classes :::
children :::
branches ::: riddle, the Riddle

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object:riddle

from Justin (space) -- can one be too nice?
from (guy from Sydneys Island) -- what is mightier the pen or the sword?


see also ::: questions, paradox, koan

see also ::: koan, paradox, questions

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now begins generated list of local instances, definitions, quotes, instances in chapters, wordnet info if available and instances among weblinks


OBJECT INSTANCES [1] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
the_riddle_of_Savitri
SEE ALSO

koan
paradox
questions

AUTH
Saint_Aldhelm

BOOKS
DND_DM_Guide_5E
Evolution_II
Letters_On_Yoga
Letters_On_Yoga_I
Life_without_Death
Modern_Man_in_Search_of_a_Soul
The_Republic
The_Use_and_Abuse_of_History
Thus_Spoke_Zarathustra

IN CHAPTERS TITLE
1.fs_-_Parables_And_Riddles
1.jlb_-_Oedipus_and_the_Riddle
1.whitman_-_A_Riddle_Song
3.02_-_ON_THE_VISION_AND_THE_RIDDLE
The_Riddle_of_this_World

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
0.00_-_INTRODUCTION
0.00_-_THE_GOSPEL_PREFACE
01.02_-_The_Creative_Soul
01.02_-_The_Issue
01.04_-_The_Poetry_in_the_Making
01.04_-_The_Secret_Knowledge
01.05_-_The_Yoga_of_the_King_-_The_Yoga_of_the_Spirits_Freedom_and_Greatness
01.12_-_Goethe
01.13_-_T._S._Eliot:_Four_Quartets
0_1961-07-15
0_1962-07-21
0_1962-09-26
0_1963-09-25
0_1964-10-17
0_1965-06-30
0_1967-02-18
0_1969-08-06
02.02_-_Lines_of_the_Descent_of_Consciousness
02.02_-_Rishi_Dirghatama
02.04_-_The_Kingdoms_of_the_Little_Life
02.05_-_The_Godheads_of_the_Little_Life
02.06_-_The_Integral_Yoga_and_Other_Yogas
02.06_-_The_Kingdoms_and_Godheads_of_the_Greater_Life
02.10_-_Independence_and_its_Sanction
03.01_-_The_Evolution_of_Consciousness
03.01_-_The_Malady_of_the_Century
03.01_-_The_Pursuit_of_the_Unknowable
03.02_-_The_Adoration_of_the_Divine_Mother
03.03_-_The_House_of_the_Spirit_and_the_New_Creation
03.04_-_The_Vision_and_the_Boon
03.10_-_Hamlet:_A_Crisis_of_the_Evolving_Soul
03.16_-_The_Tragic_Spirit_in_Nature
04.01_-_The_Divine_Man
05.05_-_In_Quest_of_Reality
06.01_-_The_Word_of_Fate
10.01_-_A_Dream
10.01_-_The_Dream_Twilight_of_the_Ideal
10.04_-_The_Dream_Twilight_of_the_Earthly_Real
1.00g_-_Foreword
10.17_-_Miracles:_Their_True_Significance
1.01_-_How_is_Knowledge_Of_The_Higher_Worlds_Attained?
10.24_-_Savitri
1.02_-_The_Child_as_growing_being_and_the_childs_experience_of_encountering_the_teacher.
1.02_-_The_Development_of_Sri_Aurobindos_Thought
1.036_-_The_Rise_of_Obstacles_in_Yoga_Practice
1.03_-_BOOK_THE_THIRD
1.03_-_Self-Surrender_in_Works_-_The_Way_of_The_Gita
1.03_-_The_House_Of_The_Lord
1.03_-_The_Human_Disciple
1.03_-_The_Uncreated
1.04_-_Descent_into_Future_Hell
1.04_-_On_blessed_and_ever-memorable_obedience
1.04_-_Te_Shan_Carrying_His_Bundle
1.04_-_The_Aims_of_Psycho_therapy
1.04_-_THE_APPEARANCE_OF_ANOMALY_-_CHALLENGE_TO_THE_SHARED_MAP
1.04_-_The_Divine_Mother_-_This_Is_She
1.04_-_The_Gods_of_the_Veda
1.04_-_The_Sacrifice_the_Triune_Path_and_the_Lord_of_the_Sacrifice
1.04_-_Wherefore_of_World?
1.05_-_Consciousness
1.05_-_Problems_of_Modern_Psycho_therapy
1.05_-_THE_HOSTILE_BROTHERS_-_ARCHETYPES_OF_RESPONSE_TO_THE_UNKNOWN
1.05_-_THE_NEW_SPIRIT
1.05_-_The_Universe__The_0_=_2_Equation
1.05_-_True_and_False_Subjectivism
1.06_-_Being_Human_and_the_Copernican_Principle
1.06_-_Quieting_the_Vital
1.07_-_A_MAD_TEA-PARTY
1.07_-_Hui_Ch'ao_Asks_about_Buddha
1.07_-_The_Continuity_of_Consciousness
1.07_-_The_Psychic_Center
1.07_-_TRUTH
1.08_-_Sri_Aurobindos_Descent_into_Death
1.09_-_The_Absolute_Manifestation
1.10_-_Theodicy_-_Nature_Makes_No_Mistakes
1.11_-_Oneness
1.11_-_The_Kalki_Avatar
1.11_-_Woolly_Pomposities_of_the_Pious_Teacher
1.1.2_-_Commentary
1.12_-_The_Left-Hand_Path_-_The_Black_Brothers
1.12_-_The_Superconscient
1.13_-_The_Divine_Maya
1.14_-_The_Secret
1.15_-_The_world_overrun_with_trees;_they_are_destroyed_by_the_Pracetasas
1.17_-_The_Transformation
1.18_-_ON_LITTLE_OLD_AND_YOUNG_WOMEN
12.02_-_The_Stress_of_the_Spirit
1.22_-_(Poetic_Diction_continued.)_How_Poetry_combines_elevation_of_language_with_perspicuity.
1.22_-_The_Necessity_of_the_Spiritual_Transformation
1.240_-_1.300_Talks
1.240_-_Talks_2
1.25_-_On_Religion
1.3.5.03_-_The_Involved_and_Evolving_Godhead
1.39_-_Prophecy
1.400_-_1.450_Talks
1.439
1.44_-_Demeter_and_Persephone
1.450_-_1.500_Talks
1.45_-_Unserious_Conduct_of_a_Pupil
1.4_-_Readings_in_the_Taittiriya_Upanishad
1.62_-_The_Elastic_Mind
18.01_-_Padavali
1957-07-03_-_Collective_yoga,_vision_of_a_huge_hotel
1970_03_18
1.ac_-_A_Birthday
1.ac_-_The_Interpreter
1.ac_-_The_Wizard_Way
1.anon_-_The_Poem_of_Imru-Ul-Quais
1.bs_-_The_soil_is_in_ferment,_O_friend
1f.lovecraft_-_At_the_Mountains_of_Madness
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Book
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Dunwich_Horror
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Hoard_of_the_Wizard-Beast
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Horror_in_the_Museum
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Mound
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Rats_in_the_Walls
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Shadow_over_Innsmouth
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Thing_on_the_Doorstep
1f.lovecraft_-_Through_the_Gates_of_the_Silver_Key
1f.lovecraft_-_Under_the_Pyramids
1.fs_-_Elegy_On_The_Death_Of_A_Young_Man
1.fs_-_Parables_And_Riddles
1.fs_-_Resignation
1.fs_-_The_Artists
1.hs_-_It_Is_Time_to_Wake_Up!
1.jk_-_Hyperion._Book_II
1.jk_-_Otho_The_Great_-_Act_III
1.jk_-_The_Eve_Of_St._Agnes
1.jlb_-_Oedipus_and_the_Riddle
1.jwvg_-_Anniversary_Song
1.nmdv_-_The_drum_with_no_drumhead_beats
1.pbs_-_Chorus_from_Hellas
1.pbs_-_Epipsychidion_-_Passages_Of_The_Poem,_Or_Connected_Therewith
1.pbs_-_Hellas_-_A_Lyrical_Drama
1.pbs_-_Scenes_From_The_Faust_Of_Goethe
1.poe_-_A_Valentine
1.poe_-_Eureka_-_A_Prose_Poem
1.rb_-_Master_Hugues_Of_Saxe-Gotha
1.rwe_-_The_Adirondacs
1.wb_-_Auguries_of_Innocence
1.wby_-_Shepherd_And_Goatherd
1.wby_-_The_Cold_Heaven
1.whitman_-_A_Riddle_Song
1.whitman_-_Song_of_Myself
1.whitman_-_Song_Of_Myself-_XVII
1.whitman_-_Song_Of_Myself-_XXXVI
1.ww_-_17_-_These_are_really_the_thoughts_of_all_men_in_all_ages_and_lands,_they_are_not_original_with_me
20.01_-_Charyapada_-_Old_Bengali_Mystic_Poems
2.01_-_Indeterminates,_Cosmic_Determinations_and_the_Indeterminable
2.01_-_Isha_Upanishad__All_that_is_world_in_the_Universe
2.03_-_THE_ENIGMA_OF_BOLOGNA
2.03_-_The_Mother-Complex
2.04_-_The_Divine_and_the_Undivine
2.04_-_The_Secret_of_Secrets
2.06_-_Reality_and_the_Cosmic_Illusion
2.06_-_The_Synthesis_of_the_Disciplines_of_Knowledge
2.0_-_THE_ANTICHRIST
2.1.02_-_Nature_The_World-Manifestation
2.1.03_-_Man_and_Superman
2.12_-_ON_SELF-OVERCOMING
2.13_-_ON_THOSE_WHO_ARE_SUBLIME
2.17_-_The_Progress_to_Knowledge_-_God,_Man_and_Nature
2.19_-_THE_SOOTHSAYER
2.2.01_-_The_Problem_of_Consciousness
2.2.02_-_Consciousness_and_the_Inconscient
2.20_-_ON_REDEMPTION
2.21_-_Towards_the_Supreme_Secret
2.22_-_THE_STILLEST_HOUR
2.23_-_The_Core_of_the_Gita.s_Meaning
2.3.02_-_The_Supermind_or_Supramental
29.09_-_Some_Dates
3.00.2_-_Introduction
30.09_-_Lines_of_Tantra_(Charyapada)
3.02_-_ON_THE_VISION_AND_THE_RIDDLE
3.02_-_The_Great_Secret
3.03_-_ON_INVOLUNTARY_BLISS
3.05_-_SAL
3.07_-_The_Formula_of_the_Holy_Grail
3.1.01_-_The_Problem_of_Suffering_and_Evil
3.1.04_-_Transformation_in_the_Integral_Yoga
3.10_-_ON_THE_THREE_EVILS
3.11_-_Spells
3.12_-_ON_OLD_AND_NEW_TABLETS
3.16_-_THE_SEVEN_SEALS_OR_THE_YES_AND_AMEN_SONG
31_Hymns_to_the_Star_Goddess
3.2.04_-_The_Conservative_Mind_and_Eastern_Progress
3.20_-_Of_the_Eucharist
32.12_-_The_Evolutionary_Imperative
3.3.01_-_The_Superman
33.03_-_Muraripukur_-_I
33.04_-_Deoghar
3.4.03_-_Materialism
3.6.01_-_Heraclitus
37.06_-_Indra_-_Virochana_and_Prajapati
3.7.2.01_-_The_Foundation
4.05_-_THE_MAGICIAN
4.07_-_THE_UGLIEST_MAN
4.08_-_THE_VOLUNTARY_BEGGAR
4.12_-_THE_LAST_SUPPER
4.16_-_AMONG_DAUGHTERS_OF_THE_WILDERNESS
4.2_-_Karma
5.01_-_ADAM_AS_THE_ARCANE_SUBSTANCE
5.05_-_THE_OLD_ADAM
5.06_-_Supermind_in_the_Evolution
5.1.01.1_-_The_Book_of_the_Herald
5.1.01.8_-_The_Book_of_the_Gods
5_-_The_Phenomenology_of_the_Spirit_in_Fairytales
A_God's_Labour
Apology
BOOK_II._--_PART_I._ANTHROPOGENESIS.
BOOK_II._--_PART_III._ADDENDA._SCIENCE_AND_THE_SECRET_DOCTRINE_CONTRASTED
BOOK_II._--_PART_II._THE_ARCHAIC_SYMBOLISM_OF_THE_WORLD-RELIGIONS
BOOK_I._--_PART_I._COSMIC_EVOLUTION
BOOK_I._--_PART_III._SCIENCE_AND_THE_SECRET_DOCTRINE_CONTRASTED
BOOK_I._--_PART_II._THE_EVOLUTION_OF_SYMBOLISM_IN_ITS_APPROXIMATE_ORDER
Book_of_Imaginary_Beings_(text)
Book_of_Proverbs
BOOK_XVIII._-_A_parallel_history_of_the_earthly_and_heavenly_cities_from_the_time_of_Abraham_to_the_end_of_the_world
COSA_-_BOOK_IV
COSA_-_BOOK_IX
ENNEAD_02.07_-_About_Mixture_to_the_Point_of_Total_Penetration.
Liber_111_-_The_Book_of_Wisdom_-_LIBER_ALEPH_VEL_CXI
Liber_46_-_The_Key_of_the_Mysteries
Phaedo
Sophist
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_2
The_Act_of_Creation_text
The_Book_of_Wisdom
The_Book_(short_story)
The_Coming_Race_Contents
The_Dwellings_of_the_Philosophers
The_Garden_of_Forking_Paths_1
The_Garden_of_Forking_Paths_2
The_Gold_Bug
The_Immortal
The_Library_Of_Babel_2
The_Pilgrims_Progress
The_Riddle_of_this_World
Verses_of_Vemana

PRIMARY CLASS

SIMILAR TITLES
riddle
the Riddle
the riddle of Savitri

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH

riddle ::: a person or thing that puzzles, perplexes, or confuses; enigma. riddles.

riddle: A word puzzle where something is described and then a question is asked. An audience would then have to decipher and guess what the speaker is referring to. The answer to the question is usually an object, person or idea. Riddles have been popular in all cultures, during all ages.

riddled ::: imp. & p. p. --> of Riddle

riddle ::: n. --> A sieve with coarse meshes, usually of wire, for separating coarser materials from finer, as chaff from grain, cinders from ashes, or gravel from sand.
A board having a row of pins, set zigzag, between which wire is drawn to straighten it.
Something proposed to be solved by guessing or conjecture; a puzzling question; an ambiguous proposition; an enigma; hence, anything ambiguous or puzzling.


riddler ::: n. --> One who riddles (grain, sand, etc.).
One who speaks in, or propounds, riddles.



TERMS ANYWHERE

AI koan ::: (humour) /A-I koh'an/ One of a series of pastiches of Zen teaching riddles created by Danny Hillis at the MIT AI Lab around various major figures of the Lab's culture.See also ha ha only serious, mu.In reading these, it is at least useful to know that Marvin Minsky, Gerald Sussman, and Drescher are AI researchers of note, that Tom Knight was one of the Lisp machine's principal designers, and that David Moon wrote much of Lisp Machine Lisp. * * * A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.Knight turned the machine off and on.The machine worked. * * * better garbage collector. We must keep a reference count of the pointers to each cons.Moon patiently told the student the following story: One day a student came to Moon and said: `I understandhow to make a better garbage collector... [Pure reference-count garbage collectors have problems with circular structures that point to themselves.] * * * In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.What are you doing?, asked Minsky.I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe, Sussman replied.Why is the net wired randomly?, asked Minsky.I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play, Sussman said.Minsky then shut his eyes.Why do you close your eyes?, Sussman asked his teacher.So that the room will be empty.At that moment, Sussman was enlightened. * * * A disciple of another sect once came to Drescher as he was eating his morning meal.I would like to give you this personality test, said the outsider, because I want you to be happy.Drescher took the paper that was offered him and put it into the toaster, saying: I wish the toaster to be happy, too. (1995-02-08)

AI koan "humour" /A-I koh'an/ One of a series of pastiches of Zen teaching riddles created by {Danny Hillis} at the {MIT AI Lab} around various major figures of the Lab's culture. See also {ha ha only serious}, {mu}. In reading these, it is at least useful to know that {Marvin Minsky}, {Gerald Sussman}, and Drescher are {AI} researchers of note, that {Tom Knight} was one of the {Lisp machine}'s principal designers, and that {David Moon} wrote much of Lisp Machine Lisp. * * * A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on. Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: "You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong." Knight turned the machine off and on. The machine worked. * * * One day a student came to Moon and said: "I understand how to make a better garbage collector. We must keep a reference count of the pointers to each cons." Moon patiently told the student the following story:   "One day a student came to Moon and said: `I understand   how to make a better garbage collector... [Pure reference-count garbage collectors have problems with circular structures that point to themselves.] * * * In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6. "What are you doing?", asked Minsky. "I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe", Sussman replied. "Why is the net wired randomly?", asked Minsky. "I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play", Sussman said. Minsky then shut his eyes. "Why do you close your eyes?", Sussman asked his teacher. "So that the room will be empty." At that moment, Sussman was enlightened. * * * A disciple of another sect once came to Drescher as he was eating his morning meal. "I would like to give you this personality test", said the outsider, "because I want you to be happy." Drescher took the paper that was offered him and put it into the toaster, saying: "I wish the toaster to be happy, too." (1995-02-08)

areed ::: v. t. --> To tell, declare, explain, or interpret; to divine; to guess; as, to aread a riddle or a dream.
To read.
To counsel, advise, warn, or direct.
To decree; to adjudge.


bannock ::: n. --> A kind of cake or bread, in shape flat and roundish, commonly made of oatmeal or barley meal and baked on an iron plate, or griddle; -- used in Scotland and the northern counties of England.

Brahman ::: Whatever reality is in existence, by which all the rest subsists, that is Brahman. An Eternal behind all instabilities, a Truth of things which is implied, if it is hidden in all appearances, a Constant which supports all mutations, but is not increased, diminished, abrogated,—there is such an unknown x which makes existence a problem, our own self a mystery, the universe a riddle. If we were only what we seem to be to our normal self-awareness, there would be no mystery; if the world were only what it can be made out to be by the perceptions of the senses and their strict analysis in the reason, there would be no riddle; and if to take our life as it is now and the world as it has so far developed to our experience were the whole possibility of our knowing and doing, there would be no problem. Or at best there would be but a shallow mystery, an easily solved riddle, the problem only of a child’s puzzle. But there is more, and that more is the hidden head of the Infinite and the secret heart of the Eternal. It is the highest and this highest is the all; there is none beyond and there is none other than it. To know it is to know the highest and by knowing the highest to know all. For as it is the beginning and source of all things, so everything else is its consequence; as it is the support and constituent of all things, so the secret of everything else is explained by its secret; as it is the sum and end of all things, so everything else amounts to it and by throwing itself into it achieves the sense of its own existence. This is the Brahman
   Ref: CWSA Vol. 18, Page: 151-152


riddle ::: a person or thing that puzzles, perplexes, or confuses; enigma. riddles.

riddle: A word puzzle where something is described and then a question is asked. An audience would then have to decipher and guess what the speaker is referring to. The answer to the question is usually an object, person or idea. Riddles have been popular in all cultures, during all ages.

riddled ::: imp. & p. p. --> of Riddle

riddle ::: n. --> A sieve with coarse meshes, usually of wire, for separating coarser materials from finer, as chaff from grain, cinders from ashes, or gravel from sand.
A board having a row of pins, set zigzag, between which wire is drawn to straighten it.
Something proposed to be solved by guessing or conjecture; a puzzling question; an ambiguous proposition; an enigma; hence, anything ambiguous or puzzling.


riddler ::: n. --> One who riddles (grain, sand, etc.).
One who speaks in, or propounds, riddles.


buckwheat ::: n. --> A plant (Fagopyrum esculentum) of the Polygonum family, the seed of which is used for food.
The triangular seed used, when ground, for griddle cakes, etc.


cake ::: n. --> A small mass of dough baked; especially, a thin loaf from unleavened dough; as, an oatmeal cake; johnnycake.
A sweetened composition of flour and other ingredients, leavened or unleavened, baked in a loaf or mass of any size or shape.
A thin wafer-shaped mass of fried batter; a griddlecake or pancake; as buckwheat cakes.
A mass of matter concreted, congealed, or molded into a solid mass of any form, esp. into a form rather flat than high; as, a cake of


conundrum ::: n. --> A kind of riddle based upon some fanciful or fantastic resemblance between things quite unlike; a puzzling question, of which the answer is or involves a pun.
A question to which only a conjectural answer can be made.


cribble ::: n. --> A coarse sieve or screen.
Coarse flour or meal. ::: v. t. --> To cause to pass through a sieve or riddle; to sift. ::: a.


crumpet ::: n. --> A kind of large, thin muffin or cake, light and spongy, and cooked on a griddle or spider.

enigma ::: 1. A puzzling or mystifying saying, in which some known thing is concealed under obscure language; an obscure question; a riddle. 2. Something seemingly having no explanation; a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation. enigma"s, Enigma, Enigma"s, enigmaed.

enigma ::: n. --> A dark, obscure, or inexplicable saying; a riddle; a statement, the hidden meaning of which is to be discovered or guessed.
An action, mode of action, or thing, which cannot be satisfactorily explained; a puzzle; as, his conduct is an enigma.


enigmatize ::: v. i. --> To make, or talk in, enigmas; to deal in riddles.

expound ::: v. t. --> To lay open; to expose to view; to examine.
To lay open the meaning of; to explain; to clear of obscurity; to interpret; as, to expound a text of Scripture, a law, a word, a meaning, or a riddle.


flapjack ::: n. --> A fklat cake turned on the griddle while cooking; a griddlecake or pacake.
A fried dough cake containing fruit; a turnover.


fry ::: v. t. --> To cook in a pan or on a griddle (esp. with the use of fat, butter, or olive oil) by heating over a fire; to cook in boiling lard or fat; as, to fry fish; to fry doughnuts. ::: v. i. --> To undergo the process of frying; to be subject to the action of heat in a frying pan, or on a griddle, or in a kettle of hot

griddlecake ::: n. --> A cake baked or fried on a griddle, esp. a thin batter cake, as of buckwheat or common flour.

griddle ::: n. --> An iron plate or pan used for cooking cakes.
A sieve with a wire bottom, used by miners.


girdle ::: n. --> A griddle.
That which girds, encircles, or incloses; a circumference; a belt; esp., a belt, sash, or article of dress encircling the body usually at the waist; a cestus.
The zodiac; also, the equator.
The line ofgreatest circumference of a brilliant-cut diamond, at which it is grasped by the setting. See Illust. of Brilliant.


guess ::: v. t. --> To form an opinion concerning, without knowledge or means of knowledge; to judge of at random; to conjecture.
To judge or form an opinion of, from reasons that seem preponderating, but are not decisive.
To solve by a correct conjecture; to conjecture rightly; as, he who guesses the riddle shall have the ring; he has guessed my designs.
To hit upon or reproduce by memory.


Haeckel, Ernst Heinrich: (1834-1919) Was a German biologist whose early espousal of Darwinism led him to found upon the evolutionary hypothesis a thoroughgoing materialistic monism which he advanced in his numerous writings particularly in his popular The Riddle of the Universe. Believing in the essential unity of the organic and the inorganic, he was opposed to revealed religions and their ideals of God, freedom and immortality and offered a monistic religion of nature based on the true, the good and the beautiful. See Darwin, Evolutionism, Monism. -- L.E.D.

Höffding, Harald: (1843-1931) Danish philosopher at the University of Copenhagen and brilliant author of texts in psychology, history of philosophy and the philosophy of religion. He held that the world of reality as a whole is unknowable although we may believe that conscious experience and its unity afford the best keys to unlock the metaphysical riddle. His svstem of thought is classified on the positive side as a cautious idealistic monism (his own term is "critical monism").

  In ancient Egypt, the figure of an imaginary creature having the head of a man or an animal and the body of a lion. 2. Class. Myth. A monster, usually represented as having the head and breast of a woman, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle. Seated on a rock outside of Thebes, she proposed a riddle to travellers, killing them when they answered incorrectly, as all did before Oedipus. When he answered her riddle correctly the Sphinx killed herself. (The Egyptian sphinxes usually exhibit male heads and wingless bodies; in the usual Greek type the head is female and the body winged.)

Lamech (Hebrew) Lemech In the Bible, a son of Methusael (a descendant of Cain), and also a son of Methuselah (a descendant of Seth) and the father of Noah (Genesis 4:18-24; 5:25-31). Genesis 4:16 through ch 5 “give purely historical facts; though the latter were never correctly interpreted. . . . Every woman is an euhemerized land or city; every man and patriarch a race, a branch, or a subdivision of a race. The wives of Lamech give the key to the riddle which some good scholar might easily master, even without studying the esoteric sciences” (IU 1:579).

logogriph ::: n. --> A sort of riddle in which it is required to discover a chosen word from various combinations of its letters, or of some of its letters, which form other words; -- thus, to discover the chosen word chatter form cat, hat, rat, hate, rate, etc.

mu 1. "networking" The {country code} for Mauritius. 2. "philosophy" /moo/ The correct answer to the classic trick question "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?". Assuming that you have no wife or you have never beaten your wife, the answer "yes" is wrong because it implies that you used to beat your wife and then stopped, but "no" is worse because it suggests that you have one and are still beating her. According to various Discordians and Douglas Hofstadter the correct answer is usually "mu", a Japanese word alleged to mean "Your question cannot be answered because it depends on incorrect assumptions". Hackers tend to be sensitive to logical inadequacies in language, and many have adopted this suggestion with enthusiasm. The word "mu" is actually from Chinese, meaning "nothing"; it is used in mainstream Japanese in that sense, but native speakers do not recognise the Discordian question-denying use. It almost certainly derives from overgeneralisation of the answer in the following well-known Rinzei Zen teaching riddle: A monk asked Joshu, "Does a dog have the Buddha nature?" Joshu retorted, "Mu!" See also {has the X nature}, {AI Koan}. [Douglas Hofstadter, "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid"]. [{Jargon File}] (2000-11-22)

  “Nor would the ways of Karma be inscrutable were men to work in union and harmony, instead of disunion and strife. For our ignorance of those ways — which one portion of mankind calls the ways of Providence, dark and intricate; while another sees in them the action of blind Fatalism; and a third, simple chance, with neither gods nor devils to guide them — would surely disappear, if we would but attribute all these to their correct cause. With right knowledge, or at any rate with a confident conviction that our neighbours will no more work to hurt us than we would think of harming them, the two-thirds of the World’s evil would vanish into thin air. Were no man to hurt his brother, Karma-Nemesis would have neither cause to work for, nor weapons to act through. . . . We stand bewildered before the mystery of our own making, and the riddles of life that we will not solve, and then accuse the great Sphinx of devouring us. But verily there is not an accident in our lives, not a misshapen day, or a misfortune, that could not be traced back to our own doings in this or in another life” (SD 1:643-4).

Oedipus (Greek) Oidipous. Swollen-footed; Theban hero, son of Laius, named by the shepherd who found him with his feet swollen from the holes bored in them when he was exposed by his father, as it was predicted that he would kill his father and marry his mother — which he subsequently did. In many cosmogonies there are characters who slay their fathers or who are represented as both husband and son of the same goddess. This symbolism, being interpreted literally in Oedipus’ case, has made a fine story of horror for the tragedians. Oedipus is also famous for having solved the riddle of the Theban Sphinx. Oedipus’ romantic and tragic history formed the theme of three plays by Sophocles and by Aeschylus. The essential significance of the story is the inescapable consequences following upon karmic causes, from which there is no escape once these causes have been set in motion by man.

pancake ::: n. --> A thin cake of batter fried in a pan or on a griddle; a griddlecake; a flapjack.

paradox ::: 1. Any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature; puzzle; anomaly; riddle. 2. A statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth. paradoxical.

prinpriddle ::: n. --> The long-tailed titmouse.

quiz ::: n. --> A riddle or obscure question; an enigma; a ridiculous hoax.
One who quizzes others; as, he is a great quiz.
An odd or absurd fellow.
An exercise, or a course of exercises, conducted as a coaching or as an examination. ::: v. t.


rebus ::: n. --> A mode of expressing words and phrases by pictures of objects whose names resemble those words, or the syllables of which they are composed; enigmatical representation of words by figures; hence, a peculiar form of riddle made up of such representations.
A pictorial suggestion on a coat of arms of the name of the person to whom it belongs. See Canting arms, under Canting. ::: v. t.


ree ::: n. --> See Rei. ::: v. t. --> To riddle; to sift; to separate or throw off.

resolve ::: v. i. --> To separate the component parts of; to reduce to the constituent elements; -- said of compound substances; hence, sometimes, to melt, or dissolve.
To reduce to simple or intelligible notions; -- said of complex ideas or obscure questions; to make clear or certain; to free from doubt; to disentangle; to unravel; to explain; hence, to clear up, or dispel, as doubt; as, to resolve a riddle.
To cause to perceive or understand; to acquaint; to


riddling ::: p. pr. & vb. n. --> of Riddle ::: a. --> Speaking in a riddle or riddles; containing a riddle.

rudder ::: n. --> A riddle or sieve.
The mechanical appliance by means of which a vessel is guided or steered when in motion. It is a broad and flat blade made of wood or iron, with a long shank, and is fastened in an upright position, usually by one edge, to the sternpost of the vessel in such a way that it can be turned from side to side in the water by means of a tiller, wheel, or other attachment.
Fig.: That which resembles a rudder as a guide or governor;


ruddle ::: v. t. --> To raddle or twist.
To mark with ruddle; to raddle; to rouge. ::: n. --> A riddle or sieve.
A species of red earth colored by iron sesquioxide; red ocher.


sāsrava. (P. sāsava; T. zag bcas; C. youlou; J. uro; K. yuru 有漏). In Sanskrit, lit. "with outflows," hence, "contaminated," "tainted." Just as a leaky roof lets in rain that destroys a residence and all its contents, the edifice of the five aggregates (SKANDHA) is a ruin dampened by the afflictions (KLEsA) of greed, hatred, and delusion and riddled with the rot of KARMAN (viz., the formative forces left by the actions motivated by the afflictions). Sāsrava is similar in meaning to SAMKLIstA (defilement, affliction), although wider in application because unwholesome (AKUsALA) and wholesome (KUsALA) states are sāsrava if they lead to a future state with outflows, even if that is a fortunate state of happiness in this lifetime or the next. In this sense, sāsrava is a common designation for the aggregates (skandha) and refers to those objects that may serve as an occasion for the increase of klesa. Thus, even an inanimate object can be considered "contaminated" in the sense that it can serve as a cause for the increase of the afflictions, such as greed. According to the ABHIDHARMAKOsABHĀsYA, only four dharmas are uncontaminated. Three of these are permanent: space (ĀKĀsA), nonanalytical cessation (APRATISAMKHYĀNIRODHA), and analytical cessation (PRATISAMKHYĀNIRODHA), which would include NIRVĀnA. The only impermanent dharma that is uncontaminated is the truth of the path or true path (MĀRGASATYA); technically, this would refer to the equipoise of nonperception (ASAMJNĀSAMĀPATTI) when absorbed in a perfect vision of the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS, or, in the MAHĀYĀNA, in the perfect vision of the emptiness (suNYATĀ) of all dharmas. The SĀSRAVASKANDHA (contaminated aggregates) is the entire heap of dharmas that make up a person (PUDGALA), with the sole exception of the NIRVĀnA element, or in Mahāyāna the pure element (DHĀTU) that locates the lineage (GOTRA) of all beings destined for the final perfect enlightenment. The ABHIDHARMASAMUCCAYA gives six meanings for sāsrava, which it says can be (1) a contaminant (ĀSRAVA) itself, i.e., an actual klesa, (2) the other parts of the mind that are necessarily present when obscuration (ĀVARAnA) is present, (3) the aggregates when klesa is operating, (4) the future contaminated aggregates that arise from the earlier cause, (5) the higher stages of the path because, although not governed by klesa, they are tied up with thought construction, and (6) even the very final stage of the bodhisattva path, because it is affected by residual impressions left by earlier contaminated states.

Schiller, Ferdinand Canning Scott: (1864-1937), unwilling to accept the idealism current at Oxford in his day on grounds that it was "absolutist", sought by a metaphysical pluralism not only to account for the unity and multiplicity of things, but also to furnish the basis for evolution theory. His developed philosophical position was generally known as "personal idealism", or "humanism", though it was closely akin to the pragmatism of William James. The kinship may be seen in Schiller's thesis that a theory of knowledge cannot be formed by abstracting from man's total experience, and may be seen further in his advocacy of the "logic of discovery" over the "logic of proof." Main works: Riddles of the Sphinx, 1891; Humanism, 1903; Logic For Use, 1930. -- C.K.D.

slapjack ::: n. --> A flat batter cake cooked on a griddle; a flapjack; a griddlecake.

Solomon, King of Israel and Judah (Hebrew) Shĕlomoh [from shālōm prosperous cf Arab zuleima, Greek Salomon Latin solomo, genitive solomonis, French Salomon] Peace, prosperity; according to orthodox Biblical chronology, he lived 993-953 BC, the youngest son of David whom he succeeded through the influence of his mother Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan. Throughout the East, especially in Arabia and thence in Europe, there are many legends of his wisdom and magical powers, and notably with regard to his seal, the six-pointed star or double interlaced equilateral triangles (Solomon’s seal); his meeting with the Queen of Sheba and his answering of the questions and riddles propounded by her and others; and his judgments. Solomon is said to have gotten “his secret learning from India through Hiram, the king of Ophir, and perhaps Sheba” (IU 1:135, 136n).

sphinx ::: 1. In ancient Egypt, the figure of an imaginary creature having the head of a man or an animal and the body of a lion. 2. Class. Myth. A monster, usually represented as having the head and breast of a woman, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle. Seated on a rock outside of Thebes, she proposed a riddle to travellers, killing them when they answered incorrectly, as all did before Oedipus. When he answered her riddle correctly the Sphinx killed herself. (The Egyptian sphinxes usually exhibit male heads and wingless bodies; in the usual Greek type the head is female and the body winged.)

Sphinx As a mystical figure, one of the emblems made when the human race fell into materialism, and sacred knowledge had to be withdrawn to avoid profanation. The Sphinx preserves a mystery without revealing it to those not qualified to know. This mystery, among other things, is connected with the evolution of the human race from the spiritual and, at a far later date, from the androgynous race. Sphinxes are found in Egypt, Assyria, and Greece, usually man-lions, with either male or female human heads, with or without wings. Oedipus did not solve the riddle of the Sphinx, but in a sense profaned it. Sacred symbols were anthropomorphized, and the Sphinx leapt into the sea to preserve her secret wisdom.

Sphinx ::: Tehmi: “The Sphinx poses the riddle of man’s life. If he can’t answer that he is lost.”

Sphinx, the: (metaplot) Elusive entity that encouraged/encourages unity and Ascension among disillusioned Tradition mages; sent out untraceable messages marked with a disappearing sphinx, indicating riddles to be solved. (See Rogue Council.)

triddler ::: n. --> The jacksnipe.

" To become ourselves by exceeding ourselves, — so we may turn the inspired phrases of a half-blind seer who knew not the self of which he spoke, — is the difficult and dangerous necessity, the cross surmounted by an invisible crown which is imposed on us, the riddle of the true nature of his being proposed to man by the dark Sphinx of the Inconscience below and from within and above by the luminous veiled Sphinx of the infinite Consciousness and eternal Wisdom confronting him as an inscrutable divine Maya. To exceed ego and be our true self, to be aware of our real being, to possess it, to possess a real delight of being, is therefore the ultimate meaning of our life here; it is the concealed sense of our individual and terrestrial existence.” The Life Divine*

“ To become ourselves by exceeding ourselves,—so we may turn the inspired phrases of a half-blind seer who knew not the self of which he spoke,—is the difficult and dangerous necessity, the cross surmounted by an invisible crown which is imposed on us, the riddle of the true nature of his being proposed to man by the dark Sphinx of the Inconscience below and from within and above by the luminous veiled Sphinx of the infinite Consciousness and eternal Wisdom confronting him as an inscrutable divine Maya. To exceed ego and be our true self, to be aware of our real being, to possess it, to possess a real delight of being, is therefore the ultimate meaning of our life here; it is the concealed sense of our individual and terrestrial existence.” The Life Divine

“To become ourselves by exceeding ourselves,—so we may turn the inspired phrases of a half-blind seer who knew not the self of which he spoke,—is the difficult and dangerous necessity, the cross surmounted by an invisible crown which is imposed on us, the riddle of the true nature of his being proposed to man by the dark Sphinx of the Inconscience below and from within and above by the luminous veiled Sphinx of the infinite Consciousness and eternal Wisdom confronting him as an inscrutable divine Maya. To exceed ego and be our true self, to be aware of our real being, to possess it, to possess a real delight of being, is therefore the ultimate meaning of our life here; it is the concealed sense of our individual and terrestrial existence.” The Life Divine

unriddler ::: n. --> One who unriddles.

unriddle ::: v. t. & i. --> To read the riddle of; to solve or explain; as, to unriddle an enigma or a mystery.

undo ::: v. t. --> To reverse, as what has been done; to annul; to bring to naught.
To loose; to open; to take to piece; to unfasten; to untie; hence, to unravel; to solve; as, to undo a knot; to undo a puzzling question; to undo a riddle.
To bring to poverty; to impoverish; to ruin, as in reputation, morals, hopes, or the like; as, many are undone by unavoidable losses, but more undo themselves by vices and dissipation,


Vammikasutta. (C. Yiyu jing; J. Giyukyo; K. Ŭiyu kyong 蟻喩經). In Pāli, the "Anthill" or "Termite Mound Discourse," the twenty-third sutta (SuTRA) contained in the MAJJHIMANIKĀYA (two separate SARVĀSTIVĀDA recensions appear in the Chinese translation of the SAMYUKTĀGAMA, as well as an unidentified recension in the Chinese translation of the EKOTTARĀGAMA); preached by the Buddha at Sāvatthi (S. sRĀVASTĪ) in connection with a riddle presented to him by the monk Kumāra-Kassapa (S. KUMĀRA-KĀsYAPA). Kumāra-Kassapa had been approached by a divinity (DEVA), who gave him a riddle comprising fifteen questions that he asked to be delivered to the Buddha for solution. The Buddha solved the riddle, identifying its cryptic elements as symbols and metaphors for points of Buddhist doctrine. The first riddle concerned an anthill that gave off fumes during the night and flames during the day. The anthill represents the body with its apertures. The flames it gives off during the day are bodily actions, while its fumes at night are the thoughts and worries about the day's activities that disturb one in the evening.



QUOTES [9 / 9 - 973 / 973]


KEYS (10k)

   1 Sheng yen
   1 R W Emerson
   1 Moses Maimonides
   1 G K Chesterton
   1 George R R Martin
   1 The Mother
   1 Sri Aurobindo
   1 Jorge Luis Borges
   1 Aleister Crowley

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

  315 A G Riddle
   21 J K Rowling
   9 Fyodor Dostoyevsky
   9 Anonymous
   6 G K Chesterton
   5 Stephen King
   5 Ralph Waldo Emerson
   5 Peter S Beagle
   5 Ludwig Wittgenstein
   5 Lewis Carroll
   5 Hermann Hesse
   5 Chaim Potok
   4 Winston S Churchill
   4 S ren Kierkegaard
   4 Omar Khayy m
   4 Janet Morris
   4 Holly Black
   4 Gilbert K Chesterton
   4 Emily Dickinson
   3 Winston Churchill

1:All is riddle, and the key to a riddle is another riddle. ~ R W Emerson,
2:The sphinx was the riddle, not the riddler. - Maester Aemon
   ~ George R R Martin,
3:In a riddle whose answer is chess, what is the only prohibited word?
   ~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden Of Forking Paths,
4:
   The Riddle of the World

If you can solve it, you will be immortal, but if you fail you will perish. ~ The Mother, On Education, [T5],
5:In the realms of the immortal Supermind
Truth who hides here her head in mystery,
Her riddle deemed by reason impossible
In the stark structure of material form,
Unenigmaed lives, unmasked her face and there
Is Nature and the common law of things. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Dream Twilight of the Earthly Real,
6:Savitri", the poem, the word of Sri Aurobindo is the cosmic Answer to the cosmic Question. And Savitri, the person, the Godhead, the Divine Woman is the Divine's response to the human aspiration.
The world is a great question mark. It is a riddle, eternal and ever-recurring. Man has faced the riddle and sought to arrive at a solution since he was given a mind to seek and interrogate.
What is this universe? From where has it come? Whither is it going? What is the purpose of it all? Why is man here? What is the object of his existence? ~ Nolini Kanta Gupta, Savitri,
7:Thought's long far-circling journey touched its close
And ineffective paused the actor Will.
The symbol modes of being helped no more,
The structures Nescience builds collapsing failed,
All glory of outline, sweetness of harmony,
Rejected like a grace of trivial notes,
Expunged from Being's silence nude, austere,
Died into a fine and blissful Nothingness.
The Demiurges lost their names and forms,
The great schemed worlds that they had planned and wrought
Passed, taken and abolished one by one.
The universe removed its coloured veil,
And at the unimaginable end
Of the huge riddle of created things
Appeared the far-seen Godhead of the whole,
His feet firm-based on Life's stupendous wings,
Omnipotent, a lonely seer of Time,
Inward, inscrutable, with diamond gaze.
Attracted by the unfathomable regard
The unsolved slow cycles to their fount returned
To rise again from that invisible sea.
All from his puissance born was now undone;
Nothing remained the cosmic Mind conceives.
Eternity prepared to fade and seemed
A hue and imposition on the Void,
Space was the fluttering of a dream that sank
Before its ending into Nothing's deeps.
The spirit that dies not and the Godhead's self
Seemed myths projected from the Unknowable;
From It all sprang, in It is called to cease.
But what That was, no thought nor sight could tell.
Only a formless Form of self was left,
A tenuous ghost of something that had been,
The last experience of a lapsing wave ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 3:1,
8:She"
  
   How shall I welcome not this light
   Or, wakened by it, greet with doubt
   This beam as palpable to sight
   As visible to touch? How not,
   Old as I am and (some say) wise,
   Revive beneath her summer eyes?
  
   How not have all my nights and days,
   My spirit ranging far and wide,
   By recollections of her grace
   Enlightened and preoccupied?
   Preoccupied: the Morning Star
   How near the Sun and yet how far!
  
   Enlightened: true, but more than true,
   Or why must I discover there
   The meaning in this taintless dew,
   The dancing wave, this blessed air
   Enchanting in its morning dress
   And calm as everlastingness?
  
   The flame that in the heart resides
   Is parcel of that central Fire
   Whose energy is winds and tides-
   Is rooted deep in the Desire
   That smilingly unseals its power
   Each summer in each springing flower.
  
   Oh Lady Nature-Proserpine,
   Mistress of Gender, star-crowned Queen!
   Ah Rose of Sharon-Mistress mine,
   My teacher ere I turned fourteen,
   When first I hallowed from afar
   Your Beautyship in avatar!
  
   I sense the hidden thing you say,
   Your subtle whisper how the Word
   From Alpha on to Omega
   Made all things-you confide my Lord
   Himself-all, all this potent Frame,
   All save the riddle of your name.
  
   Wisdom! I heard a voice that said:
   "What riddle? What is that to you?
   How! By my follower betrayed!
   Look up-for shame! Now tell me true:
   Where meet you light, with love and grace?
   Still unacquainted with my face?"
  
   Dear God, the erring heart must live-
   Through strength and weakness, calm and glow-
   That answer Wisdom scorns to give.
   Much have I learned. One problem, though,
   I never shall unlock: Who then,
   Who made Sophia feminine?
   ~ Owen Barfield, 1978,
9:A God's Labour
I have gathered my dreams in a silver air
   Between the gold and the blue
And wrapped them softly and left them there,
   My jewelled dreams of you.

I had hoped to build a rainbow bridge
   Marrying the soil to the sky
And sow in this dancing planet midge
   The moods of infinity.

But too bright were our heavens, too far away,
   Too frail their ethereal stuff;
Too splendid and sudden our light could not stay;
   The roots were not deep enough.

He who would bring the heavens here
   Must descend himself into clay
And the burden of earthly nature bear
   And tread the dolorous way.

Coercing my godhead I have come down
   Here on the sordid earth,
Ignorant, labouring, human grown
   Twixt the gates of death and birth.

I have been digging deep and long
   Mid a horror of filth and mire
A bed for the golden river's song,
   A home for the deathless fire.

I have laboured and suffered in Matter's night
   To bring the fire to man;
But the hate of hell and human spite
   Are my meed since the world began.

For man's mind is the dupe of his animal self;
   Hoping its lusts to win,
He harbours within him a grisly Elf
   Enamoured of sorrow and sin.

The grey Elf shudders from heaven's flame
   And from all things glad and pure;
Only by pleasure and passion and pain
   His drama can endure.

All around is darkness and strife;
   For the lamps that men call suns
Are but halfway gleams on this stumbling life
   Cast by the Undying Ones.

Man lights his little torches of hope
   That lead to a failing edge;
A fragment of Truth is his widest scope,
   An inn his pilgrimage.

The Truth of truths men fear and deny,
   The Light of lights they refuse;
To ignorant gods they lift their cry
   Or a demon altar choose.

All that was found must again be sought,
   Each enemy slain revives,
Each battle for ever is fought and refought
   Through vistas of fruitless lives.

My gaping wounds are a thousand and one
   And the Titan kings assail,
But I dare not rest till my task is done
   And wrought the eternal will.

How they mock and sneer, both devils and men!
   "Thy hope is Chimera's head
Painting the sky with its fiery stain;
   Thou shalt fall and thy work lie dead.

"Who art thou that babblest of heavenly ease
   And joy and golden room
To us who are waifs on inconscient seas
   And bound to life's iron doom?

"This earth is ours, a field of Night
   For our petty flickering fires.
How shall it brook the sacred Light
   Or suffer a god's desires?

"Come, let us slay him and end his course!
   Then shall our hearts have release
From the burden and call of his glory and force
   And the curb of his wide white peace."

But the god is there in my mortal breast
   Who wrestles with error and fate
And tramples a road through mire and waste
   For the nameless Immaculate.

A voice cried, "Go where none have gone!
   Dig deeper, deeper yet
Till thou reach the grim foundation stone
   And knock at the keyless gate."

I saw that a falsehood was planted deep
   At the very root of things
Where the grey Sphinx guards God's riddle sleep
   On the Dragon's outspread wings.

I left the surface gauds of mind
   And life's unsatisfied seas
And plunged through the body's alleys blind
   To the nether mysteries.

I have delved through the dumb Earth's dreadful heart
   And heard her black mass' bell.
I have seen the source whence her agonies part
   And the inner reason of hell.

Above me the dragon murmurs moan
   And the goblin voices flit;
I have pierced the Void where Thought was born,
   I have walked in the bottomless pit.

On a desperate stair my feet have trod
   Armoured with boundless peace,
Bringing the fires of the splendour of God
   Into the human abyss.

He who I am was with me still;
   All veils are breaking now.
I have heard His voice and borne His will
   On my vast untroubled brow.

The gulf twixt the depths and the heights is bridged
   And the golden waters pour
Down the sapphire mountain rainbow-ridged
   And glimmer from shore to shore.

Heaven's fire is lit in the breast of the earth
   And the undying suns here burn;
Through a wonder cleft in the bounds of birth
   The incarnate spirits yearn

Like flames to the kingdoms of Truth and Bliss:
   Down a gold-red stairway wend
The radiant children of Paradise
   Clarioning darkness' end.

A little more and the new life's doors
   Shall be carved in silver light
With its aureate roof and mosaic floors
   In a great world bare and bright.

I shall leave my dreams in their argent air,
   For in a raiment of gold and blue
There shall move on the earth embodied and fair
   The living truth of you.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Collected Poems, A God's Labour, 534,

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation. ~ g-k-chesterton, @wisdomtrove
2:Un-dish-cover the fish, or dishcover the riddle. ~ lewis-carroll, @wisdomtrove
3:Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. ~ winston-churchill, @wisdomtrove
4:The Sphinx-riddle. Solve it, or be torn to bits, is the decree. ~ d-h-lawrence, @wisdomtrove
5:What man can pretend to know the riddle of a woman's mind? ~ miguel-de-cervantes, @wisdomtrove
6:I profess not to know how women's hearts are wooed and won. To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration. ~ washington-irving, @wisdomtrove
7:Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. All is riddle, and the key to a riddle is another riddle. ~ ralph-waldo-emerson, @wisdomtrove
8:The Big Bang is our modern scientific creation myth. It comes from the same human need to solve the cosmological riddle [Where did the universe come from?] ~ carl-sagan, @wisdomtrove
9:Beyond the ten thousand states of mind is the still point. It exists within them all, yet beyond them. It is not affected by them. It gives birth to them. This is the riddle. ~ frederick-lenz, @wisdomtrove
10:The whole [of religion] is a riddle, an ænigma, an inexplicable mystery. Doubt, uncertainty, suspence of judgment appear the onlyresult of our most accurate scrutiny, concerning this subject. ~ david-hume, @wisdomtrove
11:You train yourself in the art of being mysterious to everyone. My dear friend! What if there were no one, who cared about guessing your riddle, what pleasure would you then take in it? ~ soren-kierkegaard, @wisdomtrove
12:This whole universe, with all its vastness, grandeur and beauty, is nothing but sheer imagination. In spite of so many discoveries, researches and scientific knowledge, the creation remains a great unsolved riddle. ~ meher-baba, @wisdomtrove
13:Your own tactic is to train yourself in the art of becoming enigmatic to everybody. My young friend, suppose there was no one who troubld himself to guess your riddle&
14:Mad Hatter: Why is a raven like a writing-desk? Have you guessed the riddle yet? the Hatter said, turning to Alice again. No, I give it up, Alice replied: What’s the answer? I haven’t the slightest idea, said the Hatter ~ lewis-carroll, @wisdomtrove
15:We all feel the riddle of the earth without anyone to point it out. The mystery of life is the plainest part of it. The clouds and curtains of darkness, the confounding vapors, these are the daily weather of this world. ~ g-k-chesterton, @wisdomtrove
16:There is a riddle about a man who is locked in a room with nothing but a bed and a calendar, and the question is: How does he survive? The answer is: He eats dates from the calendar and drinks from the springs of the bed. ~ kurt-vonnegut, @wisdomtrove
17:The nature of Christ's existence is mysterious, I admit; but this mystery meets the wants of man. Reject it, and the world is an inexplicable riddle; believe it, and the history of our race is satisfactorily explained. ~ napoleon-bonaparte, @wisdomtrove
18:There was this huge world out there, independent of us human beings and standing before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partly accessible to our inspection and thought. The contemplation of that world beckoned like a liberation. ~ albert-einstein, @wisdomtrove
19:Truly, nothing in the world has so occupied my thoughts as this I, this riddle, the fact I am alive, that I am separated and isolated from all others, that I am Siddhartha! And about nothing in the world do I know less about than me, about Siddhartha! ~ hermann-hesse, @wisdomtrove
20:Every great literature has always been allegorical - allegorical of some view of the whole universe. The &
21:What have I got in my pocket?" he said aloud. He was talking to himself, but Gollum thought it was a riddle, and he was frightfully upset. "Not fair! not fair!" he hissed. "It isn't fair, my precious, is it, to ask us what it's got in it's nassty little pocketsess? ~ j-r-r-tolkien, @wisdomtrove
22:The mystery of life is so enormous it takes my breath away and leaves me speechless. It’s not some riddle I will one day unravel, but real magic to be marvelled at. It’s not a darkness my intellect can illuminate, but a dazzling radiance so splendid that my most brilliant ideas seem dull. ~ tim-freke, @wisdomtrove
23:So, monotheism explains order, but is mystified by evil. Dualism explains evil, but is puzzled by order. There is one logical way of solving the riddle: to argue that there is a single omnipotent God who created the entire universe – and He’s evil. But nobody in history has had the stomach for such a belief. ~ yuval-noah-harari, @wisdomtrove
24:We cannot understand what happens in the universe. What is glorious in it is united with what is full of horror. What is full of meaning is united to what is senseless. The spirit of the universe is at once creative and destructive — it creates while it destroys and destroys while it creates, and therefore it remains to us a riddle. And we must inevitably resign ourselves to this. ~ albert-schweitzer, @wisdomtrove
25: It seems to be very hard for people to live with riddles or to let them live, although one would think that life is so full of riddles as it is that a few more things we cannot answer would make no difference. But perhaps it is just this that is so unendurable, that there are irrational things in our own psyche which upset the conscious mind in its illusory certainties by confronting it with the riddle of its existence. ~ carl-jung, @wisdomtrove
26:The adversary she found herself forced to fight was not worth matching or beating; it was not a superior ability which she would have found honour in challenging; it was ineptitude - a grey spread of cotton that seemed soft and shapeless, that could offer no resistance to anything or anybody, yet managed to be a barrier in her way. She stood, disarmed, before the riddle of what made this possible, she could find no answer. ~ ayn-rand, @wisdomtrove
27:The whole is a riddle, an enigma, an inexplicable mystery. Doubt, uncertainty, suspence of judgment appear the only result of ourmost accurate scrutiny, concerning this subject. But such is the frailty of human reason, and such the irresistible contagion of opinion, that even this deliberate doubt could scarcely be upheld; did we not enlarge our view, and opposing one species of superstition to another, set them a quarrelling; while we ourselves, during their fury and contention, happily make our escape into the calm, though obscure, regions of philosophy. ~ david-hume, @wisdomtrove
28:I profess not to know how women's hearts are wooed and won. To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration. Some seem to have but one vulnerable point, or door of access; while others have a thousand avenues, and may be captured in a thousand different ways. It is a great triumph of skill to gain the former, but a still greater proof of generalship to maintain possession of the latter, for man must battle for his fortress at every door and window. He who wins a thousand common hearts is therefore entitled to some renown; but he who keeps undisputed sway over the heart of a coquette is indeed a hero. ~ washington-irving, @wisdomtrove
29:Now I behold as in a mirror, in an icon, in a riddle, life eternal, for that is naught other than that blessed regard wherewith Thou never ceasest most lovingly to behold me, yea, even the secret places of my soul. With Thee, to behold is to give life; 'tis unceasingly to impart sweetest love of Thee; 'tis to inflame me to love of Thee by love's imparting, and to feed me by inflaming, and by feeding to kindle my yearning, and by kindling to make me drink of gladness, and by drinking to infuse in me a fountain of life, and by infusing to make it increase and endure. &
30:The Battle of Good and Evil Polytheism gave birth not merely to monotheist religions, but also to dualistic ones. Dualistic religions espouse the existence of two opposing powers: good and evil. Unlike monotheism, dualism believes that evil is an independent power, neither created by the good God, nor subordinate to it. Dualism explains that the entire universe is a battleground between these two forces, and that everything that happens in the world is part of the struggle. Dualism is a very attractive world view because it has a short and simple answer to the famous Problem of Evil, one of the fundamental concerns of human thought. ‘Why is there evil in the world? Why is there suffering? Why do bad things happen to good people?’ Monotheists have to practise intellectual gymnastics to explain how an all-knowing, all-powerful and perfectly good God allows so much suffering in the world. One well-known explanation is that this is God’s way of allowing for human free will. Were there no evil, humans could not choose between good and evil, and hence there would be no free will. This, however, is a non-intuitive answer that immediately raises a host of new questions. Freedom of will allows humans to choose evil. Many indeed choose evil and, according to the standard monotheist account, this choice must bring divine punishment in its wake. If God knew in advance that a particular person would use her free will to choose evil, and that as a result she would be punished for this by eternal tortures in hell, why did God create her? Theologians have written countless books to answer such questions. Some find the answers convincing. Some don’t. What’s undeniable is that monotheists have a hard time dealing with the Problem of Evil. For dualists, it’s easy to explain evil. Bad things happen even to good people because the world is not governed single-handedly by a good God. There is an independent evil power loose in the world. The evil power does bad things. Dualism has its own drawbacks. While solving the Problem of Evil, it is unnerved by the Problem of Order. If the world was created by a single God, it’s clear why it is such an orderly place, where everything obeys the same laws. But if Good and Evil battle for control of the world, who enforces the laws governing this cosmic war? Two rival states can fight one another because both obey the same laws of physics. A missile launched from Pakistan can hit targets in India because gravity works the same way in both countries. When Good and Evil fight, what common laws do they obey, and who decreed these laws? So, monotheism explains order, but is mystified by evil. Dualism explains evil, but is puzzled by order. There is one logical way of solving the riddle: to argue that there is a single omnipotent God who created the entire universe – and He’s evil. But nobody in history has had the stomach for such a belief. ~ yuval-noah-harari, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:I’m in,” Steve said. ~ A G Riddle,
2:It’s hard to choose. ~ A G Riddle,
3:What? Are you crazy— ~ A G Riddle,
4:remains of one of the ~ A G Riddle,
5:We need to get below, ~ A G Riddle,
6:My clone stands there, ~ A G Riddle,
7:bridge is straight ahead. ~ A G Riddle,
8:Kate couldn’t believe it. ~ A G Riddle,
9:Beauty is a riddle ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
10:It will decrease the yield. ~ A G Riddle,
11:Dreamers die foolish deaths. ~ A G Riddle,
12:I think we reap what we sow. ~ A G Riddle,
13:watched Yuri’s plan unfolded ~ A G Riddle,
14:The world is not as it seems, ~ A G Riddle,
15:I'm the riddle you have yet to solve ~ Poppet,
16:You overestimate my comfort zone. ~ A G Riddle,
17:emptiness inside of him felt filled ~ A G Riddle,
18:the second revolution: agriculture. ~ A G Riddle,
19:enough vodka to kill a Russian army. ~ A G Riddle,
20:True knowledge is earned, not given. ~ A G Riddle,
21:giants whose shoulders we stand upon. ~ A G Riddle,
22:her wrist. He grabbed her other wrist ~ A G Riddle,
23:Empower them to run their own reports. ~ A G Riddle,
24:Clinging to a life that is gone forever ~ A G Riddle,
25:struck him as vaguely familiar: “Do you ~ A G Riddle,
26:Betrayal is a riddle we want to solve ~ Sascha Arango,
27:Forgiveness is what makes families work. ~ A G Riddle,
28:Copy, Watch Shop. Trader, Broker, report. ~ A G Riddle,
29:technology to gather the site’s content—a ~ A G Riddle,
30:Today’s decisions are tomorrow’s reality. ~ A G Riddle,
31:Ballet is a riddle of means and ends. ~ Gelsey Kirkland,
32:Aye, a tip. But only if you solve a riddle. ~ Hugh Howey,
33:Definitely made in Europe, possibly Canada. ~ A G Riddle,
34:operations for Clocktower Jakarta, massaged ~ A G Riddle,
35:All good plans eventually involve duct tape. ~ A G Riddle,
36:Most people have a very limited imagination. ~ A G Riddle,
37:ORS were strewn across the floor. The buzzing ~ A G Riddle,
38:She stood up in her cube as called after him. ~ A G Riddle,
39:Voldemort,’ said Riddle softly, ‘is my past, ~ J K Rowling,
40:I must not worry over things I cannot control. ~ A G Riddle,
41:The Sphinx must solve her own riddle. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
42:Because love is a riddle, as is life itself. ~ Corban Addison,
43:It turns out a lack of gravity is my kryptonite. ~ A G Riddle,
44:London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation. ~ G K Chesterton,
45:meant to give whoever was inside more time. Josh ~ A G Riddle,
46:The taps mimicked the theme song to The X-Files. ~ A G Riddle,
47:effect change on a global scale, change that would ~ A G Riddle,
48:every person deserved the freedom to be different. ~ A G Riddle,
49:For her, thinking was the greatest enemy of sleep. ~ A G Riddle,
50:He is the sphinx whose riddle still eludes us. ~ Ernle Bradford,
51:Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment. ~ A G Riddle,
52:You must see the darkness to appreciate the light. ~ A G Riddle,
53:Un-dish-cover the fish, or dishcover the riddle. ~ Lewis Carroll,
54:How long?” The scientist exhaled. “A day, maybe two. ~ A G Riddle,
55:spraying shards of glass and metal into the station. ~ A G Riddle,
56:What a haunting, inescapable riddle life was. ~ Walter de La Mare,
57:We so often seek what we’re deprived of in childhood. ~ A G Riddle,
58:I meditated upon it and found myself to be a riddle ~ Hermann Hesse,
59:London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
60:Sonja!” David called around the hall. “Switch with me. ~ A G Riddle,
61:There have been three pivotal events in human history. ~ A G Riddle,
62:Have you ever solved a riddle you weren’t asked? ~ Maggie Stiefvater,
63:I don’t think a person has to be religious to be moral. ~ A G Riddle,
64:Kate,” a man whispered, testing to see if she was awake. ~ A G Riddle,
65:The human race is the biggest mass murderer of all time. ~ A G Riddle,
66:the Kingdom of Heaven is the domain of those who repent, ~ A G Riddle,
67:This novel is fiction, except for the parts that aren’t. ~ A G Riddle,
68:We are far too uncivilized to possess the weapons we do. ~ A G Riddle,
69:Great leaders are forged from the fire of hard decisions, ~ A G Riddle,
70:we’re all capable of evil, under the right circumstances. ~ A G Riddle,
71:here, there, and everywhere"-an opinionated riddle. ~ Mary Downing Hahn,
72:Life is a mystery, not a riddle. It has to be lived, not solved. ~ Osho,
73:All is riddle, and the key to a riddle is another riddle. ~ R W Emerson,
74:A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer. ~ Karl Kraus,
75:Good news, Doc: all my internal injuries are psychological. ~ A G Riddle,
76:madman, trying to solve a riddle that didn’t exist. I had ~ J B Cantwell,
77:She copied and pasted the results into an Excel spreadsheet. ~ A G Riddle,
78:She is a woman, Your Highness, and that’s riddle enough. ~ Peter S Beagle,
79:a lie repeated becomes perception, and perception is reality. ~ A G Riddle,
80:higher ground.” Mary grabbed her laptop bag. “Leave it, Mary. ~ A G Riddle,
81:It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma ~ Winston S Churchill,
82:Part of history is tracing artifacts and looking at patterns. ~ A G Riddle,
83:Stop talking. You’re making everyone who can hear you dumber. ~ A G Riddle,
84:The war is always the same, only the names and places change. ~ A G Riddle,
85:What’s the riddle? Me talking so much And saying so little ~ Carrie Fisher,
86:Life's perhaps the only riddle That we shrink from giving up. ~ W S Gilbert,
87:throwing stones through the windows of the Riddle House. They ~ J K Rowling,
88:And through a Riddle, at the last--
Sagacity, must go-- ~ Emily Dickinson,
89:The riddle of the age has for each a private solution. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
90:A mind that dwells in the past builds a prison it cannot escape. ~ A G Riddle,
91:At the back of Karl’s mind, a new thought emerged: reward money. ~ A G Riddle,
92:every person who has ever flown on a plane has traveled in time. ~ A G Riddle,
93:Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. ~ Winston Churchill,
94:I guess we’re all capable of evil, under the right circumstances. ~ A G Riddle,
95:The real is not given to us, but put to us by way of a riddle. ~ Immanuel Kant,
96:The Sphinx-riddle. Solve it, or be torn to bits, is the decree. ~ D H Lawrence,
97:Why is it that we only appreciate things we’re at risk of losing? ~ A G Riddle,
98:Losers don’t write history. They’re burned, buried, and forgotten. ~ A G Riddle,
99:Michael was still an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, coated in yum. ~ Lisa Shearin,
100:Riddle me this, riddle me that. Who's afraid of the big black bat? ~ Jim Carrey,
101:what ultimately matters in a survival situation: the will to live. ~ A G Riddle,
102:What man can pretend to know the riddle of a woman's mind? ~ Miguel de Cervantes,
103:Is that a riddle? Or a serious question?’ ‘Yes.’ The Fool was grave. ~ Robin Hobb,
104:There are demons upon this earth. They live in our hearts and minds. ~ A G Riddle,
105:Disasters are an opportunity for the worst of humanity. And the best. ~ A G Riddle,
106:Grace Town is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. ~ Krystal Sutherland,
107:Let’s agree to disagree, Martin. And let’s focus on the task at hand. ~ A G Riddle,
108:The sphinx was the riddle, not the riddler. - Maester Aemon
   ~ George R R Martin,
109:A healthy person has a hundred wishes, but a sick person has only one. ~ A G Riddle,
110:All is a riddle, and the key to a riddle...is another riddle. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
111:Man's moral nature is a riddle which only eternity can solve. ~ Henry David Thoreau,
112:He's looking at her like she's the answer to some sort of riddle. ~ Jennifer E Smith,
113:These corporations run our culture, and they riddle it with bullshit. ~ Ben Goldacre,
114:This is what you’ve been reading? World War One–era Gone With the Wind? ~ A G Riddle,
115:When others are fearful, be greedy; when others are greedy, be fearful, ~ A G Riddle,
116:Any change that takes power from those who have it will face opposition. ~ A G Riddle,
117:The first email was sent at 2:38 a.m, the second email four hours later. ~ A G Riddle,
118:chair to face Dr. Chang, who sat in the corner, staring at the conference ~ A G Riddle,
119:Here is the riddle of love: Everything it gives to you, it takes away. ~ Alice Hoffman,
120:My mother can't have been magic, or she wouldn't have died", said Riddle ~ J K Rowling,
121:What we have here is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. ~ Douglas Preston,
122:When you figure out that you're fighting some other man's war, walk away. ~ A G Riddle,
123:A healthy person has a hundred wishes, but a sick person has only one. The ~ A G Riddle,
124:Evil isn't a cosmological riddle, only just selfish human behavior. ~ Joyce Carol Oates,
125:Understanding a metaphor is like deciphering a code or unraveling a riddle. ~ Max Black,
126:You will walk a long and lonely road. But you will have all that you need. ~ A G Riddle,
127:Another truth: parents desire for their children the things they never had. ~ A G Riddle,
128:I believe that a good book leaves its readers better than they were before. ~ A G Riddle,
129:In a riddle whose answer is chess, what is the only prohibited word? ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
130:Life is hard—for everyone—but it’s hell on earth if you’re foolish or weak. ~ A G Riddle,
131:I’m the scientist that gave us the Atlantis Gene. I’m one of the Atlanteans. ~ A G Riddle,
132:Ma’am, your husband was killed in an unfortunate Cadbury Creme Egg incident. ~ A G Riddle,
133:Science lacks something very important that religion provides: a moral code. ~ A G Riddle,
134:What man can pretend to know the riddle of a woman's mind? ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra,
135:believe that a good book leaves its readers better than they were before. And ~ A G Riddle,
136:He studied her lips like they were a riddle he desperately needed to solve. ~ Amber Argyle,
137:Who wants to try and fail, when you can drink and laugh with no consequences? ~ A G Riddle,
138:All things can be repaired, Peyton. Some simply require more time than others. ~ A G Riddle,
139:genes might control the possibilities, but epigenetics determines our destiny. ~ A G Riddle,
140:It's difficult to judge beauty; I am not ready yet. Beauty is a riddle. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
141:Life is uncertain; in the end we control only a single thing: our own thoughts. ~ A G Riddle,
142:proverb: A healthy person has a hundred wishes, but a sick person has only one. ~ A G Riddle,
143:We are caught inside a mystery, veiled in an enigma, locked inside a riddle ~ Terence McKenna,
144:Hello, Harry Potter. My name is Tom Riddle. How did you come by my diary?’ These ~ J K Rowling,
145:What can promote innocent mirth, and I may say virtue, more than a good riddle? ~ George Eliot,
146:Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution. ~ Karl Marx,
147:For the essence of a riddle is to express true facts under impossible combinations. ~ Aristotle,
148:I’m an enigma wrapped inside a riddle, all bundled in something quite wonderful. ~ Steve McHugh,
149:Life is uncertain; in the end we control only a single thing: our own thoughts. He ~ A G Riddle,
150:Naomi leaned against a wall, clearly bored. She looked so strange with clothes on. ~ A G Riddle,
151:Our genes might control the possibilities, but epigenetics determines our destiny. ~ A G Riddle,
152:The causes of life's history [cannot] resolve the riddle of life's meaning. ~ Stephen Jay Gould,
153:The threat of public humiliation—most people’s greatest fear—seems to do the trick. ~ A G Riddle,
154:We can't save the past or solve the riddle of love. But to me, it's worth trying. ~ Diane Keaton,
155:We’re not testing it on primates. I want a human cohort of 50 ready to test.” Chang ~ A G Riddle,
156:He glanced back at Cole. “But you don’t want to be a Cadbury Creme Egg, do you Cole? ~ A G Riddle,
157:I developed my very first game after reading "Riddle Master" by Patricia McKillip. ~ Klaus Teuber,
158:pound of brain tissue uses twenty times the amount of energy a pound of muscle does. ~ A G Riddle,
159:You, that’s it Blake. There’s no riddle to decipher, no code to break. I want you. ~ Kaylea Cross,
160:It hung there, just waiting to explode, like a glass piñata. He was the prize inside. ~ A G Riddle,
161:An army of intellectual men cannot solve the riddle created by an indecisive woman. ~ Chetan Bhagat,
162:major city to Mount Toba. I think it’s a reference to where the attack will start.” “A ~ A G Riddle,
163:————— 30,88. 81,86. 03-12-2013 10:45:00 #44 33-23-15 Cut the power. Save my kids. ————— ~ A G Riddle,
164:Common sense. Mothers are the last riddle, the worst horror, the only consolation. ~ Kiana Davenport,
165:Dream big, work hard, live forever—that’s the promise we held out to the world that day. ~ A G Riddle,
166:Everything is an emergency. If you don’t like emergencies, this isn’t the place for you. ~ A G Riddle,
167:I'll ask you a riddle. What do you have the more of, the more of it you give away? ~ Madeleine L Engle,
168:I'm a regular at a hospital in Pennsylvania. The Riddle Hospital in Media, Pennsylvania. ~ Bam Margera,
169:His long blond hair falls around his face, hiding me from his view, and I’m glad for that. ~ A G Riddle,
170:The strongest friendships and the strongest relationships are forged in the hottest fires. ~ A G Riddle,
171:Some nights we watch movies and TV, usually old ones. Sometimes The X-Files. And Star Trek. ~ A G Riddle,
172:The speed of light. It’s the universal constant. It never changes, no matter where you are. ~ A G Riddle,
173:Two lavish marble, glass, and steel staircases shaped like DNA helixes flank the open space ~ A G Riddle,
174:Phrases of neatness, cosiness, and comfort can never be an answer to the sphinx's riddle. ~ William James,
175:She craves genuine things, real people. We so often seek what we’re deprived of in childhood. ~ A G Riddle,
176:Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurled: / The glory, jest, and riddle of the world! ~ Alexander Pope,
177:Spain was the second most mountainous country in Europe. Only Switzerland had more mountains. ~ A G Riddle,
178:There are, that resting, rise.
Can I expound the skies?
How still the riddle lies! ~ Emily Dickinson,
179:He had also said something about time healing all wounds. But now she was running out of time. ~ A G Riddle,
180:Richard was a riddle with no answer, and I was tired of playing a game I couldn't win. ~ Laurell K Hamilton,
181:I think we read about things we don’t have. Things we wonder about, want to see in the world. I ~ A G Riddle,
182:Out yonder there was this huge world...which stands before us like a great eternal riddle. ~ Albert Einstein,
183:Finn was an enigma wrapped in a riddle coated in misdirection. He was a burrito of dishonesty. ~ Molly Harper,
184:In the world we live in, the best people carry the weight for others—and they get crushed first. ~ A G Riddle,
185:Life is a test we take every day. You must focus. You must be there for them when they need you. ~ A G Riddle,
186:A riddle wrapped up in an enigma, wrapped up in a giant pain in the ass. Well done, Kami. ~ Sarah Rees Brennan,
187:Confidence is the universal attractor, and nothing says confidence like not having a pickup line. ~ A G Riddle,
188:I bet he wants to solve Ryan’s riddle,” Mary said. “And then he probably wants to riddle his Ryan. ~ T J Klune,
189:Patrick: America is at war with an Afghan tribe...[?]

David: Yeah, it's a, uh, long story. ~ A G Riddle,
190:Riddle of destiny, who can show What thy short visit meant, or know What thy errand here below? ~ Charles Lamb,
191:The rate at which time passes changes throughout the universe, depending on gravity and velocity. ~ A G Riddle,
192:The riddle does not exist. If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein,
193:Great marketing can sell an inferior product for a short time. Only a strong product can sell itself ~ A G Riddle,
194:it’s like Tennyson once said, ‘ ’Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all. ~ A G Riddle,
195:Passion, rage—no matter how much we evolve, man can’t escape these instincts: our heritage as beasts. ~ A G Riddle,
196:Control your mind, or it will control you, and you will never break through the walls it builds.” Milo ~ A G Riddle,
197:every human alive today is directly descended from a man who lived in Africa sixty thousand years ago. ~ A G Riddle,
198:if you want to build a better world, you must first have the courage to destroy the world that exists. ~ A G Riddle,
199:Mental work is like a vitamin a person needs every day. A muscle that otherwise atrophies with disuse. ~ A G Riddle,
200:events in the past—events that are key to finding a cure for the plague.” “Interesting,” Kate murmured. ~ A G Riddle,
201:If Dorian had betrayed them, set this up, it was partly her fault. She had done the research he needed. ~ A G Riddle,
202:Q: Bury deep, Pile on stones, Yet I will Dig up the bones. What am I? A: Memories — A FOLK RIDDLE ~ Jennifer McMahon,
203:Sometimes there’s nothing left to do but enjoy the time you have left. There’s nothing wrong with that. ~ A G Riddle,
204:A.G. Riddle spent ten years starting and running internet companies before retiring to focus on his true ~ A G Riddle,
205:Because I’m old enough to know that life is nothing but one big riddle with a question for an answer. ~ Ryan Winfield,
206:Milo stepped back, grinned like the Cheshire Cat, and pointed at her. “Ahhh, I get you good, Dr. Warner! ~ A G Riddle,
207:The attacks did two things really well: ensured there was a war, a big one—and crashed the stock market. ~ A G Riddle,
208:There wasn't a single meaning. There were many meanings. It was a riddle expanding out and out and out. ~ Donna Tartt,
209:except for a thin ring of yellow and orange fire peeking around its edges like a solar eclipse. The great ~ A G Riddle,
210:Have faith and patience, Dr. Thomas. Time works miracles. We must have the courage to wait for them.” They ~ A G Riddle,
211:Kate wondered what part of the male brain prioritized movie scene storage above all other details in life. ~ A G Riddle,
212:Because when you’re young, life is about pursuing dreams. I have the rest of my life to take the safe road. ~ A G Riddle,
213:In a riddle whose answer is chess, what is the only prohibited word?
   ~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden Of Forking Paths,
214:My mother can’t have been magic, or she wouldn’t have died,’ said Riddle, more to himself than Dumbledore. ~ J K Rowling,
215:Q: Bury deep, Pile on stones, Yet I will Dig up the bones. What am I?
A: Memories — A FOLK RIDDLE ~ Jennifer McMahon,
216:As David walked down the stone hallway, he wondered whether he was now deeper in the trap or on his way out. ~ A G Riddle,
217:It was a long road, and less than 1% of drugs that worked in the lab ever made it to pharmacy shelves. There ~ A G Riddle,
218:Every period of time is a sphinx that throws itself into the abyss as soon as its riddle has been solved. ~ Heinrich Heine,
219:For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed. The riddle does not exist. ~ Paul Watzlawick,
220:I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. ~ Winston S Churchill,
221:That’s what life is about: finding something you can do that no one else can, and working your hardest at it. ~ A G Riddle,
222:Yes, it’s a lie, but the media repeated it, and a lie repeated becomes perception, and perception is reality. ~ A G Riddle,
223:Genius, the Pythian of the beautiful, leaves its large truths a riddle to the dull. ~ Edward Bulwer Lytton 1st Baron Lytton,
224:Oh why is she going away just when I want so much to be with her! She is the answer to the riddle of my life. ~ Iris Murdoch,
225:Fight hard and don’t fear death. There are far worse things in life—one being living a life you aren’t proud of. ~ A G Riddle,
226:Jakarta is the perfect place to start an attack—the population density is high and there are tons of expatriates ~ A G Riddle,
227:Everything about woman is a riddle, and everything about woman has a single solution: that is, pregnancy ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
228:It is to the Riddle of the Sphinx that I have devoted fifty years of professional life as an anthropologist. ~ Gregory Bateson,
229:I learned how to use a handgun as a kid. Kidnapping is a constant risk for every child who grows up the way I did. ~ A G Riddle,
230:Survival of the fittest is a scientific fact, but it is a cruel ethic; the way of beasts, not a civilized society. ~ A G Riddle,
231:So you don’t want to believe?” “With science, what I want is irrelevant. Proof of a hypothesis is all that matters. ~ A G Riddle,
232:The journey is the destination. Finding the answers for yourself, achieving understanding, is part of your journey. ~ A G Riddle,
233:Fight hard and don’t fear death. There are far worse things in life—one being living a life you aren’t proud of.” He ~ A G Riddle,
234:the president of the United States and the governors of all fifty states collapsed. Autopsies revealed the same cause ~ A G Riddle,
235:But in dying so suddenly her mother had become a riddle at the gate instead of the road you walked to get there. ~ Stephanie Kallos,
236:Told myself that every moment wallowing in my guilt was one moment stolen from making it right, from redeeming myself. ~ A G Riddle,
237:A landing from space has been described as a train wreck, followed by a car accident, followed by falling off your bike. ~ A G Riddle,
238:Soviet Union foreign policy is a puzzle inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma, and the key is Russian nationalism. ~ Winston Churchill,
239:everybody’s scared of failure and being seen as a disappointment. The longer the shadow is, the farther you have to walk. ~ A G Riddle,
240:He held it up to the light, glancing at the technology he and his partner had embedded almost seventy thousand years ago. ~ A G Riddle,
241:It was history repeating itself. The same players, playing out a different game, with the same end, on a different stage. ~ A G Riddle,
242:Neither I nor the four flippers of the sea-bear of the Boreal ocean have been able to solve the riddle of life. ~ Comte de Lautr amont,
243:The poet is the man made to solve the riddle of the universe who brings the whole soul of man into activity. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
244:If I gave Bee to Riddle and Nettle, I could undertake the Fool’s vengeance. That traitorous thought made me want to vomit. ~ Robin Hobb,
245:That night was like the first computer program he ever wrote: a series of run-time errors followed by a quick compilation. ~ A G Riddle,
246:The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it ‘the Riddle House’, even though it had been many years since the Riddle ~ J K Rowling,
247:I was raised in a family where no one had a serious bone in their body and every answer was a riddle, a joke, or a prank. ~ James Brolin,
248:There's a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. ~ Diane Arbus,
249:All is a riddle to the man who trails a shadow. For that man walks in borrowed light, therefore he stumbles on his shadow. ~ Mikhail Naimy,
250:think it must be throwing off a lot of viral escape vectors. It’s pretty tough. The good news is that out of the almost three ~ A G Riddle,
251:We so often seek what we’re deprived of in childhood. Sheltered children become reckless. Starving children become ambitious. ~ A G Riddle,
252:When the plague went global, everyone wanted someone to blame. You were the first story and for many reasons, the best story. ~ A G Riddle,
253:because the laws of the universe support it by random chance, or the alternative: the universe was created to foster human life. ~ A G Riddle,
254:I profess not to know how women's hearts are wooed and won. To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration. ~ Washington Irving,
255:I wish she’d said what is the most important thing in her life. But like so many conversations between us, it’s left unfinished. ~ A G Riddle,
256:Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. ~ Boris Pasternak,
257:The greatest puzzle in the world, young man, the greatest challenge a man can face, is solving the riddle of a woman's heart. ~ Steve Hamilton,
258:Central Bank stimulus: easy money, a false cure that never solves the root causes, only suppresses symptoms, prolonging the agony. ~ A G Riddle,
259:I can fly anything,” David said. Landing had sometimes been an issue, but he didn’t mention that. There was no need to worry them. ~ A G Riddle,
260:Just because students failed to solve a riddle, you made them hide their faces in shame and become servants? That was beyond cruel. ~ J A White,
261:People will fight to the death to save their own lives, but they’ll wage war to preserve their way of life for future generations. ~ A G Riddle,
262:
   The Riddle of the World

If you can solve it, you will be immortal, but if you fail you will perish. ~ The Mother, On Education, [T5],
263:Sidgwick’ concluded: ‘We can no more solve the riddle of death by dying than we can solve the problem of living by being born.’17 ~ John N Gray,
264:The war is always the same, only the names and places change. There are demons upon this earth. They live in our hearts and minds. ~ A G Riddle,
265:They had truly sacrificed for each other, laid it all on the line when the stakes were highest. That was the definition of love. At ~ A G Riddle,
266:Art as a whole is a riddle. Another way of putting this is to say that art expresses something while at the same time hiding it. ~ Theodor Adorno,
267:I’ve never been one to go to church, but I’ve al was ways believed in a creative intelligence behind the ongoing riddle of the world. ~ Bill Clegg,
268:the best stories are the ones that leave the reader better than they were. And the best of those nurture both our minds and our souls. ~ A G Riddle,
269:The woodcutter brushed the dust from his beard and reflected on how sphinxes would live much longer if they asked a different riddle. ~ Kate Danley,
270:People who flew too high—who lived beyond their means and ability—were bound for failure. As were those who never took a chance. Despite ~ A G Riddle,
271:I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. But perhaps there is a key. ~ Winston S Churchill,
272:If there’s one thing I’ve learned in business, it’s that giving a tyrant what he wants doesn’t solve your problem. It only makes it worse. ~ A G Riddle,
273:I think that says a lot about a person: how they handle being second best. Do they work on themselves? Or attack the person ahead of them? ~ A G Riddle,
274:It is man's destiny to ponder on the riddle of existence and, as a byproduct of his wonderment, to create a new life on this earth. ~ Charles Kettering,
275:What the hell is a ‘Barnaby Prendergast Report’?” The 30-something man looked confused. “It’s the report from Barnaby Prendergast.” Dorian ~ A G Riddle,
276:Sacrifice. The hardest part isn’t giving your life for the cause, it’s knowing what your sacrifice and decisions will do to those you love. ~ A G Riddle,
277:Here’s a tip. The good guys ask you to get in the truck. The bad guys put a black bag over your head and throw you in the truck. I’m asking. ~ A G Riddle,
278:Religion was a riddle to her. Believe this, and only this, because we say so. If you don’t you’re buying a one-way ticket to everlasting Hell. ~ J D Robb,
279:See the BEAR of fearsome size! All the WORLD'S within his eyes. TIME grows thin, the past is a riddle; The TOWER awaits you in the middle. ~ Stephen King,
280:the best way to sharpen a knife is not to whet one side of it only. And neither can you solve a riddle by considering only one end of it. ~ Ama Ata Aidoo,
281:It’s always the same war. Only the names of the dead change. It’s always about one thing: which group of rich men get to divvy up the spoils. ~ A G Riddle,
282:Fintan Herald was a mystery. A sexy mystery wrapped in a dark riddle. Delicious as chocolate and just as addicting, and very bad for my health. ~ Anonymous,
283:How did reason come into the world? As is fitting, in an irrational manner, by accident. One will have to guess at it as at a riddle. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
284:To the scientist’s surprise, the bodies were intact. “Extraordinary. No signs of cannibalism. These survivors knew each other. They could have ~ A G Riddle,
285:Life is not a riddle to be solved. The things that matter most cannot be won, cannot be tricked. They won't be studied, never fully understood. ~ Julia Fine,
286:I pull my sidearm and fire at them from point-blank range, killing the first two men, who must have either thought I was dead or couldn’t see me ~ A G Riddle,
287:The West Virginia Children’s Home. It’s in Elkins. See that they get the balance of the account. And that they know that it came from my father. ~ A G Riddle,
288:We’ve heard reports of road surfaces bubbling and catching fire, sand turning to glass, and steaks in a deep freezer turning up cooked well done… ~ A G Riddle,
289:Where are there towns but no houses, roads but no cars, forests but no trees?
Answer on a map
(Riddle on children's breakfast TV) ~ Au ur Ava lafsd ttir,
290:Olivia forced a smile. “You really are not what I’d expected.” “I’m an enigma wrapped inside a riddle, all bundled in something quite wonderful. ~ Steve McHugh,
291:The Iliad is only great because all life is a battle, The Odyssey because all life is a journey, The Book of Job because all life is a riddle. ~ G K Chesterton,
292:Then his expression softened, as if he had solved a troublesome riddle. He smiled. "You do it," he said. Then he stepped over the edge. ~ Robert Charles Wilson,
293:Leave it to a kid to sum up the state of my career so accurately in two words. And leave it to an adult to rationalize it in three: “It’s a living. ~ A G Riddle,
294:Robert calmly, like an Oriental sage himself, treated the situation as if it were a koan, a riddle to be entered until its very assumptions shifted. ~ Mark Nepo,
295:...the monk beat me to break my spirit, incensed I knew Acquinas - angry, I knew his riddle - beauty is what is pleasing to the eye - he wasn't... ~ John Geddes,
296:When the war was over and the British returned in 1945, there were less than 600,000. A million people dead or gone. Nearly two out of every three. ~ A G Riddle,
297:I got me a fine wife and I got me old fiddle, when the suns coming up I got cakes on the griddle. And life ain't nothing, but a funny, funny riddle. ~ John Denver,
298:See the BEAR of fearsome size!
All the WORLD'S within his eyes.
TIME grows thin, the past is a riddle;
The TOWER awaits you in the middle. ~ Stephen King,
299:Yes, it’s a lie, but the media repeated it, and a lie repeated becomes perception, and perception is reality. Perception is also very hard to change. ~ A G Riddle,
300:Passion, rage—no matter how much we evolve, man can’t escape these instincts: our heritage as beasts. We can only hope to control the beast inside us. ~ A G Riddle,
301:Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie, A fly can’t bird, but a bird can fly. Ask me a riddle and I reply: “Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie.” That ~ A A Milne,
302:The word starve is a mistake. The crowd picks it up, and it echoes from person to person in panicky counterpoint until it sounds like the Starve Chorus. ~ A G Riddle,
303:The problem is quite simple. I do not have the manpower to program reports to satisfy their every whim and curiosity—in the outrageous time frames given. ~ A G Riddle,
304:For the past five months, I have watched the world die. Glaciers have advanced across Canada, Russia, and Scandinavia, trampling everything in their path. ~ A G Riddle,
305:The journey is the destination. Finding the answers for yourself, achieving understanding, is part of your journey. There are no shortcuts along the path. ~ A G Riddle,
306:Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:
"Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie. ~ A A Milne,
307:The Big Bang is our modern scientific creation myth. It comes from the same human need to solve the cosmological riddle [Where did the universe come from?] ~ Carl Sagan,
308:WHEN A RESTLESS spirit is commissioned, under influence, to solve a riddle for another man, his energies are, at first, readily and faithfully applied. ~ Eleanor Catton,
309:Did you ever think, Clarice, why the Philistines don't understand you? It's because you are the answer to Samson's riddle. You are the honey in the lion. ~ Thomas Harris,
310:Humans should grow up a little hungry, struggle a little, be made to strive for something. That’s what builds character. Struggle reveals who we really are. ~ A G Riddle,
311:What’s wrong?” Kate asked. “Nothing… that’s just my soul collapsing like a neutron star,” Mary said. Kate thought the comparison was a little dramatic. “Why ~ A G Riddle,
312:A brush with death changes a person. For good people, it changes them for the better, makes them more thankful—and dedicated to the things that matter. “Your ~ A G Riddle,
313:No idea how you figured out the riddle, but you scooped the first prize. Congratulations. You've just won a vacation to a big, relaxing place called a grave. ~ Jayde Scott,
314:My grandmother told me that her father used to ask her a riddle: What must you break apart in order to bring a family close together?

