1.04 - The Crossing of the First Threshold
3.04 - The Crossing of the Return Threshold
3 Joseph Campbell
NEW FULL DB (2.4M)
4 Banjo Paterson
3 Walter Isaacson
3 Elizabeth Gilbert
2 Arthur C Clarke
2 Adam Lindsay Gordon
1:The remainder of the long story of Kamar al-Zaman is a history of the slow yet wonderful operation of a destiny that has been summoned into life. Not everyone has a destiny: only the hero who has plunged to touch it, and has come up again-with a ring. ~ Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces 3.04 - The Crossing of the Return Threshold,
2:The realm of the gods is a forgotten dimension of the world we know. And the exploration of that dimension, either willingly or unwillingly, is the whole sense of the deed of the hero. The values and distinctions that in normal life seem important disappear with the terrifying assimilation of the self into what formerly was only otherness. As in the stories of the cannibal ogresses, the fearfulness of this loss of personal individuation can be the whole burden of the transcendental experience for unqualified souls. But the hero-soul goes boldly in-and discovers the hags converted into goddesses and the dragons into the watchdogs of the gods. ~ Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces 3.04 - The Crossing of the Return Threshold,
3:15. The Crossing of the Return Threshold:The returning hero, to complete his adventure, must survive the impact of the world. Many failures attest to the difficulties of this life-affirmative threshold. The first problem of the returning hero is to accept as real, after an experience of the soul-satisfying vision of fulfillment, the passing joys and sorrows, banalities and noisy obscenities of life. Why re-enter such a world? Why attempt to make plausible, or even interesting, to men and women consumed with passion, the experience of transcendental bliss? As dreams that were momentous by night may seem simply silly in the light of day, so the poet and the prophet can discover themselves playing the idiot before a jury of sober eyes. The easy thing is to commit the whole community to the devil and retire again into the heavenly rock dwelling, close the door, and make it fast. But if some spiritual obstetrician has drawn the shimenawa across the retreat, then the work of representing eternity in time, and perceiving in time eternity, cannot be avoided" The hero returns to the world of common day and must accept it as real. ~ Joseph Campbell,
*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***
1:Find mentors who have already successfully made the crossing before. ~ Robert T Kiyosaki,
2:The border is a marketplace. The invisible hand of the powerful governs the crossings. ~ Amitava Kumar,
3:He had the vague sense of standing on a threshold, the crossing of which would change everything. ~ Kate Morton,
4:Just avoid things like racing trains to the crossing, doing cocaine, etc. Develop good mental habits. ~ Charlie Munger,
5:During the crossing, Einstein explained his theory to me every day, and by the time we arrived I was fully convinced that he really understands it. ~ Walter Isaacson,
6:Architecture can't force people to connect, it can only plan the crossing points, remove barriers, and make the meeting places useful and attractive. ~ Denise Scott Brown,
7:I call it magic, the crossing of our paths with the paths of others, how quickly, how completely, these magic meetings can turn us into directions we never dreamed of. ~ Dee Brown,
8:One of the most important lessons about crossing the chasm is that the task ultimately requires achieving an unusual degree of company unity during the crossing period. ~ Geoffrey A Moore,
9:I see this land flowing with books, Father. Widespread literacy. Books everywhere, as common as they used to be in circulation before the Crossing, affordable even for the poor. ~ Erika Johansen,
10:Good-bye. Good luck.” “You too.” I watched Sam walk away, and then I turned and pressed the button for the crossing, waiting for the traffic to stop so I could cross and go in to work. ~ Elizabeth Haynes,
11:The caravan and the desert speak the same language, and it’s for that reason that the desert allows the crossing. It’s going to test the caravan’s every step to see if it’s in time, and, if it is, we will make it to the oasis. ~ Paulo Coelho,
12:He therefore built a bridge over the Saône and led his army across. Alarmed by his unexpected arrival and seeing that he had effected in one day the crossing which they had the greatest difficulty in accomplishing in twenty days, ~ Gaius Julius Caesar,
13:The crossing of space ... may do much to turn men's minds outwards and away from their present tribal squabbles. In this sense, the rocket, far from being one of the destroyers of civilisation, may provide the safety-value that is needed to preserve it. ~ Arthur C Clarke,
14:Her heart dropped to consider that this flimsy bridge was their only way to cross the northern side of the Canyon, to enter the Netherworld, and to find Argon. She looked up and saw, in the distance, the Netherworld beckoning, a sheet of blinding snow. The crossing felt even more ominous. ~ Morgan Rice,
15:Rituals, anthropologists will tell us, are about transformation. The rituals we use for marriage, baptism or inaugurating a president are as elaborate as they are because we associate the ritual with a major life passage, the crossing of a critical threshold, or in other words, with transformation. ~ Abraham Verghese,
16:No one answered him and he said no more. When we reached the crossroads, he looked hopefully at us as if we might relent and say good-bye. But we did not relent and as I glanced back at him standing alone in the middle of the crossing, he looked as if the world itself was slung around his neck. (3.48) ~ Mildred D Taylor,
17:In contrast, Indian Hindus imposed on themselves caste rules that discouraged the crossing of the seas. Why did a people with such a strong maritime tradition impose these restrictions on themselves? Was it a loss of civilizational self-confidence? I have long looked for a satisfactory answer but have not yet found one. Nonetheless, ~ Sanjeev Sanyal,
18:Others, one suspects, are afraid that the crossing of space , and above all contact with intelligent but nonhuman races, may destroy the foundations of their religious faith . They may be right, but in any event their attitude is one which does not bear logical examination for a faith which cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets. ~ Arthur C Clarke,
19:It was by all accounts a pleasant Atlantic crossing, during which Einstein tried to explain relativity to Weissmann. Asked upon their arrival whether he understood the theory, Weissmann gave a delightful reply. "During the crossing, Einstein explained his theory to me every day, and by the time we arrived I was fully convinced that he really understands it. ~ Walter Isaacson,
20:The firstdown team for this planet must have had a fixation on animals. Horse, Bear, Eagle. For three days we were creeping down the east coast of Equus over an irregular coastline called the Mane. We’ve spent the last day making the crossing of a short span of the Middle Sea to a large island called Cat Key. Today we are offloading passengers and freight at Felix, the “major city” of the island. ~ Dan Simmons,
21:Also during the crossing, his ship narrowly avoided being wrecked on the Scilly Isles when it sought to evade French privateers in the fog. Franklin described his grateful reaction in a letter home to his wife. “Were I a Roman Catholic, perhaps I should on this occasion vow to build a chapel to some saint,” he wrote. “But as I am not, if I were to vow at all, it should be to build a lighthouse. ~ Walter Isaacson,
22:I've been looking for answers all of my life. Yes I realize now these are not what I needed. No, in fact, all I need is what I've decided on, in my heart to believe. In all the crossing confusion and haste of numerous opinion and stance, my own opinion has become my own boat from where I observe the raging opinions of the sea, relaxed, drinking my lemonade and feeling very amused by it all. ~ Stefanie Schneider,
23:I loathe high/low art distinctions in any case, so the crossing and re-crossing of that line is an act to be savored and celebrated, regardless of how it turns out. I consider that transgressive aspect of the medium one of its great strengths. In the way comics is both words and pictures while being neither, comics is the Trickster's medium, and as such I would be happy if no one ever knew what to do with it. ~ Jason Lutes,
24:do not understand Englishmen at all,” Stanley wrote. “Either they suspect me of some self-interest, or they do not believe me. . . . For the relief of Livingstone I was called an impostor; for the crossing of Africa I was called a pirate.” Nor was there enthusiasm in the United States for Congo colonization. James Gordon Bennett, Jr., in New York, now wanted to send Stanley off in search of the North Pole. ~ Adam Hochschild,
25:Style is how you see the world and how the world sees you. It isn't today and it isn't tomorrow; it isn't a dress or a car or a shoe or a comment-it's the cut of your sail as you cross this crazy, uncharted sea. Far ahead, legions of boats have already made the crossing-some grander, some more sleek-and still newer boats are always coming up behind you. Style is the manner in which you navigate your one remarkable voyage. ~ Carol Edgarian,
26:Imagine a young man racing along on his motorcycle, on a minor road. The wind is beating at his face. The young man closes his eyes, and opens his arms wide, just like they do in films, feeling himself completely alive and in communion with the universe. He doesn't see the lorry lunging out from the crossing. He dies happy. Happiness is almost always irresponsible. We're happy for those brief moments when we close our eyes. ~ Jos Eduardo Agualusa,
27:There are two races on earth. Those who need others, who are distracted, occupied and refreshed by others, who are worried, exhausted and unnerved by solitude as by the ascension of a terrible glacier or the crossing of a desert; and those, on the other hand, who are wearied, bored, embarrassed, utterly fatigued by others, while isolation calms them, and the detachment and imaginative activity of their minds bathes them in peace. ~ Guy de Maupassant,
28:Place lag doesn’t require the crossing of a time zone. It doesn’t even require an airplane. Sometimes I’ve been in a forest, for a hike or a picnic, and then later the same day I have returned to a city. Surrounded by cars and noise and blocks of concrete and glass, I’ll find myself asking, how is it that I was walking in the woods this morning? I know it was only this morning I was in that different place; but already it feels like a week ago. We ~ Mark Vanhoenacker,
29:First, if it is true that a spatial order organizes an ensemble of possibilities (e.g., by a place in which one can move) and interdictions (e.g., by a wall that prevents one from going further), than the walked actualizes some of these possibilities. In that way, he makes them exist as well as emerge. But he also moves them about and he invents others, since the crossing, drifting away, or improvisation of walking privilege, transform, or abandon spatial elements. ~ Michel de Certeau,
30:He exclaims, "Happy is the one not scandalized by me." There will be throughout Christian history a tendency of Christians themselves to choose Jesus as an alternative scandal, that is, a tendency to lose themselves and merge into the mob of persecutors. For St. Paul, consequently, the Cross is the scandal par excellence. I would observe that the symbolism of the traditional cross, the crossing of the two branches, renders visible the internal contradiction of the scandal. The ~ Ren Girard,
31:Every word which is used to express a moral or intellectual fact, if traced to its root, is found to be borrowed from some material appearance. Right means straight; wrong means twisted. Spirit primarily means wind; transgression, the crossing of a line; supercilious, the raising of the eyebrow. We say the heart to express emotion, the head to denote thought; and thought and emotion are words borrowed from sensible things, and now appropriated to spiritual nature. Most ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
32:I glance back in the mirror to the concrete bridge, the one I've boldly driven straight across without second thought, and I see truth reflecting back at me: Every time fear freezes and worry writhes, every time I surrender to stress, aren't I advertising the unreliability of God? That I really don't believe? But if I'm grateful to the Bridge Builder for the crossing of a million strong bridges, thankful for a million faithful moments, my life speaks my beliefs and I trust Him again. ~ Ann Voskamp,
33:Michael Connelly is the author of twenty-nine previous novels, including #1 New York Times bestsellers The Wrong Side of Goodbye and The Crossing. His books, which include the Harry Bosch series and Lincoln Lawyer series, have sold more than sixty million copies worldwide. Connelly is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels and is the executive producer of Bosch, starring Titus Welliver. He spends his time in California and Florida. ~ Michael Connelly,
34:Carrion crows use passing cars to crush especially tough nuts, such as walnuts, that won’t break by simply falling on pavement. The now-famous video of these crows in a city in Japan shows one stationed above a pedestrian crossing. When the light turns red, it positions its nut on the crossing, then flies back to the perch and waits while the light changes and traffic passes; when the light turns red again, it flutters down to safely collect the cracked nut. If no car smashed the nut, the bird repositions it. ~ Jennifer Ackerman,
