Index, bigindex

select ::: Being, God, injunctions, media, place, powers, subjects,
favorite ::: cwsa, everyday, grade, mcw, memcards_(table), project, project_0001, Savitri_(cento), Savitri_(extended_toc), the_Temple_of_Sages, three_js, whiteboard,
temp ::: consecration, experiments, knowledge, meditation, psychometrics, remember, responsibility, temp, the_Bad, the_God_object, the_Good, the_most_important, the_Ring, the_source_of_inspirations, the_Stack, the_Tarot, the_Word, top_priority, whiteboard,

classes ::: noun, temp,
children :::
branches ::: the Ring

Instances, Classes, See Also, Object in Names
Definitions, . Quotes . - . Chapters .


object:the Ring
object:ring
word class:noun
class:temp
see also ::: the Mothers Symbol


questions, comments, take-down requests, reporting broken-links etc.
contact me @ integralyogin at gmail dot com

--- OBJECT INSTANCES [0]


--- PRIMARY CLASS


temp

--- SEE ALSO


the_Mothers_Symbol

--- SIMILAR TITLES [0]


the Ring

--- DICTIONARIES (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)


The ring here signifies the circle of knowledge or cycle of initiatory experience and wisdom thus gained, which the fully completed initiate thereafter carries with him in the form of the ring or circle of wisdom and power. One of the powers of the adept, for instance, is to render himself invisible at will, which is achieved by throwing around himself a veil of akasa. The descent into the earth points emphatically to the descent into the pit or underworld which every neophyte of the higher degrees must undertake before completing the initiatory cycle. See also BRIAREUS


--- QUOTES [1000 / 1000 - 1380 / 500] (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



KEYS (10k)

   1 Paulo Coelho
   1 J R R Tolkien

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   29 J R R Tolkien
   22 Lisa Kleypas
   18 Anonymous
   15 Anonymous Olde English
   11 Alfred Lord Tennyson
   10 Muhammad Ali
   10 Andy Serkis
   9 Banjo Paterson
   8 Lev Grossman
   8 Denise Hunter
   8 Alfred Austin
   7 Wladimir Klitschko
   7 Tom Shippey
   7 Sherwood Smith
   7 Lennox Lewis
   7 Diana Pavlac Glyer
   6 Terry Pratchett
   6 Stephen King
   6 Jo Walton
   6 Jenny Han
   5 Sherrilyn Kenyon
   5 Randy Orton
   5 Rachel Caine
   5 Patrick Rothfuss
   5 Neil Gaiman
   5 Marie Rutkoski
   5 Janet Evanovich
   5 C S Lewis
   5 Bernard Cornwell
   5 Becca Fitzpatrick
   4 Viggo Mortensen
   4 Timothy J Keller
   4 Tammy Falkner
   4 Stephenie Meyer
   4 Sophie Kinsella
   4 Sean Bean
   4 Sarah Noffke
   4 Rocky Marciano
   4 Rick Riordan
   4 Ree Drummond
   4 Neal Stephenson
   4 Melina Marchetta
   4 Markus Zusak
   4 Julien Smith
   4 Hermann Hesse
   4 Harper Lee
   4 Gregg Hurwitz
   4 Friedrich Nietzsche
   4 Ella Wheeler Wilcox
   4 Edward George Dyson
   4 Dorothy L Sayers
   4 Dorothy Dunnett
   4 Daniel Bryan
   4 Cecelia Ahern
   4 Cassandra Clare
   4 Bill Goldberg
   4 Andrew Lang
   4 Alfred Tennyson
   4 Adam Cole
   3 Vitali Klitschko
   3 Victoria Schwab
   3 Ursula K Le Guin
   3 Sylvester Stallone
   3 Sugar Ray Leonard
   3 Steve Bivans
   3 Stephanie Perkins
   3 S Jae Jones
   3 Roberto Duran
   3 Robert Musil
   3 Peter Kreeft
   3 Peter Jackson
   3 Penny Reid
   3 Paullina Simons
   3 Owen Hart
   3 Michio Kaku
   3 Liu Cixin
   3 Leigh Bardugo
   3 Kresley Cole
   3 Katy Evans
   3 J T Ellison
   3 Joseph Pearce
   3 John Cena
   3 Joe Frazier
   3 Jim Butcher
   3 Jessica Khoury
   3 Jeff Hardy
   3 Jack Johnson
   3 Hulk Hogan
   3 George R R Martin
   3 George Foreman
   3 Floyd Mayweather Jr
   3 Evander Holyfield
   3 Eugene Field
   3 Edgar Lee Masters
   3 Edgar Allan Poe
   3 Edgar Albert Guest
   3 Debra Anastasia
   3 CM Punk
   3 Chris Jericho
   3 Bethany Claire
   3 Adam Lindsay Gordon
   3 Abigail Roux
   2 William S Burroughs
   2 Walker Percy
   2 Travis Browne
   2 Tony DiTerlizzi
   2 Tom Holt
   2 Timothy Gowers
   2 Theodore Roosevelt
   2 Ted Dekker
   2 Stephen R Lawhead
   2 Stephen Richards
   2 S E Jakes
   2 Rumi
   2 Rudyard Kipling
   2 Robert Louis Stevenson
   2 Robert A Heinlein
   2 Rick Steves
   2 Richelle Mead
   2 Ralph Waldo Emerson
   2 Ralph Bakshi
   2 Rachel Hawkins
   2 Plato
   2 Philip Pullman
   2 Philippa Gregory
   2 Paulo Coelho
   2 Oscar De La Hoya
   2 Orlando Bloom
   2 O Henry
   2 Nick Hornby
   2 Nick Flynn
   2 Morgan Rice
   2 Mitch Albom
   2 Michelle Rodriguez
   2 Michael Spinks
   2 Michael Ridpath
   2 Mary McCarthy
   2 Mary Downing Hahn
   2 Marvin Hagler
   2 Marissa Meyer
   2 Marcus Aurelius
   2 Lynn Kurland
   2 Lucy Christopher
   2 Lori Foster
   2 Lily Morton
   2 Lewis H Lapham
   2 Leah Raeder
   2 Lauren Kate
   2 Laurell K Hamilton
   2 Larry Niven
   2 Larry Holmes
   2 Kunal Nayyar
   2 Kristin Hannah
   2 Kris Radish
   2 Kim Holden
   2 Kevin Nash
   2 Kevin J Anderson
   2 Kelley Armstrong
   2 Karl Ove Knausg rd
   2 Junot D az
   2 Judith McNaught
   2 Jon Stewart
   2 John Rogers
   2 Johan Huizinga
   2 Jim Ross
   2 Jill Shalvis
   2 Jennifer L Armentrout
   2 Jennifer Egan
   2 Jamie McGuire
   2 Italo Calvino
   2 Ian Mckellen
   2 Herman Melville
   2 Haruki Murakami
   2 G K Chesterton
   2 Gena Showalter
   2 Fyodor Dostoyevsky
   2 Frank Herbert
   2 Ernest Cline
   2 Emily Dickinson
   2 Edith Nesbit
   2 Eckhart Tolle
   2 Derek Landy
   2 Delmore Schwartz
   2 Dean Koontz
   2 David Wong
   2 Dave Bautista
   2 Danny Garcia
   2 Damon Lindelof
   2 Cus D Amato
   2 Christine Johnson
   2 Chloe Thurlow
   2 Carolyn Weber
   2 Carolyn Keene
   2 Carl Sandburg
   2 Cameron Jace
   2 Bob Hope
   2 Bjornstjerne Bjornson
   2 Billy Boyd
   2 Barbara W Tuchman
   2 A S King
   2 Arundhati Roy
   2 Arthur Koestler
   2 A N Wilson
   2 Anonymous Americas
   2 Annie Dillard
   2 Anne Rivers Siddons
   2 Angie Thomas
   2 Andy Crouch
   2 Amor Towles
   2 Ali Smith
   2 Alexis Arguello
   2 Alexander Pope
   2 A G Howard

1:Don't give up. Normally it is the last key on the ring which opens the door. ~ Paulo Coelho,
2:It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. ~ J R R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring ,

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING ~ Anonymous,
2:My hat is in the ring. ~ Theodore Roosevelt,
3:War only in the ring. Peace on earth ~ Wanderlei Silva,
4:In the ring, I never really knew fear. ~ Rocky Marciano,
5:The world is the ring of his spells, ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
6:I laugh a lot in the ring when I'’m having fun. ~ Ric Flair,
7:she possessed, hurled the ring across the room. ~ Debbie Macomber,
8:When a man goes into the ring, he's going to war. ~ Marvin Hagler,
9:I'm not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
10:The ringmaster cannot be in all three rings at once. ~ Jones Loflin,
11:Let me be the ring leader in your guilt gang-bang. ~ Chuck Palahniuk,
12:The third man in the ring makes boxing possible. ~ Joyce Carol Oates,
13:Lost Ark, Star Wars, or The Lord of the Rings. ~ Rachel Ren e Russell,
14:You want ME in the ring? Now I know you've been drinking ~ Kurt Angle,
15:A circle of lovely, quiet people becomes the ring on my finger. ~ Rumi,
16:I am a winner each and every time I go into the ring. ~ George Foreman,
17:I have brought you to the ring, now you must dance. ~ Robert the Bruce,
18:I have brought you to the ring, now dance if you can! ~ William Wallace,
19:I'm not sure the ring is big enough to hold both these egos! ~ Jim Ross,
20:I will teach you how to behave yourself in the ring. ~ Wladimir Klitschko,
21:When I step in the ring, I bring everything I have. ~ Floyd Mayweather Jr,
22:The backgrounds in Lord of the Rings are all explained. ~ Robbie Coltraine,
23:The ring always believes that the finger lives for it. ~ Malcolm De Chazal,
24:I don't feel any guilt complex about The Lord of the Rings. ~ J R R Tolkien,
25:Inside the ring Enson thinks outside the ring Enson's a pussy. ~ Enson Inoue,
26:I ruined my hands in the ring. The referee kept stepping on them. ~ Bob Hope,
27:Nana was dressed like the ringmaster, which seemed appropriate. ~ Alexa Land,
28:The ring at the end of my nose makes me look rather pretty. ~ Paul McCartney,
29:You can calculate Zsa Zsa Gabor's age by the rings on her fingers. ~ Bob Hope,
30:I will take the Ring", he said, "though I do not know the way. ~ J R R Tolkien,
31:Every time I stepped into the ring, somebody wanted to kill me. ~ Roberto Duran,
32:Boy, am I glad there wasn't a fourth episode of Lord of the Rings. ~ John Dykstra,
33:Champions aren't made in the ring, they are merely recognized there. ~ Joe Frazier,
34:I bet there are more trolls on
there than in ‘Lord of the Rings’, ~ Lily Morton,
35:Life is separated by scars, like the rings in the inside of a tree. ~ James Salter,
36:When you step in the ring, your arms are just too short to box with God. ~ CM Punk,
37:Bright is the ring of words When the right man rings them. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson,
38:I understand the psychology of the sport, especially inside the ring. ~ Randy Orton,
39:The Lord of The Rings stage show at the Princess of Wales Theatre, ~ David Gatewood,
40:This is like some Lord of the Rings shit! We’re about to enter Mordor! ~ Jill Myles,
41:I made a lot of mistakes out of the ring, but I never made any in it. ~ Jack Johnson,
42:I've rarely said the word "Lord," unless it's followed by "of the Rings. ~ A J Jacobs,
43:The choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation. ~ Benjamin Disraeli,
44:Greatness has entered the ring! Thank you very much you may bow at will! ~ Randy Orton,
45:Lord of the Rings is at least superior to the Bible as a source of ethics. ~ Anonymous,
46:When I was in top shape I'd go to the ring and show my conditioning. ~ Alexis Arguello,
47:By the time The Iron Sheik gets to the ring, it will be Wrestlemania 37! ~ Bobby Heenan,
48:Looooook!” Axel pointed ahead. “Holy Lord-“Axel shrieked. “Of the rings. ~ Cameron Jace,
49:A director is the ringmaster of a circus that's inventing itself. ~ Francis Ford Coppola,
50:I love, love, love fantasy, like 'Lord of the Rings' and things like that. ~ Molly Quinn,
51:In all, a total of nine Democrats would throw their hats into the ring. ~ Michelle Obama,
52:My hat's in the ring. The fight is on and I'm stripped to the buff. ~ Theodore Roosevelt,
53:[On the ringing of her doorbell or telephone:] What fresh hell is this? ~ Dorothy Parker,
54:She laughed and the ringing bells in her laugh had a hard metallic sound. ~ Nella Larsen,
55:Ain't no reason for me to kill nobody in the ring, unless they deserve it. ~ Muhammad Ali,
56:If you go in the ring and box and you're angry, you're gonna lose the match. ~ Wyclef Jean,
57:Let the great world spin for ever down
the ringing grooves of change. ~ Alfred Tennyson,
58:There is an old adage about gladiators, - that they plan their fight in the ring. ~ Seneca,
59:Don't give up. Normally it is the last key on the ring which opens the door. ~ Paulo Coelho,
60:My team calls all the shots out of the ring, I call them in the ring. ~ Floyd Mayweather Jr,
61:Quest? What quest?” Misty got to her feet. “Did I wake up in Lord of the Rings? ~ Anonymous,
62:Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
63:That activated the Ring Formerly Known as the Ring of Derek Controlling, which ~ Andrew Rowe,
64:I'm a big fan of the 'Harry Potter' movies and 'The Lord of the Rings' films. ~ John C Reilly,
65:I’m already yours. Always have been. All you have to do is step into the ring. ~ Jill Shalvis,
66:I wouldn’t be surprised if you were actually the ringleader of an all-girl mafia. ~ Kiera Cass,
67:Champions don’t become champions in the ring—they are merely recognized there. ~ John C Maxwell,
68:Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring ~ Helena Hunting,
69:I'm the candidate who forgot to take off her hat before she threw it in the ring. ~ Gracie Allen,
70:We formed the fellowship of the ring when we should've all just gone on medication ~ Nancy Werlin,
71:Amsterdam is like the rings of a tree: It gets older as you get closer to the center. ~ John Green,
72:Dealing with these emotions as an actress is like being a boxer put into the ring. ~ Nicole Kidman,
73:I think really one of the hardest things for me always was just the walk to the ring. ~ Daniel Bryan,
74:I know stuff about 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Star Wars,' but 'Star Trek,' I don't know. ~ Kunal Nayyar,
75:In the ring I can stay until I’m old and gray because I know how to hit and dance away ~ Muhammad Ali,
76:Lord of the Rings made me realize that I'm not interested in doing anyone else's work. ~ Ralph Bakshi,
77:Now I am ready to set new goals and start a new career for myself outside of the ring. ~ Lennox Lewis,
78:The realm of Suaron is ended!' said Gandalf. 'The Ring-bearer has fulfilled his Quest ~ J R R Tolkien,
79:I always ask myself why old heavyweights come back, but I plan to stay out of the ring. ~ Lennox Lewis,
80:We call my son's role in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy Sean's little independent movie. ~ Patty Duke,
81:You have a mind like the rings of Saturn. A million miles wide and an inch deep. ~ Kim Stanley Robinson,
82:My face is so pretty, you don’t see a scar, which proves I’m the king of the ring by far. ~ Muhammad Ali,
83:I had did so much to Larry [Holmes] in the ring that I made him respect me in the fight. ~ Michael Spinks,
84:Not all those who wander are lost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring ~ Penny Reid ~ Penny Reid,
85:Roses, the rash; posies to sweeten the putrid air. The ring is…the plague-token, of course. ~ Lauren Royal,
86:There is one hell of a difference between fighting in the ring and going to war in Vietnam. ~ Muhammad Ali,
87:I would definitely line up for 'The Lord of the Rings.' I'm a huge 'Lord of the Rings' geek. ~ Kunal Nayyar,
88:spin the rings above the speed of sound to establish the harmonic connection.” Langford ~ Michael C Grumley,
89:Unfortunately, I've been fighting injuries recently more than facing rivals in the ring. ~ Vitali Klitschko,
90:What counts in the ring is what you can do after you're exhausted. The same is true of life. ~ Muhammad Ali,
91:It looks like Brain and Hormones are in for a fight. Just as long as Heart stays out of the ring. ~ L J Shen,
92:Koko B. Ware is a crossword wrestler: he enters the ring vertically, and leaves horizontally. ~ Jerry Lawler,
93:If they ever let me in the ring with him [Cassius Clay], I'm liable to be put away for murder. ~ Sonny Liston,
94:If you're going to get in the ring and try to take the belt, you have to prepare to get hit. ~ Stanley Crouch,
95:If I don't give up in the ring, I don't give up in life... I try to live my life the same way. ~ Eddie Alvarez,
96:I've been doing this 26 years and have a lot of knowledge which will help me in the ring. ~ Wladimir Klitschko,
97:People want to see me back in the ring. I think it is more of a drag lying around on the beach. ~ Lennox Lewis,
98:There is grand romance in The Lord of the Rings. It's an important part of epic literature. ~ Kevin J Anderson,
99:The referee is going to be the most important person in the ring tonight besides the fighters. ~ George Foreman,
100:He put the ring away, and Rowan let out his breath, not even realizing he had been holding it. ~ Neal Shusterman,
101:I happen to be a huge 'Lord of the Rings' fan. I do an annual marathon of the extended editions. ~ Anna Kendrick,
102:I'm gonna be a new kind of clown. I'm gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks. ~ Harper Lee,
103:Raif spared me the embarrassment of making me wear one of his Lord of the Rings outfits. ~ Amanda Bonilla,
104:And here’s the burglar!” said Bilbo stepping down into the middle of them, and slipping off the ring. ~ Anonymous,
105:It really does look like the rings of a tree,” she said. “No,” said Kaz. “It looks like a target. ~ Leigh Bardugo,
106:Love is overrated. All it brings is emptiness.” I twirled the ring again. “Definitely not beauty. ~ Scarlett Dawn,
107:To John Cena after the fans kept throwing his shirt back in the ring : They didn't throw my shirt back. ~ CM Punk,
108:We know the degree of refinement in people by the matter they laugh at and the ring of the laugh. ~ George Meredith,
109:You could fire a machine gun randomly through the pages of Lord of the Rings and never hit any women. ~ Neil Gaiman,
110:If I want to win a title I have to beat the champion myself, I don't have teammates inside the ring. ~ Travis Browne,
111:I would compare it to an actor. I drive myself into the character that later on is in the ring. ~ Wladimir Klitschko,
112:And the Ring is so heavy, Sam. I begin to see it in my mind all the time, like a great wheel of fire. ~ J R R Tolkien,
113:I don't have any elaborate uniforms; I come to the ring in a T-shirt, a pair of sneakers and some shorts. ~ John Cena,
114:I think we have to bottom out. When the studios jump out of the ring, perhaps the artist can get back in. ~ Don Bluth,
115:You see, the lives of servants are not lived by clocks, but by the ringing of their masters' bells. ~ Tom Angleberger,
116:2001 King of the Ring? I really like the sound of that! That REEKS OF ROYALTY! So begins the ERA OF AWESOMENESS! ~ Edge,
117:A philosopher who is not taking part in discussions is like a boxer who never goes into the ring. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein,
118:Because there was something in them that had the ring of truth, people always fell for fairytale excuses. ~ Alan Bradley,
119:I'd already started directing short films when we were doing 'Lord of the Rings,' then videogame projects. ~ Andy Serkis,
120:Winning the IBF title was the greatest night of my life. To give it up outside the ring is truly painful. ~ Ricky Hatton,
121:Sometimes there's more important things in life than being in the ring, like family, like us, & being in love. ~ Amy Dumas,
122:There is visual illiteracy with text-oriented films like bloody 'Harry Potter' and 'Lord of the Rings.'. ~ Peter Greenaway,
123:Dagorath was a word in Sindarin, the Elvish language J. R. R. Tolkien had created for The Lord of the Rings. ~ Ernest Cline,
124:I mean . . . take the Lord of the Rings movies—they’ve got loads of messages. Like “Don’t lose your ring. ~ Sophie Kinsella,
125:Some people have a team of ten people - Waste of money, waste of time. I do it on my own when I'm in the ring. ~ Carl Froch,
126:The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. ~ Mark Russell,
127:It was always the same: in the ring you wanted to kill someone, but once you got out you were mates again. ~ Robert Muchamore,
128:sunshade he wore to the ring failed to conceal the freshets of tears that coursed from his small, cruel eyes. ~ Jennifer Egan,
129:It was my tutor who dissuaded me from patronizing Green or Blue at the races, or Light or Heavy in the ring; ~ Marcus Aurelius,
130:Oh, my God. I need an invisibility pill right now. I need the ring from Frodo Baggins. Precious! Where is the ring? ~ A S King,
131:In terms of the movie business, being in a 'Lord of the Rings' has given me more interesting options as work. ~ Viggo Mortensen,
132:You want to win and you want the [NFL] ring. But when you win and you get the ring, you never really wear it. ~ Michael Strahan,
133:Gradually he was learning the size, the scale of the Ringworld. It was unpleasant, like all learning processes. He ~ Larry Niven,
134:It comes down to the experience of it. The more you fight, the more you know, the more you can use in the ring. ~ Channing Tatum,
135:The movies like "Star Wars," for example or "Lord Of The Rings," they work because it's a a mix of everything. ~ Louis Leterrier,
136:There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year-old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. ~ John Rogers,
137:At the end of the day, when two combatants get into the ring and/or cage, it's anybody's game, especially in MMA. ~ Bill Goldberg,
138:Outside the ring I work hard when I train and I spend as much time as I can with my family when I'm not training. ~ Travis Browne,
139:Standing still is never a good option. Not in the ring, and not in life... When you stop moving, you're done. ~ Georges St Pierre,
140:That’s right,” Karen said, clutching the bag to her chest and looking like Gollum with the Ring. “It’s only stuff. ~ Marian Keyes,
141:As she fled fast through sun and shade The happy winds upon her play'd, Blowing the ringlet from the braid. ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
142:Aaron Pryor wants to get into the ring with me. He wants to be able to retire, and he will. For health reasons. ~ Sugar Ray Leonard,
143:I feel like Ive been engaged to the British Empire since 1980 and tonight you have given me the ring knighthood. ~ Steven Spielberg,
144:I should have listened to that woman with the ring. You don’t get a ring like deathbringer without knowing what’s what. ~ Penny Reid,
145:It was a brutal picture, a tug-of-war between two equal but opposing impulses. It had the ring of truth, however. ~ Deborah Harkness,
146:One avoids becoming a Tolkien clone precisely by returning to the same roots that inspired The Lord of the Rings. ~ Michael Moorcock,
147:Thackeray’s The Rose and the Ring (1855), Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market (1862), Kingsley’s The Water Babies (1863). ~ A N Wilson,
148:It takes pride and a tiger’s drive to build up the confidence, the ego, the power to defeat an opponent in the ring. It ~ Muhammad Ali,
149:Outside the ring of dancing warriors with spears and axes stood wolves at a respectful distance, watching and waiting. ~ J R R Tolkien,
150:People in Nevada know me from the street to the ring to the Senate chambers. I've never had to prove my manhood to anyone. ~ Harry Reid,
151:Staring into the ring of candles—proud that the number of his years finally made a ring, all around the cake ~ Margaret Peterson Haddix,
152:The world is but a school of inquisition; it is not who shall enter the ring, but who shall run the best courses. ~ Michel de Montaigne,
153:Most men want to follow, and what they demand of their leader is prosperity. We are the ring givers, the gold givers. ~ Bernard Cornwell,
154:The ring-dove sang from the willow spray, Well-a-day! Well-a-day! He mourn'd for the fate of his darling mate, Well-a-day! ~ Jacob Grimm,
155:I'd love to go visit the 'Lord Of The Rings' set! That's something that we always want to do, but we don't ever have the time. ~ Mikey Way,
156:Three things are forever consistent: the passing of time, the rotation of the Earth, and the ringmaster of Vagabond Circus. ~ Sarah Noffke,
157:You can go to the bank and borrow money, but you can't go to the bank and borrow a Super Bowl ring. The ring is like a crown. ~ Joe Greene,
158:Mental toughness must be developed before you start fighting because you don't want to be that guy who quits in the ring. ~ Forrest Griffin,
159:Trying to put music out there in the world is a pretty exciting, yet terrifying, thing and I've just been through the ringer. ~ Aaron Bruno,
160:I want the things most people don’t notice. The ring and the key and the way you have of wearing everything on the inside. ~ Victoria Schwab,
161:Even after the ringing stopped, the sound of the bell lingered through the evening gloom like the dust floating in the air. ~ Haruki Murakami,
162:Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the center of the ring, fight one more round. ~ James J Corbett,
163:Grandma, how old is she?"
"Oh I don't know." Grandma said. "You'd have to cut off her head and count the rings in her neck. ~ Richard Peck,
164:The greatness of Marciano in the ring was defined by the way he prepared for a fight, his ability to punch and take a punch. ~ Rocky Marciano,
165:Tiny-perhaps." Rovender kept his eyes fixed on the rings. "Insignificant-never, Eva Nine. No living thing is insignificant. ~ Tony DiTerlizzi,
166:Quinn, that’s the ring from downstairs!” I hissed in a loud whisper because I was afraid of the answer. “Did you steal that ring? ~ Penny Reid,
167:I think 'The Lord Of The Rings' is the mother of all cult books, because you can be in that cult and not even know you're in it. ~ Markus Zusak,
168:...the landscape inside Lord of the Rings was so stunning and so stupendous that it could be absorbed as a form of nourishment. ~ Jasper Fforde,
169:I try to remember, as I hear about friends getting engaged, that it's not about the ring. It's a grave thing, getting married. ~ Gwyneth Paltrow,
170:A champion doesn't become a champion in the ring, he's merely recognized in the ring. His “becoming” happens during his daily routine. ~ Joe Louis,
171:Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron. Here is a book which will break your heart." [on Lord of the Rings] ~ C S Lewis,
172:If Chisora wants to kiss me, OK, if he likes me so much, but the best answer for him will be an answer with a fist in the ring. ~ Vitali Klitschko,
173:Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron. Here is a book [The Lord of the Rings] which will break your heart." ~ C S Lewis,
174:I’ve been in love with you since I was twenty-one years old. I might not wear the ring, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel it there. ~ Devney Perry,
175:You can date the evolving life of a mind, like the age of a tree, by the rings of friendship formed by the expanding central trunk. ~ Mary McCarthy,
176:A ring? He reached to twist it, and Clary remembered Hodge in the library at the Institute, taking the ring from Jace’s hand . . . ~ Cassandra Clare,
177:I think 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy has a very satisfying ending, and there's not really that deep of a mythological construct. ~ Damon Lindelof,
178:When you punch somebody in the ring, you have to use your whole body. I learned that it's more about technique than physical strength. ~ Kuno Becker,
179:I systematically break guys down. I get in the ring and they say I don't have any power but then they feel me and feel my strength. ~ Timothy Bradley,
180:Only the keeper sees
that,where the ring-dove broods
and the badgers roll at ease,
there was once a road through the woods ~ Rudyard Kipling,
181:Man, I love the Lord of the Rings movies. Some people would say I'm weird for liking those types of movies, but they are so cool. ~ Robert Griffin III,
182:Also due to a good diet, smarter psychology, and DDP Yoga, my body felt great and I had one of my best career runs in the ring as well. ~ Chris Jericho,
183:Gollum is Gollum - though in 'Lord of the Rings' he's 600 years old and in 'The Hobbit' he's 540, so he looks a little bit more handsome. ~ Andy Serkis,
184:Don’t sport it unless you plan to use it.” Raven stuck his tongue out, his eyes narrowing with intention. The ring on his lip protruded out. ~ C L Stone,
185:Hang o'er the Box, and hover round the Ring.   Think what an equipage thou hast in Air, 45   And view with scorn two Pages and a Chair. ~ Alexander Pope,
186:It was a very good experience. It wasnt just to make a movie, it was my life. I was employed at The Lord of the Rings for a year and a half. ~ Liv Tyler,
187:I curl my fingers around the ring so tightly, I’m surprised the word stamped into the silver doesn’t carve its way into me the way she did. ~ Tess Sharpe,
188:I don't see where Tyson Fury has boxed anybody of Wladimir's [ Klitschko] calibre to be able to get in the ring with Wladimir and do well. ~ Lennox Lewis,
189:my experience, people who are very keen on The Lord of the Rings can be a bit odd. On the other hand, I was quite a Tolkien fan myself. ~ Sharon J Bolton,
190:When I walk to the ring, I hear voices telling me what to do and sometimes it's not the right thing, but it's definitely damn entertaining. ~ Randy Orton,
191:Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There's nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring. ~ Sugar Ray Leonard,
192:Elijah Wood from Lord Of The Rings can't get married with a girl named Holly beacause it would make Holly Wood get it HOLLYWOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ~ Joel Madden,
193:I love to give the fans what they want. They're what I miss most when I'm not wrestling. That time in the ring is like being in heaven for me. ~ Hulk Hogan,
194:The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. ~ J R R Tolkien,
195:The Nazgul they were; the Ringwraiths, the Enemy's most terribly servants; darkness went with them and they cried with the voices of death. ~ J R R Tolkien,
196:The ring was there to say they were a team, a reminder that they were in this together, almost like a private joke only the two of them got. ~ K A Mitchell,
197:A politician should have three hats. One for throwing into the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected. ~ Carl Sandburg,
198:But by faith you look in the mirror and see a robed prodigal bearing the ring of grace on your finger and the kiss of your Father on your face. ~ Max Lucado,
199:One of the many things I learned from all of this: If you aren't willing to fight for what you believe in, then don't even enter the ring. ~ Madonna Ciccone,
200:The Mormons make the marriage ring, like the ring of Saturn, fluid, not solid, and keep it in its place by numerous satellites. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
201:Theoden: I will not risk open war. Aragorn: Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ~ Priscilla Shirer,
202:When a man wanted to wake to the same woman’s face every morning, to spend a lot of nights holding her close, he might as well buy the ring. ~ Hannah Howell,
203:In a hurry, Captain?” her father said. “I have waited four years.” Rourke slipped the ring on her finger. “I can’t wait a day longer.” He ~ Christine Johnson,
204:No physical activity is so vain as boxing. A man gets into the ring to attract admiration. In no sport, therefore, can you be more humiliated. ~ Norman Mailer,
205:People pay to see blood, they pay to see war and that's why people are supporting my journey because I deliver every time I step in the ring. ~ Anthony Joshua,
206:There are no words. It was like The Lord of the Rings and All My Children made a baby with the Macho Man Randy Savage and a Whac-A-Mole machine. ~ Jim Butcher,
207:There was certainly a dishonesty there that I think is totally regrettable and inexcusable. The ringleading, the bullying: not totally true. ~ Lance Armstrong,
208:It’s as if someone fashioned a small golden bird and then attached a ring around it. The bird is connected to the ring only by its wing tips. ~ Suzanne Collins,
209:The gray ghost that sometimes peeps through the rings of smoke is that of slain old King Convention. Freedom is the tyrant that holds them in slavery. ~ O Henry,
210:When corporations are given the ring of Gyges, we can expect catastrophic results (for the ecosystem, the banking system, public health, etc.). ~ Jonathan Haidt,
211:But no one had ever given the slightest thought to the curious coincidence that the rings of Saturn had been born at the same time as the human race. ~ Anonymous,
212:I'd love to play in, like, a 'Lord of the Rings,' or something like that, or a James Bond or, you know, just something like with action, shooting. ~ Luke Benward,
213:This guy [Tyson Fury] really wants to prove himself in the ring and confirm what he keeps telling everyone, that he's the best in the world. ~ Wladimir Klitschko,
214:When I first read Lord of the Rings I wanted to see a film of it. But at that time the technology wasn't there, there was no such thing as CGI. ~ Christopher Lee,
215:She asked, "Will I die?"
He answered, "Only a little," and she put her hand in his, and she felt the ring between their palms, burning like a brand. ~ Malinda Lo,
216:Never before had I recognized the ring of majesty that was in Billy Black's voice, though I realized now that this authority had always been there. ~ Stephenie Meyer,
217:Shamelessness, they hold, treads close on the heels of ingratitude, and thus ingratitude is the ringleader and chief instigator to every kind of baseness. ~ Xenophon,
218:I am not going to become crazy in the ring, because I am already crazy. And I am not going to die in the ring. I am going to die in bed as an old man. ~ Roberto Duran,
219:I've never made $20 million. I'm scared. I don't know if you gave me The Ring if I could carry it and bring it to Ozamorph, or whatever you call it. ~ Joaquin Phoenix,
220:But he had already planned. Already planned the holiday. The proposal. Even the ring.............., he loved her, but he wasn't sure that love was enough. ~ Jane Green,
221:Clowns are sad, it's folks that laugh at them." "Well, I'm gonna be a new kind of clown. I'm gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks. ~ Harper Lee,
222:I was, I remember, I still remember when the first time I pointed the telescope at the sky and I saw Saturn with the rings. It was a beautiful image. ~ Umberto Guidoni,
223:When boxers are in the ring, they're simple. It's when the fight is over, that's when the other fight, the real fight, begins. That's the problem. ~ Sylvester Stallone,
224:according to Freud, the tie you pick, the ring you wear, the shirt you buy, all say something about you. Nothing is random, everything you do has intent. ~ Lisa Gardner,
225:At one time, I wanted to be a WWE wrestler. I still do. I want to go in the ring once and mess around and jump off the ropes and do a Stone Cold stunt. ~ Rob Gronkowski,
226:The methods used to take human lives, such as abortion, the pill, the ring, etc., amounts to genocide. I believe that legal abortion is legal murder. ~ Fannie Lou Hamer,
227:Without Christopher Tolkien, not only would The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings look very different, but so would the face of Tolkien scholarship. ~ Diana Pavlac Glyer,
228:Am I supposed to help Frodo destroy the ring and save Middle Earth? Or do I have to make toys in the North Pole?
-Keeper of the Lost Cities ~ Shannon Messenger,
229:... technically, just like with the rings of a tree or Carbon-14, it had to be possible to measure the passage of time by the melting of vanilla ice cream. ~ Herman Koch,
230:the church sacrifices the beauty of Christianity when it chooses the political form over the cruciform. Reaching for the ring of power distorts our beauty. ~ Brian Zahnd,
231:I would like to see a fierce Fantasia mixed with Blade Runner, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars all in one. That's the kind of movies I want to make. ~ Michelle Rodriguez,
232:Livia removed her hand from Blake’s to take his ring from Cole’s palm. She kissed the ring and prepared to place it in its permanent home on his finger. ~ Debra Anastasia,
233:You always want to quit while you are ahead. You don't want to be like a fighter who stays too long in the ring until you're not performing at your best. ~ Clint Eastwood,
234:Exactly as he spoke, Polly's hand went out to touch one of the rings. And immediately, without a flash or a noise or a warning of any sort, there was no Polly. ~ C S Lewis,
235:He's a gem, sir. I wish I had one just like him." He rattled the ring of keys on Artemis's belt. "And what are these?" Artemis scratched his head. "Uh, keys? ~ Eoin Colfer,
236:His name is Rex. I found him in the ring for fight dogs. He was barely alive. Trust me. I didn’t introduce him to the fucked-up world. We just found each other ~ V F Mason,
237:I still think most of my success came from the audience's reaction to me. It's weird when that happens but a lot of it came from what I did inside the ring. ~ Daniel Bryan,
238:The ringmaster’s presence was the sun to Vagabond Circus. His round happy face started each day for most. And his presence marked hope and growth and light. ~ Sarah Noffke,
239:Well,I hope you like the ring." He held it out to me, he velvet lid still closed. "My mom hates it." "I'm sure I'll love it,then," I said, and he laughed. ~ Amanda Hocking,
240:Floating upward through a confusion of dreams and memory, curving like a trout through the rings of previous risings, I surface. My eyes open. I am awake. ~ Wallace Stegner,
241:In the ring this had always brought him considerable applause, but he had learned to his regret that in the class struggle the double Nelson was not done. ~ Arthur Koestler,
242:Most directors prefer to direct everything themselves. I thought I could on Lord Of The Rings, but very quickly found out that the sheer scale prevented it. ~ Peter Jackson,
243:That was the big effect Lord of the Rings had on me. It was discovering New Zealand. And even more precious were the people- not at all like the Australians. ~ Ian Mckellen,
244:Then Elrond and Galadriel rode on; for the Third Age was over and the Days of the Rings were passed and an end was come of the story and song of those times. ~ J R R Tolkien,
245:The ring she’d placed on Kere’s pinkie… Why would the Caronese heir have the ring she’d given to Kere? The truth slapped her hard. No, surely not… Darling ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon,
246:He is always Mr. Calm, Cool, and Collected. The only time he was remotely this excitable was when they announced they were making the Lord of the Rings movie. ~ Alice Clayton,
247:A voice hissed: "He sheds tears!" It was taken around the ring "Usal gives moisture to the dead!" He felt fingers touch his damp cheek, heard the awed whispers. ~ Frank Herbert,
248:I think my body went through a lot, went through the wringer. In terms of being inside the ring, getting hit, but also outside the ring, living a crazy life. ~ Oscar De La Hoya,
249:Remember that guy who got gored by a bull and the bull pulled his underwear off and he had to run around the ring naked? If that footage comes out, I'll run that. ~ Jon Stewart,
250:Lord of the Rings is a good thing for us because it opened the door for the genre in general. Ursula Le Guin's stories are very different from Lord of the Rings. ~ Shawn Ashmore,
251:There are no words. It was like The Lord of the Rings and All My Children made a baby with the Macho Man Randy Savage and a Whac-A-Mole machine.” Butters sputtered ~ Jim Butcher,
252:NANCY DREW began peeling off her garden gloves as she ran up the porch steps and into the hall to answer the ringing telephone. She picked it up and said, “Hello! ~ Carolyn Keene,
253:I was competitive in the ring and hip-hop is competitive too... I think rappers condition themselves like boxers, so they all kind of feel like they're the champ. ~ Curtis Jackson,
254:The ring of the doorbell startled him. Shifting his weight, he twisted awkwardly, landing with a crash on the floor. Rising sheepishly, he went to answer the door. ~ Gregg Hurwitz,
255:You can make the Ring into an allegory of our own time, if you like: and allegory of the inevitable fate that waits for all attempts to defeat evil power by power. ~ J R R Tolkien,
256:Champions aren't made in the ring, they are merely recognized there. What you cheat on in the early light of morning will show up in the ring under the bright lights. ~ Joe Frazier,
257:Double J is similar in age, we're similar in experience. I think if we hooked up, we could be a formidable team. We get along well inside the ring and outside the ring. ~ Owen Hart,
258:I stride to the ring where Cole and River are still hammering at each other. I remove my shirt and drop it to the floor.
"Woo-hoo," Ali calls. "Take it all off. ~ Gena Showalter,
259:Over the next sixteen years, I would grow close to the ringleaders of the infamous Peterhead Prison Riot and hostage-taking incidents would loom large in my life. ~ Stephen Richards,
260:the kernel of a homomorphism is closed under addition, and also under multiplication by any element of the ring. These two properties define the notion of an ideal. ~ Timothy Gowers,
261:You only get one chance at this circus called life. Don't sit in the crowd watchin' it happen. You jump right in and be the ringleader. That's where you find your fire. ~ Kim Holden,
262:You only get one chance at this circus called life. Don’t sit in the crowd watchin’ it happen. You jump right in and be the ringleader. That’s where you find your fire. ~ Kim Holden,
263:And I hope we meet again so you can guess how old I am by the rings around my eyes and I hope we meet again so I can judge how much I've died according to your limp smile. ~ Sam Pink,
264:A voice hissed: "He sheds tears!"
It was taken around the ring "Usal gives moisture to the dead!"
He felt fingers touch his damp cheek, heard the awed whispers. ~ Frank Herbert,
265:I remember how it felt when he put the ring on my finger. It was beyond words.

But nothing could've ever prepared me for how it feels to put a ring on his finger. ~ Cassie Mae,
266:The buzzer went off again, and Neil's heart stopped. The ringing in his ears wasn't all him. His teammates were screaming, wordless war cries of disbelief and victory. ~ Nora Sakavic,
267:I have the world heavyweight title not because it was 'given' to me, not because of my race or religion, but because I won it in the ring through my own boxing ability. ~ Muhammad Ali,
268:Lord of the Rings was just so much enjoyment. It was over about the space of a year that I was filming. It's one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done, so emotional. ~ Sean Bean,
269:There it was again, that incessant ping. I turned the ringer off. Why am I hearing text notifications? Why am I hearing anything? Apple’s gone to shit without Steve Jobs. ~ J D Barker,
270:You get all excited to give her the ring, and it's real emotional, and you give it to her, and she cries. And a second later, you're like, 'Damn, I could have had a car.' ~ Marc Maron,
271:Letting go of the ring felt like letting go of that. Of that little girl’s daydream, one that had turned less into a nightmare and more into one long and dreamless night. ~ Cole McCade,
272:on the Queen’s finger was that ring of gold with emeralds set therein, which Mark had given her on her bridal day; but her hand was so wasted that the ring hardly held. ~ Joseph B dier,
273:there are only four units in the ring R-1 of Gaussian integers, namely ±1 and ±i; multiplication by any of these units effects a symmetry of the infinite square tiling ~ Timothy Gowers,
274:The worst injury I have ever suffered in the ring was a torn triceps; they had to take a piece of my hamstring to repair the tear. It was brutal; I was out for 6 months. ~ Dave Bautista,
275:to do. To be honest, I kept expecting someone to catch me out. But I put the ring tone on silent and no one realized I was texting Sam all the way through.43 And, yes, ~ Sophie Kinsella,
276:Now, I realize in terms of, like, all-time ultimate heroic quests, “writing a book” doesn’t exactly rank up there with Frodo carrying the ring to Mount Doom, but whatever. ~ Max Brallier,
277:The one thing I can't get enough of is boxing. I love sparring in the ring or just doing the training, and it's easily one of the most effective ways of keeping off fat. ~ Matthew Hussey,
278:For a girl, the wedding is when you're married. For a guy, it's when you get engaged. It takes a real aggressive human being to back out between the ring and the wedding. ~ Max Greenfield,
279:If you're a kid in Southern California, somebody - whether it's you or your parents - somebody throws your hat into the ring and I think everyone had a commercial or two. ~ Danny Bonaduce,
280:I shall find the dark grow luminous, the void fruitful when I understand I have nothing, that the ringers in the tower have appointed for the hymen of the soul a passing bell. ~ W B Yeats,
281:Around the time of 'The Lord of the Rings,' it was a shock to me just how big it is to be on that kind of media juggernaut. It was a big thing and the scrutiny was shocking. ~ Miranda Otto,
282:It was the simplest of all the rings, a polished gold band engraved with the words Tha Gad Agam Ort. “What does this mean?” she asked MacPhee. “It says, ‘My love is upon ye. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
283:I would like to have the original ending to my Lord of the Rings instead of the one they released. In my original cut I had the victory at Helm's Deep as the final sequence. ~ Ralph Bakshi,
284:What monstrous absurdities and paradoxes have resisted whole batteries of serious arguments, and then crumbled swiftly into dust before the ringing death-knell of a laugh! ~ Agnes Repplier,
285:He is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. I have watched Lord of the Rings and films with strange looking people, but for a human being to look like he does is pretty shocking. ~ David Haye,
286:I look forward to continuing to be a role model to women across the country and helping them have confidence in all they do in the ring, on the court or in the game of life! ~ Marlen Esparza,
287:This was defeat. This was failure; a quiet, ashen world. True humility and obedience, where the knee is bowed to the inevitable, the ring is kissed without pride or restraint. ~ Ian McDonald,
288:To me, wrestling is therapy. No matter how bad my personal situation is, when I step into the ring, all my troubles disappear. My baggage stays in the back where it belongs. ~ Eddie Guerrero,
289:In the same way 'Lord of the Rings' was an interpretation of the book, 'The Hobbit' is being treated the same way. It will be faithfully represented with a fresh interpretation. ~ Andy Serkis,
290:I think that those wrestlers, those women and men that go in the ring are not protected. I don't think anybody is ever looking out for them and I think that they are used badly. ~ Nancy Grace,
291:The G.O.P. is desperately seeking someone who can save the party from the fate of nominating Mitt Romney. But every time a non-Mitt throws his hat in the ring, the hat explodes. ~ Gail Collins,
292:Dope don't have no sympathy, not for love or family, definitely not for fear. Put dope and the devil up against each other in the ring, and dope will win out. Every single time. ~ Lauren Beukes,
293:A clown needn't be the same out of the ring as he has to be when he's in it. If you look at photographs of clowns when they're just being ordinary men, they've got quite sad faces. ~ Enid Blyton,
294:As the pilot of a vessel is tried in the storm; as the wrestler is tried in the ring, the soldier in the battle, and the hero in adversity: so is the Christian tried in temptation. ~ Saint Basil,
295:I will always remember this summer day in Paris, when I was to perform a great acrobatic move. I can still see myself stepping on the ring of a packed circus along real performers. ~ Tony Curtis,
296:My favourite all-time work of fiction: Lord of the Rings. My favourite all-time nonfiction book: Guns, Germs, and Steel. Ask me again next week, you'll get a different answer. ~ Orson Scott Card,
297:Then he buttoned up his coat, took a deep breath, and picked up the ring. And he thought then, as he always thought afterward too, that he could not decently have done anything else. ~ C S Lewis,
298:To get an Oscar would be an incredible moment in my career, there is no doubt about that. But the Lord of the Rings films are not made for Oscars, they are made for the audience. ~ Peter Jackson,
299:Like LeBron James, we already know how good the man is. We know he can play. He's rich. But he still want a ring. N!ggas know my music hot. That's proven. Now its time to get the ring. ~ Yo Gotti,
300:It's either because of the number of times the scholar puts the boot into Peter Jackson the director of The Lord of the Rings films or is making a point they have never heard of. ~ Terry Pratchett,
301:You can't just come out and do the same moves that you always do because someone just basically came into the center of the ring and spun around on their head and did a back flip. ~ Damon Lindelof,
302:I've never been to New Zealand, but I can imagine it's beautiful. I don't know much about New Zealand... but I do know that I did watch 'Lord Of The Rings' so it looks really pretty. ~ Jack Barakat,
303:The service passed in a blur of words she wasn't sure she got right, and then the cool touch of the ring sliding onto her fingers, and then the warm pressure of Shane's lips on hers. ~ Rachel Caine,
304:Thomas Hauser respects boxing and boxers. He gives readers insight into what happens in and out of the ring. Everything he writes is fair-minded and reality-based with a human touch. ~ Lennox Lewis,
305:I do not get involved in the game to think that it is a future transition for me getting back into the ring. It was not my intention. I've stated many times that I did it for my son. ~ Bill Goldberg,
306:Mitt Romney has a fund-raiser. He's going to get in the ring and fight Evander Holyfield. This is the dumbest thing Republicans have done since they wrote that open letter to Iran. ~ David Letterman,
307:And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge. ~ J R R Tolkien,
308:It was a natural process, because when we go to the ring we are human beings, but once you feel the punches and the competition that's when the beast comes out and takes hold of us. ~ Alexis Arguello,
309:So basically,' Scrap says, 'you won the popular vote 'cause everybody loved you in the Ring, but you still lost the election since he the one getting game?' I shake my head. 'Too soon. ~ Angie Thomas,
310:Then, in a stunning turnaround in 2008, Scaife met with Hillary Clinton, who had fingered him as the ringleader of what she called a “vast right-wing conspiracy” to torment the Clintons. ~ Jane Mayer,
311:You are a real champion. You talk a lot over the past six months and it is going to be great to show you inside the ring how it is better to resolve wars. Let's talk in the office. ~ Vitali Klitschko,
312:So now books were her only friends. She'd read Lord of the Rings so often she could recite whole scenes by memory.

It was not a skill that aided one in becoming popular. ~ Kristin Hannah,
313:The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don't go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout. ~ Johnny Cash,
314:I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought. ~ J R R Tolkien,
315:I refuse to step inside the ring and fight like a gladiator against my own. I'm not playing that game. Any woman who has survived a year or more of making music has my undying respect. ~ Shirley Manson,
316:We believe that black holes collapse to rings hitting very fast. If you follow through the ring you don't die. The mathematics says you fall straight through, perhaps to another universe. ~ Michio Kaku,
317:Finally Cole spoke. “Shall we exchange rings?” He nodded at Beckett, who let the rings fall into Cole’s hands as if it were the most important job he’d ever done. Perhaps to him it was. ~ Debra Anastasia,
318:I consider telling my building guard not to let him in, but I hear the ring of the elevator and realize the guard must have recognized the motherfucker from when he brought me home last week. ~ Katy Evans,
319:I won from Mr. Jeffries because I outclassed him in every department of the fighting game. Before I entered the ring I was certain I would be the victor. I never changed my mind at any time. ~ Jack Johnson,
320:saw the rings that I had left upon waking on the edge of the sink and I put on my finger the one with the aquamarine, while, without hesitation, I let the wedding ring fall down the drain. ~ Elena Ferrante,
321:And the fact is that what Cortez said actually has the ring of truth. Not that kind of girl. But neither was Peter Zell that kind of guy. Nobody is the kind of person they used to be. ~ Ben H Winters,
322:He listed The Lord of the Rings, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, and Robert Heinlein’s The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress as some of his favorites, alongside The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. ~ Ashlee Vance,
323:Welcome to The Daily Show, I'm John Oliver. Jon Stewart is still not here. He is currently living out a live-action Lord of the Rings role-playing experience deep in the New Zealand wilderness. ~ John Oliver,
324:A two-week-old ceasefire in the Central African Republic collapsed, as conflict resumed between fighters tied to Muslim and Christian militias. French troops trying to hold the ring were attacked. ~ Anonymous,
325:Evidently an A level in English is a sacred trust, like something out of "The Lord of the Rings". You must go forth with your A level and protect the English language with your bow of elfin gold. ~ Lynne Truss,
326:Lord of the Rings was my first experience making movies and at the time, I had no ideas how movies were done. I thought that's the way they're done, so in a way, I had nothing to compare it to. ~ Orlando Bloom,
327:The last time the three of us were in the ring together, it was pretty awesome. Vickie, we had a sweet, sexy, passionate make-out session. Dolph you remember! You were there! You were cool with it. ~ John Cena,
328:He revels in all the empowering conveniences that the iPod offers, like being able to ‘correct’ albums by removing their weak tracks (even on Beatles LPs, where he removes all the Ringo songs), ~ Simon Reynolds,
329:I'm proud of Lord of the Rings. I think it's a once in a lifetime role, and a once in a lifetime film. It was made with so much care and passion and meticulous detail and everybody was so behind it. ~ Sean Bean,
330:I will go to the Ring of Sacred Volcanoes, but I shall go not as a member of the MacHeath clan — no, I shall go as a free runner. I reject you. I deny you, I refuse and repudiate you as my clan. ~ Kathryn Lasky,
331:In the evening he went to the cinema to see "The Lord of the Rings", which he had never before had time to see. He thought that orcs, unlike human beings, were simple and uncomplicated creatures. ~ Steig Larsson,
332:In the evening he went to the cinema to see "The Lord of the Rings", which he had never before had time to see. He thought that orcs, unlike human beings, were simple and uncomplicated creatures. ~ Stieg Larsson,
333:Me too." I agree fervently. "Every film should definitely have a message." Which is true. I mean... take the Lord of the Rings movies- they've got loads of messages. Like "Don't lose your ring. ~ Sophie Kinsella,
334:Everyone was very deeply involved in the world of 'The Lord of the Rings'. From the wardrobe department to lighting, all were fascinated with the story. This is something that does not happen usually. ~ Sean Bean,
335:Lord Of The Rings fandom was massive, worldwide, entrenched. Generally it had been part of the fans' life all their life, because they had it read to them as children; they'd become Tolkien students. ~ John Noble,
336:The bitter attacks I faced were far worse than any fighter I ever faced in the ring. The caustic remarks, the threats to injure me, the shots at my character-fighting those were my toughest battle. ~ Jack Johnson,
337:Inej traced her finger over the rough sketch Wylan had produced, a series of embedded circles. "It really does look like the rings of a tree." She said.
"No," said Kaz. "It looks like a target. ~ Leigh Bardugo,
338:Margaret looked at the ring on her finger. "Gran gave me this before we boarded the ship. It's the most special thing in the world to me. I'll never take it off, Hanna. No matter how hungry I am. ~ Meredith Jaeger,
339:I feel when I say I can do something and carry this opportunity to make movies, it's because I took the time to study it. A boxer can't just jump in the ring. You've got to practice and practice and practice. ~ RZA,
340:I was ready to move up a weight class, but I can still make 140. If I'm back in the ring in the summertime I know I can make 140 with the heat. I've always been disciplined so it's no problem for me. ~ Danny Garcia,
341:Kaito lurched forward, his opponent grabbing him an instant later, and both of them spun around the ring like two clumsy, obese ballet dancers, clawing at each other’s mawashis, trying to get purchase. ~ Mike Wells,
342:Most horror films fail to scare me. I think 'The Ring' plays more as a psychological thriller. It's smarter, there's more character development and some of the themes explored go a little deeper. ~ Martin Henderson,
343:When a woman you have cried against postcoitus tells you she’s leaving you for a man whose claim to fame is the conjoining of a soup spoon and a fork, you wait for the ringer, you wait for the joke. ~ Courtney Maum,
344:Admittedly, he’s a bit of a warthog, but charmers such as ourselves are spread rather thin, and well, our philosophy disregards marriage anyway, so the ring’s not going to stop you getting what you want. ~ Anonymous,
345:Göt·ter·däm·mer·ung (in Germanic mythology) the downfall of the gods. German, literally 'twilight of the gods', popularized by Wagner's use of the word as the title of the last opera of the Ring cycle. ~ Erin McKean,
346:I felt as a human being I needed to take a pause and reflect on a lot of stuff that's happened. That was really good for me. And to get some of the ringing out of my years from all the amps on stage. ~ Kenny Chesney,
347:The ports were individually numbered with glowing digits, and annotated, in the mixture of Latin and Cyrillic used throughout the ring, as to their purposes: TRANZIT IMMIGRAШON MILITARY CURVEY CPEЦ ~ Neal Stephenson,
348:Vagabond Circus was about change. It moved from place to place, and reconfigured based on available performers. The ringmaster loved that about the circus. “Without change, we are dead,” he often said. ~ Sarah Noffke,
349:When the vows were said and the rings were on, the officiant pronounced us husband and wife. I drew Sydney to me and kissed her, full of love and life and the happiness of what we had in store for us. ~ Richelle Mead,
350:If you throw the pebble in the pond and the rings start circulating that much wider, you've done things and created things for people that they didn't think they'd ever be able to do. That excites me. ~ Mindy Grossman,
351:I'm not a fighter, but I would love to be a boxer because I love the courage and toughness. I mean, there can be nothing more terrifying than walking into an arena and looking at Mike Tyson in the ring. ~ Mark McGrath,
352:She didn't break his heart, but I feel like a man is supposed to be a man, he ain't supposed to be all involved in that. That's why she got sisters and friend for. Just show up with the ring and act right. ~ Mike Epps,
353:Strangely enough, the first time I tried to read [The Lord of the Rings] I was on holiday in Florida. I dropped it in the pool my first day there. If that's not a Pippin thing to do, I don't know what is. ~ Billy Boyd,
354:As a child I read all kinds of stuff, whether it was 'Asterix and Obelix' and 'Tin Tin' comic books, or 'Lord of the Rings,' or Frank Herbert's sci-fi. Or 'The Wind in the Willows.' Or 'Charlotte's Web.' ~ Mohsin Hamid,
355:As [John] Tolkien himself said, the story [Lord of the Ring ] is not allegorical. He said so when people tried to make analogies to World War II and the fight against Hitler and his fascist coalition. ~ Viggo Mortensen,
356:Me too." I agree fervently. "Every film should definitely have a message."

Which is true. I mean... take the Lord of the Rings movies- they've got loads of messages. Like "Don't lose your ring. ~ Sophie Kinsella,
357:We're more than ready to deliver. When the pressure is on, I think that's when the Ring of Honor roster does the best. Not only the main event, the entire roster feels the pressure and are ready to deliver. ~ Adam Cole,
358:When Harry came I had his letters all ready, and the ring and a ducky little brooch he'd given me—a silver bird it was, with a chain in its beak, and on the end of the chain a heart with a dagger. ~ Katherine Mansfield,
359:Cole reached into his pocket and handed Beckett the bag with the rings. He held them gently in a cupped hand for a moment and smiled down at them. Then he put them in his pocket and held his head high. ~ Debra Anastasia,
360:You read—seen—Lord of the Rings?” “Yessss…” “Ever wondered why they didn’t just get the damn eagles to go drop the One Ring into the volcano, since they seemed so damn nifty at getting into Mordor anyway? ~ Kate Griffin,
361:Ever since I've been boxing, it's always been the case that when I go inside the ring a switch goes off and my attitude changes totally from the person I am outside it. I really can't explain why or how. ~ Oscar De La Hoya,
362:I'm out in the ring, Shawn Michaels turns to me and says, 'Hey, I got a couple of vertebrae out. Would you mind puttin 'em in with that chair?' He turns his back, I whack him and all of a sudden I'm a bad guy. ~ Kevin Nash,
363:Canelo is a good young fighter, but he probably shouldn't be in the ring with me. It should have been somebody else. Hopefully he can learn from it and become a better fighter. He seems like a good young kid. ~ Shane Mosley,
364:Sometimes this book stays in the present, other times I try to cut myself in half and count the rings. Occasionally I think about the future, but I try to do that sparingly because it usually makes me anxious. ~ Amy Poehler,
365:I'd never heard of the 'Lord of the Rings', actually. So I went to the bookstore and there it was, three shelves of books about Tolkien and Middle-earth, and I was like, 'Holy cow, what else am I missing out on?' ~ Sean Astin,
366:I understand the psychology of the sport, especially inside the ring. From bell to bell, from when my entrance plays and I step through that curtain, people have to wonder what's going on inside that guy's head. ~ Randy Orton,
367:The Lord of the Rings' is fundamentally an infantile work. Tolkien is not interested in the way grownup, adult human beings interact with each other. He's interested in maps and plans and languages and codes. ~ Philip Pullman,
368:They separate us into groups. The Ringleaders and the Others. I belong to the Ringleaders because my weak, pathetic, traitorous, fundamentally base peers point to me when someone asks them who is in charge. ~ Melina Marchetta,
369:Just then, my phone started ringing. The ring must have been damaged by the water as well, so now it had a high, keening note - kind of the sound I imagine a mermaid might make if you punched her in the face. ~ Maureen Johnson,
370:They didn't train me to be in the ring for five and a half hours punching air. So, it was hard, I had to get some body contact in there somewhere, it was mostly body shots and stuff. I had no clue, really. ~ Michelle Rodriguez,
371:As my friend, I liked you,” I whispered. “As my enemy, I craved you. As a fighter, I loved you, and as my wife”—I slid the ring the rest of the way on—“I keep you.” I squeezed her hand. “Forever,” I promised. ~ Penelope Douglas,
372:I feel so...tiny.” Eva took in the entire starlit expanse. “So...insignificant.”
“Tiny-perhaps." Rovender kept his eyes fixed on the rings. "Insignificant-never, Eva Nine. No living thing is insignificant. ~ Tony DiTerlizzi,
373:I have to have an adjustment before I go into the ring. I do believe in chiropractic. I found that going to a chiropractor three times a week helps my performance. The majority of boxers go to get that edge. ~ Evander Holyfield,
374:James Franco is a Method actor. I respect Method actors, but he never snapped out of character. Whenever we'd have to get in the ring for boxing scenes, and even during practice, the dude was full-on hitting me. ~ Tyrese Gibson,
375:The view from the apartment’s one window was of another building’s gray ferroconcrete wall, which was intermittently lit by the white neon flicker from the Ringer Hut noodle shop sign across the street. As ~ Karl Taro Greenfeld,
376:You’re my greatest treasure,” he’d whispered to me when he’d explained the significance of the ring. “And though I will likely fail you from time to time, I vow to let my failures only strengthen my love for you. ~ Jody Hedlund,
377:One day it's the ringing of the bells and the casting down of the evil tyrant, and the next it's everyone sitting around complaining that ever since the tyrant was overthrown no one's been taking out the trash. ~ Terry Pratchett,
378:Xcor’s own hand trembled as he reached forth. Grasping Wrath’s palm, he kissed the ring and then placed it upon his bowed forehead. “Fore’ermore, I pledge my allegiance unto to you and yours, serving none other.” Both ~ J R Ward,
379:For those of us with BPD, entering into a shared experience means passing through the ring of fire that leaves us feeling even more burned—and in this case branded with a label no one would ever choose to wear. ~ Kiera Van Gelder,
380:I would like to do more feature work. I intend to do that. To be really honest, it's an economic thing because when you make a film that doesn't make what it cost back, it's very difficult to get back in the ring. ~ Roman Coppola,
381:Making an Irishness to be proud of in a real Republic. It is the vision of a real Republic where life and language, where ideals and experience have the ring of authenticity which we need now as we go forward. ~ Michael D Higgins,
382:The engagement ring is an emerald, and the dim light from the window is refracted green and white in it. The rings are silver, and they need cleaning. They need wearing, and I know just the girl to wear them. ~ Audrey Niffenegger,
383:You two got married,” he said. The word brought a smile to Ty’s lips, but it faded fast. He nodded. “You got my messages?” “No.” Nick jerked his chin toward Ty’s finger. “I saw the rings. I like them. Like the ink. ~ Abigail Roux,
384:It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” —J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings ~ Andreas J K stenberger,
385:Music is trying to tell a story, and I love the rock vibe. Hearing that finished product is almost the same high as having a killer wrestling match, you're just doing it with a guitar instead of a partner in the ring. ~ Jeff Hardy,
386:If he could get a commission to work on the murals in one of the Ringstrasse buildings, he would be in a much better position.” “He’ll never allow us to arrange such a thing, and I respect him immeasurably for it. ~ Tasha Alexander,
387:In the ring Tink." Lance points at me.
I sigh, "Lance…uhm…sir. My name is Sarah."
He waves me off, "We all have nicknames here. I'll never remember Sarah. But with your hair in that bun, you look like Tinkerbell. ~ Tara Brown,
388:Boxing is a great way to vent. I don't know if there is a better way, I think for women too. There is something so primal about it and it's the best exercise in the world, even if you don't ever get in the ring. ~ Sylvester Stallone,
389:Every fight I mature. I'm getting older. I'm maturing as a man. I'm maturing more inside the ring, but at the end of the day I'm still Adrien Broner. I'm still that kid who's living his dream and I'm just having fun. ~ Adrien Broner,
390:When I was in the ring at the Olympics, it was my father's words that I was hearing, not the coaches'. 'I never listened to what the coaches said. I would call my father and he would give me advice from prison. ~ Floyd Mayweather Jr,
391:You can't go into the ring and be a nice guy. I would go a month, two months, without having sex. It worked for me because it made me a vicious animal. You can't fight if you have any compassion or anything like that. ~ Jake LaMotta,
392:I have a great deal of sympathy for reluctant readers because I was one. I would do anything to avoid reading. In my case, it wasn't until I was 13 and discovered the 'Lord of the Rings' that I learned to love reading. ~ Rick Riordan,
393:If this was The Lord of the Rings and I had a smart British voice like Cate Blanchett, I could tell you the background of the events of that fall in a really suspenseful way. And you’d be straining to hear the rest. ~ Charlaine Harris,
394:It's been like that forever. We got spoiled by Joe Louis, by Rocky Marciano. Muhammad ruined us for everybody. He was great outside [the ring]; he was great inside. We got so accustomed to it we thought we deserved it. ~ Angelo Dundee,
395:Some guys can do more talking in the ring, other guys do posing, body building, whatever the hell they do in the ring. But I don't have the big body, and I'm not the big smooth talker, but I can get in the ring and wrestle ~ Owen Hart,
396:That's the point. Blood is the point.
B-L-O-O-D I-S T-H-E P-O-I-N-T
If I could bleed out the Crapper into the ring, I'd do it.
If I could bleed out everything that's wrong with my life, I'd bleed until I was empty ~ A S King,
397:Dune is the bestselling science fiction book of all time. It's something you really need to read in your lifetime. If you're going to read The Lord of the Rings, which everyone should, then you have to read Dune, too. ~ Kevin J Anderson,
398:He turned and saw Becky, crying in the doorway of her house. What was he doing here? Turning back he saw flashing blue lights at the end of the road, and realised the ringing in his ears was the sound of approaching sirens. ~ R D Ronald,
399:TACO STORM? • FAKE ALIEN INVASION? NUCLEAR BOMB? • ECHO HACKS AND/OR SEDUCES SOMETHING • DEFACE THE FIRE AND ICE (DONGS?) • CATS CATS CATS • GET MOLECH BACK HERE (FART RAY?) • WILL WORKS HIS MAGIC (LIKE IN “THE RINGMASTER”) ~ David Wong,
400:You still think love can save us. It’s more killing than hate. Hate is so clean, so simple. Like being in the ring. With hate, you just keep hitting. You hit until they stop hitting back. With love… They never stop. ~ Colleen McCullough,
401:The next election will be a flyweight versus a heavyweight. However much the right hon. Gentleman [David Cameron] may dance around the ring beforehand, at some point, he will come within the reach of a big clunking fist... ~ Gordon Brown,
402:There were rings unseen on his second hand. One was blood in a flowing band. One of air all whisper thin, And the ring of ice had a flaw within. Full faintly shone the ring of flame, And the final ring was without name. ~ Patrick Rothfuss,
403:Tyler had seen village dogs trained in much the same way for the ring. When an animal was beaten hard enough, it would work just to not be beaten, and consider itself well rewarded. The status quo could shift at any time. ~ Erika Johansen,
404:For most people, the ringing of a phone was a welcome sign. Someone was trying to reach them, to say hello, ask about their well-being, or make plans. For me, it triggered fear, intense anxiety and heart-stopping panic. ~ Lauren Weisberger,
405:Why did I like simpler songs? Just times change. This is one of the repeated things I hear: even though people will read different kinds of books, they don't read Lord of the Rings when they're 30 even though they did at 15. ~ Phil Collins,
406:The God whom we worship is not a weak and incompetent God. He is able to beat back gigantic waves of opposition and to bring low prodigious mountains of evil. The ringing testimony of the Christian faith is that God is able. ~ Martin Luther,
407:And always, in my pocket, in my skin, in the back of my mind, the hollowness where he used to be. The empty circle where my finger used to fit into the ring. The crimson flakes and ruby dust strewn across the ledges of my ribs. ~ Leah Raeder,
408:I had a very bad torn groin, my abdomen right through my legs. I was finding it really hard to get in the ring and run around and function at a decent rate. Then they had the idea that it might be better to do a retirement thing. ~ Owen Hart,
409:One thing you gotta know about Roy. The way I always saw myself, is I'm just like you. In the ring, I have a gift...That gift ain't on the basketball court. That gift ain't at home. You understand me? That gift is in the ring. ~ Roy Jones Jr,
410:The name explains the structure: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen bond into a ring-shaped structure called a cresol (also found in creosote), and phosphorus hangs on to the ring like an exhausted swimmer gripping a life preserver. ~ Deborah Blum,
411:After the rings, the priest should just say, “Enjoy it, bing-bongs. Due to our brain’s tendency toward hedonic adaptation, you won’t feel quite this giddy in a few years. All right, where’s the pigs in a blanket? I’m outta here. ~ Aziz Ansari,
412:Nobody understands the nature of the Church, or the ringing note of the creed descending from antiquity, who does not realise that the whole world once very nearly died of broadmindedness and the brotherhood of all religions. ~ G K Chesterton,
413:Nobody understands the nature of the Church, or the ringing note of the creed descending from antiquity, who does not realize that the whole world once very nearly died of broadmindedness and the brotherhood of all religions. ~ G K Chesterton,
414:Originally when I went off to work on 'The Lord of The Rings' I got a call from my agent saying that I was just going to do a voice. But I couldn't really approach it like that. To get Gollum's voice I had to play the character. ~ Andy Serkis,
415:So it was okay with Tank that you bought the ring?” “Tank got a real important job,” Lula said. “He don’t necessarily have time to go shopping for shit like this.” “Does he know he’s engaged?” “Of course he knows,” Lula said. ~ Janet Evanovich,
416:Bright is the ring of words When the right man rings them, Fair the fall of songs When the singer sings them. Still they are carolled and said - On wings they are carried - After the singer is dead And the maker buried. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson,
417:What's wonderful about Tolkien and Shakespeare is that they show up your own individual microscope. They're so infinitely vast. You can reinterpret them in so many ways. Each age will have its own resonance with Lord of the Rings. ~ Andy Serkis,
418:Don’t be. Because then I got to the hospital and you were wearing the ring. You were confused and beat up and it was terrifying, but every time I saw that ring on your finger, I believed everything was going to be okay. It had to be. ~ Lexi Ryan,
419:I had a job to do in the ring, and the businessmen around me had a job to do outside the ring, I did my job by beating up most of the guys they put in front of me and staying in shape, but the people I trusted didn't do their jobs. ~ Joe Frazier,
420:I think even back as far as 'Lord of the Rings,' there was always the chance that 'The Hobbit' would be made, even way back then. Of course at that point, Peter Jackson didn't probably think at that point that he'd be directing it. ~ Andy Serkis,
421:Even the implication that The Lord of the Rings is a mythic story about Western, white supremacy - regardless of the political leanings of anyone who tries to make that case - is a load of self-justifying, destructive horseshit. ~ Viggo Mortensen,
422:I swear to you, Nora Grey, on this day, from now and forever, to give myself to you. I am yours. My love, my body, my soul—I place in your possession and protection.” He held out the ring, a single offering, a binding promise. ~ Becca Fitzpatrick,
423:Leading up to the fight [Trevor Berbick] took every opportunity he could to badmouth Larry Holmes and I just blew up. After I beat him in the ring, he tried to get me going again, saying he deserved another fight, wasn't happening. ~ Larry Holmes,
424:I’d taken it off and hurled it across the room, vowing never to touch it again. And I wouldn’t have, if the damn thing hadn’t gotten caught in my vacuum cleaner and destroyed it … the vacuum cleaner, I mean. The ring was fine. Damn it. ~ Anonymous,
425:If you're crazy enough to put your hat into the ring of speculation and punditry, you're going to get some turbulence. But if it's coming from some journalist with a comfortable degree of body fat, I'm not losing any sleep over it. ~ Henry Rollins,
426:Nobody understands the nature of the Church, or the ringing note of the creed descending from antiquity, who does not realize that the whole world once very nearly died of broadmindedness and the brotherhood of all religions. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
427:Seriously, I grew up a fan of Hulk Hogan, and I think I bring some of his best values to the ring... the values of a superhero. Always do your best. Never give up... I think kids want to believe in that, and they should believe in that. ~ John Cena,
428:Thick lashes lifted, a moment of pure clarity in the dark gray as Noah wrapped his arm around her waist. "Meant to ask you to marry me, put the ring in the plant soil, but gardener made me drunk. He's so small. What happened?" ~ Nalini Singh,
429:Take more’n a key to get out of Central Prison. I could open all eight of these gates and wouldn’t none of you maggots get halfway out. You’d need all these here.” He patted the ring at his hip, making the keys hooked upon it jangle. ~ Mark Lawrence,
430:This all has got to be, patently, the most unbelievable, the most ridiculous story I have ever heard. Somehow coming from your mouth, it has the ring of truth, but I doubt anyone would believe me if I told them what happened today. ~ Haruki Murakami,
431:It was music of a kind, at the same time soothing and invigorating, such a human place and time, when no one texted at the table or had an Internet to surf while they ate or carried a cell phone the ring of which could never be ignored. ~ Dean Koontz,
432:The personality aspect of wrestling has always been a struggle for me. It's not on my natural wheelhouse. It's also the part that I enjoy the least. My favorite part of the entire thing, of course, is getting in the ring and wrestling. ~ Daniel Bryan,
433:These words dropped into my childish mind as if you should accidentally drop a ring into a deep well. I did not think of them much at the time, but there came a day in my life when the ring was fished up out of the well, good as new. ~ John Steinbeck,
434:That changes your whole perception of the film, your perception of the ending...The challenge for us, especially with the Lord of the Rings is how do we deliver that one piece of information that makes you look at the films differently? ~ Henry Jenkins,
435:Millions cheer the warrior
spilling blood across the ring
while the one who stands for peace
is ridiculed and shamed.
Must hearts forever suffer
from ignorance and greed?
Can bombs heal our souls
or set our spirits free? ~ Aberjhani,
436:This phrase did not have the ring of verisimilitude because I am famously bad at math. If I'm in charge of tipping at a restaurant, the waiter will either fall to his knees in gratitude or slash my tires. There ain't no Mr. In Between. ~ Celia Rivenbark,
437:but nothing upset and preoccupied him like the phrase whatever they dread most, that will happen. It seemed more than a simple curse; there was the ring of something presaging and prophetic about it, it was the sort of thing Jesse would say. ~ Ron Hansen,
438:I have always adhered to two principles. The first one is to train hard and get in the best possible physical condition. The second is to forget all about the other fellow until you face him in the ring and the bell sounds for the fight. ~ Rocky Marciano,
439:When you go watch "The Lord Of The Rings," you don't just buy a bag of popcorn, and go sit in the movie theater to watch where covetous people in our hearts deceive us, and then walk out the theater. That's the message that may be in that movie. ~ LeCrae,
440:Curiosity killed the cat, she thought, turning over the phrase in her mind, a phrase from the old times, before the Ring, before the sky broke and war came to the world.

"Satisfaction brought it back," she whispered. She had to know. ~ Annie Bellet,
441:My foray into the wrestling world is well documented in that I have stated many a time that I am not the kid that grows up and aspires to put wrestling trunks and wrestling boots on and get in the ring and flies around to entertain people. ~ Bill Goldberg,
442:The stranded Daoine Sidhe knights of the Dark Court gathered at the ring of ancient standing stones under the pale light of the harvest moon.
Whenever the Daoine Sidhe gathered, they raised the natural energies of the world around them. ~ Thea Harrison,
443:When we shot 'The Lord of the Rings,' we had special permission to film in wild areas of New Zealand that could be accessed only by helicopter. They would drop us off and we would work all day, and they'd pick us up and take us out again. ~ Viggo Mortensen,
444:While women had worn wedding rings for centuries, it wasn’t common for men to wear them until WWII when they’d taken to wearing the rings to remind them of home. A man wearing a wedding ring in the 1920s wasn’t unheard of, but it was rare. ~ Monique Martin,
445:I cherished my time filming 'Lord of the Rings' in New Zealand - it's the most beautiful, magical place with great hospitality. I love places that are completely cut off from everything - where I can relax and enjoy the simplicity of nature. ~ Orlando Bloom,
446:Books are, let's face it, better than everything else. If we played Cultural Fantasy Boxing League, and made books go fifteen rounds in the ring against the best that any other art form had to offer, then books would win pretty much every time. ~ Nick Hornby,
447:I felt myself getting teary eyed. And I was like, 'Wait a second. You can't do that. You're the WWE Champion.' Then I went out of the ring, Alex Riley was there and we both celebrated together. Feeling his excitement made me feel even more excited. ~ The Miz,
448:Patch's eyes were slate black, darker than a million secrets stacked on top of each other. He dropped his gaze to the ring in his hand, turning it over slowly. "Swear you'll never stop loving me," I whispered. Ever so slightly, he nodded. ~ Becca Fitzpatrick,
449:querencia. It refers to that place in the ring where a bull feels strongest, safest, where it returns again and again to renew its strength. It’s the place we’re most comfortable, where we know who we are—where we feel our most authentic selves. ~ Mira T Lee,
450:Girl, we need to get you on a study program, fast. You're not going to last a week around here if you can't keep up with the pop culture references. How about Lord of the Rings? Firefly? Doctor Horrible? No? Clearly we have a lot of work to do. ~ Rachel Caine,
451:Well, I go wherever the ring takes me. Not because I’m a gold digger or anything; it’s more of a Lord of the Rings thing. This ring gives me powers. Though I’m totally going to lose it when my hair falls out and I start calling it ‘my precious. ~ Cindi Madsen,
452:Everything about it and the fierce old coast around it, had the ring and taste and feel of utter rightness to me. Its peace and loneliness crept into my veins and ran there, its wildness called out to the deep buried wildness in my heart. ~ Anne Rivers Siddons,
453:I had many boxing matches with my brother in the backyard when we were younger, and I guess while other people abhor boxing for its brutality, I also have to admire anyone who climbs into the ring to face up to what could be the ultimate defeat. ~ Markus Zusak,
454:I'm a bad bet, Sunshine, but if you're willing to give me a whirl around the ring, I'm yours. Because you've got me so twisted up inside that I barely know if up is down. I'm so inside my head that I'm coming out of my asshole. Have mercy on me. ~ Jen Frederick,
455:I swear to you, Nora Grey, on this day, from now and forever, to give myself to you. I am yours. My love, my body, my soul—I place in your possession and protection.” He held out the ring, a single offering, a binding promise. ~ Patch + Nora ~ Becca Fitzpatrick,
456:I didn't always know, but I always wanted to. I always wanted to be the very best receiver the Cowboys ever had. That was my goal coming in as a rookie and my goal throughout my career: being the best they ever had, going up in the Ring of Honor. ~ Michael Irvin,
457:I wonder if people will ever say, 'Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring.' And they'll say 'Yes, that's one of my favorite stories. Frodo was really courageous, wasn't he, Dad?' 'Yes, my boy, the most famousest of hobbits. And that's saying a lot.' ~ J R R Tolkien,
458:The ringmaster wasn’t the sneaking type. He bounded out into open spaces welcoming a new experience and all the magic that a new day brought. When he entered a space, people knew it. Felt it. Things shifted. Usually people’s demeanors shifted too. ~ Sarah Noffke,
459:Oh, Eddie, it never changes, when the groom lifts the veil, when the bride accepts the ring, the possibilities you see in their eyes, it's the same around the world. They truly believe their love and their marriage is going to break all the records. ~ Mitch Albom,
460:All weddings... It never changes, when the groom lifts the veil, when the bride accepts the ring, the possibilities you see in their eyes, it's the same around the world. They truly believe their love and their marriage is going to break all records. ~ Mitch Albom,
461:Beauty is Nature in perfection; circularity is its chief attribute. Behold the full moon, the enchanting golf ball, the domes of splendid temples, the huckleberry pie, the wedding ring, the circus ring, the ring for the waiter, and the "round" of drinks. ~ O Henry,
462:I couldn't even speak in front of a group of students when I was in high school. I could barely do that sort of thing. But once I started doing the "YES!" chant down to the ring and people would do it with me, it allowed me to feel more comfortable. ~ Daniel Bryan,
463:Squire Liana, by my power as a Knight Commander of the Citadel, you are to seek Medica treatment tomorrow. There will be no arguments, no exceptions, and no complaints. You will serve the Tower.” My mother’s words held the ring of finality to them. ~ Bella Forrest,
464:He held up the ring and the light from the rising sun caught the stone and Froi thought he had never seen anything so beautiful. It was the ring that had given him a life he could never have imagined. It was all things magnificent about Lumatere. ~ Melina Marchetta,
465:He hadn't suffered the eternity of the ring about to be picked up, didn't know the heart rush of hearing that incomparable voice suddenly linked with his own, the sense it gave of being too close to even see her, of being actually inside her ear. ~ Jeffrey Eugenides,
466:that the Feds would come after them for money laundering soon, too. I looked skyward and said, “Thank you, God.” I kneaded dirt from my hand. A thin layer formed over the ring. It hurt. It hurt a lot. “You’ll always be with me, Mom. You, too, ~ Pamela Fagan Hutchins,
467:There were two movies that asked me to go to Australia or New Zealand for long periods of time. One was 'Lord of the Rings' and one was 'The Matrix.' But I was actively involved at that time raising my family, and I couldn't really take that time out. ~ Nicolas Cage,
468:I've done a fair amount of that stuff... when we did 'Lord of the Rings' the transformation sequence from Smeagol to Gollum was a 19-hour make-up job. You have to have a kind of zen button that you press and allow the mind to be focused in a certain way. ~ Andy Serkis,
469:Take this. (Jericho)
(He slid the ring off his finger and handed it to him.)
I’m not about to marry your ugly ass, boy. No offense, but you ain’t my type. I like my dates with less body hair…and with female parts attached by nature. (Asmodeus) ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon,
470:When two men step into the ring, one and only one deserves to win. When you step into the ring, you gotta know you deserve to win. You gotta know destiny owes you victory , cause you trained harder than your opponent. You sparred harder. You ran farther. ~ Cus D Amato,
471:Why do I beat a lot of people? Because I love it so much, that’s why. Everything about Jiu Jitsu, I love it – the school, the mat, the ring. I always believe that. Maybe I am not better than my opponent, but I know for sure I love my training more. ~ Marcelo Garcia,
472:In the ring, it's fun to be the bad guy, but 24 hours a day, when you have to talk to kids, and you see Make-A-Wish kids that love you, the bad guy stuff is not fun. I'd rather be a good guy 24 hours a day than a bad guy just for a few minutes in the ring. ~ Hulk Hogan,
473:Oh, I am getting married," Raisa said sleepily. "You promised me that if I agreed to marry you, that you would make it happen." She extended her hand, the one with the ring Han had given her, and waved it under his nose. "So. It's time to pay up. ~ Cinda Williams Chima,
474:He doesn’t pretend,” the punk pixie said. He nodded toward Doyle. “Nice rings. You got anything else pierced?” “Yes,” Doyle said. The boy smiled, making the rings in the edge of his nose and his bottom lip curl cheerfully with it. “Me too,” he said. ~ Laurell K Hamilton,
475:Jade approached the group of boys slowly. There were five of them, four sitting with their shoulders angled toward the fifth, who stood with one foot in the bucket of a swing. If you check the body posture, you can always find the ringleader, he thought. ~ Gregg Hurwitz,
476:Mother used to shape and score the Spam, arrange the rings of pineapple, then pour a little maple syrup over it and bake it so that it came out looking almost exactly like a miniature glazed ham, and we used to have it with yams on which we melted margarine. ~ Trevanian,
477:But the only measure that he knows is desire desire for power and so he judges all hearts. Into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it that having the Ring we may seek to destroy it. If we seek this we shall put him out of reckoning. ~ J R R Tolkien,
478:‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ~ JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring,
479:Orlando's a really cool guy. They hired him for 'Lord of the Rings' out of drama school. He's very new at this still and doesn't have a lot of experience. So we were in this together and we've tried to help each other out. We felt very equal which was good. ~ Diane Kruger,
480:My hair, after all, turned out quite ordinary. My face was a commonplace face. I could pick a plain lock, I could cut a plain key; I could bounce a coin and say, from the ring, if the coin were good or bad.—But anyone can do those things, who is taught them. ~ Sarah Waters,
481:Patch's eyes were slate black, darker than a million secrets stacked on top of each other. He dropped his gaze to the ring in his hand, turning it over slowly.

"Swear you'll never stop loving me," I whispered.

Ever so slightly, he nodded. ~ Becca Fitzpatrick,
482:The playing field is more sacred than the stock exchange, more blessed than Capital Hill or the vaults of Fort Knox. The diamond and the gridiron -- and, to a lesser degree, the court, the rink, the track, and the ring -- embody the American dream of Eden. ~ Lewis H Lapham,
483:You still think love can save us. It's more killing than hate. Hate is so clean, so simple. Like being in the ring. With hate, you just keep hitting back. You hit until they stop hitting back. With love... they never stop." ~ Colleen McCullough (Frank) ~ Colleen McCullough,
484:Arthur stood alone in the centre of the ring of kings. In the flickering light of the Christ Mass candles, holding the sword easily by the hilt, alert, resolute, unafraid, he appeared an avenging angels, eyes alight with the bright fire of righteousness. ~ Stephen R Lawhead,
485:Tolkien imagined The Lord of the Rings as a book very much like The Hobbit: aimed at a young audience, built around humor and pranks, and modeled on the structure of a folktale or fairy story. He even called it “the Hobbit sequel” or “the new Hobbit.” He ~ Diana Pavlac Glyer,
486:You shouldn't think of these movies as being 'The Lord of the Rings.' The Lord of the Rings is, and always will be, a wonderful book - one of the greatest ever written. Any films will only ever be an INTERPRETATION of the book. In this case my interpretation. ~ Peter Jackson,
487:Honey, you [Michael Jackson] gotta pick a race first. All of a sudden you're a black man, then you're Diana Ross, now you're Audrey Hepburn. Then he's got the little beard going on. He's like Lord of the Rings, the entire cast. Michael's about to jump species. ~ Robin Williams,
488:The situation right after the fight wasn't too good; I believe I'm still the only champion in the world who never received the belt inside the ring once you've won the title. I held that against the English fans for a long time but I felt that also motivated me. ~ Marvin Hagler,
489:I'm quite shocked by the recent British media stories about an alleged brawl between myself and Dereck Chisora. I am a professional prize fighter and let my fists do the talking only inside the ring. I don't want to comment on Chisora's psychological issues. ~ Wladimir Klitschko,
490:In New York, when a tree dies, nobody mourns that it was cut down in its prime. Nobody counts the rings, notifies the loved ones. There are other trees. We can always squeeze in one more. Mind the tourists. It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't wanna live there. ~ Sarah Kay,
491:Iwas not a reader at all, not until I discovered 'The Hobbit.' That changed my life. It gave me the courage to read. It led me to the 'Lord of the Rings' series. And once I'd read that, I knew I could read anything because I had just read thousands of pages. ~ Richard Paul Evans,
492:We had convinced ourselves that conditions wouldn't be right for seeing spokes on the lit side of the rings until about 2007, ... But this finding seems to be telling us that conditions on the dark side of the rings are almost as good right now for seeing spokes. ~ Carolyn Porco,
493:Lord of the Rings was something I always wanted to do. I read the book when I was about 25, and I was always hoping if it was ever made into a feature film that I would be involved in some way. And then I finally got it, and I was over the moon. It was fantastic news. ~ Sean Bean,
494:The ring has in general two functions besides its quality of roundness, which makes it an image of the Self. It symbolizes either a connection or a fetter. The marriage ring, for instance, can mean connectedness w/ the partner, but it can also be a fetter ~ Marie-Louise von Franz,
495:To play one of the main characters in it, it's not the kind of thing you don't do. Oh, I'd rather not play Pippin in Lord of the Rings... In fact, I'm trying to think - what else would you rather do, you know? I can't actually think of another job that I'd rather do. ~ Billy Boyd,
496:If you became mine, I wouldn’t let you go.” His words were clipped, as if he was biting back frenzy. “Understand me, if I’m your first lover— I will be your last.” The ringing tone of finality chilled me. “And I would kill any man who thought to touch what was mine. ~ Kresley Cole,
497:Who was the rogue Hildegard had been talking about? How many players were involved in this game? How deep was the mire Clementine had walked into here in Dead … The front door crashed open. She gasped, frowning down at the desk drawer. Someone had come for the rings! ~ Ann Charles,
498:Oh, you've outdone me twice now, you queen of forgiveness. The ring's a promise of peace and I'm greedy with hope. It's a song that we sing in a tongue that we share. And though you say it's a gift from a king to a king, I say it's a sign from a queen to a queen. ~ Melina Marchetta,
499:Standing in the ring of fire, the eye of the storm, the vortex of pain and pressure is simultaneously the most vulnerable and most powerful place to be. Here we embody paradox. We stand our ground and surrender completely. Here we know the full power of the Feminine. ~ Lucy H Pearce,
500:Take now this Ring,' he said; 'for thy labours and thy cares will be heavy, but in all it will support thee and defend thee from weariness. For this is the Ring of Fire, and herewith, maybe, thou shalt rekindle hearts to the valour of old in a world that grows chill. ~ J R R Tolkien,
501:In the basement of 33 Himmel Street, Max Vandenburg could feel the fists of an entire nation. One by one they climbed into the ring to beat him down. They made him bleed. They let him suffer. Millions of them - until one last time, when he gathered himself to his feet. ~ Markus Zusak,
502:When Little Richard used to stand up and play it was just fabulous, and Liberace had the candlesticks and the rings and the gift of the gab. The piano's is the most ungainly rock' n' roll instrument of all time but those two people transcended it, as did Jerry Lee Lewis. ~ Elton John,
503:In the basement of 33 Himmel Street, Max Vandenburg could feel the fists of an entire nation. One by one they climbed into the ring to beat him down. They made him bleed. They let him suffer. Millions of them--until one last time, when he gathered himself to his feet... ~ Markus Zusak,
504:To concern yourself with surface political conflicts is to make the mistake of the bull in the ring, you are charging the cloth. That is what politics is for, to teach you the cloth. Just as the bullfighter teaches the bull, teaches him to follow, obey the cloth. ~ William S Burroughs,
505:He doesn’t pretend,” the punk pixie said. He nodded toward Doyle. “Nice rings. You got anything else pierced?”

“Yes,” Doyle said.