Bread, of course. ~ Jodi Picoult,
315:A mind that dwells in the past builds a prison it cannot escape. Control your mind, or it will control you, and you will never break through the walls it builds. ~ A G Riddle,
316:You putt around this tiny planet in painted aluminum cans that burn the liquefied remains of ancient reptiles. Do you honestly think you could beat us in a fight? ~ A G Riddle,
317:Every human life involves an unfathomable mystery, for man is the riddle of the universe, and the riddle of man in his endowment with personal capacities. ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick,
318:The Phoenix riddle hath more wit By us, we two being one, are it. So to one neutral thing both sexes fit, We die and rise the same, and prove Mysterious by this love. ~ John Donne,
319:A mind that dwells in the past builds a prison it cannot escape. Control your mind, or it will control you, and you will never break through the walls it builds.” Milo ~ A G Riddle,
320:A major difficulty is that the answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx is partly a product of the answers that we already have given to the riddle in its various forms. ~ Gregory Bateson,
321:An admiral without ships, a hand without fingers, in service of a king without a throne. Is this a knight who comes before us, or the answer to a child's riddle? ~ George R R Martin,
322:attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where he founded his first company with one of his childhood friends. He currently lives in Parkland, Florida and would love to hear from you… ~ A G Riddle,
323:In our pursuit for the ultimate knowledge, the technologies we created eventually enslaved us, taking the last of our humanity before we even knew it was slipping away. ~ A G Riddle,
324:This is a different war—” “It’s always the same war. Only the names of the dead change. It’s always about one thing: which group of rich men get to divvy up the spoils. ~ A G Riddle,
325:Anyone who discovers he or she has been systematically cheated on wants to know why and for how long and with whom. It’s normal. Betrayal is a riddle we want to solve. ~ Sascha Arango,
326:A war that operates in every human mind below the subconscious level, like a computer program, constantly running in the background, guiding us to some eventuality.” Kate ~ A G Riddle,
327:Our theory was that we exist, because mathematically we must exist in some universe, given that there are infinite possible universes and we are a finite possible outcome. ~ A G Riddle,
328:there are infinite possible universes, and we are a finite possible outcome. We exist in this universe because it is the only one our brains are capable of being aware of. ~ A G Riddle,
329:In our pursuit for the ultimate knowledge, the technologies we created eventually enslaved us, taking the last of our humanity before we even knew it was slipping away. Our ~ A G Riddle,
330:Pierce names her Katherine Warner. The others take new names: Patrick Pierce becomes Tom Warner, Mallory Craig becomes Howard Keegan, and Dieter Kane becomes Dorian Sloane. ~ A G Riddle,
331:We know that every human being on the planet is directly descended from one man who lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago—a person we geneticists call Y-Chromosomal Adam. ~ A G Riddle,
332:Christ crucified is not a riddle for sages, but a plain truth for plain people; true, it is meat for men, but it is also milk for babes. (Come ye children, p50) ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
333:I'd once heard a spiritual "riddle" that went like this: "What's the only thingin heaven that's the same as it was on earth?"The answer: the wounds in Jesus' hands and feet. ~ Todd Burpo,
334:Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled; The glory, jest, and riddle of the world! ~ Pope Francis,
335:I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest. ~ Winston Churchill,
336:It seems I’m involved in a conspiracy that spans space and time and a conflict whose outcome will determine humanity’s fate in two separate universes. I’m never flying again. ~ A G Riddle,
337:Laws can only take us so far, and they must be based upon something—a shared moral code that rises from something. As that moral foundation recedes, so will society’s values. ~ A G Riddle,
338:The central riddle I’ve set out to solve concerns the self’s continuity in change: how can we remain the same people over time, even as we change, sometimes considerably? ~ Julian Baggini,
339:This was the dark side of the human reality: with no conflict, no challenge, the fire within winks out and without the flame, society stagnates, slipping into a slow decline. ~ A G Riddle,
340:Harvey manipulated the joystick and the robotic arm. The young man was surprisingly good at it. Maybe video games, and youth in general, are good for something, Nigel thought. ~ A G Riddle,
341:If then, your world be such a baffling riddle, it is because you are that baffling riddle. And if your speech be such a woeful maze, it is because you are that woeful maze. ~ Mikhail Naimy,
342:It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” but few go on to complete the sentence, which ends “but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest. ~ Tim Marshall,
343:For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed. The riddle does not exist. If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein,
344:Repair our lives as best we can—knowing that things will never be the same. Clinging to a life that is gone forever isn’t healthy. Time and action are the only cures for grief. ~ A G Riddle,
345:The love of property and consciousness of right and wrong have conflicting places in our organization, which often makes a man's course seem crooked, his conduct a riddle. ~ Abraham Lincoln,
346:Trouble in paradise. As far as I can tell, there are only two unhappy inhabitants of First Class, Pop. 10. I call this pocket of unrest the Aisle of Brooding and Snide Remarks. ~ A G Riddle,
347:Growing up with tragedy changes a person, trains them to expect still more tragedy around every corner. It’s the mind’s way of protecting you; and it is a very powerful defense. ~ A G Riddle,
348:Beyond the ten thousand states of mind is the still point. It exists within them all, yet beyond them. It is not affected by them. It gives birth to them. This is the riddle. ~ Frederick Lenz,
349:I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest. ~ Winston S Churchill,
350:Maybe a man can’t escape his fate. No matter what you do, you can’t change what you really are, what’s deep down inside you, supposedly dead and buried but driving you all along. ~ A G Riddle,
351:A.G. Riddle spent ten years starting and running internet companies before retiring to focus on his true passion: writing fiction. He grew up in a small town in North Carolina and ~ A G Riddle,
352:you can imagine committing a vile act, something completely against your moral code, but only when you physically hold the means to take that action does the decision become real. ~ A G Riddle,
353:No; but you came, and found the riddles waiting for you! Indeed you are yourself the only riddle. What you call riddles are truths, and seem riddles because you are not true. ~ George MacDonald,
354:A shroud—to keep anyone from seeing your development and to keep you from seeing any other human worlds. What you call the Fermi Paradox—the fact that human worlds must be abundant, ~ A G Riddle,
355:THE GREATEST MYSTERY OF ALL TIME… THE HISTORY OF HUMAN ORIGINS… WILL BE REVEALED. 70,000 years ago, the human race almost went extinct. We survived, but no one knows how. Until now. ~ A G Riddle,
356:A Riddle
Legs I have got, yet seldom do I walk;
I backbite many, yet I never talk:
In secret places most I seek to hide me,
For he who feeds me never can abide me.
~ Anonymous,
357:a sign of insecurity—forgoing aging signifies clinging to an unfinished youth, as if you’re not ready to move on. Forgoing death implies a life unfinished, a life one is not happy with. ~ A G Riddle,
358:The chief bent down and looked the woman over. She was skinny, but not too skinny. He liked that. He felt for a pulse, then turned her head side to side to see if she had any head trauma. ~ A G Riddle,
359:Any woman can weep without tears," she answered over her shoulder, "and most can heal with their hands. It depends on the wound. She is a woman, Your Highness, and that's riddle enough ~ Peter S Beagle,
360:It’s always the same war. Only the names of the dead change. It’s always about one thing: which group of rich men get to divvy up the spoils. They call it ‘The Great War’—clever marketing. ~ A G Riddle,
361:There are only two possibilities: either human life emerged because the laws of the universe support it by random chance, or the alternative: the universe was created to foster human life. ~ A G Riddle,
362:What I know is that Immari Corporation is somehow involved in 9/11, maybe in other terrorist plots before and after, and that they’re working on something much, much bigger: Toba Protocol. ~ A G Riddle,
363:Why should I hasten to solve every riddle which life offers me? I am well assured that the Questioner, who brings me so many problems, will bring me the answers also, in due time. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
364:Any woman can weep without tears,” she answered over her shoulder, “and most can heal with their hands. It depends on the wound. She is a woman, Your Highness, and that’s riddle enough. ~ Peter S Beagle,
365:Condemned by your people. Opened the second. Condemned by yourself. Opened the third. To see who you were. Opened the fourth. To see who you could become. Is that the riddle, Slava? ~ Charlie N Holmberg,
366:Heaven reveal some way in pity,
Though I doubt it has the power;
When in such confused abysses,
Heaven is all one fearful presage,
And the world itself a riddle. ~ Pedro Calder n de la Barca,
367:Here is a riddle that offers redemption: Often when we lie we inadvertently speak the truth. What we think consciously we don't mean is exactly what is true on the unconscious level. ~ Robert A. Johnson,
368:She can be a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, inside a conundrum, rolled in a frito burrito. In other words, a total freaking mystery to anyone who isn't gifted with mind-reading abilities. ~ Michael Makai,
369:For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed.

The riddle does not exist.

If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein,
370:A Riddle
Legs I have got, yet seldom do I walk;
I backbite many, yet I never talk:
In secret places most I seek to hide me,
For he who feeds me never can abide me.
~ Anonymous Americas,
371:As a working hypothesis to explain the riddle of our existence, I propose that our universe is the most interesting of all possible universes, and our fate as human beings is to make it so ~ Freeman Dyson,
372:Human existence, or one's manifestation of it, is the greatest riddle of all. Many people will pursue this curiosity through insurmountable tragedies to get to the unanswerable other side. ~ Barbara Boyer,
373:The whole [of religion] is a riddle, an ænigma, an inexplicable mystery. Doubt, uncertainty, suspence of judgment appear the onlyresult of our most accurate scrutiny, concerning this subject. ~ David Hume,
374:You train yourself in the art of being mysterious to everyone. My dear friend! What if there were no one, who cared about guessing your riddle, what pleasure would you then take in it? ~ Soren Kierkegaard,
375:You train yourself in the art of being mysterious to everyone. My dear friend! What if there were no one, who cared about guessing your riddle, what pleasure would you then take in it? ~ S ren Kierkegaard,
376:I’ve often found that fear of what’s going to happen is far worse than the actual event. A long time ago, I came up with a mental hack to calm my nerves: I tell myself this is just a trial run. ~ A G Riddle,
377:Any woman can weep without tears,” she answered over her shoulder, “and most can heal with their hands. It depends on the wound. She is a woman, Your Highness, and that’s riddle enough.” But ~ Peter S Beagle,
378:[Footnote:] The Dotterel weighs only four ounces. It has long been a scientific riddle how so much wrong-headedness can manage to exist in so small a space. Still, there's the Least Gnatcatcher. ~ Will Cuppy,
379:Strange is the riddle of this life of ours!
Who knows the meaning of the heavenly powers?
Great Caesar's wounds bleed yearly in the rose,
And flower-like ladies turn again to flowers. ~ Omar Khayy m,
380:The reason is best summed up by Susannah’s thought as she prepares to tell Blaine the first riddle of their contest: It is hard to begin. There’s nothing in these pages that I agree with more. ~ Stephen King,
381:Our brains are like a muscle, Desmond: they become conditioned to the strain they must endure. We are an exceptionally adaptive species. We change to survive in the environment in which we exist. ~ A G Riddle,
382:“We should never hear a voice from another world, the world of inaccessible solitude, if, conscious of the impasse, we were not bent on finding the answer to the riddle by guesswork.” ~ Bataille, Erotism p191,
383:Every line is pregnant with meaning and however much the meaning is ransacked, the riddle will remain because only you can explain it, and this riddle is your last triumph—you will never reveal it. ~ Ana s Nin,
384:This is what total war looks like. It claims lives on the battlefield but it doesn’t end there—it reaches beyond and digs its claws into those you love. It’s all consuming. And it’s heartbreaking. ~ A G Riddle,
385:The secrets eternal neither you know nor I
And answers to the riddle neither you know nor I
Behind the veil there is much talk about us, why
When the veil falls, neither you remain nor I. ~ Omar Khayy m,
386:We believed even literary scholars didn’t truly understand Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. They thought it was simply a new type of fantasy novel, an accomplishment in the literary nonsense genre. ~ A G Riddle,
387:Molecular genetics, our latest wonder, has taught us to spell out the connectivity of the tree of life in such palpable detail that we may say in plain words, "This riddle of life has been solved." ~ Max Delbruck,
388:An isolated civilization had thrived here, had erected structures to some higher power, but had somehow vanished without a trace, leaving no history, save for the temples where they had worshiped. The ~ A G Riddle,
389:I’m terrified. Even more terrified than this morning, when I thought he was going to roll over in bed, pinch me on the cheek, and say, “Fun times, Harp. Thanks for the memories.” Wink. “Catch ya later. ~ A G Riddle,
390:His massive head tilted. He regarded her with a gaze made tranquil by the bright sun and the limitless sky.

She said in wonder, "You are the riddle."

"Of course I am," said the gryphon. ~ Thea Harrison,
391:I’ve recently come to the conclusion that the nursery rhyme riddle is the most basic form of the detective story. It’s a mystery stripped of all but the essential facts. Take this one, for instance: As ~ Alan Bradley,
392:Methods beyond your comprehension. In our pursuit for the ultimate knowledge, the technologies we created eventually enslaved us, taking the last of our humanity before we even knew it was slipping away. ~ A G Riddle,
393:The avatar had advocated a simple existence, living by a shared code. Ares imagined that on those worlds, every citizen was an intellectual and a laborer, and every life was respected. They had it right. ~ A G Riddle,
394:Here is the answer to the riddle of love. Love implies relation. If lived in isolation, it becomes selfishness; if absorbed in collectivity, it loses its personality and, therefore, the right to love. ~ Fulton J Sheen,
395:Prashna is ‘question’ in Sanskrit, but it can also mean riddle or puzzle. It points to a ‘baffling, ultimately insoluble crystallization of conflict articulated along opposing lines of interpretation’. ~ Gurcharan Das,
396:Unwind my riddle.Cruel as hawks the hours fly;Wounded men seldom come home to die;The hard waves see an arm flung high;Scorn hits strong because of a lie;Yet there exists a mystic tie.Unwind my riddle. ~ Stephen Crane,
397:Out yonder there is this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking ~ Albert Einstein,
398:Of course, China is a key to the North Korea if we're going to solve that riddle, but they could also be helpful on Iraq, which is why it's important that we maintain a constructive dialogue with China. ~ Frank Carlucci,
399:Harry saw at once that it was a diary, and the faded year on the cover told him it was fifty years old. He opened it eagerly. On the first page he could just make out the name “T. M. Riddle” in smudged ink. ~ J K Rowling,
400:How will I know when I’ve learned it, since I don’t know it now?” he asks.
The question sounds like a riddle. “Come back when returning feels like a hard choice instead of an easy one,” I answer finally. ~ Holly Black,
401:Karl Selig steadied himself on the ship’s rail and peered through the binoculars at the massive iceberg. Another piece of ice crumbled and fell, revealing more of the long black object. It looked almost like ~ A G Riddle,
402:Antarctica. Antarctica held ninety percent of the world’s ice, and when it melted in the next few centuries, it would dramatically change the world. He hoped his research would shed light on exactly how. Karl ~ A G Riddle,
403:Humans should grow up a little hungry, struggle a little, be made to strive for something. That’s what builds character. Struggle reveals who we really are. That journey shows us what we want from this world. ~ A G Riddle,
404:That’s what life is about: finding something you can do that no one else can, and working your hardest at it. It’s about finding someone you love like no one else, someone who loves you like no one else does. ~ A G Riddle,
405:The beauty and riddle in studying the motives of any politician is in trying to decide what is idealism and what is self-interest; and often we are left to conclude that the answer is a mixture of the two. ~ Boris Johnson,
406:THE Naraudh Lar-Chanë (or Riddle of the Treesong), one of the key legends of the lost civilization of Edil-Amarandh, is here translated in full for the first time. This great classic of Annaren literature ~ Alison Croggon,
407:Capitalism provided a platform—a societal construct, if you will—for distributing value across a population, in particular to reward minds that imagined and implemented things that brought advantage to others. ~ A G Riddle,
408:I know what you are known as . . . but to me, you will always be Tom Riddle. It is one of the irritating things about old teachers. I am afraid that they never quite forget their charges’ youthful beginnings. ~ J K Rowling,
409:I wonder what the world would be like if we could all glimpse our future before every major decision. Maybe that’s what stories are for: so we can learn from people living similar lives, with similar troubles. ~ A G Riddle,
410:While the world around him was changing, Ares was staying the same. He was truly a relic, a man out of time and out of touch. There were no battles left for him to fight, no great campaign, no reason to exist. ~ A G Riddle,
411:I’ll remedy the deficiency. I’ll be Satan, I’ll be Death. Look into my bony skull sockets and see if you can read the secrets of the eyes that are not there. Read my riddle—why does a death’s head always grin? ~ Robert Bloch,
412:Deep within, every human being hoards a pitch-black riddle. The darkness of the iris is nothing other than the starless night, the darkness deep in the eye is nothing other than the darkness of the universe. ~ Lars Gustafsson,
413:Yes, it’s a lie, but the media repeated it, and a lie repeated becomes perception, and perception is reality. Perception is also very hard to change. When the plague went global, everyone wanted someone to blame. ~ A G Riddle,
414:Your own tactic is to train yourself in the art of becoming enigmatic to everybody. My young friend, suppose there was no one who troubld himself to guess your riddle--what joy, then, would you have in it? ~ Soren Kierkegaard,
415:Your own tactic is to train yourself in the art of becoming enigmatic to everybody. My young friend, suppose there was no one who troubld himself to guess your riddle--what joy, then, would you have in it? ~ S ren Kierkegaard,
416:It was long before I got at the maxim, that in reading an old mathematician you will not read his riddle unless you plough with his heifer; you must see with his light, if you want to know how much he saw. ~ Augustus De Morgan,
417:Riddle traveled a lot in his twenties and recalls being hit by a realization. So much of people’s lives—their opportunities, their health and longevity—comes down to where they were born. “It’s so random,” he says. ~ Mary Roach,
418:There’s nothing left to do. No. It wasn’t entirely true. She was waiting for him. His bed was empty, but the house wasn’t. He could already smell breakfast cooking. He crept down the stairs, careful not to wake his ~ A G Riddle,
419:This whole universe, with all its vastness, grandeur and beauty, is nothing but sheer imagination. In spite of so many discoveries, researches and scientific knowledge, the creation remains a great unsolved riddle. ~ Meher Baba,
420:We are sure that, though we know not how, necessity does comport with liberty, the individual with the world, my polarity with thespirit of the times. The riddle of the age has for each a private solution. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
421:Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, is the most respected, and probably the largest, commercial flight-training school in the nation, I was informed. It’s the Notre Dame of the air. ~ Frank W Abagnale,
422:It is of first-class importance that our answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx should be in step with how we conduct our civilisation, and this should in turn be in step with the actual workings of living systems. ~ Gregory Bateson,
423:Michael was still an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, coated in yum. Only now the enigma was a little less mysterious; I was a few clues closer to solving the riddle - but damn, that man would always be coated in yum. ~ Lisa Shearin,
424:"So I've got to find a mountiain that nobody's ever seen. And work out the answer to a riddle that nobody's ever solved. And kill a bear that nobody can fight."
Renn sucked in her breath. "You've go to try." ~ Michelle Paver,
425:She was a riddle, who mysteriously possessed her own solution, a secret, and what are all diplomats' secrets compared with this, an enigma, and what in all the world is so beautiful as the word that solves it? ~ S ren Kierkegaard,
426:The Immari are good at keeping secrets. For 2,000 years, they’ve hidden the truth about human evolution. They’ve also searched for an ancient enemy—a threat that could wipe out the human race. Now the search is over. ~ A G Riddle,
427:His two front teeth are slightly crooked, veer just a tiny bit to the right, as if they've decided perfection is overrated. His smile is like unlocking a riddle. How does an imperfection make him seem more perfect? ~ Julie Buxbaum,
428:Last night I gave birth to a rhinoceros. Not just any rhino, mind you: a pregnant rhino, with twins. And three horns. Lots of horns. I birthed a double-pregnant, triple-horned rhino. That’s what it feels like, at least. ~ A G Riddle,
429:What idea?” “I’ll be back.” “Wake me up in an hour,” David called to her as she left. There was no way she would wake him up in an hour. He needed rest. If Kate was right, he would need to be at the very top of his game. ~ A G Riddle,
430:Grief. Death was not an intellectual conceit. It was an existential black hole, an animal riddle, both problem and solution, and the grief it inspired could not be fixed or bypassed like a faulty relay, but only endured. ~ Noah Hawley,
431:he ended his short note with a riddle: v. n. A. 1. de A. o. na. v. e. r. Historians have found it hard enough to transcribe the letters accurately, let alone to understand them. And full interpretation remains elusive. ~ David Starkey,
432:Solving the following riddle will reveal the awful secret behind the universe, assuming you do not go utterly mad in the attempt. If you already happen to know the awful secret behind the universe, feel free to skip ahead. ~ David Wong,
433:The mystery of death, the riddle of how you could speak to someone and see them every day and then never again, was so impossible to fathom that of course we kept trying to figure it out, even when we were unconscious. ~ Francine Prose,
434:A Riddle

There is one that has a head without an eye,
And there's one that has an eye without a head.
You may find the answer if you try;
And when all is said,
Half the answer hangs upon a thread. ~ Christina Rossetti,
435:It’s amazing how clear your dreams are when you’re a kid and how complicated life gets after that. How a single ambition turns into a hundred desires and details—most of which are about what you want and who you want to be. ~ A G Riddle,
436:Samsa certainly had no idea what lay ahead. He was in the dark about everything: the future, of course, but the present and the past as well . What was right, and what was wrong? Just learning how to dress was a riddle. ~ Haruki Murakami,
437:There. That is the answer to this riddle. The promises I can make, and the one I can't. Gwen. I will never leave you willingly. Life is a risk, and so love is, as well. But I swear to God, you will not regret the gamble. ~ Meredith Duran,
438:He refused to think about it. Qian’s words echoed to him: “A mind that dwells in the past builds a prison it cannot escape. Control your mind, or it will control you, and you will never break through the walls it builds.” Milo ~ A G Riddle,
439:Herein lies a riddle: How can a people so gifted by God become so seduced by naked power, so greedy for money, so addicted to violence, so slavish before mediocre and treacherous leadership, so paranoid, deluded, lunatic? ~ Philip Berrigan,
440:The nature of Christ's existence is mysterious, I admit; but this mystery meets the wants of man. Reject it, and the world is an inexplicable riddle; believe it, and the history of our race is satisfactorily explained. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte,
441:Well—well—are… Can I get a gun or something?” He turned to her. She was scared, but he had to give her credit: she had guts. “No, you cannot have a gun.” “Why not?” “Because you’re the only person you’re likely to hurt with it. ~ A G Riddle,
442:And this is the strangest of all paradoxes of the human adventure; we live inside all experience, but we are permitted to bear witness only to the outside. Such is the riddle of life and the story of the passing of our days. ~ Howard Thurman,
443:I’ll be the judge of what I want. And it’s not normal. Plus, I’ve got news, Des. Nobody on this earth is really normal. Everyone is faking it to some degree. Especially around here. Lot of freak flags flying on the inside.” They ~ A G Riddle,
444:David had spent the last fourteen days, while Kate was away, learning how to operate the ship’s systems. He was still learning them. Kate had enabled the voice command routines to help with any commands David couldn’t figure out. ~ A G Riddle,
445:We all feel the riddle of the earth without anyone to point it out. The mystery of life is the plainest part of it. The clouds and curtains of darkness, the confounding vapors, these are the daily weather of this world. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
446:The population question is the real riddle of the sphinx, to which no political Oedipus has as yet found the answer. In view of the ravages of the terrible monster over-multiplication, all other riddle sink into insignificance. ~ Thomas Huxley,
447:There is a riddle about a man who is locked in a room with nothing but a bed and a calendar, and the question is: How does he survive? The answer is: He eats dates from the calendar and drinks water from the springs of the bed. ~ Kurt Vonnegut,
448:Our approach to reality, our sense of reality, cannot assume that the text of nature, the book of life, is a cryptogram concealing just a single meaning. Rather, it is an expanding riddle of a multiplicity of resonating images. ~ Peter Redgrove,
449:power. They want to have power over others. I believe the common cause is that someone, at some point, had power over them. Therein lies a seminal truth about human nature: we desire in adulthood what we were deprived in childhood. ~ A G Riddle,
450:The tiny color planes in the Cézanne, like the pieces of a riddle, exquisitely explored, investigated, probed, resolved, each daub of color another piece of his answer to the greatest riddle of all: how we see and think the world. ~ Chaim Potok,
451:defendant … snap. “So what was that trigger? What was it that converted a fantasy of murder into the real thing?” He paused. It was the central question to be answered, the riddle Logiudice simply had to solve: how does a normal ~ William Landay,
452:In fact, the city’s senate had recently passed a law requiring renters to notify their landlord if they were subletting. Still, nearly two-thirds of the twelve thousand apartments for sublet were unregistered and operated illegally. ~ A G Riddle,
453:Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?” “Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again. “No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “What’s the answer?” “I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter ~ Lewis Carroll,
454:There is a riddle about a man who is locked in a room with nothing but a bed and a calendar, and the question is: How does he survive?

The answer is: He eats dates from the calendar and drinks from the springs of the bed. ~ Kurt Vonnegut,
455:There’s a big difference between a reason and an excuse. There’s a reason why Conner’s life was hard. And yours, too. But you never let it be an excuse. Responsibility is the difference. You took responsibility for your own actions. ~ A G Riddle,
456:file. “Not surprising. It’s not widely accepted, but it’s a popular theory among evolutionary biologists.” “Popular theory for what?” “The Great Leap Forward.” Kate recognized David’s confusion and continued before he could speak. “The ~ A G Riddle,
457:I know for a fact that this idea of the Jews causing the war and the Jews being so all important is nonsense. But that was Hitler's idea, and...was pure fantasy. As I say, Hitler is a riddle to me and will always remain so. ~ Joachim von Ribbentrop,
458:Kate wondered what part of the male brain prioritized movie scene storage above all other details in life. Maybe the answer was in the Atlantean research database somewhere. It was all she could do not to launch a query for the answer. ~ A G Riddle,
459:Was she being facetious? With Cynthia, one never knew. She was sometimes, as Winston Churchill said of Russia, a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. But perhaps as the wife of a Church of England clergyman, she had to be. ~ Alan Bradley,
460:Dude, I think I’ve solved the next riddle! Meet me tomorrow morning for breakfast. Seriously. Breakfast. If your butt isn’t out of bed by ten o’clock, I’m coming up there with a Taser and a pot of coffee. – May (on Trick’s voicemail) ~ Cherie Priest,
461:Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. That's why people discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that's why they write symphonies. ~ Jon Krakauer,
462:A Riddle
There is one that has a head without an eye,
And there's one that has an eye without a head.
You may find the answer if you try;
And when all is said,
Half the answer hangs upon a thread.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti,
463:Memo to the Male Species: Girls like men who know what they want and go after it, not boys who twiddle their thumbs and make it a puzzle we girls have to solve. Because guys, we aren't going to solve that riddle. Hate to break it to ya! ~ Emily McKee,
464:Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. That’s why people discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that’s why they write symphonies.. ~ Jon Krakauer,
465:Religious leaders and men of science have the same ideals; they want to understand and explain the universe of which they are part; they both earnestly desire to solve, if a solution be ever possible, that great riddle: Why are we here? ~ Arthur Keith,
466:This is War Strategy 101: the aggressor takes a small step across the line, then waits for the result. Does he get appeasement or retribution? Our reaction determines his next move. If he senses weakness, he takes another step, and another. ~ A G Riddle,
467:535…1257 = Second Toba? New Delivery System? Adam => Flood/A$ Falls => Toba 2 => KBW Alpha => Missed Delta? => Delta => Omega 70K YA => 12.5K YA => 535…1257 => 1918…1978 Missing Alpha Leads to Treasure of Atlantis? ~ A G Riddle,
468:It’s funny: you can imagine committing a vile act, something completely against your moral code, but only when you physically hold the means to take that action does the decision become real. Only then do you learn what you’re capable of—and ~ A G Riddle,
469:Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
“No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “What’s the answer?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter ~ Lewis Carroll,
470:Everything is a game to him. Loyalty is mockery and devotion is kinship in place of fear. He is a riddle, disguised as a ruler, able to laugh at the idea of disloyalty as though it would never be an option. I can't fathom such a thing. ~ Alexandra Christo,
471:Here's one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning. It's like that old riddle about a tree falling in a forest, and whether it makes a sound if there's no one around to hear it. ~ Lauren Oliver,
472:I've come to believe errors, especially written errors, are often the only markers left by a solitary life: to sacrifice them is to lose the angles of personality, the riddle of a soul. In this case a very old soul. A very old riddle. ~ Mark Z Danielewski,
473:true passion: writing fiction. He grew up in a small town in North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where he founded his first company with one of his childhood friends. He currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and would love to hear ~ A G Riddle,
474:As tough and determined as Mackenzie is, as brilliant as she is in hunting down killers, this new case proves an impossible riddle, something just beyond her reach. She may not even have time to crack it as her own life falls apart around her. ~ Blake Pierce,
475:The conspiracy theorists claimed that a Nazi sub left Germany just before the fall of the Third Reich, carrying away the highest ranking Nazis and the entire treasury, including priceless artifacts that had been looted and top-secret technology. ~ A G Riddle,
476:David Vale stepped back into the shadow of the train station’s ticket counter. He studied the man buying a New York Times from the newsstand. The man paid the vendor, then walked past the trash can without throwing the paper away. Not the contact. ~ A G Riddle,
477:See the magic of everyday life, of sharing and caring about someone, but don't riddle yourself with expectations of a fairy tale in which the story is strictly about the search for love and the rest of your life is just supposed to figure itself out. ~ David Niven,
478:None of us wanted you to go through the portal because we would never put your life in danger before our own.” “Why?” “Because we’re adults, and we care about you. We’ve had a chance to grow up and become what we are. Yours is a life still to be lived, ~ A G Riddle,
479:Riddle me this: I belong to no one, yet am used by everyone. To some, I am money, to others I can fly. I make up space, yet don’t take it up. To those who never change, I hold no sway. But to those who do, I carry the weight of desert sands. What am I? ~ A G Howard,
480:Some people have an unconquerable love of riddles. They may have the chance of listening to plain sense, or to such wisdom that explains life; but no, they must go and work their brains over a riddle, just because they do not understand what it means. ~ Isak Dinesen,
481:Children are the proof we've been here . . . they're where we go to when we die. They're the best thing and the most impossible thing, but there's nothing else . . . Life is a riddle and they are the answer. If there's any answer, it has to be them. ~ Allison Pearson,
482:Do you know the difference between us and them?” The car came to a stop. The pitter-patter of rain grew louder by the second, making Yuri’s soft voice seem almost far away. “We are awake. We sense the truth: that something is deeply wrong with the world. ~ A G Riddle,
483:Truly, nothing in the world has so occupied my thoughts as this I, this riddle, the fact I am alive, that I am separated and isolated from all others, that I am Siddhartha! And about nothing in the world do I know less about than me, about Siddhartha! ~ Hermann Hesse,
484:Seeing the world that, as a child, he had once thought so unimaginably vast, nearly limitless in size, reduced to a tiny ball, floating there, swallowed by the immensity of the universe, reminded Milo of how small he was, how minute a single life was—just ~ A G Riddle,
485:Severus Snape wasn’t yours,” said Harry. “Snape was Dumbledore’s, Dumbledore’s from the moment you started hunting down my mother. And you never realized it, because of the thing you can’t understand. You never saw Snape cast a Patronus, did you, Riddle? ~ J K Rowling,
486:The only mystery that matters is who’s gonna survive. There are two groups left. The people with the flamethrowers and the people catching the flames. You’re holding a flamethrower right now. So shut up and be happy. And don’t make friends. You never know ~ A G Riddle,
487:17.
The self ended and the world began.
They were of equal size,
commensurate,
one mirrored the other.


18.
The riddle was: why couldn't we live in the mind.

The answer was: the barrier of the earth intervened.
~ Louise Gl ck,
488:Every great literature has always been allegorical - allegorical of some view of the whole universe. The 'Iliad' is only great because all life is a battle, the 'Odyssey' because all life is a journey, the Book of Job because all life is a riddle. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
489:Milo pushed the scene from his mind. He refused to think about it. Qian’s words echoed to him: “A mind that dwells in the past builds a prison it cannot escape. Control your mind, or it will control you, and you will never break through the walls it builds. ~ A G Riddle,
490:still called it “the Riddle House,” even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there. It stood on a hill overlooking the village, some of its windows boarded, tiles missing from its roof, and ivy spreading unchecked over its face. ~ J K Rowling,
491:To get back to the original subject, most dragons prefer to be friends at a distance. Occasionally meet where the edges of our territories join—that sort of thing. Chat, exchange news, perhaps play a round of the riddle game, then go our separate ways. ~ Mercedes Lackey,
492:Shepherd's pie'? 'Chili special'? Sounds like leftovers to me. How about swordfish? I like it fine. But my seafood purveyor, when he goes out to dinner, won't eat it. He's seen too many of those 3-foot-long parasitic worms that riddle the fish's flesh. ~ Anthony Bourdain,
493:Chaos of thought and passion, all confused; Still by himself abused or disabused; Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled,- The glory, jest, and riddle of the world. ~ Alexander Pope,
494:For the last forty-eight hours, Dr. Mary Caldwell had spent every waking second studying the signal the radio telescope had received. She was exhausted, exhilarated, and sure of one thing: it was organized, a sign of intelligent life. Behind her, John Bishop, ~ A G Riddle,
495:And when he was, when he finally found love after a life without, he died, happy. And the woman, all she ever wanted was to know that she could change the world, and if she could change the heart of the darkest man, then there was hope for the entire human race. ~ A G Riddle,
496:She was an enigma. A puzzle.
She was a woman who had everything in the world her fingertips and yet seemed so…miserable and lonely. She seemed so lost.
I didn’t pity her. But I was intrigued. I ached to get closer and solve her riddle.
I ached for her. ~ Devney Perry,
497:Haller belongs to those who have been caught between two ages, who are outside of all security and simple acquiescence. He belongs to those whose fate it is to live the whole riddle of human destiny heightened to the pitch of a personal torture, a personal hell. ~ Hermann Hesse,
498:present and future, Harry Potter …’ He pulled Harry’s wand from his pocket and began to trace it through the air, writing three shimmering words: TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE Then he waved the wand once, and the letters of his name rearranged themselves: I AM LORD VOLDEMORT ~ J K Rowling,
499:You’re not,” he said, his quiet voice full of hatred. “Not what?” snapped Riddle. “Not the greatest sorcerer in the world,” said Harry, breathing fast. “Sorry to disappoint you and all that, but the greatest wizard in the world is Albus Dumbledore. Everyone says so. ~ J K Rowling,
500:Dorian raced to the edge of the rock cliff and followed the noise with the scope of his rifle. A door. An exit—David’s team had blown it open. Dorian watched that team, which actually numbered six people—none of whom Dorian had ever seen except Kate, crawl up and out. ~ A G Riddle,
501:Every human is born with a birthright. That birthright is happiness. Our greatest challenge to achieving happiness is not the obstacles we encounter in our life. The true barrier to happiness lies inside of us—and it’s the one thing we can’t ever escape: our own mind. ~ A G Riddle,
502:Then, as if in answer to a riddle posed years before, you will realize that this growth came from seeds you planted or watered or carried from place to place—and you’ll be rewarded in the way that we as communal beings need most: you’ll know you made a difference. ~ Gloria Steinem,
503:What have I got in my pocket?" he said aloud. He was talking to himself, but Gollum thought it was a riddle, and he was frightfully upset. "Not fair! not fair!" he hissed. "It isn't fair, my precious, is it, to ask us what it's got in it's nassty little pocketsess? ~ J R R Tolkien,
504:What matters our creative endless toil,
When at a snatch, oblivion ends the coil?
‘It is by-gone’ - How shall the riddle run?
As good as if things never had begun,
Yet circle back, existence to possess:
I’d rather have eternal Emptiness. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
505:The Christian lives “a strange mysterious life” that seems to swing daily from darkness into light, from peace into strife. Time and time again, our Friend breaks into this strange and mysterious riddle of life and empowers us for a sweet and stable life in the storm. ~ Tony Reinke,
506:have a theory. We know there were at least four subspecies of humans fifty thousand years ago: us or anatomically modern humans, Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Homo floresiensis or Hobbits. There were probably more that we haven’t found, but those are the four subspecies— ~ A G Riddle,
507:Perhaps there never will be a full answer to these questions. Opinions vary considerably as to why the alcoholic reacts differently from normal people. We are not sure why, once a certain point is reached, little can be done for him. We cannot answer the riddle. ~ Alcoholics Anonymous,
508:Sex changes everything, Ward thought. It was a variable counterintelligence agencies and computer algorithms would never be able to factor in. Almost like a viral infection that rewires a brain, changes emotions, even alters the lens through which a person sees the world. ~ A G Riddle,
509:You want to hear a riddle, you say? I know a very good one. It begins, why is a raven like a writing desk?’
She lifted her chin. ‘Have you gone mad, Hatta? I can’t seem to tell.’
‘They are both so full of poetry, you see. Darkness and whimsy, nightmares and song. ~ Marissa Meyer,
510:Triforce?” “Seriously?” “What?” “From Zelda,” David said. “You know, Link collects the Triforce to rescue Princess Zelda and save Hyrule.” “I never saw it.” “It’s uh… a video game, not a movie.” How can she not know this? That was more shocking to David than Martin’s code. ~ A G Riddle,
511:Truly, nothing in the world has occupied my thoughts as much as the Self, this riddle, that I live, that I am one and am separated and different from everybody else, that I am Siddhartha; and about nothing in the world do I know less than about myself, about Siddhartha. ~ Hermann Hesse,
512:Truth has to be given in riddles. People can't take truth if it comes charging at them like a bull. The bull is always killed. You have to give people the truth in a riddle, hide it so they go looking for it and find it piece by piece; that way they learn to live with it. ~ Chaim Potok,
513:Truly, no thing in this world has so occupied my thoughts as has my own self, the riddle of the fact I am alive, that I am distinct, and separate from all others, that I am Siddhartha! And there is no thing in this world I know less about than about me, about Siddhartha! ~ Hermann Hesse,
514:I'm more concerned, just as you used to be, with the world as a riddle than with the riddles in the world. I'm more concerned with natural than the supernatural. And I feel more wonder for our inscrutable brain than for all these loose anecdots about the 'extrasensory'. ~ Jostein Gaarder,
515:To this day I believe a person’s ideal first job is the one that reveals the most about them. Knowing who I was helped me avoid a lot of dead ends in life. A lot of opportunities look good, but I’ve found that sometimes success and happiness are about knowing when to say no. ~ A G Riddle,
516:And you will arrive under a soldier's black mantle
With your fearful greenish candle
And will not show your face to me.
But the riddle cannot torment me for long:
Whose hand is here, under that white glove
Who sent this wanderer, who comes in darkness? ~ Catherynne M Valente,
517:David hadn’t considered that there would be a post-op period. This was the first time a loved one had been operated on by an ancient Atlantean ship. He would have to do a blog post about it afterward—for everyone out there who might go through the same thing. His grin widened. ~ A G Riddle,
518:As a beast, he had lived in a world of bliss, acting on his instincts, thinking only when he had to, never seeing himself for what he was, never worrying about his mortality, never trying to cheat death. But now his thoughts and fears ruled him. He knew evil for the first time. ~ A G Riddle,
519:Truth has to be given in riddles. People can’t take truth if it comes charging at them like a bull. The bull is always killed, Lev. You have to give people the truth in a riddle, hide it so they go looking for it and find it piece by piece; that way they learn to live with it. ~ Chaim Potok,
520:The scientist opened her eyes and shook her head, trying to clear it. The ship had rushed her awakening sequence. Why? The awakening process usually happened more gradually, unless… The thick fog in her tube dissipated a bit, and she saw a flashing red light on the wall—an alarm. ~ A G Riddle,
521:The worst thing you can do for a child is give him everything he wants. Humans should grow up a little hungry, struggle a little, be made to strive for something. That’s what builds character. Struggle reveals who we really are. That journey shows us what we want from this world. ~ A G Riddle,
522:Your questions ask for the meaning of life, as if the ancient Angels had written the answers in stone as a riddle for those who came after to find and unravel. Neither the world nor the Angels have a purpose. The world exists. It needs no meaning. Men and women need purposes. ~ L E Modesitt Jr,
523:He jerked the man into the dark corridor, and they set out again. Dorian was glad to be out of the humid, freakish place with the snakes and flying invisible birds, and who knew what else. He wanted to barricade the entrance, ensuring that nothing made it out, but there was no time. ~ A G Riddle,
524:Think about it logically: we came here on a spaceship that employs concepts in physics your race hasn’t even discovered. You putt around this tiny planet in painted aluminum cans that burn the liquefied remains of ancient reptiles. Do you honestly think you could beat us in a fight? ~ A G Riddle,
525:Coast of Antarctica Karl Selig steadied himself on the ship’s rail and peered through the binoculars at the massive iceberg. Another piece of ice crumbled and fell, revealing more of the long black object. It looked almost like… a submarine. But it couldn’t be. “Hey Steve, come check ~ A G Riddle,
526:...Never tell a ticket agent, "As a matter of fact, I DID accept items from persons unknown to me! A nice man in a chadar gave me this awesome luggage freshener with a clock attached!" Federal regulations require them to have no idea you're joking as they riddle your body with bullets. ~ Seanbaby,
527:Kate almost reeled back. General Ares was Dorian. How? She focused. The man’s face wasn’t Dorian’s, but the overwhelming sense Kate got was that Dorian was inside this man. Or was it the opposite? Was Ares inside Dorian and Kate was sensing that element—seeing it in its purest form now? ~ A G Riddle,
528:Almost everything that Jesus taught, all His ideas, had been set down before in the Old Testament. Then came the largest riddle of all. If Jesus were to return to the earth she was certain He would go to a synagogue rather than a church. Why could people worship Jesus and hate His people? ~ Leon Uris,
529:It only put me in Griffindor. said Harry in a defeated voice, because I asked not to go in Slytherin...

EXACTLY, said Dumbledore, beaming once more. Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~ J K Rowling,
530:'It only put me in Gryffindor,' said Harry in a defeated voice, 'because I asked not to go in Slytherin...' 'Exactly' said Dumbledore, beaming once more. 'Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.' ~ J K Rowling,
531:Survival of the fittest is a scientific fact, but it is a cruel ethic; the way of beasts, not a civilized society. Laws can only take us so far, and they must be based upon something—a shared moral code that rises from something. As that moral foundation recedes, so will society’s values. ~ A G Riddle,
532:I feel . . . extraordinarily lucky just to be alive and well. I’ve taken that for granted, just being alive and healthy. It wasn’t until I was at risk of losing my life or my leg that I fully appreciated how lucky I’ve been. Why is it that we only appreciate things we’re at risk of losing? ~ A G Riddle,
533:Miss Robinson had stolen a baby, Punctuality Riddle, who had been much loved by his young parents even though they’d named him Punctuality (reasoning that if children could be named after virtues like Patience, Faith, and Prudence, what was wrong with a little good timekeeping?). He’d ~ Terry Pratchett,
534:Finally, two days ago, I succeeded - not on account of my hard efforts, but by the grace of the Lord. Like a sudden flash of lightning, the riddle was solved. I am unable to say what was the conducting thread that connected what I previously knew with what made my success possible. ~ Carl Friedrich Gauss,
535:Atlantic Ocean 88 Miles off the Coast of Antarctica Karl Selig steadied himself on the ship’s rail and peered through the binoculars at the massive iceberg. Another piece of ice crumbled and fell, revealing more of the long black object. It looked almost like… a submarine. But it couldn’t be. ~ A G Riddle,
536:The war in China exemplified a fact often forgotten about the Second World War: globally, more non-combatants perished than uniformed participants. Civilians in China and the Soviet Union suffered the most, but hunger and violence were a fact of life around the world in the early forties. That ~ A G Riddle,
537:Voldemort fell backwards, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upwards. Tom Riddle hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snake-like face vacant and unknowing. Voldemort was dead, killed by his own rebounding curse, ~ J K Rowling,
538:I have damaged my intellect trying to imagine why a man should want to invent a repeating clock, and how another man could be found to lust after it and buy it. The man who can guess these riddles is far on the way to guess why the human race was invented - which is another riddle which tires me. ~ Mark Twain,
539:It seems to me that Canadian sensibility has been profoundly disturbed, not so much by our famous problem of identity, important as that is, as by a series of paradoxes in what confronts that identity. It is less perplexed by the question "Who am I?" than by some such riddle as "Where is here? ~ Northrop Frye,
540:She eventually adopted the “gold collar” and married a former U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Wallace Riddle. She achieved her goal of creating a progressive boys’ school as a memorial to her late father. She built it in Avon, Connecticut, and called it Avon Old Farms School, which exists today. ~ Erik Larson,
541:The stories we sit up late to hear are love stories. It seems that we cannot know enough about this riddle of our lives. We go back and back to the same scenes, the same words, trying to scrape out the meaning. Nothing could be more familiar than love. Nothing else eludes us so completely. ~ Jeanette Winterson,
542:Animals! the object of insatiable interest, examples of the riddle of life, created, as it were, to reveal the human being to man himself, displaying his richness and complexity in a thousand kaleidoscopic possibilities, each of them brought to some curious end, to some characteristic exuberance. ~ Bruno Schulz,
543:Life is a puzzle, a riddle, a test, a mystery, a game—whatever challenge you wish to compare it to. Just remember, you're not the only participant; no one person holds all the answers, the pieces, or the cards. The trick to success in this life is to accumulate teammates and not opponents. ~ Richelle E Goodrich,
544:To teach
a student
riddle
a student
with
his own life
To teach
a student
ask
a student
the question
he asked you
in words
more learned
than his words
until he relents
and he says
a student
There is no answer
I don't know ~ Dan Beachy Quick,
545:There's a quality of legend about freaks.
Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They're aristocrats. ~ Diane Arbus,
546:Ah, Young One,” he said, holding up the box. “I have brought you a riddle: What is the essence of the moment but as fleeting as the wind?” “All that lives, Master,” I said. “Plus, whatever is in the box.” He beamed at me and opened the lid. “Snatch the cannoli, Grasshopper,” he said, and I did. Over ~ Jeff Lindsay,
547:Eugene looked with passionate devotion at that grand old head, calm, wise and comforting. In a moment of vision, he saw that, for him, here was the last of those giants to whom we give the faith of our youth, believing like children that the riddle of our lives may be solved by their quiet judgment. ~ Thomas Wolfe,
548:Riddle
A moth, I thogh, munching a word.
How marvellously weird! a worm
Digesting a mans sayings A sneakthief nibbling in the shadows
At the shape of a poet`s thunderous phrases How unutterably strange!
And the pilfering parasite none the wiser
For the words he has swallowed.
~ Anonymous,
549:The problem for cookery-bookery writers like me is to understand the extent of our readers' experience. I hope have solved that riddle in my books by simply telling everything. The experienced cook will know to skip through the verbiage, but the explanations will be there for those who still need them. ~ Julia Child,
550:If Those I Loved Were Lost
29
If those I loved were lost
The Crier's voice would tell me—
If those I loved were found
The bells of Ghent would ring—
Did those I loved repose
The Daisy would impel me.
Philip—when bewildered
Bore his riddle in!
~ Emily Dickinson,
551:Life is not a symbol, is not one riddle and one failure to guess it, is not to inhabit one face alone or to be given up after one losing throw of the dice; but is to be, however inadequately, emptily, hopelessly into the city’s iron heart, endured. And out again, upon the unplumb’d, salt, estranging sea. ~ John Fowles,
552:Science lacks something very important that religion provides: a moral code. Survival of the fittest is a scientific fact, but it is a cruel ethic; the way of beasts, not a civilized society. Laws can only take us so far, and they must be based upon something—a shared moral code that rises from something. ~ A G Riddle,
553:I could say I believe in every drop of rain that . . . Well, I believe life is a Zen koan, that is, an unsolvable riddle. But the contemplation of that riddle--even though it cannot be solved--is, in itself, transformative. And if the contemplation is of high enough quality, you can merge with the divine. ~ Tom Robbins,
554:The question mark,” Jupiter said impressively, “is the universal symbol of something unknown. We are prepared to solve any puzzle, riddle, mystery, enigma or conundrum which may be brought to us. Hence the question mark will be our trade-mark. Three question marks will stand for The Three Investigators. ~ Robert Arthur,
555:He had too much cat in his blood - a deep-rooted feline twitch that would travel the length of his nerves to tickle his mind at the faintest sign of a mystery, no matter how small. He could no more let a riddle go unsolved than he could pass by the perfect length of colourful wire without picking it up. ~ Charles de Lint,
556:I had hit on the most positive solution to the world’s most negative problems. What we needed were a bunch of little, hairy Hobbits! Not large armies of Gondoreans and Rohirrim, just beer drinking, song-singing, riddle-solving, barrel-riding, pipe-weed-smokin’, second-breakfast-eatin’, long-walkin’ Hobbits! ~ Steve Bivans,
557:The things that are essential to salvation are so exceedingly simple that no child need sit down in despair of understanding the things which make for his peace. Christ crucified is not a riddle for sages, but a plain truth for plain people. True it is meat for men, but it is also milk for babes. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
558:Riddle
A moth, I thogh, munching a word.
How marvellously weird! a worm
Digesting a mans sayings A sneakthief nibbling in the shadows
At the shape of a poet`s thunderous phrases How unutterably strange!
And the pilfering parasite none the wiser
For the words he has swallowed.
~ Anonymous Americas,
559:In the realms of the immortal Supermind
Truth who hides here her head in mystery,
Her riddle deemed by reason impossible
In the stark structure of material form,
Unenigmaed lives, unmasked her face and there
Is Nature and the common law of thing ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Dream Twilight of the Earthly Real,
560:Riddle me this - she is my daughter but I am not her father: who am I?

I am a step parent. Ah, but I don't really believe in the term step-parent. I don't think the role exists. Not really. For either in the end you are either a child's parent or you are not. And blood does not have a lot do to with it. ~ Tony Parsons,
561:The quintessential human trait: imagination, fiction, simulation. Powered by energy our brain could use.” “Yes. It’s what makes us completely different from any species before us on this planet. It has been the singular key to all of our progress. And it’s part of a pattern. It points to the path of our species. ~ A G Riddle,
562:Here is a riddle not for us contemporaries to figure out: Why is Germany allowed to punish its evildoers and Russia is not? What kind of disastrous path lies ahead of us if we do not have the chance to purge ourselves of that putrefaction rotting inside our body? What, then, can Russia teach the world? ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,
563:So, monotheism explains order, but is mystified by evil. Dualism explains evil, but is puzzled by order. There is one logical way of solving the riddle: to argue that there is a single omnipotent God who created the entire universe – and He’s evil. But nobody in history has had the stomach for such a belief. ~ Yuval Noah Harari,
564:We call this quantum entity that links all humans the Origin Entity. Investigating its creation, our creation, is our great work. We call it ‘The Origin Mystery.’ We believe the Origin Entity exerts influence over the entire universe, that it is both the origin point and the final destination for human consciousness. ~ A G Riddle,
565:Oliver Stone will never be happy with the first take. He wants more than that. When you’re delivering your lines, he’ll stop you and tell you some kind of riddle about the character and you have to go away and figure that out. If you’re hoping for him to give you all the answers, then you’re in for a long day. ~ Guillermo del Toro,
566:And that’s the riddle of existence for you. When to move and when to stay. Dwell too long and we become the prisoner of our dreams, or someone else’s. Move too fast, live without pause, and you’ll miss it all, your whole life a blur of doing. Good lives are built of moments – of times when we step back and truly see. ~ Mark Lawrence,
567:It’s funny: you can imagine committing a vile act, something completely against your moral code, but only when you physically hold the means to take that action does the decision become real. Only then do you learn what you’re capable of—and I’m not capable of this. I’m not sure if that makes me a bad guy or a good guy. ~ A G Riddle,
568:I used to skip out of high school and go flying. It was just one of those things, I thought it was kind of a cool thing to do. I never thought about doing that as a profession, but I started checking things out and I found out there was a flight school down in Daytona Beach, called Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. ~ Jerry Doyle,
569:Exactly,” said Dumbledore, beaming once more. “Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Harry sat motionless in his chair, stunned. “If you want proof, Harry, that you belong in Gryffindor, I suggest you look more closely at this. ~ J K Rowling,
570:One thing is certain: the riddle of mind, long a topic for philosophers, has taken on new urgency. Under pressure from the computer, the question of mind in relation to machine is becoming a central cultural preoccupation. It is becoming for us what sex was to the Victorians--threat and obsession, taboo and fascination. ~ Sherry Turkle,
571:Would all, who cherish such wild wishes, but look around them, they would oftenest find their sphere of duty, of prosperity, and happiness, within those precincts, and in that station where Providence itself has cast their lot. Happy they who read the riddle without a weary world-search, or a lifetime spent in vain! ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne,
572:Humans are actually reservoir hosts for countless bacteria and viruses that haven’t even been classified yet. About twenty percent of the genetic information in the nose doesn’t match any known or cataloged organism. In the gut, forty to fifty percent of all the DNA is from bacteria and viruses that have never been classified. ~ A G Riddle,
573:I have come to believe that most correctional officers go into this line of work for one reason: power. They want to have power over others. I believe the common cause is that someone, at some point, had power over them. Therein lies a seminal truth about human nature: we desire in adulthood what we were deprived in childhood. ~ A G Riddle,
574:Communism... is the genuine resolution of the antagonism between man and nature and between man and man; it is the true resolution of the conflict between existence and essence, objectification and self-affirmation, freedom and necessity, individual and species. It is the riddle of history solved and knows itself as the solution. ~ Karl Marx,
575:I barely slept last night. I couldn’t get the picture Mike took out of my mind: an octagonal structure, all glass and shining metal, glistening in the middle of a field. There’s no road or path leading to it, no vehicles, no indication of what could be inside. It’s a mystery, a mirage rising out of an expanse of tall green grass. ~ A G Riddle,
576:In our gradually shrinking world, everyone is in need of all the others. We must look for man wherever we can find him. When on his way to Thebes Oedipus encountered the Sphinx, his answer to its riddle was: «Man». That simple word destroyed the monster. We have many monsters to destroy. Let us think of the answer of Oedipus. ~ George Seferis,
577:Communism… is the genuine resolution of the antagonism between man and nature and between man and man; it is the true resolution of the conflict between existence and essence, objectification and self-affirmation, freedom and necessity, individual and species. It is the riddle of history solved and knows itself as this solution. ~ Peter Singer,
578:Job tries to comfort himself with philosophical pessimism like the intellectuals of the nineteenth century. But God comforts Job with indecipherable mystery, and for the first time Job is comforted. . . . Job flings at God one riddle, God flings back at Job a hundred riddles, and Job is at peace. He is comforted with conundrums. ~ G K Chesterton,
579:She bent and withdrew a small cylinder. “Collecting a sample now.” She held the cylinder to the closest body and waited for it to collect the DNA sample. When it finished, she stood and spoke in a formal tone. “Alpha Lander, Expedition Science Log, Official Entry: Preliminary observations confirm that subspecies 8472 has experienced ~ A G Riddle,
580:This was both startling and comforting, and when the eye combined these separate things into a unity so strange, past all disjoining, one was curiously reminded of something, transposed into some mode that lay beyond convention far back in childhood, and the unsolved riddle was like a sign that had emerged from the sea of memory. ~ Hermann Broch,
581:What I’m talking about is trying to solve a riddle or crime. Emotions play no role there. They’re too messy and complicated.” He leaned on his elbows, staring into my eyes. “But they’re good in other situations, I suppose. For instance—I’ve not yet figured out the formula for love or romance. Perhaps I shall learn one day soon. ~ Kerri Maniscalco,
582:Look at him, lying there. Why should he need me to give him strength--to watch over him, and always be worrying how he's feeling? Surely he'll find it himself. Isn't that what we believe, that we do always somehow find the strength? That the path will lead out of the forest; that the riddle will be solved; that the child never dies. ~ Neil Bartlett,
583:I’m praying, he thought to himself.  He’d never been one for church, preferring to take his divine inspiration from what surrounded him.  But lying here with Olivia, touching her reverently, he felt something shift inside him, something large and profound, as though he’d finally learned the answer to a riddle he’d been trying to solve.  ~ Zoe Archer,
584:Voldemort,” said Riddle softly, “is my past, present, and future, Harry Potter. . . .”
He pulled Harry’s wand from his pocket and began to trace it through the air, writing three shimmering words:
TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE
Then he waved the wand once, and the letters of his name rearranged themselves:
I AM LORD VOLDEMORT ~ J K Rowling,
585:He [Zampano] probably would of insisted on corrections and edits, he was his own harshest critic, but I've come to believe errors, especially written errors, are often the only markers left by a solitary life: to sacrifice them is to lose the angels of personality, the riddle of a soul. In this case a very old soul. A very old riddle. ~ Mark Z Danielewski,
586:For the most part, we live in an uncomfortable equilibrium with bacteria and viruses, both those inside of us and those outside, in the natural world. But every now and then, the war reignites. An old pathogen, long dormant, returns. A new mutation emerges. Those events are the epidemics and pandemics we confront. They are the battles we fight. ~ A G Riddle,
587:Mr. Ryland was a riddle to unfold, an attractive one at that. The lone candle flickered behind him, outlining powerful shoulders, tempting solidness she wanted to test.
"But an evening of harmless flirtation isn't out of the question."
His gaze fixed on her. "I'd welcome an evening free of complications."
Did he just proposition her? ~ Gina Conkle,
588:Mr. Ryland was a riddle to unfold, an attractive one at that. The lone candle flickered behind him, outlining powerful shoulders, tempting solidness she wanted to test.
"But an evening of harmless flirtation isn't out of the question."
His gaze fixed on her. "I'd welcome an evening free of complications."
Did he just proposition her? ~ Gina Conkle,
589:He believed that a person’s drop could be the poison or the cure for the ails of the age—that age simply being the thin layer of water on the surface for a brief instant. Milo wasn’t a fighter, a leader, or a genius. He looked around at his companions, seeing all of those qualities. But he could help them. He had a role to play. He was sure of it. ~ A G Riddle,
590:decline, and I can almost feel the air growing more damp with each passing second. There are several forks in the tunnel, but nothing slows Rutger down. He drives madly, swerving left and right, barely making the turns. I grip the seat. Craig leans over and touches the youth’s arm, but I can’t hear his voice over the deafening racket of the truck’s ~ A G Riddle,
591:No, when it came to the ultimate and highest questions, there was no help from outside - no mediation, no absolution, no soothing consolation. Every man had to untangle the riddle on his own, had to work diligently at it, at hot speed, all by himself; before it was too late, he must either achieve some clear readiness for death, or die in despair. ~ Thomas Mann,
592:For ever so long, on a branch of this willow
Sits a bird, the colour of a riddle.
Attuned to him no sound, no colour.
Totally alone, like me, in this land.
[...]

The bird's tale comes straight from the heart:
What fails to arrive is idle fancy.
His are ties with cities lost:
The riddle bird is a stranger in this land. ~ Sohrab Sepehri,
593:The voice of painterly integrity spoke to me. And the idea was that one would find this anguish, or whatever, and construct it into images that would appear. You already feel very ill and you're trying to put this riddle together because it is the prescription for health. I believe in art as a spiritual health-giving process, not just some style. ~ Malcolm Morley,
594:To expend oneself, to bestir oneself for an impenetrable object is pure religion. To make the other into an insoluble riddle on which my life depends is to consecrate the other as a god; I shall never manage to solve the question the other asks me, the lover is not Oedipus. Then all that is left for me to do is to reverse my ignorance into truth. ~ Roland Barthes,
595:They weren’t exactly friends. They were more like drifters in the old westerns Orville watched, bound together by some shared need, on a quest, in search of something or someone, though whom or what they were searching for was never clear. They went from town to town, each town like an episode in the show, a new bad guy to best or a mystery to solve. The ~ A G Riddle,
596:Religion is our desperate attempt to understand our world. And our past. We live in darkness, surrounded by mysteries. Where did we come from? What is our purpose? What will happen to us after we die? Religion also gives us something more: a code of conduct, a blueprint of right and wrong, a guide to human decency. Just like any other tool, it can be misused. ~ A G Riddle,
597:Religion is our desperate attempt to understand our world. And our past. We live in darkness, surrounded by mysteries. Where did we come from? What is our purpose? What will happen to us after we die? Religion also gives us something more: a code of conduct, a blueprint of right and wrong, a guide to human decency. Just like any other tool, it can be misused. But ~ A G Riddle,
598:Some Things That Fly There Be
89
Some things that fly there be—
Birds—Hours—the Bumblebee—
Of these no Elegy.
Some things that stay there be—
Grief—Hills—Eternity—
Nor this behooveth me.
There are that resting, rise.
Can I expound the skies?
How still the Riddle lies!
~ Emily Dickinson,
599:Science lacks something very important that religion provides: a moral code. Survival of the fittest is a scientific fact, but it is a cruel ethic; the way of beasts, not a civilized society. Laws can only take us so far, and they must be based upon something—a shared moral code that rises from something. As that moral foundation recedes, so will society’s values. ~ A G Riddle,
600:The truth beyond the fetish's glimmering mirage is the relationship of laborer to product; it is the social account of how that object came to be. In this view every commodity, beneath the mantle of its pricetag, is a hieroglyph ripe for deciphering, a riddle whose solution lies in the story of the worker who made it and the conditions under which it was made. ~ Leah Hager Cohen,
601:The piano keys represent the genome. We each get different keys, and the keys don’t change throughout our life: we die with the same piano keys, or genome, we’re born with. What changes is the sheet music: the epigenetics. That sheet of music determines what tune is played—what genes are expressed—and those genes determine our traits—everything from IQ to hair color. ~ A G Riddle,
602:A boundless mass of human Being, flowing in a stream without banks; up-stream, a dark past wherein our time-sense loses all powers of definition and restless or uneasy fancy conjures up geological periods to hide away an eternally unsolvable riddle; down-stream, a future even so dark and timeless –– such is the groundwork of the Faustian picture of human history. ~ Oswald Spengler,
603:Religion was a riddle to her. Believe this, and only this, because we say so. If you don’t you’re buying a one-way ticket to everlasting Hell. Organized religion baffled her, made her vaguely uncomfortable. Each had followers who were so sure they were right, that their way was the only way. And throughout history they’d fought wars and shed oceans of blood to prove it. ~ J D Robb,
604:That Continuity can just take Janus and Chang’s research and just… I don’t know, ‘snap it together’ like the Triforce and magically have the cure?” “Triforce?” “Seriously?” “What?” “From Zelda,” David said. “You know, Link collects the Triforce to rescue Princess Zelda and save Hyrule.” “I never saw it.” “It’s uh… a video game, not a movie.” How can she not know this? ~ A G Riddle,
605:by.” Dorian watched Naomi scratch at the robe bunched around her on the couch. He wondered how long she could hold out. The phone clicked. A distracted voice said, “Chase.” “It’s Sloane. Where are we with the nukes?” The man coughed and spoke more slowly. “Mr. Sloane. We have, I think, fifty, or forty-nine operational.” “How many total?” “That’s all we have, sir. We’re ~ A G Riddle,
606:That's what great books are about, revealing our life in a way stories only can. We see ourselves in the characters, our own struggles and short comings in a way that's non threatening and non judgmental. We learn from the characters we take those lessons and inspirations back to the real world I believe that a good book leaves its readers better then they were before. ~ A G Riddle,
607:Growing up is terribly wonderful. But often it’s also wonderfully terrible. Ha, a riddle of words amounting to nothing. A stuttering cleverism that falls as short as my feeble steps. But this is true. A teacher could become rich if he ever perfected the art of helping mature students unlearn many awful things. Enjoy your innocence, my dear. Even if it only lasts the day. ~ S D Smith,
608:I have always envied the Tibetans their simple faith, for all my life I have been a seeker. Though I learned, while in Asia, the way to meditate, the final answer to the riddle of life has not been vouchsafed to me. But I have at least learned to contemplate the events of life with tranquillity and not let myself be flung to and fro by circumstances in a sea of doubt. ~ Heinrich Harrer,
609:Not only is there no guarantee of the temporal immortality of the human soul, that is to say of its eternal survival after death; but, in any case, this assumption completely fails to accomplish the purpose for which it has always been intended. Or is some riddle solved by my surviving forever? Is not this eternal life itself as much of a riddle as our present life? ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein,
610:The answer to this riddle has a hole in the middle,
And some have been known to fall in it.
In tennis it's nothing, but it can be received,
And sometimes a person may win it.
Though not seen or heard it may be perceived,
Like princes or bees it's in clover.
The answer to this riddle has a hole in the middle,
And without it one cannot start over. ~ Trenton Lee Stewart,
611:If you fly too high, the sun will melt your wings. If you fly too low, the sea’s dampness will weigh you down. The story rang true to Desmond. The market’s exuberance and implosion were in league with the allegory of Icarus, but so was life. People who flew too high—who lived beyond their means and ability—were bound for failure. As were those who never took a chance. Despite ~ A G Riddle,
612:When you type an address in your web browser, a group of servers called domain name servers (DNS) match the address to an IP in their database, and send you to the right place. If you typed the IP into your browser’s address bar instead, you’d actually end up in the exact same place without the routing: 74.125.139.100 opens Google.com, 17.149.160.49 opens Apple.com, and so on. ~ A G Riddle,
613:Mist Forms
THE SHEETS of night mist travel a long valley.
I know why you came at sundown in a scarf mist.
What was it we touched asking nothing and asking all?
How many times can death come and pay back what we saw?
In the oath of the sod, the lips that swore,
In the oath of night mist, nothing and all,
A riddle is here no man tells, no woman.
~ Carl Sandburg,
614:The Riddle was old, for it was as old as the Gate, and the Gate had guarded the head of the Valley since men first walked upon the World. The words of the Riddle were an ancient secret, passed down from father to son, from grandfather to grandson, from uncle to nephew, and – in at least one case – from the most distrusted old man in the village to his worryingly young “friend”. ~ Jonny Nexus,
615:When she needed to rest, she closed her eyes, refused to let her mind think, and instead focused on her breathing. She first forced herself to draw her breaths into her belly, allowing her abdomen to expand, not her chest. With each exhalation, she focused on the tip of her nose, where the breath touched as it flowed out of her, and counted the breaths. She rarely got past forty ~ A G Riddle,
616:When she needed to rest, she closed her eyes, refused to let her mind think, and instead focused on her breathing. She first forced herself to draw her breaths into her belly, allowing her abdomen to expand, not her chest. With each exhalation, she focused on the tip of her nose, where the breath touched as it flowed out of her, and counted the breaths. She rarely got past forty. ~ A G Riddle,
617:To me, this is what great books are about, revealing our own lives in a way only stories can; we see ourselves in the characters, our own struggles and shortcomings, in a way that’s nonthreatening and nonjudgmental. We learn from the characters; we take those lessons and inspiration back to the real world. I believe that a good book leaves its readers better than they were before. ~ A G Riddle,
618:For the first time, he saw the world as it truly was, and he saw dangers all around him—in the beasts of the forest and in his fellow man. As a beast, he had lived in a world of bliss, acting on his instincts, thinking only when he had to, never seeing himself for what he was, never worrying about his mortality, never trying to cheat death. But now his thoughts and fears ruled him. ~ A G Riddle,
619:He had paid for his sins—in all the ways that matter. He was saved, as so many men are, by a good woman. But some lives are harder than others, and some sins haunt us, no matter how much we pay for them or how far we sail from them. Maybe this happened to the man and maybe not. Maybe retirement doesn’t suit the industrious. Perhaps there is no solace in rest for a hard-working man. ~ A G Riddle,
620:me, this is what great books are about, revealing our own lives in a way only stories can; we see ourselves in the characters, our own struggles and shortcomings, in a way that’s nonthreatening and nonjudgmental. We learn from the characters; we take those lessons and inspiration back to the real world. I believe that a good book leaves its readers better than they were before. And ~ A G Riddle,
621:Here's one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning. It's like that old riddle about a tree falling in a forest, and whether it makes a sound if there's no one around to hear it.

You keep drawing a line farther and farther away, crossing it every time. That's how people end up stepping off the edge of the earth. ~ Lauren Oliver,
622:In a sense, all these stories make up one story, namely that of a people struggling to see the face of God, to pierce the riddle of loneliness, the mist of unreality, and to come to full meaning of life. Because it is a story of struggle, this story can shed much light on our own struggle to break out of the slavery of loneliness and to meet others and God in intimacy and love. ~ Ronald Rolheiser,
623:My skin is a riddle not to be solved, and even letting go of everything I love won’t offer me the answer. My window is closing, if that’s what you’re asking. Every day I wake up a little more linear, a little less lost, and one day I’ll be one of the women who says ‘I had the most charming dream,’ and I’ll mean it. Old enough to know what I’m losing in the process of being found. ~ Seanan McGuire,
624:But before he knew it, Harry was shouting. ‘SO YOU HAVEN’T BEEN IN THE MEETINGS, BIG DEAL! YOU’VE STILL BEEN HERE, HAVEN’T YOU? YOU’VE STILL BEEN TOGETHER! ME, I’VE BEEN STUCK AT THE DURSLEYS’ FOR A MONTH! AND I’VE HANDLED MORE THAN YOU TWO’VE EVER MANAGED AND DUMBLEDORE KNOWS IT – WHO SAVED THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE? WHO GOT RID OF RIDDLE? WHO SAVED BOTH YOUR SKINS FROM THE DEMENTORS? ~ J K Rowling,
625:When she needed to rest, she closed her eyes, refused to let her mind think, and instead focused on her breathing. She first forced herself to draw her breaths into her belly, allowing her abdomen to expand, not her chest. With each exhalation, she focused on the tip of her nose, where the breath touched as it flowed out of her, and counted the breaths. She rarely got past forty. When ~ A G Riddle,
626:We cannot understand what happens in the universe. What is glorious in it is united with what is full of horror. What is full of meaning is united to what is senseless. The spirit of the universe is at once creative and destructive — it creates while it destroys and destroys while it creates, and therefore it remains to us a riddle. And we must inevitably resign ourselves to this. ~ Albert Schweitzer,
627:I am not a joke. I am not a riddle! I am not a bird or a cat or a penguin! I'm not a scarecrow or a plant or a puppet! I am not your broken friend! I am not your regretful teacher! I am not a child's fairy tale! I am not a circus act here to amuse and frighten you! I am not another one of your madmen howling at the moon! And I...I am not...I am not some rich boy playing dress-up! I AM BANE! ~ Tom King,
628:From this I think we can conclude that the definitive English holorime has yet to be written. However, an old children's riddle does seem to come close. It is the one that poses the question "How do you prove in three steps that a sheet of paper is a lazy dog?"

The answer: (1) a sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane; (2) an inclined plane is a slope up; (3) a slow pup is a lazy dog. ~ Bill Bryson,
629:And that’s the riddle of existence for you. When to move and when to stay. Dwell too long and we become the prisoner of our dreams, or someone else’s. Move too fast, live without pause, and you’ll miss it all, your whole life a blur of doing. Good lives are built of moments – of times when we step back and truly see. The dream and the dreamer. There’s the rub. Does the dream ever let go? ~ Mark Lawrence,
630:anything we don’t understand, anything that might change our world, our environment, reduce our chances of survival. Racism, class warfare, sexism, east versus west, north and south, capitalism and communism, democracy and dictatorships, Islam and Christianity, Israel and Palestine, they’re all different faces of the same war: the war for a homogeneous human race, an end to our differences. ~ A G Riddle,
631:For myself, I am interested in science and in philosophy only because I want to learn something about the riddle of the world in which we live, and the riddle of man's knowledge of that world. And I believe that only a revival of interest in these riddles can save the sciences and philosophy from an obscurantist faith in the expert's special skill and in his personal knowledge and authority. ~ Karl Popper,
632:The daguerreotypist once whispered her that these marks betokened the oddities of the Pyncheon family, and that the chicken itself was a symbol of the life of the old house, embodying its interpretation, likewise, although an unintelligible one, as such clews generally are. It was a feathered riddle; a mystery hatched out of an egg, and just as mysterious as if the egg had been addle! ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne,
633:And lastly — I hope you are not too sleepy to pay attention to this, Harry — the young Tom Riddle liked to collect trophies. You saw the box of stolen articles he had hidden in his room. These were taken from victims of his bullying behavior, souvenirs, if you will, of particularly unpleasant bits of magic. Bear in mind this magpie-like tendency, for this, particularly, will be important later ~ J K Rowling,
634:That's what life is all about: finding something you can do that no one else can, and working your hardest at it. It's about finding someone you love like no one else, someone who loves you like no one else does. That person might be Nick Stone. But I don't know him as well as I know Alice Carter. Not yet.
Now it's about making a plan to ensure I get to know them both. It's going to be risky. ~ A G Riddle,
635:Nobody ever,” said the Dowager sorrowfully, “credits me with normal thought processes. When a mysterious man creates a royal scandal on the banks of the Lake of Menteith with the keenest ears in Scotland strolling utterly oblivious—by her own account—in the locality, I begin to wonder. I also wonder when a delicately reared child sends a court into fits with a riddle which I invented myself. ~ Dorothy Dunnett,
636:There's a rule for what makes good fantasy work, and it's as strange as any riddle ever posed in a fairy tale: In fantasy, you can do anything; and therefore, the one thing you must not do is 'just anything.' Why? Because in a story where anything can happen and anything can be true, nothing matters. You have no reason to care what happens. It's all arbitrary, and arbitrary isn't interesting. ~ Teresa Nielsen Hayden,
637:We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It's just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn't have expected. ~ Ben Okri,
638:The delegates solved this baffling riddle by deciding that all states would enjoy equal representation in the Senate (a sop to small states) while representation in the House of Representatives would be proportionate to each state’s population (a sop to large states). This broke the deadlock, though the Senate’s composition introduced a lasting political bias in American life in favor of smaller states. ~ Ron Chernow,
639:And some children, like Helena, who grow up in privilege, never wanting for anything, surrounded by people who don’t live in the real world, people who drink their brandy every night and gossip about the sons and daughters of this house and that house… sometimes they only want to see the real world, to live in it and make a difference. To have genuine human contact, to see their life mean something. Ahead ~ A G Riddle,
640:The word parable comes from a Greek word meaning “comparison or analogy” and is essentially a very brief story that conveys a spiritual truth. A parable is a bit like a riddle: it has a meaning you can’t completely understand with the logical, conditioned mind. A parable is meant to present your mind with something that pushes you to go beyond your current level of understanding in order to comprehend it. ~ Adyashanti,
641:As I said, gravity slows time down. The stronger the gravity, the slower time passes. So the closer to Earth you are, the slower time goes. If you get close enough to very, very strong gravity, say a black hole, time almost stands still. If you crossed the event horizon of a black hole in a spaceship, you would watch the entire fate of the universe unfold in the seconds before you were sucked into the center. ~ A G Riddle,
642:Modern man's narrow-mindedness is best shown in his belief that there is no riddle before him. His wisdom is the sum of his knowledge and his ignorance, of which he is not aware, he accepts it as knowledge. Even in the face of the greatest mystery, he behaves self-consciously and conceitedly. He does not even see the problem. It is in this that the true measure of his ignorance and prejudice is manifested. ~ Alija Izetbegovi,
643:Seven things has Lady Lackless Keeps them underneath her black dress One a ring that’s not for wearing One a sharp word, not for swearing Right beside her husband’s candle There’s a door without a handle In a box, no lid or locks Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks There’s a secret she’s been keeping She’s been dreaming and not sleeping On a road, that’s not for traveling Lackless likes her riddle raveling. ~ Patrick Rothfuss,
644:Anyone who realises what Love is, the dedication of the heart, so profound, so absorbing, so mysterious, so imperative, and always just in the noblest natures so strong, cannot fail to see how difficult, how tragic even, must often be the fate of those whose deepest feelings are destined from the earliest days to be a riddle and a stumbling-block, unexplained to themselves, passed over in silence by others. ~ Edward Carpenter,
645:People like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves. When they get blind-drunk, cheat, steal, beat their wives, starve an old woman, when they kill a trapped fox with an axe or riddle the last existing unicorn with arrows, they like to think that the Bane entering cottages at daybreak is more monstrous than they are. They feel better then. They find it easier to live. ~ Andrzej Sapkowski,
646:Old Eileen leaned forward in her chair, thrusting her face closer to the child who had been gradually approaching her. "Where is the centre of the world?" she abruptly demanded. Esther stood silently in front of her, holding onto a book she had forgotten to put on a table. She did not know the answer to the riddle. "The place where you stand," Old Eileen said. The place where you stand is the centre of the world. ~ Jane Urquhart,
647:For the first time, he saw the world as it truly was, and he saw dangers all around him—in the beasts of the forest and in his fellow man. As a beast, he had lived in a world of bliss, acting on his instincts, thinking only when he had to, never seeing himself for what he was, never worrying about his mortality, never trying to cheat death. But now his thoughts and fears ruled him. He knew evil for the first time. Your ~ A G Riddle,
648:It seems to be very hard for people to live with riddles or to let them live, although one would think that life is so full of riddles as it is that a few more things we cannot answer would make no difference. But perhaps it is just this that is so unendurable, that there are irrational things in our own psyche which upset the conscious mind in its illusory certainties by confronting it with the riddle of its existence. ~ Carl Jung,
649:Old English Riddle
My dress is silent when I tread the ground
Or stay at home or stir upon the waters.
Sometimes my trappings and the lofty air
Raise me above the dwelling-place of men,
And then the power of clouds carries me far
Above the people; and my ornaments
Loudly resound, send forth a melody
And clearly sing, when I am not in touch
With earth or water, but a flying spirit.
~ Anonymous,
650:The adversary she found herself forced to fight was not worth matching or beating; it was not a superior ability which she would have found honour in challenging; it was ineptitude - a grey spread of cotton that seemed soft and shapeless, that could offer no resistance to anything or anybody, yet managed to be a barrier in her way. She stood, disarmed, before the riddle of what made this possible, she could find no answer. ~ Ayn Rand,
651:While our bodies move ever forward on the time line, our minds continuously trace backward, seeking shape and meaning as deftly as any arrow seeking its mark. . . Sometimes it is as difficult to know what the past holds as it is to know the future, and just as an answer to a riddle seems so obvious once it is revealed, it seems curious to me now that I passed through all those early moments with no idea of their weight. ~ Lucy Grealy,
652:We attack whatever is different, anything we don’t understand, anything that might change our world, our environment, reduce our chances of survival. Racism, class warfare, sexism, east versus west, north and south, capitalism and communism, democracy and dictatorships, Islam and Christianity, Israel and Palestine, they’re all different faces of the same war: the war for a homogeneous human race, an end to our differences. ~ A G Riddle,
653:Butch finished processing Billy Riddle around six A.M. The guy was offended by the class of drug dealers and thugs he’d been put into the holding cell with, so Butch was careful to make as many typographical errors as possible on his reports. And what would you know, Central Processing kept getting confused about exactly which forms needed to be filled out. And then the printers had gone on the fritz. All twenty-three of them. ~ J R Ward,
654:We attack whatever is different, anything we don’t understand, anything that might change our world, our environment, reduce our chances of survival. Racism, class warfare, sexism, east versus west, north and south, capitalism and communism, democracy and dictatorships, Islam and Christianity, Israel and Palestine, they’re all different faces of the same war: the war for a homogeneous human race, an end to our differences. It ~ A G Riddle,
655:Every good joke contains an element of the riddle-it may be childishly simple, or subtle and challenging-which the listener must solve. By doing so, he is lifted out of his passive role and compelled to co-operate, to repeat to some extent the process of inventing the joke, to re-create it in his imagination. The type of entertainment dished out by the mass media makes one apt to forget that true recreation is re-creation. ~ Arthur Koestler,
656:The threat to the conditions of his existence through the actual or expected arrival of a new child, the fear of the loss in care and love which is connected with this event, cause the child to become thoughtful and sagacious. Corresponding with the history of this awakening, the first problem with which it occupies itself is not the question as to the difference between the sexes, but the riddle: from where do children come? ~ Sigmund Freud,
657:Older than I look, younger than I ought to be. My skin is a riddle not to be solved, and even letting go of everything I love won’t offer me the answer. My window is closing, if that’s what you’re asking. Every day I wake up a little more linear, a little less lost, and one day I’ll be one of the women who says ‘I had the most charming dream,’ and I’ll mean it. Old enough to know what I’m losing in the process of being found. ~ Seanan McGuire,
658:our genome is less like a static blueprint and more like a piano. The piano keys represent the genome. We each get different keys, and the keys don’t change throughout our life: we die with the same piano keys, or genome, we’re born with. What changes is the sheet music: the epigenetics. That sheet of music determines what tune is played—what genes are expressed—and those genes determine our traits—everything from IQ to hair color. ~ A G Riddle,
659:It occurred to me that I was suffering from the dizziness of contradictions: the only pleasure that remains once you've decided you know better than the world.

Accepting contradictions means not believing any more in the primacy of "true feeling." Everything is true and simultaneously. It's why I hate Sam Shepard and all your True West stuff - it's like analysis, as if the riddle could be solved by digging up the buried child. ~ Chris Kraus,
660:The temporal immortality of the soul of man, that is to say, its eternal survival also after death, is not only in no way guaranteed, but this assumption in the first place will not do for us what we always tried to make it do. Is a riddle solved by the fact that I survive forever? Is this eternal life not as enigmatic as our present one? The solution of the riddle of life in space and time lies outside space and time. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein,
661:With events that have passed there is no problem, provided we don't attempt to be wiser that they are, provided we can't use them to further own own ends. If we let them be, the turn into a marvelous solution, a magical acid that dissolves time and space, eats calendars and atlases, and turns the coordinates of action into sweet nothingness. What is the meaning of the riddle? What is the use to anyone of chronology, sister of death? ~ Andrzej Stasiuk,
662:He grunted. “I knew that was too easy an answer to the riddle. Very well, if you are neither of those things, then what have you to fear from me?” “You aren’t exactly shy about giving in to your temper.” “And if I vowed to keep it in check?” “I don’t think you could.” “Damn you, Jessica, I demand you give me the tale!” “See?” she said. He took a deep breath, releasing it very slowly. Then he looked at her again. “Tell me,” he said calmly. ~ Lynn Kurland,
663:Look! A riddle! Time for fun!
Should we use a rope or gun?
Knives are sharp and gleam so pretty
Poison’s slow, which is a pity
Fire is festive, drowning’s slow
Hanging’s a ropy way to go
A broken head, a nasty fall
A car colliding with a wall
Bombs make a very jolly noise
Such ways to punish naughty boys!
What shall we use? We can’t decide.
Just like you cannot run or hide.
Ha ha.
Truly,
Devious ~ Maureen Johnson,
664:To me, this is what great books are about, revealing our own lives in a way only stories can; we see ourselves in the characters, our own struggles and shortcomings, in a way that’s nonthreatening and nonjudgmental. We learn from the characters; we take those lessons and inspiration back to the real world. I believe that a good book leaves its readers better than they were before. And I think these stories will. That’s why they’re important. ~ A G Riddle,
665:Seven things has Lady Lackless
Keeps them underneath her black dress
One a ring that’s not for wearing
One a sharp word, not for swearing
Right beside her husband’s candle
There’s a door without a handle
In a box, no lid or locks
Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks
There’s a secret she’s been keeping
She’s been dreaming and not sleeping
On a road, that’s not for traveling
Lackless likes her riddle raveling. ~ Patrick Rothfuss,
666:Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned like a liberation … The road to this paradise was not so comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has proved itself as trustworthy, and I have never regretted having chosen it. ~ Carl Sagan,
667:The scientist is not much given to talking of the riddle of the universe. "Riddle" is not a scientific term. The conception of a riddle is "something which can he solved." And hence the scientist does not use that popular phrase. We don't know the why of anything. On that matter we are no further advanced than was the cavedweller. The scientist is contented if he can contribute something toward the knowledge of what is and how it is. ~ Charles Proteus Steinmetz,
668:David had spent the last fourteen days, while Kate was away, learning how to operate the ship’s systems. He was still learning them. Kate had enabled the voice command routines to help with any commands David couldn’t figure out. “Alpha, what is Dr. Warner’s location?” David asked. The disembodied computer voice of the Alpha Lander boomed into the small room. “That information is classified.” “Why?” “You are not a senior member of the research staff. ~ A G Riddle,
669:It is my dearest hope that one day I shall be the one to discover the GUT-the Grand Unified Tale, the one which will bind together all our Theorems and Laws, leaving out not one Orphan Girl or Youngest Son or Cup of Life and Death. Not one Descent or Ascent, not one Riddle or Puzzle or Trick. One perfect golden map that can guide any soul to its desire and back again. I will be the one to do it, I know it. I hope I know it. I know I hope it. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
670:And Harry, with the unerring skill of the Seeker, caught the wand in his free hand as Voldemort fell backward, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upward. Tom Riddle hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snakelike face vacant and unknowing. Voldemort was dead, killed by his own rebounding curse, and Harry stood with two wands in his hands, staring down at his enemy's shell. ~ J K Rowling,
671:All that time she had worked in the acquisition of Power. All that time she had been ruled by ambition. All those centuries that she had lived in such a vast yet fleeting journey, and here he was holding everything she had reached for, not striving, not continually learning to be better, not fighting to acquire any of it. He just was, the mysterious, magical rune, the riddle of a creature that nature decreed should not be able to exist, and yet he did. ~ Thea Harrison,
672:Newton was open and honest about his weaknesses, and this honesty marked his entire forty-year ministry. Nothing in his service was not in some way “debased, polluted, and spoiled by my depraved nature.” “I am a riddle to myself,” he wrote, “a heap of inconsistence.”20 This was never an excuse to shrug off obedience or justify scandalous sin, but it was a disclosure of grace intended to break and humble him. Every Christian must feel something of the same. ~ Tony Reinke,
673:Many of those insects have critical impacts on their ecosystems. They are the Pleistocene megafauna writ small. They chew up and decompose the dead to keep things clean and keep energy circulating through its natural cycle. They riddle the soil with holes to aerate it. They spread seeds. They pollinate a third of the foods Americans eat. They are useful, in other words. But the large majority are also characterless and ugly—not quick to draw our sympathy. And ~ Jon Mooallem,
674:He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying. ~ G K Chesterton,
675:Today’s self-multiplying debt overhead absorbs profits, rents, personal income and tax revenue in a process whose mathematics is much like that of environmental pollution. Evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson demonstrates how impossible it is for growth to proceed at exponential rates without encountering a limit. He cites “the arithmetical riddle of the lily pond. A lily pod is placed in a pond. Each day thereafter the pod and then all its descendants double ~ Michael Hudson,
676:the kind of penetrating stare Harry knew so well. “Best not to roam the corridors these days. Not since . . .” He sighed heavily, bade Riddle good night, and strode off. Riddle watched him walk out of sight and then, moving quickly, headed straight down the stone steps to the dungeons, with Harry in hot pursuit. But to Harry’s disappointment, Riddle led him not into a hidden passageway or a secret tunnel but to the very dungeon in which Harry had Potions with Snape. ~ J K Rowling,
677:Songs of myself
These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they
are not original with me,
If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing, or next to nothing,
If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing,
If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.