35:There is no higher meaning. Sometimes things happen for no reason. Fate is cruel, and arbitrary. Touching wood, lucky charms, none of it will help you see the car you never saw coming, or avoid the tumor you didn’t realize you had. Quite the opposite, in fact. For in that moment that you turn your head to look for the second magpie, in the hope of changing your fortune from sorrow to joy—that’s when you take your attention away from the things you can change, the crossing light, the speeding car, the moment you should have turned back. ~ Ruth Ware,
36:Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where all is correct. But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion." Nothing follows a regular course. Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will be more perilous. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert,
37:...Now since you are celebrating the holy Pascha, you should know, brethren, what the Pascha is. Pascha means the crossing-over, and so the Festival is called by this name. For it was on this day that the Children of Israel crossed over out of Egypt, and the Son of God crossed over from this world to His Father. What gain is it to celebrate unless you imitate Him Whom you worship; that is, unless you cross over from Egypt, that is, from the darkness of evildoing to the light of virtue, from the love of this world to the love of your heavenly home? ~ Ambrose,
38:The portly Italian chief never talked much. Though he had played the royal baby at the crossing-the-line ceremony, he was the oldest man on the ship at forty-three and had little in common with boys twenty and more years his junior. Serafini was an immigrant from the Old Country whose Navy service dated to World War I. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, he had left a well-paying job in the Philadelphia Navy Yard and reenlisted despite both exceeding the age limit and his status as father of two. Serafini felt that he owed a debt of gratitude to the United States. ~ James D Hornfischer,
39:We, the survivors of the crossing, clung to the beast that had stolen us away. Not a soul among us had wanted to baord that ship, but once out on open waters, we held on for dear life. The ship became an extension of our own rotting bodies. Those who were cut from the heaving animal sank quick to their deaths, and we who remained attached wilted more slow as poison festered in our bellies and bowels. We stayed with the beast until new lands met our feet, and we stumbled down the long plants just before the poison became fatal. Perhaps here in this new land, we would keep living. ~ Lawrence Hill,
40:I realize I have stopped thinking about political divides, about freedom fighters or terrorists, about dictators and armies. I am thinking only of the fragility of civilization. The lives the refugees had were our lives: they owned corner shops and sold cars, they farmed or worked in factories or owned factories or sold insurance. None of them expected to be running for their lives, leaving everything they had because they had nothing to come back to, making smuggled border crossings, walking past the dismembered corpses of other people who had tried to make the crossing but had been caught or been betrayed. ~ Neil Gaiman,
41:The story of my life doesn't exist. Does not exist. There's never any center to it. No path, no line. There are great spaces where you pretend there used to be someone, but it's not true, there was no one. The story of one small part of my youth I've already written, more or less- I mean, nought to give a glimpse of it. Of this part, I mean, the part about the crossing of the river. What I'm doing now is both different and the same. Before, I spoke of clear periods, those on which the light fell. Now I'm talking about the hidden stretches of that same youth, of certain facts, feelings, events that I buried. ~ Marguerite Duras,
42:Minutes pass, and between the minutes, June is slashing out the possibilities. She is narrowing her sister's life down to its essentials. The first to go is the vet's office where May might have worked, which is a loss, but the next to go is the mansion that May has been inside of in her dreams, a terrible, vast, cold place where the pictures are old and of other families. And so it is a relief to see it go, slashed out, burned to the ground with the hot friction of June's pencil. Then there is the loss of all possible sons, which is a tremendous relief, and then the crossing out of husbands, one by one, save one. ~ Emily Ruskovich,
43:The thought is of the chain of corpses stretching across the Atlantic Ocean to connect Lagos with New Orleans. New Orleans was the largest market for human chattel in the New World. There were twenty-five different slave markets in the city in 1850. This is a secret only because no one wants to know about it. It was at those markets that buyers came to bid on the black men and women who had survived the crossing, but that is a history that is now literally submerged. Actually, it was submerged long before the recent flood, the city’s slaving past drowned in drink and jazz and Mardi Gras. High times: the best cure for history. ~ Teju Cole,
44:Snow fell. Carolers moved among the mansions of Prairie Avenue, pausing now and then to enter the fine houses for hot mulled cider and cocoa. The air was scented with woodsmoke and roasting duck. In Graceland Cemetery, to the north, young couples raced their sleighs over the snow-heaped undulations, pulling their blankets especially tight as they passed the dark and dour tombs of Chicago’s richest and most powerful men, the tombs’ bleakness made all the more profound by their juxtaposition against the night-blued snow […]
Outside the snow muffled the concussion of passing horses. Trains bearing fangs of ice tore through the crossing at Wallace. ~ Erik Larson,
45:The solution, Britain and its colonial leaders decided, was to import people who were loyal - but not necessarily inventive or talented or ambitious. The colonial administration was soon paying cashiered soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars and bankrupt but loyal British farmers to make the crossing. Reform politicians in Upper Canada complained that the colonial elite had issued a large number of land patents, often for sizable estates, to loyal Tories in Britain without regard for any other qualities….The strategy worked….But it also had the effect of choking the economic and civic life out of nascent Canada, at a moment when the Industrial Revolution was beginning to transform the rest of the Western world. ~ Doug Saunders,
46:Through the windshield, I watched an old woman clad in an old-fashioned, buttoned up dress push a buggy across the street. The long, grey material barely swayed in the wind as she trudged forward, stopping right before us. The lights changed to green. Harry accelerated. He was going to kill them. Gasping, I grabbed hold of his arm, tugging as hard as I could. “No! Stop!” Harry didn’t even flinch as he drove right through them. He signaled and stopped on the bus lane. “What’s wrong? Did you forget something?” For a moment I just stared at him, open-mouthed, then turned in my seat to peer at the crossing. The woman with the buggy wasn’t there. “Where did she disappear?” “Who?” I turned to face him again. “You didn’t see them? ~ Jayde Scott,
47:Reynaud. That June, the decision-making suddenly speeded up. Monnet drafted his proposal on Thursday, 13 June. The next evening he already had a correction to make: ‘Paris might fall’ became ‘Paris has fallen’. On Sunday, 16 June the final communiqué was drawn up. ‘At this most fateful moment in the history of the modern world . . . The two governments declare that France and Great Britain shall no longer form two nations, but one, single Franco-British union.’ Early that evening de Gaulle flew with the document from London to Bordeaux, the seat of the French government at the time. Churchill and a few members of the cabinet were to make the crossing to France that night by cruiser, to add their signatures. But while the British ~ Geert Mak,
48:By the beginning of March, K Company, 333rd Regiment, had reached the Rhine. The men settled down in the village of Krefeld to await Montgomery’s Operation Plunder, the crossing of the river; Monty was planning the operation with as much care as he had put into Operation Overlord, so the pause was a long one. By some miracle, the men found an undamaged high-rise apartment building in which everything worked—electricity, hot water, flush toilets, and telephones with dial tones. The had their first hot baths in four months. They found cigars and bottles go cognac. Pvt. Ray Bocarski, fluent in German, lit up, sat down in an easy chair, got a befuddled German operator on the phone, and talked his way through to a military headquarters in Berlin. He told the German officer he could expect K Company within the week. ~ Stephen E Ambrose,
49: The Crossing
Monsters merge and welter through the water's mounting
Din. All hands, stand fast! A sailor sprints aloft,
Hangs, swelling spider-like, among invisible nets,
Surveys his slowly undulating snares, and waits.
The wind! The ship's a steed that champs and shies, breaks loose,
And lunges out upon the blizzard-white sea. It heaves
Its neck; it plunges, trampling waves; it cleaves the clouds
And scours the sky; it sweeps up winds beneath its wings.
My spirit like the swaying mast, plays in the stormy sky,
And like the swelling sails ahead, imagination fills,
Till suddenly I too cry out with the madly shouting crew.
With arms outspread I fall upon the plunging boards and feel
It is my breast that gives the ship new burst of speed,
And know, happy and light at last, what is a bird.
~ Adam Mickiewicz,
50:As the steamer continued the crossing, Pandora tugged off her left glove to admirer wedding ring, as she'd already done a dozen times that day. Gabriel had chosen a loose sapphire from the collection of Challon family jewels, and had it set in a gold and diamond ring mounting. The Ceylon sapphire, cut and polished into a smooth dome, was a rare stone that gleamed with a twelve-ray star instead of six. To his satisfaction, Pandora seemed inordinately pleased by the ring, and was fascinated by the way the star seemed to move across the surface of the sapphire. The effect, called asterism, was especially noticeable in the sunlight.
"What causes the star?" Pandora asked, as she tilted her hand this way and that.
Gabriel tucked a kiss behind the soft lobe of her ear. "A few tiny imperfections," he murmured, "that make it all the more beautiful. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
51:Homo sapiens have left themselves few places and scant ways to witness other species in their own worlds, an estrangement that leaves us hungry and lonely. In this famished state, it is no wonder that when we do finally encounter wild animals, we are quite surprised by the sheer truth of them.
Each time I look into the eye of an animal...I find myself staring into a mirror of my own imagination. What I see there is deeply, crazily, unmercifully confused.
There is in that animal eye something both alien and familiar. There is in me, as in all human beings, a glimpse of the interior, from which everything about our minds has come.
The crossing holds all the power and purity of first wonder, before habit and reason dilute it. The glimpse is fleeting. Quickly, I am left in darkness again, with no idea whatsoever how to go back. ~ Ellen Meloy,
52:After speaking those slightly concerning words, Archibald leaned back in the chair and crossed a leg in a very unfeminine manner, the crossing having the skirt of his gown lifting up a few inches, showing a remarkably white leg in the process. That the leg sported a black sock that was currently pooled around the man’s white ankle had Bram grinning. “I don’t mean to be forward, sir, but I’m more than willing to lend you a change of clothing if you have nothing of your own to change into,” Bram said. “I’ve never actually worn a gown before, but I have to imagine they’re not as comfortable as trousers. And since it’s clear you’re not wearing, er . . . petticoats, I have to imagine you’re experiencing a few drafts here and there.” Archibald returned Bram’s grin. “Gowns do seem to be a little breezy, and while I thank you for the offer of a change of clothing, I did bring a trunk of my own. ~ Jen Turano,
53:The people buzzed with excitement and were amazed. Caleb watched it all with his poetic eye. He had seen how Yahweh was establishing Joshua as a new Moses to lead the people. This water crossing was reminiscent of the crossing of the Red Sea during the exodus under Moses. Joshua’s coronation occurred after coming down from the mountain much like Moses came down Sinai with the tablets of the Law. And now Yahweh talked to Joshua almost as he had talked to Moses. The priests carrying the Ark now walked out onto the dried up riverbed and stood with it in the middle as the people crossed over in procession. According to Yahweh’s own commands, twelve chosen men, one from each of the twelve tribes, pulled twelve large stones out of the riverbed from around the priests. They carried them to where they would be camping that night and placed them in a pile as a memorial of this day. At the same time, twelve others gathered a stone each and placed a pile of those stones in the center of the riverbed where the priests were standing. ~ Brian Godawa,
54:But what if, either by choice or by reluctant necessity, you end up not participating in this comforting cycle of family and continuity? What if you step out? Where do you sit at the reunion? How do you mark time's passage without the fear that you've just frittered away your time on earth without being relevant? You'll need to find another purpose, another measure by which to judge whether or not you have been a successful human being. I love children, but what if I don't have any? What kind of person does that make me?
Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where "all is correct." But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course." Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert,
55:Miserable beings, who, during their ragged infancy, ran barefoot in the mud of the crossings; shivering in winter near the quays, or seeking to warm themselves from the kitchens of M. Véfour, where you happen to be dining; scratching out, here and there, a crust of bread from the heaps of filth, and wiping it before eating; scraping in the gutter all day, with a rusty nail, in the hopes of finding a farthing; having no other amusement than the gratuitous sight of the king’s fête, and the executions — that other gratuitous sight: poor devils! whom hunger forces to theft, and theft to all the rest; children disinherited by their step-mother, the world; who are adopted by the house of correction, in their twelfth year, by the galleys at eighteen, and by the guillotine at forty! Unfortunate beings, whom, by means of a school and a workshop, you might have rendered good, moral, useful; and with whom you now know not what to do; flinging them away like a useless burthen, sometimes into the red antheaps of Toulon, sometimes into the silent cemetery of Clamart; cutting off life after taking away liberty. ~ Victor Hugo,
56:Livy gives conflicting figures as to the number of men who started out and the number lost in the crossing. Some of these are so exaggerated that they were clearly part of later Roman propaganda, designed to inflate the Roman ego as to the size of the army that their forefathers had faced. For instance, one of the Latin sources which he quotes has Hannibal arriving in Italy with 100,000 foot and 20,000 horse—far more than he started out with. Polybius is more trustworthy since, as he tells us, he had seen the inscription at Lacinium in which Hannibal himself had set down the facts and figures of his campaigns. His account reveals Hannibal reaching Italian soil at the foot of the Alps with 12,000 African and 8,000 Iberian foot, and not more than 6,000 horse. Between the Pyrenees and Italy, therefore, he had lost—mostly in the Alps—some 30,000 foot and 3,000 horse. This more or less confirms one statement of Livy’s, that a Roman who had been a captive of Hannibal left it on record that Hannibal had told him that ‘after crossing the Rhône he lost thirty-six thousand men and a vast number of horses and other animals’. ~ Ernle Bradford,
57: The Road To Gundagai
The mountain road goes up and down
From Gundagai to Tumut Town
And, branching off, there runs a track
Across the foothills grim and black,
Across the plains and ranges grey
To Sydney city far away.
It came by chance one day that I
From Tumut rode to Gundagai,
And reached about the evening tide
The crossing where the roads divide;
And, waiting at the crossing place,
I saw a maiden fair of face,
With eyes of deepest violet blue,
And cheeks to match the rose in hue -The fairest maids Australia knows
Are bred among the mountain snows.
Then, fearing I might go astray,
I asked if she could show the way.
Her voice might well a man bewitch -Its tones so supple, deep, and rich.
"The tracks are clear," she made reply,
"And this goes down to Sydney Town,
And that one goes to Gundagai."
Then slowly, looking coyly back,
She went along the Sydney track
And I for one was well content
To go the road the lady went;
But round the turn a swain she met -The kiss she gave him haunts me yet!
I turned and travelled with a sigh
The lonely road to Gundagai.
~ Banjo Paterson,
58:The brig Henrietta having made Sandy Hook a little before the dinner hour – and having passed the Narrows about three o’clock – and then crawling to and fro, in a series of tacks infinitesimal enough to rival the calculus, across the grey sheet of the harbour of New-York – until it seemed to Mr Smith, dancing from foot to foot upon deck, that the small mound of the city waiting there would hover ahead in the November gloom in perpetuity, never growing closer, to the smirk of Greek Zeno – and the day being advanced to dusk by the time Henrietta at last lay anchored off Tietjes Slip, with the veritable gables of the city’s veritable houses divided from him only by one hundred foot of water – and the dusk moreover being as cold and damp and dim as November can afford, as if all the world were a quarto of grey paper dampened by drizzle until in danger of crumbling imminently to pap: – all this being true, the master of the brig pressed upon him the virtue of sleeping this one further night aboard, and pursuing his shore business in the morning. (He meaning by the offer to signal his esteem, having found Mr Smith a pleasant companion during the slow weeks of the crossing.) But Smith would not have it. Smith, ~ Francis Spufford,
59:In truth, the crossing from nature to culture and vice versa has always stood wide open. It leads across an easily accessible bridge: the practising life. People have committed themselves to its construction since they came into existence - or rather, people only came into existence by applying themselves to the building of said bridge. The human being is the pontifical creature that, from its earliest evolutionary stages, has created tradition-compatible connections between the bridgeheads in the bodily realm and those in cultural programes. From the start, nature and culture are linked by a broad middle ground of embodied practices - containing languages, rituals and technical skills, in so far as these factors constitute the universal forms of automatized artificialities. This intermediate zone forms a morphologically rich, variable and stable region that can, for the time being, be referred to sufficiently clearly with such conventional categories as education, etiquette, custom, habit formation, training and exercise - without needing to wait for the purveyors of the 'human sciences', who, with all their bluster about culture, create the confusion for whose resolution they subsequently offer their services. ~ Peter Sloterdijk,
60:Watching the defendants shuffle to the front of the room to stand before the bench, I realized that I had never before seen so many men and women in shackles, that I had never laid eyes on a group of people so diminished. I had apprehended and processed countless men and women for deportation, many of whom I sent without thinking to pass through this very room—but there was something dreadfully altered in their presence here between towering and cavernous walls, lorded over by foreign men in colored suits and black robes, men with little notion of the dark desert nights or the hard glare of the sun, with little sense for the sweeping expanses of stone and shale, the foot-packed earthen trails, the bodies laid bare before the elements, the bones trembling from heat, from cold, from want of water. It dawned on me that in my countless encounters with migrants at the hard end of their road through the desert, there was always the closeness of the failed journey, the fading but still-hot spark from the last flame of the crossing. But here, in the stale and swirling air of the courthouse, it was clear that something vital had gone missing in the days since apprehension, some final essence of the spirit had been stamped out or lost in the slow crush of confinement. ~ Francisco Cant,
61: The Little White Hearse
Somebody’s baby was buried to-day –
The empty white hearse from the grave rumbled back,
And the morning somehow seemed less smiling and gay
As I paused on the sidewalk while it crossed on its way,
And a shadow seemed drawn o’er the sun’s golden track.
Somebody’s baby was laid out to rest,
White as a snowdrop, and fair to behold,
And the soft little hands were crossed over the breast,
And those hands and the lips and the eyelids were pressed
With kisses as hot as the eyelids were cold.
Somebody saw it go out of her sight,
Under the coffin lid – out through the door;
Somebody finds only darkness and blight
All through the glory of summer-sun light;
Somebody’s baby will waken no more.
Somebody’s sorrow is making me weep:
I know not her name, but I echo her cry,
For the dearly bought baby she longed so to keep,
The baby that rode to its long-lasting sleep
In the little white hearse that went rumbling by.
I know not her name, but her sorrow I know;
While I paused on the crossing I lived it once more,
And back to my heart surged that river of woe
That but in the breast of a mother can flow;
For the little white hearse has been, too, at my door.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
62:As vanguard of the invasion, the cavalry’s mission was to reconnoiter the position of the Belgian and French armies, to watch out for British landings, and to screen the German deployment against similar enemy reconnaissance. On the first day the duty of the advance squadrons, supported by infantry brought up in automobiles, was to seize the crossings of the Meuse before the bridges were destroyed and capture farms and villages as sources of food and forage. At Warsage, just inside the frontier, M. Flechet, the Burgomaster of seventy-two, wearing his scarf of office, stood in the village square as the horsemen clattered over the cobblestones of the Belgian pavé. Riding up, the squadron’s officer with a polite smile handed him a printed proclamation which expressed Germany’s “regret” at being “compelled by necessity” to enter Belgium. Though wishing to avoid combat, it said, “We must have a free road. Destruction of bridges, tunnels and railroads will be regarded as hostile acts.” In village squares all along the border from Holland to Luxembourg the Uhlans scattered the proclamations, hauled down the Belgian flag from the town halls, raised the black eagle of the German Empire, and moved on, confident in the assurance given them by their commanders that the Belgians would not fight. ~ Barbara W Tuchman,
63:There’s no need to say anything to Mr. Turing. I was the one who wasn’t watching where I was going”
“You were the one?” Mavis said indignantly. “Turing never pays the slightest attention to where he’s going. He simply plows through pedestrians”
Elspeth nodded. “Someone needs to tell him he must be more careful! He could have injured you!”
And I could have injured him, Mike thought. Or killed him. If Turing had lost control of his bicycle and crashed into a lamppost instead of the curb, or into a brick wall…
Mavis said, “I’ve a good mind to tell Cap—”
“No. There’s no need to tell anybody. I’m Fine. No Harm done. Thank you for picking me up and dusting me off.” He picked up his bag, which Mavis had carried in…
“Watch out for Turing on your way there,” Joan cut in.
“And for Dilly,” Elspeth said. “He’s even worse about not watching where he’s going, and he has a car! Whenever he comes to a crossing, he speeds up.”
“Dilly?” Mike said hoarsely.
“Captain Knox,” Mavis said. “We work for him. He has some sort of mathematical theory that by going faster he’ll it fewer people, because of being in the crossing a shorter time.”...
“I refuse to accept lifts from him anymore,” Elspeth was saying. “He forgets he’s driving and takes both hands off the—are you alright? You’re pale as a ghost. ~ Connie Willis,
64:How many people have I heard claim their children as the greatest accomplishment and comfort of their lives? It's the thing they can always lean on during a metaphysical crisis, or a moment of doubt about their relevancy - If I have done nothing else in this life, then at least I have raised my children well.
But what if, either by choice or by reluctant necessity, you end up not participating in this comforting cycle of family and continuity? What if you step out? Where do you sit at the reunion? How do you mark time's passage without the fear that you've just fritted away your time on earth without being relevant? You'll need to find another purpose, another measure by which to judge whether or not you have been a successful human being. I love children, but what if I don't have any? What kind of person does that make me?
Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where "all is correct." But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course." Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert,
65: The Ladder
[Dedicated to ]
"I will arise and go unto my father"
Dark, dark all dark! I cower, I cringe.
Only ablove me is a citron tinge
As if some echo of red, gold and lue
Chimed on the night and let its shadow through.
Yet I who am thus prisoned and exiled
Am the right heir of glory, the crowned child.
I match my might against my Fate's
I gird myself to reach the ultimate shores,
I arm myself the war to win:Lift up your heads, O mighty gates!
Be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors!
The King of Glory shall come in.
I pass from the citrine:deep indigo
Is this tall column. Snakes and vultures bend
Their hooted hate on him that would ascend.
O may the Four avail me ! Ageless woe,
Fear, torture, throng the treshold. LO1 The end
Of Matter ! The immensity of things
Let loose -new laws, new beings, new conditions;Dire chaos; see ! these new-fledged wings
Fail in its vagueness and initiations.
Only my circle saves me from the hate
Of all these monsters dead yet animate.
I match, &c.
Hail, thou full moon, O flame of Amethyst !
Stupendous mountain on whose shoulders rest
The Eight Above. More stable is my crest
Than thine -and now I pierce thee, veil of mist!
Even as an arrow from the war-bow springs
I leap -my life is set with loftier things.
I match, & c.
SAMECH ( and the crossing of the Path of Pe)
Now swift, thou azure shaft of fading fire,
Pierce through the rainbow! Swift, O swift! how streams
The world by! Let Sandalphon and his quire
Of Angels ward me!
~ Aleister Crowley,
66: The Ride To Bumpville
Play that my knee was a calico mare
Saddled and bridled for Bumpville;
Leap to the back of this steed, if you dare,
And gallop away to Bumpville!
I hope you'll be sure to sit fast in your seat,
For this calico mare is prodigiously fleet,
And many adventures you're likely to meet
As you journey along to Bumpville.
This calico mare both gallops and trots
While whisking you off to Bumpville;
She paces, she shies, and she stumbles, in spots,
In the tortuous road to Bumpville;
And sometimes this strangely mercurial steed
Will suddenly stop and refuse to proceed,
Which, all will admit, is vexatious indeed,
When one is en route to Bumpville!
She's scared of the cars when the engine goes "Toot!"
Down by the crossing at Bumpville;
You'd better look out for that treacherous brute
Bearing you off to Bumpville!
With a snort she rears up on her hindermost heels,
And executes jigs and Virginia reels Words fail to explain how embarrassed one feels
Dancing so wildly to Bumpville!
It's bumpytybump and it's jiggytyjog,
Journeying on to Bumpville
It's over the hilltop and down through the bog
You ride on your way to Bumpville;
It's rattletybang over boulder and stump,
There are rivers to ford, there are fences to jump,
And the corduroy road it goes bumpytybump,
Mile after mile to bumpville!
Perhaps you'll observe it's no easy thing
Making the journey to Bumpville,
So I think, on the whole, it were prudent to bring
An end to this ride to Bumpville;
For, though she has uttered no protest or plaint,
The calico mare must be blowing and faint What's more to the point, I'm blowed if I ain't!