The boy smiled, making the rings in the edge of his nose and his bottom lip curl cheerfully with it. “Me too,” he said. ~ Laurell K Hamilton,
506:How rude of me. I almost forgot,” Friedrich said before presenting her with the basket. Inside the basket sat a glass slipper, and nestled in the shoe’s toe, a sparkling ring. “I made the basket myself.” He removed the ring from the shoe before sliding it over her finger. On ~ K M Shea,
507:He asked me if he could pick out my panties every day and I said yes. He asked if I would let him in my bed every night and I said yes. He asked if I would be a good girl and do every damn thing he said, in and out of the ring from now on. Lord help me, I said yes. "That's ~ Joanna Blake,
508:It had obsessed his father and caused his death. It had briefly obsessed Pétur before he had tried to put it behind him. It had obsessed Agnar and the foreign Lord of the Rings fans, and it had obsessed Hákon. No possessed Hákon. Only his grandfather, Högni, had had the ~ Michael Ridpath,
509:Are you not aware that my profession involves beating the living hell out of some poor-unfortunate wearing nothing more than a pair of green lycra knicks? I'm practically naked each time I step in the ring. But I tend to cover up my privates in public. No one likes ginger pubes. ~ Sheamus,
510:At this time, the only thing that would get me back in the ring is something that would positively impact those in need. If selling out another major event would allow me to bring a ship full of supplies to hand out to those in need, I'd say that would be very significant. ~ Bill Goldberg,
511:I wasn't thinking of marriage, just commitment.
I wasn't thinking of forever, just reveling in now.
We don't know yet how long we're meant to be-
there are so many obstacles down the road.
But there is also possibility; the ring marks the realm of possibility. ~ David Levithan,
512:She had no recollection, later, of having decided what to do next, or of having hunted for something to wear, but somehow she was hurrying down the stairs, dressed in shadowhunter gear, the letter in one hand and the chain with the ring clasped hastily around her throat. ~ Cassandra Clare,
513:The dead spacecraft in orbit have become a permanent fixture around our planet, not unlike the rings of Saturn. They will be the longest-lasting artifacts of human civilization, quietly circling Earth until the Sun turns into a Red Giant, about five billion years from now. ~ Trevor Paglen,
514:Look, this isn't about the ring or when I ever made a hamburger, which, for your information, was my senior year of college."
"Right, when you almost caught our kitchen on fire."
"And you dated one of the firefighters for six months. You're welcome. Back to my problem. ~ Rachel Hauck,
515:Salvation: to see each thing for what it is— its nature and its purpose.
To do only what is right, say only what is true, without holding back.
What else could it be but to live life fully— to pay out goodness
like the rings of a chain, without the slightest gap. ~ Marcus Aurelius,
516:Zachary’s partner, a younger man with a moustache named Freedly— Well, no. The man was named Freedly. Zachary’s partner, a younger man named Freedly with a moustache— Zachary’s partner, a moustached younger man named Freedly— Freedly said, “Have you got the ring on you? ~ Donald E Westlake,
517:I never second-guess myself. I could wrestle you right now and I know we'd have a good match. Right now. Let's go to the ring and don't even worry about it, let's go. Madison Square Garden. Let's do it. Once you feel that way, nothing can bring you down, nothing can stop you. ~ Chris Jericho,
518:When they [court announcers] say, 'This is the world No. 2,' it just doesn't sound right to me because either I'm No. 1 or I'm a grand slam champion. I'm not world No. 2. I just don't like the ring of it when I'm introduced on court because I've been up there for so, so long. ~ Roger Federer,
519:But first, a wave of laughter rising from the two women who visually embrace each other, as women do, who can talk at the ring of a doorbell about underwear, & breasts, & menstrual cycles, & the women connect, & can fall into each other lives and arms so quickly. ~ Kris Radish,
520:My philosophy has always been to try to put myself into roles and films that are different. That intensified after 'Lord of the Rings' because it was so massive, but it's something I've always believed in - wanting to change people's perceptions and challenge myself as an actor. ~ Elijah Wood,
521:I can categorically say I will not be putting my hat in the ring. It's not something I have ever coveted and it's not a position I am interested in taking up at this point in time. I am loyal to Newcastle and they have been fabulous to me. I feel that is where my responsibility lies. ~ Rob Andrew,
522:In the car, Evvie cranked an Avett Brothers record she hadn’t listened to in almost two years. Technically, the song was about dying, but it sounded like hope: When I lay down my fears, my hopes and my doubts; the rings on my fingers and the keys to my house; with no hard feelings… ~ Linda Holmes,
523:I wrote an essay about the rhythm of Tolkien’s writing in The Lord of the Rings. Short rhythms repeated form long rhythms; there’s a cyclical repetition in his work which I think is part of why it totally enchants so many of us. We are caught in this rhythm and are happy there. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
524:The thing about Tolkien, about The Lord of the Rings, is that it's perfect. It's this whole world, this whole process of immersion, this journey. It's not, I'm pretty sure, actually true, but that makes it more amazing, that someone could make it all up. Reading it changes everything. ~ Jo Walton,
525:Yes! We finally captured Martha Stewart. You know, with all the massive and almost completely unpunished fraud perpetrated on the public by companies like Enron, Global Crossing, and Tyco we finally got the ring leader. Maybe now we can lower the nation's terror alert to periwinkle. ~ Jon Stewart,
526:I knew when I bought the ring that it would be years before I gave it to Abby, but it made sense to keep it just in case the perfect moment happened to arise. Knowing it was there gave me something to look forward to, even now. Inside that box was the little bit of hope I had left. ~ Jamie McGuire,
527:Roy had communicated, days earlier, to the Zen master that I was a drunk - unreliable - either faint-hearted or vicious - therefore during the cerimony, don't ask Bukowski for the rings because Bukowski might not be there. or he might loose the rings, or vomit, or loose Bukowski ~ Charles Bukowski,
528:Some girl named Eva has him convinced that you put out after one beer."
"What?" My voice was as shrill as the ringing tardy bell
"I personally don't believe it" he went on blithely, "and I have a Porsche. Not as much leg room as a Beamer, but so much hotter, I'm told. ~ Jennifer L Armentrout,
529:The remnants of my dress hung like tentacles and from my back arched a pari of towering wings, feather-light but suggesting enourmous power. My hair streamed behind me, and I knew that the ring of light around my head would be brighter than ever.
“Holy crap!” Xavier blurted ~ Alexandra Adornetto,
530:Oh my God, you're serious. Honey, I am a six time Women's Champion, if you get into the ring with me it will not be for a Lingerie Pillow Fight, it will not be to shoot t-shirts. If you get into the ring with me I will end your career just like that. Are you sure that's what you want? ~ Trish Stratus,
531:crooked head guided her eyes along the spines of Ludford's books, she was jolted back upright by the ringing of a phone. She heard him answer. ‘Hello? Ah, Nigel! I've been meaning to…’ Ludford's words trailed off as he kicked the door closed. The satisfying click of the latch in its socket ~ Adam Croft,
532:My agent told me they were casting for the voice of Gollum. I hadnt read The Lord of the Rings, but I read the script and realized what an amazing role it was. I developed a voice for the audition tape, then met Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh at the auditions and fell in love with them both. ~ Andy Serkis,
533:The thing about Tolkien, about The Lord of the Rings, is that it's perfect. It's this whole world, this whole process of immersion, this journey. It's not, I'm pretty sure, actually true, but that makes it more amazing, that someone could make it all up. Reading it changes everything. ~ Jo Walton,
534:I've had my fill of Hitler. These conferences called by the ringing of a bell are not to my liking. The bell is rung when people call their servants. And besides, what kind of conferences are these? For five hours I am forced to listen to a monologue which is quite fruitless and boring ~ Benito Mussolini,
535:First, don't call me friend like it's a swear word. It's mean. Second, we're going upstairs and we might miss the whole fucking party. Third, you're going to take the ring off. It isn't fair to the guy to fuck me while you're wearing it and I don't want it scratching up my back. Aly will see it. ~ M Mabie,
536:I'm so glad you brought that up Jay Lethal as a performer has grown into, I'll say this even though I'm wrestling him this Friday, he's one of my favorite wrestlers in the game right now. He's unreal. He's amazing in the ring. It doesn't matter who he's wresting. He's unreal on the microphone. ~ Adam Cole,
537:There is no doubt that man is a competitive animal and there is no place where this fact is more obvious than in the ring. There is no second place. Either you win or you lose. When they call you a champion, it's because you don't lose. To win takes a complete commitment of mind and body. ~ Rocky Marciano,
538:And she, the new mother of a daughter, felt a fierceness come over her that seized at her heart, that made her feel as if her bones were turned to steel, as if she could turn herself into a weapon to keep this daughter of hers from having to be hurt by the world outside the ring of her arms. ~ Lauren Groff,
539:I pull the door open and step inside, bracing myself for the heat and noise, but there is nothing here tonight. Just a few lights flicked on, running up and down the walls, and one long solitary bulb directly over the ring–a soft yellow glow emanating from the metal cage wrapped around it. ~ Richard Thomas,
540:I was about to answer when I was interrupted by the sound of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony coming from my pocket. “That’s my editor,” I said. “Like the ringtone?” “Remind me to download you some LL Cool J.” “That’s, what, a drink or something?” Tee just shook his head and muttered, “White people. ~ Brad Parks,
541:Boxing is already stable, as far as the opportunity to fight, opportunity for fighters to step inside the ring and make some money - I think that's OK, that's fairly legit. I just think fighters need to be represented when it comes down to making sure the "i" is dotted and the "t" is crossed. ~ Larry Holmes,
542:In the bush he taught the knots I use to tie my blanket to my saddle Ds also the way I stand to use a carpenter's plane and the trick of catching fish with a bush fly and a strip of greenhide these things are like the dark marks made in the rings of great trees locked forever in my daily self. ~ Peter Carey,
543:It is wearing your pajamas and watching Lord of the Rings the day before Christmas, it is sitting in your window watching the weather while sipping your favorite tea, and it is looking into the bonfire on summer solstice surrounded by your friends and family while your twistbread slowly bakes. ~ Meik Wiking,
544:She swallowed. “Wear this, at least. For luck.” She took off her necklace, with her five years’ worth of camp beads and the ring from her father, and tied it around my neck. “Reconciliation,” she said. “Athena and Poseidon together.” My face felt a little warm, but I managed a smile. “Thanks. ~ Rick Riordan,
545:That’s why at the start of every season I always encouraged players to focus on the journey rather than the goal. What matters most is playing the game the right way and having the courage to grow, as human beings as well as basketball players. When you do that, the ring takes care of itself. ~ Phil Jackson,
546:I am reading The Lord of the Rings. I suddenly wanted to. I almost know it by heart, but I can still sink right into it. I know no other book that is so much like going on a journey. When I put it down to this, I feel as if I am also waiting with Pippin for the echoes of that stone down the well. ~ Jo Walton,
547:The ones who seem to know everybody. They hold the ring, stop the fighting…He could be funny, he could sing songs, and somehow he made everything…a bit better. Crying babies began to gurgle instead of howl, grown-ups stopped arguing, and the mothers became more peaceful and took his advice. ~ Terry Pratchett,
548:It was as if the empty nights were made for thinking of him. And sometimes I found myself so vividly aware of him it was as if he had only just left the room and the ring of his voice were still there. And somehow, there was a disturbing comfort in that, and, despite myself, I’d envision his face. ~ Anne Rice,
549:The first thing I learned in boxing is to not get hit. That's the art of boxing. Execute your opponent without getting hit. In sports school we were putting our hands behind our backs and having to defend ourselves with our shoulders, by rolling, by moving round the ring, moving out feet. ~ Wladimir Klitschko,
550:A Human Face I love to view and trace the passions of the soul. On it the spirit writes anew each thought and feeling on a scroll. There the mind it's evil doing tells, and there it's noblest deeds do speak; just as the ringing of the bells proclaims a knell or wedding feast.-author unknown ~ Spencer W Kimball,
551:A Negro just can't be whipped by somebody white and return with his head up in the neighborhood, especially in those days, when sports and, to a lesser extent show business, were the only fields open to Negroes, and when the ring was the only place a Negro could whip a white man and not be lynched. ~ Malcolm X,
552:I am not an animal in my personal life. But in the ring there is an animal inside me. Sometimes it roars when the first bell rights. Sometimes it springs out later in a fight. But i can always feel it there, driving me and pushing me forward. It is what makes me win. It makes me enjoy fighting. ~ Roberto Duran,
553:Are they topaz?” I ask, and he smiles slightly shyly, sitting up to face me.
“Yes, they reminded me of the colour of your dress the night I made you mine.”
“I’ve always been yours,” I whisper, and for a second I see the glint of tears in his eyes as he slowly pushes the ring onto my finger. ~ Lily Morton,
554:On the Place she met Lestivoudois on his way back, for, in order not to shorten his day's labour, he preferred interrupting his work, then beginning it again, so that he rang the Angelus to suit his own convenience. Besides, the ringing over a little earlier warned the lads of catechism hour. ~ Gustave Flaubert,
555:When the stories petered out, Tim said how much it sucked that Rob wasn’t there. That he couldn’t hear how much he meant to us, what a hole he left behind. “People shouldn’t have to be dead for them to hear that shit,” he said, his words slurring, though that didn’t blunt the ring of truth. ~ Catherine McKenzie,
556:A few years ago, a friend said to me: "You do realize, Ian, when X-Men and Lord of the Rings come out, your life will totally change?" I didn't know what he was talking about, but he was right. My life has totally changed - but in a good way. Unbeknownst to me, it's given me a lot more confidence. ~ Ian Mckellen,
557:Welcome to the ring. Enter those who dare, and let them share the spoils. Only they have earned it. Will you win? The ring offers no promises. But one thing’s for sure: unless you get in the ring today, you don’t even stand a damn chance. Decide what really matters, and get in the ring for it—now. ~ Julien Smith,
558:Maybe I was great in the ring, but outside of boxing, I'm just a brother like other people. I want to live a good life, serve God, help everybody I can. And one more thing. I'm still gonna find out who stole my bike when I was 12 years old in Louisville and I'm gonna whup him. That was a good bike. ~ Muhammad Ali,
559:I'm a self motivated person, that's what got me to the point I'm at today. I don't take anybody lightly because this is what I do, this is my job. The day that I stop taking it seriously is the day I have to stop boxing. I would never put myself into a position where I go into the ring not prepared. ~ Danny Garcia,
560:The Hebrew language... is the only glue which holds together our scattered bones. It also holds together the rings in the chain of time.... It binds us to those who built pyramids, to those who shed their blood on the ramparts of Jerusalem, and to those who, at the burning stakes, cried Shema Yisrael! ~ I L Peretz,
561:To distract himself from the pain, he focused his blurring vision on the droplets of moisture collecting like diamonds in her abundant curls. Instead of making her hair heavy and straight, the rain seemed to coil the ringlets tighter and anoint the silvery strands with a darker gloss of spun gold. ~ Kerrigan Byrne,
562:I am reading The Lord of the Rings. I suddenly wanted to. I almost know it by heart, but I can still sink right into it. I know no other book that is so much like going on a journey. When I put it down to this, I feel as if I am also waiting with Pippin for the echoes of that stone down the well. ~ Jo Walton,
563:I'm not in favor of that [mandating protective headgear ] because we learn as amateurs how to protect ourselves. And that's why there's a third man in the ring, the referee. And that's why there has to be a very strong boxing commission that doesn't allow guys in the ring who don't belong there. ~ Sugar Ray Leonard,
564:I think it was probably both the coincidence and the beer that made Miralles say at some point that we were going to end up the same, defeated and alone and
punch-drunk in a dead-end city, pissing blood before going into the ring to fight to the death against our own shadows in an empty stadium. ~ Javier Cercas,
565:The earth-self observing the Cosmos and trying to understand the Cosmos by scientific principles from which its self is excluded is, beyond doubt, the strangest phenomenon in all of the Cosmos, far stranger than the Ring Nebula in Lyra.
It, the self, is in fact the only alien in the entire Cosmos. ~ Walker Percy,
566:When you do RAW or Wrestlemania or a PPV where there's 10,000 people or more, you don't necessarily look at the people. The only time there's a realization that there's that many people is when you walk to the ring. Once you get in the ring, your focus is only on the ring, and maybe the front few rows. ~ Kevin Nash,
567:You live an unlife instead,” I said. I held the ring before me and looked at it. It was old, tarnished, and even a little ugly. “An unlife, a not-death. You exist in the in-between spaces, between sleep and waking, between belief and imagination. I wish I could wake up, mein Herr. I wish I were awake. ~ S Jae Jones,
568:I've been producing records, and as early as my late teens, early 20s, I put out a hip-hop record and then the Ringside stuff. You know, I just feel like I want to spend these years realizing all of my ambitions. I feel like we live in an age in which you can chase your dreams with focus and a vision. ~ Balthazar Getty,
569:From time to time complaints are made about the ringing of church bells. It seems strange that a generation which tolerates the uproar of the internal combustion engine and the wailing of the jazz band should be so sensitive to the one loud noise that is made to the glory of God.
-Dorothy L. Sayers ~ Dorothy L Sayers,
570:Dusk was moving over the water with a stillness that turned half the world to glass. The wall of mountains had gone to shadow as had the reflections at their feet. In the stillness the rings of rising trout appeared like raindrops. Slowly, in silence, the dark water tilted away from the remaining daylight. ~ Peter Heller,
571:I'd already started directing short films when we were doing 'Lord of the Rings,' then videogame projects. So Peter's known that I've been heading towards directing for a long time. But I always thought my first outing would be a couple of people and a digital camera in the back streets of London somewhere! ~ Andy Serkis,
572:It's kind of a cross between, I think. It's not, you know, over the top Old English, like Lord of the Rings would be or something like that, but there is a very sophisticated air about the Asgardians[?], you know, in their dialogue, and - hold on. Okay. Um, and I'm doing an English accent in the movie. ~ Jaimie Alexander,
573:I am sure that Tolkien would never have finished The Lord of the Rings without Lewis continually encouraging him and urging him on.” Carpenter says that Tolkien very nearly abandoned the whole project and confirms that his decision to press on was “chiefly due to the encouragement” of C. S. Lewis. Did ~ Diana Pavlac Glyer,
574:I'm worried that a few people are confusing the ringing of a church bell with the ringing of a cash register, .. When I hear about leaders of charities being provided a $300,000 Bentley to drive around in, my fear is that it's the taxpayers who subsidize this charity who are really being taken for a ride. ~ Chuck Grassley,
575:It's because of this woman I'm still fighting!"

A sudden silence falls across the crowd, and Remington's hars, enraged voice continues telling them, "Next time I'm on the ring, I'm going to fucking win for her, and I want all of you who hurt her tonight to bring her a red rose and tell her it's from me! ~ Katy Evans,
576:They say actually every time I enter the ring, in a way, I`m going to the war. They say to me daily, you are a prized fighter, what`s the difference? And I like to say to those critics of the press and the others that there is one hell of a lot of difference in fighting in a ring and going to war in Vietnam. ~ Muhammad Ali,
577:Quentin had an obsolete sailing ship that had been raised from the dead. He had psychotically effective swordsman and an enigmatic witch-queen. It wasn't the Fellowship of the Ring, but then again he wasn't trying to save the world from Sauron, he was trying to perform a tax audit on a bunch of hick islanders. ~ Lev Grossman,
578:Quentin had an obsolete sailing ship that had been raised from the dead. He had psychotically effective swordsman and an enigmatic witch-queen. It wasn't the Fellowship of the Ring, but then again he wasn't trying to save the world from Sauron, he was trying to perform a tax audit on a bunch of hick islanders… ~ Lev Grossman,
579:The thieves had stolen not only the ring and the few coins he possessed, but his horse, his coat, waistcoat, and shirt—even the shoes he’d worn. A fine welcome to England this was. After leaving the nightmare of Ireland behind him, he’d thought that here, everything would be better. Apparently not. Iain ~ Michelle Willingham,
580:I seen the ring in that tangle of riches and it seemed to dark to be ruby. Might have been garnet, I still don't know for sure. It was like them blood-colored drops of bloodroot sap Macon showed me up on the mountain, a cluster of precious stones the shade of the love that was running all through me dark and deep. ~ Amy Greene,
581:Quentin had an obsolete sailing ship that had been raised from the dead. He had a psychotically effective swordsman and an enigmatic witch-queen. It wasn’t the Fellowship of the Ring, but then again he wasn’t trying to save the world from Sauron, he was attempting to perform a tax audit on a bunch of hick islanders. ~ Anonymous,
582:There's a lot of gimmick infringement out there, but that's cool. It's a compliment. But it all started right when I first came into the Garden. I came down to Eye of the Tiger and when I hit the ring with the Sheik, I just put my hand up to my ear by accident, and the crowd got louder. I was like "Oh, that works." ~ Hulk Hogan,
583:When you look across the ring at me, and you look into my eyes, you are not immmortal, you are not an icon; you are just like everybody else. You are an obstacle, and I will run you over. And that is not a threat, that is not a warning; that is just a fact! Because brother, I am THE GAME...and I AM THAT...DAMN...GOOD! ~ Triple H,
584:Cutting to the chase, I don't see Sting in WWE any time soon and especially not in the ring vs. the Undertaker in the Georgia Dome. I do think that Sting would be well served to explore potential marketing opportunities with WWE especially considering that all his 'greatest hits' which were in WCW are now owned by WWE. ~ Jim Ross,
585:Early, when I first started wrestling, I wanted to be a combination of Sting and the Ultimate Warrior. The Ultimate Warrior's craziness and weird personality and Sting's coolness and the way he carried himself to the ring. But then later on, when it came to physicality and athleticism, Shawn Michaels topped the cake. ~ Jeff Hardy,
586:Every morning when we get up, we relish the day’s upcoming battles. They keep us alive, and they keep Bloomberg’s corporate family thriving. We can’t wait for tomorrow. Who says we can’t do that? What do you mean they’ll beat us? Have them put on their boxing gloves, and send them into the ring. We’re ready! ~ Michael R Bloomberg,
587:So your final assignment is to give this book to another person. Maybe choose the person who needs it most. Or choose a stranger. Choose the person who you think will really get it, or the person who’s already in the ring and needs some help. It doesn’t matter where the book goes. But you need to abandon it. Forget ~ Julien Smith,
588:We slowly work on getting more markets. We slowly work on building relationships. And over time once we gain people's trust and they see what we do and they see what we deliver each and every show, more and more people are interested in jumping on the Ring Of Honour train. I definitely think the success will continue. ~ Adam Cole,
589:When I played Gollum in 'Lord of the Rings,' if I was climbing up the side of a mountain, which I physically did, you know, I was on every single occasion swimming through streams, all of that, that wasn't captured. That was filmed on 35 millimeter, and for certain of those shots, it was rotoscoped and painted over. ~ Andy Serkis,
590:My parents read to me a lot as a kid, and I started writing very early, probably spurred on by Aesop's fables. Then they gave me The Lord of the Rings way too early for me to fully understand what I was reading, which was actually kind of cool. It was almost better - comprehension's overrated when you're reading. ~ Jeff VanderMeer,
591:On his first hand he wore rings of stone,
Iron, Amber, Wood and Bone.
There were rings unseen on his second hand,
One blood in a flowing band,
One was air all whisper thin,
And the ring of ice had a flaw within.
Full faintly shone the ring of flame,
And the final ring was without name. ~ Patrick Rothfuss,
592:The boy stood on the highest knoll of the low country in the Western Kingdom of the Ring, looking north, watching the first of the rising suns. As far as he could see stretched rolling green hills, like camel humps, dipping and rising in a series of valleys and peaks. The burnt-orange rays of the first sun lingered in ~ Morgan Rice,
593:For the black man to come out superior would be against America's teachings. I have been so great in boxing they had to create an image like Rocky, a white image on the screen, to counteract my image in the ring. America has to have its white images, no matter where it gets them. Jesus, Wonder Woman, Tarzan and Rocky. ~ Muhammad Ali,
594:She suddenly began to jump up and down, screaming at the top of her lungs. "The arks are after me! The arks are after me! Help me, the arks are after me!" .... "The arks! You don't understand, I have the ring and the arks are after me!" .... (and so the police officer is puzzled long enough for Miriam and Seth to escape) ~ Ted Dekker,
595:If the Presidents Club had a seal, around the ring would be three words: cooperation, competition, and consolation. On the one hand, the presidents have powerful motives—personal and patriotic—to help one another succeed and comfort one another when they fail. But at the same time they all compete for history’s blessing. ~ Nancy Gibbs,
596:Things in the ring are definitely bigger, so that you can see them. But the movie world is completely different, and you have to hone things down because when that camera is so tight on you and so intimate and right up in your face, it's going to catch every little thing that you give it, and it's very easy to overdo it. ~ Randy Orton,
597:I go to practice every day. I really don't have a training camp. In the boxing world, and that's where that came from, almost every time a guy would get out of the ring and he wouldn't break a sweat again until he went to his next training camp. He would do absolutely nothing until he started training for the next fight. ~ Chael Sonnen,
598:The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with weary feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ~ Cornelia Funke,
599:A great many of the epic fantasies, from The Lord of the Rings onward, are about war, but to my mind, a lot of it doesn't really deal honestly with the consequences of war, what war does to us, as a society, what war does to us, as individuals, and the struggle for power, in the same way, and what we're fighting for. ~ George R R Martin,
600:Many Republicans have always reminded me of professional WWF wrestlers. They come into the ring all pumped up and acting like they're invincible and that they're going to destroy their opponent. Then they get hit once and fall down and roll around in agony and suddenly seem immobilized by pain, calling for the ref to intervene. ~ Paul Feig,
601:Many fantasy novels - 'Lord of the Rings', for instance, or 'Lavondyss' by Robert Holdstock - are beautifully written. Geoff Ryman's 'The Child Garden' is exquisite and utterly beguiling. Mervyn Peake's 'Gormenghast' trilogy is an astonishing piece of multi-faceted storytelling. So quality of writing does not condemn the genre. ~ David Gemmell,
602:Now, are you familiar with the Lord of the Rings?” Molech hesitated again, realizing he was playing someone else’s game, but with no idea what else to do. He said, “Yeah, old horror movie about a ghost girl who crawls out of a television?” “No, this is the one with wizards and elves. Ends with the midgets fighting in a volcano? It ~ David Wong,
603:She held out her hand. “What is it you want?” he rumbled. “Your ring.” He frowned. “And if I’m not inclined to give it?” “Then you’ll have a few silent days to look forward to.” She lifted her eyebrows in challenge. “And you know how good I am at that.” He muttered under his breath as he pulled off the ring and handed it to her. ~ Lynn Kurland,
604:But do you remember Gandalf’s words: Even Gollum may have something yet to do? But for him, Sam, I could not have destroyed the Ring. The Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let us forgive him! For the Quest is achieved, and now all is over. I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam ~ J R R Tolkien,
605:From the premise that Christianity is true it follows that the far-off glimpse of joy produced by fantasy is a glimpse of truth; that a great eucatastrophic tale like The Lord of the Rings is a gift of divine grace, an opening of the curtain that veils Heaven to earthly eyes, a tiny telepathic contact with the Mind of God. ~ Peter Kreeft,
606:She suddenly began to jump up and down, screaming at the top of her lungs. "The arks are after me! The arks are after me! Help me, the arks are after me!"
....
"The arks! You don't understand, I have the ring and the arks are after me!"
....
(and so the police officer is puzzled long enough for Miriam and Seth to escape) ~ Ted Dekker,
607:The answer was that it was about twenty degrees west of their projected apogee, encircling a large new habitat called Akureyri, and heading generally in the direction of the Cape Verde boneyard that separated the Greenwich segment from the Rio segment. Which meant that it would soon be in the predominantly Ivyn part of the ring. ~ Neal Stephenson,
608:There was sadness in everything—in the room, in the ringing bird-calls from the garden, in the lit, golden lawn beyond the window, with its single miraculous cherry-tree breaking in immaculate blossom and tossing long foamy sprays against the sky. She was sad to the verge of tears, and yet the sorrow was rich—a suffocating joy. ~ Rosamond Lehmann,
609:I am not saying people should not be free to join whichever reason they choose but should we be forced to live our lives around a belief system that originated somewhere around the fourth or fifth century BC. I cannot see any more reason to base a belief system around Christianity, Judaism or Islam than I can around Lord of the Rings. ~ Alan Moore,
610:Madison Square Garden, November 1984. I don't recall taking too much fear into the ring. I knew I could fight. But I got a big shock. They put me in with this rough, tough veteran called Lionel Byarm. He tested me to the limit. But I fought my heart out and, in the end, I prevailed. The story of my life, in my very first fight. ~ Evander Holyfield,
611:Epic sex?" I sputtered. "By what standards, precisely, is sex judged to be epic?"

"And tons and tons of mortal simps like you used as pawns." Bob sighed happily, ignoring my question. "There are no words. It was like the Lord of the Rings and All My Children made a baby with the Macho Man Randy Savage and a Whac-A-Mole machine. ~ Jim Butcher,
612:I run, but boxing conditioning is different, so you have to get used to running in the ring. Boxing movements are very different. Swimming is one of the best because every single muscle is working. I swim a lot. I train very hard at things that mimic boxing. I have to do mostly sport-specific training, such as lots of sparring. ~ Wladimir Klitschko,
613:What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!' Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity. ~ J R R Tolkien,
614:It [boxing] helps my hand-eye coordination, my stamina, my footwork, and it gives me that competitive edge and drive. And in the ring it's mano-a-mano. So it helps you build that arrogance, that cockiness, that confidence in yourself that the man that stands in front of you isn't going to beat you, and that translates to the court. ~ Carmelo Anthony,
615:I think it's because I'm real. Inside and outside of the ring, what you see is what you get. I'm CM Punk. I'm not trying to be something I'm not. I'm not trying to lie to the people or be fake. I'm not trying to be some crazy, outlandish character. I'm real and they appreciate that. Everything I say, it comes from the heart. It's all real. ~ CM Punk,
616:Say thank you, Detective Marr, for letting me stand up.” And Valkyrie said, “Thank you, Detective Marr, for giving me back my ring.” Marr’s eyes flickered to the ground where the ring had fallen, but it wasn’t there any more, and before she could do anything about it, Valkyrie sent a fist of shadows slamming into the detective’s chest. ~ Derek Landy,
617:In my office in Jerusalem, there's an ancient seal. It's a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found right next to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the time of King Hezekiah. Now, there's a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu. ~ Benjamin Netanyahu,
618:When the line of incoming guests ended, Peyton put his arm around Carrie’s waist. She looked enchanting tonight with her reddish-brown tresses pulled back off her face save for the ringlets that brushed against her bare shoulders. Her skin glowed with softness, and Peyton longed to kiss his way down her neck and across her collarbone. ~ Andrea Boeshaar,
619:...You have knowledge, and I have skill, and between us we have..."
"We have the Ring of Erreth-Akbe."
"Yes, that. But I thought also of another thing between us. Call it trust... That is one of its names. It is a very great thing. Though each of us alone is weak, having that we are strong, stronger than the Powers of the Dark. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
620:As to your kind wishes for myself, allow me to say I can not enter the ring on the money basis--first, because, in the main, it iswrong; and secondly, I have not, and can not get, the money. I say, in the main, the use of money is wrong; but for certain objects, in a political contest, the use of some, is both right, and indispensable. ~ Abraham Lincoln,
621:Evie picked up the smallest of the rings and tried it on the fourth finger of her left hand. It fit perfectly. Raising it closer to her face, she examined the design. It was the simplest of all the rings, a polished gold band engraved with the words Tha Gad Agam Ort. “What does this mean?” she asked MacPhee. “It says, ‘My love is upon ye. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
622:Find Soul Mates The next step is to find some soul mates to go on your adventure—think Bilbo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Ring. However, people love the notion of the sole innovator: Thomas Edison (lightbulb), Steve Jobs (Macintosh), Henry Ford (Model T), Anita Roddick (The Body Shop), and Richard Branson (Virgin Airlines). It’s wrong. ~ Guy Kawasaki,
623:Growing up, I considered [my dad] to be an exemplar of fidelity. For instance, he didn't believe in removing his wedding ring, no matter what. Whenever he washed his hands, he would thoroughly scrub his right hand, then align his two ring fingers tip to tip, slide the ring from his left ring finger to his right, then scrub his left hand. ~ Steven Rinella,
624:There are two novels that can transform a bookish 14-year-kid’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish daydream that can lead to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood in which large chunks of the day are spent inventing ways to make real life more like a fantasy novel. The other is a book about orcs. ~ John Rogers,
625:After more than one hundred and fifty years of living alone in the darkness, I met you, Susannah, and through you, I met Father Dominic. Everything my mother said in her letter came true. It wasn’t the same church, and it wasn’t the same priest. But the letter and the ring were there, all because of you. And now I want to give that ring to you. ~ Meg Cabot,
626:Evie picked up the smallest of the rings and tried it on the fourth finger of her left hand. It fit perfectly. Raising it closer to her face, she examined the design. It was the simplest of all the rings, a polished gold band engraved with the words Tha Gad Agam Ort. “What does this mean?” she asked MacPhee.
“It says, ‘My love is upon ye. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
627:Learn what not to expect. Irish catholic they get sh**** little rings. Irish women get crappy rings. Baptist get the worst because they get the rings under water. When it comes up, it's garbage. Jewish, big rings. Episcopalian big rings. Italians-the best, because they get them off of dead people, and second wives get the biggest rings of all. ~ Joan Rivers,
628:For the rest, they shall represent the other Free Peoples of the World: Elves, Dwarves, and Men, Legolas shall be for the Elves; and Gimli son of Gloin for the Dwarves. They are willing to go at least to the passes of the Mountains, and maybe beyond. For Men you shall have Aragorn son of Arathorn, for the Ring of Isildur concerns him closely. ~ J R R Tolkien,
629:It’s our house. I bought it for us.” “You bought a house?” Okay, stupefied wasn’t necessarily bad, was it? Tucker crossed over. “I did. For our family. Because that’s what I want us to be, Corinne. A family.” “You bought a house?” she repeated. “Not just a house.” He pulled out his hand and her stunned gaze fell to the ring in his palm. “Ohmygod. ~ Kait Nolan,
630:Something's wrong with Hunter. I can tell the moment he steps into the ring. I've been watching him from afar for years, and I'm an old pro at his body language. Hunter West is a guy who's used to setting the agenda. His limbs are usually loose and relaxed, carried with the kind of self-assurance that comes from knowing you've got it all handled. ~ Ella James,
631:Sometimes I sit at my window looking out on the towers of the Abbas and weep silently. No one must know how I suffered. No one must know how I failed. Sometimes I go and stand in the ring of stones and it seems to me that my fate is more wretched then theirs. They were turned to stone while they were dancing defiance. I wish I could have been. ~ Victoria Holt,
632:Temptation is a fearful word. It indicates the beginning of a possible series of infinite evils. It is the ringing of an alarm bell, whose melancholy sounds may reverberate through eternity. Like the sudden, sharp cry of "Fire!" under our windows by night, it should rouse us to instantaneous action, and brace every muscle to its highest tension. ~ Horace Mann,
633:Sharpe wanted to be ready and so he untied the rag from his musket’s lock and stuffed it into the pocket where he kept the ring Mary had given him. The ring, a plain band of worn silver, had belonged to Sergeant Bickerstaff, Mary’s husband, but the Sergeant was dead now and Green had taken Bickerstaff’s sergeant’s stripes and Sharpe his bed. ~ Bernard Cornwell,
634:Imagine finding someone you love more than anything in the world, who you would risk your life for but couldn't marry. And you couldn't have that special day the way your friends do-you know, wear the ring on your finger and have it mean the same thing as everybody else. Just put yourself in that person's shoes. It makes me feel sick to my stomach ~ Miley Cyrus,
635:Boxing is fascinating. It's good for the soul to be made to feel clumsy. I swank around during the week thinking I'm a big cheese, but you don't feel like that when you're in the ring with a chap who knows what he's doing. It's ritual humiliation. I'm going to be slugged about and probably killed, but I love it and have to do something to keep fit. ~ Hugh Laurie,
636:When I found Jesus Christ, I learned to be a better athlete. I didn't have to go out there and knock them out in the first round. I've learned to be patient, skillful in the ring. At the same time, I wanted to prove to other boxers that you can take off this killer instinct stuff, you can be a great athlete, a great boxer, and love your brother. ~ George Foreman,
637:I believe that any individual who has spiritually awakened in our time, to the degree that he or she finds a higher and deeper motive for living, is going to be driven to fight the good fight in one way or another... And in order to fight the good fight, we have to engage, we have to get into the ring, not just stand outside it and be philosophers. ~ Andrew Cohen,
638:When I look back on the sixteen years Perry and I have been married, I can see the places where we've made each other better. There are parts of us etched into each other like the rings in the trunk of a tree. We've grown, we've changed, we've been forever marked. And ultimately, we are so much better together than either of us would be on our own. ~ Melanie Shankle,
639:Everything goes, everything comes back; eternally rolls the wheel of Being. Everything dies, everything blooms again; eternally runs the year of Being. Everything breaks, everything is joined anew; eternally is built the same house of Being. Everything separates, everything greets itself again; eternally true to itself remains the ring of Being. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
640:There are a lot of times I have seen someone fight, and I think the guy is tailor made for me until they actually get in the ring with me. Fighters that are more aggressive match up better with me. There is really no defense when a guy is trying to get you. When a guy is trying to get you, you cannot get him, which makes the most compelling fight. ~ Evander Holyfield,
641:Would you be so kind as to remove your redundant carcass from the door of this room, my man,’ he said, in his high, abstracted voice; ‘and keep it in the kitchen, where it is paid to do this and that among the saucepans, I believe … would you? No one rang for you. Your mistress’ voice, though high, is nothing like the ringing of a bell … nothing at all. ~ Mervyn Peake,
642:I have tremendous respect for fighters and I always tell people that boxing in movies is one thing but when you get into the ring for real, even the worst heavyweight in the world is going to murder you. You've just got to appreciate the pain and the suffering and the glory and skill that goes into what they do. That's why I love the sport so much. ~ Sylvester Stallone,
643:Patches of hair stuck to his wet cheekbones. His ears were threaded with tiny little wampum earrings, except at the cartilage, where the rings were turquoise. His stubby nose ended abruptly at the bottom of a short bridge. His face tapered with a round chin, a white birthmark under his jaw. He was my favorite picture. He burned into the backs of my eyes. ~ Rose Christo,
644:The other's body was divided: on one side, the body proper--skin, eyes--tender, warm; and on the other side, the voice--abrupt, reserved, subject to fits of remoteness, a voice which did not give what the body gave. Or further: on one side, the soft, warm, downy. adorable body. and on the other, the ringing, well-formed. worldly voice--always the voice. ~ Roland Barthes,
645:Still, I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales. We're in one, of course; but I mean: put into words, you know, told by the fireside, or read out loud of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards. And people will say: 'Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring' and they'll say 'Oh yes, that's one of my favorite stories. ~ J R R Tolkien,
646:When a molecule of vitamin C encounters a free radical, it becomes oxidised and thereby renders the free radical innocuous. The oxidised vitamin C then gets restored to its non-oxidised state by an enzyme called vitamin C reductase. It is like a boxer who goes into the ring, takes a hit to his jaw, goes to his corner to recover, and then does it all over again. ~ Nick Lane,
647:She said she was ready to listen. I asked: “Do you realize that you will have to let go of the ring at some point, perhaps quite soon? How much more time do you need before you will be ready to let go of it? Will you become less when you let go of it? Has who you are become diminished by the loss?” There were a few minutes of silence after the last question. ~ Eckhart Tolle,
648:This is surely the most significant of the elements that Tolkien brought to fantasy.... his arranged marriage between the Elder Edda and "The Wind in the Willows"--big Icelandic romance and small-scale, cozy English children's book. The story told by "The Lord of the Rings" is essentially what would happen if Mole and Ratty got drafted into the Nibelungenlied. ~ Adam Gopnik,
649:Simon had never noticed before, but she wore a silver ring on her right hand, with a partner of flames around the band of it, and a carved L in the center. It reminded him of the ring Clary wore around her neck, with its design of stars. "It's the Lightwood family ring," she said, noticing where his gaze was fixed. "Every family has an emblem. Ours is fire. ~ Cassandra Clare,
650:The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like 'religion', to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism. ~ J R R Tolkien,
651:As you gave the ring to one another and have now received it a 2nd time from the hand of the pastor, so love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love.
It is not your love tht sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
652:I would not want to forget the first time I read The Lord of the Rings. I would never want to forget that! That was so magical to me, and that was a real eye-opening experience. I was probably 11 when I read that and already a reader, but I think that book really showed me how you can be transported and how your imagination can take you to a whole other place. ~ Sharon Cameron,
653:Rodriguez, in addition to the pleasant glow in the mind that comes from a generous action, had another feeling that gives all of us pleasure, a feeling of increased safety; for while he had the ring upon his finger and Morano went unpaid the thought could not help occurring, even to a generous mind, that one of these windy nights Morano might come for his wages. ~ Lord Dunsany,
654:For me, it's a responsibility to represent my family every time I step foot in the ring. When I came into this WWE business, there was a bar set for me. My goal is to push it as high as I can to make my family's legacy even stronger. To add to the history that's already been created. So for me, it's a huge challenge that I'm willing to fight for every single day. ~ Roman Reigns,
655:The most dangerous moment of the War, and the one which caused me the greatest alarm, was when the Japanese Fleet was heading for Ceylon and the naval base there. The capture of Ceylon, the consequent control of the Indian Ocean, and the possibility at the same time of a German conquest of Egypt would have closed the ring and the future would have been black. ~ Winston Churchill,
656:In our world no one ever knows what to do, and everyone's just as clueless and full of crap as everyone else, and you have to figure it all out by yourself. And even after you've figured it out and done it, you'll never know whether you were right or wrong. You'll never know if you put the ring in the right volcano, or if things might have gone better if you hadn't. ~ Lev Grossman,
657:In our world no one ever knows what to do, and everyone’s just as clueless and full of crap as everyone else, and you have to figure it all out by yourself. And even after you’ve figured it out and done it, you’ll never know whether you were right or wrong. You’ll never know if you put the ring in the right volcano, or if things might have gone better if you hadn’t. ~ Lev Grossman,
658:My final two cents worth of advice is to develop an all-consuming curiosity for things both exotic and ordinary. Read, observe, analyze, and become involved with a variety of interests. Study, practice, delve, probe, investigate, and above all, be flexible. Keep an open mind. The world is changing fast. Don't get caught in the corner of the ring.
- Ward Kimball ~ John Canemaker,
659: Whiffletree
GIVE me your anathema.
Speak new damnations on my head.
The evening mist in the hills is soft.
The boulders on the road say communion.
The farm dogs look out of their eyes and keep thoughts from the corn cribs.
Dirt of the reeling earth holds horseshoes.
The rings in the whiffletree count their secrets.
Come on, you.
~ Carl Sandburg,
660:And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair! ~ J R R Tolkien,
661:Oh… Jax,” she breathed. “It’s lovely. Absolutely lovely.” He grinned, pleased at her reaction. “Do you like it?” She nodded eagerly. “I love it.” He took it from her and gently took her left hand, sliding the ring onto her third finger.  It fit snuggly. “It will make a fine wedding ring,” he said, then gestured to the bag again. “See what else I have brought you. ~ Kathryn Le Veque,
662:Tolkien, who created this marvellous vehicle, doesn't go anywhere in it. He just sits where he is. What I mean by that is that he always seems to be looking backwards, to a greater and more golden past; and what's more he doesn't allow girls or women any important part in the story at all. Life is bigger and more interesting than The Lord of the Rings thinks it is. ~ Philip Pullman,
663:Simon had never noticed before, but she wore a silver ring on her right hand, with a partner of flames around the band of it, and a carved L in the center. It reminded him of the ring Clary wore around her neck, with its design of stars.

"It's the Lightwood family ring," she said, noticing where his gaze was fixed. "Every family has an emblem. Ours is fire. ~ Cassandra Clare,
664:All goes, all returns, the wheel of existence turns for ever. All dies, all reblossoms, the cycle of existence pursues its course for ever. All is broken, and all again brought together, the same structure of existence is built and rebuilt for ever. All separates and greets again, the ring of existence is faithful to itself for ever. Existence is beginning at each moment. ~ Nietzsche,
665:APOPHYGE  (APO'PHYGE)   n.s.[  flight, or escape.]Is, in architecture, that part of a column, where it begins to spring out of its base; and was originally no more than the ring or ferrel, which anciently bound the extremities of wooden pillars, to keep them from splitting, and were afterward imitated in stone work. We sometimes call it the spring of the column.Chambers. ~ Samuel Johnson,
666:My grandfather was a duck trapper
He could do it with just dragnets and ropes
My grandmother could sew new dresses out of old cloth
I don't know if they had any dreams or hopes

I had 'em once though, I suppose, to go along
With all the ring-dancin' Christmas carols on all of the Christmas eves
I left all my dreams and hopes
Buried under tobacco leaves ~ Bob Dylan,
667:came out now with one eye on the kangaroo and one eye on the referee. I’m really steaming mad now, and I creamed that kangaroo. His tail hit me so hard my head ached for three days. I jumped off at the referee and decked him. The referee’s people jumped in the ring after me, and my pals jumped in after them. The cops had a hell of a time in that ring sorting things out. I ~ Charles Brandt,
668:Parakeets in Paris … It could be the name of a hypnotic Matisse painting, but since the 1970s it has been a very realistic image for the French capital. In fact, the ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri) is one of the birds that has been most successful in invading cities in Europe (on a smaller scale, also in Japan, North America, the Middle East, and Australia). ~ Menno Schilthuizen,
669:The guys had made log benches for spectators, back when they were twelve and had visions of every girl in class lining those benches, swooning as they showed off in the ring. Never quite worked out that way--if there were spectators, they were more likely to be heckling than swooning--but the memory made me smile as I lowered myself quietly onto the bench behind Daniel. ~ Kelley Armstrong,
670:I'd seen Elijah [Wood], when I was a little boy, in The Good Son. And then, I was a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings. It took awhile to get over that whole, "That's Elijah Wood - Frodo, from The Lord of the Rings." I was a mega fan of that. I went to the all-day screenings of the director's cut, where you could see the really long versions of all three movies, in one day. ~ Samuel Barnett,
671:Every fighter that ever lived had fear. A boy comes to me and tells me that he's not afraid, if I believed him I'd say he's a liar or there's something wrong with him. I'd send him to a doctor to find out what the hell's the matter with him, because this is not a normal reaction. The fighter that's gone into the ring and hasn't experienced fear is either a liar or a psychopath. ~ Cus D Amato,
672:Then Marco Polo spoke: “Your chessboard, sire, is inlaid with two woods: ebony and maple. The square on which your enlightened gaze is fixed was cut from the ring of a trunk that grew in a year of drought: you see how its fibers are arranged? Here a barely hinted knot can be made out: a bud tried to burgeon on a premature spring day, but the night’s frost forced it to desist. ~ Italo Calvino,
673:What if I should drop the ring?" Cyril asked on the way to the church.
Surely one of the functions of the best man - the principal function, in fact - was the calm the nerves of the bridegroom.
"Then you crawl around on the floor until you recover it," Percy said. "It will not happen."
"I have never done this before," Cyril added.
"Neither have I," Percy told him. ~ Mary Balogh,
674:When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. ~ Hermann Hesse,
675:You know Kitty still loves you best,” I say, which makes him smile.
“I mean, I did teach her how to hock a loogie,” Josh says. “You don’t forget the person who teaches you something like that.” He takes a long sip of his milkshake. “Hey, they’re doing a Lord of the Rings marathon at the Bess this weekend. Wanna go?”
“That’s like…nine hours!”
“Yeah, nine hours of awesome. ~ Jenny Han,
676:The dead are silent, and objects, when they hold impressions, are quiet until you reach through them. But the touch of living is loud. Living people haven't been compiled, organized -which means they're a jumble of memory and thought and emotion, all tangled up and held at bay only by the silver band of my finger. The ring helps, but it can't block the noise, just the images ~ Victoria Schwab,
677:The ringing phone jarred him from his quiet desperation. A chirpy front-office woman was on the line, confirming his dental appointment for next week. “Oh,” Nate said, staring at the dying embers, “no thank you.” “Would you like to reschedule?” “Nah. I’m gonna be dead soon, and one of the great benefits is not worrying about plaque.” He thanked the puzzled silence and hung up. ~ Gregg Hurwitz,
678:He held the ring out to me, and I took it, swallowing. My skin flashed hot and cold at the same time. This, I thought, is going to become a memory: the way I’m shivering but so warm inside, the way the sky is trembling above us, threatening rain, and the way your eyes are bluer than I’ve ever seen. I slid the ring onto my right ring finger, its heart pointing inward, toward mine. ~ Leah Raeder,
679:I think you can take the recent war in Lebanon as a very good example of how this plays. The Americans and their allies clearly stood back - clearly in the eyes of Muslims - and basically said to the Israelis, "Do what you need to do, and we'll hold the ring for you and not call a cease-fire." That perception in the Muslim world very much played to the anti-American sentiment. ~ Michael Scheuer,
680:NANCY DREW began peeling off her garden gloves as she ran up the porch steps and into the hall to answer the ringing telephone. She picked it up and said, “Hello!” “Hi, Nancy! This is Helen.” Although Helen Corning was nearly three years older than Nancy, the two girls were close friends. “Are you tied up on a case?” Helen asked. “No. What’s up? A mystery?” “Yes—a haunted house. ~ Carolyn Keene,
681:Griff held his breath while Dante's hand slid against the side of his soft bulge. He tried to remember that they were just two friends joking around on the corner in Brooklyn.(...) "Yeah. I coulda…you don't have to play undersea treasure hunt in my damn pants."
"Gotta watch out for that electric eel." Dante closed his hand over the ring and winked and pulled his fist out.
~ Damon Suede,
682:We had met with Ben Stiller here in LA when I was shooting The Ring and he was doing Meet The Fockers and we have friends in common. But we didn't know each other well. He's fantastic and we really had a great time on this and we were both laughing at where we were at, this other couple, and how it was mirroring what we were going through as well. It was clever writing in that way. ~ Naomi Watts,
683:He captures something of C. S. Lewis in The Lord of the Rings. The character Treebeard makes an unusual “Hrum, Hroom” sound when he speaks. This was Tolkien’s attempt to capture the “booming voice” of Lewis. The identification of Lewis with this wise and ancient tree-man should be seen as high praise, indeed, for Tolkien’s love for trees is evident throughout his writing. More ~ Diana Pavlac Glyer,
684:Glancing down, Meg saw his eyes trained on her finger. “The ring? It’s been in my family for generations. I recently inherited it.” Meg dropped her eyes at the thought of her Aunt Gilly. The note that had come with the ring was written by Gilly’s own hand. It had said that her “destiny awaited,” whatever that meant.
“Is it you?” His softly voiced question brought her gaze to his. ~ Laura Hunsaker,
685:Only one ring remained on his pinky finger. My ring. The ring that I had worn for 500 years. Only then did I notice that his own hands were bare. It was a tiny silver band with a dark, black stone -- onyx. “Never wear onyx unless you want or know death,” he once told me. I believed him. Besides, up until that moment, I was confident no vampire enjoyed creating death more than I did. ~ Rebecca Maizel,
686:The bell in the steeple may be well hung, fairly fashioned, and of soundest metal, but it is dumb until the ringer makes it speak. And . . . the preacher has no voice of quickening for the dead in sin, or of comfort for living saints unless the divine spirit [Spirit] gives him a gracious pull, and begs him speak with power. Hence the need of prayer for both preacher and hearers. ~ John F MacArthur Jr,
687:But the danger added to the thrill. It was a long shot: perhaps the police would get to the ring first. Perhaps the ring was a fake all along. Perhaps no one would ever find it. But there was a chance, a real chance, that Isildur might end up the owner of the actual ring that had inspired The Lord of the Rings, that had been carried to Iceland by his namesake a thousand years before. ~ Michael Ridpath,
688:The ring is a copy of my mother’s. I took the stone from her engagement ring and had a jeweler place it in a titanium setting.”

“Titanium?” I asked.

“Dick knew a guy."

“Of course he did.”

“You’re a bit rough and tumble with jewelry, and I knew it would have to be able to stand up to…”

“Nuclear winter?”

His eyebrow lifted. “I never know with you. ~ Molly Harper,
689:I'm always looking for what will make me whole. What will make me happy? Somewhere along the way I started to think it wasn't Helen anymore. She hasn't changed. Her laugh is still the one I remember. Her finger is still the one I put the ring on all those years ago. I can't understand why I don't want to curve next to her, keep her back warm anymore. Surely you don't lose love like keys? ~ Cath Crowley,
690:I toyed with the idea of what it might be like to live with some species of heatstroke that maybe didn't go away all that quickly. He's a pirate, which is about rum, sodomy and the lash, isn't it? So, to be able to keep things like that in my head, when I'm going to do a film for Disney, I'd been through the ringer. That was like infiltrating the enemy camp. I wasn't able to stop smiling. ~ Johnny Depp,
691:suffer from the same condition Pup does.” “And what’s that?” Bear asked, following me out and leaning up sideways against the railing. “We both forgot who the fuck we were.” Bear dialed a few numbers; I could hear the ringing through the speaker as he held it up to his ear. “You remembering now?” “Yeah, I’m remembering now.” “And who exactly are you?” Bear asked. “I’m the fucking bad guy. ~ T M Frazier,
692:Further strengthenings of the self-centered instinct for survival recruit even greater numbers of people into some sort of ring of fellowship (church or gender, red state or blue) by populating the terra incognita outside the ring with enough barbarians to verify the existence of a civilization within--to define the preferred stock by what, as all good people agree, it decidedly is not. ~ Lewis H Lapham,
693:[I] lay back and continued reading 'The Lord of the Rings,' which I had read only two years before but had already completely forgotten. I couldn't get enough of the battle between light and darkness, good and evil. And when the little man not only resisted the superior powers but also showed himself to be the greatest hero of them all, there were tears in my eyes. Oh how good it was. ~ Karl Ove Knausg rd,
694:Love is the hardest thing in the world to write about. So simple. You've got to catch it through details, like the early morning sunlight hitting the gray tin of the rain spout in front of her house. The ringing of a telephone that sounds like Beethoven's "Pastoral." A letter scribbled on her office stationery that you carry around in your pocket because it smells of all the lilacs in Ohio. ~ Billy Wilder,
695:In accordance with such zeal, by reducing the external world to a matter of faith, he wanted merely to open a little door for faith in general, and to prepare the credit for that which was afterwards actually to be offered on credit; just as if, to introduce paper money, we tried to appeal to the fact that the value of the ringing coin depended merely on the stamp the State put on it. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
696:I should say that, in addition to my tree-love (it was originally called The Tree), it arose from my own pre-occupation with the Lord of the Rings, the knowledge that it would be finished in great detail or not at all, and the fear (near certainty) that it would be 'not at all'. The war had arisen to darken all horizons. But no such analyses are a complete explanation even of a short story. ~ J R R Tolkien,
697:I’ve never seen exquisite fallen beings, and I never shall see them, but such creatures as that painted Frenchwoman at the counter with the ringlets are vermin to my mind, and all fallen women are the same.’
‘But the Magdalen?’
‘Ah, drop that! Christ would never have said those words if He had known how they would be abused. Of all the Gospel those words are the only ones remembered. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
698:Johnny had been on earth for thirty-four years. Less than a week ago, he walked on those streets. And now the cup, the ring and two unironed waiter's aprons at home were the only concrete objects left to connote that a man had once lived. There were no other physical reminders of Johnny, as he had been buried in all the clothes he owned with his studs and his fourteen-carat gold collar button. ~ Betty Smith,
699:They danced in silence for several long moments, spinning together and apart, a slower version of their cadence in the ring. And then, out of nowhere, Lila asked, “Why?”
“Why what?”
“Why did you ask me to dance?”
He almost smiled. A ghost. A trick of the light. “So you couldn’t run away again before I said hello.”
“Hello,” said Lila.
“Hello,” said Kell. “Where have you been? ~ Victoria Schwab,
700:Yet friendship, I believe, is essential to intellectuals. It is probably the growth hormone the mind requires as it begins its activity of producing and exchanging ideas. You can date the evolving life of a mind, like the age of a tree, by the rings of friendship formed by the expanding central trunk. In the course of my history, not love or marriage so much as friendship has promoted growth. ~ Mary McCarthy,
701:If we are encouraged to read high fantasies like The Tempest and urged to “enjoy a magic island and ‘believe’ in an Ariel and a Caliban,” then why should we not also “suspend our disbelief” and enjoy the invented world of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings? Why not enter in and believe also in the magic of barrow-wights and orc-blades, Hobbiton, Tom Bombadil, and the tree-top city of Lothlórien? ~ Diana Pavlac Glyer,
702:In bullfighting there is a term called querencia. The querencia is the spot in the ring to which the bull returns. Each bull has a different querencia, but as the bullfight continues, and the animal becomes more threatened, it returns more and more often to his spot.As he returns to his querencia, he becomes more predictable. And so, in the end, the matador is able to kill the bull because in. ~ Carly Fiorina,
703:Getting dragged, kicking and screaming out of the ring, begging for mercy from whomever it is that fires me, and never be seen again. That's how I wanna go out. Haha, yeah, I don't want any.. hero's goodbye, or a big send off. I don't want a retirement ceremony. That's not how I'm built, I just wanna disappear into the sunset and have people, 'Man, that guy was a jerk. Wow, I'm glad he's gone.' ~ Chris Jericho,
704:Sometimes people would ask me about Tolkien, and I would explain that I did not, and do not, think of The Lord of the Rings as English Fantasy but as High Fantasy.) It was a novel about the reconciliation of the mundane and the miraculous, in which the world of faerie and the world of men are, perhaps, not as divided as they appear, but might simply be different ways of addressing the same thing. ~ Neil Gaiman,
705:I play chess about four hours a day in training camp. You have to decide what move to use, or what combination of moves. I think less when I box because the reaction time is a lot quicker, but some people call me the chess boxer because they say I think too much in the ring. I take my time and they don't see the action they want. Some boxers just go in there and just throw punches and hope to win. ~ Lennox Lewis,
706:I brought you a ring." It was made of warm, smooth wood. "What does it do?" I asked. "It keeps secrets," she said. I held it to my ear, Auri shook her head seriously, her hair swirling around her. "It doesn't tell them, it keeps them." She stepped close to me and took the ring, sliding it onto my finder. "It's quite enough to have a secret," she chided me gently. "Anything more would be greedy. ~ Patrick Rothfuss,
707:Every evil design that is meant by the evil characters will ultimately serve the greater good that is meant by God. Bilbo is meant to find the Ring by the Ring’s Master (Sauron) but at the same time he is meant to find it by the One God who is the ultimate Master of the Master. It is on this deepest level of what is meant that we discover the deepest meaning in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. ~ Joseph Pearce,
708:There was only silence. It was the silence of matter caught in the act and embarrassed. There were no cells moving, and yet there were cells. I could see the shape of the land, how it lay holding silence. Its poise and its stillness were unendurable, like the ring of the silence you hear in your skull when you're little and notice you're living the ring which resumes later in life when you're sick. ~ Annie Dillard,
709:I, Charles Atwood, take thee Betty Bowen, to be my wife, and before God and these witnesses, I promise to be a faithful and true husband,” Charles repeated the words, and David spoke to Betty the same, and she repeated the words. “Charles, will you put the ring on her finger, and then repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed. In sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth, ‘til death do us part, ~ Cliff Ball,
710:Gas Lights - Without Oil, Tallow, Wicks or Smoke. It is not necessary to invite attention to the gas lights by which my salon of paintings is now illuminated; those who have seen the ring beset with gems of light are sufficiently disposed to spread their reputation; the purpose of this notice is merely to say that the Museum will be illuminated every evening until the public curiosity be gratified. ~ Rembrandt Peale,
711:I don’t want something different,” I said, and I meant it. And not just about the ring, but about our twenty-one years of marriage. The people we’d made. The life we’d shaped together, exactly the life I wanted. I had no reason to suspect, standing there, that the very next day, I would begin to act not as if I wanted to give that life away, but as if I wanted something different to go along with it. A ~ Jan Ellison,
712:In a dream I walked with God through the deep places of creation; past walls that receded and gates that opened through hall after hall of silence, darkness and refreshment--the dwelling place of souls acquainted with light and warmth--until, around me, was an infinity into which we all flowed together and lived anew, like the rings made by raindrops falling upon wide expanses of calm dark waters. ~ Dag Hammarskj ld,
713:In a dream I walked with God through the deep places of creation; past walls that receded and gates that opened through hall after hall of silence, darkness and refreshment--the dwelling place of souls acquainted with light and warmth--until, around me, was an infinity into which we all flowed together and lived anew, like the rings made by raindrops falling upon wide expanses of calm dark waters. ~ Dag Hammarskjold,
714:Have you ever seen The Lord of The Rings?” He nodded while taking a sip of his coffee. “Yes, I know. This ring reminds you of that movie, but unfortunately this is real. Anybody can look up The Seal of Solomon on the internet, and see for themselves the legend behind it. So it’s realistic to believe the possibility of its existence, where Tolkien’s story is pure fantasy, an excellent one, but not real. ~ Rebekkah Ford,
715:In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, the wizard Saruman turns from wisdom to rapacity in his taste for power. He rips out the ancient trees and flattens the land to make room for the industries of war. The lesson is simple: All technology, along with its blessings, also carries a temptation—an appetite for control, a willingness to flatten the world (if needed) to make space for the human will. And ~ Charles J Chaput,
716:I put my hands over Saint Cuthbert's fingers and I could feel the big ruby ring under my own fingers, and I gave the jewel a twitch just to see whether the stone was loose and would come free, but it seemed well fixed in its setting. "I swear to be your man," I said to the corpse, "and to serve you faithfully." I tried to shift the ring again, but the dead fingers were stiff and the ruby did not move. ~ Bernard Cornwell,
717:For the first and only time, I was more worried about getting hurt by the crowd than by the guy I was fighting. I got a pretty good blast when introduced. The crowd was hollering and raising hell. I looked around for my bodyguard, a colorful New York character named Wild Bill Lyons, who packed two pearl-handled pistols and used to talk a lot about his days in the West. Wild Bill was under the ring, hiding. ~ Jack Dempsey,
718:When I first decided I wanted to be a writer, when I was 10, 11 years old, the books that I loved obviously and openly fit that description: They came with maps and glossaries and timelines - books like Lord Of The Rings, Dune, The Chronicles Of Narnia. I imagined that's what being a writer was: You invented a world, and you did it in a very detailed way, and you told stories that were set in that world. ~ Michael Chabon,
719:Hence King’s Messengers and all that. In medieval days you gave a fellow a signet ring as a sort of open sesame. ‘The King’s Ring! Pass, my lord!’ And usually it was the other fellow who had stolen it. I always wonder why some bright lad never hit on the expedient of copying the ring—making a dozen or so, and selling them at a hundred ducats apiece. They seem to have had no initiative in the Middle Ages. ~ Agatha Christie,
720:I'm going to give Vargas the chance to cash his last paycheck. I would like to say publicly that Fatty Vargas has always feared me. I conceded to take this fight at 162 pounds because fatty couldn't lose any more weight. I will do Vargas a favor by retiring him in this fight so his family doesn't have to suffer every time he steps in the ring. I'm going to do his wife a favor and not let her cry anymore. ~ Ricardo Mayorga,
721:There are things that are more important than the news and what’s happening today. There are these archetypes which are part of the human imagination since humans were presumably imaginative. And I think that’s what [people] find touching, these eternal ideas. It’s one of the things that makes fantasy something that tends to stand the test of time because we’re reading, 50 years later, The Lord of the Rings. ~ Clive Barker,
722:In the school building taken over by GQG, an unbridgeable gulf separated Operations, the Troisième Bureau, which occupied the class rooms, from Intelligence, the Deuxième Bureau, which was installed in the gymnasium with the apparatus pushed against the walls and the rings tied up to the ceiling. All day the Deuxième Bureau collected information, interrogated prisoners, deciphered documents, put together ~ Barbara W Tuchman,
723:I want to give you something.” He slid the ring off his finger. “Up until this week, I’ve never wanted anything more in my life than to wear this
ring. Not as a piece of jewelry, but because I thought I could find meaning in saving others, in being a hero. But the meaning I’ve finally found in my
life is from meeting you.” He set the ring on the palm of his hand and held it out. “I want you to have it. ~ Scott Speer,
724:A great champion needs a background in amateur boxing, I’'m convinced of that. There you learn everything that you’ll need later as a pro. Someone who’s got more than 400 amateur fights behind him no longer gets nervous before going into the ring and doesn’t lose his nerve during a fight. You know all the boxing styles, you’re prepared for anything, you’ve got the pedigree that you need to be a successful pro. ~ Lennox Lewis,
725:However, the positive, and I mean this, Jay Lethal and Kyle O'Reilly are two of my favorite opponents. I couldn't ask for two guys I'd rather be in a triple threat match with. On top of that, creatively, if we are able to make something that's really exciting for the fans, any time there are more bodies in the ring, you can always create something that's different because there's more than two people in the ring. ~ Adam Cole,
726:One tiny Hobbit against all the evil the world could muster. A sane being would have given up, but Samwise burned with a magnificent madness, a glowing obsession to surmount every obstacle, to find Frodo, destroy the Ring, and cleanse Middle Earth of its festering malignancy. He knew he would try again. Fail, perhaps. And try once more. A thousand, thousand times if need be, but he would not give up the quest. ~ J R R Tolkien,
727:Part of it is simply what looks right to the eye, sounds right to the ear. I am at home in the West. The hills of the coastal ranges look "right" to me, the particular flat expanse of the Central Valley comforts my eye. The place names have the ring of real places to me. I can pronounce the names of the rivers, and recognize the common trees and snakes. I am easy here in a way that I am not easy in other places. ~ Joan Didion,
728:And dreamed about death in the staggering particular, death as if death were still never yet heard of while something was ringing, she gasping, dissolving, slipping off into void while thinking over and over, I am not going to be, I will die, I won’t be, and forever and ever, oh, Papa, don’t let them, oh, don’t let them do it, don’t let me be nothing forever and melting, unraveling, ringing, the ringing— ~ William Peter Blatty,
729:In Sandy’s case, milk, once associated with nurturing and nutrition, now became the stuff that spilled from her throat, that her mother “refused” as she lay dead. Silverware was now no longer something used to eat your food, but rather something that killed and maimed and horrified. And doorbells—well, that was what had started the whole thing: the ringing of the doorbell had announced the arrival of the killer. ~ Bruce D Perry,
730:It's the 50th year of Doctor Who and look what's going on! We're up in the sky and under the sea! We're running round the rings of an alien world and then a haunted house. There's new Cybermen, new Ice Warriors and a never before attempted journey to the centre of the TARDIS. And in the finale, the Doctor's greatest secret will at last be revealed! If this wasn't already our most exciting year it would be anyway! ~ Steven Moffat,
731:Take you my ring,” he repeated, “and keep it with you.” His tone was stubborn, and so I obeyed, sliding the great ring from his outstretched finger. The ring was cold, as his hands were cold, and I held it tenderly in my palm, blinking back the rising wetness of my eyes. “Remember that hawk, Mariana Farr,” he told me gently, “and seek me not with your eyes, but with your soul. The soul sees what truly matters. ~ Susanna Kearsley,
732:He’s obviously very well trained. He’s probably just confused about being handed around a bit and is acting out.”
Ryder didn’t think Tiny was confused at all. That dog was smart as hell. He knew exactly what he was doing. He was enjoying putting Ryder through the ringer then acting all butter-wouldn’t-melt whenever a chick walked by in case he got to lick a cleavage or two.
He was evil. An evil fucking genius. ~ Amy Andrews,
733:I had never done anything with blue screen before, or prosthetics, or anything like that. Lord of the Rings was like stepping into a videogame for me. It was another world completely. But, to be honest, I basically did it so that I could have the ears. I thought they would really work with my bare head.Working with Martin Scorsese was an absolute minute-by-minute education without him ever being grandiose about it. ~ Cate Blanchett,
734:My robust lexicon notwithstanding, I struggle to find the right words to describe just how much I despise, hate, abhor, revile, detest and categorically abominate anything to do with home maintenance. While cooking strikes me as an essentially creative act, cleaning seems little more than an exercise in decay management, enough to trigger an existential crisis each time the ring around the toilet bowl reappears. ~ Rachel Held Evans,
735:For Isildur would not surrender it to Elrond and Círdan who stood by. They counselled him to cast it into the fire of Orodruin night at hand... But Isildur refused this counsel, saying: 'This I will have as weregild for my father's death, and my brother's. Was it not I that dealt the Enemy his death-blow?' And the Ring that he held seemed to him exceedingly fair to look on; and he would not suffer it to be destroyed. ~ J R R Tolkien,
736:Yes, so that people will know what it means,” he said. “So they’ll know you’re taken.” I’d never thought of a diamond’s sparkle like that before, like it was magic and it would ward off other penises the way garlic vanquishes vampires. Humoring him, I picked it up and slipped it on the left hand ring finger. He put his arm around my shoulder and we looked down at the ring with pride, as though we’d just made an embryo. ~ Mara Altman,
737:No domestic dispute between Franny and David had inspired the removal of their wedding rings. She would take hers off at work when she was giving scalp massages. Once she thought she had lost the ring, but she found it in the treatment room on a candleholder David had made for her during a personal failure of a pottery class he had taken the year he lost his job. After she found her ring, she started leaving it at home. ~ Amelia Gray,
738:When Peter Jackson did The Lord of the Rings trilogy with Fellowship of the Ring, not everyone had read Tolkien, and yet somehow with that scope and the spectacle of that fantasy, people were willing to give it a shot. And when they watched the first one, the characters drew them in and they started understanding the story. And then, all of a sudden, they were The Lord of the Rings fans, even if they never read Tolkien. ~ Duncan Jones,
739:Doona need it? Christ, Eoin, have ye gone mad? The lass canna stay here.” Eoin cringed as the thought of her leaving caused an uncomfortable pain to hit him right below his ribs. “Aye, she can. She’s my wife, Arran, whether I knew it was her that I married or no. If ye hadna gone and pried the ring off of our father’s dead finger, then she wouldna had a choice. I canna lose her, Arran. I’m no going to give her the ring. ~ Bethany Claire,
740:It was like a great big déjà vu moment. Last time he had sprinted at the pack and tackled the man holding the Ring. And it had been a mistake. But as Dak sat there, studying the scene, he realized something: He would always race to help Sera when she appeared to be in danger. He didn't care how many times it was a mistake. There was no way he would ever be able to just sit back and let something possibly happen to her. ~ Matt de la Pena,
741:Just after the climax of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee discovers that his friend Gandalf was not dead (as he thought) but alive. He cries, “I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself! Is everything sad going to come untrue?”13 The answer of Christianity to that question is—yes. Everything sad is going to come untrue and it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost. ~ Timothy J Keller,
742:I know I’m one royal screw up, and god knows there’s nothing I could ever do to deserve you,” he began, taking my hand in his after sliding the ring free from the chain.

“But I want you, Lucy Larson. Bad. I want you forever. The kind of bad I have for you isn’t the kind that goes away.” His forehead lined, his eyes washing silver. “Ease my suffering. Make me the happiest, most tortured man in the world. Marry me? ~ Nicole Williams,
743:I love The Miz. His approach to his job is second to none; it's extremely important to him that he prepares on a daily basis. I travel with him and from the moment he gets up to the moment he goes to bed it's all WWE, all sports entertainment. He keeps his body in shape and he is a true champion in the ring and out. He's a great representative of the company and I'm learning a lot from him, not only on TV but outside as well. ~ Alex Riley,
744:It is marvelous indeed to watch on television the rings of Saturn close; and to speculate on what we may yet find at galaxy's edge. But in the process, we have lost the human element; not to mention the high hope of those quaint days when flight would create one world. Instead of one world, we have star wars, and a future in which dumb dented human toys will drift mindlessly about the cosmos long after our small planet's dead. ~ Gore Vidal,
745:While the three in the pinnace debated what to do, the Ring sent a second bitmap to the pinnace: 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 1, 4, 2, 1, 5, 9. Then a third bitmap: 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 16, 6, 10, 10, 4, 7. A fourth: 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 19, 5, 1, 15, 4, 8. A fifth: 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 7, 2, 16, 4, 1, 14. The bitmaps came one after another. The first six numbers in each consisted of the six prime numbers sent by the pinnace as a greeting. ~ Liu Cixin,
746:He grabs me and scoops me up like I weigh nothing, then he raises his voice as he swings around, angry and commanding. “It’s because of this woman I’m still fighting!”

A sudden silence falls across the crowd, and Remington’s hard, enraged voice continues telling them, “Next time I'm on the ring, I'm going to fucking win for her, and I want all of you who hurt her tonight to bring her a red rose and tell her it’s from me! ~ Katy Evans,
747:Open your eyes. Block all escape routes. Eliminate all noise. The common will capture your attention as long as it’s allowed in the room. Whatever you are used to, whether cigarettes, shopping, or Twitter, must be eliminated in the quest to get into the ring. You must make a sacrifice on the altar of greatness and perform acts that others will not. If you aren’t willing to sacrifice your comfort, you don’t have what it takes. ~ Julien Smith,
748:I think I'll be a clown when I get grown,' said Dill. Jem and I stopped in our tracks. Yes sir, a clown,' he said. 'There ain't one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I'm gonna join the circus and laugh my head off.' You got it backwards, Dill,' said Jem. 'Clowns are sad, it's folks that laugh at them.' Well I'm gonna be a new kind of clown. I'm gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks. ~ Harper Lee,
749:I had heard everything, Larry gonna knock me out, he gonna beat me, this and that. I got so sick of that. I had a little talk with myself in my bedroom and I said, Don't think about getting in the ring with Larry Holmes, I mean, Don't forget Larry Holmes is getting in the ring with you. You're champ for so many years. And just do what you're best at. What I am best at was not letting anybody have their way with me in the ring. ~ Michael Spinks,
750:I can’t take the ring. It means—it means too much to you. It’s all you have left of them.”
“That’s why it’s better if you have it,” he said, and held out the box, cupped in one hand.“Because you can make it a better memory. I can barely look at this thing without seeing the past. I don’t want to see the past anymore. I want to see the future.” He didn’t blink, and she felt the breath leave her body. “You’re the future, Claire. ~ Rachel Caine,
751:People like to say that time heals all wounds, but I don't believe it. I remember once Grandpa took me firewood cutting, and as we looked at the rings of the tree together, he pointed out the years where there was drought and the years where there was fire. So while time allowed for new growth that hid the scars of the past, those scars were still there, inside the tree, and part of the tree. I think about how I am like that tree. ~ Kaya McLaren,
752:But it wasn’t just about the sex, though the sex blows my mind. I also wanted to have her around. Her over-loud laugh. Her bearish morning greetings. Her -thrashing/snuggling night-time presence. I miss her. I miss the way she always pushed me, always made me think, always made me work harder. I feel like I hadn’t ever been able to repay her for all that, and just when I was finally in a position to do it, she found the ring box. ~ Steph Campbell,
753:She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white whose gentle voice was soft and sad. ~ J R R Tolkien,
754:He grasped my hand. “Let’s take this off.” He gently drew the ring from my finger, like a reverse engagement. A nullification. But I let him. He set it beside the pallet. “Be with me,” he said, his accent thickening. “Stay with me.” He nipped my bottom lip, as exciting and sexy as he’d ever been. “Let’s stop regretting and start living.” With a breathless nod, I allowed myself to fall under his spell. I gave myself up to it, to him. ~ Kresley Cole,
755:Then I glanced at the ring on my finger. The Snake That Eats Its Own Tail, Forever and Ever. I know where I came from—but where did all you zombies come from? I felt a headache coming on, but a headache powder is one thing I do not take. I did once—and you all went away. So I crawled into bed and whistled out the light. You aren’t really there at all. There isn’t anybody but me—Jane—here alone in the dark. I miss you dreadfully! ~ Robert A Heinlein,
756:There’s no two ways about it, Tolkien fans are a funny bunch. I should know, for I was one of them. Been there, done that, read the book, gone mad. I first took on The Lord of the Rings at the age of eleven or twelve; to be precise, I began it at the age of eleven and finished at the age of twelve. It was, and remains, not a book that you happen to read, like any other, but a book that happens to you: a chunk bitten out of your life. ~ Anthony Lane,
757:A great dread fell on him, as if he was awaiting the pronouncement of some doom that he had long foreseen and vainly hoped might after all never be spoken. An overwhelming longing to rest and remain at peace by Bilbo's side in Rivendell filled all his heart. At last with an effort he spoke, and wondered to hear his own words, as if some other will was using his small voice. "I will take the Ring," he said, "though I do not know the way. ~ J R R Tolkien,
758:I love science fiction but I don't like fantastic [cinema]. For example, if you have a magical ring and you can explode the world with it. What are we talking about? You know, it's not interesting. I don't like Lord of the Rings. Even Star Wars, for me, I don't understand this kind of story. But Alien, because the rules of the game are very precise, it could happen. I love science fiction. I have an idea about robots in the future. ~ Jean Pierre Jeunet,
759:I think I'll be a clown when I get grown,' said Dill.
Jem and I stopped in our tracks.
Yes sir, a clown,' he said. 'There ain't one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I'm gonna join the circus and laugh my head off.'
You got it backwards, Dill,' said Jem. 'Clowns are sad, it's folks that laugh at them.'
Well I'm gonna be a new kind of clown. I'm gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks. ~ Harper Lee,
760:Love is ordinary, love is dull, love is the natural condition of the human heart, love is the message we carry branded on us from the womb but only the best of us will dare to read it and, even when we dare to read it to people who can never understand, it is still there in us like the rings in a tree or the ridges in a shell, part of us, marking the years and the drought and the growth, even if nobody sees it until the tree is cut down. ~ Andrew Nicoll,
761:Niels Bohr believed that the complementarity that existed between the wave and the particle aspects of nature were indications of a much deeper complementarity in which irreconcilable pairs of opposites need not be contradictory. As he once said, "the opposite of a small truth may be a lie, but the opposite of a great truth is also a great truth." Thus the ring i may be a symbol of the reconciliation of complementary parts of the whole. ~ Fred Alan Wolf,
762:Ruling is hard. This was maybe my answer to Tolkien, whom, as much as I admire him, I do quibble with. Lord of the Rings had a very medieval philosophy: that if the king was a good man, the land would prosper. We look at real history and it's not that simple... Real-life kings had real-life problems to deal with... My people who are trying to rule don't have an easy time of it. Just having good intentions doesn't make you a wise king. ~ George R R Martin,
763:When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right ~ Fiona Apple,
764:I had huge fun with Chris Evans, as Captain America, because super-soldier though he may be, he's still a man, up against a God who in his own mind is infinitely superior. Then, in the ring with The Hulk, we've got this silver tongued, lightening quick mind up against the embodiment of rage..Loki has this mercurial, transformative ability, not just physically but intellectually, so not all the fights are purely physical. Mind games? Maybe. ~ Tom Hiddleston,
765:No, Logan, this belongs to you—” His chest expanded with a shaky draw of air before he released it again. “Yes, it does, Cait,” he said, taking the ring from her palm. Piercing her with a solemn gaze, he slipped it on her right index finger before she could retract her hand. “But unfortunately for me, my heart belongs to you, so if I can’t grace your left hand with my love, then I’d like to grace your right with a friendship just as deep.” She ~ Julie Lessman,
766:And then I heard the ring of metal on concrete, and I went cold, because one of them had found a piece of rebar lying around, and I knew with sudden certainty that these guys were going to kill me right here on this stupid sidewalk, for nothing, without even the reason of knowing my name or hating my politics. They were just going to kill me because they needed to kill something, and I was handy.

At least zombies would have had a reason. ~ Rachel Caine,
767:Tereza's mother never stopped reminding her that being a mother meant sacrificing everything. Her words had the ring of truth, backed as they were by the experience of a woman who had lost everything because of her child. Tereza would listen and believe that being a mother was the highest value in life and that being a mother was a great sacrifice. If a mother was Sacrifice personified, then a daughter was Guilt, with no possibility of redress. ~ Milan Kundera,
768:The guiding hand at one’s pony; the voice at one’s porridge bowl; the splendid athlete one watched from one’s books in the cold tower window, while outside in the sunshine he rode at the ring, threw his spears, matched his sword with the master-at-arms. The brother who had cared for him, a grown man in illness, and defended him against calumny, and who at length, heartbroken at his defection, had turned his back on him a year ago in Scotland. ~ Dorothy Dunnett,
769:Ready?”“No!” I howl with laughter as I squeeze his neck tightly. “Don’t you dare let me fall into this water! It’s fucking freezing!”A strange look passes through his blue eyes. “Let you fall? Reese, you should know by now that I’d never let that happen.” His one arm pulls me in to lay a highly inappropriate kiss on my lips, given we have spectators.And then he starts running through the ring of water sprays.Drenching us both as we laugh and laugh. ~ K A Tucker,
770:He read The Lord of the Rings for what I'm estimating the millionth time, one of his greatest loves and greatest comforts since he'd first discovered it, back when he was nine and lost and lonely and his favorite librarian had said, Here, try this, and with one suggestion changed his life. Got through almost the whole trilogy, but then the line "and out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls" and he had to stop, his head and heart hurting too much. ~ Junot D az,
771:He read The Lord of the Rings for what I’m estimating the millionth time, one of his greatest loves and greatest comforts since he’d first discovered it, back when he was nine and lost and lonely and his favorite librarian had said, Here, try this, and with one suggestion changed his life. Got through almost the whole trilogy, but then the line “and out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls” and he had to stop, his head and heart hurting too much. ~ Junot D az,
772:The artist especially, in whom the power of imitation is particularly strong, must fall prey to the feeble manysidedness of modern life as to a serious childhood illness; in his youth and childhood he will look more like an adult than his real self. The marvellously accurate archetypal youth who is the Siegfried of the Ring des Nibelungen could have been produced only by a man, and by a man moreover who had found his own youth late in life. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
773:Warwick Castle, Oxford University, the Cotswold, and the countryside of England are my favorite places to visit when I’m in England. Whenever I visit, I feel as if I’ve come home. These places inspired my settings for my fantasy series, Bitter Frost Series, Wordwick Games, and The Alchemists Academy. I didn’t know the great author of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy was also inspired by Warwick, Oxford, and Cotswold. Imaginative minds must dream alike. ~ Kailin Gow,
774:From time to time complaints are made about the ringing of church bells. It seems strange that a generation which tolerates the uproar of the internal combustion engine and the wailing of the jazz band should be so sensitive to the one loud noise that is made to the glory of God. England, alone in the world, has perfected the art of change-ringing and the true ringing of bells by rope and wheel and will not lightly surrender her unique heritage. ~ Dorothy L Sayers,
775:Frodo bears the ring. He carries it. But,” I lifted a finger in the air for emphasis, “Samwise is his trusted servant, and he is very trustworthy. He supports Frodo, he keeps Frodo from giving up. He even bears the ring for a short time. Plus there’s this bit at the very end that…well, you’ll have to read the book. So, the question is—who deserves the credit for the destruction of the ring? Who was stronger? Frodo or Samwise? The master or the servant? ~ Penny Reid,
776:The curious thing about The Ring and the Book, to which I will now return, is that although each character recounts the same events, and although there is no difference in what they tell, there is a fundamental difference, which belongs to the realm of human psychology, the fact that each of us believes we are justified. For example, the count admits he is a murderer, but the word “murderer” is too general. We know this from reading other books. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
777:Let us take some simple examples: When you were going to be married, you had vivid, realistic pictures in your mind. With your power of imagination, you saw the minister, rabbi, or priest. You heard him pronounce the words, you saw the flowers and the church, and you heard the music. You imagined the ring on your finger, and you traveled through your imagination on your honeymoon to Niagara Falls or Europe. All this was performed by your imagination. ~ Joseph Murphy,
778:Before I could open any more pictures, I was interrupted by the ring of my cell phone. Scrambling for my purse, I fished out the phone, hoping the noise wouldn’t wake the baby.
“Hello?”
“How’s it going?” Dane asked.
I relaxed at the familiar voice. “I’m having a fling with a younger man,” I told him. “He’s kind of short for me, and there’s a little incontinence problem . . . but we’re working to get beyond all that.”

-Ella & Dane ~ Lisa Kleypas,
779:Faith and power, he had come to believe, were interchangeable. Was the final truth even simpler? That no act of faith was possible until you were rudely pushed out into the screaming middle of things like a newborn child skydiving chutelessly out of his mother’s womb? Once you were falling, you were forced to believe in the chute, into existence, weren’t you? Pulling the ring as you fell became your final statement on the subject, one way or the other. ~ Stephen King,
780:The Wonderland Wars,” Fabiola says. “What did you think those epic fantasies, the Lord of the Rings and Narnia, were about?” No words come out of my mouth. I’m starting to realize how Wonderland is connected to everything. “They were meant to inspire generations and educate them about the idea of good and evil in this world.” Fabiola stops to make sure I am following. “They were discreetly using literature to prepare generations for the Wonderland Wars. ~ Cameron Jace,
781:Patch reached for my hand and pushed my dad's ring off the tip of his finger and into my palm, curling my fingers around it. He kissed my knuckles. "I was going to give this back earlier, but it wasn't finished." I opened my palm and held the ring up. The same heart was engraved on the underside, but now there were two names carved on either side of it: NORA and JEV. I looked up. "Jev? That's your real name?" "Nobody's called me that in a long time. ~ Becca Fitzpatrick,
782:The best man. You know? He hands you the ring and has to marry the bride if you ran away and so on. The Dean's been reading up on it, haven't you, Dean?"
"Oh, yes," said the Dean, who'd spent all the previous day with "Lady Deirdre Waggon's Book of Etiquette". "She's got to marry someone once she's turned up. You can't have unmarried brides flapping around the place, being a danger to society."
"I completely forgot about a best man!" said Vimes. ~ Terry Pratchett,
783:It was the ring on the left hand that people at the Old Girls' Reunion looked for. Often, in fact nearly always, it was an uninteresting ring, sometimes no more than the plain gold band or the very smallest and dimmest of diamonds. Perhaps the husband was also of this variety, but as he was not seen at this female gathering he could only be imagined, and somehow I do not think we ever imagined the husbands to be quite so uninteresting as they probably were. ~ Barbara Pym,
784:My first sparring session with him saw him bullying me around the ring, so I thought fuck this, and when he came back in close, I threw the boxing code of conduct out of the window and hit him with a cracking right hand in to the balls! That sapped the energy out of him and that was the end of that. In the end, I could take anything he threw at me and then I’d come back with mine, which he didn’t like and people would comment on how much I’d ‘come on’. ~ Stephen Richards,
785:Once their breathing calmed and the ringing in Zane's ears faded,he heard the muffled sound of Nick and Kelly in their bedroom,catcalling and applauding.Ty must have heard it as well,because they both began to laugh at the same time.
-Is wrong that I'm turned on by the idea of forcing your friends to listen to us having sex?-Zane asked with a frown.
Ty laughed harder.-Just don't tell Nick that.He'll offer to critique your performance.Or worse,join us- ~ Abigail Roux,
786:LAILA WOULD REMEMBER the muted ceremony in bits and fragments. The cream-colored stripes of Rasheed’s suit. The sharp smell of his hair spray. The small shaving nick just above his Adam’s apple. The rough pads of his tobacco-stained fingers when he slid the ring on her. The pen. Its not working. The search for a new pen. The contract. The signing, his sure-handed, hers quavering. The prayers. Noticing, in the mirror, that Rasheed had trimmed his eyebrows. ~ Khaled Hosseini,
787:Back when I was younger, I would have no fear climbing a ladder. I couldn't wait to get to the top just so I could jump off. Now I am married and raising my two daughters, and I'm not a kid in the WWE any more. People ask me how I am so fearless on a ladder and how I have no fear in the ring. And the answer to that question is a bit complicated. I used to have no fear, but that is no longer true. With a wife and two girls at home, I'm more afraid now than ever. ~ Jeff Hardy,
788:But as all else in him thinned, and his cheek-bones grew sharper, his eyes, nevertheless, seemed growing fuller and fuller; they became of a strange softness of lustre; and mildly but deeply looked out at you there from his sickness, a wondrous testimony to that immortal health in him which could not die, or be weakened. And like circles on the water, which, as they grow fainter, expand; so his eyes seemed rounding and rounding, like the rings of Eternity. ~ Herman Melville,
789:After the first fighter, who remained nameless and was referred to only as the challenger, entered the octagon, Kage appeared at the door. My breath caught in my chest when I saw him. That’s my guy, I thought. My lover. He stalked intimidatingly into the ring wearing nothing but a pair of red trunks, his hair pulled into that cute little queue atop his head. But that was where the cute ended. This Michael Kage looked alarmingly unlike the guy I was falling for. ~ Maris Black,
790:After a half an hour of inaneness, the chairwoman of the event, Linda Whaley, came to steal Sam, leaving Taylor cruising the room by herself. She wasn’t alone for long. Within a few minutes, three different men had asked if they could buy her a drink. Though she was gracious and appropriately flirty, she’d started drinking the champagne with her left hand as a hint. The ring wasn’t scaring off any potential suitors. A couple wore wide gold bands themselves. Dogs. ~ J T Ellison,
791:His head was swimming, and he was far from certain even of the direction they had been going in when he had his fall. He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel. It was a turning point in his career, but he did not know it. He put the ring in his pocket almost without thinking; certainly it did not seem of any particular use at the moment. ~ J R R Tolkien,
792:Alana – still dressed as a pirate- chambers over the counter like that evil Japanese ghost in the Ring, knocking over the child-size popcorn of some little kid, who starts to cry. The pink-pigtailed girl knows something crazy is going on, but she doesn’t yet understand it has anything to do with her. Not until Alana has grabbed Tyler by his black button-down shirt and pushed him hard into the Icee machine, which begins to stream cherry-red Icee onto the counter. ~ Tommy Wallach,
793:Is it my imagination or is the flying carpet going a little faster today?” Jonah asks as we coast through the desert. I’m sitting up front with him. Aladdin and Prince are behind us. Prince’s ears flap in the breeze. There was no ear flapping yesterday. “It is!” I say. “And a little higher, too. You’re definitely getting the hang of magic-carpet flying.” We only bumped into two people on the way. “So since I mastered that, can I wear the ring now?” Jonah asks. ~ Sarah Mlynowski,
794:You came here a fighter, Maddie. Maybe you'd lost a round or two, but you were on your feet. You want to stay in Lucky Harbor? Fight for it. You want a relationship with your sisters? Fight for it."
"What about you? What about a relationship with you?"
He pulled back to look into her face as if memorizing her features. His voice, when he spoke, was low and gravelly with emotion. "I'm already yours. Always have been. All you have to do is step into the ring. ~ Jill Shalvis,
795:Political conflicts are merely surface manifestations. If conflicts arise you may be sure that certain powers intend to keep this conflict under operation since they hope to profit from the situation. To concern yourself with surface political conflicts is to make the mistake of the bull in the ring, you are charging the cloth. That is what politics is for, to teach you the cloth. Just as the bullfighter teaches the bull, teaches him to follow, obey the cloth. ~ William S Burroughs,
796:Then I glanced at the ring on my finger.