This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is,
This the common air that bathes the globe. ~ Walt Whitman,
678:The canyon and her dories embody and elusive riddle. It is a paradox rooted in the dream that many of us share of immersing ourselves so deeply, so inextricably, into a pocket of landscape, or a stretch of river - anything that seems to embody the wildness we have lost - that we may somehow take possession of those places and make them ours. Yet the truth, like an eddy, runs in the opposite direction.
In the end, it is they that claim us. And we who belong to them. ~ Kevin Fedarko,
679:For some in my audience, a tale is like a riddle, to be solved at the end. To them I sail the best tales leave some riddles unanswered and some mysteries hidden. Get used to it. For others the tale is a way of living vicariously, enjoying the adventures of others without having to go one step beyond their sphere of comfort. To them I say, what's stopping you from getting on a ship and sailing halfway around the world? Tales are meant to be an inspiration, not a substitute. ~ Karen Lord,
680:Unclaimed

To make love with a stranger is the best.
There is no riddle and there is no test. –

To lie and love, not aching to make sense
Of this night in the mesh of reference.

To touch, unclaimed by fear of imminent day,
And understand, as only strangers may.

To feel the beat of foreign heart to heart
Preferring neither to prolong nor part.

To rest within the unknown arms and know
That this is all there is; that this is so. ~ Vikram Seth,
681:Are people drawn to each other because of the stories they carry inside? At the library I couldn’t help but notice which patrons checked out the same books. They appeared to have nothing in common, but who could tell what a person was truly made of? The unknown, the riddle, the deepest truth. I noticed them all: the ones who’d lost their way, the ones who’d lived their lives in ashes, the ones who had to prove themselves, the ones who, like me, had lost the ability to feel. ~ Alice Hoffman,
682:The rise of the West is, quite simply, the pre-eminent historical phenomenon of the second half of the second millennium after Christ. It is the story at the very heart of modern history. It is perhaps the most challenging riddle historians have to solve. And we should solve it not merely to satisfy our curiosity. For it is only by identifying the true causes of Western ascendancy that we can hope to estimate with any degree of accuracy the imminence of our decline and fall. ~ Niall Ferguson,
683:Death And The Maiden
BARCAROLE ON THE STYX
Fair youth with the rose at your lips,
A riddle is hid in your eyes;
Discard conversational quips,
Give over elaborate disguise.
The rose's funeral breath
Confirms by intuitive fears;
To prove your devotion, Sir Death,
Avaunt for a dozen of years.
But do not forget to array
Your terror in juvenile charms;
I shall deeply regret my delay
If I sleep in a skeleton's arms.
~ Elinor Morton Wylie,
684:He arranged a balloon expedition, just to impress you. He asked you to dance—he even argued for your acquiescence. I’ve heard enough gossip to know he’s not regularly out in decent society, and certainly not to dance with unmarried young ladies. Even if you wish to blame all that on your brother,” Evangeline said as she pursed her lips, “I’m quite certain Douglas never told him to look at you as if you were a fascinating riddle he can’t stop thinking about and longs to solve. ~ Caroline Linden,
685:Sad to see a man's faith fail,the vampire Kurt Barlow had said, and then he'd plucked Don Callahan's dark and useless cross from his hand. Why had he been able to do that? Because - behold the paradox, consider the riddle - Father Callahanhad failed to throw the cross away himself. Because he had failed to accept that the cross was nothing but one symbol of a far greater power, one that ran like a river beneath the universe, perhaps beneath a thousand universes - I need no symbol ~ Stephen King,
686:Viruses didn’t evolve to harm their hosts—in fact they depend on a living host to replicate, and that’s exactly what they do: find a suitable host and live there, replicating benignly, until the host dies of natural causes. These reservoir hosts, as scientists refer to them, essentially carry a virus without any symptoms. For example, ticks carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever; field mice, hantavirus; mosquitoes, West Nile virus, Yellow fever and Dengue fever; pigs and chickens, flu. ~ A G Riddle,
687:It’s a lot less scary than the alternatives: an organized conspiracy or the worst possibility—a natural occurrence, something that could happen anywhere, anytime. All the alternatives are ongoing threats. The world doesn’t need an ongoing threat. They need a crazy lone gunman, presumed dead. Or better yet, captured and punished. The world is a desperate place; catching and killing a villain puts a win on the board and gives everyone a little more hope that we might get through this. ~ A G Riddle,
688:The answer is we created buzz: that powerful, widespread phenomenon that can determine the future of individuals, companies, and movies alike. Buzz is the riddle every enterprising person is trying to solve. It’s a grassroots, word-of-mouth force that can turn a low-budget flick into a multimillion-dollar blockbuster. You feel its energy in Internet chat rooms, at the gym, on the street, and all of it is stoked by a media hungry for the inside scoop. Buzz is marketing on steroids. ~ Keith Ferrazzi,
689:A Retrospect
I, trusting that the truly sweet
Would still be sweetly found the true,
Sang, darkling, taught by heavenly heat,
Songs which were wiser than I knew.
To the unintelligible dream
That melted like a gliding star,
I said: ‘We part to meet, fair Gleam!
You are eternal, for you are.’
To Love's strange riddle, fiery writ
In flesh and spirit of all create,
‘Mocker,’ I said, ‘of mortal wit,
Me you shall not mock. I can wait.’
~ Coventry Patmore,
690:The interesting thing, in the photograph, was how the fragile little knock-kneed boy—smiling sweetly, pristine in his sailor suit—was also the old man who’d clasped my hand while he was dying: two separate frames, superimposed upon each other, of the same soul. And the painting, above his head, was the still point where it all hinged: dreams and signs, past and future, luck and fate. There wasn’t a single meaning. There were many meanings. It was a riddle expanding out and out and out. ~ Donna Tartt,
691:While I was busied in reflection, my eyes fell upon a narrow ledge in the eastern face of the rock, perhaps a yard below the summit upon which I stood. This ledge projected about eighteen inches, and was not more than a foot wide, while a niche in the cliff just above it, gave it a rude resemblance to one of the hollow-backed chairs used by our ancestors. I made no doubt that here was the 'devil's seat' alluded to in the MS., and now I seemed to grasp the full secret of the riddle. ~ Edgar Allan Poe,
692:The riddle of the money fetish is therefore the riddle of the commodity fetish, now become visible and dazzling to our eyes” (187). But there is one other vital point to this chapter. With the “magic” and “fetish” of money firmly in place, men are henceforth related to each other in their social process of production in a purely atomistic way. Their own relations of production therefore assume a material shape which is independent of their control and their conscious individual action. ~ David Harvey,
693:It isn't God who's evil-it's us.......Everyone wants to know where evil comes from and why the world is riddle with it. Why doesn't anyone ask where goodness comes from? Human beings have a tremendous capacity for cruelty. Why is there any goodness at all? Why are people like Grace and Richard so kind? Because there's a God, and he hasn't allowed the earth to be entirely corrupted. There are sticky like leaves, if you look for them. And when you recognize them, you can feel his presence. ~ Sylvain Reynard,
694:Of course the sands of Present Time are running out from under our feet. And why not? The Great Conundrum: 'What are we here for?' is all that ever held us here in the first place. Fear. The answer to the Riddle of the Ages has actually been out in the street since the First Step in Space. Who runs may read but few people run fast enough. What are we here for? Does the great metaphysical nut revolve around that? Well, I'll crack it for you, right now. What are we here for? We are here to go! ~ Brion Gysin,
695:You will not wonder at his weird pilgrimage,-who who in the swift whifl of living, amid its cold paradox and marvelous vision, have fronted life and aked its riddle face to face. And if you find that riddle hard to read, remember that yonder black boy finds it just a little harder; if it is difficult for you to find and face your duty, it is a shade more difficult for him; if your heart sickens in the blood and dust of battle, remember that to him the dust is thicker and the battle fiercer. ~ W E B Du Bois,
696:I am caught in this contradiction: on the one hand, I believe I know the other better than anyone and triumphantly assert my knowledge to the other ("I know you—I'm the only one who really knows you!"); and on the other hand, I am often struck by the obvious fact that the other is impenetrable, intractable, not to be found; I cannot open up the other, trace back the other's origins, solve the riddle. Where does the other come from? Who is the other? I wear myself out, I shall never know. ~ Roland Barthes,
697:You know what, the jacket’s like the car.”
"“Is this a riddle?” "
, "“No,” Peabody said as Eve swiped the master.","“It’s an", "ordinary thing—well, special, but a jacket, right? And the car, it’s ordinary, it even looks it. But both of them have the special inside. Cop special especially, you know? He so gets you. That’s even better than a just-because present.”", "“You’re right. He does. And it is.” Inside, Eve paused another moment. “He’s worried about me.”", [J.D. Robb, Celebrity In Death] ~ J D Robb,
698:Cottleston Pie
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
Why does a chicken? I don't know why.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
A fish can't whistle and neither can I.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.
~ Alan Alexander Milne,
699:boat’s two cabins. Karl’s corporate sponsor had insisted he take Naomi along. Karl had nodded in the meeting and hoped she wouldn’t get in the way. He had not been disappointed. When they had put to sea five weeks ago in Cape Town, South Africa, Naomi had brought aboard two changes of clothes, three romance novels, and enough vodka to kill a Russian army. They had barely seen her since. It must be so boring for her out here, Karl thought. For him, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Karl raised the ~ A G Riddle,
700:Next to me was Jacob, this riddle Laurie and I had made. His size, his resemblance to me, the likelihood that he would fill out and come to resemble me even more - all this shattered me. Every father knows the disconcerting moment when you see your child as a weird, distorted double of yourself. It is as if for a moment your identities overlap. You see an idea, a conception of your boyish inner self, stand right up in front of you, made real and flesh. He is you and not you, familiar and strange. ~ William Landay,
701:Humans are actually reservoir hosts for countless bacteria and viruses that haven’t even been classified yet. About twenty percent of the genetic information in the nose doesn’t match any known or cataloged organism. In the gut, forty to fifty percent of all the DNA is from bacteria and viruses that have never been classified. Even in the blood, up to two percent is a sort of “biological dark matter.” In many ways, this biological dark matter, this sea of unknown viruses and bacteria, is the ultimate frontier. ~ A G Riddle,
702:A riddle is a tale so familiar you no longer see it; it's simply there, like the air you breathe, the ancient names of Kings echoing in the corners of your house, the sunlight in the corner of your eye; until one day you look at it and something shapeless, voiceless in you opens a third eye and sees it as you have never seen it before. Then you are left with the knowledge of the nameless question in you, and the tale that is no longer meaningless but the one thing in the world that has meaning any more. ~ Patricia A McKillip,
703:Thy word remaineth for ever, which word now appeareth unto us in the riddle of the clouds, and through the mirror of the heavens, not as it is: because that even we, though the well beloved of thy Son, yet it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. He looked through the lattice of our flesh and he spake us fair, yea, he set us on fire, and we hasten on his scent. But when he shall appear, then shall we be like him, for we shall see him as he is: as he is, Lord, will our sight be, though the time be not yet. ~ Saint Augustine,
704:Though she is all but forgotten today, Alice Kober single-handedly brought the decipherment of Linear B closer to fruition than anyone before her. That she very nearly solved the riddle is a testament to the snap and rigor of her mind, the ferocity of her determination, and the unimpeachable rationality of her method. Kober was “the person on whom an astute bettor with full insider information would have placed a wager” to decipher the script, as Thomas Palaima, an authority on ancient Aegean writing, has observed. ~ Margalit Fox,
705:I suppose the real reason Ginny Weasley’s like this is because she opened her heart and spilled all her secrets to an invisible stranger.” “What are you talking about?” said Harry. “The diary,” said Riddle. “My diary. Little Ginny’s been writing in it for months and months, telling me all her pitiful worries and woes — how her brothers tease her, how she had to come to school with secondhand robes and books, how” — Riddle’s eyes glinted — “how she didn’t think famous, good, great Harry Potter would ever like her. . . . ~ J K Rowling,
706:Thy word remaineth for ever, which word now appeareth unto us in the riddle of the clouds, and through the mirror of the heavens, not as it is because that even we, though the well beloved of thy Son, yet it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. He looked through the lattice of our flesh and he spake us fair, yea, he set us on fire, and we hasten on his scent. But when he shall appear, then shall we be like him, for we shall see him as he is. As he is, Lord, will our sight be, though the time be not yet. ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo,
707:We so often seek what we’re deprived of in childhood. Sheltered children become reckless. Starving children become ambitious. And some children, like Helena, who grow up in privilege, never wanting for anything, surrounded by people who don’t live in the real world, people who drink their brandy every night and gossip about the sons and daughters of this house and that house… sometimes they only want to see the real world, to live in it and make a difference. To have genuine human contact, to see their life mean something. ~ A G Riddle,
708:But Philippa was hardly listening. "It's a riddle," she declared finally, pointing to the card in the strange little round window. "I think that if we answer the riddle we can get in. Listen 'The beginning of eternity. The end of time and space. The beginning of every end. And the end pf everyplace."
John shrugged. "I don't get it."
"No, but I do," Philippa said triumphantly. "The answer is the letter e. E is the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space, the beginning of every end, and the end of everyplace. ~ P B Kerr,
709:The Soil Is In Ferment, O Friend
The soil is in ferment, O friend
Behold the diversity.
The soil is the horse, so is the rider
The soil chases the soil, and we hear the clanging of soil
The soil kills the soil, with weapons of the soil.
That soil with more on it, is arrogance
The soil is the garden so is its beauty
The soil admires the soil in all its wondrous forms
After the circle of life is done it returns to the soil
Answer the riddle O Bulleh, and take this burden off my head.'
~ Bulleh Shah,
710:It's sensible,
anyone can understand it.
It's easy.
You're not an exploiter,
so you can grasp it.
It's a good thing for you,
find out more about it.
The stupid call it stupid
and the squalid call it squalid.
It is against squalor and
against stupidity.
the exploiters call it a crime
But we know:
It is the end of crime.
It is not madness, but
The end of madness.
It is not the riddle
But the solution.
It is the simple thing
So hard to achieve.
-"Praise of Communism ~ Bertolt Brecht,
711:We so often seek what we’re deprived of in childhood. Sheltered children become reckless. Starving children become ambitious. And some children, like Helena, who grow up in privilege, never wanting for anything, surrounded by people who don’t live in the real world, people who drink their brandy every night and gossip about the sons and daughters of this house and that house… sometimes they only want to see the real world, to live in it and make a difference. To have genuine human contact, to see their life mean something. Ahead ~ A G Riddle,
712:A koan is like a riddle that’s supposed to help you toward enlightenment in Zen Buddhism. For my answer, I wrote about this guy Banzan. He was walking through the market on day when he overheard someone ask a butcher for his best piece of meat. The butcher answered, “Everything in my shop is the best. You cannot find a piece of meat that is not the best.” Upon hearing this, Banzan realized that there is no best and no worst, that those judgments have no real meaning because there is only was is, and poof, he reached enlightenment. ~ John Green,
713:But the solution to the riddle of life and space and time lies outside space and time. For, as it should be abundantly clear by now, nothing inside a frame can state, or even ask, anything about that frame. The solution, then, is not the finding of an answer to the riddle of existence, but the realization that there is no riddle. This is the essence of the beautiful, almost Zen Buddhist closing sentences of the Tracticus: "For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed. The riddle does not exist." ~ Paul Watzlawick,
714:Twentysomething years later, I no longer hunt over bait at all. My reasons for this are not based entirely on ethics. Instead I am not interested in using artificial bait becsuse I am not interested in hunting animals that are doing artificial things. To go out and find a deer by solving the riddle of its natural patterns is far more enticing to me than finding a deer by interrupting those patterns. Baiting is not, in my opinion, a type of hunting that fosters an intelligent understanding of animals. But if you enjoy it, go ahead. ~ Steven Rinella,
715:To say that I have found the answer to all riddles of the soul would be inaccurate and presumptuous. But in the knowledge I have developed there must lie the answers to that riddle, to that enigma, to that problem - the human soul - for under my hands and others, was seen the best in man rehabilitated. I discovered that a human being is not his body and demonstrated that through Scientology an individual can attain certainty of his identity apart from that of the body. We cannot deal in the realm of the human soul and ignore the fact. ~ L Ron Hubbard,
716:Parables In Greek, parabolē, i.e., “parable,” can mean “comparison” or “analogy.” Many scholars, however, argue that Jesus’ parables especially fit the range of forms referred to by the Hebrew term mashal, which is sometimes translated parabolē, or parable, in the Septuagint, the pre-Christian Greek translation of the OT. A mashal could be a proverb, riddle, similitude, or other saying of the wise; the Greek version uses parabolē similarly (e.g., Ps 78:2; Pr 1:6). The Greek term appears nine times in Sirach, a pre-Christian book of Jewish wisdom. ~ Anonymous,
717:So does it say how to destroy Horcruxes in that book?”
“Yes,” said Hermione, now turning the fragile pages as if examining rotting entrails, “because it warns Dark wizards how strong they have to make the enchantments on them. From all that I’ve read, what Harry did to Riddle’s diary was one of the few really foolproof ways of destroying a Horcrux."
“What, stabbing it with a basilisk fang?” asked Harry.
“Oh well, lucky we’ve got such a large supply of basilisk fangs, then,” said Ron. “I was wondering what we were going to do with them. ~ J K Rowling,
718:So 50,000 years ago, there’s us, the Neanderthals, Hobbits, and Denisovans. Actually there were probably a couple more hominids, but the point is there were say five or six subspecies of humans. And then our branch of the human tree explodes while the others die out. We go from a few thousand to seven billion people in the span of fifty thousand years and the other human subspecies go extinct. We conquer the globe while they die in caves. It’s the greatest mystery of all time, and scientists have been working on it since time began. Religion too. ~ A G Riddle,
719:The whole is a riddle, an enigma, an inexplicable mystery. Doubt, uncertainty, suspence of judgment appear the only result of ourmost accurate scrutiny, concerning this subject. But such is the frailty of human reason, and such the irresistible contagion of opinion, that even this deliberate doubt could scarcely be upheld; did we not enlarge our view, and opposing one species of superstition to another, set them a quarrelling; while we ourselves, during their fury and contention, happily make our escape into the calm, though obscure, regions of philosophy. ~ David Hume,
720:Without the errors which are active in every psychical pleasure and displeasrue a humanity would never have come into existence--whose fundamental feeling is and remains that man is the free being in a world of unfreedom, the external miracle worker whether he does good or ill, the astonishing exception, the superbeast and almost-god, the meaning of creation which cannot be thought away, the solution of the cosmic riddle, the mighty ruler over nature and the despiser of it, the creature which calls its history world history!--Vanitas vanitatum homo. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
721:Our fate is reflected in our most famous invention: the computer. Those local area networks that sprang up like cities in the eighties and nineties got connected at the turn of the century by the internet. Just like European colonization connected the globe. Globalization is to the human race what the internet is to computers—a method for sharing resources and ideas. Ideas can now move around the world in nanoseconds. We have a platform for enabling the strongest minds to transform their thoughts into reality—and deploy that reality for the good of the masses. ~ A G Riddle,
722:He remembered reading that Antarctica had ninety percent of the world’s ice and seventy percent of its freshwater. If you took all the water in the world, in every lake, pond, stream and even water in the clouds, it wouldn’t come out to even half of the frozen water in Antarctica. When all that ice melted, the world would be a very different place. The sea would rise two hundred feet, nations would fall—or more accurately, drown—low-lying countries like Indonesia would disappear from the map. New York City, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and most of Florida—also gone. ~ A G Riddle,
723:"Savitri", the poem, the word of Sri Aurobindo is the cosmic Answer to the cosmic Question. And Savitri, the person, the Godhead, the Divine Woman is the Divine's response to the human aspiration.
The world is a great question mark. It is a riddle, eternal and ever-recurring. Man has faced the riddle and sought to arrive at a solution since he was given a mind to seek and interrogate.
What is this universe? From where has it come? Whither is it going? What is the purpose of it all? Why is man here? What is the object of his existence? ~ Nolini Kanta Gupta, Savitri, #index,
724:Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don't quite mean they're my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe. There's a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you riddle. Most people go through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They're aristocrats. ~ Diane Arbus,
725:The man on the other end of the satellite phone looked up when the GPS coordinates flashed on his screen. He copied the location and searched the satellite surveillance database for live feeds. One result. He opened the stream and panned the view to the center of the iceberg, where the dark spots were. He zoomed in several times, and when the image came into focus, he dropped his coffee to the floor, bolted out of his office, and ran down the hall to the director’s office. He barged in, interrupting a gray-haired man who was standing and speaking with both hands held up. ~ A G Riddle,
726:In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, nearly 150,000 children were sent to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Rhodesia. They worked in harsh conditions, but the work was only part of their suffering. From the 1940s until 1967, about 10,000 children were shipped to Western Australia to work in the fields and live in orphanages. Physical and sexual abuse was rampant and only discovered in later years. In 2009, Australia’s prime minister formally apologized to those children who had suffered under the program, for what he called “the absolute tragedy of childhoods lost. ~ A G Riddle,
727:Very good, Cole. This is a dead man’s trigger.” David stood and slung the duffel bag strap over his shoulder. “If my thumb slips off this button, those explosives will go off, and it will turn your insides into a gelatinous goo. Keep in mind, there’s not enough explosive to hurt me, or even penetrate your body armor. I could be standing right next to you, and if I were shot or came to any harm, the explosion would liquefy your insides, leaving your hard outer shell, just like a Cadbury Creme Egg. You like Cadbury Creme Eggs, Cole?” David could see he was really scared now. Cole ~ A G Riddle,
728:I chose a man and he chose me
You should have simply let it be
I chose a man and he chose you
Now this choice you both shall rue
You stole mine so I'll steal yours
Each mother's child that she adores
From every generation born
The first new child she will mourn
This curse unbroken now shall be
Down into eternity
Unless you find the pathway through
And solve the riddle with this clue
A rose's cry at rock enchanted
The sun's bright ray where none is slanted
A magic key to a gift divine
True love must merge when stars align ~ Deborah Blake,
729:Isn't it a riddle . . . and awe-inspiring, that everything is so beautiful? Despite the horror. Lately I've noticed something grand and mysterious peering through my sheer joy in all that is beautiful, a sense of its creator . . . Only man can be truly ugly, because he has the free will to estrange himself from this song of praise.
It often seems that he'll manage to drown out this hymn with his cannon thunder, curses and blasphemy. But during this past spring it has dawned upon me that he won't be able to do this. And so I want to try and throw myself on the side of the victor. ~ Sophie Scholl,
730:And this tattooing, had been the work of a departed prophet and seer of his island, who, by those hieroglyphic marks, had written out on his body a complete theory of the heavens and the earth, and a mystical treatise on the art of attaining truth; so that Queequeg in his own proper person was a riddle to unfold; a wondrous work in one volume; but whose mysteries not even himself could read, though his own live heart beat against them; and these mysteries were therefore destined in the end to moulder away with the living parchment whereon they were inscribed, and so be unsolved to the last. ~ Herman Melville,
731:Karl’s doctoral thesis focused on how newly calved icebergs affected global sea currents as they dissolved. Over the last four weeks, he and Steve had deployed high-tech buoys around the iceberg that measured sea temp and salt-water/fresh-water balance as well as took periodic sonar readings of the iceberg’s changing shape. The goal was to learn more about how icebergs disintegrated after leaving Antarctica. Antarctica held ninety percent of the world’s ice, and when it melted in the next few centuries, it would dramatically change the world. He hoped his research would shed light on exactly how. ~ A G Riddle,
732:I Haven'T Told My Garden Yet
50
I haven't told my garden yet—
Lest that should conquer me.
I haven't quite the strength now
To break it to the Bee—
I will not name it in the street
For shops would stare at me—
That one so shy—so ignorant
Should have the face to die.
The hillsides must not know it—
Where I have rambled so—
Nor tell the loving forests
The day that I shall go—
Nor lisp it at the table—
Nor heedless by the way
Hint that within the Riddle
One will walk today—
~ Emily Dickinson,
733:Valley Song
Your eyes and the valley are memories.
Your eyes fire and the valley a bowl.
It was here a moonrise crept over the timberline.
It was here we turned the coffee cups upside down.
And your eyes and the moon swept the valley.
I will see you again to-morrow.
I will see you again in a million years.
I will never know your dark eyes again.
These are three ghosts I keep.
These are three sumach-red dogs I run with.
All of it wraps and knots to a riddle:
I have the moon, the timberline, and you.
All three are gone -- and I keep all three.
~ Carl Sandburg,
734:Gryffindor. You know why that was. Think.” “It only put me in Gryffindor,” said Harry in a defeated voice, “because I asked not to go in Slytherin. . . .” “Exactly,” said Dumbledore, beaming once more. “Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Harry sat motionless in his chair, stunned. “If you want proof, Harry, that you belong in Gryffindor, I suggest you look more closely at this.” Dumbledore reached across to Professor McGonagall’s desk, picked up the blood-stained silver sword, and handed it to Harry. Dully, ~ J K Rowling,
735:Rich or poor, all come full of devotion and with no inner misgivings to lay their offerings before the gods and to pray for their blessing. Is there any people so uniformly attached to their religion and so obedient to it in their daily life? I have always envied the Tibetans their simple faith, for all my life I have been a seeker. Though I learned, while in Asia, the way to meditate, the final answer to the riddle of life has not been vouchsafed to me. But I have at least learned to contemplate the events of life with tranquility and not let myself be flung to and fro by circumstances in a sea of doubt. ~ Heinrich Harrer,
736:Wolfgang Pauli, in the months before Heisenberg's paper on matrix mechanics pointed the way to a new quantum theory, wrote to a friend, "At the moment physics is again terribly confused. In any case, it is too difficult for me, and I wish I had been a movie comedian or something of the sort and had never heard of physics." That testimony is particularly impressive if contrasted with Pauli's words less than five months later: "Heisenberg's type of mechanics has again given me hope and joy in life. To be sure it does not supply the solution to the riddle, but I believe it is again possible to march forward. ~ Wolfgang Ernst Pauli,
737:We will say, then, that I am mad. I grant, at least, that there are two distinct conditions of my mental existence-the condition of a lucid reason, not to be disputed, and belonging to the memory of events forming the first epoch of my life-and a condition of shadow and doubt, appertaining to the present, and to the recollection of what constitutes the second great era of my being. Therefore, what I shall tell of the earlier period, believe; and to what I may relate of the later time, give only such credit as may seem due, or doubt it altogether, or, if doubt it ye cannot, then play unto its riddle the Oedipus. ~ Edgar Allan Poe,
738:As he moved up the school, he gathered about him a group of dedicated friends; I call them that, for want of a better term, although as I have already indicated, Riddle undoubtedly felt no affection for any of them. This group had a kind of dark glamour within the castle. They were a motley collection; a mixture of the weak seeking protection, the ambitious seeking some shared glory, and the thuggish gravitating toward a leader who could show them more refined forms of cruelty. In other words, they were the forerunners of the Death Eaters, and indeed some of them became the first Death Eaters after leaving Hogwarts. ~ J K Rowling,
739:Listen to me, Harry. You happen to have many qualities Salazar Slytherin prized in his hand-picked students. His own very rare gift, Parseltongue — resourcefulness — determination — a certain disregard for rules,” he added, his mustache quivering again. “Yet the Sorting Hat placed you in Gryffindor. You know why that was. Think.” “It only put me in Gryffindor,” said Harry in a defeated voice, “because I asked not to go in Slytherin. . . .” “Exactly,” said Dumbledore, beaming once more. “Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~ J K Rowling,
740:One knew nothing. One lived and walked about on the earth or rode through the forests, and so many things looked at one with such challenge and promise, rousing such longing: an evening star, a bluebell, a lake green with reeds, the eye of a human being or of a cow, and at times it seemed as if the very next moment something never seen but long yearned for must happen, as if a veil must drop from everything. But then it passed, and nothing happened, and the riddle was not solved, nor was the secret spell lifted, and finally one became old... and perhaps one still knew nothing, would still be waiting and listening. ~ Hermann Hesse,
741:was improving the lives of the current residents and laying the groundwork for generations to come. The CityForge founders had come up with the idea while they were undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill, and after graduating this past May, they had set out to make their concept a reality. They had spent the summer promoting their startup and raising money from friends, family, and passionate supporters. They used the funds for their trip to Kenya, where they planned to document every stop along the way—and identify their first “CityForge villages.” And, for reasons that remained unclear to Peyton, the two boys had made a ~ A G Riddle,
742:The driver, who had lived in East Berlin until the wall fell in 1989, was happy to report that Berlin was currently the most popular tourist destination in Germany and one of the top three in Europe. During the previous year, nearly thirty million people had visited Berlin, which had only three and a half million permanent residents. The influx of tourists had put a strain on the city’s housing market, making it tough for Berliners to find a decent apartment to rent. Many estate agents and other enterprising individuals were now signing annual leases on apartments simply to sublet them to tourists on sites like Airbnb. ~ A G Riddle,
743:I profess not to know how women’s hearts are wooed and won. To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration. Some seem to have but one vulnerable point, or door of access; while others have a thousand avenues, and may be captured in a thousand different ways. It is a great triumph of skill to gain the former, but a still greater proof of generalship to maintain possession of the latter, for man must battle for his fortress at every door and window. He who wins a thousand common hearts is therefore entitled to some renown; but he who keeps undisputed sway over the heart of a coquette is indeed a hero. ~ Washington Irving,
744:1172
Under The Light, Yet Under
949
Under
Under
Under
Under
the
the
the
the
Light, yet under,
Grass and the Dirt,
Beetle's Cellar
Clover's Root,
Further than Arm could stretch
Were it Giant long,
Further than Sunshine could
Were the Day Year long,
Over
Over
Over
Over
the
the
the
the
Light, yet over,
Arc of the Bird—
Comet's chimney—
Cubit's Head,
Further than Guess can gallop
Further than Riddle ride—
Oh for a Disc to the Distance
Between Ourselves and the Dead!
~ Emily Dickinson,
745:The soil is in ferment, O friend Behold the diversity. The soil is the horse, so is the rider The soil chases the soil, and we hear the clanging of soil The soil kills the soil, with weapons of the soil. That soil with more on it, is arrogance The soil is the garden so is its beauty The soil admires the soil in all its wondrous forms After the circle of life is done it returns to the soil Answer the riddle O Bulleh, and take this burden off my head." [bk1sm.gif] -- from Bulleh Shah: The Love-Intoxicated Iconoclast (Mystics of the East series), by J. R. Puri / Tilaka Raja Puri

~ Bulleh Shah, The soil is in ferment, O friend
,
746:And at last, becoming a complete misanthrope, he used to live, spending his time in walking about the mountains; feeding on grasses and plants, and in consequence of these habits, he was attacked by the dropsy, and so then he returned to the city, and asked the physicians, in a riddle, whether they were able to produce a drought after wet weather. And as they did not understand him, he shut himself up in a stable for oxen, and covered himself with cow-dung, hoping to cause the wet to evaporate from him, by the warmth that this produced. And as he did himself no go good in this way, he died, having lived seventy years; ~ Diogenes of Sinope,
747:The happiness of my existence, its unique character perhaps can be found in its fatefulness: to speak in a riddle, as my father I have already died, as my mother I still live and grow old. This double origin taken as it were from the highest and lowest rungs of the ladder of life at once decadent and beginning — this if anything explains that neutrality, that freedom from bias in regard to the general problem of existence which perhaps distinguishes me. My nose is more sensitive than any man that has yet lived as to signs of ascent or decline. In this domain I am a true master — I know both sides for I am both sides. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
748:the Riddle: “You’re standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?” One answer to that is the North Pole, and most of the engineers get it right away. That’s when Musk will follow with “Where else could you be?” The other answer is somewhere close to the South Pole where, if you walk one mile south, the circumference of the Earth becomes one mile. Fewer engineers get this answer, and Musk will happily walk them through that riddle and others and cite any relevant equations during his explanations. He tends to care less about ~ Ashlee Vance,
749:She looked over at the clock. The afternoon update would come on soon. She never missed it. She told herself she wanted to know what was happening out there, but the truth was more simple. What she really wanted to hear was news of one person: David Vale. But that report never came, and it probably wouldn’t. There were two ways out of the tombs in Antarctica—through the ice entrance there in Antarctica or via the portal to Gibraltar. Her father had closed the Gibraltar exit permanently, and the Immari army was waiting in Antarctica. They would never let David live. Kate tried to push the thought away as the radio announcer came on. ~ A G Riddle,
750:Dr. Fuselier saw the danger early on. “Once we understood there was no third shooter, I realized that for everyone, it was going to be difficult to get closure,” he said. The final act of the killers was among their cruelest: they deprived the survivors of a living perpetrator. They deprived the families of a focus for their anger, and their blame. There would be no cathartic trial for the victims. There was no killer to rebuke in a courtroom, no judge to implore to impose the maximum penalty. South Jeffco was seething with anger, and it would be deprived of a reasonable target. Displaced anger would riddle the community for years. ~ Dave Cullen,
751:Eyewitnesses at the scene described it as a special-operations-style attack. A BBC reporter onsite took this eyewitness statement: “Yeah I seen it, looked like a tank or something, you know, one of them armored troop carriers, rolling up on the curb and then dudes was pouring out it like ninjas or robot soldiers or something, moving all mechanical-like and then it’s like the whole building exploded, glass falling all over the place, and I ran up on out of there. I mean, it’s a rough neighborhood, but man, I ain’t never seen nothing like that. I figured, at first, it was, you know, a drug raid. Whatever it was, it done gone real wrong. ~ A G Riddle,
752:Riddle
From rosy bowers we issue forth,
From east to west, from south to north,
Unseen, unfelt, by night, by day,
Abroad we take our airy way:
We foster love and kindle strife,
The bitter and the sweet of life:
Piercing and sharp, we wound like steel;
Now, smooth as oil, those wounds we heal:
Not strings of pearl are valued more,
Or gems enchased in golden ore;
Yet thousands of us every day,
Worthless and vile, are thrown away.
Ye wise, secure with bars of brass
The double doors through which we pass;
For, once escaped, back to our cell
No human art can us compel.
~ Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
753:The first event occurred somewhere between seventy and forty-five thousand years ago. Somewhere on Earth, a human developed a new ability. A cognitive breakthrough. They possessed a mind that thought differently. That human had the ability to imagine something that didn’t already exist. Our predecessors created tools, but those were mostly reactive, incremental steps that were almost obvious. This event signified the birth of fiction—a mind that could literally simulate a reality that didn’t exist. A reality radically different from the human’s own. This human could render possible futures, imagine what life would be like if something existed. ~ A G Riddle,
754:What is it that you wanted to learn from teachings and teachers, and although they taught you much, what was it they could not teach you? And he thought: It was the Self, the character and nature of which I wished to learn. I wanted to rid myself of the Self, to conquer it, but I could not conquer it, I could only deceive it, could only fly from it, could only hide from it. Truly, nothing in this world has occupied my thoughts as much as the Self, this riddle, that I live, that I am one and am separated and different from everybody else, that I am Siddhartha; and about nothing in the world do I know less than about myself, about Siddhartha. ~ Hermann Hesse,
755:The Little Hangletons all agreed that the old house was ‘creepy’. Half a century ago, something strange and horrible had happened there, something that the older inhabitants of the village still liked to discuss when topics for gossip were scarce. The story had been picked over so many times, and had been embroidered in so many places, that nobody was quite sure what the truth was any more. Every version of the tale, however, started in the same place: fifty years before, at daybreak on a fine summer’s morning, when the Riddle House had still been well kept and impressive, and a maid had entered the drawing room to find all three Riddles dead. ~ J K Rowling,
756:Here's one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning. It's like that old riddle about a tree falling in a forest, and whether it makes a sound if there's no one around to hear it.

You keep drawing a line farther and farther away, crossing it every time. That's how people end up stepping off the edge of the earth. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to bust out of orbit, to spin out to a place where no one can touch you. To lose yourself--to get lost.

Or maybe you wouldn't be surprised. Maybe some of you already know.

To those people, I can only say: I'm sorry. ~ Lauren Oliver,
757:I believe we accept too indifferently the fact of infantile amnesia—that is, the failure of memory for the first years of our lives—and fail to find in it a strange riddle. We forget of what great intellectual accomplishments and of what complicated emotions a child of four years is capable. We really ought to wonder why the memory of later years has, as a rule, retained so little of these psychic processes, especially as we have every reason for assuming that these same forgotten childhood activities have not glided off without leaving a trace in the development of the person, but that they have left a definite influence for all future time. ~ Sigmund Freud,
758:It’s not my place to forgive anything you’ve done. But it’s better than another war.” “Ha,” said the Defense Professor. “If you ever find a Time-Turner that goes back forty years and can alter history, be sure to tell Dumbledore that before he rejects Tom Riddle’s application for the Defense position. But alas, I fear that Professor Riddle would not have found lasting happiness in Hogwarts.” “Why not?” “Because I still would’ve been surrounded by idiots, and I wouldn’t have been able to kill them,” Professor Quirrell said mildly. “Killing idiots is my great joy in life, and I’ll thank you not to speak ill of it until you’ve tried it for yourself. ~ Anonymous,
759:The best story?” “Think about it. A supposedly deranged woman, working alone, creating a virus to infect the world and accomplish her own delusional goals? It’s a lot less scary than the alternatives: an organized conspiracy or the worst possibility—a natural occurrence, something that could happen anywhere, anytime. All the alternatives are ongoing threats. The world doesn’t need an ongoing threat. They need a crazy lone gunman, presumed dead. Or better yet, captured and punished. The world is a desperate place; catching and killing a villain puts a win on the board and gives everyone a little more hope that we might get through this.” “What about the truth? ~ A G Riddle,
760:Chicks
THE CHICK in the egg picks at the shell, cracks open one oval world, and enters
another oval world.
'Cheep... cheep... cheep' is the salutation of the newcomer, the emigrant, the
casual at the gates of the new world.
'Cheep... cheep'... from oval to oval, sunset to sunset, star to star.
It is at the door of this house, this teeny weeny eggshell exit, it is here men say
a riddle and jeer each other: who are you? where do you go from here?
(In the academies many books, at the circus many sacks of peanuts, at the club
rooms many cigar butts.)
'Cheep... cheep'... from oval to oval, sunset to sunset, star to star.
~ Carl Sandburg,
761:The drum with no drumhead beats; clouds thunder without the monsoon; rain falls without clouds. Can anyone guess this riddle? I have met Ram the beautiful, and I too have become beautiful. The philosopher's stone turns lead into gold; costly rubies I string with my words and thoughts. I discovered real love; doubts, fears have left me. I found comfort in what my guru taught me. A pitcher will fill when plunged in water, so Ram is the One in all. The guru's heart and the disciple's heart are one. Thus has the slave Namdeva perceived Truth. [2184.jpg] -- from Songs of the Saints from the Adi Granth, Translated by Nirmal Dass

~ Namdev, The drum with no drumhead beats
,
762:Africa
The sun sought thy dim bed and brought forth light,
The sciences were sucklings at thy breast;
When all the world was young in pregnant night
Thy slaves toiled at thy monumental best.
Thou ancient treasure-land, thou modern prize,
New peoples marvel at thy pyramids!
The years roll on, thy sphinx of riddle eyes
Watches the mad world with immobile lids.
The Hebrews humbled them at Pharaoh's name.
Cradle of Power! Yet all things were in vain!
Honor and Glory, Arrogance and Fame!
They went. The darkness swallowed thee again.
Thou art the harlot, now thy time is done,
Of all the mighty nations of the sun.
~ Claude McKay,
763:O how incomprehensible everything was, and actually sad, although it was also beautiful. One knew nothing. One lived and ran about the earth and rode through forests, and certain things looked so challenging and promising and nostalgic: a star in the evening, a blue harebell, a reed-green pond, the eye of a person or a cow. And sometimes it seemed that something never seen yet long desired was about to happen, that a veil would drop from it all, but then it passed, nothing happened, the riddle remained unsolved, the secret spell unbroken, and in the end one grew old and looked cunning . . . or wise . . . and still one knew nothing perhaps, was still waiting and listening. ~ Hermann Hesse,
764:O, how incomprehensible everything was, and actually sad, although it was so beautiful. One knew nothing. One lived and ran about the earth and rode through forests, and certain things looked so challenging and promising and nostalgic: a star in the evening, a blue harebell, a reed-green pond, the eye of a person or a cow. And sometimes it seemed that something never seen yet long desired was about to happen, that a veil would drop from it all; but then it passed, nothing happened, the riddle remained unsolved, the secret spell unbroken, and in the end one grew old and looked cunning . . . or wise . . . and still one knew nothing perhaps, was still waiting and listening. HERMANN ~ Peter Matthiessen,
765:She was going to get to stay alive. At the same time, she and the others got very little information from the planet, and had to piece things together from a jumble of clues.
She'd compared notes on this with Ivy, who had confirmed that even she had little to go on, and what she did hear contradicted itself from hour to hour.
It had all become Kremlinology. Back in the heyday of the Soviet Union, the only way for Westerners to guess what was going on there was to look at the lineup of dignitaries on Lenin's Tomb in the May Day parade, and riddle it out from the seating chart and who shook hands with whom. Now Dinah was doing the same thing with the three faces on the screen. ~ Neal Stephenson,
766:At that stage of my youth, death remained as abstract a concept as non-Euclidean geometry or marriage. I didn't yet appreciate its terrible finality or the havoc it could wreak on those who'd entrusted the deceased with their hearts. I was stirred by the dark mystery of mortality. I couldn't resist stealing up to the edge of doom and peering over the brink. The hint of what was concealed in those shadows terrified me, but I caught sight of something in the glimpse, some forbidden and elemental riddle that was no less compelling than the sweet, hidden petals of a woman's sex.
In my case - and, I believe, in the case of Chris McCandless - that was a very different thing from wanting to die. ~ Jon Krakauer,
767:Do you know what the worst thing about literature is? . What? I said. That you end up being friends with writers. And friendship, treasure though it may be, destroys your critical sense. Once, said Don Pancracio, Monteforte Toledo dropped this riddle in my lap: a poet is lost in a city on the verge of collapse, with no money, or friends, or anyone to turn to. And of course, he neither wants nor plans to turn to anyone. For several days he roams the city and the country, eating nothing, or eating scraps. He's even stopped writing. Or he writes in his head: in other words, he hallucinates. All signs point to an imminent death. His drastic disappearance foreshadows it. And yet the poet doesn't die. ~ Roberto Bola o,
768:Here A Riddle Has Drawn A Strange Nailmark
Here a riddle has drawn a strange nailmark. To sleep now!
I'll reread, understand with the light of the sun,
But until I am wakened, to touch the beloved
As I do has been given to none.
How I touched you! So touched were you even by the copper
Of my lips, as an audience is touched by a play,
And the kiss was like summer; it lingered and lingered,
Only later the thunderstorm came.
And I drank in long draughts, like the birds, half-unconscious.
The stars trickle slowly through the throat to the crop,
While the nightingales roll up their eyes in a shudder
From the firmament draining the night drop by drop.
~ Boris Pasternak,
769:WHEN confronted with a problem involving the use of the reasoning faculties, individuals of strong intellect keep their poise, and seek to reach a solution by obtaining facts bearing upon the question. Those of immature mentality, on the other hand, when similarly confronted, are overwhelmed. While the former may be qualified to solve the riddle of their own destiny, the latter must be led like a flock of sheep and taught in simple language. They depend almost entirely upon the ministrations of the shepherd. The Apostle Paul said that these little ones must be fed with milk, but that meat is the food of strong men. Thoughtlessness is almost synonymous with childishness, while thoughtfulness is symbolic of maturity,
770:WELCOME CHALLENGING TIMES as opportunities to trust Me. You have Me beside you and My Spirit within you, so no set of circumstances is too much for you to handle. When the path before you is dotted with difficulties, beware of measuring your strength against those challenges. That calculation is certain to riddle you with anxiety. Without Me, you wouldn’t make it past the first hurdle! The way to walk through demanding days is to grip My hand tightly and stay in close communication with Me. Let your thoughts and spoken words be richly flavored with trust and thankfulness. Regardless of the day’s problems, I can keep you in perfect Peace as you stay close to Me. JAMES 1:2; PHILIPPIANS 4:13; ISAIAH 26:3 ~ Sarah Young,
771:But I guess it found you"
"About that," Peter said trying to ignore the slight. "Why send a riddle? You could have saved us a lot of trouble if you'd written something less complicated."
"It wasn't that complicated," she muttered.
"Yeah!" Scrape added. "And how was she suppose to know it'd end up in the hands of some blind dummy and his ugly pet?"
sir tode, who up to this point had been listening quietly, had evidently had enough. "I've had enough," he said, leaping to his hooves. "I'm a fierce knight, known to the world over slaying dragons. Who among you can boast such a feat? And this 'blind dummy' just happens to be the legendary Peter Nimble... the greatest theif who ever lived. ~ Jonathan Auxier,
772:It crouches near the center of creation. There is no night where it waits. Only the riddle of which terrible dream will set it loose. It beheaded mercy to take possession of that place. It feasts on darkness from the minds of men. No one has ever seen its eyeless face. When it sleeps we know a few moments of peace. But when it breathes again we go down in fire and mate with jackals. It knows our fear. It has our number. It waited for our coming and it will abide long after we have become congealed smoke. It has never heard music, and shows its fangs when we panic. It is the beast of our savage past, hungering today, and waiting patiently for the mortal meal of all our golden tomorrows. It lies waiting. ~ Harlan Ellison,
773:Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one solution — it is called pregnancy. Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child. But what is woman for man? Two different things wanted the true man: danger and diversion. Therefore wanted he woman, as the most dangerous plaything. Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the warrior: all else is folly. Too sweet fruits — these the warrior like not. Therefore like he woman; — bitter is even the sweetest woman. Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is more childish than woman. In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanted to play. Up then, ye women, and discover the child in man! ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
774:Droll thing life is—that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself—that comes too late—a crop of unextinguishable regrets. I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable grayness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamor, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid skepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be. ~ Joseph Conrad,
775:O, how incomprehensible everything was, and actually sad, although it was also beautiful. One knew nothing. One lived and ran about the earth and rode through forests, and certain things looked so challenging and promising and nostalgic: a star in the evening, a blue harebell, a reed-green pond, the eye of a person or a cow. And sometimes it seemed that something never seen yet long desired was about to happen, that a veil would drop from it all; but then it passed, nothing happened, the riddle remained unsolved, the secret spell unbroken, and in the end one grew old and looked cunning . . . or wise . . . and still one knew nothing perhaps, was still waiting and listening. HERMANN HESSE Narcissus and Goldmund ~ Peter Matthiessen,
776:[...] Our best theory for how matter behaves still tells us very little about what matter is. Materialists (physicalists) appeal to physics to explain the mind, but in modern physics the particles that make up a brain remain, in many ways, as mysterious as consciousness itself.
[...]
Newtonian mechanics might be fine for explaining the activity of the brain. It can handle things such as blood flow through capillaries and chemical diffusion across synapses, but the ground of materialism becomes far more shaky when we attempt to grapple with the more profound mystery of the mind, meaning the weirdness of being an experiencing subject.
(Aeon article materialism-alone-cannot-explain-the-riddle-of-consciousness) ~ Adam Frank,
777:Droll thing life is — that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself — that comes too late — a crop of unextinguishable regrets. I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid scepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be. ~ Joseph Conrad,
778:Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. That's why people discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that's why they write symphonies. Now, you can't advance in this direction without a certain faith. You can't make such discoveries without spiritual equipment. And the basic elements of this equipment are in the Gospels. What are they? To begin with, love of one's neighbor, which is the supreme form of vital energy. Once it fills the heart of man it has to overflow and spend itself. And then the two basic ideals of modern man—without them he is unthinkable—the idea of free personality and the idea of life as sacrifice. ~ Boris Pasternak,
779:The Crooked Stick
First Traveller: What's that lying in the dust?
Second Traveller: A crooked stick.
First Traveller: What's it worth, if you can trust to arithmetic?
Second Traveller: Isn't this a riddle?
First Traveller: No, a trick.
Second Traveller:It's worthless, leave it where it lies.
First Traveller: Wait; count ten;
Rub a little dust upon your eyes;
Now, look again.
Second Traveller: Well, and what the devil is it, then?
First Traveller: It's the sort of crooked stick that shepherds know.
Second Traveller: Someone's loss!
First Traveller: Bend it, and you make of it a bow.
Break it, a cross.
Second Traveller: But it's all grown over with moss!
~ Elinor Morton Wylie,
780:Mostly leaving aside the established and respectable print media, which reach only the ten percent and have been more or less overtaken by events, those who want to alter the current trajectory toward democratic demise must wage information war in a digital media environment increasingly poisoned by fear, anger, and hatred, not to mention the disinformation and kompromat for which it is so perfectly suited. In effect, change makers need to become propagandists themselves, but for a vision of a saner and more humane future. How to go for heart and gut without abandoning reason or stooping to lies and deception is the riddle they must solve. And it must be solved or chance and duress will dictate a future that no one wants. ~ William Ophuls,
781:Once Incarceron became a dragon, and a Prisoner crawled into his lair. They made a wager. They would ask each other riddles, and the one who could not answer would lose. It it was the man, he would give his life. The Prison offered a secret way of Escape. But even as the man agreed, he felt its hidden laughter.
They played for a year and a day. The lights stayed dark. The dead were not removed. Food was not provided. The Prison ignored the cries of its inmates.
Sapphique was the man. He had one riddle left. He said, "What is the Key that unlocks the heart?"
For a day Incarceron thought. For two days. For three. Then it said, "If I ever knew the answer, I have forgotten it."
--Sapphique in the Tunnels of Madness ~ Catherine Fisher,
782:On The Sands
ALL the air was tranced and the sea was stilled,
And we stood and dreamed of a world to be.
When it seemed to me that our souls were thrilled
With a sudden sympathy.
My life's long riddle at last I read,
And the spirit-face I had sought I knew;
All the Past's far years to this hour had led
On the sands alone with you!
And you—you thought that the skies were fair.
And such twilight peace you had seldom known;
And you never guessed that a soul was there
That hungered for your own!
You never knew—there was just the lack
Of a passioned look that would thrill me through,
But the night swept down, with its shroud of black,
And you never, never knew!
~ Arthur Henry Adams,
783:Thinking, he walked ever more slowly and asked himself, What is it now that you were hoping to learn from doctrines and teachers, and what is it that they—who taught you so much—were unable to teach you? And, he decided, It was the Self whose meaning and nature I wished to learn. It was the Self I wished to escape from, wished to overcome. But I was unable to overcome it, I could only trick it, could only run away from it and hide. Truly, not a single thing in all the world has so occupied my thoughts as this Self of mine, this riddle: that I am alive and that I am One, am different and separate from all others, that I am Siddhartha! And there is not a thing in the world about which I know less than about myself, about Siddhartha! ~ Hermann Hesse,
784:Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman
hath one solution —it is called pregnancy.
Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the
child. But what is woman for man?
Two different things wanted the true man: danger and
diversion. Therefore wanted he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.
Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the warrior: all else is folly.
Too sweet fruits—these the warrior like not. Therefore like he woman;—bitter is even the sweetest woman.
Better than man doth woman understand children, but
man is more childish than woman.
In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanted to
play. Up then, ye women, and discover the child in man! ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
785:You’re not selling breath mints, or fresh breath, you’re selling sex appeal, attractiveness—what you become after you take the breath mint. It’s not about the shampoo, it’s about shiny, sexy, vibrant hair that catches the eye of the cute guy who lives across the hall, causing him to turn, pause, then ask you out. It’s not about the shampoo, it’s about the big house and beautiful children you’ll have with that cute guy who finally notices you. And to seal the deal, said shampoo is infused with countless vitamins and minerals, all clinically proven to strengthen dry or damaged hair. Scientific proof breeds confidence. Hit ’em with the science if you have to, but hook ’em with the benefits first, let them know they want what you’re selling. ~ A G Riddle,
786:Riddles: They either delight or torment. Their delight lies in solutions. Answers provide bright moments of comprehension perfectly suited for children who still inhabit a world where solutions are readily available. Implicit in the riddle's form is a promise that the rest of the world resolves just as easily. And so riddles comfort the child's mind which spins wildly before the onslaught of so much information and so many subsequent questions.
The adult world, however, produces riddles of a different variety. They do not have answers and are often called enigmas or paradoxes. Still the old hint of the riddle's form corrupts these questions by the echoing the most fundamental lesson: there must be an answer. From there comes torment. ~ Mark Z Danielewski,
787:For God's sake, Gwen," he said gently. "What matter that I love you. That's not the bit that's always been missing."

Her lips parted. They wished to ask a question she could not bear to bring herself to ask. He was never less than honest. The answer, than, was bound to be wrong."

So she did not ask it as a question. "You won't leave me," she said.

He drew a long breath. "There," he said, quietly, fiercely. "That is the answer to this riddle. The promises I can make, and the one I can't. Gwen." His hands closed on her wrists, tightening until she swallowed and found her courage and looked up at him. "I will never leave you willingly. Life is a risk, and so love is, as well. But I swear to God, you will not regret the gamble. ~ Meredith Duran,
788:Marx never intended a communist society to force the individual to work against his or her own interests for the collective good. The need to use coercion would signify not the overcoming of alienation, but the continuing alienation of man from man; a coercive society would not be the riddle of history resolved, but merely the riddle restated in a new form; it would not end class rule, but would substitute a new ruling class for the old one. While it is absurd to blame Marx for something he did not foresee and certainly would have condemned if he had foreseen it, the distance between Marx’s predicted communist society and the form taken by ‘communism’ in the twentieth century may in the end be traceable to Marx’s misconception of the flexibility of human nature. ~ Anonymous,
789:Humans are actually reservoir hosts for countless bacteria and viruses that haven’t even been classified yet. About twenty percent of the genetic information in the nose doesn’t match any known or cataloged organism. In the gut, forty to fifty percent of all the DNA is from bacteria and viruses that have never been classified. Even in the blood, up to two percent is a sort of “biological dark matter.” In many ways, this biological dark matter, this sea of unknown viruses and bacteria, is the ultimate frontier. Almost all viruses are harmless until they jump to another host—a life form different from their natural hosts. The virus then combines with a completely new genome and causes a new and unexpected reaction—an illness. That was the ultimate danger with viruses, ~ A G Riddle,
790:antibody, which she administered via their nasal passages. The problem was, her therapy didn’t effectively cross the blood-brain barrier and reach the plaques in the parts of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s. In what might go down as one of the greatest twists of scientific luck, Solomon decided to attach her antibody to a virus called M13 to transport it across the blood-brain barrier. M13 was a special type of virus called a bacteriophage—a virus that infected only bacteria. And M13 infected only one type of bacteria: Escherichia coli, or E. coli. To Solomon’s surprise, the antibody, when attached to M13, showed great success in her trials. But what was truly surprising was that the group of mice treated with the M13 virus alone—without Solomon’s antibody therapy— ~ A G Riddle,
791:Heritage
Now the dead past seems vividly alive,
And in this shining moment I can trace,
Down through the vista of the vanished years,
Your faun-like form, your fond elusive face.
And suddenly some secret spring's released,
And unawares a riddle is revealed,
And I can read like large, black-lettered print,
What seemed before a thing forever sealed.
I know the magic word, the graceful thought,
The song that fills me in my lucid hours,
The spirit's wine that thrills my body through,
And makes me music-drunk, are yours, all yours.
I cannot praise, for you have passed from praise,
I have no tinted thoughts to paint you true;
But I can feel and I can write the word;
The best of me is but the least of you.
~ Claude McKay,
792:1096
This World Is Not Conclusion
501
This World is not Conclusion.
A Species stands beyond—
Invisible, as Music—
But positive, as Sound—
It beckons, and it baffles—
Philosophy—don't know—
And through a Riddle, at the last—
Sagacity, must go—
To guess it, puzzles scholars—
To gain it, Men have borne
Contempt of Generations
And Crucifixion, shown—
Faith slips—and laughs, and rallies—
Blushes, if any see—
Plucks at a twig of Evidence—
And asks a Vane, the way—
Much Gesture, from the Pulpit—
Strong Hallelujahs roll—
Narcotics cannot still the Tooth
That nibbles at the soul—
~ Emily Dickinson,
793:There is also a keen pleasure (and after all, what else should the pursuit of science produce?) in meeting the riddle of the initial blossoming of man's mind by postulating a voluptuous pause in the growth of the rest of nature, a lolling and loafing which allowed first of all the formation of Homo poeticus-- without which sapiens could not have been evolved. "Struggle for life" indeed! The curse of battle and toil leads man back to the boar, to the grunting beast's crazy obsession with the search for food. You and I have frequently remarked upon that maniacal glint in a housewife's scheming eye as it roves over food in a grocery or about the morgue of a butcher's shop. Toilers of the world, disband! Old books are wrong. The world was made on a Sunday. ~ Vladimir Nabokov,
794:for Americans to have the benefit of conservative principles, we must once again have the benefit of truly conservative leadership. Unabashed, unafraid, unreserved conservative leadership. But almost two decades into the new century, we conservatives have suffered a crisis of confidence, which in turn has led to a crisis of principle. In the election campaign of 2016, it was as if we no longer had the courage of our convictions and so chose to simply abandon conviction altogether, taking up instead an unfamiliar banner and a new set of values that had never been our own. That an enigmatic Republican nominee succeeded in becoming president resolves nothing in terms of the future of American conservatism. In fact, an enigma by definition is a riddle, and riddles are meant to be solved. ~ Jeff Flake,
795:It is beneficial to consider the origins of "riddle." The Old English rædelse means "opinion, conjure" which is related to the Old English raedon "to interpret" in turn belonging to the same etymological history of "read." "Riddling" is an offshoot of "reading" calling to mind the participatory nature of that act--to interpret--which is all the adult world has left when faced with the unsolvable.
"To read" actually comes from the Latin reri "to calculate, to think" which is not only the progenitor of "read" but of "reason" as well, both of which hail from the Greek arariskein "to fit." Aside from giving us "reason," arariskein also gives us an unlikely sibling, Latin arma meaning "weapons." It seems that "to fit" the world or to make sense of it requires either reason or arms. ~ Mark Z Danielewski,
796:To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits,
To report the behaviour of the sea monster,
Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry,
Observe disease in signatures, evoke
Biography from the wrinkles of the palm
And tragedy from fingers; release omens
By sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitable
With playing cards, fiddle with pentagrams
Or barbituric acids, or dissect
The recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors—
To explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams; all these are usual
Pastimes and drugs, and features of the press:
And always will be, some of them especially
When there is distress of nations and perplexity
Whether on the shores of Asia, or in the Edgware Road.
Men's curiosity searches past and future
And clings to that dimension. ... ~ T S Eliot,
797:And I tell you straight out: suspicious this makes me, for what is the cause to bring magic back when it has been replaced by something clearly more serviceable? So the first riddle I put my mind to was this: in a world where carriages travel without beasts to pull them, and food is effortlessly abundant, and there is ample light to sunder any darkness, from all manner of peculiar torches, none of them given to burning down a place even if it is all wood, and where all and sundry wear grander clothes than most anyone in London and an astonishing variety what’s more . . . something there must be, some commodity or advantage, that magic can attain but mankind cannot yet. Nothing material can it be, for no magic I ever knew summoned such luxuries for royalty as everyday folk here take as commonplace. ~ Neal Stephenson,
798:The Riddle Of The World
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A Being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his mind and body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Whether he thinks to little, or too much;
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself, abus'd or disabus'd;
Created half to rise and half to fall;
Great Lord of all things, yet a prey to all,
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd;
The glory, jest and riddle of the world.
~ Alexander Pope,
799:There are certain circumstances, which, at the time of their happening, are a kind of riddles, and as every riddle is to be followed by its answer, so those kind of circumstances will be followed by their events, and those events are always the true solution. A considerable space of time may lapse between, and unless we continue our observations from the one to the other, the harmony of them will pass away unnoticed: but the misfortune is, that partly from the pressing necessity of some instant things, and partly from the impatience of our own tempers, we are frequently in such a hurry to make out the meaning of everything as fast as it happens, that we thereby never truly understand it; and not only start new difficulties to ourselves by so doing, but, as it were, embarrass Providence in her good designs. ~ Thomas Paine,
800:The river of life, of mysterious laws and mysterious choice, flows past a deserted embankment; and along that other deserted embankment Charles now begins to pace, a man behind the invisible gun carriage on which rests his own corpse. He walks towards an imminent, self-given death? I think not; for he has at which to build; has already begun, though he would still bitterly deny it, thought there are tears in his eyes to support his denial, to realize that life, however advantageously Sarah may in some ways seem to fit the role of Sphinx, is not a symbol, is not one riddle and one failure to guess it, is not to inhabit one face alone or to be given up after one losing throw of the dice; but is to be, however inadequately, emptily, hopelessly into the city's iron heart, endured. And out again, upon the unplumb'd, salt, estranging sea. ~ John Fowles,
801:Natural selection is not only a parsimonious, plausible and elegant solution; it is the only workable alternative to chance that has ever been suggested. Intelligent design suffers from exactly the same objection as chance. It is simply not a plausible solution to the riddle of statistical improbability. And the higher the improbability, the more implausible intelligent design becomes. Seen clearly, intelligent design will turn out to be a redoubling of the problem. Once again, this is because the designer himself (/herself/itself) immediately raises the bigger problem of his own origin. Any entity capable of intelligently designing something as improbable as a Dutchman's Pipe (or a universe) would have to be even more improbable than a Dutchman's Pipe. Far from terminating the vicious regress, God aggravates it with a vengeance. ~ Richard Dawkins,
802:Retroviruses are simply viruses that can insert DNA into a host’s genome, changing the host at a genetic level. They’re a sort of “computer software update.” When a person contracts a retrovirus, they are essentially receiving a DNA injection that changes the genome in some of their cells. Depending on the nature of the DNA inserted, getting a virus could be good, bad, or benign, and since every person’s genome is different, the result is almost always uncertain. Retroviruses exist for one purpose: to produce more of their own DNA. And they are good at it. In fact, viruses make up the majority of all the genetic material on the planet. If one added together all the DNA from humans, all other animals, and every single plant—every non-viral life form on the planet—that sum total of DNA would still be less than all the viral DNA on Earth. ~ A G Riddle,
803:I tell you this, that you will have found out the truth of the last tree and the top-most cloud before the truth about me. You will understand the sea, and I shall be still a riddle; you shall know what the stars are, and not know what I am. Since the beginning of the world all men have hunted me like a wolf — kings and sages, and poets and lawgivers, all the churches, and all the philosophies. But I have never been caught yet, and the skies will fall in the time I turn to bay. I have given them a good run for their money, and I will now. ~ G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday (1908), Ch. XIII : The Pursuit of the President, "Sunday" representing God speaking to the ostensible anarchists who have just realized they were were all policemen and spies, but who still haven't realized their role or Sunday's in the comic nightmare Chesterton devised.,
804:I remember a time when my mind wouldn’t have been able to shut down, my cases churning so relentlessly that I could barely see the person standing right in front of me. I remember when it had to be me who solved the case, who figured out the riddle. Now I didn’t care who did it, how it came about, just as long as it was over. I’m tired of seeing all the rotten things one person does to another person. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to open a flower shop. But this is my dream: One day, I leave my job at my office and it doesn’t follow me home and haunt me in my sleep. Another dream: I don’t live in my brother’s basement apartment. After everything I’ve seen and done and mused about endlessly, I’m convinced of one thing: There’s more to life than this, and sometimes when I picture more, it looks like something so simple, like so much less. ~ Lisa Lutz,
805:Hundreds showed up, including every able-bodied Methodist in the county and many from other churches, and friends of the family, with a lot of children far too young for such mourning but drawn to the wake out of friendship with the Bells. Also paying respects were many outright strangers who simply didn’t want to miss the opportunity to wedge themselves into the story. The pews were filled with people who waited patiently to proceed past the casket and say something banal to the family, and as they waited they prayed, and whispered softly, passing along the latest news. The sanctuary suffered under the weight of inconsolable loss, which was made even worse by the pipe organ. Miss Emma Faye Riddle churned away, playing one sorrowful dirge after another. Hop watched from a corner of the balcony, vexed again at the strange ways of white folks. ~ John Grisham,
806:The key to the riddle lies in the metaphysics of the Persians, which in turn was derived from the most ancient religious Mysteries of both the Near East and the Far East. It is explained that good and evil, so-called, are but the aspects of qualities of One Principle. For example, creation brings into manifestation the innumerable hosts of lives which lie sleeping in the Infinite. In this respect creation is release, or expression, and therefore good. But creation also infers certain limits and boundaries being placed upon space. Thus the very world which is man's sphere of opportunity is also his living tomb, and in a sense therefore evil or adverse to the luminous inner self that must dwell so long in the fetters of matter. Every action therefore of the creating power is described as bringing into manifestation not only a good but and evil spirit or angel,
807:It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of my youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the "merely personal," from an existence which is dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings. Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned like a liberation [...] The mental grasp of this extra-personal world within the frame of our given capacities presented itself, half consciously and half unconsciously, as the highest goal. The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it. ~ Albert Einstein,
808:Good leaders constantly worry about their limited ability to see. To rise above those limitations, good leaders exercise judgment, which is a different thing from intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to solve a problem, to decipher a riddle, to master a set of facts. Judgment is the ability to orbit a problem or a set of facts and see it as it might be seen through other eyes, by observers with different biases, motives, and backgrounds. It is also the ability to take a set of facts and move it in place and time—perhaps to a hearing room or a courtroom, months or years in the future—or to the newsroom of a major publication or the boardroom of a competitor. Intelligence is the ability to collect and report what the documents and witnesses say; judgment is the ability to say what those same facts mean and what effect they will have on other audiences. ~ James Comey,
809:Droll thing life is--that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself--that comes too late--a crop of unextinguishable regrets. I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid scepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be. I was within a hair's-breadth of the last opportunity for pronouncement, and I found with humiliation that probably I would have nothing to say. ~ Joseph Conrad,
810:Communism as the positive transcendence of private property as human self-estrangement, and therefore as the real appropriation of the human essence by and for man; communism therefore as the complete return of man to himself as a social (i.e., human) being — a return accomplished consciously and embracing the entire wealth of previous development. This communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man — the true resolution of the strife between existence and essence, between objectification and self-confirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species. Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution. ~ Karl Marx,
811:I? What am I?" roared the President, and he rose slowly to an incredible height, like some enormous wave about to arch above them and break. "You want to know what I am, do you? Bull, you are a man of science. Grub in the roots of those trees and find out the truth about them. Syme, you are a poet. Stare at those morning clouds. But I tell you this, that you will have found out the truth of the last tree and the top-most cloud before the truth about me. You will understand the sea, and I shall be still a riddle; you shall know what the stars are, and not know what I am. Since the beginning of the world all men have hunted me like a wolf—kings and sages, and poets and lawgivers, all the churches, and all the philosophies. But I have never been caught yet, and the skies will fall in the time I turn to bay. I have given them a good run for their money, and I will now. ~ G K Chesterton,
812:It was the Greeks who coined the term Amazon. The word literally means “without breast”. It is said that in order to facilitate the drawing of a bow, the female’s right breast was removed, either in early childhood or with a red-hot iron after she became an adult. Even though the Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen are said to have agreed that this operation would enhance the ability to use weapons, it is doubtful whether such operations were actually performed. Herein lies a linguistic riddle – whether the prefix “a-” in Amazon does indeed mean “without”. It has been suggested that it means the opposite – that an Amazon was a woman with especially large breasts. Nor is there a single example in any museum of a drawing, amulet or statue of a woman without her right breast, which should have been a common motif had the legend about breast amputation been based on fact. ~ Stieg Larsson,
813:My dad once told me that Winstone Churchill said that Russia was riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. According to my dad, Churchill had been talking about my mother. This was before the divorce, and he said it half-bitterly, half-respectfully. Because even when he hated her, he admired her.

I think he would have stayed with her forever, trying to figure out the mystery. He was a puzzle solver, the kind of person who likes theorems, theories. X always had to equal something. It couldn't just be X.

To me, my mother wasn't that mysterious. She was my mother. Always reasonable, always sure of herself. To me, she was about as mysterious as a glass fo water. She knew what she wanted; she knew what she didn't want. And that was to be married to my father. I wasn't sure if it was that she fell our of love or if it was that she just never was. in love, I mean. ~ Jenny Han,
814:Consider this: in February of 1966, the Soviet Union soft-landed a space probe on the moon. Humanity has been launching programs ever since. NASA launched Voyager 1 in September of 1977. In 2012 it became the first satellite to reach interstellar space. At some point, Voyager will fall into the gravity well of a planet, or asteroid, or even another planet’s moon. Possibly a black hole. The point is that it will crash somewhere—maybe on a place like our moon, but orbiting another planet, very far away.” Yuri smiled. “And if that’s true, then why has it not happened here—on our moon, which is over four and a half billion years old? The greatest mystery in the world is why our moon isn’t covered with space junk.” “Space junk?” “Interstellar probes—like Voyager 1—from other sentient species across the universe, launched long before we evolved, launched long before there was even life on our world. ~ A G Riddle,
815:We do know that humans got hit hard by the Toba Super Volcano. We were on the brink of extinction. That caused what population geneticists call a ‘population bottleneck.’ Some researchers believe that this bottleneck caused a small group of humans to evolve, to survive through mutation. These mutations could have led to humanity’s exponential explosion in intelligence. There’s genetic evidence for it. We know that every human being on the planet is directly descended from one man who lived in Africa around sixty thousand years ago—a person we geneticists call Y-Chromosomal Adam. In fact, everyone outside of Africa is descended from a small band of humans, maybe as few as one hundred, that left Africa about 50,000 years ago. Essentially, we’re all members of a small tribe that walked out of Africa after Toba and took over the planet. That tribe was significantly more intelligent than any other hominids in history. ~ A G Riddle,
816:A Parody
Lazy-bones, lazy-bones, wake up and peep;
The Cat's in the cupboard, your Mother's asleep.
There you sit snoring, forgetting her ills:
Who is to give her her Bolus and Pills?
Twenty-five Angels must come into Town,
All for to help you to make your new gownDainty aerial Spinsters & Singers:
Aren't you asham'd to employ such white fingers?
Delicate Hands, unaccustom'd to reels,
To set 'em a washing at poor body's wheels?
Why they came down is to me all a riddle,
And left hallelujah broke off in the middle.
Jove's Court & the Presence Angelical cut,
To eke out the work of a lazy young slut.
Angel-duck, angel-duck, wingèd & silly,
Pouring a watering pot over a lily,
Gardener gratuitous, careless of pelf,
Leave her to water her Lily herself,
Or to neglect it to death, if she chuse it;
Remember, the loss is her own if she lose it.
~ Charles Lamb,
817:The bang was like a cannon-blast and the golden flames that erupted between them, at the dead centre 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 like the head of Nagini, spinning through the air towards the master it would not kill, who had come to take full possession of it at last. And Harry, with the unerring skill of the Seeker, caught the wand in his free hand as Voldemort fell backwards, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upwards. Tom Riddle hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snake-like face vacant and unknowing. Voldemort was dead, killed by his own rebounding curse, and Harry stood with two wands in his hand, staring down at his enemy’s shell. ~ J K Rowling,
818:WELCOME CHALLENGING TIMES as opportunities to trust Me. You have Me beside you and My Spirit within you, so no set of circumstances is too much for you to handle. When the path before you is dotted with difficulties, beware of measuring your strength against those challenges. That calculation is certain to riddle you with anxiety. Without Me, you wouldn’t make it past the first hurdle! The way to walk through demanding days is to grip My hand tightly and stay in close communication with Me. Let your thoughts and spoken words be richly flavored with trust and thankfulness. Regardless of the day’s problems, I can keep you in perfect Peace as you stay close to Me. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. —JAMES 1:2 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. —PHILIPPIANS 4:13 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. —ISAIAH 26:3 ~ Sarah Young,
819:He did read the riddle of the heavens. And he believed that by the same powers of his introspective
imagination he would read the riddle of the Godhead, the riddle of past and future events divinely foreordained,
the riddle of the elements and their constitution from an original undifferentiated first matter, the
riddle of health and of immortality. All would be revealed to him if only he could persevere to the end,
uninterrupted, by himself, no one coming into the room, reading, copying, testing-all by himself, no
interruption for God's sake, no disclosure, no discordant breakings in or criticism, with fear and shrinking as
he assailed these half-ordained, half-forbidden things, creeping back into the bosom of the Godhead as into
his mother's womb. 'Voyaging through strange seas of thought alone', not as Charles Lamb 'a fellow who
believed nothing unless it was as clear as the three sides of a triangle'. ~ John Maynard Keynes,
820:Avada Kedavra!” “Expelliarmus!” 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 like the head of Nagini, spinning through the air toward the master it would not kill, who had come to take full possession of it at last. And Harry, with the unerring skill of the Seeker, caught the wand in his free hand as Voldemort fell backward, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upward. Tom Riddle hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snakelike face vacant and unknowing. Voldemort was dead, killed by his own rebounding curse, and Harry stood with two wands in his hand, staring down at his enemy’s shell. ~ J K Rowling,
821:I regard marriage as a sin and propagation of children as a crime. It is my conviction also that he is a fool, and still more a sinner, who takes upon himself the yoke of marriage - a fool, because he thereby throws away his freedom, without gaining a corresponding recompense; a sinner, because he gives life to children, without being able to give them the certainty of happiness. I despise humanity in all its strata; I foresee that our posterity will be far more unhappy than we are; and should not I be a sinner, if, in spite of this insight, I should take care to leave a posterity of unhappy beings behind me? The whole of life is the greatest insanity. And if for eighty years one strives and inquiries, still one is obliged finally to confess that he has striven for nothing and has found nothing. Did we at least know why we are in this world! But to the thinker, everything is and remains a riddle; and the greatest good luck is that of being born a flathead. ~ Alexander von Humboldt,
822:A Valentine
For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that nestling lies
Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly the lines! - they hold a treasure
Divine- a talisman- an amulet
That must be worn at heart. Search well the measureThe words- the syllables! Do not forget
The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor
And yet there is in this no Gordian knot
Which one might not undo without a sabre,
If one could merely comprehend the plot.
Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
Of poets, by poets- as the name is a poet's, too,
Its letters, although naturally lying
Like the knight Pinto- Mendez FerdinandoStill form a synonym for Truth- Cease trying!
You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.
~ Edgar Allan Poe,
823:Riddle #2
This creature, though extremely thin,
In shape is almost square;
Has many heads, on which ne'er grew
One single lock of hair.
Yet several of their tribe there are,
Whose case you must bewail,
Of whom in truth it may be said
They 've neither head nor tail.
In purer times, ere vice prevailed,
They met with due regard,
The wholesome counsels that they gave,
With reverence were heard.
To marriages and funerals
Their presence added grace,
And though the king himself were by,
They took the highest place.
Their business is to stir up men
A constant watch to keep;
Instead of which,—O sad reverse,—
They make them fall asleep.
Not so in former times it was,
Howe'er it came to pass;
Though they their company ne'er left
Till empty was the glass.
The moderns can't be charged with this,
But may their foes defy,
To prove such practices on them,
Though they 're extremely dry.
~ Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
824:Their lovemaking had been a little tentative at first, but that was only to be expected. It never happened in real life the way it did in movies, with both lovers exploding together in a climax of Wagnerian proportions as fireworks burst, orchestras crescendoed and trains rushed into tunnels. That was pure Monty Python. In real lovemaking, especially with people new to one another’s bodies, there are disappointments, mistakes, hesitancies. If you can laugh at these, as Banks and Annie had, then you are halfway there. If you find yourself looking forward to the hours of practice it will take to learn to please one another more, as Banks did, then you are more than halfway. Afterward, skin warm and damp and tangy with sweat, she had rested in the crook of his arm and he knew then that he wouldn’t wake with a burning desire to be alone. Just for the briefest of moments he gave in to a wave of paranoia and wondered if this was a trap Riddle had set for him. A new approach. Give him enough rope to hang himself. ~ Peter Robinson,
825:So what is it you're going to show me today?"
"A number of things. In fact, what I'm going to show you is part of a story. Didn't you tell me the other day that what you like to do is read?"
Bea nodded, arching her eyebrows.
"Well, this is a story about books."
"About books?"
"About accursed books, about the man who wrote them, about a character who broke out of the pages of a novel so that he could burn it, about a betrayal and a lost friendship. It's a story of love, of hatred, and of the dreams that live in the shadow of the wind."
"You sound like the jacket blurb of a Victorian novel, Daniel."
"That's probably because I work in a bookshop and I've seen too many. But this is a true story. As real as the fact that this bread they served us is at least three days old. And, like all true stories, it begins and ends in a cemetery, although not the sort of cemetery you imagine."
She smiled the way children smile when they've been promised a riddle or a magic trick.
"I'm all ears. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
826:As the days passed, it became noticeable, in a way that was, at first, imperceptible, that the word blank, as if it had suddenly become obscene or rude, was falling into disuse, that people would employ all kinds of evasions and periphrases to replace it. A blank piece of paper, for example, would be described instead as virgin, a blank on a form that had all its life been a blank became the space provided, blank looks all became vacant instead, students stopped saying that their minds had gone blank, and owned up to the fact that they simply knew nothing about the subject, but the most interesting case of all was the sudden disappearance of the riddle with which, for generations, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors had sought to stimulate the intelligence and deductive powers of children, You can fill me in, draw me and fire me, what am I, and people, reluctant to elicit the word blank from innocent children, justified this by saying that the riddle was far too difficult for those with limited experience of the world. ~ Jos Saramago,
827:I brought about the death of Albus Dumbledore!”
“You thought you did,” said Harry, “but you were wrong.”
For the first time, the watching crowd stirred as the hundreds of people around the walls drew breath as one.
Dumbledore is dead!” Voldemort hurled the words at Harry as though they would cause him unendurable pain. “His body decays in the marble tomb in the gronds of this castle, I have seen it, Potter, and he will not return!”
“Yes, Dumbledore’s dead,” said Harry calmly, “but you didn’t have him killed. He chose his own nature of dying, chose it months before he died, arranged the whole thing with the man you thought was your servant.”
“What childish dream is this?” said Voldemort, but still he did not strike, and his red eyes did not waver from Harry’s.
“Severus Snape wasn’t yours,” said Harry. “Snape was Dumbledore’s, Dumbledore’s from the moment you started hunting down my mother. And you never realized it, because of the thing you can’t understand. You never saw Snape cast a Patronus, did you, Riddle? ~ J K Rowling,
828:Stanwin’s wearing a rich man’s approximation of a stable hand’s livery, which is to say the white cotton shirt is pressed and the black trousers are spotless. Looking at him now, dressed plainly, scrubbing his own boots, and squatting in a crumbling corner of a once-grand house, I fail to see what nineteen years of blackmail have bought him. Burst blood vessels riddle his cheeks and nose, while sunken eyes, red raw and hungry for sleep, keep watch for the monsters at his door. Monsters he invited there. Behind all his bluster is a cowering soul, the fire that once drove him long extinguished. These are the ragged edges of a man defeated, his secrets the only warmth left to him. At this point, he’s as much afraid of his victims as they are of him. Pity pricks me. Something about Stanwin’s situation feels terribly familiar, and deep down, beneath my hosts, where the real Aiden Bishop resides, I can feel a memory stirring. I came here because of a woman. I wanted to save her, and I couldn’t. Blackheath was my chance to... What? Try again? ~ Stuart Turton,
829:when she's asleep he likes to sit down beside her bed and make one further attempt to get to the bottom of what has seemed to him the greatest riddle in all the history of mankind: how processes, circumstances, or events of a general nature – such as war, famine, or even a civil servant's salary that fails to increase along with the galloping inflation – can infiltrate a private face. Here they turn a few hairs gray, there devour a pair of lovely cheeks until the skin is stretched taut across singular jawbones; the secession of Hungary, say, might result in a pair of lips bitten raw in the case of one particular woman, perhaps even his own wife. In other words, there is a constant translation between far outside and deep within, it's just that a different vocabulary exists for each of us, which no doubt explains why it's never been noticed that this is a language in the first place – and in fact, the only language valid across the world and for all time.

-- Jenny Erpenbeck, The End of Days (2012), trans. Susan Bernofsky, 2014, p. 73. ~ Jenny Erpenbeck,
830:Brass Keys
JOY ... weaving two violet petals for a coat lapel ... painting on a slab of night
sky a Christ face ... slipping new brass keys into rusty iron locks and shouldering
till at last the door gives and we are in a new room ... forever and ever violet
petals, slabs, the Christ face, brass keys and new rooms.
are we near or far?... is there anything else?... who comes back?... and why does
love ask nothing and give all? and why is love rare as a tailed comet shaking
guesses out of men at telescopes ten feet long? why does the mystery sit with its
chin on the lean forearm of women in gray eyes and women in hazel eyes?
are any of these less proud, less important, than a cross-examining lawyer? are
any of these less perfect than the front page of a morning newspaper?
the answers are not computed and attested in the back of an arithmetic for the
verifications of the lazy
there is no authority in the phone book for us to call and ask the why, the
wherefore, and the howbeit it's ... a riddle ... by God.
~ Carl Sandburg,
831:Chapter 51 In Atlanta, the day had gone mostly as Elliott had expected. The stock market crash had rattled everyone. It was a cloud that hung over the euphoria of Black Friday. The most difficult part of his plan had been convincing the other five families to pool their money with his for the purchases, which together added up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. They had begun by renting two twenty-six-foot U-Haul trucks. They drove them to Costco and filled them with survival necessities. It was mostly food; Elliott planned to be near a freshwater source if worst came to worst. Next, they purchased two high-end RVs. The price was exorbitant, but they carried a thirty-day money-back guarantee, and they only had to make a down payment—the remainder was financed. Elliott had assured his neighbors that within thirty days, they would either be incredibly glad to have the two homes on wheels—or they’d have their money back. Now he sat in his study, watching the news, waiting for the event he believed would come. He hoped he was wrong. DAY 7 900,000,000 Infected 180,000 Dead ~ A G Riddle,
832:Madame Valenska sat down in one of the chairs. “Whose fortune shall I tell first?” she asked the girls. Nancy stepped forward. “Mine. I mean . . . maybe you can tell me about something I lost.” Madame invited Nancy to sit in the chair facing her. She waved her hands in front of Nancy’s face. “I can see your name begins with a P. Is it . . . Patty?” Nancy heard Jessie begin to laugh. “It’s Nancy,” Nancy said. “Nancy, Patty—close enough,” Madame said with a shrug. She took Nancy’s hand and traced Nancy’s palm with her index finger. “That tickles!” Nancy giggled. “I can see that what you lost is very valuable,” Madame Valenska said. “Can you also see where they are?” Nancy asked. Madame Valenska’s eyes twinkled. She leaned back in her chair. “All I will say is this: Be aware. The clues are there. Be wise. And use your eyes.” Nancy wrinkled her nose. “That sounds more like a riddle than a fortune.” “It is a riddle,” Madame said. “But it also tells your fortune.” “Thanks,” Nancy said. But she felt disappointed. “I’ve gotten better fortunes in cookies,” Jessie whispered as they headed out of the tent. ~ Carolyn Keene,
833:Onto a Vast Plain"

You are not surprised at the force of the storm—
you have seen it growing.
The trees flee. Their flight
sets the boulevards streaming. And you know:
he whom they flee is the one
you move toward. All your senses
sing him, as you stand at the window.

The weeks stood still in summer.
The trees’ blood rose. Now you feel
it wants to sink back
into the source of everything. You thought
you could trust that power
when you plucked the fruit:
now it becomes a riddle again
and you again a stranger.

Summer was like your house: you know
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain. Now
the immense loneliness begins.

The days go numb, the wind
sucks the world from your senses like withered leaves.

Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.
Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing
ripened until it is real,
so that he who began it all
can feel you when he reaches for you. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke,
834:I felt the superb iron of Barth’s paragraphs, his magnificent seamless integrity and energy in this realm of prose—the specifically Christian—usually conspicuous for intellectual limpness and dishonesty. “Man is a riddle and nothing else, and his universe, be it ever so vividly seen and felt, is a question.… The solution of the riddle, the answer to the question, the satisfaction of our need is the absolutely new event.… There is no way which leads to this event”: here I thought I had it, in “The Task of the Ministry,” but no, the passage, though ringing, did not have quite the ring impressed, three decades earlier, upon my agitated inner ear. Farther into the essay, I stumbled on a sentence, starred in the margin, that seemed to give Dale Kohler’s line of argument some justification: “In relation to the kingdom of God any pedagogy may be good and any may be bad; a stool may be high enough and the longest ladder too short to take the kingdom of heaven by force.” By force, of course: that was his blasphemy, as I had called it. The boy would treat God as an object, Who had no voice in His own revelation. ~ John Updike,
835:The cure for HIV?” “In 2007, a man named Timothy Ray Brown, known later as the Berlin patient, was cured of HIV. Brown was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. His HIV-positive status complicated his treatment. During chemotherapy, he battled sepsis, and his physicians had to explore less traditional approaches. His hematologist, Dr. Gero Hutter, decided on a stem cell therapy: a full bone marrow transplant. Hutter actually passed over the matched bone marrow donor for a donor with a specific genetic mutation: CCR5-Delta 32. CCR5-Delta 32 makes cells immune to HIV.” “Incredible.” “Yes. At first, we thought the Delta 32 mutation must have arisen during the Black Death in Europe—about four to sixteen percent of Europeans have at least one copy. But we’ve traced it back further. We thought perhaps smallpox, but we’ve found Bronze Age DNA samples that carry it. The mutation’s origins are a mystery, but one thing is certain: the bone marrow transplant with CCR5-Delta 32 cured both Brown’s leukemia and HIV. After the transplant, he stopped taking his antiretrovirals and has never again tested positive for HIV. ~ A G Riddle,
836:Why do we love nonsense? Why do we love Lewis Carroll with his “‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe, all mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe…”? Why is it that all those old English songs are full of “Fal-de-riddle-eye-do” and “Hey-nonny-nonny” and all those babbling choruses? Why is it that when we get “hep” with jazz we just go “Boody-boody-boop-de-boo” and so on, and enjoy ourselves swinging with it? It is this participation in the essential glorious nonsense that is at the heart of the world, not necessarily going anywhere. It seems that only in moments of unusual insight and illumination that we get the point of this, and find that the true meaning of life is no meaning, that its purpose is no purpose, and that its sense is non-sense. Still, we want to use the word “significant.” Is this significant nonsense? Is this a kind of nonsense that is not just chaos, that is not just blathering balderdash, but rather has in it rhythm, fascinating complexity, and a kind of artistry? It is in this kind of meaninglessness that we come to the profoundest meaning. ~ Alan W Watts,
837:If men are always more or less deceived on the subject of women, it is because that they forget that they and women do not speak altogether the same language, and that words have not the same weight or the same meaning for them, especially in questions of feeling. Whether from shyness or precaution or artifice, a woman never speaks out her whole thought, and moreover what she herself knows of it is but a part of what it really is. Complete frankness seems to be impossible to her, and complete self-knowledge seems to be forbidden her. If she is a sphinx to us, it is because she is a riddle of doubtful meaning even to herself. She has no need of perfidy, for she is mystery itself. A woman is something fugitive, irrational, indeterminable, illogical, and contradictory. A great deal of forbearance ought to be shown her, and a good deal of prudence exercised with regard to her, for she may bring about innumerable evils without knowing it, capable of all kinds of devotion, and of all kinds of treason, "monstre incompréhensible,'' raised to the second power, she is at once the delight and the terror of men. ~ Henri Fr d ric Amiel,
838:The Circles
‘Within yon world-wide cirque of war
What's hidden which they fight so for?’
My guide made answer, ‘Rich increase
Of virtue and use, which are by peace,
And peace by war. That inner ring
Are craftsmen, working many a thing
For use, and, these within, the wise
Explore the grass and read the skies.’
‘Can the stars’ motions give me peace,
Or the herbs' virtues mine increase?
Of all this triple shell,’ said I,
‘Would that I might the kernel spy!’
A narrower circle then I reach'd,
Where sang a few and many preach'd
Of life immortal. ‘But,’ I said,
‘The riddle yet I have not read.
Life I must know, that care I may
For life in me to last for aye.’
Then he, ‘Those voices are a charm
To keep yon dove-cot out of harm.’
In the centre, then, he show'd a tent
Where, laughing safe, a woman bent
Over her babe, and, her above,
Lean'd in his turn a graver love.
‘Behold the two idolatries
By which,’ cried he, ‘the world defies
Chaos and death, and for whose sake
All else must war and work and wake.’
~ Coventry Patmore,
839:Lying there in silence, Elim thought about how quickly a person’s fate could change, how precious life and health are. He had walked into this very room two days ago as a practicing physician, a man in control, with the power to heal, looking down on the sick American on the same bed where he himself now lay. He had never known just how different the world looked from the other side.
He vowed that if he became well, he would cherish every day. And although he had never wished ill health on another person, there and then he wondered if every physician might benefit from being sick—really sick—just once. He wondered if it would make them all care a little more, or work a little harder, to have been on the other side for a while—to have placed their life and livelihood in the hands of a stranger, even if for only a short period. He had considered himself a very conscientious physician before this, but he imagined that if he lived, he would be even more dedicated to his patients.
Staring at the ceiling, he was reminded of an old Indian proverb: A healthy person has a hundred wishes, but a sick person has only one. ~ A G Riddle,
840:All the dilemmas and questions of today were known in ethics more than 2,000 years ago. All the greatest teachers of mankind whether prophets such as Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad or non-prophets such as Confucius , Gautama, Buddha, Socrates, Kant, Tolstoy , and Martin Buber, covering a period from the sixth century BC up to the present ( Martin Buber died in 1965) have taught essentially the same morals. As distinguished from rules about social orders and ways of production , moral truths are constant. The reason for this lies in the fact that the riddle had been established at the moment of creation in the "prologue in heaven" in the act preceding the whole of human history. Intelligence, education, and experience do not in themselves help us approach or better understand all of that. Jesus pronounced his truth when he was a child and was slightly more than thirty when he was condemned. He needed neither knowledge nor experience for his great, capital truths about God and man because these truths could not be reached by knowledge or experience. Are they not "Hidden from the wise and the learned and revealed to the little ? ~ Alija Izetbegovi,
841:Why do you think the Neanderthals and Hobbits died out? They had been around a long time before humans walked onto the scene.” “We killed them.” “That’s right. The human race is the biggest mass murderer of all time. Think about it: we’re hard-coded to survive. Even our ancient ancestors were driven by this impulse, driven enough to recognize the Neanderthals and Hobbits as dangerous enemies. They may have slaughtered dozens of human subspecies. And that legacy shamefully lives on. We attack whatever is different, anything we don’t understand, anything that might change our world, our environment, reduce our chances of survival. Racism, class warfare, sexism, east versus west, north and south, capitalism and communism, democracy and dictatorships, Islam and Christianity, Israel and Palestine, they’re all different faces of the same war: the war for a homogeneous human race, an end to our differences. It’s a war we started a long time ago, a war we’ve been fighting ever since. A war that operates in every human mind below the subconscious level, like a computer program, constantly running in the background, guiding us to some eventuality. ~ A G Riddle,
842:For almost a century, the school had been home to creative geniuses, radical thinkers, and innovators. Ellingham had no application, no list of requirements, no instructions other than, "If you would like to be considered for Ellingham Academy, please get in touch."
That was it.
One simple sentence that drove every high-flying student frantic. What did they want? What were they looking for? This was like a riddle from a fantasy story or fairy tale - something the wizard makes you do before you are allowed into the Cave of Secrets. Applications were supposed to be rigid lists of requirements and test scores and essays and recommendations and maybe a blood sample and a few bars from a popular musical. Not Elllingham. Just knock on the door. Just knock on the door in the special, correct way they would not describe. You just had to get in touch with something. They looked for a spark. If they saw such a spark in you, you could be one of the fifty students they took each year. The program was only two years long, just the junior and senior years of high school. There were no tuition fees. If you got in, it was free. You just had to get in. ~ Maureen Johnson,
843:for the universe becomes transparent, and the light of higher laws than its
own, shines through it. It is the standing problem which has exercised the
wonder and the study of every fine genius since the world began; from the era of
the Egyptians and the Brahmins, to that of Pythagoras, of Plato, of Bacon, of
Leibnitz, of Swedenborg. There sits the Sphinx at the road-side, and from age to
age, as each prophet comes by, he tries his fortune at reading her riddle. There
seems to be a necessity in spirit to manifest itself in material forms; and day
and night, river and storm, beast and bird, acid and alkali, preexist in
necessary Ideas in the mind of God, and are what they are by virtue of preceding
affections, in the world of spirit. A Fact is the end or last issue of spirit.
The visible creation is the terminus or the circumference of the invisible
world. “Material objects,” said a French philosopher, “are necessarily kinds of
scoriae of the substantial thoughts of the Creator, which must always preserve
an exact relation to their first origin; in other words, visible nature must
have a spiritual and moral side. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
844:Every decade has a unique hematological riddle, and for Minot's era, that riddle was pernicious anemia. Anemia is the deficiency of red blood cells-and its most common form arises from a lack of iron, a crucial nutrient used to build red blood cells. But pernicious anemia, the rare variant that Minot studied, was not caused by iron deficiency (indeed, its name derives from its intransigence to the standard treatment of anemia with iron). By feeding patients increasingly macabre concoctions-half a pound of chicken liver, half-cooked hamburgers, raw hog stomach, and even once the regurgitated gastric juices of one of his students (spiced up with butter, lemon, and parsley)-Minot and his team of researchers conclusively demonstrated in 1926 that pernicious anemia was caused by the lack of a critical micronutrient, a single molecule later identified as vitamin b13. In 1934, Minot and two of his colleagues won the Nobel Prize for this pathbreaking work. Minot had shown that replacing a single molecule could restore the normalcy of blood in this complex hematological disease. Blood was an organ whose activity could be turned on and off by molecular switches. ~ Siddhartha Mukherjee,
845:Codicil
Schizophrenic, wrenched by two styles,
one a hack's hired prose, I earn
me exile. I trudge this sickle, moonlit beach for miles,
tan, burn
to slough off
this live of ocean that's self-love.
To change your language you must change your life.
I cannot right old wrongs.
Waves tire of horizon and return.
Gulls screech with rusty tongues
Above the beached, rotting pirogues,
they were a venomous beaked cloud at Charlotteville.
One I thought love of country was enough,
now, even if I chose, there is no room at the trough.
I watch the best minds rot like dogs
for scraps of flavour.
I am nearing middle
age, burnt skin
peels from my hand like paper, onion-thin,
like Peer Gynt's riddle.
At heart there is nothing, not the dread
of death. I know to many dead.
They're all familiar, all in character,
even how they died. On fire,
the flesh no longer fears that furnace mouth
of earth,
that kiln or ashpit of the sun,
nor this clouding, unclouding sickle moon
withering this beach again like a blank page.
12
All its indifference is a different rage.
~ Derek Walcott,
846:If the normal portolano is indeed derived from the lost atlas of Marinus of Tyre, then it follows that other high-quality maps of regions much further afield than the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and indeed a world map, might also have been preserved by the Arabs -- for we know from Ptolemy's testimony that other Marinus maps, including a world map, did once exist. It will therefore do no harm to keep an open mind to the possibility that the portolan world maps that began to appear during the century after the Carta Pisane, might also have been influenced by earlier 'Tyrian sea-fish' maps of Phoenician origin. Christopher Columbus, whose passionate belief in lands across the Atlantic lead to his 'discovery' of the New World, seems to hint at a Phoenician connection when he describes one of the inspirations for his journey:
'Aristotle in his book On Marvellous Things reports a story that some Carthaginian merchants sailed over the Ocean Sea to a very fertile island ... this island some Portuguese showed me on their charts under the name Antilia.'
Antilia first appears on a portolan chart of 1424. It is a mysterious presence there, a riddle. ~ Graham Hancock,
847:Perhaps the most striking illustration of Bayes’s theorem comes from a riddle that a mathematics teacher that I knew would pose to his students on the first day of their class. Suppose, he would ask, you go to a roadside fair and meet a man tossing coins. The first toss lands “heads.” So does the second. And the third, fourth . . . and so forth, for twelve straight tosses. What are the chances that the next toss will land “heads” ? Most of the students in the class, trained in standard statistics and probability, would nod knowingly and say: 50 percent. But even a child knows the real answer: it’s the coin that is rigged. Pure statistical reasoning cannot tell you the answer to the question—but common sense does. The fact that the coin has landed “heads” twelve times tells you more about its future chances of landing “heads” than any abstract formula. If you fail to use prior information, you will inevitably make foolish judgments about the future. This is the way we intuit the world, Bayes argued. There is no absolute knowledge; there is only conditional knowledge. History repeats itself—and so do statistical patterns. The past is the best guide to the future. ~ Siddhartha Mukherjee,
848:Egyptology
I am the Sphinx.
I am the woman buried in sand
up to her chin.
I am waiting for an archaeologist
to unearth me,
to dig out my neck & my nipples,
bare my claws
& solve my riddle.
No one has solved my riddle
since Oedipus.
I face the pyramids which rise
like angular breasts
from the dry body of Egypt.
My fertile river is flowing down belowa lovely lower kingdom.
Every woman should have a delta
with such rich siltbrown as the buttocks
of Nubian queens.
O friend, why have you come to Egypt?
Aton & Yahweh
are still feuding.
Moses is leading his people
& speaking of guilt.
The voice out of the volcano
will not be still.
A religion of death,
a woman buried alive.
For thousands of years
the sand drifted over my head.
My sex was a desert,
my hair more porous than pumice,
& nobody sucked my lips
to make me tell.
58
The pyramid breasts, though huge,
will never sag.
In the center of each one,
a king lies buried.
In the center of each one,
a darkened chamber. . .
a tunnel,
dead men's bones,
malignant gold.
~ Erica Jong,
849:The human race is the biggest mass murderer of all time. Think about it: we’re hard-coded to survive. Even our ancient ancestors were driven by this impulse, driven enough to recognize the Neanderthals and Hobbits as dangerous enemies. They may have slaughtered dozens of human subspecies. And that legacy shamefully lives on. We attack whatever is different, anything we don’t understand, anything that might change our world, our environment, reduce our chances of survival. Racism, class warfare, sexism, east versus west, north and south, capitalism and communism, democracy and dictatorships, Islam and Christianity, Israel and Palestine, they’re all different faces of the same war: the war for a homogeneous human race, an end to our differences. It’s a war we started a long time ago, a war we’ve been fighting ever since. A war that operates in every human mind below the subconscious level, like a computer program, constantly running in the background, guiding us to some eventuality.” Kate didn’t know what to say, couldn’t see how it could involve her trial and her children. “You expect me to believe those two children are involved in an ancient cosmic struggle for the human race? ~ A G Riddle,
850:Unable to hold back a second longer, Blake reached out and cradled the side of her face, savoring the feel of that silky soft skin against his palm. His blood thrummed heavily through his veins when she sucked in a sharp breath and stared up at him with that mixture of hope and need that tied him in knots. “So what now?” he asked softly, rubbing his thumb gently across her cheekbone. “What do you want?”
“You. That’s it, Blake. There’s no riddle to decipher, no code to break. I want you.”
Staring deep into his eyes, she reached up and wrapped her fingers around his wrist, holding him there while she rubbed her cheek against his palm.
The tenderness in the gesture turned his heart over. Lust and satisfaction blasted through him. The painful pressure in his chest eased, relief sweeping aside the doubt and uncertainty. His gaze dropped to her mouth, a silent groan rumbling up inside him when her little pink tongue stole out to lick across her lower lip in a quick, almost nervous motion. Tightening his hand on her face, he wrapped his other arm around her waist and pulled her in close, until only an inch or two of space separated them.
“I want you too,” he murmured, and kissed her. ~ Kaylea Cross,
851:- “The consequence?”
- “Globalization.”
- “Implication?”
- “Our fate is reflected in our most famous invention: the computer. Those local area networks that sprang up like cities in the eighties and nineties got connected at the turn of the century by the internet. Just like European colonization connected the globe. Globalization is to the human race what the internet is to computers—a method for sharing resources and ideas. Ideas can now move around the world in nanoseconds. We have a platform for enabling the strongest minds to transform their thoughts into reality—and deploy that reality for the good of the masses.
If you think about it, vision—fictive simulation—remains the most powerful human ability. Look at the Forbes list of the richest people. The individuals listed are very different, but they all share one trait: vision. The ability to imagine a future that doesn’t exist—to imagine what the world would be like if something changed, if a product or service existed. And these people’s fortunes were made because their visions were accurate—they correctly predicted that something that didn’t already exist both could be created and would be valuable to a specific group of people. ~ A G Riddle,
852:To A Stray Dog
Well, Towser (I'm thinking your name must be Towser),
You're a decentish puppy as puppy dogs go,
For you never, I'm sure, could have dined upon trowser,
And your tail's unimpeachably curled just so.
But, dear me! your name-if 'tis yours-is a 'poser':
Its meaning I cannot get anywise at,
When spoken correctly perhaps it is Toser,
And means one who toses. Max Muller, how's that?
I ne'er was ingenious at all at divining
A word's prehistorical, primitive state,
Or finding its root, like a mole, by consigning
Its bloom to the turnep-top's sorrowful fate.
And, now that I think of it well, I'm no nearer
The riddle's solution than ever-for how's
My pretty invented word, 'tose,' any clearer
In point of its signification than 'towse'?
So, Towser (or Toser), I mean to rename you
In honor of some good and eminent man,
In the light and the heat of whose quickening fame you
May grow to an eminent dog if you can.
In sunshine like his you'll not long be a croucher:
The Senate shall hear you-for that I will vouch.
Come here, sir. Stand up. I rechristen you Goucher.
But damn you! I'll shoot you if ever you gouch!
~ Ambrose Bierce,
853:OEDIPUS AND THE RIDDLE
At dawn four-footed, at midday erect,
And wandering on three legs in the deserted
Spaces of afternoon, thus the eternal
Sphinx had envisioned her changing brother
Man, and with afternoon there came a person
Deciphering, appalled at the monstrous other
Presence in the mirror, the reflection
Of his decay and of his destiny.
We are Oedipus; in some eternal way
We are the long and threefold beast as well
All that we will be, all that we have been.
It would annihilate us all to see
The huge shape of our being; mercifully
God offers us issue and oblivion.
[John Hollander]

EDIPO Y EL ENIGMA
Cuadrpedo en la aurora, alto en el da
Y con tres pies errando por el vano
Ambito de la tarde, as vea
La eterna esfinge a su inconstante hermano,
El hombre, y con la tarde un hombre vino
Que descifr aterrado en el espejo
De la monstruosa imagen, el reflejo
De su declinacin y su destino.
Somos Edipo y de un eterno modo
La larga y triple bestia somos, todo
Lo que seremos y lo que hemos sido.
Nos aniquilara ver la ingente
Forma de nuestro ser; piadosamente
Dios nos depara sucesin y olvido.

~ Jorge Luis Borges, Oedipus and the Riddle
,
854:the first riddle of the universe: asking, when is a man not a man?: telling them take their time, yungfries, and wait till the tide stops (for from the first his day was a fortnight) and offering the prize of a bittersweet crab, a little present from the past, for their copper age was yet un-minted, to the winner. One said when the heavens are quakers, a second said when Bohemeand lips, a third said when he, no, when hold hard a jiffy, when he is a gnawstick and detarmined to, the next one said when the angel of death kicks the bucket of life, still another said when the wine's at witsends, and still another when lovely wooman stoops to conk him, one of the littliest said me, me, Sem, when pappa papared the harbour, one of the wittiest said, when he yeat ye abblokooken and he zmear he zelf zo zhooken, still one said when you are old I'm grey fall full wi sleep, and still another when wee deader walkner, and another when he is just only after having being semisized, another when yea, he hath no mananas, and one when dose pigs they begin now that they will flies up intil the looft. All were wrong, so Shem himself, the doctator, took the cake, the correct solution being — all give it up? — when he is a — yours till the rending of the rocks, — Sham. ~ James Joyce,
855:They were properly mad in the Shakespearean sense, talking sense when you least expected it. In North London, where councillors once voted to change the name of the area to Nirvana, it is not unusual to walk the streets and be suddenly confronted by sage words from the chalkfaced, blue-lipped, or eyebrowless. From across the street or from the other end of a tube carriage they will use their schizophrenic talent for seeing connections in the random (for discerning the whole world in a grain of sand, for deriving narrative from nothing) to riddle you, to rhyme you, to strip you down, to tell you who you are and where you’re going (usually Baker Street—the great majority of modernday seers travel the Metropolitan Line) and why. But as a city we are not appreciative of these people. Our gut instinct is that they intend to embarrass us, that they’re out to shame us somehow as they lurch down the train aisle, bulbous-eyed and with carbuncled nose, preparing to ask us, inevitably, what we are looking at. What the fuck we are looking at. As a kind of preemptive defense mechanism, Londoners have learned not to look, never to look, to avoid eyes at all times so that the dreaded question “What you looking at?” and its pitiful, gutless, useless answer —“Nothing”—might be avoided. ~ Zadie Smith,
856:Now the Sun celestial began to shine forth in front of them, and lo! how great was their surprise! In the reflection of their faces these thirty birds of the earth beheld the face of the Celestial Simurg. When they cast furtive glances towards the Simurg, they perceived that the Simurg was no other than those self-same thirty birds. In utter bewilderment, they lost their wits and wondered whether they were their own selves or whether they had been transformed into the Simurg. Then, to themselves they turned their eyes, and wonder of wonders, those self-same birds seemed to be one Simurg! Again, when they gazed at both in a single glance, they were convinced that they and the Simurg formed in reality only one Being. This single Being was the Simurg and the Simurg this Being. That one was this and this one was that. Look where they would, in whatever direction, it was only the Simurg they saw. No one has heard of such a story in the world. Drowned in perplexity, they began to think of this mystery without the faculty of thinking, but finding no solution to the riddle, they besought the Simurg, though no words passed their lips, to explain this mystery and to solve this enigma of I and Thou. The Simurg thereupon deigned to vouchsafe this reply to them: “The Sun of my Majesty is a mirror. ~ Attar of Nishapur,
857:Nix to Declan:

Begin transcript—
Testing. Hello, hellooo, anybody out there? Check, check, one, two. Soft pee. Puh, puh. Resonance! Sooooooft pee. Alpha bravo disco tango duck.
This is Nïx! I’m the Ever-Knowing One, a goddess incandescent, incomparable, and irresistible. But enough about what you think of me. It’s a beautiful day in New Orleans. The wind is out of the east at a steady five knots and clouds look like rabbits … But enough about what you think of me!
Now, down to business—
Squirrel!
Where was I? [Long pause] Why am I in Regin’s car? Bertil, you crawl right back out of that bong this minute!
Oh, I remember! I am hereby laying down this track for Magister Declan Chase. If you are a mortal of the recorder peon class, know that Dekko and I go waaaaay back, and he’ll go berserk (snicker snicker) if he doesn’t receive this transmittal. …
Chase, riddle me this: what’s beautiful but monstrous, long of tooth but sharp of tooth and soft of mind, and can never ever tell a lie?
That’s right. The Enemy of Old can be very useful to you. So use him already.
P.S. Your middle name’s about to be spelled r-e-g-r-e-t.
And with that, I must bid you adieu. Don’t worry, we’ll catch up very soon. …
[Muffled] Who’s mummy’s wittle echolocator? That’s right—you are!
—End transcript ~ Kresley Cole,
858:My diary. Little Ginny’s been writing in it for months and months, telling me all her pitiful worries and woes — how her brothers tease her, how she had to come to school with secondhand robes and books, how” — Riddle’s eyes glinted — “how she didn’t think famous, good, great Harry Potter would ever like her. . . .” All the time he spoke, Riddle’s eyes never left Harry’s face. There was an almost hungry look in them. “It’s very boring, having to listen to the silly little troubles of an eleven-year-old girl,” he went on. “But I was patient. I wrote back. I was sympathetic, I was kind. Ginny simply loved me. No one’s ever understood me like you, Tom. . . . I’m so glad I’ve got this diary to confide in. . . . It’s like having a friend I can carry around in my pocket. . . .” Riddle laughed, a high, cold laugh that didn’t suit him. It made the hairs stand up on the back of Harry’s neck. “If I say it myself, Harry, I’ve always been able to charm the people I needed. So Ginny poured out her soul to me, and her soul happened to be exactly what I wanted. . . . I grew stronger and stronger on a diet of her deepest fears, her darkest secrets. I grew powerful, far more powerful than little Miss Weasley. Powerful enough to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a little of my soul back into her . . . ~ J K Rowling,
859:- “Do you know the difference between us and them.... We are awake. We sense the truth: that something is deeply wrong with the world.... Deep down, they know it too. The feeling ebbs and flows. Some events cover it up for a time: you fall in love, you get a new job, you win the game. You think that’s all you needed, that the feeling will go away, but it doesn’t. It returns, again and again. Our species has become exceedingly adept at covering up the feeling. We work ourselves to death. We buy things. We go to parties and ball games. We laugh, shout, and cheer—and worse, we fight, and argue, and say things we don’t mean. Alcohol and drugs quiet the most acute episodes. But we are constantly keeping the beast at bay. Underneath it all, our subconscious is crying out for help. For a solution—a cure for the root problem. We’re all suffering from the same thing.”
- “Which is?”
- “We’ve been told that it’s simply the human condition. But that’s not true. Our problem is really very simple: the world is not as it seems.”
- “Then what is it?”
- “Science gives you one answer. Religious texts offer countless others. But the human population is slowly tiring of those answers. They are starting not to believe. They are awakening—and that awakening will soon tear the world apart. It will be a catastrophe with no equal. ~ A G Riddle,
860:Didn’t I advise you to forget the stone? Didn’t I tell you it would be mine? Look at everything you’ve lost.” He threw the sack over the ornate teal stone, pulled a cord tight around the sack’s opening, and lifted it from its resting place without placing a single finger on it. “And look at everything I’ve gained.”
His sailors laughed with him. Camille spotted her straggly-beared attacker. A fist-sized bruise from Samuel’s boot discolored his jaw. Camille discreetly scanned the cascade, but didn’t see Ira or Samuel. She returned her stare to McGreenery; only this time, it was she who smiled.
“I remember what you said. But I have the real map, don’t I?” She held it up for him to see as the second wave of sparks, invisible to everyone else, rolled back over the map and erased the riddle. “Samuel copied the diagram for you, but there were things the map wouldn’t show him. Things only the one worthy of the stone could see. And he overlooked something else, something he had no reason to believe was important.”
McGreenery came around the shrine, the sack’s cord cutting so deeply into his flesh, the skin whitened. Camille twirled the map around to show the glowing mark.
“This is the mark of Umandu.” She stepped aside so he could see the amber stone aglow at her heel. Shock drowned McGreenery’s simper. “And you can go to hell. ~ Angie Frazier,
861:Let kings stack their treasure houses ceiling-high, and merchants burst their vaults with hoarded coin, and fools envy them. I have a treasure that outvalues theirs. A diamond as big as a man’s skull. Twelve rubies each as big as the skull of a cat. Seventeen emeralds each as big as the skull of a mole. And certain rods of crystal and bars of orichalcum. Let Overlords swagger jewel-bedecked and queens load themselves with gems, and fools adore them. I have a treasure that will outlast theirs. A treasure house have I builded for it in the far southern forest, where the two hills hump double, like sleeping camels, a day’s ride beyond the village of Soreev. “A great treasure house with a high tower, fit for a king’s dwelling—yet no king may dwell there.  Immediately below the keystone of the chief dome my treasure lies hid, eternal as the glittering stars. It will outlast me and my name, I, Urgaan of Angarngi. It is my hold on the future. Let fools seek it. They shall win it not. For although my treasure house be empty as air, no deadly creature in rocky lair, no sentinel outside anywhere, no pitfall, poison, trap, or snare, above and below the whole place bare, of demon or devil not a hair, no serpent lethal-fanged yet fair, no skull with mortal eye a-glare, yet have I left a guardian there. Let the wise read this riddle and forbear. ~ Fritz Leiber,
862:Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little or too much;
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused or disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd;
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
Go, wondrous creature! mount where science guides,
Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old time, and regulate the sun;
Go, soar with Plato to th’ empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
Or tread the mazy round his followers trod,
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As Eastern priests in giddy circles run,
And turn their heads to imitate the sun.
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule—
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool! ~ Alexander Pope,
863:These are the thoughts of all men in all ages and
lands, they are
not original with me,
If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing
or next to
nothing,
If they do not enclose everything they are next to
nothing,
If they are not the riddle and the untying of the
riddle they are
nothing,
If they are not just as close as they are distant they
are nothing.
This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and
the water is,
This is the common air that bathes the globe.
This is the breath of laws and songs and behaviour,
This is the tasteless water of souls.... this is the true
sustenance,
It is for the illiterate.... it is for the judges of the supreme
court . . . . it is for the federal capitol and the state
capitols,
It is for the admirable communes of literary men
and composers
and singers and lecturers and engineers and savans,
It is for the endless races of working people and
farmers and
seamen.
This is the trill of a thousand clear cornets and
scream of the octave flute and strike of triangles.
I play not a march for victors only.... I play great
marches for conquered and slain persons.
Have you heard that it was good to gain the day?
I also say it is good to fall.... battles are lost in the
same spirit
in which they are won. ~ Walt Whitman,
864:And well may God with the serving-folk
Cast in His dreadful lot;
Is not He too a servant,
And is not He forgot?

For was not God my gardener
And silent like a slave;
That opened oaks on the uplands
Or thicket in graveyard gave?

And was not God my armourer,
All patient and unpaid,
That sealed my skull as a helmet,
And ribs for hauberk made?

Did not a great grey servant
Of all my sires and me,
Build this pavilion of the pines,
And herd the fowls and fill the vines,
And labour and pass and leave no signs
Save mercy and mystery?

For God is a great servant,
And rose before the day,
From some primordial slumber torn;
But all we living later born
Sleep on, and rise after the morn,
And the Lord has gone away.

On things half sprung from sleeping,
All sleeping suns have shone,
They stretch stiff arms, the yawning trees,
The beasts blink upon hands and knees,
Man is awake and does and sees-
But Heaven has done and gone.

For who shall guess the good riddle
Or speak of the Holiest,
Save in faint figures and failing words,
Who loves, yet laughs among the swords,
Labours, and is at rest?

But some see God like Guthrum,
Crowned, with a great beard curled,
But I see God like a good giant,
That, laboring, lifts the world. ~ G K Chesterton,
865:Self-Portrait In Shoulder Stand
Old bag of bones
upside down,
what are you searching for
in poetry,
in meditation?
The mother you never had?
The child in you
that you did not conceive?
Death?
Ease from fear of death?
Revelation?
Dwelling in the house of clouds
where you imagine
you once lived?
'Born alone,
we depart alone.'
Someone said that
during meditation
& I nearly wept.
Oh melancholy lady
behind your clown face,
behind your wisecrackshow heady it is
to let the ideas rush to your brain!
But even upside down,
you are sad.
Even upside down,
you think of your death.
Even upside down,
170
you curse the emptiness.
Meditating
on the immobile lotus,
your mind takes flight
like a butterfly
& dabbles in bloodred poppies
& purple heather.
Defying gravity,
defying death,
what makes you think
the body's riddle
is better solved
upside down?
Blood rushes to your head
like images that come too fast
to write.
After a life held in the double grips
of gravity & time,
after a headfirst birth
out of your mother's bowels
& into the earth,
you practice for the next.
You make your body light
so that in time,
feet first,
you will be born
into the sky.
~ Erica Jong,
866:But when she's asleep he likes to sit down beside her bed and make one further attempt to get to the bottom of what has seemed to him the greatest riddle in all the history of mankind: how processes, circumstances, or events of a general nature--such as war, famine, or even a civil servant's salary that fails to increase along with the galloping inflation--can infiltrate a private face. Here they turn a few hairs gray, there devour a pair of lovely cheeks until the skin is stretched taut across angular jawbones; the secession of Hungary, say, might result in a pair of lips bitten raw in the case of one particular woman, perhaps even his own wife. In other words, there is a constant translation between far outside and deep within, it's just that a different vocabulary exists for each of us, which no doubt explains why it's never been noticed that this is a language in the first place--and in fact, the only language valid across the world and for all time. ... It feels to him as if the top layer is crumbling away all at once from everything he sees and encounters, a layer that once prevented him from comprehending, and finally he is able to recognize what lies below. Minds = landscapes, ... what a happy coincidence that these observations happened to fall into his hands: the hands of one who has taken it upon himself to investigate this primeval tongue ... ~ Jenny Erpenbeck,
867:donated skeletal collection; one more skull was just a final drop in the bucket. Megan and Todd Malone, a CT technician in the Radiology Department at UT Medical Center, ran skull 05-01 through the scanner, faceup, in a box that was packed with foam peanuts to hold it steady. Megan FedExed the scans to Quantico, where Diana and Phil Williams ran them through the experimental software. It was with high hopes, shortly after the scan, that I studied the computer screen showing the features ReFace had overlaid, with mathematical precision, atop the CT scan of Maybe-Leoma’s skull. Surely this image, I thought—the fruit of several years of collaboration by computer scientists, forensic artists, and anthropologists—would clearly settle the question of 05-01’s identity: Was she Leoma or was she Not-Leoma? Instead, the image merely amplified the question. The flesh-toned image on the screen—eyes closed, the features impassive—could have been a department-store mannequin, or a sphinx. There was nothing in the image, no matter how I rotated it in three dimensions, that said, “I am Leoma.” Nor was there anything that said, “I am not Leoma.” To borrow Winston Churchill’s famous description of Russia, the masklike face on the screen was “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Between the scan, the software, and the tissue-depth data that the software merged with the ~ Jefferson Bass,
868:From all that I’ve read, what Harry did to Riddle’s diary was one of the few really foolproof ways of destroying a Horcrux.”
“What, stabbing it with a basilisk fang?” asked Harry.
“Oh well, lucky we’ve got such a large supply of basilisk fangs, then,” said Ron. “I was wondering what we were going to do with them.”
“It doesn’t have to be a basilisk fang,” said Hermione patiently. “It has to be something so destructive that the Horcrux can’t repair itself. Basilisk venom only has one antidote, and it’s incredibly rare--”
“--phoenix tears,” said Harry, nodding.
“Exactly,” said Hermione. “Our problem is that there are very few substances as destructive as basilisk venom, and they’re all dangerous to carry around with you. That’s a problem we’re going to have to solve, though, because ripping, smashing, or crushing a Horcrux won’t do the trick. You’ve got to put it beyond magical repair.”
“But even if we wreck the thing it lives in,” said Ron, “why can’t the bit of soul in it just go and live in something else?”
“Because a Horcrux is the complete opposite of a human being.”
Seeing that Harry and Ron looked thoroughly confused, Hermione hurried on, “Look, if I picked up a sword right now, Ron, and ran you through with it, I wouldn’t damage your soul at all.”
“Which would be a real comfort to me, I’m sure,” said Ron.
Harry laughed.
“It should be, actually! ~ J K Rowling,
869:Luke Havergal
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There where the vines cling crimson on the wall,
And in the twilight wait for what will come.
The leaves will whisper there of her, and some,
Like flying words, will strike you as they fall;
But go, and if you listen she will call.
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal-Luke Havergal.
No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies
To rift the fiery night that's in your eyes;
But there, where western glooms are gathering,
The dark will end the dark, if anything:
God slays Himself with every leaf that flies,
And hell is more than half of paradise.
No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies-In eastern skies.
Out of a grave I come to tell you this,
Out of a grave I come to quench the kiss
That flames upon your forehead with a glow
That blinds you to the way that you must go.
Yes, there is yet one way to where she is,
Bitter, but one that faith may never miss.
Out of a grave I come to tell you this-To tell you this.
There is the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There are the crimson leaves upon the wall.
Go, for the winds are tearing them away,-Nor think to riddle the dead words they say,
Nor any more to feel them as they fall;
But go, and if you trust her she will call.
There is the western gate, Luke Havergal-Luke Havergal.
~ Edwin Arlington Robinson,
870:Moreover, we look in vain to philosophy for the answer to the great riddle. Despite its noble purpose and history, pure philosophy long ago abandoned the foundational questions about human existence. The question itself is a reputation killer. It has become a Gorgon for philosophers, upon whose visage even the best thinkers fear to gaze. They have good reason for their aversion. Most of the history of philosophy consists of failed models of the mind. The field of discourse is strewn with the wreckage of theories of consciousness. After the decline of logical positivism in the middle of the twentieth century, and the attempt of this movement to blend science and logic into a closed system, professional philosophers dispersed in an intellectual diaspora. They emigrated into the more tractable disciplines not yet colonized by science – intellectual history, semantics, logic, foundational mathematics, ethics, theology, and, most lucratively, problems of personal life adjustment.

Philosophers flourish in these various endeavors, but for the time being, at least, and by a process of elimination, the solution of the riddle has been left to science. What science promises, and has already supplied in part, is the following. There is a real creation story of humanity, and one only, and it is not a myth. It is being worked out and tested, and enriched and strengthened, step by step. (9-10) ~ Edward O Wilson,
871:GO to the western gate, Luke Havergal,—
There where the vines cling crimson on the wall,—
And in the twilight wait for what will come.
The wind will moan, the leaves will whisper some,—
Whisper of her, and strike you as they fall;
But go, and if you trust her she will call.
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal—
Luke Havergal.

No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies
To rift the fiery night that ’s in your eyes;
But there, where western glooms are gathering,
The dark will end the dark, if anything:
God slays Himself with every leaf that flies,
And hell is more than half of paradise.
No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies—
In eastern skies.

Out of a grave I come to tell you this,—
Out of grave I come to quench the kiss
That flames upon your forehead with a glow
That blinds you to the way that you must go.
Yes, there is yet one way to where she is,—
Bitter, but one that faith can never miss.
Out of a grave I come to tell you this—
To tell you this.

There is the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There are the crimson leaves upon the wall.
Go,—for the winds are tearing them away,—
Nor think to riddle the dead words they say,
Nor any more to feel them as they fall;
But go! and if you trust her she will call.
There is the western gate, Luke Havergal—
Luke Havergal. ~ Edwin Arlington Robinson,
872:In The Valley Of Dreams
Once we went on a journey
through a dense opaque fog.
Suddenly our path became illuminated
by the flash of light in horizon.
The smell of paddy floated in wind.
Forests got sonorous with the songs of birds.
Our hearts started floating
being altogether a wonderful picture of Nature.
River! River!
The clean flow of water, which our offspring showed us
raising their fingers with joy, is our soul.
It's the stream
which design our women weave their saris in.
It's the turn which inspires our sisters
to envelope their bodies with tortuous lines.
Behold the flow of holy water
whose sweet murmur immerse us in songs.
Lo and behold!
It's the picture of the valley where we will go .
It has utterly devoured our hearts.
Wind of fairy tale is blowing on our flag ;
Future frequently oscillating our hope
like a golden pendulum.
Overflowed with joy, we have set out towards our dreams.
Sorrow never fatigues us.
On a stormy night we have turned our face
towards a bright day.
Troubles have not paralysed us.
We will go out
escaping the riddle of shout, cry and despair.
May Death touch not us.
We will sow the grain seeds in the valley of dreams.
The water of silver river will flow on the left .
The sharp husky mountain will remain on the right.
20
[Translated by Sayeed Abubakar]
~ Al Mahmud,
873:Emma rose to her feet, facing the faerie across the fleeing crowd. Gleaming from his weathered, barklike face, his eyes were yellow as a cat's. "Shadowhunter," he hissed.
Emma reached back over her shoulder and closed her hand around the hilt of her sword, Cortana. The blade made a golden blur in the air as she drew it and pointed the tip at the fey. "No," she said. "I'm a candygram. This is my costume."
The faerie looked puzzled.
Emma sighed. "It's so hard to be sassy to the Fair Folk. You people never get jokes."
"We are well known for our jests, japes, and ballads," the faerie said, clearly offended. "Some of our ballads last for weeks."
"I don't have that kind of time," Emma said. "I'm a Shadowhunter. Quip fast, die young." She wiggled Cortana's tip impatiently. "Now turn out your pockets."
"I have done nothing to break the Cold Peace," said the fey.
"Technically true, but we do frown on stealing from mundanes," Emma said. "Turn out your pockets or I'll rip off one of your horns and shove it where the sun doesn't shine."
The fey looked puzzled. "Where does the sun not shine? Is this a riddle?"
Emma gave a martyred sigh and raised Cortana. "Turn them out, or I'll start peeling your bark off. My boyfriend and I just broke up, and I'm not in the best mood."
The faerie began slowly to empty his pockets onto the ground, glaring at her all the while. "So you're single," he said. "I never would have guessed. ~ Cassandra Clare,
874:For Woman, in her weakness, is yet the strongest force upon the earth. She is the helm of all things human; she comes in many shapes and knocks at many doors; she is quick and patient, and her passion is not ungovernable like that of man, but as a gentle steed that she can guide e'en where she will, and as occasion offers can now bit up and now give rein. She has a captain's eye, and stout must be that fortress of the heart in which she finds no place of vantage. Does thy blood beat fast in youth? She will outrun it, nor will her kisses tire. Art thou set toward ambition? She will unlock thy inner heart, and show thee roads that lead to glory. Art thou worn and weary? She has comfort in her breast. Art thou fallen? She can lift thee up, and to the illusion of thy sense gild defeat with triumph. Ay, Harmachis, she can do these things, for Nature ever fights upon her side; and while she does them she can deceive and shape a secret end in which thou hast no part. And thus Woman rules the world. For her are wars; for her men spend their strength in gathering gains; for her they do well and ill, and seek for greatness, to find oblivion. But still she sits like yonder Sphinx, and smiles; and no man has ever read all the riddle of her smile, or known all the mystery of her heart. Mock not! mock not! Harmachis; for he must be great indeed who can defy the power of Woman, which, pressing round him like the invisible air, is often strongest when the senses least discover it. ~ H Rider Haggard,
875:Take the case of courage. No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. 'He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,' is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if we will risk it on the precipice.

He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying. ~ G K Chesterton,
876:The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, 'It was the best butter, you know.' Alice had been looking over his shoulder with some curiosity. 'What a funny watch!' she remarked. 'It tells the day of the month, and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!' 'Why should it?' muttered the Hatter. 'Does your watch tell you what year it is?' 'Of course not,' Alice replied very readily: 'but that's because it stays the same year for such a long time together.' 'Which is just the case with mine,' said the Hatter. Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's remark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English. 'I don't quite understand you,' she said, as politely as she could. 'The Dormouse is asleep again,' said the Hatter, and he poured a little hot tea upon its nose. The Dormouse shook its head impatiently, and said, without opening its eyes, 'Of course, of course; just what I was going to remark myself.' 'Have you guessed the riddle yet?' the Hatter said, turning to Alice again. 'No, I give it up,' Alice replied: 'what's the answer?' 'I haven't the slightest idea,' said the Hatter. 'Nor I,' said the March Hare. Alice sighed wearily. 'I think you might do something better with the time,' she said, 'than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers.' 'If you knew Time as well as I do,' said the Hatter, 'you wouldn't talk about wasting it. ~ Lewis Carroll,
877:Mother of Light, and the Gods! Mother of Music, awake!
Silence and speech are at odds; Heaven and Hell are at
stake.
By the Rose and the Cross I conjure; I constrain by the
Snake and the Sword;
I am he that is sworn to endure -Bring us the word of the
Lord!

By the brood of the Bysses of Brightening, whose God was
my sire;
By the Lord of the Flame and Lightning, the King of
the Spirits of Fire;
By the Lord of the Waves and the Waters, the King of the
Hosts of the Sea,
The fairest of all of whose daughters was mother to me;

By the Lord of the Winds and the Breezes, the king of the
Spirits of Air,
In whose bosom the infinite ease is that cradled me there;
By the Lord of the Fields and the Mountains, the King of
the Spirits of Earth
That nurtured my life at his fountains from the hour of my
birth;

By the Wand and the Cup I conjure; by the Dagger and
Disk I constrain;
I am he that is sworn to endure; make thy music again!
I am Lord of the Star and the Seal; I am Lord of the Snake
and the Sword;
Reveal us the riddle, reveal! Bring us the word of the Lord!

As the flame of the sun, as the roar of the sea, as the storm
of the air,
As the quake of the earth -let it soar for a boon, for a bane,
for a snare,
For a lure, for a light, for a kiss, for a rod, for a scourge, for
a sword -
Bring us thy burden of bliss -Bring us the word of the
Lord!

PERDURABO.

~ Aleister Crowley, The Interpreter
,
878:The Interpreter
Mother of Light, and the Gods! Mother of Music, awake!
Silence and speech are at odds; Heaven and Hell are at
stake.
By the Rose and the Cross I conjure; I constrain by the
Snake and the Sword;
I am he that is sworn to endure -Bring us the word of the
Lord!
By the brood of the Bysses of Brightening, whose God was
my sire;
By the Lord of the Flame and Lightning, the King of
the Spirits of Fire;
By the Lord of the Waves and the Waters, the King of the
Hosts of the Sea,
The fairest of all of whose daughters was mother to me;
By the Lord of the Winds and the Breezes, the king of the
Spirits of Air,
In whose bosom the infinite ease is that cradled me there;
By the Lord of the Fields and the Mountains, the King of
the Spirits of Earth
That nurtured my life at his fountains from the hour of my
birth;
By the Wand and the Cup I conjure; by the Dagger and
Disk I constrain;
I am he that is sworn to endure; make thy music again!
I am Lord of the Star and the Seal; I am Lord of the Snake
and the Sword;
Reveal us the riddle, reveal! Bring us the word of the Lord!
As the flame of the sun, as the roar of the sea, as the storm
of the air,
As the quake of the earth -let it soar for a boon, for a bane,
for a snare,
For a lure, for a light, for a kiss, for a rod, for a scourge, for
a sword Bring us thy burden of bliss -Bring us the word of the
Lord!
78
PERDURABO.
~ Aleister Crowley,
879:Thought's long far-circling journey touched its close
And ineffective paused the actor Will.
The symbol modes of being helped no more,
The structures Nescience builds collapsing failed,
All glory of outline, sweetness of harmony,
Rejected like a grace of trivial notes,
Expunged from Being's silence nude, austere,
Died into a fine and blissful Nothingness.
The Demiurges lost their names and forms,
The great schemed worlds that they had planned and wrought
Passed, taken and abolished one by one.
The universe removed its coloured veil,
And at the unimaginable end
Of the huge riddle of created things
Appeared the far-seen Godhead of the whole,
His feet firm-based on Life's stupendous wings,
Omnipotent, a lonely seer of Time,
Inward, inscrutable, with diamond gaze.
Attracted by the unfathomable regard
The unsolved slow cycles to their fount returned
To rise again from that invisible sea.
All from his puissance born was now undone;
Nothing remained the cosmic Mind conceives.
Eternity prepared to fade and seemed
A hue and imposition on the Void,
Space was the fluttering of a dream that sank
Before its ending into Nothing's deeps.
The spirit that dies not and the Godhead's self
Seemed myths projected from the Unknowable;
From It all sprang, in It is called to cease.
But what That was, no thought nor sight could tell.
Only a formless Form of self was left,
A tenuous ghost of something that had been,
The last experience of a lapsing wave ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 3:1,
880:The geneticist Antoine Danchin once used the parable of the Delphic boat
to describe the process by which individual genes could produce the observed
complexity of the natural world. In the proverbial story, the oracle at Delphi is
asked to consider a boat on a river whose planks have begun to rot. As the
wood decays, each plank is replaced, one by one—and after a decade, no plank
is left from the original boat. Yet, the owner is convinced that it is the same
boat. How can the boat be the same boat—the riddle runs—if every physical
element of the original has been replaced?
The answer is that the “boat” is not made of planks but of the relationship
between planks. If you hammer a hundred strips of wood atop each other, you
get a wall; if you nail them side to side, you get a deck; only a particular
configuration of planks, held together in particular relationship, in a
particular order, makes a boat.
Genes operate in the same manner. Individual genes specify individual
functions, but the relationship among genes allows physiology. The genome is
inert without these relationships. That humans and worms have about the
same number of genes—around twenty thousand—and yet the fact that only
one of these two organisms is capable of painting the ceiling of the Sistine
Chapel suggests that the number of genes is largely unimportant to the
physiological complexity of the organism. “It is not what you have,” as a
certain Brazilian samba instructor once told me, “it is what you do with it. ~ Siddhartha Mukherjee,
881:The books were legends and tales, stories from all over the Realm. These she had devoured voraciously – so voraciously, in fact, that she started to become fatigued by them. It was possible to have too much of a good thing, she reflected.
“They’re all the same,” she complained to Fleet one night. “The soldier rescues the maiden and they fall in love. The fool outwits the wicked king. There are always three brothers or sisters, and it’s always the youngest who succeeds after the first two fail. Always be kind to beggars, for they always have a secret; never trust a unicorn. If you answer somebody’s riddle they always either kill themselves or have to do what you say. They’re all the same, and they’re all ridiculous! That isn’t what life is like!”
Fleet had nodded sagely and puffed on his hookah. “Well, of course that’s not what life is like. Except the bit about unicorns – they’ll eat your guts as soon as look at you. those things in there” – he tapped the book she was carrying – “they’re simple stories. Real life is a story, too, only much more complicated. It’s still got a beginning, a middle, and an end. Everyone follows the same rules, you know. . . It’s just that there are more of them. Everyone has chapters and cliffhangers. Everyone has their journey to make. Some go far and wide and come back empty-handed; some don’t go anywhere and their journey makes them richest of all. Some tales have a moral and some don’t make any sense. Some will make you laugh, others make you cry. The world is a library, young Poison, and you’ll never get to read the same book twice. ~ Chris Wooding,
882:The books were legends and tales, stories from all over the Realm. These she had devoured voraciously – so voraciously, in fact, that she started to become fatigued by them. It was possible to have too much of a good thing, she reflected.
“They’re all the same,” she complained to Fleet one night. “The soldier rescues the maiden and they fall in love. The fool outwits the wicked king. There are always three brothers or sisters, and it’s always the youngest who succeeds after the first two fail. Always be kind to beggars, for they always have a secret; never trust a unicorn. If you answer somebody’s riddle they always either kill themselves or have to do what you say. They’re all the same, and they’re all ridiculous! That isn’t what life is like!”
Fleet had nodded sagely and puffed on his hookah. “Well, of course that’s not what life is like. Except the bit about unicorns – they’ll eat your guts as soon as look at you. those things in there” – he tapped the book she was carrying – “they’re simple stories. Real life is a story, too, only much more complicated. It’s still got a beginning, a middle, and an end. Everyone follows the same rules, you know. . . It’s just that there are more of them. Everyone has chapters and cliffhangers. Everyone has their journey to make. Some go far and wide and come back empty-handed; some don’t go anywhere and their journey makes them richest of all. Some tales have a moral and some don’t make any sense. Some will make you laugh, others make you cry. The world is a library, young Poison, and you’ll never get to read the same book twice. ~ Chris Wooding,
883:And all that time, Franca contained in her breast a storm of anguish and violence so terrible that she had at times, when she was alone and longing to 'break down', to clutch her breast with a fierce answering force to keep the black horror from spurting forth. Her face was calm and benign, always in company, and usually alone too, for she was aware that to play such a part properly allowed of no rest periods, no weak moments of unmasking. She must continue, in her deceit, whole, like the spy who, in order to go on, has to become what he seems. She was, daily, amazed at herself, at her self-control; and at the terrible demons which fed upon her, and in doing so, she realised, fed her. She had begun to need her rage and her hate, even of late her fierce cruel fantasies. She could not, and did not try to, riddle out, rationally order, explain, least of all banish, these horrible consolations, As it seemed, if she were not to die of her love she had to poison it; and even, over its death agonies, to exult. As the days went by, Franca cherished and nourished and developed her suffering, unable to envisage any change or any plan — any machine into which so much relentless force might be fed. Indeed she was afraid to plan or picture a different future of any kind. So long as she stayed silent she had a secret weapon. If she spoke, if once there were the least word, the least crack or fissure, upon which tears and screams could follow, she would have lost her one advantage, her source of ordinary viable life, and would be utterly undone and destroyed. ~ Iris Murdoch,
884:When confronted with a problem involving the use of the reasoning faculties, individuals of strong intellect keep their poise, and seek to reach a solution by obtaining facts bearing upon the question. Those of immature mentality, on the other hand, when similarly confronted, are overwhelmed. While the former may be qualified to solve the riddle of their own destiny, the latter must be led like a flock of sheep and taught in simple language. They depend almost entirely upon the ministrations of the shepherd. The Apostle Paul said that these little ones must be fed with milk, but that meat is the food of strong men. Thoughtlessness is almost synonymous with childishness, while thoughtfulness is symbolic of maturity. There are, however, but few mature minds in the world; and thus it was that the philosophic-religious doctrines of the pagans were divided to meet the needs of these two fundamental groups of human intellect--one philosophic, the other incapable of appreciating the deeper mysteries of life. To the discerning few were revealed the esoteric, or spiritual, teachings, while the unqualified many received only the literal, or exoteric, interpretations. In order to make simple the great truths of Nature and the abstract principles of natural law, the vital forces of the universe were personified, becoming the gods and goddesses of the ancient mythologies. While the ignorant multitudes brought their offerings to the altars of Priapus and Pan (deities representing the procreative energies), the wise recognized in these marble statues only symbolic concretions of great abstract truths. In all cities of the ancient ~ Manly P Hall,
885:I once expected to spend seven years walking around the world on foot. I walked from Mexico to Panama where the road ended before an almost uninhabited swamp called the Choco Colombiano. Even today there is no road. Perhaps it is time for me to resume my wanderings where I left off as a tropical tramp in the slums of Panama. Perhaps like Ambrose Bierce who disappeared in the desert of Sonora I may also disappear. But after being in all mankind it is hard to come to terms with oblivion - not to see hundreds of millions of Chinese with college diplomas come aboard the locomotive of history - not to know if someone has solved the riddle of the universe that baffled Einstein in his futile efforts to make space, time, gravitation and electromagnetism fall into place in a unified field theory - never to experience democracy replacing plutocracy in the military-industrial complex that rules America - never to witness the day foreseen by Tennyson 'when the war-drums no longer and the battle-flags are furled, in the parliament of man, the federation of the world.'

I may disappear leaving behind me no worldly possessions - just a few old socks and love letters, and my windows overlooking Notre-Dame for all of you to enjoy, and my little rag and bone shop of the heart whose motto is 'Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.' I may disappear leaving no forwarding address, but for all you know I may still be walking among you on my vagabond journey around the world."

[Shakespeare & Company, archived statement] ~ George Whitman,
886:Beautiful,” said Amar.
“I found it gruesome,” I said, shivering.
Amar rose and walked to where I stood.
“I was not talking about the story.”
“Oh.”
“Why do you like such a gruesome tale?”
In Bharata, we were taught that it was a tale of the god’s might. But I saw another story within it: the play of interpretation that turned something terrifying and iron-clad into something that could be conquered. I was reminded of the star room where Amar had taken me only days ago. The story was like a different way of seeing.
“It gave me hope…that maybe there was some way around the horoscope. It was a lesson in language too, almost like a riddle…”
Amar stared at me and then he laughed.
“Only my queen would find hope in horror.” He took my hand in his and his gaze was burning. “You are my hope and more.”
“What does that make you? My horror?”
“And more,” he said.
All I saw were his eyes. Velvet dark. The kind of umbra that shadows envy. Amar stared at me and his gaze was desperate with hope. Reckless. I should’ve stopped. I should’ve stepped away. But I didn’t. I leaned forward, and a soft growl--like surrender--escaped his throat. He dug his fingers into my back and pulled me into a kiss.
Amar’s kiss was furious. No heat. Just lightning. Or maybe that was what his touch teased out of me--vivid streaks of light, dusk and all her violent glory. I was lost. I leaned into his kiss and the world around us peeled into nothing. I felt like I could stand over chasms empty of time, and this moment, like a chain of soft-blooming stars, would still be ours.
We kissed until we couldn’t breathe. And then we kissed until we needed the touch of one another like breath itself. ~ Roshani Chokshi,
887:Twould take me half a lifetime to describe to you the wonders and the horrors of the future world. The garderobe, what they call the ODEC, is housed within a large chamber—a strange room with mechanical monstrosities and a dreadful buzz in the air as if lightning were always just about to strike, a sound they are all indifferent to, much as I became indifferent to the odors of Southwark. And this chamber in turn is inside a vast building, which is on a street full of vast buildings, in a city of streets with vast buildings. Larger than cathedrals some of them, but without ornament or even shape. Like building blocks for giants, so they are. No imagination or love of beauty at all. Everything functions without human or magical assistance, but I confess most breathlessly that whatever power keeps humanity and its many mechanical servants humming . . . it is far more dazzling than any magic I have ever seen performed. And I tell you straight out: suspicious this makes me, for what is the cause to bring magic back when it has been replaced by something clearly more serviceable? So the first riddle I put my mind to was this: in a world where carriages travel without beasts to pull them, and food is effortlessly abundant, and there is ample light to sunder any darkness, from all manner of peculiar torches, none of them given to burning down a place even if it is all wood, and where all and sundry wear grander clothes than most anyone in London and an astonishing variety what’s more . . . something there must be, some commodity or advantage, that magic can attain but mankind cannot yet. Nothing material can it be, for no magic I ever knew summoned such luxuries for royalty as everyday folk here take as commonplace. ~ Neal Stephenson,
888:"She"
  
   How shall I welcome not this light
   Or, wakened by it, greet with doubt
   This beam as palpable to sight
   As visible to touch? How not,
   Old as I am and (some say) wise,
   Revive beneath her summer eyes?
  
   How not have all my nights and days,
   My spirit ranging far and wide,
   By recollections of her grace
   Enlightened and preoccupied?
   Preoccupied: the Morning Star
   How near the Sun and yet how far!
  
   Enlightened: true, but more than true,
   Or why must I discover there
   The meaning in this taintless dew,
   The dancing wave, this blessed air
   Enchanting in its morning dress
   And calm as everlastingness?
  
   The flame that in the heart resides
   Is parcel of that central Fire
   Whose energy is winds and tides-
   Is rooted deep in the Desire
   That smilingly unseals its power
   Each summer in each springing flower.
  
   Oh Lady Nature-Proserpine,
   Mistress of Gender, star-crowned Queen!
   Ah Rose of Sharon-Mistress mine,
   My teacher ere I turned fourteen,
   When first I hallowed from afar
   Your Beautyship in avatar!
  
   I sense the hidden thing you say,
   Your subtle whisper how the Word
   From Alpha on to Omega
   Made all things-you confide my Lord
   Himself-all, all this potent Frame,
   All save the riddle of your name.
  
   Wisdom! I heard a voice that said:
   "What riddle? What is that to you?
   How! By my follower betrayed!
   Look up-for shame! Now tell me true:
   Where meet you light, with love and grace?
   Still unacquainted with my face?"
  
   Dear God, the erring heart must live-
   Through strength and weakness, calm and glow-
   That answer Wisdom scorns to give.
   Much have I learned. One problem, though,
   I never shall unlock: Who then,
   Who made Sophia feminine?
   ~ Owen Barfield, 1978,
889:A Poet's Hope
'Twas a weary-looking mortal, and he wandered near the portal
Of the melancholy City of the Discontented Dead.
He was pale and worn exceeding and his manner was unheeding,
As if it could not matter what he did nor what he said.
'Sacred stranger'-I addressed him with a reverence befitting
The austere, unintermitting, dread solemnity he wore;
'Tis the custom, too, prevailing in that vicinage when hailing
One who possibly may be a person lately 'gone before'
'Sacred stranger, much I ponder on your evident dejection,
But my carefulest reflection leaves the riddle still unread.
How do you yourself explain your dismal tendency to wander
By the melancholy City of the Discontented Dead?'
Then that solemn person, pausing in the march that he was making,
Roused himself as if awaking, fixed his dull and stony eye
On my countenance and, slowly, like a priest devout and holy,
Chanted in a mournful monotone the following reply:
'O my brother, do not fear it; I'm no disembodied spirit
I am Lampton, the Slang Poet, with a price upon my head.
I am watching by this portal for some late lamented mortal
To arise in his disquietude and leave his earthy bed.
'Then I hope to take possession and pull in the earth above me
And, renouncing my profession, ne'er be heard of any more.
For there's not a soul to love me and no living thing respects me,
Which so painfully affects me that I fain would 'go before.''
Then I felt a deep compassion for the gentleman's dejection,
For privation of affection would refrigerate a frog.
So I said: 'If nothing human, and if neither man nor woman
Can appreciate the fashion of your merit-buy a dog.'
~ Ambrose Bierce,
890:The Forgers
IN the smithy it began:
Let's make something for a man!
Hear the bellows belch and roar,
Splashing light on roof and floor:
From their nest the feathery sparks
Fly like little golden larks:
Hear each forger's taunting yell,
Tell–tell–tell–tell–
Tell us what we make, my master!
Hear the tenor hammers sound,
Ring-a-round, ring-a-round;
Hear the treble hammers sing,
Ding-a-ring, ding-a-ring;
Hear the forger's taunting yell,
Tell–tell–tell–tell!
Though the guess be right or wrong
You must wear it all life long!
How it glows as it grows,
Ding-a-ring-a-derry-down,
Into something–is't a crown?
Hear them half in death with laughter,
Shaking soot from roof and rafter;
Tell–tell–tell–tell–
Ding-a-ring, ding-a-ring,
See them round the royal thing,
See it fade to ruby rose,
As it glows and grows,
Guess, they shout, for worse or better:
Not a crown!
Is't a fetter?
Hear them shout demonic mirth:
Here's a guesser something worth;
Make it solid, round, and fine,
Fashioned on a cunning plan,
For the riddle-reader Man;
Ho–ho–ho–ho!
Hear the bellows heave and blow:
Heat dries up their tears of mirth;
Let the marvel come to birth,
103
Though his guess be right or wrong
He must wear it–all life long!
Sullen flakes of golden fire
Fawn about the dimming choir,
They're a dusky pack of thieves
Shaking rubies from their sleeves,
Hear them wield their vaunting yell,
Tell–tell–tell–tell!
Forging faster–taunting faster–
Guess, my master–Guess, my master!
Grows the enigmatic thing!
Ruddy joyance–Deep disaster?
Ding-a-ring, ding-a-ring,
Ding-a-ring-a-derry-down!
Is't a fetter–Is't a crown?
~ Duncan Campbell Scott,
891:The Canonization"

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love,
Or chide my palsy, or my gout,
My five gray hairs, or ruined fortune flout,
With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve,
Take you a course, get you a place,
Observe his honor, or his grace,
Or the king's real, or his stampèd face
Contemplate; what you will, approve,
So you will let me love.

Alas, alas, who's injured by my love?
What merchant's ships have my sighs drowned?
Who says my tears have overflowed his ground?
When did my colds a forward spring remove?
When did the heats which my veins fill
Add one more to the plaguy bill?
Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
Litigious men, which quarrels move,
Though she and I do love.

Call us what you will, we are made such by love;
Call her one, me another fly,
We're tapers too, and at our own cost die,
And we in us find the eagle and the dove.
The phœnix riddle hath more wit
By us; we two being one, are it.
So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit.
We die and rise the same, and prove
Mysterious by this love.

We can die by it, if not live by love,
And if unfit for tombs and hearse
Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;
And if no piece of chronicle we prove,
We'll build in sonnets pretty rooms;
As well a well-wrought urn becomes
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
And by these hymns, all shall approve
Us canonized for Love.

And thus invoke us: "You, whom reverend love
Made one another's hermitage;
You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage;
Who did the whole world's soul contract, and drove
Into the glasses of your eyes
(So made such mirrors, and such spies,
That they did all to you epitomize)
Countries, towns, courts: beg from above
A pattern of your love! ~ John Donne,
892:Wait a second,” said Ash. “How is there a ‘moon in springtime before the start of the new year’? I think it’s a riddle. It makes no sense.”

“Yes, it does,” said Jared. “The new year was in March in England until the 1700s, when the pope introduced a new calendar.”

Everyone stared at him. Jared flushed slightly, scar thrown into relief, and muttered, “I read a lot of old books.”

“Well done,” said Jon. “See where learning gets you, lads? So much better than messing around with girls or playing those video games which one hears are full of violence.”

Kami, as a witness to many of her father’s video game marathons, gave him a long judgmental stare. “You total hypocrite.”

“Hypocrisy is what being a parent is all about,” Jon said. “Well done for cracking the books, Jared and Holly. You see how it pays off.”

Holly smiled and the light of her smile seemed to spill all over the room, reflections of light refracted all over everywhere.

“It’s true reading is a wonderful thing,” Rusty observed. “I read a Cosmo a year ago, and I still remember how to keep my nails in perfect condition and also ten top tips on how to dress to accentuate my ass.”

Now everybody was staring at Rusty. Unlike Jared, he did not blush.

“Those tips are working,” he said. “Don’t pretend you haven’t all noticed. I know the truth.”

Kami rolled up a magazine on the table—sadly, for the sake of dramatic irony, not a Cosmo—and hit Rusty over the head with it. “Does anybody have anything else to say—I can’t stress this enough—specifically about Elinor Lynburn and medieval New Year?”

“Want to know what it was called? You’ll like this,” Jared added, and he looked at Kami. It was a simple glance from his gray eyes, but it felt like being put in a room that was just the two of them. “Lady Day.”

Kami beamed at him. “You know what I like, sugarprune ~ Sarah Rees Brennan,
893:Dust
Here is a problem, a wonder for all to see.
Look at this marvelous thing I hold in my hand!
This is a magic surprising, a mystery
Strange as a miracle, harder to understand.
What is it? Only a handful of earth: to your touch
A dry rough powder you trample beneath your feet,
Dark and lifeless; but think for a moment, how much
It hides and holds that is beautiful, bitter, or sweet.
Think of the glory of color! The red of the rose,
Green of the myriad leaves and the fields of grass,
Yellow as bright as the sun where the daffodil blows,
Purple where violets nod as the breezes pass.
Think of the manifold form, of the oak and the vine,
Nut, and fruit, and cluster, and ears of corn;
Of the anchored water-lily, a thing divine,
Unfolding its dazzling snow to the kiss of morn.
Think of the delicate perfumes borne on the gale,
Of the golden willow catkin's odor of spring,
Of the breath of the rich narcissus waxen-pale,
Of the sweet pea's flight of flowers, of the nettle's sting.
Strange that this lifeless thing gives vine, flower, tree,
Color and shape and character, fragrance too;
That the timber that builds the house, the ship for the sea,
Out of this powder its strength and its toughness drew!
That the cocoa among the palms should suck its milk
From this dry dust, while dates from the self-same soil
Summon their sweet rich fruit: that our shining silk
The mulberry leaves should yield to the worm's slow toil.
How should the poppy steal sleep from the very source
That grants to the grapevine juice that can madden or cheer?
How does the weed find food for its fabric coarse
Where the lilies proud their blossoms pure uprear?
Who shall compass or fathom God's thought profound?
We can but praise, for we may not understand;
But there's no more beautiful riddle the whole world round
Than is hid in this heap of dust I hold in my hand.
~ Celia Thaxter,
894:Menses
(He speaks, but to himself, being aware how it is with her)
Think not I have not heard.
Well-fanged the double word
And well-directed flew.
I felt it. Down my side
Innocent as oil I see the ugly venom slide:
Poison enough to stiffen us both, and all our friends;
But I am not pierced, so there the mischief ends.
There is more to be said: I see it coiling;
The impact will be pain.
Yet coil; yet strike again.
You cannot riddle the stout mail I wove
Long since, of wit and love.
As for my answer . . . stupid in the sun
He lies, his fangs drawn:
I will not war with you.
You know how wild you are. You are willing to be turned
To other matters; you would be grateful, even.
You watch me shyly. I (for I have learned
More things than one in our few years together)
Chafe at the churlish wind, the unseasonable weather.
"Unseasonable?" you cry, with harsher scorn
Than the theme warrants; "Every year it is the same!
'Unseasonable!' they whine, these stupid peasants!—and never
since they were born
Have they known a spring less wintry! Lord, the shame,
The crying shame of seeing a man no wiser than the beasts he
feeds—
His skull as empty as a shell!"
("Go to. You are unwell.")
Such is my thought, but such are not my words.
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"What is the name," I ask, "of those big birds
With yellow breast and low and heavy flight,
That make such mournful whistling?"
"Meadowlarks,"
You answer primly, not a little cheered.
"Some people shoot them." Suddenly your eyes are wet
And your chin trembles. On my breast you lean,
And sob most pitifullly for all the lovely things that are not and
have been.
"How silly I am!—and I know how silly I am!"
You say; "You are very patient. You are very kind.
I shall be better soon. Just Heaven consign and damn
To tedious Hell this body with its muddy feet in my mind!"
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay,
895:There is something quite amazing and monstrous about the education of upper-class women. What could be more paradoxical? All the world is agreed that they are to be brought up as ignorant as possible of erotic matters, and that one has to imbue their souls with a profound sense of shame in such matters until the merest suggestion of such things triggers the most extreme impatience and flight. The "honor" of women really comes into play only here: what else would one not forgive them? But here they are supposed to remain ignorant even in their hearts: they are supposed to have neither eyes nor ears, nor words, nor thoughts for this -- their "evil;" and mere knowledge is considered evil. And then to be hurled as by a gruesome lightning bolt, into reality and knowledge, by marriage -- precisely by the man they love and esteem most! To catch love and shame in a contradiction and to be forced to experience at the same time delight, surrender, duty, pity, terror, and who knows what else, in the face of the unexpected neighborliness of god and beast!
Thus a psychic knot has been tied that may have no equal. Even the compassionate curiosity of the wisest student of humanity is inadequate for guessing how this or that woman manages to accommodate herself to this solution of the riddle, and to the riddle of a solution, and what dreadful, far-reaching suspicions must stir in her poor, unhinged soul -- and how the ultimate philosophy and skepsis of woman casts anchor at this point!
Afterward, the same deep silence as before. Often a silence directed at herself, too. She closes her eyes to herself.
Young women try hard to appear superficial and thoughtless. The most refined simulate a kind of impertinence.
Women easily experience their husbands as a question mark concerning their honor, and their children as an apology or atonement. They need children and wish for them in a way that is altogether different from that in which a man may wish for children.
In sum, one cannot be too kind about women. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
896:Something that’s bothered me for a while now is the current profligacy in YA culture of Team Boy 1 vs Team Boy 2 fangirling. [...] Despite the fact that I have no objection to shipping, this particular species of team-choosing troubled me, though I had difficulty understanding why. Then I saw it applied to Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy – Team Peeta vs Team Gale – and all of a sudden it hit me that anyone who thought romance and love-triangles were the main event in that series had utterly missed the point. Sure, those elements are present in the story, but they aren’t anywhere near being the bones of it, because The Hunger Games, more than anything else, is about war, survival, politics, propaganda and power. Seeing such a strong, raw narrative reduced to a single vapid argument – which boy is cuter? – made me physically angry.

So, look. People read different books for different reasons. The thing I love about a story are not necessarily the things you love, and vice versa. But riddle me this: are the readers of these series really so excited, so thrilled by the prospect of choosing! between! two! different! boys! that they have to boil entire narratives down to a binary equation based on male physical perfection and, if we’re very lucky, chivalrous behaviour? While feminism most certainly champions the right of women to chose their own partners, it also supports them to choose things besides men, or to postpone the question of partnership in favour of other pursuits – knowledge, for instance. Adventure. Careers. Wild dancing. Fun. Friendship. Travel. Glorious mayhem. And while, as a woman now happily entering her fourth year of marriage, I’d be the last person on Earth to suggest that male companionship is inimical to any of those things, what’s starting to bother me is the comparative dearth of YA stories which aren’t, in some way, shape or form, focussed on Girls Getting Boyfriends, and particularly Hot Immortal Or Magical Boyfriends Whom They Will Love For All Eternity.

Blog post: Love Team Freezer ~ Foz Meadows,
897:have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth." Ecclesiastes 10:7 Upstarts frequently usurp the highest places, while the truly great pine in obscurity. This is a riddle in providence whose solution will one day gladden the hearts of the upright; but it is so common a fact, that none of us should murmur if it should fall to our own lot. When our Lord was upon earth, although he is the Prince of the kings of the earth, yet he walked the footpath of weariness and service as the Servant of servants: what wonder is it if his followers, who are princes of the blood, should also be looked down upon as inferior and contemptible persons? The world is upside down, and therefore, the first are last and the last first. See how the servile sons of Satan lord it in the earth! What a high horse they ride! How they lift up their horn on high! Haman is in the court, while Mordecai sits in the gate; David wanders on the mountains, while Saul reigns in state; Elijah is complaining in the cave while Jezebel is boasting in the palace; yet who would wish to take the places of the proud rebels? and who, on the other hand, might not envy the despised saints? When the wheel turns, those who are lowest rise, and the highest sink. Patience, then, believer, eternity will right the wrongs of time. Let us not fall into the error of letting our passions and carnal appetites ride in triumph, while our nobler powers walk in the dust. Grace must reign as a prince, and make the members of the body instruments of righteousness. The Holy Spirit loves order, and he therefore sets our powers and faculties in due rank and place, giving the highest room to those spiritual faculties which link us with the great King; let us not disturb the divine arrangement, but ask for grace that we may keep under our body and bring it into subjection. We were not new created to allow our passions to rule over us, but that we, as kings, may reign in Christ Jesus over the triple kingdom of spirit, soul, and body, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
898:Paradox is any self-contradictory proposition that, when investigated, may prove to be well-founded or true. Once understood, it opens the gateway to higher wisdom. But how can contradictory principles both be true? As the Buddhist Riddle of Five Truths puts it: “It is right. It is wrong. It is both right and wrong. It is neither right nor wrong. All exist simultaneously.” Charles Dickens expressed the paradox of his era, equally true today, when he wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,” going on to describe that time as one of belief and incredulity, light and darkness, hope and despair. Two opposing statements can each be true depending on the observer: it’s true that spiders are merciless killers from the viewpoint of tiny insects caught in their webs—but for most humans, nearly all spiders are harmless creatures. A story of the Sufi sage Mullah Nasruddin expresses the nature of paradox when he’s asked to arbitrate between two men with opposing views. Hearing the first man, he remarks, “You’re right.” When he hears the second man, he also says, “You’re right.” When a bystander points out, “They can’t both be right,” the mullah scratches his head and says, “You’re right.” Let’s go deeper and consider four central sets of paradoxical truths: * Time is real. It moves from past to present to future. * There is no time, no past, no future—only the eternal present. * You possess free will and can thus take responsibility for your choices. * Free will is an illusion—your choices are influenced, even predetermined, by all that preceded them. * You are, or possess, a separate inner self existing within a body. * No separation exists—you are a part of the same Consciousness shining through billions of eyes. * Death is an inevitable reality you’ll meet at the end of life. * The death of the inner self is an illusion. Life is eternal. Must you choose one assertion and reject the other? Or is there a way to meaningfully resolve and even reconcile such apparent contradictions? ~ Dan Millman,
899:Peccavi, Domine
O Power to whom this earthly clime
Is but an atom in the whole,
O Poet-heart of Space and Time,
O Maker and Immortal Soul,
Within whose glowing rings are bound,
Out of whose sleepless heart had birth
The cloudy blue, the starry round,
And this small miracle of earth:
Who liv'st in every living thing,
And all things are thy script and chart,
Who rid'st upon the eagle's wing,
And yearnest in the human heart;
O Riddle with a single clue,
Love, deathless, protean, secure,
The ever old, the ever new,
O Energy, serene and pure.
Thou, who art also part of me,
Whose glory I have sometime seen,
O Vision of the Ought-to-be,
O Memory of the Might-have-been,
I have had glimpses of thy way,
And moved with winds and walked with stars,
But, weary, I have fallen astray,
And, wounded, who shall count my scars?
O Master, all my strength is gone;
Unto the very earth I bow;
I have no light to lead me on;
With aching heart and burning brow,
I lie as one that travaileth
In sorrow more than he can bear;
I sit in darkness as of death,
And scatter dust upon my hair.
The God within my soul hath slept,
And I have shamed the nobler rule;
O Master, I have whined and crept;
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O Spirit, I have played the fool.
Like him of old upon whose head
His follies hung in dark arrears,
I groan and travail in my bed,
And water it with bitter tears.
I stand upon thy mountain-heads,
And gaze until mine eyes are dim;
The golden morning glows and spreads;
The hoary vapours break and swim.
I see thy blossoming fields, divine,
Thy shining clouds, thy blessed trees-And then that broken soul of mine-How much less beautiful than these!
O Spirit, passionless, but kind,
Is there in all the world, I cry,
Another one so base and blind,
Another one so weak as I?
O Power, unchangeable, but just,
Impute this one good thing to me,
I sink my spirit to the dust
In utter dumb humility.
~ Archibald Lampman,
900:How To Make A Human

Take the cat out of the sphinx
and what is left? Riddle Me That.

Take the horse from the centaur
and you take away the sleek grace,
the strength of harnessed power.
What is left can still run across fields,
after a fashion, but is easily winded;
what is left will therefore erect buildings
to divide the open plains so he no longer
must face the wide expanse where once
his equine legs raced the winds
and, sometimes, won.

Take the bull from the Minotaur
but what is left will still assemble
a herd for the sake of ruling over it.
What is left will kill for sport,
in an arena thronged with spectators
shouting "Ole" at each deadly thrust.

Take the fish from the Merman:
What is left can still swim,
if only with lots of splashing; gone
is the sleek sliding through the waves,
alert to the subtle changes in the current.
What is left will build ships
so he can cross the oceans without
getting his feet wet, what is left won't care
if his boats pollute the seas he can no
longer breathe so long as their passage
can keep him from sinking.

Take the goat from the satyr
but what is left will dance out of reach
before you have the chance
to get that Dionysian streak of myschief,
the love of music and wine, the rutting parts
that like to party all the day through.
What is left will still be stubborn and refuse
to give way; what is left will lock horns
and butt heads with anyone who challenges him.

Take the bird from the harpy,
but the memory of flying, a constant yearning ache for skies so tantalizingly distant,
will still remain, as will the established pecking orders, the bitter squabbling over food and territory, and the magpie eye that lusts for shining objects.
What is left will cut down the whole forest
to feather his sprawling urban nest.

At the end of these operations,
tell me: what is left? The answer: Man, a creature divorced from nature,
who's forgotten where he came from. ~ Lawrence Schimel,
901:If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at,
You can let them look at you.
But do not mistake eyes for hands,
Or windows for mirrors.
Let them see what a woman looks like.
They may not have ever seen one before.
If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch,
You can let them touch you.
Sometimes it is not you they are reaching for.
Sometimes it is a bottle, a door, a sandwich, a Pulitzer, another woman –
But their hands found you first.
Do not mistake yourself for a guardian, or a muse, or a promise, or a victim or a snack.
You are a woman –
Skin and bones, veins and nerves, hair and sweat
You are not made of metaphors,
Not apologies, not excuses.
If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold,
You can let them hold you.
All day they practice keeping their bodies upright.
Even after all this evolving it still feels unnatural,
Still strains the muscles, holds firm the arms and spine.
Only some men will want to learn what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around you,
Admit they don’t have the answers they thought they would by now.
Some men will want to hold you like the answer.
You are not the answer.
You are not the problem.
You are not the poem, or the punchline, or the riddle, or the joke.
Woman, if you grow up the type of woman men want to love,
You can let them love you.
Being loved is not the same thing as loving.
When you fall in love,
It is discovering the ocean after years of puddle jumping.
It is realising you have hands.
It is reaching for the tightrope after the crowds have all gone home.
Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman men will hurt.
If he leaves you with a car alarm heart.
You learn to sing along.
It is hard to stop loving the ocean,
Even after it’s left you gasping, salty.
So forgive yourself for the decisions you’ve made,
The ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night,
And know this.
Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours.
Let the statues crumble.
You have always been the place.
You are a woman who can build it yourself.
You are born to build. ~ Sarah Kay,
902:The Mystery
My mind is like a troubled sea
O'er which the winds forever sweep;
Within its depths, eternally,
My being's pulses throb and leap;
There germs of contemplation sleep,
Like stars beyond the Milky Way,Like pearls within the gloomy deep,
That never saw the light of day.
Oh, wondrous mind, how little known!
Whence comes the thought that through my brain
Floats weirdlike as the pleasing tone
That quickens a beloved strain?
It may have graced some sweet refrain
A thousand years ago, or more;
Some Norman Prince, some valiant Dane,
May have imbibed it with their lore.
It may have strengthened Plato's soul,
Its clarion echoes ringing through
His brain, the heaven-reaching goal
Whence wisdom had its starry view;
It may have cheered the gifted few
Whose minds were mints of royal song,
Who toiled where Shakespeare soared, and drew
Down blessings from the grateful throng.
And on for ages yet to come,
Through minds by heavenly impulse fired,
That thought may strike some scorner dumb,
In all its regal guise attired;
Divinely blest, though uninspired,
Some soul may change its swift career,
Bearing the great truth, long-desired,
In triumph to the highest sphere.
Unbounded universe of Thought!
Illimitable realms of mind!
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Regions of Fancy, wonder-fraught!
Imagination unconfined!
Temples of mystery! behind
Whose veils the God-appointed plan
In perfect wisdom is enshrined,
Beyond the pigmy reach of man:
I cannot-dare not-seek to know
What finite vision, to the end,
Through years of strictest search below,
Must ever fail to comprehend!
God! whose intents so far transcend
Our poor discernment, let me see
Some portion of the truths that tend
By slow gradations up to Thee:
That in the less imperfect years,
When human frailty shall have died,
When the vexed riddle of the spheres,
Interpreted and glorified,
Shall be as nothing to the tide
Of light in which Thy hidden ways
Will be revealed: I may abide
Thy meanest instrument of praise,
And from the broad calm ocean of Thy truth
And wisdom drinking, find eternal youth.
~ Charles Sangster,
903:Which brings me back to Ecclesiastes, his search for happiness, and mine. I spoke in chapter 4 about my first meeting, as a student, with Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. As I was waiting to go in, one of his disciples told me the following story. A man had recently written to the Rebbe on something of these lines: ‘I need the Rebbe’s help. I am deeply depressed. I pray and find no comfort. I perform the commands but feel nothing. I find it hard to carry on.’ The Rebbe, so I was told, sent a compelling reply without writing a single word. He simply ringed the first word in every sentence of the letter: the word ‘I’. It was, he was hinting, the man’s self-preoccupation that was at the root of his depression. It was as if the Rebbe were saying, as Viktor Frankl used to say in the name of Kierkegaard, ‘The door to happiness opens outward.’23 It was this insight that helped me solve the riddle of Ecclesiastes. The word ‘I’ does not appear very often in the Hebrew Bible, but it dominates Ecclesiastes’ opening chapters. I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. (Ecclesiastes 2:4–8) Nowhere else in the Bible is the first-person singular used so relentlessly and repetitively. In the original Hebrew the effect is doubled because of the chiming of the verbal suffix and the pronoun: Baniti li, asiti li, kaniti li, ‘I built for myself, I made for myself, I bought for myself.’ The source of Ecclesiastes’ unhappiness is obvious and was spelled out many centuries later by the great sage Hillel: ‘If I am not for myself, who will be? But if I am only for myself, what am I?’24 Happiness in the Bible is not something we find in self-gratification. Hence the significance of the word simchah. I translated it earlier as ‘joy’, but really it has no precise translation into English, since all our emotion words refer to states of mind we can experience alone. Simchah is something we cannot experience alone. Simchah is joy shared. ~ Jonathan Sacks,
904:The Type

Everyone needs a place. It shouldn't be inside of someone else. -Richard Siken

If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at,
you can let them look at you. But do not mistake eyes for hands.

Or windows.
Or mirrors.

Let them see what a woman looks like.
They may not have ever seen one before.

If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch,
you can let them touch you.

Sometimes it is not you they are reaching for.
Sometimes it is a bottle. A door. A sandwich. A Pulitzer. Another woman.

But their hands found you first. Do not mistake yourself for a guardian.
Or a muse. Or a promise. Or a victim. Or a snack.

You are a woman. Skin and bones. Veins and nerves. Hair and sweat.
You are not made of metaphors. Not apologies. Not excuses.

If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold,
you can let them hold you.

All day they practice keeping their bodies upright--
even after all this evolving, it still feels unnatural, still strains the muscles,

holds firm the arms and spine. Only some men will want to learn
what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around you,

admit they do not have the answers
they thought they would have by now;

some men will want to hold you like The Answer.
You are not The Answer.

You are not the problem. You are not the poem
or the punchline or the riddle or the joke.

Woman. If you grow up the type men want to love,
You can let them love you.

Being loved is not the same thing as loving.
When you fall in love, it is discovering the ocean

after years of puddle jumping. It is realizing you have hands.
It is reaching for the tightrope when the crowds have all gone home.

Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman
men will hurt. If he leaves you with a car alarm heart, you learn to sing along.

It is hard to stop loving the ocean. Even after it has left you gasping, salty.
Forgive yourself for the decisions you have made, the ones you still call

mistakes when you tuck them in at night. And know this:
Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours.

Let the statues crumble.
You have always been the place.

You are a woman who can build it yourself.
You were born to build. ~ Sarah Kay,
905:On An Infant Dying As Soon As Born
I SAW where in the shroud did lurk
A curious frame of Nature's work;
A floweret crush'd in the bud,
A nameless piece of Babyhood,
Was in her cradle-coffin lying;
Extinct, with scarce the sense of dying:
So soon to exchange the imprisoning womb
For darker closets of the tomb!
She did but ope an eye, and put
A clear beam forth, then straight up shut
For the long dark: ne'er more to see
Through glasses of mortality.
Riddle of destiny, who can show
What thy short visit meant, or know
What thy errand here below?
Shall we say that Nature blind
Check'd her hand, and changed her mind,
Just when she had exactly wrought
A finish'd pattern without fault?
Could she flag, or could she tire,
Or lack'd she the Promethean fire
(With her nine moons' long workings sicken'd)
That should thy little limbs have quicken'd?
Limbs so firm, they seem'd to assure
Life of health, and days mature:
Woman's self in miniature!
Limbs so fair, they might supply
(Themselves now but cold imagery)
The sculptor to make Beauty by.
Or did the stern-eyed Fate descry
That babe or mother, one must die;
So in mercy left the stock
And cut the branch; to save the shock
Of young years widow'd, and the pain
When single state comes back again
To the lone man who, reft of wife,
Thenceforward drags a maimed life?
The economy of Heaven is dark,
And wisest clerks have miss'd the mark,
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Why human buds, like this, should fall,
More brief than fly ephemeral
That has his day; while shrivell'd crones
Stiffen with age to stocks and stones;
And crabbed use the conscience sears
In sinners of an hundred years.
Mother's prattle, mother's kiss,
Baby fond, thou ne'er wilt miss:
Rites, which custom does impose,
Silver bells, and baby clothes;
Coral redder than those lips
Which pale death did late eclipse;
Music framed for infants' glee,
Whistle never tuned for thee;
Though thou want'st not, thou shalt have them,
Loving hearts were they which gave them.
Let not one be missing; nurse,
See them laid upon the hearse
Of infant slain by doom perverse.
Why should kings and nobles have
Pictured trophies to their grave,
And we, churls, to thee deny
Thy pretty toys with thee to lie-A more harmless vanity?
~ Charles Lamb,
906:growing, like a storm on the horizon, gathering, the echo of thunder distant but present. For whatever reason, it doesn’t affect me. I am certain that there is something out there, waiting for us. We press on, into the darkness, barreling at maximum speed, the three nuclear warheads on our ship armed and ready. I feel like Ahab hunting the white whale. I am a man possessed. When I launched into space aboard the Pax, my life was empty. I didn’t know Emma. My brother was a stranger to me. I had no family, no friends. Only Oscar. Now I have something to lose. Something to live for. Something to fight for. My time in space has changed me. When I left Earth the first time, I was still the rebel scientist the world had cast out. I felt like an outsider, a renegade. Now I have become a leader. I’ve learned to read people, to try to understand them. That was my mistake before. I trudged ahead with my vision of the world, believing the world would follow me. But the truth is, true leadership requires understanding those you lead, making the best choices for them, and most of all, convincing them when they don’t realize what’s best for them. Leadership is about moments like this, when the people you’re charged with protecting have doubts, when the odds are against you. Every morning, the crew gathers on the bridge. Oscar and Emma strap in on each side of me and we sit around the table and everyone gives their departmental updates. The ship is operating at peak efficiency. So is the crew. Except for the elephant in the room. “As you know,” I begin, “we are still on course for Ceres. We have not ordered the other ships in the Spartan fleet to alter course. The fact that the survey drones have found nothing, changes nothing. Our enemy is advanced. Sufficiently advanced to alter our drones and hide itself. With that said, we should discuss the possibility that there is, in fact, nothing out there on Ceres. We need to prepare for that eventuality.” Heinrich surveys the rest of the crew before speaking. “It could be a trap.” He’s always to the point. I like that about him. “Yes,” I reply, “it could be. The entity, or harvester, or whatever is out there, could be manufacturing the solar cells elsewhere—deeper in the solar system, or from another asteroid in the belt. It could be sending the solar cells to Ceres and then toward the sun, making them look as though they were manufactured on Ceres. There could be a massive bomb or attack drones waiting for us at Ceres.” “We could split our fleet, ~ A G Riddle,
907:The hero is the man of self-achieved submission. But submission to what? That precisely is the riddle that today we have to ask ourselves and that it is everywhere the primary virtue and historic deed of the hero to have solved. Only birth can conquer death—the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new. Within the soul, within the body social, there must be a continuous “recurrence of birth” a rebirth, to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death. For it is by means of our own victories, if we are not regenerated, that the work of Nemesis is wrought: doom breaks from the shell of our very virtue. Peace then is a snare; war is a snare; change is a snare; permanence a snare. When our day is come for the victory of death, death closes in; there is nothing we can do, except be crucified—and resurrected; dismembered totally, and then reborn.

