skies above the waters, of oceanic silence, of swallows flying through the seadusk over the flowing waters.

A soft liquid joy flowed through the words where the soft long vowels hurtled noiselessly and fell away, lapping and flowing back and ever shaking the white bells of their waves in mute chime and mute peal and soft low swooning cry; and he felt that the augury he had sought in the wheeling darting birds and in the pale space of sky above him had come forth from his heart like a bird from a turret quietly and swiftly. ~ James Joyce
137:My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time. These memories, which are my life—for we possess nothing certainly except the past—were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark’s, they were everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning. ~ Evelyn Waugh
138:After a time he found and opened a book he had been reading that he had expected to end well, a romance which he wanted to end well, with the hero and heroine finding love, with peace and joy and redemption and understanding.
Love is two bodies with one soul, he read, and turned the page.
But there was nothing - the final page had been ripped away and used as toilet paper or smoked, and there was no hope or joy or understanding. There was no last page. The book of his life just broke off. There was only the mud below him and the filthy sky above. There was to be no peace and no hope. And Dorrigo Evans understood that the love story would go on forever and ever, world without end. ~ Richard Flanagan
139:Perhaps I will paint this town—from a distance, as if it is on a far hill—and in the foreground, an enclosure of gold, a secret garden, a retreat in which I am safe. I will hide there, and the hand of god will wipe all tears from our eyes; there will be no crying, neither will there be any more death, because the former things will pass away. The invisible hand that guides our deeds, our acts, our markets, will not be able to touch me there. Outside of space and time, time and space, there will be no distance between ourselves and what we wish for; no infinite gulf between currencies; the gulf between currency and eternity is great enough.
The sky above me glows like the ancient patina of saints. ~ M T Anderson
140:The warm night claimed her. In a moment it was part of her. She walked on the grass, and her shoes were instantly soaked. She flung up her arms to the sky. Power ran to her fingertips. Excitement was communicated from the waiting trees, and the orchard, and the paddock; the intensity of their secret life caught at her and made her run. It was nothing like the excitement of ordinary looking forward, of birthday presents, of Christmas stockings, but the pull of a magnet - her grandfather had shown her once how it worked, little needles springing to the jaws - and now night and the sky above were a vast magnet, and the things that waited below were needles, caught up in the great demand. ("The Pool") ~ Daphne du Maurier
141:A Year's New Wish
MAY all your little cares depart
By which your heart is troubled;
May perfect peace supplant the smart,
And all your joys be doubled.
May every wish you have come true,
And every sky above be blue.
May every foe become your friend,
And every wrong be righted;
And may your paths that wind and bend
With sunshine all be lighted.
May love and laughter walk with you,
With ne'er a tear the whole year through.
Good health, good friends, good luck, I pray
That you will always know,
With lips to kiss at close of day,
And eyes with love aglow.
Where 'er you go, a hand clasp true,
This is my New Year's wish for you.
~ Edgar Albert Guest
High up in the apple tree climbing I go,
With the sky above me, the earth below.
Each branch is the step of a wonderful stair
Which leads to the town I see shining up there.
Climbing, climbing, higher and higher,
The branches blow and I see a spire,
The gleam of a turret, the glint of a dome,
All sparkling and bright, like white sea foam.
On and on, from bough to bough,
The leaves are thick, but I push my way through;
Before, I have always had to stop,
But to-day I am sure I shall reach the top.
Today to the end of the marvelous stair,
Where those glittering pinacles flash in the air!
Climbing, climbing, higher I go,
With the sky close above me, the earth far below.
~ Amy Lowell
143:I took the dog out for a walk tonight, and together we wandered across the meadow next door. It was a warm summer's night, dark, and moonless. There were a handful of fireflies flickering intermittently, some so close to me I could see they were burning green as they flew, and some further away, who seemed to be flashing white.

And in the sky above them a continual roil of distant summer lightning (the storm distant enough that it was silent) burned and flashed and illuminated the clouds. It seemed as if the lightning bugs were talking to the lightning, in a perfect call and response of flash and counterflash. I watched the sky and the meadow flash and flash while the dog walked ahead of me, and realised that I was perfectly happy... ~ Neil Gaiman
144:mine.” Kira had stood silently, embarrassed but proud, as the guardian examined the threading she had done. He made no comment, simply nodded and returned the small piece to her. But his eyes had been bright with interest, she could see. Each year following, he had asked to see her work. Kira always stood at her mother’s side, never touching the fragile ancient cloth, marveling each time at the rich hues that told the history of the world. Golds and reds and browns. And here and there, faded pale, almost reduced to white, there had once been blue. Her mother showed her the faded places that remained of it. Her mother did not know how to make blue. Sometimes they talked of it, Kira and Katrina, looking at the huge upturned bowl of sky above their ~ Lois Lowry
Two Viewpoints
OUT in the open, the wide sky above,
And the green meadows stretched at my feet;
Out in the open, midst scenes that I love,
Where the rest hour is soothing and sweet;
Out in the country, where nature's at play
And the wild Sowers look up with a smile,
I am hurrying now for a short holiday,
I am going to rest there a while.
Into the city, where life isn't dead,
An' there's something a feller can do;
Where hundreds of people keep forging ahead
An' runnin' right plump into you;
Where there's hustle an' bustle, an' something to'see,
An' you never get lonesome nor blue;
I tell you, the city's the fine place to be,
An' I 'm goin' when ploughin' is through.
~ Edgar Albert Guest
146:Nothing had been the same; and this slight, all-pervading instability, had given her greater pain than if all had been too entirely changed for her to recognise it. I begin to understand now what heaven must be-and, oh! the grandeur and repose of the words-"The same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." Everlasting! "From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God." That sky above me looks as though it could not change, and yet it will. I am so tired-so tired of being whirled on through all these phases of my life, in which nothing abides by me, no creature, no place; it is like the circle in which the victims of earthly passion eddy continually. I am in the mood in which women of another religion take the veil. I seek heavenly steadfastness in earthy monotony. ~ Elizabeth Gaskell
147:Alan Beaumont stepped through the automatic door of his office building and down the broad steps to the pavement. The sky above DC was a monochrome of grey cloud. A light rain fell, but a few drops of water were not going to bother him. Damp clothes? Whatever. Messed-up hair? He had no hair to ruin. That was long gone. Nothing had helped retain those once-magnificent curls. Not pills. Not potions. Nada. He used a thumb and middle finger to snap open his Zippo lighter and lit the cigarette perched between his lips. Smoking was perhaps the only real pleasure he had. He watched the downtown traffic and the pedestrians pass by, all miserable. Good. He didn’t like anyone to be happy but himself. It wasn’t pure selfishness. Joy was a zero sum game. There just wasn’t enough to go around. ~ Tom Wood
148:Is that why I escape motherhood at the dinner hour, because I can’t see the glory there, here, right in the moment? Still? And me slowing for the hunt, looking for even one thousand more gifts, sanctuaries in moments, seeking the fullest life that births out of the darkest emptiness, all the miracle of eucharisteo. Yes—maybe that woman-child. The one who lives her life in circles, discovering, entering into, forgetting and losing, finding her way round again, living her life in layers—deeper, round, further in. I know eucharisteo and the miracle. But I am not a woman who ever lives the full knowing. I am a wandering Israelite who sees the flame in the sky above, the pillar, the smoke from the mountain, the earth open up and give way, and still I forget. I am beset by chronic soul amnesia. ~ Ann Voskamp
149:A red-gold glow burst suddenly across the enchanted sky above them as an edge of dazzling sun appeared over the sill of the nearest window. The light hit both of their faces at the same time, so that Voldemort's was suddenly a flaming blur. Harry heard the high voice shriek as he too yelled his best hope to the heavens, pointing Draco's wand:
"Avada Kedavra!"
The bang was like a cannon blast, and the golden flames that erupted between them, at the dead center of the circle they had been treading, marked the point where the spells collided. Harry saw Voldemort's green jet meet his own spell, saw the Elder Wand fly high, dark against the sunrise, spinning across the enchanted ceiling, spinning through the air toward the master it would not kill, who had come to take full possession of it at last. ~ J K Rowling
A man is worth but so much alone
But find that one and he becomes so much more
Sharay will eventually be my better half
But right now she is my starlight
That's dumb bright in the sky above
I'm worth so much more than the world can see
But with her I only look like a g
she's worth so much
millions couldn't change me
Id give it to her cuz she got my back
She just the type of woman
It'd take lifetimes to thank
Because she made u so much better
Than you ever could think
Any fool can see it but they just to dumb
they had her and lost her and probably want her back
but I'd be the head dummy if I let her go
So millionaire I am and forever will be
As long as she by my side wait hold on make sure u quote me
' So millionaire I am and forever will be
As long as she by my side '
~ david bailey
151:The Dining Pavilion Brought to you by Pete the Palikos With its Greek marble columns and unencumbered views of the sky above, this inviting seaside facility screams classical elegance. The oversize tables, each reserved for members of a specific cabin, can easily accommodate up to twenty campers. The white tablecloths, edged with purple, add a dash of distinction. The menu boasts every food imaginable, and dishes are served and cleared by the loveliest dryads in the forest. Just don’t forget to start your meal with a burnt offering to the gods! Oh, and ignore that crack in the marble floor – it’s from a slight mishap when zombies were accidentally summoned from the Underworld. Nothing to worry about! Dining Pavilion Announcements REMINDER: Hecate head counsellor Lou Ellen Blackstone and Hermes head counsellors Travis and Connor Stoll will conduct cabin inspections this morning. ~ Rick Riordan
152:The Song Of Exile
My homeland has many palm-trees
and the thrush-song fills its air;
no bird here can sing as well
as the birds sing over there.
We have fields more full of flowers
and a starrier sky above,
we have woods more full of life
and a life more full of love.
Lonely night-time meditations
please me more when I am there;
my homeland has many palm-trees
and the thrush-song fills its air.
Such delights as my land offers
Are not found here nor elsewhere;
lonely night-time meditations
please me more when I am there;
My homeland has many palm-trees
and the thrush-song fills its air.
Don't allow me, God, to die
without getting back to where
I belong, without enjoying
the delights found only there,
without seeing all those palm-trees,
hearing thrush-songs fill the air.
~ Antônio Gonçalves Dias
153:I tried to remember my own passionate spiritual feelings as a child, when I had no religion and no language to understand them. There had been one early spring afternoon, raw and chilly, when I lay by myself in the muddy backyard in my snow-suit examining a fallen log, looking and looking and looking. There were patches of snow on the wet wood and, around it, spears of onion grass just beginning to poke up, and I sat up after half an hour contemplating the log. The cloudy sky above me was so huge, and I was so small. The phrase “the whole universe” occurred to me. I must have been in third grade, and no amount of papier-mâché solar system models had prepared me for the vast, heart-beating calm I felt, or for the inarticulate desire to just stay there, suspended, looking and breathing my tiny puffs of the whole universe's air, until I had to pee and went inside, shedding my wet mittens. ~ Sara Miles
154:Although signs may be found in everything that comes to us, as though a river at our doorstep carried these messages on its surface, the Quran (like other sacred books) speaks in terms of empirical experience, since it is intended to endure through the ages and cannot bind itself to the ‘scientific’ theories of any particular time. Its images are the phenomena of nature as they appear to us in our experience — the rising and setting of the sun, the domed sky above and the mountains, which are like weights set upon the earth. Scientific observations change according to the preconceptions of the observer and the instruments at his disposal, and the speculations which blinkered human minds construct on the basis of these observations change no less swiftly. But man’s experience of the visual universe does not change. The sun ‘rises’ for me today as it ‘rose’ for the man of ten thousand years ago. ~ Charles Le Gai Eaton
155:So blue is a name?'
'It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As humans have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest of hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words tat will break a strong man's will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is te fire itself.'
My head was swimming at this point. 'I still don't understand.'
He laid a hand on my shoulder. 'Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating.' He lifted his hands high above his head as if stretching for the sky. 'But there are other ways of understanding!' he shouted, laughing like a child. He threw both arms to the cloudless arch of sky above us, still lauging. 'Look!' he shouted tilting his head back. 'Blue! Blue! Blue! ~ Patrick Rothfuss
156:In the far future, which promises to be vastly longer than our past (like a googolplex of years to our future versus 13.8 billion years to our past), all of the stars in the universe will have run out of fuel. Those that can will collapse to black holes; eventually everything will fall into stellar-mass black holes, and those black holes will fall into supermassive black holes, and then all of the black holes in the universe will eventually vaporize into Hawking radiation. This will take a very long time. ("Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.") All of the Hawking radiation will dissipate in an ever-expanding cosmos, unable to fill the swelling void, and the light in the universe will go out. Eventually, ever particle will find itself alone, no bright sky above, no luminous solar systems below. For now, we're here and the skies are bright, if somewhat quite. The gamble is that the skies aren't silent. ~ Janna Levin
157:Amy, amante, amour, he whispered, as if the words themselves were smuts of ash rising and falling, as though the candle were the story of his life and she the flame. He lay down in his haphazard cot. After a time he found and opened a book he had been reading that he had expected to end well, a romance which he wanted to end well, with the hero and heroine finding love, with peace and joy and redemption and understanding. Love is two bodies with one soul, he read, and turned the page. But there was nothing—the final pages had been ripped away and used as toilet paper or smoked, and there was no hope or joy or understanding. There was no last page. The book of his life just broke off. There was only the mud below him and the filthy sky above. There was to be no peace and no hope. And Dorrigo Evans understood that the love story would go on forever and ever, world without end. He would live in hell, because love is that also. ~ Richard Flanagan
158:To Pompeius Varus
Pompey, what fortune gives you back
To the friends and the gods who love you?
Once more you stand in your native land,
With your native sky above you.
Ah, side by side, in years agone,
We've faced tempestuous weather,
And often quaffed
The genial draught
From the same canteen together.
When honor at Philippi fell
A prey to brutal passion,
I regret to say that my feet ran away
In swift Iambic fashion.
You were no poet; soldier born,
You stayed, nor did you wince then.
Mercury came
To my help, which same
Has frequently saved me since then.
But now you're back, let's celebrate
In the good old way and classic;
Come, let us lard our skins with nard,
And bedew our souls with Massic!
With fillets of green parsley leaves
Our foreheads shall be done up;
And with song shall we
Protract our spree
Until the morrow's sun-up.
~ Eugene Field
159:No breath, no sound, except at times the muffled cracking of stones being reduced to sand and cold, came to disturb the solitude that surrounded Janine. After a moment, however, it seemed to her that a kind of slow gyration was sweeping the sky above her. In the depths of the dry, cold night thousands of stars were formed unceasingly and their sparkling icicles, no sooner detached, began to slip imperceptibly towards the horizon. Janine could not tear herself away from the contemplation of these shifting fires. She turned with them, and the same stationary progression reunited her little by little with her deepest being, where cold and desire now collided. Before her, the stars were falling one by one, then extinguishing themselves in the stones of the desert, and each time Janine opened a little more to the night. She was breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the weight of beings, the insane or static life, the long anguish of living and dying. ~ Albert Camus
160:No breath, no sound, except at times the muffled cracking of stones being reduced to sand and cold, came to disturb the solitude that surrounded Janine. After a moment, however, it seemed to her that a king of slow gyration was sweeping the sky above her. In the depths of the dry, cold night thousands of stars were formed unceasingly and their sparkling icicles, no sooner detached, began to slip imperceptibly towards the horizon. Janine could not tear herself away from the contemplation of these shifting fires. She turned with them, and the same stationary progression reunited her little by little with her deepest being, where cold and desire now collided. Before her, the stars were falling one by one, then extinguishing themselves in the stones of the desert, and each time Janine opened a little more to the night. She was breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the weight of beings, the insane or static life, the long anguish of living and dying. ~ Albert Camus
161:It had been like this forever, thought Domenic Jejeune. For a thousand years and more, men and women had been greeted by these same sights and sounds as they worked these coastal marshes. The same play of sunlight on the waters, the same quiet rush of winds through the reeds. The ebb and flow of tides had changed the shape of lands over the centuries, but the essential rhythms of nature, the seasons, the weather patterns, those had remained constant for as long as humans had inhabited this land.

From his elevated wooden platform, Jejeune surveyed the coastline in a slow pass, squinting against the light spangles that bounced off the gently rippling water. Not a single element of modern life intruded. No buildings, no wires, no pylons. Just birds, by the hundred, resting on the tidal mudflats, or wheeling lazily in the sky above. And the sound, the beautiful sweet silence, broken only by the crush of the waves and the occasional plaintive call of a seabird. It brought a feeling as close to peace as Jejeune ever found these days.
p. 150 ~ Steve Burrows
162:Elodin pointed down the street. "What color is that boy's shirt?"


"What do you mean by blue? Describe it."

I struggled for a moment, failed. "So blue is a name?"

"It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man's will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself."

My head was swimming by this point. "I still don't understand."

He laid a hand on my shoulder. "Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating." He lifted his hands high above his head as if stretching for the sky. "But there are other ways to understanding!" he shouted, laughing like a child. He threw both arms to the cloudless arch of sky above us, still laughing. "Look!" he shouted tilting his head back. "Blue! Blue! Blue! ~ Patrick Rothfuss
163:I’m drinking a glass of water in the empty hotel bar at the Principe di Savoia and staring at the mural behind the bar and in the mural there is a giant mountain, a vast field spread out below it where villagers are celebrating in a field of long grass that blankets the mountain dotted with tall white flowers, and in the sky above the mountain it’s morning and the sun is spreading itself across the mural’s frame, burning over the small cliffs and the low-hanging clouds that encircle the mountain’s peak, and a bridge strung across a path through the mountain will take you to any point beyond that you need to arrive at, because behind that mountain is a highway and along that highway are billboards with answers on them – who, what, where, when, why – and I’m falling forward but also moving up toward the mountain, my shadow looming against its jagged peaks, and I’m surging forward, ascending, sailing through dark clouds, rising up, a fiery wind propelling me, and soon it’s night and stars hang in the sky above the mountain revolving as they burn. The stars are real. The future is that mountain. ~ Bret Easton Ellis
When Cupid held an auction sale,
I hastened to his mart,
For I had heard that he would sell
The blue-eyed Dora’s heart.
I brought a wealth of truest love,
The most that I could proffer,
Because, forsooth, of stocks or bonds
I had not one to offer.
When Cupid offered Dora’s heart,
I bid my whole heart’s love,
A love that reached from sea to sea
And to the sky above;
And When Sir Cupid called for more,
I bid my hands and life,
That should be hers for servitude
If she became my wife.
Then 'Going! going!' Cupid cried;
The silence was intense
Until old Goldbags said, 'I bid
My stocks and four per cents!'
Then Cupid cried, 'Fair Dora’s heart,
That ne’er was sold before!
Does anybody raise the bid?
Will any offer more?'
'If not—,' but Count Decrepit rose,
Infirm, decayed and slim;
'I hid my title!' and her heart
Was there knocked down to him.
Well! titles may be more than love!
I shall not rant nor rail;
For after all I much prefer
Some heart that’s not for sale!
~ Ellis Parker Butler
165:I am Cinna's bird, ignited, flying frantically to escape something inescapable. The feathers of flame that grow from my body. Beating my wings only fans the blaze. I consume myself, but to no end.
Finally, my wings begin to falter, I lose height, and gravity pulls me into a foamy sea the color of Finnick's eyes. I float on my back, which continues to burn beneath the water, but the agony quiets to pain. When I am adrift and unable to navigate, that's when they come. The dead.
The ones I loved fly as birds in the open sky above me. Soaring, weaving, calling to me to join them. I want so badly to follow them, but the seawater saturates my wings, making it impossible to lift them. The ones I hated have taken to the water, horrible scaled things that tear my salty flesh with needle teeth. Biting again and again. Dragging me beneath the surface.
The small white bird tinged in pink dives down, buries her claws in my chest, and tries to keep me afloat.
"No, Katniss! No! You can't go!"
But the ones I hated are winning, and if she clings to me, she'll be lost as well. "Prim, let go!" And finally she does. ~ Suzanne Collins
166:The worst fear of the race yes, the world suddenly transformed into a senseless nightmare, horrible dissolution of things. Nothing compares, even oblivion is a sweet dream. You understand why, of course. Why this peculiar threat. These brooding psyches, all the busy minds everywhere. I hear them buzzing like flies in the blackness. I see them as glow worms flitting in the blackness. They are struggling, straining every second to keep the sky above them, to keep the sun in the sky, to keep the dead in the earth-to keep all things, so to speak, where they belong. What an undertaking! What a crushing task! Is it any wonder that they are all tempted by a universal vice, that in some dark street of the mind a single voice whispers to one and all, softly hissing, and says: 'Lay down your burden.' Then thoughts begin to drift, a mystical magnetism pulls them this way and that, faces start to change, shadows speak... sooner or later the sky comes down, melting like wax. But as you know, everything has not yet been lost: absolute terror has proved its security against this fate. Is it any wonder that these beings carry on the struggle at whatever cost? ~ Thomas Ligotti
167:A rather controversial example of this is the idea that ancient humans had a vastly more muted visual spectrum than we do today. The color blue, for instance, was not something that ancient man could distinguish from other colors. Only a select few people were born with the ability to identify the color spectrum that we all accept today, but it wasn’t until the written word was developed that this became startlingly apparent. In ancient texts, oceans are referred to as great black or green swathes of liquid, not because the author took artistic liberties, but because they simply couldn’t see a difference. Then, when people with a wider color spectrum began to describe the color blue, and differentiate it, the rest of the world took notice. It wasn’t an evolutionary change, but a societal one. The human race altered their perception of a color based solely on the desire to experience what others knew as a truth. The next time you look at the blue sky above, realize that it is colored by your adherence to what you think is true. Truth and lies do more than simply guide us through our social lives; they literally shape the world around us. I wonder if those researchers ever got funding for their experiment. ~ A R Wise
. .Who shall measure the heat and
violence of the poet's heart when caught
and tangled in a woman's body?
-Virginia Woolf
Every month,
the reminder of emptiness
so that you are tuned
to your bodyharp,
strung out on the harpsichord
of all your nerves
& hammered bloody blue
as the crushed fingers
of the woman pianist
beaten by her jealous lover.
Who was she?
Someone I invented
for this poem,
someone I imagined. . .
Never mind,
she is me, youtied to that bodybeat,
fainting on the rack of blood,
moving to the metronomeempty, empty, empty.
No use.
The blood is thicker
than the roots of trees,
more persistent than my poetry,
more baroque than her bruised music.
It gilds the sky above the Virgin's head.
It turns the lilies white.
Try to run:
the blood still follows you.
Swear off children,
seek a quiet room
to practice your preludes & fugues.
Under the piano,
the blood accumulates;
eventually it floats you both away.
Give in.
Babies cry & music is your life.
Darling, you were born to bleed
or rock.
& the heart breaks
either way.
~ Erica Jong
169:Puck swung the cannon around in anger. The nozzle spun and hit Sabrina in the chest. The force was so pawerful she was knocked right off the platform and fell backward off the tower. She saw sky above her and felt the wind in her hair. How ironic, she thought, as she fell to her certain death, that at that moment she would have given anything to be a giant goose again.
Air rushed past Sabrina's ears and suddenly she felt her back tingling again. A moment later she was hanging upside down, inches from the ground. She looked up to find her savior, only to find that her her wasn't a person but a long, furry tail sticking out of the back of her pants. It was wrapped around a beam in the tower a kept her swinging there like a monkey.
Puck floated down to her, his wings flapping softly enough to allow him to hover.
"I bet you think this is hilarious. Look what you did to me with your stupid pranks. I have a tail!" she raged.
Puck's face was trembling. "I'm sorry."
"What?" Sabrina said blankly.
"I almost killed you. I'm sorry, Sabrina," he said, rubbing his eyes on his filthy hoodie. He lifted her off the tower and set her on the ground.
"Since when do you care?" Sabrina said, still stunned by the boy's apology. ~ Michael Buckley
170:The Songs Of Night
The moon swings low in the sky above,
And the twinkling stars shine bright,
And a mother sings to her baby love
Those wonderful songs of night;
Those wonderful songs of sugar plum trees,
And the fields where the fairies play,
Of cockle-shell boats on golden seas
That never are seen by day.
It is by-low time and she sweetly hums
Those wonderful songs of night;
Of the blare of trumpets and sound of drums
When the little tin soldiers fight;
She sings of a comical candy dog
And the gingerbread man who stands
By the side of a blinking cooky frog,
Without any arms or hands.
And the moonbeams dance on the parlor floor,
And a ship sets out to sea,
And a baby sails for the golden shore
In search of the sugar plum tree;
She's off to the cave of the Teddy Bear,
And the haunts of the fairies kind,
Where never an ache or a pain or care
Shall trouble her baby mind.
Oh, sweet is the smile on the baby's face
As she softly sinks to rest,
For where in the world is so fine a place
To sleep, as a mother's breast?
And if ever a song can reach the skies,
The angels must find delight
In hearing a mother's lullabies Those wonderful songs of night.
~ Edgar Albert Guest
171:Dread flooded Harry at the sound of the words. . . . He turned and looked. There it was, hanging in the sky above the school: the blazing green skull with a serpent tongue, the mark Death Eaters left behind whenever they had entered a building . . . wherever they had murdered. . . . “When did it appear?” asked Dumbledore, and his hand clenched painfully upon Harry’s shoulder as he struggled to his feet. “Must have been minutes ago, it wasn’t there when I put the cat out, but when I got upstairs —” “We need to return to the castle at once,” said Dumbledore. “Rosmerta” — and though he staggered a little, he seemed wholly in command of the situation — “we need transport — brooms —” “I’ve got a couple behind the bar,” she said, looking very frightened. “Shall I run and fetch — ?” “No, Harry can do it.” Harry raised his wand at once. “Accio Rosmerta’s Brooms!” A second later they heard a loud bang as the front door of the pub burst open; two brooms had shot out into the street and were racing each other to Harry’s side, where they stopped dead, quivering slightly at waist height. “Rosmerta, please send a message to the Ministry,” said Dumbledore, as he mounted the broom nearest him. “It might be that nobody within Hogwarts has yet realized anything is wrong. . . . Harry, put on your Invisibility ~ J K Rowling
172:In spite of all these concerns, in the morning when I left my hotel I went joyfully down the stairs, whistling all the while, and emerged into the street at ten or eleven, whenever I wanted. It was fun, I felt happy, and then I realized that it wasn’t all much fun and I wasn’t all that happy. Had a weight been lifted from my back? The weight of living? I had been born bowed down with grief. The universe seemed to me a kind of enormous cage, or rather a big prison, with the sky a ceiling, and the horizon walls beyond which there had to be something else. But what? I was in a vast space, and yet it was locked. Or rather, I had the feeling I was in a huge ship, and the sky above was an enormous cover. There was a crowd of prisoners, and as far as I could tell most of them were unaware of their condition. What was there beyond the walls? Well, when you really thought about it, there was a positive side to the picture: the daily prison, the little jail inside the big one, had opened its doors to me. Now I was able to stroll at will along the main thoroughfares, the broad avenues of the big jail. It was a world comparable to a zoo in which the animals enjoyed a kind of semi-freedom, with man-made mountains, artificial woods, and imitation lakes, but at the far reaches there were still the same old fences. ~ Eug ne Ionesco
173:Youth And Lordship
MY young lord's the lover
Of earth and sky above,
Of youth's sway and youth's play,
Of songs and flowers and love.
Yet for love's desire
Green youth lacks the daring;
Though one dream of fire,
All his hours ensnaring,
Burns the boy past bearing—
The dream that girls inspire.
My young lord's the lover
Of every burning thought
That Love's will, that Love's skill
Within his breast has wrought.
Lovely girl, look on him
Soft as music's measure;
Yield him, when you've won him,
Joys and toys at pleasure;
But to win your treasure,
Softly look upon him.
My young lord's the lover
Of every tender grace
That woman, to woo man,
Can wear in form or face.
Take him to your bosom
Now, girl, or never;
Let not your new blossom
Of sweet kisses sever;
Only guard for ever
Your boast within your bosom.
My young lord's the lover
Of every secret thing,
Love-hidden, love-bidden
This day to banqueting.
Lovely girl, with vaunting
Never tempt to-morrow:
From all shapes enchanting
Any joy can borrow,
Still the spectre Sorrow
Rises up for haunting.
And now my lord's the lover
Of ah! so many a sweet,—
Of roses, of spouses,
As many as love may greet.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti
174:Another time we were at work in a trench. The dawn was grey around us; grey was the sky above; grey the snow in the pale light of dawn; grey the rags in which my fellow prisoners were clad, and grey ther faces. I was again conversing silently with my wife, or perhaps I was struggling to find the reason for my sufferings, my slow dying. In a last violent protest against the hopelessness of imminent death, I sensed my spirit piercing through the enveloping gloom. I felt it transcend that hopeless, meaningless world, and from somewhere I heard a victorious 'Yes' in answer to my question of the existence of an ultimate purpose. At that moment a light was lit in a distant farmhouse, which stood on the horizon as if painted there, in the midst of the miserable grey of dawning morning in Bavaria. 'Et lux in tenebris lucet' - and the light shineth in the darkness. For hours I stood hacking at the icy ground. The guard passed by, insulting me, and once again I communed with my beloved. More and more I felt that she was present, that she was with me; I had the feeling that I was able to touch her, able to stretch out my hand and grasp hers. The feeling was very strong: she was there. Then, at that very moment, a bird flew down silently and perched just in front of me, on the heap of soil which I had dug up from the ditch, and looked steadily at me. ~ Viktor E Frankl
175:The only streetlights burning were those at the top of the stairs and the light they gave fell in dingy cones that shuddered in the intermittent gusts of winds assailing them because the other neon lights positioned in the thirty or so meters between them had all been broken, leaving them squatting in darkness, yet as aware of each other, of their precise positions, as of the enormous mass of dark sky above the smashed neon, the sky which might have glimpsed the reflection of its own enormous dark mass as it trembled with stars in the vista of railway yards spreading below it, had there been some relationship between the trembling stars and the twinkling dull red lights of semaphores sprinkled among the rails, but there wasn't, there was no common denominator, no interdependence between them, the only order and relationship existing within the discrete worlds of above and below, and indeed of anywhere, for the field of stars and the forest of signals stared as blankly at each other as does each and every form of being, blind in darkness and blind in radiance, as blind on earth as it is in heaven, if only so that a long moribund symmetry among this vastness might appear in the lost glance of some higher being, at the center of which, naturally, there would be a minuscule blind spot: as with Korin . . . the footbridge . . . the seven kids. ~ L szl Krasznahorkai
176:[Letter to his wife, Natalia Sedova]