So play we have got to Bumpville!
~ Eugene Field,
67: On Early Trains
This winter I was outside Moscow,
But when the time for work came round,
Through the blizzard, biting frost and snow,
I made the journey into town.
At the hour I stepped outside the door
Not a soul could be seen on the street,
And through the forest darkness drifted forth
The crunching echo of my tramping feet.
At the crossing I was greeted
By the willows of the vacant plot.
The constellations towered above the world
In the dark chill of January's pit.
And usually, there behind the yards,
The number forty or the early mail
Would overhaul me, pulling hard,
But the six forty-five was my own train.
Suddenly some invisible tentacles
Would draw into a circle lines of light,
As a massive searchlight hurtled past
On to the viaduct out of the night.
Once in the carriage's tuffy heat
I would allow myself to sink
Into the state of innate weakness
I imbibed with my mother's milk.
Through all the struggles of the past,
Through all the years of war and want,
I gazed on Russia'a unique face
In silent awe and wonderment.
Passing beyond this adoration,
I worshipped as I looked around
At countrywomen, students, workers
Living on the edge of town.
I could not see a single trace
Of servitude imposed by poverty.
Each new discomfort and each change
Was borne with lordly dignity.
Bunched close together in a group,
Boys and girls sat reading there,
Struck varied poses as they read,
Drinking in the words like vital air.
Moscow greeted us in darkness
Already lined with silver light,
As we emerged from underground,
Out of the ambiguity of night.
Our future pressed against the rails,
Flooding my senses as they went,
With floral soap's lingering trace
And honey-cakes' enticing scent.
~ Boris Pasternak,
68:there is a man who is mentioned in the Book of Exodus who is named “Nahshon.” And when Moses calls on God to part the Red Sea, as this version of the story goes, it doesn’t automatically part. Instead, everyone stands there wondering why nothing is happening. But then Nahshon steps out into the water. First one step. Then another. The water gets up to his ankles, up to his knees, up to his hips and shoulders. And finally, when it is up to his nose, the water finally parts. I like that telling of the story because I believe that God could have parted those waters in one fell swoop. I believe that the Israelites could have seen the shore and known that they were going to be safe from the get-go. But I believe that sometimes God asks us to show a little bit of faith, and a little bit of commitment. Sometimes God wants us to be a Nahshon, and so God lets us get nose-deep in the waters. That’s not because God is toying with us, or being sadistic. Instead, that’s because God is preparing us for something better. God is using our faith and our hope to shape us and to teach us that our actions, our responses, matter too. The name “Nahshon” is sometimes used to mean “an initiator.” That’s what he did that day. He took the initiative and started the crossing. And there are some who push this text even further and say that even after he got nose deep, and even after the sea started to part, it was a gradual process. The people took one step, and a little more of the sea parted. And then another, and it parted more. And another, and another, trusting that if they just took the next right step, God would show them the next place after that. And eventually, God would lead them to dry ground. When you think about it, that’s what the journey of faith is like. We don’t get to see the end. We don’t get to see dry land on our first step. But sometimes we get to see just enough to know where to take the next right step. And then we step out in faith believing that God won’t leave us stranded, and that the waters will not overpower us. We step out believing that God will make a way. ~ Emily C Heath,
69:He knew exactly what he wanted, he had been working over it in his mind for some seven years now... he had yet to see how much ground he had to use, but neither beauty nor splendor have need of great size. What he wanted was light, light and space, and the upward surge of stone like a growing tree from foundations to vault. No oppression, no darkness, no burden of thick, groaning columns and lowering roofs like the stony weight of guilt. He saw the shape clearly. No chevet of chapels, but a square east end, so that he could have a whole wall of invading light pouring in upon the high altar. Short, strong transepts, lofty aisles, and the clerestory tall and fully glazed above a shallow triforium. The west front with a great, deeply-cut doorway and a vast window above, set back in course on course of moulding, where the light could harp all day long on strings of stone, making even that greyer northern air shine lucid and sharp as the dazzling south. Over the west front two minor turrets, tapering to slender fingers of stone. Over the crossing the great tower, as in Normandy, binding all together, rooting all impregnably into the earth, drawing all erect with it towards heaven. In that tension was the significance of life, and next to light, this he wanted above all, the duality of flesh and spirit, manhood and godhead, the tension of man on his way to God. A noble tower, tall and tapered, its long surfaces so subtly fluted and molded that light and shadow might stroke it into a hundred changing shapes of majesty and beauty as the hours of the daylight passed. Permanence and change, diversity and oneness, in that grey-gold stone that glowed in his memory like - what was Adam's phrase?- a mine of sunshine. There is no growth nor fruitfulness but rises from these paired opposites of darkness and light, earth and heaven. My feet as roots in the earth, my forehead straining into the sun. The tower at once anchoring my church fast to the rock, and translating it into a balanced arrow of light aimed at the sky.
There is no beauty where there is doubt or insecurity. A sense of unbalance is the death of art. ~ Edith Pargeter,
70: My World Is Pyramid
Half of the fellow father as he doubles
His sea-sucked Adam in the hollow hulk,
Half of the fellow mother as she dabbles
To-morrow's diver in her horny milk,
Bisected shadows on the thunder's bone
Bolt for the salt unborn.
The fellow half was frozen as it bubbled
Corrosive spring out of the iceberg's crop,
The fellow seed and shadow as it babbled
The swing of milk was tufted in the pap,
For half of love was planted in the lost,
And the unplanted ghost.
The broken halves are fellowed in a cripple,
The crutch that marrow taps upon their sleep,
Limp in the street of sea, among the rabble
Of tide-tongued heads and bladders in the deep,
And stake the sleepers in the savage grave
That the vampire laugh.
The patchwork halves were cloven as they scudded
The wild pigs' wood, and slime upon the trees,
Sucking the dark, kissed on the cyanide,
And loosed the braiding adders from their hairs,
Rotating halves are horning as they drill
The arterial angel.
What colour is glory? death's feather? tremble
The halves that pierce the pin's point in the air,
And prick the thumb-stained heaven through the thimble.
The ghost is dumb that stammered in the straw,
The ghost that hatched his havoc as he flew
Blinds their cloud-tracking eye.
My world is pyramid. The padded mummer
Weeps on the desert ochre and the salt
My Egypt's armour buckling in its sheet,
I scrape through resin to a starry bone
And a blood parhelion.
My world is cypress, and an English valley.
I piece my flesh that rattled on the yards
Red in an Austrian volley.
I hear, through dead men's drums, the riddled lads,
Screwing their bowels from a hill of bones,
Cry Eloi to the guns.
My grave is watered by the crossing Jordan.
The Arctic scut, and basin of the South,
Drip on my dead house garden.
Who seek me landward, marking in my mouth
The straws of Asia, lose me as I turn
Through the Atlantic corn.
The fellow halves that, cloven as they swivel
On casting tides, are tangled in the shells,
Bearding the unborn devil,
Bleed from my burning fork and smell my heels.
The tongue's of heaven gossip as I glide
Binding my angel's hood.
Who blows death's feather? What glory is colour?
I blow the stammel feather in the vein.
The loin is glory in a working pallor.
My clay unsuckled and my salt unborn,
The secret child, I sift about the sea
Dry in the half-tracked thigh.
~ Dylan Thomas,
71:And I am overwhelmed now by the awfulness of over-simplification. For now I realize that not only have I been guilty of it through this long and burning day but also through most of my yet young life and it is only now that I am doubly its victim that I begin to vaguely understand. For I had somehow thought that ‘going away’ was but a physical thing. And that it had only to do with movement and with labels like the silly ‘Vancouver’ that I had glibly rolled from off my tongue; or with the crossing of bodies of water or with the boundaries of borders. And because my father told me I was ‘free’ I had foolishly felt that it was really so. Just like that. And I realize now that the older people of my past are more complicated than perhaps I had ever thought. And that there are distinctions between my sentimental, romantic grandfather and his love for coal, and my stern and practical grandmother her hatred of it; and my quietly strong but passive mother and the souring extremes of my father’s passionate violence and the quiet power of his love. They are all so different. Perhaps it is possible I think now to be both and yet to see only one. For the man in whose glassed-in car I now sit sees only similarity. For him the people of this multi-scarred little town are reduced to but a few phrases and the act of sexual intercourse. They are only so many identical goldfish leading identical, incomprehensible lives within the glass prison of their bowl. And the people on the street view me from behind my own glass in much the same way and it is the way that I have looked at others in their ‘foreign licence’ cars and it is the kind of judgment that I myself have made. And yet it seems that neither these people nor this man are in any way unkind and not to understand does not necessarily mean that one is cruel. But one should at least be honest. And perhaps I have tried too hard to be someone else without realizing at first what I presently am. I do not know. I am not sure. But I do know that I cannot follow this man into a house that is so much like the one I have left this morning and go down into the sexual embrace of a woman who might well be my mother. And I do not know what she, my mother, may be like in the years to come when she is deprived of the lighting movement of my father’s body and the hammered pounding of his heart. For I do not know when he may die. And I do not know in what darkness she may cry out his name nor to whom. I do not know very much of anything, it seems, except that I have been wrong and dishonest with others and myself. And perhaps this man has left footprints on a soul I did not even know that I possessed. ~ Alistair MacLeod,
72: City Contrasts
A barefooted child on the crossing,
Sweeping the mud away,
A lady in silks and diamonds,
Proud of the vain display;
A beggar blind on the curbstone,
A rich man passing along;
A tiny child with a tambourine
Wailing out her life in song.
A pauper in lone hearse passing,
Hurried away to the tomb;
A train of carriages, music grand,
And the flutter of waving plume.
For the one there is never a mourner,
He cumbered the earth alway;
For the other the flags at half-mast droop,
And the city wears black today.
A soldier with one sleeve empty,
That sadly hangs by his side,
Another shuffling along the walk
In the flush of health and pride;
A cripple-girl slowly toiling
Through the vexed and crowded street,
And tearfully gazing at those who pass
With hearts as light as their feet.
A wreck of a woman flaunting,
As if proud of her very shame,
A purer sister whose modest cheeks
Would crimson e'en at the name;
A petty thief stealing in terror,
Afraid in your face to gaze,
And one who has robbed by the thousands,
Courting the sun's broad blaza.
The millionaire in his carriage,
The workman plodding along,
The humble follower of the right,
And the slave of the giant wrong;
The murderer seeking a refuge,
Looking ever wearily back,
And the sleuth hounds of the broken law
Following silently in his track.
The judge, freed now of the ermine,
Pompous of place and power,
And the shivering wretch his word will doom
To prison within an hour;
The miser clutching his pennies,
The spendthrift squandering gold,
The meeked-eyed Sister of Mercy,
And the woman brazen and bold.
The widow, in weeds of blackness,
Meets the bride at the church door-The future for one holds nothing but tears,
But joy for the other in store.
A cradle jostles a coffin-Orange-flowers, with honeyed breath,
Are wove by the self-same fingers
That but now made a cross for death.
Dives and Lazarus elbow
Each other whene'er they meet,
And the crumbs from the rich man's table
Feed the beggar upon the street.
And penury crowdeth plenty,
And sin stalks boldly abroad,
And the infidel holds his head proudly
As the child of the living God.
The bee in its ceaseless searching
Finds sweets in each flower fair,
And the noisome spider, creeping up,
Finds nothing but poison there.
And so life is made up of contrasts-Rich and poor, coward and brave,
Virtue and vice, and all will find
Equality in the grave.
~ Anonymous Americas,
73: Banjo Dog Variations
Tramps on the road: floating clouds. OLD CHINESE POEM
Agriculture and Industry
Embraced in public on a wall—
Heroes in shirt-sleeves! Next to them
The average man felt small.
I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
By Vassar girls surrounded.
They harmonized expertly; oh,
Their little true hearts pounded.
Joe went on smiling.
I thought I saw what Trotsky saw,
A friendly cossack wink;
And then his friends brought down their clubs.