The first step, detachment or withdrawal, consists in a radical transfer of emphasis from the external to the internal world, macro- to microcosm, a retreat from the desperation's of the waste land to the peace of the everlasting realm that is within. But this realm, as we know from psychoanalysis, is precisely the infantile unconscious. It is the realm that we enter in sleep. We carry it within ourselves forever. All the ogres and secret helpers of our nursery are there, all the magic of childhood. And more important, all the life-potentialities that we never managed to bring to adult realization, those other portions of our self, are there; for such golden seeds do not die. If only a portion of that lost totality could be dredged up into the light of day, we should experience a marvelous expansion of our powers, a vivid renewal of life. We should tower in stature. Moreover, if we could dredge up something forgotten not only by ourselves but by our whole generation or our entire civilization, we should indeed become the boon-bringer, the culture hero of the day—a personage of not only local but world historical moment. In a word: the first work of the hero is to retreat from the world scene of secondary effects to those causal zones of the psyche where the difficulties really reside, and there to clarify the difficulties, eradicate them in his own case (i.e., give battle to the nursery demons of his local culture) and break through to the undistorted, direct experience and assimilation of what C. G. Jung has called “the archetypal images.” This is the process known to Hindu and Buddhist philosophy as viveka, “discrimination. ~ Joseph Campbell,
908:Song Of The Squatter
The Commissioner bet me a pony—I won;
So he cut off exactly two-thirds of my run;
For he said I was making a fortune too fast,
And profit gained slower the longer would last.
He remarked as devouring my mutton he sat,
That I suffered my sheep to grow sadly too fat;
That they wasted waste land, did prerogative brown,
And rebelliously nibbled the droits of the Crown;
That the creek that divided my station in two
Showed that Nature designed that two fees should be due.
Mr. Riddle assured me 'twas paid but for show;
But he kept it and spent it; that's all that I know.
The Commissioner fined me because I forgot
To return an old ewe that was ill of the rot,
And a poor wry-necked lamb that we kept for a pet;
And he said it was treason such things to forget.
The Commissioner pounded my cattle because
They had mumbled the scrub with their famishing jaws
On the part of the run he had taken away;
And he sold them by auction the costs to defray.
The Border Police they were out all the day
To look for some thieves who had ransacked my dray;
But the thieves they continued in quiet and peace,
For they'd robbed it themselves—had the Border Police!
When the white thieves had left me the black thieves appeared,
My shepherds they waddied, my cattle they speared;
But for fear of my licence I said not a word,
For I knew it was gone if the Government heard.
The Commissioner's bosom with anger was filled
Against me because my poor shepherd was killed;
So he straight took away the last third of my run,
And got it transferred to the name of his son.
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The son had from Cambridge been lately expelled,
And his licence for preaching most justly withheld!
But this is no cause, the Commissioner says,
Why he should not be fit for a licence to graze.
The cattle that had not been sold at the pound
He took with the run at five shillings all round;
And the sheep the blacks left me at sixpence a head
"A very good price," the Commissioner said.
The Governor told me I justly was served,
That Commissioners never from duty had swerved;
But that if I'd a fancy for any more land
For one pound an acre he'd plenty on hand.
I'm not very proud! I can dig in a bog,
Feed pigs or for firewood can split up a log,
Clean shoes, riddle cinders, or help to boil down
Or whatever you please, but graze lands of the Crown.
~ Banjo Paterson,
909:Unknown Girl In A Maternity Ward
Child, the current of your breath is six days long.
You lie, a small knuckle on my white bed;
lie, fisted like a snail, so small and strong
at my breast. Your lips are animals; you are fed
with love. At first hunger is not wrong.
The nurses nod their caps; you are shepherded
down starch halls with the other unnested throng
in wheeling baskets. You tip like a cup; your head
moving to my touch. You sense the way we belong.
But this is an institution bed.
You will not know me very long.
The doctors are enamel. They want to know
the facts. They guess about the man who left me,
some pendulum soul, going the way men go
and leave you full of child. But our case history
stays blank. All I did was let you grow.
Now we are here for all the ward to see.
They thought I was strange, although
I never spoke a word. I burst empty of you,
letting you see how the air is so.
The doctors chart the riddle they ask of me
and I turn my head away. I do not know.
Yours is the only face I recognize.
Bone at my bone, you drink my answers in.
Six times a day I prize
your need, the animals of your lips, your skin
growing warm and plump. I see your eyes
lifting their tents. They are blue stones, they begin
to outgrow their moss. You blink in surprise
and I wonder what you can see, my funny kin,
as you trouble my silence. I am a shelter of lies.
Should I learn to speak again, or hopeless in
such sanity will I touch some face I recognize?
Down the hall the baskets start back. My arms
fit you like a sleeve, they hold
catkins of your willows, the wild bee farms
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of your nerves, each muscle and fold
of your first days. Your old man's face disarms
the nurses. But the doctors return to scold
me. I speak. It is you my silence harms.
I should have known; I should have told
them something to write down. My voice alarms
my throat. 'Name of father-none.' I hold
you and name you bastard in my arms.
And now that's that. There is nothing more
that I can say or lose.
Others have traded life before
and could not speak. I tighten to refuse
your owling eyes, my fragile visitor.
I touch your cheeks, like flowers. You bruise
against me. We unlearn. I am a shore
rocking off you. You break from me. I choose
your only way, my small inheritor
and hand you off, trembling the selves we lose.
Go child, who is my sin and nothing more.
~ Anne Sexton,
910:You said the god spoke to you. What did He say?"

"That I was sent here, in answer to prayers, Illvin's among others, probably. The Bastard dared me, by my own son's god-neglected death, not to turn aside." She frowned fiercely in memory, and dy Cabon edged a little back from her. "I asked Him what the gods, having taken Teidez, could give me that I would trade spit for. He answered, Work. His blandishments were all decorated about with annoying endear merits that would have bought a human suitor a short trip to the nearest mud puddle by the hands of my servants. His kiss on my brow burned like a brand. His kiss on my mouth"—she hesitated, went on doggedly—"aroused me like a lover, which I most certainly am not."

Dy Cabon edged farther back, smiling in anxious placation, and made little agreeing-denying motions, his hands like flippers. "Indeed not, Royina. No one could mistake you for such."

She glowered at him, then went on. "Then He disappeared, leaving you holding the sack. So to speak. If this was prophecy, it bodes you ill, Learned."

He signed himself. "Right, right. Um. If the first kiss was a spiritual gift, so ought the second to be. Yes, I quite see that."

"Yes, but He didn't say what it was. Bastard. One of his little jokes, it seems."

Dy Cabon glanced up as if trying to decide if that were prayer or expletive, guessed correctly, and took a breath, marshaling his thoughts. "All right. But He did say. He said, Work. If it sounds like a joke, it was probably quite serious." He added more cautiously, "It seems you are made saint again, will or nil."

"Oh, I can still nil." She scowled. "That's what we all are, you know. Hybrids, of both matter and spirit. The gods' agents in the world of matter, to which they have no other entree. Doorways. He knocks on my door, demanding entry. He probes with his tongue like a lover, mimicking above what is desired below. Nothing so simple as a lover, he, yet he desires that I open myself and surrender as if to one. And let me tell you, I despise his choice of metaphors!"

Dy Cabon flippered frantically at her again. It made her want to bite him. "You are a very fortress of a woman, it is true!"

She stifled a growl, ashamed to have let her rage with his god spill over onto his humble head. "If you don't know the other half of the riddle, why were you put there?"

"Royina, I know not!" He hesitated. "Maybe we should all sleep on it." He cringed at her blistering look, and tried again. "I will endeavor to think."

"Do. ~ Lois McMaster Bujold,
911:These ideas can be made more concrete with a parable, which I borrow from John Fowles’s wonderful novel, The Magus.

Conchis, the principle character in the novel, finds himself Mayor of his home
town in Greece when the Nazi occupation begins. One day, three Communist
partisans who recently killed some German soldiers are caught. The Nazi commandant gives Conchis, as Mayor, a choice — either Conchis will execute the three partisans himself to set an example of loyalty to the new regime, or the Nazis will execute every male in the town.

Should Conchis act as a collaborator with the Nazis and take on himself the
direct guilt of killing three men? Or should he refuse and, by default, be responsible for the killing of over 300 men?

I often use this moral riddle to determine the degree to which people are hypnotized by Ideology. The totally hypnotized, of course, have an answer at once; they know beyond doubt what is correct, because they have memorized the Rule Book. It doesn’t matter whose Rule Book they rely on — Ayn Rand’s or Joan Baez’s or the Pope’s or Lenin’s or Elephant Doody Comix — the hypnosis is indicated by lack of pause for thought, feeling and evaluation. The response is immediate because it is because mechanical. Those who are not totally hypnotized—those who have some awareness of concrete events of sensory space-time, outside their heads— find the problem terrible and terrifying and admit they don’t know any 'correct' answer.

I don’t know the 'correct' answer either, and I doubt that there is one. The
universe may not contain 'right' and 'wrong' answers to everything just because Ideologists want to have 'right' and 'wrong' answers in all cases, anymore than it provides hot and cold running water before humans start tinkering with it. I feel sure that, for those awakened from hypnosis, every hour of every day presents choices that are just as puzzling (although fortunately not as monstrous) as this parable. That is why it appears a terrible burden to be aware of who you are, where you are, and what is going on around you, and why most people would prefer to retreat into Ideology, abstraction, myth and self-hypnosis.

To come out of our heads, then, also means to come to our senses, literally—to live with awareness of the bottle of beer on the table and the bleeding body in the street. Without polemic intent, I think this involves waking from hypnosis in a very literal sense. Only one individual can do it at a time, and nobody else can do it for you. You have to do it all alone. ~ Robert Anton Wilson,
912:The monstrous versions of himself and Hermione were gone: There was only Ron, standing there with the sword held slackly in his hand, looking down at the shattered remains of the locket on the flat rock.
Slowly, Harry walked back to him, hardly knowing what to say or do. Ron was breathing heavily: His eyes were no longer red at all, but their normal blue; they were also wet.
Harry stooped, pretending he had not seen, and picked up the broken Horcrux. Ron had pierced the glass in both windows: Riddle’s eyes were gone, and the stained silk lining of the locket was smoking slightly. The thing that had lived in the Horcrux had vanished; torturing Ron had been its final act.
The sword clanged as Ron dropped it. He had sunk to his knees, his head in his arms. He was shaking, but not, Harry realized, from cold. Harry crammed the broken locket into his pocket, knelt down beside Ron, and placed a hand cautiously on his shoulder. He took it as a good sign that Ron did not throw it off.
“After you left,” he said in a low voice, grateful for the fact that Ron’s face was hidden, “she cried for a week. Probably longer, only she didn’t want me to see. There were loads of nights when we never even spoke to each other. With you gone…”
He could not finish; it was only now that Ron was here again that Harry fully realized how much his absence had cost them.
“She’s like my sister,” he went on. “I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me. It’s always been like that. I thought you knew.”
Ron did not respond, but turned his face away from Harry and wiped his nose noisily on his sleeve. Harry got to his feet again and walked to where Ron’s enormous rucksack lay yards away, discarded as Ron had run toward the pool to save Harry from drowning. He hoisted it onto his own back and walked back to Ron, who clambered to his feet as Harry approached, eyes bloodshot but otherwise composed.
“I’m sorry,” he said in a thick voice. “I’m sorry I left. I know I was a--a--”
He looked around at the darkness, as if hoping a bad enough word would swoop down upon him and claim him.
“You’ve sort of made up for it tonight,” said Harry. “Getting the sword. Finishing off the Horcrux. Saving my life.”
“That makes me sound a lot cooler than I was,” Ron mumbled.
“Stuff like that always sounds cooler than it really was,” said Harry. “I’ve been trying to tell you that for years.”
Simultaneously they walked forward and hugged, Harry gripping the still-sopping back of Ron’s jacket.
“And now,” said Harry as they broke apart, “all we’ve got to do is find the tent again. ~ J K Rowling,
913:A Masque Of Venice
(A Dream.)
Not a stain,
In the sun-brimmed sapphire cup that is the skyNot a ripple on the black translucent lane
Of the palace-walled lagoon.
Not a cry
As the gondoliers with velvet oar glide by,
Through the golden afternoon.
From this height
Where the carved, age-yellowed balcony o'erjuts
Yonder liquid, marble pavement, see the light
Shimmer soft beneath the bridge,
That abuts
On a labyrinth of water-ways and shuts
Half their sky off with its ridge.
We shall mark
All the pageant from this ivory porch of ours,
Masques and jesters, mimes and minstrels, while we hark
To their music as they fare.
Scent their flowers
Flung from boat to boat in rainbow radiant showers
Through the laughter-ringing air.
See! they come,
Like a flock of serpent-throated black-plumed swans,
With the mandoline, viol, and the drum,
Gems afire on arms ungloved,
Fluttering fans,
Floating mantles like a great moth's streaky vans
Such as Veronese loved.
But behold
In their midst a white unruffled swan appear.
One strange barge that snowy tapestries enfold,
White its tasseled, silver prow.
Who is here?
Prince of Love in masquerade or Prince of Fear,
Clad in glittering silken snow?
Cheek and chin
Where the mask's edge stops are of the hoar-frosts hue,
And no eyebeams seem to sparkle from within
Where the hollow rings have place.
Yon gay crew
Seem to fly him, he seems ever to pursue.
'T is our sport to watch the race.
At his side
Stands the goldenest of beauties; from her glance,
From her forehead, shines the splendor of a bride,
And her feet seem shod with wings,
To entrance,
For she leaps into a wild and rhythmic dance,
Like Salome at the King's.
'T is his aim
Just to hold, to clasp her once against his breast,
Hers to flee him, to elude him in the game.
Ah, she fears him overmuch!
Is it jest,Is it earnest? a strange riddle lurks half-guessed
In her horror of his touch.
For each time
That his snow-white fingers reach her, fades some ray
From the glory of her beauty in its prime;
And the knowledge grows upon us that the dance
Is no play
'Twixt the pale, mysterious lover and the fayBut the whirl of fate and chance.
Where the tide
Of the broad lagoon sinks plumb into the sea,
There the mystic gondolier hath won his bride.
Hark, one helpless, stifled scream!
Must it be?
Mimes and minstrels, flowers and music, where are ye?
Was all Venice such a dream?
~ Emma Lazarus,
914:Grey
Is the morning dim and cloudy? Does the wind drift up the leaves?
Is there mist upon the mountains, where the sun shone yesterday?
Are the little song-birds silent? Is the sky all blurred and grey?
Does the rain fall, patter, patter, from the eaves?
Does your glass go down? And does your heart sink in the dreary lull?
Are the strings relax'd and limp, and do the soft notes whine and cry?
Has the damp got in and jarred the chords and spoil'd the melody?
Are you out of tune, belovèd? are you dull?
Has the chill wind found an entrance? Does it sigh and rustle there?
Is it drifting, not the dead leaves, but your dead hopes, all about?
Is it waking up your sorrow while your light is blotted out?
Does your heart seem sad and cold and full of care?
Are you listless and discouraged, dear? and does your life look grey?
Does there seem no use in trying? Does your work fall from your hand?
Would you give up the great riddle that's so hard to understand?
Oh, then, go you to your chamber straight, and pray.
Go and pray, and God will give you peace and comfort for your pain—
All the misty, dull confusion He will tenderly reform—
And the fire of His own Spirit, that shall make you dry and warm;
And your harp-strings shall be strung and tuned again.
Ay, the Lord will put the melody in your heart and soul anew;
So that, howsoe'er unskilled and rude the hands that touch the wires,
There shall come forth beautiful chords of faith and hope and high desires,
Only music that is deep and sweet and true.
Go and work,—the clouds will show the silver lining that's behind.
Go to squalid lanes and alleys, where grim want and sickness lurk;
Feed the hungry, soothe the suffering, tell the poor of Christ,—oh, work,
And you'll no more hear the rustling of the wind.
Then you'll no more hear the restless, hopeless sobbing over sin,
No more hear the earthly troubles crying, crying from the ground;
For the wings of guardian angels, they shall compass you around,
That the wind shall have no place to enter in.
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Then, as wither'd leaves lie browning on the quiet grassy slopes,
As they sink in peaceful earth, and moulder with it as they die,
To help nurture precious seeds for coming summers— so shall lie,
Calm and still, your sorrowful memories and dead hopes.
O belovèd, work and wait! The sun will shine another day,
On a heart refresh'd, and strong, and green, and cool. The rain and gloom
Are to make the sap run quicker, give the flowers a deeper bloom—
We have need for both the golden and the grey.
~ Ada Cambridge,
915: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,
916:write animal stories. This one was called Dialogues Between a Cow and a Filly; a meditation on ethics, you might say; it had been inspired by a short business trip to Brittany. Here’s a key passage from it: ‘Let us first consider the Breton cow: all year round she thinks of nothing but grazing, her glossy muzzle ascends and descends with impressive regularity, and no shudder of anguish comes to trouble the wistful gaze of her light-brown eyes. All that is as it ought to be, and even appears to indicate a profound existential oneness, a decidedly enviable identity between her being-in-the-world and her being-in-itself. Alas, in this instance the philosopher is found wanting, and his conclusions, while based on a correct and profound intuition, will be rendered invalid if he has not previously taken the trouble of gathering documentary evidence from the naturalist. In fact the Breton cow’s nature is duplicitous. At certain times of the year (precisely determined by the inexorable functioning of genetic programming) an astonishing revolution takes place in her being. Her mooing becomes more strident, prolonged, its very harmonic texture modified to the point of recalling at times, and astonishingly so, certain groans which escape the sons of men. Her movements become more rapid, more nervous, from time to time she breaks into a trot. It is not simply her muzzle, though it seems, in its glossy regularity, conceived for reflecting the abiding presence of a mineral passivity, which contracts and twitches under the painful effect of an assuredly powerful desire. ‘The key to the riddle is extremely simple, and it is that what the Breton cow desires (thus demonstrating, and she must be given credit here, her life’s one desire) is, as the breeders say in their cynical parlance, “to get stuffed”. And stuff her they do, more or less directly; the artificial insemination syringe can in effect, whatever the cost in certain emotional complications, take the place of the bull’s penis in performing this function. In both cases the cow calms down and returns to her original state of earnest meditation, except that a few months later she will give birth to an adorable little calf. Which, let it be said in passing, means profit for the breeder.’ * The breeder, of course, symbolized God. Moved by an irrational sympathy for the filly, he promised her, starting from the next chapter, the everlasting delight of numerous stallions, while the cow, guilty of the sin of pride, was to be gradually condemned to the dismal pleasures of artificial fertilization. The pathetic mooing of the ruminant would prove incapable of swaying the judgment of the Great Architect. A delegation of sheep, formed in solidarity, had no better luck. The God presented in this short story was not, one observes, a merciful God. ~ Michel Houellebecq,
917:Lord Thomas And Fair Annet
Lord Thomas and fair Annet
Sat all day on a hill
When night was come and sun was set
They had not talked their fill.
Lord Thomas said a word in haste
And Annet took it ill;
I winna wed a dowerless maid
Against my parents' will
You're come of the rich, Thomas,
And I'm come of the poor
I'm o'er low to be your bride
And I winna be your whore
O fair Annet, O fair Annet
This night you've said me no
But long or ever this day month
I'll make your heart right woe
Come riddle my riddle dear mother, he said
Come riddle it all in one
Whether I will take fair Annet
Or bring the brown girl home
The nut-brown maid has gold and gear
Fair Annet she has none
And the little beauty fair Annet has
O it will soon be gone
Sheep will die in cots, mother
And oxen die in byre
And what's this world's wealth to me
An I get not my heart's desire
Where will I get a pretty little boy
That'll run my errands soon
That will run to fair Annet's bower
And bid her to my wedding
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She mauna put on the black, the black
Nor yet the dowie brown
But the scarlet so red, and the kerchief so white
And her bonny locks hanging down
She has called her maries to her bower
To lay gold in her hair
Where'er you put a plait before
See you lay ten times more
When Annet was in her saddle set
She flamed against the fire
The girdle around her middle small
Was worth an earl's hire
The horse fair Annet rode upon
He bounded like the wind
With silver he was shod before
With burning gold behind
And when she came into the kirk
She shimmered like the sun
The belt that was about her waist
Was all with pearls bedone
Is this your bride, Lord Thomas ? she said
I think she's wondrous brown
You might have had as fair a bride
As e'er the sun shined on
Despise her not fair Annet, he said
Despise her not now unto me
For better I love thy little finger
Than all her whole body
Then out and spoke the nut-brown bride
And she spoke out of spite
O where got you that rose-water
That washed your face so white ?
O I did get the rose-water
467
Where you will ne'er get none
For I did get that rose-water
Into my mother's womb
The bride she drew a long bodkin
From out her gay headgear
And struck fair Annet to the heart
A deep wound and a sair
O art thou blind Lord Thomas, she said
Or do you not well see
O do you not see my own heart's blood
Run trinkling down my knee ?
He drew his dagger that was so sharp
That was so sharp and meet
And drove it into the nut-brown bride
That fell dead at his feet
O dig my grave, Lord Thomas he said
Dig it both wide and deep
And lay fair Annet by my side
And the brown girl at my feet
~ Anonymous Olde English,
918:Glorious France
You have become a forge of snow-white fire,
A crucible of molten steel, O France!
Your sons are stars who cluster to a dawn
And fade in light for you, O glorious France!
They pass through meteor changes with a song
Which to all islands and all continents
Says life is neither comfort, wealth, nor fame,
Nor quiet hearthstones, friendship, wife nor child,
Nor love, nor youth's delight, nor manhood's power,
Nor many days spent in a chosen work,
Nor honored merit, nor the patterned theme
Of daily labor, nor the crowns nor wreaths
Of seventy years.
These are not all of life,
O France, whose sons amid the rolling thunder
Of cannon stand in trenches where the dead
Clog the ensanguined ice. But life to these
Prophetic and enraptured souls in vision,
And the keen ecstasy of faded strife,
And divination of the loss as gain,
And reading mysteries with brightened eyes
In fiery shock and dazzling pain before
The orient splendour of the face of Death,
As a great light beside a shadowy sea;
And in a high will's strenuous exercise,
Where the warmed spirit finds its fullest strength
And is no more afraid, and in the stroke
Of azure lightning when the hidden essence
And shifting meaning of man's spiritual worth
And mystical significance in time
Are instantly distilled to one clear drop
Which mirrors earth and heaven.
This is life
Flaming to heaven in a minute's span
When the breath of battle blows the smouldering spark.
And across these seas
We who cry Peace and treasure life and cling
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To cities, happiness, or daily toil
For daily bread, or trail the long routine
Of seventy years, taste not the terrible wine
Whereof you drink, who drain and toss the cup
Empty and ringing by the finished feast;
Or have it shaken from your hand by sight
Of God against the olive woods.
As Joan of Arc amid the apple trees
With sacred joy first heard the voices, then
Obeying plunged at Orleans in a field
Of spears and lived her dream and died in fire,
Thou, France, hast heard the voices and hast lived
The dream and known the meaning of the dream,
And read its riddle: how the soul of man
May to one greatest purpose make itself
A lens of clearness, how it loves the cup
Of deepest truth, and how its bitterest gall
Turns sweet to soul's surrender.
And you say:
Take days for repitition, stretch your hands
For mocked renewal of familiar things:
The beaten path, the chair beside the window,
The crowded street, the task, the accustomed sleep,
And waking to the task, or many springs
Of lifted cloud, blue water, flowering fields The prison-house grows close no less, the feast
A place of memory sick for senses dulled
Down to the dusty end where pitiful Time
Grown weary cries Enough!
~ Edgar Lee Masters,
919:O Glorious France
You have become a forge of snow-white fire,
A crucible of molten steel, O France!
Your sons are stars who cluster to a dawn
And fade in light for you, O glorious France!
They pass through meteor changes with a song
Which to all islands and all continents
Says life is neither comfort, wealth, nor fame,
Nor quiet hearthstones, friendship, wife nor child,
Nor love, nor youth's delight, nor manhood's power,
Nor many days spent in a chosen work,
Nor honored merit, nor the patterned theme
Of daily labor, nor the crowns nor wreaths
Of seventy years.
These are not all of life,
O France, whose sons amid the rolling thunder
Of cannon stand in trenches where the dead
Clog the ensanguined ice. But life to these
Prophetic and enraptured souls in vision,
And the keen ecstasy of faded strife,
And divination of the loss as gain,
And reading mysteries with brightened eyes
In fiery shock and dazzling pain before
The orient splendour of the face of Death,
As a great light beside a shadowy sea;
And in a high will's strenuous exercise,
Where the warmed spirit finds its fullest strength
And is no more afraid, and in the stroke
Of azure lightning when the hidden essence
And shifting meaning of man's spiritual worth
And mystical significance in time
Are instantly distilled to one clear drop
Which mirrors earth and heaven.
This is life
Flaming to heaven in a minute's span
When the breath of battle blows the smouldering spark.
And across these seas
We who cry Peace and treasure life and cling
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To cities, happiness, or daily toil
For daily bread, or trail the long routine
Of seventy years, taste not the terrible wine
Whereof you drink, who drain and toss the cup
Empty and ringing by the finished feast;
Or have it shaken from your hand by sight
Of God against the olive woods.
As Joan of Arc amid the apple trees
With sacred joy first heard the voices, then
Obeying plunged at Orleans in a field
Of spears and lived her dream and died in fire,
Thou, France, hast heard the voices and hast lived
The dream and known the meaning of the dream,
And read its riddle: how the soul of man
May to one greatest purpose make itself
A lens of clearness, how it loves the cup
Of deepest truth, and how its bitterest gall
Turns sweet to soul's surrender.
And you say:
Take days for repitition, stretch your hands
For mocked renewal of familiar things:
The beaten path, the chair beside the window,
The crowded street, the task, the accustomed sleep,
And waking to the task, or many springs
Of lifted cloud, blue water, flowering fields -The prison-house grows close no less, the feast
A place of memory sick for senses dulled
Down to the dusty end where pitiful Time
Grown weary cries Enough!
~ Edgar Lee Masters,
920:The Woman At The Cross-Roads
(Her lover speaks.)
AN equal love between a man and woman,
This is the only charm to set us free,
And this the only omen
Of immortality.
Only for us the long, long war is over
Between our aspiring spirits,
And all the flesh inherits,
Because, dear saint, your soul no less
Has got a lover,
Than has your body's long slim loveliness.
Ah, my beloved, think not renunciation
Of such a love as ours
Will bring you any strengthening of your powers,
Or calm, or dignity, or peace of mind
To be compared with that which you will find
In love's full consummation.
Talk not to me of other, older ties,
Of duty, and of narrower destinies,
Nor bid me see that we have met too late,
While we have lips and eyes
To kiss and call;
But rather thank our fate,
For this mad gift - that we have met at all.
Come to me then. Ah, must I bid you come?
Your heart is mine. Is then your will so loath?
Leave him from whom your spirit long since fled,
Whose house is not your home; your only home,
Although the same roof never cover both,
Is where I am, until we both are dead.
(Her child speaks.)
Why do you look at me with such a shade
Upon your eyes, so still and steadily?
I am not naughty, but I am afraid;
I know not why.
The world is huge and puzzling and perverse -
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Even my nurse,
When most my heart is stirred,
Will put me by, with some complacent word;
Or, if she listens, in a little while
Babbles my deepest secret with a smile,
My mother, oh my mother, only you
Are kind and just and honorable and true.
Others are fond, others will play and sing,
Will kiss me, or will let me kiss and cling;
But only you, my mother, comprehend
How little children feel and love the truth;
Only you cherish like an equal friend
The shy and tragic dignity of youth.
(the woman answers her lover.)
All my life long, I think I dreamed of this.
Even as a girl, my visions were of you.
Alas, I grew incredulous of bliss;
And now too late, too late, the dream comes true.
Sweet are the charms you offer me, my lover,
To read the riddle of the universe,
And in your arms I should not soon discover
Our old, old mortal curse.
And yet I put them by, because I trust
In other magic, far beyond the ken,
Even of you, the tenderest of men,
In spells more permanent than any sorrow,
Which bind me to the past, and make to-morrow
My own, although I sleep it through in dust,­
The revelation which to every woman
Her children bring,
Making her one not only with things human, With every living thing,
For only mothers raise no passionate cry
Against mortality;
For only they have learned the reason why
It is worth while to live; and presently,
Seeing nature's meaning, are content to die.
~ Alice Duer Miller,
921:Lord Thomas And Fair Ellinor
Lord Thomas he was a bold forrester,
And a chaser of the kings deere;
Faire Ellinor was a fine woman,
And Lord Thomas he loved her deare.
'Come riddle my riddle, dear mother,' he sayd,
'And riddle us both as one;
Whether I shall marrye with faire Ellinor,
And let the browne girl alone?'
'The browne girl she has got houses and lands,
Faire Ellinor she has got none;
And therefore I charge thee on my blessing,
To bring me the browne girl home.'
And as it befelle on a high holidaye,
As many there are beside,
Lord Thomas he went to faire Ellinor,
That should have been his bride.
And when he came to faire Ellinor's bower,
He knocked there at the ring;
And who was so readye as faire Ellinor,
To lett Lord Thomas withinn?
'What newes, what newes, Lord Thomas,' she sayd,
'What newes dost thou bring to mee?'
'I am come to bid thee to my wedding,
And that is bad newes for thee.'
'O God forbid, Lord Thomas,' she sayd,
'That such a thing should be done;
I thought to have been the bride my selfe
And thou to have been the bride-grome.'
'Come riddle my riddle, dear mother,' she sayd,
'And riddle it all in one;
Whether I shall goe toLord Thomas his wedding,
Or whether shall tarry at home?'
469
'There are manye that are your friendes, daughter,
And manye a one your foe;
Therefore I charge you on my blessing,
To Lord Thomas his wedding don't goe.'
She cloathed herself in gallant attire,
And her merrye men all in greene;
And as they rid through every towne,
They took her to be some queene.
But when she came to Lord Thomas his gate,
She knocked there at the ring;
And who was so readye as Lord Thomas,
To lett faire Ellinor in.
'Is this your bride?' fair Ellinor sayd;
'Methinks she looks wonderous browne;
Thou mightest have had as faire a woman
As ever trod on the grounde.'
'Despise her not, fair Ellin,' he sayd,
'Despise her not unto mee;
For better I love thy little finger,
Than all her whole bodee.'
This browne bride had a little penknife,
That was both long and sharpe,
And betwixt the short ribs and the long,
She prick'd faire Ellinor's harte.
'O Christ thee save,' Lord Thomas hee sayd,
'Methinks thou lookst wonderous wan;
Thou usedst to look with as fresh a colour,
As ever the sun shone on.'
'O art thou blind, Lord Thomas?' she sayd,
'Or canst thou not very well see?
O dost thou not see my owne hearts bloode
Run trickling down my knee?'
Lord Thomas he had a sword by his side;
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As he walked about the halle,
He cut off his brides head from her shoulders,
And threw it against the walle.
He set the hilte against the grounde,
And the point against his harte;
There never three lovers together did meete,
That sooner againe did parte.
~ Anonymous Olde English,
922:In the beginning was the Word'. I have taken as my text this evening the almighty Word itself. Now get this: 'There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.' Amen, brothers and sisters, Amen. And the riddle of the Word, 'In the beginning was the Word....' Now what do you suppose old John meant by that? That cat was a preacher, and, well, you know how it is with preachers; he had something big on his mind. Oh my, it was big; it was the Truth, and it was heavy, and old John hurried to set it down. And in his hurry he said too much. 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' It was the Truth, all right, but it was more than the Truth. The Truth was overgrown with fat, and the fat was God. The fat was John's God, and God stood between John and the Truth. Old John, see, he got up one morning and caught sight of the Truth. It must have been like a bolt of lightning, and the sight of it made him blind. And for a moment the vision burned on the back of his eyes, and he knew what it was. In that instant he saw something he had never seen before and would never see again. That was the instant of revelation, inspiration, Truth. And old John, he must have fallen down on his knees. Man, he must have been shaking and laughing and crying and yelling and praying - all at the same time - and he must have been drunk and delirious with the Truth. You see, he had lived all his life waiting for that one moment, and it came, and it took him by surprise, and it was gone. And he said, 'In the beginning was the Word....' And man, right then and there he should have stopped. There was nothing more to say, but he went on. He had said all there was to say, everything, but he went on. 'In the beginning was the Word....' Brothers and sisters, that was the Truth, the whole of it, the essential and eternal Truth, the bone and blood and muscle of the Truth. But he went on, old John, because he was a preacher. The perfect vision faded from his mind, and he went on. The instant passed, and then he had nothing but a memory. He was desperate and confused, and in his confusion he stumbled and went on. 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' He went on to talk about Jews and Jerusalem, Levites and Pharisees, Moses and Philip and Andrew and Peter. Don't you see? Old John had to go on. That cat had a whole lot at stake. He couldn't let the Truth alone. He couldn't see that he had come to the end of the Truth, and he went on. He tried to make it bigger and better than it was, but instead he only demeaned and encumbered it. He made it soft and big with fat. He was a preacher, and he made a complex sentence of the Truth, two sentences, three, a paragraph. He made a sermon and theology of the Truth. He imposed his idea of God upon the everlasting Truth. 'In the beginning was the Word....' And that is all there was, and it was enough. ~ N Scott Momaday,
923:Ode to the Beloved’s Hips"

Bells are they—shaped on the eighth day—silvered
percussion in the morning—are the morning.
Swing switch sway. Hold the day away a little
longer, a little slower, a little easy. Call to me—
I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock
right now—so to them I come—struck-dumb
chime-blind, tolling with a throat full of Hosanna.
How many hours bowed against this Infinity of Blessed
Trinity? Communion of Pelvis, Sacrum, Femur.
My mouth—terrible angel, ever-lasting novena,
ecstatic devourer.

O, the places I have laid them, knelt and scooped
the amber—fast honey—from their openness—
Ah Muzen Cab’s hidden Temple of Tulúm—licked
smooth the sticky of her hip—heat-thrummed ossa
coxae. Lambent slave to ilium and ischium—I never tire
to shake this wild hive, split with thumb the sweet-
dripped comb—hot hexagonal hole—dark diamond—
to its nectar-dervished queen. Meanad tongue—
come-drunk hum-tranced honey-puller—for her hips,
I am—strummed-song and succubus.

They are the sign: hip. And the cosign: a great book—
the body’s Bible opened up to its Good News Gospel.
Alleluias, Ave Marías, madre mías, ay yay yays,
Ay Dios míos, and hip-hip-hooray.

Cult of Coccyx. Culto de cadera.
Oracle of Orgasm. Rorschach’s riddle:
What do I see? Hips:
Innominate bone. Wish bone. Orpheus bone.
Transubstantiation bone—hips of bread,
wine-whet thighs. Say the word and healed I shall be:
Bone butterfly. Bone wings. Bone Ferris wheel.
Bone basin bone throne bone lamp.
Apparition in the bone grotto—6th mystery—
slick rosary bead—Déme la gracia of a decade
in this garden of carmine flower. Exile me
to the enormous orchard of Alcinous—spiced fruit,
laden-tree—Imparadise me. Because, God,
I am guilty. I am sin-frenzied and full of teeth
for pear upon apple upon fig.

More than all that are your hips.
They are a city. They are Kingdom—
Troy, the hollowed horse, an army of desire—
thirty soldiers in the belly, two in the mouth.
Beloved, your hips are the war.

At night your legs, love, are boulevards
leading me beggared and hungry to your candy
house, your baroque mansion. Even when I am late
and the tables have been cleared,
in the kitchen of your hips, let me eat cake.

O, constellation of pelvic glide—every curve,
a luster, a star. More infinite still, your hips are
kosmic, are universe—galactic carousel of burning
comets and Big Big Bangs. Millennium Falcon,
let me be your Solo. O, hot planet, let me
circumambulate. O, spiral galaxy, I am coming
for your dark matter.

Along las calles de tus muslos I wander—
follow the parade of pulse like a drum line—
descend into your Plaza del Toros—
hands throbbing Miura bulls, dark Isleros.
Your arched hips—ay, mi torera.
Down the long corridor, your wet walls
lead me like a traje de luces—all glitter, glowed.
I am the animal born to rush your rich red
muletas—each breath, each sigh, each groan,
a hooked horn of want. My mouth at your inner
thigh—here I must enter you—mi pobre
Manolete—press and part you like a wound—
make the crowd pounding in the grandstand
of your iliac crest rise up in you and cheer. ~ Natalie D az,
924:Lady Clare
IT was the time when lilies blow,
And clouds are highest up in air,
Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe
To give his cousin, Lady Clare.
I trow they did not part in scornLovers long-betroth'd were they:
They too will wed the morrow morn:
God's blessing on the day !
'He does not love me for my birth,
Nor for my lands so broad and fair;
He loves me for my own true worth,
And that is well,' said Lady Clare.
In there came old Alice the nurse,
Said, 'Who was this that went from thee?'
'It was my cousin,' said Lady Clare,
'To-morrow he weds vith me.'
'O God be thank'd!' said Alice the nurse,
' That all comes round so just and fair:
Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands,
And you are not the Lady Clare.'
'Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, my nurse?'
Said Lady Clare, 'that ye speak so wild?'
'As God's above,' said Alice the nurse,
' I speak the truth: you are my child.
'The old Earl's daughter died at my breast;
I speak the truth, as I live by bread!
I buried her like my own sweet child,
And put my child in her stead.'
'Falsely, falsely have ye done,
O mother,' she said, ' if this be true,
To keep the best man under the sun
So many years from his due.'
287
'Nay now, my child,' said Alice the nurse,
'But keep the secret for your life,
And all you have will be Lord Ronald's,
When you are man and wife.'
' If I'm a beggar born,' she said,
'I will speak out, for I dare not lie.
Pull off, pull off, the brooch of gold,
And fling the diamond necklace by.'
'Nay now, my child,' said Alice the nurse,
'But keep the secret all ye can.'
She said, ' Not so: but I will know
If there be any faith in man.'
'Nay now, what faith ?' said Alice the nurse,
'The man will cleave unto his right.'
'And he shall have it,' the lady replied,
'Tho' I should die to-night.'
'Yet give one kiss to your mother dear !
Alas, my child, I sinn'd for thee.'
'O mother, mother, mother,' she said,
'So strange it seems to me.
'Yet here's a kiss for my mother dear,
My mother dear, if this be so,
And lay your hand upon my head,
And bless me, mother, ere I go.'
She clad herself in a russet gown,
She was no longer Lady Clare:
She went by dale, and she went by down,
With a single rose in her hair.
The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought
Leapt up from where she lay,
Dropt her head in the maiden's hand,
And follow'd her all the way.
Down stept Lord Ronald from his tower:
288
'O Lady Clare, you shame your worth!
Why come you drest like a village maid,
That are the flower of the earth?'
'If I come drest like a village maid,
I am but as my fortunes are:
I am a beggar born,' she said,
'And not the Lady Clare.'
'Play me no tricks,' said Lord Ronald,
'For I am yours in word and in deed.
Play me no tricks,' said Lord Ronald,
'Your riddle is hard to read.'
O and proudly stood she up !
Her heart within her did not fail:
She look'd into Lord Ronald's eyes,
And told him all her nurse's tale.
He laugh'd a laugh of merry scorn:
He turn'd and kiss'd her where she stood:
'If you are not the heiress born,
And I,' said he, 'the next in blood-'If you are not the heiress born,
And I,' said he, ' the lawful heir,
We two will wed to-morrow morn,
And you shall still be Lady Clare.'
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
925: ON LITTLE OLD AND YOUNG WOMEN

"Why do you steal so cautiously through the twilight, Zarathustra? And what do you conceal so carefully under your coat? Is it a treasure you have been
given? or a child born to you? Or do you yourself now
follow the ways of thieves, you friend of those who are
evil?"
"Verily, my brother," said Zarathustra, "it is a treasure
I have been given: it is a little truth that I carry. But
it is troublesome like a young child, and if I don't hold
my hand over its mouth, it will cry overloudly.
"When I went on my way today, alone, at the hour
when the sun goes down, I met a little old woman who
spoke thus to my soul: 'Much has Zarathustra spoken
to us women too; but never did he speak to us about
woman.' And I answered her: 'About woman one
should speak only to men.' Then she said: 'Speak to
me too of woman; I am old enough to forget it im-
66
mediately.' And I obliged the little old woman and I
spoke to her thus:
"Everything about woman is a riddle, and everything about woman has one solution: that is pregnancy.
Man is for woman a means: the end is always the
child. But what is woman for man?
"A real man wants two things: danger and play.
Therefore he wants woman as the most dangerous
plaything. Man should be educated for war, and
woman for the recreation of the warrior; all else is
folly. The warrior does not like all-too-sweet fruit;
therefore he likes woman: even the sweetest woman is
bitter. Woman understands children better than man
does, but man is more childlike than woman.
"In a real man a child is hidden-and wants to
play. Go to it, women, discover the child in man! Let
woman be a plaything, pure and fine, like a gem,
irradiated by the virtues of a world that has not yet
arrived. Let the radiance of a star shine through your
love! Let your hope be: May I give birth to the overman!
"Let there be courage in your lovely With your love
you should proceed toward him who arouses fear in
you. Let your honor be in your love! Little does woman
understand of honor otherwise. But let this be your
honor: always to love more than you are loved, and
never to be second.
"Let man fear woman when she loves: then she
makes any sacrifice, and everything else seems without
value to her. Let man fear woman when she hates: for
deep down in his soul man is merely evil, while
woman is bad. Whom does woman hate most? Thus
spoke the iron to the magnet: 'I hate you most because
you attract, but are not strong enough to pull me to
you.
"The happiness of man is: I will. The happiness of
woman is: he wills. 'Behold, just now the world became perfect!-thus thinks every woman when she
obeys out of entire love. And woman must obey and
find a depth for her surface. Surface is the disposition
of woman: a mobile, stormy film over shallow water.
Man's disposition, however, is deep; his river roars in
subterranean caves: woman feels his strength but does
not comprehend it.
"Then the little old woman answered me: 'Many
fine things has Zarathustra said, especially for those
who are young enough for them. It is strange: Zarathustra knows women little, and yet he is right about
them. Is this because nothing is impossible with
woman? And now, as a token of gratitude, accept a
little truth. After all, I am old enough for it. Wrap it
up and hold your hand over its mouth: else it will cry
overloudly, this little truth.'
"Then I said: 'Woman, give me your little truth.'
And thus spoke the little old woman:
"'You are going to women? Do not forget the

whipl' Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON LITTLE OLD AND YOUNG WOMEN
,
926:In consequence of the inevitably scattered and fragmentary nature of our thinking, which has been mentioned, and of the mixing together of the most heterogeneous representations thus brought about and inherent even in the noblest human mind, we really possess only *half a consciousness*. With this we grope about in the labyrinth of our life and in the obscurity of our investigations; bright moments illuminate our path like flashes of lighting. But what is to be expected generally from heads of which even the wisest is every night the playground of the strangest and most senseless dreams, and has to take up its meditations again on emerging from these dreams? Obviously a consciousness subject to such great limitations is little fitted to explore and fathom the riddle of the world; and to beings of a higher order, whose intellect did not have time as its form, and whose thinking therefore had true completeness and unity, such an endeavor would necessarily appear strange and pitiable. In fact, it is a wonder that we are not completely confused by the extremely heterogeneous mixture of fragments of representations and of ideas of every kind which are constantly crossing one another in our heads, but that we are always able to find our way again, and to adapt and adjust everything. Obviously there must exist a simple thread on which everything is arranged side by side: but what is this? Memory alone is not enough, since it has essential limitations of which I shall shortly speak; moreover, it is extremely imperfect and treacherous. The *logical ego*, or even the *transcendental synthetic unity of apperception*, are expressions and explanations that will not readily serve to make the matter comprehensible; on the contrary, it will occur to many that

“Your wards are deftly wrought, but drive no bolts asunder.”

Kant’s proposition: “The *I think* must accompany all our representations ,” is insufficient; for the “I” is an unknown quantity, in other words, it is itself a mystery and a secret. What gives unity and sequence to consciousness, since by pervading all the representations of consciousness, it is its substratum, its permanent supporter, cannot itself be conditioned by consciousness, and therefore cannot be a representation. On the contrary, it must be the *prius* of consciousness, and the root of the tree of which consciousness is the fruit. This, I say, is the *will*; it alone is unalterable and absolutely identical, and has brought forth consciousness for its own ends. It is therefore the will that gives unity and holds all its representations and ideas together, accompanying them, as it were, like a continuous ground-bass. Without it the intellect would have no more unity of consciousness than has a mirror, in which now one thing now another presents itself in succession, or at most only as much as a convex mirror has, whose rays converge at an imaginary point behind its surface. But it is *the will* alone that is permanent and unchangeable in consciousness. It is the will that holds all ideas and representations together as means to its ends, tinges them with the colour of its character, its mood, and its interest, commands the attention, and holds the thread of motives in its hand. The influence of these motives ultimately puts into action memory and the association of ideas. Fundamentally it is the will that is spoken of whenever “I” occurs in a judgement. Therefore, the will is the true and ultimate point of unity of consciousness, and the bond of all its functions and acts. It does not, however, itself belong to the intellect, but is only its root, origin, and controller."

—from The World as Will and Representation . Translated from the German by E. F. J. Payne in two volumes: volume II, pp. 139-140 ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
927:Yes! even I was in Arcadia born,
And, in mine infant ears,
A vow of rapture was by Nature sworn;
Yes! even I was in Arcadia born,
And yet my short spring gave me onlytears!

Once blooms, and only once, life's youthful May;
For me its bloom hath gone.
The silent GodO brethren, weep to-day
The silent God hath quenched my torch's ray,
And the vain dream hath flown.

Upon thy darksome bridge, Eternity,
I stand e'en now, dread thought!
Take, then, these joy-credentials back from me!
Unopened I return them now to thee,
Of happiness, alas, know naught!

Before Thy throne my mournful cries I vent,
Thou Judge, concealed from view!
To yonder star a joyous saying went
With judgment's scales to rule us thou art sent,
And call'st thyself Requiter, too!

Here,say they,terrors on the bad alight,
And joys to greet the virtuous spring.
The bosom's windings thou'lt expose to sight,
Riddle of Providence wilt solve aright,
And reckon with the suffering!

Here to the exile be a home outspread,
Here end the meek man's thorny path of strife!
A godlike child, whose name was Truth, they said,
Known but to few, from whom the many fled,
Restrained the ardent bridle of my life.

"It shall be thine another life to live,
Thy youth to me surrender!
To thee this surety only can I give"
I took the surety in that life to live;
And gave to her each youthful joy so tender.

"Give me the woman precious to thy heart,
Give up to me thy Laura!
Beyond the grave will usury pay the smart."
I wept aloud, and from my bleeding heart
With resignation tore her.

"The obligation's drawn upon the dead!"
Thus laughed the world in scorn;
"The lying one, in league with despots dread,
For truth, a phantom palmed on thee instead,
Thou'lt be no more, when once this dream has gone!"

Shamelessly scoffed the mockers' serpent-band
"A dream that but prescription can admit
Dost dread? Where now thy God's protecting hand,
(The sick world's Saviour with such cunning planned),
Borrowed by human need of human wit?"

"What future is't that graves to us reveal?
What the eternity of thy discourse?
Honored because dark veils its form conceal,
The giant-shadows of the awe we feel,
Viewed in the hollow mirror of remorse!"

"An image false of shapes of living mould,
(Time's very mummy, she!)
Whom only Hope's sweet balm hath power to hold
Within the chambers of the grave so cold,
Thy fever calls this immortality!"

"For empty hopes,corruption gives the lie
Didst thou exchange what thou hadst surely done?
Six thousand years sped death in silence by,
His corpse from out the grave e'er mounted high,
That mention made of the Requiting One?"

I saw time fly to reach thy distant shore,
I saw fair Nature lie
A shrivelled corpse behind him evermore,
No dead from out the grave then sought to soar
Yet in that Oath divine still trusted I.

My ev'ry joy to thee I've sacrificed,
I throw me now before thy judgment-throne;
The many's scorn with boldness I've despised,
Onlythy gifts by me were ever prized,
I ask my wages now, Requiting One!

"With equal love I love each child of mine!"
A genius hid from sight exclaimed.
"Two flowers," he cried, "ye mortals, mark the sign,
Two flowers to greet the Searcher wise entwine,
Hope and Enjoyment they are named."

"Who of these flowers plucks one, let him ne'er yearn
To touch the other sister's bloom.
Let him enjoy, who has no faith; eterne
As earth, this truth!Abstain, who faith can learn!
The world's long story is the world's own doom."

"Hope thou hast felt,thy wages, then, are paid;
Thy faith 'twas formed the rapture pledged to thee.
Thou might'st have of the wise inquiry made,
The minutes thou neglectest, as they fade,
Are given back by no eternity!"

~ Friedrich Schiller, Resignation
,
928:To see a world in a grain of sand And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand And eternity in an hour. A robin redbreast in a cage Puts all heaven in a rage. A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons Shudders hell through all its regions. A dog starved at his master's gate Predicts the ruin of the state. A horse misused upon the road Calls to heaven for human blood. Each outcry of the hunted hare A fibre from the brain does tear. A skylark wounded in the wing, A cherubim does cease to sing. The game-cock clipped and armed for fight Does the rising sun affright. Every wolf's and lion's howl Raises from hell a human soul. The wild deer wandering here and there Keeps the human soul from care. The lamb misused breeds public strife, And yet forgives the butcher's knife. The bat that flits at close of eve Has left the brain that won't believe. The owl that calls upon the night Speaks the unbeliever's fright. He who shall hurt the little wren Shall never be beloved by men. He who the ox to wrath has moved Shall never be by woman loved. The wanton boy that kills the fly Shall feel the spider's enmity. He who torments the chafer's sprite Weaves a bower in endless night. The caterpillar on the leaf Repeats to thee thy mother's grief. Kill not the moth nor butterfly, For the Last Judgment draweth nigh. He who shall train the horse to war Shall never pass the polar bar. The beggar's dog and widow's cat, Feed them, and thou wilt grow fat. The gnat that sings his summer's song Poison gets from Slander's tongue. The poison of the snake and newt Is the sweat of Envy's foot. The poison of the honey-bee Is the artist's jealousy. The prince's robes and beggar's rags Are toadstools on the miser's bags. A truth that's told with bad intent Beats all the lies you can invent. It is right it should be so: Man was made for joy and woe; And when this we rightly know Through the world we safely go. Joy and woe are woven fine, A clothing for the soul divine. Under every grief and pine Runs a joy with silken twine. The babe is more than swaddling bands, Throughout all these human lands; Tools were made and born were hands, Every farmer understands. Every tear from every eye Becomes a babe in eternity; This is caught by females bright And returned to its own delight. The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar Are waves that beat on heaven's shore. The babe that weeps the rod beneath Writes Revenge! in realms of death. The beggar's rags fluttering in air Does to rags the heavens tear. The soldier armed with sword and gun Palsied strikes the summer's sun. The poor man's farthing is worth more Than all the gold on Afric's shore. One mite wrung from the labourer's hands Shall buy and sell the miser's lands, Or if protected from on high Does that whole nation sell and buy. He who mocks the infant's faith Shall be mocked in age and death. He who shall teach the child to doubt The rotting grave shall ne'er get out. He who respects the infant's faith Triumphs over hell and death. The child's toys and the old man's reasons Are the fruits of the two seasons. The questioner who sits so sly Shall never know how to reply. He who replies to words of doubt Doth put the light of knowledge out. The strongest poison ever known Came from Caesar's laurel crown. Nought can deform the human race Like to the armour's iron brace. When gold and gems adorn the plough To peaceful arts shall Envy bow. A riddle or the cricket's cry Is to doubt a fit reply. The emmet's inch and eagle's mile Make lame philosophy to smile. He who doubts from what he sees Will ne'er believe, do what you please. If the sun and moon should doubt, They'd immediately go out. To be in a passion you good may do, But no good if a passion is in you. The whore and gambler, by the state Licensed, build that nation's fate. The harlot's cry from street to street Shall weave old England's winding sheet. The winner's shout, the loser's curse, Dance before dead England's hearse. Every night and every morn Some to misery are born. Every morn and every night Some are born to sweet delight. Some are born to sweet delight, Some are born to endless night. We are led to believe a lie When we see not through the eye Which was born in a night to perish in a night, When the soul slept in beams of light. God appears, and God is light To those poor souls who dwell in night, But does a human form display To those who dwell in realms of day. [1991.jpg] -- from William Blake: The Complete Poems, by William Blake

~ William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
,
929:A God's Labour
I have gathered my dreams in a silver air
   Between the gold and the blue
And wrapped them softly and left them there,
   My jewelled dreams of you.

I had hoped to build a rainbow bridge
   Marrying the soil to the sky
And sow in this dancing planet midge
   The moods of infinity.

But too bright were our heavens, too far away,
   Too frail their ethereal stuff;
Too splendid and sudden our light could not stay;
   The roots were not deep enough.

He who would bring the heavens here
   Must descend himself into clay
And the burden of earthly nature bear
   And tread the dolorous way.

Coercing my godhead I have come down
   Here on the sordid earth,
Ignorant, labouring, human grown
   Twixt the gates of death and birth.

I have been digging deep and long
   Mid a horror of filth and mire
A bed for the golden river's song,
   A home for the deathless fire.

I have laboured and suffered in Matter's night
   To bring the fire to man;
But the hate of hell and human spite
   Are my meed since the world began.

For man's mind is the dupe of his animal self;
   Hoping its lusts to win,
He harbours within him a grisly Elf
   Enamoured of sorrow and sin.

The grey Elf shudders from heaven's flame
   And from all things glad and pure;
Only by pleasure and passion and pain
   His drama can endure.

All around is darkness and strife;
   For the lamps that men call suns
Are but halfway gleams on this stumbling life
   Cast by the Undying Ones.

Man lights his little torches of hope
   That lead to a failing edge;
A fragment of Truth is his widest scope,
   An inn his pilgrimage.

The Truth of truths men fear and deny,
   The Light of lights they refuse;
To ignorant gods they lift their cry
   Or a demon altar choose.

All that was found must again be sought,
   Each enemy slain revives,
Each battle for ever is fought and refought
   Through vistas of fruitless lives.

My gaping wounds are a thousand and one
   And the Titan kings assail,
But I dare not rest till my task is done
   And wrought the eternal will.

How they mock and sneer, both devils and men!
   "Thy hope is Chimera's head
Painting the sky with its fiery stain;
   Thou shalt fall and thy work lie dead.

"Who art thou that babblest of heavenly ease
   And joy and golden room
To us who are waifs on inconscient seas
   And bound to life's iron doom?

"This earth is ours, a field of Night
   For our petty flickering fires.
How shall it brook the sacred Light
   Or suffer a god's desires?

"Come, let us slay him and end his course!
   Then shall our hearts have release
From the burden and call of his glory and force
   And the curb of his wide white peace."

But the god is there in my mortal breast
   Who wrestles with error and fate
And tramples a road through mire and waste
   For the nameless Immaculate.

A voice cried, "Go where none have gone!
   Dig deeper, deeper yet
Till thou reach the grim foundation stone
   And knock at the keyless gate."

I saw that a falsehood was planted deep
   At the very root of things
Where the grey Sphinx guards God's riddle sleep
   On the Dragon's outspread wings.

I left the surface gauds of mind
   And life's unsatisfied seas
And plunged through the body's alleys blind
   To the nether mysteries.

I have delved through the dumb Earth's dreadful heart
   And heard her black mass' bell.
I have seen the source whence her agonies part
   And the inner reason of hell.

Above me the dragon murmurs moan
   And the goblin voices flit;
I have pierced the Void where Thought was born,
   I have walked in the bottomless pit.

On a desperate stair my feet have trod
   Armoured with boundless peace,
Bringing the fires of the splendour of God
   Into the human abyss.

He who I am was with me still;
   All veils are breaking now.
I have heard His voice and borne His will
   On my vast untroubled brow.

The gulf twixt the depths and the heights is bridged
   And the golden waters pour
Down the sapphire mountain rainbow-ridged
   And glimmer from shore to shore.

Heaven's fire is lit in the breast of the earth
   And the undying suns here burn;
Through a wonder cleft in the bounds of birth
   The incarnate spirits yearn

Like flames to the kingdoms of Truth and Bliss:
   Down a gold-red stairway wend
The radiant children of Paradise
   Clarioning darkness' end.

A little more and the new life's doors
   Shall be carved in silver light
With its aureate roof and mosaic floors
   In a great world bare and bright.

I shall leave my dreams in their argent air,
   For in a raiment of gold and blue
There shall move on the earth embodied and fair
   The living truth of you.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Collected Poems, A God's Labour, 534,
930:author class:Sri Aurobindo

A God's Labour
I have gathered my dreams in a silver air
Between the gold and the blue
And wrapped them softly and left them there,
My jewelled dreams of you.

I had hoped to build a rainbow bridge
Marrying the soil to the sky
And sow in this dancing planet midge
The moods of infinity.

But too bright were our heavens, too far away,
Too frail their ethereal stuff;
Too splendid and sudden our light could not stay;
The roots were not deep enough.

He who would bring the heavens here
Must descend himself into clay
And the burden of earthly nature bear
And tread the dolorous way.

Coercing my godhead I have come down
Here on the sordid earth,
Ignorant, labouring, human grown
Twixt the gates of death and birth.

I have been digging deep and long
Mid a horror of filth and mire
A bed for the golden river's song,
A home for the deathless fire.

I have laboured and suffered in Matter's night
To bring the fire to man;
But the hate of hell and human spite
Are my meed since the world began.

For man's mind is the dupe of his animal self;
Hoping its lusts to win,
He harbours within him a grisly Elf
Enamoured of sorrow and sin.

The grey Elf shudders from heaven's flame
And from all things glad and pure;
Only by pleasure and passion and pain
His drama can endure.

All around is darkness and strife;
For the lamps that men call suns
Are but halfway gleams on this stumbling life
Cast by the Undying Ones.

Man lights his little torches of hope
That lead to a failing edge;
A fragment of Truth is his widest scope,
An inn his pilgrimage.

The Truth of truths men fear and deny,
The Light of lights they refuse;
To ignorant gods they lift their cry
Or a demon altar choose.

All that was found must again be sought,
Each enemy slain revives,
Each battle for ever is fought and refought
Through vistas of fruitless lives.

My gaping wounds are a thousand and one
And the Titan kings assail,
But I dare not rest till my task is done
And wrought the eternal will.

How they mock and sneer, both devils and men!
"Thy hope is Chimera's head
Painting the sky with its fiery stain;
Thou shalt fall and thy work lie dead.

"Who art thou that babblest of heavenly ease
And joy and golden room
To us who are waifs on inconscient seas
And bound to life's iron doom?

"This earth is ours, a field of Night
For our petty flickering fires.
How shall it brook the sacred Light
Or suffer a god's desires?

"Come, let us slay him and end his course!
Then shall our hearts have release
From the burden and call of his glory and force
And the curb of his wide white peace."

But the god is there in my mortal breast
Who wrestles with error and fate
And tramples a road through mire and waste
For the nameless Immaculate.

A voice cried, "Go where none have gone!
Dig deeper, deeper yet
Till thou reach the grim foundation stone
And knock at the keyless gate."

I saw that a falsehood was planted deep
At the very root of things
Where the grey Sphinx guards God's riddle sleep
On the Dragon's outspread wings.

I left the surface gauds of mind
And life's unsatisfied seas
And plunged through the body's alleys blind
To the nether mysteries.

I have delved through the dumb Earth's dreadful heart
And heard her black mass' bell.
I have seen the source whence her agonies part
And the inner reason of hell.

Above me the dragon murmurs moan
And the goblin voices flit;
I have pierced the Void where Thought was born,
I have walked in the bottomless pit.

On a desperate stair my feet have trod
Armoured with boundless peace,
Bringing the fires of the splendour of God
Into the human abyss.

He who I am was with me still;
All veils are breaking now.
I have heard His voice and borne His will
On my vast untroubled brow.

The gulf twixt the depths and the heights is bridged
And the golden waters pour
Down the sapphire mountain rainbow-ridged
And glimmer from shore to shore.

Heaven's fire is lit in the breast of the earth
And the undying suns here burn;
Through a wonder cleft in the bounds of birth
The incarnate spirits yearn

Like flames to the kingdoms of Truth and Bliss:
Down a gold-red stairway wend
The radiant children of Paradise
Clarioning darkness' end.

A little more and the new life's doors
Shall be carved in silver light
With its aureate roof and mosaic floors
In a great world bare and bright.

I shall leave my dreams in their argent air,
For in a raiment of gold and blue
There shall move on the earth embodied and fair
The living truth of you.
~ Sri Aurobindo, Collected Poems, A God's Labour, 534

~ Sri Aurobindo, class:poem
,
931:The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto Vi.
Preludes.
I Perfect Love rare
Most rare is still most noble found,
Most noble still most incomplete;
Sad law, which leaves King Love uncrown'd
In this obscure, terrestrial seat!
With bale more sweet than others' bliss,
And bliss more wise than others' bale,
The secrets of the world are his.
And freedom without let or pale.
O, zealous good, O, virtuous glee,
Religious, and without alloy,
O, privilege high, which none but he
Who highly merits can enjoy;
O, Love, who art that fabled sun
Which all the world with bounty loads,
Without respect of realms, save one,
And gilds with double lustre Rhodes;
A day of whose delicious life,
Though full of terrors, full of tears,
Is better than of other life
A hundred thousand million years;
Thy heavenly splendour magnifies
The least commixture of earth's mould,
Cheapens thyself in thine own eyes,
And makes the foolish mocker bold.
II Love Justified
What if my pole-star of respect
Be dim to others? Shall their ‘Nay,’
Presumably their own defect,
Invalidate my heart's strong ‘Yea’?
And can they rightly me condemn,
If I, with partial love, prefer?
I am not more unjust to them,
But only not unjust to her.
Leave us alone! After awhile,
This pool of private charity
92
Shall make its continent an isle,
And roll, a world-embracing sea;
This foolish zeal of lip for lip,
This fond, self-sanction'd, wilful zest,
Is that elect relationship
Which forms and sanctions all the rest;
This little germ of nuptial love,
Which springs so simply from the sod,
The root is, as my song shall prove,
Of all our love to man and God.
III Love Serviceable
What measure Fate to him shall mete
Is not the noble Lover's care;
He's heart-sick with a longing sweet
To make her happy as she's fair.
Oh, misery, should she him refuse,
And so her dearest good mistake!
His own success he thus pursues
With frantic zeal for her sole sake.
To lose her were his life to blight,
Being loss to hers; to make her his,
Except as helping her delight,
He calls but accidental bliss;
And, holding life as so much pelf
To buy her posies, learns this lore:
He does not rightly love himself
Who does not love another more.
IV A Riddle Solved
Kind souls, you wonder why, love you,
When you, you wonder why, love none.
We love, Fool, for the good we do,
Not that which unto us is done!
The Dean.
The Ladies rose. I held the door,
And sigh'd, as her departing grace
Assured me that she always wore
93
A heart as happy as her face;
And, jealous of the winds that blew,
I dreaded, o'er the tasteless wine,
What fortune momently might do
To hurt the hope that she'd be mine.
II
Towards my mark the Dean's talk set:
He praised my ‘Notes on Abury,’
Read when the Association met
At Sarum; he was pleased to see
I had not stopp'd, as some men had,
At Wrangler and Prize Poet; last,
He hoped the business was not bad
I came about: then the wine pass'd.
III
A full glass prefaced my reply:
I loved his daughter, Honor; I told
My estate and prospects; might I try
To win her? At my words so bold
My sick heart sank. Then he: He gave
His glad consent, if I could get
Her love. A dear, good Girl! she'd have
Only three thousand pounds as yet;
More bye and bye. Yes, his good will
Should go with me; he would not stir;
He and my father in old time still
Wish'd I should one day marry her;
But God so seldom lets us take
Our chosen pathway, when it lies
In steps that either mar or make
Or alter others' destinies,
That, though his blessing and his pray'r
Had help'd, should help, my suit, yet he
Left all to me, his passive share
Consent and opportunity.
My chance, he hoped, was good: I'd won
Some name already; friends and place
Appear'd within my reach, but none
Her mind and manners would not grace.
94
Girls love to see the men in whom
They invest their vanities admired;
Besides, where goodness is, there room
For good to work will be desired.
'Twas so with one now pass'd away;
And what she was at twenty-two,
Honor was now; and he might say
Mine was a choice I could not rue.
IV
He ceased, and gave his hand. He had won
(And all my heart was in my word),
From me the affection of a son,
Whichever fortune Heaven conferr'd!
Well, well, would I take more wine? Then go
To her; she makes tea on the lawn
These fine warm afternoons. And so
We went whither my soul was drawn;
And her light-hearted ignorance
Of interest in our discourse
Fill'd me with love, and seem'd to enhance
Her beauty with pathetic force,
As, through the flowery mazes sweet,
Fronting the wind that flutter'd blythe,
And loved her shape, and kiss'd her feet,
Shown to their insteps proud and lithe,
She approach'd, all mildness and young trust,
And ever her chaste and noble air
Gave to love's feast its choicest gust,
A vague, faint augury of despair.
~ Coventry Patmore,
932:The world's great age begins anew,
   The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
   Her winter weeds outworn:
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.

A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
   From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls his fountains
   Against the morning star.
Where fairer Tempes bloom, there sleep
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.

A loftier Argo cleaves the main,
   Fraught with a later prize;
Another Orpheus sings again,
   And loves, and weeps, and dies.
A new Ulysses leaves once more
Calypso for his native shore.

Oh, write no more the tale of Troy,
   If earth Death's scroll must be!
Nor mix with Laian rage the joy
   Which dawns upon the free:
Although a subtler Sphinx renew
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.

Another Athens shall arise,
   And to remoter time
Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,
   The splendour of its prime;
And leave, if nought so bright may live,
All earth can take or Heaven can give.

Saturn and Love their long repose
   Shall burst, more bright and good
Than all who fell, than One who rose,
   Than many unsubdu'd:
Not gold, not blood, their altar dowers,
But votive tears and symbol flowers.

Oh cease! must hate and death return?
   Cease! must men kill and die?
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn
   Of bitter prophecy.
The world is weary of the past,
Oh might it die or rest at last!
NOTES
Form:
ababcc

Composition Date:
1821

1060.
Written at Pisa in the autumn of 1821 and published in 1822, Hellas
is a "lyrical drama" treating of the contemporary struggle for freedom in
Greece and dedicated to Prince Mavrocordato, whom Shelley met in exile at
Pisa and who had returned to Greece in June 1821 to take part in the revolution
against the Turks. Shelley writes in a Preface: "The Persae of Aeschylus
afforded me the first model of my conception, although the decision of the
glorious contest now waging in Greece being yet suspended forbids a catastrophe
parallel to the return of Xerxes and the desolation of the Persians. I have,
therefore, contented myself with exhibiting a series of lyric pictures ... [suggesting]
the final triumph of the Greek cause as a portion of the cause of civilization
and social improvement." The action takes place in the palace of the Turkish
king, where he receives reports on the progress of the war from messengers
and prophecies of doom from visionary visitors. The last news, however, is of
a Turkish victory, to the dismay of the Greek slaves who act as chorus throughout
the play. "The final chorus," according to Shelley's note, "is indistinct and
obscure, as the event of the living drama whose arrival it foretells. Prophecies
of wars, and rumours of wars, etc., may safely be made by poet or prophet in
any age, but to anticipate however darkly a period of regeneration and happiness
is a more hazardous exercise of the faculty which bards possess or feign. It
will remind the reader 'magno nec proximus intervallo' of Isaiah and
Virgil, whose ardent spirits overleaping the actual reign of evil which we
endure and bewail, already saw the possible and perhaps approaching state of
society in which the 'lion shall lie down with the lamb,' and 'omnis feret
omnia tellus.' Let these great names be my authority and excuse."

The world's great age: the "annus magnus" at the end of which, according
to an idea of the ancients, all the heavenly bodies would return to their original
positions, and when, in consequence, the history of the world would begin to
repeat itself.

1068.
Peneus: a river in Thessaly.

1070.
Tempe: the vale through which Peneus flows.

1071.
Cyclads: a group of islands in the Aegean.

1072.
Argo: the vessel which bore Jason on his search for the Golden Fleece.

1072-77.
See Virgil, Eclogue IV:

Another Tiphys shall new seas explore;
Another Argo land the chiefs upon th'Iberian shore;
Another Helen other wars create,
And great Achilles urge the Trojan fate

(Dryden's translation).

1074.
Orpheus. For the stories of Orpheus--his entrancing music, the loss of his
wife Eurydice and his ultimate failure to recover her from the underworld, and
his death at the hands of Maenads (worshippers of Dionysus)--see Ovid's
Metamorphoses.

Calypso: a sorceress on whose island Ulysses remained for seven years on
the way home from Troy to Ithaca.

1080.
Laian rage. Laius was King of Thebes, father of Oedipus, and head of a
house whose horrors were a favourite theme of Greek tragedy.

1082.
Sphinx: a monster who sat on the roadside at Thebes and slew all who could
not solve a riddle it proposed.

1090-93.
Shelley's note reads (in part): "Saturn and Love were among the deities of
a real or imaginary state of innocence and happiness. All those who
fell, or the Gods of Greece, Asia and Egypt; the One who rose, or
Jesus Christ . . .; and the many unsubdued, or the monstrous objects of
the idolatry of China, India, the Antarctic islands, and the native tribes of
America...."


~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Chorus from Hellas
,
933:The Transparent Man
I'm mighty glad to see you, Mrs. Curtis,
And thank you very kindly for this visit-Especially now when all the others here
Are having holiday visitors, and I feel
A little conspicuous and in the way.
It's mainly because of Thanksgiving. All these mothers
And wives and husbands gaze at me soulfully
And feel they should break up their box of chocolates
For a donation, or hand me a chunk of fruitcake.
What they don't understand and never guess
Is that it's better for me without a family;
It's a great blessing. Though I mean no harm.
And as for visitors, why, I have you,
All cheerful, brisk and punctual every Sunday,
Like church, even if the aisles smell of phenol.
And you always bring even better gifts than any
On your book-trolley. Though they mean only good,
Families can become a sort of burden.
I've only got my father, and he won't come,
Poor man, because it would be too much for him.
And for me, too, so it's best the way it is.
He knows, you see, that I will predecease him,
Which is hard enough. It would take a callous man
To come and stand around and watch me failing.
(Now don't you fuss; we both know the plain facts.)
But for him it's even harder. He loved my mother.
They say she looked like me; I suppose she may have.
Or rather, as I grew older I came to look
More and more like she must one time have looked,
And so the prospect for my father now
Of losing me is like having to lose her twice.
I know he frets about me. Dr. Frazer
Tells me he phones in every single day,
Hoping that things will take a turn for the better.
But with leukemia things don't improve.
It's like a sort of blizzard in the bloodstream,
A deep, severe, unseasonable winter,
Burying everything. The white blood cells
Multiply crazily and storm around,
47
Out of control. The chemotherapy
Hasn't helped much, and it makes my hair fall out.
I know I look a sight, but I don't care.
I care about fewer things; I'm more selective.
It's got so I can't even bring myself
To read through any of your books these days.
It's partly weariness, and partly the fact
That I seem not to care much about the endings,
How things work out, or whether they even do.
What I do instead is sit here by this window
And look out at the trees across the way.
You wouldn't think that was much, but let me tell you,
It keeps me quite intent and occupied.
Now all the leaves are down, you can see the spare,
Delicate structures of the sycamores,
The fine articulation of the beeches.
I have sat here for days studying them,
And I have only just begun to see
What it is that they resemble. One by one,
They stand there like magnificent enlargements
Of the vascular system of the human brain.
I see them there like huge discarnate minds,
Lost in their meditative silences.
The trunks, branches and twigs compose the vessels
That feed and nourish vast immortal thoughts.
So I've assigned them names. There, near the path,
Is the great brain of Beethoven, and Kepler
Haunts the wide spaces of that mountain ash.
This view, you see, has become my Hall of Fame,
It came to me one day when I remembered
Mary Beth Finley who used to play with me
When we were girls. One year her parents gave her
A birthday toy called "The Transparent Man."
It was made of plastic, with different colored organs,
And the circulatory system all mapped out
In rivers of red and blue. She'd ask me over
And the two of us would sit and study him
Together, and do a powerful lot of giggling.
I figure he's most likely the only man
Either of us would ever get to know
Intimately, because Mary Beth became
A Sister of Mercy when she was old enough.
48
She must be thirty-one; she was a year
Older than I, and about four inches taller.
I used to envy both those advantages
Back in those days. Anyway, I was struck
Right from the start by the sea-weed intricacy,
The fine-haired, silken-threaded filiations
That wove, like Belgian lace, throughout the head.
But this last week it seems I have found myself
Looking beyond, or through, individual trees
At the dense, clustered woodland just behind them,
Where those great, nameless crowds patiently stand.
It's become a sort of complex, ultimate puzzle
And keeps me fascinated. My eyes are twenty-twenty,
Or used to be, but of course I can't unravel
The tousled snarl of intersecting limbs,
That mackled, cinder grayness. It's a riddle
Beyond the eye's solution. Impenetrable.
If there is order in all that anarchy
Of granite mezzotint, that wilderness,
It takes a better eye than mine to see it.
It set me on to wondering how to deal
With such a thickness of particulars,
Deal with it faithfully, you understand,
Without blurring the issue. Of course I know
That within a month the sleeving snows will come
With cold, selective emphases, with massings
And arbitrary contrasts, rendering things
Deceptively simple, thickening the twigs
To frosty veins, bestowing epaulets
And decorations on every birch and aspen.
And the eye, self-satisfied, will be misled,
Thinking the puzzle solved, supposing at last
It can look forth and comprehend the world.
That's when you have to really watch yourself.
So I hope that you won't think me plain ungrateful
For not selecting one of your fine books,
And I take it very kindly that you came
And sat here and let me rattle on this way.
~ Anthony Evan Hecht,
934:Finis Exoptatus
Boot and saddle, see, the slanting
Rays begin to fall,
Flinging lights and colours flaunting
Through the shadows tall.
Onward ! onward ! must we travel ?
When will come the goal ?
Riddle I may not unravel,
Cease to vex my soul.
Harshly break those peals of laughter
From the jays aloft,
Can we guess what they cry after ?
We have heard them oft ;
Perhaps some strain of rude thanksgiving
Mingles in their song,
Are they glad that they are living ?
Are they right or wrong ?
Right, 'tis joy that makes them call so,
Why should they be sad ?
Certes ! we are living also,
Shall not we be glad ?
Onward ! onward ! must we travel ?
Is the goal more near ?
Riddle we may not unravel,
Why so dark and drear ?
Yon small bird his hymn outpouring,
On the branch close by,
Recks not for the kestrel soaring
In the nether sky,
Though the hawk with wings extended
Poises over head,
Motionless as though suspended
By a viewless thread.
See, he stoops, nay, shooting forward
With the arrow's flight,
Swift and straight away to nor'ward
Sails he out of sight.
Onward ! onward ! thus we travel,
154
Comes the goal more nigh ?
Riddle we may not unravel,
Who shall make reply ?
Ha ! Friend Ephraim, saint or sinner,
Tell me if you can—
Tho' we may not judge the inner
By the outer man,
Yet by girth of broadcloth ample,
And by cheeks that shine,
Surely you set no example
In the fasting line—
Could you, like yon bird, discov'ring,
Fate as close at hand,
As the kestrel o'er him hov'ring,
Still, as he did, stand ?
Trusting grandly, singing gaily,
Confident and calm,
Not one false note in your daily
Hymn or weekly psalm ?
Oft your oily tones are heard in
Chapel, where you preach,
This the everlasting burden
Of the tale you teach :
We are d———d, our sins are deadly,
You alone are heal'd—
'Twas not thus their gospel redly
Saints and martyrs seal'd.
You had seem'd more like a martyr,
Than you seem to us,
To the beasts that caught a Tartar,
Once at Ephesus !
Rather than the stout apostle
Of the Gentiles, who,
Pagan-like, could cuff and wrestle,
They'd have chosen you.
Yet, I ween, on such occasion,
Your dissenting voice
Would have been, in mild persuasion,
155
Raised against their choice ;
Man of peace, and man of merit,
Pompous, wise, and grave,
Ephraim ! is it flesh or spirit
You strive most to save ?
Vain is half this care and caution
O'er the earthly shell,
We can neither baffle nor shun
Dark-plumed Azrael.
Onward ! onward ! still we wander,
Nearer draws the goal ;
Half the riddle's read, we ponder
Vainly on the whole.
Eastward ! in the pink horizon,
Fleecy hillocks shame
This dim range dull earth that lies on,
Tinged with rosy flame.
Westward ! as a stricken giant
Stoops his bloody crest,
And tho' vanquished, frowns defiant,
Sinks the sun to rest.
Distant, yet approaching quickly,
From the shades that lurk,
Like a black pall gathers thickly,
Night, when none may work.
Soon our restless occupation
Shall have ceas'd to be ;
Units ! in God's vast creation,
Ciphers ! what are we ?
Onward ! onward ! oh ! faint-hearted ;
Nearer and more near
Has the goal drawn since we started,
Be of better cheer.
Preacher ! all forbearance ask, for
All are worthless found,
Man must ay take man to task for
Faults while earth goes round.
On this dank soil thistles muster,
Thorns are broadcast sown ;
Seek not figs where thistles cluster,
156
Grapes where thorns have grown.
Sun and rain and dew from heaven,
Light and shade and air,
Heat and moisture freely given,
Thorns and thistles share.
Vegetation rank and rotten
Feels the cheering ray ;
Not uncared for, unforgotten,
We, too, have our day.
Unforgotten ! though we cumber
Earth, we work His will.
Shall we sleep through night's long slumber
Unforgotten still ?
Onward ! onward ! toiling ever,
Weary steps and slow,
Doubting oft, despairing never,
To the goal we go !
Hark ! the bells on distant cattle
Waft across the range,
Through the golden-tufted wattle,
Music low and strange ;
Like the marriage peal of fairies
Comes the tinkling sound,
Or like chimes of sweet St. Mary's
On far English ground.
How my courser champs the snaffle,
And with nostril spread,
Snorts and scarcely seems to ruffle
Fern leaves with his tread ;
Cool and pleasant on his haunches
Blows the evening breeze,
Through the overhanging branches
Of the wattle trees :
Onward ! to the Southern Ocean,
Glides the breath of Spring.
Onward, with a dreary motion,
I, too, glide and sing—
Forward ! forward ! still we wander—
Tinted hills that lie
In the red horizon yonder—
157
Is the goal so nigh ?
Whisper, spring-wind, softly singing,
Whisper in my ear ;
Respite and nepenthe bringing,
Can the goal be near ?
Laden with the dew of vespers,
From the fragrant sky,
In my ear the wind that whispers
Seems to make reply—
'Question not, but live and labour
Till yon goal be won,
Helping every feeble neighbour,
Seeking help from none ;
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone :
Kindness in another's trouble.
Courage in your own.'
Courage, comrades, this is certain,
All is for the best—
There are lights behind the curtain—
Gentiles let us rest.
As the smoke-rack veers to seaward
From 'the ancient clay',
With its moral drifting leeward,
Ends the wanderer's lay.
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
935: ON SELF-OVERCOMING

'Will to truth," you who are wisest call that which
impels you and fills you with lust?
A will to the thinkability of all beings: this I call
your will. You want to make all being thinkable, for
you doubt with well-founded suspicion that it is already
thinkable. But it shall yield and bend for you. Thus your
will wants it. It shall become smooth and serve the
spirit as its mirror and reflection. That is your whole
will, you who are wisest: a will to power-when you
speak of good and evil too, and of valuations. You still
want to create the world before which you can kneel:
that is your ultimate hope and intoxication.
Ihe unwise, of course, the people-they are like a
river on which a bark drifts; and in the bark sit the
valuations, solemn and muffled up. Your will and your
valuations you have placed on the river of becoming;
and what the people believe to be good and evil, that
betrays to me an ancient will to power.
It was you who are wisest who placed such guests in
this bark and gave them pomp and proud names-you
and your dominant will. Now the river carries your
bark farther; it has to carry it. It avails nothing that the
broken wave foams and angrily opposes the keel. Not
114
the river is your danger and the end of your good and
evil, you who are wisest, but that will itself, the will
to power-the unexhausted procreative will of life.
But to make you understand my word concerning
good and evil, I shall now say to you my word concerning life and the nature of all the living.
I pursued the living; I walked the widest and the
narrowest paths that I might know its nature. With a
hundredfold mirror I still caught its glance when its
mouth was closed, so that its eyes might speak to me.
And its eyes spoke to me.
But wherever I found the living, there I heard also
the speech on obedience. Whatever lives, obeys.
And this is the second point: he who cannot obey
himself is commanded. That is the nature of the living.
This, however, is the third point that I heard: that
commanding is harder than obeying; and not only because he who commands must carry the burden of all
who obey, and because this burden may easily crush
him. An experiment and hazard appeared to me to be
in all commanding; and whenever the living commands,
it hazards itself. Indeed, even when it commands itself,
it must still pay for its commanding. It must become
the judge, the avenger, and the victim of its own law.
How does this happen? I asked myself. What persuades
the living to obey and command, and to practice obedience even when it commands?
Hear, then, my word, you who are wisest. Test in all
seriousness whether I have crawled into the very heart
of life and into the very roots of its heart.
Where I found the living, there I found will to
power; and even in the will of those who serve I found
the will to be master.
That the weaker should serve the stronger, to that
it is persuaded by its own will, which would be master
115
over what is weaker still: this is the one pleasure it does
not want to renounce. And as the smaller yields to the
greater that it may have pleasure and power over the
smallest, thus even the greatest still yields, and for
the sake of power risks life. That is the yielding of the
greatest: it is hazard and danger and casting dice for
death.
And where men make sacrifices and serve and cast
amorous glances, there too is the will to be master.
Along stealthy paths the weaker steals into the castle
and into the very heart of the more powerful-and
there steals power.
And life itself confided this secret to me: "Behold,"
it said, "I am that which must always overcome itself.
Indeed, you call it a will to procreate or a drive to an
end, to something higher, farther, more manifold: but
all this is one, and one secret.
"Rather would I perish than forswear this; and verily,
where there is perishing and a falling of leaves, behold,
there life sacrifices itself-for power. That I must be
struggle and a becoming and an end and an opposition
to ends-alas, whoever guesses what is my will should
also guess on what crooked paths it must proceed.
"Vhatever I create and however much I love itsoon I must oppose it and my love; thus my will wills it.
And you too, lover of knowledge, are only a path and
footprint of my will; verily, my will to power walks
also on the heels of your will to truth.
"Indeed, the truth was not hit by him who shot at it
with the word of the 'will to existence': that will does
not exist. For, what does not exist cannot will; but
what is in existence, how could that still want existence? Only where there is life is there also will: not
will to life but-thus I teach you-will to power.
"There is much that life esteems more highly than
116

life itself; but out of the esteeming itself speaks the will
to power."
Thus life once taught me; and with this I shall yet
solve the riddle of your heart, you who are wisest.
Verily, I say unto you: good and evil that are not
transitory, do not exist. Driven on by themselves, they
must overcome themselves again and again. With your
values and words of good and evil you do violence
when you value; and this is your hidden love and the
splendor and trembling and overflowing of your soul.
But a more violent force and a new overcoming grow
out of your values and break egg and eggshell.
And whoever must be a creator in good and evil,
verily, he must first be an annihilator and break values.
Thus the highest evil belongs to the highest goodness:
but this is creative.
Let us speak of this, you who are wisest, even if it
be bad. Silence is worse; all truths that are kept silent
become poisonous.
And may everything be broken that cannot brook
our truths! There are yet many houses to be built!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON SELF-OVERCOMING
,
936:Scene 3. A Cliff On The Breton Coast, Overhanging
The Sea
Hugo.
Down drops the red sun; through the gloaming
They burst-raging waves of the sea,
Foaming out their own shame-ever foaming
Their leprosy up with fierce glee;
Flung back from the stone, snowy fountains
Of feathery flakes, scarcely flag
Where, shock after shock, the green mountains
Explode on the iron-grey crag.
The salt spray with ceaseless commotion
Leaps round me. I sit on the verge
Of the cliff-'twixt the earth and the ocean
With feet overhanging the surge.
In thy grandeur, oh, sea! we acknowledge,
In thy fairness, oh, earth! we confess,
Hidden truths that are taught in no college,
Hidden songs that no parchments express.
Were they wise in their own generations,
Those sages and sagas of old?
They have pass'd; o'er their names and their nations
Time's billows have silently roll'd;
They have pass'd, leaving little to their children,
Save histories of a truth far from strict;
Or theories more vague and bewildering,
Since three out of four contradict.
Lost labour! vain bookworms have sat in
The halls of dull pedants who teach
Strange tongues, the dead lore of the Latin,
The scroll that is god-like and Greek:
Have wasted life's springtide in learning
Things long ago learnt all in vain;
They are slow, very slow, in discerning
That book lore and wisdom are twain.
242
Pale shades of a creed that was mythic,
By time or by truth overcome,
Your Delphian temples and Pythic
Are ruins deserted and dumb;
Your Muses are hush'd, and your Graces
Are bruised and defaced; and your gods,
Enshrin'd and enthron'd in high places
No longer, are powerless as clods;
By forest and streamlet, where glisten'd
Fair feet of the Naiads that skimm'd
The shallows; where the Oreads listen'd,
Rose-lipp'd, amber-hair'd, marble-limb'd,
No lithe forms disport in the river,
No sweet faces peer through the boughs,
Elms and beeches wave silent for ever,
Ever silent the bright water flows.
(Were they duller or wiser than we are,
Those heathens of old? Who shall say?
Worse or better? Thy wisdom, O 'Thea
Glaucopis', was wise in thy day;
And the false gods alluring to evil,
That sway'd reckless votaries then,
Were slain to no purpose; they revel
Re-crowned in the hearts of us men.)
Dead priests of Osiris and Isis,
And Apis! that mystical lore,
Like a nightmare, conceived in a crisis
Of fever, is studied no more;
Dead Magian! yon star-troop that spangles
The arch of yon firmament vast
Looks calm, like a host of white angels,
On dry dust of votaries past.
On seas unexplored can the ship shun
Sunk rocks? Can man fathom life's links,
Past or future, unsolved by Egyptian
Or Theban, unspoken by Sphinx?
The riddle remains still unravell'd
By students consuming night oil.
243
Oh, earth! we have toil'd, we have travail'd,
How long shall we travail and toil?
How long? The short life that fools reckon
So sweet, by how much is it higher
Than brute life?-the false gods still beckon,
And man, through the dust and the mire,
Toils onward, as toils the dull bullock,
Unreasoning, brutish, and blind,
With Ashtaroth, Mammon, and Moloch
In front, and Alecto behind.
The wise one of earth, the Chaldean,
Serves folly in wisdom's disguise;
And the sensual Epicurean,
Though grosser, is hardly less wise;
'Twixt the former, half pedant, half pagan,
And the latter, half sow and half sloth,
We halt, choose Astarte or Dagon,
Or sacrifice freely to both.
With our reason that seeks to disparage,
Brute instinct it fails to subdue;
With our false illegitimate courage,
Our sophistry, vain and untrue;
Our hopes that ascend so and fall so,
Our passions, fierce hates and hot loves,
We are wise (aye, the snake is wise also)
Wise as serpents, NOT harmless as doves.
Some flashes, like faint sparks from heaven,
Come rarely with rushing of wings;
We are conscious at times we have striven,
Though seldom, to grasp better things;
These pass, leaving hearts that have falter'd,
Good angels with faces estranged,
And the skin of the Ethiop unalter'd,
And the spots of the leopard unchanged.
Oh, earth! pleasant earth! have we hanker'd
To gather thy flowers and thy fruits?
The roses are wither'd, and canker'd
244
The lilies, and barren the roots
Of the fig-tree, the vine, the wild olive,
Sharp thorns and sad thistles that yield
Fierce harvest-so WE live, and SO live
The perishing beasts of the field.
And withal we are conscious of evil
And good-of the spirit and the clod,
Of the power in our hearts of a devil,
Of the power in our souls of a God,
Whose commandments are graven in no cypher,
But clear as His sun-from our youth
One at least we have cherished-'An eye for
An eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'
Oh, man! of thy Maker the image;
To passion, to pride, or to wealth,
Sworn bondsman, from dull youth to dim age,
Thy portion the fire or the filth,
Dross seeking, dead pleasure's death rattle
Thy memories' happiest song,
And thy highest hope-scarce a drawn battle
With dark desperation. How long?
Roar louder! leap higher! ye surf-beds,
And sprinkle your foam on the furze;
Bring the dreams that brought sleep to our turf-beds,
To camps of our long ago years,
With the flashing and sparkling of broadswords,
With the tossing of banners and spears,
With the trampling of hard hoofs on hard swards,
With the mingling of trumpets and cheers.
The gale has gone down; yet outlasting
The gale, raging waves of the sea,
Casting up their own foam, ever casting
Their leprosy up with wild glee,
Still storm; so in rashness and rudeness
Man storms through the days of his grace;
Yet man cannot fathom God's goodness,
Exceeding God's infinite space.
245
And coldly and calmly and purely
Grey rock and green hillock lie white
In star-shine dream-laden-so surely
Night cometh-so cometh the night
When we, too, at peace with our neighbour,
May sleep where God's hillocks are piled,
Thanking HIM for a rest from day's labour,
And a sleep like the sleep of a child!
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
937:
"Aug." 10, 1911.