In addition to the happiness of being a fighter for the cause of socialism, fate gave me the happiness of being her husband. During the almost forty years of our life together she remained an inexhaustible source of love, magnanimity, and tenderness. She underwent great sufferings, especially in the last period of our lives. But I find some comfort in the fact that she also knew days of happiness.

For forty-three years of my conscious life I have remained a revolutionist; for forty-two of them I have fought under the banner of Marxism. If I had to begin all over again I would of course try to avoid this or that mistake, but the main course of my life would remain unchanged. I shall die a proletarian revolutionist, a Marxist, a dialectical materialist, and, consequently, an irreconcilable atheist. My faith in the communist future of mankind is not less ardent, indeed it is firmer today, than it was in the days of my youth.

Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full. ~ Leon Trotsky
177:I thought about how for a long time scientists were puzzled by the fact that the sky is dark at night, even though there are billions of stars in the universe and there must be stars in every direction you look, so that the sky should be full of starlight because there is very little in the way to stop the light from reaching earth.
Then they worked out that the universe was expanding, that the stars were all rushing away from one another after the Big Bang, and the further the stars were away from us the faster they were moving, some of them nearly as fast as the speed of light, which was why their light never reached us.
I like this fact. It is something you can work out in your own mind just by looking at the sky above your head at night and thinking without having to ask anyone.
And when the universe has finished exploding, all the stars will slow down, like a ball that has been thrown into the air, and they will come to a halt and they will all begin to fall toward the center of the universe again. And then there will be nothing to stop us from seeing all the stars in the world because they will all be moving toward us, gradually faster and faster, and we will know that the world is going to end soon because when we look up into the sky at night there will be no darkness, just the blazing light of billions and billions of stars, all falling. ~ Mark Haddon
178:Morning On The Lièvre
Far above us where a jay
Screams his matins to the day,
Capped with gold and amethyst,
Like a vapor from the forge
Of a giant somewhere hid,
Out of hearing of the clang
Of his hammer, skirts of mist
Slowly up the woody gorge
Lift and hang.
Softly as a cloud we go,
Sky above and sky below,
Down the river; and the dip
Of the paddles scarcely breaks,
With the little silvery drip
Of the water as it shakes
From the blades, the crystal deep
Of the silence of the morn,
Of the forest yet asleep;
And the river reaches borne
In a mirror, purple gray,
Sheer away
To the misty line of light,
Where the forest and the stream
In the shadow meet and plight,
Like a dream.
From amid a stretch of reeds,
Where the lazy river sucks
All the water as it bleeds
From a little curling creek,
And the muskrats peer and sneak
In around the sunken wrecks
Of a tree that swept the skies
Long ago,
On a sudden seven ducks
With a splashy rustle rise,
Stretching out their seven necks,
One before, and two behind,
And the others all arow,
And as steady as the wind
With a swivelling whistle go,
Through the purple shadow led,
Till we only hear their whir
In behind a rocky spur,
Just ahead.
~ Archibald Lampman
179:At The Hop
‘Tis time to dress. Dost hear the music surging
Like sobbing waves that roll up from the sea?
Yes, yes, I hear – I yield – no need of urging;
I know your wishes, - send Lisette to me.
I hate the ballroom; hate its gilded pleasure;
I hate the crowd within it, well you know;
But what of that? I am your lawful treasure –
And when you would display me I must go.
You bought me with a mother’s pain and trouble.
I’ve been a great expense to you always.
And now, if you can sell me, and get double
The sum cost – why, what have I to say?
You’ve done your duty: kept me in the fashion,
And shown off me at every stylish place.
‘Twas not your fault I had a heart of passion;
‘Twas not your fault I ever saw his face.
The dream was brief, and beautiful, and tender,
(O, God! to live those golden hours once more.
The silver moonlight, and his dark eyes’ splendour,
The sky above us, and the sea below.)
Come, come, Lisette, bring out those royal laces;
To-night must make the victory complete.
Among the crowd of masked and smiling faces,
I’ll move with laughter, and with smiles most sweet.
Make me most fair! with youth and grace and beauty.
I needs must conquer bloated age and gold.
She shall not say I have not done my duty;
I’m ready now – a daughter to be sold!
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
180:How the penises of Western men have leapt, for a century, to the sight of this singular point at the top of a lady's stocking, this transition from silk to bare skin and suspender! It's easy for non-fetishists to sneer about Pavlovian conditioning and let it go at that, but any underwear enthusiast worth his unwholesome giggle can tell you there is much more here - there is a cosmology: of nodes and cusps and points of osculation, mathematical kisses… singularities! Consider cathedral spires, holy minarets, the crunch of trainwheels over the points as you watch peeling away the track you didn't take… mountain peaks rising sharply to heaven, such as those to be noted at scenic Berchtesgaden… the edges of steel razors, always holding potent mystery… rose thorns that prick us by surprise… even, according to the Russian mathematician Friedmann, the infinitely dense point from which the present Universe expanded… In each case, the change from point to no-point carries a luminosity and enigma at which something in us must leap and sing, or withdraw in fright. Watching the A4 pointed at the sky - just before the last firing-switch closes - watching that singular point at the very top of the Rocket, where the fuze is… Do all these points imply, like the Rocket's, an annihilation? What is that, detonating in the sky above the cathedral? beneath the edge of the razor, under the rose? ~ Thomas Pynchon
181:A Leaf
Somebody said, in the crowd, last eve,
That you were married, or soon to be.
I have not thought of you, I believe,
Since last we parted. Let me see:
Five long Summers have passed since then –
Each has been pleasant in its own way –
And you are but one of a dozen men
Who have played the suitor a Summer day.
But, nevertheless, when I heard your name,
Coupled with some one’s, not my own,
There burned in my bosom a sudden flame,
That carried me back to the day that is flown.
I was sitting again by the laughing brook,
With you at my feet, and the sky above,
And my heart was fluttering under your look –
The unmistakable look of Love.
Again your breath, like a South wind, fanned
My cheek, where the blushes came and went;
And the tender clasp of your strong, warm hand
Sudden thrills through my pulses sent.
Again you were mine by Love’s decree:
So for a moment it seemed last night,
When somebody mentioned your name to me.
Just for the moment I thought you mine –
Loving me, wooing me, as of old.
The tale remembered seemed half divine –
Though I held it lightly enough when told.
The past seemed fairer than when it was near,
As ‘blessings brighten when taking flight, ’
And just for the moment I held you near –
When somebody mentioned your name last night.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
182:When the Going Gets Tough…
When the going gets tough may I resist my first impulse to wade in, fix, explain, resolve, and restore. May I sit down instead.
When the going gets tough may I be quiet. May I steep for a while in stillness.
When the going gets tough may I have faith that things are unfolding as they are meant to. May I remember that my life is what it is, not what I ask for. May I find the strength to bear it, the grace to accept it, the faith to embrace it.
When the going gets tough may I practice with what I’m given, rather than wish for something else. When the going gets tough may I assume nothing. May I not take it personally. May I opt for trust over doubt, compassion over suspicion, vulnerability over vengeance.
When the going gets tough may I open my heart before I open my mouth.
When the going gets tough may I be the first to apologize. May I leave it at that. May I bend with all my being toward forgiveness.
When the going gets tough may I look for a door to step through rather than a wall to hide behind.
When the going gets tough may I turn my gaze up to the sky above my head, rather than down to the mess at my feet. May I count my blessings.
When the going gets tough may I pause, reach out a hand, and make the way easier for someone else. When the going gets tough may I remember that I’m not alone. May I be kind.

When the going gets tough may I choose love over fear. Every time. ~ Katrina Kenison
183:God ’s Joyful Love The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing. ZEPHANIAH 3:17 AMP The first time a mom holds her newborn, a grandmother holds her grandchild, or an aunt holds her newborn niece or nephew, their hearts fill up with overwhelming love for that child. You look into the baby’s eyes, check all the fingers and toes, and marvel over the perfection of this child. You can’t imagine anything they do or say as the child grows up will lessen the love you have for him or her. This scenario is just a tiny glimpse into how much God loves His children. Paul wrote in Romans 8: “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vv. 38–39 NLT). Zephaniah says that God’s love for His child is so overwhelming that He breaks into singing. Music is a spontaneous expression of many emotions, but especially love. Father, thank You for Your arms of love holding me close to Your heart. ~ Various
184:A Sea-Side Walk
We walked beside the sea,
After a day which perished silently
Of its own glory---like the Princess weird
Who, combating the Genius, scorched and seared,
Uttered with burning breath, 'Ho! victory!'
And sank adown, an heap of ashes pale;
So runs the Arab tale.
The sky above us showed
An universal and unmoving cloud,
On which, the cliffs permitted us to see
Only the outline of their majesty,
As master-minds, when gazed at by the crowd!
And, shining with a gloom, the water grey
Swang in its moon-taught way.
Nor moon nor stars were out.
They did not dare to tread so soon about,
Though trembling, in the footsteps of the sun.
The light was neither night's nor day's, but one
Which, life-like, had a beauty in its doubt;
And Silence's impassioned breathings round
Seemed wandering into sound.
O solemn-beating heart
Of nature! I have knowledge that thou art
Bound unto man's by cords he cannot sever--And, what time they are slackened by him ever,
So to attest his own supernal part,
Still runneth thy vibration fast and strong,
The slackened cord along.
For though we never spoke
Of the grey water anal the shaded rock,--Dark wave and stone, unconsciously, were fused
Into the plaintive speaking that we used,
Of absent friends and memories unforsook;
And, had we seen each other's face, we had
Seen haply, each was sad.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
185:Planting A Sequoia
All afternoon my brothers and I have worked in the orchard,
Digging this hole, laying you into it, carefully packing the soil.
Rain blackened the horizon, but cold winds kept it over the Pacific,
And the sky above us stayed the dull gray
Of an old year coming to an end.
In Sicily a father plants a tree to celebrate his first son's birth-An olive or a fig tree--a sign that the earth has one more life to bear.
I would have done the same, proudly laying new stock into my father's orchard,
A green sapling rising among the twisted apple boughs,
A promise of new fruit in other autumns.
But today we kneel in the cold planting you, our native giant,
Defying the practical custom of our fathers,
Wrapping in your roots a lock of hair, a piece of an infant's birth cord,
All that remains above earth of a first-born son,
A few stray atoms brought back to the elements.
We will give you what we can--our labor and our soil,
Water drawn from the earth when the skies fail,
Nights scented with the ocean fog, days softened by the circuit of bees.
We plant you in the corner of the grove, bathed in western light,
A slender shoot against the sunset.
And when our family is no more, all of his unborn brothers dead,
Every niece and nephew scattered, the house torn down,
His mother's beauty ashes in the air,
I want you to stand among strangers, all young and emphemeral to you,
Silently keeping the secret of your birth.
~ Dana Gioia
186:Helen Hunt says there is one sin which seems to be everywhere, and by everybody is underestimated and quite too much overlooked in valuations of character. It is the sin of fretting. It is as common as air, as speech; so common that unless it rises above its usual monotone we do not even observe it. Watch any ordinary coming together of people, and we see how many minutes it will be before somebody frets—that is, makes more or less complaint of something or other, which probably every one in the room, or car, or on the street corner knew before, and which most probably nobody can help. Why say anything about it? It is cold, it is hot, it is wet, it is dry, somebody has broken an appointment, ill-cooked a meal; stupidity or bad faith somewhere has resulted in discomfort. There are plenty of things to fret about. It is simply astonishing, how much annoyance and discomfort may be found in the course of every-day living, even of the simplest, if one only keeps a sharp eye out on that side of things. Some people seem to be always hunting for deformities, discords and shadows, instead of beauty, harmony and light. We are born to trouble, as sparks fly upward. But even to the sparks flying upward, in the blackest of smoke, there is a blue sky above, and the less time they waste on the road, the sooner they will reach it. Fretting is all time wasted on the road. About two things we should never fret, that which we cannot help, and that which we can help. Better find one of your own faults than ten of your neighbor's. ~ Orison Swett Marden
187:I threw the carving of my goddess as high and far as I could, into the sky above the waves, and watched its arcing path through the air. As it fell, I saw a golden shape come diving toward the plummeting image, a huge eagle that seized the monster’s tooth in his talons. The feathers on his breast skimmed the sea before he soared back into the sky and flew away.
“Did you see that, La--Glaucus?” Milo’s voice sounded in my ear. He’d woken from his nap and come up behind me unexpectedly. I almost jumped overboard with surprise. “It’s a good sign, isn’t it? Or is it predicting that something’s waiting to snatch us away? If that’s so, I swear I won’t let it touch you. But is it a good sign after all? Ah, what does it mean?”
“You worry too much, Milo,” I said as if I had no such worries of my own. “If every hero stopped to think about all the what-ifs in his path, none of us would ever take one step beyond our own doorways.”
“But you saw what it did,” Milo protested. “The eagle is Lord Zeus’s bird. We can’t just ignore it. Ah, what does it mean?”
“What it means,” I said, smiling, “is that you and I have just seen either the world’s most unmistakable omen or the world’s most nearsighted eagle.” May the gods stand by us, I thought as I laughed and Milo stared at me in dismay. May they favor and guide us, but may they never hold us hostage through our fears.
“Don’t look at me like that,” I told him, wiping sea spray from my eyes. “I haven’t said anything wrong. I love the gods and honor them, but I’m not their slave. Neither are you. From now on we’re going to make our own omens.” I took his hand, and when he pulled it away, I took it again. This time he let me.
We were free. ~ Esther M Friesner
188:Few things are harder to visualise than that a cold snowbound landscape, so marrow-chillingly quiet and lifeless, will, within mere months, be green and lush and warm, quivering with all manner of life, from birds warbling and flying through the trees to swarms of insects hanging in scattered clusters in the air. Nothing in the winter landscape presages the scent of sun-warmed heather and moss, trees bursting with sap and thawed lakes ready for spring and summer, nothing presages the feeling of freedom that can come over you when the only white that can be seen is the clouds gliding across the blue sky above the blue water of the rivers gently flowing down to the sea, the perfect, smooth, cool surface, broken now and then by rocks, rapids and bathing bodies. It is not there, it does not exist, everything is white and still, and if the silence is broken it is by a cold wind or a lone crow caw-cawing. But it is coming ... it is coming... One evening in March the snow turns to rain, and the piles of snow collapse. One morning in April there are buds on the trees, and there is a trace of green in the yellow grass. Daffodils appear, white and blue anemones too. Then the warm air stands like a pillar among the trees on the slopes. On sunny inclines buds have burst, here and there cherry trees are in blossom. If you are sixteen years old all of this makes an impression, all of this leaves its mark, for this is the first spring you know is spring, with all your sense you know this is spring, and it is the last, for all coming springs pale in comparison with your first. If, moreover, you are in love, well, then ... then it is merely a question of holding on. Holding on to all the happiness, all the beauty, all the future that resides in everything. ~ Karl Ove Knausg rd
189:on some fundamental level we find it difficult to understand that other people are human beings in the same way that we are? We idealize them as gods or dismiss them as animals.”

“True. Consciousness makes for poor windows, too. I don’t think I’d ever thought about it quite that way.”

I was sitting back. I was listening. And I was hearing something about her and about windows and mirrors. Chuck Parson was a person. Like me. Margo Roth Spiegelman was a person, too. And I had never quite thought of her that way, not really; it was a failure of all my previous imaginings. All along—not only since she left, but for a decade before—I had been imagining her without listening, without knowing that she made as poor a window as I did. And so I could not imagine her as a person who could feel fear, who could feel isolated in a roomful of people, who could be shy about her record collection because it was too personal to share. Someone who might read travel books to escape having to live in the town that so many people escape to. Someone who—because no one thought she was a person—had no one to really talk to.

And all at once I knew how Margo Roth Spiegelman felt when she wasn’t being Margo Roth Spiegelman: she felt empty. She felt the unscaleable wall surrounding her. I thought of her asleep on the carpet with only that jagged sliver of sky above her. Maybe Margo felt comfortable there because Margo the person lived like that all the time: in an abandoned room with blocked-out windows, the only light pouring in through holes in the roof. Yes. The fundamental mistake I had always made—and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make—was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl. ~ John Green
190:Not a breath, not a sound—except at intervals the muffled crackling of stones that the cold was reducing to sand—disturbed the solitude and silence surrounding Janine. After a moment, however, it seemed to her that the sky above her was moving in a sort of slow gyration. In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually towards the horizon. Janine could not tear herself away from contemplating those drifting flares. She was turning with them, and the apparently stationary progress little by little identified her with the core of her being, where cold and desire were now vying with each other. Before her the stars were falling one by one and being snuffed out among the stones of the desert, and each time Janine opened a little more to the night. Breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the dead weight of others, the craziness or stuffiness of life, the long anguish of living and dying. After so many years of mad, aimless fleeing from fear, she had come to a stop at last. At the same time, she seemed to recover her roots and the sap again rose in her body, which had ceased trembling. Her whole belly pressed against the parapet as she strained towards the moving sky; she was merely waiting for her fluttering heart to calm down and establish silence within her. The last stars of the constellations dropped their clusters a little lower on the desert horizon and became still. Then, with unbearable gentleness, the water of night began to fill Janine, drowned the cold, rose gradually from the hidden core of her being and overflowed in wave after wave, rising up even to her mouth full of moans. The next moment, the whole sky stretched out over her, fallen on her back on the cold earth. ~ Albert Camus
191:Venus was rising, holding her own in the sky that was beginning to brighten. As I left the docks and warehouses behind, I came to a marshy shoreline, thick with water reeds. Though the sky above was clear, the water's surface swirled with little mists. I began to sing a song to Isis, made up on the spot, which caught the rhythm of the oars. A breeze sprang up and the reeds sang with me.