Christ, what would Trotsky think!
Train had just slowed for the crossing when
Out from the bushes jumped a hundred men.
With baseball bats and iron bars
They persuaded us back onto the cars.
And out of dirty fists sometimes
Would bloom the melancholy harp.
Then low-low-low on the gon-doh-lah
We swayed beneath our tarp.
And far lights moving in and out of rain.
What you do with the Sunday news
Oh, citizens of the great riffraff,
Is you put the funny papers in your shoes.
It gives the feet a laugh.
We read our brothers’ shirts for lice
And moved around with the fruit,
Went north to Billings for the beets
And had three good days in the jail at Butte.
We chalked our names on red cliffsides,
High up, where only eagles dwelled.
Each time a big truck went by below,
The earth trembled like a woman held.
And we passed fields of smoking stumps
Where goats sometimes or ponies grazed.
Abandoned tractors stood against the sky
Like giant fists upraised.
But if we bent our knees it was
To drink from a creek’s rust-colored slime,
And splash our chests with it, and rub our eyes,
And wake into another world and time.
Let us go then, you and me,
While the neon bubbles upward ceaselessly
To lure us down back streets and alleyways,
Where we may wander and be lost for days.
Many days and many hours.
I miss the smell of the ratty furs
And saturday night cologne and beer,
And I miss the juke and the sign that read:
NO POLICE SERVED HERE.
Off Mission, wasn’t it? The old
White Angel Breadline, where we met?
You had just come west from Arkansas,
But the rest of it I forget.
A cup of coffee; afterwards a hymn.
Once we stood on a high bluff,
Lights fanning out across the bay.
A little ragged band of Christs we were,
And tempted—but we turned away.
And didn’t I see you Saturday night,
After the paycheck from the mill,
Bearing a pot of store-bought lilies home,
One budding still?
Ah, oh, my banjo dog!
~ Donald Justice,
74: The Story Of Mongrel Grey
This is the story the stockman told
On the cattle-camp, when the stars were bright;
The moon rose up like a globe of gold
And flooded the plain with her mellow light.
We watched the cattle till dawn of day
And he told me the story of Mongrel Grey.
He was a knock-about station hack,
Spurred and walloped, and banged and beat;
Ridden all day with a sore on his back,
Left all night with nothing to eat.
That was a matter of everyday
Normal occurrence with Mongrel Grey.
We might have sold him, but someone heard
He was bred out back on a flooded run,
Where he learnt to swim like a waterbird;
Midnight or midday were all as one -In the flooded ground he would find his way;
Nothing could puzzle old Mongrel Grey.
'Tis a trick, no doubt, that some horses learn;
When the floods are out they will splash along
In girth-deep water, and twist and turn
From hidden channel and billabong,
Never mistaking the road to go;
for a man may guess -- but the horses know.
I was camping out with my youngest son -Bit of a nipper, just learnt to speak -In an empty hut on the lower run,
Shooting and fishing in Conroy's Creek.
The youngster toddled about all day
And there with our horses was Mongrel Grey.
All of a sudden a flood came down,
At first a freshet of mountain rain,
Roaring and eddying, rank and brown,
Over the flats and across the plain.
Rising and rising -- at fall of night
Nothing but water appeared in sight!
'Tis a nasty place when the floods are out,
Even in daylight; for all around
Channels and billabongs twist about,
Stretching for miles in the flooded ground.
And to move seemed a hopeless thing to try
In the dark with the storm-water racing by.
I had to risk it. I heard a roar
As the wind swept down and the driving rain;
And the water rose till it reached the floor
Of our highest room; and 'twas very plain -The way the torrent was sweeping down -We must make for the highlands at once, or drown.
Off to the stable I splashed, and found
The horses shaking with cold and fright;
I led them down to the lower ground,
But never a yard would they swim that night!
They reared and snorted and turned away,
And none would face it but Mongrel Grey.
I bound the child on the horse's back,
And we started off, with a prayer to heaven,
Through the rain and the wind and the pitchy black
For I knew that the instinct God has given
To prompt His creatures by night and day
Would guide the footsteps of Mongrel Grey.
He struck deep water at once and swam -I swam beside him and held his mane -Till we touched the bank of the broken dam
In shallow water; then off again,
Swimming in darkness across the flood,
Rank with the smell of the drifting mud.
He turned and twisted across and back,
Choosing the places to wade or swim,
Picking the safest and shortest track -The blackest darkness was clear to him.
Did he strike the crossing by sight or smell?
The Lord that held him alone could tell!
He dodged the timber whene'er he could,
But timber brought us to grief at last;
I was partly stunned by a log of wood
That struck my head as it drifted past;
Then lost my grip of the brave old grey,
And in half a second he swept away.
I reached a tree, where I had to stay,
And did a perish for two days' hard;
And lived on water -- but Mongrel Grey,
He walked right into the homestead yard
At dawn next morning, and grazed around,
With the child strapped on to him safe and sound.
We keep him now for the wife to ride,
Nothing too good for him now, of course;
Never a whip on his fat old hide,
For she owes the child to that brave grey horse.
And not Old Tyson himself could pay
The purchase money of Mongrel Grey.
~ Banjo Paterson,
75: Among The Timothy
Long hours ago, while yet the morn was blithe,
Nor sharp athirst had drunk the beaded dew,
A reaper came, and swung his cradled scythe
Around this stump, and, shearing slowly, drew
Far round among the clover, ripe for hay,
A circle clean and grey;
And here among the scented swathes that gleam,
Mixed with dead daisies, it is sweet to lie
And watch the grass and the few-clouded sky,
Nor think but only dream.
For when the noon was turning, and the heat
Fell down most heavily on field and wood,
I too came hither, borne on restless feet,
Seeking some comfort for an echoing mood.
Ah, I was weary of the drifting hours,
The echoing city towers,
The blind grey streets, the jingle of the throng,
Weary of hope that like a shape of stone,
Sat near at hand without a smile or moan,
And weary most of song.
And those high moods of mine that someone made
My heart a heaven, opening like a flower,
A sweeter world where I in wonder strayed,
Begirt with shapes of beauty and the power
Of dreams that moved through that enchanted clime
With changing breaths of rhyme,
Were all gone lifeless now like those white leaves.
That hang all winter, shivering dead and blind
Among the sinewy beeches in the wind,
That vainly calls and grieves.
Ah! I will set no more mine overtasked brain
To barren search and toil that beareth nought,
Forever following with sorefooted pain
The crossing pathways of unbourned thought;
But let it go, as one that hath no skill,
To take what shape it will,
An ant slow-burrowing in the earthy gloom,
A spider bathing in the dew at morn,
Or a brown bee in wayward fancy borne
From hidden bloom to bloom.
Hither and thither o'er the rocking grass
The little breezes, blithe as they are blind,
Teasing the slender blossoms pass and pass,
Soft-footed children of the gipsy wind,
To taste of every purple-fringed head
Before the bloom is dead;
And scarcely heed the daisies that, endowed
With stems so short they cannot see, up-bear
Their innocent sweet eyes distressed, and stare
Like children in a crowd.
Not far to fieldward in the central heat,
Shadowing the clover, a pale poplar stands
With glimmering leaves that, when the wind comes, beat
Together like innumerable small hands,
And with the calm, as in vague dreams astray,
Hang wan and silver-grey;
Like sleepy maenads, who in pale surprise,
Half-wakened by a prowling beast, have crept
Out of the hidden covert, where they slept,
At noon with languid eyes.
The crickets creak, and through the noonday glow,
That crazy fiddler of the hot mid-year,
The dry cicada plies his wiry bow
In long-spun cadence, thin and dusty sere:
From the green grass the small grasshoppers' din
Spreads soft and silvery thin:
And ever and anon a murmur steals
Into mine ears of toil that moves alway,
The crackling rustle of the pitch-forked hay
And lazy jerk of wheels.
As so I lie and feel the soft hours a wane,
To wind and sun and peaceful sound laid bare,
That aching dim discomfort of the brain
Fades off unseen, and shadowy-footed care
Into some hidden corner creeps at last
To slumber deep and fast;
And gliding on, quite fashioned to forget,
From dream to dream I bid my spirit pass
Out into the pale green ever-swaying grass
To brood, but no more fret.
And hour by hour among all shapes that grow
Of purple mints and daisies gemmed with gold
In sweet unrest my visions come and go;
I feel and hear and with quiet eyes behold;
And hour by hour, the ever-journeying sun,
In gold and shadow spun,
Into mine eyes and blood, and through the dim
Green glimmering forest of the grass shines down,
Till flower and blade, and every cranny brown,
And I are soaked with him.
~ Archibald Lampman,
76: Investigating Flora
'Twas in scientific circles
That the great Professor Brown
Had a world-wide reputation
As a writer of renown.
He had striven finer feelings
In our natures to implant
By his Treatise on the Morals
Of the Red-eyed Bulldog Ant.
He had hoisted an opponent
Who had trodden unawares
On his "Reasons for Bare Patches
On the Female Native Bears".
So they gave him an appointment
As instructor to a band
Of the most attractive females
To be gathered in the land.
'Twas a "Ladies' Science Circle" -Just the latest social fad
For the Nicest People only,
And to make their rivals mad.
They were fond of "science rambles"
To the country from the town -A parade of female beauty
In the leadership of Brown.
They would pick a place for luncheon
And catch beetles on their rugs;
The Professor called 'em "optera" -They calld 'em "nasty bugs".
Well, the thing was bound to perish
For no lovely woman can
Feel the slightest interest
In a club without a Man -The Professor hardly counted
He was crazy as a loon,
With a countenance suggestive
Of an elderly baboon.
But the breath of Fate blew on it
With a sharp and sudden blast,
And the "Ladies' Science Circle"
Is a memory of the past.
There were two-and-twenty members,
Mostly young and mostly fair,
Who had made a great excursion
To a place called Dontknowwhere,
At the crossing of Lost River,
On the road to No Man's Land.
There they met an old selector,
With a stockwhip in his hand,
And the sight of so much beauty
Sent him slightly "off his nut";
So he asked them, smiling blandly,
"Would they come down to the hut?"
"I am come," said the Professor,
In his thin and reedy voice,
"To investigate your flora,
Which I feel is very choice."
The selector stared dumbfounded,
Till at last he found his tongue:
"To investigate my Flora!
Oh, you howlin' Brigham Young!
Why, you've two-and-twenty wimmen -Reg'lar slap-up wimmen, too!
And you're after little Flora!
And a crawlin' thing like you!
Oh, you Mormonite gorilla!
Well, I've heard it from the first
That you wizened little fellers
Is a hundred times the worst!
But a dried-up ape like you are,
To be marchin' through the land
With a pack of lovely wimmen -Well, I cannot understand!"
"You mistake," said the Professor,
In a most indignant tone -While the ladies shrieked and jabbered
In a fashion of their own -"You mistake about these ladies,
I'm a lecturer of theirs;
I am Brown, who wrote the Treatise
On the Female Native Bears!
When I said we wanted flora,
What I meant was native flowers."
"Well, you said you wanted Flora,
And I'll swear you don't get ours!
But here's Flora's self a-comin',
And it's time for you to skip,
Or I'll write a treatise on you,
And I'll write it with the whip!
Now I want no explanations;
Just you hook it out of sight,
Or you'll charm the poor girl some'ow!"
The Professor looked in fright:
She was six feet high and freckled,
And her hair was turkey-red.
The Professor gave a whimper,
And threw down his bag and fled,
And the Ladies' Science Circle,
With a simultaneous rush,
Travelled after its Professor,
And went screaming through the bush!
At the crossing of Lost River,
On the road to No Man's Land,
Where the grim and ghostly gumtrees
Block the view on every hand,
There they weep and wail and wander,
Always seeking for the track,
For the hapless old Professor
Hasn't sense to guide 'em back;
And they clutch at one another,
And they yell and scream in fright
As they see the gruesome creatures
Of the grim Australian night;
And they hear the mopoke's hooting,
And the dingo's howl so dread,
And the flying foxes jabber
From the gum trees overhead;
While the weird and wary wombats,
In their subterranean caves,
Are a-digging, always digging,
At those wretched people's graves;
And the pike-horned Queensland bullock,
From his shelter in the scrub,
Has his eye on the proceedings
Of the Ladies' Science Club.