Full moon to-night; and six and twenty years
Since my full moon first broke from angel spheres!
A year of infinite love unwearying ---
No circling seasons, but perennial spring!
A year of triumph trampling through defeat,
The first made holy and the last made sweet
By this same love; a year of wealth and woe,
Joy, poverty, health, sickness --- all one glow
In the pure light that filled our firmament
Of supreme silence and unbarred extent,
Wherein one sacrament was ours, one Lord,
One resurrection, one recurrent chord,
One incarnation, one descending dove,
All these being one, and that one being Love!

You sent your spirit into tunes; my soul
Yearned in a thousand melodies to enscroll
Its happiness: I left no flower unplucked
That might have graced your garland. I induct
Tragedy, comedy, farce, fable, song,
Each longing a little, each a little long,
But each aspiring only to express
Your excellence and my unworthiness ---
Nay! but my worthiness, since I was sense
And spirit too of that same excellence.

So thus we solved the earth's revolving riddle:
I could write verse, and you could play the fiddle,
While, as for love, the sun went through the signs,
And not a star but told him how love twines
A wreath for every decanate, degree,
Minute and second, linked eternally
In chains of flowers that never fading are,
Each one as sempiternal as a star.

Let me go back to your last birthday. Then
I was already your one man of men
Appointed to complete you, and fulfil
From everlasting the eternal will.
We lay within the flood of crimson light
In my own balcony that August night,
And conjuring the aright and the averse
Created yet another universe.

We worked together; dance and rite and spell
Arousing heaven and constraining hell.
We lived together; every hour of rest
Was honied from your tiger-lily breast.
We --- oh what lingering doubt or fear betrayed
My life to fate! --- we parted. Was I afraid?
I was afraid, afraid to live my love,
Afraid you played the serpent, I the dove,
Afraid of what I know not. I am glad
Of all the shame and wretchedness I had,
Since those six weeks have taught me not to doubt you,
And also that I cannot live without you.

Then I came back to you; black treasons rear
Their heads, blind hates, deaf agonies of fear,
Cruelty, cowardice, falsehood, broken pledges,
The temple soiled with senseless sacrileges,
Sickness and poverty, a thousand evils,
Concerted malice of a million devils; ---
You never swerved; your high-pooped galleon
Went marvellously, majestically on
Full-sailed, while every other braver bark
Drove on the rocks, or foundered in the dark.

Then Easter, and the days of all delight!
God's sun lit noontide and his moon midnight,
While above all, true centre of our world,
True source of light, our great love passion-pearled
Gave all its life and splendour to the sea
Above whose tides stood our stability.

Then sudden and fierce, no monitory moan,
Smote the mad mischief of the great cyclone.
How far below us all its fury rolled!
How vainly sulphur tries to tarnish gold!
We lived together: all its malice meant
Nothing but freedom of a continent!

It was the forest and the river that knew
The fact that one and one do not make two.
We worked, we walked, we slept, we were at ease,
We cried, we quarrelled; all the rocks and trees
For twenty miles could tell how lovers played,
And we could count a kiss for every glade.
Worry, starvation, illness and distress?
Each moment was a mine of happiness.

Then we grew tired of being country mice,
Came up to Paris, lived our sacrifice
There, giving holy berries to the moon,
July's thanksgiving for the joys of June.

And you are gone away --- and how shall I
Make August sing the raptures of July?
And you are gone away --- what evil star
Makes you so competent and popular?
How have I raised this harpy-hag of Hell's
Malice --- that you are wanted somewhere else?
I wish you were like me a man forbid,
Banned, outcast, nice society well rid
Of the pair of us --- then who would interfere
With us? --- my darling, you would now be here!

But no! we must fight on, win through, succeed,
Earn the grudged praise that never comes to meed,
Lash dogs to kennel, trample snakes, put bit
In the mule-mouths that have such need of it,
Until the world there's so much to forgive in
Becomes a little possible to live in.

God alone knows if battle or surrender
Be the true courage; either has its splendour.
But since we chose the first, God aid the right,
And damn me if I fail you in the fight!
God join again the ways that lie apart,
And bless the love of loyal heart to heart!
God keep us every hour in every thought,
And bring the vessel of our love to port!

These are my birthday wishes. Dawn's at hand,
And you're an exile in a lonely land.
But what were magic if it could not give
My thought enough vitality to live?
Do not then dream this night has been a loss!
All night I have hung, a god, upon the cross;
All night I have offered incense at the shrine;
All night you have been unutterably mine,
Miner in the memory of the first wild hour
When my rough grasp tore the unwilling flower
From your closed garden, mine in every mood,
In every tense, in every attitude,
In every possibility, still mine
While the sun's pomp and pageant, sign to sign,
Stately proceeded, mine not only so
In the glamour of memory and austral glow
Of ardour, but by image of my brow
Stronger than sense, you are even here and now
Miner, utterly mine, my sister and my wife,
Mother of my children, mistress of my life!

O wild swan winging through the morning mist!
The thousand thousand kisses that we kissed,
The infinite device our love devised
If by some chance its truth might be surprised,
Are these all past? Are these to come? Believe me,
There is no parting; they can never leave me.
I have built you up into my heart and brain
So fast that we can never part again.
Why should I sing you these fantastic psalms
When all the time I have you in my arms?
Why? 'tis the murmur of our love that swells
Earth's dithyrambs and ocean's oracles.

But this is dawn; my soul shall make its nest
Where your sighs swing from rapture into rest
Love's thurible, your tiger-lily breast.
~ Aleister Crowley, A Birthday
,
938:Song Of The Future
'Tis strange that in a land so strong
So strong and bold in mighty youth,
We have no poet's voice of truth
To sing for us a wondrous song.
Our chiefest singer yet has sung
In wild, sweet notes a passing strain,
All carelessly and sadly flung
To that dull world he thought so vain.
"I care for nothing, good nor bad,
My hopes are gone, my pleasures fled,
I am but sifting sand," he said:
What wonder Gordon's songs were sad!
And yet, not always sad and hard;
In cheerful mood and light of heart
He told the tale of Britomarte,
And wrote the Rhyme of Joyous Garde.
And some have said that Nature's face
To us is always sad; but these
Have never felt the smiling grace
Of waving grass and forest trees
On sunlit plains as wide as seas.
"A land where dull Despair is king
O'er scentless flowers and songless bird!"
But we have heard the bell-birds ring
Their silver bells at eventide,
Like fairies on the mountain side,
The sweetest note man ever heard.
The wild thrush lifts a note of mirth;
The bronzewing pigeons call and coo
Beside their nests the long day through;
The magpie warbles clear and strong
A joyous, glad, thanksgiving song,
For all God's mercies upon earth.
277
And many voices such as these
Are joyful sounds for those to tell,
Who know the Bush and love it well,
With all its hidden mysteries.
We cannot love the restless sea,
That rolls and tosses to and fro
Like some fierce creature in its glee;
For human weal or human woe
It has no touch of sympathy.
For us the bush is never sad:
Its myriad voices whisper low,
In tones the bushmen only know,
Its sympathy and welcome glad.
For us the roving breezes bring
From many a blossum-tufted tree -Where wild bees murmur dreamily -The honey-laden breath of Spring.
We have our tales of other days,
Good tales the northern wanderers tell
When bushmen meet and camp-fires blaze,
And round the ring of dancing light
The great, dark bush with arms of night
Folds every hearer in its spell.
We have our songs -- not songs of strife
And hot blood spilt on sea and land;
But lilts that link achievement grand
To honest toil and valiant life.
Lift ye your faces to the sky
Ye barrier mountains in the west
Who lie so peacefully at rest
Enshrouded in a haze of blue;
'Tis hard to feel that years went by
Before the pioneers broke through
Your rocky heights and walls of stone,
And made your secrets all their own.
278
For years the fertile Western plains
Were hid behind your sullen walls,
Your cliffs and crags and waterfalls
All weatherworn with tropic rains.
Between the mountains and the sea
Like Israelites with staff in hand,
The people waited restlessly:
They looked towards the mountains old
And saw the sunsets come and go
With gorgeous golden afterglow,
That made the West a fairyland,
And marvelled what that West might be
Of which such wondrous tales were told.
For tales were told of inland seas
Like sullen oceans, salt and dead,
And sandy deserts, white and wan,
Where never trod the foot of man,
Nor bird went winging overhead,
Nor ever stirred a gracious breeze
To wake the silence with its breath -A land of loneliness and death.
At length the hardy pioneers
By rock and crag found out the way,
And woke with voices of today
A silence kept for years and tears.
Upon the Western slope they stood
And saw -- a wide expanse of plain
As far as eye could stretch or see
Go rolling westward endlessly.
The native grasses, tall as grain,
Bowed, waved and rippled in the breeze;
From boughs of blossom-laden trees
The parrots answered back again.
They saw the land that it was good,
A land of fatness all untrod,
And gave their silent thanks to God.
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The way is won! The way is won!
And straightway from the barren coast
There came a westward-marching host,
That aye and ever onward prest
With eager faces to the West,
Along the pathway of the sun.
The mountains saw them marching by:
They faced the all-consuming drought,
They would not rest in settled land:
But, taking each his life in hand,
Their faces ever westward bent
Beyond the farthest settlement,
Responding to the challenge cry
of "better country farther out".
And lo, a miracle! the land
But yesterday was all unknown,
The wild man's boomerang was thrown
Where now great busy cities stand.
It was not much, you say, that these
Should win their way where none withstood;
In sooth there was not much of blood -No war was fought between the seas.
It was not much! but we who know
The strange capricious land they trod -At times a stricken, parching sod,
At times with raging floods beset -Through which they found their lonely way
Are quite content that you should say
It was not much, while we can feel
That nothing in the ages old,
In song or story written yet
On Grecian urn or Roman arch,
Though it should ring with clash of steel,
Could braver histories unfold
Than this bush story, yet untold -The story of their westward march.
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But times are changed, and changes rung
From old to new -- the olden days,
The old bush life and all its ways,
Are passing from us all unsung.
The freedom, and the hopeful sense
Of toil that brought due recompense,
Of room for all, has passed away,
And lies forgotten with the dead.
Within our streets men cry for bread
In cities built but yesterday.
About us stretches wealth of land,
A boundless wealth of virgin soil
As yet unfruitful and untilled!
Our willing workmen, strong and skilled,
Within our cities idle stand,
And cry aloud for leave to toil.
The stunted children come and go
In squalid lanes and alleys black:
We follow but the beaten track
Of other nations, and we grow
In wealth for some -- for many, woe.
And it may be that we who live
In this new land apart, beyond
The hard old world grown fierce and fond
And bound by precedent and bond,
May read the riddle right, and give
New hope to those who dimly see
That all things yet shall be for good,
And teach the world at length to be
One vast united brotherhood.
So may it be! and he who sings
In accents hopeful, clear, and strong,
The glories which that future brings
Shall sing, indeed, a wondrous song.
~ Banjo Paterson,
939:THE SOOTHSAYER

"-And I saw a great sadness descend upon mankind.
The best grew weary of their works. A doctrine appeared, accompanied by a faith: 'All is empty, all is the
same, all has been!' And from all the hills it echoed:
'All is empty, all is the same, all has been' Indeed we
have harvested: but why did all our fruit turn rotten
and brown? What fell down from the evil moon last
night? In vain was all our work; our wine has turned to
poison; an evil eye has seared our fields and hearts. We
have all become dry; and if fire should descend on us,
we should turn to ashes; indeed, we have wearied the
fire itself. All our wells have dried up; even the sea
has withdrawn. All the soil would crack, but the depth
refuses to devour. 'Alas, where is there still a sea in
which one might drown?' thus are we wailing across
shallow swamps. Verily, we have become too weary
even to die. We are still waking and living on-in
tombs."
Thus Zarathustra heard a soothsayer speak, and the
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prophecy touched his heart and changed him. He
walked about sad and weary; and he became like those
of whom the soothsayer had spoken.
"Verily," he said to his disciples, "little is lacking and
this long twilight will come. Alas, how shall I save my
light through it? It must not suffocate in this sadness.
For it shall be a light for distant worlds and even more
distant nights."
Thus grieved in his heart, Zarathustra walked about;
and for three days he took neither food nor drink, had
no rest, and lost his speech. At last he fell into a deep
sleep. But his disciples sat around him in long night
watches and waited with great concern for him to wake
and speak again and recover from his melancholy.
And this is the speech of Zarathustra when he awoke;
but his voice came to his disciples as if from a great
distance:
"Listen to the dream which I dreamed, my friends,
and help me guess its meaning. This dream is still a
riddle to me; its meaning is concealed in it and imprisoned and does not yet soar above it with unfettered
wings.
"I had turned my back on all life, thus I dreamed. I
had become a night watchman and a guardian of tombs
upon the lonely mountain castle of death. Up there I
guarded his coffins: the musty vaults were full of such
marks of triumph. Life that had been overcome, looked
at me out of glass coffins. I breathed the odor of dusty
eternities: sultry and dusty lay my soul. And who could
have aired his soul there?
"The brightness of midnight was always about me;
loneliness crouched next to it; and as a third, death-rattle silence, the worst of my friends. I had keys, the
rustiest of all keys; and I knew how to use them to
open the most creaking of all gates. Like a wickedly
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angry croaking, the sound ran through the long corridors
when the gate's wings moved: fiendishly cried this bird,
ferocious at being awakened. Yet still more terrible and
heart-constricting was the moment when silence returned and it grew quiet about me, and I sat alone in
this treacherous silence.
"Thus time passed and crawled, if time still existedhow should I know? But eventually that happened
which awakened me. Thrice, strokes struck at the gate
like thunder; the vaults echoed and howled thrice; then
I went to the gate. 'Alpa,' I cried, 'who is carrying his
ashes up the mountain? Alpal Alpal Who is carrying his
ashes up the mountain?' And I pressed the key and
tried to lift the gate and exerted myself; but still it did
not give an inch. Then a roaring wind tore its wings
apart; whistling, shrilling, and piercing, it cast up a
black coffin before me.
"And amid the roaring and whistling and shrilling the
coffin burst and spewed out a thousandfold laughter.
And from a thousand grimaces of children, angels, owls,
fools, and butterflies as big as children, it laughed and
mocked and roared at me. Then I was terribly frightened; it threw me to the ground. And I cried in horror
as I have never cried. And my own cry awakened meand I came to my senses."
Thus Zarathustra told his dream and then became
silent; for as yet he did not know the interpretation of
his dream. But the disciple whom he loved most rose
quickly, took Zarathustra's hand, and said:
"Your life itself interprets this dream for us, 0 Zarathustra. Are you not yourself the wind with the shrill
whistling that tears open the gates of the castles of
death? Are you not yourself the coffin full of colorful
sarcasms and the angelic grimaces of life? Verily, like
a thousandfold children's laughter Zarathustra enters
136
all death chambers, laughing at all the night watchmen
and guardians of tombs and at whoever else is rattling
with gloomy keys. You will frighten and prostrate them
with your laughter; and your power over them will
make them faint and wake them. And even when the
long twilight and the weariness of death come, you will
not set in our sky, you advocate of life. New stars you
have let us see, and new wonders of the night; verily,
laughter itself you have spread over us like a colorful
tent. Henceforth children's laughter will well forth from
all coffins; henceforth a strong wind will come triumphantly to all weariness of death: of this you yourself
are our surety and soothsayer. Verily, this is what you
dreamed of: your enemies. That was your hardest
dream. But as you woke from them and came to your
senses, thus they shall awaken from themselves-and
come to you."
Thus spoke the disciple; and all the others crowded
around Zarathustra and took hold of his hands and
wanted to persuade him to leave his bed and his sadness
and to return to them. But Zarathustra sat erect on his
resting place with a strange look in his eyes. Like one
coming home from a long sojourn in strange lands, he
looked at his disciples and examined their faces; and
as yet he did not recognize them. But when they lifted
him up and put him on his feet, behold, his eyes suddenly changed; he comprehended all that had happened, stroked his beard, and said in a strong voice:
"Now then, there is a time for this too. But see to it,
my disciples, that we shall have a good meal, and soon.
Thus I plan to atone for bad dreams. The soothsayer,
however, shall eat and drink by my side; and verily, I
shall show him a sea in which he can drown."
Thus spoke Zarathustra. But then he looked a long
137
time into the face of the disciple who had played the
dream interpreter and he shook his head.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE SOOTHSAYER
,
940:The House Of Dust: Part 03: 10: Letter
From time to time, lifting his eyes, he sees
The soft blue starlight through the one small window,
The moon above black trees, and clouds, and Venus,—
And turns to write . . . The clock, behind ticks softly.
It is so long, indeed, since I have written,—
Two years, almost, your last is turning yellow,—
That these first words I write seem cold and strange.
Are you the man I knew, or have you altered?
Altered, of course—just as I too have altered—
And whether towards each other, or more apart,
We cannot say . . . I've just re-read your letter—
Not through forgetfulness, but more for pleasure—
Pondering much on all you say in it
Of mystic consciousness—divine conversion—
The sense of oneness with the infinite,—
Faith in the world, its beauty, and its purpose . . .
Well, you believe one must have faith, in some sort,
If one's to talk through this dark world contented.
But is the world so dark? Or is it rather
Our own brute minds,—in which we hurry, trembling,
Through streets as yet unlighted? This, I think.
You have been always, let me say, "romantic,"—
Eager for color, for beauty, soon discontented
With a world of dust and stones and flesh too ailing:
Even before the question grew to problem
And drove you bickering into metaphysics,
You met on lower planes the same great dragon,
Seeking release, some fleeting satisfaction,
In strange aesthetics . . . You tried, as I remember,
One after one, strange cults, and some, too, morbid,
The cruder first, more violent sensations,
Gorgeously carnal things, conceived and acted
With splendid animal thirst . . . Then, by degrees,—
Savoring all more delicate gradations
In all that hue and tone may play on flesh,
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Or thought on brain,—you passed, if I may say so,
From red and scarlet through morbid greens to mauve.
Let us regard ourselves, you used to say,
As instruments of music, whereon our lives
Will play as we desire: and let us yield
These subtle bodies and subtler brains and nerves
To all experience plays . . . And so you went
From subtle tune to subtler, each heard once,
Twice or thrice at the most, tiring of each;
And closing one by one your doors, drew in
Slowly, through darkening labyrinths of feeling,
Towards the central chamber . . . Which now you've reached.
What, then's, the secret of this ultimate chamber—
Or innermost, rather? If I see it clearly
It is the last, and cunningest, resort
Of one who has found this world of dust and flesh,—
This world of lamentations, death, injustice,
Sickness, humiliation, slow defeat,
Bareness, and ugliness, and iteration,—
Too meaningless; or, if it has a meaning,
Too tiresomely insistent on one meaning:
Futility . . . This world, I hear you saying,—
With lifted chin, and arm in outflung gesture,
Coldly imperious,—this transient world,
What has it then to give, if not containing
Deep hints of nobler worlds? We know its beauties,—
Momentary and trivial for the most part,
Perceived through flesh, passing like flesh away,—
And know how much outweighed they are by darkness.
We are like searchers in a house of darkness,
A house of dust; we creep with little lanterns,
Throwing our tremulous arcs of light at random,
Now here, now there, seeing a plane, an angle,
An edge, a curve, a wall, a broken stairway
Leading to who knows what; but never seeing
The whole at once . . . We grope our way a little,
And then grow tired. No matter what we touch,
Dust is the answer—dust: dust everywhere.
If this were all—what were the use, you ask?
But this is not: for why should we be seeking,
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Why should we bring this need to seek for beauty,
To lift our minds, if there were only dust?
This is the central chamber you have come to:
Turning your back to the world, until you came
To this deep room, and looked through rose-stained windows,
And saw the hues of the world so sweetly changed.
Well, in a measure, so only do we all.
I am not sure that you can be refuted.
At the very last we all put faith in something,—
You in this ghost that animates your world,
This ethical ghost,—and I, you'll say, in reason,—
Or sensuous beauty,—or in my secret self . . .
Though as for that you put your faith in these,
As much as I do—and then, forsaking reason,—
Ascending, you would say, to intuition,—
You predicate this ghost of yours, as well.
Of course, you might have argued,—and you should have,—
That no such deep appearance of design
Could shape our world without entailing purpose:
For can design exist without a purpose?
Without conceiving mind? . . . We are like children
Who find, upon the sands, beside a sea,
Strange patterns drawn,—circles, arcs, ellipses,
Moulded in sand . . . Who put them there, we wonder?
Did someone draw them here before we came?
Or was it just the sea?—We pore upon them,
But find no answer—only suppositions.
And if these perfect shapes are evidence
Of immanent mind, it is but circumstantial:
We never come upon him at his work,
He never troubles us. He stands aloof—
Well, if he stands at all: is not concerned
With what we are or do. You, if you like,
May think he broods upon us, loves us, hates us,
Conceives some purpose of us. In so doing
You see, without much reason, will in law.
I am content to say, 'this world is ordered,
Happily so for us, by accident:
We go our ways untroubled save by laws
Of natural things.' Who makes the more assumption?
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If we were wise—which God knows we are not—
(Notice I call on God!) we'd plumb this riddle
Not in the world we see, but in ourselves.
These brains of ours—these delicate spinal clusters—
Have limits: why not learn them, learn their cravings?
Which of the two minds, yours or mine, is sound?
Yours, which scorned the world that gave it freedom,
Until you managed to see that world as omen,—
Or mine, which likes the world, takes all for granted,
Sorrow as much as joy, and death as life?—
You lean on dreams, and take more credit for it.
I stand alone . . . Well, I take credit, too.
You find your pleasure in being at one with all things—
Fusing in lambent dream, rising and falling
As all things rise and fall . . . I do that too—
With reservations. I find more varied pleasure
In understanding: and so find beauty even
In this strange dream of yours you call the truth.
Well, I have bored you. And it's growing late.
For household news—what have you heard, I wonder?
You must have heard that Paul was dead, by this time—
Of spinal cancer. Nothing could be done—
We found it out too late. His death has changed me,
Deflected much of me that lived as he lived,
Saddened me, slowed me down. Such things will happen,
Life is composed of them; and it seems wisdom
To see them clearly, meditate upon them,
And understand what things flow out of them.
Otherwise, all goes on here much as always.
Why won't you come and see us, in the spring,
And bring old times with you?—If you could see me
Sitting here by the window, watching Venus
Go down behind my neighbor's poplar branches,—
Just where you used to sit,—I'm sure you'd come.
This year, they say, the springtime will be early.
~ Conrad Potter Aiken,
941: ON THE

THREE

EVILS

I

In a dream, in the last dream of the morning, I stood
in the foothills today-beyond the world, held scales,
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and weighed the world. Alas, the jealous dawn came
too early and glowed me awakel She is always jealous
of my glowing morning dreams.
Measurable by him who has time, weighable by a
good weigher, reachable by strong wings, guessable by
divine nutcrackers: thus my dream found the worldmy dream, a bold sailor, half ship, half hurricane,
taciturn as butterflies, impatient as falcons: how did it
have the patience or the time to weigh the world? Did
my wisdom secretly urge it, my laughing, wide-awake
day-wisdom which mocks all "infinite worlds"? For it
speaks: "Wherever there is force, number will become
Mistress: she has more force."
How surely my dream looked upon this finite world,
not inquisitively, not acquisitively, not afraid, not begging, as if a full apple offered itself to my hand, a ripe
golden apple with cool, soft, velvet skin, thus the world
offered itself to me; as if a tree waved to me, broadbranched, strong-willed, bent as a support, even as a
footstool for one weary of his way, thus the world stood
on my foothills; as if delicate hands carried a shrine toward me, a shrine open for the delight of bashful,
adoring eyes, thus the world offered itself to me today;
not riddle enough to frighten away human love, not
solution enough to put to sleep human wisdom: a
humanly good thing the world was to me today, though
one speaks so much evil of it.
How shall I thank my morning dream that I thus
weighed the world this morning? As a humanly good
thing it came to me, this dream and heart-comforter.
And to imitate it by day and to learn from it what was
best in it, I shall now place the three most evil things
on the scales and weigh them humanly well. He that
taught to bless also taught to curse; what are the three
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best cursed things in the world? I shall put them on the
scales.
Sex, the lust to rule, selfishness: these three have so
far been best cursed and worst reputed and lied about;
these three I will weigh humanly well.
Well then, here are my foothills and there the sea:
that rolls toward me, shaggy, flattering, the faithful old
hundred-headed canine monster that I love. Well then,
here I will hold the scales over the rolling sea; and a
witness I choose too, to look on-you, solitary tree,
fragrant and broad-vaulted, that I love.
On what bridge does the present pass to the future?
By what compulsion does the higher compel itself to the
lower? And what bids even the highest grow still
higher?
Now the scales are balanced and still: three weighty
questions I threw on it; three weighty answers balance
the other scale.
Sex: to all hair-shirted despisers of the body, their
thorn and stake, and cursed as "world" among all the
afterworldly because it mocks and fools all teachers of
error and confusion.
Sex: for the rabble, the slow fire on which they are
burned; for all worm-eaten wood and all stinking rags,
the ever-ready rut and oven.
Sex: for free hearts, innocent and free, the garden
happiness of the earth, the future's exuberant gratitude
to the present.
Sex: only for the wilted, a sweet poison; for the lionwilled, however, the great invigoration of the heart and
the reverently reserved wine of wines.
Sex: the happiness that is the great parable of a
higher happiness and the highest hope. For to many is
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marriage promised, and more than marriage-to many
who are stranger to each other than man and woman.
And who can wholly comprehend how strange man and
woman are to each other?
Sex-but I want to have fences around my thoughts
and even around my words, lest swine and swooners
break into my garden!
The lust to rule: the scalding scourge of the hardest
among the hardhearted; the hideous torture that is
saved up for the cruelest; the dark flame of living pyres.
The lust to rule: the malicious gadfly imposed on the
vainest peoples; the mocker of all uncertain virtues; the
rider on every horse and every pride.
The lust to rule: the earthquake that breaks and
breaks open everything worm-eaten and hollow; the
rumbling, grumbling punisher that breaks open whited
sepulchers; the lightning-like question mark beside premature answers.
The lust to rule: before whose glances man crawls
and ducks and slaves and becomes lower than snake
and swine, until finally the great contempt cries out of
him.
The lust to rule: the terrible teacher of the great contempt, who preaches "away with you" to the very faces
of cities and empires, until it finally cries out of them
themselves, "Away with me!"
The lust to rule: which, however, also ascends luringly to the pure and lonely and up to self-sufficient
heights, glowing like a love that luringly paints crimson
fulfillments on earthly skies.
The lust to rule-but who would call it lust when
what is high longs downward for power? Verily, there
is nothing diseased or lustful in such longing and condescending. That the lonely heights should not remain
lonely and self-sufficient eternally; that the mountain
should descend to the valley and the winds of the
height to the low plains-oh, who were to find the right
name for such longing? "Gift-giving virtue"-thus Zarathustra once named the unnamable.
And at that time it also happened-and verily, it
happened for the first time-that his word pronounced
selfishness blessed, the wholesome, healthy selfishness
that wells from a powerful soul-from a powerful soul
to which belongs the high body, beautiful, triumphant,
refreshing, around which everything becomes a mirror
-the supple, persuasive body, the dancer whose parable and epitome is the self-enjoying soul. The selfenjoyment of such bodies and souls calls itself "virtue."
With its words about good and bad, such self-enjoyment screens itself as with sacred groves; with the
names of its happiness it banishes from its presence
whatever is contemptible. From its presence it banishes
whatever is cowardly; it says: bad-that is cowardly
Contemptible to its mind is anyone who always worries,
sighs, is miserable, and also anyone who picks up even
the smallest advantages. It also despises all wisdom
that wallows in grief; for verily, there is also wisdom
that blooms in the dark, a nightshade wisdom, which
always sighs: all is vain.
Shy mistrust it holds in low esteem, also anyone who
wants oaths instead of eyes and hands; also all wisdom
that is all-too-mistrustful, for that is the manner of
cowardly souls. In still lower esteem it holds the subservient, the doglike, who immediately lie on their
backs, the humble; and there is wisdom too that is
humble and doglike and pious and subservient. Altoge ther hateful and nauseating it finds those who never
offer resistance, who swallow poisonous spittle and evil
191

glances, the all-too-patient, all-suffering, always satisfied; for that is servile.
Whether one be servile before gods and gods' kicks
or before men and stupid men's opinions-whatever is
servile it spits on, this blessed selfishness. Bad: that is
what it calls everything that is sorely stooped and
sordidly servile, unfree blink-eyes, oppressed hearts, and
that false yielding manner that kisses with wide cowardly lips.
And sham wisdom: that is what it calls the would-be
wit of the servile and old and weary, and especially the
whole wicked, nitwitted, witless foolishness of priests.
The sham-wise, however-all the priests, the worldweary, and all those whose souls are womanish and
servile-oh, what wicked tricks has their trickery always
played on selfishness And what was considered virtue
and called virtue was playing wicked tricks on selfishnessl And "selfless"-that is how all these world-weary
cowards and cross-marked spiders wanted themselves,
for good reasons.
But for all these the day is now at hand, the change,
the sword of judgment, the great noon: much shall be
revealed there.
And whoever proclaims the ego wholesome and holy,
and selfishness blessed, verily, he will also tell what he
knows, foretelling: "Verily, it is at hand, it is near, the
great noonl"
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE THREE EVILS
,
942:Here, my dear friend, is a new book for you;
I have already dedicated two
To other friends, one female and one male,--
What you are, is a thing that I must veil;
What can this be to those who praise or rail?
I never was attached to that great sect
Whose doctrine is that each one should select
Out of the world a mistress or a friend,
And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
To cold oblivionthough 'tis in the code
Of modern morals, and the beaten road
Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread
Who travel to their home among the dead
By the broad highway of the worldand so
With one sad friend, and many a jealous foe,
The dreariest and the longest journey go.
Free love has this, different from gold and clay,
That to divide is not to take away.
Like ocean, which the general north wind breaks
Into ten thousand waves, and each one makes
A mirror of the moon -- like some great glass,
Which did distort whatever form might pass,
Dashed into fragments by a playful child,
Which then reflects its eyes and forehead mild;
Giving for one, which it could ne'er express,
A thousand images of loveliness.
If I were one whom the loud world held wise,
I should disdain to quote authorities
In commendation of this kind of love:--
Why there is first the God in heaven above,
Who wrote a book called Nature, 'tis to be
Reviewed, I hear, in the next Quarterly;
And Socrates, the Jesus Christ of Greece,
And Jesus Christ Himself, did never cease
To urge all living things to love each other,
And to forgive their mutual faults, and smother
The Devil of disunion in their souls.
. . .

I love you!-- Listen, O embodied Ray
Of the great Brightness; I must pass away
While you remain, and these light words must be
Tokens by which you may remember me.
Start notthe thing you are is unbetrayed,
If you are human, and if but the shade
Of some sublimer spirit . . .
. . .

And as to friend or mistress, 'tis a form;
Perhaps I wish you were one. Some declare
You a familiar spirit, as you are;
Others with a . . . more inhuman
Hint that, though not my wife, you are a woman;
What is the colour of your eyes and hair?
Why, if you were a lady, it were fair
The world should knowbut, as I am afraid,
The Quarterly would bait you if betrayed;
And if, as it will be sport to see them stumble
Over all sorts of scandals, hear them mumble
Their litany of cursessome guess right,
And others swear you're a Hermaphrodite;
Like that sweet marble monster of both sexes,
Which looks so sweet and gentle that it vexes
The very soul that the soul is gone
Which lifted from her limbs the veil of stone.
. . .

It is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm,
A happy and auspicious bird of calm,
Which rides o'er life's ever tumultuous Ocean;
A God that broods o'er chaos in commotion;
A flower which fresh as Lapland roses are,
Lifts its bold head into the world's frore air,
And blooms most radiantly when others die,
Health, hope, and youth, and brief prosperity;
And with the light and odour of its bloom,
Shining within the dungeon and the tomb;
Whose coming is as light and music are
'Mid dissonance and gloom -- a star
Which moves not 'mid the moving heavens alone--
A smile among dark frownsa gentle tone
Among rude voices, a belovd light,
A solitude, a refuge, a delight.
If I had but a friend! Why, I have three
Even by my own confession; there may be
Some more, for what I know, for 'tis my mind
To call my friends all who are wise and kind,--
And these, Heaven knows, at best are very few;
But none can ever be more dear than you.
Why should they be? My muse has lost her wings,
Or like a dying swan who soars and sings,
I should describe you in heroic style,
But as it is, are you not void of guile?
A lovely soul, formed to be blessed and bless:
A well of sealed and secret happiness;
A lute which those whom Love has taught to play
Make music on to cheer the roughest day,
And enchant sadness till it sleeps? . . .
. . .

To the oblivion whither I and thou,
All loving and all lovely, hasten now
With steps, ah, too unequal! may we meet
In one Elysium or one winding-sheet!
If any should be curious to discover
Whether to you I am a friend or lover,
Let them read Shakespeare's sonnets, taking thence
A whetstone for their dull intelligence
That tears and will not cut, or let them guess
How Diotima, the wise prophetess,
Instructed the instructor, and why he
Rebuked the infant spirit of melody
On Agathon's sweet lips, which as he spoke
Was as the lovely star when morn has broke
The roof of darkness, in the golden dawn,
Half-hidden, and yet beautiful.
                 I'll pawn
My hopes of Heavenyou know what they are worth--
That the presumptuous pedagogues of Earth,
If they could tell the riddle offered here
Would scorn to be, or being to appear
What now they seem and are -- but let them chide,
They have few pleasures in the world beside;
Perhaps we should be dull were we not chidden,
Paradise fruits are sweetest when forbidden.
Folly can season Wisdom, Hatred Love.
. . .

Farewell, if it can be to say farewell
To those who . . .
. . .

I will not, as most dedicators do,
Assure myself and all the world and you,
That you are faultless -- would to God they were
Who taunt me with your love! I then should wear
These heavy chains of life with a light spirit,
And would to God I were, or even as near it
As you, dear heart. Alas! what are we? Clouds
Driven by the wind in warring multitudes,
Which rain into the bosom of the earth,
And rise again, and in our death and birth,
And through our restless life, take as from heaven
Hues which are not our own, but which are given,
And then withdrawn, and with inconstant glance
Flash from the spirit to the countenance.
There is a Power, a Love, a Joy, a God
Which makes in mortal hearts its brief abode,
A Pythian exhalation, which inspires
Love, only love -- a wind which o'er the wires
Of the soul's giant harp
There is a mood which language faints beneath;
You feel it striding, as Almighty Death
His bloodless steed . . .
. . .

And what is that most brief and bright delight
Which rushes through the touch and through the sight,
And stands before the spirit's inmost throne,
A naked Seraph? None hath ever known.
Its birth is darkness, and its growth desire;
Untameable and fleet and fierce as fire,
Not to be touched but to be felt alone,
It fills the world with glory -- and is gone.
. . .

It floats with rainbow pinions o'er the stream
Of life, which flows, like a . . . dream
Into the light of morning, to the grave
As to an ocean . . .
. . .

What is that joy which serene infancy
Perceives not, as the hours content them by,
Each in a chain of blossoms, yet enjoys
The shapes of this new world, in giant toys
Wrought by the busy . . . ever new?
Remembrance borrows Fancy's glass, to show
These forms more . . . sincere
Than now they are, than then, perhaps, they were.
When everything familiar seemed to be
Wonderful, and the immortality
Of this great world, which all things must inherit,
Was felt as one with the awakening spirit,
Unconscious of itself, and of the strange
Distinctions which in its proceeding change
It feels and knows, and mourns as if each were
A desolation . . .
. . .

Were it not a sweet refuge, Emily,
For all those exiles from the dull insane
Who vex this pleasant world with pride and pain,
For all that band of sister-spirits known
To one another by a voiceless tone?
. . .

If day should part us night will mend division
And if sleep parts us -- we will meet in vision
And if life parts us -- we will mix in death
Yielding our mite [?] of unreluctant breath
Death cannot part us -- we must meet again
In all in nothing in delight in pain:
How, why or when or whereit matters not
So that we share an undivided lot . . .
. . .

And we will move possessing and possessed
Wherever beauty on the earth's bare [?] breast
Lies like the shadow of thy soul -- till we
Become one being with the world we see . . .

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Epipsychidion - Passages Of The Poem, Or Connected Therewith
,
943:THE UGLIEST MAN

And again Zarathustra's feet ran over mountains and
through woods, and his eyes kept seeking, but he whom
they wanted to see was nowhere to be seen: the great
distressed one who had cried out. All along the way,
however, Zarathustra jubilated in his heart and was
grateful. 'What good things," he said, "has this day
given me to make up for its bad beginning! What
strange people have I found to talk with Now I shall
long chew their words like good grains; my teeth shall
grind them and crush them small till they flow like milk
into my soul."
But when the path turned around a rock again the
scenery changed all at once, and Zarathustra entered a
realm of death. Black and red cliffs rose rigidly: no
grass, no tree, no bird's voice. For it was a valley that
all animals avoided, even the beasts of prey; only a
species of ugly fat green snakes came here to die when
they grew old. Therefore the shepherds called this
valley Snakes' Death.
Zarathustra, however, sank into a black reminiscence,
for he felt as if he had stood in this valley once before.
And much that was grave weighed on his mind; he
walked slowly, and still more slowly, and finally stood
still. But when he opened his eyes he saw something
sitting by the way, shaped like a human being, yet
scarcely like a human being-something inexpressible.
And all at once a profound sense of shame overcame
Zarathustra for having laid eyes on such a thing:
blushing right up to his white hair, he averted his eyes
and raised his feet to leave this dreadful place. But at
that moment the dead waste land was filled with a
noise, for something welled up from the ground, gurgling and rattling, as water gurgles and rattles by night
in clogged waterpipes; and at last it became a human
voice and human speech-thus:
"Zarathustra! Zarathustral Guess my riddle! Speak,
speak! What is the revenge against the witness? I lure
you back, here is slippery ice. Take care, take care that
your pride does not break its legs here! You think yourself wise, proud Zarathustra. Then guess the riddle, you
cracker of hard nuts-the riddle that I am. Speak then:
who am I?"
But when Zarathustra had heard these words-what
do you suppose happened to his soul? Pity seized him;
and he sank down all at once, like an oak tree that has
long resisted many woodcutters-heavily, suddenly,
terrifying even those who had wanted to fell it. But immediately he rose from the ground again, and his face
became hard.
"I recognize you well," he said in a voice of bronze;
'you are the murderer of God! Let me go. You could
not bear him who saw you-who always saw you
through and through, you ugliest man! You took revenge on this witness!"
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he wanted to leave; but
the inexpressible one seized a corner of his garment and
began again to gurgle and seek for words. "Stayl" he
said finally. "Stay! Do not pass by! I have guessed what
ax struck you to the ground: hail to you, 0 Zarathustra,
that you stand again! You have guessed, I know it
well, how he who killed him feels-the murderer of
God. Stay! Sit down here with me! It is not for nothing.
Whom did I want to reach, if not you? Stay! Sit down!
But do not look at me! In that way honor my ugliness
265
They persecute me; now you are my last refuge. Not
with their hatred, not with their catchpoles: I would
mock such persecution and be proud and glad of itl
"Has not all success hitherto been with the wellpersecuted? And whoever persecutes well, learns readily
how to follow; for he is used to going after somebody
else. But it is their pity-it is their pity that I flee,
fleeing to you. 0 Zarathustra, protect me, you my last
refuge, the only one who has solved my riddle: you
guessed how he who killed him feels. Stay! And if you
would go, you impatient one, do not go the way I
came. That way is bad. Are you angry with me that I
have even now stammered too long-and even advise
you? But know, it is I, the ugliest man, who also has
the largest and heaviest feet. Where I have gone, the
way is bad. I tread all ways till they are dead and
ruined.
"But that you passed me by, silent; that you blushed,
I saw it well: that is how I recognized you as Zarathustra. Everyone else would have thrown his alms to
me, his pity, with his eyes and words. But for that I
am not beggar enough, as you guessed; for that I am
too rich, rich in what is great, in what is terrible, in
what is ugliest, in what is most inexpressible. Your
shame, Zarathustra, honored me! With difficulty I
escaped the throng of the pitying, to find the only one
today who teaches, 'Pity is obtrusive'-you, 0 Zarathustra. Whether it be a god's pity or man's-pity
offends the sense of shame. And to be unwilling to help
can be nobler than that virtue which jumps to help.
"But today that is called virtue itself among all the
little people-pity. They have no respect for great misfortune, for great ugliness, for great failure. Over this
multitude I look away as a dog looks away over the
backs of teeming flocks of sheep. They are little gray
266
people, full of good wool and good will. As a heron
looks away contemptuously over shallow ponds, its
head leaning back, thus I look away over the teeming
mass of gray little waves and wills and souls. Too long
have we conceded to them that they are right, these
little people; so that in the end we have also conceded
them might. Now they teach: 'Good is only what little
people call good.'
"And today 'truth' is what the preacher said, who
himself came from among them, that queer saint and
advocate of the little people who bore witness about
himself: 'I am the truth.' This immodest fellow has long
given the little people swelled heads-he who taught
no small error when he taught, 'I am the truth.' Has an
immodest fellow ever been answered more politely?
You, however, 0 Zarathustra, passed him by and said,
'No! No! Three times no!' You warned against his error,
you, as the first, warned against pity-not all, not none,
but you and your kind.
"You are ashamed of the shame of the great sufferer;
and verily, when you say, 'From pity, a great cloud
approaches; beware, 0 men!'; when you teach, 'All
creators are hard, all great love is over and above its
pity'-O Zarathustra, how well you seem to me to understand storm signs. But you-warn yourself also
against your pity. For many are on their way to you,
many who are suffering, doubting, despairing, drowning, freezing. And I also warn you against myself. You
guessed my best, my worst riddle: myself and what I
did. I know the ax that fells you.
"But he had to die: he saw with eyes that saw everything; he saw man's depths and ultimate grounds, all
his concealed disgrace and ugliness. His pity knew no
shame: he crawled into my dirtiest nooks. This most
curious, overobtrusive, overpitying one had to die. He
267
always saw me: on such a witness I wanted to have
revenge or not live myself. The god who saw everything, even man-this god had to die! Man cannot
bear it that such a witness should live."
Thus spoke the ugliest man. But Zarathustra rose and
was about to leave, for he felt frozen down to his very
entrails. "You inexpressible one," he said, "you have
warned me against your way. In thanks I shall praise
mine to you. Behold, up there lies Zarathustra's cave.
My cave is large and deep and has many nooks; even
the most hidden can find a hiding-place there. And
close by there are a hundred dens and lodges for crawling, fluttering, and jumping beasts. You self-exiled exile,
would you not live among men and men's pity? Well
then Do as I do. Thus you also learn from me; only
the doer learns. And speak first of all to my animals.
The proudest animal and the wisest animal-they
should be the right counselors for the two of us."
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he went his way, still
more reflectively and slowly than before; for he asked
himself much, and he did not know how to answer himself readily. "How poor man is after all," he thought in
his heart; "how ugly, how wheezing, how full of hidden
shame! I have been told that man loves himself: ah,
how great must this self-love bel How much contempt
stands against it! This fellow too loved himself, even as
he despised himself: a great lover he seems to me, and
a great despiser. None have I found yet who despised
himself more deeply: that too is a kind of height. Alas,
was he perhaps the higher man whose cry I heard? I
love the great despisers. Man, however, is something
that must be overcome."
268
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE UGLIEST MAN
,
944:ON

THE VISION

AND THE

RIDDLE

1

When it got abroad among the sailors that Zarathustra was on board-for another man from the blessed
isles had embarked with him-there was much curiosity
and anticipation. But Zarathustra remained silent for
two days and was cold and deaf from sadness and answered neither glances nor questions. But on the evening of the second day he opened his ears again,
although he still remained silent, for there was much

that was strange and dangerous to be heard on this
ship, which came from far away and wanted to sail
even farther. But Zarathustra was a friend of all who
travel far and do not like to live without danger. And
behold, eventually his own tongue was loosened as he
listened, and the ice of his heart broke. Then he began
to speak thus:
To you, the bold searchers, researchers, and whoever
156
embarks with cunning sails on terrible seas-to you,
drunk with riddles, glad of the twilight, whose soul
flutes lure astray to every whirlpool, because you do not
want to grope along a thread with cowardly hand; and
where you can guess, you hate to deduce-to you
alone I tell the riddle that I saw, the vision of the
loneliest.
Not long ago I walked gloomily through the deadly
pallor of dusk-gloomy and hard, with lips pressed
together. Not only one sun had set for me. A path that
ascended defiantly through stones, malicious, lonely, not
cheered by herb or shrub-a mountain path crunched
under the defiance of my foot. Striding silently over
the mocking clatter of pebbles, crushing the rock that
made it slip, my foot forced its way upward. Upwarddefying the spirit that drew it downward toward the
abyss, the spirit of gravity, my devil and archenemy.
Upward-although he sat on me, half dwarf, half
mole, lame, making lame, dripping lead into my ear,
leaden thoughts into my brain.
"O Zarathustra," he whispered mockingly, syllable by
syllable; "you philosopher's stone You threw yourself
up high, but every stone that is thrown must fall. 0
Zarathustra, you philosopher's stone, you slingstone,
you star-crusherl You threw yourself up so high; but
every stone that is thrown must fall. Sentenced to
yourself and to your own stoning-O Zarathustra, far
indeed have you thrown the stone, but it will fall back
on yourself."
Then the dwarf fell silent, and that lasted a long
time. His silence, however, oppressed me; and such
twosomeness is surely more lonesome than being alone.
I climbed, I climbed, I dreamed, I thought; but everything oppressed me. I was like one sick whom his
wicked torture makes weary, and who as he falls asleep
157
is awakened by a still more wicked dream. But there is
something in me that I call courage; that has so far
slain my every discouragement. This courage finally
bade me stand still and speak: "Dwarf! It is you or II"
For courage is the best slayer, courage which attacks;
for in every attack there is playing and brass.
Man, however, is the most courageous animal: hence
he overcame every animal. With playing and brass he
has so far overcome every pain; but human pain is the
deepest pain.
Courage also slays dizziness at the edge of abysses:
and where does man not stand at the edge of abysses?
Is not seeing always-seeing abysses?
Courage is the best slayer: courage slays even pity.
But pity is the deepest abyss: as deeply as man sees
into life, he also sees into suffering.
Courage, however, is the best slayer-courage which
attacks: which slays even death itself, for it says, "Was
that life? Well then! Once morel"
In such words, however, there is much playing and
brass. He that has ears to hear, let him hear
2
"Stop, dwarf!" I said. "It is I or you! But I am the
stronger of us two: you do not know my abysmal
thought. That you could not bear!"
Then something happened that made me lighter, for
the dwarf jumped from my shoulder, being curious; and
he crouched on a stone before me. But there was a
gateway just where we had stopped.
"Behold this gateway, dwarfl" I continued. "It has
two faces. Two paths meet here; no one has yet followed either to its end. This long lane stretches back
for an eternity. And the long lane out there, that is
another eternity. They contradict each other, these
158
paths; they offend each other face to face; and it is
here at this gateway that they come together. The name
of the gateway is inscribed above: 'Moment.' But whoever would follow one of them, on and on, farther and
farther-do you believe, dwarf, that these paths contradict each other eternally?"
"All that is straight lies," the dwarf murmured contemptuously. "All truth is crooked; time itself is a
circle."
"You spirit of gravity," I said angrily, "do not make
things too easy for yourself Or I shall let you crouch
where you are crouching, lamefoot; and it was I that
carried you to this height.
"Behold," I continued, "this moment! From this gateway, Moment, a long, eternal lane leads backward:
behind us lies an eternity. Must not whatever can walk
have walked on this lane before? Must not whatever
can happen have happened, have been done, have
passed by before? And if everything has been there
before-what do you think, dwarf, of this moment?
Must not this gateway too have been there before? And
are not all things knotted together so firmly that this
moment draws after it all that is to come? Therefore
itself too? For whatever can walk-in this long lane out
there too, it must walk once more.
"And this slow spider, which crawls in the moonlight,
and this moonlight itself, and I and you in the gateway,
whispering together, whispering of eternal things-must
not all of us have been there before? And return and
walk in that other lane, out there, before us, in this
long dreadful lane-must we not eternally return?"
Thus I spoke, more and more softly; for I was afraid
of my own thoughts and the thoughts behind my
thoughts. Then suddenly I heard a dog howl nearby.
Had I ever heard a dog howl like this? My thoughts
159
raced back. Yes, when I was a child, in the most distant
childhood: then I heard a dog howl like this. And I saw
him too, bristling, his head up, trembling, in the stillest
midnight when even dogs believe in ghosts-and I
took pity: for just then the full moon, silent as death,
passed over the house; just then it stood still, a round
glow-still on the flat roof, as if on another's property
-that was why the dog was terrified, for dogs believe
in thieves and ghosts. And when I heard such howling
again I took pity again.
Where was the dwarf gone now? And the gateway?
And the spider? And all the whispering? Was I dreaming, then? Was I waking up?
Among wild cliffs I stood suddenly alone, bleak, in
the bleakest moonlight. But there lay a man. And there
-the dog, jumping, bristling, whining-now he saw
me coming; then he howled again, he cried. Had I ever
heard a dog cry like this for help? And verily, what I
saw-I had never seen the like. A young shepherd I
saw, writhing, gagging, in spasms, his face distorted,
and a heavy black snake hung out of his mouth. Had
I ever seen so much nausea and pale dread on one
face? He seemed to have been asleep when the snake
crawled into his throat, and there bit itself fast. My
hand tore at the snake and tore in vain; it did not tear
the snake out of his throat. Then it cried out of me:
"Bitel Bite its head offl Bitel" Thus it cried out of memy dread, my hatred, my nausea, my pity, all that is
good and wicked in me cried out of me with a single
cry.
You bold ones who surround mel You searchers, researchers, and whoever among you has embarked with
cunning sails on unexplored seas. You who are glad
of riddles Guess me this riddle that I saw then, interpret me the vision of the loneliest. For it was a vision
160
and a foreseeing. What did I see then in a parable?
And who is it who must yet come one day? Who is the
shepherd into whose throat the snake crawled thus?
Who is the man into whose throat all that is heaviest
and blackest will crawl thus?
The shepherd, however, bit as my cry counseled him;
he bit with a good bite. Far away he spewed the head
of the snake-and he jumped up. No longer shepherd,
no longer human-one changed, radiant, laughing!
Never yet on earth has a human being laughed as he
laughed! 0 my brothers, I heard a laughter that was no
human laughter; and now a thirst gnaws at me, a longing that never grows still. My longing for, this laughter
gnaws at me; oh, how do I bear to go on living And
how could I bear to die nowl
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE VISION AND THE RIDDLE
,
945:
[Dedicated to General J.C.F. Fuller]
Velvet soft the night-star glowed
Over the untrodden road,
Through the giant glades of yew
Where its ray fell light as dew
Lighting up the shimmering veil
Maiden pure and aery frail
That the spiders wove to hide
Blushes of the sylvan bride
Earth, that trembled with delight
At the male caress of Night.

Velvet soft the wizard trod
To the Sabbath of his God.
With his naked feet he made
Starry blossoms in the glade,
Softly, softly, as he went
To the sombre sacrament,
Stealthy stepping to the tryst
In his gown of amethyst.

Earlier yet his soul had come
To the Hill of Martyrdom,
Where the charred and crooked stake
Like a black envenomed snake
By the hangman's hands is thrust
Through the wet and writhing dust,
Never black and never dried
Heart's blood of a suicide.

He had plucked the hazel rod
From the rude and goatish god,
Even as the curved moon's waning ray
Stolen from the King of Day.
He had learnt the elvish sign;
Given the Token of the Nine:
Once to rave, and once to revel,
Once to bow before the devil,
Once to swing the thurible,
Once to kiss the goat of hell,
Once to dance the aspen spring,
Once to croak, and once to sing,
Once to oil the savoury thighs
Of the witch with sea-green eyes
With the unguents magical.
Oh the honey and the gall
Of that black enchanter's lips
As he croons to the eclipse
Mingling that most puissant spell
Of the giant gods of hell
With the four ingredients
Of the evil elements;
Ambergris from golden spar,
Musk of ox from Mongol jar,
Civet from a box of jade,
Mixed with fat of many a maid
Slain by the inchauntments cold
Of the witches wild and old.

He had crucified a toad
In the basilisk abode,
Muttering the Runes averse
Mad with many a mocking curse.

He had traced the serpent sigil
In his ghastly virgin vigil.
Sursum cor! the elfin hill,
Where the wind blows deadly chill
From the world that wails beneath
Death's black throat and lipless teeth.
There he had stood - his bosom bare -
Tracing Life upon the Air
With the crook and with the flail
Lashing forward on the gale,
Till its blade that wavereth
Like the flickering of Death
Sank before his subtle fence
To the starless sea of sense.

Now at last the man is come
Haply to his halidom.
Surely as he waves his rod
In a circle on the sod
Springs the emerald chaste and clean
From the duller paler green.
Surely in the circle millions
Of immaculate pavilions
Flash upon the trembling turf
Like the sea-stars in the surf -
Millions of bejewelled tents
For the warrior sacraments.
Vaster, vaster, vaster, vaster,
Grows the stature of the master;
All the ringed encampment vies
With the infinite galaxies.
In the midst a cubic stone
With the Devil set thereon;
Hath a lamb's virginal throat;
Hath the body of a stoat;
Hath the buttocks of a goat;
Hath the sanguine face and rod
Of a goddess and a god!

Spell by spell and pace by pace!
Mystic flashes swing and trace
Velvet soft the sigils stepped
By the silver-starred adept.
Back and front, and to and fro,
Soul and body sway and flow
In vertiginous caresses
To imponderable recesses,
Till at last the spell is woven,
And the faery veil is cloven
That was Sequence, Space, and Stress
Of the soul-sick consciousness.

"Give thy body to the beasts!
Give thy spirit to the priests!
Break in twain the hazel rod
On the virgin lips of God!
Tear the Rosy Cross asunder!
Shatter the black bolt of thunder!
Suck the swart ensanguine kiss
Of the resolute abyss!"
Wonder-weft the wizard heard
This intolerable word.
Smote the blasting hazel rod
On the scarlet lips of God;
Trampled Cross and rosy core;
Brake the thunder-tool of Thor;
Meek and holy acolyte
Of the priestly hells of spite,
Sleek and shameless catamite
Of the beasts that prowl the night!

Like a star that streams from heaven
Through the virgin airs light-riven,
From the lift there shot and fell
An admirable miracle.
Carved minute and clean, a key
Of purest lapis-lazuli
More blue than the blind sky that aches
(Wreathed with the stars, her torturing snakes),
For the dead god's kiss that never wakes;
Shot with golden specks of fire
Like a virgin with desire.
Look, the levers! fern-frail fronds
Of fantastic diamonds,
Glimmering with ethereal azure
In each exquisite embrasure.
On the shaft the letters laced,
As if dryads lunar-chaste
With the satyrs were embraced,
Spelled the secret of the key:
Sic pervenias. And he
Went his wizard way, inweaving
Dreams of things beyond believing.

When he will, the weary world
Of the senses closely curled
Like a serpent round his heart
Shakes herself and stands apart.
So the heart's blood flames, expanding,
Strenuous, urgent, and commanding;
And the key unlocks the door
Where his love lives evermore.

She is of the faery blood;
All smaragdine flows its flood.
Glowing in the amber sky
To ensorcelled porphyry
She hath eyes of glittering flake
Like a cold grey water-snake.
She hath naked breasts of amber
Jetting wine in her bed-chamber,
Whereof whoso stoops and drinks
Rees the riddle of the Sphinx.

She hath naked limbs of amber
Whereupon her children clamber.
She hath five navels rosy-red
From the five wounds of God that bled;
Each wound that mothered her still bleeding,
And on that blood her babes are feeding.
Oh! like a rose-winged pelican
She hath bred blessed babes to Pan!
Oh! like a lion-hued nightingale
She hath torn her breast on thorns to avail
The barren rose-tree to renew
Her life with that disastrous dew,
Building the rose o' the world alight
With music out of the pale moonlight!
O She is like the river of blood
That broke from the lips of the bastard god,
When he saw the sacred mother smile
On the ibis that flew up the foam of Nile
Bearing the limbs unblessed, unborn,
That the lurking beast of Nile had torn!

So (for the world is weary) I
These dreadful souls of sense lay by.
I sacrifice these impure shoon
To the cold ray of the waning moon.
I take the forked hazel staff,
And the rose of no terrene graff,
And the lamp of no olive oil
With heart's blood that alone may boil.
With naked breast and feet unshod
I follow the wizard way to God.

Wherever he leads my foot shall follow;
Over the height, into the hollow,
Up to the caves of pure cold breath,
Down to the deeps of foul hot death,
Across the seas, through the fires,
Past the palace of desires;
Where he will, whether he will or no,
If I go, I care not whither I go.

For in me is the taint of the faery blood.
Fast, fast its emerald flood
Leaps within me, violent rude
Like a bestial faun's beatitude.
In me the faery blood runs hard:
My sires were a druid, a devil, a bard,
A beast, a wizard, a snake and a satyr;
For - as my mother said - what does it matter?
She was a fay, pure of the faery;
Queen Morgan's daughter by an aery
Demon that came to Orkney once
To pay the Beetle his orisons.

So, it is I that writhe with the twitch
Of the faery blood, and the wizard itch
To attain a matter one may not utter
Rather than sink in the greasy splutter
Of Britons munching their bread and butter;
Ailing boys and coarse-grained girls
Grown to sloppy women and brutal churls.
So, I am off with staff in hand
To the endless light of the nameless land.

Darkness spreads its sombre streams,
Blotting out the elfin dreams.
I might haply be afraid,
Were it not the Feather-maid
Leads me softly by the hand,
Whispers me to understand.
Now (when through the world of weeping
Light at last starrily creeping
Steals upon my babe-new sight,
Light - O light that is not light!)
On my mouth the lips of her
Like a stone on my sepulchre
Seal my speech with ecstasy,
Till a babe is born of me
That is silent more than I;
For its inarticulate cry
Hushes as its mouth is pressed
To the pearl, her honey breast;
While its breath divinely ripples
The rose-petals of her nipples,
And the jetted milk he laps
From the soft delicious paps,
Sweeter than the bee-sweet showers
In the chalice of the flowers,
More intoxicating than
All the purple grapes of Pan.

Ah! my proper lips are stilled.
Only, all the world is filled
With the Echo, that drips over
Like the honey from the clover.
Passion, penitence, and pain
Seek their mother's womb again,
And are born the triple treasure,
Peace and purity and pleasure.

- Hush, my child, and come aloft
Where the stars are velvet soft!

~ Aleister Crowley, The Wizard Way
,
946:ON REDEMPTION

When Zarathustra crossed over the great bridge one
day the cripples and beggars surrounded him, and a
hunchback spoke to him thus: "Behold, Zarathustra.
The people too learn from you and come to believe in
your doctrine; but before they will believe you entirely
one thing is still needed: you must first persuade us
cripples. Now here you have a fine selection and, verily,
an opportunity with more than one handle. You can
heal the blind and make the lame walk; and from him
who has too much behind him you could perhaps take
away a little. That, I think, would be the right way to
make the cripples believe in Zarathustra."
But Zarathustra replied thus to the man who had
spoken: "When one takes away the hump from the
hunchback one takes away his spirit-thus teach the
people. And when one restores his eyes to the blind
man he sees too many wicked things on earth, and he
will curse whoever healed him. But whoever makes the
lame walk does him the greatest harm: for when he can
walk his vices run away with him-thus teach the
people about cipples. And why should Zarathustra not
learn from the people when the people learn from
Zarathustra?
"But this is what matters least to me since I have
been among men: to see that this one lacks an eye and
that one an ear and a third a leg, while there are others
who have lost their tongues or their noses or their heads.
I see, and have seen, what is worse, and many things
so vile that I do not want to speak of everything; and
concerning some things I do not even like to be silent:
for there are human beings who lack everything, except
one thing of which they have too much-human beings
who are nothing but a big eye or a big mouth or a big
belly or anything at all that is big. Inverse cripples I
call them.
"And when I came out of my solitude and crossed
over this bridge for the first time I did not trust my
eyes and looked and looked again, and said at last, 'An
earl An ear as big as a man!' I looked still more closely
-and indeed, underneath the ear something was moving, something pitifully small and wretched and slender.
And, no doubt of it, the tremendous ear was attached
to a small, thin stalk-but this stalk was a human being!
If one used a magnifying glass one could even recognize
a tiny envious face; also, that a bloated little soul was
dangling from the stalk. The people, however, told me
that this great ear was not only a human being, but a
great one, a genius. But I never believed the people
when they spoke of great men; and I maintained my
belief that it was an inverse cripple who had too little
of everything and too much of one thing."
When Zarathustra had spoken thus to the hunchback
and to those whose mouthpiece and advocate the
hunchback was, he turned to his disciples in profound
dismay and said: "Verily, my friends, I walk among
men as among the fragments and limbs of men. This is
what is terrible for my eyes, that I find man in ruins and
scattered as over a battlefield or a butcher-field. And
when my eyes flee from the now to the past, they always find the same: fragments and limbs and dreadful
accidents-but no human beings.
"The now and the past on earth-alas, my friends,
that is what I find most unendurable; and I should not
know how to live if I were not also a seer of that which
139
must come. A seer, a wilder, a creator, a future himself
and a bridge to the future-and alas, also, as it were, a
cripple at this bridge: all this is Zarathustra.
"And you too have often asked yourselves, 'Who is
Zarathustra to us? What shall we call him? And, like
myself, you replied to yourselves with questions. Is he
a promiser? or a fulfiller? A conqueror? or an inheritor?
An autumn? or a plowshare? A physician? or one who
has recovered? Is he a poet? or truthful? A liberator?
or a tamer? good? or evil?
"I walk among men as among the fragments of the
future-that future which I envisage. And this is all my
creating and striving, that I create and carry together
into One what is fragment and riddle and dreadful
accident. And how could I bear to be a man if man
were not also a creator and guesser of riddles and
redeemer of accidents?
"To redeem those who lived in the past and to recreate all 'it was' into a 'thus I willed it'-that alone
should I call redemption. Will-that is the name of the
liberator and joy-bringer; thus I taught you, my friends.
But now learn this too: the will itself is still a prisoner.
Willing liberates; but what is it that puts even the liberator himself in fetters? 'It was'-that is the name of
the will's gnashing of teeth and most secret melancholy.
Powerless against what has been done, he is an angry
spectator of all that is past. The will cannot will backwards; and that he cannot break time and time's
covetousness, that is the wills loneliest melancholy.
"Willing liberates; what means does the will devise
for himself to get rid of his melancholy and to mock
his dungeon? Alas, every prisoner becomes a fool; and
the imprisoned will redeems himself foolishly. That time
does not run backwards, that is his wrath; 'that which
was' is the name of the stone he cannot move. And so
he moves stones out of wrath and displeasure, and he
wreaks revenge on whatever does not feel wrath and
displeasure as he does. Thus the will, the liberator, took
to hurting; and on all who can suffer he wreaks revenge
for his inability to go backwards. This, indeed this
alone, is what revenge is: the will's ill will against time
and its 'it was.'
"Verily, a great folly dwells in our will; and it has
become a curse for everything human that this folly has
acquired spirit.
"The spirit of revenge, my friends, has so far been the
subject of man's best reflection; and where there was
suffering, one always wanted punishment too.
"For 'punishment' is what revenge calls itself; with a
hypocritical lie it creates a good conscience for itself.
"Because there is suffering in those who will, inasmuch as they cannot will backwards, willing itself and
all life were supposed to be-a punishment. And now
cloud upon cloud rolled over the spirit, until eventually
madness preached, 'Everything passes away; therefore
everything deserves to pass away. And this too is justice,
this law of time that it must devour its children.' Thus
preached madness.
"'Things are ordered morally according to justice and
punishment. Alas, where is redemption from the flux of
things and from the punishment called existence?' Thus
preached madness.
"'Can there be redemption if there is eternal justice?
Alas, the stone It was cannot be moved: all punishments
must be eternal too.' Thus preached madness.
"'No deed can be annihilated: how could it be undone by punishment? This, this is what is eternal in the
punishment called existence, that existence must eternally become deed and guilt again. Unless the will
should at last redeem himself, and willing should be-
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come not willing.' But, my brothers, you know this
fable of madness.
"I led you away from these fables when I taught you,
'The will is a creator.' All 'it was' is a fragment, a riddle, a dreadful accident-until the creative will says to
it, 'But thus I willed it.' Until the creative will says to
it, 'But thus I will it; thus shall I will it.'
"But has the will yet spoken thus? And when will
that happen? Has the will been unharnessed yet from
his own folly? Has the will yet become his own redeemer and joy-bringer? Has he unlearned the spirit of
revenge and all gnashing of teeth? And who taught him
reconciliation with time and something higher than any
reconciliation? For that will which is the will to power
must will something higher than any reconciliation; but
how shall this be brought about? Who could teach him
also to will backwards?"
At this point in his speech it happened that Zarathustra suddenly stopped and looked altoge ther like one
who has received a severe shock. Appalled, he looked
at his disciples; his eyes pierced their thoughts and the
thoughts behind their thoughts as with arrows. But after
a little while he laughed again and, pacified, he said:
"It is difficult to live with people because silence is so
difficult. Especially for one who is garrulous."
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
The hunchback, however, had listened to this discourse and covered his face the while; but when he
heard Zarathustra laugh he looked up curiously and
said slowly: "But why does Zarathustra speak otherwise
to us than to his disciples?"
Zarathustra answered: "What is surprising in that?
With hunchbacks one may well speak in a hunchbacked
way.
"All right," said the hunchback; "and one may well
tell pupils tales out of school. But why does Zarathustra
speak otherwise to his pupils than to himself?"
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON REDEMPTION
,
947:THE

MAGICIAN
1

But when Zarathustra came around a rock he beheld,
not far below on the same path, a man who threw his
limbs around like a maniac and finally flopped down
252
on his belly. "Waitl" Zarathustra said to his heart; "that
must indeed be the higher man; from him came that
terrible cry of distress; let me see if he can still be
helped." But when he ran to the spot where the man lay
on the ground he found a trembling old man with
vacant eyes; and however Zarathustra exerted himself
to help the man to get up on his feet again, it was all
in vain. Nor did the unfortunate man seem to notice
that anybody was with him; rather he kept looking
around with piteous gestures, like one abandoned and
forsaken by all the world. At last, however, after many
shudders, convulsions, and contortions, he began to
moan thus:
"Who warms me, who loves me still?
Give hot hands
Give a heart as glowing coalsl
Stretched out, shuddering,
Like something half dead whose feet one warmsShaken, alas, by unknown fevers,
Shivering with piercing icy frost-arrows,
Hunted by thee, 0 thought
Unnamable, shrouded, terrible onel
Thou hunter behind clouds
Struck down by thy lightning bolt,
Thou mocking eye that stares at me from the dark:
Thus I lie
Writhing, twisting, tormented
With all eternal tortures,
Hit
By thee, cruelest hunter,
Thou unknown god!
Hit deeper
Hit once more yetl
Drive a stake through and break this heart!
253
Why this torture
With blunt-toothed arrows?
Why dost thou stare again,
Not yet weary of human agony,
With gods' lightning eyes that delight in suffering?
Thou wouldst not kill,
Only torture, torture?
Why torture me,
Delighted by suffering, thou unknown god?
Hahl hah! Thou art crawling close?
In such midnightWhat dost thou want? Speakl
Thou art crowding, pressing meHah! Far too closely
Awayl Awayl
Thou art listening to me breathe,
Thou art listening to my heart,
Thou jealous one
Jealous of what?
Awayl Awayl Why the ladder?
Wouldst thou enter
The heart,
Climb in, deep into my
Most secret thoughts?
Shameless onel Unknown thief
What wouldst thou steal?
What wouldst thou gain by listening?
What wouldst thou gain by torture,
Thou torturer!
Thou hangman-godl
Or should I, doglike,
Roll before thee?
Devotedly, frantic, beside myself,
Wag love to thee?
254
In vain! Pierce on,
Cruelest thorn! No,
No dog-only thy game am I,
Cruelest hunter!
Thy proudest prisoner,
Thou robber behind clouds!
Speak at last!
What wouldst thou, waylayer, from me?
Thou lightning-shrouded onel Unknown one! Speak,
What wilt thou, unknown-god?
What? Ransom?
Why wilt thou ransom?
Demand much Thus my pride advises.
And make thy speech short! That my other pride
advises.
Hah, hahl
Me thou wilt have? Me?
Me-entirely?
Hah, hahl
And art torturing me, fool that thou art,
Torturing my pride?
Give love to me-who warms me still?
Who loves me still?-Give hot hands,
Give a heart as glowing coals,
Give me, the loneliest
Whom ice, alas, sevenfold ice
Teaches to languish for enemies,
Even for enemies,
Give, yes, give wholly,
Cruelest enemy,
Give me-thyself!
255
Awayl
He himself fled,
My last, only companion,
My great enemy,
My unknown,
My hangman-god.
Nol Do come back
With all thy tortures!
To the last of all that are lonely,
Oh, come back!
All my tear-streams run
Their course to thee;
And my heart's final flameFlares up for theel
Oh, come back,
My unknown godl My pain! My last-happiness!"

At this point, however, Zarathustra could not restrain
himself any longer, raised his stick, and started to beat
the moaning man with all his might. "Stop itl" he
shouted at him furiously. "Stop it, you actor You
counterfeiter! You liar from the bottom! I recognize you
well! I'll warm your legs for you, you wicked magician.
I know well how to make things hot for such as you."
"Leave offl" the old man said and leaped up from the
ground. "Don't strike any more, Zarathustral I did all
this only as a game. Such things belong to my art; it
was you that I wanted to try when I treated you to this
tryout. And verily, you have seen through me very well.
But you too have given me no small sample of yourself to
try out: you are hard, wise Zarathustra. Hard do you hit
with your 'truths'; your stick forces this truth out of me."
"Don't flatter!" replied Zarathustra, still excited and
angry, "you actor from the bottom! You are false; why
do you talk of truth? You peacock of peacocks, you sea
of vanity, what were you playing before me, you wicked
magician? In whom was I to believe when you were
moaning in this way?"
"The ascetic of the spirit," said the old man, "I played
him-you yourself once coined this word-the poet
and magician who at last turns his spirit against himself, the changed man who freezes to death from his
evil science and conscience. And you may as well confess it: it took a long time, 0 Zarathustra, before you
saw through my art and lie. You believed in my distress
when you held my head with both your hands; I heard
you moan, 'He has been loved too little, loved too little.'
That I deceived you to that extent made my malice
jubilate inside me."
"You may have deceived people subtler than I,"
Zarathustra said harshly. "I do not guard against
deceivers; I have to be without caution; thus my lot
wants it. You, however, have to deceive: that far I
know you. You always have to be equivocal-tri-,
quadri-, quinquevocal. And what you have now confessed, that too was not nearly true enough or false
enough to suit me. You wicked counterfeiter, how could
you do otherwise? You would rouge even your disease
when you show yourself naked to your doctor. In the
same way you have just now rouged your lie when you
said to me, 'I did all this only as a game.' There was
seriousness in it too: you are something of an ascetic
of the spirit. I solve your riddle: your magic has
enchanted everybody, but no lie or cunning is left to
you to use against yourself: you are disenchanted for
yourself. You have harvested nausea as your one truth.
Not a word of yours is genuine any more, except your
257
mouth-namely, the nausea that sticks to your mouth."
"Who are you?" cried the old magician at this point,
his voice defiant. "Who may speak thus to me, the
greatest man alive today?" And a green lightning bolt
flashed from his eye toward Zarathustra. But immediately afterward he changed and said sadly, "O Zarathustra, I am weary of it; my art nauseates me; I am
not great-why do I dissemble? But you know it too:
I sought greatness. I wanted to represent a great human
being and I persuaded many; but this lie went beyond
my strength. It is breaking me. 0 Zarathustra, everything about me is a lie; but that I am breaking-this,
my breaking, is genuine."
"It does you credit," said Zarathustra gloomily, looking aside to the ground, "it does you credit that you
sought greatness, but it also betrays you. You are not
great. You wicked old magician, this is what is best
and most honest about you, and this I honor: that you
wearied of yourself and said it outright: 'I am not
great.' In this I honor you as an ascetic of the spirit;
and even if it was only a wink and a twinkling, in this
one moment you were genuine.
"But speak, what are you seeking here in my woods
and rocks? And lying down on my path, how did you
want to try me? In what way were you seeking to test
me?' Thus spoke Zarathustra, and his eyes flashed.
The old magician remained silent for a while, then
said, "Did I seek to test you? I-merely seek. 0 Zarathustra, I seek one who is genuine, right, simple,
unequivocal, a man of all honesty, a vessel of wisdom,
a saint of knowledge, a great human being. Do you not
know it, Zarathustra? I seek Zarathustra."
And at this point there began a long silence between
the two. But Zarathustra became deeply absorbed and
258
closed his eyes. Then, however, returning to his partner
in the conversation, he seized the hand of the magician
and said, full of kindness and cunning, "Well! Up there
goes the path; there lies Zarathustra's cave. There you
may seek him whom you would find. And ask my
animals for advice, my eagle and my serpent: they shall
help you seek. But my cave is large. I myself, to be
sure-I have not yet seen a great human being. For
what is great, even the eyes of the subtlest today are
too coarse. It is the realm of the mob. Many have I seen,
swollen and straining, and the people cried, 'Behold a
great manly' But what good are all bellows? In the end,
the wind comes out. In the end, a frog which has
puffed itself up too long will burst: the wind comes out.
To stab a swollen man in the belly, I call that a fine
pastime. Hear it well, little boys
"Today belongs to the mob: who could still know
what is great and what small? Who could still successfully seek greatness? Only a fool: fools succeed. You
seek great human beings, you queer fool? Who taught
you that? Is today the time for that? 0 you wicked
seeker, why did you seek to test me?"
Thus spoke Zarathustra, his heart comforted, and he
continued on his way, laughing.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE MAGICIAN
,
948:Phi Beta Kappa Poem
Harvard, 1914
SIR, friends, and scholars, we are here to serve
A high occasion. Our New England wears
All her unrivalled beauty as of old;
And June, with scent of bayberry and rose
And song of orioles— as she only comes
By Massachusetts Bay —is here once more,
Companioning our fête of fellowship.
The open trails, South, West, and North, lead back
From populous cities or from lonely plains,
Ranch, pulpit, office, factory, desk, or mill,
To this fair tribunal of ambitious youth,
The shadowy town beside the placid Charles,
Where Harvard waits us through the passing years,
Conserving and administering still
Her savor for the gladdening of the race.
Yearly, of all the sons she has sent forth,
And men her admiration would adopt,
She summons whom she will back to her side
As if to ask, 'How fares my cause of truth
In the great world beyond these studious walls?'
Here, from their store of life experience,
They must make answer as grace is given them,
And their plain creed, in verity, declare.
Among the many, there is sometimes called
One who, like Arnold's scholar gypsy poor,
Is but a seeker on the dusky way,
'Still waiting for the spark from heaven to fall.'
He must bethink him first of other days,
And that old scholar of the seraphic smile,
As we recall him in this very place
With all the sweetest culture of his age,
His gentle courtesy and friendliness,
A chivalry of soul now strangely rare,
And that ironic wit which made him, too,
The unflinching critic and most dreaded foe
Of all things mean, unlovely, and untrue.
What Mr. Norton said, with that slow smile,
Has put the fear of God in many a heart,
130
Even while his hand encouraged eager youth.
From such enheartening who would not dare speak—
Seeing no truth can be too small to serve,
And no word worthless that is born of love?
Within the noisy workshop of the world,
Where still the strife is upward out of gloom,
Men doubt the value of high teaching —cry,
'What use is learning? Man must have his will!
The élan of life alone is paramount!
Away with old traditions! We are free!'
So folly mocks at truth in Freedom's name.
Pale Anarchy leads on, with furious shriek,
Her envious horde of reckless malcontents
And mad destroyers of the Commonwealth,
While Privilege with indifference grows corrupt,
Till the Republic stands in jeopardy
From following false idols and ideals,
Though sane men cry for honesty once more,
Order and duty and self-sacrifice.
Our world and all it holds of good for us
Our fathers and unselfish mothers made,
With noble passion and enduring toil,
Strenuous, frugal, reverent, and elate,
Caring above all else to guard and save
The ampler life of the intelligence
And the fine honor of a scrupulous code —
Ideals of manhood touched with the divine.
For this they founded these great schools we serve,
Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale,
Amherst and Williams, trusting to our hands
The heritage of all they held most high,
Possessions of the spirit and the mind,
Investments in the provinces of joy.
Vast provinces are these! And fortunate they
Who at their will may go adventuring there,
Exploring all the boundaries of Truth,
Learning the roads that run through Beauty's realm,
Sighting the pinnacles where Good meets God,
Encompassed by the eternal unknown sea!
Even for a little to o'erlook those lands,
The kingdoms of Religion, Science, Art,
Is to be made forever happier
131
With blameless memories that shall bring content
And inspiration for all after days.
And fortunate they whom destiny allows
To rest within those provinces and serve
The dominion of ideals all their lives.
For whoso will, putting dull greed aside,
And holding fond allegiance to the best,
May dwell there and find fortitude and joy.
In the free fellowship of kindred minds,
One band of scholar gypsies I have known,
Whose purpose all unworldly was to find
An answer to the riddle of the Earth —
A key that should unlock the book of life
And secrets of its sorceries reveal.
This, they discovered, had long since been found
And laid aside forgotten and unused.
Our dark young poet who from Dartmouth came
Was told the secret by his gypsy bride,
Who had it from a master over seas,
And he it was first hinted to the band
The magic of that universal lore,
Before the great Mysteriarch summoned him.
It was the doctrine of the threefold life,
The beginning of the end of all their doubt.
In that Victorian age it has become
So much the fashion now to half despise,
Within the shadow of Cathedral walls
They had been schooled, and heard the mellow chimes
For Lenten litanies and daily prayers,
With a mild, eloquent, beloved voice
Exhorting to all virtue and that peace
Surpassing understanding —casting there
That 'last enchantment of the Middle Age,'
The spell of Oxford and her ritual.
So duteous youth was trained, until there grew
Restive outreaching in men's thought to find
Some certitude beyond the dusk of faith.
They cried on mysticism to be gone,
Mazed in the shadowy princedom of the soul.
Then as old creeds fell round them into dust,
They reached through science to belief in law,
Made reason paramount in man, and guessed
132
At reigning mind within the universe.
Piecing the fragments of a fair design
With reverent patience and courageous skill,
They saw the world from chaos step by step,
Under far-seeing guidance and restraint,
Emerge to order and to symmetry,
As logical and sure as music's own.
With Spencer, Darwin, Tyndall, and the rest,
Our band saw roads of knowledge open wide
Through the uncharted province of the truth,
As on they fared through that unfolding world.
Yet there they found no rest-house for the heart,
No wells sufficient for the spirit's thirst,
No shade nor glory for the senses starved. . . .
Turning— they fled by moonlit trails to seek
The magic principality of Art,
Where loveliness, not learning, rules supreme.
They stood intoxicated with delight before
The poised unanxious splendor of the Greek;
They mused upon the Gothic minsters gray,
Where mystic spirit took on mighty form,
Until their prayers to lovely churches turned —
(Like a remembrance of the Middle Age
They rose where Ralph or Bertram dreamed in stone);
Entranced they trod a painters' paradise,
Where color wasted by the Scituate shore
Between the changing marshes and the sea;
They heard the golden voice of poesie
Lulling the senses with its last caress
In Tennysonion accents pure and fine;
And all their laurels were for Beauty's brow,
Though toiling Reason went ungarlanded.
Then poisonous weeds of artifice sprang up,
Defiling Nature at her sacred source;
And there the questing World-soul could not stay,
Onward must journey with the changing time,
To come to this uncouth rebellious age,
Where not an ancient creed nor courtesy
Is underided, and each demagogue
Cries some new nostrum for the cure of ills.
To-day the unreasoning iconoclast
Would scoff at science and abolish art,
133
To let untutored impulse rule the world.
Let learning perish, and the race returns
To that first anarchy from which we came,
When spirit moved upon the deep and laid
The primal chaos under cosmic law.
And even now, in all our wilful might,
The satiated being cannot bide,
But to that austere country turns again,
The little province of the saints of God,
Where lofty peaks rise upward to the stars
From the gray twilight of Gethsemane,
And spirit dares to climb with wounded feet
Where justice, peace, and loving kindness are.
What says the lore of human power we hold
Through all these striving and tumultuous days?
'Why not accept each several bloom of good,
Without discarding good already gained,
As one might weed a garden overgrown —
Save the new shoots, yet not destroy the old?
Only the fool would root up his whole patch
Of fragrant flowers, to plant the newer seed.'
Ah, softly, brothers! Have we not the key,
Whose first fine luminous use Plotinus gave,
Teaching that ecstasy must lead the man?
Three things, we see, men in this life require,
(As they are needed in the universe):
First of all spirit, energy, or love,
The soul and mainspring of created things;
Next wisdom, knowledge, culture, discipline,
To guide impetuous spirit to its goal;
And lastly strength, the sound apt instrument,
Adjusted and controlled to lawful needs.
The next world-teacher must be one whose word
Shall reaffirm the primacy of soul,
Hold scholarship in her high guiding place,
And recognize the body's equal right
To culture such as it has never known,
In power and beauty serving soul and mind.
Inheritors of this divine ideal,
With courage to be fine as well as strong,
Shall know what common manhood may become,
Regain the gladness of the sons of morn,
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The radiance of immortality.
Out of heroic wanderings of the past,
And all the wayward gropings of our time,
Unswerved by doubt, unconquered by despair,
The messengers of such a hope must go;
As one who hears far off before the dawn,
On some lone trail among the darkling hills,
The hermit thrushes in the paling dusk,
And at the omen lifts his eyes to see
Above him, with its silent shafts of light,
The sunrise kindling all the peaks with fire.
~ Bliss William Carman,
949:Stop, oh my friends, let us pause to weep over the remembrance of my beloved.
Here was her abode on the edge of the sandy desert between Dakhool and Howmal.

The traces of her encampment are not wholly obliterated even now;
For when the Sonth wind blows the sand over them the North wind sweeps it away.

The courtyards and enclosures of the old home have become desolate;
The dung of the wild deer lies there thick as the seeds of pepper.

On the morning of our separation it was as if I stood in the gardens of our tribe,
Amid the acacia-shrubs where my eyes were blinded with tears by the smart
from the bursting pods of colocynth.

As I lament thus in the place made desolate, my friends stop their camels;
They cry to me "Do not die of grief; bear this sorrow patiently."

Nay, the cure of my sorrow must come from gushing tears.
Yet, is there any hope that this desolation can bring me solace ?

So, before ever I met Unaizah, did I mourn for two others;
My fate had been the same with Ummul-Huwairith and her
neighbor Ummul-Rahab in Masal.

Fair were they also, diffusing the odor of musk as they moved,
Like the soft zephyr bringing with it the scent of the clove.

Thus the tears flowed down on my breast, remembering days of love;
The tears wetted even my sword-belt, so tender was my love.

Behold how many pleasant days have I spent with fair women;
Especially do I remember the day at the pool of Darat-i-Julju1.

On that day I killed my riding camel for food for the maidens:
How merry was their dividing my camel's trappings to be carried on their camels.

It is a wonder, a riddle, that the camel being saddled was yet unsaddled!
A wonder also was the slaughterer, so heedless of self in his costly gift!

Then the maidens commenced throwing the camel's fesh into the kettle;
The fat was woven with the lean like loose fringes of white twisted silk.

On that day I entered the howdah, the camel's howdah of Unaizah!
And she protested, saying, "Woe to you, you will force me to travel on foot."

She repulsed me, while the howdah was swaying with us;
She said, "You are galling my camel, Oh Imru-ul-Quais, so dismount."

Then I said, "Drive him on! Let his reins go loose, while you turn to me.
Think not of the camel and our weight on him. Let us be happy.

"Many a beautiful woman like you, Oh Unaizah, have I visited at night;
I have won her thought to me, even from her children have I won her."

There was another day when I walked with her behind the sandhills,
But she put aside my entreaties and swore an oath of virginity.

Oh, Unaizah, gently, put aside some of this coquetry.
If you have, indeed, made up your mind to cut off friendship with me, then do it kindly or gently.

Has anything deceived you about me, that your love is killing, me,
And that verily as often as you order my heart, it will do what you order?

And if any one of my habits has caused you annoyance,
Then put away my heart from your heart, and it will be put away.

And your two eyes do not flow with tears, except to strike me with arrows in my broken heart.
Many a fair one, whose tent can not be sought by others, have I enjoyed playing with.

I passed by the sentries on watch near her, and a people desirous of killing me;
If they could conceal my murder, being unable to assail me openly.