The Snake That Eats Its Own Tail, Forever and Ever. I know where I came from—but where did all you zombies come from?

I felt a headache coming on, but a headache powder is one thing I do not take. I did once—and you all went away.

So I crawled into bed and whistled out the light.

You aren’t really there at all. There isn’t anybody but me—Jane—here alone in the dark.

I miss you dreadfully! ~ Robert A Heinlein,
797:She jerked away, pulled free, then hiked her dress and stalked down the path. “Shay, wait.” She whirled, shooting him all kinds of angry. “Don’t you say one more word to me. Not. One. More. Word.” She removed the ring and flung it at him. He caught it against his chest. She wiped the back of her fingers across her mouth again. He felt her pain. Not so easy, is it, sweetness? She turned and walked away, dress hiked to the top of her boots, a sliver of her legs showing. ~ Denise Hunter,
798:I was flying out to Connecticut for the express purpose of breaking up with my boyfriend and I bought this set of three paperbacks to read on the plane and by the time I got to New Haven I was so worried about Frodo and Sam that I said to my boyfriend, “It’s awful. They’re trying to sneak into Mordor and the Ringwraiths are after them and I don’t trust Gollum and …” and I completely forgot to break up with him. And, as of yesterday, we’ve been married thirty-nine years. ~ Connie Willis,
799:While that thing was on, we ran a ridiculous amount of data through our servers.” “How much?” I asked. He looked exasperated. “Enough that I could make up some kind of strained analogy involving the contents of the Library of Congress and the number of pixels in all of the Lord of the Rings movies put together and how many phone calls the NSA intercepts in a single day and you would be like, ‘Holy shit, that’s a lot.’” “Holy shit, that’s a lot!” I exclaimed dutifully. ~ Neal Stephenson,
800:I want to get a handle on the music. There's only so much you can do alone. I want everyone else there. I can't wait until we feel we've got it down and we can really figure out what it's all about! I can't wait to meet Harvey Keitel, too! I'm so used to working with musical theatre people... I'm really curious how he works. He's the only one that doesn't sing in the show - he acts and weaves himself through the show as the ring-master. I hope I learn something from him. ~ Max von Essen,
801:I’ve wanted to see you wearing nothing but my ring since I bought it for you. Knowing that, like the ring I put on your finger, I'm the only one. The only one who will ever see you in nothing but my ring. The only one who will wake up to your beautiful face every day for the rest of my life. The only one who will make love to you. The only one who will make babies with you.” I watched his eyes get wet. “I can’t tell you how happy I am that you are carrying my child. ~ Aurora Rose Reynolds,
802:Patch reached for my hand and pushed my dad's ring off the tip of his finger and into my palm, curling my fingers around it. He kissed my knuckles. "I was going to give this back earlier, but it wasn't finished."

I opened my palm and held the ring up. The same heart was engraved on the underside, but now there were two names carved on either side of it: NORA and JEV.

I looked up. "Jev? That's your real name?"

"Nobody's called me that in a long time. ~ Becca Fitzpatrick,
803:She stood in his kitchen, watching him toy with the ring in his lip. It wasn't quite that he was biting it, but sucking it into his mouth. He did that when he was concentrating. It isn't sexy. He's not sexy. But he was, and she was staring at him like a fool. "wow" she whispered (.....)"Wow, huh?" His voice was low, husky. His chair creaked as he stood. His footsteps seemed strangely loud as he closed the couple yards between them. Then he was beside her. "I can work with wow ~ Melissa Marr,
804:We burned the bras we burned the hair we burned the credit cards and cash we burned the rings around the fingers we broke the fingers and the nails we burned the burning in their loins we burned them and we burned them. The lessons pilled up on the floor like the dream of a wall around our people that could not be felt. The colors of their lipsticks and foldings and our dry hump was overwriting the previous year’s best clothing designers’ dreamlives, thereby overriding yours. ~ Blake Butler,
805:Cordelia’s stomach tightened. “Radnov and Darobey, by chance?” Stuben stared. “How did you know?” “Go on, just go on.” “They were the ringleaders of a conspiracy to unseat that homicidal maniac Vorkosigan. Vorkosigan was after them, so they were glad to see us.” “I’ll bet. Just like manna from heaven.” “A Barrayaran patrol shuttled down after them. We set up an ambush—stunned them all, except for one Radnov shot with a nerve disruptor. Those guys really play for keeps. ~ Lois McMaster Bujold,
806:I found this in the same box where the sketches were,” she added, putting it in his outstretched palm.
“My father gave it to me when I was a boy,” he said in an offhand voice. His long fingers closed around it, and he slipped it into his pocket.
“I think it may be very valuable,” Elizabeth said, imagining the sorts of improvements he could make to his home and lands if he chose to sell the ring.
“As a matter of fact,” Ian drawled blandly, “it’s completely worthless. ~ Judith McNaught,
807:... photography is an imprint or transfer off the real; it is a photochemically processed trace causally connected to the thing in the world to which it refers in a manner parallel to fingerprints or footprints or the rings of water that cold glasses leave on tables. The photograph is thus generically distinct from painting or sculpture or drawing. On the family tree of images it is closer to palm prints, death masks, the Shroud of Turin, or the tracks of gulls on beaches. ~ Rosalind E Krauss,
808:The thing that surprised me is that nobody stared at us. Nobody even gave us a second look. The uniform, the pants, the long-sleeved T-shirt and jacket, covered all my inorganic parts. If they noticed the dataport in the back of my neck they must have thought I was an augmented human. We were just three more people making our way down the ring. It hit me that I was just as anonymous in a crowd of humans who didn’t know each other as I was in my armor, in a group of other SecUnits. ~ Martha Wells,
809:There are four simple ways for the observant to tell Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar apart: first, Mr. Vandemar is two and a half heads taller than Mr. Croup; second, Mr. Croup has eyes of a faded china blue, while Mr. Vandemar’s eyes are brown; third, while Mr. Vandemar fashioned the rings he wears on his right hand out of the skulls of four ravens, Mr. Croup has no obvious jewelry; fourth, Mr. Croup likes words, while Mr. Vandemar is always hungry. Also, they look nothing at all alike. ~ Neil Gaiman,
810:There are four simple ways for the observant to tell Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar apart: first, Mr. Vandemar is two and a half heads taller than Mr. Croup; second, Mr. Croup has eyes of a faded china blue, while Mr. Vandemar's eyes are brown; third, while Mr. Vandemar fashioned the rings he wears on his right hand out of the skulls of four ravens, Mr. Croup has no obvious jewelery; fourth, Mr. Croup likes words, while Mr. Vandemar is always hungry. Also, they look nothing at all alike. ~ Neil Gaiman,
811:However, one of the reasons for their dissolution is that Hugo Dyson crossed this line. When he persisted in dismissing The Lord of the Rings, it changed the group. Dyson didn’t critique the work: he rejected it altogether. That eroded the spirit of the Inklings. It was no longer safe to share rough drafts and far-fetched ideas. When creative people encounter thoughtful critique, they feel empowered. When they encounter dismissal, they stop taking risks. They shut down. Tolkien ~ Diana Pavlac Glyer,
812:One last thing,” I said as we headed for the door. Both men stopped to look at me. “I could use a little help initiating Quinn and Brody into the family.” Ronan and Memphis chuckled. While Ronan hadn’t been put through the ringer when he’d started attending family dinners with his husband, Memphis hadn’t been so lucky since he was dating not one, but two members of the Barretti family. “Leave it to me,” Memphis said with a smirk. “And here I thought this evening would be boring.” I ~ Sloane Kennedy,
813:Wait,” I said. “I forgot something.” I walked over to my old body again, still in the crèche. I looked over to Dr. Russell and pointed to the door. “I need to unlock this,” I said. Dr. Russell nodded. I unlocked it, opened it, and took my old body’s left hand. On the ring finger was a simple gold band. I slipped it off and slipped it on my ring finger. Then I cupped my old face with my new hands. “Thank you,” I said to me. “Thank you for everything.” Then I went out with the Colonials. ~ John Scalzi,
814:Everything goes, everything comes back; eternally rolls the wheel of being. Everything dies, everything blossoms again; eternally runs the year of being. Everything breaks, everything is joined anew; eternally the same House of Being is built. Everything parts, everything greets every other thing again; eternally the ring of being remains faithful to itself. In every Now, being begins; round every Here rolls the sphere There. The center is everywhere. Bent is the path of eternity. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
815:A lot of individuals are so worried about being politically correct. I'd rather go ahead and say what's on my mind than to sit there and come up with some PC 'Oh, the guy is a great fighter and I have a lot of respect for him.' If I don't mean it, why is it even coming out of my mouth? ... I want to fight Lesnar. I hate who he is as a person. I want to break his neck in the ring. I want him to be the first person that dies due to Octagon-related injuries. That's what's going through my mind. ~ Frank Mir,
816:Here was the real lobby, obviously. A high ceiling arched gracefully. Elevator doors lined the walls, and she recalled from her reading that some led to the underground garage and some to the upper levels—a deliberate move to ensure that everyone entering the building had to go through multiple layers of security and pass the exceptionally large and prominently armed guards who sat at the ring of desks in the center. It was a beautiful room, and it was filled with people bustling about. ~ Daniel O Malley,
817:Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it. And he is bound up with the fate of the Ring. My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before the end; and when that comes, the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many - yours not least. ~ J R R Tolkien,
818:One writes such a story [The Lord of the Rings] not out of the leaves of trees still to be observed, nor by means of botany and soil-science; but it grows like a seed in the dark out of the leaf-mold of the mind: out of all that has been seen or thought or read, that has long ago been forgotten, descending into the deeps. No doubt there is much personal selection, as with a gardener: what one throws on one's personal compost-heap; and my mold is evidently made largely of linguistic matter. ~ J R R Tolkien,
819:She curled her tongue around the silver rings and tugged. It was as if she´d unleashed a wild animal. With that one simple movement, Jean-Baptiste´s face went from a sensual hunger to a mask of fierce,feline possessivness. He glared at her. Snarled at her. Sweat broke on his brow, his eyes flashed burnt gold and he looked ready to attack. Maybe she should´ve been scared. Or at least, cautious. But when she eased her tongue from the rings, she grinned.
"Lie back," he growled at her. "Now. ~ Laura Wright,
820:From the pocket of her robe she pulled out the ring he’d given her, she put it over her finger, sliding it back and forth over her knuckle.
“Can I tell you something?” Dad asked.
“Yes. Please.”
“Any promise you make, whether it’s to your school, or your family, or to Billy, half of the promise is commitment and the other half, is faith. Faith that your commitment is enough. There’s no answer, honey. None.”
She stared down at her ring, his words like bells ringing in her head. ~ Molly O Keefe,
821:He's the captive Kastor sent you to train?' said Torveld, curiously. 'He's--safe?'

'He looks combative, but he's really very docile and adoring,' said Laurent, 'like a puppy.'

'A puppy,' said Torveld.

To demonstrate, Laurent picked up a confection of crushed nuts and honey and held it out to Damen as he had at the ring, between thumb and forefinger.

'Sweetmeat?' said Laurent.

In the stretched-out moment that followed, Damen thought explicitly about killing him. ~ C S Pacat,
822:I made it," you said, gruffly, "for you."

You shoved it onto my finger. It was roughly carved, shaped from a lump of something colourful and cold...a ring made entirely from a gemstone. It was beautiful. It glinted emerald greens and blood reds over my skin, and had tiny flecks of gold catching the light. I couldn't stop staring at it.

"Why?" I asked.

You didn't answer that. Instead you touched the ring gently and looked piercingly at me, unsaid questions in your eyes. ~ Lucy Christopher,
823:Lucy Mason, you brought the color in. You brought me to life when I didn’t even realize I’d stopped breathing.” He laid his hand over hers on his cheek. “Now I can’t get enough air. It’s everywhere because of you.” When he pulled the ring out of his jacket and popped open the lid, she didn’t take her eyes off his face for a second. “Be my air. Let me be yours. Forever. Marry me, Lucy.” “Yes.” She knelt down in front of him on the ground, meeting him halfway as always. “Yes, Matt. Of course, yes. ~ Tessa Bailey,
824:Quickly she opened them again. He might have noticed. But the eyes gazed blankly up at the sky. Now–she reached for the oil–to do the face. The girl’s thumbs had scarcely pressed into the sockets of the man’s closed eyes when the telephone in the house started ringing. The sound reached impatiently out into the quiet garden. At once the man was up on one knee like a runner waiting for the gun. But he didn’t move forward. The ringing stopped. There was the mutter of a voice. The girl could not hear ~ Ian Fleming,
825:Cal's face swam into view. I couldn't hear him over the ringing in my ears. I'm pretty sure he mouthed for me to lie still, which seemed easy enough.
He held my hand, and while the pain didn't go away, a woozy sense of calm spread over me. So I was pretty dispassionate as I rolled my head to the side and watched Cal pull a six-inch shared of demonglass out of my shoulder. As soon as it was out, the burning faded, but I knew I'd have yet another another scar. "That present sucked," I muttered. ~ Rachel Hawkins,
826:Dad always said this town could wreck a person, it's what happens when you're playing a rigged game. I convinced myself winning meant getting out.
But in what world do you get to leave the ring and declare victory? This is where I belong, in the fight. It's who I am.
I've rolled around in the mud for so long, wash me clean and I don't recognize myself. So how about I just accept the mud and the tendency I have to find myself rolling in it. My name is Veronica and I'm an addict. Hello Veronica. ~ Rob Thomas,
827:Our circus caravan. The ringmaster told us to meet him at the gas station if we got lost, but he may have forgotten, or maybe he meant a different gas station. Anyway, we’re lost. Is that food I smell?” “Oh, my dears,” the woman said. “You must come in, poor children. I am Aunty Em. Go straight through to the back of the warehouse, please. There is a dining area.” We thanked her and went inside. Annabeth muttered to me, “Circus caravan?” “Always have a strategy, right?” “Your head is full of kelp. ~ Rick Riordan,
828:At the Battle of Five Armies, as it became known, the men of the Lake fight with long swords whereas the goblins wield scimitars. This places the battle symbolically as a clash between Christendom and the Infidel, the forces of goodness wielding the broad swords of the Christian crusaders whilst the forces of darkness fight with the curved swords of Islam. The same symbolism is employed in The Lord of the Rings, in which orcs are armed with scimitars whereas the men of Gondor fight with long swords. ~ Joseph Pearce,
829:However apparently insignificant the event, whether it be the ring of tobacco ash surrounding the table, the direction from which the wild geese first appeared, or a series of seemingly meaningless human movements, he couldn’t afford to take his eyes off it and must note it all down, since only by doing so could he hope not to vanish one day and fall a silent captive to the infernal arrangement whereby the world decomposes but is at the same time constantly in the process of self-construction. ~ L szl Krasznahorkai,
830:I have watched Brock Lesnar for a really long time and I thought I knew how strong he was, I thought I knew how fast he was. Being in the ring with him, he is a completely different animal. He is a beast. They call him the Beast Incarnate and that is real. Whether you are in the Octagon with him trading fists, or in the ring trading German suplexes it is on another level. It was a pleasure and I am glad I got to be in the ring with him and i think I proved to the entire world I can hang with the guy. ~ Seth Rollins,
831:And now you can see the relationship between pride and stress. Pride convinces us that we are stronger and more capable than we actually are. Pride convinces us that we must do and be more than we are able. And when we try, we find ourselves feeling "thin, sort of stretched . . . like butter that has been scraped over too much bread." (The Fellowship of the Ring) We begin to fall apart physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the simple reason that we are not existing as we were meant to exist. ~ Hannah Anderson,
832:Clothes, when abstracted from the flow of present time and their transmogrifying function on the human body, and seen as forms in themselves, are strange tubes and excrescences worthy of being classed with such facial decorations as the ring through the nose or the lip-stretching disk. But how enchanting they become when seen togetherwith the qualities they bestow on their wearer! What happens then is no less than the infusion, into some tangled lines on a piece of paper, of the meaning of a great word. ~ Robert Musil,
833:Directly across the courtyard from me lives a middle-aged woman, the ringleader of the building. Sometimes she and I open our windows simultaneously and look at each other for an instant in shocked surprise. When this happens, one of us looks up at the sky, as though to see what the weather is going to be, while the other looks down at the courtyard, as though watching for late visitors. Each is really trying to avoid the glance of the other. Then we move back from the windows to wait for a better moment. ~ Lydia Davis,
834:The story of the Zen Master whose only response was always "Is that so?" shows the good that comes through inner nonresistance to events, that is to say, being at one with what happens. The story of the man whose comment was invariably a laconic "Maybe" illustrates the wisdom of nonjudgment, and the story of the ring points to the fact of impermanence which, when recognized, leads to nonattachment. Nonresistance, nonjudgement, and nonattachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living. ~ Eckhart Tolle,
835:Clothes, when abstracted from the flow of present time and their transmogrifying function on the human body, and seen as forms in themselves, are strange tubes and excrescences worthy of being classed with such facial decorations as the ring through the nose or the lip-stretching disk. But how enchanting they become when seen together
with the qualities they bestow on their wearer! What happens then is no less than the infusion, into some tangled lines on a piece of paper, of the meaning of a great word. ~ Robert Musil,
836:So whose side is Jesus on? In The Lord of the Rings, when the hobbits ask the ancient Treebeard whose side he is on, he answers: “I am not altogether on anybody’s side, because nobody is altogether on my side. . . . [But] there are some things, of course, whose side I’m altogether not on.”3 Jesus’s own answer to this question, through the parable, is similar. He is on the side of neither the irreligious nor the religious, but he singles out religious moralism as a particularly deadly spiritual condition. ~ Timothy J Keller,
837:When you drop a glass or a plate to the ground it makes a long crashing sound. When a window shatters, a table leg breaks, or when a picture falls off the wall it makes a noise. But as for your heart, when that breaks, it's completely silent. You would think as it's so important it would make the loudest noise in the whole world, or even have some sort of ceremonious sound like the gong of a cymbal or the ringing of a bell. But it's silent and you almost wish there was a noise to distract you from the pain. ~ Cecelia Ahern,
838:The weak link-- she liked the ring of it. To seek the imperfection in the chain that keeps you in bondage. Taken individually, the link was not much. But in concert with its fellows, a mighty iron that subjugated millions despite its weakness. The people she chose, young and old, from the rich part of town or the more modest streets, did not individually persecute Cora. As a community, they were shackles. If she kept at it, chipping away at weak links wherever she found them, it might add up to something. ~ Colson Whitehead,
839:Wow. Lincoln, this is fantastic work!” “Aww, it wasn’t just me. Marcus did some of it.” “Gracious of you,” Marcus said. “Think nothing of it,” Lincoln jibed back. Taylor tuned out their banter. The tendrils of Wolff’s multiple illegalities would have serious ramifications. They needed to talk to the press, to get the word out. Which also meant rolling up the Selectnet shop. Even though the site had been pulled from the Internet, they still needed to bring in the ringleaders. For that, she needed Baldwin’s help. ~ J T Ellison,
840:He sounds . . . different. It’s like how when I go with my grandma to one of the nice grocery stores out in the suburbs and she tells me to “talk like you got some sense.” She doesn’t want people to think we’re “some of those hood rats who frequent their establishments.” Trey calls it code-switching. Miles sounds like it’s not code-switching for him. It sounds like how he naturally talks, like he belongs in the suburbs. I mean, he is from the suburbs, but in the Ring a few weeks back, he sounded extremely hood. ~ Angie Thomas,
841:Yes, it looks bleak. But you are still alive now. You are alive with all the others, in this present moment. And because the truth is speaking in the work, it unlocks the heart. And there’s such a feeling and experience of adventure. It’s like a trumpet call to a great adventure. In all great adventures there comes a time when the little band of heroes feels totally outnumbered and bleak, like Frodo in Lord of the Rings or Pilgrim in Pilgrim’s Progress. You learn to say ‘It looks bleak. Big deal, it looks bleak.’ ~ Joanna Macy,
842:In his play depicting the Salem Witch Trials, the author illustrates profound psychological bullying. The ringleader of young girls suspected of unsavory conduct, frightens her friends into silence by warning: Now, look you; All of you. We danced. And Tituba conjured Ruth Putnam's dead sisters, and that was all. ... Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night, and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. ~ Arthur Miller,
843:A knowing grin blooms on Lo’s pretty face, and she opens her fist, revealing her gris-gris ring. “These are your days.” She blows over the ring, eyes clinging to his face. “Scattered, and lost, and falling to the ground like dust.” “Are you threatening me?” he asks, only half-laughing. I bet if I peeled his sleeve back, his arms would be covered in gooseflesh, too. “No. A threat you see coming.” The smile drops from Lo’s face. “It’s not a threat. It’s real justice, and by the time it reaches you, it’ll be too late. ~ Kennedy Ryan,
844:Human stories are practically always about one thing, really, aren't they? Death. The inevitability of death. . . . . . (quoting an obituary) 'There is no such thing as a natural death. Nothing that ever happens to man is natural, since his presence calls the whole world into question. All men must die, but for every man his death is an accident, and even if he knows it he would sense to it an unjustifiable violation.' Well, you may agree with the words or not, but those are the key spring of The Lord Of The Rings ~ J R R Tolkien,
845:I reached for the phone and dialed his number. I listened to it ring. It rang on and on. I imagined the phone crying out in his empty room.
I didn't count the rings, but it felt like hundreds. Could Mr. Tate hear them echoing through his house? Was I torturing him? Making him scream in frustration, pressing his hands to his ears to block out the noise?
If he wanted to make the ringing stop, all he had to do was pick up.
Maybe he had unplugged Jonah's phone. Maybe he couldn't hear the ringing at all. ~ Natalie Standiford,
846:What can you do? The answer isn’t trying harder, or using your will power. Instead, realize that you don’t have what you don’t have. You will need to get from the outside what you don’t possess on the inside. You need to do this for your kid, and for yourself as well. You may need to take a break from the fracas and say, “I’m getting worn out with this, but I want to finish it. I’ll get back to you.” Call a safe and sane friend and get your emotional tank filled, and then enter the ring again and resolve the issue. ~ John Townsend,
847:Writers of the world, if you’ve got a story, I want to hear it. I promise it will follow me to my last breath. My soul will dance with pleasure, and it’ll change the quality of all my waking hours. You will hearten me and brace me up for the hard days as they enter my life on the prowl. I reach for a story to save my own life. Always. It clears the way for me and makes me resistant to all the false promises signified by the ring of power. In every great story, I encounter a head-on collision with self and imagination. ~ Pat Conroy,
848:I'm the last one in the dark, until- suddenly- it happens. St. Clair removes something from his pocket. And then he gets down on one knee.
Anna's entire body lights with shock and joy and love. She nods a vigorous yes. St. Clair places the ring on her finger. He stands, she throws her arms around him, and they kiss. He spins her in a circle. They kiss again. Deep, hungry, long. And then he turns to us and waves- with the biggest smile I've ever seen- clearly aware that we've been standing here the whole time. ~ Stephanie Perkins,
849:The isolation was necessary. He didn’t like people seeing him this way. It was better if they perceived him as the strong, capable man he’d always been, not this crippled creature, this dark entity with gnarled hands and a bent back. How would that image strike fear? Not long now. Fear would be his pale horse, ridden from the backs of red-lipped girls. His duplicates. His surrogates. His replacements. The ringing of the phone made him jump. Finally. He answered with a brusque “Yes?” He listened, then ended the call. An ~ J T Ellison,
850:It's in The Lord of the Rings, I think, where one of the characters says that 'way leads on to way'; that you could start at a path leading nowhere more fantastic than from your own front steps to the sidewalk, and from there you could go . . . well, anywhere at all. It's the same way with stories. One leads to the next, to the next, and to the next; maybe they go in the direction you wanted to go, but maybe they don't. Maybe in the end it's the voice that tells the stories more than the stories themselves that matters. ~ Stephen King,
851:It's in The Lord of the Rings, I think, where one of the characters says that "way leads on to way"; that you could start at a path leading nowhere more fantastic than from your own front steps to the sidewalk, and from there you could go . . . well, anywhere at all. It's the same way with stories. One leads to the next, to the next, and to the next; maybe they go in the direction you wanted to go, but maybe they don't. Maybe in the end it's the voice that tells the stories more than the stories themselves that matters. ~ Stephen King,
852:The real protagonist of the story, however, is the magic ring, because it is the movements of the ring that determine those of the characters and because it is the ring that establishes the relationships between them. Around the magic object there forms a kind of force field that is in fact the territory of the story itself. We might say that the magic object is an outward and visible sign that reveals the connection between people or between events. . . We might even say that in a narrative any object is always magic. ~ Italo Calvino,
853:I think of the way James proposed, at our favorite New York City restaurant. He'd tucked the ring in his pocket and gotten down on one knee. Simple, perfect. I feel the familiar pain creeping back, and then I remember what Alex said. I know I may always ache for the past, for the two greatest loves of my life, but I want to be a bird now. I want to flap my wings through the rainstorms. I want to start my day with the earnestness of the morning glory, the way its blossoms open with the sunrise, ready to shine no matter what. ~ Sarah Jio,
854:Again, the filet bows to the lily.
Again, the rose is tearing off her gown...
The bud is shy, but the wind removes
her veil suddenly, 'My friend!'...
And the cove to the willow, 'You are the one I hope for..."
The ringdove comes asking, 'Where,
where is the Friend?"...
Again, the season of Spring has come
And a spring-source rises under everything,
A moon sliding from the shadows.
Many things must be left unsaid because it's late, but whatever conversation we haven't had tonight, we'll have tomorrow. ~ Rumi,
855:But in real life that guy never turns up. He’s never there. He’s busy handing out advice in the next universe over. In our world no one ever knows what to do, and everyone’s just as clueless and full of crap as everyone else, and you have to figure it all out by yourself. And even after you’ve figured it out and done it, you’ll never know whether you were right or wrong. You’ll never know if you put the ring in the right volcano, or if things might have gone better if you hadn’t. There’s no answers in the back of the book. ~ Lev Grossman,
856:If it had been a heart attack, the newspapermight have used the word massive,as if a mountain range had openedinside her, but insteadit used the word suddenly, a light coming onin an empty room. The telephonefell from my shoulder, a black parrot repeatingsomething happened, something awfula sunday, dusky. If it had beenterminal, we could have cradled heras she grew smaller, wiped her mouth,said good-bye. But it was sudden,how overnight we could be orphaned& the world became a bell we'd crawl inside& the ringing all we'd eat. ~ Nick Flynn,
857:I realized that I was still caught on the ring road--on that, thank goodness, forgiving ring road--but that eventually, at some point, everyone needs to get off, including me. It is easy to coast and even easier to mock the signs, but reading them, really reading them, and then making the largest decision there is, the greatest decision to which all others defer and are tied back to--to know who we are, what we stand for, and for what we are responsible--to read the signs and then choose the right way . . . well, that's hard. ~ Carolyn Weber,
858:Well, you’ll have to help me pick out the ring at least,” Daddy says.
“Lara Jean has a better eye for that kind of thing,” Margot says serenely. “Besides, I barely know Ms. Rothschild. I haven’t a clue what kind of ring she’d like.”
A shadow crosses over Daddy’s face. It’s the I barely know Ms. Rothschild that put it there.
I rush to put on my best Hermione voice. “You ‘haven’t a clue’?” I tease. “P.S., did you know you’re still American, Gogo? We don’t talk as classy as that in America.”
She laughs; we all do. ~ Jenny Han,
859:gets my vote. Sure Greg had enemies, but that story goes back a long way. And I know some of the people he squealed on. They were not organized crooks. Sure they screwed up, but they’re not the type of people who’d spend years looking for Greg so they could put a bullet in his head and further complicate their lives. Kubiak, the ringleader, is still serving time. Now Greg signs his name on the complaint and threatens the Dubose clan, and, lo and behold, within a matter of days he’s vanished. A procedural question?” Lacy shrugged. ~ John Grisham,
860:In faded leathers and boots, he sure wasn't a clotheshorse like Antonio, and he was sure a lot bigger. The brown leather pants clung to long legs, and his vest opened over a thickly muscled chest. His neck was corded, his arms solid. A gold band circled one darkly tanned biceps. His face… She frowned. All rough lines and craggy bones, he looked like a hard-edged Boromir from Lord of the Rings. His mouth was set in a firm line. And didn't that just figure she'd end up with Boromir? At least Aragorn had a sense of humor. ~ Cherise Sinclair,
861:Jimmy looks down at the ring in his hand. He sighs before looking at me. “I understand what you’re saying, and if I were you, I’d feel the same way. I know I’m not the best man out there, but I look at you and you make me want to be better. I know what people think of me. I know you and everyone else thinks I’m a man-whore or I’m too young to be tied down. Maybe this will be temporary or maybe it will be for life, I don’t know, but it feels right. I don’t do commitments, but when I look at you, I see a future. I see my future. ~ Heidi McLaughlin,
862:Nowadays, if a man living in a civilized country (ha!) hears cannon blasts in his sleep, he will, of course, mistake them for thunderclaps, gun salutes on the feast day of the local patron saint, or furniture being moved by the slime-buckets living upstairs, and go right on sleeping soundly. But the ringing of the telephone, the triumphal march of the cell phone, or the doorbell, no: Those are all sounds of summons in response to which the civilzed man (ha-ha!) has no choice but to surface from the depths of slumber and answer. ~ Andrea Camilleri,
863:[Stephanie] 'You see, Mrs. Mayer was going on about George's lodge, and how he wanted to be buried with his ring, and so Grandma had to check the ring out, and in the process broke off one of George's fingers. Turns out the finger was wax. Somehow Kenny got into the mortuary this morning, left Spiro a note, and chopped off George's finger. And then while I was at the mall tonight with Mary Lou, Kenny threatened me in the shoe department. That must have been when he put the finger in my pocket.' [Morelli] 'Have you been drinking? ~ Janet Evanovich,
864:Then Marco Polo spoke: “Your chessboard, sire, is inlaid with two woods: ebony and maple. The square on which your enlightened gaze is fixed was cut from the ring of a trunk that grew in a year of drought: you see how its fibers are arranged? Here a barely hinted knot can be made out: a bud tried to burgeon on a premature spring day, but the night’s frost forced it to desist.” Until then the Great Khan had not realized that the foreigner knew how to express himself fluently in his language, but it was not this fluency that amazed him. ~ Anonymous,
865:After we have made the comparison between the malicious and destructive “cleverness” of the goblins and the gentle and genteel simplicity of the hobbits, we will perceive that the conflict in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings between those who serve the Shadow and those who walk in the Light, between trolls, goblins, and dragons on the one side, and hobbits, dwarves, and elves on the other, is a battle between two civilizations, the culture of death and the culture of life, which is closer to home than we might at first realize. ~ Joseph Pearce,
866:I brought you a ring.” It was made of warm, smooth wood. “What does it do?” I asked. “It keeps secrets,” she said. I held it to my ear. Auri shook her head seriously, her hair swirling around her. “It doesn’t tell them, it keeps them.” She stepped close to me and took the ring, sliding it onto my finger. “It’s quite enough to have a secret,” she chided me gently. “Anything more would be greedy.” “It fits,” I said, somewhat surprised. “They’re your secrets,” she said, as if explaining something to a child. “Who else would it fit? ~ Patrick Rothfuss,
867:Why is it that the look of another person looking at you is different from everything else in the Cosmos? That is to say, looking at lions or tigers or Saturn or the Ring Nebula or at an owl or at another person from the side is one thing, but finding yourself looking in the eyes of another person looking at you is something else. And why is it that one can look at a lion or a planet or an owl or at someone's finger as long as one pleases, but looking into the eyes of another person is, if prolonged past a second, a perilous affair? ~ Walker Percy,
868:Nick stopped on the sidewalk, pulled a ring from his pocket, and handed it to Kate. “Your wedding ring.” It was a platinum band inlaid with diamonds. Simple but elegant. Kate put the ring on her finger. “That’s got to be the least romantic proposal in history. Where did you steal this?” “I bought it,” he said. “That must have been a new experience for you.” “It was. Cost me ten grand.” He slipped a matching platinum band onto his finger. “I want that ring back when this marriage is over.” “No way,” she said. “You can keep the dishes. ~ Janet Evanovich,
869:[Stephanie] 'You see, Mrs. Mayer was going on about George's lodge, and how he wanted to be buried with his ring, and so Grandma had to check the ring out, and in the process broke off one of George's fingers. Turns out the finger was wax. Somehow Kenny got into the mortuary this morning, left Spiro a note, and chopped off George's finger. And then while I was at the mall tonight with Mary Lou, Kenny threatened me in the shoe department. That must have been when he put the finger in my pocket.'

[Morelli] 'Have you been drinking? ~ Janet Evanovich,
870:But it came to a very sudden end. For just as Mrs. Wiggins was coming down on the highest swing yet, and had started to shout “Whee!” again, around the corner of the cowbarn dashed Freddy. He hadn’t seen what was going on, and without knowing it he ran right across the path of the swing, and Mrs. Wiggins hit him squarely. Her hind legs shot under him and he was scooped up as a ball is scooped up by a golf club, and tossed right over the ring of animals who were looking on, into a very large and very thick and very prickly barberry bush. ~ Walter R Brooks,
871:One of my favorite things about the Kung Fu Panda 3 is the look of it. We never go for realism. I think a lot of time when people go for 3D that's the mistake. Because we're never going for full realism - for computer generated live action films like Avatar the goal is realism, to make the audience feel like they are seeing something that is real. Lord of the Rings had character design and environments to make it look real, whereas we aren't going for that, we are going for something that is theatrically, viscerally, and emotionally real. ~ Jennifer Yuh Nelson,
872:He wasn't thinking about anything. There was just the odd random thought or scrap of thought, or the odd image without rhyme or reason: faces seen by him back in his childhood or people he'd seen only once and would never have recalled again; the bell tower of V   Church; a billiard table in a tavern and some officer standing next to it; the smell of cigars in some basement tobacco shop; a drinking den; a back staircase, pitch dark, soaked in slops and spattered with eggshells; and from somewhere or other the ringing of Sunday bells . . . ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
873:An essay course started at the Academy, I wrote about Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, one of the books I was really passionate about, alongside Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and even though they didn’t fall into the category of literature the teachers favoured and taught, I still received some praise from Fosse, he said my language was tight and precise, my arguments solid and interesting and that I obviously had a talent for non-fiction. The praise was two-edged: did it mean that my future lay in literature about literature and not in literature itself? ~ Karl Ove Knausg rd,
874:Isabella Swan?” He looked up at me through his impossibly long lashes, his golden eyes soft but, somehow, still scorching. “I promise to love you forever—every single day of forever. Will you marry me?” There were many things I wanted to say, some of them not nice at all, and others more disgustingly gooey and romantic than he probably dreamed I was capable of. Rather than embarrass myself with either, I whispered, “Yes.” “Thank you,” he said simply. He took my left hand and kissed each of my fingertips before he kissed the ring that was now mine. ~ Stephenie Meyer,
875:When I saw her floating down the aisle toward me, her and her daddy both were giggling like this whole thing was only a dress rehearsal. There I was, serious as four heart attacks and a stroke, but then she looked up at me and puckered her pink-paint lips in a little kiss and I got the joke. She was letting me know that all of this—the little girls holding up the train of her gown, my morning jacket, even the ring in my pocket—was just a show. What was real was the dance of light in her eyes and the quick current of our blood. And then I smiled, too. ~ Tayari Jones,
876:Canada, at the moment, is going through a Lord of the Rings moment. Having been a lowly Hobbit with furry feet and fun parties, with fireworks and beer, it has now been handed the Ring of Power: a large supply of fossil fuel, in the form of oil/tar sand and coal. Will it shrivel into an evil RingWraith? Will it become an addicted Golum? Will it refuse the Ring, like Galadriel, fearful of what So Much Power (in both senses of the word) will do to its inner being? Will it try to deal with the Ring responsibly, like Gandalf? Will it side with the Ents? ~ Margaret Atwood,
877:I wasn't actually going to see the original film [Lord of the Ring], because I didn't think it was possible that a film could represent the books appropriately. So I was protesting, and I wasn't going to see them. And then my family all took a jaunt together, the entire family, to see the movies, and were like, "What, you're just going to stay home?" So I saw the movies and was thoroughly impressed that Peter Jackson managed to make my vision of the book come to life, as well as my sister's and my father's, and my aunt's and my uncle's, everyone's. ~ Evangeline Lilly,
878:He pulled the leather thong from around his neck and removed his grandmother’s ring. He pressed the ring into her hand. “This belonged to my grandmother. Take it as a pledge.” She turned the ring over and over in the moonlight. “It’s beautiful.” He lifted her chin. “Not as beautiful as you.” Then he kissed her, slow and soft and filled with the promise of what he hoped would be one day. She responded gently at first and then with the same hunger she’d once had for sailing. She clung to him, held on with all her strength, clearly afraid to part. But ~ Christine Johnson,
879:The ring which you are holding, my friend, is identical to that one. I had it cut according to the model of the king's ring, and damascened in Spain. The original is still in the Escorial; it would have been pleasant to steal it, for I easily acquire the instincts of a thief when I am in a museum, and I always find objects which have a history - especially a tragic history - uniquely attractive. I am not an Englishman for nothing - but that which is easily enough accomplished in France is not at all practical in Spain: the museums there are very secure. ~ Jean Lorrain,
880: Tell Me, Dorinda, Why So Gay
Tell me, Dorinda, why so gay,
Why such embroid'ry, fringe, and lace?
Can any dresses find a way
To stop th'approaches of decay
And mend thy ruin'd face?
Wilt thou still sparkle in the box,
And ogle in the ring?
Canst thou forget thy age and pox?
Can all that shines on shells and rocks
Make thee a fine young thing?
So have I seen in larder dark
Of veal a lucid loin,
Replete with many a heatless spark,
As wise philosophers remark,
At once both stink and shine.
~ Charles Sackville,
881:Isabella Swan?” He looked up at me through his impossibly long lashes, his golden eyes soft but, somehow, still scorching. “I promise to love you forever—every single day of forever. Will you marry me?”
There were many things I wanted to say, some of them not nice at all, and others more disgustingly gooey and romantic than he probably dreamed I was capable of. Rather than embarrass myself with either, I whispered, “Yes.”
“Thank you,” he said simply. He took my left hand and kissed each of my fingertips before he kissed the ring that was now mine. ~ Stephenie Meyer,
882:Kat's left hand was curled up against my thigh. For several minutes, I couldn't look away. What was it about the left hand? It was just a hand, and Kat had a really great hand and all, but it wasn't that.
It was typically what went on the left hand, on the ring finger.
God, thinking about rings and the left hand made me want to get out of this vehicle and do about a hundred laps, but being married to Kat- married? My brain tripped up over that word, but it wouldn't be terrible. Nah, it would be far from that. It would be sort of...perfect. ~ Jennifer L Armentrout,
883:depending on the angle at which she regarded you. Uniforms weren’t required of the wait staff, and this woman—her badge identified her as KANANI, which was Hawaiian for a beauty—was dressed in white slacks and a white blouse accessorized with a red-silk sash worn as a belt and a red-and-gold silk scarf at her throat. Elaborate dangling gold earrings. Flashy bracelets. Eight diamond finger rings. She might have worn ten rings, except that she had only eight fingers. Ironically, on each hand, she was missing the ring finger, which was next to the pinkie. Kanani ~ Dean Koontz,
884:Likewise the piercing of the body for multiple rings in the ears, in the nose, even in the tongue. Can they possibly think that is beautiful? It is a passing fancy, but its effects can be permanent. Some have gone to such extremes that the ring had to be removed by surgery. The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have declared that we discourage tattoos and also “the piercing of the body for other than medical purposes.” We do not, however, take any position “on the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings”-one pair only. ~ Gordon B Hinckley,
885:They hold their great balls in the open air, in what is called a fairy-ring. For weeks afterward you can see the ring on the grass. It is not there when they begin, but they make it by waltzing round and round. Sometimes you will find mushrooms inside the ring, and these are fairy chairs that the servants have forgotten to clear away. The chairs and the rings are the only tell-tale marks these little people leave behind them, and they would remove even these were they not so fond of dancing that they toe it till the very moment of the opening of the gates. ~ James M Barrie,
886:I’ve been sleeping with that darn thing under my pillow,” he said, sounding playfully irritated. I looked up to him, not saying anything, as I was still too stunned to speak. I was sure he could read the questions in my eyes, but he had his own to address. “Do you like it?” A web of thin gold vines crawled up, forming the circle of the ring, holding at the top two gems—one green, one purple—that kissed at the crown of it. I knew the purple one was my birthstone, so the green one must be his. There we were, two little spots of light growing together, inseparable. ~ Anonymous,
887:To this day, long gone to earth in my own much-loved house by the sea some eight hundred miles north of it, I still dream of Ginger Fowler’s house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Everything about it, and the fierce old coast around it, had the ring and taste and feel of utter rightness to me. Its peace and loneliness crept into my veins and ran there, its wildness called out to the deep-buried wildness in my heart. I, who had never found earth beneath my feet that called “home” up to me, here found home raging through my entire body like an ague. ~ Anne Rivers Siddons,
888:For me, I like to imagine being successful. I like to imagine the end, which is success. I envision it, where I can actually see it happening. Going into the ring, seeing the fight happen, seeing me winning that belt, seeing me back in my dressing room celebrating with a slice of cake, which I always had. And the same with meetings. I do prepare though; that confidence comes from preparation, because that fear is in the back of your head of not doing well, of not saying the right thing or having the right information. That's where the preparation comes in for me. ~ Laila Ali,
889:My father had once told me the story of how, when he was in the work camp, a truckload of giant logs was brought in to be chopped. He was on ax duty with a gang of twelve. It was a dreadfully hot summer and each swing of the blade was torture. He hacked at a log and there was the unmistakable sound of metal hitting metal. He bent down and found a mushroom-shaped chunk of lead embedded in the trunk. A bullet. He counted the rings from the perimeter to the bullet and found they matched his age exactly.

We never escape ourselves, he said to me years later. ~ Colum McCann,
890:I spent the afternoon musing on Life. If you come to think of it, what a queer thing Life is! So unlike anything else, don't you know, if you see what I mean. At any moment you may be strolling peacefully along, and all the time Life's waiting around the corner to fetch you one. You can't tell when you may be going to get it. It's all dashed puzzling. Here was poor old George, as well-meaning a fellow as every stepped, getting swatted all over the ring by the hand of Fate. Why? That's what I asked myself. Just Life, don't you know. That's all there was about it. ~ P G Wodehouse,
891:Much as I admire Tolkien, I once again always felt like Gandalf should have stayed dead. That was such an incredible sequence in Fellowship of the Ring when he faces the Balrog on the Khazad-dûm and he falls into the gulf, and his last words are, "Fly, you fools." What power that had, how that grabbed me. And then he comes back as Gandalf the White, and if anything he's sort of improved. I never liked Gandalf the White as much as Gandalf the Grey, and I never liked him coming back. I think it would have been an even stronger story if Tolkien had left him dead. ~ George R R Martin,
892:Suddenly my dress feels cinched way too tight and I can no longer breathe. I can’t contain it. I lose it and so does every other woman sitting in the garden. I’m so overwhelmed that it takes me a few seconds to notice the tear trickling down Nikolaj’s face. I let go of his hand and reach up to wipe it away. He grabs hold of my hand again and presses it against his lips before dropping a soft kiss inside my palm. Although it seems like it’s only the two of us in this garden and we’ve shut everything out, Father Frederic continues. “It’s time to exchange the rings. ~ Scarlett Avery,
893:The thing that helps me do a good job is that I don't feel the need to explain everything about the world to my reader. I'm not writing a history text on the Four Corners. I'm telling a story that's set there. The setting belongs in the background for the most part, and it's easy for fantasy authors to forget that. That's one of the unfortunate parts of Tolkien's legacy, in my opinion. Read the first hundred pages of the Fellowship of the Ring and you start to get pissed, "Shut up about the Shire's museums! Isn't the world supposed to be in peril or something?" ~ Patrick Rothfuss,
894:Frodo did not destroy the Ring; Gollum did. This is something he would always be reminded of, especially since the very finger that bore the Ring was missing. In the end Frodo had failed. His will was not strong enough to complete the deed. However, it is doubtful if anyone else could have completed it either. The great King Isildur had failed in the same spot at the Cracks of Doom. No one else had even attempted it, nor were they willing to try; only Frodo had the courage to carry the burden to the fire. For lacking the strength to throw it in we should forgive him. ~ Steve Bivans,
895:In wrestling there are so many people inside and outside the ring, and it's so live, and it's this whole adrenaline thing. Whereas you move it into this more intimate thing, everything gets all quiet, someone says action, and you have to say the lines and make the words your own. It couldn't be any more different and it's weird sometimes trying to explain that to people. When I tell people that acting is much more terrifying to me than going out in front of ten thousand people, they don't quite believe it because for some reason that intimacy is just terrifying to me. ~ Dave Bautista,
896:You see, the only thing the good people are good at is overthrowing the bad people. And you're good at that, I'll grant you. But the trouble is it's the only thing you're good at. One day it's the ringing of the bells and the casting down of the evil tyrant, and the next it's everyone sitting around complaining that ever since the tyrant was overthrown no one's been taking out the trash. Because the bad people know how to plan. It's part of the specification, you might say. Every evil tyrant has a plan to rule the world. The good people don't seem to have the knack. ~ Terry Pratchett,
897:But what is philosophy? Doesn’t it simply mean preparing ourselves for what may come? Don’t you understand that really amounts to saying that if I would so prepare myself to endure, then let anything happen that will? Otherwise, it would be like the boxer exiting the ring because he took some punches. Actually, you can leave the boxing ring without consequence, but what advantage would come from abandoning the pursuit of wisdom? So, what should each of us say to every trial we face? This is what I’ve trained for, for this my discipline!” —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 3.10.6–7 ~ Ryan Holiday,
898:The moral that Plato wished to draw out is that no man can resist the temptation of being able to steal and kill at will. All men are corruptible. Morality is a social construct imposed from the outside. A man may appear to be moral in public to maintain his reputation for integrity and honesty, but once he possesses the power of invisibility, the use of such power would be irresistible. (Some believe that this morality tale was the inspiration for J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, in which a ring that grants the wearer invisibility is also a source of evil.) ~ Michio Kaku,
899:be on the lookout for chauffeur knowledge. Do not confuse the company spokesperson, the ringmaster, the newscaster, the schmoozer, the verbiage vendor or the cliché generator with those who possess true knowledge. How do you recognise the difference? There is a clear indicator: true experts recognise the limits of what they know and what they do not know. If they find themselves outside their circle of competence, they keep quiet or simply say, ‘I don’t know.’ This they utter unapologetically, even with a certain pride. From chauffeurs, we hear every line except this. See ~ Rolf Dobelli,
900:A web of chain mail, linked rings each flattened where the ends met and clinched with a tiny rivet, rattled about his knees. Mark felt the fine powdering of rust that fell from the rings. It was green. The rings had turned to greenness in their decay, as herbs did in health. Where the greenness had fallen away, the knees beating it out slowly like fine green snow, the metal was hot and bright and yellow. It began to chime when the green decay was gone; gongs struck by imperious lords in their tens of thousands, calling their servitors to battle with demanding yellow sound. A ~ Gene Wolfe,
901:You see, the only thing the good people are good at is overthrowing the bad people. And you’re good at that, I’ll grant you. But the trouble is that it’s the only thing you’re good at. One day it’s the ringing of the bells and the casting down of the evil tyrant, and the next it’s everyone sitting around complaining that ever since the tyrant was overthrown no one’s been taking out the trash. Because the bad people know how to plan. It’s part of the specification, you might say. Every evil tyrant has a plan to rule the world. The good people don’t seem to have the knack. ~ Terry Pratchett,
902:Arin undid the ring, slipped off two keys, and set them in Kestrel’s hand. “These are for your suite. Keep them.”
She gazed at the dull metal on her palm. She recognized one key. The other…“Is this one for the garden door?”
“Yes, but”--Arin looked away--“you wouldn’t want to use it.”
Kestrel had guessed that Arin lived in the west wing suite, and that it had been his father’s as hers had been his mother’s. But it wasn’t until then that she understood what the two gardens were for: a way for husband and wife to visit each other without the entire household knowing. ~ Marie Rutkoski,
903:Nick stopped on the sidewalk, pulled a ring from his pocket, and handed it to Kate. "Your wedding ring."

It was a platinum band inlaid with diamonds. Simple but elegant.

Kate put the ring on her finger. "That's got to be the least romantic proposal in history. Where did you steal this?"

"I bought it," he said.

"That must have been a new experience for you."

"It was. Cost me ten grand." He slipped a matching platinum band onto his finger. "I want that ring back when this marriage is over."

"No way," she said. "You can keep the dishes. ~ Janet Evanovich,
904:My phone blares on the little table between us and we both jump. I hastily mute the ringer, then nearly drop it when I see the name.
I gasp. “It’s Darren.”
“WHAT?” She rotates in her chair to face me, throwing her book down. “Freaking answer it! What are you doing?”
I answer the call and swallow, talking myself into staying calm so as not to appear psycho. “Hey!” I say, excited yet relatively restrained, considering who’s on the other end of the line.
“Hey, you.” His familiar, rough voice melts my insides.
“How are you?” I ask, cheeks killing me from smiling so hard. ~ Kristin Rae,
905:Wes doesn’t make me wait long—in a heartbeat, his tip prods my ass, and then his big, lubed-up cock slips through the ring of muscle and plunges inside. We both groan. His hands clutch my hips, long fingers digging into my skin as he slowly pulls out, then slams back in again. “Fucking hell, Canning, I fucking love you so fucking much.” He sounds like he’s struggling to breathe, and when half his vocabulary is reduced to F-bombs, that means Wes is barely hanging on to his control. But I love it when he loses control. I know I'm in for a wild ride and holy hell does he give it to me. ~ Sarina Bowen,
906:For they were alone, and he was one of the seven persons in the world who knew the Archmage's name. The others were the Master Namer of Roke; and Ogion the Silent, the wizard of Re Albi, who long ago on the mountain of Gont had given Ged that name; and the White Lady of Gont, Tenar of the Ring; and a village wizard in Iffish called Vetch; and in Iffish again, a house-carpenter's wife, mother of three girls, ignorant of all sorcery but wise in other things, who was called Yarrow; and finally, on the other side of Earthsea, in the farthest west, two dragons: Orm Embar and Kalessin. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
907:I have always loved simplicity. With you, everything’s black and white, Richie had said, like an accusation; but the truth is that almost every murder case is, if not simple, capable of simplicity, and that this is not only necessary but breathtaking, that if there are miracles then this is one. In these rooms, the world’s vast hissing tangle of shadows burns away, all its treacherous grays are honed to the stark purity of a bare blade, two-edged: cause and effect, good and evil. To me, these rooms are beautiful. I go into them the way a boxer goes into the ring: intent, invincible, home. ~ Tana French,
908:He raced the motor, urging the car to decide which way to turn onto the street. “Come on, man . . . be serious.” Gearshift hot as a poker, and ears ringing . . . finally, palm to face to somehow press away the ringing—I seemed to feel a tendoned hand playfully squeezing my knee, and a bagpipe’s whirling skirl wheezing in my throat—and discovers that he is weeping again; squeezing, wheezing and rattling the scene . . . and it is then—“Or if you can’t be serious,” I scolded, “at least be rational; who could possibly in this wasted world . . . ?”—that he remembers the postcard lying on the porch. ~ Ken Kesey,
909:Laurel: Hello, ever hear of the Olympics?
Holly: Or the Panathenaia?
Laurel: Sand courts were everywhere back then. Ancient Greeks wrestled and boxed in them.
Holly: Called them palaestrae. Singular: palaestra
Laurel: After Palaestra, the goddess who invented wrestling.
Holly: Hear that, boys? The goddess of wrestling.
Laurel: Girl power!
Holly: They wrestled naked.
Laurel: So no place to hide weapons.
Holly: Palaestra ruled the ring
Laurel: Like we ruled the court. ~ Rick Riordan,
910:All the green in the planted world consists of these whole, rounded chloroplasts wending their ways in water. If you analyze a molecule of chlorophyll itself, what you get is one hundred thirty-six atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen arranged in an exact and complex relationship around a central ring. At the ring's center is a single atom of magnesium. Now: If you remove the atom of magnesium and in its exact place put an atom of iron, you get a molecule of hemoglobin. The iron atom combines with all the other atoms to make red blood, the streaming red dots in the goldfish's tail. ~ Annie Dillard,
911:Once I began developing an appreciation for fantasy and imaginative literature like Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey, C. S. Lewis’s series The Chronicles of Narnia, and of course J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, I discovered that my appreciation for Revelation has grown and the weight of its images have pressed heavier on my soul. As I have read imaginative literature, my imagination has developed. As my imagination has developed, I have found myself reading Revelation more patiently, allowing the images to emerge in my mind until I feel the full spiritual shock of their intended voltage. ~ Tony Reinke,
912:There are 1.2 billion people in India at this moment, most of them are Hindus, most of them therefore are polytheists. In Dr Craig's (Christian) universe, no matter how good these people are, they are doomed. If you are praying to the monkey god, Hanuman, you are doomed. You'll be tortured in hell for eternity. Now is there the slightest evidence for this? No, it just says so in Mark 9, Matthew 13 and Revelations 14. Perhaps you'll remember from The Lord of the Rings, it says that when the elves die, they go to Valinor, but they can be reborn in Middle Earth. I say that just as a point of comparison. ~ Sam Harris,
913:Hope is not desire.… You may desire money, but you hope for peace. You may desire sex, but you hope for freedom. You may desire beautiful clothes, but you hope for the ringing of justice. You see, desire has an ‘I’ quality, but hope has a ‘we’ quality.… I’ve seen people who have lost hope. They wander through life, but somehow they never live life.… They merely exist.… I have seen hate, and all the time I see it, I say to myself, ‘Hate is too great a burden to bear.’ I don’t want to be like that.… It is only through love that we keep hope alive.… Hope is based on faith that life has ultimate meaning. ~ Tavis Smiley,
914:Notably, Tennessee is known as a “Right to Work” state, which, despite having the ring of a guaranteed job, is a phrase that refers to laws that ensure workers are not required to pay union fees as a condition of their employment. The “Right to Work” movement was initiated in Southern states as a way of weakening union control and, in doing so, luring factory jobs from the Rust Belt. Studies have shown that workers in “Right to Work” states tend to have lower wages, inferior health insurance, and inferior pension programs when compared to workers in states that do not have “Right to Work” laws.75 ~ Marc Lamont Hill,
915:Marcus’s face lit up. ‘Stop—I see your problem! You’re thinking that time exists on the diamonds themselves. It doesn’t. Each moment—each diamond—is like a snapshot.’ ‘A snapshot of what?’ ‘Of everything, everywhere! There’s no time in a picture, right? It’s the jumping, from one diamond to the next, that we call time, but like I said, time doesn’t really exist. Like that girl just said, a diamond is a moment, and all the diamonds on the ring are happening at the same time. It’s like having a drawer full of pictures.’ ‘On the ring,’ I said. ‘Yes! All the diamonds exist at once!’ He looked triumphant. ~ Rebecca Stead,
916:Valkyrie had never noticed this before, but walking was really, incredibly boring. She'd watched those Lord of the Rings films where they all went walking up and down mountains and it seemed so adventurous and purposeful, and they didn't look too tired and no one really complained and that Aragorn guy looked really sexy with his stubble and his long hair and what had she just been thinking about? Beards? Lord of the Rings? Walking, that was it. Walking and boredom. God, she was bored. "I'm bored," she said. "We know," said Skulduggery. "This looked a lot more fun on Lord of the Rings." "So you've said. ~ Derek Landy,
917:ALI He was butterfly and bee. In the ring, he floated and stung. In 1967, Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, refused to put on a uniform. “Got nothing against no Viet Cong,” he said. “Ain’t no Vietnamese ever called me nigger.” They called him a traitor. They sentenced him to a five-year jail term, and barred him from boxing. They stripped him of his title as champion of the world. The punishment became his trophy. By taking away his crown, they anointed him king. Years later, a few college students asked him to recite something. And for them he improvised the shortest poem in world literature: “Me, we. ~ Eduardo Galeano,
918:guests to ride in the elevator, so she wouldn’t have to share it alone with that man. No one came. Her step faltered, and her hand grabbed the doorframe, afraid to let go, still unsure of what to do. The hotel lobby sizzled with life and excitement and sparkled in a million colors, as can only be seen in Vegas. Nearby, clusters of gaming tables and slot machines were surrounded by tourists, and cheers erupted every now and then, almost covering the ringing of bells and the digital sound of tokens overflowing in silver trays, while the actual winnings printed silently on thermal paper in coupons redeemable ~ Leslie Wolfe,
919:I had these made special. The design is raised instead of carved in. Can you feel it?" Dillon asked.
Hunter ran his fingertip over the outside of the ring. He nodded as a tear formed in the corner of his eye.
"Can you tell me what it is?" Dillon asked quietly.
Hunter nodded and his voice choked. "Two people…"
"Two men," Dillon corrected.
"Two men," Hunter said, "pulling each other into the center of a circle."
Dillon watched his single tear slip and start sliding down his cheek. "Would you step into that circle with me, Hunter?"
Hunter nodded, a small sound escaping him. "Yes.
~ Brandon Shire,
920:Tugging at the ring, which remained stubbornly clamped on her finger, she glanced at Evie in despair. To her astonishment, Evie did not seem at all shocked or critical, but rather understanding. There was something in her face, a sort of tender gravity, that made Amelia think, No wonder Lord St. Vincent is besotted with her.
"I think you're a capable young woman," Evie said, "who loves her siblings and bears a great deal of responsibility for them. I think that's a heavy burden for a woman to carry alone. I also think you have a gift for accepting people as they are. And Cam knows how rare that is. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
921:But I know three things, Serafina Evans,” he replies, kissing me lightly on the lips. “First, that I’ve loved you since the moment I saw you.” He kisses me more deeply. “Second, that I missed you even when I didn’t remember you, I just didn’t realize that’s what I was feeling until my memories came back.” He kisses me again in a way that causes me to moan against him. “And finally, that life is too short, too precious to live another moment without asking you to be my wife.” He slips out of my arms, crouching on one knee next to the couch, the ring mysteriously having appeared in his hand. “Marry me, Sera. ~ Melanie A Smith,
922:For people never say anything the same way twice; no two of them ever say it the same. The greatest imaginative writer that ever brooded in a lavender robe and a mellowed briar in his teeth, couldn't tell you, though e try for a lifetime, how the simplest strap-hanger will ask the conductor to be let off at the next stop. ...
It is all for the taking. All the manuals by frustrated fictioneers on how to write can't give you the first syllable of reality, at any cot, that any common conversation can. All the classics, read and re-read, can't help you catch the ring of truth as does the word heard first-hand. ~ Nelson Algren,
923:Do you like to read?” I asked, pointing at my little shelf.
Moses eyed my books. “Yes.”
His answer surprised me. Maybe it was his reputation as a gang banging delinquent. Maybe it was because of the way he looked. But he didn’t seem like the type who enjoyed sitting quietly with a book.
“What’s your favorite book?” I sounded suspicious and his eyes tightened.
“I like Catcher in the Rye. The Outsiders, 1984, Of Mice and Men, Dune, Starship Troopers, Lord of the Rings. Anything by Tom Clancy or JK Rowling.”
He said JK Rowling quickly, like he didn’t want to admit to being a Potter fan. But I was stunned. ~ Amy Harmon,
924:I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I've left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.
I'm wearing the cloak, I've slipped on the ring,
I've swallowed the magic potion.
I've fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.
I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.
I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me. ~ Julia Donaldson,
925:Why?” breathed Boy 412. “Why me?”

“You have astonishing Magykal power. I told you before. Maybe now you’ll believe me.” She smiled.

“I—I thought the power came from the ring.”

“No. It comes from you. Don’t forget, the Dragon Boat recognized you even without the ring. She knew. Remember, it was last worn by Hotep-Ra, the first ExtraOrdinary Wizard. It’s been waiting a long time to find someone like him.”

“But that’s because it’s been stuck in a secret tunnel for hundreds of years.”

“Not necessarily,” said Marcia mysteriously. “Things have a habit of working out, you know. Eventually. ~ Angie Sage,
926:Jared,” I whispered. I held his hand, and then placed the ring around the tip of his finger. “I choose you as my best friend, and my love for life. I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, my most tender care…through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you. It wasn’t until just now that I recognize that this wasn’t coincidence, or a battle. We were always meant for each other. Our love is heaven sent, and I promise to honor that forever and always. From this day forward, you won’t walk alone. My heart will be your shelter and my arms will be your home. ~ Jamie McGuire,
927:So – I am n-nothing more than – than a bloody job?! On top of not knowing why you must look after me – you only jumped at the chance to help me because your – that V-Vampire thought you couldn’t?! What are you, some – some child?!”
“I am no child, human!”
“Oh I would not have thought so,” she breathed condescendingly sending his blood to boil despite the ring, “if it were not for the fact that only children react so wondrously juvenile when faced with such a choice! You bargain my life over a show of bravado! And where is your brother, Christian?! He has not been here to see your brilliant work as my watcher, has he?! ~ S C Parris,
928:It’s one thing to have a support system in your life
to cheer you on during the instances when
everyone is rooting for you. However, it’s another
thing entirely to look back in your darkest
moments and still see them standing in your
corner, encouraging you to stay in the ring and
FIGHT, when the odds aren’t in your favor and all
you want to do is throw in the towel.
Not many people in this life will be on your side
even when they aren’t on your side. Even less who
momentarily will slam doors out of frustration but
never actually lock you out.
Unconditional love; the definition of sister. ~ Alicia Cook,
929: The Shampoo
The still explosions on the rocks,
the lichens, grow
by spreading, gray, concentric shocks.
They have arranged
to meet the rings around the moon, although
within our memories they have not changed.
And since the heavens will attend
as long on us,
you've been, dear friend,
precipitate and pragmatical;
and look what happens. For Time is
nothing if not amenable.
The shooting stars in your black hair
in bright formation
are flocking where,
so straight, so soon?
--Come, let me wash it in this big tin basin,
battered and shiny like the moon.
~ Elizabeth Bishop,
930:This waltz was the music of the softly falling snow on the regal new buildings of the Ringstrasse. It was the spring tulips covering the lawns and arcades in front of the Schönbrunn Palace. It was the indomitable, majestic peaks of the Alps, the red-cheeked goatherds plucking wild edelweiss from the summits. It was the spirited laughter of Viennese students, wooing and debating in the beer gardens and cafés. It was the stately blue Danube, it was the cathedrals, it was the mountain chalets, and it was the ancient villages sprung up around church bell towers and brooks and streams. It was all of it, and it was all Franz Josef. ~ Allison Pataki,
931:If you've ever read one of those articles that asks notable people to list their favorite books, you may have been impressed or daunted to see them pick Proust or Thomas Mann or James Joyce. You might even feel sheepish about the fact that you reread Pride and Prejudice or The Lord of the Rings, or The Catcher in the Rye or Gone With the Wind every couple of years with some much pleasure. Perhaps, like me, you're even a little suspicious of their claims, because we all know that the books we've loved best are seldom the ones we esteem the most highly - or the ones we'd most like other people to think we read over and over again. ~ Laura Miller,
932:Oh, yes. We’re the only ones who know how to make things work. You see, the only thing the good people are good at is overthrowing the bad people. And you’re good at that, I’ll grant you. But the trouble is that it’s the only thing you’re good at. One day it’s the ringing of the bells and the casting down of the evil tyrant, and the next it’s everyone sitting around complaining that ever since the tyrant was overthrown no one’s been taking out the trash. Because the bad people know how to plan. It’s part of the specification, you might say. Every evil tyrant has a plan to rule the world. The good people don’t seem to have the knack. ~ Anonymous,
933:He knew he had to give her a choice.  He stopped and pulled her close to him just before they entered the staircase. He wrapped his arms around her, kissing the top of her head as she murmured into his chest.  “Is everything alright, Eoin?” “Aye, lass, all is well. Tomorrow evening, would ye accompany me somewhere? I’d like to surprise ye with something.” He felt her grin against his chest. “Of course. I love surprises.” Tomorrow he would tell her everything; tell her that he found the ring, tell her that he loved her, tell her that he didn’t want her to leave. He would place his heart in her hands. And the choice would be hers. ~ Bethany Claire,
934:Gaeltacht region. You can easily spend three fun nights here. In comparison, Kenmare (the best base for the Ring of Kerry loop) is pleasant but forgettable. Those spending a night on the west end of the Ring of Kerry find a rustic atmosphere in Portmagee (the base for a cruise to magical Skellig Michael). Both regions are beyond the reach of the Irish train system and require a car or spotty bus service to access. Both offer memorable scenery, great restaurants, warm B&B hospitality, and similar prices. The bottom line: With limited time, choose Dingle. If you have a day or two to spare, the Ring of Kerry is also a delight. 50.4 ~ Rick Steves,
935:ahead, burning with embarrassment, confusion and most of all, the unshakeable feeling that I had done something wrong only I didn’t know what. And if he hadn’t apologized by the time we landed, I could always push him down the escalators at Heathrow and say it was an accident. We spent the rest of the flight in silence, listening to Maura’s choked sobs every time the plane shook, followed by another wordless hour in customs and nearly two more driving home. I was half awake, half asleep, delirious from jet lag and unwelcome tears. I didn’t care about the ring at all any more, all I wanted to know was why Adam was so incredibly angry. ~ Lindsey Kelk,
936:Maybe she’s beautiful because she looks like she went ten fuckin’ rounds in the ring with Tyson and she’s still comin’ out swinging. The longer I stare at her, the more I come to understand this. I begin to understand why I saved her, because on some level I saw in her what I’ve only ever seen in one other person: fight. Not self-preservation, or the need to beat the shit outta someone like my brothers do on a daily basis, but fight, as if every cell in her body was made up of it, and it’s fucking glorious. Even bruised and filthy and as physically defeated as she is, this crazy bitch is beautiful. Even in sleep, her fight is undeniable. ~ Anonymous,
937:While serving one of his countless sentences of imprisonment, he was given ex-wrestler Paul as cell companion. Paul was at that time a dock worker; he was in jail for having, during a strike riot, remembered his professional past and applied the grip known as a double Nelson to a policeman. This grip consisted in passing one's arms through the opponent's arm­pits from behind, locking one's hands behind his neck,
and pressing his head down until the neck vertebra began to crack. In the ring this had always brought him considerable applause, but he had learned to his regret that in the class struggle the double Nelson was not done. ~ Arthur Koestler,
938:The ringer looked at the girl’s bleeding face and at her bleeding feet. ‘Leave her alone, you bloody mucking bastards,’ he said angrily in his slow Queensland drawl. ‘I stole those mucking chickens, and I gave them to her. So what?’ Darkness was closing down in my London sitting-room, the early darkness of a stormy afternoon. The rain still beat upon the window. The girl sat staring into the fire, immersed in her sad memories. ‘They crucified him,’ she said quietly. ‘They took us all down to Kuantan, and they nailed his hands to a tree, and beat him to death. They kept us there, and made us look on while they did it.’ 4 ‘My dear,’ I said. ~ Nevil Shute,
939:We who are conversant with our own methods of politics, see nothing odd in this, because we are used to it; but surely in the eyes of strangers our practice must be very singular. There is nothing like it in any other country, — nothing as yet. Nowhere else is there the same good-humoured, affectionate, prize-fighting ferocity in politics. The leaders of our two great parties are to each other exactly as are the two champions of the ring who knock each other about for the belt and for five hundred pounds a side once in every two years. How they fly at each other, striking as though each blow should carry death if it were but possible! ~ Anthony Trollope,
940:But of all the women, Éowyn is the strongest, quite frankly, because of her weakness: she's only human. She has no special powers, no immortality, only her innate grit and drive to be something more than just a shield-maiden. And nothing whatsoever will stay her on her course. In the end, she, and her faithful companion Merry, take down the Witch King HIMSELF! She kills the one servant of Sauron that no man can kill; she kills Fear itself in what is arguably the most dramatic moment in the books. I think it is significant that the embodiment of Fear in The Lord of the Rings is slain by a woman. In fact, only a woman is capable of doing so. ~ Steve Bivans,
941:The Trader held the ring horizontal and let the fingertips of his right hand circle over it. As he did so, he closed his eyes, murmured something to himself, and was silent again. His eyes remained closed; he did not move.
"What's he doing?" whispered Walker.
Soledad shrugged her shoulders. "Something terribly powerful."
"Wrong." replied the Trader. "I'm concentrating on the mosquito bite on my left heel, so it will stop itching."
"Oh," Walker said seriously.
"Mosquito bite?" Soledad repeated.
"I can't catch ghosts if my foot is itching. I beg you for a little more understanding."
"But of course," Walker said spitefully. ~ Kai Meyer,
942:The kiss is the greatest of gifts, a miracle, uniquely human. A kiss beneath the mistletoe. A kiss after midnight. A kiss before dying. The devil's kiss. As a picture tells a thousand words, so a kiss says everything that's important. I am told prostitutes never kiss their clients. It is too personal, too human. We kiss to say I love you. We kiss the rings of the self-important. The feet of conquerors. The rich dark earth when we reach the promised land. We kiss our hands and wave as loved ones begin a journey. We kiss strangers before dawn in the first hours of a New Year because our wintry lips are incomplete until they are oiled by a kiss. ~ Chloe Thurlow,
943:For the first time in her life she was feeling the stirrings of what was called Old Racism: the survival into modern times of racial attitudes, or reenactments thereof, that had existed on Old Earth, had been altogether snuffed out, and were known only because documentation thereof had survived. On a certain kind of diseased mind they exerted the same magnetic pull as they had pre-Zero, and so among a population of millions on the ring you might find one person who’d spent too much time delving into a five-thousand-year-old web archive and become infected with ideas about pre-Zero blacks that he fancied were applicable to Moirans, and so on. ~ Neal Stephenson,
944:And so now I'd like to say - people can change anything they want to. And that means everything in the world. People are running about following their little tracks - I am one of them. But we've all got to stop just following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything - this is something that I'm beginning to learn. People are out there doing bad things to each other. That's because they've been dehumanised. It's time to take the humanity back into the center of the ring and follow that for a time. Greed, it ain't going anywhere. They should have that in a big billboard across Times Square. Without people you're nothing. That's my spiel. ~ Joe Strummer,
945:I dream less of him, dear God be gloried,
Does not shimmer everywhere any more.
Fog has fallen on the whitened road,
Shadows run over water to the shore.

And all day the ringing did not quiet
Over the expanse of ploughed up soil,
Here most powerfully from Jonah
Distant Laurel belltowers do recoil.

I am trimming on the lilac bushes
Branches, that are now in full flower;
Ramparts of the ancient fortifying
Two old monks are slowly walking over.

Dear world, understood and corporeal,
For me, one unseeing, set alive.
Heal this soul of mine, the King of Heaven,
With the icy comfort of not love. ~ Anna Akhmatova,
946:The Rose and the Ring (1855): his old trick of puncturing snobberies and class-obsessions was never more deftly employed than in chronicling the fortunes of Rosalba, first seen as an urchin in the Park, to be condescended to by the odiously bourgeois Princess Angelica, but soon revealed as a princess. The physical unimpressiveness and general dinginess of the British royal family is never actually alluded to, but you feel it constantly hinted at in Thackeray’s satire. Children still find it funny, but it remains one of those many mid-Victorian children’s books which are ultimately written for the amusement of the adults who had to read them aloud. ~ A N Wilson,
947:If it had been a heart attack, the newspaper
might have used the word massive,
as if a mountain range had opened
inside her, but instead

it used the word suddenly, a light coming on

in an empty room. The telephone

fell from my shoulder, a black parrot repeating
something happened, something awful

a sunday, dusky. If it had been

terminal, we could have cradled her
as she grew smaller, wiped her mouth,

said good-bye. But it was sudden,

how overnight we could be orphaned
& the world became a bell we'd crawl inside
& the ringing all we'd eat. ~ Nick Flynn,
948: Begging Aid
Whilst our children
Become smaller than guns,
Elders become big
Circus Lions
Away from home.
Whilst the manes age
In the Zoos
That now our homelands
Have become,
Markets of leftovers,
Guns are taller
Than our children.
In the beggarhood
Of a Circus
That now is home,
The whip of the Ringmaster
Cracks with a snap
That eats through
The backs of our being.
Hands stretching
In a prayer
Of submission
In a beggarhood
Of Elders delicately
Performing the tightrope
To amuse the Gate
For Tips
That will bring home
Toys of death.
~ David Rubadiri,
949:Amelia groped for the ring and began tugging and twisting it. “It’s stuck again.” She sounded disgruntled. Cam pinned her wrist and bent his head, taking her finger into his mouth. She gasped as his tongue swirled around the base, leaving it wet. Gently, he used his teeth to draw the gold band off. Taking the ring from between his lips, he slid it back onto his own finger. Her hand, now bare, flexed as if bereft, and she looked at him uncertainly. “You’ll get used to wearing it.” Cam smoothed his hand along the plane of her midriff and stomach. “We’ll try it on you a few minutes at a time. Like breaking a horse to harness.” He grinned at her expression. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
950:I devoured each of what Halliday referred to as “The Holy Trilogies”: Star Wars (original and prequel trilogies, in that order), Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Mad Max, Back to the Future, and Indiana Jones. (Halliday once said that he preferred to pretend the other Indiana Jones films, from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull onward, didn’t exist. I tended to agree.)
I also absorbed the complete filmographies of each of his favorite directors. Cameron, Gilliam, Jackson, Fincher, Kubrick, Lucas, Spielberg, Del Toro, Tarantino. And, of course, Kevin Smith.
I spent three months studying every John Hughes teen movie and memorizing all the key lines of dialogue. ~ Ernest Cline,
951:The church exists to help us put to death our unholy addiction to playing god, to die to our selves and rise to the exercise of true selfhood, “having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:10). It exists to make possible for our stewardship of power the blessing Galadriel offers to Gimli in The Fellowship of the Ring, even as it echoes her stark refusal to make any absolute promise: “I do not foretell, for all foretelling is now vain: on the one hand lies darkness, and on the other only hope. But if hope should not fail, then I say to you, Gimli son of Glóin, that your hands shall flow with gold, and yet over you gold shall have no dominion. ~ Andy Crouch,
952:Amelia groped for the ring and began tugging and twisting it. “It’s stuck again.” She sounded disgruntled.
Cam pinned her wrist and bent his head, taking her finger into his mouth. She gasped as his tongue swirled around the base, leaving it wet. Gently, he used his teeth to draw the gold band off. Taking the ring from between his lips, he slid it back onto his own finger. Her hand, now bare, flexed as if bereft, and she looked at him uncertainly.
“You’ll get used to wearing it.” Cam smoothed his hand along the plane of her midriff and stomach. “We’ll try it on you a few minutes at a time. Like breaking a horse to harness.” He grinned at her expression. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
953:Imagine a time when your mobile phone rang but you didn’t answer it. Why not? Perhaps the phone was buried in a bag, making it difficult to reach. In this case your inability to easily answer the call inhibited the action. Your ability was limited. Maybe you thought the caller was a telemarketer, someone you did not want to speak to. So, your lack of motivation influenced you to ignore the call. Or, maybe the call was important and within arm’s reach, but the ringer on your phone was silenced. Despite having both a strong motivation and easy access to answer the call, it was completely missed because you never heard it ring — in other words, no trigger was present. ~ Nir Eyal,
954:Do cease fretting, my dear," Petti said comfortably. "A lady in your sister's delicate condition must be humored." "I am not fretting." Ravenna dropped the ring into her pocket. It made a hard bump against her thigh. "I gather that all these girls-ladies of enormous beauty, wealth, and status, and every one of them years younger than me-they are all to be my competition for the prince's favor?" "It does seem a shame any of them bothered making the journey here." Petti winked. "Lady Iona McCall is one-and-twenty," Sir Beverely said. "Only two years your junior." "You are both batty as belfries. And my sister too."

-Petti, Ravenna, & Sir Beverley ~ Katharine Ashe,
955:My name is Francis Crawford, and my brother and I studied at St Barbe.’

‘I know that,’ said Moses. He took the ring, and stood, the broad grin stamped on his features. ‘It is true what you did to all the Professors’ boots?’

Lymond stared at him. ‘Oh,’ he said. ‘Yes. I’m afraid it is.’

‘Is it true about the mathematical proposition you placed before Orontius Finnaeus that spelt …’

‘I don’t know how you heard about it,’ said M. de Sevigny. ‘Perhaps you had better not tell me what else you know about my misspent youth.’

Moses said, ‘When the ladies of the rue Glatigny were invited …?’

‘That,’ said M. de Sevigny, ‘is what I meant. ~ Dorothy Dunnett,
956:started writing Stardust in 1994, but mentally timeslipped about seventy years to do it. The mid-1920s seemed like a time when people enjoyed writing those sorts of things, before there were fantasy shelves in the bookshops, before trilogies and books ‘in the great tradition of The Lord of the Rings’. This, on the other hand, would be in the tradition of Lud-in-the-Mist and The King of Elfland’s Daughter. All I was certain of was that nobody had written books on computers back in the 1920s, so I bought a large book of unlined pages, and the first fountain pen I had owned since my schooldays and a copy of Katharine Briggs’s Dictionary of Fairies. I filled the pen and began. ~ Neil Gaiman,
957:The kiss is the greatest of gifts, uniquely human. A kiss before midnight. A kiss before dying. The Judas kiss. The kiss of the devil. A big wet smacker beneath the mistletoe. More can be said with a kiss than a book full of words. We kiss to say I love you. We kiss the rings of the self-important. The feet of the conquerors. The rich dark earth when we reach the promised land. We kiss babies' cheeks to soak up their innocence. We kiss the foreheads of loved ones as they begin a journey. We kiss beautiful strangers in far away places because on hot July nights with the music of the sea and the stars above your head your lips are incomplete until they are joined in a kiss. ~ Chloe Thurlow,
958:I had less control over my thoughts than I'd have liked. The little ring hung around my neck, under my gown, where nobody could see it. When I was alone, I took it out sometimes, wondering how he had judged the size, with nothing but my swollen, knotted fingers to go by. Wondering if my hands would ever be as they once were, small, white, and fine. By the time that happened, if it ever did, I would be long gone from here. I would have left behind both husband and wedding ring. It mattered little whether the size were right or no. Yet, when I thought this, I found my hand closing around the ring as if I did not want to let it go. It's mine, something inside me would say. ~ Juliet Marillier,
959:Amelia heard an annoying drumming sound, and she thought at first it was the wild percussion of her heart. But as Cam’s leg intruded gently among the folds of her borrowed dress and touched hers, she realized she was doing her blasted foot-tapping again. With an effort, she went still. Sliding one arm around her, Cam picked up her left hand, bringing it to his mouth. His lips brushed over the chafed red patch on her knuckle, where she had tried to pull the ring off. “It’s stuck,” she grumbled. “It’s too small.” “It’s not too small. Just relax your hand and it will come off.” “My hand is relaxed.” “Gadjis,” he said. “You’re all as stiff as amaranth wood. It must be your corsets. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
960:Can we make promises to each other, as if we were truly married? Can we swear to be true and faithful and love only each other and all those things? Because I'm in such pain, Margherita, I need to have you, I need to know that you're mine. I've been in torment since I first saw you. No, since I first heard you singing from you tower height. Please, mia bella bianca, please let us swear to each other. Love breaks all spells, I know it does. Wear my ring and let me know-"
She stopped his words with her mouth, cupping both hands about his face. Then she sat back to show him the ring on her finger. "I swear it all. Is that good enough? Because I really need you to kiss me again. ~ Kate Forsyth,
961:The crimson satin lining gleamed in the firelight, and so, too, did his eyes. When he looked up at her, there was a mist to them once again.

“Little magpie,” he whispered as he looked at the black onyx ring. “You gave up everything for this, didn’t you?”

She nodded. “That is how much I trust you. Everything I had hidden away in that biscuit jar went to this. All my worldly goods are in that ring, Jude.”

“Then I will take it and hold it close, and never give you cause for regret.” He put the ring on his index finger, and Isabella grinned. How perfect it looked—how utterly sensual. She wanted that ringed hand on her body, comforting her. Loving her. ~ Charlotte Featherstone,
962:You are burnt beyond recognition," he added, looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage. She held up her hands, strong, shapely hands, and surveyed them critically, drawing up her fawn sleeves above the wrists. Looking at them reminded her of her rings, which she had given to her husband before leaving for the beach. She silently reached out to him, and he, understanding, took the rings from his vest pocket and dropped them into her open palm. She slipped them upon her fingers; then clasping her knees, she looked across at Robert and began to laugh. The rings sparkled upon her fingers. He sent back an answering smile. ~ Kate Chopin,
963:For us the chief point of interest is the place where the game is played. Generally it is a simple circle, dyutamandalam, drawn on the ground. The circle as such, however, has a magic significance. It is drawn with great care, all sorts of precautions being taken against cheating. The players are not allowed to leave the ring until they have discharged their obligations. But, sometimes a special hall is provisionally erected for the game, and this hall is holy ground. The Mahabharata devotes a whole chapter to the erection of the dicing hall - sabha - where the Pandavas are to meet their prtners. Games, of chance, therefore, have their serious side. They are included in ritual. ~ Johan Huizinga,
964:For us the chief point of interest is the place where the game is played. Generatly it is a simple circle, dyutamandalam, drawn on the ground. The circle as such, however, has a magic significance. It is drawn with great care, all sorts of precautions being taken against cheating. The players are not allowed to leave the ring until they have discharged their obligations. But, sometimes a special hall is provisionally erected for the game, and this hall is holy ground. The Mahabharata devotes a whole chapter to the erection of the dicing hall - sabha - where the Pandavas are to meet their prtners. Games, of chance, therefore, have their serious side. They are included in ritual. ~ Johan Huizinga,
965:Nope.' He sat back. 'Just been there, done that. Done that getting hauled to the police station thing because of it, too.I appreciate your quest and everything, but I have to draw the line somewhere.'
'Wait,' I said, holding up my hand. 'My quest?'
He turned to look at me. We were at a red light, no other cars were anywhere in sight. 'Yeah,' he said. 'You know, like in Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars. You're searching for something you lost or need. It's a quest.'
I just looked at him.
'Maybe it's a guy thing,' he said. 'Fine, don't call it a quest. Call it chicken salad, I don't care. My point is, I'm in, but within reason. That's all I'm saying. ~ Sarah Dessen,
966:Svein had offered to talk. The Danes, quite suddenly, had stopped raiding. Instead they had settled in Cridianton and sent an embassy to Exanceaster, and Svein and Odda had made their private peace. “We sell them horses,” Harald said, “and they pay well for them. Twenty shillings a stallion, fifteen a mare.” “You sell them horses,” I said flatly. “So they will go away,” Harald explained. Servants threw a big birch log onto the fire. Sparks exploded outward, scattering the hounds who lay just beyond the ring of hearth stones. “How many men does Svein lead?” I asked. “Many,” Harald said. “Eight hundred?” I asked. “Nine?” Harald shrugged. “They came in twenty-four ships,” I went ~ Bernard Cornwell,
967: To An Early Daffodil
Thou yellow trumpeter of laggard Spring!
Thou herald of rich Summer's myriad flowers!
The climbing sun with new recovered powers
Does warm thee into being, through the ring
Of rich, brown earth he woos thee, makes thee fling
Thy green shoots up, inheriting the dowers
Of bending sky and sudden, sweeping showers,
Till ripe and blossoming thou art a thing
To make all nature glad, thou art so gay;
To fill the lonely with a joy untold;
Nodding at every gust of wind to-day,
To-morrow jewelled with raindrops. Always bold
To stand erect, full in the dazzling play
Of April's sun, for thou hast caught his gold.
~ Amy Lowell,
968:We're both so into it, neither of us hears the footsteps until a snarl breaks us apart. We turn to find Morpheus standing there with enough rage in his black eyes to send the Devil packing for heaven.
Jeb tugs his fingers from the rings in my belt but keeps a hand at my lower back. I touch my lips; they're throbbing and gluttonous, hungry for more.
"Wel, now, isn't that cozy?" Morpheus's voice isn't liquid this time. It grates like rusted nails along my eardrums. He peels off his gloves and slaps them against his palm, wings droopy and trailing the floor like a cape. "perhaps you might give Alyssa her lipstick back. We haven't time to find more before dinner." ~ A G Howard,
969: A Ring Posy
Jess and Jill are pretty girls,
Plump and well to do,
In a cloud of windy curls:
Yet I know who
Loves me more than curls or pearls.
I'm not pretty, not a bit—
Thin and sallow-pale;
When I trudge along the street
I don't need a veil:
Yet I have one fancy hit.
Jess and Jill can trill and sing
With a flute-like voice,
Dance as light as bird on wing,
Laugh for careless joys:
Yet it's I who wear the ring.
Jess and Jill will mate some day,
Surely, surely:
Ripen on to June through May,
While the sun shines make their hay,
Slacken steps demurely:
Yet even there I lead the way.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti,
970:In addition to Linda and me, there's a brother, a strange little guy named Bradley, obsessed with his own cowboy boots. He paces areound and around the house, staring at his feet and humming the G. I. Joe song from the television commmercial. He is the ringleader of a neighborhood gang of tiny boys, four-year olds, who throw dirt and beat each other with sticks all day long. In the evenings he comes to dinner with an imaginnary friend named Charcoal.
'Charcoal really needs a bath', my mother says, spooning Spaghettios onto his plate. His hands are perfectly clean right up to the wrists and the center of his face is cleared so we can see what he looks like. The rest of him is dirt. ~ Jo Ann Beard,
971:The Silmarils are Eorclanstánas (also treated as an Old English noun with plural Silmarillas). There are several different forms of this Old English word: eorclan-, eorcnan-, and eorcan- from which is derived the 'Arkenstone' of the Lonely Mountain. The first element may be related to Gothic airkns, 'holy'. With middangeard line 37 cf. my father's note in Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings, in A Tolkien Compass, p. 189: 'The sense is ''the inhabited lands of (Elves and) Men'', envisaged as lying between the Western Sea and that of the Far East (only known in the West by rumour). Middle-Earth is a modern alteration of medieval middel-erde from Old English middan-geard'. ~ Christopher Tolkien,
972:to make the sail set properly you must pull the boom down. That’ll take those cross wrinkles out.” “Is that what those blocks (pulleys) are for hooked to a ring in the kelson close to where the mast is stepped? But they are all muddled up.” “Isn’t there another ring under the boom, close to the mast?” asked Queen Elizabeth. “Got it,” said Captain John. “One block hooks to the ring under the boom, and one to the ring in the bottom of the boat, then it’s as easy as anything to haul the boom down. How’s that?” “The crinkles in the sail go up and down now, and not across,” said Mate Susan. “That’s right,” said Queen Elizabeth. “The wind will flatten them out as soon as we start sailing. ~ Arthur Ransome,
973:For Mercier, it was the ceremony of the mass that eased his soul: the sweetish smoke trailing from the censer, the ringing of the bell, the Latin incantations of the priest. In Warsaw, he attended early mass, at a small church near the apartment, once or twice a month, confessing to his vocational sins – duplicity, for example – in the oblique forms provided by Catholic protocol. He’d grown up an untroubled believer, but the war had put an end to that. What God could permit such misery and slaughter? But, in time, he had found consolation in a God beyond understanding and prayed for those he’d lost, for those he loved, and for an end to evil in the world.” ― Alan Furst, The Spies of Warsaw ~ Alan Furst,
974:The literary establishment in England was stunned, shocked, and scandalized by an event of millennial significance when a major bookstore chain innocently polled English-speaking readers, asking them to choose the greatest book of the twentieth century. By a wide margin The Lord of the Rings won. Three times the poll was broadened: to a worldwide readership, into cyberspace via Amazon.com, and even to "the greatest book of the millennium". The same champion won each time. The critics retched and kvetched, wailed and flailed, gasped and grasped for explanations. One said that they had failed and wasted their work of "ed-u-ca-tion". "Why bother teaching them to read if they're going to read that? ~ Peter Kreeft,
975:She took off her engagement and
wedding rings and walked over to me. “I don’t want anything to happen to these while I’m there.”
I clasped both of her hands in mine. “It’s not the rings I’m worried about.”
A faint smile crossed her lips, and even though the face was different, there was a feel to that smile
that was uniquely Sydney. “I’ll be fine . . . but I want you to hold on to these for me until I get back.”
“Deal,” I said in a low voice that only she could hear, “but I get to put them back on you.”
“Okay,” she said.
“On my knees,” I added.
“Okay.”
“And we both have to be nake—”
“Adrian,” she said warningly.
“We’ll discuss the terms later,” I said with a wink. ~ Richelle Mead,
976:Okay. He says there’s no death; it’s an illusion. Time is an illusion. Every instant
that comes into being never passes away. Anyhow—he says—it doesn’t really even come into being;
it was always there. The universe consists of concentric rings of reality; the greater the ring the more
it partakes of absolute reality. These concentric rings finally wind up as God; He’s the source of the
things, and they’re more real as they get nearer to him. It’s the principle of emanation, I guess. Evil is
simply a lesser reality, a ring farther from Him. It’s the lack of absolute reality, not the presence of an
evil deity. So there’s no dualism, no evil, no satan. Evil is an illusion like decay. ~ Philip K Dick,
977:Do you know that the spectator is the last of the rings which, as I am saying, receive the power of the original magnet from one another? The rhapsode like yourself and the actor are intermediate links, and the poet himself is the first of them. Through all these the God sways the souls of men in any direction which he pleases, and makes one man hang down from another. Thus there is a vast chain of dancers and masters and undermasters of choruses, who are suspended, as if from the stone, at the side of the rings which hang down from the Muse. And every poet has some Muse from whom he is suspended, and by whom he is said to be possessed, which is nearly the
Ion 5
same thing; for he is taken hold of. ~ Socrates,
978:My eyelids are heavy as stone. But when I sleep, I'll have that dream again. I haven't wanted to tell you about it, until now.
I'll be in the Separates, and I'll be digging with my bare hands. When I've made a hole deep enough to plant a tree, I'll place my fingers inside. I'll slip off the ring you gave me. It will catch the light and glint a rainbow of colors over my skin, but I will take my hands away, leaving it there. I'll sprinkle the earth back over it, and I will bury it. Back where it belongs.
I'll rest against a tree's rough trunk. The sun will be setting, it's dazzling color threading through the sky, making my cheeks warm.
Then I will wake up.