~ Banjo Paterson,
77: Saltbush Bill
Now is the law of the Overland that all in the West obey -A man must cover with travelling sheep a six-mile stage a day;
But this is the law which the drovers make, right easily understood,
They travel their stage where the grass is bad, but they camp where the grass is
They camp, and they ravage the squatter's grass till never a blade remains.
Then they drift away as the white clouds drift on the edge of the saltbush plains:
From camp to camp and from run to run they battle it hand to hand
For a blade of grass and the right to pass on the track of the Overland.
For this is the law of the Great Stock Routes, 'tis written in white and black -The man that goes with a travelling mob must keep to a half-mile track;
And the drovers keep to a half-mile track on the runs where the grass is dead,
But they spread their sheep on a well-grassed run till they go with a two-mile
So the squatters hurry the drovers on from dawn till the fall of night,
And the squatters' dogs and the drovers' dogs get mixed in a deadly fight.
Yet the squatters' men, thought they haunt the mob, are willing the peace to
For the drovers learn how to use their hands when they go with the travelling
But this is the tale of a Jackaroo that came from a foreign strand,
And the fight that he fought with Saltbush Bill, the King of the Overland.
Now Saltbush Bill was a drover tough as ever the country knew,
He had fought his way on the Great Stock Routes from the sea to the big Barcoo;
He could tell when he came to a friendly run that gave him a chance to spread,
And he knew where the hungry owners were that hurried his sheep ahead;
He was drifting down in the Eighty drought with a mob that could scarcely creep
(When the kangaroos by the thousand starve, it is rough on the travelling
And he camped one night at the crossing-place on the edge of the Wilga run;
"We must manage a feed for them here," he said, "or half of the mob are done!"
So he spread them out when they left the camp wherever they liked to go,
Till he grew aware of a Jackaroo with a station-hand in tow.
They set to work on the straggling sheep, and with many a stockwhip crack
The forced them in where the grass was dead in the space of the half-mile track;
And William prayed that the hand of Fate might suddenly strike him blue
But he'd get some grass for his starving sheep in the teeth of that Jackaroo.
So he turned and cursed the Jackaroo; he cursed him, alive or dead,
From the soles of his great unwieldly feet to the crown of his ugly head,
With an extra curse on the moke he rode and the cur at his heels that ran,
Till the Jackaroo from his horse got down and went for the drover-man;
With the station-hand for his picker-up, though the sheep ran loose the while,
They battled it out on the well-grassed plain in the regular prize-ring style.
Now, the new chum fought for his honour's sake and the pride of the English
But the drover fought for his daily bread with a smile on his bearded face;
So he shifted ground, and he sparred for wind, and he made it a lengthy mill,
And from time to time as his scouts came in they whispered to Saltbush Bill -"We have spread the sheep with a two-mile spread, and the grass it is something
You must stick to him, Bill, for another round for the pride of the Overland."
The new chum made it a rushing fight, though never a blow got home,
Till the sun rode high in the cloudless sky and glared on the brick-red loam,
Till the sheep drew in to the shelter-trees and settled them down to rest;
Then the drover said he would fight no more, and gave his opponent best.
So the new chum rode to the homestead straight, and told them a story grand
Of the desperate fight that he fought that day with the King of the Overland;
And the tale went home to the Public Schools of the pluck of the English swell -How the drover fought for his very life, but blood in the end must tell.
But the travelling sheep and the Wilga sheep were boxed on the Old Man Plain;
'Twas a full week's work ere they drafted out and hunted them off again;
A week's good grass in their wretched hides, with a curse and a stockwhip crack
They hunted them off on the road once more to starve on the half-mile track.
And Saltbush Bill, on the Overland, will many a time recite
How the best day's work that he ever did was the day that he lost the fight.
~ Banjo Paterson,
78: In Utrumque Paratus
'Then hey for boot and horse, lad !
And round the world away !
Young blood will have its course, lad !
And every dog his day !'—C. Kingsley.
There's a formula which the west country clowns
Once used, ere their blows fell thick,
At the fairs on the Devon and Cornwall downs,
In their bouts with the single-stick.
You may read a moral, not far amiss,
If you care to moralize,
In the crossing guard, where the ash-plants kiss,
To the words 'God spare our eyes.'
No game was ever yet worth a rap
For a rational man to play,
Into which no accident, no mishap,
Could possibly find its way.
If you hold the willow, a shooter from Wills
May transform you into a hopper,
And the football meadow is rife with spills,
If you feel disposed for a cropper ;
In a rattling gallop with hound and horse
You may chance to reverse the medal
On the sward, with the saddle your loins across,
And your hunter's loins on the saddle ;
In the stubbles you'll find it hard to frame
A remonstrance firm, yet civil,
When oft as 'our mutual friend' takes aim,
Long odds may be laid on the rising game,
And against your gaiters level ;
There's danger even where fish are caught
To those who a wetting fear ;
For what's worth having must ay be bought,
And sport's like life, and life's like sport,
'It ain't all skittles and beer.'
The honey bag lies close to the sting,
The rose is fenced by the thorn,
Shall we leave to others their gathering,
And turn from clustering fruits that cling
To the garden wall in scorn ?
Albeit those purple grapes hang high,
Like the fox in the ancient tale,
Let us pause and try, ere we pass them by,
Though we, like the fox, may fail.
All hurry is worse than useless ; think
On the adage, ' 'Tis pace that kills ;'
Shun bad tobacco, avoid strong drink,
Abstain from Holloway's pills,
Wear woollen socks, they're the best you'll find,
Beware how you leave off flannel ;
And whatever you do, don't change your mind
When once you have picked your panel ;
With a bank of cloud in the south-south-east,
Stand ready to shorten sail ;
Fight shy of a corporation feast ;
Don't trust to a martingale ;
Keep your powder dry, and shut one eye,
Not both, when you touch your trigger ;
Don't stop with your head too frequently
(This advice ain't meant for a nigger) ;
Look before you leap, if you like, but if
You mean leaping, don't look long,
Or the weakest place will soon grow stiff,
And the strongest doubly strong ;
As far as you can, to every man,
Let your aid be freely given,
And hit out straight, 'tis your shortest plan,
When against the ropes you're driven.
Mere pluck, though not in the least sublime,
Is wiser than blank dismay,
Since 'No sparrow can fall before its time,'
And we're valued higher than they ;
So hope for the best and leave the rest
In charge of a stronger hand,
Like the honest boors in the far-off west,
With the formula terse and grand.
They were men for the most part rough and rude,
Dull and illiterate,
But they nursed no quarrel, they cherished no feud,
They were strangers to spite and hate ;
In a kindly spirit they took their stand,
That brothers and sons might learn
How a man should uphold the sports of his land,
And strike his best with a strong right hand,
And take his strokes in return.
' 'Twas a barbarous practice,' the Quaker cries,
' 'Tis a thing of the past, thank heaven'—
Keep your thanks till the combative instinct dies
With the taint of the olden leaven ;
Yes, the times are changed, for better or worse,
The prayer that no harm befall
Has given its place to a drunken curse,
And the manly game to a brawl.
Our burdens are heavy, our natures weak,
Some pastime devoid of harm
May we look for ? 'Puritan elder, speak !'
'Yea, friend, peradventure thou mayest seek
Recreation singing a psalm.'
If I did, your visage so grim and stern
Would relax in a ghastly smile,
For of music I never one note could learn,
And my feeble minstrelsy would turn
Your chant to discord vile.
Tho' the Philistine's mail could naught avail,
Nor the spear like a weaver's beam,
There are episodes yet in the Psalmist's tale,
To obliterate which his poems fail,
Which his exploits fail to redeem.
Can the Hittite's wrongs forgotten be ?
Does HE warble 'Non nobis Domine,'
With his monarch in blissful concert, free
From all malice to flesh inherent ;
Zeruiah's offspring, who served so well,
Yet between the horns of the altar fell—
Does HIS voice the 'Quid gloriaris' swell,
Or the 'Quare fremuerunt' ?
It may well be thus where DAVID sings,
And Uriah joins in the chorus,
But while earth to earthy matter clings,
Neither you nor the bravest of Judah's kings
As a pattern can stand before us.
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
79: The Sins Of Kalamazoo
THE SINS of Kalamazoo are neither scarlet nor crimson.
The sins of Kalamazoo are a convict gray, a dishwater drab.
And the people who sin the sins of Kalamazoo are neither scarlet nor crimson.
They run to drabs and grays-and some of them sing they shall be washed whiter
than snow-and some: We should worry.
Yes, Kalamazoo is a spot on the map
And the passenger trains stop there
And the factory smokestacks smoke
And the grocery stores are open Saturday nights
And the streets are free for citizens who vote
And inhabitants counted in the census.
Saturday night is the big night.
Listen with your ears on a Saturday night in Kalamazoo
And say to yourself: I hear America, I hear, what do I hear?
Main street there runs through the middle of the twon
And there is a dirty postoffice
And a dirty city hall
And a dirty railroad station
And the United States flag cries, cries the Stars and Stripes to the four winds on
Lincoln's birthday and the Fourth of July.
Kalamazoo kisses a hand to something far off.
Kalamazoo calls to a long horizon, to a shivering silver angel, to a creeping
'We're here because we're here,' is the song of Kalamazoo.
'We don't know where we're going but we're on our way,' are the words.
There are hound dogs of bronze on the public square, hound dogs looking far
beyond the public square.
Sweethearts there in Kalamazoo
Go to the general delivery window of the postoffice
And speak their names and ask for letters
And ask again, 'Are you sure there is nothing for me?
I wish you'd look again-there must be a letter for me.'
And sweethearts go to the city hall
And tell their names and say,'We want a license.'
And they go to an installment house and buy a bed on time and a clock
And the children grow up asking each other, 'What can we do to kill time?'
They grow up and go to the railroad station and buy tickets for Texas,
'Kalamazoo is all right,' they say. 'But I want to see the world.'
And when they have looked the world over they come back saying it is all like
The trains come in from the east and hoot for the crossings,
And buzz away to the peach country and Chicago to the west
Or they come from the west and shoot on to the Battle Creek breakfast bazaars
And the speedbug heavens of Detroit.
'I hear America, I hear, what do I hear?'
Said a loafer lagging along on the sidewalks of Kalamazoo,
Lagging along and asking questions, reading signs.
Oh yes, there is a town named Kalamazoo,
A spot on the map where the trains hesitate.
I saw the sign of a five and ten cent store there
And the Standard Oil Company and the International Harvester
And a graveyard and a ball grounds
And a short order counter where a man can get a stack of wheats
And a pool hall where a rounder leered confidential like and said:
'Lookin' for a quiet game?'
The loafer lagged along and asked,
'Do you make guitars here?
Do you make boxes the singing wood winds ask to sleep in?
Do you rig up strings the singing wood winds sift over and sing low?'
The answer: 'We manufacture musical instruments here.'
Here I saw churches with steeples like hatpins,
Undertaking rooms with sample coffins in the show window
And signs everywhere satisfaction is guaranteed,
Shooting galleries where men kill imitation pigeons,
And there were doctors for the sick,
And lawyers for people waiting in jail,
And a dog catcher and a superintendent of streets,
And telephones, water-works, trolley cars,
And newspapers with a splatter of telegrams from sister cities of Kalamazoo the
round world over.
And the loafer lagging along said:
Kalamazoo, you ain't in a class by yourself;
I seen you before in a lot of places.
If you are nuts America is nuts.
And lagging along he said bitterly:
Before I came to Kalamazoo I was silent.
Now I am gabby, God help me, I am gabby.
Kalamazoo, both of us will do a fadeaway.
I will be carried out feet first
And time and the rain will chew you to dust
And the winds blow you away.
And an old, old mother will lay a green moss cover on my bones
And a green moss cover on the stones of your postoffice and city hall.