I passed by these people at a time, when the Pleiades appeared in the heavens,
As the appearance of the gems in the spaces in the ornamented girdle, set with pearls and gems.

Then she said to me, "I swear by God, you have no excuse for your wild life;
I cannot expect that your erring habits will ever be removed from your nature."

I went out with her; she walking, and drawing behind us, over our footmarks,
The skirts of an embroidered woolen garment, to erase the footprints.

Then when we had crossed the enclosure of the tribe,
The middle of the open plain, with its sandy undulations and sandllills, we sought.

I drew the tow side-locks of her head toward me; and she leant toward me;
She was slender of waist, and full in the ankle.

Thin-waisted, white-skinned, slender of body,
Her breast shining polished like a mirror.

In complexion she is like the first egg of the ostrich---white, mixed with yellow.
Pure water, unsullied by the descent of many people in it, has nourished her.

She turns away, and shows her smooth cheek, forbidding with a glancing eye,
Like that of a wild animal, with young, in the desert of Wajrah.

And she shows a neck like the neck of a white deer;
It is neither disproportionate when she raises it, nor unornamented.

And a perfect head of hair which, when loosened, adorns her back,
Black, very dark-colored, thick like a date-cluster on a heavily laden date-tree.

Her curls creep upward to the top of her head;
And the plaits are lost in the twisted hair, and the hair falling loose.

And she meets me with a slender waist, thin as the twisted leathern nose-rein of a camel.
Her form is like the stem of a palm-tree bending over from the weight of its fruit.

In the morning, when she wakes, the particles of musk are lying over her bed.
She sleeps much in the morning; she does not need to gird her waist with a working dress.

She gives with thin fingers, not thick, as if they were the worms of the desert of Zabi,
In the evening she brightens the darkness, as if she were the light-tower of a monk.

Toward one like her, the wise man gazes incessantly, lovingly.
She is well proportioned in height between the wearer of a long dress and of a short frock.

The follies of men cease with youth, but my heart does not cease to love you.
Many bitter counselors have warned me of the disaster of your love, but I turned away from them.

Many a night has let down its curtains around me amid deep grief,
It has whelmed me as a wave of the sea to try me with sorrow.

Then I said to the night, as slowly his huge bulk passed over me,
As his breast, his loins, his buttocks weighed on me and then passed afar,

"Oh long night, dawn will come, but will be no brighter without my love.
You are a wonder, with stars held up as by ropes of hemp to a solid rock."

At other times, I have filled a leather water-bag of my people and entered the desert,
And trod its empty wastes while the wolf howled like a gambler whose family starves.

I said to the wolf, "You gather as little wealth, as little prosperity as I.
What either of us gains he gives away. So do we remain thin."

Early in the morning, while the birds were still nesting, I mounted my steed.
Well-bred was he, long-bodied, outstripping the wild beasts in speed,

Swift to attack, to flee, to turn, yet firm as a rock swept down by the torrent,
Bay-colored, and so smooth the saddle slips from him, as the rain from a smooth stone,

Thin but full of life, fire boils within him like the snorting of a boiling kettle;
He continues at full gallop when other horses are dragging their feet in the dust for weariness.

A boy would be blown from his back, and even the strong rider loses his garments.
Fast is my steed as a top when a child has spun it well.

He has the flanks of a buck, the legs of an ostrich, and the gallop of a wolf.
From behind, his thick tail hides the space between his thighs, and almost sweeps the ground.

When he stands before the house, his back looks like the huge grinding-stone there.
The blood of many leaders of herds is in him, thick as the juice of henna in combed white hair.

As I rode him we saw a flock of wild sheep, the ewes like maidens in long-trailing robes;
They turned for flight, but already he had passed the leaders before they could scatter.

He outran a bull and a cow and killed them both, and they were made ready for cooking;
Yet he did not even sweat so as to need washing.

We returned at evening, and the eye could scarcely realize his beauty
For, when gazing at one part, the eye was drawn away by the perfection of another part.

He stood all night with his saddle and bridle on him,
He stood all night while I gazed at him admiring, and did not rest in his stable.

But come, my friends, as we stand here mourning, do you see the lightning ?
See its glittering, like the flash of two moving hands, amid the thick gathering clouds.

Its glory shines like the lamps of a monk when he has dipped their wicks thick in oil.
I sat down with my companions and watched the lightning and the coming storm.

So wide-spread was the rain that its right end seemed over Quatan,
Yet we could see its left end pouring down on Satar, and beyond that over Yazbul.

So mighty was the storm that it hurled upon their faces the huge kanahbul trees,
The spray of it drove the wild goats down from the hills of Quanan.

In the gardens of Taimaa not a date-tree was left standing,
Nor a building, except those strengthened with heavy stones.

The mountain, at the first downpour of the rain, looked like a
giant of our people draped in a striped cloak.
The peak of Mujaimir in the flood and rush of debris looked
like a whirling spindle.

The clouds poured forth their gift on the desert of Ghabeet, >till it blossomed
As though a Yemani merchant were spreading out all the rich clothes from his trunks,

As though the little birds of the valley of Jiwaa awakened in the morning
And burst forth in song after a morning draught of old, pure, spiced wine.

As though all the wild beasts had been covered with sand and mud, like the onion's root-bulbs.
They were drowned and lost in the depths of the desert at evening.


~ Anonymous, The Poem of Imru-Ul-Quais
,
950:Ye Idyll Of Ye Hippopopotamus
With a Methodist hymn in his musical throat,
The Sun was emitting his ultimate note;
His quivering larynx enwrinkled the sea
Like an Ichthyosaurian blowing his tea;
When sweetly and pensively rattled and rang
This plaint which an Hippopopotamus sang:
'O, Camomile, Calabash, Cartilage-pie,
Spread for my spirit a peppermint fry;
Crown me with doughnuts, and drape me with cheese,
Settle my soul with a codliver sneeze.
Lo, how I stand on my head and repineLollipop Lumpkin can never be mine!'
Down sank the Sun with a kick and a plunge,
Up from the wave rose the head of a Sponge;
Ropes in his ringlets, eggs in his eyes,
Tip-tilted nose in a way to surprise.
These the conundrums he flung to the breeze,
The answers that Echo returned to him these:
'Cobblestone, Cobblestone, why do you sighWhy do you turn on the tears?'
'My mother is crazy on strawberry jam,
And my father has petrified ears.'
'Liverwort, Liverwort, why do you droopWhy do you snuffle and scowl?'
'My brother has cockle-burs into his eyes,
And my sister has married an owl.'
'Simia, Simia, why do you laughWhy do you cackle and quake?'
'My son has a pollywog stuck in his throat,
And my daughter has bitten a snake.'
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Slow sank the head of the Sponge out of sight,
Soaken with sea-water-then it was night.
The Moon had now risen for dinner to dress,
When sweetly the Pachyderm sang from his nest;
He sang through a pestle of silvery shape,
Encrusted with custard-empurpled with crape;
And this was the burden he bore on his lips,
And blew to the listening Sturgeon that sips
From the fountain of opium under the lobes
Of the mountain whose summit in buffalo robes
The winter envelops, as Venus adorns
An elephant's trunk with a chaplet of thorns:
'Chasing mastodons through marshes upon stilts of light ratan,
Hunting spiders with a shotgun and mosquitoes with an axe,
Plucking peanuts ready roasted from the branches of the oak,
Waking echoes in the forest with our hymns of blessed bosh,
We roamed-my love and I.
By the margin of the fountain spouting thick with clabbered milk,
Under spreading boughs of bass-wood all alive with cooing toads,
Loafing listlessly on bowlders of octagonal design,
Standing gracefully inverted with our toes together knit,
We loved-my love and I.'
Hippopopotamus comforts his heart
Biting half-moons out of strawberry tart.
Epitaph on George Francis Train.
(Inscribed on a Pork-barrel.)
Beneath this casket rots unknown
A Thing that merits not a stone,
Save that by passing urchin cast;
Whose fame and virtues we express
By transient urn of emptiness,
With apt inscription (to its past
Relating-and to his): 'Prime Mess.'
No honour had this infidel,
That doth not appertain, as well,
To altered caitiff on the drop;
No wit that would not likewise pass
For wisdom in the famished ass
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Who breaks his neck a weed to crop,
When tethered in the luscious grass.
And now, thank God, his hateful name
Shall never rescued be from shame,
Though seas of venal ink be shed;
No sophistry shall reconcile
With sympathy for Erin's Isle,
Or sorrow for her patriot dead,
The weeping of this crocodile.
Life's incongruity is past,
And dirt to dirt is seen at last,
The worm of worm afoul doth fall.
The sexton tolls his solemn bell
For scoundrel dead and gone to-well,
It matters not, it can't recall
This convict from his final cell.
Jerusalem, Old and New.
Didymus Dunkleton Doty Don John
Is a parson of high degree;
He holds forth of Sundays to marvelling crowds
Who wonder how vice can still be
When smitten so stoutly by Didymus DonDisciple of Calvin is he.
But sinners still laugh at his talk of the New
Jerusalem-ha-ha, te-he!
And biting their thumbs at the doughty Don-John
This parson of high degreeThey think of the streets of a village they know,
Where horses still sink to the knee,
Contrasting its muck with the pavement of gold
That's laid in the other citee.
They think of the sign that still swings, uneffaced
By winds from the salt, salt sea,
Which tells where he trafficked in tipple, of yoreDon Dunkleton Johnny, D. D.
Didymus Dunkleton Doty Don John
Still plays on his fiddle-D. D.,
His lambkins still bleat in full psalmody sweet,
And the devil still pitches the key.
Communing with Nature.
One evening I sat on a heavenward hill,
The winds were asleep and all nature was still,
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Wee children came round me to play at my knee,
As my mind floated rudderless over the sea.
I put out one hand to caress them, but held
With the other my nose, for these cherubim smelled.
I cast a few glances upon the old sun;
He was red in the face from the race he had run,
But he seemed to be doing, for aught I could see,
Quite well without any assistance from me.
And so I directed my wandering eye
Around to the opposite side of the sky,
And the rapture that ever with ecstasy thrills
Through the heart as the moon rises bright from the hills,
Would in this case have been most exceedingly rare,
Except for the fact that the moon was not there.
But the stars looked right lovingly down in the sea,
And, by Jupiter, Venus was winking at me!
The gas in the city was flaring up bright,
Montgomery Street was resplendent with light;
But I did not exactly appear to advance
A sentiment proper to that circumstance.
So it only remains to explain to the town
That a rainstorm came up before I could come down.
As the boots I had on were uncommonly thin
My fancy leaked out as the water leaked in.
Though dampened my ardour, though slackened my strain,
I'll 'strike the wild lyre' who sings the sweet rain!
Conservatism and Progress.
Old Zephyr, dawdling in the West,
Looked down upon the sea,
Which slept unfretted at his feet,
And balanced on its breast a fleet
That seemed almost to be
Suspended in the middle air,
As if a magnet held it there,
Eternally at rest.
Then, one by one, the ships released
Their folded sails, and strove
Against the empty calm to press
North, South, or West, or East,
In vain; the subtle nothingness
Was impotent to move.
Ten Zephyr laughed aloud to see:
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'No vessel moves except by me,
And, heigh-ho! I shall sleep.'
But lo! from out the troubled North
A tempest strode impatient forth,
And trampled white the deep;
The sloping ships flew glad away,
Laving their heated sides in spray.
The West then turned him red with wrath,
And to the North he shouted:
'Hold there! How dare you cross my path,
As now you are about it?'
The North replied with laboured breathHis speed no moment slowing:'My friend, you'll never have a path,
Unless you take to blowing.'
Inter Arma Silent Leges.
(An Election Incident.)
About the polls the freedmen drew,
To vote the freemen down;
And merrily their caps up-flew
As Grant rode through the town.
From votes to staves they next did turn,
And beat the freemen down;
Full bravely did their valour burn
As Grant rode through the town.
Then staves for muskets they forsook,
And shot the freemen down;
Right royally their banners shook
As Grant rode through the town.
Hail, final triumph of our cause!
Hail, chief of mute renown!
Grim Magistrate of Silent Laws,
A-riding freedom down!
Quintessence.
'To produce these spicy paragraphs, which have been unsuccessfully imitated by
every newspaper in the State, requires the combined efforts of five able-bodied
persons associated on the editorial staff of this journal.'-New York Herald.
Sir Muscle speaks, and nations bend the ear:
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'Hark ye these Notes-our wit quintuple hear;
Five able-bodied editors combine
Their strength prodigious in each laboured line!'
O wondrous vintner! hopeless seemed the task
To bung these drainings in a single cask;
The riddle's read-five leathern skins contain
The working juice, and scarcely feel the strain.
Saviours of Rome! will wonders never cease?
A ballad cackled by five tuneful geese!
Upon one Rosinante five stout knights
Ride fiercely into visionary fights!
A cap and bells five sturdy fools adorn,
Five porkers battle for a grain of corn,
Five donkeys squeeze into a narrow stall,
Five tumble-bugs propel a single ball!
Resurgam.
Dawns dread and red the fateful morn
Lo, Resurrection's Day is born!
The striding sea no longer strides,
No longer knows the trick of tides;
The land is breathless, winds relent,
All nature waits the dread event.
From wassail rising rather late,
Awarding Jove arrives in state;
O'er yawning graves looks many a league,
Then yawns himself from sheer fatigue.
Lifting its finger to the sky,
A marble shaft arrests his eye
This epitaph, in pompous pride,
Engraven on its polished side:
'Perfection of Creation's plan,
Here resteth Universal Man,
Who virtues, segregated wide,
Collated, classed, and codified,
Reduced to practice, taught, explained,
And strict morality maintained.
Anticipating death, his pelf
He lavished on this monolith;
Because he leaves nor kin nor kith
He rears this tribute to himself,
That Virtue's fame may never cease.
Hic jacet-let him rest in peace!'
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With sober eye Jove scanned the shaft,
Then turned away and lightly laughed
'Poor Man! since I have careless been
In keeping books to note thy sin,
And thou hast left upon the earth
This faithful record of thy worth,
Thy final prayer shall now be heard:
Of life I'll not renew thy lease,
But take thee at thy carven word,
And let thee rest in solemn peace!'
~ Ambrose Bierce,
951:The Miseries Of Man
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In that so temperate Soil Arcadia nam'd,
For fertile Pasturage by Poets fam'd;
Stands a steep Hill, whose lofty jetting Crown,
Casts o'er the neighbouring Plains, a seeming Frown;
Close at its mossie Foot an aged Wood,
Compos'd of various Trees, there long has stood,
Whose thick united Tops scorn the Sun's Ray,
And hardly will admit the Eye of Day.
By oblique windings through this gloomy Shade,
Has a clear purling Stream its Passage made,
The Nimph, as discontented seem'd t'ave chose
This sad Recess to murmur forth her Woes.
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To this Retreat, urg'd by tormenting Care,
The melancholly Cloris did repair,
As a fit Place to take the sad Relief
Of Sighs and Tears, to ease oppressing Grief.
Near to the Mourning Nimph she chose a Seat,
And these Complaints did to the Shades repeat.
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Ah wretched, trully wretched Humane Race!
Your Woes from what Beginning shall I trace,
Where End, from your first feeble New-born Cryes,
To the last Tears that wet your dying Eyes?
Man, Common Foe, assail'd on ev'ry hand,
Finds that no Ill does Neuter by him stand,
Inexorable Death, Lean Poverty,
Pale Sickness, ever sad Captivity.
Can I, alas, the sev'ral Parties name,
Which, muster'd up, the Dreadful Army frame?
And sometimes in One Body all Unite,
Sometimes again do separately fight:
While sure Success on either Way does waite,
Either a Swift, or else a Ling'ring Fate.
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But why 'gainst thee, O Death! should I inveigh,
33 That to our Quiet art the only way?
34 And yet I would (could I thy Dart command)
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Crie, Here O strike! and there O hold thy Hand!
The Lov'd, the Happy, and the Youthful spare,
And end the Sad, the Sick, the Poor Mans Care.
But whether thou or Blind, or Cruel art,
Whether 'tis Chance, or Malice, guides thy Dart,
Thou from the Parents Arms dost pull away
The hopeful Child, their Ages only stay:
The Two, whom Friendship in dear Bands hs ty'd,
Thou dost with a remorseless hand devide;
Friendship, the Cement, that does faster twine
Two Souls, than that which Soul and Body joyn:
Thousands have been, who their own Blood did spill,
But never any yet his Friend did kill.
Then 'gainst thy Dart what Armour can be found,
Who, where thou do'st not strike, do'st deepest wound?
Thy Pitty, than thy Wrath's more bitter far,
Most cruel, where 'twould seem the most to spare:
Yet thou of many Evils art but One,
Though thou by much too many art alone.
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What shall I say of Poverty, whence flows?
To miserable Man so many Woes?
Rediculous Evil which too oft we prove,
Does Laughter cause, where it should Pitty move;
Solitary Ill, into which no Eye,
Though ne're so Curious, ever cares to pry,
And were there, 'mong such plenty, onely One
Poor Man, he certainly would live alone.
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Yet Poverty does leave the Man entire,
But Sickness nearer Mischiefs does conspire;
Invades the Body with a loath'd Embrace,
Prides both its Strength, and Beauty to deface;
Nor does it Malice in these bounds restrain,
But shakes the Throne of Sacred Wit, the Brain,
And with a ne're enough detested Force
Reason disturbs, and turns out of its Course.
Again, when Nature some Rare Piece has made,
On which her Utmost Skill she seems t'ave laid,
Polish't, adorn'd the Work with moving Grace,
And in the Beauteous Frame a Soul doth place,
So perfectly compos'd, it makes Divine
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Each Motion, Word, and Look from thence does shine;
This Goodly Composition, the Delight
Of ev'ry Heart, and Joy of ev'ry sight,
Its peevish Malice has the Power to spoyle,
And with a Sully'd Hand its Lusture soyle.
The Grief were Endless, that should all bewaile,
Against whose sweet Repose thou dost prevail:
Some freeze with Agues, some with Feavers burn,
Whose Lives thou half out of their Holds dost turn;
And of whose Sufferings it may be said,
They living feel the very State o' th' Dead.
Thou in a thousand sev'ral Forms are drest,
And in them all dost Wretched Man infest.
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And yet as if these Evils were too few,
Men their own Kind with hostile Arms pursue;
Not Heavens fierce Wrath, nor yet the Hate of Hell,
Not any Plague that e're the World befel,
Not Inundations, Famines, Fires blind rage,
Did ever Mortals equally engage,
As Man does Man, more skilful to annoy,
Both Mischievous and Witty to destroy.
The bloody Wolf, the Wolf doe not pursue;
The Boar, though fierce, his Tusk will not embrue
In his own Kind, Bares, not on Bares do prey:
Then art thou, Man, more savage far than they.
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And now, methinks, I present do behold
The Bloudy Fields that are in Fame enroll'd,
I see, I see thousands in Battle slain,
The Dead and Dying cover all the Plain,
Confused Noises hear, each way sent out,
The Vanquishts Cries joyn'd with the Victors shout;
Their Sighs and Groans whho draw a painful Breath,
And feel the Pangs of slow approaching Death:
Yet happier these, far happier are the Dead,
Than who into Captivity are led:
What by their Chains, and by the Victors Pride,
We pity these, and envy those that dy'd.
And who can say, when Thousands are betray'd,
To Widdowhood, Orphants or Childless made.
Whither the Day does draw more Tears or Blood
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A greater Chrystal, or a Crimson Floud.
The faithful Wife, who late her Lord did Arm,
And hop'd to shield, by holy Vows, from Harm,
Follow'd his parting-steps with Love and Care,
Sent after weeping Eyes, while he afar
Rod heated on, born by a brave Disdain,
May now go seek him, lying 'mong the Slain:
Low on the Earth she'l find his lofty Crest,
And those refulgent Arms which late his Breast
Did guard, by rough Encounters broke and tore,
His Face and Hair, with Brains all clotted ore.
And Warlike Weeds besmeer'd with Dust and Gore.
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And will the Suffering World never bestow
Upon th'Accursed Causers of such Woe,
A vengeance that may parallel their Loss,
Fix Publick Thieves and Robbers on the Cross?
Such as call Ruine, Conquest, in their Pride,
And having plagu'd Mankind, in Triumph ride.
Like that renounced Murder who staines
In these our days Alsatias fertile Plains,
Only to fill the future Tomp of Fame,
Though greater Crimes, than Glory it proclame.
Alcides, Scourge of Thieves, return to Earth,
Which uncontrolled gives such Monsters birth;
On Scepter'd-Cacus let thy Power be shown,
Pull him not from his Den, but from his Throne.
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Clouds of black Thoughts her further Speech here broke,
Her swelling Grief too great was to be spoke,
Which strugl'd long in her tormented Mind,
Till it some Vent by Sighs and Tears did find.
And when her Sorrow something was subdu'd,
She thus again her sad Complaint renewed.
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Most Wretched Man, were th'Ills I nam'd before
All which I could in thy sad State deplore,
Did Things without alone 'gainst thee prevail,
My Tongue I'de chide, that them I did bewaile:
But, Shame to Reason, thou are seen to be
Unto thy self the fatall'st Enemy,
Within thy Breast the Greatest Plagues to bear,
51
153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
161
162
163
First them to breed, and then to cherish there;
Unmanag'd Passions which the Reins have broke
Of Reason, and refuse to bear its Yoke.
But hurry thee, uncurb'd, from place to place,
A wild, unruly, and an Uncouth Chace.
Now cursed Gold does lead the Man astray,
False flatt'ring Honours do anon betray,
Then Beauty does as dang'rously delude,
Beauty, that vanishes, while 'tis pursu'd,
That, while we do behold it, fades away,
And even a Long Encomium will not stay.
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173
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Each one of these can the Whole Man employ,
Nor knows he anger, sorrow, fear, or joy,
But what to these relate; no Thought does start
Aside, but tends to its appointed Part,
No Respite to himself from Cares he gives,
But on the Rack of Expectation lives.
If crost, the Torment cannot be exprest,
Which boyles within his agitated Breast.
Musick is harsh, all Mirth is an offence,
The Choicest Meats cannot delight his Sense,
Hard as the Earth he feels his Downy Bed,
His Pillow stufft with Thornes, that bears his Head,
He rolls from side to side, in vain seeks Rest;
For if sleep come at last to the Distrest,
His Troubles then cease not to vex him too,
But Dreams present, what does waking do.
On th'other side, if he obtains the Prey,
And Fate to his impetuous Sute gives way,
Be he or Rich, or Amorous, or Great,
He'll find this Riddle still of a Defeat,
That only Care, for Bliss, he home has brought,
Or else Contempt of what he so much sought.
So that on each Event if we reflect,
The Joys and Sufferings of both sides collect,
We cannot say where lies the greatest Pain,
In the fond Pursuit, Loss, or Empty Gain.
190
And can it be, Lord of the Sea and Earth,
191 Off-spring of Heaven, that to thy State and Birth
192 Things so incompatible should be joyn'd,
52
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194
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196
197
198
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200
201
202
203
204
205
206
207
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209
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211
212
213
Passions should thee confound, to Heaven assign'd?
Passions that do the Soul unguarded lay,
And to the strokes of Fortune ope' a way.
Were't not that these thy Force did from thee take,
How bold, how brave Resistance would'st thou make?
Defie the Strength and Malice of thy Foes,
Unmoved stand the Worlds United Blows?
For what is't, Man, unto thy Better Part,
That thou or Sick, or Poor, or Captive art?
Since no Material Stroke the Soul can feel,
The smart of Fire, or yet the Edge of Steel.
As little can it Worldly Joys partake,
Though it the Body does its Agent make,
And joyntly with it Servile Labour bear,
For Things, alas, in which it cannot share.
Surveigh the Land and Sea by Heavens embrac't,
Thou'lt find no sweet th'Immortal Soul can tast:
Why dost thou then, O Man! thy self torment
Good here to gain, or Evils to prevent?
Who only Miserable or Happy art,
As thou neglects, or wisely act'st thy Part.
214
215
216
217
218
219
220
221
222
223
224
225
For shame then rouse thy self as from a Sleep,
The long neglected Reins let Reason keep,
The Charret mount, and use both Lash and Bit,
Nobly resolve, and thou wilt firmly sit:
Fierce Anger, boggling Fear, Pride prauncing still,
Bound-hating Hope, Desire which nought can fill,
Are stubborn all, but thou may'st give them Law;
Th'are hard-Mouth'd Horses, but they well can draw.
Lash on, and the well govern'd Charret drive,
Till thou a Victor at the Goal arrrive,
Where the free Soul does all her burden leave,
And Joys commensurate to her self receive.
~ Anne Killigrew,
952:THE STILLEST HOUR

What happened to me, my friends? You see me distracted, driven away, unwillingly obedient, prepared to
go-alas, to go away from you. Indeed, Zarathustra
must return once more to his solitude; but this time
the bear goes back to his cave without joy. What happened to me? Who ordered this? Alas, my angry mistress wants it, she spoke to me; have I ever yet
mentioned her name to you? Yesterday, toward evening,
there spoke to me my stillest hour: that is the name of
my awesome mistress. And thus it happened; for I must
tell you everything lest your hearts harden against me
for departing suddenly.
Do you know the fright of him who falls asleep? He
is frightened down to his very toes because the ground
gives under him and the dream begins. This I say to
you as a parable. Yesterday, in the stillest hour, the
ground gave under me, the dream began. The hand
moved, the clock of my life drew a breath; never had
I heard such stillness around me: my heart took fright.
Then it spoke to me without voice: "You know it,
Zarathustra?" And I cried with fright at this whispering,
and the blood left my face; but I remained silent.
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "You know
it, Zarathustra, but you do not say itl" And at last I
answered defiantly: "Yes, I know it, but I do not want
to say itl"
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "You do
not want to, Zarathustra? Is this really true? Do not
hide in your defiance." And I cried and trembled like
a child and spoke: "Alas, I would like to, but how can
I? Let me off from this! It is beyond my strength!"
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What do
146
you matter, Zarathustra? Speak your word and break"
And I answered: "Alas, is it my word? Who am l?
I await the worthier one; I am not worthy even of being
broken by it."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What do
you matter? You are not yet humble enough for me.
Humility has the toughest hide." And I answered:
'
at the foot of my height. How high are my peaks? No
one has told me yet. But my valleys I know well."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "O Zarathustra, he who has to move mountains also moves
valleys and hollows." And I answered: "As yet my
words have not moved mountains, and what I said did
not reach men. Indeed, I have gone to men, but as yet
I have not arrived."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What do
you know of that? The dew falls on the grass when the
night is most silent." And I answered: "They mocked
me when I found and went my own way; and in truth
my feet were trembling then. And thus they spoke to
me: 'You have forgotten the way, now you have also
forgotten how to walk.'"
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What
matters their mockery? You are one who has forgotten
how to obey: now you shall command. Do you not
know who is most needed by all? He that commands
great things. To do great things is difficult; but to
comm and great things is more difficult. This is what
is most unforgivable in you: you have the power, and
you do not want to rule." And I answered: "I lack the
lion's voice for commanding."
Then it spoke to me again as a whisper: "It is the
stillest words that bring on the storm. Thoughts that
come on doves' feet guide the world. 0 Zarathustra, you
147
shall go as a shadow of that which must come: thus you
will comm and and, commanding, lead the way." And I
answered: "I am ashamed."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "You must
yet become as a child and without shame. The pride of
youth is still upon you; you have become young late;
but whoever would become as a child must overcome
his youth too." And I reflected for a long time and
trembled. But at last I said what I had said at first; "I
do not want to."
Then laughter surrounded me. Alas, how this laughter tore my entrails and slit open my heart! And it
spoke to me for the last time: "O Zarathustra, your
fruit is ripe, but you are not ripe for your fruit. Thus
you must return to your solitude again; for you must
yet become mellow." And again it laughed and fled;
then it became still around me as with a double stillness. But I lay on the ground and sweat poured from
my limbs.
Now you have heard all, and why I must return to
my solitude. Nothing have I kept from you, my friends.
But this too you have heard from me, who is still the
most taciturn of all men-and wants to be. Alas, my
friends, I still could tell you something, I still could
give you something. Why do I not give it? Am I stingy?
But when Zarathustra had spoken these words he was
overcome by the force of his pain and the nearness of
his parting from his friends, and he wept loudly; and
no one knew how to comfort him. At night, however,
he went away alone and left his friends.
148

Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Third Part
You look up when you feel the need for elevation.
And I look down because I am elevated. Who
among you can laugh and be elevated at the same
time? Whoever climbs the highest mountains
laughs at all tragic plays and tragic seriousness.
(Zarathustra, "On Reading and Writing," I, p.
40)
TRANSLATOR S NOTES

1. The Wanderer: The contrast between Zarathustra's sentimentality and his praise of hardness remains characteristic
of the rest of the book.
2. On the Vision and the Riddle: Zarathustra's first account
of the eternal recurrence (see my Nietzsche, .i, II) is
followed by a proto-surrealistic vision of a triumph over
nausea.
3. On Involuntary Bliss: Zarathustra still cannot face the
thought of the eternal recurrence.
4. Before Sunrise: An ode to the sky. Another quotation
from Zweig's essay on Nietzsche seems pertinent: "His
nerves immediately register every meter of height and
every pressure of the weather as a pain in his organs, and
they react rebelliously to every revolt in nature. Rain or
gloomy skies lower his vitality ('overcast skies depress me
deeply'), the weight of low clouds he feels down into his
very intestines, rain 'lowers the potential,' humidity debilitates, dryness vivifies, sunshine is salvation, winter is a kind
of paralysis and death. The quivering barometer needle of
his April-like, changeable nerves never stands still-most
nearly perhaps in cloudless landscapes, on the windless tablelands of the Engadine." In this chapter the phrase "beyond
good and evil" is introduced; also one line, slightly varied,
of the "Drunken Song" (see below). Another important
149
theme in Nietzsche's thought: the praise of chance and "a
little reason" as opposed to any divine purpose.
5. On Virtue That Makes Small: "Do whatever you will,
but . . .": What Nietzsche is concerned with is not casuistry but character, not a code of morals but a kind of man,
not a syllabus of behavior but a state of being.
6. Upon the Mount of Olives: "'The ice of knowledge will
yet freeze him to death!' they moan." Compare Stefan
George's poem on the occasion of Nietzsche's death (my
Nietzsche, Prologue, II): "He came too late who said to thee
imploring: There is no way left over icy cliffs."
7. On Passing By: Zarathustra's ape, or "grunting swine,"
unintentionally parodies Zarathustra's attitude and style.
His denunciations are born of wounded vanity and vengefulness, while Zarathustra's contempt is begotten by love;
and "where one can no longer love, there one should pass
by."
8. On Apostates: Stylistically, Zarathustra is now often little
better than his ape. But occasional epigrams show his old
power: the third paragraph in section 2, for instance.
9. The Return Home: "Among men you will always seem
wild and strange," his solitude says to Zarathustra. But
"here all things come caressingly to your discourse and flatter
you, for they want to ride on your back. On every parable
you ride to every truth." The discipline of communication might have served the philosopher better than the
indiscriminate flattery of his solitude. But in this respect
too, it was not given to Nietzsche to live in blissful
ignorance: compare, for example, "The Song of Melancholy" in Part Four.
io. On the Three Evils: The praise of so-called evil as an
ingredient of greatness is central in Nietzsche's thought,
from his early fragment, Homer's Contest, to his Antichrist.
There are few problems the self-styled immoralist pursued
so persistently. Whether he calls attention to the element
of cruelty in the Greek agon or denounces Christianity for
vilifying sex, whether he contrasts sublimation and extirpation or the egoism of the creative and the vengeful: all
these are variations of one theme. In German, the three
evils in this chapter are Wollust, Herrschsucht, Selbstsucht.
For the first there is no exact equivalent in English. In
this chapter, "lust" might do in some sentences, "voluptuousness" in others, but each would be quite inaccurate
half the time, and the context makes it imperative that
the same word be used throughout. There is only one
word in English that renders Nietzsche's meaning perfectly
in every single sentence: sex. Its only disadvantage: it is,
to put it mildly, a far less poetic word than Wollust, and
hence modifies the tone though not Nietzsche's meaning.
But if we reflect on the three things which, according to
Nietzsche, had been maligned most, under the influence of
Christianity, and which he sought to rehabilitate or revaluate-were they not selfishness, the will to power, and sex?
Nietzsche's early impact was in some ways comparable to
that of Freud or Havelock Ellis. But prudery was for him
at most one of three great evils, one kind of hypocrisy, one
aspect of man's betrayal of the earth and of himself.
i1. On the Spirit of Gravity: It is not only the metaphor
of the camel that points back to the first chapter of Part
One: the dead weight of convention is a prime instance of
what is meant by the spirit of gravity; and the bird that
outsoars tradition is, like the child and the self-propelled
wheel at the beginning of the book, a symbol of creativity.
The creator, however, is neither an "evil beast" nor an
"evil tamer of beasts"-neither a profligate nor an ascetic:
he integrates what is in him, perfects and lavishes himself, and says, "This is my way; where is yours?" Michelangelo and Mozart do not offer us "the way" but a challenge and a promise of what is possible.
12. On Old and New Tablets: Attempt at a grand summary,
full of allusions to, and quotations from, previous chapters
Its unevenness is nowhere more striking than in section 12,
with its puns on "crusades." Such sections as 5, 7, and 8,
on the other hand, certainly deserve attention. The despot
in section ii, who has all history rewritten, seems to point
forward in time to Hitler, of whose racial legislation it
151
could indeed be said: "with the grandfa ther, however,
time ends." Section 15 points back to Luther. Section zo
exposes in advance Stefan George's misconception when he
ended his second poem on Nietzsche (my Nietzsche, p.
iil):
"The warner went-the wheel that downward rolls /
To emptiness no arm now tackles in the spokes." The
penultimate paragraph of this section is more "playful"
in the original: Ein Vorspiel bin ich besserer Spieler, oh
meine Braiderl Ein Beispiell In section 25 the key word is
Versuch, one of Nietzsche's favorite words, which means
experiment, attempt, trial. Sometimes he associates it with
suchen, searching. (In Chapter 2, "On the Vision and
the Riddle," Sucher, Versucher has been rendered "searchers, researchers.") Section 29, finally, is used again, with
minute changes, to conclude Twilight of the Idols.
13. The Convalescent: Zarathustra still cannot face the
thought of the eternal recurrence but speaks about human
speech and cruelty. In the end, his animals expound the
eternal recurrence.
14 On the Great Longing: Hymn to his soul: Zarathustra
and his soul wonder which of them should be grateful to
the other.
15. The Other Dancing Song: Life and wisdom as women
again; but in this dancing song, life is in complete control,
and when Zarathustra's imagination runs away with him
he gets his face slapped. What he whispers into the ear
of life at the end of section 2 is, no doubt, that after his
death he will yet recur eternally. The song at the end,
punctuated by the twelve strokes of the bell, is interpreted
in "The Drunken Song" in Part Four.
i6. The Seven Seals: The eternal recurrence of the small
man no longer nauseates Zarathustra. His affirmation now is
boundless and without reservation: "For I love you, 0
eternity."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE STILLEST HOUR
,
953:An Essay On Man: Epistle Ii
I.
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
Go, wondrous creature! mount where science guides,
Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old time, and regulate the sun;
Go, soar with Plato to th' empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
Or tread the mazy round his follow'rs trod,
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As Eastern priests in giddy circles run,
And turn their heads to imitate the sun.
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule—
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal Man unfold all Nature's law,
Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape,
And showed a Newton as we shew an Ape.
Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind,
35
Describe or fix one movement of his mind?
Who saw its fires here rise, and there descend,
Explain his own beginning, or his end?
Alas what wonder! Man's superior part
Uncheck'd may rise, and climb from art to art;
But when his own great work is but begun,
What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.
Trace science then, with modesty thy guide;
First strip off all her equipage of pride;
Deduct what is but vanity, or dress,
Or learning's luxury, or idleness;
Or tricks to show the stretch of human brain,
Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain;
Expunge the whole, or lop th' excrescent parts
Of all our Vices have created Arts;
Then see how little the remaining sum,
Which serv'd the past, and must the times to come!
II.
Two principles in human nature reign;
Self-love, to urge, and reason, to restrain;
Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call,
Each works its end, to move or govern all:
And to their proper operation still,
Ascribe all good; to their improper, ill.
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul;
Reason's comparing balance rules the whole.
Man, but for that, no action could attend,
And but for this, were active to no end:
Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot,
To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot;
Or, meteor-like, flame lawless through the void,
Destroying others, by himself destroy'd.
Most strength the moving principle requires;
Active its task, it prompts, impels, inspires.
Sedate and quiet the comparing lies,
Form'd but to check, delib'rate, and advise.
Self-love still stronger, as its objects nigh;
36
Reason's at distance, and in prospect lie:
That sees immediate good by present sense;
Reason, the future and the consequence.
Thicker than arguments, temptations throng,
At best more watchful this, but that more strong.
The action of the stronger to suspend,
Reason still use, to reason still attend.
Attention, habit and experience gains;
Each strengthens reason, and self-love restrains.
Let subtle schoolmen teach these friends to fight,
More studious to divide than to unite,
And grace and virtue, sense and reason split,
With all the rash dexterity of wit:
Wits, just like fools, at war about a name,
Have full as oft no meaning, or the same.
Self-love and reason to one end aspire,
Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire;
But greedy that its object would devour,
This taste the honey, and not wound the flow'r:
Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood,
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.
III.
Modes of self-love the passions we may call:
'Tis real good, or seeming, moves them all:
But since not every good we can divide,
And reason bids us for our own provide;
Passions, though selfish, if their means be fair,
List under reason, and deserve her care;
Those, that imparted, court a nobler aim,
Exalt their kind, and take some virtue's name.
In lazy apathy let Stoics boast
Their virtue fix'd, 'tis fix'd as in a frost;
Contracted all, retiring to the breast;
But strength of mind is exercise, not rest:
The rising tempest puts in act the soul,
Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole.
On life's vast ocean diversely we sail,
Reason the card, but passion is the gale;
37
Nor God alone in the still calm we find,
He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind.
Passions, like elements, though born to fight,
Yet, mix'd and soften'd, in his work unite:
These 'tis enough to temper and employ;
But what composes man, can man destroy?
Suffice that reason keep to nature's road,
Subject, compound them, follow her and God.
Love, hope, and joy, fair pleasure's smiling train,
Hate, fear, and grief, the family of pain,
These mix'd with art, and to due bounds confin'd,
Make and maintain the balance of the mind:
The lights and shades, whose well accorded strife
Gives all the strength and colour of our life.
Pleasures are ever in our hands or eyes,
And when in act they cease, in prospect, rise:
Present to grasp, and future still to find,
The whole employ of body and of mind.
All spread their charms, but charm not all alike;
On diff'rent senses diff'rent objects strike;
Hence diff'rent passions more or less inflame,
As strong or weak, the organs of the frame;
And hence one master passion in the breast,
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest.
As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath,
Receives the lurking principle of death;
The young disease, that must subdue at length,
Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his strength:
So, cast and mingled with his very frame,
The mind's disease, its ruling passion came;
Each vital humour which should feed the whole,
Soon flows to this, in body and in soul.
Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head,
As the mind opens, and its functions spread,
Imagination plies her dang'rous art,
And pours it all upon the peccant part.
Nature its mother, habit is its nurse;
Wit, spirit, faculties, but make it worse;
38
Reason itself but gives it edge and pow'r;
As Heav'n's blest beam turns vinegar more sour.
We, wretched subjects, though to lawful sway,
In this weak queen some fav'rite still obey:
Ah! if she lend not arms, as well as rules,
What can she more than tell us we are fools?
Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend,
A sharp accuser, but a helpless friend!
Or from a judge turn pleader, to persuade
The choice we make, or justify it made;
Proud of an easy conquest all along,
She but removes weak passions for the strong:
So, when small humours gather to a gout,
The doctor fancies he has driv'n them out.
Yes, nature's road must ever be preferr'd;
Reason is here no guide, but still a guard:
'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
And treat this passion more as friend than foe:
A mightier pow'r the strong direction sends,
And sev'ral men impels to sev'ral ends.
Like varying winds, by other passions toss'd,
This drives them constant to a certain coast.
Let pow'r or knowledge, gold or glory, please,
Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease;
Through life 'tis followed, ev'n at life's expense;
The merchant's toil, the sage's indolence,
The monk's humility, the hero's pride,
All, all alike, find reason on their side.
Th' eternal art educing good from ill,
Grafts on this passion our best principle:
'Tis thus the mercury of man is fix'd,
Strong grows the virtue with his nature mix'd;
The dross cements what else were too refin'd,
And in one interest body acts with mind.
As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care,
On savage stocks inserted, learn to bear;
The surest virtues thus from passions shoot,
Wild nature's vigor working at the root.
What crops of wit and honesty appear
39
From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear!
See anger, zeal and fortitude supply;
Ev'n av'rice, prudence; sloth, philosophy;
Lust, through some certain strainers well refin'd,
Is gentle love, and charms all womankind;
Envy, to which th' ignoble mind's a slave,
Is emulation in the learn'd or brave;
Nor virtue, male or female, can we name,
But what will grow on pride, or grow on shame.
Thus nature gives us (let it check our pride)
The virtue nearest to our vice allied:
Reason the byass turns to good from ill,
And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
The fiery soul abhorr'd in Catiline,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine:
The same ambition can destroy or save,
And make a patriot as it makes a knave.
IV.
This light and darkness in our chaos join'd,
What shall divide? The God within the mind.
Extremes in nature equal ends produce,
In man they join to some mysterious use;
Though each by turns the other's bound invade,
As, in some well-wrought picture, light and shade,
And oft so mix, the diff'rence is too nice
Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice.
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall,
That vice or virtue there is none at all.
If white and black blend, soften, and unite
A thousand ways, is there no black or white?
Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain;
'Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain.
V.
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
40
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
But where th' extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed:
Ask where's the North? at York, 'tis on the Tweed;
In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there,
At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where:
No creature owns it in the first degree,
But thinks his neighbour farther gone than he!
Ev'n those who dwell beneath its very zone,
Or never feel the rage, or never own;
What happier natures shrink at with affright,
The hard inhabitant contends is right.
VI.
Virtuous and vicious ev'ry man must be,
Few in th' extreme, but all in the degree;
The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise;
And ev'n the best, by fits, what they despise.
'Tis but by parts we follow good or ill,
For, vice or virtue, self directs it still;
Each individual seeks a sev'ral goal;
But heav'n's great view is one, and that the whole:
That counterworks each folly and caprice;
That disappoints th' effect of ev'ry vice;
That, happy frailties to all ranks applied,
Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride,
Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief,
To kings presumption, and to crowds belief,
That, virtue's ends from vanity can raise,
Which seeks no int'rest, no reward but praise;
And build on wants, and on defects of mind,
The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind.
Heav'n forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Bids each on other for assistance call,
'Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all.
Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally
The common int'rest, or endear the tie:
To these we owe true friendship, love sincere,
Each home-felt joy that life inherits here;
41
Yet from the same we learn, in its decline,
Those joys, those loves, those int'rests to resign;
Taught half by reason, half by mere decay,
To welcome death, and calmly pass away.
Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf,
Not one will change his neighbour with himself.
The learn'd is happy nature to explore,
The fool is happy that he knows no more;
The rich is happy in the plenty giv'n,
The poor contents him with the care of heav'n.
See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing,
The sot a hero, lunatic a king;
The starving chemist in his golden views
Supremely blest, the poet in his Muse.
See some strange comfort ev'ry state attend,
And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend;
See some fit passion ev'ry age supply,
Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die.
Behold the child, by nature's kindly law,
Pleas'd with a rattle, tickl'd with a straw:
Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight,
A little louder, but as empty quite:
Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage,
And beads and pray'r books are the toys of age:
Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before;
'Till tir'd he sleeps, and life's poor play is o'er!
Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays
Those painted clouds that beautify our days;
Each want of happiness by hope supplied,
And each vacuity of sense by Pride:
These build as fast as knowledge can destroy;
In folly's cup still laughs the bubble, joy;
One prospect lost, another still we gain;
And not a vanity is giv'n in vain;
Ev'n mean self-love becomes, by force divine,
The scale to measure others' wants by thine.
See! and confess, one comfort still must rise,
'Tis this: Though man's a fool, yet God is wise.
42
~ Alexander Pope,
954:Gilbert
I. THE GARDEN.
ABOVE the city hung the moon,
Right o'er a plot of ground
Where flowers and orchard-trees were fenced
With lofty walls around:
'Twas Gilbert's garden­there, to-night
Awhile he walked alone;
And, tired with sedentary toil,
Mused where the moonlight shone.
This garden, in a city-heart,
Lay still as houseless wild,
Though many-windowed mansion fronts
Were round it closely piled;
But thick their walls, and those within
Lived lives by noise unstirred;
Like wafting of an angel's wing,
Time's flight by them was heard.
Some soft piano-notes alone
Were sweet as faintly given,
Where ladies, doubtless, cheered the hearth
With song, that winter-even.
The city's many-mingled sounds
Rose like the hum of ocean;
They rather lulled the heart than roused
Its pulse to faster motion.
Gilbert has paced the single walk
An hour, yet is not weary;
And, though it be a winter night,
He feels nor cold nor dreary.
The prime of life is in his veins,
And sends his blood fast flowing,
And Fancy's fervour warms the thoughts
Now in his bosom glowing.
Those thoughts recur to early love,
19
Or what he love would name,
Though haply Gilbert's secret deeds
Might other title claim.
Such theme not oft his mind absorbs,
He to the world clings fast,
And too much for the present lives,
To linger o'er the past.
But now the evening's deep repose
Has glided to his soul;
That moonlight falls on Memory,
And shows her fading scroll.
One name appears in every line
The gentle rays shine o'er,
And still he smiles and still repeats
That one name­Elinor.
There is no sorrow in his smile,
No kindness in his tone;
The triumph of a selfish heart
Speaks coldly there alone;
He says: ' She loved me more than life;
And truly it was sweet
To see so fair a woman kneel,
In bondage, at my feet.
There was a sort of quiet bliss
To be so deeply loved,
To gaze on trembling eagerness
And sit myself unmoved.
And when it pleased my pride to grant,
At last some rare caress,
To feel the fever of that hand
My fingers deigned to press.
'Twas sweet to see her strive to hide
What every glance revealed;
Endowed, the while, with despot-might
Her destiny to wield.
I knew myself no perfect man,
Nor, as she deemed, divine;
I knew that I was glorious­but
20
By her reflected shine;
Her youth, her native energy,
Her powers new-born and fresh,
'Twas these with Godhead sanctified
My sensual frame of flesh.
Yet, like a god did I descend
At last, to meet her love;
And, like a god, I then withdrew
To my own heaven above.
And never more could she invoke
My presence to her sphere;
No prayer, no plaint, no cry of hers
Could win my awful ear.
I knew her blinded constancy
Would ne'er my deeds betray,
And, calm in conscience, whole in heart,
I went my tranquil way.
Yet, sometimes, I still feel a wish,
The fond and flattering pain
Of passion's anguish to create,
In her young breast again.
Bright was the lustre of her eyes,
When they caught fire from mine;
If I had power­this very hour,
Again I 'd light their shine.
But where she is, or how she lives,
I have no clue to know;
I 've heard she long my absence pined,
And left her home in woe.
But busied, then, in gathering gold,
As I am busied now,
I could not turn from such pursuit,
To weep a broken vow.
Nor could I give to fatal risk
The fame I ever prized;
Even now, I fear, that precious fame
Is too much compromised.'
21
An inward trouble dims his eye,
Some riddle he would solve;
Some method to unloose a knot,
His anxious thoughts revolve.
He, pensive, leans against a tree,
A leafy evergreen,
The boughs, the moonlight, intercept,
And hide him like a screen;
He starts­the tree shakes with his tremor,
Yet nothing near him pass'd,
He hurries up the garden alley,
In strangely sudden haste.
With shaking hand, he lifts the latchet,
Steps o'er the threshold stone;
The heavy door slips from his fingers,
It shuts, and he is gone.
What touched, transfixed, appalled, his soul ?
A nervous thought, no more;
'Twill sink like stone in placid pool,
And calm close smoothly o'er.
II. THE PARLOUR.
WARM is the parlour atmosphere,
Serene the lamp's soft light;
The vivid embers, red and clear,
Proclaim a frosty night.
Books, varied, on the table lie,
Three children o'er them bend,
And all, with curious, eager eye,
The turning leaf attend.
Picture and tale alternately
Their simple hearts delight,
And interest deep, and tempered glee,
Illume their aspects bright;
The parents, from their fireside place,
Behold that pleasant scene,
And joy is on the mother's face,
22
Pride, in the father's mien.
As Gilbert sees his blooming wife,
Beholds his children fair,
No thought has he of transient strife,
Or past, though piercing fear.
The voice of happy infancy
Lisps sweetly in his ear,
His wife, with pleased and peaceful eye,
Sits, kindly smiling, near.
The fire glows on her silken dress,
And shows its ample grace,
And warmly tints each hazel tress,
Curled soft around her face.
The beauty that in youth he wooed,
Is beauty still, unfaded,
The brow of ever placid mood
No churlish grief has shaded.
Prosperity, in Gilbert's home,
Abides, the guest of years;
There Want or Discord never come,
And seldom Toil or Tears.
The carpets bear the peaceful print
Of comfort's velvet tread,
And golden gleams from plenty sent,
In every nook are shed.
The very silken spaniel seems
Of quiet ease to tell,
As near its mistress' feet it dreams,
Sunk in a cushion's swell;
And smiles seem native to the eyes
Of those sweet children, three;
They have but looked on tranquil skies,
And know not misery.
Alas ! that misery should come
In such an hour as this;
Why could she not so calm a home
A little longer miss ?
23
But she is now within the door,
Her steps advancing glide;
Her sullen shade has crossed the floor,
She stands at Gilbert's side.
She lays her hand upon his heart,
It bounds with agony;
His fireside chair shakes with the start
That shook the garden tree.
His wife towards the children looks,
She does not mark his mien;
The children, bending o'er their books,
His terror have not seen.
In his own home, by his own hearth,
He sits in solitude,
And circled round with light and mirth,
Cold horror chills his blood.
His mind would hold with desperate clutch
The scene that round him lies;
No­changed, as by some wizard's touch,
The present prospect flies.
A tumult vague­a viewless strife
His futile struggles crush;
'Twixt him and his, an unknown life
And unknown feelings rush.
He sees­but scarce can language paint
The tissue Fancy weaves;
For words oft give but echo faint
Of thoughts the mind conceives.
Noise, tumult strange, and darkness dim,
Efface both light and quiet;
No shape is in those shadows grim,
No voice in that wild riot.
Sustained and strong, a wondrous blast
Above and round him blows;
A greenish gloom, dense overcast,
Each moment denser grows.
He nothing knows­nor clearly sees,
24
Resistance checks his breath,
The high, impetuous, ceaseless breeze
Blows on him. cold as death.
And still the undulating gloom
Mocks sight with formless motion;
Was such sensation Jonah's doom,
Gulphed in the depths of ocean ?
Streaking the air, the nameless vision,
Fast-driven, deep-sounding, flows;
Oh ! whence its source, and what its mission ?
How will its terrors close ?
Long-sweeping, rushing, vast and void,
The Universe it swallows;
And still the dark, devouring tide,
A Typhoon tempest follows.
More slow it rolls; its furious race
Sinks to a solemn gliding;
The stunning roar, the wind's wild chase,
To stillness are subsiding.
And, slowly borne along, a form
The shapeless chaos varies;
Poised in the eddy to the storm,
Before the eye it tarries.
A woman drowned­sunk in the deep,
On a long wave reclining;
The circling waters' crystal sweep,
Like glass, her shape enshrining;
Her pale dead face, to Gilbert turned,
Seems as in sleep reposing;
A feeble light, now first discerned,
The features well disclosing.
No effort from the haunted air
The ghastly scene could banish;
That hovering wave, arrested there,
Rolled­throbbed­but did not vanish.
If Gilbert upward turned his gaze,
He saw the ocean-shadow;
If he looked down, the endless seas
25
Lay green as summer meadow.
And straight before, the pale corpse lay,
Upborne by air or billow,
So near, he could have touched the spray
That churned around its pillow.
The hollow anguish of the face
Had moved a fiend to sorrow;
Not Death's fixed calm could rase the trace
Of suffering's deep-worn furrow.
All moved; a strong returning blast,
The mass of waters raising,
Bore wave and passive carcase past,
While Gilbert yet was gazing.
Deep in her isle-conceiving womb,
It seemed the Ocean thundered,
And soon, by realms of rushing gloom,
Were seer and phantom sundered.
Then swept some timbers from a wreck,
On following surges riding;
Then sea-weed, in the turbid rack
Uptorn, went slowly gliding.
The horrid shade, by slow degrees,
A beam of light defeated,
And then the roar of raving seas,
Fast, far, and faint, retreated.
And all was gone­gone like a mist,
Corse, billows, tempest, wreck;
Three children close to Gilbert prest
And clung around his neck.
Good night ! good night ! the prattlers said
And kissed their father's cheek;
'Twas now the hour their quiet bed
And placid rest to seek.
The mother with her offspring goes
To hear their evening prayer;
She nought of Gilbert's vision knows,
And nought of his despair.
26
Yet, pitying God, abridge the time
Of anguish, now his fate !
Though, haply, great has been his crime,
Thy mercy, too, is great.
Gilbert, at length, uplifts his head,
Bent for some moments low,
And there is neither grief nor dread
Upon his subtle brow.
For well can he his feelings task,
And well his looks command;
His features well his heart can mask,
With smiles and smoothness bland.
Gilbert has reasoned with his mind­
He says 'twas all a dream;
He strives his inward sight to blind
Against truth's inward beam.
He pitied not that shadowy thing,
When it was flesh and blood;
Nor now can pity's balmy spring
Refresh his arid mood.
' And if that dream has spoken truth,'
Thus musingly he says;
' If Elinor be dead, in sooth,
Such chance the shock repays:
A net was woven round my feet,
I scarce could further go,
Are Shame had forced a fast retreat,
Dishonour brought me low. '
' Conceal her, then, deep, silent Sea,
Give her a secret grave !
She sleeps in peace, and I am free,
No longer Terror's slave:
And homage still, from all the world,
Shall greet my spotless name,
Since surges break and waves are curled
Above its threatened shame.'
27
III. THE WELCOME HOME
ABOVE the city hangs the moon,
Some clouds are boding rain,
Gilbert, erewhile on journey gone,
To-night comes home again.
Ten years have passed above his head,
Each year has brought him gain;
His prosperous life has smoothly sped,
Without or tear or stain.
'Tis somewhat late­the city clocks
Twelve deep vibrations toll,
As Gilbert at the portal knocks,
Which is his journey's goal.
The street is still and desolate,
The moon hid by a cloud;
Gilbert, impatient, will not wait,­
His second knock peals loud.
The clocks are hushed; there's not a light
In any window nigh,
And not a single planet bright
Looks from the clouded sky;
The air is raw, the rain descends,
A bitter north-wind blows;
His cloak the traveller scarce defends­
Will not the door unclose ?
He knocks the third time, and the last;
His summons now they hear,
Within, a footstep, hurrying fast,
Is heard approaching near.
The bolt is drawn, the clanking chain
Falls to the floor of stone;
And Gilbert to his heart will strain
His wife and children soon.
The hand that lifts the latchet, holds
A candle to his sight,
And Gilbert, on the step, beholds
A woman, clad in white.
28
Lo ! water from her dripping dress
Runs on the streaming floor;
From every dark and clinging tress,
The drops incessant pour.
There's none but her to welcome him;
She holds the candle high,
And, motionless in form and limb,
Stands cold and silent nigh;
There's sand and sea-weed on her robe,
Her hollow eyes are blind;
No pulse in such a frame can throb,
No life is there defined.
Gilbert turned ashy-white, but still
His lips vouchsafed no cry;
He spurred his strength and master-will
To pass the figure by,­
But, moving slow, it faced him straight,
It would not flinch nor quail:
Then first did Gilbert's strength abate,
His stony firmness quail.
He sank upon his knees and prayed;
The shape stood rigid there;
He called aloud for human aid,
No human aid was near.
An accent strange did thus repeat
Heaven's stern but just decree:
' The measure thou to her didst mete,
To thee shall measured be !'
Gilbert sprang from his bended knees,
By the pale spectre pushed,
And, wild as one whom demons seize,
Up the hall-staircase rushed;
Entered his chamber­near the bed
Sheathed steel and fire-arms hung­
Impelled by maniac purpose dread,
He chose those stores among.
Across his throat, a keen-edged knife
29
With vigorous hand he drew;
The wound was wide­his outraged life
Rushed rash and redly through.
And thus died, by a shameful death,
A wise and worldly man,
Who never drew but selfish breath
Since first his life began.
~ Charlotte Brontë,
955:Jenny
Lazy laughing languid Jenny,
Fond of a kiss and fond of a guinea,
Whose head upon my knee to-night
Rests for a while, as if grown light
With all our dances and the sound
To which the wild tunes spun you round:
Fair Jenny mine, the thoughtless queen
Of kisses which the blush between
Could hardly make much daintier;
Whose eyes are as blue skies, whose hair
Is countless gold incomparable:
Fresh flower, scarce touched with signs that tell
Of Love's exuberant hotbed:—Nay,
Poor flower left torn since yesterday
Until to-morrow leave you bare;
Poor handful of bright spring-water
Flung in the whirlpool's shrieking face;
Poor shameful Jenny, full of grace
Thus with your head upon my knee;—
Whose person or whose purse may be
The lodestar of your reverie?
This room of yours, my Jenny, looks
A change from mine so full of books,
Whose serried ranks hold fast, forsooth,
So many captive hours of youth,—
The hours they thieve from day and night
To make one's cherished work come right,
And leave it wrong for all their theft,
Even as to-night my work was left:
Until I vowed that since my brain
And eyes of dancing seemed so fain,
My feet should have some dancing too:—
And thus it was I met with you.
Well, I suppose 'twas hard to part,
For here I am. And now, sweetheart,
You seem too tired to get to bed.
It was a careless life I led
When rooms like this were scarce so strange
Not long ago. What breeds the change,—
133
The many aims or the few years?
Because to-night it all appears
Something I do not know again.
The cloud's not danced out of my brain—
The cloud that made it turn and swim
While hour by hour the books grew dim.
Why, Jenny, as I watch you there,—
For all your wealth of loosened hair,
Your silk ungirdled and unlac'd
And warm sweets open to the waist,
All golden in the lamplight's gleam,—
You know not what a book you seem,
Half-read by lightning in a dream!
How should you know, my Jenny? Nay,
And I should be ashamed to say:—
Poor beauty, so well worth a kiss!
But while my thought runs on like this
With wasteful whims more than enough,
I wonder what you're thinking of.
If of myself you think at all,
What is the thought?—conjectural
On sorry matters best unsolved?—
Or inly is each grace revolved
To fit me with a lure?—or (sad
To think!) perhaps you're merely glad
That I'm not drunk or ruffianly
And let you rest upon my knee.
For sometimes, were the truth confess'd,
You're thankful for a little rest,—
Glad from the crush to rest within,
From the heart-sickness and the din
Where envy's voice at virtue's pitch
Mocks you because your gown is rich;
And from the pale girl's dumb rebuke,
Whose ill-clad grace and toil-worn look
Proclaim the strength that keeps her weak,
And other nights than yours bespeak;
And from the wise unchildish elf,
To schoolmate lesser than himself
Pointing you out, what thing you are:—
Yes, from the daily jeer and jar,
From shame and shame's outbraving too,
134
Is rest not sometimes sweet to you?—
But most from the hatefulness of man,
Who spares not to end what he began,
Whose acts are ill and his speech ill,
Who, having used you at his will,
Thrusts you aside, as when I dine
I serve the dishes and the wine.
Well, handsome Jenny mine, sit up:
I've filled our glasses, let us sup,
And do not let me think of you,
Lest shame of yours suffice for two.
What, still so tired? Well, well then, keep
Your head there, so you do not sleep;
But that the weariness may pass
And leave you merry, take this glass.
Ah! lazy lily hand, more bless'd
If ne'er in rings it had been dress'd
Nor ever by a glove conceal'd!
Behold the lilies of the field,
They toil not neither do they spin;
(So doth the ancient text begin,—
Not of such rest as one of these
Can share.) Another rest and ease
Along each summer-sated path
From its new lord the garden hath,
Than that whose spring in blessings ran
Which praised the bounteous husbandman,
Ere yet, in days of hankering breath,
The lilies sickened unto death.
What, Jenny, are your lilies dead?
Aye, and the snow-white leaves are spread
Like winter on the garden-bed.
But you had roses left in May,—
They were not gone too. Jenny, nay,
But must your roses die, and those
Their purfled buds that should unclose?
Even so; the leaves are curled apart,
Still red as from the broken heart,
And here's the naked stem of thorns.
Nay, nay, mere words. Here nothing warns
As yet of winter. Sickness here
Or want alone could waken fear,—
135
Nothing but passion wrings a tear.
Except when there may rise unsought
Haply at times a passing thought
Of the old days which seem to be
Much older than any history
That is written in any book;
When she would lie in fields and look
Along the ground through the blown grass
And wonder where the city was,
Far out of sight, whose broil and bale
They told her then for a child's tale.
Jenny, you know the city now.
A child can tell the tale there, how
Some things which are not yet enroll'd
In market-lists are bought and sold
Even till the early Sunday light,
When Saturday night is market-night
Everywhere, be it dry or wet,
And market-night in the Haymarket.
Our learned London children know,
Poor Jenny, all your pride and woe;
Have seen your lifted silken skirt
Advertise dainties through the dirt;
Have seen your coach-wheels splash rebuke
On virtue; and have learned your look
When, wealth and health slipped past, you stare
Along the streets alone, and there,
Round the long park, across the bridge,
The cold lamps at the pavement's edge
Wind on together and apart,
A fiery serpent for your heart.
Let the thoughts pass, an empty cloud!
Suppose I were to think aloud,—
What if to her all this were said?
Why, as a volume seldom read
Being opened halfway shuts again,
So might the pages of her brain
Be parted at such words, and thence
Close back upon the dusty sense.
For is there hue or shape defin'd
In Jenny's desecrated mind,
Where all contagious currents meet,
136
A Lethe of the middle street?
Nay, it reflects not any face,
Nor sound is in its sluggish pace,
But as they coil those eddies clot,
And night and day remember not.
Why, Jenny, you're asleep at last!—
Asleep, poor Jenny, hard and fast,—
So young and soft and tired; so fair,
With chin thus nestled in your hair,
Mouth quiet, eyelids almost blue
As if some sky of dreams shone through!
Just as another woman sleeps!
Enough to throw one's thoughts in heaps
Of doubt and horror,—what to say
Or think,—this awful secret sway,
The potter's power over the clay!
Of the same lump (it has been said)
For honour and dishonour made,
Two sister vessels. Here is one.
My cousin Nell is fond of fun,
And fond of dress, and change, and praise,
So mere a woman in her ways:
And if her sweet eyes rich in youth
Are like her lips that tell the truth,
My cousin Nell is fond of love.
And she's the girl I'm proudest of.
Who does not prize her, guard her well?
The love of change, in cousin Nell,
Shall find the best and hold it dear:
The unconquered mirth turn quieter
Not through her own, through others' woe:
The conscious pride of beauty glow
Beside another's pride in her,
One little part of all they share.
For Love himself shall ripen these
In a kind soil to just increase
Through years of fertilizing peace.
Of the same lump (as it is said)
For honour and dishonour made,
Two sister vessels. Here is one.
It makes a goblin of the sun.
So pure,—so fall'n! How dare to think
137
Of the first common kindred link?
Yet, Jenny, till the world shall burn
It seems that all things take their turn;
And who shall say but this fair tree
May need, in changes that may be,
Your children's children's charity?
Scorned then, no doubt, as you are scorn'd!
Shall no man hold his pride forewarn'd
Till in the end, the Day of Days,
At Judgment, one of his own race,
As frail and lost as you, shall rise,—
His daughter, with his mother's eyes?
How Jenny's clock ticks on the shelf!
Might not the dial scorn itself
That has such hours to register?
Yet as to me, even so to her
Are golden sun and silver moon,
In daily largesse of earth's boon,
Counted for life-coins to one tune.
And if, as blindfold fates are toss'd,
Through some one man this life be lost,
Shall soul not somehow pay for soul?
Fair shines the gilded aureole
In which our highest painters place
Some living woman's simple face.
And the stilled features thus descried
As Jenny's long throat droops aside,—
The shadows where the cheeks are thin,
And pure wide curve from ear to chin,—
With Raffael's, Leonardo's hand
To show them to men's souls, might stand,
Whole ages long, the whole world through,
For preachings of what God can do.
What has man done here? How atone,
Great God, for this which man has done?
And for the body and soul which by
Man's pitiless doom must now comply
With lifelong hell, what lullaby
Of sweet forgetful second birth
Remains? All dark. No sign on earth
What measure of God's rest endows
The many mansions of his house.
138
If but a woman's heart might see
Such erring heart unerringly
For once! But that can never be.
Like a rose shut in a book
In which pure women may not look,
For its base pages claim control
To crush the flower within the soul;
Where through each dead rose-leaf that clings,
Pale as transparent Psyche-wings,
To the vile text, are traced such things
As might make lady's cheek indeed
More than a living rose to read;
So nought save foolish foulness may
Watch with hard eyes the sure decay;
And so the life-blood of this rose,
Puddled with shameful knowledge, flows
Through leaves no chaste hand may unclose:
Yet still it keeps such faded show
Of when 'twas gathered long ago,
That the crushed petals' lovely grain,
The sweetness of the sanguine stain,
Seen of a woman's eyes, must make
Her pitiful heart, so prone to ache,
Love roses better for its sake:—
Only that this can never be:—
Even so unto her sex is she.
Yet, Jenny, looking long at you,
The woman almost fades from view.
A cipher of man's changeless sum
Of lust, past, present, and to come,
Is left. A riddle that one shrinks
To challenge from the scornful sphinx.
Like a toad within a stone
Seated while Time crumbles on;
Which sits there since the earth was curs'd
For Man's transgression at the first;
Which, living through all centuries,
Not once has seen the sun arise;
Whose life, to its cold circle charmed,
The earth's whole summers have not warmed;
Which always—whitherso the stone
Be flung—sits there, deaf, blind, alone;—
139
Aye, and shall not be driven out
Till that which shuts him round about
Break at the very Master's stroke,
And the dust thereof vanish as smoke,
And the seed of Man vanish as dust:—
Even so within this world is Lust.
Come, come, what use in thoughts like this?
Poor little Jenny, good to kiss,—
You'd not believe by what strange roads
Thought travels, when your beauty goads
A man to-night to think of toads!
Jenny, wake up…. Why, there's the dawn!
And there's an early waggon drawn
To market, and some sheep that jog
Bleating before a barking dog;
And the old streets come peering through
Another night that London knew;
And all as ghostlike as the lamps.
So on the wings of day decamps
My last night's frolic. Glooms begin
To shiver off as lights creep in
Past the gauze curtains half drawn-to,
And the lamp's doubled shade grows blue,—
Your lamp, my Jenny, kept alight,
Like a wise virgin's, all one night!
And in the alcove coolly spread
Glimmers with dawn your empty bed;
And yonder your fair face I see
Reflected lying on my knee,
Where teems with first foreshadowings
Your pier-glass scrawled with diamond rings:
And on your bosom all night worn
Yesterday's rose now droops forlorn,
But dies not yet this summer morn.
And now without, as if some word
Had called upon them that they heard,
The London sparrows far and nigh
Clamour together suddenly;
And Jenny's cage-bird grown awake
Here in their song his part must take,
Because here too the day doth break.
And somehow in myself the dawn
140
Among stirred clouds and veils withdrawn
Strikes greyly on her. Let her sleep.
But will it wake her if I heap
These cushions thus beneath her head
Where my knee was? No,—there's your bed,
My Jenny, while you dream. And there
I lay among your golden hair,
Perhaps the subject of your dreams,
These golden coins.
For still one deems
That Jenny's flattering sleep confers
New magic on the magic purse,—
Grim web, how clogged with shrivelled flies!
Between the threads fine fumes arise
And shape their pictures in the brain.
There roll no streets in glare and rain,
Nor flagrant man-swine whets his tusk;
But delicately sighs in musk
The homage of the dim boudoir;
Or like a palpitating star
Thrilled into song, the opera-night
Breathes faint in the quick pulse of light;
Or at the carriage-window shine
Rich wares for choice; or, free to dine,
Whirls through its hour of health (divine
For her) the concourse of the Park.
And though in the discounted dark
Her functions there and here are one,
Beneath the lamps and in the sun
There reigns at least the acknowledged belle
Apparelled beyond parallel.
Ah Jenny, yes, we know your dreams.
For even the Paphian Venus seems
A goddess o'er the realms of love,
When silver-shrined in shadowy grove:
Aye, or let offerings nicely plac'd
But hide Priapus to the waist,
And whoso looks on him shall see
An eligible deity.
Why, Jenny, waking here alone
May help you to remember one,
Though all the memory's long outworn
141
Of many a double-pillowed morn.
I think I see you when you wake,
And rub your eyes for me, and shake
My gold, in rising, from your hair,
A Danaë for a moment there.
Jenny, my love rang true! for still
Love at first sight is vague, until
That tinkling makes him audible.
And must I mock you to the last,
Ashamed of my own shame,—aghast
Because some thoughts not born amiss
Rose at a poor fair face like this?
Well, of such thoughts so much I know:
In my life, as in hers, they show,
By a far gleam which I may near,
A dark path I can strive to clear.
Only one kiss. Good-bye, my dear.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
956: THE

(on:

THE SEVEN SEALS

YES AND AMEN SONG)

1

If I am a soothsayer and full of that soothsaying spirit
which wanders on a high ridge between two seas, wandering like a heavy cloud between past and future, an
enemy of all sultry plains and all that is weary and can
neither die nor live-in its dark bosom prepared for
lightning and the redemptive flash, pregnant with lightning bolts that say Yes and laugh Yes, soothsaying
lightning bolts-blessed is he who is thus pregnant!
And verily, long must he hang on the mountains like a
dark cloud who shall one day kindle the light of the
future: Oh, how should I not lust after eternity and
after the nuptial ring of rings, the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
2

If ever my wrath burst tombs, moved boundary
stones, and rolled old tablets, broken, into steep depths;
if ever my mockery blew moldy words into the wind,
and I came as a broom to the cross-marked spiders and
as a sweeping gust to old musty tomb chambers; if ever
I sat jubilating where old gods lie buried, world-blessing, world-loving, beside the monuments of old worldslanders-for I love even churches and tombs of gods,
once the sky gazes through their broken roofs with its
229
pure eyes, and like grass and red poppies, I love to sit
on broken churches: Oh, how should I not lust after
eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings, the ring of
recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
3

If ever one breath came to me of the creative breath
and of that heavenly need that constrains even accidents
to dance star-dances; if I ever laughed the laughter of
creative lightning which is followed obediently but
grumblingly by the long thunder of the deed; if I ever
played dice with gods at the gods' table, the earth, till
the earth quaked and burst and snorted up floods of
fire-for the earth is a table for gods and trembles with
creative new words and gods' throws: Oh, how should
I not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of
rings, the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
4

If ever I drank full drafts from that foaming spice and blend-mug in which all things are well blended; if
my hand ever poured the farthest to the nearest, and
fire to spirit, and joy to pain, and the most wicked to
the most gracious; if I myself am a grain of that redeeming salt which makes all things blend well in the
blend-mug-for there is a salt that unites good with
evil; and even the greatest evil is worthy of being used
230
as spice for the last foaming over: Oh, how should I
not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings,
the ring or recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
5

If I am fond of the sea and of all that is of the sea's
kind, and fondest when it angrily contradicts me; if that
delight in searching which drives the sails toward the
undiscovered is in me, if a seafarer's delight is in my
delight; if ever my jubilation cried, "The coast has
vanished, now the last chain has fallen from me; the
boundless roars around me, far out glisten space and
time; be of good cheer, old heart!" Oh, how should I
not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings,
the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
6
If my virtue is a dancer's virtue and I have often
jumped with both feet into golden-emerald delight; if
my sarcasm is a laughing sarcasm, at home under rose
slopes and hedges of lilies-for in laughter all that is
evil comes together, but is pronounced -holy and absolved by its own bliss; and if this is my alpha and
omega, that all that is heavy and grave should become
light; all that is body, dancer; all that is spirit, bird and verily, that is my alpha and omega: Oh, how should
231
I not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of
rings, the fing of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity
7
If ever I spread tranquil skies over myself and soared
on my own wings into my own skies; if I swam playfully in the deep light-distances, and the bird-wisdom
of my freedom came-but bird-wisdom speaks thus:
"Behold, there is no above, no below Throw yourself
around, out, back, you who are lightly Sing! Speak no
morel Are not all words made for the grave and heavy?
Are not all words lies to those who are light? Single
Speak no morel" Oh, how should I not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings, the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity

Thus Spoke Zarathustra:
Fourth and Last Part
Alas, where in the world has there been more
folly than among the pitying? And what in the
world has caused more suffering than the folly of
the pitying? Woe to all who love without having
a height that is above their pityl
232
Thus spoke the devil to me once: "God too has
his hell: that is his love of man." And most recently I heard him say this: "God is dead; God
died of his pity for man." (Zarathustra, II, p. go)
TRANSLATOR'S NOTES

Part Four was originally intended as an intermezzo, not
as the end of the book. The very appearance of a collection
of sayings is abandoned: Part Four forms a whole, and
as such represents a new stylistic experiment-as well as
a number of widely different stylistic experiments, held
together by a unity of plot and a pervasive sense of
humor.
1.

The Honey Sacrifice: Prologue. The "queer fish" are not

long in coming: the first of them appears in the next chapter.
2. The Cry of Distress: Beginning of the story that continues to the end of the book. The soothsayer of Part Two
reappears, and Zarathustra leaves in search of the higher
man. Now that he has overcome his nausea, his final
trial is: pity.
3. Conversation with the Kings: The first of seven encounters in each of which Zarathustra meets men who have
accepted some part of his teaching without, however,
embodying the type he envisages. Their revolting and tiresome flatteries might be charged to their general inadequacy. But Zarathustra's own personality, as it emerges
in chapter after chapter, poses a more serious problem. At
least in part, this is clearly due to the author's deliberate
malice: he does not want to be a "new idol": "I do not
want to be a saint, rather even a buffoon. Perhaps I am a
buffoon. And nevertheless, or rather not nevertheless-for
there has never been anybody more mendacious than
saints-truth speaks out of me" (Ecce Homo). Earlier in
the same work he says of Shakespeare: "What must a
man have suffered to have found it that necessary to be
a buffoon!" In these pages Nietzsche would resemble the
233
dramatist rather than the hagiographer, and a Shakespearean fool rather than the founder of a new cult.
4. The Leech: Encounter with "the conscientious in spirit."
5. The Magician: In the magician some of Nietzsche's
own features blend with some of Wagner's as conceived
by Nietzsche. The poem appears again in a manuscript of
a888, which bears the title "Dionysus Dithyrambs" and
the motto: "These are the songs of Zarathustra which he
sang to himself to endure his ultimate loneliness." In this
later context, the poem is entitled "Ariadne's Lament,"
and a new conclusion has been added by Nietzsche:
(Lightning.
beauty.)

Dionysus becomes

DIONYSUS:

visible in emerald

Be clever, Ariadnel

You have small ears, you have my ears:
Put a clever word into them
Must one not first hate each other
if one is to love each other?
I am your labyrinth.
The song is not reducible to a single level of meaning. The
outcry is (1) Nietzsche's own; and the unnamable, terrible
thought near the beginning is surely that of the eternal
recurrence; it is (2) projected onto Wagner, who is here
imagined as feeling desperately forsaken after Nietzsche
left him (note especially the penultimate stanza); it is
(3) wishfully projected onto Cosima Wagner-Nietzsche's
Ariadne (see my Nietzsche, i, 11)-who is here imagined as desiring and possessed by Nietzsche-Dionysus.
Part Four is all but made up of similar projections. All the
characters are caricatures of Nietzsche. And like the magician, he too would lie if he said: "'I did all this only as a
game.' There was seriousness in it too."
6. Retired: Encounter with the last pope. Reflections on
the death and inadequacies of God.
7. The Ugliest Man: The murderer of God. The sentence
beginning "Has not all success . . ." reads in German:
234
War nicht aller Erfolg fisher bei den Gut-Verfolgten? Und
wer gut verfolgt, lernt leicht folgen:-ist er doch einmalhinterherl
8. The Voluntary Beggar: A sermon on a mount-about
cows.
9. The Shadow: An allusion to Nietzsche's earlier work,
The Wanderer and His Shadow (188o).
10. At Noon: A charming intermezzo.
:i. The Welcome: Zarathustra rejects his guests, though
together they form a kind of higher man compared to their
contemporaries. He repudiates these men of great longing
and nausea as well as all those who enjoy his diatribes and
denunciations and desire recognition and consideration
for being out of tune with their time. What Nietzsche
envisages is the creator for whom all negation is merely
incidental to his great affirmation: joyous spirits, "laughing
lions."
12. The Last Supper: One of the persistent themes of Part
Four reaches its culmination in this chapter: Nietzsche not
only satirizes the Gospels, and all hagiography generally,
but he also makes fun of and laughs at himself.
13. On the Higher Man: A summary comparable to "On
Old and New Tablets" in Part Three. Section 5 epitomizes
Nietzsche's praise of "evir"-too briefly to be clear apart
from the rest of his work-and the conclusion should be
noted. The opening paragraph of section 7 takes up the
same theme: Nietzsche opposes sublimation to both license
and what he elsewhere calls "castratism." A fine epigram
is mounted in the center of section 9. The mellow moderation of the last lines of section 15 is not usually associated
with Nietzsche. And the chapter ends with a praise of
laughter.
14. The Song of Melancholy: In the 3888 manuscript of
the "Dionysus Dithyrambs" this is the first poem and it
bears the title "Only Fooll Only Poetl" The two introductory sections of this chapter help to dissociate Nietzsche
from the poem, while the subsquent references to this song
show that he considered it far more depressing than it
235
appears in its context. Though his solitude sometimes
flattered him, "On every parable you ride to every truth"
("The Return Home"), he also knew moments when he
said to himself, "I am ashamed that I must still be a poet"
("On Old and New Tablets"). Although Zarathustra's
buffooneries are certainly intended as such by the author,
the thought that he might be "only" a fool, "only" a poet
"climbing around on mendacious word bridges," made
Nietzsche feel more than despondent. Soon it led him to
abandon further attempts to ride on parables in favor of
some of the most supple prose in German literature.
15. On Science: Only the origin of science is considered.
The attempt to account for it in terms of fear goes back to
the period of The Dawn (188i), in which Nietzsche tried
to see how far he could reduce different phenomena to
fear and power. Zarathustra suggests that courage is crucial
-that is, the will to power over fear.
i6. Among Daughters of the Wilderness: Zarathustra, about
to slip out of his cave for the second time because he cannot stand the bad smell of the "higher men," is called
back by his shadow, who has nowhere among men smelled
better air-except once. In the following song Nietzsche's
buffoonery reaches its climax. But though it can and should
be read as thoroughly delightful nonsense, it is not entirely
void of personal significance. Wilste means "desert" or
"wilderness," and wdist can also mean wild and dissolute;
and the "flimsy little fan-, flutter-, and tinsel-skirts" seem
to have been suggested by the brothel to which a porter
in Cologne once took the young Nietzsche, who had asked
to be shown to a hotel. (He ran away, shocked; cf. my
Nietzsche, 3, I.) Certainly the poem is full of sexual
fantasies. But the double meaning of "date" is not present
in the original.
17. The Awakening: The titles of this and the following
chapter might well be reversed; for it is this chapter that
culminates in the ass festival, Nietzsche's version of the
Black Mass. But "the awakening' here does not refer to the
moment when an angry Moses holds his people accountable
236
for their worship of the golden calf, but to the moment
when "they have learned to laugh at themselves." In this
art, incidentally, none of the great philosophers excelled
the author of Part Four of Zarathustra.
i8. The Ass Festival: Five of the participants try to justify
themselves. The pope satirizes Catholicism (Luther was
last made fun of at the end of the song in Chapter i6),
while the conscientious in spirit develops a new theology
-and suggests that Zarathustra himself is pretty close to
being an ass.
19. The Drunken Song: Nietzsche's great hymn to joy invites comparison with Schiller's-minus Beethoven's music.
That they use different German words is the smallest difference. Schiller writes:
Suffer bravely, myriadsl
Suffer for the better world
Up above the firmament
A great God will give rewards.
Nietzsche wants the eternity of this life with all its agonies
-and seeing that it flees, its eternal recurrence. As it is expressed in sections 9, io, and 3i, the conception of the
eternal recurrence is certainly meaningful; but its formulation as a doctrine depended on Nietzsche's mistaken belief
that science compels us to accept the hypothesis of the
eternal recurrence of the same events at gigantic intervals.
(See "On the Vision and the Riddle" and "The Convalescent," both in Part Three, and, for a detailed discussion,
my Nietzsche, 11, II.)
20. The Sign: In "The Welcome," Zarathustra repudiated
the "higher men" in favor of "laughing lions." Now a lion
turns up and laughs, literally. And in place of the single
dove in the New Testament, traditionally understood as a
symbol of the Holy Ghost, we are presented with a whole
flock. Both the lion and the doves were mentioned before
("On Old and New Tablets," section 3) as the signs for
which Zarathustra must wait, and now afford Nietzsche an
237
opportunity to preserve his curious blend of myth, irony,
and hymn to the very end.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE SEVEN SEALS OR THE YES AND AMEN SONG
,
957:Essay On Man
The First Epistle
Awake, my ST. JOHN!(1) leave all meaner things
To low ambition, and the pride of Kings.
Let us (since Life can little more supply
Than just to look about us and to die)
Expatiate(2) free o'er all this scene of Man;
A mighty maze! but not without a plan;
A Wild, where weeds and flow'rs promiscuous shoot,
Or Garden, tempting with forbidden fruit.
Together let us beat this ample field,
Try what the open, what the covert yield;
The latent tracts(3), the giddy heights explore
Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar;
Eye Nature's walks, shoot Folly as it flies,
And catch the Manners living as they rise;
Laugh where we must, be candid where we can;
But vindicate(4) the ways of God to Man.
1. Say first, of God above, or Man below,
What can we reason, but from what we know?
Of Man what see we, but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer?
Thro' worlds unnumber'd tho' the God be known,
'Tis ours to trace him only in our own.
He, who thro' vast immensity can pierce,
See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
What vary'd being peoples ev'ry star,
May tell why Heav'n has made us as we are.
But of this frame the bearings, and the ties,
The strong connections, nice dependencies,
Gradations just, has thy pervading soul
Look'd thro'? or can a part contain the whole?
Is the great chain, that draws all to agree,
And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee?
II. Presumptuous Man! the reason wouldst thou find,
Why form'd so weak, so little, and so blind!
92
First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess,
Why form'd no weaker, blinder, and no less!
Ask of thy mother earth, why oaks are made
Taller or stronger than the weeds they shade?
Or ask of yonder argent fields(5) above,
Why JOVE'S Satellites are less than JOVE?(6)
Of Systems possible, if 'tis confest
That Wisdom infinite must form the best,
Where all must full or not coherent be,
And all that rises, rise in due degree;
Then, in the scale of reas'ning life, 'tis plain
There must be, somewhere, such rank as Man;
And all the question (wrangle e'er so long)
Is only this, if God has plac'd him wrong?
Respecting Man, whatever wrong we call,
Nay, must be right, as relative to all.
In human works, tho' labour'd on with pain,
A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain;
In God's, one single can its end produce;
Yet serves to second too some other use.
So Man, who here seems principal alone,
Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown,
Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal;
'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
When the proud steed shall know why Man restrains
His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains;
When the dull Ox, why now he breaks the clod,
Is now a victim, and now Egypt's God:(7)
Then shall Man's pride and dullness comprehend
His actions', passions', being's, use and end;
Why doing, suff'ring, check'd, impell'd; and why
This hour a slave, the next a deity.
Then say not Man's imperfect, Heav'n in fault;
Say rather, Man's as perfect as he ought;
His knowledge measur'd to his state and place,
His time a moment, and a point his space.
If to be perfect in a certain sphere,
What matter, soon or late, or here or there?
The blest today is as completely so,
As who began a thousand years ago.
III. Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of Fate,
93
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state;
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer Being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy Reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'n,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heav'n;
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death, and God adore!
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that Hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;
Yet simple Nature to his hope has giv'n,
Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heav'n;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the watry waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold!
To Be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no Angel's wing, no Seraph's(8) fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.
IV. Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense
Weigh thy Opinion against Providence;
Call Imperfection what thou fancy'st such,
Say, here he gives too little, there too much;
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust,(9)
Yet cry, If Man's unhappy, God's unjust;
94
If Man alone ingross not Heav'n's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there:
Snatch from his hand the balance(10) and the rod,
Re-judge his justice, be the GOD of GOD!
In Pride, in reas'ning Pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,
Men would be Angels, Angels would be Gods.
Aspiring to be Gods, if Angels fell,
Aspiring to be Angels, Men rebel;
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of ORDER, sins against th' Eternal Cause.
V. Ask for what end the heav'nly bodies shine,
Earth for whose use? Pride answers, "Tis for mine:
For me kind Nature wakes her genial pow'r,
Suckles each herb, and spreads out ev'ry flow'r;
Annual for me, the grape, the rose renew
The juice nectareous, and the balmy dew;
For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings;
For me, health gushes from a thousand springs;
Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise;
My foot-stool earth, my canopy the skies."
But errs not Nature from this gracious end,
From burning suns when livid deaths descend,
When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests sweep
Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep?
"No ('tis reply'd) the first Almighty Cause
Acts not by partial, but by gen'ral laws;
Th' exceptions few; some change since all began,
And what created perfect?" -- Why then Man?
If the great end be human Happiness,
Then Nature deviates; and can Man do less?
As much that end a constant course requires
Of show'rs and sun-shine, as of Man's desires;
As much eternal springs and cloudless skies,
As Men for ever temp'rate, calm, and wise.
If plagues or earthquakes break not Heav'n's design,
Why then a Borgia,(11) or a Catiline?(12)
Who knows but he, whose hand the light'ning forms,
Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the storms,
Pours fierce Ambition in a Caesar's(13) mind,
95
Or turns young Ammon(14) loose to scourge mankind?
From pride, from pride, our very reas'ning springs;
Account for moral as for nat'ral things:
Why charge we Heav'n in those, in these acquit?
In both, to reason right is to submit.
Better for Us, perhaps, it might appear,
Were there all harmony, all virtue here;
That never air or ocean felt the wind;
That never passion discompos'd the mind:
But ALL subsists by elemental strife;
and Passions are the elements of Life.
The gen'ral ORDER, since the whole began,
Is kept in Nature, and is kept in Man.
VI. What would this Man? Now upward will he soar,
And little less than Angel,(15) would be more;
Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears
To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears.
Made for his use all creatures if he call,
Say what their use, had he the pow'rs of all?
Nature to these, without profusion kind,
The proper organs, proper pow'rs assign'd;
Each seeming want compensated of course,
Here with degrees of swiftness, there of force;
All in exact proportion to the state;
Nothing to add, and nothing to abate.
Each beast, each insect, happy in its own;
Is Heav'n unkind to Man, and Man alone?
Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Be pleas'd with nothing, if not bless'd with all?
The bliss of Man (could Pride that blessing find)
Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
No pow'rs of body or of soul to share,
But what his nature and his state can bear.
Why has not Man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, Man is not a Fly.
Say what the use, were finer optics giv'n,
T' inspect a mite,(16) not comprehend the heav'n?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To smart and agonize at ev'ry pore?
Or quick effluvia(17) darting thro' the brain,
Die of a rose in aromatic pain?
96
If nature thunder'd in his op'ning ears,
And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres,
How would he wish that Heav'n had left him still
The whisp'ring Zephyr,(18) and the purling rill?(19)
Who finds not Providence all good and wise,
Alike in what it gives, and what denies?
VII. Far as Creation's ample range extends,
The scale of sensual, mental pow'rs ascends:
Mark how it mounts, to Man's imperial race,
From the green myriads in the people grass:
What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme,
The mole's dim curtain, and the lynx's beam:
Of smell, the headlong lioness between,
And hound sagacious(20) on the tainted(21) green:
Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood,(22)
To that which warbles thro' the vernal(23) wood:
The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line:
In the nice bee, what sense so subtly true
From pois'nous herbs extracts the healing dew:(24)
How Instinct varies in the grov'ling swine,
Compar'd, half-reas'ning elephant, with thine:
'Twixt that, and Reason, what a nice barrier;
For ever sep'rate, yet for ever near!
Remembrance and Reflection how ally'd;
What thin partitions Sense from Thought divide:
And Middle natures,(25) how they long to join,
Yet never pass th' insuperable line!
Without this just gradation, could they be
Subjected these to those, or all to thee?
The pow'rs of all subdu'd by thee alone,
Is not thy Reason all these pow'rs in one?
VIII. See, thro' this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high progressive life may go!
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vast chain of being, which from God began,
Natures ethereal,(26) human, angel, man
Beast, bird, fish, insect! what no eye can see,
No glass can reach! from Infinite to thee,
97
From thee to Nothing! -- On superior pow'rs
Were we to press, inferior might on ours:
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where, one step broken, the great scale's destoy'd:
From Nature's chain whatever link you strike,
Tenth or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And if each system in gradation roll,
Alike essential to th' amazing whole;
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall.
Let Earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and Suns run lawless thro' the sky,
Let ruling Angels from their spheres be hurl'd,
Being on being wreck'd, and world on world,
Heav'n's whole foundations to their centre nod,
And Nature tremble to the throne of God:
All this dread ORDER break -- for whom? for thee?
Vile worm! -- oh, Madness, Pride, Impiety!
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
Or hand to toil, aspir'd to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd(27)
To serve mere engines to the ruling Mind?
Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains
The great directing MIND of ALL ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body, Nature is, and God the soul;
That, chang'd thro' all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the earth, as in th' ethereal frame,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
Lives thro' all life, extends thro' all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent,
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal parts,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile Man that mourns,
As the rapt Seraph that adores and burns;
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.
X. Cease then, nor ORDER Imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
98
Know thy own point: This kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heav'n bestows on thee.
Submit -- In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear:
Safe in the hand of one disposing Pow'r,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see;
All Discord, Harmony, not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good:
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
One truth is clear, "Whatever IS, is RIGHT."
Argument of the Second Epistle:
Of the Nature and State of Man, with respect to Himself, as an Individual. The
business of Man not to pry into God, but
to study himself.
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,(28)
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest,
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer,
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
ENDNOTES:
99
1[His friend, Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke]
2[to wander]
3[hidden areas]
4[explain or defend]
5[silvery fields, i.e., the heavens]
6[the planet Jupiter]
7[ancient Egyptians sometimes worshipped oxen]
8[the highest level of angels]
9[pleasure]
10[the balance used to weigh justice]
11[Caesar Borgia (1476-1507) who used any cruelty to achieve his ends]
12[Lucious Sergius Catilina (108-62 B.C.) who was a traitor to Rome]
13[Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) who was thought to be overly ambitious Roman]
14[Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.)]
15[Psalm 8:5--"Thou hast made him [man] a little lower than the angels...."]
16[small insect]
17[vapors which were believed to pass odors to the brain]
18[the West Wind]
19[stream]
20[able to pick up a scent]
21[having the odor of an animal]
22[ocean]
23[green]
24[honey was thought to have medicinal properties]
25[Animals slightly below humans on the chain of being]
26[heavenly]
27[complained]
28[i.e., on the chain of being between angels and animals]
~ Alexander Pope,
958:A JOURNAL.
DEDICATED TO MY FELLOW-TRAVELLERS IN AUGUST, 1858.
Wise and polite,--and if I drew
Their several portraits, you would own
Chaucer had no such worthy crew,
Nor Boccace in Decameron.