Then as the first rays of sun dimmed the stars, birds everywhere lifted their voices and rose in line after line into the sky. On the outskirts of the city, I came to what looked like it might have been an abandoned villa or farmstead. I decided to sit down and watch the lake changing colors with the light. That's when I heard it. Not the soft lapping of the water against the shore, but the sound of flowing water. I looked and in the glowing light, I saw a small stream, eally just a trickle washing down a pebbly incline towards the lake. Something prompted me to follow the stream inland.

I made my way though brambly thickets of brambling roses. The way seemed to open for me, the thorns all but retracting so as not to catch my cloak or scratch my arms and legs. At the source, I knelt down and parted the thicket, and there it was. The spring at the base of the hill so steep, it was almost a cliff. The water bubbled up from the darkness of earth, giving back the brightness of sky. Like all springs, a way between worlds.

I was no stranger to sacred springs and magic wells. I was raised to revere them. I had first glimpsed my beloved on the well of wisdom on Tir n mBan. But this spring. I closed my eyes to listen to its sound, and I knew I had heard it before.

The wind picked up, washing over me, scented with fish and roses. When it quieted again, I opened my eyes and gazed at the clear surface of the pool, and for an instant, I saw a tower, and the dawn sky, and the two people standing there. Then the image vanished, but I had seen all I needed to see.

Alright, I said to myself, my goddess, to Miriam's know it all angels, Magala is is.

And by the way, I added, my name is Maeve. ~ Elizabeth Cunningham
192:My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time.

These memories, which are my life--for we possess nothing certainly except the past--were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark's, theywere everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning.

These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime. These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again.

The human soul enjoys these rare, classic periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves -- the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleep-walker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outward eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, out-distance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share. ~ Evelyn Waugh
193:Marjorie’s Wooing
THE corn was yellow upon the cliffs,
The fluttering grass was green to see,
The waves were blue as the sky above,
And the sun it was shining merrily.
'Marjorie, Marjorie! do you love me,
Faithfully, truly as I love you?'
The little lass reddened, and whitened, and smiled,
And answered him with her clear eyes of blue.
'Marjorie, you are but gentle and young;
I am too old and too rough for you.'
The little lass, trustfully giving her hand,
Answered, 'I love you, faithful and true.'
'Marjorie, Marjorie, when shall we wed?'
'As soon as you will it,—to-morrow, to-day.'
'Marjorie, Marjorie, if you knew all,
Would you still say me the words that you say?'
'If I knew all?' said the little lass,
'I know you are Kenneth, the brave and strong;
I know that I love, and that you are good:
I will know it e'er, and have known it long.'
'Marjorie, Marjorie, if I should say
I fled from prison to come to you;
I stabbed a man all for jealous love;
I am not noble, nor good, nor true?'
'Kenneth, your eyes would belie your words,'
Boldly and bravely the lass replied.
'Why should God fill them with love and truth,
And your heart with cruelty, hate, and pride?'
'Marjorie, Marjorie, if I should say
That I loved many ere I loved you?'
'Ere you had seen me,' Marjorie said,
' How could you know I was loving and true?'
'Marjorie, Marjorie, if I should say
That I was outcast on land and on sea?'
'All the more reason,' the little maid said,
' Why you should ever be loved by me.'
'Marjorie, Marjorie, if I should say
That I was noble, and titled, and grand;
Lord of the woods, and the castle, and park,
Lord of the acres of corn o'er the land?'
Dropping a courtesy, the little lass said,
'Still should I love you and ever be true;
But if you found me too lowly and poor,
I should bid farewell and go die for you.'
'Marjorie, darling, I tell you then,
This is the truth, and the land is mine,
And the castle, the park, and the vessel far off,
And whatever is mine, is thine, dear, thine!'
~ Emma Lazarus
194:Thank you for bringing me home. My heart will sing a song of friendship when I think of you, Hunter--for always into the horizon.”
He gestured toward the stallion. “You will take him. He is strong and swift. He will carry you back to Comanche land, eh?”
“Oh, no! I couldn’t. He’s yours!”
“He walks a new way now. You are his good friend.”
Tears sprang to her eyes. “I will never return to Comancheria, Hunter. Please, keep your horse.”
“You keep. He is my gift to you, Blue Eyes.”
Words eluded Loretta. Before she thought it through, she rose on her tiptoes and pressed her lips against his in what she intended to be a quick kiss of farewell.
Hunter had heard of this strange tosi tivo custom called kissing. The thought of two people pressing their open mouths together had always disgusted him. Loretta was a different matter, however. Before she could pull away, he captured her face between his hands and tipped her head back to nibble lightly at her mouth. To learn the taste of her. And to remember.
As inexpert as he was, when his mouth touched hers, a wave of heat zigzagged through him, pooling like fire low in his belly. Her lips were soft and full, as sweet as warm penende, honey. She gasped, and when she did, he dipped his tongue past her teeth to taste her moistness, which was even sweeter and made him think of other sweet places he would like to taste. Hunter at last understood why the tosi tivo liked kissing.
She clutched his wrists and leaned away from him. He drew back and smiled, his palms still framing her face. Her large eyes shone as blue as the sky above them, startled and wary, just as they had so many times those first few days. She was like his mother’s beadwork, beautiful on the outside, a confusing tangle on the inside. Would he never understand her?
“Good-bye, Hunter.”
Reluctantly he released her and watched her lead the horse down the hill. At the base of the slope she turned and looked back. Their gazes met and held. Then she turned toward home and broke into a trot, the horse trailing behind her. Hunter shook his head. Only a White Eyes would walk when she had a perfectly good horse to ride. ~ Catherine Anderson
195:Today, suddenly, I reached an absurd but unerring conclusion. In a moment of enlightenment, I realized that I'm nobody, absolutely nobody. When the lightning flashed, I saw that what I had thought to be a city was in fact a deserted plain and, in the same sinister light that revealed me to myself, there seemed to be no sky above it. I was robbed of any possibility of having existed before the world. If I was ever reincarnated, I must have done so without myself, without a self to reincarnate.
I am the outskirts of some non-existent town, the long-winded prologue to an unwritten book. I'm nobody, nobody. I don't know how to feel or think or love. I'm a character in a novel as yet unwritten, hovering in the air and undone before I've even existed, amongst the dreams of someone who never quite managed to breathe life into me.
I'm always thinking, always feeling, but my thoughts lack all reason, my emotions all feeling. I'm falling through a trapdoor, through infinite, infinitous space, in a directionless, empty fall. My soul is a black maelstrom, a great madness spinning about a vacuum, the swirling of a vast ocean around a hole in the void, and in the waters, more like whirlwinds than waters, float images of all I ever saw or heard in the world: houses, faces, books, boxes, snatches of music and fragments of voices, all caught up in a sinister, bottomless whirlpool.
And I, I myself, am the centre that exists only because the geometry of the abyss demands it; I am the nothing around which all this spins, I exist so that it can spin, I am a centre that exists only because every circle has one. I, I myself, am the well in which the walls have fallen away to leave only viscous slime. I am the centre of everything surrounded by the great nothing.
And it is as if hell itself were laughing within me but, instead of the human touch of diabolical laughter, there's the mad croak of the dead universe, the circling cadaver of physical space, the end of all worlds drifting blackly in the wind, misshapen, anachronistic, without the God who created it, without God himself who spins in the dark of darks, impossible, unique, everything.
If only I could think! If only I could feel! ~ Fernando Pessoa
196:The Irreparable
Can we stifle the old, long-lived Remorse,
that lives, writhes, heaves,
feeds on us, like a worm on a corpse,
like oak-gall on the oak-trees?
Can we stifle the old, long-lived Remorse?
In what potion, in what wine, in what brew,
shall we drown this old enemy.
greedy, destructive as a prostitute,
ant-like always filled with tenacity?
In what potion? – In what wine? – In what brew?
Tell us, lovely witch, oh, tell us, if you know,
tell the spirit filled with anguish
as if dying crushed by the wounded, oh,
crumpled beneath the horses,
tell us, lovely witch, oh, tell us, if you know,
tell the one in agony the wolf’s already scented
whom the raven now surveys,
tell the shattered soldier! Say, if he’s intended
to despair of cross and grave:
poor soul in agony the wolf’s already scented!
Can we illuminate a black and muddied sky?
can we pierce the shadowy evening,
denser than pitch, with neither day or night,
star-less, with no funereal lightning?
Can we illuminate a black and muddied sky?
The Hope that shone in the Tavern window
is quenched, is dead forever!
How to find without sunlight, without moon-glow,
for the foul road’s martyrs, ah, shelter!
The Devil’s quenched all in the Tavern window!
Adorable witch, do you love the damned?
Say, do you know the unforgivable?
Do you understand Remorse, its poisoned hand,
for which our heart serves as target?
Adorable witch, do you love the damned?
The Irreparable, with its accursed tooth bites
at our soul, this pitiful monument,
and often gnaws away like a termite,
below the foundations of the battlement.
The Irreparable, with its accursed tooth, bites!
- Sometimes on the boards of a cheap stage
lit up by the sonorous orchestra,
I’ve seen a fairy kindling miraculous day,
in the infernal sky above her:
sometimes on the boards of a cheap stage,
a being, who is nothing but light, gold, gauze,
flooring the enormous Satan:
but my heart, that no ecstasy ever saw,
is a stage where ever and again
one awaits in vain the Being with wings of gauze!
~ Charles Baudelaire
197:All these things and, still more than these, the treasures which had come to the church from personages who to me were almost legendary figures (such as the golden cross wrought, it was said, by Saint Eloi and presented by Dagobert, and the tomb of the sons of Louis the Germanic in porphyry and enamelled copper), because of which I used to go forward into the church when we were making our way to our chairs as into a fairy-haunted valley, where the rustic sees with amazement on a rock, a tree, a marsh, the tangible proofs of the little people’s supernatural passage — all these things made of the church for me something entirely different from the rest of the town; a building which occupied, so to speak, four dimensions of space — the name of the fourth being Time — which had sailed the centuries with that old nave, where bay after bay, chapel after chapel, seemed to stretch across and hold down and conquer not merely a few yards of soil, but each successive epoch from which the whole building had emerged triumphant, hiding the rugged barbarities of the eleventh century in the thickness of its walls, through which nothing could be seen of the heavy arches, long stopped and blinded with coarse blocks of ashlar, except where, near the porch, a deep groove was furrowed into one wall by the tower-stair; and even there the barbarity was veiled by the graceful gothic arcade which pressed coquettishly upon it, like a row of grown-up sisters who, to hide him from the eyes of strangers, arrange themselves smilingly in front of a countrified, unmannerly and ill-dressed younger brother; rearing into the sky above the Square a tower which had looked down upon Saint Louis, and seemed to behold him still; and thrusting down with its crypt into the blackness of a Merovingian night, through which, guiding us with groping finger-tips beneath the shadowy vault, ribbed strongly as an immense bat’s wing of stone, Théodore or his sister would light up for us with a candle the tomb of Sigebert’s little daughter, in which a deep hole, like the bed of a fossil, had been bored, or so it was said, “by a crystal lamp which, on the night when the Frankish princess was murdered, had left, of its own accord, the golden chains by which it was suspended where the apse is to-day and with neither the crystal broken nor the light extinguished had buried itself in the stone, through which it had gently forced its way. ~ Marcel Proust
198:You dare--?” said Voldemort again.
“Yes, I dare,” said Harry, “because Dumbledore’s last plan hasn’t backfired on me at all. It’s backfired on you, Riddle.”
Voldemort’s hand was trembling on the Elder Wand, and Harry gripped Draco’s very tightly. The moment, he knew, was seconds away.
“That wand still isn’t working properly for you because you murdered the wrong person. Severus Snape was never the true master of the Elder Wand. He never defeated Dumbledore.”
“He killed--”
“Aren’t you listening? Snape never beat Dumbledore! Dumbledore’s death was planned between them! Dumbledore intended to die undefeated, the wand’s last true master! If all had gone as planned, the wand’s power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him!”
“But then, Potter, Dumbledore as good as gave me the wand!” Voldemort’s voice shook with malicious pleasure. “I stole the wand from its last master’s tomb! I removed it against its last master’s wishes! Its power is mine!”
“You still don’t get it, Riddle, do you? Possessing the wand isn’t enough! Holding it, using it, doesn’t make it really yours. Didn’t you listen to Ollivander? The wand chooses the wizard…The Elder Wand recognized a new master before Dumbledore died, someone who never even laid a hand on it. The new master removed the wand from Dumbledore against his will, never realizing exactly what he had done, or that the world’s most dangerous wand had given him its allegiance…”
Voldemort’s chest rose and fell rapidly, and Harry could feel the curse coming, feel it building inside the wand pointed at his face.
“The true master of the Elder Wand was Draco Malfoy.”
Blank shock showed in Voldemort’s face for a moment, but then it was gone.
“But what does it matter?” he said softly. “Even if you are right, Potter, it makes no difference to you and me. You no longer have the phoenix wand: We duel on skill alone…and after I have killed you, I can attend to Draco Malfoy…”
“But you’re too late,” said Harry. “You’ve missed your chance. I got there first. I overpowered Draco weeks ago. I took this wand from him.”
Harry twitched the hawthorn wand, and he felt the eyes of everyone in the Hall upon it.
“So it all comes down to this, doesn’t it?” whispered Harry. “Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does…I am the true master of the Elder Wand.”
A red-gold glow burst suddenly across the enchanted sky above them as an edge of dazzling sun appeared over the sill of the nearest window. The light hit both of their faces at the same time, so that Voldemort’s was suddenly a flaming blur. Harry heard the high voice shriek as he too yelled his best hope to the heavens, pointing Draco’s wand:
Avada Kedavra!
Expelliarmus! ~ J K Rowling
199:Instead, as the crystal splinters entered Hornwrack's brain, he experienced two curious dreams of the Low City, coming so quickly one after the other that they seemed simultaneous. In the first, long shadows moved across the ceiling frescoes of the Bistro Californium, beneath which Lord Mooncarrot's clique awaited his return to make a fourth at dice. Footsteps sounded on the threshold. The women hooded their eyes and smiled, or else stifled a yawn, raising dove-grey gloves to their blue, phthisic lips. Viriconium, with all her narcissistic intimacies and equivocal invitations welcomed him again. He had hated that city, yet now it was his past and it was he had to regret...The second of these visions was of the Rue Sepile. It was dawn, in summer. Horse-chestnut flowers bobbed like white wax candles above the deserted pavements. An oblique light struck into the street - so that its long and normally profitless perspective seemed to lead straight into the heart of a younger, more ingenuous city - and fell across the fronts of the houses where he had once lived, warming up the rotten brick and imparting to it a not unpleasant pinkish colour. Up at the second-floor casement window a boy was busy with the bright red geraniums arranged along the outer still in lumpen terra-cotta pots. He looked down at Hornwrack and smiled. Before Hornwrack could speak he drew down the lower casement and turned away. The glass which no separated them reflected the morning sunlight in a silent explosion; and Hornwrack, dazzled mistaking the light for the smile, suddenly imagined an incandescence which would melt all those old streets!

Rue Sepile; the Avenue of Children; Margery Fry Court: all melted down! All the shabby dependencies of the Plaza of Unrealized Time! All slumped, sank into themselves, eroded away until nothing was left in his field of vision but an unbearable white sky above and the bright clustered points of the chestnut leaves below - and then only a depthless opacity, behind which he could detect the beat of his own blood, the vitreous humour of the eye. He imagined the old encrusted brick flowing, the glass cracking and melting from its frames even as they shrivelled awake, the sheds of paints flaring green and gold, the geraniums toppling in flames to nothing, not even white ash, under this weight of light! All had winked away like reflections in a jar of water glass, and only the medium remained, bright, viscid, vacant. He had a sense of the intolerable briefness of matter, its desperate signalling and touching, its fall; and simultaneously one of its unendurable durability

He thought, Something lies behind all the realities of the universe and is replacing them here, something less solid and more permanent. Then the world stopped haunting him forever. ~ M John Harrison
200:Ode For New Year's Day
Woe unto you, ye sons of pain that are this day in earth,
Now cry for all your torment: now curse your hour of birth
And the fathers who begat you to a portion nothing worth.
And Thou, my own beloved, for as brave as ere thou art,
Bow down thine head, Despoina, clasp thy pale arms over it,
Lie low with fast-closed eyelids, clenched teeth, enduring heart,
For sorrow on sorrow is coming wherein all flesh has part.
The sky above is sickening, the clouds of God’s hate cover it,
Body and soul shall suffer beyond all word or thought,
Till the pain and noisy terror that these first years have wrought
Seem but the soft arising and prelude of the storm
That fiercer still and heavier with sharper lightnings fraught
Shall pour red wrath upon us over a world deform.
Thrice happy, O Despoina, were the men who were alive
In the great age and the golden age when still the cycle ran
On upward curve and easily, for them both maid and man
And beast and tree and spirit in the green earth could thrive.
But now one age is ending, and God calls home the stars
And looses the wheel of the ages and sends it spinning back
Amid the death of nations, and points a downward track,
And madness is come over us and great and little wars.
He has not left one valley, one isle of fresh and green
Where old friends could forgather amid the howling wreck.
It’s vainly we are praying. We cannot, cannot check
The Power who slays and puts aside the beauty that has been.
It’s truth they tell, Despoina, none hears the heart’s complaining
For Nature will not pity, nor the red God lend an ear,
Yet I too have been mad in the hour of bitter paining
And lifted up my voice to God, thinking that he could hear
The curse wherewith I cursed Him because the Good was dead.
But lo! I am grown wiser, knowing that our own hearts
Have made a phantom called the Good, while a few years have sped
Over a little planet. And what should the great Lord know of it
Who tosses the dust of chaos and gives the suns their parts?
Hither and thither he moves them; for an hour we see the show of it:
Only a little hour, and the life of the race is done.
And here he builds a nebula, and there he slays a sun
And works his own fierce pleasure. All things he shall fulfill,
And O, my poor Despoina, do you think he ever hears
The wail of hearts he has broken, the sound of human ill?
He cares not for our virtues, our little hopes and fears,
And how could it all go on, love, if he knew of laughter and tears?
Ah, sweet, if a man could cheat him! If you could flee away
Into some other country beyond the rosy West,
To hide in the deep forests and be for ever at rest
From the rankling hate of God and the outworn world’s decay!
~ Clive Staples Lewis
Glorious daughter of time! Thou of the mild blue eye -Thou of the virginal forehead --pallid, unfurrowed of tears-Thou of the strong white hands with fingers dipped in the dye
Of the blood that quickened the fathers of thee, in the ancient years,
Leave thou the path of the beasts. Return thou again to the hills,
Forsake thou the deserts of death, where ever the burning thirst,
Flames in the throat for blood, for the vile desire that kills,
Where the treacherous sands by the rebel cerastes are cursed,
And the wastes are strewn with the bones of folly and hate.
Return! where the sunlight gladdens the places of green,
Where the stars comes forth, the heralds of faith and fate,
And the winds of eternity breathe from a day unseen.
Thou! what hast thou to do with a time burnt out and done?
With the old Serbonian bog-- the marshes where nations were lost?
Where wailings are heard of the dead, of the slaughtered Roman and Hun,
And phosphorent lights arise in the hands of a stricken ghost,
Dreaming of splendors of battle that glanced from a million shields,
When the C¾sars pillaged for lust of gold and hunger of power;
And the giants of Gothland festered and stank on the stretching fields,
And the gods of the living were cursed, too weak to reveal the hour,
When they should triumph and others should writhe in a dread defeat,
In the day of thy grace, O fair and false to thy fathers and time,
O thou whom the snares of kings already encompass thy feet,
With thy singing robes besprent with the old Egyptian slime.
But thou hast harkened to guile, to the cunning words of shame,
To the tempter with pieces of gold and the praise of the drunken throng.
Scornfully push from their hands the crown of a common fame,
Not made for thy peaceful brows, for thou wert not born for wrong.
Thou art the fruit of the groaning cycles of hope and love,
Told of by maddened prophets who never beheld thy face,
Who drew from the teeming earth and the fetterless sky above,
That man was made to be free, and to stamp under foot the mace.
How should thy innocent eyes ever leer with a reddened look?
Or thy hair be scented save of the measureless sea?
Or thy feet know the ways of deceit, wrote out in the murderous book,
By monarchs who shrank from the scourging and doom of thy strength and thee?
Beloved of time and of fate, cherished of justice and truth,
Yet thou art free to do, to choose the ill and to die;
To squander thy beauty for hire, to waste thy eternal youth -For thou art eternal, if thou heedst them not, but pass by,
Pass and return to the mountains of freedom and peace,
Where heavenward flame the fires, where the torches may be relumed,
To girdle the world with the light that was kindled in olden Greece;
Or that the sparks may be scattered wherever injustice has doomed,
Darkness to be the portion of those who famish for light.
Be thou the great rock's shadow cast in a weary land,
Be thou a star of guidance true in a wintry night,
Be thou thyself, and thyself alone, as heaven hath planned.
~ Edgar Lee Masters
202:To the river?” he suggested, pointing ahead down the road.
The Recorah River, which flowed south out of the Nineyre Mountains before curving to the west, marked both our eastern and southern borders, and was the reason construction of the wall was necessitated only along the boundary we shared with the Kingdom of Sarterad.
“Won’t there be patrols?”
He shook his head. “One of my duties is to regulate the patrols. I know exactly where they are. So--to the river?”
I nodded, and we lined our horses up as best we could, for our mounts had caught our excitement and were straining against their bits. We locked eyes and counted down together.
“Three, two, one--” I dug my heels into King’s sides and he sprang almost violently forward.
My father had never liked me racing. It was dangerous--the horse could fall, I could drop the reins or lose my seat, and at a full gallop, my chances of survival would be slim. But he had always loved to do it, and so had I. There was such freedom in letting a horse have its head, such joyful abandonment in the feel of the animal’s hooves striking the earth time after time, as fast and as hard as they could go. There was power and exhilaration in leaning forward, moving with the animal, feeling the wind on my cheeks, my hair whipping back. There was a oneness that could not be achieved in any other way, a single purpose represented by the finish line that loomed ahead.
King and I had the advantage at the start, and I turned my head to grin at Saadi before giving my full concentration to the task at hand. I would leave him far behind, but there was no point in testing fate. It wasn’t long before my confidence and my lead were challenged--I caught sight of the gelding’s front legs to my left, gaining ground as they arched and reached in beautiful rhythm. We bumped and battled, following the winding road, the horses breathing hard.
Then it was Saadi’s turn to grin. He gave me a nod, urging his horse up the slight incline that lay before us, gradually inching ahead until he succeeded in passing me completely as we flew down the other side. Knowing the race would be won or lost on the remaining flat ground from here to the river, I lay low against King’s neck, and the stallion pressed forward, sensing my urgency. Race for Papa, King, I thought. You can win for Papa.
The Recorah River spread before us, and both Saadi and I would have to slow soon to avoid surging into it. King’s burst of speed was enough to put us neck-and-neck once more, but my frustration flared, for I doubted we could push ahead. At best, the race would be a tie. And a tie wasn’t good enough, not when King needed to come home with me.
Then suddenly I was in front. I glanced over at Saadi in confusion, and saw him check his gelding, letting me win. King did not want to stop, but I pulled him down just before the river, swerving to let him canter, then trot, along its bank. Saadi came alongside me and we halted, dismounting at the same time. I leaned for a moment against my saddle, panting from my own exertion, then slid it off King’s back. Without a word, Saadi likewise stripped his mount, and we freed the horses to go to the water for a drink. Muscles aching, I flopped down on the grass and stared up through the branches of a tree to the graying sky above.
A shadow passed over me, then Saadi lay down beside me.
“You won,” he said.
“You let me.”
There was a silence--he hadn’t expected me to know. Then I heard the grass rustle as he shrugged. “You’re right. I did.”
Laughing at his candor, I sat up and looked at him. He was relaxing with his arms behind his head, his bronze hair damp and sticking to his forehead. ~ Cayla Kluver
203:The Age Of Reason