Good-bye, Ty,
Gemma ~ Lucy Christopher,
979:Tolkien has helped my imagination. He was a devout Catholic — and I am not. However, because he brought his faith to bear into narrative, fiction, and literature, his Christianity — which was pretty ‘mere Christianity’ (understanding of human sin, need for grace, need for redemption) — fleshed out in fiction, has been an inspiration to me.

What I mean by inspiration is this: he gives me a way of grasping glory that would otherwise be hard for me to appreciate. Glory, weightiness, beauty, excellence, brilliance, virtue — he shows them to you in some of his characters.

When people ask me how often I have read The Lord of the Rings, the answer is, I actually never stop. I’m always in it. ~ Timothy J Keller,
980:Then she had noticed that Arin’s fingernails were blackened, and how he kept reaching into his pocket as if to reassure himself that something was there.
She had told herself not to guess. But she could never help guessing. A smile warmed her face.
He shut his eyes in mock chagrin. “Gods, can I keep nothing from you?”
“I didn’t mean to.”
“Devious thing. I won’t give it to you yet. It’s for Ninarrith.”
Time seemed strange; it was as if the ring were already on her smallest finger, the most vulnerable one.
“It’s simple,” Arin had hastened to say.
“I will love it.”
“Will you wear it?”
“Yes.”
“Always?”
“Yes,” she had said, “if you show me how to make one for you, too. ~ Marie Rutkoski,
981:Darkness closed around, and then came the ringing of church bells and the distant beating of the military drums in the Palace Courtyard, as the women sat knitting, knitting. Darkness encompassed them. Another darkness was closing in as surely, when the church bells, then ringing pleasantly in many an airy steeple over France, should be melted into thundering cannon; when the military drums should be beating to drown a wretched voice, that night all potent as the voice of Power and Plenty, Freedom and Life. So much was closing in about the women who sat knitting, knitting, that they their very selves were closing in around a structure yet unbuilt, where they were to sit knitting, knitting, counting dropping heads. ~ Charles Dickens,
982:the shimmering green water, and then, in an instant, it was gone altogether. The little circles in the water gradually disappeared too. Are you still there? he asked, after a few seconds. I love it. He smiled. Just be careful. You too . . . Are you leaving now? Yes . . . for good. I'll miss you. There was a long, drawn-out silence, and then, as if from another dimension, her voice said, Good . . . do. When he was sure she was gone, he unfolded his legs, and stood up. For a moment, he studied his own shadow falling on the water; with the end of his pact with Kaliya, his shadow had been returned to him . . . as had his soul. With the ring gone too now, there was little to remind him of his terrible odyssey . . . little ~ Robert Masello,
983:He had wished me well in finding my own fate to follow, and I never doubted his sincerity. But it had taken me years to accept that his absence in my life was a deliberate finality, an act he had chosen, a thing completed even as some part of my soul still dangled, waiting for his return. That, I think, is the shock of any relationship ending. It is realizing that what is still an ongoing relationship to someone is, for the other person, something finished and done with. For some years I waited, like a faithful dog told to sit and stay. I had had no reason to believe that the Fool had lost affection or regard for me. Yet the ringing silence and constant absence began, over time, to feel like dislike or, worse, indifference. ~ Robin Hobb,
984:How many men can honestly say a woman has walked their heart?” he asked. “But I can. And if you’ll have me, I’d like you to stay there.” Tears welled in Ceony’s eyes. She didn’t blink them away. Emery reached into his pocket and pulled from it a loop of white and violet paper about the width of his fist, made of dozens of tiny, crisscrossing links. Not a spell, just something crafted to be beautiful. From it hung a gold ring that glimmered rose in the sunlight. A diamond carved in the shape of a raindrop sat at its center, flanked on either side by a small emerald. The paper magician slipped the ring off the paper loop and turned it in his hands. Dropping to one knee, he said, “Ceony Maya Twill, will you marry me?” THE ~ Charlie N Holmberg,
985:I am Lews Therin Telamon, the Dragon. I ruled these lands, unified, during the Age of Legends. I was leader of all the armies of the Light, I wore the Ring of Tamyrlin. I stood first among the Servants, highest of the Aes Sedai, and I could summon the Nine Rods of Dominion.” Rand stepped forward. “I held the loyalty and fealty of all seventeen Generals of Dawn’s Gate. Fortuona Athaem Devi Paendrag, my authority supersedes your own!” “Artur Hawkwing—” “My authority supersedes that of Hawkwing! If you claim rule by the name of he who conquered, then you must bow before my prior claim. I conquered before Hawkwing, though I needed no sword to do so. You are here on my land, Empress, at my sufferance!” Thunder broke in the distance. ~ Anonymous,
986:In books there’s always somebody standing by ready to say hey, the world’s in danger, evil’s on the rise, but if you’re really quick and take this ring and put it in that volcano over there everything will be fine. “But in real life that guy never turns up. He’s never there. He’s busy handing out advice in the next universe over. In our world no one ever knows what to do, and everyone’s just as clueless and full of crap as everyone else, and you have to figure it all out by yourself. And even after you’ve figured it out and done it, you’ll never know whether you were right or wrong. You’ll never know if you put the ring in the right volcano, or if things might have gone better if you hadn’t. There’s no answers in the back of the book. ~ Lev Grossman,
987:The boy stood on the highest knoll of the low country in the Western Kingdom of the Ring, looking north, watching the first of the rising suns. As far as he could see stretched rolling green hills, dipping and rising like camel humps in a series of valleys and peaks. The burnt-orange rays of the first sun lingered in the morning mist, making them sparkle, lending the light a magic that matched the boy’s mood. He rarely woke this early or ventured this far from home—and never ascended this high—knowing it would incur his father’s wrath. But on this day, he didn’t care. On this day, he disregarded the million rules and chores that had oppressed him for his fourteen years. For this day was different. It was the day his destiny had arrived. ~ Morgan Rice,
988:Edward stood, motionless as a statue, just a few feet from the mouth of the alley. His eyes were closed, the rings underneath them deep purple, his arms relaxed at his sides, his palms turned forward. His expression was very peaceful, like he was dreaming pleasant things. The marble skin of his chest was bare―there was a small pile of white fabric at his feet. The light reflecting from the pavement of the square gleamed dimly from his skin.
I'd never seen anything more beautiful―even as I ran, gasping and screaming, I could appreciate that. And the last seven months meant nothing. And his words in the forest meant nothing. And it did not matter if he did not want me. I would never want anything but him, no matter how long I lived. ~ Stephenie Meyer,
989: Because I Could Not Stop For Death
Because I could not stop for DeathHe kindly stopped for meThe Carriage held but just OurselvesAnd Immortality.
We slowly drove- He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His CivilityWe passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess- in the RingWe passed the Fields of Gazing GrainWe passed the Setting SunOr rather- He passed usThe Dews drew quivering and chillFor only Gossamer, my GownMy Tippet- only TulleWe paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the GroundThe Roof was scarcely visibleThe Cornice- in the GroundSince then- 'tis Centuries- and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity~ Emily Dickinson,
990:Harriet came round this morning to show me her ring – big solitaire ruby – old Abrahams had it cut and set specially to instructions. Poor H. laughed at herself, because when Peter gave it to her yesterday she was looking at him and ten minutes afterwards, when challenged, couldn’t even tell him the colour of the stone. Said she was afraid she never would learn to behave like other people, but Peter had only said it was the first time his features had ever been prized above rubies. Peter joined us at lunch – also Helen, who demanded to see the ring, and said sharply, ‘Good Heavens! I hope it’s insured.’ To do her justice, I can’t see that she could have found anything nastier to say if she’d thought it out with both hands for a fortnight. ~ Dorothy L Sayers,
991:The ring is simple with a diamond and a plain gold band but it symbolizes our time together. We have been on a roller coaster ride this entire year and I think we deserve some simplicity. That's what this ring is because asking you to marry me is the simplest thing ever.
I had an idea forever ago for you to move in with me and it's the best thing that has ever happened to me. I thought I knew all there was to know about life and then you ran into mine. The second I saw you I knew one day you were going to be Mrs. Mitchell. Before I had time to think or breathe all of the pieces were falling together and now we're here. And as simple as taking my next breath I can say that I want you forever. So Isabelle Katherine Clark . . . Will you marry me? ~ Emily McKee,
992:Don't laugh, it's people like her who make this lousy
world a place worth visiting.'
'Whores?'
'No. We're all whores, sooner or later. I mean
good-hearted people. And don't look at me like that. Weddings turn me to jelly.'
We remained there embracing that special silence, gazing at the reflections on the water. After a while dawn tinged the sky with amber, and Barcelona woke up. We heard the distant bells from the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, just emerging from the mist on the other side of the harbour.
'Do you think Carax is still there, somewhere in the
city?' I asked.
'Ask me another question.'
'Do you have the rings?'
Fermin smiled. 'Come on, let's go. They're waiting for us, Daniel. Life is waiting for us. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
993:...In books there's always somebody standing by ready to say hey, the world's in danger, evil's on the rise, but if you're really quick and take this ring and put it in that volcano over there everything will be fine.

"But in real life that guy never turns up. He's never there. He's busy handing out advice in the next universe over. In our world no one ever knows what to do, and everyone's just as clueless and full of crap as everyone else, and you have to figure it all out by yourself. And even after you've figured it out and done it, you'll never know whether you were right or wrong. You'll never know if you put the ring in the right volcano, or if things might have gone better if you hadn't. There's no answers in the back of the book. ~ Lev Grossman,
994:Left alone, I am overtaken by the northern void-no wind, no cloud, no track, no bird, only the crystal crescents between peaks, the ringing monuments of rock that, freed from the talons of ice and snow, thrust an implacable being into the blue. In the early light, the rock shadows on the snow are sharp; in the tension between light and dark is the power of the universe. This stillness to which all returns, this is reality, and soul and sanity have no more meaning than a gust of snow; such transience and insignificance are exalting, terrifying, all at once…Snow mountains, more than sea or sky, serve as a mirror to one’s own true being, utterly still, utterly clear, a void, an Emptiness without life or sound that carries in Itself all life, all sound. ~ Peter Matthiessen,
995:Are you angry with me?" she asked, miserably. He smiled, his eyes warm and forgiving. "Not anymore."  And then:  "Are you angry with me?" "No."  She shook her head and wiped away a tear that had rolled free of her right eye. Sniffled. Wiped away another. "I'm ... I'm so sorry about this morning ... in church, with the rings —" "It is forgotten." "No, I feel horrible about it. There you were with all your friends looking on, and I embarrassed you, hurt you — " He shook his head patiently and gave a little smile. "Come here, Juliet." "Oh, no, I can't, I — I'm not ready for — that is, I —" "Shhh. I know you're not ready. I just want you to sit up here with me. That's all. You've been through enough all by yourself without going through this alone, as well." He ~ Danelle Harmon,
996:After ripping through The Hobbit, I read The Lord of the Rings, and the darkness of that story enveloped me in a way that is impossible to explain. I was THERE, in a very real sense. The fear was palpable in the presence of the black-cloaked Ringwraiths, and I could taste the sulfurous fumes of Mt. Doom. I could smell the sweat of horses and hot leather and hear the clash of battle as I rode with the Rohan on the fields of the Pelennor. I bled and died with the sun-king, Theoden. I rose again with Eowyn’s defiance of the Witch King. I soared with the Eagles as they swept the broken and bloody body of Frodo and his companion Samwise the Brave from the smoking crags of the fiery mountain. There has never been such a story, and I don’t think there ever shall be again. ~ Steve Bivans,
997:In the school building taken over by GQG, an unbridgeable gulf separated Operations, the Troisième Bureau, which occupied the class rooms, from Intelligence, the Deuxième Bureau, which was installed in the gymnasium with the apparatus pushed against the walls and the rings tied up to the ceiling. All day the Deuxième Bureau collected information, interrogated prisoners, deciphered documents, put together ingenious conjectures and passed on its reports to its neighbors. Consistently these indicated German activity west of the Meuse. All day Troisième read the reports, handed them around, criticized, disputed, and refused to believe them if they pointed to conclusions that would require the French to modify their plan of offensive. Every morning at eight o’clock ~ Barbara W Tuchman,
998:I didn’t try to push you out of the way that night. Emily was coming up behind you, and I wanted to get to her. So, I shoved you, hoping you would fall into her like dominoes.” I shrug. “It worked.” He laughs, his chest filling with chuckles. “I know.” “You did?” How the hell did he know that? “Yes, I saw the look on your face. No one is that scared over a man who has treated him like a piece of shit.” He sits back and regards me, his eyes narrowing. “When you saw that car coming, you had this look that told me that you were completely in love with my daughter and that you would sacrifice yourself for her.” He nods toward the ring. “That’s why I gave you my blessing. Not because you saved my life.” “Oh.” I probably sound like an idiot, but I don’t know what to say. ~ Tammy Falkner,
999:What exactly is it you'd like to know? [the book store manager asked]. He had an odd expression, like he was asking her a trick question. [Katherine] thought a minute. What DID she want to know? Why had she taken the trouble to come out in the cold to learn about a woman she'd never heard of until yesterday? She had that feeling she got when she was doing her art and suddenly discovered the missing piece that ties everything together: a tingling in the back of her neck, a crazy buzzed-rush of a feeling that spread through her whole body. She didn't understand the role that Sara Harrison Shea, the ring Gary had given her, or the book he had hidden would play, but she knew that this was important, and that she had to give herself over to it and see where it might lead. ~ Jennifer McMahon,
1000:If this practice [black magic] is persisted in long enough, the spirit will be unable to disentangle itself from the substances of the lower worlds, and must remain enmeshed therein until the dissolution of the universe at the time of the night of Brahma, when the divine spark is cast into the blackness of the Infinite through the rings of Saturn. By taking this path, the ego attains darkness, but it is the darkness of the tomb and of unconsciousness, reached through the path of perversion and negation. Its reward is the black death and the loss of the soul. Such an ego wanders in a great unknown without hope, reason, or understanding, while the endless wheels of Chaos dissolve the bodies of which it has failed to make the proper use. ~ Manly P Hall, Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics,
1001:He let himself into the house and sat down with his back against the door, where the tiles were cool on his legs and he tried to hear, as he had earlier imagined, every single thing that his wife was not doing in their home on this Sunday night. He could hardly keep track of it all, she was so busy being absent. She was not pouring water into a glass or a pitcher. She was not kicking his shoes out of the hall. She was not switching the laundry into the dryer. She was not opening the screen door and going outside barefoot and calling for him to come look at the sunset. She was not putting lotion on her elbows or flattening the newspaper or picking up the ringing telephone, which would go on calling out the absence of Petra in nine-ring sequences dozens of times every day. ~ Ramona Ausubel,
1002: For A Marriage Of St. Catherine By Hans Memmelinck
(In the Hospital of St. John at Bruges)
MYSTERY: Catherine the bride of Christ.
She kneels, and on her hand the holy Child
Now sets the ring. Her life is hushed and mild,
Laid in God's knowledge—ever unenticed
From God, and in the end thus fitly priced.
Awe, and the music that is near her, wrought
Of angels, have possessed her eyes in thought:
Her utter joy is hers, and hath sufficed.
There is a pause while Mary Virgin turns
The leaf, and reads. With eyes on the spread book,
That damsel at her knees reads after her.
John whom He loved, and John His harbinger,
Listen and watch. Whereon soe'er thou look,
The light is starred in gems and the gold burns.
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
1003: Sonnet: The Ghosts Of James And Peirce In Harvard
Yard
In memory of D. W. Prall
The ghosts of James and Peirce in Harvard Yard
At star-pierced midnight, after the chapel bell
(Episcopalian! palian! the ringing soared!)
Stare at me now as if they wish me well.
In the waking dream amid the trees which fall,
Bar and bough of shadow, by my shadow crossed,
They have not slept for long and they know all,
Know time's exhaustion and the spirit's cost.
"We studied the radiant sun, the star's pure seed:
Darkness is infinite! The blind can see
Hatred's necessity and love's grave need
Now that the poor are murdered across the sea,
And you are ignorant, who hear the bell;
Ignorant, you walk between heaven and hell."
~ Delmore Schwartz,
1004:The Ring of Amon,” Lucien answered. “It’s an ancient artifact from the Netherworld. It was believed to have been destroyed a very long time ago. The ring, when used in conjunction with a particular incantation, has the power to change people: It reverses their moral compass, and makes normal people do things that they would never have contemplated before falling under its spell. The ring has the power to unlock all the potential for rage and evil that people have. Normal people—good people—will commit acts of vile butchery on those around them, even those they love and hold dear. We think that Caliban hopes to use the ring to turn humankind against itself. And when he has done so, he wishes to create a vampire dynasty within the realm: a vampire empire with himself as ruler. ~ Steve Feasey,
1005: The Bonny Earl Of Murray
YE Highlands and ye Lawlands,
O where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl of Murray,
And hae laid him on the green.
Now wae be to thee, Huntley!
And whairfore did ye sae!
I bade you bring him wi' you,
But forbade you him to slay.
He was a braw gallant,
And he rid at the ring;
Ana the bonny Earl of Murray,
O he might hae been a king!
He was a braw gallant,
And he play'd at the ba';
And the bonny Earl of Murray
Was the flower amang them a'!
He was a braw gallant,
And he play'd at the gluve;
And the bonny Earl of Murray,
O he was the Queen's luve!
O lang will his Lady
Look owre the Castle Downe,
Ere she see the Earl of Murray
Come sounding through the town!
~ Anonymous,
1006: Rondeau At The Train Stop
It bothers me: the genital smell of the bay
drifting toward me on the T stop, the train
circling the city like a dingy, year-round
Christmas display. The Puritans were right! Sin
is everywhere in Massachusetts, hell-bound
in the population. it bothers me
because it's summer now and sticky - no rain
to cool things down; heat like a wound
that will not close. Too hot, these shameful
percolations of the body that bloom
between strangers on a train. It bothers me
now that I'm alone and singles foam
around the city, bothered by the lather, the rings
of sweat. Know this bay's a watery animal, hind-end
perpetually raised: a wanting posture, pain
so apparent, wanting so much that it bothers me.
~ Erin Belieu,
1007:It was these Prussian schools that introduced many of the features we now take for granted. There was teaching by year group rather than by ability, which made sense if the aim was to produce military recruits rather than rounded citizens. There was formal pedagogy, in which children sat at rows of desks in front of standing teachers, rather than, say, walking around together in the ancient Greek fashion. There was the set school day, punctuated by the ringing of bells. There was a predetermined syllabus, rather than open-ended learning. There was the habit of doing several subjects in one day, rather than sticking to one subject for more than a day. These features make sense, argues Davies, if you wish to mould people into suitable recruits for a conscript army to fight Napoleon. ~ Matt Ridley,
1008:Out of the city and over the hill,
Into the spaces where Time stands still,
Under the tall trees, touching old wood,
Taking the way where warriors once stood;
Crossing the little bridge, losing my way,
But finding a friendly place where I can stay.
Those were the days, friend, when we were strong
And strode down the road to an old marching song
When the dew on the grass was fresh every morn,
And we woke to the call of the ring-dove at dawn.
The years have gone by, and sometimes I falter,
But still I set out for a stroll or a saunter,
For the wind is as fresh as it was in my youth,
And the peach and the pear, still the sweetest of fruit,
So cast away care and come roaming with me,
Where the grass is still green and the air is still free. ~ Ruskin Bond,
1009:I did not buy a book called Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen Donaldson, which has the temerity to compare itself, on the front cover, to 'Tolkien at his best.' The back cover attributes the quote to the Washington Post, a newspaper whose quotations will always damn a book for me from now on. How dare they? And how dare the publishers? It isn't a comparison anyone could make, except to say 'Compared to Tolkien at his best, this is dross.' I mean you could say that even about really brilliant books like A Wizard of Earthsea. I expect Lord Foul's Bane (horrible title, sounds like a Conan book) is more like Tolkien at his worst, which would be the beginning of The Simarillion.

The thing about Tolkien, about The Lord of the Rings, is that it's perfect. ~ Jo Walton,
1010:What a silly routine, Natalie thought, not realizing, sitting there alone on the stool in the center of the ring of girls, how she was jeopardizing her own future in college, her own future for four years and perhaps for the rest of her life; how even worse than the actual being a bad sport was the state of mind which led her into defiance of this norm, this ring of placid, masked girls, with their calm futures ahead and their regular pasts proven beyond a doubt; how one person stepping however aside from their meaningless, echoing standards, set perhaps by a violent movement before their recollection, and handed down to them by other placid creatures, might lose a seat among them by questions, by rebellion, by anything except a cheerful smile and a resolution to hurt other people. ~ Shirley Jackson,
1011:I can’t help but be attracted to pregnant women. Unless they’re malnourished. I’ll see a malnourished pregnant woman on the subway sometimes, big in the belly but with stick-figure arms and hair like a rat’s, and I want to buy her a space heater. I want to yell at her parents. I remember going up to this real malnourished-looking pregnant lady on the G train one time and asking her if she’d like a free dinner at Junior’s. She couldn’t believe I was trying to pick her up on the G train, a pregnant woman with a ring on her finger. I hadn’t noticed the ring. It was one hell of a big ring. I tried to convince her that I wasn’t trying to pick her up. I offered to give her fifty bucks for cooking oil. That just made matters worse. Turns out she was a famous model. I’ve seen her on billboards. ~ Joshua Ferris,
1012:THE BLUE DRESS

Her blue dress is a silk train is a river
is water seeps into the cobblestone steps of my sleep, is still raining
is monsoon brocade, is winter stars stitched into puddles
is goodbye in a flooded, antique room, is goodbye in a room of crystal bowls
and crystal cups, is the ring-ting-ring of water dripping from the mouths
of crystal bowls and crystal cups, is the Mississippi river is a hallway, is leaks
like tears from windowsills of a drowned house, is windows open to waterfalls
is a bed is a small boat is a ship, is a currant come to carry me in its arms
through the streets, is me floating in her dress through the streets
is the moon sees me floating through the streets, is me in a blue dress
out to sea, is my mother is a moon out to sea. ~ Saeed Jones,
1013:-What's so funny?"
"-Sorry," David said, reddening again. "You just taste so sweet."
"-What do you mean, sweet?"
He licked his bottom lip one more time.
"-You taste like honey."
"-Honey?"
"-Yeah, I thought I was going nuts the day...well, you know, that one day. But it was the same today. Your mouth is really sweet."
He paused for a second, then grinned.
"-Hot like honey-like nectar. That makes more sense."
"-Great. Now I'm going to have to explain that to everyone I kiss for the rest of my life unless it's you or another faerie."
She'd almost said Tamani's name. Her fingers flew to the ring around her neck.
David shrugged.
"-Then don't kiss anyone except me."
"-David..."
"-I'm just offering up the obvious solution," he said, hands up in protest. ~ Aprilynne Pike,
1014:You have a lucky bra, something that I imagine has carried you through some challenging and tough nights & days, & I have this rock. She lets Catherine take the rock into her hand, & feel how just holding it, like wearing a fabulous bra, can be a comfort. They don't talk about it because they are women & they know. They know about comfort & the loss of it, & they know about sacrifice & change, & that the ring of a doorbell, a wild call at midnight, the scent of something new, the touch of a baby, or a lover's fresh face can change everything. They know. ... she gently hands back the stone, understanding its importance, but also not about to stop herself from saying, "You'll understand if I don't hand over the bra." They laugh. Which is the perfect thing to do. ~ Kris Radish,
1015:washed her face and dressed in a plain cotton day dress, wrapping a scarf around her butchered hair as she went downstairs. Vianne sat on the divan, knitting, an oil lamp lit beside her. In the ring of lamplight that separated her from the darkness, Vianne looked pale and sickly; she obviously hadn’t slept much this week, either. She looked up at Isabelle in surprise. “You’re up early.” “I have a long day of standing in lines ahead of me. Might as well get started,” Isabelle said. “The first in line get the best food.” Vianne put her knitting aside and stood. Smoothing her dress (another reminder that he was in the house: neither of them came downstairs in nightdresses), she went into the kitchen and then returned with ration cards. “It’s meat today.” Isabelle grabbed the ration cards from ~ Kristin Hannah,
1016:She looks up. I’ve caught her by surprise. Her face opens up and all of a sudden it’s like that paper mask is transparent. I’m looking right through it, and I get a flash of some kind of life we could’ve had—barbecues, dogs, kids flopping over us in bed—it rolls through me fast but strong and clear, like one of those cooking smells that blows in the window so sharp you can pick out the ingredients. And then it’s gone. It’s gone, and Holly’s holding my hand. Finally, after that long long wait, her hand is back on mine. Dry cool fingers, slim. The rings loose. I close my eyes. My hand is so hot, I feel my pulse in every finger. I’m afraid she’ll let go but she doesn’t let go. She keeps her hand around mine and it’s like she’s holding all of me in her cool sweetness, calming my fever back down. ~ Jennifer Egan,
1017:Yes, it struck her now that this whole business of the bull was like a life; the important birth, the fair chance, the tentative, then assured, then half-dispairing circulations of the ring, an obstacle negotiated - a feat improperly recognized - boredom, resignation, collapse: then another, more convulsive birth, a new start; the circumspect endeavours to obtain one's bearings in a world now frankly hostile, the apparent but deceptive encouragement of one's judges, half of whom were asleep, the swervings into the beginnings of disaster because of that same negligible obstacle one had surely taken before at a stride, the final enmeshment in the toils of enemies one was never quite certain weren't friends more clumsy than actively ill-disposed, followed by disaster, capitulation, disintegration. ~ Malcolm Lowry,
1018:I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd Greatly,
have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! ~ Alfred Tennyson,
1019:When J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was published in the 1950s, a woman named Rhona Beare wrote Tolkien and asked him about the chapter in which the Ring of Power is destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom. When the ring is melted, the Dark Lord’s entire power collapses and melts away with it. She found it inexplicable that this unassailable, overwhelming power would be wiped out by the erasure of such a little object. Tolkien replied that at the heart of the plot was the Dark Lord’s effort to magnify and maximize his power by placing so much of it in the ring. He wrote: “The Ring of Sauron is only one of the various mythical treatments of the placing of one’s life, or power, in some external object, which is thus exposed to capture or destruction with disastrous results to oneself. ~ Timothy J Keller,
1020:I myself have dreamed up a structure intermediate between Dyson spheres and planets. Build a ring 93 million miles in radius - one Earth orbit - around the sun. If we have the mass of Jupiter to work with, and if we make it a thousand miles wide, we get a thickness of about a thousand feet for the base.

And it has advantages. The Ringworld will be much sturdier than a Dyson sphere. We can spin it on its axis for gravity. A rotation speed of 770 m/s will give us a gravity of one Earth normal. We wouldn't even need to roof it over. Place walls one thousand miles high at each edge, facing the sun. Very little air will leak over the edges.

Lord knows the thing is roomy enough. With three million times the surface area of the Earth, it will be some time before anyone complains of the crowding. ~ Larry Niven,
1021:She said earlier today that she has no wish to see you again.”
Throughout Kathleen’s speech, Winterborne had looked away as if he were only half listening. At that last remark, however, she found herself the target of a bladelike gaze.
Perhaps, she thought uneasily, it would be best to leave soon.
Winterborne approached her as she stood by the bookshelves. “Tell her she’s free, then,” he sneered. He leaned his cane against a shelf and set a broad hand on a section of fluted casing. “If a few kisses are enough to make her bedridden, I doubt she’d live through her first night as my wife.”
Kathleen returned his gaze without flinching, knowing that he was trying to unnerve her. “I’ll see that the ring is returned to you as soon as possible.”
“She can keep it as compensation for wasted time. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1022:Heather squinted as Emma passed ahead of them into sunlight. She followed carefully over the threshold and into a vision of green, gold, and white. The persistent mist hung about the edges of a green hillside, lit with glittering sunlight. There was a surprisingly wide, mostly flat area, but this soon gave way to the ever-tilting hillside. Around the rim of the village green, the hillside slanted up into stony outcroppings, ending in the mountain peaks that showed about the ring of Cloud Mountain. It looked like a broken bowl, with the green being the bowl’s inside bottom. Heather saw row upon row of vegetables of every kind—cabbage and corn, potatoes and turnips. Her mouth watered, and she felt a little lightheaded. After the confining corridors of stone, it was unsettling to be out in the open like this. ~ S D Smith,
1023: The Magic Ring
Your touch on my hand is fire,
Your lips on my lips are flowers.
My darling, my one desire,
Dear crown of my days and hours.
Dear crown of each hour and day
Since ever my life began.
Ah! leave me--ah! go away We two are woman and man.
To lie in your arms and see
The stars melt into the sun;
Till there is no you and me,
Since you and I are one.
To loose my soul to your breath,
To bare my heart to your life It is death, it is death, it is death!
I am not your wife.
The hours will come and will go,
But never again such an hour
When the tides immortal flow
And life is a flood, a flower . . .
Wait for the ring; it is strong,
It has a magic of might
To make all that was splendid and wrong
Sordid and right.
~ Edith Nesbit,
1024:A barometric low hung over the Atlantic. It moved eastward toward a high-pressure area over Russia without as yet showing any inclination to bypass this high in a northerly direction. The isotherms and isotheres were functioning as they should. The air temperature was appropriate relative to the annual mean temperature and to the aperiodic monthly fluctuations of the temperature. The rising and setting of the sun, the moon, the phases of the moon, of Venus, of the rings of Saturn, and many other significant phenomena were all in accordance with the forecasts in the astronomical yearbooks. The water vapor in the air was at its maximal state of tension, while the humidity was minimal. In a word that characterizes the facts fairly accurately, even if it is a bit old-fashioned: It was a fine day in August 1913. ~ Robert Musil,
1025:Jericho stopped him before he left. He slid the ring off his finger and handed it to him. "Take this."
Asmodeus curled his lip as he shrank back from it. "I'm not about to marry your ugly ass, boy. No offense, but you ain't my type. I like my dates with less body hair... and with female parts attached by nature."
Jericho let out an aggravated growl. "It's not a wedding ring, asshole. It's Berith's ring. You get into trouble you can summon him to help you get out of there."
That completely changed his attitude. "Oh, hey, that could be worth an engagement to you." Asmodeus grinned as he palmed it. "If I'm back in a few hours... well, I don't want to think about that. I might change my mind about doing this. I'm thinking happy thoughts. Creamed dog innards and rotten steak. Yeah. Yum." He vanished. ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon,
1026:It wasn't that we didn't know history. Even if you only count the real world, we knew more history than most people. We'd been taught about cavemen and Normans and Tudors. We knew about Greeks and Romans. We knew masses of personal stories about World War II. We even knew quite a lot of family history. It just didn't connect to the landscape. And it was the landscape that formed us, that made us who we were as we grew in it, that affected everything. We thought we were living in a fantasy landscape when actually we were living in a science fictional one. In ignorance, we played our way through what the elves and giants had left us, taking the fairies' possession for ownership. I named the dramroads after places in The Lord of the Rings when I should have recognized that they were from The Chrysalids. ~ Jo Walton,
1027:I wanna see the dance!”
“Forget about it,” I tell him. We’re in the living room; each of us has our own couch or armchair. I poured us iced teas and put out a bowl of potato chips, which we’ve already finished.
“Come on,” he pouts. “Show me the dance. Please, please show me the dance.”
“That’s not going to work on me, Peter.”
“What’s not going to work?”
I wave my hand in his Handsome Boy face. “That. I’m immune to your charms, remember?”
Peter lifts his eyebrows like I’ve dared him. “Is that a challenge? ’Cause I’m warning you, you do not want to step into the ring with me. I’ll crush you, Covey.” He doesn’t take his eyes off mine for several long seconds, and I can feel my smile fade and my cheeks heat up.
“Come on, Lara Jean!”
I blink. Kitty. I’d forgotten she was still in the room. ~ Jenny Han,
1028:The Silmarillion did not develop in the context of an eager audience. Tolkien wrote it for his own amusement, for he found the myths and genealogies and languages of Middle-earth endlessly fascinating. The Lord of the Rings, in contrast, was written to satisfy the demands of a publisher; Tolkien began “the new Hobbit” unwillingly. And he read it aloud, chapter by chapter, as it was written. It was critiqued and revised in a circle of interested readers. Tolkien was completely aware of the difference in these two projects. He writes, “The Silmarillion is quite different [from The Lord of the Rings], and if good at all, good in quite another way.” The Silmarillion contains some of the most beautiful passages Tolkien has ever written, but it is demanding to read, challenging to connect with, and far less popular. ~ Diana Pavlac Glyer,
1029:Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity – ~ Emily Dickinson,
1030:Books are, let's face it, better than everything else. If we played cultural Fantasy Boxing League, and made books go 15 rounds in the ring against the best that any other art form had to offer, then books would win pretty much every time. Go on, try it. “The Magic Flute” v. Middlemarch? Middlemarch in six. “The Last Supper” v. Crime and Punishment? Fyodor on points. See? I mean, I don’t know how scientific this is, but it feels like the novels are walking it. You might get the occasional exception -– “Blonde on Blonde” might mash up The Old Curiosity Shop, say, and I wouldn’t give much for Pale Fire’s chance against Citizen Kane. And every now and again you'd get a shock, because that happens in sport, so Back to the Future III might land a lucky punch on Rabbit, Run; but I'm still backing literature 29 times out of 30. ~ Nick Hornby,
1031:In a few days, I'll be hitting the surf Down Under. Maybe you'll get there, too, someday. You'd like it, Kelea." He smiled at me. "You know, I'm kind of a loner. I've never been used to having friends. But I think you were my friend, and I think I learned something from that. I wanted to thank you." He paused. Then he did something that really surprised me. He pulled the snake ring off his finger and handed it to me. "I want you to have this, to remember me by." He tossed it to me.
"Wow!" I said. The ring felt heavy in my hand. I tried it on, but it was much too big for any of my fingers. "I'll put it on a chain and wear it around my neck," I said. "Thanks, Thrash. I won't forget you."
"Cool," he said. "Well—later!" He turned and trotted off. I watched him go, knowing I would never again meet anyone quite like him. ~ Ann M Martin,
1032: Shack Dye
The white men played all sorts of jokes on me.
They took big fish off my hook
And put little ones on, while I was away
Getting a stringer, and made me believe
I hadn't seen aright the fish I had caught.
When Burr Robbins circus came to town
They got the ring master to let a tame leopard
Into the ring, and made me believe
I was whipping a wild beast like Samson
When I, for an offer of fifty dollars,
Dragged him out to his cage.
One time I entered my blacksmith shop
And shook as I saw some horse-shoes crawling
Across the floor, as if alive -Walter Simmons had put a magnet
Under the barrel of water.
Yet everyone of you, you white men,
Was fooled about fish and about leopards too,
And you didn't know any more than the horse-shoes did.
~ Edgar Lee Masters,
1033:Most of what has been said in the last two chapters has stressed Tolkien’s background in ancient literature. From it one could argue that The Lord of the Rings is essentially an ‘antiquarian’ work, a word now usually used rather patronizingly. The patronage is false, if the antiquarianism is true, and the latter quality does explain a great deal about the charm of Middle-earth. Nevertheless it does not explain why so many readers have found The Lord of the Rings so deeply influential, so readily applicable to their own circumstances. Tolkien’s work is not just an antiquarian fantasy. If it is still being read (like Beowulf) a thousand years after its creation, no perceptive person even in the far future could take it for anything other than a work, a highly characteristic work, of the twentieth century. ~ Tom Shippey,
1034:I trace the box’s lid where a gold ribbon binds it. With one tug, the bow poofs into a golden, glittering fall of letters that form a message in midair—

Things I once hoped to give you:
1. A magical wedding . . .


Choking back tears, I take out the ring and loop it onto the string alongside the diary’s key at my neck, tucking it under my shirt to keep it safe.
A picnic basket sits at my feet beneath the bench. There’s another ribbon, and when I untie it, more letters form a glimmering parade through the air:

2. Picnics at the lake with your mom and dad . . .

I sniffle and make my way to the middle of the room, where reproductions of my mosaics float next to Sold signs. I tug a ribbon loose and free another message:

3. A lifetime of shared successes and laughter . . . ~ A G Howard,
1035: Shall I See My Boy Again
Must I die so soon? ah, far away
By blue Ohio's shore,
A little group waits patiently
Till this sad war is o'er;
A little face is often pressed
Against the window pane,
Oh, chaplain only tell me this
Shall I see my boy again?
Must I never press close to my heart
The rings of shining hair,
Or listen to my bright-eyed child
Whisper his evening prayer,
Shall I never hear his bounding step
Across the cottage floor?
It were not hard to die, chaplain,
Could I see my boy once more.
When morning broke with solemn tread
On old Potomac's banks,
His comrades laid the soldier down Discharged from the ranks,
But many a day o'er western hills,
By blue Ohio's shore,
A little boy will patient wait,
When this sad war is o'er.
~ Anonymous Americas,
1036:When were were cast out of Paradise, we lost part of our soul forever. As part of our punishment, we were cursed never to learn to love again. Instead, we were bound to a destiny that was set from the beginning. Azrael and I never chose each other; the choice was made for us. We never knew anything else.

The ring you hold is part of my soul that your mother helped me recover. It was she who saved us from the Dark and led us back to the Light. As her daughter, you too are an Angel of Light. The fire does not harm you. I lost the ring during the crisis in Rome. But now it has been returned to me.

This ring has been blessed by Gabrielle herself.

I have never given this ring, my soul, to anyone. Azrael has never had any part in this.

This is the only part of myself that is truly mine, and now it is yours. ~ Melissa de la Cruz,
1037:It’s not like you have anything to lose anymore.”
My fingers stop at my thumb ring while Sienna’s words echo in my head. Do I have anything to lose? I mean, after all I did, everything I fought against.
I slowly turn the ring on my thumb. This simple band has, like all of my rings, one word engraved on it.
Will anything change if I go to him? After all, I did lose everything that is important.
It’s funny, actually, after the months I spent pushing him away. I thought, like the silly girl I probably am, that if I didn’t give myself to him, I’d be safe, that as long as I didn’t sleep with him, I wouldn’t lose my heart. Shouldn’t I have this one last memory to take home with me?
So lost…I came here lost and I’ll go home lost. How convenient, and so utterly pathetic I want to give myself one strong shake to snap out of this. ~ Anna B Doe,
1038:And everything – but everything! – we did was quite useless!’ said Eustacie, quite disgusted. ‘I know,’ said Miss Thane, sadly shaking her head. ‘It does not bear thinking of.’ ‘I do not know why you should complain,’ remarked Sir Tristram. ‘You have had a great deal of adventure, which is what I understood you both to want.’ ‘Yes, that is true,’ acknowledged Eustacie, ‘but some of it was not very comfortable. And I must say that I am not at all pleased that it is you who have found the ring, because you did not want to have an adventure, or to do anything romantic. It seems to me very unfair.’ ‘So it is!’ said Miss Thane, much struck by this point of view. ‘It is quite odious, my love, for who could have been more disagreeable, or more discouraging? Really, it would have been better in some ways had we insisted upon his remaining the villain. ~ Georgette Heyer,
1039:GHOSTBUSTERS I always wanted the reboot of Ghostbusters to be four girl-ghostbusters. Like, four normal, plucky women living in New York City searching for Mr. Right and trying to find jobs—but who also bust ghosts. I’m not an idiot, though. I know the demographic for Ghostbusters is teenage boys, and I know they would kill themselves if two ghostbusters had a makeover at Sephora. I just have always wanted to see a cool girl having her first kiss with a guy she’s had a crush on, and then have to excuse herself to go trap the pissed-off ghosts of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire or something. In my imagination, I am, of course, one of the ghostbusters, with the likes of say, Emily Blunt, Taraji Henson, and Natalie Portman. Even if I’m not the ringleader, I’m definitely the one who gets to say “I ain’t afraid a no ghost.” At least the first time. ~ Mindy Kaling,
1040:Irena wrote to us that many Jews wouldn’t give up their children because they didn’t believe the Germans would kill them. When did the Jews know that they would die?” “This is a profound question. The first message about the mass killings in Eastern Poland, like Ponary, around Vilna, comes to Warsaw almost a year before the liquidation of the ghetto. But this news only reaches a very small circle of people in the ghetto. The Ringelblum archives tell us that in the autumn of 1941 some people believed this, especially those active in the Underground. In March 1942, when Aktion Reinhard, the murder of the Jews in the General Gouvernement, began, a lot of common people from the east sent letters through the post to their relatives and friends in the Warsaw ghetto with the message: ‘They are killing us. Be careful. Take refuge, because they are killing us. ~ Jack Mayer,
1041:When he settles back onto his knee, he wipes a tear away from his own eyes. “Sherry, until I met you I didn’t know what life was. I had no clue that I wasn’t even alive. It’s like you came along and woke up my soul." He's looking straight at her as he talks. He doesn't sound nervous at all, like he's determined to prove to her how serious he is. He takes a deep breath and then continues. "I’ll never be able to give you everything you deserve, but I’ll definitely spend the rest of my life trying.”

He pulls the ring out of the box and slides it on her finger. “I’m not asking you to marry me, Sherry. I’m telling you to marry me, because I can’t live without you.”

Sherry wraps her arms around his neck and they hold onto one another and cry. “Okay,” she finally says. When they begin to kiss, his hand reaches over and turns off the camera. ~ Colleen Hoover,
1042: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,
1043:The ring of her cell phone jerked her out of her thoughts. Arching her stiff back to stretch it, Jane got up and grabbed the cell from the bed. An unfamiliar number flashed across the screen. Wary, she picked up and said, “Hello?”

“Finally,” came a male voice. “I was beginning to think you were avoiding me, and that was very upsetting. My ego is very fragile.”

She recognized the mischievous rasp of Ryan Evans’ voice immediately. An unwitting smile reached her lips. “I’m not avoiding you. I’ve been working all day on my article and I tend to block out all outside noise when I’m writing. I take it you called before.”

“Three times,” he said with mock severity. “This is the most effort I’ve ever gone to for a woman.”

“I’m flattered.”

“You should be.” Ryan finally grew serious. “So, did you still want to do that interview? ~ Elle Kennedy,
1044:Princess Caspida, I have nothing but respect and admiration for you. Truly you will be the queen this city needs. But I can’t marry you.”
The princess stands still as stone, her face unreadable. “Why not, Prince Rahzad?”
“I am sorry,” he replies. “The truth is, I am in love, but not with you.”
He turns to me, and my spirit takes flight like a flock of doves, startled and erratic. I cannot move, cannot speak, as he takes my hands in his and looks me earnestly in the eye. He presses the ring into my palm, and the gold feels as if it burns my skin.
“This belongs to you, and you alone. I’ve been so blind, Zahra. So caught up in the past that I’ve failed to see what’s happening in front of me. I’ve been such an idiot, I don’t know how I can expect anything from you. But I have to try. I have to tell the truth, and the truth is . . . I love you. ~ Jessica Khoury,
1045:Perhaps you would care to wear it. While we are in this chamber,” he added hastily. She lifted her eyebrows. “Why?” “Because then you would be lord.” “Why would I want that?” “Then you would rule over me. As I rule over you when I wear this ring.” He looked at her earnestly. “To give you a feeling of power. At least while we are inside.” She slowly folded her fingers over the ring and Richard was sure he’d appeased her. Then she shook her head. “You don’t understand.” She looked up at him. “I don’t want to rule you.” “But . . .” “Richard, I just want you to stop thinking of me as someone who isn’t your equal. That’s all.” “But you’re a woman!” “And you’re a man.” “You cannot fight.” “You can’t bear children.” He frowned. “You couldn’t defend the keep.” “You couldn’t build one.” “And you could?” “I could.” This wasn’t proceeding as he had planned it should. ~ Lynn Kurland,
1046: Our Kindergartner
WHEN April’s tinge was on the fringe
Of willows near the pool,
She clipt their shoots to fashion flutes
For children of her school;
She sloped the tips to suit the lips
Of rosiness around,
Drew forth the pith and shaped it with
The chambers of the sound.
His fancy said: “That way was made
The magic pipe of Pan,
Which crept so rare upon the air
It crazed a listening man.”
She took a flute and shrilled salute
Of Arcady so clear,
He felt the ring and chime of spring
Thrilling through his ear;
A mystic sense of rapt suspense
Mingled strange with all
The bubbling frogs, the echoing dogs,
The bluebirds’ mating call.
So sweet the charm, he felt no harm,
Yet there his craze began,
With every note her pulsing throat
Blew on the pipe of Pan.
~ Edward William Thomson,
1047:Sometimes it's beautiful and we fall in love with all that story. Even after a thousand pages we don't want to leave the world the writer has made for us, or the make-believe people who live there. You wouldn't leave after two thousand pages, if there were two thousand. The Rings trilogy of J.R.R.Tolkien is a perfect example of this. A thousand pages of hobbits hasn't been enough for three generations of post-World War II fantasy fans; even when you add in that clumsy, galumphing dirigible of an epilogue, The Silmarillion, it hasn't been enough. Hence Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, the questing rabbits of Watership Down, and half a hundred others. The writers of these books are creating the hobbits they still love and pine for; they are trying to bring Frodo and Sam back from the Grey Havens because Tolkien is no longer around to do it for them. ~ Stephen King,
1048:It took the mountain top, it seems to me now, to give me the sensation of independence. It was as if I'd discovered something I'd never tasted before in my short life. Or rediscovered it - for I associated it with the taste of water that came out of the well, accompanied with the ring of that long metal sleeve against the sides of the living mountain, as from deep down it was wound up to view brimming and streaming long drops behind it like bright stars on a ribbon. It thrilled me to drink from the common dipper. The coldness, the far, unseen, unheard springs of what was in my mouth now, the iron smell, all said mountain mountain mountain as I swallowed. Every swallow was making me a part of being here, sealing me in place, with my bare feet planted on the mountain and sprinkled with my rapturous spills. What I felt I'd come here to do was something on my own. ~ Eudora Welty,
1049:Over the next couple of days, the picture shows up all over the place. On other people’s Instagrams, on their Facebook walls.
There’s one with a dancing shark photoshopped in. Another one where our heads have been replaced by cat heads.
And then one that just says AMISH BIKINI.
Peter’s lacrosse friends think it’s hilarious, but they swear they don’t have anything to do with it. At the lunch table Gabe protests, “I don’t even know how to use Photoshop!”
Peter stuffs half his sandwich into his mouth. “Fine, then who’s doing it? Jeff Bardugo? Carter?”
“Dude, I don’t know,” Darrell says. “It’s a meme. A lot of people could be throwing their hat in the ring.”
“You have to admit, the cat-head one was pretty funny,” Gabe says. Then he turns to me and says, “My bad, Large.”
I stay quiet. The cat heads were kind of funny. But overall it is not. ~ Jenny Han,
1050: To His Lady
(Who asked a Song in Spring)
WHY do you bid your poet sing,
Who has no mind to song-Who only wants to see the Spring,
Long sought and tarrying long?
The shivering, dreary winter through
My song enshrined my vow;
If then my songs were sweet to you,
Let me be silent now!
Have I not duly sung, my dear,
Your goodness and your grace?
Now that your rival, Spring, is here,
O let me see her face!
The hedge is white with buds of May,
The fields are green with Spring,
Oh, give your bard a holiday:
He does not want to sing!
He wants to listen; all alone,
He wants to steal away
To hear the ring-doves' tender tone,
And what the thrushes say.
He wants to hear what can't be heard
When you and love are near-The sweet Spring's soft and secret word;
Oh, let him go, my dear!
~ Edith Nesbit,
1051: The Broken Ring
To the willows of the brookside
The mill wheel sings to-day-Sings and weeps,
As the brooklet creeps
Wondering on its way;
And here is the ring _she_ gave me
With love's sweet promise then-It hath burst apart
Like the trusting heart
That may never be soothed again!
Oh, I would be a minstrel
To wander far and wide,
Weaving in song the merciless wrong
Done by a perjured bride!
Or I would be a soldier,
To seek in the bloody fray
What gifts of fate can compensate
For the pangs I suffer to-day!
Yet may this aching bosom,
By bitter sorrow crushed,
Be still and cold
In the churchyard mould
Ere _thy_ sweet voice be hushed;
So sing, sing on forever,
O wheel of the brookside mill,
For you mind me again
Of the old time when
I felt love's gracious thrill.
~ Eugene Field,
1052:Then Wang Lung turned to the woman and looked at her for the first time. She had a square, honest face, a short, broad nose with large black nostrils, and her mouth was wide as a gash in her face. Her eyes were small and of a dull black in color, and were filled with some sadness that was not clearly expressed. It was a face that seemed habitually silent and unspeaking, as though it could not speak if it would. She bore patiently Wang Lung’s look, without embarrassment or response, simply waiting until he had seen her. He saw that it was true there was not beauty of any kind in her face—a brown, common, patient face. But there were no pock-marks on her dark skin, nor was her lip split. In her ears he saw his rings hanging, the gold-washed rings he had bought, and on her hands were the rings he had given her. He turned away with secret exultation. Well, he had his woman! ~ Pearl S Buck,
1053:Aletta.” “I need to apologize to you, Jake. And I’d be obliged if you’d allow me to do that.” He stared, a little baffled, then nodded. “All right.” “I’m sorry for questioning whether or not you were truly wounded.” He looked away. “For questioning why you were here instead of being off fighting somewhere. This auction, all the money being raised, all the good being done, is due in large part to you. I appreciate your friendship to me. And also your friendship with my son.” He slowly looked back. “And I only hope,” she continued, her smile reaching her eyes before it turned the beautiful curves of her mouth, “that I haven’t overstepped my bounds in a way that will prevent that friendship from continuing in the future.” Hearing the ring of familiarity of his words in hers, he smiled. And dared to hope. “Not at all. Our friendship can sustain that, and a whole lot more, I assure you. ~ Tamera Alexander,
1054:Prophet finally breathed when the forceps came off—how long he’d been holding it, he had no idea, but fuck, everything was reduced to the feeling of the piercing, the burning throb in his nipple, and that made it hard to focus on anything else. A long moment later, the ring was locked firmly in place, and Tommy was sinking to his knees in front of him, unzipping his pants and taking his hard cock down his throat. Prophet shot immediately—and Tom had to know that would happen. Prophet knew he’d no doubt have come as he was being pierced . . . if he’d had Tom sucking him while Ray did the piercing. But that was interesting as a fantasy only. Because this wasn’t about sharing. Or payback. This was Tom showing him that he understood. That, no matter what, no matter how pissed they got, how much they fucked up . . . Prophet was his. Which was Tom’s way of assuring that he wasn’t going anywhere. ~ S E Jakes,
1055:Are you with me or not?”
So many thoughts flew through Cass’s brain at once that she couldn’t latch on to a single one of them. “But--but we don’t have any idea where to begin,” she said.
Falco pulled something from the pocket of his cloak. “Wrong. We have this.” A strange ring sat on his palm, a smooth red stone set in sturdy silver. “I found it in your friend’s tomb.”
So that was what Falco had meant when he mentioned a trinket the previous night. She had forgotten all about it in her haste to escape the graveyard. Cass lifted the ring from his hand. A strange symbol was engraved in the center of the red stone. A six-petaled flower, inscribed in a circle. She had never seen Liviana wear anything like it. “Why didn’t you mention this before?” she asked sharply.
Falco’s eyes glinted in the dark. “Mi dispiace, Signorina. I got a bit distracted by the body of a murdered woman. ~ Fiona Paul,
1056:Crouching, she collected up a handful. The rings were all cut through, twisted as if pulled from senseless fingers. She held a neck torc of solid gold, bent and gouged as if by knife cuts. Snapped necklaces slithered down between the fingers of her hand, cool as serpents. Glancing up, she saw that Haut had stopped and was looking back at her. Korya shook her head in disbelief. ‘Wealth to make a noble less than a beggar. Master, who would leave such a trail?’ Haut grunted. ‘Wealth? Is it rarity that warrants value? If so, of greater value than these trinkets are trust, truth and integrity. Of greater value still, forgiveness. Of greatest value among them all, an outstretched hand. Wealth? We live in paucity. And this here is a most treacherous path – and we must walk it with unerring step, child.’ Korya dropped the treasure and straightened. ‘I fear that I might stumble. I might fall, master. ~ Steven Erikson,
1057:Near the Mexican border, rocky canyons cleave the mountains, laying them aside like broken wedges of gray cheese furred with a dark mold of pinon and juniper that sheds hard shadows on moon glazed stone, etched lithographs in gray and black, taupe and silver. Beneath feathery chamisa a rattlesnake flicks his tongue, following a scent. Along a precarious rock ledge a ring-tailed cat strolls, nose snuffling the cracks. At the base of the stone a peccary trots along familiar foot trails, toward the toes of a higher cliff where a seeping spring gathers in a rocky goblet. In the desert, sounds are dry and rattling: pebbles toed into cracks, hoofs tac-tacking on stone, the serpent rattle warning the wild pig to veer away, which she does with a grunt to the tribe behind her. From the rocky scarp the ring-tailed cat hears the whole population of the desert pass about its business in the canyon below. ~ Sheri S Tepper,
1058:Now the shepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send their monthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly he came having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them he chanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and again touching the ring he turned the collet outwards and reappeared; he made several trials of the ring, and always with the same result—when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, when outwards he reappeared. Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to the court; whereas soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king and slew him, and took the kingdom. Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, ~ Plato,
1059:If I had to choose one spot to enjoy the small-town charm of traditional Ireland, it would be Dingle and its history-laden scenic peninsula. But the Ring of Kerry—a much bigger, more famous, and more touristed peninsula just to its south—is also great to visit. If you go to Ireland and don’t see the famous Ring of Kerry, your uncle Pat will never forgive you. Here’s a comparison to help with your itinerary planning. Both peninsulas come with a scenic loop drive. Dingle’s is 30 miles. The Ring of Kerry is 120 miles. Both loops come with lots of megalithic wonder. Dingle’s prehistory is more intimate, with numerous evocative stony structures. The Ring of Kerry’s prehistory shows itself in three massive ring forts—far bigger than anything on Dingle. Dingle town is the perfect little Irish burg—alive with traditional music pubs, an active fishing harbor, and the sturdy cultural atmosphere of an Irish-speaking ~ Rick Steves,
1060: Bert Kessler
I winged my bird,
Though he flew toward the setting sun;
But just as the shot rang out, he soared
Up and up through the splinters of golden light,
Till he turned right over, feathers ruffled,
With some of the down of him floating near,
And fell like a plummet into the grass.
I tramped about, parting the tangles,
Till I saw a splash of blood on a stump,
And the quail lying close to the rotton roots.
I reached my hand, but saw no brier,
But something pricked and stung and numbed it.
And then, in a second, I spied the rattler-The shutters wide in his yellow eyes,
The head of him arched, sunk back in the rings of him,
A circle of filth, the color of ashes,
Or oak leaves bleached under layers of leaves.
I stood like a stone as he shrank and uncoiled
And started to crawl beneath the stump,
When I fell limp in the grass.
~ Edgar Lee Masters,
1061:But a smell shivered him awake.
It was a scent as old as the world. It was a hundred aromas of a thousand places. It was the tang of pine needles. It was the musk of sex. It was the muscular rot of mushrooms. It was the spice of oak. Meaty and redolent of soil and bark and herb. It was bats and husks and burrows and moss. It was solid and alive - so alive! And it was close.
The vapors invaded Nicholas' nostrils and his hair rose to their roots. His eyes were as heavy as manhole covers, but he opened them. Through the dying calm inside him snaked a tremble of fear.
The trees themselves seemed tense, waiting. The moonlight was a hard shell, sharp and ready to ready be struck and to ring like steel.
A shadow moved.
It poured like oil from between the tall trees and flowed across dark sandy dirt, lengthening into the middle of the ring. Trees seem to bend toward it, spellbound. A long, long shadow... ~ Stephen M Irwin,
1062:We all, like Frodo, carry a Quest, a Task: our daily duties. They come to us, not from us. We are free only to accept or refuse our task- and, implicitly, our Taskmaster. None of us is a free creator or designer of his own life. "None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself" (Rom 14:7). Either God, or fate, or meaningless chance has laid upon each of us a Task, a Quest, which we would not have chosen for ourselves. We are all Hobbits who love our Shire, or security, our creature comforts, whether these are pipeweed, mushrooms, five meals a day, and local gossip, or Starbucks coffees, recreational sex, and politics. But something, some authority not named in The Lord of the Rings (but named in the Silmarillion), has decreed that a Quest should interrupt this delightful Epicurean garden and send us on an odyssey. We are plucked out of our Hobbit holes and plunked down onto a Road. ~ Peter Kreeft,
1063:THEY shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a path through the woods
Before they planted the trees:
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ring’d pools
Where the otter whistles his mate
(They fear not men in the woods
Because they see so few),
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods …
But there is no road through the woods. ~ Rudyard Kipling,
1064: Bridge Ghazal
My love and I reside upon the belly of a bridge
with heartbeats of the sky?--the drums upon the bridge.
I've heard of songs that rise at night from pitch black oceans.
I've heard the strums of lyrics made by four hands on a bridge.
My love and I do landscapes for the gardens of the sea.
At night we sleep as seedlings at the center of its bridge.
Once I saw a Sufi breathe in seabirds, and send them out again.
I've seen people bearing blindfolds near the entrance of a bridge.
My love's old love, he says, had tried to douse him in a moat.
He grew gills to save himself and hid beneath a drawbridge.
The masters speak of magic at the middle of the rings
where Yes and No chase each other round the props of any bridge.
My love's new love, some say, makes far too much of things
as fundamental, elemental, as the structure of a bridge.
Anonymous submission.
~ C.J. Sage,
1065:The shower curtain rattled again. It rattled because what he had wanted to believe was his back-scrubber now grew shadowy fingers and reached out to touch the plastic. The shower head turned and seemed to stare at him through the translucent curtain. The newspaper fell from Hoskins’s relaxing fingers and landed on the tiles with a soft flap. His head was thudding and thudding. The back of his neck was burning and burning. His bowels relaxed, and the small bathroom was filled with the smell of what Jack was suddenly sure had been his last meal. The hand was reaching for the edge of the curtain. In a second—two, at the most—it would be pulled back and he would be looking at something so horrible it would make his worst nightmare seem like a sweet daydream. “No,” he whispered. “No.” He tried to get up from the toilet, but his legs wouldn’t support him and his considerable bottom thumped back onto the ring. “Please, no. Don’t ~ Stephen King,
1066:What do you think magic is for?” “I dunno. Don’t answer a question with a question.” “I used to think about this a lot,” Quentin said. “I mean, it’s not obvious like it is in books. It’s trickier. In books there’s always somebody standing by ready to say hey, the world’s in danger, evil’s on the rise, but if you’re really quick and take this ring and put it in that volcano over there everything will be fine. “But in real life that guy never turns up. He’s never there. He’s busy handing out advice in the next universe over. In our world no one ever knows what to do, and everyone’s just as clueless and full of crap as everyone else, and you have to figure it all out by yourself. And even after you’ve figured it out and done it, you’ll never know whether you were right or wrong. You’ll never know if you put the ring in the right volcano, or if things might have gone better if you hadn’t. There’s no answers in the back of the book. ~ Lev Grossman,
1067:Flash: Last time we saw Black Hand he was obsessed with causing the death of every living thing, Hal. What the hell did they do to him?
Indigo-1: We gave him compassion, Flash.
Green Lantern: And how did you do that?
Black Hand: The ring. My life have been returned by the white light, Green Lantern, but it is this indigo ring that allowed me to truly be born again.
Green Lantern: Born again? You can't erase your crimes by putting on a ring. If you can feel any kind of compassion right now, you'd be haunted by the guilt for all the evil you've done and the people you've killed.
Black Hand: As you are because of Parallax? You are not the same man. I am not. William Hand no longer exists. He was without empathy. He was deeply disturbed. This ring has rid the universe of him. It is my salvation.
Green Lantern: You brainwashed him.
Indigo-1: No. The indigo light ignited a change within. He has converted to our way. ~ Geoff Johns,
1068:My lady,” says Aladdin, extending an arm toward the sun, “I give you gold as a token of my love.”
“All I want is you,” I reply. I turn and kiss him, pulling him against me, feeling the warmth of the dawn in my hair. Then I rest my head on his shoulder, simply feeling his arms around me, his heart beating against me.
“Are you cold?” asks Aladdin. “You’re shivering.”
“A little.”
“I’ll go get a blanket. And breakfast. If I can find the kitchen.”
“Galley, love. It’s called a galley.”
“Right. Galley. Got it. I’ll ask the captain. What was his name?”
“Sinbad, I think?”
“I’ll be right back.”
But I catch his hand. “I’m all right. Don’t go yet.”
He stays with me, and together we watch the sun stain the sea and sky a thousand and one shades of gold. My thumb rubs the ring on my finger, its dents and contours as familiar to me now as my hand.
So this is what it feels like to have all your wishes come true. ~ Jessica Khoury,
1069:Desolate city. Snow on the streets. Fire in the sky.
It could have been one of a hundred wars.
But there-
The place on the street where the snow had melted. The dark crater in the sea of white.Daniel sank to his knees and reached for the ring of black ash stained on the ground.He closed his eyes.And he remembered the precise way she had died in his arms.
Moscow.1941.
So this was what she was doing-tunneling into her past lives. Hoping to understand.
The thing was,there was no rhyme or reason to her deaths.More than anyone, Daniel knew that.
But there were certain lifetimes when he'd tried to shed some light for her,hoping it would change things. Sometimes he'd hoped to keep her alive longer,though that never really worked. Sometimes-like this time during the siege of Moscow-he'd chosen to send her on her way more quickly.To spare her.So that his kiss could be the last thing she felt in that lifetime. ~ Lauren Kate,
1070:towheads, the older one only slightly darker. He was looking at a picture of Anders with his arms around his wife and in that photo they were not much older than children themselves. There were pictures of birds, too, a group of prairie chickens standing in a field, an eastern bluebird so vibrant it appeared to have been Photoshopped. Anders took a lot of pictures of birds. Karen pulled off her hat and pushed her straight pale hair behind her ears. The flush that had been in her cheeks from the momentary burst of cold had faded. “This isn’t good news, right?” she said, twisting the rings on her finger, the modest diamond and the platinum band. “I’m glad to see you but I can’t imagine you’re just dropping by to say hello.” And for a split second Marina felt the slightest surge of relief. Of course she would know. Even if she hadn’t heard she would know in that way a soul knows. Marina wanted so badly to put her arms around Karen then, ~ Ann Patchett,
1071:He dumped its contents out on the tablecloth: a gold ring, a gold nugget, and a gold signet seal. Francisco pointed to each. I told you that this was the secret of happiness. The three objects belonged to a rich collector. When he was asleep they argued all the time. The gold ring declared it was better than the other two because miners had risked their lives to find it. The gold signet said it was better than the other two because it had sealed the messages of a king. They argued day and night, until the ring said. ‘Lets ask God’, He will decide which of us is the best. The other two agreed, and so they approached the Almighty. Each made its claim for being superior. God listened carefully, and when they were done, he said, ‘ I cant settle your dispute, I’m sorry. The gold signet seal grew angry ‘What do you mean, you cant settle it? You’re God.’ That’s the problem said God. I don’t see a ring, a nugget and a seal. All I see is gold. ~ Deepak Chopra,
1072:And within that cycle there are neither winners nor losers, there are only stages that must be gone through. When the human heart understands this, it is free, able to accept difficult times and not be deceived by moments of glory.
Both will pass. One will succeed the other. And the cycle will continue until we liberate ourselves from the flesh and find the Divine Energy.
Therefore, when the fighter is in the ring – whether by his own choice or because unfathomable destiny has placed him there – may his spirit be filled with joy at the prospect of the fight ahead. If he holds on to his dignity and his honour, then, even if he loses the fight, he will never be defeated, because his soul will remain intact.
And he will blame no one for what is happening to him.
Ever since he fell in love for the first time and was rejected, he has known that this did not put paid to his ability to love.
What is true in love is also true in war. ~ Paulo Coelho,
1073:The world—this shadow of the soul, or other me, lies wide around. Its attractions are the keys which unlock my thoughts and make me acquainted with myself. I launch eagerly into this resounding tumult. I grasp the hands of those next me, and take my place in the ring to suffer and to work, taught by an instinct that so shall the dumb abyss[43] be vocal with speech. I pierce its order; I dissipate its fear;[44] I dispose of it within the circuit of my expanding life. So much only of life as I know by experience, so much of the wilderness have I vanquished and planted, or so far have I extended my being, my dominion. I do not see how any man can afford, for the sake of his nerves and his nap, to spare any action in which he can partake. It is pearls and rubies to his discourse. Drudgery, calamity, exasperation, want, are instructors in eloquence and wisdom. The true scholar grudges every opportunity of action passed by, as a loss of power. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
1074:Earlier in the day, while killing some hours by circling in blue ballpoint ink every uppercase M in the front section of a month-old New York Times, Chip had concluded that he was behaving like a depressed person. Now, as his telephone began to ring, it occurred to him that a depressed person ought to continue staring at the TV and ignore the ringing — ought to light another cigarette and, with no trace of emotional affect, watch another cartoon while his machine took whoever’s message. That his impulse, instead, was to jump to his feet and answer the phone — that he could so casually betray the arduous wasting of a day — cast doubt on the authenticity of his suffering. He felt as if he lacked the ability to lose all volition and connection with reality the way depressed people did in books and movies. It seemed to him, as he silenced the TV and hurried into his kitchen, that he was failing even at the miserable task of falling properly apart. ~ Jonathan Franzen,
1075:I even yelled at you last night." Phin eased up. "For which I apologize."

"It was kind of nice," Sophie said. "At least you know I was there."

"Oh hell, Spohie, I always know you're there." Phin rolled twords her on one hip, and Sophie felt felt a flare of hope, but he was just digging something out of his back pocket. "Here." He weld out an emerald-cut diamond ring the size of her head. "Marry me, Julie Ann. Ruin the rest of my life."

"Hello." Sophie gasped at the ring. "Jeez, that thing is huge. Where did you get it?"

"My mother gave it to me," Phin said sounding bemused.

Then the other shoe dropped. "Marry you?" Sophie said, and the sun came out and the birds to sing and the river sent up a cheer. Marriage was probably out- Liz as a mother-in-law was too terrifying to complete , and Phin would never get elected agian if he was married to a pornographer- but suddenly everything else was looking pretty good. ~ Jennifer Crusie,
1076:In order to fulfill your quest -"
"Would you please not use that word? It's so Robert E. Howard."
"Fine. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to travel to the far ends of the earth...?"
"What? In these shoes? You must be joking."
"Crossing arid desserts and steaming jungles," the unicorn continued grimly, "fording mighty rivers and climbing snow-capped mountains-"
"I take it scheduled public transport isn't an option."
"Until you reach the Cradle of All Goblins, interrupt just once more and I wash my hooves of you, where you will encounter three trials. You must uncover the great truth that was hidden, you must right the ancestral wrong, and you must throw the fire into the ring of power. Only when you have done that -"
"Excuse me-"
"I warned you. Only when you have done that will you -"
"Excuse me," Benny said firmly, "but I think you may have got the last one a bit turned round. Surely it should be throw the ring- ~ Tom Holt,
1077:In order to fulfill your quest -"
"Would you please not usw that word? It's so Robert E. Howard."
"Fine. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to travel to the far ends of the earth...?"
"What? In these shoes? You must be joking."
"Crossing arid desserts and steaming jungles," the unicorn continued grimly, "fording mighty rivers and climbing snow-capped mountains-"
"I take it scheduled public transport isn't an option."
"Until you reach the Cradle of All Goblins, interrupt just once more and I wash my hooves of you, where you will encounter three trials. You must uncover the great truth that was hidden, you must right the ancestral wrong, and you must throw the fire into the ring of power. Only when you have done that -"
"Excuse me-"
"I warned you. Only when you have done that will you -"
"Excuse me," Benny said firmly, "bit I think you may have got the last one a bit turned round. Surely it should be throw the ring- ~ Tom Holt,
1078:The black volhv pivoted to me. “I have questions.”
“Can it wait?”
“No. Your wedding is in two weeks. Have you prepared your guest list?”
“Why do I need a list? I kind of figured that whoever wanted to show up would show up.”
“You need a list so you know how many people you are feeding. Do you have a caterer?”
“No.”
“But you did order the cake?”
“Umm…”
“Florist?”
“Florist?”
“The person who delivers expensive flowers and sets them up in pretty arrangements everyone ignores?”
“No.”
Roman blinked. “I’m almost afraid to ask. Do you at least have the dress?”
“Yes.”
“Is it white?”
“Yes.”
He squinted at me. “Is it a wedding dress?”
“It’s a white dress.”
“Have you worn it before?”
“Maybe.”
Ascanio snickered.”
“The ring, Kate?”
Oh crap.
Roman heaved a sigh. “What do you think this is, a party where you get to show up, say ‘I do,’ and go home?”
“Yes?” That’s kind of how it went in my head. ~ Ilona Andrews,
1079:When I taught the meditation on sound to the participants at my weekend workshop and had people open to the ringing of their cell phones, I was trying to introduce them to his method. By listening meditatively, we were changing the way we listen, pulling ourselves out of our usual orientation to the world based on our likes and dislikes. Rather than trying to figure out what was going on around us, resisting the unpleasant noises and gravitating toward the mellifluous ones, we were listening in a simpler and more open manner. We had to find and establish another point of reference to listen in this way, one that was outside the ego’s usual territory of control. You might say we were simply listening, but it was actually more complex than that. While listening, we were also aware of ourselves listening, and at the same time we were conscious of what the listening evoked within. Unhooked from our usual preoccupations, we were listening from a neutral place. ~ Mark Epstein,
1080: Caedmon
All others talked as if
talk were a dance.
Clodhopper I, with clumsy feet
would break the gliding ring.
Early I learned to
hunch myself
close by the door:
then when the talk began
I’d wipe my
mouth and wend
unnoticed back to the barn
to be with the warm beasts,
dumb among body sounds
of the simple ones.
I’d see by a twist
of lit rush the motes
of gold moving
from shadow to shadow
slow in the wake
of deep untroubled sighs.
The cows
munched or stirred or were still. I
was at home and lonely,
both in good measure. Until
the sudden angel affrighted me—light effacing
my feeble beam,
a forest of torches, feathers of flame, sparks upflying:
but the cows as before
were calm, and nothing was burning,
nothing but I, as that hand of fire
touched my lips and scorched my tongue
and pulled my voice
into the ring of the dance.
~ Denise Levertov,
1081:Her phone buzzed in her pocket. Probably Olivia. She shimmied it out and looked at the screen. Beau. Could this night get any worse? She’d seen him today from a distance and had managed to steer Travis a different direction. She shut off the ringer and pocketed the phone. “Not gonna answer?” “Nope.” The fireworks picked up overhead, colorful blooms with thunderous booms and pops. The sounds ricocheted off the mountains. She’d never been so glad to see the finale. “Was it Meyers?” She sighed. What business was it of his? It was her phone, her life. “He has no business calling you.” For pity’s sake. “Just a phone call, Travis.” “You’re a married woman.” “Barely.” “Can’t be barely married—you either are or you’re not—and I have a certificate that says we are.” The fireworks fizzled to nothing but darkness and silence. “It’s over.” Relieved, Shay sat up and inched toward the tailgate, but not before Travis’s quiet response reached her ears. “Not by a long shot. ~ Denise Hunter,
1082:Perhaps you should speak to Cam,” Evie said, “before any decisions are made.” “He has nothing to do with my decisions.” Evie gave her a thoughtful look. “Forgive me. I shouldn’t make assumptions. It’s just that the ring on your finger … Cam’s worn it since he was twelve years old.” Amelia tugged violently at the ring. “I don’t know why he gave it to me. I’m sure it’s of no significance.” “I think it has very great significance,” Evie said softly. “Cam has been an outsider for his entire life. Even when he lived with the Rom. I think he’s always secretly hoped he could someday find a place where he would belong. But until he met you, it didn’t occur to him that it might not be a place he was looking for, but a person.” “I’m not that person,” Amelia whispered. “Truly, I’m not.” Evie regarded her with kind sympathy. “It’s your decision, of course. But as someone who has known Cam for a very long time, I must tell you … he’s a good man, and entirely trustworthy. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1083:Men grow up expecting to be the hero of their own story. Women grow up expecting to be the supporting actress in somebody else's. As a kid growing up with books and films and stories instead of friends, that was always the narrative injustice that upset me more than anything else. I felt it sometimes like a sharp pain under the ribcage, the kind of chest pain that lasts for minutes and hours and might be nothing at all or might mean you're slowly dying of something mundane and awful. It's a feeling that hit when I understood how few girls got to go on adventures. I started reading science fiction and fantasy long before Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, before mainstream female leads very occasionally got more at the end of the story than together with the protagonist. Sure, there were tomboys and bad girls, but they were freaks and were usually killed off or married off quickly. Lady hobbits didn't bring the ring to Mordor. They stayed at home in the shire. ~ Laurie Penny,
1084:J. R. R. Tolkien, the near-universally-hailed father of modern epic fantasy, crafted his magnum opus The Lord of the Rings to explore the forces of creation as he saw them: God and country, race and class, journeying to war and returning home. I’ve heard it said that he was trying to create some kind of original British mythology using the structure of other cultures’ myths, and maybe that was true. I don’t know. What I see, when I read his work, is a man trying desperately to dream.

Dreaming is impossible without myths. If we don’t have enough myths of our own, we’ll latch onto those of others — even if those myths make us believe terrible or false things about ourselves. Tolkien understood this, I think because it’s human nature. Call it the superego, call it common sense, call it pragmatism, call it learned helplessness, but the mind craves boundaries. Depending on the myths we believe in, those boundaries can be magnificently vast, or crushingly tight. ~ N K Jemisin,
1085:My first sight of the fabled warrior was a surprise. He was not a mighty-thewed giant, like Ajax. His body was not broad and powerful, as Odysseos'. He seemed small, almost boyish, his bare arms and legs slim and virtually hairless. His chin was shaved clean, and the ringlets of his long black hair were tied up in a silver chain. He wore a splendid white silk tunic, bordered with a purple key design, cinched at the waist with a belt of interlocking gold crescents... His face was the greatest shock. Ugly, almost to the point of being grotesque. Narrow beady eyes, lips curled in a perpetual snarl, a sharp hook of a nose, skin pocked and cratered... A small ugly boy born to be a king... A young man possessed with fire to silence the laughter, to stifle the taunting. His slim arms and legs were iron-hard, knotted with muscle. His dark eyes were absolutely humourless. There was no doubt in my mind that he could outfight Odysseos or even powerful Ajax on sheer willpower alone. ~ Ben Bova,
1086:When you drop a glass or a plate to the ground it makes a loud crashing sound. When a window shatters a table leg breaks or when a picture falls off the wall it makes a noise. But as for your heart when that breaks it s completely silent. You would think as it s so important it would make the loudest noise in the whole world or even have some ... Read Moresort of ceremonious sound like the gong of a cymbal or the ringing of a bell. But it s silent and you almost wish there was a noise to distract you from the pain. If there is a noise it s internal. It screams and no one can hear it but you. It screams so loud your ears ring and your head aches. It trashes around in your chest like a great white shark caught in the sea it roars like a mother bear whose cub has been taken. That s what it looks like and that s what it sounds like a trashing panicking trapped great big beast roaring like a prisoner to its own emotions. But that s the thing about love no one is untouchable. ~ Cecelia Ahern,
1087:I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more, ~ Alfred Tennyson,
1088: Bridal Ballad
The ring is on my hand,
And the wreath is on my brow;
Satin and jewels grand
Are all at my command,
And I am happy now.
And my lord he loves me well;
But, when first he breathed his vow,
I felt my bosom swellFor the words rang as a knell,
And the voice seemed his who fell
In the battle down the dell,
And who is happy now.
But he spoke to re-assure me,
And he kissed my pallid brow,
While a reverie came o'er me,
And to the church-yard bore me,
And I sighed to him before me,
Thinking him dead D'Elormie,
"Oh, I am happy now!"
And thus the words were spoken,
And this the plighted vow,
And, though my faith be broken,
And, though my heart be broken,
Here is a ring, as token
That I am happy now!
Would God I could awaken!
For I dream I know not how!
And my soul is sorely shaken
Lest an evil step be taken,Lest the dead who is forsaken
May not be happy now.
~ Edgar Allan Poe,
1089:Public schools were not only created in the interests of industrialism—they were created in the image of industrialism. In many ways, they reflect the factory culture they were designed to support. This is especially true in high schools, where school systems base education on the principles of the assembly line and the efficient division of labor. Schools divide the curriculum into specialist segments: some teachers install math in the students, and others install history. They arrange the day into standard units of time, marked out by the ringing of bells, much like a factory announcing the beginning of the workday and the end of breaks. Students are educated in batches, according to age, as if the most important thing they have in common is their date of manufacture. They are given standardized tests at set points and compared with each other before being sent out onto the market. I realize this isn’t an exact analogy and that it ignores many of the subtleties of the system, but it is close enough. ~ Ken Robinson,
1090:And there you are. In the ring. With The Terror. it’s just tiny, feeble you, another student or two smarter than you, and your professor, far smarter than you. Oh sure, your professor civilly serves tea or sherry depending on the time of day, but The Terror remains.
Gradually, however, The Terror morphs into The Excitement as you being to lose yourself in the luxurious tendrils of a stimulating argument. Time always flies, the hour (or two or three) leaving you exhausted, happy, perturbed, and yet strangely satisfied by the end…. As a result, pursuing one’s degree at Oxford becomes for most not a matter of prerequisite for a job, or to please one’s parents, or to make minimum income bracket. Rather, the opportunity to study here seals an experience marked by intense personal growth resulting from a genuine desire to learn. A heady, hearty experience that changes you forever because it cracks you open ultimately to the humility of learning, which is where all of this wanted to take you in the first place.” 56 ~ Carolyn Weber,
1091:Where am I going? I don't quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups grow-
Up on a hill where the pine-trees blow-
Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know.

Where am I going? The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
Where am I going? The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.

If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
You'd sail on the water as blue as air.
And you'd see me here in the fields and say:
"Doesn't the sky look green today?"

Where am I going? The high rooks call:
"It's awful fun to be born at all.
Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
"We do have beautiful things to do."

If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You'd lean on the wind when the wind
came by,
You'd say to the wind when it took you away:
"That's where I wanted to go today!"

Where am I going? I don't quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow-
Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know. ~ A A Milne,
1092:I know, Proph.” Tom smiled, then turned toward the equipment. He picked up an alcohol pad, but before he swiped it on Prophet’s nipple, he bent, sucked the nipple hard into his mouth, making Prophet give a keening cry. He abused the fucking thing, twisted it until it was hard and angry, and then he wiped it down and reached for forceps. It was only when he pulled Prophet’s nipple out taut that he said, “I trained to do this.” Prophet looked up at him. “I trust you, Tommy.” Tom smiled. Then he picked up the needle and pushed it fast through Prophet’s nipple, and holy mother of fuck, the line between pain and pleasure completely blurred as he saw the long, thin metal pole impaling his nipple. Tom threaded the ring onto the needle and pulled it through the hole, which caused a whole other set of motherfucking pain that made him curse. Loudly. Tom glanced up at him, looking like he was holding back a laugh—the asshole—and then he released the forceps and set about closing the ring, which seemed like it took forever. Prophet ~ S E Jakes,
1093:Slavery is not a horror safely confined to the past; it continues to exist throughout the world, even in developed countries like France and the United States. Across the world slaves work and sweat and build and suffer. Slaves in Pakistan may have made the shoes you are wearing and the carpet you stand on. Slaves in the Caribbean may have put sugar in your kitchen and toys in the hands of your children. In India they may have sewn the shirt on your back and polished the ring on your finger. They are paid nothing.

Slaves touch your life indirectly as well. They made the bricks for the factory that made the TV you watch. In Brazil slaves made the charcoal that tempered the steel that made the springs in your car and the blade on your lawnmower. Slaves grew the rice that fed the woman that wove the lovely cloth you've put up as curtains. Your investment portfolio and your mutual fund pension own stock in companies using slave labor in the developing world. Slaves keep your costs low and returns on your investments high. ~ Kevin Bales,
1094:She discovered that underneath the aspect of the Rumpled Porcupine, a tortured Marxist was at war with an impossible, incurable Romantic - who forgot the candles, who broke the wine glasses, who forgot the ring. Who made love to her with a passion that took her breath away. She had always thought of herself as a somewhat uninteresting, thick-waisted, thick ankled girl. Not bad-looking. Not special. But when she was with Chacko, old limits were pushed back. Horizons expanded.
She had never before met a man who spoke of the workd - of what it was, and how it came to be, or what he thought would become of it - in the way in which other men she knew discussed their jobs, their friends or their weekends at the beach.
Being with Chacko made Margaret Kochamma feel as though her soul had escaped from the narrow confines of her island country, into the vast extravagant spaces of his. He made her feel as though the world belonged to them - as though it lay before thm like an opened frog on a dissecting table, begging to be examined. ~ Arundhati Roy,
1095: Spring Morning
Where am I going? I don't quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups growUp on the hill where the pine-trees blowAnywhere, anywhere. I don't know.
Where am I going? The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
Where am I going? The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.
If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
You'd sail on water as blue as air,
And you'd see me here in the fields and say:
'Doesn't the sky look green today?'
Where am I going? The high rooks call:
'It's awful fun to be born at all.'
Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
'We do have beautiful things to do.'
If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You'd say to the wind when it took you away:
'That's where I wanted to go today!'
Where am I going? I don't quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells growAnywhere, anywhere. I don't know.
~ Alan Alexander Milne,
1096:Har!” Tormund laughed. That had not changed either; he still laughed easily and often. “Wise words. I’d not want you crows to peck me to death.” He slapped Jon’s back. “When all my folk are safe behind your Wall, we’ll share a bit o’ meat and mead. Till then …” The wildling pulled off the band from his left arm and tossed it at Jon, then did the same with its twin upon his right. “Your first payment. Had those from my father and him from his. Now they’re yours, you thieving black bastard.” The armbands were old gold, solid and heavy, engraved with the ancient runes of the First Men. Tormund Giantsbane had worn them as long as Jon had known him; they had seemed as much a part of him as his beard. “The Braavosi will melt these down for the gold. That seems a shame. Perhaps you ought to keep them.” “No. I’ll not have it said that Tormund Thunderfist made the free folk give up their treasures whilst he kept his own.” He grinned. “But I’ll keep the ring I wear about me member. Much bigger than those little things. On you it’d be a torque. ~ Anonymous,
1097:This is why our short-term solution to the witching hour—to bewitch our children with technological distraction—in the long run just makes things worse. And as with all the things we do to our children, the truth is that we are doing it to ourselves as well. I am horrified at the hours I have spent, often in the face of demanding creative work, scrolling aimlessly through social media and news updates, clicking briefly on countless vaguely titillating updates about people I barely know and situations I have no control over, feeling dim, thin versions of interest, attraction, dissatisfaction, and dislike. Those hours have been spent avoiding suffering—avoiding the suffering of our banal, boring modern world with its airport security lines and traffic jams and parking lots, but also avoiding the suffering of learning patience, wisdom, and virtue and putting them into practice. They have left me, as the ring left Bilbo, feeling “all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.”4 ~ Andy Crouch,
1098: Sersmith The Dentist
Do you think that odes and sermons,
And the ringing of church bells,
And the blood of old men and young men,
Martyred for the truth they saw
With eyes made bright by faith in God,
Accomplished the world's great reformations?
Do you think that the Battle Hymn of the Republic
Would have been heard if the chattel slave
Had crowned the dominant dollar,
In spite of Whitney's cotton gin,
And steam and rolling mills and iron
And telegraphs and white free labor?
Do you think that Daisy Fraser
Had been put out and driven out
If the canning works had never needed
Her little house and lot?
Or do you think the poker room
Of Johnnie Taylor, and Burchard's bar
Had been closed up if the money lost
And spent for beer had not been turned,
By closing them, to Thomas Rhodes
For larger sales of shoes and blankets,
And children's cloaks and gold-oak cradles?
Why, a moral truth is a hollow tooth
Which must be propped with gold.
~ Edgar Lee Masters,
1099:Mary Lou wore the ring faithfully. She studied the coy girls the ones who pretended not to get the dirty joke that made Mary Lou stifle a laugh. The ones who practiced the shy downward glance who pretended giggly outrage when a boy made a suggestive remark who waited to be seen and never made the first move. The ones who called other girls sluts and judged with ease. The good girls.


Occasionally from the school bus windows she would see other wild girls on the edges of cornfields running without shoes hair unkempt. Their short skirts rode up flashing warning lights of flesh: backs of knees the curve of a calf a smooth plain of thigh. Sometimes it was just a girl waiting for a bus but in her eyes Mary Lou recognized the feral quality. That was a girl who wanted to race trains under a full moon a girl who liked the feel of silk stockings against her skin the whisper promise of a boy's neck under her lips who did not wait for life to choose her but wished to do the choosing herself. It made Mary Lou ache with everything she held back. ~ Libba Bray,
1100:She looked over to answer it and froze as she saw the name Jayne and the picture of an incredibly beautiful female blowing a kiss. What the hell was that? Before she could recover from the shock, it rolled to the speaker voice mail he used whenever he was home. “Hey, sexy baby. It’s Jaynie calling about your girl problems. As always, I’m more than happy to take care of your needs, and will be there as soon as I can. Just hold tight and stay precious, my beautiful sweet cheeks. Don’t want to see no frownie baby when I get there. I promise, I’m going to put a giant smile on that gorgeous face of yours. Love you, sexy T! See you soon.” Her jaw slack, Felicia wasn’t sure what pissed her off the most. The woman’s looks. Her words. Or that exaggerated high-pitched sopping, sweet, sultry voice. Maybe it was all three that came together to light a fury in her so foul, she could taste the Talyn-blood she intended to let. Oh, forget the Ring. The Splatterdome was here. Tonight. This condo. And she was going to get her pound of Iron Hammer flesh. * ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon,
1101:Some stories last many centuries,
others only a moment.
All alter over that lifetime like beach-glass,
grow distant and more beautiful with salt.

Yet even today, to look at a tree
and ask the story Who are you? is to be transformed.

There is a stage in us where each being, each thing, is a mirror.

Then the bees of self pour from the hive-door,
ravenous to enter the sweetness of flowering nettles and thistle.

Next comes the ringing a stone or violin or empty bucket
gives off --
the immeasurable's continuous singing,
before it goes back into story and feeling.

In Borneo, there are palm trees that walk on their high roots.
Slowly, with effort, they lift one leg then another.

I would like to join that stilted transmigration,
to feel my own skin vertical as theirs:
an ant-road, a highway for beetles.