Best of all
I have loved your kiddies playing run-sheep-run
And cutting their initials on the ball ground fence.
They knew every time I fooled them who was fooled and how.
Best of all
I have loved the red gold smoke of your sunsets;
I have loved a moon with a ring around it
Floating over your public square;
I have loved the white dawn frost of early winter silver
And purple over your railroad tracks and lumber yards.
The wishing heart of you I loved, Kalamazoo.
I sang bye-lo, bye-lo to your dreams.
I sang bye-lo to your hopes and songs.
I wished to God there were hound dogs of bronze on your public square,
Hound dogs with bronze paws looking to a long horizon with a shivering silver
angel, a creeping mystic what-is-it.
~ Carl Sandburg,
80: The Old Bark Hut
In an old bark hut on a mountainside
In a spot that was lone and drear
A woman whose heart was aching sat
Watching from year to year.
A small boy, Jim, her only child,
Helped her to watch and wait,
But the time never came when they could go free,
Free from the bond of hate.
For McConnel was out on the mountainside
Living without a hope
And seeing nothing before him now
But death by a hangman’s rope.
Hated and chased by his fellow men,
To take him alive or dead,
An outlaw banned by the world was he
With five hundred pounds on his head.
A message had come that evening which said
“Now, Jim, you mustn’t wait,
If you want to save your father, or
By heaven, you’ll be too late.
“He’s out at Mackinnon’s Crossing, they say,
The track is rough, old man,
But if any here can do it—why
It’s you and old Darky can.”
And Jim knew well what the message meant,
As he brought his horse to the door!
While away through the gathering darkness came
The sound of the river’s roar.
But the brave little heart never faltered as
He stooped to kiss her good-bye
And said, “God bless you, Mother dear,
I’ll save Dad tonight or I’ll die.”
The old horse answered the touch of his hand
And galloped away from the door;
He seemed to know ‘twas a journey for life—
Well, he’d done such journey’s before.
Out from the firelight, and through the rails,
Out through the ghastly trees,
While all the time the warning roar
Of the river came back on the breeze;
Steadily down the mountainside
He rode, for his course was plain,
Though his heart was heavy, though not with fear,
But because of that brand of Cain.
The boy thinks over his mother’s last words:
“I’ll love him as long as I live!
He must have time for repentance on earth
But surely God will forgive.”
As he glanced back over his shoulder there
She stood by the light of the door
Trying to pierce the darkness in vain,
Thinking she’d see him no more.
Then as he looked she bowed her head
And slowly turned away,
And the boy knew that the noble wife
Had knelt by the bed to pray.
Mile after mile, hour after hour,
And then just ahead, shining and white,
Was the foam of Mackinnon’s Crossing—
What a jump for old Darky tonight!
And then Jim thinks of the long, lone years
And the hopes that are crushed and dead;
And a woman whose heart is as true as steel,
As rue as the day she was wed.
As she loved him then in the years gone by
When the future held promise in store,
So she loved him today when the future held
Naught but death by his country’s law.
Jim pressed his knees to the saddle flap
And tightened his hold on the rein;
They had jumped the river last summertime,
How he hoped they would do it again!
Then a voice rang out through the darkness there,
“Hold, now hold, stand still!
We know you, lad, it’s too late to run;
Hands up or we’ll shoot to kill!”
Then he knew that the police were around him,
In the darkness they moved to and fro;
For an instant he pulled on the bridle-rein,
But he’d promised his mother he’d go.
And he thought of the poor, sad woman alone,
Kneeling in prayer by the bed;
So he loosened the reins on old Darky’s neck
And rushed at the river ahead.
Then a volley rang out through the forest dark—
A fall in the roaring flood;
And the darkness hid from all human eyes
The form that was stained with blood.
The horse struggled hard, the waters rushed on;
He sank to rise no more.
But the boy fought the flood in silence, inch
By inch to the other shore.
Slowly and sadly, but bravely on,
Brushing away the tears;
He was leaving behind in the river’s flood
His friend and companion for years.
And all the time the blood trickled down,
O God! what a hot burning pain!
And he knew he was doing is duty clean
He would never come back again.
Staggering in through the yielding door
Into the cold dark room
Where his father lay, and the faint firelight
Showed through the ghostly gloom.
The bushranger sprang to his feet in alarm
And levelled the gun at his head
And his loud voice demanded, “Who are you?
Speak quick, or you are dead.”
And then a weak little voice made answer,
“It’s me; Mother sends you her love;
The police are back at the crossing now,
So clear out and meet Mother above.”
Then McConnel placed his gun by the wall
And knelt on the cold hard floor;
And somehow the tears came rushing down
As they never had before.
His arms went around the brave little lad,
He nursed his head on his breast;
He seemed to know that the end was nigh
And Jim would soon be at rest.
And the boy was speaking feebly at last,
“They shot me back at the creek,
And old Darky is dead and gone, Dad,
And oh, I’m so tired and weak.”
Then his voice fell away in a whisper soft,
So faint it could scarce be heard,
“Oh Dad,, clear out, they are coming fast;
Tell Mother, I kept my word.”
Quickly in silence the police gathered around,
They had captured the beast in his lair;
The outlaw sat with his boy in his arms,
He semed not to heed nor to care.
He was thinking now of the seed he had sown,
He was tasting its bitter fruit,
When the sergeant stepped to the door and said,
“McConnel, bail up or I’ll shoot.”
Then the sergeant placed a lamp by the door,
The rifles gleamed out in the light;
But the outlaw said, “Sergeant O’Drady,
Let’s have no more shooting tonight.
“You can take me now to the judgement seat
As God has taken this lad;
You’d die to take my life, you men—
He died to save his dad.
“I want you to help me dig his grave,
And perhaps you will say a prayer;
Then you can take me and hang me dead—
It’s my wife, or I wouldn’t care.
“Carefully now. . . Oh thank you, men,
Lay him as best you can;
The policeman is shown by his coat, of course;
But the tears—well, they show the man.”
Then the party went back to the old bark hut
As the sun was mounting the hill;
No smoke arose from the chimney cold
And all was silent and still.
The sergeant opened the creaky door,
And lifted his cap with a start,
…Ah, McConnel had broken the country’s laws
And broken a woman’s heart.
~ Anonymous Oceania,
81: From The Wreck
'Turn out, boys'—'What's up with our super. to-night ?
The man's mad—Two hours to daybreak I'd swear—
Stark mad—why, there isn't a glimmer of light.'
'Take Bolingbroke, Alec, give Jack the young mare ;
Look sharp. A large vessel lies jamm'd on the reef,
And many on board still, and some wash'd on shore.
Ride straight with the news—they may send some relief
From the township ; and we—we can do little more.
You, Alec, you know the near cuts ; you can cross
'The Sugarloaf' ford with a scramble, I think ;
Don't spare the blood filly, nor yet the black horse ;
Should the wind rise, God help them ! the ship will soon sink.
Old Peter's away down the paddock, to drive
The nags to the stockyard as fast as he can—
A life and death matter ; so, lads, look alive.'
Half-dressed, in the dark to the stockyard we ran.
There was bridling with hurry, and saddling with haste,
Confusion and cursing for lack of a moon ;
'Be quick with these buckles, we've no time to waste ;'
'Mind the mare, she can use her hind legs to some tune.'
'Make sure of the crossing-place ; strike the old track,
They've fenced off the new one ; look out for the holes
On the wombat hills.' 'Down with the slip rails ; stand back.'
'And ride, boys, the pair of you, ride for your souls.'
In the low branches heavily laden with dew,
In the long grasses spoiling with deadwood that day,
Where the blackwood, the box, and the bastard oak grew,
Between the tall gum-trees we gallop'd away—
We crashed through a brush fence, we splash'd through a swamp—
We steered for the north near 'The Eaglehawk's Nest'—
We bore to the left, just beyond 'The Red Camp',
And round the black tea-tree belt wheel'd to the west—
We cross'd a low range sickly scented with musk
From wattle-tree blossom—we skirted a marsh—
Then the dawn faintly dappled with orange the dusk,
And peal'd overhead the jay's laughter note harsh,
And shot the first sunstreak behind us, and soon
The dim dewy uplands were dreamy with light ;
And full on our left flash'd 'The Reedy Lagoon,'
And sharply 'The Sugarloaf' rear'd on our right.
A smother'd curse broke through the bushman's brown beard,
He turn'd in his saddle, his brick-colour'd cheek
Flush'd feebly with sundawn, said, 'Just what I fear'd ;
Last fortnight's late rainfall has flooded the creek.'
Black Bolingbroke snorted, and stood on the brink
One instant, then deep in the dark sluggish swirl
Plunged headlong. I saw the horse suddenly sink,
Till round the man's armpits the waves seemed to curl.
We follow'd,—one cold shock, and deeper we sank
Than they did, and twice tried the landing in vain ;
The third struggle won it ; straight up the steep bank
We stagger'd, then out on the skirts of the plain.
The stockrider, Alec, at starting had got
The lead, and had kept it throughout ; 'twas his boast
That through thickest of scrub he could steer like a shot,
And the black horse was counted the best on the coast.
The mare had been awkward enough in the dark,
She was eager and headstrong, and barely half broke ;
She had had me too close to a big stringy-bark,
And had made a near thing of a crooked sheoak.
But now on the open, lit up by the morn,
She flung the white foam-flakes from nostril to neck,
And chased him—I hatless, with shirt sleeves all torn
(For he may ride ragged who rides from a wreck)—
And faster and faster across the wide heath
We rode till we raced. Then I gave her her head,
And she—stretching out with the bit in her teeth—
She caught him, outpaced him, and passed him, and led.
We neared the new fence, we were wide of the track;
I look'd right and left—she had never been tried
At a stiff leap ; 'twas little he cared on the black.
'You're more than a mile from the gateway,' he cried.
I hung to her head, touched her flank with the spurs
(In the red streak of rail not the ghost of a gap) ;
She shortened her long stroke, she pricked her sharp ears,
She flung it behind her with hardly a rap—
I saw the post quiver where Bolingbroke struck,
And guessed that the pace we had come the last mile
Had blown him a bit (he could jump like a buck).
We galloped more steadily then for a while.
The heath was soon pass'd, in the dim distance lay
The mountain. The sun was just clearing the tips
Of the ranges to eastward. The mare—could she stay?
She was bred very nearly as clean as Eclipse ;
She led, and as oft as he came to her side,
She took the bit free and untiring as yet ;
Her neck was arched double, her nostrils were wide,
And the tips of her tapering ears nearly met—
'You're lighter than I am,' said Alec at last ;
'The horse is dead beat and the mare isn't blown.
She must be a good one—ride on and ride fast,
You know your way now.' So I rode on alone.
Still galloping forward we pass'd the two flocks
At M'Intyre's hut and M'Allister's hill—
She was galloping strong at the Warrigal Rocks—
On the Wallaby Range she was galloping still—
And over the wasteland and under the wood,
By down and by dale, and by fell and by flat,
She gallop'd, and here in the stirrups I stood
To ease her, and there in the saddle I sat
To steer her. We suddenly struck the red loam
Of the track near the troughs—then she reeled on the rise—
From her crest to her croup covered over with foam,
And blood-red her nostrils, and bloodshot her eyes,
A dip in the dell where the wattle fire bloomed—
A bend round a bank that had shut out the view—
Large framed in the mild light the mountain had loomed,
With a tall, purple peak bursting out from the blue.
I pull'd her together, I press'd her, and she
Shot down the decline to the Company's yard,
And on by the paddocks, yet under my knee
I could feel her heart thumping the saddle-flaps hard.
Yet a mile and another, and now we were near
The goal, and the fields and the farms flitted past ;
And ‘twixt the two fences I turned with a cheer,
For a green grass-fed mare 'twas a far thing and fast ;
And labourers, roused by her galloping hoofs,
Saw bare-headed rider and foam-sheeted steed;
And shone the white walls and the slate-coloured roofs
Of the township. I steadied her then—I had need—
Where stood the old chapel (where stands the new church—
Since chapels to churches have changed in that town).