1. ‘Well, it’s that same frankness you fuss about so much. You’re so absurdly scared of being your own dupe, my poor boy, that you would back out of the finest adventure in the world rather than risk telling yourself a lie.’
2. “ I’m not so much interested in myself as all that’ he said simply.
‘I know’, said Marcelle. It isn’t an aim , it’s a means. It helps you to get rid of yourself; to contemplate and criticize yourself: that’s the attitude you prefer. When you look at yourself, you imagine you aren’t what you see, you imagine you are nothing. That is your ideal: you want to be nothing.’’
3. ‘In vain he repeated the once inspiring phrase: ‘I must be free: I must be self-impelled, and able to say: ‘’I am because I will: I am my own beginning.’’ Empty, pompous words, the commonplaces of the intellectual.’
4. ‘He had waited so long: his later years had been no more than a stand-to. Oppressed with countless daily cares, he had waited…But through all that, his sole care had been to hold himself in readiness. For an act. A free, considered act; that should pledge his whole life, and stand at the beginning of a new existence….He waited. And during all that time, gently, stealthily, the years had come, they had grasped him from behind….’
5. ‘ ‘It was love. This time, it was love. And Mathiue thought:’ What have I done?’ Five minutes ago this love didn’t exist; there was between them a rare and precious feeling, without a name and not expressible in gestures.’
6. ‘ The fact is, you are beyond my comprehension: you, so prompt with your indignation when you hear of an injustice, you keep this woman for years in a humiliating position, for the sole pleasure of telling yourself that you are respecting your principles. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were true, if you really did adapt your life to your ideas. But, I must tell you once more…you like that sort of life-placid, orderly, the typical life of an official.’
‘’That freedom consisted in frankly confronting situations into which one had deliberately entered, and accepting all one’s responsibilities.’
‘Well…perhaps I’m doing you an injustice. Perhaps you haven’t in fact reached the age of reason, it’s really a moral age…perhaps I’ve got there sooner than you have.’
7. ‘ I have nothing to defend. I am not proud of my life and I’m penniless. My freedom? It’s a burden to me, for years past I have been free and to no purpose. I simply long to exchange it for a good sound of certainty….Besides, I agree with you that no one can be a man who has not discovered something for which he is prepared to die.’
8. ‘‘I have led a toothless life’, he thought. ‘ A toothless life. I have never bitten into anything. I was waiting. I was reserving myself for later on-and I have just noticed that my teeth have gone. What’s to be done? Break the shell? That’s easily said. Besides, what would remain? A little viscous gum, oozing through the dust and leaving a glistering trail behind it.’
9.’’ A life’, thought Mathieu, ‘is formed from the future just like the bodies are compounded from the void’. He bent his head: he thought of his own life. The future had made way into his heart, where everything was in process and suspense. The far-off days of childhood, the day when he has said:’I will be free’, the day when he had said: ’I will be famous’, appeared to him even now with their individual future, like a small, circled individual sky above them all, and the future was himself, himself just as he was at present, weary and a little over-ripe, they had claims upon him across the passage of time past, they maintained their insistencies, and he was often visited by attacks of devastating remorse, because his casual, cynical present was the original future of those past days. ~ Jean Paul Sartre
204:In The Month When Sings The Cuckoo
Hark! Spring is coming. Her herald sings,
The air resounds and the woodland rings,
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Leave the milking pail and the mantling cream,
And down by the meadow, and up by the stream,
Where movement is music and life a dream,
In the month when sings the cuckoo.
Away with old Winter's frowns and fears,
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Now May with a smile dries April's tears.
When the bees are humming in bloom and bud,
And the kine sit chewing the moist green cud,
Shall the snow not melt in a maiden's blood,
In the month when sings the cuckoo?
The popinjay mates and the lapwing woos;
In the lane is a footstep. I wonder whose?
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
How sweet are low whispers! and sweet, so sweet,
When the warm hands touch and the shy lips meet,
And sorrel and woodruff are round our feet,
In the month when sings the cuckoo.
Your face is as fragrant as moist musk-rose;
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
All the year in your cheek the windflower blows;
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
You flit as blithely as bird on wing;
And when you answer, and when they sing,
I know not if they, or You, be Spring,
In the month when pairs the cuckoo.
Will you love me still when the blossom droops?
When the cracked husk falls and the fieldfare troops?
Let sere leaf or snowdrift shade your brow,
By the soul of the Spring, sweet-heart, I vow,
I will love you then as I love you now,
In the month when sings the cuckoo.
Smooth, smooth is the sward where the loosestrife grows,
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
As we lie and hear in a dreamy doze,
Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
And smooth is the curve of a maiden's cheek,
When she loves to listen but fears to speak,
And we yearn but we know not what we seek,
In the month when sings the cuckoo.
But in warm mid summer we hear no more,
And August brings not, with all its store,
When Autumn shivers on Winter's brink,
And the wet wind wails through crevice and chink,
We gaze at the logs, and sadly think
Of the month when called the cuckoo.
But the cuckoo comes back and shouts once more,
And the world is as young as it was before;
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
It grows not older for mortal tears,
For the falsehood of men or for women's fears;
'Tis as young as it was in the bygone years,
When first was heard the cuckoo.
I will love you then as I love you now.
What cares the Spring for a broken vow?
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
The broods of last year are pairing, this;
And there never will lack, while love is bliss,
Fresh ears to cozen, fresh lips to kiss,
In the month when sings the cuckoo.
O cruel bird! will you never have done?
Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
You sing for the cloud, as you sang for the sun;
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
You mock me now as you mocked me then,
When I knew not yet that the loves of men
Are as brief as the glamour of glade and glen,
And the glee of the fleeting cuckoo.
O, to lie once more in the long fresh grass,
And dream of the sounds and scents that pass;
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
To savour the woodbine, surmise the dove,
With no roof save the far-off sky above,
And a curtain of kisses round couch of love,
While distantly called the cuckoo.
But if now I slept, I should sleep to wake
To the sleepless pang and the dreamless ache,
To the wild babe blossom within my heart,
To the darkening terror and swelling smart,
To the searching look and the words apart,
And the hint of the tell-tale cuckoo.
The meadow grows thick, and the stream runs deep,
Where the aspens quake and the willows weep;
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
The dew of the night and the morning heat
Will close up the track of my farewell feet:So good-bye to the life that once was sweet,
When so sweetly called the cuckoo.
The kine are unmilked, and the cream unchurned,
The pillow unpressed, and the quilt unturned,
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
'Twas easy to gibe at a beldame's fear
For the quick brief blush and the sidelong tear;
But if maids will gad in the youth of the year,
They should heed what says the cuckoo.
There are marks in the meadow laid up for hay,
And the tread of a foot where no foot should stray:
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
The banks of the pool are broken down,
Where the water is quiet and deep and brown;The very spot, if one longed to drown,
And no more to hear the cuckoo.
'Tis a full taut net and a heavy haul.
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Look! her auburn hair and her trim new shawl!
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Draw a bit this way where 'tis not so steep;
There, cover her face! She but seems asleep;
While the swallows skim and the graylings leap,
And joyously sings the cuckoo.
~ Alfred Austin



Promise me, Henry!


What I can!


How is't with thy religion, pray?
Thou art a dear, good-hearted man,
And yet, I think, dost not incline that way.


Leave that, my child! Thou know'st my love is tender;
For love, my blood and life would I surrender,
And as for Faith and Church, I grant to each his own.


That's not enough: we must believe thereon.


Must we?


Would that I had some influence!
Then, too, thou honorest not the Holy Sacraments.


I honor them.


Desiring no possession
'Tis long since thou hast been to mass or to confession.
Believest thou in God?


My darling, who shall dare
"I believe in God!" to say?
Ask priest or sage the answer to declare,
And it will seem a mocking play,
A sarcasm on the asker.


Then thou believest not!


Hear me not falsely, sweetest countenance!
Who dare express Him?
And who profess Him,
Saying: I believe in Him!
Who, feeling, seeing,
Deny His being,
Saying: I believe Him not!
The All-enfolding,
The All-upholding,
Folds and upholds he not
Thee, me, Himself?
Arches not there the sky above us?
Lies not beneath us, firm, the earth?
And rise not, on us shining,
Friendly, the everlasting stars?
Look I not, eye to eye, on thee,
And feel'st not, thronging
To head and heart, the force,
Still weaving its eternal secret,
Invisible, visible, round thy life?
Vast as it is, fill with that force thy heart,
And when thou in the feeling wholly blessed art,
Call it, then, what thou wilt,
Call it Bliss! Heart! Love! God!
I have no name to give it!
Feeling is all in all:
The Name is sound and smoke,
Obscuring Heaven's clear glow.


All that is fine and good, to hear it so:
Much the same way the preacher spoke,
Only with slightly different phrases.


The same thing, in all places,
All hearts that beat beneath the heavenly day
Each in its languagesay;
Then why not I, in mine, as well?


To hear it thus, it may seem passable;
And yet, some hitch in't there must be
For thou hast no Christianity.


Dear love!


I've long been grieved to see
That thou art in such company.


How so?


The man who with thee goes, thy mate,
Within my deepest, inmost soul I hate.
In all my life there's nothing
Has given my heart so keen a pang of loathing,
As his repulsive face has done.


Nay, fear him not, my sweetest one!


I feel his presence like something ill.
I've else, for all, a kindly will,
But, much as my heart to see thee yearneth,
The secret horror of him returneth;
And I think the man a knave, as I live!
If I do him wrong, may God forgive!


There must be such queer birds, however.


Live with the like of him, may I never!
When once inside the door comes he,
He looks around so sneeringly,
And half in wrath:
One sees that in nothing no interest he hath:
'Tis written on his very forehead
That love, to him, is a thing abhorrd.
I am so happy on thine arm,
So free, so yielding, and so warm,
And in his presence stifled seems my heart.


Foreboding angel that thou art!


It overcomes me in such degree,
That wheresoe'er he meets us, even,
I feel as though I'd lost my love for thee.
When he is by, I could not pray to Heaven.
That burns within me like a flame,
And surely, Henry, 'tis with thee the same.


There, now, is thine antipathy!


But I must go.


Ah, shall there never be
A quiet hour, to see us fondly plighted,
With breast to breast, and soul to soul united?


Ah, if I only slept alone!
I'd draw the bolts to-night, for thy desire;
But mother's sleep so light has grown,
And if we were discovered by her,
'Twould be my death upon the spot!


Thou angel, fear it not!
Here is a phial: in her drink
But three drops of it measure,
And deepest sleep will on her senses sink.


What would I not, to give thee pleasure?
It will not harm her, when one tries it?


If 'twould, my love, would I advise it?


Ah, dearest man, if but thy face I see,
I know not what compels me to thy will:
So much have I already done for thee,
That scarcely more is left me to fulfil.



The monkey! Is she gone?


Hast played the spy again?


I've heard, most fully, how she drew thee.
The Doctor has been catechised, 'tis plain;
Great good, I hope, the thing will do thee.
The girls have much desire to ascertain
If one is prim and good, as ancient rules compel:
If there he's led, they think, he'll follow them as well.


Thou, monster, wilt nor see nor own
How this pure soul, of faith so lowly,
So loving and ineffable,
The faith alone
That her salvation is,with scruples holy
Pines, lest she hold as lost the man she loves so well!


Thou, full of sensual, super-sensual desire,
A girl by the nose is leading thee.


Abortion, thou, of filth and fire!


And then, how masterly she reads physiognomy!
When I am present she's impressed, she knows not how;
She in my mask a hidden sense would read:
She feels that surely I'm a genius now,
Perhaps the very Devil, indeed!
Well, well,to-night?


What's that to thee?


Yet my delight 'twill also be!

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, MARTHAS GARDEN

206:Kaddish, Part I
Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on
the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village.
downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've been up all night, talking,
talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues
shout blind on the phonograph
the rhythm the rhythm--and your memory in my head three years after-And read Adonais' last triumphant stanzas aloud--wept, realizing
how we suffer-And how Death is that remedy all singers dream of, sing, remember,
prophesy as in the Hebrew Anthem, or the Buddhist Book of Answers--and my own imagination of a withered leaf--at dawn-Dreaming back thru life, Your time--and mine accelerating toward Apocalypse,
the final moment--the flower burning in the Day--and what comes after,
looking back on the mind itself that saw an American city
a flash away, and the great dream of Me or China, or you and a phantom
Russia, or a crumpled bed that never existed-like a poem in the dark--escaped back to Oblivion-No more to say, and nothing to weep for but the Beings in the Dream,
trapped in its disappearance,
sighing, screaming with it, buying and selling pieces of phantom, worshipping each other,
worshipping the God included in it all--longing or inevitability?--while it
lasts, a Vision--anything more?
It leaps about me, as I go out and walk the street, look back over my shoulder,
Seventh Avenue, the battlements of window office buildings shouldering each other high, under a cloud, tall as the sky an instant--and
the sky above--an old blue place.
or down the Avenue to the south, to--as I walk toward the Lower East Side
--where you walked 50 years ago, little girl--from Russia, eating the
first poisonous tomatoes of America frightened on the dock
then struggling in the crowds of Orchard Street toward what?--toward
Newark-toward candy store, first home-made sodas of the century, hand-churned ice
cream in backroom on musty brownfloor boards-Toward education marriage nervous breakdown, operation, teaching school,
and learning to be mad, in a dream--what is this life?
Toward the Key in the window--and the great Key lays its head of light
on top of Manhattan, and over the floor, and lays down on the
sidewalk--in a single vast beam, moving, as I walk down First toward
the Yiddish Theater--and the place of poverty
you knew, and I know, but without caring now--Strange to have moved
thru Paterson, and the West, and Europe and here again,
with the cries of Spaniards now in the doorstops doors and dark boys on
the street, firs escapes old as you
--Tho you're not old now, that's left here with me-Myself, anyhow, maybe as old as the universe--and I guess that dies with
us--enough to cancel all that comes--What came is gone forever
every time-That's good!That leaves it open for no regret--no fear radiators, lacklove,
torture even toothache in the end-Though while it comes it is a lion that eats the soul--and the lamb, the soul,
in us, alas, offering itself in sacrifice to change's fierce hunger--hair
and teeth--and the roar of bonepain, skull bare, break rib, rot-skin,
braintricked Implacability.
Ai! ai!we do worse! We are in a fix!And you're out, Death let you out,
Death had the Mercy, you're done with your century, done with
God, done with the path thru it--Done with yourself at last--Pure
--Back to the Babe dark before your Father, before us all--before the
world-There, more suffering for you.I know where you've gone, it's good.
No more flowers in the summer fields of New York, no joy now, no more
fear of Louis,
and no more of his sweetness and glasses, his high school decades, debts,
loves, frightened telephone calls, conception beds, relatives, hands-No more of sister Elanor,--she gone before you--we kept it secret you
killed her--or she killed herself to bear with you--an arthritic heart
--But Death's killed you both--No matter-Nor your memory of your mother, 1915 tears in silent movies weeks and
weeks--forgetting, agrieve watching Marie Dressler address humanity, Chaplin dance in youth,
or Boris Godunov, Chaliapin's at the Met, halling his voice of a weeping Czar
--by standing room with Elanor & Max--watching also the Capital
ists take seats in Orchestra, white furs, diamonds,
with the YPSL's hitch-hiking thru Pennsylvania, in black baggy gym skirts
pants, photograph of 4 girls holding each other round the waste, and
laughing eye, too coy, virginal solitude of 1920
all girls grown old, or dead now, and that long hair in the grave--lucky to
have husbands later-You made it--I came too--Eugene my brother before (still grieving now and
will gream on to his last stiff hand, as he goes thru his cancer--or kill
--later perhaps--soon he will think--)
And it's the last moment I remember, which I see them all, thru myself, now
--tho not you
I didn't foresee what you felt--what more hideous gape of bad mouth came
first--to you--and were you prepared?
To go where?In that Dark--that--in that God? a radiance? A Lord in the
Void?Like an eye in the black cloud in a dream?Adonoi at last, with
Beyond my remembrance! Incapable to guess! Not merely the yellow skull
in the grave, or a box of worm dust, and a stained ribbon--Deathshead with Halo?can you believe it?
Is it only the sun that shines once for the mind, only the flash of existence,
than none ever was?
Nothing beyond what we have--what you had--that so pitiful--yet Triumph,
to have been here, and changed, like a tree, broken, or flower--fed to the
ground--but made, with its petals, colored, thinking Great Universe,
shaken, cut in the head, leaf stript, hid in an egg crate hospital, cloth
wrapped, sore--freaked in the moon brain, Naughtless.
No flower like that flower, which knew itself in the garden, and fought the
Cut down by an idiot Snowman's icy--even in the Spring--strange ghost
thought some--Death--Sharp icicle in his hand--crowned with old
roses--a dog for his eyes--cock of a sweatshop--heart of electric
All the accumulations of life, that wear us out--clocks, bodies, consciousness,
shoes, breasts--begotten sons--your Communism--'Paranoia' into
You once kicked Elanor in the leg, she died of heart failure of
p?within a year, the two of you, sisters in death.Is
Elanor happy?
Max grieves alive in an office on Lower Broadway, lone large mustache over
midnight Accountings, not life passes--as he sees--and
what does he doubt now?Still dream of making money, or that might
have made money, hired nurse, had children, found even your Immortality, Naomi?
I'll see him I've got to cut through to talk to you as I didn't
when you had a mouth.
we're bound for that, Forever like Emily Dickinson's horses
--headed to the End.
They know the way--These Steeds--run faster than we think--it's our own
life they cross--and take with them.
Magnificent, mourned no more, marred of heart, mind behind, married dreamed, mortal changed--Ass and face done with murder.
In the world, given, flower maddened, made no Utopia, shut under
pine, almed in Earth, blamed in Lone, Jehovah, accept.
Nameless, One Faced, Forever beyond me, beginningless, endless,
Father in I am not there for this Prophecy, I am unmarried, I'm
hymnless, I'm Heavenless, headless in blisshood I would still adore
Thee, Heaven, after Death, only One blessed in Nothingness, not
light or darkness, Dayless Eternity-Take this, this Psalm, from me, burst from my hand in a day, some
of my Time, now given to Nothing--to praise Thee--But Death
This is the end, the redemption from Wilderness, way for the Wonderer, House sought for All, black handkerchief washed clean by weeping
--page beyond Psalm--Last change of mine and Naomi--to God's perfect
Darkness--Death, stay thy phantoms!
Over and over--refrain--of the Hospitals--still haven't written your
history--leave it abstract--a few images
run thru the mind--like the saxophone chorus of houses and years-remembrance of electrical shocks.
By long nites as a child in Paterson apartment, watching over your
nervousness--you were fat--your next move-By that afternoon I stayed home from school to take care of you-once and for all--when I vowed forever that once man disagreed with my
opinion of the cosmos, I was lost-By my later burden--vow to illuminate mankind--this is release of
particulars--(mad as you)--(sanity a trick of agreement)-But you stared out the window on the Broadway Church corner, and
spied a mystical assassin from Newark,
So phoned the Doctor--'OK go way for a rest'--so I put on my coat
and walked you downstreet--On the way a grammarschool boy screamed,
unaccountably--'Where you goin Lady to Death'? I shuddered-and you covered your nose with motheaten fur collar, gas mask
against poison sneaked into downtown atmosphere, sprayed by Grandma-And was the driver of the cheesebox Public Service bus a member of
the gang?You shuddered at his face, I could hardly get you on--to New
York, very Times Square, to grab another Greyhound-~ Allen Ginsberg
207:Since body of earth and water, air's light breath,
And fiery exhalations (of which four
This sum of things is seen to be compact)
So all have birth and perishable frame,
Thus the whole nature of the world itself
Must be conceived as perishable too.
For, verily, those things of which we see
The parts and members to have birth in time
And perishable shapes, those same we mark
To be invariably born in time
And born to die. And therefore when I see
The mightiest members and the parts of this
Our world consumed and begot again,
'Tis mine to know that also sky above
And earth beneath began of old in time
And shall in time go under to disaster.
And lest in these affairs thou deemest me
To have seized upon this point by sleight to serve
My own caprice- because I have assumed
That earth and fire are mortal things indeed,
And have not doubted water and the air
Both perish too and have affirmed the same
To be again begotten and wax big-
Mark well the argument: in first place, lo,
Some certain parts of earth, grievously parched
By unremitting suns, and trampled on
By a vast throng of feet, exhale abroad
A powdery haze and flying clouds of dust,
Which the stout winds disperse in the whole air.
A part, moreover, of her sod and soil
Is summoned to inundation by the rains;
And rivers graze and gouge the banks away.
Besides, whatever takes a part its own
In fostering and increasing aught

Is rendered back; and since, beyond a doubt,
Earth, the all-mother, is beheld to be
Likewise the common sepulchre of things,
Therefore thou seest her minished of her plenty,
And then again augmented with new growth.

And for the rest, that sea, and streams, and springs
Forever with new waters overflow
And that perennially the fluids well.
Needeth no words- the mighty flux itself
Of multitudinous waters round about
Declareth this. But whatso water first
Streams up is ever straightway carried off,
And thus it comes to pass that all in all
There is no overflow; in part because
The burly winds (that over-sweep amain)
And skiey sun (that with his rays dissolves)
Do minish the level seas; in part because
The water is diffused underground
Through all the lands. The brine is filtered off,
And then the liquid stuff seeps back again
And all re-gathers at the river-heads,
Whence in fresh-water currents on it flows
Over the lands, adown the channels which
Were cleft erstwhile and erstwhile bore along
The liquid-footed floods.
Now, then, of air
I'll speak, which hour by hour in all its body
Is changed innumerably. For whatso'er
Streams up in dust or vapour off of things,
The same is all and always borne along
Into the mighty ocean of the air;
And did not air in turn restore to things
Bodies, and thus recruit them as they stream,
All things by this time had resolved been
And changed into air. Therefore it never
Ceases to be engendered off of things
And to return to things, since verily
In constant flux do all things stream.
The abounding well-spring of the liquid light,
The ethereal sun, doth flood the heaven o'er
With constant flux of radiance ever new,
And with fresh light supplies the place of light,
Upon the instant. For whatever effulgence
Hath first streamed off, no matter where it falls,
Is lost unto the sun. And this 'tis thine
To know from these examples: soon as clouds
Have first begun to under-pass the sun,
And, as it were, to rend the days of light
In twain, at once the lower part of them
Is lost entire, and earth is overcast
Where'er the thunderheads are rolled along-
So know thou mayst that things forever need
A fresh replenishment of gleam and glow,
And each effulgence, foremost flashed forth,
Perisheth one by one. Nor otherwise
Can things be seen in sunlight, lest alway
The fountain-head of light supply new light.
Indeed your earthly beacons of the night,
The hanging lampions and the torches, bright
With darting gleams and dense with livid soot,
Do hurry in like manner to supply
With ministering heat new light amain;
Are all alive to quiver with their fires,-
Are so alive, that thus the light ne'er leaves
The spots it shines on, as if rent in twain:
So speedily is its destruction veiled
By the swift birth of flame from all the fires.
Thus, then, we must suppose that sun and moon
And stars dart forth their light from under-births
Ever and ever new, and whatso flames
First rise do perish always one by one-
Lest, haply, thou shouldst think they each endure
Again, perceivest not
How stones are also conquered by Time?-
Not how the lofty towers ruin down,
And boulders crumble?- Not how shrines of gods
And idols crack outworn?- Nor how indeed
The holy Influence hath yet no power
There to postpone the Terminals of Fate,
Or headway make 'gainst Nature's fixed decrees?
Again, behold we not the monuments
Of heroes, now in ruins, asking us,
In their turn likewise, if we don't believe
They also age with eld? Behold we not
The rended basalt ruining amain
Down from the lofty mountains, powerless
To dure and dree the mighty forces there
Of finite time?- for they would never fall
Rended asudden, if from infinite Past
They had prevailed against all engin'ries
Of the assaulting aeons, with no crash.
Again, now look at This, which round, above,
Contains the whole earth in its one embrace:
If from itself it procreates all things-
As some men tell- and takes them to itself
When once destroyed, entirely must it be
Of mortal birth and body; for whate'er
From out itself giveth to other things
Increase and food, the same perforce must be
Minished, and then recruited when it takes
Things back into itself.
Besides all this,
If there had been no origin-in-birth
Of lands and sky, and they had ever been
The everlasting, why, ere Theban war
And obsequies of Troy, have other bards
Not also chanted other high affairs?
Whither have sunk so oft so many deeds
Of heroes? Why do those deeds live no more,
Ingrafted in eternal monuments
Of glory? Verily, I guess, because
The Sum is new, and of a recent date
The nature of our universe, and had
Not long ago its own exordium.
Wherefore, even now some arts are being still
Refined, still increased: now unto ships
Is being added many a new device;
And but the other day musician-folk
Gave birth to melic sounds of organing;
And, then, this nature, this account of things
Hath been discovered latterly, and I
Myself have been discovered only now,
As first among the first, able to turn
The same into ancestral Roman speech.
Yet if, percase, thou deemest that ere this
Existed all things even the same, but that
Perished the cycles of the human race
In fiery exhalations, or cities fell
By some tremendous quaking of the world,
Or rivers in fury, after constant rains,
Had plunged forth across the lands of earth
And whelmed the towns- then, all the more must thou
Confess, defeated by the argument,
That there shall be annihilation too
Of lands and sky. For at a time when things
Were being taxed by maladies so great,
And so great perils, if some cause more fell
Had then assailed them, far and wide they would
Have gone to disaster and supreme collapse.
And by no other reasoning are we
Seen to be mortal, save that all of us
Sicken in turn with those same maladies
With which have sickened in the past those men
Whom Nature hath removed from life.
Whatever abides eternal must indeed
Either repel all strokes, because 'tis made
Of solid body, and permit no entrance
Of aught with power to sunder from within
The parts compact- as are those seeds of stuff
Whose nature we've exhibited before;
Or else be able to endure through time
For this: because they are from blows exempt,
As is the void, the which abides untouched,
Unsmit by any stroke; or else because
There is no room around, whereto things can,
As 'twere, depart in dissolution all-
Even as the sum of sums eternal is,
Without or place beyond whereto things may
Asunder fly, or bodies which can smite,
And thus dissolve them by the blows of might.
But not of solid body, as I've shown,
Exists the nature of the world, because
In things is intermingled there a void;
Nor is the world yet as the void, nor are,
Moreover, bodies lacking which, percase,
Rising from out the infinite, can fell
With fury-whirlwinds all this sum of things,
Or bring upon them other cataclysm
Of peril strange; and yonder, too, abides
The infinite space and the profound abyss-
Whereinto, lo, the ramparts of the world
Can yet be shivered. Or some other power
Can pound upon them till they perish all.
Thus is the door of doom, O nowise barred
Against the sky, against the sun and earth
And deep-sea waters, but wide open stands
And gloats upon them, monstrous and agape.
Wherefore, again, 'tis needful to confess
That these same things are born in time; for things
Which are of mortal body could indeed
Never from infinite past until to-day
Have spurned the multitudinous assaults
Of the immeasurable aeons old.