We crossed Champlain to Keeseville with our friends,
Thence, in strong country carts, rode up the forks
Of the Ausable stream, intent to reach
The Adirondac lakes. At Martin's Beach
We chose our boats; each man a boat and guide,--
Ten men, ten guides, our company all told.

Next morn, we swept with oars the Saranac,
With skies of benediction, to Round Lake,
Where all the sacred mountains drew around us,
Tahawus, Seaward, MacIntyre, Baldhead,
And other Titans without muse or name.
Pleased with these grand companions, we glide on,
Instead of flowers, crowned with a wreath of hills,
And made our distance wider, boat from boat,
As each would hear the oracle alone.
By the bright morn the gay flotilla slid
Through files of flags that gleamed like bayonets,
Through gold-moth-haunted beds of pickerel-flower,
Through scented banks of lilies white and gold,
Where the deer feeds at night, the teal by day,
On through the Upper Saranac, and up
Pere Raquette stream, to a small tortuous pass
Winding through grassy shallows in and out,
Two creeping miles of rushes, pads, and sponge,
To Follansbee Water, and the Lake of Loons.

Northward the length of Follansbee we rowed,
Under low mountains, whose unbroken ridge
Ponderous with beechen forest sloped the shore.
A pause and council: then, where near the head
On the east a bay makes inward to the land
Between two rocky arms, we climb the bank,
And in the twilight of the forest noon
Wield the first axe these echoes ever heard.
We cut young trees to make our poles and thwarts,
Barked the white spruce to weatherfend the roof,
Then struck a light, and kindled the camp-fire.

The wood was sovran with centennial trees,--
Oak, cedar, maple, poplar, beech and fir,
Linden and spruce. In strict society
Three conifers, white, pitch, and Norway pine,
Five-leaved, three-leaved, and two-leaved, grew thereby.
Our patron pine was fifteen feet in girth,
The maple eight, beneath its shapely tower.

'Welcome!' the wood god murmured through the leaves,--
'Welcome, though late, unknowing, yet known to me.'
Evening drew on; stars peeped through maple-boughs,
Which o'erhung, like a cloud, our camping fire.
Decayed millennial trunks, like moonlight flecks,
Lit with phosphoric crumbs the forest floor.

Ten scholars, wonted to lie warm and soft
In well-hung chambers daintily bestowed,
Lie here on hemlock-boughs, like Sacs and Sioux,
And greet unanimous the joyful change.
So fast will Nature acclimate her sons,
Though late returning to her pristine ways.
Off soundings, seamen do not suffer cold;
And, in the forest, delicate clerks, unbrowned,
Sleep on the fragrant brush, as on down-beds.
Up with the dawn, they fancied the light air
That circled freshly in their forest dress
Made them to boys again. Happier that they
Slipped off their pack of duties, leagues behind,
At the first mounting of the giant stairs.
No placard on these rocks warned to the polls,
No door-bell heralded a visitor,
No courier waits, no letter came or went,
Nothing was ploughed, or reaped, or bought, or sold;
The frost might glitter, it would blight no crop,
The falling rain will spoil no holiday.
We were made freemen of the forest laws,
All dressed, like Nature, fit for her own ends,
Essaying nothing she cannot perform.

In Adirondac lakes,
At morn or noon, the guide rows bareheaded:
Shoes, flannel shirt, and kersey trousers make
His brief toilette: at night, or in the rain,
He dons a surcoat which he doffs at morn:
A paddle in the right hand, or an oar,
And in the left, a gun, his needful arms.
By turns we praised the stature of our guides,
Their rival strength and suppleness, their skill
To row, to swim, to shoot, to build a camp,
To climb a lofty stem, clean without boughs
Full fifty feet, and bring the eaglet down:
Temper to face wolf, bear, or catamount,
And wit to track or take him in his lair.
Sound, ruddy men, frolic and innocent,
In winter, lumberers; in summer, guides;
Their sinewy arms pull at the oar untired
Three times ten thousand strokes, from morn to eve.

Look to yourselves, ye polished gentlemen!
No city airs or arts pass current here.
Your rank is all reversed: let men of cloth
Bow to the stalwart churls in overalls:
They are the doctors of the wilderness,
And we the low-prized laymen.
In sooth, red flannel is a saucy test
Which few can put on with impunity.
What make you, master, fumbling at the oar?
Will you catch crabs? Truth tries pretension here.
The sallow knows the basket-maker's thumb;
The oar, the guide's. Dare you accept the tasks
He shall impose, to find a spring, trap foxes,
Tell the sun's time, determine the true north,
Or stumbling on through vast self-similar woods
To thread by night the nearest way to camp?

Ask you, how went the hours?
All day we swept the lake, searched every cove,
North from Camp Maple, south to Osprey Bay,
Watching when the loud dogs should drive in deer,
Or whipping its rough surface for a trout;
Or bathers, diving from the rock at noon;
Challenging Echo by our guns and cries;
Or listening to the laughter of the loon;
Or, in the evening twilight's latest red,
Beholding the procession of the pines;
Or, later yet, beneath a lighted jack,
In the boat's bows, a silent night-hunter
Stealing with paddle to the feeding-grounds
Of the red deer, to aim at a square mist.
Hark to that muffled roar! a tree in the woods
Is fallen: but hush! it has not scared the buck
Who stands astonished at the meteor light,
Then turns to bound away,--is it too late?

Sometimes we tried our rifles at a mark,
Six rods, sixteen, twenty, or forty-five;
Sometimes our wits at sally and retort,
With laughter sudden as the crack of rifle;
Or parties scaled the near acclivities
Competing seekers of a rumoured lake,
Whose unauthenticated waves we named
Lake Probability,--our carbuncle,
Long sought, not found.

Two Doctors in the camp
Dissected the slain deer, weighed the trout's brain,
Captured the lizard, salamander, shrew,
Crab, mice, snail, dragon-fly, minnow, and moth;
Insatiate skill in water or in air
Waved the scoop-net, and nothing came amiss;
The while, one leaden pot of alcohol
Gave an impartial tomb to all the kinds.
Not less the ambitious botanist sought plants,
Orchis and gentian, fern, and long whip-scirpus,
Rosy polygonum, lake-margin's pride,
Hypnum and hydnum, mushroom, sponge, and moss,
Or harebell nodding in the gorge of falls.
Above, the eagle flew, the osprey screamed,
The raven croaked, owls hooted, the woodpecker
Loud hammered, and the heron rose in the swamp.
As water poured through the hollows of the hills
To feed this wealth of lakes and rivulets,
So Nature shed all beauty lavishly
From her redundant horn.

Lords of this realm,
Bounded by dawn and sunset, and the day
Rounded by hours where each outdid the last
In miracles of pomp, we must be proud,
As if associates of the sylvan gods.
We seemed the dwellers of the zodiac,
So pure the Alpine element we breathed,
So light, so lofty pictures came and went.
We trode on air, contemned the distant town,
Its timorous ways, big trifles, and we planned
That we should build, hard-by, a spacious lodge,
And how we should come hither with our sons,
Hereafter,--willing they, and more adroit.

Hard fare, hard bed, and comic misery,--
The midge, the blue-fly, and the mosquito
Painted our necks, hands, ankles, with red bands:
But, on the second day, we heed them not,
Nay, we saluted them Auxiliaries,
Whom earlier we had chid with spiteful names.
For who defends our leafy tabernacle
From bold intrusion of the travelling crowd,--
Who but the midge, mosquito, and the fly,
Which past endurance sting the tender cit,
But which we learn to scatter with a smudge,
Or baffle by a veil, or slight by scorn?

Our foaming ale we drunk from hunters' pans,
Ale, and a sup of wine. Our steward gave
Venison and trout, potatoes, beans, wheat-bread;
All ate like abbots, and, if any missed
Their wonted convenance, cheerly hid the loss
With hunters' appetite and peals of mirth.
And Stillman, our guides' guide, and Commodore,
Crusoe, Crusader, Pius AEneas, said aloud,
"Chronic dyspepsia never came from eating
Food indigestible":--then murmured some,
Others applauded him who spoke the truth.

Nor doubt but visitings of graver thought
Checked in these souls the turbulent heyday
'Mid all the hints and glories of the home.
For who can tell what sudden privacies
Were sought and found, amid the hue and cry
Of scholars furloughed from their tasks, and let
Into this Oreads' fended Paradise,
As chapels in the city's thoroughfares,
Whither gaunt Labour slips to wipe his brow,
And meditate a moment on Heaven's rest.
Judge with what sweet surprises Nature spoke
To each apart, lifting her lovely shows
To spiritual lessons pointed home.
And as through dreams in watches of the night,
So through all creatures in their form and ways
Some mystic hint accosts the vigilant,
Not clearly voiced, but waking a new sense
Inviting to new knowledge, one with old.
Hark to that petulant chirp! what ails the warbler?
Mark his capricious ways to draw the eye.
Now soar again. What wilt thou, restless bird,
Seeking in that chaste blue a bluer light,
Thirsting in that pure for a purer sky?

And presently the sky is changed; O world!
What pictures and what harmonies are thine!
The clouds are rich and dark, the air serene,
So like the soul of me, what if't were me?
A melancholy better than all mirth.
Comes the sweet sadness at the retrospect,
Or at the foresight of obscurer years?
Like yon slow-sailing cloudy promontory,
Whereon the purple iris dwells in beauty
Superior to all its gaudy skirts.
And, that no day of life may lack romance,
The spiritual stars rise nightly, shedding down
A private beam into each several heart.
Daily the bending skies solicit man,
The seasons chariot him from this exile,
The rainbow hours bedeck his glowing chair,
The storm-winds urge the heavy weeks along,
Suns haste to set, that so remoter lights
Beckon the wanderer to his vaster home.

With a vermilion pencil mark the day
When of our little fleet three cruising skiffs
Entering Big Tupper, bound for the foaming Falls
Of loud Bog River, suddenly confront
Two of our mates returning with swift oars.
One held a printed journal waving high
Caught from a late-arriving traveller,
Big with great news, and shouted the report
For which the world had waited, now firm fact,
Of the wire-cable laid beneath the sea,
And landed on our coast, and pulsating
With ductile fire. Loud, exulting cries
From boat to boat, and to the echoes round,
Greet the glad miracle. Thought's new-found path
Shall supplement henceforth all trodden ways,
Match God's equator with a zone of art,
And lift man's public action to a height
Worthy the enormous clouds of witnesses,
When linked hemispheres attest his deed.
We have few moments in the longest life
Of such delight and wonder as there grew,--
Nor yet unsuited to that solitude:
A burst of joy, as if we told the fact
To ears intelligent; as if gray rock
And cedar grove and cliff and lake should know
This feat of wit, this triumph of mankind;
As if we men were talking in a vein
Of sympathy so large, that ours was theirs,
And a prime end of the most subtle element
Were fairly reached at last. Wake, echoing caves!
Bend nearer, faint day-moon! Yon thundertops,
Let them hear well! 't is theirs as much as ours.

A spasm throbbing through the pedestals
Of Alp and Andes, isle and continent,
Urging astonished Chaos with a thrill
To be a brain, or serve the brain of man.
The lightning has run masterless too long;
He must to school, and learn his verb and noun,
And teach his nimbleness to earn his wage,
Spelling with guided tongue man's messages
Shot through the weltering pit of the salt sea.
And yet I marked, even in the manly joy
Of our great-hearted Doctor in his boat,
(Perchance I erred,) a shade of discontent;
Or was it for mankind a generous shame,
As of a luck not quite legitimate,
Since fortune snatched from wit the lion's part?
Was it a college pique of town and gown,
As one within whose memory it burned
That not academicians, but some lout,
Found ten years since the Californian gold?
And now, again, a hungry company
Of traders, led by corporate sons of trade,
Perversely borrowing from the shop the tools
Of science, not from the philosophers,
Had won the brightest laurel of all time.
'Twas always thus, and will be; hand and head
Are ever rivals: but, though this be swift,
The other slow,--this the Prometheus,
And that the Jove,--yet, howsoever hid,
It was from Jove the other stole his fire,
And, without Jove, the good had never been.
It is not Iroquois or cannibals,
But ever the free race with front sublime,
And these instructed by their wisest too,
Who do the feat, and lift humanity.
Let not him mourn who best entitled was,
Nay, mourn not one: let him exult,
Yea, plant the tree that bears best apples, plant,
And water it with wine, nor watch askance
Whether thy sons or strangers eat the fruit:
Enough that mankind eat, and are refreshed.

We flee away from cities, but we bring
The best of cities with us, these learned classifiers,
Men knowing what they seek, armed eyes of experts.
We praise the guide, we praise the forest life;
But will we sacrifice our dear-bought lore
Of books and arts and trained experiment,
Or count the Sioux a match for Agassiz?
O no, not we! Witness the shout that shook
Wild Tupper Lake; witness the mute all-hail
The joyful traveller gives, when on the verge
Of craggy Indian wilderness he hears
From a log-cabin stream Beethoven's notes
On the piano, played with master's hand.
'Well done!' he cries; 'the bear is kept at bay,
The lynx, the rattlesnake, the flood, the fire;
All the fierce enemies, ague, hunger, cold,
This thin spruce roof, this clayed log-wall,
This wild plantation will suffice to chase.
Now speed the gay celerities of art,
What in the desert was impossible
Within four walls is possible again,--
Culture and libraries, mysteries of skill,
Traditioned fame of masters, eager strife
Of keen competing youths, joined or alone
To outdo each other, and extort applause.
Mind wakes a new-born giant from her sleep.
Twirl the old wheels? Time takes fresh start again
On for a thousand years of genius more.'

The holidays were fruitful, but must end;
One August evening had a cooler breath;
Into each mind intruding duties crept;
Under the cinders burned the fires of home;
Nay, letters found us in our paradise;
So in the gladness of the new event
We struck our camp, and left the happy hills.
The fortunate star that rose on us sank not;
The prodigal sunshine rested on the land,
The rivers gambolled onward to the sea,
And Nature, the inscrutable and mute,
Permitted on her infinite repose
Almost a smile to steal to cheer her sons,
As if one riddle of the Sphinx were guessed.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Adirondacs
,
959:Above The Gaspereau
To H. E. C.
THERE are sunflowers too in my garden on top of the hill,
Where now in the early September the sun has his will—
The slow autumn sun that goes leisurely, taking his fill
Of life in the orchards and fir-woods so moveless and still;
As if, should they stir, they might break some illusion and spill
The germ of their long summer musing on top of the hill.
The crowds of black spruces in tiers from the valley below,
Ranged round their sky-roofed coliseum, mount row after row.
How often there, rank above rank, they have watched for the slow
Silver-lanterned processions of twilight—the moon's come and go!
How often, as if they expected some bugle to blow,
Announcing a bringer of news they were breathless to know,
They have hushed every leaf,—to hear only the murmurous flow
Of the small mountain river sent up from the valley below!
How still through the sweet summer sun, through the soft summer rain,
They have stood there awaiting the summons should bid them attain
The freedom of knowledge, the last touch of truth to explain
The great golden gist of their brooding, the marvellous train
Of thought they have followed so far, been so strong to sustain,—
The white gospel of sun and the long revelations of rain!
Then the orchards that dot, all in order, the green valley floor,
Every tree with its boughs weighed to earth, like a tent from whose door
Not a lodger looks forth,—yet the signs are there gay and galore,
The great ropes of red fruitage and russet, crisp snow to the core.
Can the dark-eyed Romany here have deserted of yore
Their camp at the coming of frost? Will they seek it no more?
Who dwells in St. Eulalie's village? Who knows the fine lore
Of the tribes of the apple-trees there on the green valley floor?
Who, indeed? From the blue mountain gorge to the dikes by the sea,
Goes that stilly wanderer, small Gaspereau; who but he
Should give the last hint of perfection, the touch that sets free
From the taut string of silence the whisper of beauties to be!
The very sun seems to have tarried, turned back a degree,
To lengthen out noon for the apple folk here by the sea.
34
What is it? Who comes? What's abroad on the blue mountain side?
A hush has been laid on the leaves and will not be defied.
Is the great Scarlet Hunter at last setting out on his ride
From the North with deliverance now? Were the lights we descried
Last night in the heavens his camp-fire seen far and wide,
The white signal of peace for whose coming the ages have cried?
'Expectancy lingers; fulfilment postponed,' I replied,
When soul said uneasily,'Who is it haunts your hillside?'
All the while not a word from my sunflowers here on the hill.
And to-night when the stars over Blomidon flower and fill
The blue Northern garden of heaven, so pale and so still,
From the lordly king-aster Aldebaran there by the sill
Of the East, where the moonlight will enter, not one will fulfil
A lordlier lot than my sunflowers here on the hill.
So much for mere fact, mere impression. So much I portray
Of the atmosphere, colour, illusion of one autumn day
In the little Acadian valley above the Grand Pré;
Just the quiet of orchards and firs, where the sun had full sway,
And the river went trolling his soft wander-song to the bay,
While roseberry, aster, and sagaban tangled his way.
Be you their interpreter, reasoner; tell what they say,
These children of silence whose patient regard I portray.
You Londoner, walking in Bishopsgate, strolling the Strand,
Some morning in autumn afford, at a fruit-dealer's stand,
The leisure to look at his apples there ruddy and tanned.
Then ask, when he's smiling to serve you, if choice can command
A Gravenstein grown oversea on Canadian land.
(And just for the whim's sake, for once, you'll have no other brand!)
How teach you to tell them? Pick one, and with that in your hand,
Bethink you a while as you turn again into the Strand.
'What if,' you will say,—so smooth in your hand it will lie,
So round and so firm, of so rich a red to the eye,
Like a dash of Fortuny, a tinge of some Indian dye,
While you turn it and toss, mark the bloom, ere you taste it and try—
'Now what if this grew where the same bright pavilion of sky
Is stretched o'er the valley and hillside he bids me descry,
The windless valley of peace, where the seasons go by,
35
And the river goes down through the orchards where long shadows lie!'
There's the fruit in your hand, in your ears is the roar of the street,
The pulse of an empire keeping its volume and beat,
Its sure come and go day and night, while we sleep or we eat.
Taste the apple, bite in to the juice—how abundant and sweet!
As sound as your own English heart, and wholesome as wheat,—
There grow no such apples as that in your Bishopsgate Street.
Or perhaps in St. Helen's Place, when your business is done
And the ledgers put by, you will think of the hundred and one
Commissions and errands to do; but what under the sun
Was that, so important? Ah, yes! the new books overrun
The old shelves. It is high time to order a new set begun.
Then off to the joiner's. You enter, to see his plane run
With a long high shriek through the lumber he's working upon.
Then he turns from his shavings to query what you would have done.
But homeward 'tis you who make question. That song of the blade!
And the sharp sweet cry of the wood, what an answer it made!
What stories the joiner must hear, as he plies his clean trade,
Of all the wild life of the forest where long shadows wade
The untrodden moss, and the firs send a journeying shade
So slow through the valley so far from the song of his blade.
Come back to my orchards a moment. They're waiting for you.
How still are the little gray leaves where the pippins peep through!
The boughs where the ribstons hang red are half breaking in two.
Above them September in magical soft Northern blue
Has woven the spell of her silence, like frost or like dew,
Yet warm as a poppy's red dream. When All Saints shall renew
The beauty of summer a while, will their dreaming come true?
Ah, not of my Grand Pré they dream, nor your London and you!
Their life is their own, and the surge of it. All through the spring
They pushed forth their buds, and the rainbirds at twilight would sing.
They put forth their bloom, and the world was as fairy a thing
As a Japanese garden. Then midsummer came with the zing
And the clack of the locust; then fruit time and coolness, to bring
This aftermath deep underfoot with its velvety spring.
And they all the while with the fatherly, motherly care,
36
Taking sap from the strength of the ground, taking sun from the air,
Taking chance of the frost and the worm, taking courage to dare,
Have given their life that the life might be goodly and fair
In their kind for the seasons to come, with good witness to bear
How the sturdy old race of the apples could give and not spare.
To-morrow the harvest begins. We shall rifle them there
Of the beautiful fruit of their bodies, the crown of their care.
How lovingly then shall the picker set hand to the bough!—
Bid it yield, ere the seed come to earth or the graft to the plough,
Not only sweet life for its kind, as the instincts allow,
That savour and shape may survive generations from now,
But life to its kin who can say, 'I am stronger than thou,'—
Fulfilling a lordlier law than the law of the bough.
I heard before dawn, with planets beginning to quail,—
'Whoso hath life, let him give, that my purpose prevail;
Whoso hath none, let him take, that his strength may be hale.
Behold, I have reckoned the tally, I keep the full tale.
Whoso hath love, let him give, lest his spirit grow stale;
Whoso hath none, let him die; he shall wither and fail.
Behold, I will plenish the loss at the turn of the scale.
He hath law to himself, who hath love; ye shall hope and not quail.'
Then the sun arose, and my sunflowers here on the hill,
Like good little Catholics, turned to the East to fulfil
Their daily observance, receiving his peace and his will,—
The lord of their light who alone bids the darkness be nil,
The lord of their love who alone bids the life in them thrill;
Undismayed and serene, they awaited him here on the hill.
Ah, the patience of earth! Look down at the dark pointed firs;
They are carved out of blackness; one pattern recurs and recurs.
They crowd all the gullies and hillsides, the gashes and spurs,
As silent as death. What an image! How nature avers
The goodness of calm with that taciturn beauty of hers!
As silent as sleep. Yet the life in them climbs and stirs.
They too have received the great law, know that haste but defers
The perfection of time,—the initiate gospeller firs.
So year after year, slow ring upon ring, they have grown,
Putting infinite long-loving care into leafage and cone,
37
By the old ancient craft of the earth they have pondered and known
In the dead of the hot summer noons, as still as a stone.
Not for them the gay fruit of the thorn, nor the high scarlet roan,
Nor the plots of the deep orchard land where the apples are grown.
In winter the wind, all huddled and shuddering, came
To warm his old bones by the fires of sunset aflame
Behind the black house of the firs. When the moose-birds grew tame
In the lumberers' camps in the woods, what marvellous fame
His talk and the ice of his touch would spread and proclaim,
Of the berg and the floe and the lands without nation or name,
Where the earth and the sky, night and noon, north and south are the same,
The white and awful Nirvana of cold whence he came!
Then April, some twilight picked out with a great yellow star,
Returning, like Hylas long lost and come back with his jar
Of sweet living water at last, having wandered so far,
Leads the heart out of doors, and the eye to the point of a spar,
At whose base in the half-melted snow the first Mayflowers are,—
And there the first robin is pealing below the great star.
So soon, over-soon, the full summer. Within those dark boughs,
Deliberate and far, a faltering reed-note will rouse
The shy transports of earth, till the wood-creatures hear where they house,
And grow bold as the tremble-eared rabbits that nibble and mouse.
While up through the pasture-lot, startling the sheep as they browse,
Where kingbirds and warblers are piercing the heat's golden drowse,
Some girl, whom the sun has made tawny, the wind had to blowse,
Will come there to gentle her lover beneath those dark boughs.
Then out of the hush, when the grasses are frosty and old,
Will the chickadee's tiny alarm against winter be rolled;
And soon, when the ledges and ponds are bitten with cold,
The honk of the geese, that wander-cry stirring and bold,
Will sound through the night, where those hardy mariners hold
The uncharted course through the dark, as it was from of old.
Ah, the life of the woods, how they share and partake of it all,
These evergreens, silent as Indians, solemn and tall!
From the goldenwing's first far-heard awakening call,
The serene flute of the thrush in his high beech hall,
And the pipe of the frog, to the bannered approach of the fall,
38
And the sullen wind, when snow arrives on a squall,
Trooping in all night from the North with news would appal
Any outposts but these; with a zest they partake of it all.
Lo, out of the hush they seem to mount and aspire!
From basement to tip they have builded, with heed to go higher,
One circlet of branches a year with their lift of green spire.
Nay, rather they seem to repose, having done with desire,
Awaiting the frost, with the fruit scarlet-bright on the brier,
Each purpose fulfilled, each ardour that bade them aspire.
Then hate be afar from the bite of the axe that shall fell
These keepers of solitude, makers of quiet, who dwell
On the Slopes of the North. And clean be the hand that shall quel
The tread of the sap that was wont to go mounting so well,
Round on round with the sun in a spiral, slow cell after cell,
As a bellringer climbs in a turret. That resinous smell
From the eighth angel's hand might have risen with the incense to swell
His offering in heaven, when the half-hour's silence befell.
Behold, as the prayers of the saints that went up to God's knees
In John's Revelation, the silence and patience of these
Our brothers of orchard and hill, the unhurrying trees,
To better the burden of earth till the dark suns freeze,
Shall go out to the stars with the sound of Acadian seas,
And the scent of the wood-flowers blowing about their great knees.
To-night when Altair and Alshain are ruling the West,
Whence Boötes is driving his dogs to long hunting addressed;
With Alioth sheer over Blomidon standing at rest;
When Algol is leading the Pleiades over the crest
Of the magical East, and the South puts Alpherat to test
With Menkar just risen; will come, like a sigh from Earth's breast,
The first sob of the tide turning home,—one distraught in his quest
For ever, and calling for ever the wind in the west.
And to-night there will answer the ghost of a sigh on the hill,
So small you would say, Is it wind, or the frost with a will
Walking down through the woods, and to-morrow shall show us his skill
In yellows and reds? So noiseless, it hardly will thrill
The timorous aspens, which tremble when all else is still;
Yet the orchards will know, and the firs be aware on the hill.
39
'O Night, I am old, I endure. Since my being began,
When out of the dark thy aurora spread up like a fan,
I have founded the lands and the islands; the hills are my plan.
I have covered the pits of the earth with my bridge of one span.
From the Horn to Dunedin unbroken my long rollers ran,
From Pentland and Fastnet and Foyle to Bras d'Or and Manan,
To dredge and upbuild for the creatures of tribe and of clan.
Lo, now who shall end the contriving my fingers began?'
Then the little wind that blows from the great star-drift
Will answer: 'Thou tide in the least of the planets I lift,
Consider the journeys of light. Are thy journeyings swift?
Thy sands are as smoke to the star-banks I huddle and shift.
Peace! I have seeds of the grasses to scatter and sift.
I have freighting to do for the weed and the frail thistle drift.
'O ye apples and firs, great and small are as one in the end.
Because ye had life to the full, and spared not to spend;
Because ye had love of your kind, to cherish and fend;
Held hard the good instinct to thrive, cleaving close to life's trend;
Nor questioned where impulse had origin,—purpose might tend;
Now, beauty is yours, and the freedom whose promptings transcend
Attainment for ever, in death with new being to blend.
O ye orchards and woods, death is naught, love is all in the end.'
Ah, friend of mine over the sea, shall we not discern,
In the life of our brother the beech and our sister the fern,
As St. Francis would call them (his Minorites, too, would we learn!)
In death but a door to new being no creature may spurn,
But must enter for beauty's completion,—pass up in his turn
To the last round of joy, yours and mine, whence to think and discern?
Who shall say 'the last round'? Have I passed by the exit of soul?
From behind the tall door that swings outward, replies no patrol
To our restless Qui vive? when is paid each implacable toll.
Not a fin of the tribes shall return, having cleared the great shoal;
Not a wing of the migrants come back from below the dark knoll;
Yet the zest of the flight and the swimming who fails to extol?
Saith the Riddle, 'The parts are all plain; ye may guess at the whole.'
I guess, 'Immortality, knowledge, survival of Soul.'
40
To-night, with the orchards below and the firs on the hill
Asleep in the long solemn moonlight and taking no ill,
A hand will open the sluice of the great sea-mill,—
Start the gear and the belts of the tide. Then a murmur will fill
The hollows of midnight with sound, when all else is still,
And stray through the dream of the sunflowers here on the hill.
~ Bliss William Carman,
960:SCENE I. The Country.
Enter ALBERT.
Albert. O that the earth were empty, as when Cain
Had no perplexity to hide his head!
Or that the sword of some brave enemy
Had put a sudden stop to my hot breath,
And hurl'd me down the illimitable gulph
Of times past, unremember'd! Better so
Than thus fast-limed in a cursed snare,
The white limbs of a wanton. This the end
Of an aspiring life! My boyhood past
In feud with wolves and bears, when no eye saw
The solitary warfare, fought for love
Of honour 'mid the growling wilderness.
My sturdier youth, maturing to the sword,
Won by the syren-trumpets, and the ring
Of shields upon the pavement, when bright-mail'd
Henry the Fowler pass'd the streets of Prague,
Was't to this end I louted and became
The menial of Mars, and held a spear
Sway'd by command, as corn is by the wind?
Is it for this, I now am lifted up
By Europe's throned Emperor, to see
My honour be my executioner,
My love of fame, my prided honesty
Put to the torture for confessional?
Then the damn'd crime of blurting to the world
A woman's secret! Though a fiend she be,
Too tender of my ignominious life;
But then to wrong the generous Emperor
In such a searching point, were to give up
My soul for foot-ball at Hell's holiday!
I must confess, and cut my throat, to-day?
To-morrow? Ho! some wine!
Enter SIGIFRED.
Sigifred. A fine humour
Albert. Who goes there? Count Sigifred? Ha! Ha!
Sigifred. What, man, do you mistake the hollow sky
For a throng 'd tavern, and these stubbed trees
For old serge hangings, me, your humble friend,
For a poor waiter? Why, man, how you stare!
What gipsies have you been carousing with?
No, no more wine; methinks you've had enough.
Albert. You well may laugh and banter. What a fool
An injury may make of a staid man!
You shall know all anon.
Sigifred. Some tavern brawl?
Albert. 'Twas with some people out of common reach;
Revenge is difficult.
Sigifred. I am your friend;
We meet again to-day, and can confer
Upon it. For the present I'm in haste.
Albert. Whither?
Sigifred. To fetch King Gersa to the feast.
The Emperor on this marriage is so hot,
Pray Heaven it end not in apoplexy!
The very porters, as I pass'd the doors,
Heard his loud laugh, and answer 'd in full choir.
I marvel, Albert, you delay so long
From those bright revelries; go, show yourself,
You may be made a duke.
Albert. Aye, very like:
Pray, what day has his Highness fix'd upon?
Sigifred. For what?
Albert. The marriage. What else can I mean?
Sigifred. To-day! O, I forgot, you could not know;
The news is scarce a minute old with me.
Albert. Married to-day! To-day! You did not say so?
Sigifred. Now, while I speak to you, their comely heads
Are bow'd before the mitre.
Albert. O! Monstrous!
Sigifred. What is this?
Albert. Nothing, Sigifred. Farewell!
We'll meet upon our subject. Farewell, count!
[Exit.
Sigifred. Is this clear-headed Albert? He brain-turned!
Tis as portentous as a meteor. [Exit.

SCENE II. An Apartment in the Castle.
Enter, as from the Marriage, OTHO, LUDOLPH, AURANTHE, CONRAD,
Nobles, Knights, Ladies, &c. Music.
Otho. Now, Ludolph! Now, Auranthe! Daughter fair!
What can I find to grace your nuptial day
More than my love, and these wide realms in fee?
Ludolph. I have too much.
Auranthe. And I, my liege, by far.
Ludolph. Auranthe! I have! O, my bride, my love!
Not all the gaze upon us can restrain
My eyes, too long poor exiles from thy face,
From adoration, and my foolish tongue
From uttering soft responses to the love
I see in thy mute beauty beaming forth!
Fair creature, bless me with a single word!
All mine!
Auranthe. Spare, spare me, my Lord! I swoon else.
Ludolph. Soft beauty! by to-morrow I should die,
Wert thou not mine. [They talk apart,
First Lady. How deep she has bewitch'd him!
First Knight. Ask you for her recipe for love philtres.
Second Lady. They hold the Emperor in admiration,
Otho. If ever king was happy, that am I!
What are the cities 'yond the Alps to me,
The provinces about the Danube's mouth,
The promise of fair soil beyond the Rhone;
Or routing out of Hyperborean hordes,
To those fair children, stars of a new age?
Unless perchance I might rejoice to win
This little ball of earth, and chuck it them
To play with!
Auranthe. Nay, my Lord, I do not know.
Ludolph. Let me not famish.
Otho (to Conrad). Good Franconia,
You heard what oath I sware, as the sun rose,
That unless Heaven would send me back my son,
My Arab, no soft music should enrich
The cool wine, kiss'd off with a soldier's smack;
Now all my empire, barter 'd for one feast,
Seems poverty.
Conrad. Upon the neighbour-plain
The heralds have prepar'd a royal lists;
Your knights, found war-proof in the bloody field,
Speed to the game.
Otho. Well, Ludolph, what say you?
Ludolph. My lord!
Otho. A tourney?
Conrad. Or, if't please you best
Ludolph. I want no morel
First Lady. He soars!
Second Lady. Past all reason.
Ludolph. Though heaven's choir
Should in a vast circumference descend
And sing for my delight, I'd stop my ears!
Though bright Apollo's car stood burning here,
And he put out an arm to bid me mount,
His touch an immortality, not I!
This earth, this palace, this room, Auranthe!
Otho. This is a little painful; just too much.
Conrad, if he flames longer in this wise,
I shall believe in wizard-woven loves
And old romances; but I'll break the spell.
Ludolph!
Conrad. He will be calm, anon.
Ludolph. You call'd?
Yes, yes, yes, I offend. You must forgive me;
Not being quite recover'd from the stun
Of your large bounties. A tourney, is it not?
{A senet heard faintly.
Conrad. The trumpets reach us.
Ethelbert (without). On your peril, sirs,
Detain us!
First Voice (without). Let not the abbot pass.
Second Voice (without). No,
On your lives!
First Voice (without). Holy Father, you must not.
Ethelbert (without). Otho!
Otho. Who calls on Otho?
Ethelhert (without). Ethelbert!
Otho. Let him come in.
Enter ETHELBERT leading in ERMINIA.
Thou cursed abbot, why
Hast brought pollution to our holy rites?
Hast thou no fear of hangman, or the ****?
Ludolph. What portent what strange prodigy is this?
Conrad. Away!
Ethelbert. You, Duke?
Ermmia. Albert has surely fail'd me!
Look at the Emperor's brow upon me bent!
Ethelbert. A sad delay!
Conrad. Away, thou guilty thing!
Ethelbert. You again, Duke? Justice, most mighty Otho!
You go to your sister there and plot again,
A quick plot, swift as thought to save your heads;
For lo! the toils are spread around your den,
The word is all agape to see dragg'd forth
Two ugly monsters.
Ludolph. What means he, my lord?
Conrad. I cannot guess.
Ethelbert. Best ask your lady sister,
Whether the riddle puzzles her beyond
The power of utterance.
Conrad. Foul barbarian, cease;
The Princess faints!
Ludolph. Stab him! , sweetest wife!
[Attendants bear off AURANTHE,
Erminia. Alas!
Ethelbert. Your wife?
Ludolph. Aye, Satan! does that yerk ye?
Ethelbert. Wife! so soon!
Ludolph. Aye, wife! Oh, impudence!
Thou bitter mischief! Venomous mad priest!
How dar'st thou lift those beetle brows at me?
Me the prince Ludolph, in this presence here,
Upon my marriage-day, and scandalize
My joys with such opprobrious surprise? SO
Wife! Why dost linger on that syllable,
As if it were some demon's name pronounc'd
To summon harmful lightning, and make roar
The sleepy thunder? Hast no sense of fear?
No ounce of man in thy mortality?
Tremble! for, at my nod, the sharpen'd axe
Will make thy bold tongue quiver to the roots,
Those grey lids wink, and thou not know it more!
Ethelbert. O, poor deceived Prince! I pity thee!
Great Otho! I claim justice
Ludolph. Thou shalt hav 't!
Thine arms from forth a pulpit of hot fire
Shall sprawl distracted! O that that dull cowl
Were some most sensitive portion of thy life,
That I might give it to my hounds to tear!
Thy girdle some fine zealous-pained nerve
To girth my saddle! And those devil's beads
Each one a life, that I might, every day,
Crush one with Vulcan's hammer!
Otho. Peace, my son;
You far outstrip my spleen in this affair.
Let us be calm, and hear the abbot's plea
For this intrusion.
Ludolph. I am silent, sire.
Otho. Conrad, see all depart not wanted here.
[Exeunt Knights, Ladies, &c.
Ludolph, be calm. Ethelbert, peace awhile.
This mystery demands an audience
Of a just judge, and that will Otho be.
Ludolph. Why has he time to breathe another word?
Otho. Ludolph, old Ethelbert, be sure, comes not
To beard us for no cause ; he's not the man
To cry himself up an ambassador
Without credentials.
Ludolph. Ill chain up myself.
Otho. Old Abbot, stand here forth. Lady Erminia,
Sit. And now, Abbot! what have you to say?
Our ear is open. First we here denounce
Hard penalties against thee, if 't be found
The cause for which you have disturb 'd us here,
Making our bright hours muddy, be a thing
Of little moment.
Ethelbert. See this innocent!
Otho! thou father of the people call'd,
Is her life nothing? Her fair honour nothing?
Her tears from matins until even-song
Nothing? Her burst heart nothing? Emperor!
Is this your gentle niece the simplest flower
Of the world's herbal this fair lilly blanch 'd
Still with the dews of piety, this meek lady
Here sitting like an angel newly-shent,
Who veils its snowy wings and grows all pale,
Is she nothing?
Otho. What more to the purpose, abbot?
Ludolph. Whither is he winding?
Conrad. No clue yet!
Ethelbert. You have heard, my Liege, and so, no
doubt, all here,
Foul, poisonous, malignant whisperings;
Nay open speech, rude mockery grown common,
Against the spotless nature and clear fame
Of the princess Erminia, your niece.
I have intruded here thus suddenly,
Because I hold those base weeds, with tight hand,
Which now disfigure her fair growing stem,
Waiting but for your sign to pull them up
By the dark roots, and leave her palpable,
To all men's sight, a Lady, innocent.
The ignominy of that whisper'd tale
About a midnight gallant, seen to climb
A window to her chamber neighboured near,
I will from her turn off, and put the load
On the right shoulders; on that wretch's head,
Who, by close stratagems, did save herself,
Chiefly by shifting to this lady's room
A rope-ladder for false witness.
Ludolph. Most atrocious!
Otho. Ethelbert, proceed.
Ethelbert. With sad lips I shall:
For in the healing of one wound, I fear
To make a greater. His young highness here
To-day was married.
Ludolph. Good.
Ethelbert. Would it were good!
Yet why do I delay to spread abroad
The names of those two vipers, from whose jaws
A deadly breath went forth to taint and blast
This guileless lady?
Otho. Abbot, speak their names.
Ethelbert. A minute first. It cannot be but may
I ask, great judge, if you to-day have put
A letter by unread?
Otho. Does 'tend in this?
Conrad. Out with their names!
Ethelbert. Bold sinner, say you so?
Ludolph. Out, tedious monk!
Otho. Confess, or by the wheel
Ethelbert. My evidence cannot be far away;
And, though it never come, be on my head
The crime of passing an attaint upon
The slanderers of this virgin.
Ludolph. Speak aloud!
Ethelbert. Auranthe, and her brother there.
Conrad. Amaze!
Ludolph. Throw them from the windows!
Otho. Do what you will!
Ludolph. What shall I do with them?
Something of quick dispatch, for should she hear,
My soft Auranthe, her sweet mercy would
Prevail against my fury. Damned priest!

What swift death wilt thou die? As to the lady
I touch her not.
Ethelbert. Illustrious Otho, stay!
An ample store of misery thou hast,
Choak not the granary of thy noble mind
With more bad bitter grain, too difficult
A cud for the repentance of a man
Grey-growing. To thee only I appeal,
Not to thy noble son, whose yeasting youth
Will clear itself, and crystal turn again.
A young man's heart, by Heaven's blessing, is
A wide world, where a thousand new-born hopes
Empurple fresh the melancholy blood;
But an old man's is narrow, tenantless
Of hopes, and stuffd with many memories,
Which, being pleasant, ease the heavy pulse
Painful, clog up and stagnate. Weigh this matter
Even as a miser balances his coin ;
And, in the name of mercy, give command
That your knight Albert be brought here before you.
He will expound this riddle ; he will show
A noon-day proof of bad Auranthe's guilt.
Otho. Let Albert straight be summon 'd.
[Exit one of the Nobles.
Ludolph. Impossible !
I cannot doubt I will not no to doubt
Is to be ashes! wither 'd up to death!
Otho. My gentle Ludolph, harbour not a fear;
You do yourself much wrong.
Ludolph. O, wretched dolt!
Now, when my foot is almost on thy neck,
Wilt thou infuriate me? Proof! thou fool!
Why wilt thou teaze impossibility
With such a thick-skull'd persevering suit?
Fanatic obstinacy! Prodigy!
Monster of folly! Ghost of a turn'd brain!
You puzzle me, you haunt me, when I dream
Of you my brain will split! Bald sorcerer!
Juggler! May I come near you? On my soul
I know not whether to pity, curse, or laugh.
Enter ALBERT, and the Nobleman.
Here, Albert, this old phantom wants a proof!
Give him his proof! A camel's load of proofs!
Otho. Albert, I speak to you as to a man
Whose words once utter 'd pass like current gold;
And therefore fit to calmly put a close
To this brief tempest. Do you stand possess 'd
Of any proof against the honourableness
Of Lady Auranthe, our new-spoused daughter?
Albert. You chill me with astonishment. How's this?
My Liege, what proof should I have 'gainst a fame
Impossible of slur? [Otho rises.
Erminia. O wickedness!
Ethelbert. Deluded monarch, 'tis a cruel lie.
Otho. Peace, rebel-priest!
Conrad. Insult beyond credence!
Erminia. Almost a dream!
Ludolph. We have awaken'd from
A foolish dream that from my brow hath wrung
A wrathful dew. O folly! why did I
So act the lion with this silly gnat?
Let them depart. Lady Erminia!
I ever griev'd for you, as who did not?
But now you have, with such a brazen front,
So most maliciously, so madly striven
To dazzle the soft moon, when tenderest clouds
Should be unloop'd around to curtain her;
I leave you to the desert of the world
Almost with pleasure. Let them be set free
For me! I take no personal revenge
More than against a nightmare, which a man
forgets in the new dawn.
[Exit LUDOLPH.
Otho. Still in extremes! No, they must not be loose.
Ethelbert. Albert, I must suspect thee of a crime
So fiendish
Otho. Fear'st thou not my fury, monk?
Conrad, be they in your sure custody
Till we determine some fit punishment.
It is so mad a deed, I must reflect
And question them in private ; for perhaps,
By patient scrutiny, we may discover
Whether they merit death, or should be placed
In care of the physicians.
[Exeunt OTHO and Nobles, ALBERT following.
Conrad. My guards, ho!
Erminia. Albert, wilt thou follow there?
Wilt thou creep dastardly behind his back,
And slink away from a weak woman's eye?
Turn, thou court-Janus! thou forget'st thyself;
Here is the Duke, waiting with open arms,
[Enter Guards.
To thank thee; here congratulate each other;
Wring hands; embrace; and swear how lucky 'twas
That I, by happy chance, hit the right man
Of all the world to trust in.
Albert. Trust! to me!
Conrad (aside). He is the sole one in this mystery.
Erminia. Well, I give up, and save my prayers for Heaven!
You, who could do this deed, would ne'er relent,
Though, at my words, the hollow prison-vaults
Would groan for pity.
Conrad. Manacle them both!
Ethelbert. I know itit must be I see it all!
Albert, thou art the minion!
Erminia. Ah ! too plain
Conrad. Silence! Gag up their mouths! I cannot bear
More of this brawling. That the Emperor
Had plac'd you in some other custody!
Bring them away.
[Exeunt all but ALBERT.
Albert. Though my name perish from the book of honour,
Almost before the recent ink is dry,
And be no more remember'd after death,
Than any drummer's in the muster-roll;
Yet shall I season high my sudden fall
With triumph o'er that evil-witted duke!
He shall feel what it is to have the hand
Of a man drowning, on his hateful throat.
Enter GERSA and SIGIFRED.
Gersa. What discord is at ferment in this house?
Sigifred. We are without conjecture; not a soul
We met could answer any certainty.
Gersa. Young Ludolph, like a fiery arrow, shot
By us.
Sigifred. The Emperor, with cross'd arms, in thought.
Gersa. In one room music, in another sadness,
Perplexity every where!
Albert. A trifle more!
Follow; your presences will much avail
To tune our jarred spirits. I'll explain. [Exeunt.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ John Keats, Otho The Great - Act III
,
961:First Anniversary
Like the vain curlings of the watery maze,
Which in smooth streams a sinking weight does raise,
So Man, declining always, disappears
In the weak circles of increasing years;
And his short tumults of themselves compose,
While flowing Time above his head does close.
Cromwell alone with greater vigour runs,
(Sun-like) the stages of succeeding suns:
And still the day which he doth next restore,
Is the just wonder of the day before.
Cromwell alone doth with new lustre spring,
And shines the jewel of the yearly ring.
'Tis he the force of scattered time contracts,
And in one year the work of ages acts:
While heavy monarchs make a wide return,
Longer, and more malignant than Saturn:
And though they all Platonic years should reign,
In the same posture would be found again.
Their earthy projects under ground they lay,
More slow and brittle than the China clay:
Well may they strive to leave them to their son,
For one thing never was by one king done.
Yet some more active for a frontier town,
Taken by proxy, beg a false renown;
Another triumphs at the public cost,
And will have won, if he no more have lost;
They fight by others, but in person wrong,
And only are against their subjects strong;
Their other wars seem but a feigned contèst,
This common enemy is still oppressed;
If conquerors, on them they turn their might;
If conquered, on them they wreak their spite:
They neither build the temple in their days,
Nor matter for succeeding founders raise;
Nor sacred prophecies consult within,
Much less themself to pèfect them begin;
No other care they bear of things above,
57
But with astrologers divine of Jove
To know how long their planet yet reprieves
From the deservéd fate their guilty lives:
Thus (image-like) an useless time they tell,
And with vain sceptre strike the hourly bell,
Nor more contribute to the state of things,
Than wooden heads unto the viol's strings.
While indefatigable Cromwell hies,
And cuts his way still nearer to the skies,
Learning a music in the region clear,
To tune this lower to that higher sphere.
So when Amphion did the lute command,
Which the god gave him, with his gentle hand,
The rougher stones, unto his measures hewed,
Danced up in order from the quarries rude;
This took a lower, that an higher place,
As he the treble altered, or the bass:
No note he struck, but a new stone was laid,
And the great work ascended while he played.
The listening structures he with wonder eyed,
And still new stops to various time applied:
Now through the strings a martial rage he throws,
And joining straight the Theban tower arose;
Then as he strokes them with a touch more sweet,
The flocking marbles in a palace meet;
But for the most the graver notes did try,
Therefore the temples reared their columns high:
Thus, ere he ceased, his sacred lute creates
Th' harmonious city of the seven gates.
Such was that wondrous order and consent,
When Cromwell tuned the ruling Instrument,
While tedious statesmen many years did hack,
Framing a liberty that still went back,
Whose numerous gorge could swallow in an hour
That island, which the sea cannot devour:
Then our Amphion issued out and sings,
And once he struck, and twice, the powerful strings.
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The Commonwealth then first together came,
And each one entered in the willing frame;
All other matter yields, and may be ruled;
But who the minds of stubborn men can build?
No quarry bears a stone so hardly wrought,
Nor with such labour from its centre brought;
None to be sunk in the foundation bends,
Each in the house the highest place contends,
And each the hand that lays him will direct,
And some fall back upon the architect;
Yet all composed by his attractive song,
Into the animated city throng.
The Commonwealth does through their centres all
Draw the circumference of the public wall;
The crossest spirits here do take their part,
Fastening the contignation which they thwart;
And they, whose nature leads them to divide,
Uphold this one, and that the other side;
But the most equal still sustain the height,
And they as pillars keep the work upright,
While the resistance of opposèd minds,
The fabric (as with arches) stronger binds,
Which on the basis of a senate free,
Knit by the roof's protecting weight, agree.
When for his foot he thus a place had found,
He hurls e'er since the world about him round,
And in his several aspects, like a star,
Here shines in peace, and thither shoots in war,
While by his beams observing princes steer,
And wisely court the influence they fear.
O would they rather by his pattern won
Kiss the approaching, not yet angry Son;
And in their numbered footsteps humbly tread
The path where holy oracles do lead;
How might they under such a captain raise
The great designs kept for the latter days!
But mad with reason (so miscalled) of state
They know them not, and what they know not, hate.
Hence still they sing hosanna to the whore,
And her, whom they should massacre, adore:
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But Indians, whom they would convert, subdue;
Nor teach, but traffic with, or burn the Jew.
Unhappy princes, ignorantly bred,
By malice some, by error more misled,
If gracious heaven to my life give length,
Leisure to time, and to my weaknes strength,
Then shall I once with graver accents shake
Your regal sloth, and your long slumbers wake:
Like the shrill huntsman that prevents the east,
Winding his horn to kings that chase the beast.
Till then my muse shall hollo far behind
Angelic Cromwell who outwings the wind,
And in dark nights, and in cold days alone
Pursues the monster through every throne:
Which shrinking to her Roman den impure,
Gnashes her gory teeth; nor there secure.
Hence oft I think if in some happy hour
High grace should meet in one with highest power,
And then a seasonable people still
Should bend to his, as he to heaven's will,
What we might hope, what wonderful effect
From such a wished conjuncture might reflect.
Sure, the mysterious work, where none withstand,
Would forthwith finish under such a hand:
Foreshortened time its useless course would stay,
And soon precipitate the latest day.
But a thick cloud about that morning lies,
And intercepts the beams of mortal eyes,
That 'tis the most which we determine can,
If these the times, then this must be the man.
And well he therefore does, and well has guessed,
Who in his age has always forward pressed:
And knowing not where heaven's choice may light,
Girds yet his sword, and ready stand to fight;
But men, alas, as if they nothing cared,
Look on, all unconcerned, or unprepared;
And stars still fall, and still the dragon's tail
Swinges the volumes of its horrid flail.
For the great justice that did first suspend
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The world by sin, does by the same extend.
Hence that blest day still counterposèd wastes,
The ill delaying what the elected hastes;
Hence landing nature to new seas is tossed,
And good designs still with their authors lost.
And thou, great Cromwell, for whose happy birth
A mould was chosen out of better earth;
Whose saint-like mother we did lately see
Live out an age, long as a pedigree;
That she might seem (could we the Fall dispute),
T' have smelled the blossom, and not eat the fruit;
Though none does of more lasting parents grow,
Yet never any did them honour so,
Though thou thine heart from evil still unstained,
And always hast thy tongue from fraud refrained;
Thou, who so oft through storms of thundering lead
Hast born securely thine undaunted head,
Thy breast through poniarding conspiracies,
Drawn from the sheath of lying prophecies;
Thee proof behond all other force or skill,
Our sins endanger, and shall one day kill.
How near they failed, and in thy sudden fall
At once assayed to overturn us all.
Our brutish fury struggling to be free,
Hurried thy horses while they hurried thee,
When thou hadst almost quit thy mortal cares,
And soiled in dust thy crown of silver hairs.
Let this one sorrow interweave among
The other glories of our yearly song.
Like skilful looms, which through the costly thread
Of purling ore, a shining wave do shed:
So shall the tears we on past grief employ,
Still as they trickle, glitter in our joy.
So with more modesty we may be true,
And speak, as of the dead, the praises due:
While impious men deceived with pleasure short,
On their own hopes shall find the fall retort.
But the poor beasts, wanting their noble guide,
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(What could they more?) shrunk guiltily aside.
First wingèd fear transports them far away,
And leaden sorrow then their flight did stay.
See how they each his towering crest abate,
And the green grass, and their known mangers hate,
Nor through wide nostrils snuff the wanton air,
Nor their round hoofs, or curlèd manes compare;
With wandering eyes, and restless ears they stood,
And with shrill neighings asked him of the wood.
Thou, Cromwell, falling, not a stupid tree,
Or rock so savage, but it mourned for thee:
And all about was heard a panic groan,
As if that Nature's self were overthrown.
It seemed the earth did from the centre tear;
It seemed the sun was fall'n out of the sphere:
Justice obstructed lay, and reason fooled;
Courage disheartened, and religion cooled.
A dismal silence through the palace went,
And then loud shrieks the vaulted marbles rent,
Such as the dying chorus sings by turns,
And to deaf seas, and ruthless tempests mourns,
When now they sink, and now the plundering streams
Break up each deck, and rip the oaken seams.
But thee triumphant hence the fiery car,
And fiery steeds had borne out of the war,
From the low world, and thankless men above,
Unto the kingdom blest of peace and love:
We only mourned ourselves, in thine ascent,
Whom thou hadst left beneath with mantle rent.
For all delight of life thou then didst lose,
When to command, thou didst thyself dispose;
Resigning up thy privacy so dear,
To turn the headstrong people's charioteer;
For to be Cromwell was a greater thing,
Then ought below, or yet above a king:
Therefore thou rather didst thyself depress,
Yielding to rule, because it made thee less.
For neither didst thou from the first apply
62
Thy sober spirit unto things too high,
But in thine own fields exercised'st long,
An healthful mind within a body strong;
Till at the seventh time thou in the skies,
As a small cloud, like a man's hand, didst rise;
Then did thick mists and winds the air deform,
And down at last thou poured'st the fertile storm,
Which to the thirsty land did plenty bring,
But, though forewarned, o'ertook and wet the King.
What since he did, an higher force him pushed
Still from behind, and yet before him rushed,
Though undiscerned among the tumult blind,
Who think those high decrees by man designed.
'Twas heaven would not that his power should cease,
But walk still middle betwixt war and peace:
Choosing each stone, and poising every weight,
Trying the measures of the breadth and height;
Here pulling down, and there erecting new,
Founding a firm state by proportions true.
When Gideon so did from the war retreat,
Yet by the conquest of two kings grown great,
He on the peace extends a warlike power,
And Israel silent saw him raze the tower;
And how he Succorth's Elders durst suppress,
With thorns and briars of the wilderness.
No king might ever such a force have done;
Yet would not he be Lord, nor yet his son.
Thou with the same strength, and an heart as plain,
Didst (like thine olive) still refuse to reign,
Though why should others all thy labour spoil,
And brambles be anointed with thine oil,
Whose climbing flame, without a timely stop,
Had quickly levelled every cedar's top?
Therefore first growing to thyself a law,
Th' ambitious shrubs thou in just time didst awe.
So have I seen at sea, when whirling winds,
Hurry the bark, but more the seamen's minds,
Who with mistaken course salute the sand,
63
And threatening rocks misapprehend for land,
While baleful Tritons to the shipwreck guide,
And corposants along the tackling slide,
The passengers all wearied out before,
Giddy, and wishing for the fatal shore,
Some lusty mate, who with more careful eye
Counted the hours, and every star did spy,
The help does from the artless steersman strain,
And doubles back unto the safer main.
What though a while they grumble discontent,
Saving himself, he does their loss prevent.
'Tis not a freedom, that where all command;
Nor tyranny, where one does them withstand:
But who of both the bounder knows to lay
Him as their father must the state obey.
Thou, and thine house (like Noah's eight) did rest,
Left by the wars' flood on the mountains' crest:
And the large vale lay subject to thy will
Which thou but as an husbandman wouldst till:
And only didst for others plant the vine
Of liberty, not drunken with its wine.
That sober liberty which men may have,
That they enjoy, but more they vainly crave:
And such as to their parents' tents do press,
May show their own, not see his nakedness.
Yet such a Chammish issue still does rage,
The shame and plague both of the land and age,
Who watched thy halting, and thy fall deride,
Rejoicing when thy foot had slipped aside,
That their new king might the fifth sceptre shake,
And make the world, by his example, quake:
Whose frantic army should they want for men
Might muster heresies, so one were ten.
What thy misfortune, they the spirit call,
And their religion only is to fall.
Oh Mahomet! now couldst thou rise again,
Thy falling-sickness should have made thee reign,
While Feake and Simpson would in many a tome,
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Have writ the comments of thy sacred foam:
For soon thou mightst have passed among their rant
Were't but for thine unmovèd tulipant;
As thou must needs have owned them of thy band
For prophecies fit to be Alcoraned.
Accursèd locusts, whom your king does spit
Out of the centre of the unbottomed pit;
Wanderers, adulterers, liars, Munster's rest,
Sorcerers, athiests, jesuits possessed;
You who the scriptures and the laws deface
With the same liberty as points and lace;
Oh race most hypocritically strict!
Bent to reduce us to the ancient Pict;
Well may you act the Adam and the Eve;
Ay, and the serpent too that did deceive.
But the great captain, now the danger's o'er,
Makes you for his sake tremble one fit more;
And, to your spite, returning yet alive
Does with himself all that is good revive.
So when first man did through the morning new
See the bright sun his shining race pursue,
All day he followed with unwearied sight,
Pleased with that other world of moving light;
But thought him when he missed his setting beams,
Sunk in the hills, or plunged below the streams.
While dismal blacks hung round the universe,
And stars (like tapers) burned upon his hearse:
And owls and ravens with their screeching noise
Did make the funerals sadder by their joys.
His weeping eyes the doleful vigils keep,
Not knowing yet the night was made for sleep;
Still to the west, where he him lost, he turned,
And with such accents as despairing mourned:
`Why did mine eyes once see so bright a ray;
Or why day last no longer than a day?'
When straight the sun behind him he descried,
Smiling serenely from the further side.
So while our star that gives us light and heat,
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Seemed now a long and gloomy night to threat,
Up from the other world his flame he darts,
And princes (shining through their windows) starts,
Who their suspected counsellors refuse,
And credulous ambassadors accuse.
`Is this', saith one, `the nation that we read
Spent with both wars, under a captain dead,
Yet rig a navy while we dress us late,
And ere we dine, raze and rebuild their state?
What oaken forests, and what golden mines!
What mints of men, what union of designs!
(Unless their ships, do, as their fowl proceed
Of shedding leaves, that with their ocean breed).
Theirs are not ships, but rather arks of war
And beakèd promontories sailed from far;
Of floating islands a new hatchèd nest;
A fleet of worlds, of other worlds in quest;
An hideous shoal of wood-leviathans,
Armed with three tier of brazen hurricanes,
That through the centre shoot their thundering side
And sink the earth that does at anchor ride.
What refuge to escape them can be found,
Whose watery leaguers all the world surround?
Needs must we all their tributaries be,
Whose navies hold the sluices of the sea.
The ocean is the fountain of command,
But that once took, we captives are on land.
And those that have the waters for their share,
Can quickly leave us neither earth nor air.
Yet if through these our fears could find a pass,
Through double oak, and lined with treble brass,
That one man still, although but named, alarms
More than all men, all navies, and all arms.
Him, in the day, him, in late night I dread,
And still his sword seems hanging o'er my head.
The nation had been ours, but his one soul
Moves the great bulk, and animates the whole.
He secrecy with number hath enchased,
Courage with age, maturity with haste:
The valiant's terror, riddle of the wise,
And still his falchion all our knots unties.
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Where did he learn those arts that cost us dear?
Where below earth, or where above the sphere?
He seems a king by long succession born,
And yet the same to be a king does scorn.
Abroad a king he seems, and something more,
At home a subject on the equal floor.
O could I once him with our title see,
So should I hope that he might die as we.
But let them write is praise that love him best,
It grieves me sore to have thus much confessed.'
Pardon, great Prince, if thus their fear of spite
More than our love and duty do thee right.
I yield, nor further will the prize contend,
So that we both alike may miss our end:
While thou thy venerable head dost raise
As far above their malice as my praise,
And as the Angel of our commonweal,
Troubling the waters, yearly mak'st them heal.
~ Andrew Marvell,
962:The First Anniversary Of The Government Under O.C.
Like the vain Curlings of the Watry maze,
Which in smooth streams a sinking Weight does raise;
So Man, declining alwayes, disappears.
In the Weak Circles of increasing Years;
And his short Tumults of themselves Compose,
While flowing Time above his Head does close.
Cromwell alone with greater Vigour runs,
(Sun-like) the Stages of succeeding Suns:
And still the Day which he doth next restore,
Is the just Wonder of the Day before.
Cromwell alone doth with new Lustre spring,
And shines the Jewel of the yearly Ring.
'Tis he the force of scatter'd Time contracts,
And in one Year the Work of Ages acts:
While heavy Monarchs make a wide Return,
Longer, and more Malignant then Saturn:
And though they all Platonique years should raign,
In the same Posture would be found again.
Their earthly Projects under ground they lay,
More slow and brittle then the China clay:
Well may they strive to leave them to their Son,
For one Thing never was by one King don.
Yet some more active for a Frontier Town
Took in by Proxie, beggs a false Renown;
Another triumphs at the publick Cost,
And will have Wonn, if he no more have Lost;
They fight by Others, but in Person wrong,
And only are against their Subjects strong;
Their other Wars seem but a feign'd contest,
This Common Enemy is still opprest;
If Conquerors, on them they turn their might;
If Conquered, on them they wreak their Spight:
They neither build the Temple in their dayes,
Nor Matter for succeeding Founders raise;
Nor Sacred Prophecies consult within,
Much less themselves to perfect them begin,
No other care they bear of things above,
But with Astrologers divine, and Jove,
To know how long their Planet yet Reprives
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From the deserved Fate their guilty lives:
Thus (Image-like) and useless time they tell,
And with vain Scepter strike the hourly Bell;
Nor more contribute to the state of Things,
Then wooden Heads unto the Viols strings,
While indefatigable Cromwell hyes,
And cuts his way still nearer to the Skyes,
Learning a Musique in the Region clear,
To tune this lower to that higher Sphere.
So when Amphion did the Lute command,
Which the God gave him, with his gentle hand,
The rougher Stones, unto his Measures hew'd,
Dans'd up in order from the Quarreys rude;
This took a Lower, that an Higher place,
As he the Treble alter'd, or the Base:
No Note he struck, but a new Story lay'd,
And the great Work ascended while he play'd.
The listning Structures he with Wonder ey'd,
And still new Stopps to various Time apply'd:
Now through the Strings a Martial rage he throws,
And joyng streight the Theban Tow'r arose;
Then as he strokes them with a Touch more sweet,
The flocking Marbles in a Palace meet;
But, for he most the graver Notes did try,
Therefore the Temples rear'd their Columns high:
Thus, ere he ceas'd, his sacred Lute creates
Th'harmonious City of the seven Gates.
Such was that wondrous Order and Consent,
When Cromwell tun'd the ruling Instrument;
While tedious Statesmen many years did hack,
Framing a Liberty that still went back;
Whose num'rous Gorge could swallow in an hour
That Island, which the Sea cannot devour:
Then our Amphion issues out and sings,
And once he struck, and twice, the pow'rful Strings.
The Commonwealth then first together came,
And each one enter'd in the willing Frame;
All other Matter yields, and may be rul'd;
But who the Minds of stubborn Men can build?
No Quarry bears a Stone so hardly wrought,
Nor with such labour from its Center brought;
None to be sunk in the Foundation bends,
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Each in the House the highest Place contends,
And each the Hand that lays him will direct,
And some fall back upon the Architect;
Yet all compos'd by his attractive Song,
Into the Animated City throng.
The Common-wealth does through their Centers all
Draw the Circumf'rence of the publique Wall;
The crossest Spirits here do take their part,
Fast'ning the Contignation which they thwart;
And they, whose Nature leads them to divide,
Uphold, this one, and that the other Side;
But the most Equal still sustein the Height,
And they as Pillars keep the Work upright;
While the resistance of opposed Minds,
The Fabrick as with Arches stronger binds,
Which on the Basis of a Senate free,
Knit by the Roofs Protecting weight agree.
When for his foot he thus a place had found,
He hurles e'r since the World about him round,
And in his sev'ral Aspects, like a Star,
Here shines in Peace, and thither shoots a War.
While by his Beams observing Princes steer,
And wisely court the Influence they fear,
O would they rather by his Pattern won.
Kiss the approaching, nor yet angry Son;
And in their numbred Footsteps humbly tread
The path where holy Oracles do lead;
How might they under such a Captain raise
The great Designs kept for the latter Dayes!
But mad with reason, so miscall'd, of State
They know them not, and what they know not, hate
Hence still they sing Hosanna to the Whore,
And her whom they should Massacre adore:
But Indians whom they should convert, subdue;
Nor teach, but traffique with, or burn the Jew.
Unhappy Princes, ignorantly bred,
By Malice some, by Errour more misled;
If gracious Heaven to my Life give length,
Leisure to Times, and to my Weakness Strength,
Then shall I once with graver Accents shake
Your Regal sloth, and your long Slumbers wake:
Like the shrill Huntsman that prevents the East,
139
Winding his Horn to Kings that chase the Beast.
Till then my Muse shall hollow far behind
Angelique Cromwell who outwings the wind;
And in dark Nights, and in cold Dayes alone
Pursues the Monster thorough every Throne:
Which shrinking to her Roman Den impure,
Gnashes her Goary teeth; nor there secure.
Hence oft I think, if in some happy Hour
High Grace should meet in one with highest Pow'r,
And then a seasonable People still
Should bend to his, as he to Heavens will,
What we might hope, what wonderful Effect
From such a wish'd Conjuncture might reflect.
Sure, the mysterious Work, where none withstand,
Would forthwith finish under such a Hand:
Fore-shortned Time its useless Course would stay,
And soon precipitate the latest Day.
But a thick Cloud about that Morning lyes,
And intercepts the Beams of Mortal eyes,
That 'tis the most which we deteremine can,
If these the Times, then this must be the Man.
And well he therefore does, and well has guest,
Who in his Age has always forward prest:
And knowing not where Heavens choice may light,
Girds yet his Sword, and ready stands to fight;
But Men alas, as if they nothing car'd,
Look on, all unconcern'd, or unprepar'd;
And Stars still fall, and still the Dragons Tail
Swinges the Volumes of its horrid Flail.
For the great Justice that did first suspend
The World by Sin, does by the same extend.
Hence that blest Day still counterpoysed wastes,
The ill delaying, what th'Elected hastes;
Hence landing Nature to new Seas it tost,
And good Designes still with their Authors lost.
And thou, great Cromwell, for whose happy birth
A Mold was chosen out of better Earth;
Whose Saint-like Mother we did lately see
Live out an Age, long as a Pedigree;
That she might seem, could we the Fall dispute,
T'have smelt the Blossome, and not eat the Fruit;
Though none does of more lasting Parents grow,
140
But never any did them Honor so;
Though thou thine Heart from Evil still unstain'd,
And always hast thy Tongue from fraud refrain'd,
Thou, who so oft through Storms of thundring Lead
Hast born securely thine undaunted Head,
Thy Brest through ponyarding Conspiracies,
Drawn from the Sheath of lying Prophecies;
Thee proof beyond all other Force or Skill,
Our Sins endanger, and shall one day kill.
How near they fail'd, and in thy sudden Fall
At once assay'd to overturn us all.
Our brutish fury strugling to be Free,
Hurry'd thy Horses while they hurry'd thee.
When thou hadst almost quit thy Mortal cares,
And soyl'd in Dust thy Crown of silver Hairs.
Let this one Sorrow interweave among
The other Glories of our yearly Song.
Like skilful Looms which through the costly threed
Of purling Ore, a shining wave do shed:
So shall the Tears we on past Grief employ,
Still as they trickle, glitter in our Joy.
So with more Modesty we may be True,
And speak as of the Dead the Praises due:
While impious Men deceiv'd with pleasure short,
On their own Hopes shall find the Fall retort.
But the poor Beasts wanting their noble Guide,
What could they move? shrunk guiltily aside.
First winged Fear transports them far away,
And leaden Sorrow then their flight did stay.
See how they each his towring Crest abate,
And the green Grass, and their known Mangers hate,
Nor through wide Nostrils snuffe the wanton air,
Nor their round Hoofs, or curled Mane'scompare;
With wandring Eyes, and restless Ears theystood,
And with shrill Neighings ask'd him of the Wood.
Thou Cromwell falling, not a stupid Tree,
Or Rock so savage, but it mourn'd for thee:
And all about was heard a Panique groan,
As if that Natures self were overthrown.
It seem'd the Earth did from the Center tear;
It seem'd the Sun was faln out of the Sphere:
Justice obstructed lay, and Reason fool'd;
141
Courage disheartned, and Religion cool'd.
A dismal Silence through the Palace went,
And then loud Shreeks the vaulted Marbles rent.
Such as the dying Chorus sings by turns,
And to deaf Seas, and ruthless Tempests mourns,
When now they sink, and now the plundring Streams
Break up each Deck, and rip the Oaken seams.
But thee triumphant hence the firy Carr,
And firy Steeds had born out of the Warr,
From the low World, and thankless Men above,
Unto the Kingdom blest of Peace and Love:
We only mourn'd our selves, in thine Ascent,
Whom thou hadst lest beneath with Mantle rent.
For all delight of Life thou then didst lose,
When to Command, thou didst thy self Depose;
Resigning up thy Privacy so dear,
To turn the headstrong Peoples Charioteer;
For to be Cromwell was a greater thing,
Then ought below, or yet above a King:
Therefore thou rather didst thy Self depress,
Yielding to Rule, because it made thee Less.
For, neither didst thou from the first apply
Thy sober Spirit unto things too High,
But in thine own Fields exercisedst long,
An Healthful Mind within a Body strong;
Till at the Seventh time thou in the Skyes,
As a small Cloud, like a Mans hand didst rise;
Then did thick Mists and Winds the air deform,
And down at last thou pow'rdst the fertile Storm;
Which to the thirsty Land did plenty bring,
But though forewarn'd, o'r-took and wet the King.
What since he did, an higher Force him push'd
Still from behind, and it before him rush'd,
Though undiscern'd among the tumult blind,
Who think those high Decrees by Man design'd.
'Twas Heav'n would not that his Pow'r should cease,
But walk still middle betwixt War and Peace;
Choosing each Stone, and poysing every weight,
Trying the Measures of the Bredth and Height;
Here pulling down, and there erecting New,
Founding a firm State by Proportions true.
When Gideon so did from the War retreat,
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Yet by Conquest of two Kings grown great,
He on the Peace extends a Warlike power,
And Is'rel silent saw him rase the Tow'r;
And how he Succoths Elders durst suppress,
With Thorns and Briars of the Wilderness.
No King might ever such a Force have done;
Yet would not he be Lord, nor yet his Son.
Thou with the same strength, and an Heart as plain,
Didst (like thine Olive) still refuse to Reign;
Though why should others all thy Labor spoil,
And Brambles be anointed with thine Oyl,
Whose climbing Flame, without a timely stop,
Had quickly Levell'd every Cedar's top.
Therefore first growing to thy self a Law,
Th'ambitious Shrubs thou in just time didst aw.
So have I seen at Sea, when whirling Winds,
Hurry the Bark, but more the Seamens minds,
Who with mistaken Course salute the Sand,
And threat'ning Rocks misapprehend for Land;
While baleful Tritons to the shipwrack guide.
And Corposants along the Tacklings slide.
The Passengers all wearyed out before,
Giddy, and wishing for the fatal Shore;
Some lusty Mate, who with more careful Eye
Counted the Hours, and ev'ry Star did spy,
The Helm does from the artless Steersman strain,
And doubles back unto the safer Main.
What though a while they grumble discontent,
Saving himself he does their loss prevent.
'Tis not a Freedome, that where All command;
Nor Tyranny, where One does them withstand:
But who of both the Bounders knows to lay
Him as their Father must the State obey.
Thou, and thine House, like Noah's Eight did rest,
Left by the Wars Flood on the Mountains crest:
And the large Vale lay subject to thy Will,
Which thou but as an Husbandman would Till:
And only didst for others plant the Vine
Of Liberty, not drunken with its Wine.
That sober Liberty which men may have,
That they enjoy, but more they vainly crave:
And such as to their Parents Tents do press,
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May shew their own, not see his Nakedness.
Yet such a Chammish issue still does rage,
The Shame and Plague both of the Land and Age,
Who watch'd thy halting, and thy Fall deride,
Rejoycing when thy Foot had slipt aside;
that their new King might the fifth Scepter shake,
And make the World, by his Example, Quake:
Whose frantique Army should they want for Men
Might muster Heresies, so one were ten.
What thy Misfortune, they the Spirit call,
And their Religion only is to Fall.
Oh Mahomet! now couldst thou rise again,
Thy Falling-sickness should have made thee Reign,
While Feake and Simpson would in many a Tome,
Have writ the Comments of thy sacred Foame:
For soon thou mightst have past among their Rant
Wer't but for thine unmoved Tulipant;
As thou must needs have own'd them of thy band
For prophecies fit to be Alcorand.
Accursed Locusts, whom your King does spit
Out of the Center of th'unbottom'd Pit;
Wand'rers, Adult'rers, Lyers, Munser's rest,
Sorcerers, Atheists, Jesuites, Possest;
You who the Scriptures and the Laws deface
With the same liberty as Points and Lace;
Oh Race most hypocritically strict!
Bent to reduce us to the ancient Pict;
Well may you act the Adam and the Eve;
Ay, and the Serpent too that did deceive.
But the great Captain, now the danger's ore,
Makes you for his sake Tremble one fit more;
And, to your spight, returning yet alive
Does with himself all that is good revive.
So when first Man did through the Morning new
See the bright Sun his shining Race pursue,
All day he follow'd with unwearied sight,
Pleas'd with that other World of moving Light;
But thought him when he miss'd his setting beams,
Sunk in the Hills, or plung'd below the Streams.
While dismal blacks hung round the Universe,
And Stars (like Tapers) burn'd upon his Herse:
And Owls and Ravens with their screeching noyse
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Did make the Fun'rals sadder by their Joyes.
His weeping Eyes the doleful Vigils keep,
Not knowing yet the Night was made for sleep:
Still to the West, where he him lost, he turn'd,
And with such accents, as Despairing, mourn'd:
Why did mine Eyes once see so bright a Ray;
Or why Day last no longer than a Day?
When streight the Sun behind him he descry'd,
Smiling serenely from the further side.
So while our Star that gives us Light and Heat,
Seem'd now a long and gloomy Night to threat,
Up from the other World his Flame he darts,
And Princes shining through their windows starts;
Who their suspected Counsellors refuse,
And credulous Ambassadors accuse.
"Is this, saith one, the Nation that we read
"Spent with both Wars, under a Captain dead?
"Yet rig a Navy while we dress us late;
"And ere we Dine, rase and rebuild our State.
"What Oaken Forrests, and what golden Mines!
"What Mints of Men, what Union of Designes!
"Unless their Ships, do, as their Fowle proceed
"Of shedding Leaves, that with their Ocean breed.
"Theirs are not Ships, but rather Arks of War,
"And beaked Promontories sail'd from far;
"Of floting Islands a new Hatched Nest;
"A Fleet of Worlds, of other Worlds in quest;
"An hideous shole of wood Leviathans,
"Arm'd with three Tire of brazen Hurricans;
"That through the Center shoot their thundring side
"And sink the Earth that does at Anchor ride.
'What refuge to escape them can be found,
"Whose watry Leaguers all the world surround?
"Needs must we all their Tributaries be,
"Whose Navies hold the Sluces of the Sea.
"The Ocean is the Fountain of Command,
"But that once took, we Captives are on Land:
"And those that have the Waters for their share,
"Can quickly leave us neither Earth nor Air.
"Yet if through these our Fears could find a pass;
"Through double Oak, & lin'd with treble Brass;
"That one Man still, although but nam'd, alarms
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"More then all Men, all Navies, and all Arms.
"Him, all the Day, Him, in late Nights I dread,
"And still his Sword seems hanging o're my head.
"The Nation had been ours, but his one Soul
"Moves the great Bulk, and animates the whole.
"He Secrecy with Number hath inchas'd,
"Courage with Age, Maturity with Hast:
"The Valiants Terror, Riddle of the Wise;
"And still his Fauchion all our Knots unties.
"Where did he learn those Arts that cost us dear?
"Where below Earth, or where above the Sphere?
"He seems a King by long Succession born,
"And yet the same to be a King does scorn.
"Abroad a King he seems, and something more,
"At Home a Subject on the equal Floor.
"O could I once him with our Title see,
"So should I hope yet he might Dye as wee.
"But let them write his Praise that love him best,
"It grieves me sore to have thus much confest.
"Pardon, great Prince, if thus their Fear or Spight
"More then our Love and Duty do thee Right.
"I yield, nor further will the Prize contend;
"So that we both alike may miss our End:
"While thou thy venerable Head dost raise
"As far above their Malice as my Praise.
"And as the Angel of our Commonweal,
"Troubling the Waters, yearly mak'st them Heal.
~ Andrew Marvell,
963:The Two Voices
A still small voice spake unto me,
"Thou art so full of misery,
Were it not better not to be?"
Then to the still small voice I said;
"Let me not cast in endless shade
What is so wonderfully made."
To which the voice did urge reply;
"To-day I saw the dragon-fly
Come from the wells where he did lie.
"An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
"He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;
Thro' crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light he flew."
I said, "When first the world began,
Young Nature thro' five cycles ran,
And in the sixth she moulded man.
"She gave him mind, the lordliest
Proportion, and, above the rest,
Dominion in the head and breast."
Thereto the silent voice replied;
"Self-blinded are you by your pride:
Look up thro' night: the world is wide.
"This truth within thy mind rehearse,
That in a boundless universe
Is boundless better, boundless worse.
"Think you this mould of hopes and fears
Could find no statelier than his peers
In yonder hundred million spheres?"
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It spake, moreover, in my mind:
"Tho' thou wert scatter'd to the wind,
Yet is there plenty of the kind."
Then did my response clearer fall:
"No compound of this earthly ball
Is like another, all in all."
To which he answer'd scoffingly;
"Good soul! suppose I grant it thee,
Who'll weep for thy deficiency?
"Or will one beam be less intense,
When thy peculiar difference
Is cancell'd in the world of sense?"
I would have said, "Thou canst not know,"
But my full heart, that work'd below,
Rain'd thro' my sight its overflow.
Again the voice spake unto me:
"Thou art so steep'd in misery,
Surely 'twere better not to be.
"Thine anguish will not let thee sleep,
Nor any train of reason keep:
Thou canst not think, but thou wilt weep."
I said, "The years with change advance:
If I make dark my countenance,
I shut my life from happier chance.
"Some turn this sickness yet might take,
Ev'n yet." But he: "What drug can make
A wither'd palsy cease to shake?"
I wept, "Tho' I should die, I know
That all about the thorn will blow
In tufts of rosy-tinted snow;
"And men, thro' novel spheres of thought
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Still moving after truth long sought,
Will learn new things when I am not."
"Yet," said the secret voice, "some time,
Sooner or later, will gray prime
Make thy grass hoar with early rime.
"Not less swift souls that yearn for light,
Rapt after heaven's starry flight,
Would sweep the tracts of day and night.
"Not less the bee would range her cells,
The furzy prickle fire the dells,
The foxglove cluster dappled bells."
I said that "all the years invent;
Each month is various to present
The world with some development.
"Were this not well, to bide mine hour,
Tho' watching from a ruin'd tower
How grows the day of human power?"
"The highest-mounted mind," he said,
"Still sees the sacred morning spread
The silent summit overhead.
"Will thirty seasons render plain
Those lonely lights that still remain,
Just breaking over land and main?
"Or make that morn, from his cold crown
And crystal silence creeping down,
Flood with full daylight glebe and town?
"Forerun thy peers, thy time, and let
Thy feet, millenniums hence, be set
In midst of knowledge, dream'd not yet.
"Thou hast not gain'd a real height,
Nor art thou nearer to the light,
Because the scale is infinite.
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"'Twere better not to breathe or speak,
Than cry for strength, remaining weak,
And seem to find, but still to seek.
"Moreover, but to seem to find
Asks what thou lackest, thought resign'd,
A healthy frame, a quiet mind."
I said, "When I am gone away,
‘He dared not tarry,' men will say,
Doing dishonour to my clay."
"This is more vile," he made reply,
"To breathe and loathe, to live and sigh,
Than once from dread of pain to die.
"Sick art thou—a divided will
Still heaping on the fear of ill
The fear of men, a coward still.
"Do men love thee? Art thou so bound
To men, that how thy name may sound
Will vex thee lying underground?
"The memory of the wither'd leaf
In endless time is scarce more brief
Than of the garner'd Autumn-sheaf.
"Go, vexed Spirit, sleep in trust;
The right ear, that is fill'd with dust,
Hears little of the false or just."
"Hard task, to pluck resolve," I cried,
"From emptiness and the waste wide
Of that abyss, or scornful pride!
"Nay—rather yet that I could raise
One hope that warm'd me in the days
While still I yearn'd for human praise.
"When, wide in soul and bold of tongue,
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Among the tents I paused and sung,
The distant battle flash'd and rung.
"I sung the joyful P¾an clear,
And, sitting, burnish'd without fear
The brand, the buckler, and the spear—
"Waiting to strive a happy strife,
To war with falsehood to the knife,
And not to lose the good of life—
"Some hidden principle to move,
To put together, part and prove,
And mete the bounds of hate and love—
"As far as might be, to carve out
Free space for every human doubt,
That the whole mind might orb about—
"To search thro' all I felt or saw,
The springs of life, the depths of awe,
And reach the law within the law:
"At least, not rotting like a weed,
But, having sown some generous seed,
Fruitful of further thought and deed,
"To pass, when Life her light withdraws,
Not void of righteous self-applause,
Nor in a merely selfish cause—
"In some good cause, not in mine own,
To perish, wept for, honour'd, known,
And like a warrior overthrown;
"Whose eyes are dim with glorious tears,
When, soil'd with noble dust, he hears
His country's war-song thrill his ears:
"Then dying of a mortal stroke,
What time the foeman's line is broke,
And all the war is roll'd in smoke."
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"Yea!" said the voice, "thy dream was good,
While thou abodest in the bud.
It was the stirring of the blood.
"If Nature put not forth her power
About the opening of the flower,
Who is it that could live an hour?
"Then comes the check, the change, the fall,
Pain rises up, old pleasures pall.
There is one remedy for all.
"Yet hadst thou, thro' enduring pain,
Link'd month to month with such a chain
Of knitted purport, all were vain.
"Thou hadst not between death and birth
Dissolved the riddle of the earth.
So were thy labour little-worth.
"That men with knowledge merely play'd,
I told thee—hardly nigher made,
Tho' scaling slow from grade to grade;
"Much less this dreamer, deaf and blind,
Named man, may hope some truth to find,
That bears relation to the mind.
"For every worm beneath the moon
Draws different threads, and late and soon
Spins, toiling out his own cocoon.
"Cry, faint not: either Truth is born
Beyond the polar gleam forlorn,
Or in the gateways of the morn.
"Cry, faint not, climb: the summits slope
Beyond the furthest flights