I would like not minding, whatever travels my heart.
To follow it all the way into leaf-form, bark-furl, root-touch,
and then keep walking, unimaginably further. ~ Jane Hirshfield,
1102:He took the signet ring off, the one she had refused before, and held it out to her. “You can have what you want,” he said. “But first put this on.” Amelia focused on the ring. “I can’t.” “I won’t make love to you unless you’re wearing it.” “You’re being absurd.” “You’re being stubborn.” Cam leaned over her, bracing his forearms on either side of her, kissing her sulky mouth. “Just for tonight,” he whispered. “Wear my ring, Amelia, and let me pleasure you.” He kissed her throat, his hips shunting gently against her. She gasped at the feel of him, hard and swollen behind the black silk. His mouth traveled slowly up to her ear. “I’ll enter you, fill you, and then I’ll hold you still and quiet in my arms. I won’t move. I won’t let you move, either. I’ll wait until I feel you throbbing around me … I’ll follow that rhythm deep in your body, that sweet pulse … I won’t stop until you weep and shiver and cry out for more. And I’ll give it to you, as long and hard as you want. Take my ring, love.” His mouth descended to hers in a smoldering kiss. “Take me. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1103:From a policy perspective, the Democratic Party faced a dilemma that it could not solve: finding ways to maintain support within the white blue-collar base that came of age during the New Deal and World War II era, while at the same time servicing the pressing demands for racial and gender equity arising from the sixties. Both had to be achieved in the midst of two massive oil shocks, record inflation and unemployment, and a business community retooling to assert greater control over the political process. Placing affirmative action onto a world of declining occupational opportunity risked a zero-sum game: a post-scarcity politics without post-scarcity conditions. Despite the many forms of solidarity evident in the discontent in the factories, mines, and mills, without a shared economic vision to hold things together, issues like busing forced black and white residents to square off in what columnist Jimmy Breslin called “a Battle Royal” between “two groups of people who are poor and doomed and who have been thrown in the ring with each other.”10 ~ Jefferson R Cowie,
1104:No matter how hard I tried to get Ronnie’s attention he wouldn’t look me. He avoided eye contact by toying with the ring tones on his cellular phone. His unwillingness to look me in the eye and speak directly to me annoyed me. Ronnie was seventeen and stood about five foot nine inches tall. He had brown skin just like mine and wore his hair French braided. That day he was wearing an oversize white T-shirt, baggy Sean John jeans and what appeared to be a new pair of Nike Air Force One gym shoes. We were standing on the sidewalk in front of the apartment building that he lived in with his mother. In the distance I heard the thud of music from a trunk amp bouncing against the air. Ronnie is my boyfriend, or should I say was my boyfriend until I caught him snuggled up with some girl inside of a movie theater. When I saw him and the other girl I decided to play it cool at first, you know, just to make sure that I wasn’t overreacting. I discreetly positioned myself in a seat directly behind them so that I could keep a close eye on them. No sooner than the lights ~ Earl Sewell,
1105:As Amelia stripped away the nightgown and let it drop to the floor, she saw a flash of gold on her left forefinger. Startled, she lifted her hand and examined it. A small gold signet ring with an elaborate engraved initial. It was the one Cam always wore on his smallest finger. He must have put it on her last night, while she was sleeping. Had he meant it as a parting gift? Or did it have some other significance to him? She tried to pull it off, and discovered it was firmly stuck. “Drat,” she muttered, tugging at the thing in vain. She took a cake of soap from the wardrobe and brought it into the bath with her. The hot water soothed a myriad of small aches and stings, easing the soreness between her thighs. Sighing deeply, Amelia soaped her hand and went to work on the ring. But no matter how she tried, it wouldn’t budge. Soon the surface of the bathwater was covered with soap froth, and Amelia was cursing with frustration. She couldn’t let anyone see her wearing one of Cam’s rings. How in God’s name was she supposed to explain how and why she’d gotten it? ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1106:One of the differences between applicability and allegory, between myth and legend, must be that myth and applicability are timeless, allegory and legend time-constrained. The difference of course is not an absolute one, and a story can have elements of both at the same time: Saruman, and the Master of Laketown, are both examples of something which one can recognize as having a timeless quality, likely to reappear among human beings in any Age of the world, and which one can readily apply to modern times in particular. This does not mean that they stop having roles in a single, one-moment-in-time story, and it would be unfortunate if they did, for they would fade away to becoming mere labelled abstractions. Fortunately there are, scattered through The Lord of the Rings, demonstrations of Tolkien’s attitude to individual time and to mythic timelessness. They are often related to a subject not yet discussed with relation to either The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, but of major importance to both, and to Tolkien: Tolkien’s poetry. ~ Tom Shippey,
1107:Several yards away – closer to the cathedral’s legendary carved doorways – Anna and St. Clair are standing on top of Point Zéro. It’s been hand-brushed clear of its dusting of snow. Point Zéro is the bronze marker, a star, which designates the official centre of France. There are at least two superstitions about it. One is that anyone who stands on the star will return to France. The other is that you can use it to make a wish.
“Wait for it,” Josh says.

Lola stands straighter, excited. “No!”

“Yes,” Cricket says.

I’m the last one in the dark, until – suddenly – it happens. St. Clair removes something from his pocket. And then he gets down on one knee.

Anna’s entire body lights with shock and joy and love. She nods a vigorous yes. St. Clair places the ring on her finger. He stands, she throws her arms around him, and they kiss. He spins her in a circle. They kiss again. Deep, hungry, long. And then he turns to us and waves – with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen – clearly aware that we’ve been standing here the whole time. ~ Stephanie Perkins,
1108:My interview was mostly conducted by Hugo Dyson, an Oxford ‘character’, known for his wit. I always found him alarming. He was like a hyperactive gnome, and stumped around on a walking stick which, when he was seized by one of his paroxysms of laughter, he would beat up and down as if trying to drive it through the floor. It brought to mind Rumpelstiltskin driving his leg into the ground in the fairy tale. He had been one of the ‘Inklings’ – the group of dons, including Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, who met during the 1930s in the Bird and Baby pub opposite St John’s. It was he and Tolkien who, one summer night in 1931, had converted Lewis to Christianity during a stroll along Addison’s Walk. So he was, at least in part, responsible for the Narnia books. I never asked him if he liked them. But it was well known that Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings was not to his taste. Tolkien had been in the habit of favouring the Inklings with readings from it, but one day Dyson, driven to exasperation, interjected, ‘Oh not another fucking elf!’ and after that the readings stopped. On ~ John Carey,
1109:The tree blossoms, and bears its fruit, which falls, rots, withers, and even the seed is lost! Go, count the rings of the oak and of the sycamore; the lie in circles, one about another, until the eye is blinded in striving to make out their numbers; and yet a full change of the seasons comes round while the stem is winding one of those little lines about itself, like the buffalo changing his coat, or the buck his horns; and what does it all amount to? There does the noble tree fill its place in the forest, loftier, and grander, and richer, and more difficult to imitate, than any of your pitiful pillars, for a thousand years, until the time which the Lord hath given it is full. Then come the winds, that you cannot see, to rive its bark; and the waters from the heavens, to soften its pores; and the rot, which all can feel and none can understand, to humble its pride and bring it to the ground. From that moment its beauty begins to perish. It lies another hundred years; a mouldering log, and then a mound of moss and earth; a sad effigy of a human grave. ~ James Fenimore Cooper,
1110: Occasional Poems
I Christmas Poem for Nancy
Noel, Noel
We live and we die
Between heaven and hell
Between the earth and the sky
And all shall be well
And all shall be unwell
And once again! all shall once again!
All shall be well
By the ringing and the swinging
of the great beautiful holiday bell
Of Noel! Noel!
II Salute Valentine
I'll drink to thee only with my eyes
When two are three and four,
And guzzle reality's rise and cries
And praise the truth beyond surmise
When small shots shout: More! More! More! More!
III Rabbi to Preach
Rabbi Robert Raaba will preach
on "An Eye for an Eye"
(an I for an I?)
(Two weeks from this week: "On the Sacred Would")
At Temple Sholem on Lake Shore Drive
- Pavel Slavensky will chant the liturgical responses
And William Leon, having now thirteen years
will thank his parents that he exists
To celebrate his birthday of manhood, his chocolate
Bar Mitzvah, his yum-yum kippered herring, his Russian
Corona.
~ Delmore Schwartz,
1111:Are you disappointed?” I asked coldly.
Amar slipped his arms around my waist. “I always believed in you. It is the world outside who needed convincing.”
“Liar,” I hissed, stepping out of the ring of his arms.
“What is the meaning of this?”
“You humiliated me. You left me to them like carrion before vultures. And like vultures, they devoured me.”
My voice was hoarse and brittle. I hated him. I hated him for abandoning me. I hated him for needing him.
Amar stepped back, his jaw clenched. “I did it to quell dissent. To keep you safe. I was ashamed that I had to ask you to undergo the agni pariksha.
“So ashamed you distanced yourself from me the moment you demanded that trial?”
Amar looked stunned. “I am the Dharma Raja for a reason. I would not have my own impartiality questioned by favoring you. Surely, you knew this.”
“What would you have done if I failed?”
“You couldn’t fail,” said Amar. “That’s why I did not worry. You were meant to be the queen of these lands. We were meant to rule together. For all of eternity. ~ Roshani Chokshi,
1112:For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. ~ Hermann Hesse,
1113:Raphael lifted his good hand- it felt uncommonly heavy- and stirred a finger through the jewels until he found the ring. His hand trembled as he lifted the ring from the box. "Lock it again and give the key ring to Her Excellency."
Nicoletta pursed her lips but did as he said.
His duchess merely looked bewildered on being handed a key to a treasure box.
"It is yours now," he said, his voice... Something was wrong with his breath. He gasped. "As my wife. As my duchess. This is yours as well."
He took her hand- so warm in his- and placed the heavy-chained ring on her finger. It wouldn't fit her ring finger- his mother had been a fragile creature with very thin hands. Instead he pushed it onto the smallest finger of her right hand. The sight of it there, glowing gold, the central round ruby burnished with the years it had guarded his mother's family, satisfied something within him.
His hand dropped to the bed like lead weights.
"Protect her," he whispered to Ubertino as the room darkened. Someone was weeping. Nicoletta? "Promise me. Protect her. ~ Elizabeth Hoyt,
1114:Are those chocolate chip?'' Cole reaches her first and claims one.
''Oh, my godness.'' Nana sets the tray aside and coos the guy. ''Cole, dear, you have a boulder-size knot on your jaw.''
''River did it.'' Cole smirks at the guy. ''And he insulted my mom. And my dad.''
''River Marks.'' Nana shakes her head, as if her heart is acually breaking. ''How could you be so rough? And so insensitive!''
River glares at Cole before bowing his head. ''I'm sorry, Nana.''
''The human body is like a flower. Treat it well, and it will bloom.'' She approaches the ring and extends two cookies. River and I accept with eager thanks. ''Let's be kind to each other and keep our punches away from the face and groin.'' ''Yes, ma'am,'' we say in unison. Then of course, we devour the offering as if we've never tasted sugar.
''Good, good.'' She brushes the crumbs from her fingers. ''I'll leave you kids to your practice.'' She kisses Ali, then Cole, and leaves.
''Are you a rose?'' River sneers at Cole. ''Or a lilly?''
''Orchid. And your jealousy is showing.'' Cole responds. ~ Gena Showalter,
1115:Not much has been said by critics about the structure of The Lord of the Rings, but it is considerably more complex and at least as carefully-integrated as the multiple narrative of Joseph Conrad, for instance, in Nostromo. One might feel that a more experienced writer, one who wrote novels or fantasies professionally rather than passionately, would have known not to risk such finesses or trust so much to the ingenuity of his readers: but Tolkien knew no better than to try it.
The main effect of his interlacing technique, however, does not lie in surprise and suspense. What it does is to create a profound sense of reality, of that being the way things are. There is a pattern in Tolkien’s story, but his characters can never see it (naturally, because they are in it). To them the whole story seems chaotic, haunted by bad luck; they are lost in a wilderness metaphorically as well as cartographically, indeed in a ‘bewilderment’, sometimes in the dark, sometimes in an enchanted wood, frequently guessing wrong as to the meaning of what happens even to them. ~ Tom Shippey,
1116:Standing by their pallet before they retired for the night, Cade removed a small object from his pocket and, catching Lily's hand, gently twisted it onto her finger, "I meant to give you this when we signed the book. There didn't seem to be an appropriate time." Lily looked down at the flicker of silver in the firelight. The band was wide and heavy and intricately carved with delicate traceries of dark and light. It looked very Spanish and very old. There was no room for shyness between them anymore, and she met Cade's gaze with the warmth of their astonishing intimacy. "Your mother's?" He nodded. "It belonged to her mother and her grandmother. She gave it to me to sell so we might have food. I kept the ring and stole the food." Lily felt a queer stirring in her stomach at this first voluntarily offered piece of Cade's past. She touched the wide band, then lifted her fingers to brush back a thick lock of black hair from his forehead. That he accepted this boldness thrilled her, and she snuggled closer, until he was forced to put his arms around her and she could lean against his shoulder. ~ Patricia Rice,
1117:While Terry joined the others in the pool, I subjected myself to a dreadful thing called musical chairs, another cruel game. There's one chair short, and when the music stops you have to run for a seat. The life lessons never stop at a children's party. The music blares. You never know when it's going to stop. You're on edge the whole game; the tension is unbearable. Everyone dances in a circle around the ring of chairs, but it's no happy dance. Everyone has his eyes on the mother over by the radio, her hand poised on the volume control. Now and then a child wrongly anticipates her and dives for a chair. He's shouted at. He jumps off the seat again. He's a wreck. The music plays on. The children's faces are contorted in terror. No one wants to be excluded. The mother taunts the children by pretending to reach for the volume. The children wish she were dead. The game is an analogy for life: there are not enough chairs or good times to go around, not enough food, not enough joy, nor beds nor jobs nor laughs nor friends nor smiles nor money nor clean air to breathe...and yet the music goes on. ~ Steve Toltz,
1118: Sudden Movements
My father's head has become a mystery to him.
We finally have something in common.
When he moves his head his eyes
get big as roses filled
with the commotion of spring.
Not long ago he was a man
who had tomato soup for lunch
and dusted with the earnestness
of a gun fight. Now he's a man
who sits at the table trying to breathe
in tiny bites. When they told him
his spinal column is closing, I thought
of all the branches he's cut
with loppers and piled and burned
in the fall, the pinch of the blades
on the green and vital pulp. Surgeons
can fuse vertebrae, a welders art,
and scrape the ring through which
the soul-wires flow as a dentist
would clean your teeth.
And still it could happen, one turn
of his head toward a hummingbird,
wings keeping that brittle life
afloat, working hard against the fall,
and he might freeze in that pose
of astonishment, a man estranged
from the neck down, who can only share
with his body the silence
he's pawned on his children as love.
~ Bob Hicok,
1119:I felt the superb iron of Barth’s paragraphs, his magnificent seamless integrity and energy in this realm of prose—the specifically Christian—usually conspicuous for intellectual limpness and dishonesty. “Man is a riddle and nothing else, and his universe, be it ever so vividly seen and felt, is a question.… The solution of the riddle, the answer to the question, the satisfaction of our need is the absolutely new event.… There is no way which leads to this event”: here I thought I had it, in “The Task of the Ministry,” but no, the passage, though ringing, did not have quite the ring impressed, three decades earlier, upon my agitated inner ear. Farther into the essay, I stumbled on a sentence, starred in the margin, that seemed to give Dale Kohler’s line of argument some justification: “In relation to the kingdom of God any pedagogy may be good and any may be bad; a stool may be high enough and the longest ladder too short to take the kingdom of heaven by force.” By force, of course: that was his blasphemy, as I had called it. The boy would treat God as an object, Who had no voice in His own revelation. ~ John Updike,
1120:In newspapers, magazines and on television, the public has been warned off the very vitamins and other supplements that have been repeatedly proven to reduce illness in practically every instance. The effective use of food supplements and natural diet saves money, pain and lives... and you have been told not to do it. If you want something done right you have to do it yourself. This especially includes your healthcare. One of the most common questions about vitamin therapy is, are huge doses safe? This book will help answer that question once and for all, and while we are at it, here’s the answer in advance. Yes. Megadoses of vitamins are very safe. Vitamins do not cause even one death per year. Pharmaceutical drugs, taken as directed, cause over 100 000 deaths annually. Still it is granted that we need access to all the tools that medicine and technology can provide, when used with caution. We must also fully use our natural resources of therapeutic nutrition and vitamins. To limit ourselves to pharmaceutical medicine is like going into the ring to fight the champ with one hand tied behind our backs. ~ Andrew W Saul,
1121:And it came to me while I [Merlin] was singing - watching the ring of faces around the night's fire, their eyes glinting like dark sparks, gazing raptly as the song kindled and took light in their souls - it came to me that the way to men's souls was through their hearts, not through their minds. As much as a man might be convinced in his mind, as long as his heart remained unchanged all persuasion would fail. The surest way to the heart is through song and story: a single tale of high and noble deeds spoke to men more forcefully than all of blessed Dafyd's homilies.
I do not know why this should be, but I believe it to be true. I have seen the humble folk crowd into the chapel in the wood to receive the mass. In all sincerity they kneel before the holy altar, mute, reverent, as they should be, but also uncomprehending.
Yet, I have seen the eyes of their souls awaken when Dafyd reads out, "Listen, in a far country there lived a king who had two sons..."
Perhaps it is how we are made; perhaps words of truth reach us best through the heart, and stories and songs are the language of the heart. ~ Stephen R Lawhead,
1122:I fear I won’t be able to find a way out of this. How did this even happen? I went out of my way to avoid attracting suitors last night.” Leaning back in his chair, Gavin leveled Alex with a serious look. “You’ve learned your first lesson, Minx. Men chase that which seems unattainable.” “No. What I learned was that men are gluttons for punishment. Why ‘chase’ me when they could catch any number of eligible young females from last evening?” “Silly girl…because chasing you makes for more of a challenge—and more of a reward.” Alex offered an amused snort. “I assure you, my lord. Considering my feelings about being ‘caught,’ I would provide little, if any, reward.” While his body remained relaxed, his eyes narrowed on her and his voice deepened as he responded, “On the contrary, Alex. Your resistance to marriage would make the reward of successfully courting you that much sweeter. Turning your desire for spinsterhood into a desire for something else would be quite a coup for any man. Which is why all of these men”—he indicated the room with a lazy wave of his hand—“have thrown their hats in the ring.” Feeling ~ Sarah MacLean,
1123:Those who visited that exhibition-room found an auto-de-fé of immense skies in ignition, globes blotted out by bleeding suns; hemorrhages of stars, flowing down in purple cataracts over tumbling tufts of clouds. Against this background of terrible din, silent women passed, nude or appareled in jeweled stuffs, like the bindings of the old Evangelists; women with hair of shaggy silk, with pale blue eyes, hard and fixed, and flesh of the frozen whiteness of milk; Salomes holding, motionless upon a platter, the head of the Baptist, which shone, soaked in phosphorus, under the quincunxes with shorn leaves, of a green that was almost black; goddesses galloping on hippogriffs and streaking, with the lapis lazuli of their wings, the agony of the clouds; feminine idols, in tiaras, upright on thrones, at the top of stairs submerged in extraordinary flowers, or seated, in rigid poses, upon the backs of elephants with green-mantled foreheads and breasts strung with pearl-ropes like cavalry bells, stamping about upon their own heavy image, reflected in a sheet of water and splashed by the columns of the ring-circled legs! ~ Joris Karl Huysmans,
1124: The Memory of Elena
We spend our morning
in the flower stalls counting
the dark tongues of bells
that hang from ropes waiting
for the silence of an hour.
We find a table, ask for paella,
cold soup and wine, where a calm
light trembles years behind us.
In Buenos Aires only three
years ago, it was the last time his hand
slipped into her dress, with pearls
cooling her throat and bells like
these, chipping at the night—
As she talks, the hollow
clopping of a horse, the sound
of bones touched together.
The paella comes, a bed of rice
and camarones, fingers and shells,
the lips of those whose lips
have been removed, mussels
the soft blue of a leg socket.
This is not paella, this is what
has become of those who remained
in Buenos Aires. This is the ring
of a rifle report on the stones,
her hand over her mouth,
her husband falling against her.
These are the flowers we bought
this morning, the dahlias tossed
on his grave and bells
waiting with their tongues cut out
for this particular silence.
~ Carolyn Forché,
1125:Above all, don’t lie to yourself." – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

"I don’t want to die without any scars." – Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

"Not all those who wander are lost." – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." – André Gide, Autumn Leaves

"If you’re making mistakes it means you’re out there doing something." – Neil Gaiman, Make Good Art

"Even a stopped clock is right twice a day." – Paulo Coelho, Brida

"If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives."
– Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

"I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do." – Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

"If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all." – John Green, Paper Towns

"Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer." – Dan Brown, Digital Fortress

"Fear is an illusion..." - Dark Templar, Starcraft 2 ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
1126:If I start thinking you’re just some deadbeat looking to scam Granny out of her house, I’m done.”
“Are you seriously going to do this for me?”
“I guess I am.” He pulled the cheap department-store diamond he’d picked up that morning from his pocket and held it out to her.
“Wait.” There was a faint thread of panic in her voice. “What are you doing?”
“There’s hedging and then there’s outright lying. I’d like to keep the latter to a minimum, so I’m going to propose to you, and you’re going to accept.”
“Oh. Okay.”
“So how about it? Wanna be my fiancé?”
When she blushed and nodded, he slid the ring on her finger. He had to wiggle it a bit to get it over her knuckle, but it fit better than he’d expected. It got a little awkward then, because it seemed as something should follow a marriage proposal. A kiss. A hug. Hell, even a handshake.
Then she shoved her hands—ring and all—in the front pockets of her jeans. “Thank you. For doing this, I mean. And for the ring. I can pay you for it.”
“Don’t worry about it.” False pretenses or not, no woman of his—more or less—would pay for her own jewelry. ~ Shannon Stacey,
1127: The Celtic Tiger
Ireland’s boom is in full swing.
Rows of numbers, set in a cloudless blue
computer background, prove the point.
Executives lop miles off journeys
since the ring-roads opened, one hand
free to dial a client on the mobile.
Outside new antique pubs, young consultants
— well-toned women, gel-slick men —
drain long-necked bottles of imported beer.
Lip-glossed cigarettes are poised
at coy angles, a black bra strap
slides strategically from a Rocha top.
Talk of tax-exempted town-house lettings
is muffled by rap music blasted
from a passing four-wheel drive.
The old live on, wait out their stay
of execution in small granny flats,
thrifty thin-lipped men, grim pious wives . . .
Sudden as an impulse holiday, the wind
has changed direction, strewing a whiff
of barbecue fuel across summer lawns.
Tonight, the babe on short-term
contract from the German parent
will partner you at the sponsors’ concert.
Time now, however, for the lunch-break
orders to be texted. Make yours hummus
on black olive bread. An Evian.
~ Dennis O'Driscoll,
1128: Ballade Of The Tweed
The ferox rins in rough Loch Awe,
A weary cry frae ony toun;
The Spey, that loups o'er linn and fa',
They praise a' ither streams aboon;
They boast their braes o' bonny Doon:
Gie ME to hear the ringing reel,
Where shilfas sing, and cushats croon
By fair Tweed-side, at Ashiesteel!
There's Ettrick, Meggat, Ail, and a',
Where trout swim thick in May and June;
Ye'll see them take in showers o' snaw
Some blinking, cauldrife April noon:
Rax ower the palmer and march-broun,
And syne we'll show a bonny creel,
In spring or simmer, late or soon,
By fair Tweed-side, at Ashiesteel!
There's mony a water, great or sma',
Gaes singing in his siller tune,
Through glen and heugh, and hope and shaw,
Beneath the sun-licht or the moon:
But set us in our fishing-shoon
Between the Caddon-burn and Peel,
And syne we'll cross the heather broun
By fair Tweed-side at Ashiesteel!
ENVOY.
Deil take the dirty, trading loon
Wad gar the water ca' his wheel,
And drift his dyes and poisons doun
By fair Tweed-side at Ashiesteel!
~ Andrew Lang,
1129:When you drop a glass or a plate to the ground it makes a loud crashing sound. When a window shatters a table leg breaks or when a picture falls off the wall it makes a noise. But as for your heart when that breaks it's completely silent. You would think as it's so important, it would make the loudest noise in the whole world or even have some sort of ceremonious sound like the gong of a cymbal or the ringing of a bell. But it's silent and you almost wish there was a noise to distract you from the pain. If there is a noise it's internal. It screams and no one can hear it but you. It screams so loud your ears ring and your head aches. It trashes around in your chest like a great white shark caught in the sea, it roars like a mother bear whose cub has been taken. That is what it looks like and that is what it sounds like a trashing panicking trapped great big beast roaring like a prisoner to its own emotions. But that is the thing about love - no one is untouchable. It's as wild as that, as raw as an open flesh wound exposed to salty water, but when it breaks, it's silent. You're just screaming on the inside and no one can hear it. ~ Cecelia Ahern,
1130:He wondered if she’d told Lover Boy about the kids yet. It was nearly May. School would be out in a month. Might as well ask, since she was so chatty. He couldn’t seem to pull his eyes from the sparkling rock. “You tell him about the kids yet?” She followed his gaze to her hand. “Oh.” She straightened the diamond, then cradled her hand in her lap. “I did, actually.” He tried to read her expression, gave up. “How’d it go?” “Not so well.” Maybe Wyatt was right. Maybe it was about to hit the fan. He found himself irrationally pleased, and not just on account of the kids. “You’re still wearing the ring.” “It didn’t go that badly. I think Stephen needs time to adjust to the idea. And once he gets to know the children . . .” Her voice trailed off, and she finally pressed her lips together. Maybe if they called off the wedding, she’d move to Nantucket, keep Summer Place. As soon as hope began to swell, a sharp prick of guilt popped the bubble. Meridith obviously loved the guy. Who was Jake to wish a broken heart on her? Besides, while a breakup might mean she kept the kids here, it also meant he was up the creek with his identity. “Jake! ~ Denise Hunter,
1131:She gasps at the sight that greets her.

The florists have gone to town. There are wild meadow flowers everywhere, in pinks and whites and blues, all lit by tiny fairy lights and soft pink lanterns.

Yes. This will do.

Ana is stunned. She whips around and gapes at me.

"You wanted hearts and flowers."

She stares at me in disbelief.

"You have my heart." And I wave at the room.

"And here are the flowers," she murmurs. "Christian, it's lovely." Her voice is hoarse and I know she's close to tears.

Plucking up my courage, I lead her farther into the room. In the center of the arbor, I sink onto one knee. Ana catches her breath, and her hands fly to her mouth. From my inside jacket pocket, I pull out the ring and hold it up for her.

"Anastasia Steele. I love you. I want to love, cherish, and protect you for the rest of my life. Be mine. Always. Share my life with me. Marry me."

She is the love of my life.

It will only ever be Ana.

Her tears start to fall in earnest but her smile eclipses the moon, the stars, the sun, and all the flowers in the boathouse. ~ E L James,
1132:Dedication Although she is no longer with us, I would like to thank Mrs. Fuller, my high school English teacher. Believe it or not, I have a variety of learning disabilities which makes it difficult for me to spell words correctly or consistently. This issue got me placed, briefly, in the Special Learning track at school. It was Mrs. Fuller who noticed that I was carrying Lord of the Rings around with me one day and asked why I was carrying a book for someone else. Obviously someone as disabled as me could not possibly be reading it herself. Ha! When I demonstrated I was able to READ even if I couldn't write she had me bounced back to the regular classes. Even though the rules of English Lit. required her to mark me down for each and every grammatical error and spelling mistake she would write, in some amazement I remember, how impressed she was with the breadth and comprehensive nature of my imagination. Many years later I still remember her telling me to put the story down on paper somehow. The publishers will hire someone to fix the little things. It was the story that counted. So, Hi to Mrs Fuller and all her ilk. Thank you from a C+ student. ~ D L Carter,
1133:Now his response was merely to detach himself from personal contact. Looking back, she could not remember a conversation veering on the intimate from which he had not withdrawn immediately. He had had of course, in the past, more than enough of being devoured alive by the consuming interest of his admirers. A boy called Will Scott, back in Scotland. An Archer, they said, called Robin Stewart. Jerott, perhaps, long ago. Small wonder that Francis Crawford today took routine precautions to repel invaders.

And of course, that was it. Standing there, her eyes blank in the fog, Philippa saw plainly so much which had escaped her. The dismissals she had suffered; the exchanges he had broken off; the measures he took, when he remembered, to dampen the ardour of any impressionable fool who might dream of clinging to him.

Such as herself. She remembered the ringed, picturesque hands on which she had fixed her eyes, and their abrupt withdrawal. It was not only in the eyes of the world that her pursuit of Lymond was being put down to a blossoming schoolgirl devotion. Warily, Lymond himself had considered it time to start taking precautions. ~ Dorothy Dunnett,
1134:Whatever She may have been thought to signify, its impact upon publication was tremendous. Everyone read it, especially men; a whole generation was influenced by it, and the generation after that. A dozen or so films have been based on it, and a huge amount of the pulp-magazine fiction churned out in the teens, twenties, and thirties of the twentieth century bears its impress. Every time a young but possibly old and/or dead woman turns up, especially if she’s ruling a lost tribe in a wilderness and is a hypnotic seductress, you’re looking at a descendant of She. Literary writers too felt Her foot on their necks. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness owes a lot to Her, as Gilbert and Gubar have indicated. James Hilton’s Shangri-La, with its ancient, beautiful, and eventually crumbling heroine, is an obvious relative. C. S. Lewis felt Her power, fond as he was of creating sweet-talking, good-looking evil queens; and in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, She splits into two: Galadriel, powerful but good, who’s got exactly the same water-mirror as the one possessed by She; and a very ancient cave-dwelling man-devouring spider-creature named, tellingly, Shelob ~ H Rider Haggard,
1135:I can’t sleep,” he says so quietly that only I can hear. “I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep.”
“Nor I.”
“You neither?”
“No.”
“Truly?”
“Yes.”
He sighs a deep sigh, as if he is relieved. “Is this love then?”
“I suppose so.”
“I can’t eat.”
“No.”
“I can’t think of anything but you. I can’t go on another moment like this; I can’t ride out into battle like this. I am as foolish as a boy. I am mad for you, like a boy. I cannot be without you; I will not be
without you. Whatever it costs me.”
I can feel my color rising like heat in my cheeks, and for the first time in days I can feel myself smile. “I can’t think of anything but you,” I whisper. “Nothing. I thought I was sick.”
The ring like a crown is heavy in my pocket, my headdress is pulling at my hair; but I stand without awareness, seeing nothing but him, feeling nothing but his warm breath on my cheek and scenting
the smell of his horse, the leather of his saddle, and the smell of him: spices, rosewater, sweat.
“I am mad for you,” he says.
I feel my smile turn up my lips as I look into his face at last. “And I for you,” I say quietly. “Truly. ~ Philippa Gregory,
1136: Aspens
All day and night, save winter, every weather,
Above the inn, the smithy and the shop,
The aspens at the cross-roads talk together
Of rain, until their last leaves fall from the top.
Out of the blacksmith's cavern comes the ringing
Of hammer, shoe and anvil; out of the inn
The clink, the hum, the roar, the random singing The sounds that for these fifty years have been.
The whisper of the aspens is not drowned,
And over lightless pane and footless road,
Empty as sky, with every other sound
No ceasing, calls their ghosts from their abode,
A silent smithy, a silent inn, nor fails
In the bare moonlight or the thick-furred gloom,
In the tempest or the night of nightingales,
To turn the cross-roads to a ghostly room.
And it would be the same were no house near.
Over all sorts of weather, men, and times,
Aspens must shake their leaves and men may hear
But need not listen, more than to my rhymes.
Whatever wind blows, while they and I have leaves
We cannot other than an aspen be
That ceaselessly, unreasonably grieves,
Or so men think who like a different tree.
~ Edward Thomas,
1137:In 1932, the combination of these intractable forces would result in widespread hardship for the agricultural provinces of old Russia, and death by starvation for millions of peasants in Ukraine.* [*While many of the young loyalists (like Nina) who joined the udarniks in the countryside would have their faith in the Party tested by what they witnessed, most of Russia, and for that matter the world, would be spared the spectacle of this man-made disaster. For just as peasants from the countryside were forbidden to enter the cities, journalists from the cities were forbidden to enter the countryside; delivery of personal mail was suspended; and the windows of passenger trains were blackened. In fact, so successful was the campaign to contain awareness of the crisis, when word leaked out that millions were starving in Ukraine, Walter Duranty, the lead correspondent for The New York Times in Russia (and one of the ringleaders in the Shalyapin Bar), would report that these rumors of famine were grossly exaggerated and had probably originated with anti-Soviet propagandists. Thus, the world would shrug. And even as the crime unfolded, Duranty would win the Pulitzer Prize.] ~ Amor Towles,
1138:The artist especially, in whom the power of imitation is particularly strong, must fall prey to the feeble manysidedness of modern life as to a serious childhood illness; in his youth and childhood he will look more like an adult than his real self. The marvellously accurate archetypal youth who is the Siegfried of the Ring des Nibelungen could have been produced only by a man, and by a man moreover who had found his own youth late in life. And as Wagner's youth came late, so did his full maturity; so that in this respect at least he is the opposite of an anticipatory nature.

As soon as his spiritual and moral maturity arrives, the drama of his life also begins. And how different he looks now! Below there rages the precipitate current of a vehement will which as it were strives to reach up to the light through every runway, cave and crevice, and desires power. Only a force wholly pure and free could direct this will on to the pathway to the good and benevolent; had it been united with a narrow spirit, such an unbridled tyrannical will could have become a fatality and a way out into the open, into air and sunlight, was in any event bound to be found soon. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
1139:Oh! to think that he should actually let her come as near to him as that! He knew nothing in the world would make her put out her hand toward him or startle him in the least tiniest way. He knew it because he was a real person—only nicer than any other person in the world. She was so happy that she scarcely dared to breathe. The flower-bed was not quite bare. It was bare of flowers because the perennial plants had been cut down for their winter rest, but there were tall shrubs and low ones which grew together at the back of the bed, and as the robin hopped about under them she saw him hop over a small pile of freshly turned up earth. He stopped on it to look for a worm. The earth had been turned up because a dog had been trying to dig up a mole and he had scratched quite a deep hole. Mary looked at it, not really knowing why the hole was there, and as she looked she saw something almost buried in the newly-turned soil. It was something like a ring of rusty iron or brass and when the robin flew up into a tree nearby she put out her hand and picked the ring up. It was more than a ring, however; it was an old key which looked as if it had been buried a long time. ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett,
1140:I’ll never make the mistake I made before, Charity. I’ll never let work come between us. Family is the most precious thing a man can have. But it’s time I got on with my life. You helped teach me that.” He slid the engagement ring onto the third finger of her trembling left hand.
“Oh, Call, it’s beautiful. Magnificent.”
“It shouldn’t be hard for you to find an editing job if you decide that’s what you want to do. We’ll buy a house somewhere…Bainbridge Island, maybe. Not too far from the city but not too close, either. Someplace with a little room, maybe some acreage. The kind of place that would be good for raising kids.”
He wanted to have children! Happy tears glittered in her eyes. “That sounds perfect.”
“Come on,” Call said, taking her hand. “Let’s get out of here.” As they made their way back inside the ballroom, heading for the door and Call’s suite on the fourteenth floor, she saw Deirdre at the table sitting next to Jeremy.
Charity smiled at her best friend and held up her hand. She pointed to the ring and mouthed the words, “We’re getting married!”
Deirdre said a not-so-silent, “Yes!” And in a highly undignified moment, shot her arm up into the air. ~ Kat Martin,
1141:Clearing her throat, Natale picked it up to show it to Zarya. “When Darling was little, his father would take it off and place it on his tiny finger before he made Darling recite his rules of conduct. I always waited for Darling to protest having to do it, but he was such a little man about it. All he wanted was to please his father and make him proud. He would clench his hand.” Natale demonstrated it with her own fist. “And stand tall, then repeat all twenty flawlessly. When he was done, he’d take the ring off and stare at it in awe. And every time he gave it back to his father, he’d promise that one day he would be the best governor Caron ever had.” Her eyes filled with agony, Natale covered her mouth with her hand. “Unlike Drake and Lise, he actually remembers his father. The two of them were so close. Darling worshiped the ground he stood on.” She swallowed and lowered her hand. “He’s just like his father, you know? It’s so hard to look at him sometimes when all I see is everything I’ve lost. He has Drux’s voice and his bearing and mannerisms.” She almost broke down into tears again, but somehow she caught herself. “Anyway, I should go now and leave you to him.” Zarya ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon,
1142:It sure can feel like you’re in the boxing ring of life sometimes. The bell goes off, and you go in swinging with all your might, doing the best you can, fighting the good fight. Then you receive a blow from out of nowhere. You’re stunned! You can hardly breathe, and you aren’t sure you’ll ever rise again. Well, whether you’ve lost a job, been diagnosed with an illness, or found yourself in some other difficult situation, God is there with you. In fact, He got into the ring the moment you did. He is right there ready to help you get back on your feet. Isn’t it great to know you’re not out there taking on the world all by yourself? No matter how many blows the world delivers, God is with you—always and in all ways! Your Promises from God Today OCTOBER 23 Evening The LORD preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. PSALM 145:20 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ISAIAH 41:10 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 CORINTHIANS 4:8 ~ Anonymous,
1143:Then she had noticed that Arin’s fingernails were blackened, and how he kept reaching into his pocket as if to reassure himself that something was there.
She had told herself not to guess. But she could never help guessing. A smile warmed her face.
He shut his eyes in mock chagrin. “Gods, can I keep nothing from you?”
“I didn’t mean to.”
“Devious thing. I won’t give it to you yet. It’s for Ninarrith.”
Time seemed strange; it was as if the ring were already on her smallest finger, the most vulnerable one.
“It’s simple,” Arin had hastened to say.
“I will love it.”
“Will you wear it?”
“Yes.”
“Always?”
“Yes,” she had said, “if you show me how to make one for you, too.”
Kestrel gave her horse a final caress. It was full night. She left the stables. Fireflies spangled the black lawn.
She thought about Arin’s expression when she’d asked if he would teach her how to forge a ring for him, and the whole conversation glowed within her like one of those fireflies. Watching them, you’d almost think that a firefly winks out of existence, then comes to life, vanishes again, returns. That when it’s not lit, it’s not there at all.
But it is. ~ Marie Rutkoski,
1144:From the outside looking in, everyone looks like a conformist. But really, no one is; they’re just waiting for another person to speak up. The question is, why isn’t it you? Do you feel like you’ll be judged, or ostracized? Do you think you’ll be ignored and humiliated? Do you feel impotent? The truth is likely quite different. Everyone wants progress but very few want to lead. So a whole group waits for the first hand to go up before their hands go up, too. Suddenly, a vote goes from a unanimous NO to a unanimous YES. All it took was one voice of dissent—and suddenly, everything changed. The secret to overcoming the flinch is that everyone wants you to succeed. People are looking for proof that you can be amazing so that they can be amazing, too. The Web is so great because you can see others being truly themselves, and succeeding at it. This diminishes the power of the consensus. The pressure diminishes. You can be who you like. Getting in the ring becomes easier because you have supporters. So if you see no one like you, no one who agrees, don’t worry. There are actually hundreds of people like you, and they’re waiting for a leader. That person is you. Stop flinching. Speak up. Join us. ~ Julien Smith,
1145: The First Night
Before I opened you, Jiménez,
it never occurred to me that day and night
would continue to circle each other in the ring of death,
but now you have me wondering
if there will also be a sun and a moon
and will the dead gather to watch them rise and set
then repair, each soul alone,
to some ghastly equivalent of a bed.
Or will the first night be the only night,
a darkness for which we have no other name?
How feeble our vocabulary in the face of death,
How impossible to write it down.
This is where language will stop,
the horse we have ridden all our lives
rearing up at the edge of a dizzying cliff.
The word that was in the beginning
and the word that was made flesh—
those and all the other words will cease.
Even now, reading you on this trellised porch,
how can I describe a sun that will shine after death?
But it is enough to frighten me
into paying more attention to the world's day-moon,
to sunlight bright on water
or fragmented in a grove of trees,
and to look more closely here at these small leaves,
these sentinel thorns,
whose employment it is to guard the rose.
~ Billy Collins,
1146:There's a song that I hear at the back of my heart that I feared for so long, when I sensed you were there. And I think of those times when you crept into my dreams and I thought you a threat to curse my sweet king. But it was the boy in your belly that whispered to mine, and even before that, you lived in my spirit.

Because I think of those times when I was a child. I prayed to the gods and I begged for a sign. I know that they sent you, despite the blood of all those you loved shed at the hands of my kin. For you were the one who found him in exile and though it took time, you led Froi to his home.

And you've sent me this trinket that hardened my heart, because I wanted your words and a sign of true peace. But I’ve opened it now after all these long weeks, and Froi stares at it, speechless, when I hold out my hand. And we see it before us, our spirits shaking. The brilliance of color: the same ruby ring.

Oh, you’ve outdone me twice now, you queen of forgiveness. The ring’s a promise of peace, and I’m greedy with hope. It’s a song that we sing in a tongue that we share. And though you say it’s a gift from a king to a king, I say it’s a sign from a queen to a queen. ~ Melina Marchetta,
1147:Noticing that, he made a trail of the ring, to see if it had that power; and he found that whenever he turned the collet inside, he was invisible, when he turned it outside, visible. After he found this out he managed to be appointed one of the messengers to the king; when he got there, he seduced the king's wife, and with her set upon the king, and killed him, and seized the empire. Then if there could be two such rings, and if the just man put one on and the unjust the other, no one, as it would be thought, would be so adamantine as to abide in the practice of justice, no one could endure to hold back from another's goods and not to touch, when it was in his power to take what he would even out of the market without fear, and to go into any house and lie with anyone he wished, and to kill or set free from prison those he might wish, and to do anything else in the world like a very god. And in doing so he would do just the same as the other; both would go the same way. Surely one would call this a strong proof that no one is just willingly but only under a strong compulsion, believing that it is not a good to him personally; since wherever each thinks he will be able to do injustice, he does injustice. ~ Plato,
1148:The guys had made log benches for spectators, back when they were twelve and had visions of every girl in class lining those benches, swooning as they showed off in the ring. Never quite worked out that way--if there were spectators, they were more likely to be heckling than swooning--but the memory made me smile as I lowered myself quietly onto the bench behind Daniel.
He was shadowboxing, throwing punches and dodging an imaginary opponent. He was dressed in his usual gear--sweatpants and a tank top, both emblazoned with the school logo. I sat there and watched him, muscles flexing, sweat dripping from his dark blond hair, spraying with every swing, the silence punctuated by soft grunts when a blow seemed right and frustrated snorts when it didn’t.
As I watched him, I started to relax. This was familiar. The sight, the sounds, the feel of the bench under my fingers, even the faint smell of perspiration--it was familiar and it was real and it made the last few hours drift away, wisps of a nightmare disconnected from reality.
Finally, he sensed me there and danced in a circle, fists falling to his sides, feet still moving. His face lit up in a grin so big it chased away the last of my worries. ~ Kelley Armstrong,
1149:29 · The Ring and the Book

The whole passionate enigma of life, the living contradiction, the undemonstrable but overwhelming unity which comprises every antithesis by which men live and die, is evoked by the spirit of Spring as by no other season. And yet, to the young man, this time of year often seems to be the time of chaos and confusion. For him it is the time of the incoherence of the senses, the wild, tongueless cries of pain, joy, and hunger, the fierce, broken wanderings of his desire, the lust for a thousand unknown and unnameable things which maddens his brain, disturbs his vision, and rends his heart asunder.

29. Обръчът и книгата

стр. 501
Цялата вълнуваща загадка на живота, живото противоречие, ненатрапчивото, но непреодолимо единство на всички антитези в живота и смъртта на хората се пробуждат с такава сила само от духа на пролетта. За младия човек обаче този годишен сезон често е време на бъркотия и хаос. За него това е период на объркани чувства, на необуздани и безмълвни изблици на болка, радост и копнеж, на жестоко и безрезултатно лутане в света на желанията, на стремеж към незнайното и безименното, което подлудява мислите му, разстройва взора му, разкъсва сърцето му. ~ Thomas Wolfe,
1150:The bells gave tongue: Gaude, Sabaoth, John, Jericho, Jubilee, Dimity, Batty Thomas and Tailor Paul, rioting and exulting high up in the dark tower, wide mouths rising and falling, brazen tongues clamouring, huge wheels turning to the dance of the leaping ropes. Tin tan din dan bim bam bom bo--tan tin din dan bam bim bo bom--tan dan tin bam din bo bim bom--every bell in her place striking tuneably, hunting up, hunting down, dodging, snapping, laying her blows behind, making her thirds and fourths, working down to lead the dance again. Out over the flat, white wastes of fen, over the spear-straight, steel-dark dykes and the wind-bent, groaning poplar trees, bursting from the snow-choked louvres of the belfry, whirled away southward and westward in gusty blasts of clamour to the sleeping counties went the music of the bells--little Gaude, silver Sabaoth, strong John and Jericho, glad Jubilee, sweet Dimity and old Batty Thomas, with great Tailor Paul bawling and striding like a giant in the midst of them. Up and down went the shadows of the ringers upon the walls, up and down went the scarlet sallies flickering roofwards and floorwards, and up and down, hunting in their courses, went the bells of Fenchurch St. Paul. ~ Dorothy L Sayers,
1151:Or she might put on the ring and understand immediately how it was a mistake to wear it, and yet know that no matter how she pulled at it, it would never come off, and if she should chop off her finger then she would only grow another one, and liquid gold would seep out of her skin and form itself again into a perfect and perfectly awful circle. Rob would get it, too - the feeling like the stony feeling. They would lie next to each other with stones in their bellies, trying not to touch, Everyone else in the hospital would know it and feel it also: a great mistake had been committed. It would sap everyone's enthusiasm, and efforts to remake and improve the world would dwindle - what's the use anymore, they would all ask themselves, it's all already been ruined by this ill-advised marriage. The child would ripen and emerge and weep for its parents and when it could talk the first thing it would ask would be, why did you do it? Every night her brother's ghost would come shake a chain of bones over her head and say, I fucking told you, and every morning they would wake up to a sea a little higher than the day before, not sure who this other person was in their bed, and not understanding why they hated this person so much. ~ Chris Adrian,
1152:Part of it is personal. It’s the same way for athletes: an athlete wants to be in a big game, wants to compete on the field or in the ring. But another part, a bigger part I think, is patriotism. It’s the sort of thing that if it has to be explained, you’re not going to understand. But maybe this will help: One night a little later on, we were in an exhausting firefight. Ten of us spent roughly forty-eight hours in the second story of an old, abandoned brick building, fighting in hundred-degree-plus heat wearing full armor. Bullets flew in, demolishing the walls around us practically nonstop. The only break we took was to reload. Finally, as the sun came up in the morning, the sound of gunfire and bullets hitting brick stopped. The fight was over. It became eerily quiet. When the Marines came in to relieve us, they found every man in the room either slumped against a wall or collapsed on the floor, dressing wounds or just soaking in the situation. One of the Marines outside took an American flag and hoisted it over the position. Someone else played the National Anthem—I have no idea where the music came from, but the symbolism and the way it spoke to the soul was overwhelming; it remains one of my most powerful memories. ~ Chris Kyle,
1153:Tolkien preferred the still, small voice of Elijah to the resounding horns of Sinai. Accordingly, his commitment to myth as his medium was dogged. He repeatedly denied that The Lord of the Rings was allegory. The reason is this: allegory intends that this particular thing in the story is meant to be that particular thing known outside the story. In a way, it is coercive, forcing the reader to see things in a certain way. For example, Lewis’s lion in the Narnia books, Aslan, is meant to be understood by the reader as a representation of Christ. Tolkien, in fact, was annoyed with Lewis for engaging in allegory, which he found heavy-handed. (Lewis, for his part, denied that his Narnia books were only allegory.) He believed myth to be a more artistically subtle device. Tolkien did not, for instance, intend his War of the Ring to be a battle of good versus evil. He didn’t see matters in such black-and-white terms and did not believe in absolute evil. During the Great War, he didn’t view the Germans as all bad and the English as all good. In the Lord of the Rings, even Sauron, like Lucifer, did not start as evil. Evil for Tolkien was a personal battle within each and every individual. A battle might be won or lost, but the war was unending. ~ Wyatt North,
1154:Evie felt queer and light-headed as she stood facing St. Vincent. The moment he slid the ring onto her finger, her heart began beating much too fast, setting off reckless currents of something that was neither eagerness or fear, but a new emotion that heightened her senses unbearably. There was no word for it, this feeling. Tension gripped her while the pounding of her pulse refused to abate. Their hands flattened together, his fingers much longer than hers, his palm smooth and hot.
His head inclined slightly, his face covering hers. Although he was expressionless, a hint of color had glazed the high planes of his cheekbones and crossed the bridge of his nose. And his breath was faster than usual. Surprised by the realization that she had already come to know something as intimate as the normal rhythm of his breathing, Evie averted her gaze. She saw the blacksmith taking a length of white ribbon from one of his daughters, and she flinched a little as he looped it firmly around their joined wrists.
A wordless murmur tickled her ear, and she felt St. Vincent's free hand come up to the side of her neck, stroking her as if she were a nervous animal. She relaxed at his touch, while his fingertips moved over her skin with sensitive lightness. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1155:The sparkling smile became enormous. ‘Do you think she has a dagger there? Do you? Ask her, M. Francis? For,’ said the most noble and most powerful Princess Mary Stewart, Queen of Scotland, delving furiously under all the stiff red velvet, showing shift, hose and garters, shoes, knees and a long ribboned end of something recently torn loose, and emerging therefrom with a fist closed tight on an object short and hard and glittering, ‘for I have!’ And breathlessly, flinging back her head, with the little knife offered like a quill, ‘Try to stab me!’ she encouraged her visitor. There was a queer silence, during which the eyes of Oonagh O’Dwyer and her love of one night met and locked like magnet and iron. The child, waiting a moment, offered again, the ringing, joyful defiance still in her voice. ‘Try to stab me! … Go on, and I’ll kill you all dead!’

Her throat dry, Oonagh spoke. ‘Save your steel for those you trust. They are the ones who will carry your bier; the men who cannot hate, nor can they know love. Send away the cold servants.’ The red mouth had opened a little; the knife hung forgotten in her hand.

‘I would,’ said Mary, surprised. ‘But I do not know any.’ And, anxiously demonstrating her point, she caught Lymond by the hand. ~ Dorothy Dunnett,
1156:For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. ~ Hermann Hesse,
1157: Bambino (Corsican Lullaby)
Bambino in his cradle slept;
And by his side his grandam grim
Bent down and smiled upon the child,
And sung this lullaby to him,-This 'ninna and anninia':
'When thou art older, thou shalt mind
To traverse countries far and wide,
And thou shalt go where roses blow
And balmy waters singing glide-So ninna and anninia!
'And thou shalt wear, trimmed up in points,
A famous jacket edged in red,
And, more than that, a peakèd hat,
All decked in gold, upon thy head-Ah! ninna and anninia!
'Then shalt thou carry gun and knife,
Nor shall the soldiers bully thee;
Perchance, beset by wrong or debt,
A mighty bandit thou shalt be-So ninna and anninia!
'No woman yet of our proud race
Lived to her fourteenth year unwed;
The brazen churl that eyed a girl
Bought her the ring or paid his head-So ninna and anninia!
'But once came spies (I know the thieves!)
And brought disaster to our race;
God heard us when our fifteen men
Were hanged within the market-place-But ninna and anninia!
'Good men they were, my babe, and true,-Right worthy fellows all, and strong;
Live thou and be for them and me
66
Avenger of that deadly wrong-So ninna and anninia!'
~ Eugene Field,
1158:Dew dampened the grass and shimmered on the apples. From a distance, the blueberry bushes glistened as if encased in frost, and the trees looked as if they had been cloaked in ice.
Walking through the orchards was comforting to Sam, nearly as comforting as baking. There was a precision in both endeavors, which brought a sense of order to the world, and yet each was filled with new surprises and revelations every day.
The trees lined up like hunchback sentinels, seeming to protect the women as they walked the land. The paths between the trees were grassy but worn, showing where tourists and U-Pickers had trod in straight lines before veering left or right. Every so often, the earth had been upended by moles, muddy earthquakes left in the wake of their own underground walks.
"Grandpa hated moles, didn't he?" Sam asked out of the blue.
"With a passion," Willo said, touched that Sam remembered an innocuous fact about her grandfather from long ago.
It was even cooler as the three went deeper into the heart of the orchards, mist dancing in between the rows of trees and the lake glistening beyond like a mirage. It was magical, mysterious, a lost world.
I always feel like I've been transported to the world depicted in Lord of the Rings, Sam thought. ~ Viola Shipman,
1159:He arranged the ceremony for two o'clock in the afternoon a week before she was to leave. The exam had gone well and she was almost certain that she would qualify. Because other couples to be married came with family and friends, their ceremony seemed brisk and over quickly and caused much curiosity among those waiting because they had come alone.
On their journey to Coney Island on the train that afternoon Tony raised the question for the first time of when they might marry in church and live together.
'I have money saved,' he said, 'so we could get an apartment and then move to the house when it's ready.'
'I don't mind,' she said. 'I wish we were going home together now.'
He touched her hand.
'So do I,' he said. 'And the ring looks great on your finger.'
She looked down at the ring.
'I'd better remember to take it off before Mrs Kehoe sees it.'
The ocean was rough and grey and the wind blew white billowing clouds quickly across the sky. They moved slowly along the boardwalk and down the pier, where they stood watching the fishermen. As they walked back and sat eating hot dogs at Nathan's, Eilis spotted someone at the next table checking out her wedding ring. She smiled at herself.
'Will we ever tell our children that we did this?' she asked. ~ Colm T ib n,
1160:Let us grant courage and the love of pure adventure their own justification, even if we cannot produce any material support for them. Mankind has developed an ugly habit of only allowing true courage to the killers. Great credits accrue to the one who bests another; little is given to the man who recognises in his comrade on the rope a part of himself, who for long hours of extreme peril faces no opponent to be shot or struck down, but whose battle is solely against his own weakness and insufficiency. Is the man who, at moments when his own life is in the balance, has not only to safeguard it but, at the same time, his friend's- even to the extent of mutual self-sacrifice- to receive less recognition than a boxer n the ring, simply because the nature of what he is doing is not properly understood? In his book about the Dachstein, Kurt Maix writes: "Climbing is th emost royl irrationality out of which Man, in his creative imagination, has been able to fashion the highest personal values." Those personal values, which we gain from our approach to the mountains, are great enough to enrich our life. Is not the irrationality of its very lack of purpose the deepest argument for climbing? But we had better leave philosophical niceties and unsuitable psychoanalisis out of this. ~ Heinrich Harrer,
1161:To understand President Obama’s second term, however, all you need to know are the following three: First, the Country Clubbers. Guardians of the GOP’s upper-crust traditions, they believed in lower taxes, less regulation, and being polite. They were led in Congress by Speaker John Boehner. They held out hope for the resurrection of Mitt Romney. Their fortunes were not on the rise. Second, the Flat Earth Society, with Sarah Palin as its patron saint. These were the hard-core conspiracy theorists. They insisted that President Obama had faked his long-form birth certificate. They were certain that bike-share programs were a world-domination plot fostered by the UN. Finally, the Holy Warriors. Some of these crusaders were, in fact, religious. Others were more likely to quote The Lord of the Rings than Matthew or Luke. But regardless of where they spent their Sundays, what they shared was a worldview. Where traditional Republicans saw a debate between liberal and conservative, Holy Warriors saw an existential battle between good and evil. They warned endlessly of appeasement. They spoke of “defeating the Left” as though Satan’s minions were amassed along the Pacific coast. The Holy Warriors pursued Romneyite goals with Palinite fervor. For this reason, they were ascendant in 2013. ~ David Litt,
1162:I’m not a person who does well with idle time.”
“Seriously? I never would have guessed.”
His teasing didn’t bother her, especially when she looked at her ring again. Smaller diamonds surrounded the impressive princess-cut stone, making it glint brightly in the sunlight. “It is so perfect.”
“If it’s not, we can exchange it—”
She snatched the ring up close to her chest. “Never.”
Trace gave a slow, sexy grin. “So, Priscilla Patterson, since you approve of my job, my home, my friends and my ring, will you try another new experience—and marry me?”
Joy bubbled up, but she didn’t want to shout just yet. “When you go off to—” She glanced at Matt “—work, will you at least tell me what’s going on?”
“Yes. As much as I can.”
“Will you be honest about the danger involved?”
“I’ll be honest with you about everything.”
“Okay.” She peeked at him, and winced in dread. “Did you want a big wedding?”
Trace frowned at the continued line of questioning. “I want whatever you want.”
That almost made her cry, too. “Another first,” she whispered, because before now, what she wanted hadn’t really mattered. She kept smoothing her hands over his chest, as always drawn by his physique. “You should enter a wet T-shirt contest. You’d win.”
Chris snorted, but Matt agreed. ~ Lori Foster,
1163:What sorrow is like to the sorrow of one who is alone?
Once I dwelt in the company of the king I loved well,
And my arm was heavy with the weight of the rings he gave,
And my heart weighed down with the gold of his love.
The face the king is like the sun to those who surrounded,.
But now my heart is empty
And I wander along throughout the world.
The groves take on their blossoms,
The trees and meadows grow fair
But the cuckoo, saddest of singers,
Cries forth the only sorrow of the exile,
And now my heart hoes wandering,
In search of what I shall never see more;
All faces are alike to me if I cannot see the face of my king,
And all countries are alike to me
When I cannot see the fair fields and meadows of my home.
So I shall arise and follow my heart in its wandering
For what is the fair meadow of home to me
When I cannot see the face of my king
And the weight on my arm is but a band of gold
When the heart is empty of the weight of love.
And so I shall go roaming
Over the fishers' road
And the road of the great whale
And beyond the country of the wave
With none to bear me company
But the memory of those I loved
And the songs I sang out of a full heart,
And the cuckoo's cry in memory. ~ Marion Zimmer Bradley,
1164:Kerr found that a spinning black hole would not collapse into a pointlike star, as Schwarzschild assumed, but would collapse into a spinning ring. Anyone unfortunate enough to hit the ring would perish; but someone falling into the ring would not die, but would actually fall through. But instead of winding up on the other side of the ring, he or she would pass through the Einstein-Rosen Bridge and wind up in another universe. In other words, the spinning black hole is the rim of Alice's Looking Glass.

If he or she were to move around the spinning ring a second time, he or she would enter yet another universe. In fact, repeated entry into the spinning ring would put a person in different parallel universes, much like hitting the "up" button on an elevator. In principle, there could be an infinite number of universes, each stacked on top of each other. "Pass through this magic ring and-presto!-you're in a completely different universe where radius and mass are negative!" Kerr wrote.

There is an important catch, however. Black holes are examples of "nontransversable wormholes"; that is, passing through the event horizon is a one-way trip. Once you pass through the event horizon and the Kerr ring, you cannot go backward through the ring and out through the event horizon. ~ Michio Kaku,
1165:What is there, in the mention of Time To Come, that is so quick to wrench at the heart, to inflict a pain in the senses that is like the run of a sword, I wonder. Perhaps we feel our youngness taken from us without the soothe of sliding years, and the pains of age that come to stand unseen beside us and grow more solid as the minutes pass, are with us solid on the instant, and we sense them, but when we try to assess them, they are back again in their places down in Time To Come, ready to meet us coming.

Or does the mention of it, I wonder, drive a wedge under that tight-shut door, just enough to let in a thin smell of the steamings we shall live through before those who know us can go about with long faces to say we are dead. Sad, sad is the thought that we are in for a hiding in every round, and no chance to hit back, no hope of a win, fighting blind against a champion of champions, who plays with you on the end of a poking left, and in the last round puts you down with a right cross to kill.

There is something of sickness in the thought that you shall make up your mind to enjoy your hiding, and the consolation is only that you will never know the tasting of defeat. For while they are taking your clay from the ring, you are up and starting your fight somewhere else. ~ Richard Llewellyn,
1166: The Skokie Theater
Twelve years old and lovesick, bumbling
and terrified for the first time in my life,
but strangely hopeful, too, and stunned,
definitely stunned—I wanted to cry,
I almost started to sob when Chris Klein
actually touched me—oh God—below the belt
in the back row of the Skokie Theatre.
Our knees bumped helplessly, our mouths
were glued together like flypaper, our lips
were grinding in a hysterical grimace
while the most handsome man in the world
twitched his hips on the flickering screen
and the girls began to scream in the dark.
I didn’t know one thing about the body yet,
about the deep foam filling my bones,
but I wanted to cry out in desolation
when she touched me again, when the lights
flooded in the crowded theatre
and the other kids started to file
into the narrow aisle, into a lobby
of faded purple splendor, into the last
Saturday in August before she moved away.
I never wanted to move again, but suddenly
we were being lifted toward the sidewalk
in a crush of bodies, blinking, shy,
unprepared for the ringing familiar voices
and the harsh glare of sunlight, the brightness
of an afternoon that left us gripping
each other’s hands, trembling and changed.
~ Edward Hirsch,
1167:The ringtone was a dead giveaway, emphasis on dead . . . creepy organ music. She didn’t even have to glance at the image of fanged
bunny slippers on the screen to know who was calling. She just sighed, thumbed it on, and held it to her ear.
“Claire! I need you here immediately. Something’s wrong with Bob.” Myrnin, her mad-scientist, blood-addicted boss, sounded actually shaken. “I
can’t get him to eat his insects, and I used his favorites. He just sits there.”
“Bob,” she repeated, looking at Shane in wide-eyed disbelief. “Bob the spider.”
“Just because he’s a spider doesn’t mean he deserves any less concern! Claire, you have a way with him. He likes you.”
Just what she needed. Bob the spider liked her. “You do realize that he’s a year old, at least. And spiders don’t live that long.”
“You think he’s dead?” Myrnin sounded horrified. So wrong.
“Is he curled up?”
“No. He’s just quiet.”
“Well, maybe he’s not hungry.”
“Will you come?” Myrnin asked. He sounded calmer now, but also oddly needy. “It’s been very lonely here these past few days. I’d like your
company, at least for a little while.” When she hesitated, he used the pity card. “Please, Claire.”
“Fine,” she sighed. “I’m bringing Shane.”
After a second of silence, he said, flatly, “Goody,” and hung up. ~ Rachel Caine,
1168:The Fellowship of the Ring is like lightning from a clear sky. . . To say that in it heroic romance, gorgeous, eloquent, and unashamed, has suddenly returned at a period almost pathological in its anti-romanticism, is inadequate. . . Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron; here is a book that will break your heart. . . .

It is sane and vigilant invention, revealing at point after point the integration of the author’s mind. . . Anguish is, for me, almost the prevailing note. But not, as in the literature most typical of our age, the anguish of abnormal or contorted souls; rather that anguish of those who were happy before a certain darkness came up and will be happy if they live to see it gone. . . . But with the anguish comes also a strange exaltation. . . when we have finished, we return to our own life not relaxed but fortified….

Even now I have left out almost everything — the silvan leafiness, the passions, the high virtues, the remote horizons. Even if I had space I could hardly convey them. And after all the most obvious appeal of the book is perhaps also its deepest: “there was sorrow then too, and gathering dark, but great valour, and great deeds that were not wholly vain.” Not wholly vain — it is the cool middle point between illusion and disillusionment. ~ C S Lewis,
1169:He kissed her again, pulling her up against him and running his hands up and down her back. As he deepened the kiss, he became aware of clapping, cheers and catcalls. No doubt Chase had gone into the restaurant and rounded up the whole Fool’s Gold crowd to come watch the show. Zane figured they might as well get their money’s worth.
He pulled back slightly and took her hand in his as he lowered himself to one knee. He took off his hat and said, “Phoebe, will you marry me?”
Her eyes widened, then filled with tears. “Yes, I will.”
Contentment filled him, blending with the love already in his heart.
He pulled the small box from his jacket pocket. While Maya had been busy running to the meeting, Zane had spent some time on Rodeo Drive. The Tiffany’s store had a nice collection of engagement rings. He’d chosen a perfect round diamond set on a platinum band that looked like braided rope.
He slipped the ring on her finger, and she gasped.
“It’s so beautiful.”
“I’m glad you like it. Now keep it away from the raccoons.”
“I’ll never take it off. Ever.” She stared at him. “I really love you, Zane.”
He didn’t doubt her for a second and knew that he never would. He and Phoebe would be together for the rest of their lives. It was going to be a hell of a ride, and he couldn’t wait to see what happened next. ~ Susan Mallery,
1170:I heard my phone ring for the first time that day and smiled because the source of the ring could only be from one person. “Hey,” I whispered, losing my grasp on the deep sleep I was in.
“Hey, you were asleep? Well that’s no fucking fair.”
“I told you I was mean. What’s up?”
“Nothing, just called to wake you up, you selfish witch.”
“I’m sorry. I know you’re miserable.”
“Yeah, and I have nine hours to go.”
“Seth, I promise, I won’t ask that of you again.”
“I don’t think we could ever repeat a night like that, Laura.” Right in the heart again. God, I loved him. “So it was worth it?”
“I wish I was inside you now.” I felt an instant twitch and longing. This was too good to be true.
“Come on then, when is your break?”
“Now. God, I only have two hours.”
“Well get some sleep I—” The phone went dead in my ear. What the hell? I decided he was busy and left the phone off the hook. He wasn’t waking me up again. I was a selfish witch. I forced myself back to bed, the excitement of our conversation still resonating in me. I closed my eyes and saw him above me, the night sky behind him. I was about to doze off in my next bout of slumber when I hear pounding at my door. I open it to find a completely exhausted, disheveled Seth with a burning in his eyes.
“You might be very, very bad for me. ~ Kate Stewart,
1171:As I pass Logan’s room, I catch a glorious purple glow. My curiosity gets the best of me. I walk in and flick on the light switch. On the wall above a bookshelf hangs something truly magnificent. Delicately, I pick up the Mace Windulightsaber replica. It reminds me of those super expensive knives professional chefs use that are weighted perfectly for precision. I take a step back and brandish the weapon at a poster of Aragorn from Lord of the Rings on the wall.

“Don’t worry, your highness. Your Jedi escort will see you to safety,” I say in my best Obi Wan accent.

“The force is strong with this one.” The words come from behind me.

I whip around out of pure freaked-out instinct, swinging the lightsaber in a big arc. It clashes with one just like it, except it’s blue. I look up into Dan’s smug face and wish these lightsabers weren’t replicas. Sure, it’s a cute face, but it’s a face I’m not in the mood to deal with at the moment. I swirl my saber to move his out of the way and put the point of it to his chin.

“Don’t make me slice your nose off, you scruffy-looking nerf herder.” I’ve always wanted to call someone that, but the opportunity never presented itself until now.

He tosses his lightsaber onto the bed and holds his hands up in surrender. “I yield, but only because that is a limited edition. ~ Leah Rae Miller,
1172:Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young
In a world of magnets and miracles
Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary
The ringing of the division bell had begun

Along the Long Road and on down the Causeway
Do they still meet there by the Cut

There was a ragged band that followed in our footsteps
Running before times took our dreams away
Leaving the myriad small creatures trying to tie us to the ground
To a life consumed by slow decay

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
When friends surrounded
The nights of wonder

Looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us
To a glimpse of how green it was on the other side
Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again
Dragged by the force of some sleeping tide
At a higher altitude with flag unfurled
We reached the dizzy heights of that dreamed of world

Encumbered forever by desire and ambition
There's a hunger still unsatisfied
Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon
Though down this road we've been so many times

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
The taste was sweeter
The nights of wonder
With friends surrounded
The dawn mist glowing
The water flowing
The endless river

Forever and ever ~ Pink Floyd,
1173:Yes, it was quick, all right, he thought about saying to her--ah, how that would shatter her face all over again, and he felt a vicious urge to do it, to simply spray the words into her face. It was quick, no doubt about that, that's why the coffin's closed, nothing could have been done about Gage even if Rachel and I approved of dressing up dead relatives in their best like department store mannequins and rouging and powdering and painting their faces, It was quick, Missy-my-dear, one minute he was there on the road and the next minute he was lying in it, but way down by the Ringers' house. It hit him and killed him and then it dragged him and you better believe it was quick. A hundred yards or more all told, the length of a football field. I ran after him, Missy, I was screaming his name over and over again, almost as if I expected he would still be alive, me, a doctor. I ran ten yards and there was his baseball cap and I ran twenty yards and there was one of his Star Wars sneakers, I ran forty yards and by then the truck had run off the road and the box had jackknifed in that field beyond the Ringers' barn. People were coming out of their houses and I went on screaming his name, Missy, and at the fifty-yard line there was his jumper, it was turned inside-out, and on the seventy-yard line there was the other sneaker, and then there was Gage. ~ Stephen King,
1174:On your left you can see the Stationary Circus in all its splendor! Not far nor wide will you find dancing bears more nimble than ours, ringmasters more masterful, Lunaphants more buoyant!” September looked down and leftward as best she could. She could see the dancing bears, the ringmaster blowing peonies out of her mouth like fire, an elephant floating in the air, her trunk raised, her feet in mid-foxtrot—and all of them paper. The skin of the bears was all folded envelopes; they stared out of sealing-wax eyes. The ringmaster wore a suit of birthday invitations dazzling with balloons and cakes and purple-foil presents; her face was a telegram. Even the elephant seemed to be made up of cast-off letterheads from some far-off office, thick and creamy and stamped with sure, bold letters. A long, sweeping trapeze swung out before them. Two acrobats held on, one made of grocery lists, the other of legal opinions. September could see Latin on the one and lemons, ice, bread (not rye!), and lamb chops on the other in a cursive hand. When they let go of the trapeze-bar, they turned identical flips in the air and folded out into paper airplanes, gliding in circles all the way back down to the peony-littered ring. September gasped and clapped her hands—but the acrobats were already long behind them, bowing and catching paper roses in their paper teeth. ~ Catherynne M Valente,
1175:Facing the couple, Cardinal Fitzroy said, “My dear friends, you have come together in this place so that the Lord may seal and strengthen your love in the presence of the Church’s minister and this gathering of friends. Christ abundantly blesses this love. Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your hands, and declare your consent. Byron, do you take Jean to be your wife, to be true to her in good times and bad, to love and honor her in all the days of your life?” “I do,” he said. Jean made the same promises to Byron. Knowing that standing was still a challenge for the groom, Fitzroy had kept things short and cut to the quick. He said, “You have both declared your consent. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with His blessings. Frank stepped forward and handed a ring to Byron. In a clear, evenly paced voice, the groom put the ring on Jean’s finger, saying, “Jean, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.” Frank gave his sister a second ring. She placed it on her groom’s finger. “Byron, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.” Fitzroy concluded, “Lord, grant that those who wear these rings may always have a deep faith in each other. May they always live together in peace, good will and love.” Beaming now, the Cardinal added, “And as we in the Church are wont to say, ‘Amen.’ Kiss your beautiful wife, lad. ~ Joseph Flynn,
1176:But it hasn’t gone at all. And that’s why it’s better than gold. It hasn’t gone, it’s just that we can’t see it any more. In fact, it’s still going, still growing. It’ll never stop going, or growing wider and wider, the ring you saw. You were lucky to see it at all. Cause when it got to the edge of the puddle it left the puddle and entered the air instead, it went invisible. A marvel. Didn’t you feel it go through you? No? But it did, you’re inside it now. I am too. We both are. And the yard. And the brickpiles. And the sandpiles. And the firing shed. And the houses. And the horses, and your father, your uncle, and your brothers, and the workmen, and the street. And the other houses. And the walls, and the gardens and houses, the churches, the palace tower, the top of the cathedral, the river, the fields behind us, the fields way over there, see? See how far your eye can go. See the tower and the houses in the distance? It’s passing through them and nothing and nobody will feel a thing but there it is doing it nonetheless. And imagine it circling the fields and the farms we can’t see from here. And the towns beyond those fields and farms all the way to the sea. And across the sea. The ring you saw in the water’ll never stop travelling till the edge of the world and then when it reaches the edge it’ll go beyond that too. Nothing can stop it. She looked down into the horse piss. ~ Ali Smith,
1177:While the Austrian crown was dissolving like jelly in your fingers, everyone wanted Swiss francs and American dollars, and large numbers of foreigners exploited the economic situation to feed on the twitching corpse of the old Austrian currency. Austria was ‘discovered’, and became disastrously popular with foreign visitors in a parody of the society season. All the hotels in Vienna were crammed full with these vultures; they would buy anything, from toothbrushes to country estates; they cleared out private collections of antiquities and the antique dealers’ shops before the owners realised how badly they had been robbed and cheated in their time of need. Hotel receptionists from Switzerland and Dutch shorthand typists stayed in the princely apartments of the Ringstrasse hotels. Incredible as it may seem, I can vouch for it that for a long time the famous, de luxe Hotel de l’Europe in Salzburg was entirely booked by unemployed members of the English proletariat, who could live here more cheaply than in their slums at home, thanks to the generous unemployment benefit they received. Anything that was not nailed down disappeared. Word gradually spread of the cheap living and low prices in Austria. Greedy visitors came from further and further afield, from Sweden, from France, and you heard more Italian, French, Turkish and Romanian than German spoken in the streets of the city centre of Vienna. ~ Stefan Zweig,
1178:It is not difficult to be a lord, a jarl, or even a king, but it is difficult to be a leader.
Most men want to follow, and what they demand of their leader is prosperity. We are the ring-givers, the gold-givers. We give land, we give silver, we give slaves, but that alone is not enough. They must be led. Leave men standing or sitting for days at a time and they get bored, and bored men make trouble. They must be surprised and challenged, given tasks they think beyond their abilities. And they must fear. A leader who is not feared will cease to rule, but fear is not enough. They must love too. When a man has been led into the shield wall, when an enemy is roaring defiance, when the blades are clashing on shields, when the soil is about to be soaked in blood, when the ravens circle in wait for the offal of men, then a man who loves his leader will fight better than a man who merely fears him. At that moment we are brothers, we fight for each other, and a man must know that his leader will sacrifice his own life to save any one of his men.
I learned all that from Ragnar, a man who led with joy in his soul, though he was feared too. His great enemy, Kjartan, knew only how to lead by fear, and Ragnall was the same. Men who lead by fear might become great kings and might rule lands so great that no man knows their boundaries, but they can be beaten too, beaten by men who fight as brothers. ~ Bernard Cornwell,
1179:The girl’s eyes widened and she stared at Caitlyn in astonishment for a moment, then a small smile tugged her lips. “Thanks,” she said. “Yeah, she was a right cow, Edith Brixton. I mean, I’m sorry she’s dead,” she added hastily. “But everyone’s been goin’ around talkin’ like it’s such a tragedy an’ nobody realised what a nasty piece of work she was!” “Yes, I was shocked when I heard her threatening you,” said Caitlyn, her voice full of sympathy. The girl eyed her sideways. “I wasn’t really stealin’, you know. That’s what I told the police. I was just helpin’ someone out.” Something in Caitlyn’s expression made her add defensively, “For a small fee, of course. But you can’t expect me to do all the work for nothin’, can you? An’ I needed the money. I have a sick mother, you see, an’ she needs full-time nursing. I help to pay her medical bills.” Caitlyn felt a pang of pity, but then something—a glint in the girl’s eyes—made her wonder how much of that sob story was true. She had a feeling that Amelia was the kind of girl who had a quick tongue and a knack for spinning a story so that she always came out looking good in any situation. “What do you mean, ‘helping someone out’?” she asked. “I thought the police said you received an anonymous note asking you to steal the ring. How would you have known whether you were helping somebody?” “They explained in the note, see,” said Amelia. “They said that the ~ H Y Hanna,
1180:Where’d it go? I said.
Where’d what go? She said.
The ring, I said.
What ring? She said.
She got straight down and looked in the pool : she saw the winged thing.
That’s not a ring, she said. That’s a seed.
I told her what happened : she laughed.
Oh, she said. That sort of ring. I thought you meant a ring for a finger, like a wedding ring or a gold ring.
My eyes filled with tears and she saw.
Why are you crying? She said. Don’t cry. Your sort of ring is much better than those.
It went, I said. It’s gone.
Ah, she said. Is that why you’re crying? But it hasn’t gone at all. And that’s why it’s better than gold. It hasn’t gone, it’s just that we can’t see it any more. In fact, it’s still going, still growing. It’ll never stop going, or growing wider and wider, the ring you saw. You were lucky to see it at all. Cause when it got to the edge of the puddle it left the puddle and entered the air instead, it went invisible. A marvel. Didn’t you feel it go through you? No? But I did, you’re inside it now. I am too. We both are. And the yard. And the brickpiles. And the sandpiles … See how far your eye can go. … It’s passing through them and nothing and nobody will feel a thing but there it is doing it nonetheless. … The ring you saw in the water’ll never stop travelling till the edge of the world and then when it reaches the edge it’ll go beyond that too. Nothing can stop it. ~ Ali Smith,
1181:I was thinking . . .” Jake said. “Uh-oh.” He gave a little half grin. “The electric will be done in a few days, and we agreed I’d be finished then. But some of the other projects wouldn’t cost much.” He nodded toward the fireplace. “All I need is some mortar, a few stones, and some time, and I can get that fireplace working.” He listed a host of other projects, but Meridith’s mind was off and wandering. With her worries over Noelle and the havoc Jake created inside her, she was anticipating his departure. Not anticipating, exactly. Just desperately needing it to happen. For her own peace of mind. He seemed eager to stay, and she dreaded turning him down, but extending his time was out of the question. The furnace and the electric would be done. Those were the two biggies. “Jake, I appreciate what you’re saying, but I think it’s time we parted ways.” The relaxed grin fell from his lips. The light in his eyes was extinguished as if she’d doused his hope with a fire hose. More than just disappointment, he seemed surprised. “I’d love to have the work completed, and you’ve done a fine job, but I really don’t have the money, and I’m eager to—to move on.” She twisted the ring on her finger, then wondered if the action was telling. “Oh.” “I hope you—” Max and Ben entered the front door, arguing over who got the video game first. While Meridith settled the dispute, Jake slipped quietly out the door. When ~ Denise Hunter,
1182:Cam reached for her left hand. Taking the signet ring between his fingers, he drew it off easily and gave it to her. “Here. Although I’d rather you left it on.” Amelia’s mouth fell open. She examined her hand, then the ring, and hesitantly pushed it back on the same finger. It slid over her knuckle and back again with ease. “How did you do that?” “I helped you to relax.” He ran a coaxing hand along her spine. “Put it back on, Amelia.” “I can’t. That would mean I’ve accepted your proposal, and I haven’t.” Stretching like a cat, Cam rolled her flat again, his weight partially supported on his elbows. Amelia drew in a quick breath as she felt him still firm within her. “You can’t lie with me twice and then refuse to marry me.” Cam lowered his head to kiss her ear. “I’ll be ruined.” He worked his way to the soft place behind her earlobe. “And I’ll feel so cheap.” Despite the seriousness of the matter, Amelia had to bite back a smile. “I’m doing you a great favor by refusing you. You’ll thank me for it someday.” “I’ll thank you right now if you’ll put the damned ring back on.” She shook her head. Cam pushed a bit farther inside her, making her gasp. “What about my personal endowments? Who’s going to take care of them?” “You can take care of them”—she squirmed to the side to set the ring on the bedside table—“ all by yourself.” Cam moved with her obligingly. “It’s much more satisfying when you’re involved. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1183:...With a religious book it is less what we see in it than what we see through it that matters. J. R. R. Tolkien's fairy-tale epic the Lord of the Rings helps draw the distinction perhaps. Some of its admirers have tried to make it into a religion book by claiming, among other things, that the Ring of Power which must be destroyed is the hydrogen bomb. Tolkien, on the other hand, denied this unequivocally. But intended or otherwise, there can be little doubt that for many it has become a religious book. The "Frodo Lives" buttons are not entirely a joke, because something at least comes to life through those fifteen hundred pages, although inevitably it is hard to say just what. It seems to have something to do with the way Tolkien has of making us see the quididity of things like wood, bread, stone, milk, iron, as though we have never seen them before or not for a long time, which is probably the truth of the matter; his landscapes set deeper echoes going in us than any message could. He gives us back a sense that we have mostly lost of the things of the earth, and because we are ourselves of the earth, whatever else, we are given back too some sense of our own secret. Very possibly again he did not intend it. I may well be axiomatic that, religiously, a writer achieves most when he is least conscious of doing so. Certainly the attempt to be religious is as doomed as the attempt to be poetic is. ~ Frederick Buechner,
1184:Back in L.A., I’d remained friends with my freshman-year boyfriend, Collin, and we’d become even closer after he confided in me one dark and emotional night that he’d finally come to terms with his homosexuality. Around that time, his mother was visiting from Dallas, and Collin invited me to meet them at Hotel Bel Air for brunch. I wore the quintessential early-1990s brunch outfit: a copper-brown silk tank with white, dime-size polka dots and a below-the-knee, swinging skirt to match. A flawless Pretty Woman--Julia Roberts polo match replica. I loved that outfit.
It was silk, though, and clingy, and the second I sat down at the table I knew I was in trouble. My armpits began to feel cool and wet, and slowly I noticed the fabric around my arms getting damper and damper. By the time our mimosas arrived, the ring of sweat had spread to the level of my third rib; by mealtime, it had reached the waistline of my skirt, and the more I tried to will it away, the worse it got. I wound up eating my Eggs Florentine with my elbows stuck to my hip bones so Collin and his mother wouldn’t see. But copper-brown silk, when wet, is the most unforgiving fabric on the planet. Collin had recently come out to his parents, so I’d later determined I’d experienced some kind of sympathetic nervousness on Collin’s behalf. I never wore that outfit again. Never got the stains out.
Nor would I ever wear this suit again. ~ Ree Drummond,
1185:Do we ever stop dreaming? I know I haven't. I must have been at least twenty-five when the Spice Girls happened, and I distinctly remember imagining my way into the group. I was going to be the sixth Spice, 'Massive Spice', who, against all the odds, would become the most popular and lusted-after Spice. The Spice who sang the vast majority of solo numbers in the up-tempo tracks. The Spice who really went the distance. And I still haven't quite given up on the Wimbledon Ladies' Singles Championship. I mean, it can't be too late, can it? I've got a lovely clean T-shirt, and I've figured out exactly how I'd respond to winning the final point (lie on floor wailing, get up, do triumphant lap of the ring slapping crowd members' box).
It can't be just me who does this. I'm convinced that most adults, when travelling alone in a car, have a favourite driving CD of choice and sing along to it quite seriously, giving it as much attitude and effort as they can, due to believing – in that instant – that they're the latest rock or pop god playing to a packed Wembley stadium. And there must be at least one man, one poor beleaguered City worker, who likes to pop into a phone box then come out pretending he's Superman. Is there someone who does this? Anyone? If so, I'd like to meet you and we shall marry in the spring (unless you're really, really weird and the Superman thing is all you do, in which case BACK OFF). ~ Miranda Hart,
1186:I think back to the parties Aimee and I planned, and how all those tuxedos and ball gowns weren't really that much different, costumewise, than some of these getups. Not as elaborate or out there, to be sure, but not so different. After all, is an hour at Bobbi Brown for the perfect party makeup that much of a stretch from an hour putting on a Klingon forehead or Spock ears? Is searching for the perfect dress, shoes, bag, wrap, jewelry so much different from the perfect jumpsuit, ray gun, ammo belt, and communicator? And unlike most of the regular parties we did, these people are way open to each other and the experience. There don't seem to be gaggles of people standing back to judge the other gaggles. And while a lot of the subsets do seem to flock together, Star Wars over here, Lord of the Rings over there, I haven't overheard one snarky comment about someone's costume. None of the women here, in all of their variety of shapes and sizes, seem to be doing anything other than squeeing at each other and praising how gorgeous they are. And everyone seems to just own themselves. I've been at hundreds of events looking at a sea of black dresses because everyone thinks it is slimming. But today I've seen a riot of color and skin. Including a 350-pound raven-haired vixen in a chain-mail corset, with cleavage you could park a hovercraft in, surrounded by a coterie of clearly smitten men. I wanted to high-five her. ~ Stacey Ballis,
1187:Halting abruptly, Kathleen stared at him through the semidarkness.
Taking the overskirt from her, Devon dropped it to the floor, and pinned her against the side of the carriage.
“My riding skirt,” she exclaimed in dismay. “You’ll ruin it.”
Devon laughed. “You were never going to wear it anyway.” He began to unbutton her riding jacket, while she sputtered helplessly.
Quieting her with his mouth, he worked on the row of buttons. After the sides of the jacket had listed open, he took the back of her head in his hand and kissed her more deeply, ravishing her mouth, and she responded as if she couldn’t help herself. A shock of pleasure went through him as he felt her suck on his tongue with a shy little tug, and he reached out to fumble for the ring-shaped handle of the carriage door.
Realizing what he intended, Kathleen said dazedly, “You can’t.”
Devon was more aroused and entertained than he’d ever been in his life. After tugging the door open, he pulled down the folding step. “Here’s your choice: Out here, in full view of anyone who passes by…or in the carriage, where no one will see.”
She blinked and stared at him, seeming aghast. But there was no concealing the deep flush of excitement on her face.
“Out here, then,” he said ruthlessly, and reached for the waist of her trousers.
Galvanized into action, Kathleen turned with a whimper and climbed into the carriage.
Devon followed instantly. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1188:Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word “maladjusted.” This word is the ringing cry to modern child psychology. Certainly, we all want to avoid the maladjusted life. In order to have real adjustment within our personalities, we all want the well‐adjusted life in order to avoid neurosis, schizophrenic personalities.