Again, since battle so fiercely one with other
The four most mighty members the world,
Aroused in an all unholy war,
Seest not that there may be for them an end
Of the long strife?- Or when the skiey sun
And all the heat have won dominion o'er
The sucked-up waters all?- And this they try
Still to accomplish, though as yet they fail,-
For so aboundingly the streams supply
New store of waters that 'tis rather they
Who menace the world with inundations vast
From forth the unplumbed chasms of the sea.
But vain- since winds (that over-sweep amain)
And skiey sun (that with his rays dissolves)
Do minish the level seas and trust their power
To dry up all, before the waters can
Arrive at the end of their endeavouring.
Breathing such vasty warfare, they contend
In balanced strife the one with other still
Concerning mighty issues- though indeed
The fire was once the more victorious,
And once- as goes the tale- the water won
A kingdom in the fields. For fire o'ermastered
And licked up many things and burnt away,
What time the impetuous horses of the Sun
Snatched Phaethon headlong from his skiey road
Down the whole ether and over all the lands.
But the omnipotent Father in keen wrath
Then with the sudden smite of thunderbolt
Did hurl the mighty-minded hero off
Those horses to the earth. And Sol, his sire,
Meeting him as he fell, caught up in hand
The ever-blazing lampion of the world,
And drave together the pell-mell horses there
And yoked them all a-tremble, and amain,
Steering them over along their own old road,
Restored the cosmos- as forsooth we hear
From songs of ancient poets of the Greeks-
A tale too far away from truth, meseems.
For fire can win when from the infinite
Has risen a larger throng of particles
Of fiery stuff; and then its powers succumb,
Somehow subdued again, or else at last
It shrivels in torrid atmospheres the world.
And whilom water too began to win-
As goes the story- when it overwhelmed
The lives of men with billows; and thereafter,
When all that force of water-stuff which forth
From out the infinite had risen up
Did now retire, as somehow turned aside,
The rain-storms stopped, and streams their fury checked.