A short, sidelong stagger, a long, forward lurch,
A slight, choking sob, and the mare had gone down.
I slipp'd off the bridle, I slacken'd the girth,
I ran on and left her and told them my news ;
I saw her soon afterwards. What was she worth ?
How much for her hide ? She had never worn shoes.
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
2 The Hero with a Thousand Faces
2 The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
1.04_-_The_Crossing_of_the_First_Threshold, #The Hero with a Thousand Faces, #Joseph Campbell, #Mythology
object:1.04 - the Crossing of the First Threshold
the Crossing of the First
Also wisdom, the wisdom of Omphalos, the World Navel, was
his to bestow; for the Crossing of the threshold is the first step
into the sacred zone of the universal source. At Lykaion was an
passage of not more than sixty desert leagues was of the best.
But when he had reached the middle of the Crossing, the ogre
who inhabited that wilderness thought, "I will make these men
1.08_-_The_Ladder, #A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah, #Israel Regardie, #Occultism
To attain to the next Grade of Magister Templi (Binah - the Sphere of Saturn, which is Time, the great Reaper and
Death), he must decide upon the second and major critical operation of his career - the Crossing of the Abyss, and the destruction of his separate ego. The necessity for this arises from a realization that he cannot remain an Adept for ever, being hurled on by the irresistible momentum of his own inner nature. The essential attainment consists in the absolute annihilation of the bonds of the Buach limiting and repressing Yechidah. This is the paradox of the Path.
After incredible difficulties and struggles to perfect himself
1.12_-_The_Herds_of_the_Dawn, #The Secret Of The Veda, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
We have, for instance, the hymn of Praskanwa Kanwa to the Ashwins (I.46) in which there is the reference to the luminous impulsion that carries us through to the other shore of the darkness. This hymn is intimately connected with the Vedic idea of the Dawn and the Night. It contains references to many of the fixed Vedic images, to the path of the Truth, the Crossing of the rivers, the rising of the Sun, the connection between the
Dawn and the Ashwins, the mystic effect and oceanic essence of the Soma Wine.
"Lo, the Dawn than which there is none higher, opens out full of delight in the Heavens; O Ashwins, the Vast of you I affirm, ye of whom the Ocean is the mother, accomplishers of the work who pass beyond through the mind to the felicities and, divine, find that substance by the thought. . . . O Lords of the Voyage, who mentalise the word, this is the dissolver of your thinkings, - drink ye of the Soma violently; give to us that impulsion, O Ashwins which, luminous, carries us through beyond the darkness. Travel for us in your ship to reach the other shore beyond the thoughts of the mind. Yoke, O Ashwins, your car, - your car that becomes the vast oared ship in Heaven, in the Crossing of its rivers. By the thought the powers of Delight have been yoked. The Soma-powers of delight in heaven are that substance in the place of the Waters. But where shall you cast aside the veil you have made to conceal you? Nay, Light has been born for the joy of the Soma; - the Sun that was dark has shot out its tongue towards the Gold. The path of the Truth has come into being by which we shall travel to that other shore; seen is all the wide way through Heaven. The seeker grows in his being towards increasing manifestation after manifestation
Truths are won out of the Nights. This is the rising of the Sun which was lost in the obscurity - the familiar figure of the lost sun recovered by the Gods and the Angiras Rishis - the sun of Truth, and it now shoots out its tongue of fire towards the golden Light: - for hiran.ya, gold is the concrete symbol of the higher light, the gold of the Truth, and it is this treasure not golden coin for which the Vedic Rishis pray to the Gods. This great change from the inner obscuration to the illumination is effected by the Ashwins, lords of the joyous upward action of the mind and the vital powers, through the immortal wine of the Ananda poured into mind and body and there drunk by them. They mentalise the expressive Word, they lead us into the heaven of pure mind beyond this darkness and there by the
Thought they set the powers of the Delight to work. But even over the heavenly waters they cross, for the power of the Soma helps them to dissolve all mental constructions, and they cast aside even this veil; they go beyond Mind and the last attaining is described as the Crossing of the rivers, the passage through the heaven of the pure mind, the journey by the path of the Truth to the other side. Not till we reach the highest supreme, parama paravat, do we rest at last from the great human journey.
1.50_-_A.C._and_the_Masters;_Why_they_Chose_him,_etc., #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
It is most necessary that you should understand what happens when on goes from Adeptus Exemptus 7 = 4 to Magister Templi 8 = 3. As you see from a glance at the Tree of Life, this advance entails the Crossing of the Abyss; and there is no Path. That means that one must jump. You must get rid of "all that you have, and all that you are" that is one way to put it.
2.12_-_THE_FESTIVAL_AT_PNIHTI, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
The carriage came to the Crossing at Shovabazar in Calcutta. The Master continued, saying, "Sometimes I find that the universe is saturated with the Consciousness of God, as the earth is soaked with water in the rainy season.
2.18_-_The_Evolutionary_Process_-_Ascent_and_Integration, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
To each grade in this series achieved by the evolving Consciousness belongs its appropriate class of existences, - one by one there appear material forms and forces, vegetable life, animals and half-animal man, developed human beings, imperfectly evolved or more evolved spiritual beings: but because of the continuity of the evolutionary process there is no rigid separation between them; each new advance or formation takes up what was before. The animal takes up into himself living and inanimate Matter; man takes up both along with the animal existence. There are furrows left by the transitional process or separating demarcations settled by the fixed habit of Nature: but these distinguish one series from another, serve perhaps to prevent a fall back of what has been evolved, they do not cancel or cut the continuity of the evolution. The evolving Consciousness passes from one grade to another or from one series of steps to another either by an imperceptible process or by some bound or crisis or, perhaps, by an intervention from above, - some descent or ensouling or influence from higher planes of Nature. But, by whatever means, the Consciousness secretly indwelling in matter, the occult Inhabitant, is able thus to make its way upward from the lower to the higher gradations, taking up what it was into what it is and preparing to take up both into what it will be. Thus, having first laid down a basis of material being, material forms, forces, existences in which it seems to be lying inconscient, though in reality, as we know now, always subconsciently at work, it is able to manifest life and living beings, to manifest mind and mental beings in a material world, and must therefore be able to manifest there supermind also and supramental beings. Thus has come about the present status of the evolution of which man is the now apparent culmination but not the real ultimate summit; for he is himself a transitional being and stands at the turning-point of the whole movement. Evolution, being thus continuous, must have at any given moment a past with its fundamental results still in evidence, a present in which the results it is labouring over are in process of becoming, a future in which still unevolved powers and forms of being must appear till there is the full and perfect manifestation. The past has been the history of a slow and difficult subconscious working with effects on the surface, - it has been an unconscious evolution; the present is a middle stage, an uncertain spiral in which the human intelligence is used by the secret evolutionary Force of being and participates in its action without being fully taken into confidence, - it is an evolution slowly becoming conscious of itself; the future must be a more and more conscious evolution of the spiritual being until it is fully delivered into a self-aware action by the emergent gnostic principle.
The first foundation in this emergence, the creation of forms of Matter, first of inconscient and inanimate, then of living and thinking Matter, the appearance of more and more organised bodies adapted to express a greater power of consciousness, has been studied from the physical side, the side of form-building, by Science; but very little light has been shed on the inner side, the side of consciousness, and what little has been observed is rather of its physical basis and instrumentation than of the progressive operations of Consciousness in its own nature. In the evolution, as it has been observed so far, although a continuity is there, - for Life takes up Matter and Mind takes up submental Life, the Mind of intelligence takes up the mind of life and sensation, - the leap from one grade of consciousness in the series to another grade seems to our eyes immense, the Crossing of the gulf whether by bridge or by leap impossible; we fail to discover any concrete and satisfactory evidence of its accomplishment in the past or of the manner in which it was accomplished. Even in the outward evolution, even in the development of physical forms where the data are clearly in evidence, there are missing links that remain always missing; but in the evolution of consciousness the passage is still more difficult to account for, for it seems more like a transformation than a passage. It may be, however, that, by our incapacity to penetrate the subconscious, to sound the submental or to understand sufficiently a lower mentality different from ours, we are unable to observe the minute gradations, not only in each degree of the series, but on the borders between grade and grade: the scientist who does observe minutely the physical data, has been driven to believe in the continuity of evolution in spite of the gaps and missing links; if we could observe similarly the inner evolution, we could, no doubt, discover the possibility and the mode of these formidable transitions. But still there is a real, a radical difference between grade and grade, so much so that the passage from one to another seems a new creation, a miracle of metamorphosis rather than a natural predictable development or quiet passing from one state of being to another with its well-marked steps arranged in an easy sequence.
These gulfs appear deeper, but less wide, as we rise higher in the scale of Nature. If there are rudiments of life-reaction in the metal, as has been recently contended, it may be identical with life-reaction in the plant in its essence, but what might be called the vital-physical difference is so considerable that one seems to us inanimate, the other, though not apparently conscious, might be called a living creature. Between the highest plant life and lowest animal the gulf is visibly deeper, for it is the difference between mind and the entire absence of any apparent or even rudimentary movement of mind: in the one the stuff of mental consciousness is unawakened though there is a life of vital reactions, a suppressed or subconscious or perhaps only submental sense vibration which seems to be intensely active; in the other, though the life is at first less automatic and secure in the subconscious way of living and in its own new way of overt consciousness imperfectly determined, still mind is awakened, - there is a conscious life, a profound transition has been made.
2.30_-_2.39_-_THE_MASTER_IN_VARIOUS_MOODS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
Girish's house was not far away. The Master passed the Crossing at Bosepara Lane.
3.04_-_The_Crossing_of_the_Return_Threshold, #The Hero with a Thousand Faces, #Joseph Campbell, #Mythology
object:3.04 - the Crossing of the Return Threshold
3.1.02_-_Spiritual_Evolution_and_the_Supramental, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
What would be decisive would be the Crossing of the border
Aeneid, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
I shall unfold in words, that you may find
the waters friendly and the Crossing tranquil
and reach the harbor of Ausonia.
Agenda_Vol_3, #The Mothers Agenda, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
He was a professor at Montpellier University and lived nearby. And there were several roads
leading to his house. This man would leave the university and come to the Crossing where all those
roads branched out, all eventually leading to his house, one this way, one that way, one from this
Book_of_Exodus, #The Bible, #Anonymous, #Various
The Book of Exodus serves as a type for events in the New Testament. Typology in Biblical studies finds an Old Testament story serving as a prefigurement or symbol for an event in the New Testament. St. Paul explained it best when, referring to Jesus Christ, he wrote that "Adam is the type of one who is to come" (Romans 5:14). The sacrifice of the Paschal lamb at Pesach or Passover prefigures the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, for the Redemption of mankind. the Crossing of the waters of the Red Sea from Captivity to the Promised Land in the Book of Exodus prefigures the waters of Baptism transforming one from the captivity of original sin to freedom in new life in Christ (First Corinthians 10:1-2). The manna (Exodus 16:31 ff) is a figure of the Eucharist. The firstfruits of the Harvest prefigures Christ the firstfruits in First Corinthians 15:23.
Liber_71_-_The_Voice_of_the_Silence_-_The_Two_Paths_-_The_Seven_Portals, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
It is true that the further one advances the more subtle and deadly are
the enemies, up to the Crossing of the Abyss; and, as far as one can
judge, the present discourse does not rise above Tiphareth. I am very
Maps_of_Meaning_text, #Maps of Meaning, #Jordan Peterson, #Psychology
to exterminate the Hebrews goes into reverse with the slaughter of the Egyptian firstborn sons. This
episode concludes with the Crossing of the Red Sea, the separation of Israel from Egypt, and the
drowning of the Egyptian host. The second episode is the wandering in the wilderness, a labyrinthine
The_Act_of_Creation_text, #The Act of Creation, #Arthur Koestler, #Psychology
In fact the Crossing of two independent causal chains through
coincidence, mistaken identity, confusion of time and occasion, is the