But I say to you, my friends, as I move to my conclusion, there are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good‐will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize. I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self‐defeating effects of physical violence…

In other words, I’m about convinced now that there is need for a new organization in our world. The International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment‐‐men and women who will be as maladjusted as the prophet Amos. Who in the midst of the injustices of his day could cry out in words that echo across the centuries, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. ~ Martin Luther King Jr,
1189:My father was taking me as seriously as the Ringolds were, but not with Ira’s political fearlessness, with Murray’s literary ingenuity, above all, with their seeming absence of concern for my decorum, for whether I would or would not be a good boy. The Ringolds were the one-two punch promising to initiate me into the big show, into my beginning to understand what it takes to be a man on the larger scale. The Ringolds compelled me to respond at a level of rigor that felt appropriate to who I now was. Be a good boy wasn’t the issue with them. The sole issue was my convictions. But then, their responsibility wasn’t a father’s, which is to steer his son away from the pitfalls. The father has to worry about the pitfalls in a way the teacher doesn’t. He has to worry about his son’s conduct, he has to worry about socializing his little Tom Paine. But once little Tom Paine has been let into the company of men and the father is still educating him as a boy, the father is finished. Sure, he’s worrying about the pitfalls—if he wasn’t, it would be wrong. But he’s finished anyway. Little Tom Paine has no choice but to write him off, to betray the father and go boldly forth to step straight into life’s very first pit. And then, all on his own—providing real unity to his existence—to step from pit to pit for the rest of his days, until the grave, which, if it has nothing else to recommend it, is at least the last pit into which one can fall. ~ Philip Roth,
1190: Agatha
SHE wanders in the April woods,
That glisten with the fallen shower;
She leans her face against the buds,
She stops, she stoops, she plucks a flower.
She feels the ferment of the hour:
She broodeth when the ringdove broods;
The sun and flying clouds have power
Upon her cheek and changing moods.
She cannot think she is alone,
As o’er her senses warmly steal
Floods of unrest she fears to own,
And almost dreads to feel.
Among the summer woodlands wide
Anew she roams, no more alone;
The joy she fear’d is at her side,
Spring’s blushing secret now is known.
The primrose and its mates have flown,
The thrush’s ringing note hath died;
But glancing eye and glowing tone
Fall on her from her god, her guide.
She knows not, asks not, what the goal,
She only feels she moves towards bliss,
And yields her pure unquestioning soul
To touch and fondling kiss.
And still she haunts those woodland ways,
Though all fond fancy finds there now
To mind of spring or summer days,
Are sodden trunk and songless bough.
The past sits widow’d on her brow,
Homeward she wends with wintry gaze,
To walls that house a hollow vow,
To hearth where love hath ceas’d to blaze:
Watches the clammy twilight wane,
With grief too fix’d for woe or tear;
And, with her forehead ’gainst the pane,
Envies the dying year.
127
~ Alfred Austin,
1191:Everyone is saying how we had sex in the hot tub and I’m a slut and you don’t even care!”
“I told the guys we didn’t!”
“Did you? Did you tell them that all we did was kiss and that’s all we’ve ever done?” Peter hesitates, and I go on. “Or did you say, ‘Guys, we didn’t have sex in the hot tub,’ wink wink, nudge nudge.”
Peter glares at me. “Give me a little more credit than that, Covey.”
“You’re such a scumbag, Kavinsky.”
I spin around. There is Josh, in the doorway, glaring at Peter.
“It’s your fault people are saying that crap about Lara Jean.” Josh shakes his head in disgust. “She’d never do that.”
“Keep your voice down,” I whisper, my eyes darting around. This is not happening right now. At recital party, with everyone I’ve ever known my whole entire life in the next room.
Peter’s jaw twitches. “This is a private conversation, Josh, between me and my girlfriend. Why don’t you go play World of Warcraft or something. Or maybe there’s a Lord of the Rings marathon on TV.”
“Fuck you, Kavinsky,” Josh says. I gasp. To me Josh says, “Lara Jean, this is exactly what I’ve been trying to protect you from. He’s not good enough for you. He’s only bringing you down.”
Beside me Peter stiffens. “Get over it! She doesn’t like you anymore. It’s over. Move on.”
“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Josh says.
“Whatever, dude. She told me you tried to kiss her. You try that again, and I’m kicking your ass. ~ Jenny Han,
1192:Okay. Allow me to explain. We are very interested in you. In your talent."
"Talent?"
"Talent is not exactly the right word. Ability."
"Wait. Who, exactly, is this 'we'? You and your pimp friends?"
"Pimp ...? No. We, in this case, are a government intelligence-gathering agency."
"Ha! Right. Like what, the CIA?"
"No, we are not the CIA. And I'm not joking."
"Ah, so you're FBI."
"Actually, no."
"Okay, well, I don't really believe you, so you might as well tell me who you are - or, in this case, who you are pretending to be."
"RAITH."
"Excuse me?"
"An operational intelligence organization. Reconnaissance and Intelligence AuTHority. R.A.I.T.H."
"That acronym totally makes no sense."
He shrugs. "I wasn't in charge of branding."
"RAITH. So I suppose its mission is to travel through the fires of Mordor and retrieve a magical yet corrupting ring?"
"Come again?"
"RAITH. That is a Lord of the Rings reference."
"Never saw it."
"Now I know you're a psycho. And the correct answer is never read it. As in, I have never read the entire J. R. R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings series and then avidly gone to see the films with initial excitement and then, through the years, a bit of disappointment."
"Okay, I have neither read the Lord of the Rings books nor seen the films."
"One more question."
"Yes."
"Are you a robot?"
"Very amusing. ~ Andrea Portes,
1193:And romance is just the place for creating mythic figures doing mythic things. Like carving 'civilzation' out of the wilderness. Like showing us what a hero looks life, a real, American, sprung-from-the soil, lethal-weapon-with-leggings, bona fide hero. And for a guy who never marries, he has a lot of offspring. Shane. The Virginian. The Ringo Kid. The Man with No Name. Just think how many actors would have had no careers without Natty Bumppo. Gary Cooper. John Wayne. Alan Ladd. Tom Mix. Clint Eastwood. Silent. Laconic. More committed to their horse or buddy than to a lady. Professional. Deadly. In his Studies in Classic American Literature, D.H. Lawrence waxes prolix on Natty's most salient feature: he's a killer. And so are his offspring. This heros can talk, stiltedly to be sure, but he prefers silence. He appreciates female beauty but is way more committed to his canoe or his business partner (his business being death and war) or, most disturbingly, his long rifle, Killdeer. Dr. Freud, your three-o'clock is here. Like those later avatars, he is a wilderness god, part backwoods sage, part cold-blooded killer, part unwilling Prince Charming, part jack-of-all-trades, but all man. Here's how his creator describes him: 'a philosopher of the wilderness, simple-minded, faithful, utterly without fear, yet prudent.' A great character, no doubt, but hardly a person. A paragon. An archetype. A miracle. But a potentially real person--not so much. ~ Thomas C Foster,
1194: Journey
Ah, could I lay me down in this long grass
And close my eyes, and let the quiet wind
Blow over me—I am so tired, so tired
Of passing pleasant places! All my life,
Following Care along the dusty road,
Have I looked back at loveliness and sighed;
Yet at my hand an unrelenting hand
Tugged ever, and I passed. All my life long
Over my shoulder have I looked at peace;
And now I fain would lie in this long grass
And close my eyes.
Yet onward!
Cat birds call
Through the long afternoon, and creeks at dusk
Are guttural. Whip-poor-wills wake and cry,
Drawing the twilight close about their throats.
Only my heart makes answer. Eager vines
Go up the rocks and wait; flushed apple-trees
Pause in their dance and break the ring for me;
And bayberry, that through sweet bevies thread
Of round-faced roses, pink and petulant,
Look back and beckon ere they disappear.
Only my heart, only my heart responds.
Yet, ah, my path is sweet on either side
All through the dragging day,—sharp underfoot
And hot, and like dead mist the dry dust hangs—
But far, oh, far as passionate eye can reach,
And long, ah, long as rapturous eye can cling,
The world is mine: blue hill, still silver lake,
Broad field, bright flower, and the long white road
A gateless garden, and an open path:
My feet to follow, and my heart to hold.
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay,
1195: The Flying Gang
I served my time, in the days gone by,
In the railway's clash and clang,
And I worked my way to the end, and I
Was the head of the "Flying Gang".
'Twas a chosen band that was kept at hand
In case of an urgent need;
Was it south or north, we were started forth
And away at our utmost speed.
If word reached town that a bridge was down,
The imperious summons rang -"Come out with the pilot engine sharp,
And away with the flying gang."
Then a piercing scream and a rush of steam
As the engine moved ahead;
With measured beat by the slum and street
Of the busy town we fled,
By the uplands bright and the homesteads white,
With the rush of the western gale -And the pilot swayed with the pace we made
As she rocked on the ringing rail.
And the country children clapped their hands
As the engine's echoes rang,
But their elders said: "There is work ahead
When they send for the flying gang."
Then across the miles of the saltbush plain
That gleamed with the morning dew,
Where the grasses waved like the ripening grain
The pilot engine flew -A fiery rush in the open bush
Where the grade marks seemed to fly,
And the order sped on the wires ahead,
The pilot must go by.
The Governor's special must stand aside,
And the fast express go hang;
Let your orders be that the line is free
For the boys in the flying gang.
355
~ Banjo Paterson,
1196:At first of course everybody had been quiet, fearful. The funeral procession snaked its way through the drab, slushy little city in dead silence. The only sound was the slap-slap-slap of thousands of sockless shoes on the silver-wet road that led to the Mazar-e-Shohadda. Young men carried seventeen coffins on their shoulders. Seventeen plus one, that is, for the re-murdered Usman Abdullah, who obviously could not be entered twice in the books. So, seventeen-plus-one tin coffins wove through the streets, winking back at the winter sun. To someone looking down at the city from the ring of high mountains that surrounded it, the procession would have looked like a column of brown ants carrying seventeen-plus-one sugar crystals to their anthill to feed their queen. Perhaps to a student of history and human conflict, in relative terms that's all the little procession amounted to: a column of ants making off with some crumbs that had fallen from the high table. As wars go, this was only a small one. Nobody paid much attention. So it went on and on. So it folded and unfolded over decades, gathering people into its unhinged embrace. Its cruelties became as natural as the changing seasons, each came with its own unique range of scent and blossom, its own cycle of loss and renewal, disruption and normalcy, uprisings and elections.

Of all the sugar crystals carried by the ants that winter morning, the smallest crystal of course went by the name of Miss Jebeen. ~ Arundhati Roy,
1197: When Norway Would Not Help
When Kattegat now or the Belt you sail,
No more will you sight
The Danish proud frigate, no more will you hail
The red and white;
No more will the ringing command be heard
In Wessel's tongue,
No rollicking music, no jocund word,
'Neath Dannebrog sung.
No dance will you see, no laughter meet,
As the white sails shine,
From mast and from stern no garland you greet,
Of arts the sign.
But all that we owned of the treasures on board
The deeps now hold;
One sad winter night to the sea-waves were poured
Our memories old.
It was that same night, when the frigate nigh
To Norway's land
Distress-guns was firing, the surf running high
With sea-weed and sand.
To help from the harbor men put out boats,
But they turn back,…
The frigate toward Germany drifting floats,
A broken wrack!
What once had been ours overboard was strown,
Each kinship mark
Was quickly removed, to the sea it was thrown
With curses stark!
The Northern lion, that figure-head gray,
Now had to fall,
In pieces 'twas hewn, and the frigate lay
Like a shattered wall.
Repaired and refitted, its canvas it spread
Near Germany's coast,
With black-yellow flag and an eagle dread
In the lion's post.
When sailing we Kattegat sweep with our eyes,
218
'T is still evermore.
But a German admiral's frigate lies
Near Scania's shore.
~ Bjornstjerne Bjornson,
1198:Song of myself
Now I will do nothing but listen,
To accrue what I hear into this song, to let sounds contribute toward it.

I hear bravuras of birds, bustle of growing wheat, gossip of flames,
clack of sticks cooking my meals,
I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice,
I hear all sounds running together, combined, fused or following,
Sounds of the city and sounds out of the city, sounds of the day and night,
Talkative young ones to those that like them, the loud laugh of
work-people at their meals,
The angry base of disjointed friendship, the faint tones of the sick,
The judge with hands tight to the desk, his pallid lips pronouncing
a death-sentence,
The heave'e'yo of stevedores unlading ships by the wharves, the
refrain of the anchor-lifters,
The ring of alarm-bells, the cry of fire, the whirr of swift-streaking
engines and hose-carts with premonitory tinkles and color'd lights,
The steam-whistle, the solid roll of the train of approaching cars,
The slow march play'd at the head of the association marching two and two,
(They go to guard some corpse, the flag-tops are draped with black muslin.)

I hear the violoncello, ('tis the young man's heart's complaint,)
I hear the key'd cornet, it glides quickly in through my ears,
It shakes mad-sweet pangs through my belly and breast.

I hear the chorus, it is a grand opera,
Ah this indeed is music--this suits me. ~ Walt Whitman,
1199:Her beak was open, her hackles raised; her wild eyes were the colour of sun on white paper, and they stared because the whole world had fallen into them at once. One, two, three. I tucked the hood over her head. There was a brief intimation of a thin, angular skull under her feathers, of an alien brain fizzing and fusing with terror, then I drew the braces closed. We checked the ring numbers against the form. It was the wrong bird. This was the younger one. The smaller one. This was not my hawk. Oh. So we put her back and opened the other box, which was meant to hold the larger, older bird. And dear God, it did. Everything about this second hawk was different. She came out like a Victorian melodrama: a sort of madwoman in the attack. She was smokier and darker and much, much bigger, and instead of twittering, she wailed; great, awful gouts of sound like a thing in pain, and the sound was unbearable. This is my hawk, I was telling myself and it was all I could do to breathe. She too was bareheaded, and I grabbed the hood from the box as before. But as I brought it up to her face I looked into her eyes and saw something blank and crazy in her stare. Some madness from a distant country. I didn’t recognise her. This isn’t my hawk. The hood was on, the ring numbers checked, the bird back in the box, the yellow form folded, the money exchanged, and all I could think was, But this isn’t my hawk. Slow panic. I knew what I had to say, and it was a monstrous breach of etiquette. ‘This ~ Helen Macdonald,
1200:If you give me the name of the contraceptive shot you had, I will source for more of them. I am keen that nothing interrupts our enjoyment of each other.” His tone indicated the understatement of the millennium.
“It’s called Depo-Provera. It’s supposed to last three months or so, and Paul has a few more doses.” When he’d injected me, I’d said, “The idea of living another three months feels far-fetched right now.” He’d replied, “Better safe than sorry, huh?”

Aric nodded. “I will be on the lookout for it.”


Aric raised a brow at that. Then, seeming to make a decision, he eased me aside to get out of the bed. “I have something for you.” As he strode to our closet, I gawked at the sight of his flawless body.

The return view was even more rewarding.

He sat beside me and handed me a small jewelry box. “I want you to have this.”

I opened the box, finding a gorgeous gold ring, engraved with runes that called to mind his tattoos. An oval of amber adorned the band. Beautiful. The warm color reminded me of his eyes whenever he was pleased.

“My homeland was famous for amber—from pine.” He slipped the ring on my finger, and it fit perfectly. Holding my gaze, he said, “We are wed now.”

First priest I find, I’m goan to marry you. Jack’s words. I recalled the love blazing from his gray gaze before I stifled the memory. “Aric, th-this is so beautiful. Thank you.”

The symbol of his parents’ marriage had been derived from trees. Another waypoint. ~ Kresley Cole,
1201:Ranna," she said aloud, touching the first, the smallest bell. Ranna the sleepbringer, the sweet, low sound that brought silence in its wake.

"Mosrael." The second bell, a harsh, rowdy bell. Mosrael was the waker, the bell Sabriel should never use, the bell whose sound was a seesaw, throwing the ringer further into Death, as it brought the listener into Life.
"Kibeth." Kibeth, the walker. A bell of several sounds, a difficult and contrary bell. It could give freedom of movement to one of the Dead, or walk them through the next gate. Many a necromancer had stumbled with Kibeth and walked where they would not.
"Dyrim." A musical bell, of clear and pretty tone. Dyrim was the voice that the Dead so often lost. But Dyrim could also still a tongue that moved too freely.
"Belgaer." Another tricksome bell, that sought to ring of its own accord. Belgaer was the thinking bell, the bell most necromancers scorned to use. It could restore independent thought, memory and all the patterns of a living person. Or, slipping in a careless hand, erase them.
"Saraneth." The deepest, lowest bell. The sound of strength. Saraneth was the binder, the bell that shackled the Dead to the wielder's will. And last, the largest bell, the one Sabriel's cold fingers found colder still, even in the leather case that kept it silent.
"Astarael, the Sorrowful," whispered Sabriel. Astarael was the banisher, the final bell. Properly rung, it cast everyone who heard it far into Death. Everyone, including the ringer. ~ Garth Nix,
1202:The spell is at its strongest in the center of the room,” I added. “So whatever you want to hold, you wanna put it as close to dead center as you can.”
“You must’ve been awesome at Memory as a kid,” Archer mused.
I shrugged. “When you’re perusing a book full of the most powerful dark magic ever, you pay attention.”
Our gazes fell to the center of the room, where there was nothing but one of the cellar’s bazillion shelves. And under that shelf, drag marks in the dirt.
We both moved to either end of the shelf. It took a minute (and a couple of impolite words from both of us), but we managed to move it several feet over. Then we stood there, breathing hard and sweating a little, and stared at the trap door in the floor.
“Whatever’s down there,” Archer said after a moment, “it’s hard core enough that Casnoff went to all this trouble to hold it. Are you sure you want to do this, Mercer?”
“Of course I don’t,” I said, grabbing the iron ring affixed to the trap door. “But I’m gonna.”
I yanked at the ring, and the door came up easily. Cool air, smelling faintly of dirt and decay, wafted up. A metal ladder was bolted to the side of the opening, and I counted ten rungs before it disappeared into the blackness below.
Archer made a move to stop into the hole, but I stopped him. “I’ll go down first. You’ll just look up my skirt if I go after you.”
“Sophie-“
But it was too late. Trying to shake the feeling that I was stepping into a grave, I grabbed the ladder and started to climb down. ~ Rachel Hawkins,
1203: The Spring—time, O The Spring--Time
The Spring-time, O the Spring-time!
Who does not know it well?
When the little birds begin to build,
And the buds begin to swell.
When the sun with the clouds plays hide-and-seek,
And the lambs are bucking and bleating,
And the colour mounts to the maiden's cheek,
And the cuckoo scatters greeting;
In the Spring-time, joyous Spring-time!
The Summer, O the Summer!
Who does not know it well?
When the ringdoves coo the long day through,
And the bee refills his cell.
When the swish of the mower is heard at morn,
And we all in the woods go roaming,
And waiting is over, and love is born,
And shy lips meet in the gloaming;
In the Summer, ripening Summer!
The Autumn, O the Autumn!
Who does not know it well?
When the leaf turns brown, and the mast drops down,
And the chestnut splits its shell.
When we muse o'er the days that have gone before,
And the days that will follow after,
When the grain lies deep on the winnowing-floor,
And the plump gourd hangs from the rafter;
In the Autumn, thoughtful Autumn!
The Winter, O the Winter!
Who does not know it well?
When, day after day, the fields stretch gray,
And the peewit wails on the fell.
When we close up the crannies and shut out the cold,
And the wind sounds hoarse and hollow,
And our dead loves sleep in the churchyard mould,
And we feel that we soon shall follow;
In the Winter, mournful Winter!
551
~ Alfred Austin,
1204: Back To School
It ain' the ringing of the bell
which calls me back to skule once more;
it ain't that i must lurn to spell
that makes my hart so orful soar:
it ain't that fracktions i must lurn
nor jografy that makes me blew,
it 's just becoz today i yurn
to do the things i didn't doo.
ring out, wild bell! ime on mi way
to skule again, and summer's done —
it dussent seem more than a day
since i began to have mi fun.
i wouldn't mind this cuming back,
it ain't the skule ime kicking on,
it's just becoz i missed a stack
of fun, and now the summer's gone.
i planned to bild a coogie in
our yard, where all the kids could meat;
the roof was going to be of tin,
and we 'd have carpet for our feet;
and i was going to organize
a brave and daring pirut crew
and we 'd take rich men bi surprize —
but gee! how fast the summer's flue.
and that's the skule bell ringing now,
vacashun's slipped away from me;
what i acomplisshed anyhow
is something more than i can see;
i've had some fun, of course, but then,
it really seams to beet the dutch
how very little i did when
i planned to do so very much.
Ah, little boy, you do not know
The lesson that you teach us all;
You with unwilling feet now go
136
To school at the approach of Fall.
We grown-ups soon will hear a bell,
Announcing that our course is run,
Far more than death we fear to tell
The good deeds that we might have done.
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
1205:Daniel could feel ir,like a layer of skin was lifting off his bones. His past self's body was slowly cleaving from his own.The venom of separation coursed through him,threading deep into the fibers of his wings.The pain was so raw it was nauseating, roiling deep inside him with great tidal swells. His vision clouded; ringing filled his ears.The starshot in his hand tumbled to the ground.Then,all at once, he felt a great shove and a sharp,cold breath of air.There was a long grunt and two thuds,and then-
His vision cleared.The ringing ceased. He felt lightness, simplicity.
Free.
Miles lay on the ground below him, chest heaving. The starshot in Daniel's hand disappeared. Daniel spun around to find a specter of his past self standing behind him,his skin gray and his body wraithlike,his eyes and teeth coal-black,the starshot grasped in his hand. His profile wobbled in the hot wind,like the picture on a shorted-out television.
"I'm sorry," Daniel said,reaching forward and clutching his past self at the base of his wings.When Daniel lifted the shadow of himself off the ground, his body felt scant and insufficient.His fingers found the graying portal of the Announcer through which both Daniels had traveled just before it fell apart. "Your day will come," he said.
Then he pitched his past self back into the Announcer.
He watched the void fading in the hot sun. The body made a drawn-out whistling sound as it tumbled into time, as if it were falling off a cliff. The Announcer split into infinitesimal traces,and was gone. ~ Lauren Kate,
1206: Shearing At Castlereagh
The bell is set a-ringing, and the engine gives a toot,
There's five-and-thirty shearers here a-shearing for the loot,
So stir yourselves, you penners-up, and shove the sheep along -The musterers are fetching them a hundred thousand strong -And make your collie dogs speak up; what would the buyers say
In London if the wool was late this year from Castlereagh?
The man that "rung" the Tubbo shed is not the ringer here,
That stripling from the Cooma-side can teach him how to shear.
They trim away the ragged locks, and rip the cutter goes,
And leaves a track of snowy fleece from brisket to the nose;
It's lovely how they peel it off with never stop nor stay,
They're racing for the ringer's place this year at Castlereagh.
The man that keeps the cutters sharp is growling in his cage,
He's always in a hurry; and he's always in a rage -"You clumsy-fisted mutton-heads, you'd turn a fellow sick,
You pass yourselves as shearers, you were born to swing a pick.
Another broken cutter here, that's two you've broke today,
It's awful how such crawlers come to shear at Castlereagh."
The youngsters picking up the fleece enjoy the merry din,
They throw the classer up the fleece, he throws it to the bin;
The pressers standing by the rack are watching for the wool,
There's room for just a couple more, the press is nearly full;
Now jump upon the lever, lads, and heave and heave away,
Another bale of golden fleece is branded "Castlereagh".
~ Banjo Paterson,
1207:I first read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit when I was eighteen. It felt as though the author had taken every element I'd ever want in a story and woven them into one huge, seamless narrative; but more important, for me, Tolkien had created a place, a vast, beautiful, awesome landscape, which remained a resource long after the protagonists had finished their battles and gone their separate ways. In illustrating The Lord of the Rings I allowed the landscapes to predominate. In some of the scenes the characters are so small they are barely discernible. This suited my own inclinations and my wish to avoid, as much as possible, interfering with the pictures being built up in the reader's mind, which tends to be more closely focussed on characters and their inter-relationships. I felt my task lay in shadowing the heroes on their epic quest, often at a distance, closing in on them at times of heightened emotion but avoiding trying to re-create the dramatic highpoints of the text. With The Hobbit, however, it didn't seem appropriate to keep such a distance, particularly from the hero himself. I don't think I've ever seen a drawing of a Hobbit which quite convinced me, and I don't know whether I've gotten any closer myself with my depictions of Bilbo. I'm fairly happy with the picture of him standing outside Bag End, before Gandalf arrives and turns his world upside-down, but I've come to the conclusion that one of the reasons Hobbits are so quiet and elusive is to avoid the prying eyes of illustrators. ~ Alan Lee,
1208: Do You Not Father Me
Do you not father me, nor the erected arm
For my tall tower's sake cast in her stone?
Do you not mother me, nor, as I am,
The lovers' house, lie suffering my stain?
Do you not sister me, nor the erected crime
For my tall turrets carry as your sin?
Do you not brother me, nor, as you climb,
Adore my windows for their summer scene?
Am I not father, too, and the ascending boy,
The boy of woman and the wanton starer
Marking the flesh and summer in the bay?
Am I not sister, too, who is my saviour?
Am I not all of you by the directed sea
Where bird and shell are babbling in my tower?
Am I not you who front the tidy shore,
Nor roof of sand, nor yet the towering tiler?
You are all these, said she who gave me the long suck,
All these, he said who sacked the children's town,
Up rose the Abraham-man, mad for my sake,
They said, who hacked and humoured, they were mine.
I am, the tower told, felled by a timeless stroke,
Who razed my wooden folly stands aghast,
For man-begetters in the dry-as-paste,
The ringed-sea ghost, rise grimly from the wrack.
Do you not father me on the destroying sand?
You are your sisters' sire, said seaweedy,
The salt sucked dam and darlings of the land
Who play the proper gentleman and lady.
Shall I still be love's house on the widdershin earth,
Woe to the windy masons at my shelter?
Love's house, they answer, and the tower death
Lie all unknowing of the grave sin-eater.
~ Dylan Thomas,
1209: Shearing At Castlereagh
The bell is set a-ringing, and the engine gives a toot,
There's five and thirty shearers here are shearing for the loot,
So stir yourselves, you penners-up, and shove the sheep along,
The musterers are fetching them a hundred thousand strong,
And make your collie dogs speak up - what would the buyers say
In London if the wool was late this year from Castlereagh?
The man that ‘rung' the Tubbo shed is not the ringer here,
That stripling from the Cooma side can teach him how to shear.
They trim away the ragged locks, and rip the cutter goes,
And leaves a track of snowy fleece from brisket to the nose;
It's lovely how they peel it off with never stop nor stay,
They're racing for the ringer's place this year at Castlereagh.
The man that keeps the cutters sharp is growling in his cage,
He's always in a hurry and he's always in a rage ‘You clumsy-fisted mutton-heads, you'd turn a fellow sick,
‘You pass yourselves as shearers, you were born to swing a pick.
Another broken cutter here, that's two you've broke to-day,
It's awful how such crawlers come to shear at Castlereagh.'
The youngsters picking up the fleece enjoy the merry din,
They throw the classer up the fleece, he throws it to the bin;
The pressers standing by the rack are waiting for the wool,
There's room for just a couple more, the press is nearly full;
Now jump upon the lever, lads, and heave and heave away,
Another bale of golden fleece is branded ‘Castlereagh'.
~ Banjo Paterson,
1210:Arrive before your Husband. Not that I can
See quite what good arriving first will do;
But still arrive before him. When he's taken
His place upon the couch and you go too
To sit beside him, on your best behavior
Stealthily touch my foot, and look at me,
Watching my nods, my eyes, my face's language;
Catch and return my signals secretly.
I'll send a wordless message with my eyebrows;
You'll read my fingers' words, words traced in wine.
When you recall our games of love together,
Your finger on rosy cheeks must trace a line.
If in your silent thoughts you wish to chide me,
Let your hand hold the lobe of your soft ear;
When, darling, what I do or say gives pleasure,
Keep turning to an fro the ring you wear.
When you wish well-earned curses on your husband,
Lay your hand on the table, as in prayer.
If he pours you wine, watch out, tell him to drink it;
Ask for what you want from the waiter there.
I shall take next the glass you hand the waiter
And I'll drink from the place you took your sips;
If he should offer anything he's tasted,
Refuse whatever food has touch his lips.
Don't let him plant his arms upon your shoulders,
Don't let him rest your gentle head on his hard chest,
Don't let your dress, your breasts, admit his fingers,
And--most of all--no kisses to be pressed!
You kiss--and I'll reveal myself your lover;
I'll say 'they're mine'; my legal claim I'll stake.
All this, of course I'll see, But what's well hidden
under your dress--blind terror makes me quake. ~ Ovid,
1211:Sir James Frazer speculated that the original oral myth about the Garden of Eden was not about a Tree of Knowledge and a Tree of Life, as found in Genesis, because they are not a polar pair.164 Myths repeatedly seek out polarities whenever possible—day and night, sun and moon, heaven and earth. It would be unlikely that the original myth had two trees that were not polar, as is the case with the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life. Rather, Frazer suggests, the two trees were likely the Tree of Life and the Tree of Death.165 According to his theory, God gave Adam and Eve a divine test to determine if mankind would be mortal or immortal. God wanted them to be immortal,166 so He gave them a big hint: “Don’t eat from the Tree of Death!” Of course, human nature being what it is, that is exactly what they did, thus becoming mortal. If the fruit that Adam and Eve had first tasted had been from the Tree of Life, they would have lived forever, but having eaten from the Tree of Death, they could no longer be permitted access to the Tree of Life. That is why God stationed east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and the fiery ever-turning sword, to guard the way to the Tree of Life (Gen. 3:24). If Frazer is correct—and his theory has the ring of truth—it suggests that the original purpose of the myth, to provide the origin of death, was replaced by a shift to ethical issues, seeing the events of the Fall primarily as a sin against God. This would indicate that this biblical myth was considerably changed from its oral version when the text of Genesis was edited. ~ Howard Schwartz,
1212:Nor, perhaps, will it fail to be eventually perceived, that behind those forms and usages, as it were, he sometimes masked himself; incidentally making use of them for other and more private ends than they were legitimately intended to subserve. That certain sultanism of his brain, which had otherwise in a good degree remained unmanifested; through those forms that same sultanism became incarnate in an irresistible dictatorship. For be a man’s intellectual superiority what it will, it can never assume the practical, available supremacy over other men, without the aid of some sort of external arts and entrenchments, always, in themselves, more or less paltry and base. This it is, that for ever keeps God’s true princes of the Empire from the world’s hustings; and leaves the highest honors that this air can give, to those men who become famous more through their infinite inferiority to the choice hidden handful of the Divine Inert, than through their undoubted superiority over the dead level of the mass. Such large virtue lurks in these small things when extreme political superstitions invest them, that in some royal instances even to idiot imbecility they have imparted potency. But when, as in the case of Nicholas the Czar, the ringed crown of geographical empire encircles an imperial brain; then, the plebeian herds crouch abased before the tremendous centralization. Nor, will the tragic dramatist who would depict mortal indomitableness in its fullest sweep and direct swing, ever forget a hint, incidentally so important in his art, as the one now alluded to. ~ Herman Melville,
1213: The Dead Return
THE dead return. I know they do;
The glad smile may have passed from view,
The ringing voice that cheered us so
In that remembered long ago
Be stilled, and yet in sweeter ways
It speaks to us throughout our days.
The kindly father comes again
To guide us through the haunts of men,
And always near, their sons to greet
Are lingering the mothers sweet.
About us wheresoe'er we tread
Hover the spirits of our dead;
We cannot see them as we could
In bygone days, when near they stood
And shared the joys and griefs that came,
But they are with us just the same.
They see us as we plod along,
And proudly smile when we are strong,
And sigh and grieve the selfsame way
When thoughtlessly we go astray.
I sometimes think it hurts the dead
When into sin and shame we're led,
And that they feel a thrill divine
When we've accomplished something fine.
And sometimes thoughts that come at night
Seem more like messages that might
Have whispered been by one we love,
Whose spirit has been called above.
So wise the counsel, it must be
That all we are the dead can see.
The dead return. They come to share
Our laughter and our bit of care;
They glory, as they used to do,
When we are splendid men and true,
In all the joy that we have won,
And they are proud of what we've done.
737
They suffer when we suffer woe;
All things about us here they know.
And though we never see them here
Their spirits hover very near.
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
1214: Toboggan
Down from the hills and over the snow
Swift as a meteor's flash we go,
Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!
Down from the hills with our senses lost,
Jealous of cheeks that are kissed by the frost,
Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!
10
11
With snow piled high on housetop and hill,
O'er frozen rivulet, river, and rill,
Clad in her jacket of sealskin and fur,
Down from the hills I'm sliding with her,
Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!
12
13
14
15
16
17
Down from the hills, what an awful speed!
As if on the back of a frightened steed,
Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!
Down from the hills at the rise of the moon,
Merrily singing the toboggan tune,
"Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!"
18
19
20
21
22
Down from the hills like an arrow we fly,
Or a comet that whizzes along through the sky;
Down from the hills! Oh, isn't it grand!
Clasping your best winter girl by the hand,
Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!
23
24
25
26
27
28
Down from the hills and both growing old,
Down from the hills we are nearing the fold:
Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!
Close to the homestead we hear the ring
Of children's voices that cheerily sing,
"Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!"
29
30
31
32
33
Down from the hills and we hear the chime
Of bells that are ringing out Old Father Time;
Down from the hills we are riding away,
Nearing the life with its endless day;
Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!
~ Benjamin Franklin King,
1215: The Latest Martyr (Mexico 1926)
The morn is sweet and radiant with blue sky over all,
There’s a flame of Oleanders over the adobe wall,
And the birds are singing gaily – I must crush my sorrow down
Why should a woman weep whose son doth wear a martyr’s crown?
‘Tis many hundred years since Stephen knelt in the market place,
Facing the cruel heathen stones battering his boyish face,
St. Stephen, first of the martyred bans! And he, my little son,
My little black-eyed Juan, he is the latest one!
It is almost too much honour – ah! Madre de Dios, be kind,
I am only a human mother, sinful and weak and blind,
I could not say “They will be done,” on that terror-haunted day,
When he faced their coward bullets, with a “Viva Cristo Rey.”
I can see the fearless flashing eyes, I can hear the ringing cry
As he fell ‘mid the blood-stained flowers, ‘neath the cruel-smiling sky,
His young form riddled with bullets, and I ran and held him fast,
And he smiled “Adios, Madre” for comfort at the last.
The nights are long in the adobe hut as I kneel and think of my dead,
For ‘”We must not pray for a Martyr,” so Padre Felipo said,
He is throned near to Our Lord’s Dear Heart-no need for me to praySo I sit and hold the crimson scarf he wore on a festa day.
And I ask Our Lady for patience, for strength to bear my crown,
To smile as a martyr’s mother should, and tread my sorrow down.
I pray for our tortured country to hasten freedom’s day
When we may hail Our Heavenly King with a “Viva Cristo Rey.”
~ Alice Guerin Crist,
1216:I’m proud that you’re in my daughter’s life. I couldn’t be more pleased with her choice in someone to love.” “Thank you, sir,” I say. I’ve been blindsided, and I feel like someone has flipped my world around. I didn’t see this coming at all. “I know you have plans to be with my daughter forever.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small jewelry box. He presses it into my hands. I open it up, and there’s a small diamond engagement ring inside. You would probably need a microscope to see the diamond, but that’s okay. The ring is beautiful, with a lot of detailed etching around the band. It looks like an antique. “If you decide to ask her to marry you at some point, I’d like you to know you have my blessing. And you can use her grandmother’s ring.” He suddenly looks uncomfortable again. “Or you can use your own. I don’t particularly care.” I remember what he said to me once, about buying my wife a tiny diamond and living with her in a shitty apartment. He shrugs. He remembers it, too. “Thank you, sir.” I feel like someone has stolen all my wits. “I don’t know what to say.” “I’m not implying that you have to ask her anytime soon.” “I plan to ask her as soon as possible,” I admit. I’ve been planning it since I woke up in the hospital. I don’t want to be away from her for a single second. Ever. “When you do, you have my blessing, and her mother’s.” He points a finger at me in warning. “I feel like you’re a good man. But if you do anything that will ever break her heart, I’ll have to do terrible things to you.” He glares down his nose at me. “I know people.” He smiles, though. ~ Tammy Falkner,
1217: Another Fall Of Rain
The weather had been sultry for a fortnight's time or more,
And the shearers had been driving might and main,
For some had got the century who'd ne'er got it before,
And now all hands were wishing for the rain.
For the boss is getting rusty and the ringer's caving in,
For his bandaged wrist is aching with the pain,
And the second man, I fear, will make it hot for him,
Unless we have another fall of rain.
A few had taken quarters and were coiling in their bunks
When we shore the six-tooth wethers from the plain.
And if the sheep get harder, then a few more men will funk,
Unless we get another fall of rain.
But the sky is clouding over, and the thunder's muttering loud,
And the clouds are driving eastward o'er the plain,
And I see the lightning flashing from the edge of yon black cloud,
And I hear the gentle patter of the rain.
So, lads, put on your stoppers, and let us to the hut,
Where we'll gather round and have a friendly game,
While some are playing music and some play ante up,
And some are gazing outwards at the rain.
But now the rain is over, let the pressers spin the screw,
Let the teamsters back the waggons in again,
And we'll block the classer's table by the way we'll put them through,
For everything is merry since the rain.
And the boss he won't be rusty when his sheep they all are shorn,
And the wringer's wrist won't ache much with the pain
Of pocketing his cheque for fifty pounds or more,
And the second man will press him hard again.
~ Banjo Paterson,
1218: Shearing's Coming
There's a sound of many voices in the camp and on the track,
And letters coming up in shoals to stations at the back;
And every boat that crosses from the sunny 'other side'
Is bringing waves of shearers for the swelling of the tide.
For the shearing's coming round, boys, the shearing's coming round,
And the stations of the mountains have begun to hear the sound.
They'll be talking up at Laghmor of the tallies that were shore,
And the man who broke the record is remembered at Benmore;
And the yarns of strikes and barneys will be told till all is blue,
And the ringers and the bosses will be passed in long review.
For the shearing's coming round, boys, the shearing's coming round,
And the stations of the mountains have begun to hear the sound.
The great Orari muster and the drafting of the men
Like a mob of ewes and wethers will be surely told again;
And a lot of heathen places that will rhyme with kangaroo
Will be named along with ringers and the things that they can do.
For the shearing's coming round, boys, the shearing's coming round,
And the stations of the mountains have begun to hear the sound.
At last the crowds will gather for the morning of the start,
And the slowest of the jokers will be trying to look smart;
And a few will get the bullet, and high hopes will have a fall,
And the bloke that talks the loudest stands a show of looking small.
For the shearing's coming round, chaps, the shearing's coming round,
And the voices of the workers have begun to swell the sound.
~ David McKee Wright,
1219:Safe again, Helen thought, wandering aimlessly through the upstairs rooms at Ravenel House. After the conversation she’d had that morning with Kathleen, she knew that she should be relieved that she was no longer betrothed to Rhys Winterborne. Instead, she felt stunned and disoriented.
It didn’t seem to have occurred to either Kathleen or Devon that the decision about her relationship with Rhys Winterborne should have been hers to make. She understood that they had done it out of love and concern. But still…
It made Helen feel every bit as smothered as her fiancé had.
“When I said that I felt like never seeing Mr. Winterborne again,” she had said to Kathleen unhappily, “that was how I felt at the moment. My head was splitting, and I was very distressed. But I didn’t mean that I never ever wanted to see him again.”
Kathleen had been in such glowing good spirits that she hadn’t seemed to appreciate the distinction. “Well, it’s done, and everything is back to the way it should be. You can take off that hateful ring, and we’ll have it sent back immediately.”
Helen hadn’t removed the ring yet, however. She glanced down at her left hand, watching the massive rose-cut diamond catch the light from the parlor windows. She truly hated the large, vulgar thing. It was top-heavy and it constantly slid from side to side, making simple tasks difficult. One might as well tie a doorknob to one’s finger.
Oh, for a piano, she thought, longing to pound on the keys and make noise. Beethoven, or Vivaldi.
Her betrothal was over, with no one having asked what she wanted.
Not even Winterborne. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1220:You’d think I’d be excited to get into shape, but I wasn’t. I don’t like to exercise, but not because it’s painful or tiring. I’ve climbed mountains in Peru and ridden my bike across America. I’m willing. The reason I don’t like exercise is because somewhere, in the deep recesses of my brain I’ve become convinced no amount of work is enough. I never leave a workout satisfied or proud of myself. And for that matter, I never quit a writing session thinking I’ve worked hard enough either. Or a teaching gig or a business meeting or anything else. I’m so bad about this I used to mow my lawn then crawl around on the grass with a pair of scissors, cutting uneven blades of grass. No kidding. I might have a problem. There are really only two things a person can do when they’re that much of a perfectionist. They can either live in the torture and push themselves to excel, or they can quit. I tend to go back and forth between the torture of working too hard and the sloth of quitting. The reason I bring this up has nothing to do with exercise or writing. I bring it up because it’s a symptom of a bigger problem, a problem that is going to affect mine and Betsy’s relationship. The problem is this: those of us who are never satisfied with our accomplishments secretly believe nobody will love us unless we’re perfect. In the outer ring Bill was talking about, the ring that covers shame, we write the word perfect and attempt to use perfection to cover our shame. I had a friend once who used to mumble curse words every time she drove by her high school algebra teacher’s house because, years before, the teacher had given her a B-. ~ Donald Miller,
1221:I’d better go,” Marlboro Man said, leaning forward and kissing my cheek. I still grasped the diamond ring in my warm, sweaty hand. “I don’t want Mike to burst a blood vessel.” He laughed out loud, clearly enjoying it all.
I tried to speak but couldn’t. I’d been rendered totally mute. Nothing could have prepared me for those ten minutes of my life. The last thing I remember, I’d awakened at eleven. Moments later, I was hiding in my bathroom, trying, in all my early-morning ugliness, to avoid being seen by Marlboro Man, who’d dropped by unexpectedly. Now I was standing on the front porch, a diamond ring in my hand. It was all completely surreal.
Marlboro Man turned to leave. “You can give me your answer later,” he said, grinning, his Wranglers waving good-bye to me in the bright noonday sun.
But then it all came flashing across my line of sight. The boots in the bar, the icy blue-green eyes, the starched shirt, the Wranglers…the first date, the long talks, my breakdown in his kitchen, the movies, the nights on his porch, the kisses, the long drives, the hugs…the all-encompassing, mind-numbing passion I felt. It played frame by frame in my mind in a steady stream.
“Hey,” I said, walking toward him and effortlessly sliding the ring on my finger. I wrapped my arms around his neck as his arms, instinctively, wrapped around my waist and raised me off the ground in our all-too-familiar pose. “Yep,” I said effortlessly. He smiled and hugged me tightly. Mike, once again, laid on the horn, oblivious to what had just happened. Marlboro Man said nothing more. He simply kissed me, smiled, then drove my brother to the mall. ~ Ree Drummond,
1222: Grendel
Then a powerful demon, a prowler through the dark,
nursed a hard grievance. It harrowed him
to hear the din of the loud banquet
every day in the hall, the harp being struck
and the clear songs of a skilled poet
telling the mastery of man's beginnings,
How the Almighty had made the earth
a gleaming plain girdled with waters;
in his splendour He set the sun and the moon
to be earth's lamplight, lanterns for men,
and filled the broad lap of the world
with branches and leaves; and quickened life
in every other thing that moved.
So times were pleasant for the people there
until finally one, a fiend out of hell,
began to work his evil in the world.
Grendel was the name of the grim demon
haunting the marches, marauding around the heath
and the desolate fens; he had dwelt for a time
among the banished monsters,
Cain's clan, whom the Creator had outlawed
and condemned as outcasts. For the killing of Abel
the Eternal Lord had exacted a price:
Cain got no good for committing that murder
because the Almighty made him anathema
and out of the curse of his exile there sprang
ogres and elves and evil phantoms
and the giants too who strove with God
time and again until He gave then their reward.
So, after nightfall, Grendel set out
for the lofty house, to see how the Ring-Danes
were settling into it after their drink,
and there he came upon them, a company of the best
asleep from their feasting, insensible to pain
and human sorrow. Suddenly then
the God-cursed brute was creating havoc:
greedy and grim.
262
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1223:I’m not what you think I am, Aladdin! I will betray you, and I will hurt you, because that is what I am. Why do you think Nardukha rips souls from the living and creates jinnis? Why do you think he sends us into the world? To make your miserable dreams come true? To bring you happiness?” I laugh sourly. “He gives you the thing you want most and uses it to destroy you. Look at yourself. You’re a prince. You have money, power, privilege. The chance to avenge your parents. And you’re miserable.”
Aladdin stares at me, and in his eyes is pity. “I’ve been making myself miserable my whole life,” he says softly. “I convinced myself long ago that if I could get revenge on Sulifer, I could finally move on. That I could erase the memory of the day my parents died, when I held their severed heads and watched their blood run in the gutters. But as you say, here I am, a step away from that vengeance—and it has soured on my tongue. I don’t want it anymore.”
He sighs and looks up at the sky, as if searching for words among the stars. “You don’t make me miserable, Zahra. I do that to myself, because I’m too weak, too afraid to admit that it isn’t Sulifer I’m angry at—it’s me. My parents were killed because of me. The day before they were executed, I was caught by the guards for stealing an earring, and when they found out who I was, Sulifer had me whipped until I told him where my parents were. And after they were dead, he gave me back the earring as payment for turning my mother and father over to him.” Lowering his gaze to meet mine, he brushes his fingers over the ring in his ear. “I’ve worn it every day since, to remind myself that nothing—nothing—is worth betraying someone you love. ~ Jessica Khoury,
1224:Her skin was warm beneath his hand, and he could feel the ripe curves beneath the lawn nightdress. The material might be opaque, but it did little to disguise the feel of her.
He was not a man who resisted temptation. Nor was he a man who prided himself on honor, decency, or fair play. He thought of her eyes as she had listened to the opera, and he tilted his head and pressed his mouth against the base of her throat, beneath the ring of bruises.
The pulse leapt beneath his mouth, hammering wildly. In panic or in longing? He didn't care. He turned her in his arms, so that her front pressed up against his. She was a tall woman, taller than those he was used to, and he found she fit him quite nicely, her hips cradling his, her breasts against his chest, her neck within easy reach of his mouth as he traced his way along the abraded flesh. She shivered again, and he liked it. Releasing her face, he slid his hand down between their bodies, into the ripped-open front of her nightdress, and encountered soft female flesh, gently rounded, tantalizing, enchanting, mesmerizing. She was trembling in his arms, with fear, with longing, and the shiver that ran over her warm, scented flesh was irresistible.
He wanted her. Wanted to lose himself in her sweet body, wanted to kiss her mouth, her breasts. He wanted oblivion, hot and dark, but oblivion with her, and the hell with his plans, with waiting. He was going to swing her up in his arms and carry her over to the sofa, he was going to drag her upstairs to his bed and strip off her clothes, slowly, and then make love to her, making it last, over and over again, until they were both wet and shaking, and he wouldn't let her escape for days. ~ Anne Stuart,
1225:So what happened?"
"I don't know." Another glance to ensure his continued state of Not Looking, and then I rip off my clothes in one fast swoop. I am now officially stark naked in the room with the most beautiful boy I know. Funny,but this isn't how I imagined this moment.
No.Not funny.One hundred percent the exact opposite of funny.
"I think I maybe,possibly, vaguely remember hitting the snooze button." I jabber to cover my mortification. "Only I guess it was the off button.But I had the alarm on my phone set,too, so I don't know what happened."
Underwear,on.
"Did you turn the ringer back on last night?"
"What?" I hop into my jeans, a noise he seems to determinedly ignore.His ears are apple red.
"You went to see a film,right? Don't you set your mobile to silent at the theater?"
He's right.I'm so stupid. If I hadn't taken Meredith to A Hard Day's Night, a Beatles movie I know she loves, I would have never turned it off. We'd already be in a taxi to the airport. "The taxi!" I tug my sweater over my head and look up to find myself standing across from a mirror.
A mirror St. Clair is facing.
"It's all right," he says. "I told the driver to wait when I came up here. We'll just have to tip him a little extra." His head is still down. I don't think he saw anything.I clear my throat, and he glances up. Our eyes meet in the mirror,and he jumps. "God! I didn't...I mean,not until just now..."
"Cool.Yeah,fine." I try to shake it off by looking away,and he does the same. His cheeks are blazing.I edge past him and rinse the white crust off my face while he throws my toothbrush and deodorant and makeup into my luggage, and then we tear downstairs and into the lobby. ~ Stephanie Perkins,
1226: A Dramatic Fragment
'Fie upon't!
All men are false, I think. The date of love
Is out, expired, its stories all grown stale,
O'erpast, forgotten, like an antique tale
Of Hero and Leander.'
-John Woodvil
All are not false. I knew a youth who died
For grief, because his Love proved so,
And married with another.
I saw him on the wedding-day,For he was present in the church that day,
In festive bravery decked,
As one that came to grace the ceremony,I marked him when the ring was given:
His Countenance never changed;
And, when the priest pronounced the marriage blessing,
He put a silent prayer up for the brideFor so his moving lip interpreted.
He came invited to the marriage-feast
With the bride's friends,
And was the merriest of them all that day:
But they who knew him best called it feigned mirth;
And others said
He wore a smile like death upon his face.
His presence dashed all the beholders' mirth,
And he went away in tears.
What followed then?
O then
He did not, as neglected suitors use,
Affect a life of solitude in shades,
But lived
In free discourse and sweet society
Among his friends who knew his gentle nature best.
Yet ever, when he smiled,
There was a mystery legible in his face;
But whoso saw him, said he was a man
Not long for this worldAnd true it was; for even then
The silent love was feeding at his heart,
Of which he died;
Nor ever spoke word of reproach;
Only, he wished in death that his remains
Might find a poor grave in some spot not far
From his mistress' family vault-being the place
Where one day Anna should herself be laid.
~ Charles Lamb,
1227:Andrew, what are you doing out of bed? You’re ill, you need to rest.”
I crouched beside the ring, speechless with surprise, but Andrew jumped to his feet. “Hannah,” he cried, “Hannah.”
Although he was right in front of her, Hannah didn’t see her brother. She walked through him as if he didn’t even exist.
“I’ve been lying awake worrying about you,” she said to me. “When I heard noises, I thought you and Theo were up here. But you’re all alone.”
Andrew clung to his sister. “He’s not alone, I’m with him. Look at me, Hannah, please look at me.”
Unaware of anything but the cold, Hannah shivered. “Lord,” she whispered, “I’m freezing. You’ll catch your death in this draft, Andrew.”
When I neither spoke nor moved, Hannah dropped to her knees and gazed into my eyes. “You’re in a trance,” she whispered. “For heaven’s sake, wake up.”
Finding my voice at last, I said, “Can’t you see him?”
“See who?” Pale with fright, Hannah stared at me.
I pointed at Andrew. “He’s standing right in front of you!”
“Have you taken leave of your senses?” Hannah grabbed my shoulders and shook me. “There’s no one in this attic but you and me.”
Andrew was crying now, hanging on to his sister, begging her to see him. But Hannah was too scared by my behavior to see or hear anything but me. Deaf to Andrew’s sobs, she pulled me to my feet. “You must go back to bed.”
“No,” I shouted. “Not yet! I have to finish this game.” I couldn’t leave Andrew, not now, not when I was finally winning.
Hannah released me so suddenly I staggered backward. “I’ll fetch Papa!” she cried.
Andrew threw himself at her. “Hannah, stop, you’re ruining everything!”
I grabbed his arm. “Let her go. We don’t have much time! ~ Mary Downing Hahn,
1228:Taking her left hand, he began to slide the moonstone onto her finger, and hesitated. "How did I propose the first time?" He had been nervous, steeling himself for a possible refusal; he could hardly remember a word he'd said.
Amusement tugged at her lips. "You laid out the advantages on both sides, and explained the ways in which our future goals were compatible."
Rhys absorbed that with chagrin. "No one has ever accused me of being a romantic," he said ruefully.
"If you were, how would you propose?"
He thought for a moment. "I would begin by teaching you a Welsh word. Hiraeth. There's no equivalent in English."
"Hiraeth," she repeated, trying to pronounce it with a tapped R, as he had.
"Aye. It's a longing for something that was lost, or never existed. You feel it for a person or a place, or a time in your life... it's a sadness of the soul. Hiraeth calls to a Welshman even when he's closest to happiness, reminding him that he's incomplete."
Her brow knit with concern. "Do you feel that way?"
"Since the day I was born." He looked down into her small, lovely face. "But not when I'm with you. That's why I want to marry you."
Helen smiled. She reached up to curl her hand around the back of his neck, her caress as light as silk gauze being pulled across his skin. Standing on her toes, she drew his head down and kissed him. Her lips were smoother than petals, all clinging silk and tender dampness. He had the sensation of surrendering, some terrible soft sweetness evading him and rearranging his insides.
Breaking the kiss, Helen lowered back to her heels. "Your proposals are improving," she told him, and extended her hand as he fumbled to slide the ring onto her finger. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1229:The girl circled in my arm was clean and fresh, and her sleeping breath was humid against the base of my throat. Something stirred in me in response to her helplessness, and yet at the same time I resented her. I had seen too damn many of these brisk and shining girls, so lovely, so gracious, and so inflexibly ambitious. They had counted their stock in trade and burnished it and spread it right out there on the counter. It was all yours for the asking. All you had to do was give her all the rest of your life, and come through with the backyard pool, cookouts, Eames chairs, mortgage, picture windows, two cars, and all the rest of the setting they required for themselves. These gorgeous girls, with steel behind their eyes, were the highest paid whores in the history of the world. All they offered was their poised, half-educated selves, one hundred and twenty pounds of healthy, unblemished, arrogant meat, in return for the eventual occupational ulcer, the suburban coronary. Nor did they bother to sweeten the bargain with their virginity. Before you could, in your hypnoid state, slip the ring on her imperious finger, that old-fashioned prize was long gone, and even its departure celebrated many times, on house parties and ski weekends, in becalmed sailboats and on cruise ships. This acknowledged and excused promiscuity was, in fact, to her advantage. Having learned her way through the jungly province of sex, she was less likely to be bedazzled by body hunger to the extent that she might make a bad match with an unpromising young man. Her decks were efficiently cleared, guns rolled out, fuses alight, cannonballs stacked, all sails set. She stood on the bridge, braced and ready, scanning the horizon with eyes as cold as winter pebbles. One ~ John D MacDonald,
1230: The Splitter
IN THE MORN when the keen blade bites the tree,
And the chips on the dead leaves dance,
And the bush echoes back right merrily
Blow for blow as the sunbeams glance
From the axe when it sweeps in circles true,
Then the splitter at heart is gay;
He exults in the work he’s set to do,
And he feels like a boy at play.
Swinging free with a stroke that’s straight and strong
To the heart of the messmate sent,
He is cheered by the magpie’s morning song
With the ring of the metal blent,
But the birds in their terror scatter high
When she falls with a rush and bound,
And the quivering saplings split and fly,
And the ranges all roar around.
Who is lord when the axeman mounts his spar,
And the breeze on his brown breast blows,
When the scent of the new wood floats afar,
And the gum from its red wounds flows?
With the bush at his back he laughs at care,
With a pipe and a right good mate—
There is drink in the billy, grub to spare,
And a bunk in the ten-by-eight.
When the sun’s in the west, from nooks aloft
Where the stringy is straight and tall,
Come the strains of a chorus quaint and soft,
Or the clink of the wedge and maul;
From the gully a murmur of broken talk
Or the song that the crosscut sings;
For the bush is a-dream, and high the hawk
Hangs at rest on his cradling wings.
But at night, by the tent, when tea is done
And when euchre’s begun to flag—
In the bush he may hear a distant gun
157
Or the neigh of a lonely nag—
Then the splitter has thoughts no longer gay,
And sorrows he cannot drown,
For he dreams of a girl who’s far away,
Or the joys of a spree in town.
~ Edward George Dyson,
1231: Sir Launcelot And Queen Guinevere
LIKE souls that balance joy and pain,
With tears and smiles from heaven again
The maiden Spring upon the plain
Came in a sun-lit fall of rain.
In crystal vapour everywhere
Blue isles of heaven laugh'd between,
And far, in forest-deeps unseen,
The topmost elm-tree gather'd green
From draughts of balmy air.
Sometimes the linnet piped his song:
Sometimes the throstle whistled strong:
Sometimes the sparhawk, wheel'd along,
Hush'd all the groves from fear of wrong:
By grassy capes with fuller sound
In curves the yellowing river ran,
And drooping chestnut-buds began
To spread into the perfect fan,
Above the teeming ground.
Then, in the boyhood of the year,
Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere
Rode thro' the coverts of the deer,
With blissful treble ringing clear.
She seem'd a part of joyous Spring:
A gown of grass-green silk she wore,
Buckled with golden clasps before;
A light-green tuft of plumes she bore
Closed in a golden ring.
Now on some twisted ivy-net,
Now by some tinkling rivulet,
In mosses mixt with violet
Her cream-white mule his pastern set:
And fleeter now she skimm'd the plains
Than she whose elfin prancer springs
By night to eery warblings,
When all the glimmering moorland rings
With jingling bridle-reins.
560
As she fled fast thro' sun and shade,
The happy winds upon her play'd,
Blowing the ringlet from the braid:
She look'd so lovely, as she sway'd
The rein with dainty finger-tips,
A man had given all other bliss,
And all his worldly worth for this,
To waste his whole heart in one kiss
Upon her perfect lips.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
1232:I can’t sleep,” he says so quietly that only I can hear. “I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep.” “Nor I.” “You neither?” “No.” “Truly?” “Yes.” He sighs a deep sigh, as if he is relieved. “Is this love then?” “I suppose so.” “I can’t eat.” “No.” “I can’t think of anything but you. I can’t go on another moment like this; I can’t ride out into battle like this. I am as foolish as a boy. I am mad for you, like a boy. I cannot be without you; I will not be without you. Whatever it costs me.” I can feel my color rising like heat in my cheeks, and for the first time in days I can feel myself smile. “I can’t think of anything but you,” I whisper. “Nothing. I thought I was sick.” The ring like a crown is heavy in my pocket, my headdress is pulling at my hair; but I stand without awareness, seeing nothing but him, feeling nothing but his warm breath on my cheek and scenting the smell of his horse, the leather of his saddle, and the smell of him: spices, rosewater, sweat. “I am mad for you,” he says. I feel my smile turn up my lips as I look into his face at last. “And I for you,” I say quietly. “Truly.” “Well then, marry me.” “What?” “Marry me. There is nothing else for it.” I give a nervous little laugh. “You are joking with me.” “I mean it. I think I will die if I don’t have you. Will you marry me?” “Yes,” I breathe. “Tomorrow morning, I will ride in early. Marry me tomorrow morning at your little chapel. I will bring my chaplain, you bring witnesses. Choose someone you can trust. It will have to be a secret for a while. Do you want to?” “Yes.” For the first time he smiles, a warm beam that spreads across his fair broad face. “Good God, I could take you in my arms right now,” he says. “Tomorrow,” I whisper. “At nine in the morning,” he says. ~ Philippa Gregory,
1233:Lady Isabeau was tall for a woman, nearly as tall as Molly, but slender where Molly was stout, with a smooth immobile face that looked as if it had been carved from ivory, pale and serene. Hob stared at her: glossy black hair bound about the brows with a broad white linen fillet and partly concealed by a veil that draped down her neck; dark eyes beneath dark brows plucked thin; unsmiling lips, full and well-shaped. There was so little expression on her face, and its beauty was so unworldly, that Hob had a moment when he thought her an apparition, or a graven figure. “Blanche comme la neige,” came to his mind, a song Molly had taught him, “belle comme le jour.” The thinnest of scars ran from her hairline down her forehead, divided her left eyebrow, and curved along her cheek to the corner of her mouth, and seemed at once to augment her beauty and to reinforce its carven stillness, as if some wright's chisel had slipped in the course of fashioning her visage. A linen band of the sort known as a barbette ran down from the fillet at her temples and passed under her chin, framing her face, and rendering her features all the more austere.
Her gown was a muted purple; heavy embroidery of red and blue circled its neckline, and it was gathered by a zone of gray silk, sewn with pearls, that circled her hips. From this belt depended a silver ring, as wide around as a big man's fist. On the ring was a bunch of black iron keys, of varying sizes: the symbol and reality of her standing as administrator of the household. As she spoke, she fiddled with the keys as though they were prayer beads; they gave off a continual muted clink, just barely audible to Hob above the rumble of voices, the thuds and thumps of plank tabletops settling onto their trestles. ~ Douglas Nicholas,
1234:And why can't I have an ignore button like my phone? As I hit it, his calls disappear from the screen and the ringing stops. But the tingles are still at my fingertips, as if he sent them through the phone to grab me. Shoving it in my purse-the pockets on skinny jeans must just be for show 'cause nothing else is fitting in there-I smile at Mark.
Ah, Mark. The blue-eyed, blond-haired, all-American quarterback. Who knew he had a crush on me all these years? Not Emma McIntosh, that's for dang sure. And not Chloe. Which is weird, because Chloe was a collector of this kind of information. Maybe it's not true. Maybe Mark's only interested in me because Galen was-who wouldn't want to date the girl who dated the hottest guy in school? But that's just fine with me. Mark is...well, Mark isn't as fantabulous as I always imagined he would be.
Still, he's good-looking, a star quarterback, and he's not trying to hook me up with his brother. So why am I not excited?
The question must be all over my face because Mark's got his eyebrow raised. Not in a judgmental arch, more like an arch of expectation. If he's waiting for an explanation, his puny human lungs can't hold their breath long enough for an answer.
Aside from not being his business, I can't exactly explain the details of my relationship with Galen-fake or otherwise. The truth is, I don't know where we can go from here. He ripped holes in my pride like buckshot. And did I mention he broke my heart?
He's not just a crush. Not just a physical attraction, someone who can make me forget my own name by pretending to kiss me. Not just a teacher or a snobby fish with Royal blood. Sure, he's all of those things. But he's more than that. He's who I want. Possibly forever. ~ Anna Banks,
1235:I used to be like that once. I never gave anybody a second chance. It’s a very sad way to live your life.” “Do you believe the dragons should provide patternform technology to humans?” “Yes, I do. Denise is convinced that because we didn’t create it for ourselves we won’t be able to handle it properly, that it will be constantly misused. To me it’s completely irrelevant that we didn’t work out every little detail for ourselves.” “Why?” “Other than pride? We know the scientific principles behind technology. If we don’t understand this particular theory, I trust in us to learn it soon enough. There’s very little we can’t grasp once it’s fully explained and broken down into its basic equations. But that’s just the clinical analysis. From a moral point of view, consider this: when the Americans first sent a man to the Moon, there were people living in Africa and South America and Asia who had never seen a lightbulb, or known of electricity or antibiotics. There were even Americans who didn’t have running water to their houses, or an indoor toilet. Does that mean they shouldn’t have been given access to electricity or modern medicine, because they personally didn’t invent it? It might not have been their local community’s knowledge, but it was human knowledge. We don’t have a clue how to build the nullvoid drive that the Ring Empire’s Outbounds employed in their intergalactic ships, but the knowledge is there, developed by sentient entities. Why shouldn’t we have access to that? Because it’s a shortcut? Because we don’t have to spend centuries of time developing it for ourselves? In what way will using ideas other than our own demean and diminish us? All knowledge should be cherished, not denied.” “I believe you would make an excellent dragon, Lawrence.” A ~ Peter F Hamilton,
1236:Jacin’s fingers curled around his knife. It was torture. Jacin looked more afraid than when he’s stood on trial. More afraid than when his torso had been stripped raw from the lashings. This was the last time she would ever see him. This was her last moment. Her last breath. Suddenly, all of the politics and all of the games stopped mattering. Suddenly, she felt daring.
“Jacin,” she said, with a shaky smile. “You must know. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t love you. I don’t think such a time ever existed.”
His eyes filled with a thousand emotions. But before he could say whatever he would say, before he could kill her, Winter grabbed the front of his shirt with both hands and kissed him. He thawed much quicker than shed expected. Almost instantly, like he’d been waiting for this moment, he grabbed her hips and pulled her against him with a possessiveness that overwhelmed her. His lips were desperate and starved as he leaned into the kiss, pressing her against the rail. She gasped, and he deepened the kiss, threading one hand into the hair at the nape of her neck. Her head swam, muddles with heat and a lifetime of desire.
Jacin’s other hand abandoned her hip. She heard the ring of steel as the knife was pulled from its scabbard. Winter shuddered and kissed him harder, filling it with every fantasy she’d ever had. Jacin’s hand slipped out of her hair. His arm encircled her. He held her against him like he couldn’t get close enough. Like he meant to absorb her body into his.
Releasing his shirt, Winter found his neck, his jaw. She felt the tips of his hair on her thumbs. He made a noise and she couldn’t tell if it was desire or pain or regret or a mix of everything. His arm tensed against her back. His weight shifted as he raised the knife. ~ Marissa Meyer,
1237:You must go back to bed.”
“No,” I shouted. “Not yet! I have to finish this game.” I couldn’t leave Andrew, not now, not when I was finally winning.
Hannah released me so suddenly I staggered backward. “I’ll fetch Papa!” she cried.
Andrew threw himself at her. “Hannah, stop, you’re ruining everything!”
I grabbed his arm. “Let her go. We don’t have much time!”
Casting a last terrified look at me, Hannah ran downstairs, calling for Mama and Papa.
Andrew turned to me, his face streaked with tears. “Quick, Drew. Shoot four more marbles out of the ring!”
Holding my breath I aimed. Click, click, click. An immie, a cat’s-eye, and a moonstone spun across the floor, but I missed the fourth.
Andrew knuckled down and shot at the scattered marbles. Of the seven in the ring, he managed to hit two before he missed.
Downstairs I heard Hannah pounding on Papa and Mama’s door.
“One more, Drew,” Andrew whispered.
It was hard to aim carefully. Papa and Mama were awake. Their voices rose as Hannah tried to explain I was in the attic acting as if I’d lost my mind. My hand shook and the first marble I hit merely clicked against another.
Andrew took his turn, hit three, and missed the fourth. “Send me home, Drew,” he begged. “I don’t care if I die when I get there.”
Two marbles were left--a carnelian and an immie, widely separated. Neither was close to my aggie. Even for someone as good as Andrew, it was a hard shot.
Holding his breath, Andrew crossed his fingers and closed his eyes.
I knuckled down and aimed for the carnelian. Click. As Papa tramped up the steps with Mama at his heels, the seventh marble rolled into the shadows. My aggie stayed in the middle of the ring.
Andrew let out his breath and stared at me. I’d won--what would happen now? ~ Mary Downing Hahn,
1238: Out At Pelletier's
OUT at Pelletier's where the blooded pigeons fly,
An' the tony Shetland ponies romp and play,
Where the peacock on the fence rail hoots at motors chugging by
An' the wolf hounds at the moon (in Russian) bay;
Where the poultry sort o' swaggers in its best bluer-ribbon style,
An' the hogs wear silver buttons in their ears,
It is comfortin' an' soothin' jes' to sit an' rest awhile,
For it brushes back at least a dozen years.
Out at Pelletier's—where old Monte Mark is king,
An' he knows it an' he shows it to 'em all,
Whether rompin' in the pasture, or in trappings for the ring,
Or whinnyin' to greet you in his stall;
An' where Chief, the son of Monte, in a splendid coat of bay
Shows the heritage of vigor in his veins;
It is soothin' an' consolin' to be restin' for a day,
An' forget the city's dismal grind for gains.
It's a lesson in good breedin'—at the farm o' Pelletier's,
It's a lesson in refinement an' in care;
An' it sets a thinkin' feller sort o' thinkin' o' the years
That are waitin' in the future over there.
An' while he's sittin' restin' underneath the walnut tree,
He is thinkin' thoughts perhaps he never speaks;
What's he goin' to leave behind him when his spirit is set free?
Is it money or perfection that he seeks?
Is he strivin' here'for dollars or a better human race,
Just as Pelletier is doin' with his stock?
Would he rather leave a brighter, clearer, smilin' boyish face
Than his name upon a massive building rock?
Is he buildin' here for soundness an' for cleanliness of heart?
Is he breedin' here for happiness or tears?
Oh, it's good for any feller just to take himself apart
An' think the thoughts that come at Pelletier's.
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
1239:I’m the luckiest devil alive,” he muttered, his eyes dazed as if he couldn’t comprehend the extent of his good fortune. In that magical moment, Campion Parnell, poor, neglected, unloved, felt herself blossom into a woman capable of commanding nations with the merest hint of a smile. She drew herself up to her full height and extended her hand toward him. “I believe Lady Winterson has achieved another Christmas miracle in us, my lord.” “My darling, I—” She’d never seen him at a loss for words. That perilous lump of emotion lodged in her throat again, even as she told herself that she couldn’t cry here in public on the happiest night of her life. When Lachlan drew Campion aside, he attracted even more curious stares than he had arriving hand in hand with an unknown lady. “I want the world to know you’re mine.” “I am,” she murmured for his ears alone. The hand that he slid into his jacket wasn’t quite steady. He withdrew something small and glittering. “Say you’ll wear this tonight. And forever. Please.” The “please” touched her. But not quite as much as the sight of this supremely confident man regarding her with such agonized yearning in his green eyes. He extended the sparkling diamond ring toward her. “You’re certainly prepared,” she said huskily, staring at the ring without shifting forward. Tonight had been so packed with surprises. She became inured to marvels. “I intended to give it to you this afternoon,” he said in an undertone. “But you took to your heels before I had a chance.” Feeling as if a flaming torch burned inside her, she held her hand out in consent. “In future, I promise to stay and listen whenever you offer me diamonds.” “I’ll remember that.” His face alight with love, he slid the ring onto her finger. His shaking urgency made her realize anew that she wasn’t dreaming. ~ Anna Campbell,
1240: The Bonnie Earl Moray
A.
Ye Highlands, and ye Lawlands
Oh where have you been?
They have slain the Earl of Murray,
And they layd him on the green.
'Now wae be to thee, Huntly!
And wherefore did you sae?
I bade you bring him wi you,
But forbade you him to slay.'
He was a braw gallant,
And he rid at the ring;
And the bonny Earl of Murray,
Oh he might have been a King!
He was a braw gallant,
And he playd at the ba;
And the bonny Earl of Murray,
Was the flower amang them a'.
He was a braw gallant,
And he playd at the glove;
And the bonny Earl of Murray,
Oh he was the Queen's love!
Oh lang will his lady
Look oer the castle Down,
Eer she see the Earl of Murray
Come sounding thro the town!
Eer she, etc.
B.
'Open the gates
and let him come in;
He is my brother Huntly,
he'll do him nae harm.'
199
The gates they were opent,
they let him come in,
But fause traitor Huntly,
he did him great harm.
He's ben and ben,
and ben to his bed,
And with a sharp rapier
he stabbed him dead.
The lady came down the stair,
wringing her hands:
'He has slain the Earl o Murray,
the flower o Scotland.'
But Huntly lap on his horse,
rade to the King:
'Ye're welcome hame, Huntly,
and whare hae ye been?
'Where hae ye been?
and how hae ye sped?'
'I've killed the Earl o Murray
dead in his bed.'
'Foul fa you, Huntly!
and why did ye so?
You might have taen the Earl o Murray,
and saved his life too.'
'Her bread it's to bake,
her yill is to brew;
My sister's a widow,
and sair do I rue.
'Her corn grows ripe,
her meadows grow green,
But in bonnie Dinnibristle
I darena be seen.'
200
~ Andrew Lang,
1241: The Ringlet
'Your ringlets, your ringlets,
That look so golden-gay,
If you will give me one, but one,
To kiss it night and day,
The never chilling touch of Time
Will turn it silver-gray;
And then shall I know it is all true gold
To flame and sparkle and stream as of old.
Till all the comets in heaven are cold,
And all her stars decay.'
'Then take it, love, and put it by;
This cannot change, nor yet can I.'
'My ringlet, my ringlet,
That art so golden-gay,
Now never chilling touch of Time
Can turn thee silver-gray;
And a lad may wink, and a girl may hint,
And a fool may say his say;
For my doubts and fears were all amiss,
And I swear henceforth by this and this,
That a doubt will only come for a kiss,
And a fear to be kiss'd away.'
'Then kiss it, love, and put it by:
If this can change, why so can I.'
O Ringlet, O Ringlet,
I kiss'd you night and day,
And Ringlet, O Ringlet,
You still are golden-gay,
But Ringlet, O Ringlet,
You should be silver-gray:
For what is this which now I'm told,
I that took you for true gold,
She that gave you 's bought and sold,
Sold, sold.
O Ringlet, O Ringlet,
She blush'd a rosy red,
822
When Ringlet, O Ringlet
She clipt you from her head,
And Ringlet, O Ringlet,
She gave you me, and said,
'Come, kiss it, love and put it by:
If this can change, why so can I.'
O fie, you golden nothing, fie,
You golden lie.
O Ringlet, O Ringlet,
I count you much to blame,
For Ringlet, O Ringlet,
You put me much to shame,
So Ringlet, O Ringlet,
I doom you to the flame.
For what is this which now I learn,
Has given all my faith a turn?
Burn, you glossy heretic, burn,
Burn, burn.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
1242:almost met in the middle. From either hand the notes of the small birds that had not yet given up singing went winging out across the water, and so quiet it was that though they were only such thin songs as those of willow wrens and robins, you could hear them all across the mere. Even on such a burning day as this, when I pulled the honeysuckle wrathes, there was a sweet, cool air from the water, very heady and full of life. For though Sarn was an ill place to live, and in the wintry months a very mournful place, at this one time of the year it left one dreaming of sorrow and was as other fair stretches of wood and water. All around the lake stood the tall bulrushes with their stout heads of brown plush, just like a long coat Miss Dorabella had. Within the ring of rushes was another ring of lilies, and at this time of the year they were the most beautiful thing at Sarn, and the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. The big bright leaves lay calm upon the water, and calmer yet upon the leaves lay the lilies, white and yellow. When they were buds, they were like white and gold birds sleeping, head under wing, or like summat carven out of glistering stone, or, as I said afore, they were like gouts of pale wax. But when they were come into full blow they wunna like anything but themselves, and they were so lovely you couldna choose but cry to see them. The yellow ones had more of a spread of petals, having five or six apiece, but the white ones opened their four wider and each petal was bigger. These petals are of a glistening white within, like the raiment of those men who stood with Christ upon the mountain top, and without they are stained with tender green, as if they had taken colour from the green shadows in the water. Some of the dragon-flies look like this also, for their lacy wings without other colour are sometimes touched with shifting ~ Mary Webb,
1243:Taking the ring from her, Sebastian slid it onto his own hand. His hands were so much larger that the circlet would only fit the tip of his smallest finger. Grasping her chin in an intractable hold, he glared into her eyes. “I’ll take your bet,” he said grimly. “I’m going to win it. And in three months, I’m going to put this back on your finger, and take you to bed, and do things to you that are outlawed in the civilized world.”
Evie’s resolve did not shield her from the heart-thumping alarm that any rational woman would feel upon hearing such an ominous statement. Nor did it prevent her knees from turning to jelly as he jerked her against his body and fitted his mouth to hers.
Her hands, suspended in mid-air, went to his head in a trembling butterfly descent. The texture of his hair, the locks so cool and thick on the surface, so warm and damp at the roots, was too alluring to resist. She slid her fingers into the gleaming golden layers and pulled him even closer, helplessly reveling in the urgent pressure of his mouth. Their tongues mated, slid, stroked, and with each slippery-sweet caress inside the joined cavern of their mouths, she felt a hot coiling deep in her belly… no, deeper than that… in the tightening, liquefying core where she had once taken his invading flesh. It shocked her to realize how much she wanted him there again. She whimpered as he pulled away from her, while frustration washed over them both.
“You didn’t say that I couldn’t kiss you,” Sebastian said, his eyes bright with devil-fire. “I’m going to kiss you as long and as often as I like, and you’re not to utter a word of protest. That’s the concession you’ll give in return for my celibacy. Damn you.”
Giving her no time either to agree or to object, he released her and strode to the door. “And now, if you’ll excuse me… I’m going to go kill Joss Bullard. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1244:One wonders why no one in church history has ever been considered a heretic for being unloving. People were anathematized and often tortured and killed for disagreeing on matters of doctrine or on the authority of the church. But no one on record has ever been so much as rebuked for not loving as Christ loved.

Yet if love is to be placed above all other considerations (Col. 3:14; 1 Peter 4:8), if nothing has any value apart from love (1 Cor. 13:1–3), and if the only thing that matters is faith working in love (Gal. 5:6), how is it that possessing Christlike love has never been considered the central test of orthodoxy? How is it that those who tortured and burned heretics were not themselves considered heretics for doing so? Was this not heresy of the worst sort? How is it that those who perpetrated such things were not only not deemed heretics but often were (and yet are) held up as “heroes of the faith”?

If there is an answer to this question, I believe it lies in the deceptive power of the sword. While God uses the sword of governments to preserve law, order, and justice, as we have seen, there is a corrupting principality and power always at work. Much like the magical ring in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the sword has a demonic power to deceive us. When we pick it up, we come under its power. It convinces us that our use of violence is a justified means to a noble end. It intoxicates us with the unquenchable dream of redemptive violence and blinds us to our own iniquities, thereby making us feel righteous in overpowering the unrighteousness of others. Most of the slaughtering done throughout history has been done by people who sincerely believed they were promoting “the good.” Everyone thinks their wars are just, if not holy. Marxists, Nazis, the Khmer Rouge, Islamic terrorists, and Christian crusaders have this in common. ~ Gregory A Boyd,
1245: A Dedication
They are rhymes rudely strung with intent less
Of sound than of words,
In lands where bright blossoms are scentless,
And songless bright birds;
Where, with fire and fierce drought on her tresses,
Insatiable Summer oppresses
Sere woodlands and sad wildernesses,
And faint flocks and herds.
Where in drieariest days, when all dews end,
And all winds are warm,
Wild Winter's large floodgates are loosen'd,
And floods, freed by storm;
From broken-up fountain heads, dash on
Dry deserts with long pent up passion-Here rhyme was first framed without fashion,
Song shaped without form.
Whence gather'd?--The locust's glad chirrup
May furnish a stave;
The ring os rowel and stirrup,
The wash of a wave.
The chauntof a marsh frog in rushes
That chimes through the pauses and hushes
Of nightfall, the torrent that gushes,
The tempests that rave.
In the deep'ning of dawn, when it dapples
The dusk of the sky,
With streaks like the redd'ning of apples,
The ripening of rye.
To eastward, when cluster by cluster,
Dim stars and dull planets, that muster,
Wax wan in a world of white lustre
That spreads far and high.
In the gathering of night gloom o'er head, in
The still silent change,
All fire-flush'd when forest trees redden
On slopes of the range.
When the gnarl'd knotted trunks Eucalyptian
Seemed carved like weird columns Egyptian
With curious device--quaint inscription,
And heiroglyph strange.
In the Spring, when the wattle gold trembles
'Twixt shadow and shine,
When each dew-laden air draught resembles
A long draught of wine;
When the skyline's blue burnished resistance
Makes deeper the dreamiest distance,
Some song in all hearts hath existence,-Such songs have been mine.
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
1246: The Lover’s Song
When Winter hoar no longer holds
The young year in his gripe,
And bleating voices fill the folds,
And blackbirds pair and pipe;
Then coax the maiden where the sap
Awakes the woodlands drear,
And pour sweet wildflowers in her lap,
And sweet words in her ear.
For Springtime is the season, sure,
Since Love's game first was played,
When tender thoughts begin to lure
The heart of April maid,
Of maid,
The heart of April maid.
When June is wreathed with wilding rose,
And all the buds are blown,
And O, 'tis joy to dream and doze
In meadows newly mown;
Then take her where the graylings leap,
And where the dabchick dives,
Or where the bees in clover reap
The harvest for their hives.
For Summer is the season when,
If you but know the way,
A maid that's kissed will kiss again,
Then pelt you with the hay,
The hay,
Then pelt you with the hay.
When sickles ply among the wheat,
Then trundle home the sheaves,
And there's a rustling of the feet
Through early-fallen leaves;
Entice her where the orchard glows
With apples plump and tart,
And tell her plain the thing she knows,
And ask her for her heart.
For Autumn is the season, boy,
524
To gather what we sow:
If you be bold, she won't be coy,
Nor ever say you no,
Say no,
Nor ever say you no.
When woodmen clear the coppice lands,
And arch the hornbeam drive,
And stamp their feet, and chafe their hands,
To keep their blood alive;
Then lead her where, when vows are heard,
The church-bells peal and swing,
And, as the parson speaks the word,
Then on her clap the ring.
For Winter is a cheerless time
To live and lie alone;
But what to him is snow or rime,
Who calls his love his own,
His own,
Who calls his love his own?
~ Alfred Austin,
1247:He pulled out a thick iron ring with dozens of keys. He turned it, staring as the keys slid and rang.
Arin shut them up inside his fist. “My house,” he said thickly. He looked at Kestrel. “Keys can be copied.” His eyes pleaded with her. “I have no idea how many sets Irex’s family had. Cheat could have had this one, somehow, even before Firstwinter.”
She saw how what he said might be true. She didn’t think anyone could fake the horror on Arin’s face when he first saw Kestrel on the floor. Or the way he looked now: as if what had happened to her was happening to him.
“Believe me, Kestrel.”
She did…and she didn’t.
Arin undid the ring, slipped off two keys, and set them in Kestrel’s hand. “These are for your suite. Keep them.”
She gazed at the dull metal on her palm. She recognized one key. The other…“Is this one for the garden door?”
“Yes, but”--Arin looked away--“you wouldn’t want to use it.”
Kestrel had guessed that Arin lived in the west wing suite, and that it had been his father’s as hers had been his mother’s. But it wasn’t until then that she understood what the two gardens were for: a way for husband and wife to visit each other without the entire household knowing.
Kestrel stood, because Arin was standing and she had had enough of crouching on the floor.
“Krestrel…” Arin’s question was something he clearly hated to ask. “How badly are you hurt?”
“As you see.” Her eye was swelling shut, and the carpet had skinned her cheek raw. “My face. Nothing more.”
“I could kill him a thousand times and still want to do it again.”
She looked at Cheat’s slumped body as it soaked the carpet with blood. “Somebody had better clean that up. It won’t be me. I’m not your slave.”
Quietly, he said, “You’re really not.”
“I might believe you if you gave me the whole set of keys.”
The corner of his mouth twitched. “Ah, but would you have any respect for my intelligence? ~ Marie Rutkoski,
1248: The Letters
Still on the tower stood the vane,
A black yew gloomed the stagnant air,
I peered athwart the chancel pane
And saw the altar cold and bare.
A clog of lead was round my feet,
A band of pain across my brow;
"Cold altar, Heaven and earth shall meet
Before you hear my marriage vow."
I turned and hummed a bitter song
That mocked the wholesome human heart,
And then we met in wrath and wrong,
We met, but only met to part.
Full cold my greeting was and dry;
She faintly smiled, she hardly moved;
I saw with half-unconscious eye
She wore the colours I approved.
She took the little ivory chest,
With half a sigh she turned the key,
Then raised her head with lips comprest,
And gave my letters back to me.
And gave the trinkets and the rings,
My gifts, when gifts of mine could please;
As looks a father on the things
Of his dead son, I looked on these.
She told me all her friends had said;
I raged against the public liar;
She talked as if her love were dead,
But in my words were seeds of fire.
"No more of love; your sex is known:
I never will be twice deceived.
Henceforth I trust the man alone,
The woman cannot be believed.
Through slander, meanest spawn of Hell And woman's slander is the worst,
And you, whom once I loved so well,
651
Through you, my life will be accurst."
I spoke with heart, and heat and force,
I shook her breast with vague alarms Like torrents from a mountain's source
We rushed into each other's arms.
We parted: sweetly gleamed the stars,
And sweet the vapour-braided blue,
Low breezes fanned the belfry bars,
As homeward by the church I drew.
The very graves appeared to smile,
So fresh they rose in shadowed swells;
"Dark porch," I said, "and silent aisle,
There comes a sound of marriage bells."
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
1249:At the heart of The Lord of the Rings are the assertions which Gandalf makes in Book 1/2, his long conversation with Frodo. If they are not accepted, then the whole point of the story collapses. And these assertions are in essence three. First, Gandalf says that the Ring is immensely powerful, in the right or the wrong hands. If Sauron regains it, then he will be invincible at least for the foreseeable future: ‘If he recovers it, then he will command [all the other Rings of Power] again, even the Three [held by the elves], and all that has been wrought with them will be laid bare, and he will be stronger than ever.’ Second, though, Gandalf insists that the Ring is deadly dangerous to all its possessors: it will take them over, ‘devour’ them, ‘possess’ them. The process may be long or short, depending on how ‘strong or well-meaning’ the possessor may be, but ‘neither strength nor good purpose will last – sooner or later the dark power will devour him’. Furthermore this will not be just a physical take-over. The Ring turns everything to evil, including its wearers. There is no one who can be trusted to use it, even in the right hands, for good purposes: there are no right hands, and all good purposes will turn bad if reached through the Ring. Elrond repeats this assertion later on, ‘I will not take the Ring’, as does Galadriel, ‘I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel’. But finally, and this third point is one which Gandalf has to re-emphasize strongly and against opposition in ‘The Council of Elrond’, the Ring cannot simply be left unused, put aside, thrown away: it has to be destroyed, and the only place where it can be destroyed is the place of its fabrication, Orodruin, the Cracks of Doom.
These assertions determine the story. It becomes, as has often been noted,
not a quest but an anti-quest, whose goal is not to find or regain something but to reject and destroy something. ~ Tom Shippey,
1250:She eased the ring from her finger and extended it to him. The frown returned, settling between his brows like claw marks in the sand. “Meridith. Put it back.” She opened his hand and placed the ring on his palm, the certainty growing roots. She looked at his clean-shaven jaw, the short-clipped hair that wasn’t long enough for the wind to disturb, his high forehead and straight nose. She was trading stability for chaos. Security for ambiguity. Predictability for uncertainty. In some ways, it would be her childhood all over again. But this time she was in charge. She was the one calling the shots. She was no helpless little girl swinging by the tail end of her mother’s illness. Even if he agreed in the end, what kind of father would he be if he didn’t want the children? She wouldn’t do that to her siblings. They deserved far more. “It’s over, Stephen.” “You don’t mean that.” He took her hand. “We’re perfect for each other, you’ve said it yourself a hundred times.” She had said it, believed it. She wondered now if it was true. She couldn’t deny the feelings that had sprung up for Jake, who was not at all what she needed, not at all the man for her. Still, if she truly loved Stephen, those feelings wouldn’t be there. “My future includes Noelle and Max and Ben. Things have changed since I agreed to marry you, and I’m doing what’s right for these kids. I have to do what’s best for them. That’s my reality, but it doesn’t have to be yours. I understand it’s not what you want.” His jaw twitched. “It’s that contractor, isn’t it?” “No.” “I saw the way he looked at you.” The comment sent a pleasant warmth flooding through her. “This is between us, Stephen. My future’s taken an unexpected turn. I can’t leave the kids, and you can’t accept them. There’s nothing to do now but say it’s over.” “Meridith . . .” His eyes pled, turned glossy. She’d never seen him get emotional, not even when his grandfather passed away last November. She ~ Denise Hunter,
1251: Rich And Poor
By the castle-gate my lady stands,
Viewing broad acres and spreading lands.
Hill and valley and mead and plain
Are all her own, with their wealth of grain.
In the richest of rich robes she is dressed,
A jewel blazes upon her breast;
And her brow is decked with a diadem
That glitters with many a precious gem.
But what to the Lady Wendoline
Rich satin garments or jewels fine?
Or ripening harvests, or spreading landsSee! she is wringing her milk-white hands!
And her finger is stained with crimson dew
Where the ring with the diamond star cut through.
And a look of pain and wild despair
Rests on the face, so young and fair.
To-morrow will be her bridal day,
And she will barter herself away
For added wealth and a titled name;
'Tis the curse of her station, and whose the blame!
She loathes the man who will call her wife,
And moans o'er her hapless, loveless life.
The joys of wooing she cannot know;
My lord, her father, has willed it so.
She's a piece of merchandise, bought and sold
For name, position, and bags of gold.
493
But people must wed in their own degree,
Though hearts may break in their agony.
Under the hill, in the castle's shade,
At a cottage door sits an humble maid;
In her cheek the blushes come and go
As she stitches away on a robe like snow;
And she sings aloud in her happinessIn a joy she cannot hide or repress.
Close at her side her lover stands,
Watching the nimble, sun-browned hands
As they draw the needle to and fro
Through the robe as white as drift of snow.
Both hearts are singing a wordless lay,
For the morrow will be their bridal day.
They have only their hands, their love, their health,
In place of title, position, and wealth.
But which is the rich, and which the poor,
The maid at the gate, or the maid in the door?
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
1252:It should be illegal for a woman to look as good as you do.”
“Really?” She peered down at herself again, but saw nothing all that spectacular. “I’m glad you like it.”
“I love it. I love you.” He dug in his pocket. “When I left today, it was for this.”
Speechless, Priss watched as he opened a now-wet jeweler’s box. Inside, securely nestled in velvet, was a beautiful diamond engagement ring. Her heart nearly stopped.
“I wanted it to be a surprise.”
There were no words. Her eyes suddenly burned and her throat went tight.
Trace took her hand and slipped the ring on her finger. The fit was perfect, but then, anything Trace did, he did right.
“Priss?” Using the edge of his fist, he lifted her chin. “We’ve been to movies and plays, to small diners and fancy restaurants. I’ve taken you dancing and hiking, to the amusement park and the zoo.”
Sounding like a choked frog, Priss said, “All the things I never got to do growing up.”
“But there’s so much more, honey.” He moved wet tendrils of hair away from her face and over her shoulder. “I was trying to give you time to enjoy it all.”
“No!” Priss did not want him second-guessing his intent. “I don’t need any more time. Really I don’t.”
Both still very attentive, Matt and Chris snickered. Trace just smiled at her.
Closing her hand into a fist, she held the ring tight. “All I need, all I want, is you.”
“Glad to hear it, because I’m not an overly patient guy. Hell, I think I knew you were the one the day you showed up in Murray’s office.” He kissed the tip of her nose, her lips, her chin. “You were so damned outrageous, and so pushy, that you scared me half to death.”
“You felt me up,” Priss reminded him. “But that was a first for me, too.”
“I remember it well.” He treated her to a deeper kiss, and ended it with a groan. “Every day since then, I’ve wanted you more. Even when you worried me, or lied to me, or made me insane, I admired you for it. ~ Lori Foster,
1253: In Praise Of Writing Letters
Blest be the Man! his Memory at least,
Who found the Art, thus to unfold his Breast,
And taught succeeding Times an easy way
Their secret Thoughts by Letters to convey;
To baffle Absence, and secure Delight,
Which, till that Time, was limited to Sight.
The parting Farewel spoke, the last Adieu,
The less'ning Distance past, then loss of View,
The Friend was gone, which some kind Moments gave,
And Absence separated, like the Grave.
The Wings of Love were tender too, till then
No Quill, thence pull'd, was shap'd into a Pen,
To send in Paper-sheets, from Town to Town,
Words smooth was they, and softer than his Down.
O'er such he reign'd, whom Neighborhood had join'd,
And hopt, from Bough to Bough, supported by the Wind.
When for a Wife the youthful Patriarch sent,
The Camels, Jewels, and the Steward went,
A wealthy Equipage, tho' grave and slow;
But not a Line, that might the Lover shew.
The Rings and Bracelets woo'd her Hands and Arms;
But had she known of melting Words, the Charms
That under secret Seals in Ambush lie,
To catch the Soul, when drawn into the Eye,
The Fair Assyrian had not took this Guide,
Nor her soft Heart in Chains of Pearl been ty'd.
Had these Conveyances been then in Date,
Joseph had known his wretched Father's State,
Before a Famine, which his Life pursues,
Had sent his other Sons, to tell the News.
Oh! might I live to see an Art arise,
As this to Thoughts, indulgent to the Eyes;
That the dark Pow'rs of distance cou'd subdue,
And make me See, as well as Talk to You;
83
That tedious Miles, nor Tracts of Air might prove
Bars to my Sight, and shadows to my Love!
Yet were it granted, such unbounded Things
Are wand'ring Wishes, born on Phancy's Wings,
They'd stretch themselves beyond this happy Case,
And ask an Art, to help us to Embrace.
~ Anne Kingsmill Finch,
1254:Dear Miss Independent,
I’ve decided that of all the women I’ve ever known, you are the only one I will ever love more than hunting, fishing, football, and power tools. You may not know this, but the other time I asked you to marry me, the night I put the crib together, I meant it. Even though I knew you weren’t ready. God, I hope you’re ready now. Marry me, Ella. Because no matter where you go or what you do, I’ll love you every day for the rest of my life.
—Jack

I felt no fear, reading those words. Only wonder, that so much happiness could be within my reach. Noticing something else in the cup, I reached in and pulled out a diamond ring, the stone round and glittering. My breath caught as I turned it in the light. I tried on the ring, and it slid neatly onto my finger. Picking up a nearby pen, I turned over the paper and wrote my answer in a flourishing scrawl. I poured my coffee, added cream and sweetener, and went back into the bedroom with the note. Jack was sitting on the edge of the bed, his head tilted slightly as he watched me. His simmering gaze took me in from head to toe, lingering at the diamond sparkling on my hand. I saw his chest rise and fall with a quick breath. Sipping my coffee, I approached him and handed him the note.