author class:Lucretius
~ , The World Is Not Eternal

208:An Epistle
Master and Sage, greetings and health to thee,
From thy most meek disciple! Deign once more
Endure me at thy feet, enlighten me,
As when upon my boyish head of yore,
Midst the rapt circle gathered round thy knee
Thy sacred vials of learning thou didst pour.
By the large lustre of thy wisdom orbed
Be my black doubts illumined and absorbed.
Oft I recall that golden time when thou,
Born for no second station, heldst with us
The Rabbi's chair, who art priest and bishop now;
And we, the youth of Israel, curious,
Hung on thy counsels, lifted reverent brow
Unto thy sanctity, would fain discuss
With thee our Talmud problems good and evil,
Till startled by the risen stars o'er Seville.
For on the Synagogue's high-pillared porch
Thou didst hold session, till the sudden sun
Beyond day's purple limit dropped his torch.
Then we, as dreamers, woke, to find outrun
Time's rapid sands. The flame that may not scorch,
Our hearts caught from thine eyes, thou Shining One.
I scent not yet sweet lemon-groves in flower,
But I re-breathe the peace of that deep hour.
We kissed the sacred borders of thy gown,
Brow-aureoled with thy blessing, we went forth
Through the hushed byways of the twilight town.
Then in all life but one thing seemed of worth,
To seek, find, love the Truth. She set her crown
Upon thy head, our Master, at thy birth;
She bade thy lips drop honey, fired thine eyes
With the unclouded glow of sun-steeped skies.
Forgive me, if I dwell on that which, viewed
From thy new vantage-ground, must seem a mist
Of error, by auroral youth endued
With alien lustre. Still in me subsist
Those reeking vapors; faith and gratitude
Still lead me to the hand my boy-lips kissed
For benison and guidance. Not in wrath,
Master, but in wise patience, point my path.
For I, thy servant, gather in one sheaf
The venomed shafts of slander, which thy word
Shall shrivel to small dust. If haply grief,
Or momentary pain, I deal, my Lord
Blame not thy servant's zeal, nor be thou deaf
Unto my soul's blind cry for light. AccordPitying my love, if too superb to care
For hate-soiled name-an answer to my prayer.
To me, who, vine to stone, clung close to thee,
The very base of life appeared to quake
When first I knew thee fallen from us, to be
A tower of strength among our foes, to make
'Twixt Jew and Jew deep-cloven enmity.
I have wept gall and blood for thy dear sake.
But now with temperate soul I calmly search
Motive and cause that bound thee to the Church.
Four motives possible therefor I reachAmbition, doubt, fear, or mayhap-conviction.
I hear in turn ascribed thee all and each
By ignorant folk who part not truth from fiction.
But I, whom even thyself didst stoop to teach,
May poise the scales, weigh this with that confliction,
Yea, sift the hid grain motive from the dense,
Dusty, eye-blinding chaff of consequence.
Ambition first! I find no fleck thereof
In all thy clean soul. What! could glory, gold,
Or sated senses lure thy lofty love?
No purple cloak to shield thee from the cold,
No jeweled sign to flicker thereabove,
And dazzle men to homage-joys untold
Of spiritual treasure, grace divine,
Alone (so saidst thou) coveting for thine!
I saw thee mount with deprecating air,
Step after step, unto our Jewish throne
Of supreme dignity, the Rabbi's chair;
Shrinking from public honors thrust upon
Thy meek desert, regretting even there
The placid habit of thy life foregone;
Silence obscure, vast peace and austere days
Passed in wise contemplation, prayer, and praise.
One less than thou had ne'er known such regret.
How must thou suffer, who so lov'st the shade,
In Fame's full glare, whom one stride more shall set
Upon the Papal seat! I stand dismayed,
Familiar with thy fearful soul, and yet
Half glad, perceiving modest worth repaid
Even by the Christians! Could thy soul deflect?
No, no, thrice no! Ambition I reject!
Next doubt. Could doubt have swayed thee, then I ask,
How enters doubt within the soul of man?
Is it a door that opens, or a mask
That falls? and Truth's resplendent face we scan.
Nay, 't is a creeping, small, blind worm, whose task
Is gnawing at Faith's base; the whole vast plan
Rots, crumbles, eaten inch by inch within,
And on its ruins falsehood springs and sin.
But thee no doubt confused, no problems vexed.
Thy father's faith for thee proved bright and sweet.
Thou foundst no rite superfluous, no text
Obscure; the path was straight before thy feet.
Till thy baptismal day, thou, unperplexed
By foreign dogma, didst our prayers repeat,
Honor the God of Israel, fast and feast,
Even as thy people's wont, from first to least.
Yes, Doubt I likewise must discard. Not sleek,
Full-faced, erect of head, men walk, when doubt
Writhes at their entrails; pinched and lean of cheek,
With brow pain-branded, thou hadst strayed about
As midst live men a ghost condemned to seek
That soul he may nor live nor die without.
No doubts the font washed from thee, thou didst glide
From creed to creed, complete, sane-souled, clear-eyed.
Thy pardon, Master, if I dare sustain
The thesis thou couldst entertain a fear.
I would but rout thine enemies, who feign
Ignoble impulse prompted thy career.
I will but weigh the chances and make plain
To Envy's self the monstrous jest appear.
Though time, place, circumstance confirmed in seeming,
One word from thee should frustrate all their scheming.
Was Israel glad in Seville on the day
Thou didst renounce him? Then mightst thou indeed
Snap finger at whate'er thy slanderers say.
Lothly must I admit, just then the seed
Of Jacob chanced upon a grievous way.
Still from the wounds of that red year we bleed.
The curse had fallen upon our heads-the sword
Was whetted for the chosen of the Lord.
There where we flourished like a fruitful palm,
We were uprooted, spoiled, lopped limb from limb.
A bolt undreamed of out of heavens calm,
So cracked our doom. We were destroyed by him
Whose hand since childhood we had clasped. With balm
Our head had been anointed, at the brim
Our cup ran over-now our day was done,
Our blood flowed free as water in the sun.
Midst the four thousand of our tribe who held
Glad homes in Seville, never a one was spared,
Some slaughtered at their hearthstones, some expelled
To Moorish slavery. Cunningly ensnared,
Baited and trapped were we; their fierce monks yelled
And thundered from our Synagogues, while flared
The Cross above the Ark. Ah, happiest they
Who fell unconquered martyrs on that day!
For some (I write it with flushed cheek, bowed head),
Given free choice 'twixt death and shame, chose shame,
Denied the God who visibly had led
Their fathers, pillared in a cloud of flame,
Bathed in baptismal waters, ate the bread
Which is their new Lord's body, took the name
Marranos the Accursed, whom equally
Jew, Moor, and Christian hate, despise, and flee.
Even one no less than an Abarbanel
Prized miserable length of days, above
Integrity of soul. Midst such who fell,
Far be it, however, from my duteous love,
Master, to reckon thee. Thine own lips tell
How fear nor torture thy firm will could move.
How thou midst panic nowise disconcerted,
By Thomas of Aquinas wast converted!
Truly I know no more convincing way
To read so wise an author, than was thine.
When burning Synagogues changed night to day,
And red swords underscored each word and line.
That was a light to read by! Who'd gainsay
Authority so clearly stamped divine?
On this side, death and torture, flame and slaughter,
On that, a harmless wafer and clean water.
Thou couldst not fear extinction for our race;
Though Christian sword and fire from town to town
Flash double bladed lightning to efface
Israel's image-though we bleed, burn, drown
Through Christendom-'t is but a scanty space.
Still are the Asian hills and plains our own,
Still are we lords in Syria, still are free,
Nor doomed to be abolished utterly.
One sole conclusion hence at last I find,
Thou whom ambition, doubt, nor fear could swerve,
Perforce hast been persuaded through the mind,
Proved, tested the new dogmas, found them serve
Thy spirit's needs, left flesh and sense behind,
Accepted without shrinking or reserve,
The trans-substantial bread and wine, the Christ
At whose shrine thine own kin were sacrificed.
Here then the moment comes when I crave light.
All's dark to me. Master, if I be blind,
Thou shalt unseal my lids and bless with sight,
Or groping in the shadows, I shall find
Whether within me or without, dwell night.
Oh cast upon my doubt-bewildered mind
One ray from thy clear heaven of sun-bright faith,
Grieving, not wroth, at what thy servant saith.
Where are the signs fulfilled whereby all men
Should know the Christ? Where is the wide-winged peace
Shielding the lamb within the lion's den?
The freedom broadening with the wars that cease?
Do foes clasp hands in brotherhood again?
Where is the promised garden of increase,
When like a rose the wilderness should bloom?
Earth is a battlefield and Spain a tomb.
Our God of Sabaoth is an awful God
Of lightnings and of vengeance,-Christians say.
Earth trembled, nations perished at his nod;
His Law has yielded to a milder sway.
Theirs is the God of Love whose feet have trod
Our common earth-draw near to him and pray,
Meek-faced, dove-eyed, pure-browed, the Lord of life,
Know him and kneel, else at your throat the knife!
This is the God of Love, whose altars reek
With human blood, who teaches men to hate;
Torture past words, or sins we may not speak
Wrought by his priests behind the convent-grate.
Are his priests false? or are his doctrines weak
That none obeys him? State at war with state,
Church against church-yea, Pope at feud with Pope
In these tossed seas what anchorage for hope?
Not only for the sheep without the fold
Is the knife whetted, who refuse to share
Blessings the shepherd wise doth not withhold
Even from the least among his flock-but there
Midmost the pale, dissensions manifold,
Lamb flaying lamb, fierce sheep that rend and tear.
Master, if thou to thy pride's goal should come,
Where wouldst thou throne-at Avignon or Rome?
I handle burning questions, good my lord,
Such as may kindle fagots, well I wis.
Your Gospel not denies our older Word,
But in a way completes and betters this.
The Law of Love shall supersede the sword,
So runs the promise, but the facts I miss.
Already needs this wretched generation,
A voice divine-a new, third revelation.
Two Popes and their adherents fulminate
Ban against ban, and to the nether hell
Condemn each other, while the nations wait
Their Christ to thunder forth from Heaven, and tell
Who is his rightful Vicar, reinstate
His throne, the hideous discord to dispel.
Where shall I seek, master, while such things be,
Celestial truth, revealed certainty!
Not miracles I doubt, for how dare man,
Chief miracle of life's mystery, say HE KNOWS?
How may he closely secret causes scan,
Who learns not whence he comes nor where he goes?
Like one who walks in sleep a doubtful span
He gropes through all his days, till Death unclose
His cheated eyes and in one blinding gleam,
Wakes, to discern the substance from the dream.
I say not therefore I deny the birth,
The Virgin's motherhood, the resurrection,
Who know not how mine own soul came to earth,
Nor what shall follow death. Man's imperfection
May bound not even in thought the height and girth
Of God's omnipotence; neath his direction
We may approach his essence, but that He
Should dwarf Himself to us-it cannot be!
The God who balances the clouds, who spread
The sky above us like a molten glass,
The God who shut the sea with doors, who laid
The corner-stone of earth, who caused the grass
Spring forth upon the wilderness, and made
The darkness scatter and the night to passThat He should clothe Himself with flesh, and move
Midst worms a worm-this, sun, moon, stars disprove.
Help me, O thou who wast my boyhood's guide,
I bend my exile-weary feet to thee,
Teach me the indivisible to divide,
Show me how three are one and One is three!
How Christ to save all men was crucified,
Yet I and mine are damned eternally.
Instruct me, Sage, why Virtue starves alone,
While falsehood step by step ascends the throne.
~ Emma Lazarus
209:The Kalevala - Rune Iii
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Passed his years in full contentment,
On the meadows of Wainola,
On the plains of Kalevala,
Singing ever wondrous legends,
Songs of ancient wit and wisdom,
Chanting one day, then a second,
Singing in the dusk of evening,
Singing till the dawn of morning,
Now the tales of old-time heroes,
Tales of ages long forgotten,
Now the legends of creation,
Once familiar to the children,
By our children sung no longer,
Sung in part by many heroes,
In these mournful days of evil,
Evil days our race befallen.
Far and wide the story travelled,
Far away men spread the knowledge
Of the chanting of the hero,
Of the song of Wainamoinen;
To the South were heard the echoes,
All of Northland heard the story.
Far away in dismal Northland,
Lived the singer, Youkahainen,
Lapland's young and reckless minstrel,
Once upon a time when feasting,
Dining with his friends and fellows,
Came upon his ears the story
That there lived a sweeter singer,
On the meadows of Wainola,
On the plains of Kalevala,
Better skilled in chanting legends,
Better skilled than Youkahainen,
Better than the one that taught him.
Straightway then the bard grew angry,
Envy rose within his bosom,
Envy of this Wainamoinen,
Famed to be a sweeter singer;
Hastes he angry to his mother,
To his mother, full of wisdom,
Vows that he will southward hasten,
Hie him southward and betake him
To the dwellings of Wainola,
To the cabins of the Northland,
There as bard to vie in battle,
With the famous Wainamoinen.
'Nay,' replies the anxious father,
'Do not go to Kalevala.'
'Nay,' replies the fearful mother,
'Go not hence to Wainamoinen,
There with him to offer battle;
He will charm thee with his singing
Will bewitch thee in his anger,
He will drive thee back dishonored,
Sink thee in the fatal snow-drift,
Turn to ice thy pliant fingers,
Turn to ice thy feet and ankles.'
These the words of Youkahainen:
Good the judgement of a father,
Better still, a mother's counsel,
Best of all one's own decision.
I will go and face the minstrel,
Challenge him to sing in contest,
Challenge him as bard to battle,
Sing to him my sweet-toned measures,
Chant to him my oldest legends,
Chant to him my garnered wisdom,
That this best of boasted singers,
That this famous bard of Suomi,
Shall be worsted in the contest,
Shall become a hapless minstrel;
By my songs shall I transform him,
That his feet shall be as flint-stone,
And as oak his nether raiment;
And this famous, best of singers,
Thus bewitched, shall carry ever,
In his heart a stony burden,
On his shoulder bow of marble,
On his hand a flint-stone gauntlet,
On his brow a stony visor.'
Then the wizard, Youkahainen,
Heeding not advice paternal,
Heeding not his mother's counsel,
Leads his courser from his stable,
Fire outstreaming from his nostrils,
From his hoofs, the sparks outshooting,
Hitches to his sledge, the fleet-foot,
To his golden sledge, the courser,
Mounts impetuous his snow-sledge,
Leaps upon the hindmost cross-bench,
Strikes his courser with his birch-whip,
With his birch-whip, pearl-enamelled.
Instantly the prancing racer
Springs away upon his journey;
On he, restless, plunges northward,
All day long be onward gallops,
All the next day, onward, onward,
So the third from morn till evening,
Till the third day twilight brings him
To the meadows of Wainola,
To the plains of Kalevala.
As it happened, Wainamoinen,
Wainamoinen, the magician,
Rode that sunset on the highway,
Silently for pleasure driving
Down Wainola's peaceful meadows,
O'er the plains of Kalevala.
Youkahainen, young and fiery,
Urging still his foaming courser,
Dashes down upon the singer,
Does not turn aside in meeting,
Meeting thus in full collision;
Shafts are driven tight together,
Hames and collars wedged and tangled,
Tangled are the reins and traces.
Thus perforce they make a stand-still,
Thus remain and well consider;
Water drips from hame and collar,
Vapors rise from both their horses.
Speaks the minstrel, Wainamoinen:
'Who art thou, and whence? Thou comest
Driving like a stupid stripling,
Wainamoinen and Youkahainen.
Careless, dashing down upon me.
Thou hast ruined shafts and traces;
And the collar of my racer
Thou hast shattered into ruin,
And my golden sleigh is broken,
Box and runners dashed to pieces.'
Youkahainen then make answer,
Spake at last the words that follow:
'I am youthful Youkahainen,
But make answer first, who thou art,
Whence thou comest, where thou goest,
From what lowly tribe descended?'
Wainamolinen, wise and ancient,
Answered thus the youthful minstrel:
'If thou art but Youkahainen,
Thou shouldst give me all the highway;
I am many years thy senior.'
Then the boastful Youkahainen
Spake again to Wainamoinen:
'Young or ancient, little matter,
Little consequence the age is;
He that higher stands in wisdom,
He whose knowledge is the greater,
He that is the sweeter singer,
He alone shall keep the highway,
And the other take the roadside.
Art thou ancient Wainamoinen,
Famous sorcerer and minstrel?
Let us then begin our singing,
Let us sing our ancient legends,
Let us chant our garnered wisdom,
That the one may hear the other,
That the one may judge the other,
In a war of wizard sayings.'
Wainamoinen, wise and ancient,
Thus replied in modest accents:
'What I know is very little,
Hardly is it worth the singing,
Neither is my singing wondrous:
All my days I have resided
In the cold and dreary Northland,
In a desert land enchanted,
In my cottage home for ayes;
All the songs that I have gathered,
Are the cuckoo's simple measures,
Some of these I may remember;
But since thou perforce demandest,
I accept thy boastful challenge.
Tell me now, my golden youngster,
What thou knowest more than others,
Open now thy store of wisdom.'
Thus made answer Youkahainen,
Lapland's young and fiery minstrel:
'Know I many bits of learning
This I know in perfect clearness:
Every roof must have a chimney,
Every fire-place have a hearth-stone;
Lives of seal are free and merry,
Merry is the life of walrus,
Feeding on incautious salmon,
Daily eating perch and whiting;
Whitings live in quiet shallows,
Salmon love the level bottoms;
Spawns the pike in coldest weather,
And defies the storms of winter.
Slowly perches swim in Autumn,
Wry-backed, hunting deeper water,
Spawn in shallows in the summer,
Bounding on the shore of ocean.
Should this wisdom seem too little,
I can tell thee other matters,
Sing thee other wizard sayings:
All the Northmen plow with reindeer,
Mother-horses plow the Southland,
Inner Lapland plows with oxen;
All the trees on Pisa-mountain,
Know I well in all their grandeur;
On the Horna-rock are fir-trees,
Fir-trees growing tall and slender;
Slender grow the trees on mountains.
Three, the water-falls in number,
Three in number, inland oceans,
Three in number, lofty mountains,
Shooting to the vault of heaven.
Hallapyora's near to Yaemen,
Katrakoski in Karyala;
Imatra, the falling water,
Tumbles, roaring, into Wuoksi.'
Then the ancient Wainimoinen:
'Women's tales and children's wisdom
Do not please a bearded hero,
Hero, old enough for wedlock;
Tell the story of creation,
Tell me of the world's beginning,
Tell me of the creatures in it,
And philosophize a little.'
Then the youthful Youkahainen
Thus replied to Wainamoinen:
'Know I well the titmouse-fountains,
Pretty birdling is the titmouse;
And the viper, green, a serpent;
Whitings live in brackish waters;
Perches swim in every river;
Iron rusts, and rusting weakens;
Bitter is the taste of umber;
Boiling water is malicious;
Fire is ever full of danger;
First physician, the Creator;
Remedy the oldest, water;
Magic is the child of sea-foam;
God the first and best adviser;
Waters gush from every mountain;
Fire descended first from heaven;
Iron from the rust was fashioned;
Copper from the rocks created;
Marshes are of lands the oldest;
First of all the trees, the willow;
Fir-trees were the first of houses;
Hollowed stones the first of kettles.'
Now the ancient Wainamoinen
Thus addresses Youkahainen:
'Canst thou give me now some wisdom,
Is this nonsense all thou knowest?'
Youkahainen thus made answer:
'I can tell thee still a trifle,
Tell thee of the times primeval,
When I plowed the salt-sea's bosom,
When I raked the sea-girt islands,
When I dug the salmon-grottoes,
Hollowed out the deepest caverns,
When I all the lakes created,
When I heaped the mountains round them,
When I piled the rocks about them.
I was present as a hero,
Sixth of wise and ancient heroes,
Seventh of all primeval heroes,
When the heavens were created,
When were formed the ether-spaces,
When the sky was crystal-pillared,
When was arched the beauteous rainbow,
When the Moon was placed in orbit,
When the silver Sun was planted,
When the Bear was firmly stationed,
And with stars the heavens were sprinkled.'
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Thou art surely prince of liars,
Lord of all the host of liars;
Never wert thou in existence,
Surely wert thou never present,
When was plowed the salt-sea's bosom,
When were raked the sea-girt islands,
When were dug the salmon-grottoes,
When were hollowed out the caverns,
When the lakes were all created,
When were heaped the mountains round them,
When the rocks were piled about them.
Thou wert never seen or heard of
When the earth was first created,
When were made the ether-spaces,
When the air was crystal-pillared,
When the Moon was placed in orbit,
When the silver Sun was planted,
When the Bear was firmly stationed,
When the skies with stars were sprinkled.'
Then in anger Youkahainen
Answered ancient Wainamoinen:
'Then, sir, since I fail in wisdom,
With the sword I offer battle;
Come thou, famous bard and minstrel,
Thou the ancient wonder-singer,
Let us try our strength with broadswords,
let our blades be fully tested.'
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Not thy sword and not thy wisdom,
Not thy prudence, nor thy cunning,
Do I fear a single moment.
Let who may accept thy challenge,
Not with thee, a puny braggart,
Not with one so vain and paltry,
Will I ever measure broadswords.'
Then the youthful Youkahainen,
Mouth awry and visage sneering,
Shook his golden locks and answered:
'Whoso fears his blade to measure,
Fears to test his strength at broadswords,
Into wild-boar of the forest,
Swine at heart and swine in visage,
Singing I will thus transform him;
I will hurl such hero-cowards,
This one hither, that one thither,
Stamp him in the mire and bedding,
In the rubbish of the stable.'
Angry then grew Wainamoinen,
Wrathful waxed, and fiercely frowning,
Self-composed he broke his silence,
And began his wondrous singing.
Sang he not the tales of childhood,
Children's nonsense, wit of women,
Sang he rather bearded heroes,
That the children never heard of,
That the boys and maidens knew not
Known but half by bride and bridegroom,
Known in part by many heroes,
In these mournful days of evil,
Evil times our race befallen.
Grandly sang wise Wainamoinen,
Till the copper-bearing mountains,
And the flinty rocks and ledges
Heard his magic tones and trembled;
Mountain cliffs were torn to pieces,
All the ocean heaved and tumbled;
And the distant hills re-echoed.
Lo! the boastful Youkahainen
Is transfixed in silent wonder,
And his sledge with golden trimmings
Floats like brushwood on the billows;
Sings his braces into reed-grass,
Sings his reins to twigs of willow,
And to shrubs his golden cross-bench.
Lo! his birch-whip, pearl-enameled,
Floats a reed upon the border;
Lo! his steed with golden forehead,
Stands a statue on the waters;
Hames and traces are as fir-boughs,
And his collar, straw and sea-grass.
Still the minstrel sings enchantment,
Sings his sword with golden handle,
Sings it into gleam of lightning,
Hangs it in the sky above him;
Sings his cross-bow, gaily painted,
To a rainbow o'er the ocean;
Sings his quick and feathered arrows
Into hawks and screaming eagles;
Sings his dog with bended muzzle,
Into block of stone beside him;
Sings his cap from off his forehead,
Sings it into wreaths of vapor;
From his hands he sings his gauntlets
Into rushes on the waters;
Sings his vesture, purple-colored,
Into white clouds in the heavens;
Sings his girdle, set with jewels,
Into twinkling stars around him;
And alas! for Youkahainen,
Sings him into deeps of quick-sand;
Ever deeper, deeper, deeper,
In his torture, sinks the wizard,
To his belt in mud and water.
Now it was that Youkahainen
Comprehended but too clearly
What his folly, what the end was,
Of the journey he had ventured,
Vainly he had undertaken
For the glory of a contest
With the grand, old Wainamoinen.
When at last young Youkahainen,
Pohyola's old and sorry stripling,
Strives his best to move his right foot,
But alas! the foot obeys not;
When he strives to move his left foot,
Lo! he finds it turned to flint-stone.
Thereupon sad Youkahainen,
In the deeps of desperation,
And in earnest supplication,
Thus addresses Wainamoinen:
'O thou wise and worthy minstrel,
Thou the only true, magician,
Cease I pray thee thine enchantment,.
Only turn away thy magic,
Let me leave this slough of horror,
Loose me from this stony prison,
Free me from this killing torment,
I will pay a golden ransom.'
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'What the ransom thou wilt give me
If I cease from mine enchantment,
If I turn away my magic,
Lift thee from thy slough of horror,
Loose thee from thy stony prison,
Free thee from thy killing torment?'
Answered youthful Youkahainen:
'Have at home two magic cross-bows,
Pair of bows of wondrous power,
One so light a child can bend it,
Only strength can bend the other,
Take of these the one that pleases.'
Then the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Do not wish thy magic cross-bows,
Have a few of such already,
Thine to me are worse than useless
I have bows in great abundance,
Bows on every nail and rafter,
Bows that laugh at all the hunters,
Bows that go themselves a-hunting.'
Then the ancient Wainamoinen
Sang alas! poor Youkahainen
Deeper into mud and water,
Deeper in the slough of torment.
Youkahainen thus made answer:
'Have at home two magic shallops,
Beautiful the boats and wondrous;
One rides light upon the ocean,
One is made for heavy burdens;
Take of these the one that pleases.'
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Do not wish thy magic shallops,
Have enough of such already;
All my bays are full of shallops,
All my shores are lined with shallops,
Some before the winds are sailors,
Some were built to sail against them.'
Still the Wainola bard and minstrel
Sings again poor Youkahainen
Deeper, deeper into torment,
Into quicksand to his girdle,
Till the Lapland bard in anguish
Speaks again to Wainamoinen:
'Have at home two magic stallions,
One a racer, fleet as lightning,
One was born for heavy burdens;
Take of these the one that pleases.'
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Neither do I wish thy stallions,
Do not need thy hawk-limbed stallions,
Have enough of these already;
Magic stallions swarm my stables,
Eating corn at every manger,
Broad of back to hold the water,
Water on each croup in lakelets.'
Still the bard of Kalevala
Sings the hapless Lapland minstrel
Deeper, deeper into torment,
To his shoulders into water.
Spake again young Youkahainen:
'O thou ancient Wainamoinen,
Thou the only true magician,
Cease I pray thee thine enchantment,
Only turn away thy magic,
I will give thee gold abundant,
Countless stores of shining silver;
From the wars my father brought it,
Brought it from the hard-fought battles.'
Spake the wise, old Wainamoinen:
'For thy gold I have no longing,
Neither do I wish thy silver,
Have enough of each already;
Gold abundant fills my chambers,
On each nail hang bags of silver,
Gold that glitters in the sunshine,
Silver shining in the moonlight.'
Sank the braggart, Youkahainen,
Deeper in his slough of torment,
To his chin in mud and water,
Ever praying, thus beseeching:
'O thou ancient Wainamoinen,
Greatest of the old magicians,
Lift me from this pit of horror,
From this prison-house of torture;
I will give thee all my corn-fields,
Give thee all my corn in garners,
Thus my hapless life to ransom,
Thus to gain eternal freedom.'
Wainamoinen thus made answer:
'Take thy corn to other markets,
Give thy garners to the needy;
I have corn in great abundance,
Fields have I in every quarter,
Corn in all my fields is growing;
One's own fields are always richer,
One's own grain is much the sweeter.'
Lapland's young and reckless minstrel,
Sorrow-laden, thus enchanted,
Deeper sinks in mud and water,
Fear-enchained and full of anguish,
In the mire, his beard bedrabbled,
Mouth once boastful filled with sea-weed,
In the grass his teeth entangled,
Youkahainen thus beseeches:
'O thou ancient Wainamoinen,
Wisest of the wisdom-singers,
Cease at last thine incantations,
Only turn away thy magic,
And my former life restore me,
Lift me from this stifling torment,
Free mine eyes from sand and water,
I will give thee sister, Aino,
Fairest daughter of my mother,
Bride of thine to be forever,
Bride of thine to do thy pleasure,
Sweep the rooms within thy cottage,
Keep thy dwelling-place in order,
Rinse for thee the golden platters,
Spread thy couch with finest linens,
For thy bed, weave golden covers,
Bake for thee the honey-biscuit.'
Wainamoinen, old and truthful,
Finds at last the wished-for ransom,
Lapland's young and fairest daughter,
Sister dear of Youkahainen;
Happy he, that he has won him,
In his age a beauteous maiden,
Bride of his to be forever,
Pride and joy of Kalevala.
Now the happy Wainamoinen,
Sits upon the rock of gladness,
Joyful on the rock of music,
Sings a little, sings and ceases,
Sings again, and sings a third time,
Thus to break the spell of magic,
Thus to lessen the enchantment,
Thus the potent charm to banish.
As the magic spell is broken,
Youkahainen, sad, but wiser,
Drags his feet from out the quicksand,
Lifts his beard from out the water,
From the rocks leads forth his courser,
Brings his sledge back from the rushes,
Calls his whip back from the ocean,
Sets his golden sledge in order,
Throws himself upon the cross-bench,
Snaps his whip and hies him homeward,
Hastens homeward, heavy-hearted,
Sad indeed to meet his mother,
Aino's mother, gray and aged.
Careless thus be hastens homeward,
Nears his home with noise and bustle,
Reckless drives against the pent-house,
Breaks the shafts against the portals,
Breaks his handsome sledge in pieces.
Then his mother, quickly guessing,
Would have chided him for rashness,
But the father interrupted:
'Wherefore dost thou break thy snow-sledge,
Wherefore dash thy thills in fragments,
Wherefore comest home so strangely,
Why this rude and wild behavior?'
Now alas! poor Youkahainen,
Cap awry upon his forehead,
Falls to weeping, broken-hearted,
Head depressed and mind dejected,
Eyes and lips expressing sadness,
Answers not his anxious father.
Then the mother quickly asked him,
Sought to find his cause for sorrow:
'Tell me, first-born, why thou weepest,
Why thou weepest, heavy-hearted,
Why thy mind is so dejected,
Why thine eyes express such sadness.'
Youkahainen then made answer:
'Golden mother, ever faithful,
Cause there is to me sufficient,
Cause enough in what has happened,
Bitter cause for this my sorrow,
Cause for bitter tears and murmurs:
All my days will pass unhappy,
Since, O mother of my being,
I have promised beauteous Aino,
Aino, thy beloved daughter,
Aino, my devoted sister,
To decrepit Wainamoinen,
Bride to be to him forever,
Roof above him, prop beneath him,
Fair companion at his fire-side.'
Joyful then arose the mother,
Clapped her hands in glee together,
Thus addressing Youkahainen:
'Weep no more, my son beloved,
Thou hast naught to cause thy weeping,
Hast no reason for thy sorrow,
Often I this hope have cherished;
Many years have I been praying
That this mighty bard and hero,
Wise and valiant Wainamoinen,
Spouse should be to beauteous Aino,
Son-in-law to me, her mother.'
But the fair and lovely maiden,
Sister dear of Youkahainen,
Straightway fell to bitter weeping,
On the threshold wept and lingered,
Wept all day and all the night long,
Wept a second, then a third day,
Wept because a bitter sorrow
On her youthful heart had fallen.
Then the gray-haired mother asked her:
'Why this weeping, lovely Aino?
Thou hast found a noble suitor,
Thou wilt rule his spacious dwelling,
At his window sit and rest thee,
Rinse betimes his golden platters,
Walk a queen within his dwelling.'
Thus replied the tearful Aino:
'Mother dear, and all-forgiving,
Cause enough for this my sorrow,
Cause enough for bitter weeping:
I must loose my sunny tresses,
Tresses beautiful and golden,
Cannot deck my hair with jewels,
Cannot bind my head with ribbons,
All to be hereafter hidden
Underneath the linen bonnet
That the wife. must wear forever;
Weep at morning, weep at evening,
Weep alas! for waning beauty,
Childhood vanished, youth departed,
Silver sunshine, golden moonlight,
Hope and pleasure of my childhood,
Taken from me now forever,
And so soon to be forgotten
At the tool-bench of my brother,
At the window of my sister,
In the cottage of my father.'
Spake again the gray-haired mother
To her wailing daughter Aino:
'Cease thy sorrow, foolish maiden,
By thy tears thou art ungrateful,
Reason none for thy repining,
Not the slightest cause for weeping;
Everywhere the silver sunshine
Falls as bright on other households;
Not alone the moonlight glimmers
Through thy father's open windows,
On the work-bench of thy brother;
Flowers bloom in every meadow,
Berries grow on every mountain;
Thou canst go thyself and find them,
All the day long go and find them;
Not alone thy brother's meadows
Grow the beauteous vines and flowers;
Not alone thy father's mountains
Yield the ripe, nutritious berries;
Flowers bloom in other meadows,
Berries grow on other mountains,
There as here, my lovely Aino.'
~ Elias Lönnrot
210:I am poor brother Lippo, by your leave!
You need not clap your torches to my face.
Zooks, what's to blame? you think you see a monk!
What, 'tis past midnight, and you go the rounds,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar?
The Carmine's my cloister: hunt it up,
Do,harry out, if you must show your zeal,
Whatever rat, there, haps on his wrong hole,
And nip each softling of a wee white mouse,
Weke, weke, that's crept to keep him company!
Aha, you know your betters! Then, you'll take
Your hand away that's fiddling on my throat,
And please to know me likewise. Who am I?
Why, one, sir, who is lodging with a friend
Three streets offhe's a certain . . . how d'ye call?
MasteraCosimo of the Medici,
I' the house that caps the corner. Boh! you were best!
Remember and tell me, the day you're hanged,
How you affected such a gullet's-gripe!  
But you, sir, it concerns you that your knaves
Pick up a manner nor discredit you:
Zooks, are we pilchards, that they sweep the streets
And count fair price what comes into their net?
He's Judas to a tittle, that man is!
Just such a face! Why, sir, you make amends.
Lord, I'm not angry! Bid your hang-dogs go
Drink out this quarter-florin to the health
Of the munificent House that harbours me
(And many more beside, lads! more beside!)
And all's come square again. I'd like his face
His, elbowing on his comrade in the door
With the pike and lantern,for the slave that holds
John Baptist's head a-dangle by the hair
With one hand ("Look you, now," as who should say)
And his weapon in the other, yet unwiped!
It's not your chance to have a bit of chalk,
A wood-coal or the like? or you should see!
Yes, I'm the painter, since you style me so.
What, brother Lippo's doings, up and down,
You know them and they take you? like enough!
I saw the proper twinkle in your eye
'Tell you, I liked your looks at very first.
Let's sit and set things straight now, hip to haunch.
Here's spring come, and the nights one makes up bands
To roam the town and sing out carnival,
And I've been three weeks shut within my mew,
A-painting for the great man, saints and saints
And saints again. I could not paint all night
Ouf! I leaned out of window for fresh air.
There came a hurry of feet and little feet,
A sweep of lute strings, laughs, and whifts of song,
Flower o' the broom,
Take away love, and our earth is a tomb!
Flower o' the quince,
I let Lisa go, and what good in life since?
Flower o' the thymeand so on. Round they went.
Scarce had they turned the corner when a titter
Like the skipping of rabbits by moonlight,three slim shapes,
And a face that looked up . . . zooks, sir, flesh and blood,
That's all I'm made of! Into shreds it went,
Curtain and counterpane and coverlet,
All the bed-furniturea dozen knots,
There was a ladder! Down I let myself,
Hands and feet, scrambling somehow, and so dropped,
And after them. I came up with the fun
Hard by Saint Laurence, hail fellow, well met,
Flower o' the rose,
If I've been merry, what matter who knows?
And so as I was stealing back again
To get to bed and have a bit of sleep
Ere I rise up to-morrow and go work
On Jerome knocking at his poor old breast
With his great round stone to subdue the flesh,
You snap me of the sudden. Ah, I see!
Though your eye twinkles still, you shake your head
Mine's shaveda monk, you saythe sting 's in that!
If Master Cosimo announced himself,
Mum's the word naturally; but a monk!
Come, what am I a beast for? tell us, now!
I was a baby when my mother died
And father died and left me in the street.
I starved there, God knows how, a year or two
On fig-skins, melon-parings, rinds and shucks,
Refuse and rubbish. One fine frosty day,
My stomach being empty as your hat,
The wind doubled me up and down I went.
Old Aunt Lapaccia trussed me with one hand,
(Its fellow was a stinger as I knew)
And so along the wall, over the bridge,
By the straight cut to the convent. Six words there,
While I stood munching my first bread that month:
"So, boy, you're minded," quoth the good fat father
Wiping his own mouth, 'twas refection-time,--
"To quit this very miserable world?
Will you renounce" . . . "the mouthful of bread?" thought I;
By no means! Brief, they made a monk of me;
I did renounce the world, its pride and greed,
Palace, farm, villa, shop, and banking-house,
Trash, such as these poor devils of Medici
Have given their hearts toall at eight years old.
Well, sir, I found in time, you may be sure,
'T#was not for nothingthe good bellyful,
The warm serge and the rope that goes all round,
And day-long blessed idleness beside!
"Let's see what the urchin's fit for"that came next.
Not overmuch their way, I must confess.
Such a to-do! They tried me with their books:
Lord, they'd have taught me Latin in pure waste!
Flower o' the clove.
All the Latin I construe is, "amo" I love!
But, mind you, when a boy starves in the streets
Eight years together, as my fortune was,
Watching folk's faces to know who will fling
The bit of half-stripped grape-bunch he desires,
And who will curse or kick him for his pains,
Which gentleman processional and fine,
Holding a candle to the Sacrament,
Will wink and let him lift a plate and catch
The droppings of the wax to sell again,
Or holla for the Eight and have him whipped,
How say I?nay, which dog bites, which lets drop
His bone from the heap of offal in the street,
Why, soul and sense of him grow sharp alike,
He learns the look of things, and none the less
For admonition from the hunger-pinch.
I had a store of such remarks, be sure,
Which, after I found leisure, turned to use.
I drew men's faces on my copy-books,
Scrawled them within the antiphonary's marge,
Joined legs and arms to the long music-notes,
Found eyes and nose and chin for A's and B's,
And made a string of pictures of the world
Betwixt the ins and outs of verb and noun,
On the wall, the bench, the door. The monks looked black.
"Nay," quoth the Prior, "turn him out, d'ye say?
In no wise. Lose a crow and catch a lark.
What if at last we get our man of parts,
We Carmelites, like those Camaldolese
And Preaching Friars, to do our church up fine
And put the front on it that ought to be!"
And hereupon he bade me daub away.
Thank you! my head being crammed, the walls a blank,
Never was such prompt disemburdening.
First, every sort of monk, the black and white,
I drew them, fat and lean: then, folk at church,
From good old gossips waiting to confess
Their cribs of barrel-droppings, candle-ends,
To the breathless fellow at the altar-foot,
Fresh from his murder, safe and sitting there
With the little children round him in a row
Of admiration, half for his beard and half
For that white anger of his victim's son
Shaking a fist at him with one fierce arm,
Signing himself with the other because of Christ
(Whose sad face on the cross sees only this
After the passion of a thousand years)
Till some poor girl, her apron o'er her head,
(Which the intense eyes looked through) came at eve
On tiptoe, said a word, dropped in a loaf,
Her pair of earrings and a bunch of flowers
(The brute took growling), prayed, and so was gone.
I painted all, then cried " `T#is ask and have;
Choose, for more's ready!"laid the ladder flat,
And showed my covered bit of cloister-wall.
The monks closed in a circle and praised loud
Till checked, taught what to see and not to see,
Being simple bodies,"That's the very man!
Look at the boy who stoops to pat the dog!
That woman's like the Prior's niece who comes
To care about his asthma: it's the life!''
But there my triumph's straw-fire flared and funked;
Their betters took their turn to see and say:
The Prior and the learned pulled a face
And stopped all that in no time. "How? what's here?
Quite from the mark of painting, bless us all!
Faces, arms, legs, and bodies like the true
As much as pea and pea! it's devil's-game!
Your business is not to catch men with show,
With homage to the perishable clay,
But lift them over it, ignore it all,
Make them forget there's such a thing as flesh.
Your business is to paint the souls of men
Man's soul, and it's a fire, smoke . . . no, it's not . . .
It's vapour done up like a new-born babe
(In that shape when you die it leaves your mouth)
It's . . . well, what matters talking, it's the soul!
Give us no more of body than shows soul!
Here's Giotto, with his Saint a-praising God,
That sets us praisingwhy not stop with him?
Why put all thoughts of praise out of our head
With wonder at lines, colours, and what not?
Paint the soul, never mind the legs and arms!
Rub all out, try at it a second time.
Oh, that white smallish female with the breasts,
She's just my niece . . . Herodias, I would say,
Who went and danced and got men's heads cut off!
Have it all out!" Now, is this sense, I ask?
A fine way to paint soul, by painting body
So ill, the eye can't stop there, must go further
And can't fare worse! Thus, yellow does for white
When what you put for yellow's simply black,
And any sort of meaning looks intense
When all beside itself means and looks nought.
Why can't a painter lift each foot in turn,
Left foot and right foot, go a double step,
Make his flesh liker and his soul more like,
Both in their order? Take the prettiest face,
The Prior's niece . . . patron-saintis it so pretty
You can't discover if it means hope, fear,
Sorrow or joy? won't beauty go with these?
Suppose I've made her eyes all right and blue,
Can't I take breath and try to add life's flash,
And then add soul and heighten them three-fold?
Or say there's beauty with no soul at all
(I never saw itput the case the same)
If you get simple beauty and nought else,
You get about the best thing God invents:
That's somewhat: and you'll find the soul you have missed,
Within yourself, when you return him thanks.
"Rub all out!" Well, well, there's my life, in short,
And so the thing has gone on ever since.
I'm grown a man no doubt, I've broken bounds:
You should not take a fellow eight years old
And make him swear to never kiss the girls.
I'm my own master, paint now as I please
Having a friend, you see, in the Corner-house!
Lord, it's fast holding by the rings in front
Those great rings serve more purposes than just
To plant a flag in, or tie up a horse!
And yet the old schooling sticks, the old grave eyes
Are peeping o'er my shoulder as I work,
The heads shake still"It's art's decline, my son!
You're not of the true painters, great and old;
Brother Angelico's the man, you'll find;
Brother Lorenzo stands his single peer:
Fag on at flesh, you'll never make the third!"
Flower o' the pine,
You keep your mistr manners, and I'll stick to mine!
I'm not the third, then: bless us, they must know!
Don't you think they're the likeliest to know,
They with their Latin? So, I swallow my rage,
Clench my teeth, suck my lips in tight, and paint
To please themsometimes do and sometimes don't;
For, doing most, there's pretty sure to come
A turn, some warm eve finds me at my saints
A laugh, a cry, the business of the world
(Flower o' the peach
Death for us all, and his own life for each!)
And my whole soul revolves, the cup runs over,
The world and life's too big to pass for a dream,
And I do these wild things in sheer despite,
And play the fooleries you catch me at,
In pure rage! The old mill-horse, out at grass
After hard years, throws up his stiff heels so,
Although the miller does not preach to him
The only good of grass is to make chaff.
What would men have? Do they like grass or no
May they or mayn't they? all I want's the thing
Settled for ever one way. As it is,
You tell too many lies and hurt yourself:
You don't like what you only like too much,
You do like what, if given you at your word,
You find abundantly detestable.
For me, I think I speak as I was taught;
I always see the garden and God there
A-making man's wife: and, my lesson learned,
The value and significance of flesh,
I can't unlearn ten minutes afterwards.
You understand me: I'm a beast, I know.
But see, nowwhy, I see as certainly
As that the morning-star's about to shine,
What will hap some day. We've a youngster here
Comes to our convent, studies what I do,
Slouches and stares and lets no atom drop:
His name is Guidihe'll not mind the monks
They call him Hulking Tom, he lets them talk
He picks my practice uphe'll paint apace.
I hope sothough I never live so long,
I know what's sure to follow. You be judge!
You speak no Latin more than I, belike;
However, you're my man, you've seen the world
The beauty and the wonder and the power,
The shapes of things, their colours, lights and shades,
Changes, surprises,and God made it all!
For what? Do you feel thankful, ay or no,
For this fair town's face, yonder river's line,
The mountain round it and the sky above,
Much more the figures of man, woman, child,
These are the frame to? What's it all about?
To be passed over, despised? or dwelt upon,
Wondered at? oh, this last of course!you say.
But why not do as well as say,paint these
Just as they are, careless what comes of it?
God's workspaint any one, and count it crime
To let a truth slip. Don't object, "His works
Are here already; nature is complete:
Suppose you reproduce her(which you can't)
There's no advantage! you must beat her, then."
For, don't you mark? we're made so that we love
First when we see them painted, things we have passed
Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see;
And so they are better, paintedbetter to us,
Which is the same thing. Art was given for that;
God uses us to help each other so,
Lending our minds out. Have you noticed, now,
Your cullion's hanging face? A bit of chalk,
And trust me but you should, though! How much more,
If I drew higher things with the same truth!
That were to take the Prior's pulpit-place,
Interpret God to all of you! Oh, oh,
It makes me mad to see what men shall do
And we in our graves! This world's no blot for us,
Nor blank; it means intensely, and means good:
To find its meaning is my meat and drink.
"Ay, but you don't so instigate to prayer!"
Strikes in the Prior: "when your meaning's plain
It does not say to folkremember matins,
Or, mind you fast next Friday!" Why, for this
What need of art at all? A skull and bones,
Two bits of stick nailed crosswise, or, what's best,
A bell to chime the hour with, does as well.
I painted a Saint Laurence six months since
At Prato, splashed the fresco in fine style:
"How looks my painting, now the scaffold's down?"
I ask a brother: "Hugely," he returns
"Already not one phiz of your three slaves
Who turn the Deacon off his toasted side,
But's scratched and prodded to our heart's content,
The pious people have so eased their own
With coming to say prayers there in a rage:
We get on fast to see the bricks beneath.
Expect another job this time next year,
For pity and religion grow i' the crowd
Your painting serves its purpose!" Hang the fools!
That isyou'll not mistake an idle word
Spoke in a huff by a poor monk, God wot,
Tasting the air this spicy night which turns
The unaccustomed head like Chianti wine!
Oh, the church knows! don't misreport me, now!
It's natural a poor monk out of bounds
Should have his apt word to excuse himself:
And hearken how I plot to make amends.
I have bethought me: I shall paint a piece
There's for you! Give me six months, then go, see
Something in Sant' Ambrogio's! Bless the nuns!
They want a cast o' my office. I shall paint
God in the midst, Madonna and her babe,
Ringed by a bowery, flowery angel-brood,
Lilies and vestments and white faces, sweet
As puff on puff of grated orris-root
When ladies crowd to Church at midsummer.
And then i' the front, of course a saint or two
Saint John' because he saves the Florentines,
Saint Ambrose, who puts down in black and white
The convent's friends and gives them a long day,
And Job, I must have him there past mistake,
The man of Uz (and Us without the z,
Painters who need his patience). Well, all these
Secured at their devotion, up shall come
Out of a corner when you least expect,
As one by a dark stair into a great light,
Music and talking, who but Lippo! I!
Mazed, motionless, and moonstruckI'm the man!
Back I shrinkwhat is this I see and hear?
I, caught up with my monk's-things by mistake,
My old serge gown and rope that goes all round,
I, in this presence, this pure company!
Where's a hole, where's a corner for escape?
Then steps a sweet angelic slip of a thing
Forward, puts out a soft palm"Not so fast!"
Addresses the celestial presence, "nay
He made you and devised you, after all,
Though he's none of you! Could Saint John there draw
His camel-hair make up a painting brush?
We come to brother Lippo for all that,
Iste perfecit opus! So, all smile
I shuffle sideways with my blushing face
Under the cover of a hundred wings
Thrown like a spread of kirtles when you're gay
And play hot cockles, all the doors being shut,
Till, wholly unexpected, in there pops
The hothead husband! Thus I scuttle off
To some safe bench behind, not letting go
The palm of her, the little lily thing
That spoke the good word for me in the nick,
Like the Prior's niece . . . Saint Lucy, I would say.
And so all's saved for me, and for the church
A pretty picture gained. Go, six months hence!
Your hand, sir, and good-bye: no lights, no lights!
The street's hushed, and I know my own way back,
Don't fear me! There's the grey beginning. Zooks!


First published in Men and Women, 1855.In this poem, Browning makes use of the account of
Lippi in Vasari's Lives of the Painters, from
which the following is an extract: "The Carmelite monk,
Fra Filippo di Tommaso Lippi (1412-1469), was born
at Florence in a bye-street called Ardiglione, under the
Canto alla Cuculia, and behind the convent of the
Carmelites. By the death of his father he was left a
friendless orphan at the age of two years, his mother
having also died shortly after his birth. The child was
for some time under the care of a certain Mona Lapaccia,
his aunt, the sister of his father, who brought him up
with very great difficulty till he had attained his eighth
year, when, being no longer able to support the burden
of his maintenance, she placed him in the above-named
convent of the Carmelites. Here, in proportion as he
showed himself dexterous and ingenious in all works
performed by hand, did he manifest the utmost dullness
and incapacity in letters, to which he would never apply
himself, nor would he take any pleasure in learning of
any kind. The boy continued to be called by his worldly
name of Filippo, and being placed with others, who like
himself were in the house of the novices, under the care
of the master, to the end that the latter might see what
could be done with him\; in place of studying, he never
did anything but daub his own books, and those of the
other boys, with caricatures, whereupon the prior determined
to give him all means and every opportunity for learning
to draw. The chapel of the Carmine had then been newly
painted by Masaccio, and this being exceedingly beautiful,
pleased Fra Filippo greatly, wherefore he frequented it daily
for his recreation, and, continually practising there, in
company with many other youths, who were constantly
drawing in that place, he surpassed all the others by very
much in dexterity and knowledge .... Proceeding thus, and
improving from day to day, he has so closely followed the
manner of Masaccio, and his works displayed so much
similarity to those of the latter, that many affirmed the spirit
of Masaccio to have entered the body of Fra Filippo .... "It is
said that Fra Filippo was much addicted to the pleasures of
sense, insomuch that he would give all he possessed to secure
the gratification of whatever inclination might at the moment
be predominant .... It was known that, while occupied in the
pursuit of his pleasures, the works undertaken by him received
little or none of his attention\; for which reason Cosimo de'
Medici, wishing him to execute a work in his own palace, shut
him up, that he might not waste his time in running about\; but
having endured this confinement for two days, he then made
ropes with sheets of his bed, which he cut to pieces for that
purpose, and so having let himself down from a window, escaped,
and for several days gave himself up to his amusements. When
Cosimo found that the painter had disappeared, he caused him
to be sought, and Fra Filippo at last returned to his work, but
from that time forward Cosimo gave him liberty to go in and
out at his pleasure, repenting greatly of having previously shut
him up, when he considered the danger that Fra Filippo had
incurred by his folly in descending from the window\; and ever
afterwards labouring to keep him to his work by kindness only,
he was by this means much more promptly and effectually
served by the painter, and was wont to say that the excellencies
of rare genius were as forms of light and not beasts of burden."

Cosimo of the Medici (1389-1464): the real ruler of Florence,
and a patron of art and literature.

The snatches of song represent a species of Italian folk-song
called Stornelli\; each consisting of three lines of a set form,
and containing the name of a flower in the first line.

Saint Laurence: the Church at San Lorenzo, now famous for
the tombs of the Medici, the work of Michael Angelo.

Jerome: one of the Christian Fathers, translated the Bible
into Latin\; he led a life of extreme asceticism.

A reference to the procession carrying the consecrated wafer.

the Eight: a body of magistrates who kept order.

antiphonary: the service-book.

Preaching Friars: the Dominicans.

funked: turned to smoke.

176 ff.
Lippi belonged to the naturalistic school which developed
among the Florentines. These showed a greater attention to
natural form and beauty, as opposed to the conventional school,
who were men under the influence of earlier artists and inherited
an ascetic timidity in the representation of material things.

Giotto (1267-1337): the earliest of the greater Florentine

Herodias: sister-in-law of Herod, and mother of Salome.
See Matthew, 14 for the story of Salome's dance and the beheading
of John the Baptist.

See line 18 above.

Brother Angelico: Fra Angelico (1387-1455), "By purity of
life, habitual elevation of thought, and natural sweetness of
disposition, he was enabled to express the sacred affections
upon the human countenance, as no one ever did before or since" (Ruskin).

Lorenzo: Lorenzo Monaco (1370-1425), a Camaldolese
friar who painted in Florence.

273 ff.
Tommaso Guidi (1401-28) better known as Masaccio (which means
"hulking") "because," says Vasari, "of his excessive negligence and
disregard of himself." He was the teacher--not, as here represented,
the pupil--of Filippo Lippi (see first note above).

Prato: a town some dozen miles from Florence\; in the Cathedral
are frescoes by Filippo, but they represent St. Stephen, and the
Baptist, not St. Laurence.

According to tradition, St. Laurence was roasted on a gridiron.

Chianti wine: the common red wine of Tuscany.

Browning proceeds to put into Fra Filippo's mouth a description
of what is considered his masterpiece --a Coronation of the Virgin--which
he painted for the nuns of Sant' Ambrogio. Browning, following Vasari,
believes that the painter put a self-portrait in the lower corner of the
picture. Recent research has shown that the figure is a portrait, not of
Fra Filippo, but of the benefactor who ordered the picture for the
church. In this case, perfecit opus means "caused the work to
be made," not, as Browning takes it, "completed the work himself."

St. John the Baptist is the patron saint of the Florentines.