Dear Jack,
I love you, too. And I think I know the secret to a long and happy marriage— just choose someone you can’t live without. For me, that would be you. So if you insist on being traditional . . . Yes.
—Ella

Jack let out a pent-up sigh. He took my hips in his hands as I stood before him.
“Thank God,” he murmured, drawing me between his thighs. “I was afraid you were going to give me an argument.”
Taking care not to spill my coffee, I leaned forward and pressed my lips against his, letting our tongues touch. “When have I ever said no to you, Jack Travis?”
His lashes lowered as he glanced at my damp lower lip. His accent was as thick as sorghum. “Well, I sure as hell didn’t want you to start sayin’ it now. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1255:Dearly beloved...
The president’s daughter and Cameron Roberts faced each other, hands lightly clasped, eyes locked.
I, Blair Allison Powell, take you, Cameron Reed Roberts, to be my friend, my lover, the mother of my children, and my wife. I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and in times of triumph. I promise to cherish and respect you, to care for and protect you, to comfort and encourage you, and to stay with you, for all eternity.
A willowy blonde stepped to Blair’s side, and Blair lifted a gleaming gold band from her palm. She lifted Cam’s left hand and slid the ring securely on her third nger. With this ring, I thee wed.
Cameron Roberts’s gaze never wavered from Blair’s face, her voice ringing strong and clear. I, Cameron Reed Roberts, take you, Blair Allison Powell, to be my friend, my lover, the mother of my children, and my wife. I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and in times of triumph. I promise to cherish and respect you, to care for and protect you, to comfort and encourage you, and to stay with you, for all eternity.
Roberts accepted the matching ring from a young dark-haired woman who leaned on a plain wood cane, and slipped it onto Blair’s nger. With this ring, I thee wed.
An anticipatory breath shuddered through the crowd. Six uniformed of cers, the Guard of Honor, stepped in sync to form a path from the proceedings area, facing one another in a line, white-gloved hands on shining saber hilts.
By the power vested in me by the United States Army, the President of the United States, and the Commonwealth of...
The three male and three female of cers drew their swords with a slick of steel, their blades raised and touching to form the Arch of Sabers.
...I pronounce you wed.
The couple kissed, the crowd clapped... ~ Radclyffe,
1256: One Woman's Memory
Here is a lock of his soft, dark hair,
And here are the letters he wrote to me.
And the ring of gold that I used to wear
Is here in the casket-see!
I put them away ten years ago.
'What is it,' you ask, 'did I love in vain?
Was my lover unfaithful?' No, oh! no.
My heart was spared that pain.
He died in the bloom of his manhood's youth.
You say I have his memory, friend;
That he is not dead, but lives, in truth;
Wait till you hear the end.
Death in itself is a little thing,
It is only passing from here to there;
But a death of shame has a bitter sting
That makes it hard to bear.
He was good and true as a man could be,
Noble and pure, when I loved him first;
But all of his race were cursed, you see,
With a fiery, craving thirst.
And the tempter, morning and noon and night,
Was placed in his path by a mother's hand.
The woe of wine, and its blasting blight,
She did not understand.
I did not know, or I did not think,
Of the awful shame that was hidden there
When I saw him lift the glass, and drink
To the health of his 'lady fair.'
I knew and I thought when it was too late.
I reached out my hands, but I could not save.
He hurried on to his fearful fate,
And sank in a drunkard's grave.
435
He was good, and kind, and true, but weak
When the ruby wine danced o'er the brim.
And woe is me that I did not speak
One warning word to him!
If I had but told him to cast away,
To touch not and taste not the mocker, wine,
I need not have felt as I feel to-day
That blood stains these hands of mine.
O ye who have friends on the awful brink
That hangs o'er the river of ruin and death!
When you see them lift the glass, oh! think
Of the jaggèd rocks beneath.
Reach out a hand ere the deed is done.
Send forth a cry in the dear Lord's name.
Oh! stand not aloof while a precious one
Speeds down to a grave of shame.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
1257:In the meantime, do you have any more questions for me?” His voice was uninflected, but the drawl was gone.
I knew that the time for the political discussion was past, for now, and that here at last were the personal issues that had lain between us for so long. I took a deep breath. “No questions. But I have apologies to make. I think, well, I know that I owe you some explanations. For things I said. And did. Stupid things.”
He lifted a hand. “Before you proceed any further…” He gave me a rueful half smile as he started pulling off his gloves, one finger at a time. When the left one was off he said, “This might be one of the more spectacular of my mistakes--” With a last tug, he pulled off the right, and I saw the glint of gold on his hand.
As he laid aside the gloves and turned back to face me, I saw the ring on his littlest finger, a gold ring carved round with laurel leaves in a particular pattern. And set in the middle was an ekirth that glittered like a nightstar.
“That’s my ring,” I said, numb with shock.
“You had it made,” he replied. “But now it’s mine.”
I can’t say that everything suddenly became clear to me, because it didn’t. I realized only that he was the Unknown, and that I was both horrified and relieved. Suddenly there was too much to say, but nothing I could say.
As it turned out, I didn’t have to try. I looked up to see him smiling, and I realized that, as usual, he’d been able to read my face easily.
By then my blood was drumming in my ears like distant thunder.
“It is time,” he said, “to collect on my wager.”
He moved slowly. First, his hands sliding round me and cool light-colored hair drifting against my cheek, and then softly, so softly, the brush of lips against my brow, my eyes, and then my lips. Once, twice, thrice, but no closer. The sensations--like starfire--that glowed through me chased away from my head all thoughts save one, to close that last distance between us.
I locked my fingers round his neck and pulled his face again down to mine. ~ Sherwood Smith,
1258:There is lovemaking that is bad for a person, just as there is eating that is bad. That boysenberry cream pie from the Thrift-E Mart may appear inviting, may, in fact, cause all nine hundred taste buds to carol from the tongue, but in the end, the sugars, the additives, the empty calories clog arteries, disrupt cells, generate fat, and rot teeth. Even potentially nourishing foods can be improperly prepared. There are wrong combinations and improper preparations in sex as well. Yes, one must prepare for a fuck--the way an enlightened priest prepares to celebrate mass, the way a great matador prepares for the ring: with intensification, with purification, with a conscious summoning of sacred power. And even that won't work if the ingredients are poorly matched: oysters are delectable, so are strawberries, but mashed together ... (?!) Every nutritious sexual recipe calls for at least a pinch of love, and the fucks that rate four-star rankings from both gourmets and health-food nuts use cupfuls. Not that sex should be regarded as therapeutic or to be taken for medicinal purposes--only a dullard would hang such a millstone around the nibbled neck of a lay--but to approach sex carelessly, shallowly, with detachment and without warmth is to dine night after night in erotic greasy spoons. In time, one's palate will become insensitive, one will suffer (without knowing it) emotional malnutrition, the skin of the soul will fester with scurvy, the teeth of the heart will decay. Neither duration nor proclamation of commitment is necessarily the measure--there are ephemeral explosions of passion between strangers that make more erotic sense than lengthy marriages, there are one-night stands in Jersey City more glorious than six-months affairs in Paris--but finally there is a commitment, however brief; a purity, however threatened; a vulnerability, however concealed; a generosity of spirit, however marbled with need; and honest caring, however singled by lust, that must be present if couplings are to be salubrious and not slow poison. ~ Tom Robbins,
1259:Tis the middle of night by the castle clock"

'Tis the middle of night by the castle clock,
And the owls have awakened the crowing cock;
Tu—whit!—Tu—whoo!
And hark, again! the crowing cock,
How drowsily it crew.

Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,
Hath a toothless mastiff bitch;
From her kennel beneath the rock
She maketh answer to the clock,
Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour;
Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
Sixteen short howls, not over loud;
Some say, she sees my lady's shroud.

Is the night chilly and dark?
The night is chilly, but not dark.
The thin gray cloud is spread on high,
It covers but not hides the sky.
The moon is behind, and at the full;
And yet she looks both small and dull.
The night is chill, the cloud is gray:
'Tis a month before the month of May,
And the Spring comes slowly up this way.

The lovely lady, Christabel,
Whom her father loves so well,
What makes her in the wood so late,
A furlong from the castle gate?
She had dreams all yesternight
Of her own betrothèd knight;
And she in the midnight wood will pray
For the weal of her lover that's far away.

She stole along, she nothing spoke,
The sighs she heaved were soft and low,
And naught was green upon the oak
But moss and rarest mistletoe:
She kneels beneath the huge oak tree,
And in silence prayeth she.

The lady sprang up suddenly,
The lovely lady, Christabel!
It moaned as near, as near can be,
But what it is she cannot tell.—
On the other side it seems to be,
Of the huge, broad-breasted, old oak tree.

The night is chill; the forest bare;
Is it the wind that moaneth bleak?
There is not wind enough in the air
To move away the ringlet curl
From the lovely lady's cheek—
There is not wind enough to twirl
The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky … ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
1260:Trina, I never expected to fall in love again. I thought I got my shot, and I was okay with that, because I had my girls. I didn’t realize anything was missing. Then came you.”
Ms. Rothschild’s hands are covering her mouth. She has tears in her eyes.
“I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Trina.” Ms. Rothschild starts choking on her candy, and Daddy leaps up off his knee and starts pounding her on the back. She’s coughing like crazy.
From his tree Peter whispers, “Should I go do the Heimlich on her? I know how to do it.”
“Peter, my dad’s a doctor!” I whisper back. “He’s got it.”
As her coughing subsides, she stands up straight and wipes her eyes. “Wait. Were you asking me to marry you?”
“I was trying to,” Daddy says. “Are you all right?”
“Yes!” She claps her hands to her cheeks.
“Yes, you’re all right, or yes, you’ll marry me?” Daddy asks her, and he’s only half kidding.
“Yes, I’ll marry you!” she screams, and Daddy reaches for her, and they kiss.
“This feels private,” I whisper to Kitty.
“It’s all part of the show,” she whispers back.
Daddy hands Ms. Rothschild the ring box. I can’t quite make out what he says next, but whatever it was, it makes her double over laughing.
“What’s he saying?” Kitty asks me, just as Peter says, “What did he say?”
“I can’t hear! Both of you be quiet! You’re ruining the video!”
Which is when Ms. Rothschild looks over in our direction.
Shoot.
We all pop back behind our respective trees, and then I hear Daddy’s wry voice call out, “You can come out, guys. She said yes!”
We run out from behind the trees; Kitty launches herself into Ms. Rothschild’s arms. They fall over onto the grass, and Ms. Rothschild is laughing breathlessly, her laughter echoing through the woods. I hug Daddy, and meanwhile Peter’s still playing videographer, recording the moment for posterity like the good boyfriend he is.
“Are you happy?” I ask, looking up at my dad.
His eyes brimming with tears, he nods and hugs me tighter.
And just like that, our little family grows bigger. ~ Jenny Han,
1261: Episode 43
THEN fashioned for him the folk of Geats
firm on the earth a funeral-pile,
and hung it with helmets and harness of war
and breastplates bright, as the boon he asked;
and they laid amid it the mighty chieftain,
heroes mourning their master dear.
Then on the hill that hugest of balefires
the warriors wakened. Wood-smoke rose
black over blaze, and blent was the roar
of flame with weeping (the wind was still),
till the fire had broken the frame of bones,
hot at the heart. In heavy mood
their misery moaned they, their master's death.
Wailing her woe, the widow old,
her hair upbound, for Beowulf's death
sung in her sorrow, and said full oft
she dreaded the doleful days to come,
deaths enow, and doom of battle,
and shame. -- The smoke by the sky was devoured.
The folk of the Weders fashioned there
on the headland a barrow broad and high,
by ocean-farers far descried:
in ten days' time their toil had raised it,
the battle-brave's beacon. Round brands of the pyre
a wall they built, the worthiest ever
that wit could prompt in their wisest men.
They placed in the barrow that precious booty,
the rounds and the rings they had reft erewhile,
hardy heroes, from hoard in cave, -trusting the ground with treasure of earls,
gold in the earth, where ever it lies
useless to men as of yore it was.
Then about that barrow the battle-keen rode,
atheling-born, a band of twelve,
lament to make, to mourn their king,
chant their dirge, and their chieftain honor.
They praised his earlship, his acts of prowess
worthily witnessed: and well it is
that men their master-friend mightily laud,
226
heartily love, when hence he goes
from life in the body forlorn away.
Thus made their mourning the men of Geatland,
for their hero's passing his hearth-companions:
quoth that of all the kings of earth,
of men he was mildest and most beloved,
to his kin the kindest, keenest for praise.
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1262:swirl together and our breathing clashes, my hips are busy rubbing against his. My legs spread just about as wide as I can get, forcing my pussy to open like a flower and hug his dick tight. Pushing off his chest, I lift up, grab his dick, and slam myself home. I almost can’t hear the harsh bite of his breath over my scream. I feel the rings hitting a spot deep within me that will have me begging in no time. The one pressed tight against my clit has my vision going hazy. “Have . . . to . . . move,” he warns, and once again, I find myself rolled onto my back. He doesn’t even pause when he flips and pounds into me. His hips slap against mine, his balls make a loud, wet sound as they hit my skin, and his eyes flash something I wish to God I understood. “H-h-harder!” He slams deep and leans up on his knees causing his dick to slip out almost completely. His large hands grab my hips and bring my body half off the bed. With my head still on the bed, the rest of my body hovers under his control as he pulls back and gives me my wish. My legs are dead weight, my hands clench tightly in the sheets, and my eyes hold his. The look in his eyes combined with the hard hitting of his piercings, and the awe-inspiring thrusts is enough to have me screaming. Screaming, begging, and pleading. I have lost control of my body. It is locked tight and shattering into pieces. His hips pick up speed but then slightly slow down towards the end of my release. He brings my body back down to the mattress and rocks his hips, causing a few more aftershocks to roll through my body. “Do you like my cock? Do you like having me so deep in your body you won’t be able to walk tomorrow? The way your pussy is gripping my dick and your wetness is coating my balls, I would say you fucking love it.” I whimper and he smiles. This isn’t the attractive smile he gives the public, no . . . this smile is pure fucking sexy evil. “Going to fuck you raw.” He warns before making true to his words. When he finally grabs my hips and locks our pelvises together, I have come twice and lost track of reality. ~ Harper Sloan,
1263:Then you repeat. The thing that goes badly wrong means that the someone we like has to take another step to get around the bad wrongness and back toward the something he wants VERY BADLY. He takes the next step, and everything goes even more badly wrong. Then he loses his map. Then his flashlight falls into a storm drain and he has an asthma attack and his seeing eye dog dies. Then the cop who pulls him over for speeding while driving drunk in the nude turns out to be the short-tempered father of the bride he is marrying tomorrow. Then it goes more badly wrong for the someone we like, much more badly. Then the party is attacked and scattered by a band of goblins, and then the Gollum is on his trail, and the lure of the Ring is slowly destroying his mind. Then he finds the blasted corpses of his foster parents killed by Imperial Storm Troopers, and his house burnt to the ground. Then Lex Luthor chains a lump of Kryptonite around his neck and pushes him into a swimming pool and fires twin stealth atomic rockets at the San Andreas Fault in California and at Hackensack, New Jersey. And the spunky but beautiful girl reporter falls into a crack in the earth and dies. Then he is stung by Shelob and dies. Then he is maimed by Darth Vader and discovers his arch foe is his very own father, and he loses his grip and falls. Then he steps out unarmed to confront Lord Voldemort and dies. Then Judas Iscariot kisses him, Peter denounces him, he is humiliated, spat upon, whipped, betrayed by the crowd, tortured, sees his weeping mother, and dies a painful, horrible death and dies. Then he is thrown overboard and swallowed by a whale and dies. Then he gets help, gets better, arises from his swoon, is raised from the dead, the stone rolls back, the lucky shot hits the thermal exhaust port, and the Death Star blows up, the Dark Tower falls, the spunky but beautiful girl reporter is alive again due to a time paradox, and he is given all power under heaven and earth and either rides off into the sunset, or goes back to the bat-cave, or ascends into heaven, and we roll the credits. ~ John C Wright,
1264:Sam whispers something to Emilio and then Emilio steps back and hitches his hip against the wall. He grins. Something is up. I just don’t know what. “So,” Sam says really loudly. Friday is holding her phone up and she has the video on. What’s going on? I glare at Sam, because apparently I’m the only one who’s not in on the joke. “What?” I ask him. Then he pulls a box from his pocket and drops down on one knee in front of me. I cover my mouth with my hand. He pops the top of the box and I see a great big diamond ring shining back at me. “So, you wanna?” he says. “Do I wanna…?” I repeat. My heart is in my throat. “Marry me, cupcake.” He stares up at me, blinking those beautiful blue eyes. “Now?” We’re about to leave. I jerk my thumb toward the airport. I can’t make any more words. He laughs and shakes his head. “Not right this second, but soon. We can make little cupcakes together. You can be my plus-one. Or it can just be me and you. But you and me is not negotiable. I kind of need you, cupcake. Have ever since I met you.” I look down at him. He adjusts his stance. “How much longer are you going to make me kneel here on my bad knee?” He grins at me. “Oh, God!” I cry. I help him up and then I hold out my hand. “P-put it on me. I w-wanna.” My hand is shaking in the air, and he takes it in his and slides the ring onto my finger. That’s when I realize it’s Emilio’s mother’s ring. I look at him and he shrugs and smiles. Then Sam picks me up and spins me around. I’m dizzy when he finally sets me down and I cling to him. Cameras snap all around us, and I bury my face in Sam’s chest. He laughs and holds me close. “You sure?” he asks me quietly, so only I can hear. “More sure than I have ever been of anything.” And I mean it. I really do. Emilio gives me one last hug. “Did you know about this?” I ask him. He shrugs. “He came to see me yesterday to ask me for permission.” “And?” “And he just asked you, didn’t he?” He chuckles. “He’s a good one.” Emilio brushes a lock of hair back from my forehead. “I wouldn’t let just anyone marry one of my daughters. Particularly not the first one I ever had.” My ~ Tammy Falkner,
1265:The Hours Of Darkness"

When there are words
waiting in line once more
I find myself looking
into the eyes of an old
man I have seen before
who is holding a long white cane
as he stares past my head
talking of poems and youth

after him a shadow
where I thought to see a face
asks have you considered
how often you return
to the subject of not seeing
to the state of blindness
whether you name it or not
do you intend to speak of that
as often as you do
do you mean anything by it

I look up into the year
that the black queen could still see
the year of the alien lights
appearing to her and then going
away with the others
the year of the well of darkness
overflowing with no
moon and no stars

it was there all the time
behind the eye of day
Rumphius saw it before
he had words for anything
long before he wrote
of the hermit crabs These
wanderers live in the houses
of strangers wondering
where they had come from

Vermeij in our time
never saw any creature
living or as a fossil
but can summon by touch
the story of a cowrie
four hundred million years old
scars ancestry and what
it knew in the dark sea

there Borges is talking
about Milton's sonnet
and Milton hears the words
of Samson to someone else
and Homer is telling
of a landscape without horizons
and the blind knight whom no one
ever could touch with a sword
says in my head there is
only darkness
so they never find me
but I know where they are

it is the light
that appears to change and be many
to be today
to flutter as leaves
to recognize the rings of the trees
to come again
one of the stars is from
the day of the cowrie
one is from a time in the garden
we see the youth of the light
in all its ages
we see it as bright
points of animals
made long ago out of night

how small the day is
the time of colors
the rush of brightness

Poetry Vol. 174, No. 3, JUNE 1999 ~ W S Merwin,
1266: After The Engagement
Well, Mabel, 'tis over and ended--The ball I wrote was to be;
And oh! it was perfectly splendid--If you could have been here to see.
I've a thousand things to write you
That I know you are wanting to hear,
And one, that is sure to delight you--I am wearing Joe's diamond, my dear!
Yes, mamma is quite ecstatic
That I am engaged to Joe;
She thinks I am rather erratic,
And feared that I might say "no."
But, Mabel, I'm twenty-seven
(Though nobody dreams it, dear),
And a fortune like Joe's isn't given
To lay at one's feet each year.
You know my old fancy for Harry--Or, at least, I am certain you guessed
That it took all my sense not to marry
And go with that fellow out west.
But that was my very first season--And Harry was poor as could be,
And mamma's good practical reason
Took all the romance out of me.
She whisked me off over the ocean,
And had me presented at court,
And got me all out of the notion
That ranch life out west was my forte.
Of course I have never repented--I'm not such a goose of a thing;
But after I had consented
To Joe---and he gave me the ring--I felt such a queer sensation.
I seemed to go into a trance,
Away from the music's pulsation,
61
Away from the lights and the dance.
And the wind o'er the wild prairie
Seemed blowing strong and free,
And it seemed not Joe, but Harry
Who was standing there close to me.
And the funniest feverish feeling
Went up from my feet to my head,
With little chills after it stealing--And my hands got as numb as the dead.
A moment, and then it was over:
The diamond blazed up in my eyes,
And I saw in the face of my lover
A questioning, strange surprise.
Maybe 'twas the scent of the flowers,
That heavy with fragrance bloomed near,
But I didn't feel natural for hours;
It was odd now, wasn't it, dear?
Write soon to your fortunate Clara
Who has carried the prize away,
And say you'll come on when I marry;
I think it will happen in May.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
1267: When Dacey Rode The Mule
’TWAS to a small, up-country town,
When we were boys at school,
There came a circus with a clown,
Likewise a bucking mule.
The clown announced a scheme they had
Spectators for to bring—
They’d give a crown to any lad
Who’d ride him round the ring.
And, gentle reader, do not scoff
Nor think a man a fool—
To buck a porous-plaster off
Was pastime to that mule.
The boys got on he bucked like sin;
He threw them in the dirt.
What time the clown would raise a grin
By asking, “Are you hurt?”
But Johnny Dacey came one night,
The crack of all the school;
Said he, “I’ll win the crown all right;
Bring in your bucking mule.”
The elephant went off his trunk,
The monkey played the fool,
And all the band got blazing drunk
When Dacey rode the mule.
But soon there rose a galling shout
Of laughter, for the clown
From somewhere in his pants drew out
A little paper crown.
He placed the crown on Dacey’s head
While Dacey looked a fool;
“Now, there’s your crown, my lad,” he said,
“For riding of the mule!”
The band struck up with “Killaloe”,
And “Rule Britannia, Rule”,
And “Young Man from the Country”, too,
525
When Dacey rode the mule.
Then Dacey, in a furious rage,
For vengeance on the show
Ascended to the monkeys’ cage
And let the monkeys go;
The blue-tailed ape and the chimpanzee
He turned abroad to roam;
Good faith! It was a sight to see
The people step for home.
For big baboons with canine snout
Are spiteful, as a rule—
The people didn’t sit it out,
When Dacey rode the mule.
And from the beasts he let escape,
The bushmen all declare,
Were born some creatures partly ape
And partly native-bear.
They’re rather few and far between,
The race is nearly spent;
But some of them may still be seen
In Sydney Parliament.
And when those legislators fight,
And drink, and act the fool,
Just blame it on that torrid night
When Dacey rode the mule.
A.B. (Banjo) Pasterson
~ Banjo Paterson,
1268: In Praise Of Solid People
Thank God that there are solid folk
Who water flowers and roll the lawn,
And sit an sew and talk and smoke,
And snore all through the summer dawn.
Who pass untroubled nights and days
Full-fed and sleepily content,
Rejoicing in each other’s praise,
Respectable and innocent.
Who feel the things that all men feel,
And think in well-worn grooves of thought,
Whose honest spirits never reel
Before man’s mystery, overwrought.
Yet not unfaithful nor unkind,
with work-day virtues surely staid,
Theirs is the sane and humble mind,
And dull affections undismayed.
O happy people! I have seen
No verse yet written in your praise,
And, truth to tell, the time has been
I would have scorned your easy ways.
But now thro’ weariness and strife
I learn your worthiness indeed,
The world is better for such life
As stout suburban people lead.
Too often have I sat alone
When the wet night falls heavily,
And fretting winds around me moan,
And homeless longing vexes me
For lore that I shall never know,
And visions none can hope to see,
Till brooding works upon me so
A childish fear steals over me.
41
I look around the empty room,
The clock still ticking in its place,
And all else silent as the tomb,
Till suddenly, I think, a face
Grows from the darkness just beside.
I turn, and lo! it fades away,
And soon another phantom tide
Of shifting dreams begins to play,
And dusky galleys past me sail,
Full freighted on a faerie sea;
I hear the silken merchants hail
Across the ringing waves to me
—Then suddenly, again, the room,
Familiar books about me piled,
And I alone amid the gloom,
By one more mocking dream beguiled.
And still no neared to the Light,
And still no further from myself,
Alone and lost in clinging night
—(The clock’s still ticking on the shelf).
Then do I envy solid folk
Who sit of evenings by the fire,
After their work and doze and smoke,
And are not fretted by desire.
~ Clive Staples Lewis,
1269: Hind Horn
In Scotland there was a babie born,
Lill lal, etc.
And his name it was called young Hind Horn.
With a fal lal, etc.
He sent a letter to our king
That he was in love with his daughter Jean.
He's gien to her a silver wand,
With seven living lavrocks sitting thereon.
She's gien to him a diamond ring,
With seven bright diamonds set therein.
"When this ring grows pale and wan,
You may know by it my love is gane."
One day as he looked his ring upon,
He saw the diamonds pale and wan.
He left the sea and came to land,
And the first that he met was an old beggar man.
"What news, what news?" said young Hind Horn;
"No news, no news," said the old beggar man.
"No news," said the beggar, "no news at a',
But there is a wedding in the king's ha.
"But there is a wedding in the king's ha,
That has halden these forty days and twa."
"Will ye lend me your begging coat?
And I'll lend you my scarlet cloak.
"Will you lend me your beggar's rung?
And I'll gie you my steed to ride upon.
"Will you lend me your wig o hair,
158
To cover mine, because it is fair?"
The auld beggar man was bound for the mill,
But young Hind Horn for the king's hall.
The auld beggar man was bound for to ride,
But young Hind Horn was bound for the bride.
When he came to the king's gate,
He sought a drink for Hind Horn's sake.
The bride came down with a glass of wine,
When he drank out the glass, and dropt in the ring.
"O got ye this by sea or land?
Or got ye it off a dead man's hand?"
"I got not it by sea, I got it by land,
And I got it, madam, out of your own hand."
"O I'll cast off my gowns of brown,
And beg wi you frae town to town.
"O I'll cast off my gowns of red,
And I'll beg wi you to win my bread."
"Ye needna cast off your gowns of brown,
For I'll make you lady o many a town.
"Ye needna cast off your gowns of red,
It's only a sham, the begging o my bread."
The bridegroom he had wedded the bride,
But young Hind Horn he took her to bed.
~ Anonymous Americas,
1270:Cam reached for her left hand. Taking the signet ring between his fingers, he drew it off easily and gave it to her. “Here. Although I’d rather you left it on.”
Amelia’s mouth fell open. She examined her hand, then the ring, and hesitantly pushed it back on the same finger. It slid over her knuckle and back again with ease. “How did you do that?”
“I helped you to relax.” He ran a coaxing hand along her spine. “Put it back on, Amelia.”
“I can’t. That would mean I’ve accepted your proposal, and I haven’t.”
Stretching like a cat, Cam rolled her flat again, his weight partially supported on his elbows. Amelia drew in a quick breath as she felt him still firm within her. “You can’t lie with me twice and then refuse to marry me.” Cam lowered his head to kiss her ear. “I’ll be ruined.” He worked his way to the soft place behind her earlobe. “And I’ll feel so cheap.”
Despite the seriousness of the matter, Amelia had to bite back a smile. “I’m doing you a great favor by refusing you. You’ll thank me for it someday.”
“I’ll thank you right now if you’ll put the damned ring back on.”
She shook her head.
Cam pushed a bit farther inside her, making her gasp. “What about my personal endowments? Who’s going to take care of them?”
“You can take care of them”— she squirmed to the side to set the ring on the bedside table—“ all by yourself.”
Cam moved with her obligingly. “It’s much more satisfying when you’re involved.”
As he reached to retrieve the ring, his body shifted higher in hers. She tensed in surprise. He felt harder inside her, thicker, his desire gaining new momentum. “Cam,” she protested, glancing at the closed door. She grabbed for his wrist, trying to keep his hand away from the ring. He grappled with her playfully, turning until they had completed a full revolution across the mattress and she was under him again.
He was rampantly aroused now, teasing her with slow lunges. Twisting beneath him, Amelia pushed at his dark head as he began to kiss her breasts. “But … we just finished…”
Cam lifted his head. “Roma,” he said, as if by way of explanation, and settled back over her. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1271:We all turned, and my brother appeared with four other gentlemen. Branaric called jovially, “Found you, Mel, Nee.” And he bowed to the other ladies, who in turn greeted the arrivals: Geral, Savona, Lord Deric of Orbanith, and Shevraeth.
“What’s toward?” the Duke asked.
Tamara’s gaze was still on me. I saw her open her mouth, and before she could say anything that might sting me with embarrassment, I stuck out my hand and said, “Look at my ring!”
Surprise, and a few titters of laughter, met my sudden and uncourtier-like gesture.
Trishe took my hand, turned it over so the ring caught the light. She made admiring noises, then looked up and said, “Where? Who?”
“Yesterday.” I sneaked a look at Savona. He was grinning.
“Which finger?” Tamara asked, glancing down.
“The one it fits best,” I said quickly, which raised a laugh. I cast a desperate look at Nee, who was biting her lip. I hadn’t even thought to ask about meaning in ring fingers, though I ought to have, I realized belatedly. Rings would be a symbol just like flowers and fan language.
“I’ve seen it before,” Trishe said, frowning in perplexity. “I know I have. It’s very old, and they don’t cut stones like this anymore.”
“Who is it from?” Savona asked.
I looked up at him, trying to divine whether the secret knowledge lay behind his expression of interest.
“Of course she cannot tell,” Tamara said, her tone mock chiding--a masterpiece of innuendo, I realized. “But…perhaps a hint, Countess?”
“I can’t, because it’s a secret to me, too.” I looked around. Nothing but interest in all the faces, from Savona’s friendly skepticism to Shevraeth’s polite indifference. Shevraeth looked more tired than ever. “The best kind, because I get the ring and don’t have to do anything about it!”
Everyone laughed.
“Now that,” Savona said, taking my arm, “is a direct challenge, is it not? Geral? Danric? I take you to witness.” We started strolling along the pathway. “But first, to rid myself of this mysterious rival. Have you kissed anyone since yesterday? Winked? Sent a posy-of-promise?” He went on with so many ridiculous questions I couldn’t stop laughing. ~ Sherwood Smith,
1272:They all watched as Genya checked his pulse, his breathing. She shook her head.

“Zoya,” said Sturmhond. His voice had the ring of command.

Zoya sighed and pushed up her sleeves. “Unbutton his shirt.”

“What are you doing?” Kaz asked as Genya undid Kuwei’s remaining buttons. His chest was narrow, his ribs visible, all of it spattered with the pig’s blood they’d encased in the wax bladder.

“I’m either going to wake up his heart or cook him from the inside out,” said Zoya. “Stand back.”

They did their best to obey in the cramped space. “What exactly does she mean by that?” Kaz asked Nina.

“I’m not sure,” Nina admitted. Zoya had her hands out and her eyes closed. The air felt suddenly cool and moist.

Inej inhaled deeply. “It smells like a storm.”

Zoya opened her eyes and brought her hands together as if in prayer, rubbing her palms against each other briskly.

Nina felt the pressure drop, tasted metal on her tongue. “I think … I think she’s summoning lightning.”

“Is that safe?” asked Inej.

“Not remotely,” said Sturmhond.

“Has she at least done it before?” said Kaz.

“For this purpose?” asked Sturmhond. “I’ve seen her do it twice. It worked splendidly. Once.” His voice was oddly familiar, and Nina had the sense they’d met before.

“Ready?” Zoya asked.

Genya shoved a thickly folded piece of fabric between Kuwei’s teeth and stepped back. With a shudder, Nina realized it was to keep him from biting his tongue.

“I really hope she gets this right,” murmured Nina.

“Not as much as Kuwei does,” said Kaz.

“It’s tricky,” said Sturmhond. “Lightning doesn’t like a master. Zoya’s putting her own life at risk too.”

“She didn’t strike me as the type,” Kaz said.

“You’d be surprised,” Nina and Sturmhond replied in unison. Again, Nina had the eerie sensation that she knew him.

She saw that Rotty had squeezed his eyes shut, unable to watch. Inej’s lips were moving in what Nina knew must be a prayer.

A faint blue glow crackled between Zoya’s palms. She took a deep breath and slapped them down on Kuwei’s chest. ~ Leigh Bardugo,
1273:Still lying on the ground, half tingly, half stunned, I held my left hand in front of my face and lightly spread my fingers, examining what Marlboro Man had given me that morning. I couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful ring, or a ring that was a more fitting symbol of my relationship with Marlboro Man. It was unadorned, uncontrived, consisting only of a delicate gold band and a lovely diamond that stood up high--almost proudly--on its supportive prongs. It was a ring chosen by a man who, from day one, had always let me know exactly how he felt. The ring was a perfect extension of that: strong, straightforward, solid, direct. I liked seeing it on my finger. I felt good knowing it was there.
My stomach, though, was in knots. I was engaged. Engaged. I was ill-prepared for how weird it felt. Why hadn’t I ever heard of this strange sensation before? Why hadn’t anyone told me? I felt simultaneously grown up, excited, shocked, scared, matronly, weird, and happy--a strange combination for a weekday morning. I was engaged--holy moly. My other hand picked up the receiver of the phone, and without thinking, I dialed my little sister.
“Hi,” I said when Betsy picked up the phone. It hadn’t been ten minutes since we’d hung up from our last conversation.
“Hey,” she replied.
“Uh, I just wanted to tell you”--my heart began to race--“that I’m, like…engaged.”
What seemed like hours of silence passed.
“Bullcrap,” Betsy finally exclaimed. Then she repeated: “Bullcrap.
“Not bullcrap,” I answered. “He just asked me to marry him. I’m engaged, Bets!”
What?” Betsy shrieked. “Oh my God…” Her voice began to crack. Seconds later, she was crying.
A lump formed in my throat, too. I immediately understood where her tears were coming from. I felt it all, too. It was bittersweet. Things would change. Tears welled up in my eyes. My nose began to sting.
“Don’t cry, you butthead.” I laughed through my tears.
She laughed it off, too, sobbing harder, totally unable to suppress the tears. “Can I be your maid of honor?”
This was too much for me. “I can’t talk anymore,” I managed to squeak through my lips. I hung up on Betsy and lay there, blubbering on my floor. ~ Ree Drummond,
1274:Husband?” “I told them we were betrothed.” Cam took her arm in a gentle but adamant grip and guided her around to the other side of the yew, where they could not be observed from the house. “Why?” “Because we are.” “What?” They stopped in the concealment of the hedge. Aghast, Amelia looked up into his warm hazel eyes. “Are you mad?” Taking her hand, Cam lifted it until the ring gleamed in the daylight. “You’re wearing my ring. You slept with me. You made promises. Many in the Rom would say that constitutes full-blown marriage. But just to make certain it’s legal, we’ll do it the way of the gadjos as well.” “We’ll do no such thing!” Amelia snatched her hand from his and backed away. “I’m only wearing this ring because I can’t get the blasted thing off. And what do you mean, I made promises? Were those Romany words you asked me to repeat some kind of vow? You tricked me! I didn’t mean what I said.” “But you did sleep with me.” She flushed in shame and outrage, and dragged a sleeve across her sweating brow. Whirling away from him, she strode rapidly along a graveled path that led deeper into the garden. “That didn’t mean anything, either,” she said over her shoulder. He kept pace with her easily. “It meant something to me. The sexual act is sacred to a Roma.” She made a scornful sound. “What about all the ladies you seduced in London? Was it sacred when you slept with them, too?” “For a while I fell into the impure ways of the gadjo,” he said innocently. “Now I’ve reformed.” Amelia sent him a sideways glare. “You don’t want this. You don’t want me. One night can’t change the entire course of someone’s life.” “Of course it can.” He reached for her, and Amelia skittered away, passing a mermaid fountain surrounded by stone benches. Cam caught her from behind and jerked her back against him. “Stop running from me and listen. I do want you. I want you even knowing if I marry you, I’ve got an instant family, complete with a suicidal brother-in-law and a Gypsy houseboy with the temperament of a poked bear.” “Merripen is not a houseboy.” “Call him what you like. He comes with the Hathaways. I accept that.” “They won’t accept you,” she said desperately. “There’s no place for you in our family.” “Yes there is. Right by your side. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
1275:He paused for dramatic effect, waiting until all eyes were on him before turning and looking at Jane, an intimate, heavy-lidded look designed just for her—and his audience. Holding out both hands to her, he said in a voice designed to carry, “It is traditional, is it not, for an alliance to be sealed with a marriage?”
Taking Jane’s hands, he drew her forward, into the center of the room, where everyone could have the best possible view.
Jane’s hands were cold, cold as ice. She drew them away, frozen with the wrongness of it. “Nicolas—don’t. Please.”
She cast an anxious glance over her shoulder at Jack, who was doing his best impression of a stone boulder.
Nicolas tugged on her hand, claiming her attention. “Surely now,” he said softly, smiling up at her in a way that would once have made her all fluttery, “there can be no obstacle to our union.”
“Aside from good taste and common sense,” said Henrietta hotly.
“He’s not bad-looking,” commented Miss Gwen. “If you like reptiles.”
Dropping to the floor at Jane’s feet, Nicolas drew the signet from his finger. Not his personal signet, the one he used as the Gardener, but the sigil of the counts of Brillac.
Once, a very long time ago, Jane had imagined this moment, had imagined a world in which she and Nicolas might be together.
That, however, was before she had known him.
And before she had known Jack.
“Well, my Jeanne?” Nicolas said whimsically, proffering the ring. “Will you make me the happiest of men?”
Gold glittered in the torchlight. On the edge of the circle, Jack turned on his heel and stalked off.
Yanking her skirt away, Jane said sharply, “Did you really believe that making a public spectacle of me would change my answer?”
From the side of the room, there was the faint click of a door closing.
The dimple was very apparent in Nicolas’s cheek as he smiled up at her. “I live in hope.”
“Don’t,” said Jane crisply. “Not on that score.”
“That,” said Henrietta, “in case you didn’t notice, was a no.”
Nicolas rose easily to his feet. “I prefer to think of it as a ‘perhaps later.’”
“It was a no,” said Jane, and turned on her heel, not sure whom she wanted to shake more: Nicolas for refusing to take no for an answer, or Jack for walking away. ~ Lauren Willig,
1276:Fennel Spell Hang fennel from doors and windows to ward off evil energy and entities. Fiery Wall of Protection Spells Fiery Wall of Protection is among the most famous classic condition formulas. Its name invokes the power of Archangel Michael’s protective flaming sword. The formula may be consecrated to the archangel. Fiery Wall’s basic ingredients include such powerful protective agents as salt, frankincense and myrrh. Its red color, the color of protection, derives from dragon’s blood powder. See the Formulary for specific instructions: the dried powder may be used as incense or magic powder. When the powder is added to oil, Fiery Wall of Protection Oil is created. Fiery Wall of Protection Spell (1) Candle Carve a red or white candle with your name, identifying information, hopes, and desires. Dress it with Fiery Wall of Protection Oil and burn. Consecrate the candle to the Archangel Michael if desired. Fiery Wall of Protection Spell (2) Extra-strength Mojo Place a handful of Fiery Wall of Protection Powder in a charm bag. Drizzle it with Fiery Wall of Protection Oil and Protection Oil. Add a medallion depicting Michael the Archangel and/or a tiny doll-sized sword: a fancy tooth pick works well. Carry it in your pocket. Replace the powder weekly, dressing with fresh oil. Cleanse, charge, and consecrate the charms as needed. Fiery Wall of Protection Spell (3) Incense Protect against a threatened curse by burning Fiery Wall of Protection Powder as incense. To intensify the protection, add powdered agrimony and/or vervain. Fiery Wall of Protection Spell (4) Powder Circle Cast a circle of Fiery Wall of Protection Powder around yourself, your home, or whatever needs protection. Envision a circle of enchanted flames magically surrounding and protecting you, something like the magic fire encircling The Ring of the Nibelung’s valkyrie swan-maiden Brunhilde: the flames are cool and won’t harm those whom they protect yet serve as a burning boundary preventing the entrance of all evil. Stay within the circle for as long as necessary. Carry the powder within a charm bag so that circles and boundary lines may be spontaneously cast as needed. Fiery Wall of Protection Spell (5) Quick Fix Soak a cotton ball in Fiery Wall of Protection Oil and carry it in your pocket or tucked into your bra. ~ Judika Illes,
1277:It’s over between them.” “Seriously?” Jake shrugged. “She didn’t give me the details, but the ring’s gone, and she said it was over.” “Is she upset?” “Doesn’t seem to be.” That was good, right? “Hmm.” Wyatt handed him a plate. “You gonna make your move now?” Jake elbowed Wyatt in the ribs. “She just broke her engagement.” “Or he did.” Jake frowned. “I prefer to think of it the other way.” Wyatt shrugged. “Just saying. She doesn’t sound too distressed. Hey, maybe she broke up because she has the hots for you.” “Shut up.” The thought was too ludicrous to entertain. Meridith might be attracted to him, but that was a far cry from what Wyatt suggested. “It’s about the kids,” Jake said. “I’m sure of it. They spent the day together yesterday, and Max told me that Ben puked on Stephen.” Wyatt laughed. “Classic!” “Yeah, I enjoyed that little tidbit.” He was surprised the man hadn’t gone running home the day before. From what Max said, Stephen hadn’t been very friendly. They washed and dried in silence for a minute, and Jake’s thoughts turned to Meridith. She’d told him the engagement was broken so matter-of-factly. How could she love the guy and react so calmly? “You know,” Wyatt said, pulling him from his thoughts. “It’s pretty remarkable, what she’s doing. Not every chick would take on three kids at the expense of her engagement.” Wyatt was right, and it only deepened his feelings for Meridith. He hated that she was planning to take the children away, but there was no doubt she cared about them. And his suspicions about the bipolar illness had all but disappeared. He’d found no medications, seen no symptoms. “You guys would make a cute couple,” Wyatt said. “You could get married and have a ready-made family.” “You’re forgetting one little detail.” “Ah, yeah. You’re the uncle she called—what was it—self-absorbed and irresponsible?” Jake scowled and grabbed the plate from Wyatt. “So tell her the truth.” “Yeah, right. That’ll go over well.” She’d be furious. She’d kick him from Summer Place and might not let him see the kids anymore. His gut clenched. “Gotta tell her eventually.” “When the house is finished.” “The longer you wait, the worse it’ll be.” “Maybe not.” Maybe he could change her mind about staying. Maybe he could make her see that he cared for her. Maybe they really could be a family. ~ Denise Hunter,
1278:Reminiscing in the drizzle of Portland, I notice the ring that’s landed on your finger, a massive
insect of glitter, a chandelier shining at the end

of a long tunnel. Thirteen years ago, you hid the hurt
in your voice under a blanket and said there’s two kinds
of women—those you write poems about

and those you don’t. It’s true. I never brought you
a bouquet of sonnets, or served you haiku in bed.
My idea of courtship was tapping Jane’s Addiction

lyrics in Morse code on your window at three A.M.,
whiskey doing push-ups on my breath. But I worked
within the confines of my character, cast

as the bad boy in your life, the Magellan
of your dark side. We don’t have a past so much
as a bunch of electricity and liquor, power

never put to good use. What we had together
makes it sound like a virus, as if we caught
one another like colds, and desire was merely

a symptom that could be treated with soup
and lots of sex. Gliding beside you now,
I feel like the Benjamin Franklin of monogamy,

as if I invented it, but I’m still not immune
to your waterfall scent, still haven’t developed
antibodies for your smile. I don’t know how long

regret existed before humans stuck a word on it.
I don’t know how many paper towels it would take
to wipe up the Pacific Ocean, or why the light

of a candle being blown out travels faster
than the luminescence of one that’s just been lit,
but I do know that all our huffing and puffing

into each other’s ears—as if the brain was a trick
birthday candle—didn’t make the silence
any easier to navigate. I’m sorry all the kisses

I scrawled on your neck were written
in disappearing ink. Sometimes I thought of you
so hard one of your legs would pop out

of my ear hole, and when I was sleeping, you’d press
your face against the porthole of my submarine.
I’m sorry this poem has taken thirteen years

to reach you. I wish that just once, instead of skidding
off the shoulder blade’s precipice and joyriding
over flesh, we’d put our hands away like chocolate

to be saved for later, and deciphered the calligraphy
of each other’s eyelashes, translated a paragraph
from the volumes of what couldn’t be said. ~ Jeffrey McDaniel,
1279:All seizures of power, no matter how ‘strong or well-meaning’ the seizers, will go the same way. That’s what power does. Meanwhile, at exactly the same time as the publication of The Lord of the Rings William Golding was bringing out his fables, Lord of the Flies (1954), and The Inheritors (1955), the meaning of which Golding conveniently summarized for commentators in a later essay, ‘Fable’, in his collection The Hot Gates:

I must say that anyone who passed through those years [of World War II] without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wrong in the head.
(Hot Gates, p. 87)

So the English choirboys, marooned on an idyllic desert island, invent murder and
human sacrifice and create the ‘lord of the flies’ himself, Beelzebub; in The Inheritors our ancestors, Cro-Magnon men, exterminate the gentle and friendly Neanderthals and create an entirely false legend of ogres and cannibals to justify their actions. A very similar if more complex argument was put forward, one might add, by the other great fantasy of the 1950s, T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, a work which began like Tolkien’s with a children’s book, The Sword in the Stone (1937), but took even longer than Tolkien’s to reach termination, appearing as a whole (though still unfinished) in 1958. White’s points are too many and too self-doubting to summarize readily, but there is at least no doubt that White saw in humanity a basic urge to destruction, expressed in a work written like The Lord of the Rings, nationibus in diro bello certantibus, ‘while the nations were striving in fearful war’. Orwell, Golding, White (and several other post-war authors of fantasy and fable): the thought that they expressed in their highly different ways was that people could never be trusted, least of all if they expressed a wish for the betterment of humanity. The major disillusionment of the twentieth century has been over political good intentions, which have led only to gulags and killing fields. That is why what Gandalf says has rung true to virtually everyone who reads it – though it is, I repeat, yet one more anachronism in Middle-earth, and the greatest of them, an entirely modern conviction. ~ Tom Shippey,
1280:I also received a note from the Unknown, the first in two days. I pounced on it eagerly, for receiving his letters had come to be the most important part of my day.
Instead of the long letter I had come to anticipate, it was short.

I thank you for the fine ring. It was thoughtfully chosen and I appreciate the generous gesture, for I have to admit I would rather impute generosity than mere caprice behind the giving of a gift that cannot be worn.
Or is this a sign that you wish, after all, to alter the circumscriptions governing our correspondence?
I thought--to make myself clear--that you preferred your admirer to remain secret. I am not convinced you really wish to relinquish this game and risk the involvement inherent in a contact face-to-face.


I dropped the note on my desk, feeling as if I’d reached for a blossom and had been stung by an unseen nettle.
My first reaction was to sling back an angry retort that if gifts were to inspire such an ungallant response, then he could just return it. Except it was I who had inveighed, and at great length, against mere gallantry. In a sense he’d done me the honor of telling the truth--
And it was then that I had the shiversome insight that is probably obvious by now to any of my progeny reading this record: that our correspondence had metamorphosed into a kind of courtship.
A courtship.
As I thought back, I realized that it was our discussion of this very subject that had changed the tenor of the letters from my asking advice of an invisible mentor to a kind of long-distance friendship. The other signs were all there--the gifts, the flowers. Everything but physical proximity. And it wasn’t the unknown gentleman who could not court me in person--it was I who couldn’t be courted in person, and he knew it.
So in the end I sent back only two lines:

You have given me much to think about.
Will you wear the ring, then, if I ask you to?


I received no answer that day, or even that night. And so I sat through the beautiful concert of blended children’s voices and tried not to stare at Elenet’s profile next to the Marquis of Shevraeth, while feeling a profound sense of unhappiness, which I attributed to the silence from my Unknown.
The next morning brought no note, but a single white rose. ~ Sherwood Smith,
1281:Someday, she would stand from the couch, step away from the window sill, leave the fire escape, put away the black backpack, take the rings off her neck. Someday when the music played, she would not feel him waltzing with her through the clearing under the crimson moon on their wedding night. Oh, how we danced on the night we were wed… Someday. But today with every breath of the past she colored her breath of the future, with every blink of her eye, Alexander bore himself deeper and deeper inside her until the whole of what they were together blinded her from seeing what else might be in the world for her. All she thought about was what he had loved in her, what he had needed from her, what he had wanted from her. Memory—that fiend, that cruel enemy of comfort. There was no forgetting; worse, the bloodletting that went on every minute became more intense as time went on. It was as if his lips, his hands, his crown, his heart, the things that seemed almost normal, almost right in Lazarevo acquired a prescient, otherworldly sense; it was as if in their totality they took on a life they had not had before. How did they fish, or sleep, or clean? How did she go to her sewing circle? She hated herself now, flagellated herself for doing anything else, how could she have tried to live a normal life in Lazarevo with him, knowing even then that time and they were as fleeting as snowflakes? Knowing what was at stake, could he have lowered his head and walked by her, if he had known what he would lose for the hour of rapture, for the minute of bliss? How he loved to touch her. And she would sit quietly, with her legs not too close together, so that anytime he wanted to, he could: and he did. Anytime. Yes, he said, it was what a soldier on furlough wanted. Anytime wasn’t often enough. He would touch her with his fingers as she sat quietly on the bench, and then he would touch her with his mouth as she sat less quietly on the bench, there was no other time for him but now, there was no later, there was only insanity now. I will make you insane, her memory screamed at her near the winter window sill as Tatiana smelled the brine of eternity. On the outside you will walk and smile as if indeed you are a normal woman, but on the inside you will twist and burn on the stake, I will never free you, you will never be free. ~ Paullina Simons,
1282:Since the launch of the First Five-Year Plan in 1928, tens of thousands of their comrades in the urban centers had been working tirelessly to build power stations, steel mills, and manufacturing plants for heavy machinery. As this historic effort unfolded, it would be essential for the country’s grain-producing regions to do their part—by meeting the increased demand for bread in the cities with leaps in agricultural production. But to pave the way for this ambitious effort, it was deemed necessary to exile a million kulaks—those profiteers and enemies of the common good, who also happened to be the regions’ most capable farmers. The remaining peasants, who viewed newly introduced approaches to agriculture with resentment and suspicion, proved antagonistic to even the smallest efforts at innovation. Tractors, which were meant to usher in the new era by the fleet, ended up being in short supply. These challenges were compounded by uncooperative weather resulting in a collapse of agricultural output. But given the imperative of feeding the cities, the precipitous decline in the harvest was met with increased quotas and requisitions enforced at gunpoint. In 1932, the combination of these intractable forces would result in widespread hardship for the agricultural provinces of old Russia, and death by starvation for millions of peasants in Ukraine. (While many of the young loyalists (like Nina) who joined the udarniks in the countryside would have their faith in the Party tested by what they witnessed, most of Russia, and for that matter the world, would be spared the spectacle of this man-made disaster. For just as peasants from the countryside were forbidden to enter the cities, journalists from the cities were forbidden to enter the countryside; delivery of personal mail was suspended; and the windows of passenger trains were blackened. In fact, so successful was the campaign to contain awareness of the crisis, when word leaked out that millions were starving in Ukraine, Walter Duranty, the lead correspondent for The New York Times in Russia (and one of the ringleaders in the Shalyapin Bar), would report that these rumors of famine were grossly exaggerated and had probably originated with anti-Soviet propagandists. Thus, the world would shrug. And even as the crime unfolded, Duranty would win the Pulitzer Prize.) ~ Amor Towles,
1283:From inside the Contuzzi apartment I heard the phone ring. Once, twice, three times. “Bolitar?” It stopped after six rings. “We know you’re still in London. Where are you?” I hung up and looked at Mario’s door. The ringing phone—ringing like a phone used to, not like some ringtone on a cell—had sounded very much like a landline. Hmm. I put my hand on the door. Thick and sturdy. I pressed my ear against the cool surface, hit Mario’s cell phone number, watched the LCD display on my mobile. It took a moment or two before the connection went through. When I heard the faint chime of Mario’s cell phone through the door—the landline had been loud; this was not—dread flooded my chest. True, it may be nothing, but most people nowadays do not travel even the shortest of distances, including bathroom visits, without the ubiquitous cell phone clipped or carried upon their person. You can bemoan this fact, but the chances that a guy working in television news would leave his cell phone behind while heading to his office seemed remote. “Mario?” I shouted. I started pounding on the door. “Mario?” I didn’t expect him to answer, of course. I pressed my ear against the door again, listening for I’m not sure what—a groan maybe. A grunt. Calling out. Something. No sound. I wondered about my options. Not many. I reared back, lifted my heel, and kicked the door. It didn’t budge. “Steel-enforced, mate. You’ll never kick it down.” I turned toward the voice. The man wore a black leather vest without any sort of shirt underneath, and sadly, he didn’t have the build to pull it off. His physique, on too clear a display, managed to be both scrawny and soft. He had a cattle-ring piercing in his nose. He was balding but the little hair he had left was done up in what might be called a comb-over Mohawk. I placed his age at early fifties. It looked like he had gone out to a gay bar in 1979 and had just gotten home. “Do you know the Contuzzis?” I asked. The man smiled. I expected another dental nightmare, but while the rest of him might be in various stages of decay, his teeth were gleaming. “Ah,” he said. “You’re an American.” “Yes.” “Friends with Mario, are we?” No reason to go into a long answer here: “Yes.” “Well, what can I tell you, mate? Normally they’re a quiet couple, but you know what they say—when the wife’s away, the mouse will play. ~ Harlan Coben,
1284: The Silent Shearer
Weary and listless, sad and slow,
Without any conversation,
Was a man that worked on The Overflow,
The butt of the shed and the station.
The shearers christened him Noisy Ned,
With an alias "Silent Waters",
But never a needless word he said
In the hut or the shearers' quarters.
Which caused annoyance to Big Barcoo,
The shed's unquestioned ringer,
Whose name was famous Australia through
As a dancer, fighter and singer.
He was fit for the ring, if he'd had his rights
As an agent of devastation;
And the number of men he had killed in fights
Was his principal conversation.
"I have known blokes go to their doom," said he,
"Through actin' with haste and rashness:
But the style that this Noisy Ned assumes,
It's nothing but silent flashness.
"We may just be dirt, from his point of view,
Unworthy a word in season;
But I'll make him talk like a cockatoo
Or I'll get him to show the reason."
Was it chance or fate, that King Condamine,
A king who had turned a black tracker,
Had captured a baby purcupine,
Which he swapped for a "fig tobacker"?
With the porcupine in the Silent's bed
The shearers were quite elated,
And the things to be done, and the words to be said,
Were anxiously awaited.
472
With a screech and a howl and an eldritch cry
That nearly deafened his hearers
He sprang from his bunk, and his fishy eye
Looked over the laughing shearers.
He looked them over and he looked them through
As a cook might look through a larder;
"Now, Big Barcoo, I must pick on you,
You're big, but you'll fall the harder."
Now, the silent man was but slight and thin
And of middleweight conformation,
But he hung one punch on the Barcoo's chin
And it ended the altercation.
"You've heard of the One-round Kid," said he,
"That hunted 'em all to shelter?
The One-round Finisher -- that was me,
When I fought as the Champion Welter.
"And this Barcoo bloke on his back reclines
For being a bit too clever,
For snakes and wombats and porcupines
Are nothing to me whatever.
"But the golden rule that I've had to learn
In the ring, and for years I've tried it,
Is only to talk when it comes your turn,
And never to talk outside it."
~ Banjo Paterson,
1285:When Kestrel opened her eyes, she was lying in her bed. Someone had built a fire, which sent ripples of orange light over the ceiling. An oil lamp burned on the night table, casting her father’s face into extremes of shadow and bone. He had drawn a chair close and perhaps had been sleeping in it, but his eyes were alert.
“Your knee needs to be tapped,” he said.
She looked at it. Someone--her father?--had cut away the right legging at her thigh, and below the sheared black cloth her knee was swollen to twice its normal size. It felt tight and hot.
“I don’t know what that means,” Kestrel said, “but it doesn’t sound very nice.”
“Irex dislocated your kneecap. It slipped back into place, but the blow must have torn your muscle. Your knee’s filling with blood. That’s what’s causing you so much pain: the swelling.” He hesitated. “I have some experience with this kind of wound, on the battlefield. I can drain it. You’ll feel better. But I would have to use a knife.”
Kestrel remembered him cutting her mother’s arm, blood weaving through his fingers as he tried to close the wound. He looked at her now, and she thought that he was seeing the same thing, or seeing Kestrel remember it, and that they were mirroring each other’s nightmare.
His gaze fell to his scarred hands. “I’ve sent for a doctor. You can wait until she comes, if you prefer.” His voice was flat, yet there was a small, sad note that probably only she would have heard. “I wouldn’t suggest this if I didn’t feel myself capable and if I didn’t think it would be better to do it now. But it’s your choice.”
His eyes met hers. Something in them made her think that he would never have let Irex kill her, that he would have pushed into the ring and planted a blade in Irex’s back if he had thought his daughter might die, that he would have thrown away his honor with hers.
Of course, Kestrel couldn’t be sure. Yet she nodded. He sent a slave for clean rags, which he eased under her knee. Then he went to the fire and held a small knife in the flames to sterilize it.
He returned to her side, the blackened knife in his hand. “I promise,” he said, but Kestrel didn’t know whether he meant to say that he promised this would help her, or that he knew what he was doing, or that he would have saved her from Irex if she had needed saving. He slid the knife in, and she fainted again. ~ Marie Rutkoski,
1286:Lass, I know that ye have been searching for the ring so that ye can go home. While, we were away, Arran found it.” “He did?” Shocked, I tried to normalize my expression as he continued.  “Aye,” he paused to retrieve it and held it out to me, eventually setting it in between us when I didn’t reach out for it.  “I almost threw it in the ocean.” “You what?” The pitch of my voice was oddly high and screechy, making me sound angry rather than shocked.  “Aye, lass. I’m verra sorry, but I dinna want to give ye the ring. I know that I canna keep it from ye, but I’d like to ask ye something before I let ye have it.” “Of course.” My heart restarted as hope began to crawl through the fear rooted in my stomach.  “Doona go, lass.” He squeezed my hands tightly in between his own, and I was sure my heart was going to burst with happiness. “I’ve fallen in love with ye, Bri, and I doona wish to be parted from ye. If ye doona love me, I shall give ye the ring, but I could no let ye leave without telling ye.” My voice cracked as I spoke to him, and a tear broke free from my left eye. “No.” He didn’t give me a chance to finish. “I’m so verra sorry for keeping the ring from ye, lass. I just wasna ready to let ye go.” I pried my hands loose and reached up to grab hold of his face. “No, listen. Let me finish.” He stopped talking, pursing his lips awkwardly like a fish, and I couldn’t help but laugh. “Its no so funny, lass. Ye’re breaking my heart. I only ask that ye do it swiftly.” “Hush. It is funny. Your face looks ridiculous. I meant, ‘no,’ I’m not mad at you. I had something to tell you tonight as well.” “Aye?” “I was going to tell you that I wanted to stop looking for the ring. I can’t leave here. This is my home now and I’ve fallen in love with everyone. Mary, Kip, Arran, Griffin, even you.” I winked at him before continuing, “Before, I only thought I had to go back because of my mother and Blaire. She deserved the chance to return to her home, but she doesn’t want it. “How do ye know, lass?” “It’s the spell book. We can write messages to one another that cross over through time. My mother knows I’m safe here, and as long as she knows that, she’ll be okay with my decision. And Blaire, she said she wants to stay. That means I’m free, Eoin. I’m free to stay with you. If you’ll have me?” “Have ye, lass? Did ye no just hear what I said to ye? I’ll have ye and ye alone. ~ Bethany Claire,
1287:Slowly the big gates opened. Red-gold fire glow from inside silhouetted a number of figures who moved out toward the bridge, where the strengthening light picked out the drawn swords, the spears, the dark cloaks, and the helmed heads of the Renselaeus warriors. They were wearing their own colors, and battle gear. No liveries, no pretense of being mere servants. In the center of their formation were Khesot and the four others--unarmed.
There were no shouts, no trumpets, nothing but the ringing of iron-shod boots on the stones of the bridge, and the clank of ready weaponry.
Could we rescue them? I could not see Khesot’s face, but in the utter stillness with which they stood, I read hopelessness.
I readied myself once again--
Then from the center of their forces stepped a single equerry, with a white scarf tied to a pole. He started up the path that we meant to descend. As he walked the light strengthened, now illuminating details. Still with that weird detachment I looked at his curly hair, the freckles on his face, his small nose. We could cut him down in moments, I thought, and then winced the thought away. We were not Galdran. I waited.
He stopped not twenty-five paces from me and said loudly, “Countess, we request a parley.”
Which made it obvious they knew we were there.
Questions skittered through my mind. Had Khesot talked? How otherwise could the enemy have seen us? The only noise now was the rain, pattering softly with the magnificent indifference of nature for the tangled passions of humans.
I stood up. “Here. State your message.”
“A choice. You surrender, and your people can then disperse to their homes. Otherwise, we start with them.” He pointed to the bridge. “Then everyone else.” He lifted his hand, indicating the ridge up behind us.
I turned, and shock burned through me when I saw an uncountable host lined along the rocks we’d descended from half a night ago.
They had us boxed.
Which meant that we had walked right into a waiting trap.
I looked down at the bridge again. Through the curtain of rain the figures were clearer now. Khesot, in the center, stood next to a tall slim man with pale yellow hair.
I closed my eyes, fought for control, then opened my eyes again. “Everyone goes to their homes? Including Khesot and the four down there?”
“Everyone,” the boy said flatly, “except you, Countess. ~ Sherwood Smith,
1288:And then she caught the song. She fell upon it and music poured from the fiddle’s hollow, bright and liquid like fire out of the heart of the earth. Pierre-Jean drew back and stood mesmerized. The room around Fin stirred as every ear bent to the ring of heartsong. It rushed through Fin and spread to the outermost and tiniest capillary reaches of her body. Her flesh sang. The hairs of her arms and neck roused and stood. She sped the bow across the strings. Her fingers danced on the fingerboard quick as fat raindrops. Every man in the room that night would later swear that there was a wind within it. They would tell their children and lovers that a hurricane had filled the room, toppled chairs, driven papers and sheets before it and blew not merely around them but through them, taking fears, grudges, malice, and contempt with it, sending them spiraling out into the night where they vanished among the stars like embers rising from a bonfire.

And though the spirited cry of the fiddle’s song blew through others and around the room and everything in it, Fin sat at the heart of it. It poured into her. It found room in the closets and hollow places of her soul to settle and root. It planted seeds: courage, resolve, steadfastness. Fin gulped it in, seized it, held it fast. She needed it, had thirsted for it all her days. She saw the road ahead of her, and though she didn’t understand it or comprehend her part in it, she knew that she needed the ancient and reckless power of a holy song to endure it. She didn’t let the music loose. It buckled and swept and still she clung to it, defined it in notes and rhythm, channeled it like a river bound between mountain steeps. And a thing happened then so precious and strange that Fin would ever after remember it only in the formless manner of dreams. The song turned and spoke her name—her true name, intoned in a language of mysteries. Not her earthly name, but a secret word, defining her alone among all created things. The writhing song spoke it, and for the first time, she knew herself. She knew what it was to be separated out, held apart from every other breathing creature, and known. Though she’d never heard it before and wouldn’t recall it after, every stitch of her soul shook in the passage of the word, shuddered in the wake of it, and mourned as the sound sped away. In an instant, it was over. The song ended with the dissonant pluck of a broken string. ~ A S Peterson,
1289:Mein Herr?
For a brief moment, those blue-white eyes regain some color, the only color in this gray world. Blue and green, like the gems on the ring about his finger. Mismatched eyes. Human eyes. The eyes of my immortal beloved.
Elisabeth, he says, and his lips move painfully around a mouth full of sharpened teeth, like the fangs of some horrifying beast. Despite the fear knifing my veins, my heart grows soft with pity. With tenderness. I reach for my Goblin King, longing to touch him, to hold his face in my hands the way I had done when I was his bride.
Mein Herr. My hands lift to stroke his cheek, but he shakes his head, batting my fingers away.
I am not he, he says, and an ominous growl laces his words as his eyes return to that eerie blue-white. He that you love is gone.
Then who are you?
I ask.
His nostrils flare and shadows deepen around us, giving shape to the world. He swirls a cloak about him as a dark forest comes into view, growing from the mist. I am the Lord of Mischief and the Ruler Underground. His lips stretch thin over that dangerous mouth in a leering smile. I am death and doom and Der Erlkönig.
No! I cry, reading for him again. No, you are he that I love, a king with music in his soul and a prayer in his heart. You are a scholar, a philosopher, and my own austere young man.
Is that so?
The corrupted Goblin King runs a tongue over his gleaming teeth, those pale eyes devouring me as though I were a sumptuous treat to be savored. Then prove it. Call him by name.
A jolt sings through me- guilt and fear and desire altogether. His name, a name, the only link my austere young man has to the world above, the one thing he could not give me.
Der Erlkönig throws his head back in a laugh. You do not even know your beloved's name, maiden? How can you possibly call it love when you walked away, when you abandoned him and all that he fought for?
I shall find it
, I say fiercely. I shall call him by name and bring him home.
Malice lights those otherworldly eyes, and despite the monstrous markings and horns and fangs and fur that claim the Goblin King's comely form, he turns seductive, sly. Come, brave maiden, he purrs. Come, join me and be my bride once more, for it was not your austere young man who showed you the dark delights of the Underground and the flesh. It was I. ~ S Jae Jones,
1290:Of course, I’ve only brought up two examples. Other universal laws of physics have been used as weapons as well, though we don’t know all of them. It’s very possible that every law of physics has been weaponized. It’s possible that in some parts of the universe, even … Forget it, I don’t even believe that.” “What were you going to say?” “The foundation of mathematics.” Cheng Xin tried to imagine it, but it was simply impossible. “That’s … madness.” Then she asked, “Will the universe turn into a war ruin? Or, maybe it’s more accurate to ask: Will the laws of physics turn into war ruins?” “Maybe they already are.… The physicists and cosmologists of the new world are focused on trying to recover the original appearance of the universe before the wars more than ten billion years ago. They’ve already constructed a fairly clear theoretical model describing the pre-war universe. That was a really lovely time, when the universe itself was a Garden of Eden. Of course, the beauty could only be described mathematically. We can’t picture it: Our brains don’t have enough dimensions.” Cheng Xin thought back to the conversation with the Ring again. Did you build this four-dimensional fragment? You told me that you came from the sea. Did you build the sea? “You are saying that the universe of the Edenic Age was four-dimensional, and that the speed of light was much higher?” “No, not at all. The universe of the Edenic Age was ten-dimensional. The speed of light back then wasn’t only much higher—rather, it was close to infinity. Light back then was capable of action at a distance, and could go from one end of the cosmos to the other within a Planck time.… If you had been to four-dimensional space, you would have some vague hint of how beautiful that ten-dimensional Garden must have been.” “You’re saying—” “I’m not saying anything.” Yifan seemed to have awakened from a dream. “We’ve only seen small hints; everything else is just guessing. You should treat it as a guess, just a dark myth we’ve made up.” But Cheng Xin continued to follow the course of the discussion taken so far. “—that during the wars after the Edenic Age, one dimension after another was imprisoned from the macroscopic into the microscopic, and the speed of light was reduced again and again.…” “As I said, I’m not saying anything, just guessing.” Yifan’s voice grew softer. “But no one knows if the truth is even darker than our guesses.… We are certain of only one thing: The universe is dying.” The ~ Liu Cixin,
1291:Kneading her hand, touching her ring, Alexander said, “In America, when two people get married, they say their vows. Do you know what those are?” Tatiana was hardly listening. She had been thinking of America. She wanted to ask Alexander if there were villages in America, villages with cabins on the banks of rivers. In America where there was no war, and no hunger, and no Dimitri. “Are you listening? The priest says, ‘Do you, Alexander, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?’” “Lawfully bedded?” He laughed. “That too. No, lawfully wedded. And then we say our vows. Do you want me to tell you what they are?” “What what are?” Tatiana brought his fingers to her lips. “You have to repeat after me.” “Repeat after me.” “I, Tatiana Metanova, take this man to be my husband—” “I, Tatiana Metanova, take this great man to be my husband.” Kissing his thumb and forefinger and middle finger. He had wonderful fingers. “To live together in the covenant of marriage—” “To live together in the covenant of marriage.” Kissing his ring finger. “I will love him, comfort him, honor and keep him—” “I will love him, comfort him, honor and keep him.” Kissing the ring on his ring finger. Kissing his little finger. “And obey him.” Tatiana smiled, rolling her eyes. “And obey him.” “And, forsaking all others, be faithful to him until death do us part—” Kissing the palm of his hand. Wiping tears from her face with the palm of his hand. “And, forsaking all others, be faithful to him until death do us part.” “I, Alexander Barrington, take this woman to be my wife.” “Don’t, Shura.” Sitting on top of him, rubbing her breasts into his chest. “To live together in the covenant of marriage—” Kissing the middle of his chest. “I will love her”—his voice cracked—“love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her—” Pressing her cheek to his chest and listening for the iambic rhyme of his heart. “And, forsaking all others, be faithful to her until—” “Don’t, Shura.” His chest wet from her tears. “Please.” His hands above his head. “There are things worse than death.” Her heart full, overwhelmed. Remembering her mother’s body tilted over her sewing. Remembering Marina’s last words, to the end saying, I don’t want to die…and not feel just once what you feel. Remembering a laughing Dasha braiding her young hair already a lifetime ago. “Oh, yes? Like what?” He didn’t reply. She understood anyway. “I’d rather have a bad life in the Soviet Union than a good death. Wouldn’t you?” “If it was a life with you, then yes. ~ Paullina Simons,
1292:They had chains which they fastened about the leg of the nearest hog, and the other end of the chain they hooked into one of the rings upon the wheel. So, as the wheel turned, a hog was suddenly jerked off his feet and borne aloft. At the same instant the ear was assailed by a most terrifying shriek; the visitors started in alarm, the women turned pale and shrank back. The shriek was followed by another, louder and yet more agonizing--for once started upon that journey, the hog never came back; at the top of the wheel he was shunted off upon a trolley and went sailing down the room. And meantime another was swung up, and then another, and another, until there was a double line of them, each dangling by a foot and kicking in frenzy--and squealing. The uproar was appalling, perilous to the ear-drums; one feared there was too much sound for the room to hold--that the walls must give way or the ceiling crack. There were high squeals and low squeals, grunts, and wails of agony; there would come a momentary lull, and then a fresh outburst, louder than ever, surging up to a deafening climax. It was too much for some of the visitors--the men would look at each other, laughing nervously, and the women would stand with hands clenched, and the blood rushing to their faces, and the tears starting in their eyes. Meantime, heedless of all these things, the men upon the floor were going about their work. Neither squeals of hogs nor tears of visitors made any difference to them; one by one they hooked up the hogs, and one by one with a swift stroke they slit their throats. There was a long line of hogs, with squeals and life-blood ebbing away together; until at last each started again, and vanished with a splash into a huge vat of boiling water. It was all so very businesslike that one watched it fascinated. It was pork-making by machinery, pork-making by applied mathematics. And yet somehow the most matter-of-fact person could not help thinking of the hogs; they were so innocent, they came so very trustingly; and they were so very human in their protests--and so perfectly within their rights! They had done nothing to deserve it; and it was adding insult to injury, as the thing was done here, swinging them up in this cold-blooded, impersonal way, without a pretence at apology, without the homage of a tear. Now and then a visitor wept, to be sure; but this slaughtering-machine ran on, visitors or no visitors. It was like some horrible crime committed in a dungeon, all unseen and unheeded, buried out of sight and of memory. ~ Upton Sinclair,
1293: In The Virgins
You can't put in the ground swell of the organ
from the Christiansted, , Anglican Church
behind the paratrooper's voice: 'Turned cop
after Vietnam. I made thirty jumps.'
Bells punish the dead street and pigeons lurch
from the stone belfry, opening their chutes,
circling until the rings of ringing stop.
'Salud!' The paratrooper's glass is raised.
The congregation rises to its feet
like a patrol, with scuffling shoes and boots,
repeating orders as the organ thumps:
'Praise Ye the Lord. The Lord's name be praised.'
You cannot hear, beyond the quiet harbor,
the breakers cannonading on the bruised
horizon, or the charter engines gunning for
Buck Island. The only war here is a war
of silence between blue sky and sea,
and just one voice, the marching choir's, is raised
to draft new conscripts with the ancient cry
of 'Onward, Christian Soldiers,' into pews
half-empty still, or like a glass, half-full.
Pinning itself to a cornice, a gull
hangs like a medal from the serge-blue sky.
Are these boats all? Is the blue water all?
The rocks surpliced with lace where they are moored,
dinghy, catamaran, and racing yawl,
nodding to the ground swell of 'Praise the Lord'?
Wesley and Watts, their evangelical light
lanced down the mine shafts to our chapel pew,
its beam gritted with motes of anthracite
that drifted on us in our chapel benches:
from God's slow-grinding mills in Lancashire,
ash on the dead mired in Flanders' trenches,
as a gray drizzle now defiles the view
of this blue harbor, framed in windows where
two yellow palm fronds, jerked by the wind's rain,
41
agree like horses' necks, and nodding bear,
slow as a hearse, a haze of tasseled rain,
and, as the weather changes in a child,
the paradisal day outside grows dark,
the yachts flutter like moths in a gray jar,
the martial voices fade in thunder, while
across the harbor, like a timid lure,
a rainbow casts its seven-colored arc.
Tonight, now Sunday has been put to rest.
Altar lights ride the black glass where the yachts
stiffly repeat themselves and phosphoresce
with every ripple - the wide parking-lots
of tidal affluence - and every mast
sways the night's dial as its needle veers
to find the station which is truly peace.
Like neon lasers shot across the bars
discos blast out the music of the spheres,
and, one by one, science infects the stars.
~ Derek Walcott,
1294:He crossed to the small guard station and foraged through its drawers until he found the first-aid box. He threw bottles over his shoulder and they shattered on the ground behind him. When he came to the procaine hydrochloride vial, he stopped. The Maingate physician had insisted it be present in case emergency oral surgery were ever necessary for the guards; in addition to being a contained security unit, the Tower had to be a self-sufficient medical station. Allander withdrew a needle from the small packet and fit it gently into a plastic syringe. He punched the needle through the rubber top of the vial and withdrew some of the liquid, then cleared the air from the syringe. A few drops squirted through, onto the floor. Taking a deep breath, Allander inserted the needle into the tip of the ring finger on his left hand. He waited for the numbness to spread and settle. After a few minutes, he removed a scalpel from its sterile package and dipped it in the container of alcohol. Then he made a neat incision, cutting diagonally through his fingerprint. Since the anesthetic had not fully taken effect, he felt a painful tingling in the pad of his finger, but feeling suddenly rushed for time, he continued. Using tweezers, he pried underneath the skin, grimacing as he saw his flesh rise along the straight line of the cut. The blood came and washed over the end of the tweezers until it obscured his view. Once, he felt the tweezers close on something hard and he pulled gently, but when the tweezers emerged from the bloody gash, they held only fleshy material that looked like gristle. Allander hadn’t anticipated that numbing the finger would have made it difficult for him to distinguish the location sensor from his own senseless tissue. Beginning to lose patience, he pressed the tweezers in until they hit the bone. He applied too much pressure and they slid around the side of his finger next to his nail, pulling the flesh around and stretching the cut open. He heard a soft, metallic clink as the tweezers struck something distinctly alien, and he bit his lip in a mixture of pain and delight. Finally, working the tweezers around the metal, he withdrew the sensor, which was the size of a large pea. The flesh around the cut strained and whitened at the edges as he pulled the bloody orb through. After pressing gauze to his wound, Allander wrapped it with medical tape, bandaging it thoroughly. Then he used the tape to affix the location sensor to the side of the Hole. It was close enough to its assigned location that the difference in position would not be detected from the mainland. ~ Gregg Hurwitz,
1295:What you’re saying makes no sense. At least, it doesn’t make sense to lower spatial dimensions as a weapon. In the long run, that’s the sort of attack that would kill the attacker as well as the target. Eventually, the side that initiated attack would also see their own space fall into the two-dimensional abyss they created.” Nothing but silence. After a long while, Cheng Xin called out, “Dr. Guan?” “You’re too … kind-hearted,” Guan Yifan said softly. “I don’t understand—” “There’s a way for the attacker to avoid death. Think about it.” Cheng Xin pondered and then said, “I can’t figure it out.” “I know you can’t. Because you’re too kind. It’s very simple. The attacker must first transform themselves into life forms that can survive in a low-dimensional universe. For instance, a four-dimensional species can transform itself into three-dimensional creatures, or a three-dimensional species can transform itself into two-dimensional life. After the entire civilization has entered a lower dimension, they can initiate a dimensional strike against the enemy without concern for the consequences.” Cheng Xin was silent again. “Are you reminded of anything?” Yifan asked. Cheng Xin was thinking of more than four hundred years ago, when Blue Space and Gravity had stumbled into the four-dimensional fragment. Yifan had been a member of the small expedition that conversed with the Ring. Did you build this four-dimensional fragment? You told me that you came from the sea. Did you build the sea? Are you saying that for you, or at least for your creators, this four-dimensional space is like the sea for us? More like a puddle. The sea has gone dry. Why are so many ships, or tombs, gathered in such a small space? When the sea is drying, the fish have to gather into a puddle. The puddle is also drying, and all the fish are going to disappear. Are all the fish here? The fish responsible for drying the sea are not here. We’re sorry. What you said is really hard to understand. The fish that dried out the sea went onto land before they did this. They moved from one dark forest to another dark forest. “Is it worth it to pay such a price for victory in war?” Cheng Xin asked. She could not imagine how it was possible to live in a world of one fewer dimension. In two-dimensional space, the visible world consisted of a few line segments of different lengths. Could anyone who was born in three-dimensional space willingly live in a thin sheet of paper with no thickness? Living in three dimensions must be equally confining and unimaginable for those born to a four-dimensional world. “It’s better than death,” said Yifan. While ~ Liu Cixin,
1296:I wish you were going home with me tomorrow.” “I know.” She nearly added Me too, then realized she didn’t. Where would that leave the children? Stephen turned her hand over and ran his thumb across the ring. The wind tugged her hair. A lone seagull cried overhead, floating on the wind, almost stationary. “There was a part of me that hoped you would,” he said. “You know I can’t.” Hadn’t they been through this before? “It won’t be much longer. School will be out in a little over a month. And if the Goldmans buy the property, that’ll expedite things.” “And then what?” “The property would close thirty days from the signing. Maybe you could come for another visit between now and then.” “That’s not what I mean, Meridith.” She knew he referred to the children coming home with her, to their being a family, and she wished so desperately the day had gone better. “Today was a bad day. They’re not normally so quarrelsome, and Ben’s vomiting . . .” The memory was such a horrific end to the day, it was almost funny. She felt a laugh bubbling up inside. “Well, you have to keep your sense of humor around here, that’s for sure.” “I don’t find it funny in the least.” The bubble of laughter burst, unfulfilled. “I appreciate that you want to give them a chance. I’m just trying to say it isn’t always like this.” He looked at her, his eyes intent with purpose. “I didn’t come to bond with the kids, Meridith. I came to remind you what we have together.” He pressed another kiss to her palm. “I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Her breath caught, but not because he’d repeated the words he’d spoken when he’d proposed. The other words made a far stronger impression. I didn’t come to bond with the kids. She’d misread the reason for his visit. She’d taken her own wish and transferred it onto him. “We have plans, good ones,” he said. “Save for a home in Lindenwood Park while we focus on our careers for three to five years. By then we’ll have enough to buy that dream home and start a family.” Meridith knotted the quilt material in her fist with the daffodil, clutching the stem against her chest. “I already have a family, Stephen.” His face fell. “They’re not your kids, Meridith. And they’re not mine.” “They’re my siblings. And they have no one else.” “That wasn’t our plan when I asked you to marry me. When you said yes.” “Life doesn’t always go according to plan, Stephen. Things happen. Change happens. I didn’t ask for this.” “I didn’t either. And I’m asking you to put me first. To put us first.” His grip tightened on her hand. “I love you. The future I want for us doesn’t include someone else’s children.” Meridith ~ Denise Hunter,
1297:I tracked down a vegan baker and had this cake special ordered for tonight. It’s a vanilla cake made with almond milk and maple syrup, glazed with cocoa icing. The damn thing smells delicious, yet my mouth is as dry as the Sahara Desert. That’s probably because of the message. Or, I should say, question iced on top of the cake.

Walking up to the kitchen, I see her shaking her booty as she sings to the loud music blasting through the apartment. In her hand, she has a knife and is cutting up a banana. On the stove, I can see a small pot of melted dark chocolate and what looks like toasted and chopped walnuts on a plate.

“Hey, babe! You’re home too early.” She gives me a fake pout. “I wanted to surprise you.”

Setting my chin on her shoulder, I place my hands on her hips and watch as she starts cutting up another banana. “Surprise me with what, Pixie?”

“Something sweet for us to eat while we watch the movie tonight.”

Kissing the side of her neck, I murmur into her skin, “I’ve got your sweet covered.”

She looks at the box with curious eyes. “Oh? And what do you have there, Trevor Blake?”

Lifting the lid, I push the now visible cake with its question closer to her, and she gasps. Her hands start to tremble, and I watch the hand holding the knife with a wary eye. Perhaps I should have asked her to put that down first.

I watch her face as her eyes tear up at the question in red icing.

Will You Marry Me?

The ring is the dot at the bottom of the question mark, shiny and blinking at her.

Standing here, I wait for an answer.

And I wait more.

Thing is, it’s too quiet. There are silent tears running down her face, but she’s not said a single word.

Fuck.

What if she isn’t ready for this?

I open my mouth to try to fix this, but suddenly my little sprite is squealing loudly, jumping up and down.

I should be fucking thrilled that she’s happy, but all I can see is that knife bouncing up and down with her little body. She’s talking so fast I can barely understand what she’s saying.

“Oh-my-gosh-Trevor-are-you-serious-right-now!”

“Babe, happy as hell that you’re excited, but can you do me a favor really quick?”

Paisley stops jumping up and down and nods her head repeatedly like a bobble head doll. I have to stop myself from laughing at her.

She smiles brightly at me. “If you wanna know my answer, it’s yes!”

“Well, that, too. But, Pixie, can you please put down the knife? Would really fucking hate it if one of us got accidentally stabbed on the night that I’m asking you to become my wife. ~ Chelsea Camaron,
1298:When I’m under stress,” he emphasized, sliding the magnificent emerald onto her finger, “I buy everything in sight. It took my last ounce of control not to buy one of those in every color.”
Her eyes lifted from his smiling lips, dropped to the enormous jewel on her finger, and then widened in shock. “Oh, but-“ she exclaimed, staring at it and straightening in his arms. “It’s glorious. I do mean that, but I couldn’t let you-really, I couldn’t. Ian,” she burst out anxiously, sending a tremor through him when she called him by name, “I can’t let you do this. You’ve been extravagantly generous already.” She touched the huge stone almost reverently, then gave her head a practical shake. “I don’t need jewels, really I don’t. You’re doing this because of that stupid remark I made about someone offering me jewels as large as my palm, and now you’ve bought one nearly that large!”
“Not quite,” he chuckled.
“Why, a stone like this would pay for irrigating Havenhurst and all the servants’ wages for years and years and years, and food to-“
She reached to slide it off her finger. “Don’t!” he warned on a choked laugh, linking his hands behind her back. “I-“ he thought madly for some way to stop her objections-“I cannot possibly return it,” he said. “It’s part of a matched set.”
“You don’t mean there’s more!”
“I’m afraid so, though I meant to surprise you with them tonight. There’s a necklace and bracelet and earrings.”
“Oh, I see,” she said, making a visible effort not to stare at her ring. “Well, I suppose…if it was a purchase of several pieces, the ring alone probably didn’t cost as much as it would have…Do not tell me,” she said severely, when his shoulders began to shake with suppressed mirth, “you actually paid full price for all of the pieces!”
Laughing, Ian put his forehead against hers, and he nodded.
“It’s very fortunate,” she said, protectively putting her fingers against the magnificent ring, “that I’ve agreed to marry you.”
“If you hadn’t,” he laughed, “God knows what I would have bought.”
“Or how much you would have paid for it,” she chuckled, cuddling in his arms-for the first time of her own volition. “Do you really do that?” she asked a moment later.
“Do what?” he gasped, tears of mirth blurring his vision.
“Spend money heedlessly when you’re disturbed about something?”
“Yes,” he lied in a suffocated, laughing voice.
“You’ll have to stop doing it.”
“I’m going to try.”
“I could help you.”
“Please do.”
“You may place yourself entirely in my hands.”
“I’m very much looking forward to that.”
It was the first time Ian had ever kissed a woman while he was laughing. ~ Judith McNaught,
1299: Beowulf (Episode 01)
Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the Scyldings,
leader beloved, and long he ruled
in fame with all folk, since his father had gone
away from the world, till awoke an heir,
haughty Healfdene, who held through life,
sage and sturdy, the Scyldings glad.
Then, one after one, there woke to him,
to the chieftain of clansmen, children four:
Heorogar, then Hrothgar, then Halga brave;
and I heard that -- was -- 's queen,
the Heathoscylfing's helpmate dear.
To Hrothgar was given such glory of war,
such honor of combat, that all his kin
obeyed him gladly till great grew his band
of youthful comrades. It came in his mind
to bid his henchmen a hall uprear,
ia master mead-house, mightier far
than ever was seen by the sons of earth,
and within it, then, to old and young
he would all allot that the Lord had sent him,
save only the land and the lives of his men.
Wide, I heard, was the work commanded,
for many a tribe this mid-earth round,
to fashion the folkstead. It fell, as he ordered,
in rapid achievement that ready it stood there,
of halls the noblest: Heorot he named it
whose message had might in many a land.
Not reckless of promise, the rings he dealt,
treasure at banquet: there towered the hall,
high, gabled wide, the hot surge waiting
of furious flame. Nor far was that day
when father and son-in-law stood in feud
for warfare and hatred that woke again.
With envy and anger an evil spirit
endured the dole in his dark abode,
that he heard each day the din of revel
high in the hall: there harps rang out,
clear song of the singer. He sang who knew
tales of the early time of man,
84
how the Almighty made the earth,
fairest fields enfolded by water,
set, triumphant, sun and moon
for a light to lighten the land-dwellers,
and braided bright the breast of earth
with limbs and leaves, made life for all
of mortal beings that breathe and move.
So lived the clansmen in cheer and revel
a winsome life, till one began
to fashion evils, that field of hell.
Grendel this monster grim was called,
march-riever mighty, in moorland living,
in fen and fastness; fief of the giants
the hapless wight a while had kept
since the Creator his exile doomed.
On kin of Cain was the killing avenged
by sovran God for slaughtered Abel.
Ill fared his feud, and far was he driven,
for the slaughter's sake, from sight of men.
Of Cain awoke all that woful breed,
Etins and elves and evil-spirits,
as well as the giants that warred with God
weary while: but their wage was paid them!
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1300:Mr. Kenton told me about the kiss you shared with Everett. The poor man was completely baffled about how to handle the situation, although he did mention something about a bat being involved, and not the type of bat that flies through the air at night.” Millie’s lips curved into a grin as she looked to Mr. Kenton, who smiled back and sent her a wink. Looking around the backyard, she was about to thank everyone for coming such a long way when Everett and the children reappeared, the children grinning from ear to ear and Everett looking rather . . . determined. He strode across the lawn and came to stop directly in front of her, silence descending as he took hold of her hand. Giving that hand a little squeeze, he smiled. “I was not comfortable saying anything until getting the approval of the children, but now that that has been fulfilled . . .” He dropped to his knees, but then, surprisingly enough, frowned. “Good heavens. This isn’t right. I don’t have a—” “I have one right here, darling.” Dorothy hurried up, pressed a small box into Everett’s hand, muttered something about it being a family heirloom, and then sent Millie a rather misty smile before she hurried back to Fletcher’s side. “You may continue.” “Thank you, Mother.” Everett looked up and smiled at Millie. “Where was I?” “You were getting ready to ask Miss Millie to marry you,” Thaddeus called. “Yes, quite right, thank you, Thaddeus.” Swallowing a laugh, Millie bit her lip as Everett grinned, but then he sobered a second later. “Miss Millie Longfellow, I know we’ve had our differences, and I know I’ve been a complete idiot with you, but as the esteemed Mr. Darcy said, or said something like this—through the pen of Jane Austen, of course—you are my reason for living, and I’d be beyond honored if you’d agree to become my wife.” “That’s not what Jane Austen wrote in her book,” Lucetta called. “Not even close.” “And you forgot to tell her you love her,” Elizabeth added. Everett turned and arched a brow at Lucetta. “I understand you have this gift for memorization, but honestly . . .” He directed his attention to Elizabeth next. “And as for your comment, I thought the whole ‘you are my reason for living’ covered that.” Elizabeth crossed her arms over her chest. “It’s not the same.” Sending Elizabeth a wink, Everett looked back up at Millie and smiled. “Well, there you have it. So I suppose all that’s left for me to say is . . . I love you.” With knees that were distinctly wobbly and a heart that felt ready to burst, Millie smiled back at him. “I love you too.” “And you’ll marry me?” “Of course.” Slipping the ring Dorothy had provided over Millie’s finger, Everett rose to his feet. Pulling Millie close to him, he smiled at the crowd watching them so intently, and then . . . he kissed her. As ~ Jen Turano,
1301:The moment when Pippin and Beregond hear the Black Riders and see them swoop on Faramir in ‘The Siege of Gondor’, V/4, is typical:

Suddenly as they talked they were stricken dumb, frozen as it were to listening stones. Pippin cowered down with his hands pressed to his ears; but Beregond… remained there, stiffened, staring out with starting eyes. Pippin knew the shuddering cry that he had heard: it was the same that he had heard long ago in the Marish of the Shire, but now it was grown in power and hatred, piercing the heart with a poisonous despair.