~ Robert Browning, Fra Lippo Lippi

211:The thought of Eglamor's least like a thought,
And yet a false one, was, "Man shrinks to nought
"If matched with symbols of immensity;
"Must quail, forsooth, before a quiet sky
"Or sea, too little for their quietude:"
And, truly, somewhat in Sordello's mood
Confirmed its speciousness, while eve slow sank
Down the near terrace to the farther bank,
And only one spot left from out the night
Glimmered upon the river opposite
A breadth of watery heaven like a bay,
A sky-like space of water, ray for ray,
And star for star, one richness where they mixed
As this and that wing of an angel, fixed,
Tumultuary splendours folded in
To die. Nor turned he till Ferrara's din
(Say, the monotonous speech from a man's lip
Who lets some first and eager purpose slip
In a new fancy's birththe speech keeps on
Though elsewhere its informing soul be gone)
Aroused him, surely offered succour. Fate
Paused with this eve; ere she precipitate
Herself,best put off new strange thoughts awhile,
That voice, those large hands, that portentous smile,
What help to pierce the future as the past
Lay in the plaining city?
             And at last
The main discovery and prime concern,
All that just now imported him to learn,
Truth's self, like yonder slow moon to complete
Heaven, rose again, and, naked at his feet,
Lighted his old life's every shift and change,
Effort with counter-effort; nor the range
Of each looked wrong except wherein it checked,
Some otherwhich of these could he suspect,
Prying into them by the sudden blaze?
The real way seemed made up of all the ways
Mood after mood of the one mind in him;
Tokens of the existence, bright or dim,
Of a transcendent all-embracing sense
Demanding only outward influence,
A soul, in Palma's phrase, above his soul,
Power to uplift his power,such moon's control
Over such sea-depths,and their mass had swept
Onward from the beginning and still kept
Its course: but years and years the sky above
Held none, and so, untasked of any love,
His sensitiveness idled, now amort,
Alive now, and, to sullenness or sport
Given wholly up, disposed itself anew
At every passing instigation, grew
And dwindled at caprice, in foam-showers spilt,
Wedge-like insisting, quivered now a gilt
Shield in the sunshine, now a blinding race
Of whitest ripples o'er the reeffound place
For much display; not gathered up and, hurled
Right from its heart, encompassing the world.
So had Sordello been, by consequence,
Without a function: others made pretence
To strength not half his own, yet had some core
Within, submitted to some moon, before
Them still, superior still whate'er their force,
Were able therefore to fulfil a course,
Nor missed life's crown, authentic attribute.
To each who lives must be a certain fruit
Of having lived in his degree,a stage,
Earlier or later in men's pilgrimage,
To stop at; and to this the spirits tend
Who, still discovering beauty without end,
Amass the scintillations, make one star
Something unlike them, self-sustained, afar,
And meanwhile nurse the dream of being blest
By winning it to notice and invest
Their souls with alien glory, some one day
Whene'er the nucleus, gathering shape alway,
Round to the perfect circlesoon or late,
According as themselves are formed to wait;
Whether mere human beauty will suffice
The yellow hair and the luxurious eyes,
Or human intellect seem best, or each
Combine in some ideal form past reach
On earth, or else some shade of these, some aim,
Some love, hate even, take their place, the same,
So to be servedall this they do not lose,
Waiting for death to live, nor idly choose
What must be Hella progress thus pursued
Through all existence, still above the food
That 's offered them, still fain to reach beyond
The widened range, in virtue of their bond
Of sovereignty. Not that a Palma's Love,
A Salinguerra's Hate, would equal prove
To swaying all Sordello: but why doubt
Some love meet for such strength, some moon without
Would match his sea?or fear, Good manifest,
Only the Best breaks faith?Ah but the Best
Somehow eludes us ever, still might be
And is not! Crave we gems? No penury
Of their material round us! Pliant earth
And plastic flamewhat balks the mage his birth
Jacinth in balls or lodestone by the block?
Flinders enrich the strand, veins swell the rock;
Nought more! Seek creatures? Life 's i' the tempest, thought
Clothes the keen hill-top, mid-day woods are fraught
With fervours: human forms are well enough!
But we had hoped, encouraged by the stuff
Profuse at nature's pleasure, men beyond
These actual men!and thus are over-fond
In arguing, from Goodthe Best, from force
Dividedforce combined, an ocean's course
From this our sea whose mere intestine pants
Might seem at times sufficient to our wants.
External power! If none be adequate,
And he stand forth ordained (a prouder fate)
Himself a law to his own sphere? "Remove
"All incompleteness!" for that law, that love?
Nay, if all other laws be feints,truth veiled
Helpfully to weak vision that had failed
To grasp aught but its special want,for lure,
Embodied? Stronger vision could endure
The unbodied want: no partthe whole of truth!
The People were himself; nor, by the ruth
At their condition, was he less impelled
To alter the discrepancy beheld,
Than if, from the sound whole, a sickly part
Subtracted were transformed, decked out with art,
Then palmed on him as alien woethe Guelf
To succour, proud that he forsook himself.
All is himself; all service, therefore, rates
Alike, nor serving one part, immolates
The rest: but all in time! "That lance of yours
"Makes havoc soon with Malek and his Moors,
"That buckler 's lined with many a giant's beard
"Ere long, our champion, be the lance upreared,
"The buckler wielded handsomely as now!
"But view your escort, bear in mind your vow,
"Count the pale tracts of sand to pass ere that,
"And, if you hope we struggle through the flat,
"Put lance and buckler by! Next half-month lacks
"Mere sturdy exercise of mace and axe
"To cleave this dismal brake of prickly-pear
"Which bristling holds Cydippe by the hair,
"Lames barefoot Agathon: this felled, we 'll try
"The picturesque achievements by and by
"Next life!"
      Ay, rally, mock, O People, urge
Your claims!for thus he ventured, to the verge,
Push a vain mummery which perchance distrust
Of his fast-slipping resolution thrust
Likewise: accordingly the Crowd(as yet
He had unconsciously contrived forget
I' the whole, to dwell o' the points . . . one might assuage
The signal horrors easier than engage
With a dim vulgar vast unobvious grief
Not to be fancied off, nor gained relief
In brilliant fits, cured by a happy quirk,
But by dim vulgar vast unobvious work
To correspond . . .) this Crowd then, forth they stood.
"And now content thy stronger vision, brood
"On thy bare want; uncovered, turf by turf,
"Study the corpse-face thro' the taint-worms' scurf!"
Down sank the People's Then; uprose their Now.
These sad ones render service to! And how
Piteously little must that service prove
Had surely proved in any case! for, move
Each other obstacle away, let youth
Become aware it had surprised a truth
'T were service to impartcan truth be seized,
Settled forthwith, and, of the captive eased,
Its captor find fresh prey, since this alit
So happily, no gesture luring it,
The earnest of a flock to follow? Vain,
Most vain! a life to spend ere this he chain
To the poor crowd's complacence: ere the crowd
Pronounce it captured, he descries a cloud
Its kin of twice the plume; which he, in turn,
If he shall live as many lives, may learn
How to secure: not else. Then Mantua called
Back to his mind how certain bards were thralled
Buds blasted, but of breath more like perfume
Than Naddo's staring nosegay's carrion bloom;
Some insane rose that burnt heart out in sweets,
A spendthrift in the spring, no summer greets;
Some Dularete, drunk with truths and wine,
Grown bestial, dreaming how become divine.
Yet to surmount this obstacle, commence
With the commencement, merits crowning! Hence
Must truth be casual truth, elicited
In sparks so mean, at intervals dispread
So rarely, that 't is like at no one time
Of the world's story has not truth, the prime
Of truth, the very truth which, loosed, had hurled
The world's course right, been really in the world
Content the while with some mean spark by dint
Of some chance-blow, the solitary hint
Of buried fire, which, rip earth's breast, would stream
     Sordello's miserable gleam
Was looked for at the moment: he would dash
This badge. and all it brought, to earth,abash
Taurello thus, perhaps persuade him wrest
The Kaiser from his purpose,would attest
His own belief, in any case. Before
He dashes it however, think once more!
For, were that little, truly service? "Ay,
"I' the end, no doubt; but meantime? Plain you spy
"Its ultimate effect, but many flaws
"Of vision blur each intervening cause.
"Were the day's fraction clear as the life's sum
"Of service, Now as filled as teems To-come
"With evidence of goodnor too minute
"A share to vie with evil! No dispute,
"'T were fitliest maintain the Guelfs in rule:
"That makes your life's work: but you have to school
"Your day's work on these natures circumstanced
"Thus variously, which yet, as each advanced
"Or might impede the Guelf rule, must be moved
"Now, for the Then's sake,hating what you loved,
"Loving old hatreds! Nor if one man bore
"Brand upon temples while his fellow wore
"The aureole, would it task you to decide:
"But, portioned duly out, the future vied
"Never with the unparcelled present! Smite
"Or spare so much on warrant all so slight?
"The present's complete sympathies to break,
"Aversions bear with, for a future's sake
"So feeble? Tito ruined through one speck,
"The Legate saved by his sole lightish fleck?
"This were work, true, but work performed at cost
"Of other work; aught gained here, elsewhere lost.
"For a new segment spoil an orb half-done?
"Rise with the People one step, and sinkone?
"Were it but one step, less than the whole face
"Of things, your novel duty bids erase!
"Harms to abolish! What, the prophet saith,
"The minstrel singeth vainly then? Old faith,
"Old courage, only born because of harms,
"Were not, from highest to the lowest, charms?
"Flame may persist; but is not glare as staunch?
"Where the salt marshes stagnate, crystals branch;
"Blood dries to crimson; Evil 's beautified
"In every shape. Thrust Beauty then aside
"And banish Evil! Wherefore? After all,
"Is Evil a result less natural
"Than Good? For overlook the seasons' strife
"With tree and flower,the hideous animal life,
"(Of which who seeks shall find a grinning taunt
"For his solution, and endure the vaunt
"Of nature's angel, as a child that knows
"Himself befooled, unable to propose
"Aught better than the fooling)and but care
"For men, for the mere People then and there,
"In these, could you but see that Good and Ill
"Claimed you alike! Whence rose their claim but still
"From Ill, as fruit of Ill? What else could knit
"You theirs but Sorrow? Any free from it
"Were also free from you! Whose happiness
"Could be distinguished in this morning's press
"Of miseries?the fool's who passed a gibe
"'On thee,' jeered he, `so wedded to thy tribe,
"`Thou carriest green and yellow tokens in
"'Thy very face that thou art Ghibellin!'
"Much hold on you that fool obtained! Nay mount
"Yet higherand upon men's own account
"Must Evil stay: for, what is joy?to heave
"Up one obstruction more, and common leave
"What was peculiar, by such act destroy
"Itself; a partial death is every joy;
"The sensible escape, enfranchisement
"Of a sphere's essence: once the vexedcontent,
"The crampedat large, the growing circleround,
"All 's to begin againsome novel bound
"To break, some new enlargement to entreat;
"The sphere though larger is not more complete.
"Now for Mankind's experience: who alone
"Might style the unobstructed world his own?
"Whom palled Goito with its perfect things?
"Sordello's self: whereas for Mankind springs
"Salvation by each hindrance interposed.
"They climb; life's view is not at once disclosed
"To creatures caught up, on the summit left,
"Heaven plain above them, yet of wings bereft:
"But lower laid, as at the mountain's foot.
"So, range on range, the girdling forests shoot
"'Twixt your plain prospect and the throngs who scale
"Height after height, and pierce mists, veil by veil,
"Heartened with each discovery; in their soul,
"The Whole they seek by Partsbut, found that Whole,
"Could they revert, enjoy past gains? The space
"Of time you judge so meagre to embrace
"The Parts were more than plenty, once attained
"The Whole, to quite exhaust it: nought were gained
"But leave to looknot leave to do: Beneath
"Soon sates the lookerlook Above, and Death
"Tempts ere a tithe of Life be tasted. Live
"First, and die soon enough, Sordello! Give
"Body and spirit the first right they claim,
"And pasture soul on a voluptuous shame
"That you, a pageant-city's denizen,
"Are neither vilely lodged midst Lombard men
"Can force joy out of sorrow, seem to truck
"Bright attributes away for sordid muck,
"Yet manage from that very muck educe
"Gold; then subject nor scruple, to your cruce
"The world's discardings! Though real ingots pay
"Your pains, the clods that yielded them are clay
"To all beside,would clay remain, though quenched
"Your purging-fire; who 's robbed then? Had you wrenched
"An ampler treasure forth!As 't is, they crave
"A share that ruins you and will not save
"Them. Why should sympathy command you quit
"The course that makes your joy, nor will remit
"Their woe? Would all arrive at joy? Reverse
"The order (time instructs you) nor coerce
"Each unit till, some predetermined mode,
"The total be emancipate; men's road
"Is one, men's times of travel many; thwart
"No enterprising soul's precocious start
"Before the general march! If slow or fast
"All straggle up to the same point at last,
"Why grudge your having gained, a month ago,
"The brakes at balm-shed, asphodels in blow,
"While they were landlocked? Speed their Then, but how
"This badge would suffer you improve your Now!"
His time of action for, against, or with
Our world (I labour to extract the pith
Of this his problem) grew, that even-tide,
Gigantic with its power of joy, beside
The world's eternity of impotence
To profit though at his whole joy's expense.
"Make nothing of my day because so brief?
"Rather make more: instead of joy, use grief
"Before its novelty have time subside!
"Wait not for the late savour, leave untried
"Virtue, the creaming honey-wine, quick squeeze
"Vice like a biting spirit from the lees
"Of life! Together let wrath, hatred, lust,
"All tyrannies in every shape, be thrust
"Upon this Now, which time may reason out
"As mischiefs, far from benefits, no doubt;
"But long ere then Sordello will have slipt
"Away; you teach him at Goito's crypt,
"There 's a blank issue to that fiery thrill.
"Stirring, the few cope with the many, still:
"So much of sand as, quiet, makes a mass
"Unable to produce three tufts of grass,
"Shall, troubled by the whirlwind, render void
"The whole calm glebe's endeavour: be employed!
"And e'en though somewhat smart the Crowd for this,
"Contribute each his pang to make your bliss,
"'T is but one pangone blood-drop to the bowl
"Which brimful tempts the sluggish asp uncowl
"At last, stains ruddily the dull red cape,
"And, kindling orbs grey as the unripe grape
"Before, avails forthwith to disentrance
"The portent, soon to lead a mystic dance
"Among you! For, who sits alone in Rome?
"Have those great hands indeed hewn out a home,
"And set me there to live? Oh life, life-breath,
"Life-blood,ere sleep, come travail, life ere death!
"This life stream on my soul, direct, oblique,
"But always streaming! Hindrances? They pique:
"Helps? such . . . but why repeat, my soul o'ertops
"Each height, then every depth profoundlier drops?
"Enough that I can live, and would live! Wait
"For some transcendent life reserved by Fate
"To follow this? Oh, never! Fate, I trust
"The same, my soul to; for, as who flings dust,
"Perchance (so facile was the deed) she chequed
"The void with these materials to affect
"My soul diversely: these consigned anew
"To nought by death, what marvel if she threw
"A second and superber spectacle
"Before me? What may serve for sun, what still
"Wander a moon above me? What else wind
"About me like the pleasures left behind,
"And how shall some new flesh that is not flesh
"Cling to me? What 's new laughter? Soothes the fresh
"Sleep like sleep? Fate 's exhaustless for my sake
"In brave resource: but whether bids she slake
"My thirst at this first rivulet, or count
"No draught worth lip save from some rocky fount
"Above i' the clouds, while here she 's provident
"Of pure loquacious pearl, the soft tree-tent
"Guards, with its face of reate and sedge, nor fail
"The silver globules and gold-sparkling grail
"At bottom? Oh, 't were too absurd to slight
"For the hereafter the to-day's delight!
"Quench thirst at this, then seek next well-spring: wear
"Home-lilies ere strange lotus in my hair!
"Here is the Crowd, whom I with freest heart
"Offer to serve, contented for my part
"To give life up in service,only grant
"That I do serve; if otherwise, why want
"Aught further of me? If men cannot choose
"But set aside life, why should I refuse
"The gift? I take itI, for one, engage
"Never to falter through my pilgrimage
"Nor end it howling that the stock or stone
"Were enviable, truly: I, for one,
"Will praise the world, you style mere anteroom
"To palacebe it so! shall I assume
"My foot the courtly gait, my tongue the trope,
"My mouth the smirk, before the doors fly ope
"One moment? What? with guarders row on row,
"Gay swarms of varletry that come and go,
"Pages to dice with, waiting-girls unlace
"The plackets of, pert claimants help displace,
"Heart-heavy suitors get a rank for,laugh
"At yon sleek parasite, break his own staff
"'Cross Beetle-brows the Usher's shoulder,why
"Admitted to the presence by and by,
"Should thought of having lost these make me grieve
"Among new joys I reach, for joys I leave?
"Cool citrine-crystals, fierce pyropus-stone,
"Are floor-work there! But do I let alone
"That black-eyed peasant in the vestibule
"Once and for ever?Floor-work? No such fool!
"Rather, were heaven to forestall earth, I 'd say
"I, is it, must be blest? Then, my own way
"Bless me! Giver firmer arm and fleeter foot,
"I 'll thank you: but to no mad wings transmute
"These limbs of mineour greensward was so soft!
"Nor camp I on the thunder-cloud aloft:
"We feel the bliss distinctlier, having thus
"Engines subservient, not mixed up with us.
"Better move palpably through heaven: nor, freed
"Of flesh, forsooth, from space to space proceed
"'Mid flying synods of worlds! No: in heaven's marge
"Show Titan still, recumbent o'er his targe
"Solid with starsthe Centaur at his game,
"Made tremulously out in hoary flame!
"Life! Yet the very cup whose extreme dull
"Dregs, even, I would quaff, was dashed, at full,
"Aside so oft; the death I fly, revealed
"So oft a better life this life concealed,
"And which sage, champion, martyr, through each path
"Have hunted fearlesslythe horrid bath,
"The crippling-irons and the fiery chair.
"'T was well for them; let me become aware
"As they, and I relinquish life, too! Let
"What masters life disclose itself! Forget
"Vain ordinances, I have one appeal
"I feel, am what I feel, know what I feel;
"So much is truth to me. What Is, then? Since
"One object, viewed diversely, may evince
"Beauty and uglinessthis way attract,
"That way repel,why gloze upon the fact?
"Why must a single of the sides be right?
"What bids choose this and leave the opposite?
"Where 's abstract Right for me?in youth endued
"With Right still present, still to be pursued,
"Thro' all the interchange of circles, rife
"Each with its proper law and mode of life,
"Each to be dwelt at ease in: where, to sway
"Absolute with the Kaiser, or obey
"Implicit with his serf of fluttering heart,
"Or, like a sudden thought of God's, to start
"Up, Brutus in the presence, then go shout
"That some should pick the unstrung jewels out
"Each, well!"
       And, as in moments when the past
Gave partially enfranchisement, he cast
Himself quite through mere secondary states
Of his soul's essence, little loves and hates,
Into the mid deep yearnings overlaid
By these; as who should pierce hill, plain, grove, glade,
And on into the very nucleus probe
That first determined there exist a globe.
As that were easiest, half the globe dissolved,
So seemed Sordello's closing-truth evolved
By his flesh-half's break-up; the sudden swell
Of his expanding soul showed Ill and Well,
Sorrow and Joy, Beauty and Ugliness,
Virtue and Vice, the Larger and the Less,
All qualities, in fine, recorded here,
Might be but modes of Time and this one sphere,
Urgent on these, but not of force to bind
Eternity, as Timeas MatterMind,
If Mind, Eternity, should choose assert
Their attributes within a Life: thus girt
With circumstance, next change beholds them cinct
Quite otherwisewith Good and Ill distinct,
Joys, sorrows, tending to a like result
Contrived to render easy, difficult,
This or the other course of . . . what new bond
In place of flesh may stop their flight beyond
Its new sphere, as that course does harm or good
To its arrangements. Once this understood,
As suddenly he felt himself alone,
Quite out of Time and this world: all was known.
What made the secret of his past despair?
Most imminent when he seemed most aware
Of his own self-sufficiency: made mad
By craving to expand the power he had,
And not new power to be expanded?just
This made it; Soul on Matter being thrust,
Joy comes when so much Soul is wreaked in Time
On Matter: let the Soul's attempt sublime
Matter beyond the scheme and so prevent
By more or less that deed's accomplishment,
And Sorrow follows: Sorrow how avoid?
Let the employer match the thing employed,
Fit to the finite his infinity,
And thus proceed for ever, in degree
Changed but in kind the same, still limited
To the appointed circumstance and dead
To all beyond. A sphere is but a sphere;
Small, Great, are merely terms we bandy here;
Since to the spirit's absoluteness all
Are like. Now, of the present sphere we call
Life, are conditions; take but this among
Many; the body was to be so long
Youthful, no longer: but, since no control
Tied to that body's purposes his soul,
She chose to understand the body's trade
More than the body's selfhad fain conveyed
Her boundless to the body's bounded lot.
Hence, the soul permanent, the body not,
Scarcely its minute for enjoying here,
The soul must needs instruct her weak compeer,
Run o'er its capabilities and wring
A joy thence, she held worth experiencing:
Which, far from half discovered even,lo,
The minute gone, the body's power let go
Apportioned to that joy's acquirement! Broke
Morning o'er earth, he yearned for all it woke
From the volcano's vapour-flag, winds hoist
Black o'er the spread of sea,down to the moist
Dale's silken barley-spikes sullied with rain,
Swayed earthwards, heavily to rise again
The Small, a sphere as perfect as the Great
To the soul's absoluteness. Meditate
Too long on such a morning's cluster-chord
And the whole music it was framed afford,
The chord's might half discovered, what should pluck
One string, his finger, was found palsy-struck.
And then no marvel if the spirit, shown
A saddest sightthe body lost alone
Through her officious proffered help, deprived
Of this and that enjoyment Fate contrived,
Virtue, Good, Beauty, each allowed slip hence,
Vain-gloriously were fain, for recompense,
To stem the ruin even yet, protract
The body's term, supply the power it lacked
From her infinity, compel it learn
These qualities were only Time's concern,
And body may, with spirit helping, barred
Advance the same, vanquishedobtain reward,
Reap joy where sorrow was intended grow,
Of Wrong make Right, and turn Ill Good below.
And the result is, the poor body soon
Sinks under what was meant a wondrous boon,
Leaving its bright accomplice all aghast.
So much was plain then, proper in the past;
To be complete for, satisfy the whole
Series of spheresEternity, his soul
Needs must exceed, prove incomplete for, each
Single sphereTime. But does our knowledge reach
No farther? Is the cloud of hindrance broke
But by the failing of the fleshly yoke,
Its loves and hates, as now when death lets soar
Sordello, self-sufficient as before,
Though during the mere space that shall elapse
'Twixt his enthralment in new bonds perhaps?
Must life be ever just escaped, which should
Have been enjoyed?nay, might have been and would,
Each purpose ordered rightthe soul 's no whit
Beyond the body's purpose under it.
Like yonder breadth of watery heaven, a bay,
And that sky-space of water, ray for ray
And star for star, one richness where they mixed
As this and that wing of an angel, fixed,
Tumultuary splendours folded in
To diewould soul, proportioned thus, begin
Exciting discontent, or surelier quell
The body if, aspiring, it rebel?
But how so order life? Still brutalize
The soul, the sad world's way, with muffled eyes
To all that was before, all that shall be
After this sphereall and each quality
Save some sole and immutable Great, Good
And Beauteous whither fate has loosed its hood
To follow? Never may some soul see All
The Great Before and After, and the Small
Now, yet be saved by this the simplest lore,
And take the single course prescribed before,
As the king-bird with ages on his plumes
Travels to die in his ancestral glooms?
But where descry the Love that shall select
That course? Here is a soul whom, to affect,
Nature has plied with all her means, from trees
And flowers e'en to the Multitude!and these,
Decides he save or no? One word to end!
Ah my Sordello, I this once befriend
And speak for you. Of a Power above you still
Which, utterly incomprehensible,
Is out of rivalry, which thus you can
Love, tho' unloving all conceived by man
What need! And ofnone the minutest duct
To that out-nature, nought that would instruct
And so let rivalry begin to live
But of a Power its representative
Who, being for authority the same,
Communication different, should claim
A course, the first chose but this last revealed
This Human clear, as that Divine concealed
What utter need!
         What has Sordello found?
Or can his spirit go the mighty round,
End where poor Eglamor begun? So, says
Old fable, the two eagles went two ways
About the world: where, in the midst, they met,
Though on a shifting waste of sand, men set
Jove's temple. Quick, what has Sordello found?
For they approachapproachthat foot's rebound
Palma? No, Salinguerra though in mail;
They mount, have reached the threshold, dash the veil
Asideand you divine who sat there dead,
Under his foot the badge: still, Palma said,
A triumph lingering in the wide eyes,
Wider than some spent swimmer's if he spies
Help from above in his extreme despair,
And, head far back on shoulder thrust, turns there
With short quick passionate cry: as Palma pressed
In one great kiss, her lips upon his breast,
It beat.
    By this, the hermit-bee has stopped
His day's toil at Goito: the new-cropped
Dead vine-leaf answers, now 't is eve, he bit,
Twirled so, and filed all day: the mansion 's fit,
God counselled for. As easy guess the word
That passed betwixt them, and become the third
To the soft small unfrighted bee, as tax
Him with one faultso, no remembrance racks
Of the stone maidens and the font of stone
He, creeping through the crevice, leaves alone.
Alas, my friend, alas Sordello, whom
Anon they laid within that old font-tomb,
And, yet again, alas!
           And now is 't worth
Our while bring back to mind, much less set forth
How Salinguerra extricates himself
Without Sordello? Ghibellin and Guelf
May fight their fiercest out? If Richard sulked
In durance or the Marquis paid his mulct,
Who cares, Sordello gone? The upshot, sure,
Was peace; our chief made some frank overture
That prospered; compliment fell thick and fast
On its disposer, and Taurello passed
With foe and friend for an outstripping soul,
Nine days at least. Then,fairly reached the goal,
He, by one effort, blotted the great hope
Out of his mind, nor further tried to cope
With Este, that mad evening's style, but sent
Away the Legate and the League, content
No blame at least the brothers had incurred,
Dispatched a message to the Monk, he heard
Patiently first to last, scarce shivered at,
Then curled his limbs up on his wolfskin mat
And ne'er spoke more,informed the Ferrarese
He but retained their rule so long as these
Lingered in pupilage,and last, no mode
Apparent else of keeping safe the road
From Germany direct to Lombardy
For Friedrich,none, that is, to guarantee
The faith and promptitude of who should next
Obtain Sofia's dowry,sore perplexed
(Sofia being youngest of the tribe
Of daughters, Ecelin was wont to bribe
The envious magnates withnor, since he sent
Henry of Egna this fair child, had Trent
Once failed the Kaiser's purposes"we lost
"Egna last year, and who takes Egna's post
"Opens the Lombard gate if Friedrich knock?")
Himself espoused the Lady of the Rock
In pure necessity, and, so destroyed
His slender last of chances, quite made void
Old prophecy, and spite of all the schemes
Overt and covert, youth's deeds, age's dreams,
Was sucked into Romano. And so hushed
He up this evening's work that, when 't was brushed
Somehow against by a blind chronicle
Which, chronicling whatever woe befell
Ferrara, noted this the obscure woe
Of "Salinguerra's sole son Giacomo
"Deceased, fatuous and doting, ere his sire,"
The townsfolk rubbed their eyes, could but admire
Which of Sofia's five was meant.
                 The chaps
Of earth's dead hope were tardy to collapse,
Obliterated not the beautiful
Distinctive features at a crash: but dull
And duller these, next year, as Guelfs withdrew
Each to his stronghold. Then (securely too
Ecelin at Campese slept; close by,
Who likes may see him in Solagna lie,
With cushioned head and gloved hand to denote
The cavalier he was)then his heart smote
Young Ecelin at last; long since adult.
And, save Vicenza's business, what result
In blood and blaze? (So hard to intercept
Sordello till his plain withdrawal!) Stepped
Then its new lord on Lombardy. I' the nick
Of time when Ecelin and Alberic
Closed with Taurello, come precisely news
That in Verona half the souls refuse
Allegiance to the Marquis and the Count
Have cast them from a throne they bid him mount,
Their Podest, thro' his ancestral worth.
Ecelin flew there, and the town henceforth
Was wholly hisTaurello sinking back
From temporary station to a track
That suited. News received of this acquist,
Friedrich did come to Lombardy: who missed
Taurello then? Another year: they took
Vicenza, left the Marquis scarce a nook
For refuge, and, when hundreds two or three
Of Guelfs conspired to call themselves "The Free,"
Opposing Alberic,vile Bassanese,
(Without Sordello!)Ecelin at ease
Slaughtered them so observably, that oft
A little Salinguerra looked with soft
Blue eyes up, asked his sire the proper age
To get appointed his proud uncle's page.
More years passed, and that sire had dwindled down
To a mere showy turbulent soldier, grown
Better through age, his parts still in repute,
Subtlehow else?but hardly so astute
As his contemporaneous friends professed;
Undoubtedly a brawler: for the rest,
Known by each neighbour, and allowed for, let
Keep his incorrigible ways, nor fret
Men who would miss their boyhood's bugbear: "trap
"The ostrich, suffer our bald osprey flap
"A battered pinion!"was the word. In fine,
One flap too much and Venice's marine
Was meddled with; no overlooking that!
She captured him in his Ferrara, fat
And florid at a banquet, more by fraud
Than force, to speak the truth; there 's slender laud
Ascribed you for assisting eighty years
To pull his death on such a man; fate shears
The life-cord prompt enough whose last fine threads
You fritter: so, presiding his board-head,
The old smile, your assurance all went well
With Friedrich (as if he were like to tell!)
In rushed (a plan contrived before) our friends,
Made some pretence at fighting, some amends
For the shame done his eighty years(apart
The principle, none found it in his heart
To be much angry with Taurello)gained
Their galleys with the prize, and what remained
But carry him to Venice for a show?
Set him, as 't were, down gentlyfree to go
His gait, inspect our square, pretend observe
The swallows soaring their eternal curve
'Twixt Theodore and Mark, if citizens
Gathered importunately, fives and tens,
To point their children the Magnifico,
All but a monarch once in firm-land, go
His gait among them now"it took, indeed,
"Fully this Ecelin to supersede
"That man," remarked the seniors. Singular!
Sordello's inability to bar
Rivals the stage, that evening, mainly brought
About by his strange disbelief that aught
Was ever to be done,this thrust the Twain
Under Taurello's tutelage,whom, brain
And heart and hand, he forthwith in one rod
Indissolubly bound to baffle God
Who loves the worldand thus allowed the thin
Grey wizened dwarfish devil Ecelin,
And massy-muscled big-boned Alberic
(Mere man, alas!) to put his problem quick
To demonstrationprove wherever's will
To do, there's plenty to be done, or ill
Or good. Anointed, then, to rend and rip
Kings of the gag and flesh-hook, screw and whip,
They plagued the world: a touch of Hildebrand
(So far from obsolete!) made Lombards band
Together, cross their coats as for Christ's cause,
And saving Milan win the world's applause.
Ecelin perished: and I think grass grew
Never so pleasant as in Valley R
By San Zenon where Alberic in turn
Saw his exasperated captors burn
Seven children and their mother; then, regaled
So far, tied on to a wild horse, was trailed
To death through raunce and bramble-bush. I take
God's part and testify that 'mid the brake
Wild o'er his castle on the pleasant knoll,
You hear its one tower left, a belfry, toll
The earthquake spared it last year, laying flat
The modern church beneath,no harm in that!
Chirrups the contumacious grasshopper,
Rustles the lizard and the cushats chirre
Above the ravage: there, at deep of day
A week since, heard I the old Canon say
He saw with his own eyes a barrow burst
And Alberic's huge skeleton unhearsed
Only five years ago. He added, "June 's
"The month for carding off our first cocoons
"The silkworms fabricate"a double news,
Nor he nor I could tell the worthier. Choose!
And Naddo gone, all's gone; not Eglamor!
Believe, I knew the face I waited for,
A guest my spirit of the golden courts!
Oh strange to see how, despite ill-reports,
Disuse, some wear of years, that face retained
Its joyous look of love! Suns waxed and waned,
And still my spirit held an upward flight,
Spiral on spiral, gyres of life and light
More and more gorgeousever that face there
The last admitted! crossed, too, with some care
As perfect triumph were not sure for all,
But, on a few, enduring damp must fall,
A transient struggle, haply a painful sense
Of the inferior nature's clingingwhence
Slight starting tears easily wiped away,
Fine jealousies soon stifled in the play
Of irrepressible admirationnot
Aspiring, all considered, to their lot
Who ever, just as they prepare ascend
Spiral on spiral, wish thee well, impend
Thy frank delight at their exclusive track,
That upturned fervid face and hair put back!
Is there no more to say? He of the rhymes
Many a tale, of this retreat betimes,
Was born: Sordello die at once for men?
The Chroniclers of Mantua tired their pen
Telling how Sordello Prince Visconti saved
Mantua, and elsewhere notably behaved
Who thus, by fortune ordering events,
Passed with posterity, to all intents,
For just the god he never could become.
As Knight, Bard, Gallant, men were never dumb
In praise of him: while what he should have been,
Could be, and was notthe one step too mean
For him to take,we suffer at this day
Because of: Ecelin had pushed away
Its chance ere Dante could arrive and take
That step Sordello spurned, for the world's sake:
He did muchbut Sordello's chance was gone.
Thus, had Sordello dared that step alone,
Apollo had been compassed: 't was a fit
He wished should go to him, not he to it
As one content to merely be supposed
Singing or fighting elsewhere, while he dozed
Really at homeone who was chiefly glad
To have achieved the few real deeds he had,
Because that way assured they were not worth
Doing, so spared from doing them henceforth
A tree that covets fruitage and yet tastes
Never itself, itself. Had he embraced
Their cause then, men had plucked Hesperian fruit
And, praising that, just thrown him in to boot
All he was anxious to appear, but scarce
Solicitous to be. A sorry farce
Such life is, after all! Cannot I say
He lived for some one better thing? this way.
Lo, on a heathy brown and nameless hill
By sparkling Asolo, in mist and chill,
Morning just up, higher and higher runs
A child barefoot and rosy. See! the sun's
On the square castle's inner-court's low wall
Like the chine of some extinct animal
Half turned to earth and flowers; and through the haze
(Save where some slender patches of grey maize
Are to be overleaped) that boy has crossed
The whole hill-side of dew and powder-frost
Matting the balm and mountain camomile.
Up and up goes he, singing all the while
Some unintelligible words to beat
The lark, God's poet, swooning at his feet,
So worsted is he at "the few fine locks
"Stained like pale honey oozed from topmost rocks
"Sun-blanched the livelong summer,"all that's left
Of the Goito lay! And thus bereft,
Sleep and forget, Sordello! In effect
He sleeps, the feverish poetI suspect
Not utterly companionless; but, friends,
Wake up! The ghost's gone, and the story ends
I'd fain hope, sweetly; seeing, peri or ghoul,
That spirits are conjectured fair or foul,
Evil or good, judicious authors think,
According as they vanish in a stink
Or in a perfume. Friends, be frank! ye snuff
Civet, I warrant. Really? Like enough!
Merely the savour's rareness; any nose
May ravage with impunity a rose:
Rifle a musk-pod and 't will ache like yours!
I'd tell you that same pungency ensures
An after-gust, but that were overbold.
Who would has heard Sordello's story told.

~ Robert Browning, Sordello - Book the Sixth

--- IN CHAPTERS (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)


   6 Poetry
   3 Integral Yoga
   3 Fiction
   2 Philosophy
   2 Occultism
   1 Psychology

   4 Sri Aurobindo
   3 H P Lovecraft
   2 Robert Browning
   2 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   2 Lucretius

   2 Savitri
   2 Of The Nature Of Things
   2 Browning - Poems

02.07_-_The_Descent_into_Night, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
    Driven by a strange will down ever down,
    The Sky Above a communique of Doom,
    He strove to shield his spirit from despair,

05.03_-_Satyavan_and_Savitri, #Savitri, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Through the calm days heaven's sentinels of peace
  Couched on a purple robe of Sky Above
  Look down on a rich secrecy and hush

09.07_-_How_to_Become_Indifferent_to_Criticism?, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   There are other procedures. A Chinese sage, I read out to you once, advises you to lie down on the flow of events as on a plank in the ocean, and imagine yourself to be on the vast immensity, drifting upon the waves, contemplating the Sky Above. In Chinese they call it Wu Wei. When you can do that all trouble disappears.

1.07_-_The_Infinity_Of_The_Universe, #Of The Nature Of Things, #Lucretius, #Poetry
  No more than these our bodies wing away
  Spontaneously to vaults of Sky Above;
  That, when those creatures look upon the sun,

1.16_-_MARTHAS_GARDEN, #Faust, #Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, #Poetry
  Thee, me, Himself?
  Arches not there the Sky Above us?
  Lies not beneath us, firm, the earth?

1.24_-_On_Beauty, #The Prophet, #Kahlil Gibran, #Poetry
  Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the Sky Above us.

1.24_-_The_Killing_of_the_Divine_King, #The Golden Bough, #James George Frazer, #Occultism
  Neilgherries or Blue Mountains, hardly distinguishable from the
  azure of the Sky Above.

1956-08-22_-_The_heaven_of_the_liberated_mind_-_Trance_or_samadhi_-_Occult_discipline_for_leaving_consecutive_bodies_-_To_be_greater_than_ones_experience_-_Total_self-giving_to_the_Grace_-_The_truth_of_the_being_-_Unique_relation_with_the_Supreme, #Questions And Answers 1956, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  The heaven of the liberated mind? It is a metaphorical phrase. When the mind is liberated, it rises to celestial heights. These higher regions of the mind Sri Aurobindo pares with the Sky Above the earth; they are celestial pared with the ordinary mind.

1f.lovecraft_-_At_the_Mountains_of_Madness, #unset, #Nirodbaran, #Integral Yoga
   seemed all the starker by contrast with such relatively known and
   accustomed things as the features of the polar landscape. The Sky Above
   was a churning and opalescent mass of tenuous ice-vapours, and the cold

1f.lovecraft_-_The_Crawling_Chaos, #unset, #Nirodbaran, #Integral Yoga
   now, what it was. At my right also was the sea, but it was blue, calm,
   and only gently undulating, while the Sky Above it was darker and the
   washed-out bank more nearly white than reddish.


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