The last phrase is a critical one. The Ringwraiths work for the most part not physically but psychologically, paralysing the will, disarming all resistance. This may have something to do with the process of becoming a wraith yourself. That can happen as a result of a force from outside. As Gandalf points out, explaining the Morgul-knife, if the splinter had not been cut out, ‘you would have become a wraith under the dominion of the Dark Lord’. But more usually the suspicion is that people make themselves into wraiths. They accept the gifts of Sauron, quite likely with the intention of using them for some purpose which they identify as good. But then they start to cut corners, to eliminate opponents, to believe in some ‘cause’ which justifies everything they do. In the end the ‘cause’, or the habits they have acquired while working for the ‘cause’, destroys any moral sense and even any remaining humanity. The spectacle of the person ‘eaten up inside’ by devotion to some abstraction has been so familiar throughout the twentieth century as to make the idea of the wraith, and the wraithing-process, horribly recognizable, in a way non-fantastic.
The realism of this image of evil is increased by the examples we have of people on their way to becoming wraiths themselves. We have just the start of this, enough to be ominous, in the cases of Bilbo and Frodo, and the others mentioned above. Gollum is much further along the road, though in The Lord of the Rings Gollum, detached from the Ring many years before, is possibly beginning to recover, as is shown by the fact that he has started to call himself by his old name, Sméagol, the name he had when he used to be a hobbit, and is also occasionally and significantly able to say ‘I’. There is a striking dialogue between what one might call his hobbit-personality (Sméagol) and his Ring-personality (Gollum, ‘my precious’) in ‘The Passage of the Marshes’, which makes the point that the two are at least connected: one can imagine the one developing out of the other, pure evil growing out of mere ordinary human weakness and selfishness.
However, the best example of ‘wraithing’ in The Lord of the Rings must be
Saruman. ~ Tom Shippey,
1302:I wish you were going home with me tomorrow.” “I know.” She nearly added Me too, then realized she didn’t. Where would that leave the children? Stephen turned her hand over and ran his thumb across the ring. The wind tugged her hair. A lone seagull cried overhead, floating on the wind, almost stationary. “There was a part of me that hoped you would,” he said. “You know I can’t.” Hadn’t they been through this before? “It won’t be much longer. School will be out in a little over a month. And if the Goldmans buy the property, that’ll expedite things.” “And then what?” “The property would close thirty days from the signing. Maybe you could come for another visit between now and then.” “That’s not what I mean, Meridith.” She knew he referred to the children coming home with her, to their being a family, and she wished so desperately the day had gone better. “Today was a bad day. They’re not normally so quarrelsome, and Ben’s vomiting . . .” The memory was such a horrific end to the day, it was almost funny. She felt a laugh bubbling up inside. “Well, you have to keep your sense of humor around here, that’s for sure.” “I don’t find it funny in the least.” The bubble of laughter burst, unfulfilled. “I appreciate that you want to give them a chance. I’m just trying to say it isn’t always like this.” He looked at her, his eyes intent with purpose. “I didn’t come to bond with the kids, Meridith. I came to remind you what we have together.” He pressed another kiss to her palm. “I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Her breath caught, but not because he’d repeated the words he’d spoken when he’d proposed. The other words made a far stronger impression. I didn’t come to bond with the kids. She’d misread the reason for his visit. She’d taken her own wish and transferred it onto him. “We have plans, good ones,” he said. “Save for a home in Lindenwood Park while we focus on our careers for three to five years. By then we’ll have enough to buy that dream home and start a family.” Meridith knotted the quilt material in her fist with the daffodil, clutching the stem against her chest. “I already have a family, Stephen.” His face fell. “They’re not your kids, Meridith. And they’re not mine.” “They’re my siblings. And they have no one else.” “That wasn’t our plan when I asked you to marry me. When you said yes.” “Life doesn’t always go according to plan, Stephen. Things happen. Change happens. I didn’t ask for this.” “I didn’t either. And I’m asking you to put me first. To put us first.” His grip tightened on her hand. “I love you. The future I want for us doesn’t include someone else’s children.” Meridith eased away from him, pulled her hand from his, and stood, even as he tightened his grip. If Stephen’s future didn’t include her siblings, then it didn’t include her either. She ~ Denise Hunter,
1303:Don’t look so grim. When you get home, I’m sure Randall will buy you all the rings you want. One for every day of the week,” Oscar said, thick with sarcasm, as they walked back toward the harbor.
“I don’t care about the ring!” Camille shouted. She stopped walking and turned to Oscar. “I’m sorry, it’s just that…”
Oscar patiently waited for her to finish her sentence. Camille looked away, embarrassed. She had scraped Randall’s skin with the ring, too. It had been one of their rare moments alone. He’d run his fingers down her back, nibbled on her neck, and she’d waited for her legs to turn to warm butter. She’d waited to feel the desire to kiss him. But the feelings hadn’t come. Camille had swept her hand up to stop him, and the ring had left a puffy red scratch on his arm.
Oscar watched her fumble for words, his expression one of concern.
“Never mind,” she said quickly and stepped up onto a raised sidewalk, out of the mud.
“Never mind what?”
“It’s private.”
He continued walking in the street, his head level with hers.
“Private between who?”
“Between me and Randall. You wouldn’t understand,” she said and lifted her skirt as she descended back down into the muddy street where the sidewalk ran out.
“And why is that?” he asked, sounding put off. Daphne’s place came into view. The air smelled of bitter salt water and of wood smoke curling up from the kitchen chimney.
“Oh, Oscar, you’re a man of the sea. What could you possibly know about relationships?”
He’d never courted a woman as far as Camille knew. She slowed her pace. Or had he? Oscar stopped in the middle of the cobblestoned walkway leading to Daphne’s front door. His eyes blazed with hurt and resentment.
“I do apologize, Miss Rowen, I forgot mere sailors aren’t worthy of marriage. Isn’t that what your father always said?”
Camille’s cheeks seared with heat. It was a stance her father had never parted from, but she hadn’t known he’d also impressed it upon Oscar. She fidgeted with her hands and fumbled for an apology. “No, that’s not what I meant. You’re a bachelor, that’s all.”
Oscar shook his head, unable to meet her eyes. She’d sounded so patronizing. Oscar was handsome, young, and single, and for a man of his class, he made a decent living. Enough to attract an equally decent amount of attention from women, she supposed. Why hadn’t she ever thought of that?
He retreated to the street. “I’m going for a walk.”
“Oscar, wait-“
He pivoted on his heel. “You know, you’re wrong, Camille. And your father was wrong, too.”
Oscar turned and disappeared behind the boxwood hedges. Camille clenched two fistfuls of her skirt and stomped up the steps, aggravated over her careless words. She’d been pompous and arrogant, and she hated that she’d hurt him. She cringed at the wounded way he’d looked at her. ~ Angie Frazier,
1304:I lived in New York City back in the 1980s, which is when the Bordertown series was created. New York was a different place then -- dirtier, edgier, more dangerous, but also in some ways more exciting. The downtown music scene was exploding -- punk and folk music were everywhere -- and it wasn't as expensive to live there then, so a lot of young artists, musicians, writers, etc. etc. were all living and doing crazy things in scruffy neighborhoods like the East Village.

I was a Fantasy Editor for a publishing company back then -- but in those days, "fantasy" to most people meant "imaginary world" books, like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. A number of the younger writers in the field, however, wanted to create a branch of fantasy that was rooted in contemporary, urban North America, rather than medieval or pastoral Europe. I'd already been working with some of these folks (Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, etc.), who were writing novels that would become the foundations for the current Urban Fantasy field. At the time, these kinds of stories were considered so strange and different, it was actually hard to get them into print.

When I was asked by a publishing company to create a shared-world anthology for Young Adult readers, I wanted to create an Urban Fantasy setting that was something like a magical version of New York...but I didn't want it to actually be New York. I want it to be any city and every city -- a place that anyone from anywhere could go to or relate to. The idea of placing it on the border of Elfland came from the fact that I'd just re-read a fantasy classic called The King of Elfland's Daughter by the Irish writer Lord Dunsany. I love stories that take place on the borderlands between two different worlds...and so I borrowed this concept, but adapted it to a modern, punky, urban setting.

I drew upon elements of the various cities I knew best -- New York, Boston, London, Dublin, maybe even a little of Mexico City, where I'd been for a little while as a teen -- and scrambled them up and turned them into Bordertown. There actually IS a Mad River in southern Ohio (where I went to college) and I always thought that was a great name, so I imported it to Bordertown. As for the water being red, that came from the river of blood in the Scottish folk ballad "Thomas the Rhymer," which Thomas must cross to get into Elfland.

[speaking about the Borderland series she "founded" and how she came up with the setting. Link to source; Q&A with Holly, Ellen & Terri!] ~ Terri Windling,
1305:Cinder." Kai pulled one leg onto the bank, turning his body so they were facing each other. He took her hands between his and her heart began to drum unexpectedly. Not because of his touch, and not even because of his low, serious tone, but because it occurred to Cinder all at once that Kai was nervous.
Kai was never nervous.
"I asked you once," he said, running his thumbs over her knuckles, "if you thought you would ever be willing to wear a crown again. Not as the queen of Luna, but ... as my empress. And you said that you would consider it, someday."
She swallowed a breath of cool night air. "And ... this is that day?"
His lips twitched, but didn't quite become a smile. "I love you. I want to be with you for the rest of my life. I want to marry you, and, yes, I want you to be my empress."
Cinder gaped at him for a long moment before she whispered, "That's a lot of wanting."
"You have no idea."
She lowered her lashes. "I might have some idea."
Kai released one of her hands and she looked up again to see him reaching into his pocket - the same that had held Wolf's and Scarlet's wedding rings before. His fist was closed when he pulled it out and Kai held it toward her, released a slow breath, and opened his fingers to reveal a stunning ring with a large ruby ringed in diamonds.
It didn't take long for her retina scanner to measure the ring, and within seconds it was filling her in on far more information than she needed - inane worlds like carats and clarity scrolled past her vision. But it was the ring's history that snagged her attention. It had been his mother's engagement ring once, and his grandmother's before that.
Kai took her hand and slipped the ring onto her finger. Metal clinked against metal, and the priceless gem looked as ridiculous against her cyborg plating as the simple gold band had looked on Wolf's enormous, deformed, slightly hairy hand.
Cinder pressed her lips together and swallowed, hard, before daring to meet Kai's gaze again.
"Cinder," he said, "will you marry me?"
Absurd, she thought.
The emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth was proposing to her. It was uncanny. It was hysterical.
But it was Kai, and somehow, that also made it exactly right.
"Yes," she whispered. "I will marry you."
Those simple words hung between them for a breath, and then she grinned and kissed him, amazed that her declaration didn't bring the surge of anxiety she would have expected years ago. He drew her into his arms, laughing between kisses, and she suddenly started to laugh too. She felt strangely delirious.
They had stood against all adversity to be together, and now they would forge their own path to love. She would be Kai's wife. She would be the Commonwealth's empress. And she had every intention of being blissfully happy for ever, ever after. ~ Marissa Meyer,
1306: The Innkeeper’s Wife
I love this byre. Shadows are kindly here.
The light is flecked with travelling stars of dust,
So quiet it seems after the inn-clamour,
Scraping of fiddles and the stamping feet.
Only the cows, each in her patient box,
Turn their slow eyes, as we and the sunlight enter,
Their slowly rhythmic mouths.
‘That is the stall,
Carpenter. You see it’s too far gone
For patching or repatching. My husband made it,
And he’s been gone these dozen years and more…’
Strange how this lifeless thing, degraded wood
Split from the tree and nailed and crucified
To make a wall, outlives the mastering hand
That struck it down, the warm firm hand
That touched my body with its wandering love.
‘No, let the fire take them. Strip every board
And make a new beginning. Too many memories lurk
Like worms in this old wood. That piece you’re holding –
That patch of grain with the giant’s thumbprint –
I stared at it a full hour when he died:
Its grooves are down my mind. And that board there
Baring its knot-hole like a missing jig-saw –
I remember another hand along its rim.
No, not my husband’s and why I should remember
I cannot say. It was a night in winter.
Our house was full, tight-packed as salted herrings –
So full, they said, we had to hold our breaths
To close the door and shut the night-air out!
And then two travellers came. They stood outside
Across the threshold, half in the ring of light
And half beyond it. I would have let them in
Despite the crowding – the woman was past her time –
But I’d no mind to argue with my husband,
The flagon in my hand and half the inn
Still clamouring for wine. But when trade slackened,
And all out guests had sung themselves to bed
Or told the floor their troubles, I came out here
Where he had lodged them. The man was standing
As you are now, his hand smoothing that board –
He was a carpenter, I heard them say.
She rested on the straw, and on her arm
A child was lying. None of your crease-faced brats
Squalling their lungs out. Just lying there
As calm as a new-dropped calf – his eyes wide open,
And gazing round as if the world he saw
In the chaff-strewn light of the stable lantern
Was something beautiful and new and strange.
Ah well, he’ll have learnt different now, I reckon,
Wherever he is. And why I should recall
A scene like that, when times I would remember
Have passed beyond reliving, I cannot think.
It’s a trick you’re served by old possessions:
They have their memories too – too many memories.
Well, I must go in. There are meals to serve.
Join us there, Carpenter, when you’ve had enough
Of cattle-company. The world is a sad place,
But wine and music blunt the truth of it.
~ Clive Sansom,
1307:SYNCHRONICITY

'The earth is alive, and it feels with you. It follows your footsteps, your search, with equal anxiety, because it will be transfigured in your triumph. The end of Kaliyuga and the entry into a new Golden Age depend on the results of your war. The earth by itself cannot finish the work that Nature leaves incomplete. Today the earth has joined forces with man in his destructive passion. The great catastrophe will occur in the first years of the Age of Aquarius. But if you can find the entrance to the Invisible Double of this earth, fulfilling the mystery of 'loveless A-Mor', the volcanoes will become calm, the earthquake will cease and the catastrophe will be avoided.

'There is an essential 'synchronicity' between the soul and the landscape. What you achieve in yourself will have repercussions in even the remotest corner of the universe, like the ringing of a bell which announces a triumph or a defeat, producing irreversible effects in a secret centre where Destiny acts. The Archetype is indivisible and, if you once confront it in an essential manner, the effects are universal and valid for all eternity. The old Chinese saying expresses it well: 'If a man, sitting in his room, thinks the right thoughts, he will be heard thousands of leagues away.' And the alchemical saying, too: 'It doesn't matter how alone you are. If you do true work, unknown friends will come to your aid.'

'What I have called "synchronicity', Nietzsche called 'lucky occurrences filled with meaning'. It becomes a poetic dialogue, a concerto for two violins, between the man-magician and Nature. The world presents you with a 'lucky occurrence filled with meaning', it hands you a subtle, almost secret message, something which happens without apparent reason, a-causal, but which you feel is full of meaning. This being exactly what the world is looking for, that you should extract that meaning from it, which you alone are capable of seeing, because it 'synchronises', it fully coincides with your immediate state of mind, with an event in your life, so that it is able to transform itself, with your assistance, into legend and destiny. A lucky occurrence which transformed itself into Destiny. And once you have achieved this, everything will appear to become the same as before, as if nothing had happened. Nevertheless, everything has changed fundamentally and for all time, although the only ones to know it will be you and the earth — which is now your earth, your world, since it has given itself up to you so that you can make it fruitful. 'The earth has made itself invisible inside you', as Rilke would say, it has become an individualised universe inside you. And although perhaps nothing may have changed, 'it might seem as if it were so, it might seem as if it were so', to use your own words. And you will be a creative God of the world; because you have conceived a Non-Existent Flower. You have given a meaning to your flower. ~ Miguel Serrano,
1308: Lord Thomas And Fair Ellinor
Lord Thomas he was a bold forrester,
And a chaser of the kings deere;
Faire Ellinor was a fine woman,
And Lord Thomas he loved her deare.
'Come riddle my riddle, dear mother,' he sayd,
'And riddle us both as one;
Whether I shall marrye with faire Ellinor,
And let the browne girl alone?'
'The browne girl she has got houses and lands,
Faire Ellinor she has got none;
And therefore I charge thee on my blessing,
To bring me the browne girl home.'
And as it befelle on a high holidaye,
As many there are beside,
Lord Thomas he went to faire Ellinor,
That should have been his bride.
And when he came to faire Ellinor's bower,
He knocked there at the ring;
And who was so readye as faire Ellinor,
To lett Lord Thomas withinn?
'What newes, what newes, Lord Thomas,' she sayd,
'What newes dost thou bring to mee?'
'I am come to bid thee to my wedding,
And that is bad newes for thee.'
'O God forbid, Lord Thomas,' she sayd,
'That such a thing should be done;
I thought to have been the bride my selfe
And thou to have been the bride-grome.'
'Come riddle my riddle, dear mother,' she sayd,
'And riddle it all in one;
Whether I shall goe toLord Thomas his wedding,
Or whether shall tarry at home?'
469
'There are manye that are your friendes, daughter,
And manye a one your foe;
Therefore I charge you on my blessing,
To Lord Thomas his wedding don't goe.'
She cloathed herself in gallant attire,
And her merrye men all in greene;
And as they rid through every towne,
They took her to be some queene.
But when she came to Lord Thomas his gate,
She knocked there at the ring;
And who was so readye as Lord Thomas,
To lett faire Ellinor in.
'Is this your bride?' fair Ellinor sayd;
'Methinks she looks wonderous browne;
Thou mightest have had as faire a woman
As ever trod on the grounde.'
'Despise her not, fair Ellin,' he sayd,
'Despise her not unto mee;
For better I love thy little finger,
Than all her whole bodee.'
This browne bride had a little penknife,
That was both long and sharpe,
And betwixt the short ribs and the long,
She prick'd faire Ellinor's harte.
'O Christ thee save,' Lord Thomas hee sayd,
'Methinks thou lookst wonderous wan;
Thou usedst to look with as fresh a colour,
As ever the sun shone on.'
'O art thou blind, Lord Thomas?' she sayd,
'Or canst thou not very well see?
O dost thou not see my owne hearts bloode
Run trickling down my knee?'
Lord Thomas he had a sword by his side;
470
As he walked about the halle,
He cut off his brides head from her shoulders,
And threw it against the walle.
He set the hilte against the grounde,
And the point against his harte;
There never three lovers together did meete,
That sooner againe did parte.
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1309: The Chronicle
A BALLAD.
MARGARITA first possest,
If I remember well, my brest,
Margarita first of all;
But when awhile the wanton maid
With my restless heart had play'd,
Martha took the flying ball.
Martha soon did it resign
To the beauteous Catharine.
Beauteous Catharine gave place
(Though loth and angry she to part
With the possession of my heart)
To Eliza's conquering face.
Eliza till this hour might reign,
Had she not evil counsels ta'en.
Fundamental laws she broke,
And still new favorites she chose,
Till up in arms my passions rose,
And cast away her yoke.
Mary then, and gentle Anne,
Both to reign at once began;
Alternately they sway'd;
And sometimes Mary was the fair,
And sometimes Anne the Crown did wear,
And sometimes both I obey'd.
Another Mary then arose
And did rigorous laws impose;
A mighty tyrant she!
Long, alas! should I have been
Under that iron-scepter'd queen,
Had not Rebecca set me free.
When fair Rebecca set me free,
'Twas then a golden time with me:
But soon those pleasures fled;
49
For the gracious princess dy'd,
In her youth and beauty's pride,
And Judith reigned in her stead.
One month, three days, and half an hour,
Judith held the soveraign power:
Wondrous beautiful her face!
But so weak and small her wit,
That she to govern was unfit,
And so Susanna took her place.
But when Isabella came,
Arm'd with a resistless flame,
And th' artillery of her eye;
Whilst she proudly march'd about,
Greater conquests to find out,
She beat out Susan by the bye.
But in her place I then obey'd
Black-ey'd Bess, her viceroy-maid;
To whom ensu'd a vacancy:
Thousand worse passions than possest
The interregnum of my breast;
Bless me from such an anarchy!
Gentle Henriette then,
And a third Mary, next began;
Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria;
And then a pretty Thomasine,
And then another Katharine,
And then a long et cætera.
But should I now to you relate,
The strength and riches of their state;
The powder, patches, and the pins,
The ribbons, jewels, and the rings,
The lace, the paint, and warlike things,
That make up all their magazines;
If I should tell the politic arts
To take and keep men's hearts;
The letters, embassies, and spies,
50
The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries,
The quarrels, tears, and perjuries
(Numberless, nameless, mysteries!)
And all the little lime-twigs laid,
By Machiavel the waiting-maid;
I more voluminous should grow
(Chiefly if I like them should tell
All change of weathers that befell)
Than Holinshed or Stow.
But I will briefer with them be,
Since few of them were long with me.
An higher and a nobler strain
My present Emperess does claim,
Heleonora, first o' th' name;
Whom God grant long to reign!
~ Abraham Cowley,
1310: The Swagless Swaggie
This happened many years ago
Before the bush was cleared,
When every man was six foot high
And wore a flowing beard.
One very hot and windy day,
Along the old coach road,
Towards Joe Murphy’s halfway house
A bearded bushman strode.
He was a huge and heavy man,
Well over six foot high,
An old slouch hat was on his head,
And murder in his eye.
No billy can was in his hand,
No heavy swag he bore,
But deep and awful were the oaths
That swagless swaggie swore.
At last he reached the shanty door,
Into the bar he burst,
He dumped his hat upon the floor,
And cursed and cursed and cursed.
A neighboring shed had just cut out;
The bar was nearly full
Of shearers and of bullockies
Who’d come to cart the wool.
They were a rough and ready lot,
The bushmen gathered there,
But every man was stricken dumb,
To hear the stranger swear.
He cursed the bush, he cursed mankind,
The whole wide universe.
It froze their very blood to hear
That swagless swaggie curse.
17
Joe Murphy seized an empty pot
And filled it brimming full.
The stranger raised it to his lips
And took a mighty pull.
This seemed to cool him down a bit;
He finished off the ale,
And to the crowd around the bar
He told his awful tale.
“I met the Ben Hall gang,” he said,
“The blankards stuck me up!
They pinched me billy, pinched me swag,
And pinched me flamin’ pup!
They turned me pockets inside out,
And took me only quid!
I never thought they’d pinch me pipe,
But swelp me gawd they did!
I spoke to ’em as man to man,
I said I’d fight ’em all;
I would have broke O’Mealleys neck,
And tanned the hide of Hall.
They only laughed, and said good-bye,
And rode away to brag
Of how they stuck a swaggie up
And robbed him of his swag.
“I never done ’em any harm,
I thought ’em decent chaps.
But now I wouldn’t raise a hand
To save ’em from the traps.
I’m finished with the bush for good,
I’m off to Wagga town
Where they won’t stick a swaggie up
Or take a swaggie down.
The bushmen were a decent lot,
18
As bushmen mostly are.
They filled the stranger up with beer;
The hat went round the bar.
The shearers threw some blankets in
To make another swag,
The rousers gave a billy can
And brand new tucker bag.
Joe Murphy gave a meerschaum pipe
He hadn’t smoked for years.
The stranger was too full of words,
His eyes were dim with tears.
The ringer shouted drinks all round
And then, to top it up,
The babbling brook, the shearers cook,
Gave him a kelpie pup.
Next day, an hour before the dawn,
The stranger took the track
Complete with pup and billy can,
His swag upon his back.
Along the most forsaken roads,
Intent on dodging graft,
He headed for the Great North West,
And laughed, and laughed and laughed.
~ Edward Harrington,
1311:The Birth of Our Daughter, Emily"
by Anne Delaney

It is a long labour.
The hour-hands fly then slow.
The hills of pain grow higher,
and we in our ascent
are faced with whole ranges rising in the sky.
The nuurses whisper to each other
that my eyes are purple glass, which they admire,
though my sighs are harsh;
they close the door,
discreet upon the scandal of my noise.

We have an older boy
who wants the ring of news
to widen into fact,
but is willing to wait as we engage, enact
the water-tale, the song of blood.
Too young to know
that flesh which parts to take the seed
will break again as life is freed
(and who can say where joy or pain will lead?)

Blessed are the cries of birth:
a woman's, child's, the silent worth
of being (questioned everywhere on earth).
In other wards the nurses bring
the gleaner and his knife that sing
the cosmic praise of death:
"O up in smoke the chimney go
the unwanted miracles, ho, ho, ho!"
Row on row, the women of the future lie
discussing Kant, success and vie
for knowledge and its rotten swain.
"A seed", he says, "is just a seed
to throw upon a fire."

The doctor is called (he smiles, is bald);
his voice of authority,
his eyes that know.
He blesses, assures, his faith endures,
high priest of scientism,
he fades and then returns to see:
dilated now most perfectly.

Push, he says,
and then we three, the father, child and mother (me)
are melted, fused into one.
We cry, we strain, are almost done.
A face is born. He checks to see:
Yes, eyes and nose,
brows and mouth,
are situated properly.

But the baby's large, the face is blue,
the shoulders will not, will not
go through.
The doctor yells
and stumbles over tubing,
his voice collapses like the bombed roofs of cathedrals.
The hand of the high-priest trembles as he shoves
the needle into my veins
and shouts for more technology
(his practiced eye knows,
there are bells that summon us not
to prayer but to disaster).

The baby refuses to be born.
The doctor insists.
Though his stainless steel authorrity is no longer intact,
he is prepared for any unseemly act.
There is a spray of blood upon his linen breast,
there is a loud, white, ceramic panic,
there is an astringent perfume of dread,
the knowledge
that all can collapse,
and lie still beneath fluorescent light.
There is the losing, falling, sinking, blinding, draining down the
sinkhole eyes,
and white horses galloping up on fields of moon.

I cry aloud in one last plight,
shouting "yes" before the extinction of the light,
when shoulder one,
then two
are born of me, of you.
A pinched wail from the electric blue
rubber doll baby.
The man, my husband, weeps, then laughs, as I;
A girl, a girl! I cry.

She curls, uncurls her miniature toes;
they run with her, suction her nose.
Legs and hands lash, mouth opens a sweet gash.
Oxygen bursts into sacrificial lamb,
I am, she screams,
I am, I AM. ~ Michael D O Brien,
1312: Episode 39
IT was heavy hap for that hero young
on his lord beloved to look and find him
lying on earth with life at end,
sorrowful sight. But the slayer too,
awful earth-dragon, empty of breath,
lay felled in fight, nor, fain of its treasure,
could the writhing monster rule it more.
For edges of iron had ended its days,
hard and battle-sharp, hammers' leaving;
and that flier-afar had fallen to ground
hushed by its hurt, its hoard all near,
no longer lusty aloft to whirl
at midnight, making its merriment seen,
proud of its prizes: prone it sank
by the handiwork of the hero-king.
Forsooth among folk but few achieve,
-- though sturdy and strong, as stories tell me,
and never so daring in deed of valor, -the perilous breath of a poison-foe
to brave, and to rush on the ring-board hall,
whenever his watch the warden keeps
bold in the barrow. Beowulf paid
the price of death for that precious hoard;
and each of the foes had found the end
of this fleeting life.
Befell erelong
that the laggards in war the wood had left,
trothbreakers, cowards, ten together,
fearing before to flourish a spear
in the sore distress of their sovran lord.
Now in their shame their shields they carried,
armor of fight, where the old man lay;
and they gazed on Wiglaf. Wearied he sat
at his sovran's shoulder, shieldsman good,
to wake him with water. Nowise it availed.
Though well he wished it, in world no more
could he barrier life for that leader-of-battles
nor baffle the will of all-wielding God.
Doom of the Lord was law o'er the deeds
216
of every man, as it is to-day.
Grim was the answer, easy to get,
from the youth for those that had yielded to fear!
Wiglaf spake, the son of Weohstan, -mournful he looked on those men unloved: -"Who sooth will speak, can say indeed
that the ruler who gave you golden rings
and the harness of war in which ye stand
-- for he at ale-bench often-times
bestowed on hall-folk helm and breastplate,
lord to liegemen, the likeliest gear
which near of far he could find to give, -threw away and wasted these weeds of battle,
on men who failed when the foemen came!
Not at all could the king of his comrades-in-arms
venture to vaunt, though the Victory-Wielder,
God, gave him grace that he got revenge
sole with his sword in stress and need.
To rescue his life, 'twas little that I
could serve him in struggle; yet shift I made
(hopeless it seemed) to help my kinsman.
Its strength ever waned, when with weapon I struck
that fatal foe, and the fire less strongly
flowed from its head. -- Too few the heroes
in throe of contest that thronged to our king!
Now gift of treasure and girding of sword,
joy of the house and home-delight
shall fail your folk; his freehold-land
every clansman within your kin
shall lose and leave, when lords highborn
hear afar of that flight of yours,
a fameless deed. Yea, death is better
for liegemen all than a life of shame!"
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1313:I was going to wait for a special occasion, but I don’t want to wait. I want to put a ring on her as soon as possible. I want her to be mine. All mine. Her eyes go wide when I show her the box. “I can’t quite go down onto one knee,” I say in apology. Her eyes fill with tears, and I stuff the box back down in the cushions. “We can do this another time,” I say. “Are you kidding?” she asks. She takes my shirt in her fists and jerks me toward her. “Ask me. Ask me. Please ask me.” She’s in my face, and I’ve never been more in love with her than I am right now. But she sits back, looks at me sheepishly, and says, “If you want to ask me, that is. You don’t have to ask me if you don’t want to.” I wrap my arm around her head and give her a noogie. “I don’t just want to. I have to.” She looks up at me, her thoughts in as much turmoil as her hair. “I can’t live without you, dummy,” I try to explain. She grins at the term of endearment. There was a time that a word like that would have shredded her; now it’s just a word. A funny one, too, because she’s the opposite of dumb. “I love you,” she says. She kisses me, her tongue sweeping into my mouth, the gentle touch of it against mine making me go rock hard immediately. “Get the box back out,” she says. I can feel her grin against my lips when she goes back to kissing me. “What box?” I ask. “The ring. Ask me. I promise I’ll say yes.” “You’re so easy,” I tease. She wasn’t always easy. It was damn hard loving her in the beginning, but I couldn’t avoid it. She’s like a piece of me that was missing all my life. I can’t imagine a day without her. I reach into the cushions and pick up the box. My heart is thumping in my chest like a roofer’s hammer, even though she just told me she was going to accept. I open the box, and it creaks on its hinges. “Will you marry me?” I ask. She takes the box and sits back, an open-mouth grin on her face. It’s a mixture of awe and happiness. “I used to look at this when I was little. My dad said my rich husband would get me a big, fat rock and we’d live happily ever after. But all I ever wanted was this ring and a husband who loved me.” I tip her face up to mine with a crooked finger under her chin. “I love you.” I scrunch my eyebrows together. “Did you forget to say yes?” “I didn’t forget,” she tosses back at me. She sets the box on the table and gets up. “I just haven’t said yes, yet.” She points toward the kitchen. “Do you want something to drink? I’m thirsty.” She gets up like she’s going to walk away, but I grab her shirt in my fist and pull her back down. I pick up the box, take the ring out of it, and hold it up. “Marry me, Em,” I plead. “If you say yes, we can have lots of crazy sex and live happily ever after.” I want to laugh, but I can’t. It’s not really funny. “Marry me, Em,” I repeat. “Please.” She smacks me on the forehead with palm of her hand, and I’m momentarily stunned. “Of course I’ll marry you,” she says. She lets me slide the ring onto her finger. “I couldn’t make it easy for you, dummy,” she says. She settles into my side and nuzzles into that spot that’s all hers. There are no secrets between us. Not anymore. And it feels so fucking good. ~ Tammy Falkner,
1314: Beowulf (Episode 26)
BEOWULF spake, bairn of Ecgtheow: -"Lo, we seafarers say our will,
far-come men, that we fain would seek
Hygelac now. We here have found
hosts to our heart: thou hast harbored us well.
If ever on earth I am able to win me
more of thy love, O lord of men,
aught anew, than I now have done,
for work of war I am willing still!
If it come to me ever across the seas
that neighbor foemen annoy and fright thee, -as they that hate thee erewhile have used, -thousands then of thanes I shall bring,
heroes to help thee. Of Hygelac I know,
ward of his folk, that, though few his years,
the lord of the Geats will give me aid
by word and by work, that well I may serve thee,
wielding the war-wood to win thy triumph
and lending thee might when thou lackest men.
If thy Hrethric should come to court of Geats,
a sovran's son, he will surely there
find his friends. A far-off land
each man should visit who vaunts him brave."
Him then answering, Hrothgar spake: -"These words of thine the wisest God
sent to thy soul! No sager counsel
from so young in years e'er yet have I heard.
Thou art strong of main and in mind art wary,
art wise in words! I ween indeed
if ever it hap that Hrethel's heir
by spear be seized, by sword-grim battle,
by illness or iron, thine elder and lord,
people's leader, -- and life be thine, -no seemlier man will the Sea-Geats find
at all to choose for their chief and king,
for hoard-guard of heroes, if hold thou wilt
thy kinsman's kingdom! Thy keen mind pleases me
the longer the better, Beowulf loved!
Thou hast brought it about that both our peoples,
139
sons of the Geat and Spear-Dane folk,
shall have mutual peace, and from murderous strife,
such as once they waged, from war refrain.
Long as I rule this realm so wide,
let our hoards be common, let heroes with gold
each other greet o'er the gannet's-bath,
and the ringed-prow bear o'er rolling waves
tokens of love. I trow my landfolk
towards friend and foe are firmly joined,
and honor they keep in the olden way."
To him in the hall, then, Healfdene's son
gave treasures twelve, and the trust-of-earls
bade him fare with the gifts to his folk beloved,
hale to his home, and in haste return.
Then kissed the king of kin renowned,
Scyldings' chieftain, that choicest thane,
and fell on his neck. Fast flowed the tears
of the hoary-headed. Heavy with winters,
he had chances twain, but he clung to this, -that each should look on the other again,
and hear him in hall. Was this hero so dear to him.
his breast's wild billows he banned in vain;
safe in his soul a secret longing,
locked in his mind, for that loved man
burned in his blood. Then Beowulf strode,
glad of his gold-gifts, the grass-plot o'er,
warrior blithe. The wave-roamer bode
riding at anchor, its owner awaiting.
As they hastened onward, Hrothgar's gift
they lauded at length. -- 'Twas a lord unpeered,
every way blameless, till age had broken
-- it spareth no mortal -- his splendid might.
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1315:When I pull my hand away, my fingertips are not stained red, but silver. I stare at my nails, trying to make sense of what I see when out of the formless gloom, a monster emerges.
I do scream when a pair of blue-white eyes appear, a pinprick of black in their center. Slowly, a shape coalesces into being- a long, elegant face, whorls of inky shadows swirling over moon-pale skin, ram's horns curling around pointed, elfin ears. He is more terrifying and more real than the vision I experienced in the labyrinth. But worst of all are the hands, gnarled and curled and with one too many joints in each finger. With a silver ring around the base of one. A wolf's-head ring, with two gems of blue and green for eyes.
My ring. His ring. The symbol of our promise I had returned to the Goblin King back in the Goblin Grove.
Mein Herr?
For a brief moment, those blue-white eyes regain some color, the only color in this gray world. Blue and green, like the gems on the ring about his finger. Mismatched eyes. Human eyes. The eyes of my immortal beloved.
Elisabeth, he says, and his lips move painfully around a mouth full of sharpened teeth, like the fangs of some horrifying beast. Despite the fear knifing my veins, my heart grows soft with pity. With tenderness. I reach for my Goblin King, longing to touch him, to hold his face in my hands the way I had done when I was his bride.
Mein Herr. My hands lift to stroke his cheek, but he shakes his head, batting my fingers away.
I am not he, he says, and an ominous growl laces his words as his eyes return to that eerie blue-white. He that you love is gone.
Then who are you?
I ask.
His nostrils flare and shadows deepen around us, giving shape to the world. He swirls a cloak about him as a dark forest comes into view, growing from the mist. I am the Lord of Mischief and the Ruler Underground. His lips stretch thin over that dangerous mouth in a leering smile. I am death and doom and Der Erlkönig.
No!
I cry, reading for him again. No, you are he that I love, a king with music in his soul and a prayer in his heart. You are a scholar, a philosopher, and my own austere young man.
Is that so?
The corrupted Goblin King runs a tongue over his gleaming teeth, those pale eyes devouring me as though I were a sumptuous treat to be savored. Then prove it. Call him by name.
A jolt sings through me- guilt and fear and desire altogether. His name, a name, the only link my austere young man has to the world above, the one thing he could not give me.
Der Erlkönig throws his head back in a laugh. You do not even know your beloved's name, maiden? How can you possibly call it love when you walked away, when you abandoned him and all that he fought for?
I shall find it,
I say fiercely. I shall call him by name and bring him home.
Malice lights those otherworldly eyes, and despite the monstrous markings and horns and fangs and fur that claim the Goblin King's comely form, he turns seductive, sly. Come, brave maiden, he purrs. Come, join me and be my bride once more, for it was not your austere young man who showed you the dark delights of the Underground and the flesh. It was I. ~ S Jae Jones,
1316: Ulysses
It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
Life to the lees. All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea. I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known,-- cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honor'd of them all,-And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
>From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
to whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,-Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
872
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me,-That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads,-- you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,-One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
1317:It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
that loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vexed the dim sea. I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known---cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honored of them all---
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades
Forever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end.
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
This is my son, my own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the scepter and the isle---
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me---
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads---you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are---
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. ~ Alfred Tennyson,
1318:The thought turned him topsy-turvy. It seemed to summarize the whole worthless way of the world--if there was one. And versions of it began to flutter wildly through his head. You have to look round to see straight. Good enough. Useful. And the rough places plain. But all that's geometry. But it measures the earth. You have to go slow to catch up. Eat to get thin? no, but fast to grow fat, that was a fine one. Then lose to win? fail to succeed? Risky. Stop to begin. The form made noiseless music--lumly lum lum or lum-lee-lee lum--like fill to empty, every physical extreme. Die to live was a bit old hat. But default to repay. And lie to be honest. He liked the ring of that. Flack! I'm white in order to be black. Sin first and saint later. Cruel to be kind, of course, and the hurts in the hurter--that's what they say--a lot of blap. That's my name, my nomination: Saint Later. Now then: humble to be proud; poor to be rich. Enslave to make free? That moved naturally. Also multiply to subtract. Dee dee dee. Young Saint Later. A list of them, as old as Pythagoras had. Even engenders odd. How would that be? Eight is five and three. There were no middle-aged saints--they were all old men or babies. Ah, god--the wise fool. The simpleton sublime. Babe in the woods, roach in the pudding, prince in the pauper, enchanted beauty in the toad. This was the wisdom of the folk and the philosopher alike--the disorder of the lyre, or the drawn-out bow of that sane madman, the holy Heraclitus. The poet Zeno. The logician Keats. Discovery after discovery: the more the mice eat, the fatter the cats. There were tears and laughter, for instance--how they shook and ran together into one gay grief. Dumb eloquence, swift still waters, shallow deeps. Let's see: impenitent remorse, careless anxiety, heedless worry, tense repose. So true of tigers. Then there was the friendly enmity of sun and snow, and the sweet disharmony of every union, the greasy mate of cock and cunt, the cosmic poles, war that's peace, the stumble that's an everlasting poise and balance, spring and fall, love, strife, health, disease, and the cold duplicity of Number One and all its warm divisions. The sameness that's in difference. The limit that's limitless. The permanence that's change. The distance of the near at home. So--to roam, stay home. Then pursue to be caught, submit to conquer. Method--ancient--of Chinese. To pacify, inflame. Love, hate. Kiss, kill. In, out, up, down, start, stop. Ah . . . from pleasure, pain. Like circumcision of the heart. Judgement and mercy. Sin and grace. It little mattered; everything seemed to Furber to be magically right, and his heart grew fat with satisfaction. Therefore there is good in every evil; one must lower away to raise; seek what's found to mourn its loss; conceive in stone and execute in water; turn profound and obvious, miraculous and commonplace, around; sin to save; destroy in order to create; live in the sun, though underground. Yes. Doubt in order to believe--that was an old one--for this the square IS in the circle. O Phaedo, Phaedo. O endless ending. Soul is immortal after all--at last it's proved. Between dead and living there's no difference but the one has whiter bones. Furber rose, the mosquitoes swarming around him, and ran inside. ~ William H Gass,
1319: Beowulf (Episode 25)
"UNDER harness his heart then is hit indeed
by sharpest shafts; and no shelter avails
from foul behest of the hellish fiend.
Him seems too little what long he possessed.
Greedy and grim, no golden rings
he gives for his pride; the promised future
forgets he and spurns, with all God has sent him,
Wonder-Wielder, of wealth and fame.
Yet in the end it ever comes
that the frame of the body fragile yields,
fated falls; and there follows another
who joyously the jewels divides,
the royal riches, nor recks of his forebear.
Ban, then, such baleful thoughts, Beowulf dearest,
best of men, and the better part choose,
profit eternal; and temper thy pride,
warrior famous! The flower of thy might
lasts now a while: but erelong it shall be
that sickness or sword thy strength shall minish,
or fang of fire, or flooding billow,
or bite of blade, or brandished spear,
or odious age; or the eyes' clear beam
wax dull and darken: Death even thee
in haste shall o'erwhelm, thou hero of war!
So the Ring-Danes these half-years a hundred I ruled,
wielded 'neath welkin, and warded them bravely
from mighty-ones many o'er middle-earth,
from spear and sword, till it seemed for me
no foe could be found under fold of the sky.
Lo, sudden the shift! To me seated secure
came grief for joy when Grendel began
to harry my home, the hellish foe;
for those ruthless raids, unresting I suffered
heart-sorrow heavy. Heaven be thanked,
Lord Eternal, for life extended
that I on this head all hewn and bloody,
after long evil, with eyes may gaze!
-- Go to the bench now! Be glad at banquet,
warrior worthy! A wealth of treasure
137
at dawn of day, be dealt between us!"
Glad was the Geats' lord, going betimes
to seek his seat, as the Sage commanded.
Afresh, as before, for the famed-in-battle,
for the band of the hall, was a banquet dight
nobly anew. The Night-Helm darkened
dusk o'er the drinkers.
The doughty ones rose:
for the hoary-headed would hasten to rest,
aged Scylding; and eager the Geat,
shield-fighter sturdy, for sleeping yearned.
Him wander-weary, warrior-guest
from far, a hall-thane heralded forth,
who by custom courtly cared for all
needs of a thane as in those old days
warrior-wanderers wont to have.
So slumbered the stout-heart. Stately the hall
rose gabled and gilt where the guest slept on
till a raven black the rapture-of-heaven
blithe-heart boded. Bright came flying
shine after shadow. The swordsmen hastened,
athelings all were eager homeward
forth to fare; and far from thence
the great-hearted guest would guide his keel.
Bade then the hardy-one Hrunting be brought
to the son of Ecglaf, the sword bade him take,
excellent iron, and uttered his thanks for it,
quoth that he counted it keen in battle,
"war-friend" winsome: with words he slandered not
edge of the blade: 'twas a big-hearted man!
Now eager for parting and armed at point
warriors waited, while went to his host
that Darling of Danes. The doughty atheling
to high-seat hastened and Hrothgar greeted.
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1320:The dominant literary mode of the twentieth century has been the fantastic. This may appear a surprising claim, which would not have seemed even remotely
conceivable at the start of the century and which is bound to encounter fierce resistance even now. However, when the time comes to look back at the century, it seems very likely that future literary historians, detached from the squabbles of our present, will see as its most representative and distinctive works books like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and also George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and The Inheritors, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat’s Cradle, Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot-49 and Gravity’s Rainbow. The list could readily be extended, back to the late nineteenth century with H.G. Wells’s The Island of Dr Moreau and The War of the Worlds, and up to writers currently active like Stephen R. Donaldson and George R.R. Martin. It could take in authors as different, not to say opposed, as Kingsley and Martin Amis, Anthony Burgess, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Don DeLillo, and Julian Barnes. By the end of the century, even authors deeply committed to the realist novel have often found themselves unable to resist the gravitational pull of the fantastic as a literary mode.

This is not the same, one should note, as fantasy as a literary genre – of the authors listed above, only four besides Tolkien would find their works regularly placed on the ‘fantasy’ shelves of bookshops, and ‘the fantastic’ includes many genres besides fantasy: allegory and parable, fairy-tale, horror and science fiction, modern ghost-story and medieval romance. Nevertheless, the point remains.
Those authors of the twentieth century who have spoken most powerfully to and for their contemporaries have for some reason found it necessary to use the metaphoric mode of fantasy, to write about worlds and creatures which we know do not exist, whether Tolkien’s ‘Middle-earth’, Orwell’s ‘Ingsoc’, the remote islands of Golding and Wells, or the Martians and Tralfa-madorians who burst into peaceful English or American suburbia in Wells and Vonnegut. A ready explanation for this phenomenon is of course that it represents a kind of literary disease, whose sufferers – the millions of readers of fantasy – should be scorned, pitied, or rehabilitated back to correct and proper taste. Commonly the disease is said to be ‘escapism’: readers and writers of fantasy are fleeing from reality. The problem with this is that so many of the originators of the later twentieth-century fantastic mode, including all four of those first mentioned above (Tolkien, Orwell, Golding, Vonnegut) are combat veterans, present at or at least deeply involved in the most traumatically significant events of the century, such as the Battle of the Somme (Tolkien), the bombing of Dresden (Vonnegut), the rise and early victory of fascism (Orwell). Nor can anyone say that they turned their backs on these events. Rather, they had to find some way of communicating and commenting on them. It is strange that this had, for some reason, in so many cases to involve fantasy as well as realism, but that is what has happened. ~ Tom Shippey,
1321:Who is it from?” Savona asked.
I looked up at him, trying to divine whether the secret knowledge lay behind his expression of interest.
“Of course she cannot tell,” Tamara said, her tone mock chiding--a masterpiece of innuendo, I realized. “But…perhaps a hint, Countess?”
“I can’t, because it’s a secret to me, too.” I looked around. Nothing but interest in all the faces, from Savona’s friendly skepticism to Shevraeth’s polite indifference. Shevraeth looked more tired than ever. “The best kind, because I get the ring and don’t have to do anything about it!”
Everyone laughed.
“Now that,” Savona said, taking my arm, “is a direct challenge, is it not? Geral? Danric? I take you to witness.” We started strolling along the pathway. “But first, to rid myself of this mysterious rival. Have you kissed anyone since yesterday? Winked? Sent a posy-of-promise?” He went on with so many ridiculous questions I couldn’t stop laughing.
The others had fallen in behind. Conversations crossed the group, preventing it from breaking into smaller groups. Before too long Tamara brought us all together again. She was now the center of attention as she summoned Savona to her side to admire a new bracelet.
This was fine with me. I did not like being the center, and I felt jangled and uneasy. Had I betrayed myself in any important way? Had I been properly polite to Shevraeth? The few times he spoke I was careful to listen and to smile just like the others.
When I found myself on the edge of the group, I slipped away and hastened back to the Residence. In my room, I found Mora sewing. She looked at me in surprise, and hastily got to her feet to curtsy.
“Never mind that,” I said. “Tell me, who brings letters and things?”
“The runners, my lady,” she said.
“Can you find out who sent a runner?” When she hesitated, I said, “Look, I just want to find out who gave me these gifts. I know under the old king, people could be bribed. Is that true now? Please, speak plain. I won’t tell anyone what you tell me, and I won’t make trouble.”
Mora pursed her lips. “There are times when the runners can be bribed, my lady,” she said carefully. “But not all of them. Were it to get out, they could lose their position.”
“So everyone belowstairs doesn’t know everything?”
“No, my lady. Many people use personal runners to deliver things to the palace runners; and the loyal ones don’t talk.”
“Ah hah!” I exclaimed. “Then, tell me this: Can something be returned along the same route, even though I don’t know to whom it’s going?”
She thought a bit, then nodded. “I think that can be arranged.”
“Good. Then let me pen a message, and please see that it gets sent right away.” I dived down onto the cushions beside the desk, rummaged about, and came up with pen and writing paper. On the paper I wrote: The gifts are beautiful, and I thank you, but what do they mean?
I signed my name, sealed the letter, and handed it to Mora.
She left at once, and I was severely tempted to try to follow her, except I’d promised not to make trouble. And if I were caught at it, I suspected that the servants involved might get into trouble. I decided to look at this whole matter as a kind of challenge. I’d find some clever way of solving the mystery without involving anyone innocent. ~ Sherwood Smith,
1322: Beowulf (Episode 02)
WENT he forth to find at fall of night
that haughty house, and heed wherever
the Ring-Danes, outrevelled, to rest had gone.
Found within it the atheling band
asleep after feasting and fearless of sorrow,
of human hardship. Unhallowed wight,
grim and greedy, he grasped betimes,
wrathful, reckless, from resting-places,
thirty of the thanes, and thence he rushed
fain of his fell spoil, faring homeward,
laden with slaughter, his lair to seek.
Then at the dawning, as day was breaking,
the might of Grendel to men was known;
then after wassail was wail uplifted,
loud moan in the morn. The mighty chief,
atheling excellent, unblithe sat,
labored in woe for the loss of his thanes,
when once had been traced the trail of the fiend,
spirit accurst: too cruel that sorrow,
too long, too loathsome. Not late the respite;
with night returning, anew began
ruthless murder; he recked no whit,
firm in his guilt, of the feud and crime.
They were easy to find who elsewhere sought
in room remote their rest at night,
bed in the bowers, when that bale was shown,
was seen in sooth, with surest token, -the hall-thane's hate. Such held themselves
far and fast who the fiend outran!
Thus ruled unrighteous and raged his fill
one against all; until empty stood
that lordly building, and long it bode so.
Twelve years' tide the trouble he bore,
sovran of Scyldings, sorrows in plenty,
boundless cares. There came unhidden
tidings true to the tribes of men,
in sorrowful songs, how ceaselessly Grendel
harassed Hrothgar, what hate he bore him,
what murder and massacre, many a year,
86
feud unfading, -- refused consent
to deal with any of Daneland's earls,
make pact of peace, or compound for gold:
still less did the wise men ween to get
great fee for the feud from his fiendish hands.
But the evil one ambushed old and young
death-shadow dark, and dogged them still,
lured, or lurked in the livelong night
of misty moorlands: men may say not
where the haunts of these Hell-Runes be.
Such heaping of horrors the hater of men,
lonely roamer, wrought unceasing,
harassings heavy. O'er Heorot he lorded,
gold-bright hall, in gloomy nights;
and ne'er could the prince approach his throne,
-- 'twas judgment of God, -- or have joy in his hall.
Sore was the sorrow to Scyldings'-friend,
heart-rending misery. Many nobles
sat assembled, and searched out counsel
how it were best for bold-hearted men
against harassing terror to try their hand.
Whiles they vowed in their heathen fanes
altar-offerings, asked with words
that the slayer-of-souls would succor give them
for the pain of their people. Their practice this,
their heathen hope; 'twas Hell they thought of
in mood of their mind. Almighty they knew not,
Doomsman of Deeds and dreadful Lord,
nor Heaven's-Helmet heeded they ever,
Wielder-of-Wonder. -- Woe for that man
who in harm and hatred hales his soul
to fiery embraces; -- nor favor nor change
awaits he ever. But well for him
that after death-day may draw to his Lord,
and friendship find in the Father's arms!
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1323:Do you have vows?” Freeman asked. Zane nodded, but he didn’t move to take out a piece of paper or any notes. He licked his lips instead and took a deep breath. “Ty,” he said, and the sound was almost lost in the night. “Some roads to love aren’t easy, and I’ve never been more thankful for being forced to fight for something. I started this journey with a partner I hated, and a man in the mirror I hated even more. The road took me from the streets of New York to the mountaintops of West Virginia, from the place I born to the place I found a home. It forced me to let go of my past and face my future. And I had to be made blind before I could see.” Zane swallowed hard and looked down, obviously fighting to finish without choking on the words or tearing up. Ty realized his own eyes were burning, and it wasn’t because of the cold wind. Zane squeezed Ty’s fingers with one hand, and he met Ty’s eyes as he reached into his lapel with his other. “I promise to love you until I die,” he said, his voice strong again. He held up a Sharpie he’d had in his suit, and pulled Ty’s hand closer to draw on his ring finger. With several sweeping motions, he created an infinity sign that looped all the way around the finger. When he was satisfied with the ring he’d drawn, he kissed Ty’s knuckles and let him go, handing him the Sharpie. Ty grasped the pen, but he couldn’t take his eyes off Zane. He ran his thumb over Zane’s palm. He had a set of vows he’d jotted down on a note card, folded up in his pocket, but he left them where they were and gazed into Zane’s eyes, their past flashing in front of him, their future opening up in his mind. He took a deep breath. “I promise to never leave you alone in the dark,” he whispered. He pulled Zane’s hand closer and pressed the tip of the Sharpie against Zane’s skin, curving the symbol for forever around it. When he was satisfied, he kissed the tip of Zane’s finger and slid the pen back into his lapel pocket. Freeman coughed and turned a page in his book. “Do you, Zane Zachary Garrett, take this man to be your lawful wedded husband?” Zane’s lips curved into a warm smile. “I do.” Freeman turned toward Ty. “Do you, Beaumont Tyler Grady, take this man to be your lawful wedded husband?” “I do,” Ty said, almost before the question was finished. “Then by the power vested in me by the state of Maryland, I pronounce you legally wed.” Freeman slapped his little book closed. “You may now share the first kiss of the rest of your lives.” Ty had fully expected to have the urge to grab Zane and plant one on him out of sheer impatience and joy, but as he stood staring at his brand-new husband, it was as if they were moving underwater. He touched the tips of his fingers to Zane’s cheek, then stepped closer and used both hands to cup his face with the utmost care. Zane was still smiling when they kissed, and it was slow and gentle, Zane’s hands at Ty’s ribs pulling them flush. “Okay, now,” Livi whispered somewhere to their side, and a moment later they were both pelted with handfuls of heart-shaped confetti. Zane laughed and finally wrapped his arms around Ty, squeezing him tight. The others continued to toss the confetti at them, even handing out bits to people passing by so they’d be sure to get covered from all sides. They laughed into the kiss, not caring. They were still locked in their happy embrace when Deuce turned the box over above them and rained little, bitty hearts down on their heads. ~ Abigail Roux,
1324:Everywhere you look with this young lady, there’s a purity of motivation,” Shultz told him. “I mean she really is trying to make the world better, and this is her way of doing it.” Mattis went out of his way to praise her integrity. “She has probably one of the most mature and well-honed sense of ethics—personal ethics, managerial ethics, business ethics, medical ethics that I’ve ever heard articulated,” the retired general gushed. Parloff didn’t end up using those quotes in his article, but the ringing endorsements he heard in interview after interview from the luminaries on Theranos’s board gave him confidence that Elizabeth was the real deal. He also liked to think of himself as a pretty good judge of character. After all, he’d dealt with his share of dishonest people over the years, having worked in a prison during law school and later writing at length about such fraudsters as the carpet-cleaning entrepreneur Barry Minkow and the lawyer Marc Dreier, both of whom went to prison for masterminding Ponzi schemes. Sure, Elizabeth had a secretive streak when it came to discussing certain specifics about her company, but he found her for the most part to be genuine and sincere. Since his angle was no longer the patent case, he didn’t bother to reach out to the Fuiszes. — WHEN PARLOFF’S COVER STORY was published in the June 12, 2014, issue of Fortune, it vaulted Elizabeth to instant stardom. Her Journal interview had gotten some notice and there had also been a piece in Wired, but there was nothing like a magazine cover to grab people’s attention. Especially when that cover featured an attractive young woman wearing a black turtleneck, dark mascara around her piercing blue eyes, and bright red lipstick next to the catchy headline “THIS CEO IS OUT FOR BLOOD.” The story disclosed Theranos’s valuation for the first time as well as the fact that Elizabeth owned more than half of the company. There was also the now-familiar comparison to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. This time it came not from George Shultz but from her old Stanford professor Channing Robertson. (Had Parloff read Robertson’s testimony in the Fuisz trial, he would have learned that Theranos was paying him $500,000 a year, ostensibly as a consultant.) Parloff also included a passage about Elizabeth’s phobia of needles—a detail that would be repeated over and over in the ensuing flurry of coverage his story unleashed and become central to her myth. When the editors at Forbes saw the Fortune article, they immediately assigned reporters to confirm the company’s valuation and the size of Elizabeth’s ownership stake and ran a story about her in their next issue. Under the headline “Bloody Amazing,” the article pronounced her “the youngest woman to become a self-made billionaire.” Two months later, she graced one of the covers of the magazine’s annual Forbes 400 issue on the richest people in America. More fawning stories followed in USA Today, Inc., Fast Company, and Glamour, along with segments on NPR, Fox Business, CNBC, CNN, and CBS News. With the explosion of media coverage came invitations to numerous conferences and a cascade of accolades. Elizabeth became the youngest person to win the Horatio Alger Award. Time magazine named her one of the one hundred most influential people in the world. President Obama appointed her a U.S. ambassador for global entrepreneurship, and Harvard Medical School invited her to join its prestigious board of fellows. ~ John Carreyrou,
1325: Good Cheer
So let these songs their story tell
To all who in the Northland dwell,
Since many friends request it.
(That Finland's folk with them belong
In the wide realm of Northern song,
I grateful must attest it.)
I send these songs-and now I find
Most of them have riot what my mind
Has deepest borne and favored:
Some are too hasty, some too brief,
Some, long in stock, have come to grief,
Some with raw youth are flavored.
I lived far more than e'er I sang;
Thought, ire, and mirth unceasing rang
Around me, where I guested;
To be where loud life's battles call
For me was well-nigh more than all
My pen on page arrested.
What's true and strong has growing-room,
And will perhaps eternal bloom,
Without black ink's salvation,
And he will be, who least it planned,
But in life's surging dared to stand,
The best bard for his nation.
I heard once of a Spanish feast:
Within the ring a rustic beast,
A horse, to fight was fated;
In came a tiger from his cage,
Who walked about, his foe to gauge,
And crouching down, then waited.
The people clapped and laughed and cheered,
The tiger sprang, the horse upreared,
But none could see him bleeding;
The tiger tumbling shrinks and backs
45
Before the horse's rustic whacks,
Lies on his head naught heeding.
Then men and women hooted, hissed,
With glaring eyes and clenchèd fist
Out o'er the balcony bending;
With shouts the tiger's heart they tease,
Their thirst for blood soon to appease,
To onset new him sending.
The people clapped and laughed and cheered
The tiger sprang, the horse upreared;
No blood to see was given,
For fortune held the horse too dear,
To him the tiger could not near,
In flying curves hoof-driven.
To say who won I will not try;
For lo, this rustic horse am I,
And on the conflict's going;The city, though, where it occurs,
And where it cheers and laughter stirs,
Is known without my showing.
I fight, but have no hate or spite,
From what I love draw gladness bright,
My right to wrath reserving.
It is my blood, my soul, that goes
In every line of all my blows,
And guides their course unswerving.
But as I stand here now to-day,
Nor grudge nor vengeance can me sway,
To think that foes I'm facing.
So in return some friendship give
To one who for the
cause
would live,
With love the North embracing!
But first my poet-path shall be
With veneration unto
46
thee
Who fill'st the North with wonder;
In wrath thou dawn didst prophesy
Behind the North's dark morning-sky,
That lightnings shook and thunder.
Then, milder, thou, by sea and slope,
The fount of saga, faith, and hope
Mad'st flow for every peasant;Now from the snow-years' mountain-side
Thou seest with time's returning tide
Thine own high image present.
To
thee
, then, in whose spring of song
Finland's 'the thousand lakes' belong
And sound their thrilling sorrow:Our Northern soul forever heard
Keeps watch and ward in poet's word
'Gainst Eastern millions' morrow.
But when I stand in our own home,
One greets me from the starry dome
With wealth of light and power.
There shines he: HENRIK WERGELAND,
Out over Norway's pallid strand
In memory's clear hour.
~ Bjornstjerne Bjornson,
1326:Archaeologists who want to establish the date of a particular site have a number of techniques they can use. If they find organic material, say the bones of an animal, they can use radiocarbon dating. If they find the remains of wooden structures, a post or lintel say, they can use dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating. If they find a firepit they can use archaeomagnetic dating.

Radiocarbon dating works because, when alive, an organism takes in carbon from the air or through the food chain; carbon contains small amounts of the radioactive isotope carbon-14, which decays into nonradioactive standard carbon at a constant rate; when the organism dies it ceases to ingest carbon, so the proportion of carbon-14 in its remains steadily decays. Measuring the relative amount of carbon-14 content therefore establishes a fairly accurate date for the specimen.

Dendrochronology works because tree rings vary in width season by season according to the rainfall received, and so trees that grow in a given climatic region and historical period show similar ring-width patterns. Comparing the ring pattern to a known and dated local ring pattern establishes exactly the years in which the wood in the structure was growing.

Archaeomagnetic dating works because the earth's magnetic field changes direction over time gradually in a known way. Clays or other materials in a firepit, when fired and cooled, retain a weak magnetism that aligns with the earth's field, and this establishes a rough date for the firepit's last use.

There are still other techniques: potassium-argon dating, thermoluminescence dating, hydration dating, fission-track dating. But what I want the reader to notice is that each of these relies on some particular set of natural effects.

That a technology relies on some effect is general. A technology is always based on some phenomenon or truism of nature that can be exploited and used to a purpose. I say "always" for the simple reason that a technology that exploited nothing could achieve nothing. This is the third of the three principles I am putting forward, and it is just as important to my argument as the other two, combination and recursiveness. This principle says that if you examine any technology you find always at its center some effect that it uses. Oil refining is based on the phenomenon that different components or fractions of vaporized crude oil condense at different temperatures. A lowly hammer depends on the phenomenon of transmission of momentum (in this case from a moving object-the hammer-to a stationary one-the nail).

Often the effect is obvious. But sometimes it is hard to see, particularly when we are very familiar with the technology. What phenomenon does a truck use? A truck does not seem to be based on any particular law of nature. Nevertheless it does use a phenomenon-or, I should say, two. A truck is in essence a platform that is self-powered and can be moved easily. Central to its self-powering is the phenomenon that certain chemical substances (diesel fuel, say) yield energy when burned; and central to its ease of motion is the "phenomenon" that objects that roll do so with extremely low friction compared with ones that slide (which is used of course in the wheels and bearings). This last "phenomenon" is hardly a law of nature; it is merely a usable-and humble-natural effect. Still it is a powerful one and is exploited everywhere wheels or rolling parts are used. ~ W Brian Arthur,
1327: Joey’s Job
In days before the trouble Jo was rated as
a slob.
He chose to sit in hourly expectation of a job.
He'd loop hisself upon a post, for seldom
friends had he,
A gift of patient waitin' his distinctif quality.
He'd linger in a doorway, or he'd loiter on the
grass,
Edgin' modestly aside to let the fleetin'
moments pass.
Jo' begged a bob from mother, but more often
got a clout,
And settled down with cigarettes to smoke the
devil out.
The one consistent member of the Never
Trouble Club,
He put a satin finish on the frontage of the
pub.
His shoulder-blades were pokin' out from
polishin' the pine;
But if a job ran at him Joey's footwork was
divine.
Jo strayed in at the cobbler's door, but, scoffed
at as a fool,
He found the conversation too exhaustin' as
a rule;
Or, canted on the smithy coke, he'd hoist his
feet and yawn,
His boots slid up his shinbones, and his pants
displayin' brawn:
And if the copper chanced along 'twas beautyful to see
Joe wear away and made hisself a fadest
memory.
Then came the universal nark. The Kaiser
let her rip.
60
They cleared the ring. The scrap was for the
whole world's championship.
Jo Brown was takin' notice, lurkin' shy beneath his hat,
And every day he crept to see the drillin' on
the flat.
He waited, watchin' from the furze the blokes
in butcher's blue,
For the burst of inspiration that would tell him
what to do.
He couldn't lean, he couldn't lie. He yelled
out in the night.
Jo understood—he'd all these years been
spoilin' for a fight!
Right into things he flung himself. He
took his kit and gun,
Mooched gladly in the dust, or roasted gaily
in the sun.
“Gorstruth,” he said, with shining eyes, “it
means a frightful war,
'N' now I know this is the thing that Heaven
meant me for.”
Jo went away a corporal and fought again the
Turk,
And like a duck to water Joey cottoned to the
work.
If anythin' was doin' it would presently come
out
That Joseph Brown from Booragool was there
or thereabout.
He got a batch of medals, and a glorious
renown
Attached all of a sudden to the name of
Sergeant Brown.
Then people talked of Joey as the dearest
friend they had;
They were chummy with his uncles, or acquainted with his dad.
Joe goes to France, and presently he figure as
61
the best
Two-handed all-in fighter in the armies of the
West,
And men of every age at home and high and
low degree,
We gather now, once went to school with
Sergeant Brown, V.C.
Then Hayes and Jo, in Flanders met, and very
proud was Hayes
To shake a townsman by the hand, and sing
the hero's praise,
“Oh, yes,” says Jo, “I'm doin' well, 'n' yet
I might do more.
If I was in a hurry, mate, to finish up this war
I'd lay out every Fritz on earth, but, strike me,
what a yob
A man would be to work himself out of a
flamnin' job!”
Now Jo's a swell lieutenant, and he's keepin'
up the pace.
Ha “Record” says Lieutenant Brown's an
honor to the place.
The town gets special mention every time he
scores. We bet
If peace don't mess his chances up, he'll be
Field-Marshal yet.
Dad, mother and the uncles Brown and all our
people know
That Providence began this war to find a grip
for Jo!
~ Edward George Dyson,
1328: Christmas,1870
Heaven strews the earth with snow,
That neither friend nor foe
May break the sleep of the fast-dying year;
A world arrayed in white,
Late dawns, and shrouded light,
Attest to us once more that Christmas-tide is here.
And yet, and yet I hear
No strains of pious cheer,
No children singing round the Yule-log fire;
No carol's sacred notes,
Warbled by infant throats,
On brooding mother's lap, or knee of pleasèd sire.
Comes with the hallowed time
No sweet accustomed chime,
No peal of bells athwart the midnight air;
No mimes or jocund waits
Within wide-opened gates,
Loud laughter in the hall, or glee of children fair.
No loving cup sent round?
No footing of the ground?
No sister's kiss under the berried bough?
No chimney's joyous roar,
No hospitable store,
Though it be Christmas-tide, to make us note it now?
No! only human hate,
And fear, and death, and fate,
And fierce hands locked in fratricidal strife;
The distant hearth stripped bare
By the gaunt guest, Despair,
Pale groups of pining babes round lonely-weeping wife.
Can it be Christmas-tide?
The snow with blood is dyed,
From human hearts wrung out by human hands.
Hark! did not sweet bells peal?
211
No! 'twas the ring of steel,
The clang of armèd men and shock of murderous bands.
Didst Thou, then, really come?Silence that dreadful drum!Christ! Saviour! Babe, of lowly Virgin born!
If Thou, indeed, Most High,
Didst in a manger lie,
Then be the Prince of Peace, and save us from Hell's scorn.
We weep if men deny
That Thou didst live and die,
Didst ever walk upon this mortal sphere;
Yet of Thy Passion, Lord!
What know these times abhorred,
Save the rude soldier's stripes, sharp sponge, and piercing spear?
Therefore we, Father, plead,
Grant us in this our need
Another Revelation from Thy throne,
That we may surely know
We are not sons of woe,
Forgotten and cast off, but verily Thine own.
Yet if He came anew,
Where, where would shelter due
Be found for load divine and footsteps sore?
Here, not the inns alone,
But fold and stable groan
With sterner guests than drove sad Mary from the door.
And thou, 'mong women blest,
Who laidst, with awe-struck breast,
Thy precious babe upon the lowly straw,
Now for thy new-born Son
Were nook and cradle none,
If not in bloody trench or cannon's smoking jaw.
Round her what alien rites,
What savage sounds and sightsThe plunging war-horse and sulphureous match.
Than such as these, alas!
212
Better the ox, the ass,
The manger's crib secure and peace-bestowing thatch.
The trumpet's challenge dire
Would hush the angelic choir,
The outpost's oath replace the Shepherd's vow;
No frankincense or myrrh
Would there be brought to her,
For Wise Men kneel no more-Kings are not humble now.
O Lord! O Lord! how long?
Thou that art good, art strong,
Put forth Thy strength, Thy ruling love declare;
Stay Thou the smiting hand,
Invert the flaming brand,
And teach the proud to yield, the omnipotent to spare.
Renew our Christmas-tide!
Let weeping eyes be dried,
Love bloom afresh, bloodshed and frenzy cease!
And at Thy bidding reign,
As in the heavenly strain,
Glory to God on high! on earth perpetual peace!
**********************************************above ready for slurp
~ Alfred Austin,
1329: The Island Hawk
Hushed are the whimpering winds on the hill,
Dumb is the shrinking plain,
And the songs that enchanted the woods are still
As I shoot to the skies again!
Does the blood grow black on my fierce bent beak,
Does the down still cling to my claw?
Who brightened these eyes for the prey they seek?
Life, I follow thy law!
For I am the hawk, the hawk, the hawk!
Who knoweth my pitiless breast?
Who watcheth me sway in the wild wind's way?
Flee – flee – for I quest, I quest.
As I glide and glide with my peering head,
Or swerve at a puff of smoke,
Who watcheth my wings on the wind outspread,
Here – gone – with an instant stroke?
Who toucheth the glory of life I feel
As I buffet this great glad gale,
Spire and spire to the cloud-world, wheel,
Loosen my wings and sail?
For I am the hawk, the island hawk,
Who knoweth my pitiless breast?
Who watcheth me sway in the sun's bright way?
Flee – flee – for I quest, I quest.
My mate in the nest on the high bright tree
Blazing with dawn and dew,
She knoweth the gleam of the world and the glee
As I drop like a bolt from the blue.
She knoweth the fire of the level flight
As I skim, close, close to the ground,
With the long grass lashing my breast and the bright
Dew-drops flashing around.
She watcheth the hawk, the hawk, the hawk
(Oh, the red-blotched eggs in the nest!)
Watcheth him sway in the sun's bright way.
Flee – flee – for I quest, I quest.
126
She builded her nest on the high bright wold,
She was taught in a world afar
The lore that is only an April old
Yet old as the evening star.
Life of a far off ancient day
In an hour unhooded her eyes.
In the time of the budding of one green spray
She was wise as the stars are wise.
An eyas in eyry, a yellow-eyed hawk,
On the old elm's burgeoning breast,
She watcheth me sway in the wild wind's way.
Flee – flee – for I quest, I quest.
She hath ridden on white Arabian steeds
Thro' the ringing English dells,
For the joy of a great queen, hunting in state,
To the music of golden bells.
A queen's fair fingers have drawn the hood
And tossed her aloft in the blue,
A white hand eager for needless blood.
I hunt for the needs of two.
A haggard in yarak, a hawk, a hawk!
Who knoweth my pitiless breast?
Who watcheth me sway in the sun's bright way?
Flee – flee – for I quest, I quest.
Who fashioned her wide and splendid eyes
That have stared in the eyes of kings?
With a silken twist she was looped to their wrist:
She has clawed at their jewelled rings!
Who flung her first thro' the crimson dawn
To pluck him a prey from the skies,
When the love-light shone upon lake and lawn
In the valleys of Paradise?
Who fashioned the hawk, the hawk, the hawk,
Bent beak and pitiless breast?
Who watcheth him sway in the wild wind's way?
Flee – flee – for I quest, I quest.
Is there ever a song in all the world
Shall say how the quest began
With the beak and the wings that have made us kings
127
And cruel – almost – as man?
The wild wind whimpers across the heath
Where the sad little tufts of blue
And the red-stained grey little feathers of death
Flutter! Who fashioned us? Who?
Who fashioned the scimitar wings of the hawk,
Bent beak and arrowy breast?
Who watcheth him sway in the sun's bright way?
Flee – flee – for I quest, I quest.
~ Alfred Noyes,
1330:Are you ready, children?” Father Mikhail walked through the church. “Did I keep you waiting?” He took his place in front of them at the altar. The jeweler and Sofia stood nearby. Tatiana thought they might have already finished that bottle of vodka. Father Mikhail smiled. “Your birthday today,” he said to Tatiana. “Nice birthday present for you, no?” She pressed into Alexander. “Sometimes I feel that my powers are limited by the absence of God in the lives of men during these trying times,” Father Mikhail began. “But God is still present in my church, and I can see He is present in you. I am very glad you came to me, children. Your union is meant by God for your mutual joy, for the help and comfort you give one another in prosperity and adversity and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children. I want to send you righteously on your way through life. Are you ready to commit yourselves to each other?” “We are,” they said. “The bond and the covenant of marriage was established by God in creation. Christ himself adorned this manner of life by his first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. A marriage is a symbol of the mystery of the union between Christ and His Church. Do you understand that those whom God has joined together, no man can put asunder?” “We do,” they said. “Do you have the rings?” “We do.” Father Mikhail continued. “Most gracious God,” he said, holding the cross above their heads, “look with favor upon this man and this woman living in a world for which Your Son gave His life. Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world. Defend this man and this woman from every enemy. Lead them into peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle upon their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their friendship, in their sleeping and in their waking, in their joys and their sorrows, in their life and in their death.” Tears trickled down Tatiana’s face. She hoped Alexander wouldn’t notice. Father Mikhail certainly had. Turning to Tatiana and taking her hands, Alexander smiled, beaming at her unrestrained happiness. Outside, on the steps of the church, he lifted her off the ground and swung her around as they kissed ecstatically. The jeweler and Sofia clapped apathetically, already down the steps and on the street. “Don’t hug her so tight. You’ll squeeze that child right out of her,” said Sofia to Alexander as she turned around and lifted her clunky camera. “Oh, wait. Hold on. Let me take a picture of the newlyweds.” She clicked once. Twice. “Come to me next week. Maybe I’ll have some paper by then to develop them.” She waved. “So you still think the registry office judge should have married us?” Alexander grinned. “He with his ‘of sound mind’ philosophy on marriage?” Tatiana shook her head. “You were so right. This was perfect. How did you know this all along?” “Because you and I were brought together by God,” Alexander replied. “This was our way of thanking Him.” Tatiana chuckled. “Do you know it took us less time to get married than to make love the first time?” “Much less,” Alexander said, swinging her around in the air. “Besides, getting married is the easy part. Just like making love. It was the getting you to make love to me that was hard. It was the getting you to marry me…” “I’m sorry. I was so nervous.” “I know,” he said. He still hadn’t put her down. “I thought the chances were twenty-eighty you were actually going to go through with it.” “Twenty against?” “Twenty for.” “Got to have a little more faith, my husband,” said Tatiana, kissing his lips. ~ Paullina Simons,
1331: Episode 33
THEN the baleful fiend its fire belched out,
and bright homes burned. The blaze stood high
all landsfolk frighting. No living thing
would that loathly one leave as aloft it flew.
Wide was the dragon's warring seen,
its fiendish fury far and near,
as the grim destroyer those Geatish people
hated and hounded. To hidden lair,
to its hoard it hastened at hint of dawn.
Folk of the land it had lapped in flame,
with bale and brand. In its barrow it trusted,
its battling and bulwarks: that boast was vain!
To Beowulf then the bale was told
quickly and truly: the king's own home,
of buildings the best, in brand-waves melted,
that gift-throne of Geats. To the good old man
sad in heart, 'twas heaviest sorrow.
The sage assumed that his sovran God
he had angered, breaking ancient law,
and embittered the Lord. His breast within
with black thoughts welled, as his wont was never.
The folk's own fastness that fiery dragon
with flame had destroyed, and the stronghold all
washed by waves; but the warlike king,
prince of the Weders, plotted vengeance.
Warriors'-bulwark, he bade them work
all of iron -- the earl's commander -a war-shield wondrous: well he knew
that forest-wood against fire were worthless,
linden could aid not. -- Atheling brave,
he was fated to finish this fleeting life,
his days on earth, and the dragon with him,
though long it had watched o'er the wealth of thehoard! -Shame he reckoned it, sharer-of-rings,
to follow the flyer-afar with a host,
a broad-flung band; nor the battle feared he,
nor deemed he dreadful the dragon's warring,
its vigor and valor: ventures desperate
204
he had passed a-plenty, and perils of war,
contest-crash, since, conqueror proud,
Hrothgar's hall he had wholly purged,
and in grapple had killed the kin of Grendel,
loathsome breed! Not least was that
of hand-to-hand fights where Hygelac fell,
when the ruler of Geats in rush of battle,
lord of his folk, in the Frisian land,
son of Hrethel, by sword-draughts died,
by brands down-beaten. Thence Beowulf fled
through strength of himself and his swimming power,
though alone, and his arms were laden with thirty
coats of mail, when he came to the sea!
Nor yet might Hetwaras haughtily boast
their craft of contest, who carried against him
shields to the fight: but few escaped
from strife with the hero to seek their homes!
Then swam over ocean Ecgtheow's son
lonely and sorrowful, seeking his land,
where Hygd made him offer of hoard and realm,
rings and royal-seat, reckoning naught
the strength of her son to save their kingdom
from hostile hordes, after Hygelac's death.
No sooner for this could the stricken ones
in any wise move that atheling's mind
over young Heardred's head as lord
and ruler of all the realm to be:
yet the hero upheld him with helpful words,
aided in honor, till, older grown,
he wielded the Weder-Geats. -- Wandering exiles
sought him o'er seas, the sons of Ohtere,
who had spurned the sway of the Scylfings'-helmet,
the bravest and best that broke the rings,
in Swedish land, of the sea-kings' line,
haughty hero. Hence Heardred's end.
For shelter he gave them, sword-death came,
the blade's fell blow, to bairn of Hygelac;
but the son of Ongentheow sought again
house and home when Heardred fell,
leaving Beowulf lord of Geats
and gift-seat's master. -- A good king he!
205
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1332:He wrapped his arms around her. “Have I told you today how happy I am that you gave up the good fight and moved back in with me?” “Not today,” she said, sucking in his sex-and-sin scent. “But last night you mentioned it quite a few times.” She’d tried for six weeks to live by herself in the apartment over Gracie’s garage, thinking she needed to experience life on her own before living with Mitch. She’d hated every minute of it. When she’d taken to sneaking into the farmhouse and crawling into bed with him in the middle of the night, he’d finally put his foot down. She sighed. Contentment had her curling deeper into his embrace. She didn’t care if it was wrong: Mitch and this farmhouse made her happy. “Maddie,” he said, his voice catching in a way that had her lifting her chin. “You know I love you.” “I know. I love you too.” His fingers brushed a lock of hair behind her chin. “Come with me.” He clasped her hand and led her into the bedroom before motioning her to the bed. She sat, and he walked over to the antique dresser and took a box out of the dresser. He walked back to the bed and sat down next to her. “I wanted to give this to you tonight, but then I saw you standing in the doorway and I knew I couldn’t wait.” Maddie looked at the box, it was wooden, etched with an intricate fleur-de-lis design on it and words in another language. “What is it?” “It was my grandmother’s. They bought it on their honeymoon. It’s French. It says, ‘There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.’” “It’s beautiful.” That he would give her something so treasured brought the threat of tears to her eyes. He handed it to her. “Open it.” She took the box and suddenly her heart started to pound. She lifted the lid and gasped, blinking as her vision blurred. Mitch grasped her left hand. “I know it’s only been three months, but in my family, meeting the night your car breaks down is a sign of a long, happy marriage.” Maddie couldn’t take her eyes off the ring. It was a gorgeous, simple platinum band with two small emerald stones flanking what had to be a three-carat rectangular diamond. She looked at Mitch. “Maddie Donovan, will you please marry me?” “Yes.” She kissed him, a soft, slow, drugging kiss filled with hope and promises. There was no hesitation. Not a seed of worry or shred of doubt. Her heart belonged to only one man, and he was right in front of her. “It would be my honor.” He slipped the ring on her finger. “My grandma would be thrilled that you have her ring.” “It’s hers?” It sparkled in the sunlight. It looked important on her hand. “It’s been in the family vault since she died. My mom sent it a couple of weeks ago. She’s been a little pushy about the whole thing. I think she’s worried I’ll do something to screw it up and she’ll lose the best daughter-in-law ever.” Maddie laughed. “I love her, too.” He ran his finger over the platinum band. “I changed the side stones to emeralds because they match your eyes. Do you think I made the right choice?” She put her hands on the sides of his face. “It is the most gorgeous ring I have ever laid eyes on. I love it. I love you. You know I’d take you with a plastic ring from Wal-Mart.” “I know.” She kissed him. “But I’m not going to lie: this is a kick-ass ring.” He grinned. “You know, I think that’s what my grandma used to say.” “She was obviously a smart woman.” “For the record, don’t even think about running.” Mitch pushed her back on the bed and captured her beneath him. “I will hunt you down to the ends of the earth and bring you back where you belong.” She reached for him, this man who’d been her salvation. “I will run down the aisle to meet you. ~ Jennifer Dawson,
1333:Honestly, sir,” I said, “I don’t see why you’re making such a fuss.” We had excused ourselves to speak privately for a moment, leaving poor Charlie politely rocking on his heels in the foyer. The office was warm and smelled of sage and witch hazel, and the desk was littered with bits of twine and herbs where Jackaby had been preparing fresh wards. Douglas had burrowed into a nest of old receipts on the bookshelf behind us and was sound asleep with his bill tucked back into his wing. I had given up trying to get him to stop napping on the paperwork. “You’re the one who told me that I shouldn’t have to choose between profession and romance,” I said.

“I’m not the one making a fuss. I don’t care the least bit about your little foray into . . . romance.” Jackaby pushed the word out of his mouth as though it had been reluctantly clinging to the back of his throat. “If anything, I am concerned that you are choosing to make precisely the choice that I told you you should not make!”

“What? Wait a moment. Are you . . . jealous?”

“Don’t be asinine! I am not jealous! I am merely . . . protective. And perhaps troubled by your lack of fidelity to your position.”

“That is literally the definition of jealous, sir. Oh, for goodness’ sake. I’m not choosing Charlie over you! I’m not going to suddenly stop being your assistant just because I spend time working on another case!”

“You might!” he blurted out. He sank down into the chair at his desk. “You just might.”

“Why are you acting like this?”

He pinched the bridge of his nose. “Because things change. Because people change. Because . . . because Charlie Barker is going to propose,” he said. He let his hand drop and looked me in the eyes. “Marriage,” he added. “To you.”

I blinked.

“I miss a social cue or two from time to time, but even I’m not thick enough to believe all that was about analyzing bloodstains together. He has the ring. It’s in his breast pocket right now. He’s attached an absurd level of emotional investment to the thing—I’m surprised it hasn’t burned a hole right through the front of his jacket, the way its aura is glowing. He’s nervous about it. He’s going to propose. Soon, I would guess.”

I blinked.

The air in front of me wavered like a mirage, and in another moment Jenny had rematerialized. “And if he does,” she said softly, “it will be Abigail’s decision to face, not yours. There are worse fates than to receive a proposal from a handsome young suitor.” She added, turning to me with a grin, “Charlie is a good man.”

“Yes, fine! But she has such prodigious potential!” Jackaby lamented. “Having feelings is one thing—I can grudgingly tolerate feelings—but actually getting married? The next thing you know they’ll be wanting to do something rash, like live together ! Miss Rook, you have started something here that I am loath to see you leave unfinished. You’ve started becoming someone here whom I truly want to meet when she is done. Choosing to leave everything you have here to go be a good man’s wife would be such a wretched waste of that promise.” He faltered, looking to Jenny, and then to the floorboards. “On the other hand, you should never have chosen to work for me in the first place. It remains one of your most ill-conceived and reckless decisions to date—and that is saying something, because you also chose to blow up a dragon once.” He sighed. “Jenny is right. You could make a real life with that young man, and you shouldn’t throw that away just to hang about with a fractious bastard and a belligerent duck.” He sagged until his forehead was resting on his desk. ~ William Ritter,
1334:It had been often commented upon that Vibe offspring tended to be crazy as bedbugs. ‘Fax’s brother Cragmont had run away with a trapeze girl, then brought her back to New York to get married, the wedding being actually performed on trapezes, groom and best man, dressed in tails and silk opera hats held on with elastic, swinging upside down by their knees in perfect synchrony across the perilous Æther to meet the bride and her father, a carnival “jointee” or concessionaire, in matched excursion from their own side of the ring, bridesmaids observed at every hand up twirling by their chins in billows of spangling, forty feet above the faces of the guests, feathers dyed a deep acid green sweeping and stirring the cigar smoke rising from the crowd. Cragmont Vibe was but thirteen that circus summer he became a husband and began what would become, even for the day, an enormous family. The third brother, Fleetwood, best man at this ceremony, had also got out of the house early, fast-talking his way onto an expedition heading for Africa. He kept as clear of political games as of any real scientific inquiry, preferring to take the title of “Explorer” literally, and do nothing but explore. It did not hurt Fleetwood’s chances that a hefty Vibe trust fund was there to pick up the bills for bespoke pith helmets and meat lozenges and so forth. Kit met him one spring weekend out at the Vibe manor on Long Island. “Say, but you’ve never seen our cottage,” ‘Fax said one day after classes. “What are you doing this weekend? Unless there’s another factory girl or pizza princess or something in the works.” “Do I use that tone of voice about the Seven Sisters material you specialize in?” “I’ve nothing against the newer races,” ‘Fax protested. “But you might like to meet Cousin Dittany anyway.” “The one at Smith.” “Mount Holyoke, actually.” “Can’t wait.” They arrived under a dourly overcast sky. Even in cheerier illumination, the Vibe mansion would have registered as a place best kept clear of—four stories tall, square, unadorned, dark stone facing looking much older than the known date of construction. Despite its aspect of abandonment, an uneasy tenancy was still pursued within, perhaps by some collateral branch of Vibes . . . it was unclear. There was the matter of the second floor. Only the servants were allowed there. It “belonged,” in some way nobody was eager to specify, to previous occupants. “Someone’s living there?” “Someone’s there.” . . . from time to time, a door swinging shut on a glimpse of back stairway, a muffled footfall . . . an ambiguous movement across a distant doorframe . . . a threat of somehow being obliged to perform a daily search through the forbidden level, just at dusk, so detailed that contact with the unseen occupants, in some form, at some unannounced moment, would be inevitable . . . all dustless and tidy, shadows in permanent possession, window-drapes and upholstery in deep hues of green, claret, and indigo, servants who did not speak, who would or could not meet one’s gaze . . . and in the next room, the next instant, waiting . . . “Real nice of you to have me here, folks,” chirped Kit at breakfast. “Fellow sleeps like a top. Well, except . . .” Pause in the orderly gobbling and scarfing. Interest from all around the table. “I mean, who came in the room in the middle of the night like that?” “You’re sure,” said Scarsdale, “it wasn’t just the wind, or the place settling.” “They were walking around, like they were looking for something.” Glances were exchanged, failed to be exchanged, were sent out but not returned. “Kit, you haven’t seen the stables yet,” Cousin Dittany offered at last. “Wouldn’t you like to go riding? ~ Thomas Pynchon,
1335:For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness. ~ Hermann Hesse,
1336:I hopped over a little flower border. The blooms--ghostly white in the soft glow from the lamps around the park’s circumference--ran up the brick walkway and gripped the stone lip of the fountain. I opened my mouth, leaned in, and took a deep gulp.
And heard hooves. Boots.
“You, there, girl! Halt!”
Who in the universe ever halts when the enemy tells them to?
Of course I took off in the opposite direction, as fast as I could: running across grass, leaping neatly tended flowers. But the park was a circle, which made it easy for the riders to gallop around both ways and cut me off. I stopped, looked back. No retreat.
Meanwhile another group came running across the lawns, swords drawn. I backed up a step, two; looked this way and that; tried to break for it in the largest space, which of course was instantly closed.
There must have been a dozen of them ringing me, all with rapiers and heavier weapons gleaming gold tipped in the light from the iron-posted glowglobes and the windows of the houses.
“Report,” someone barked; and then to me, “Who are you? Don’t you know there is a sunset curfew?”
“Ah, I didn’t know.” I smoothed my skirts nervously. “Been sick. No one mentioned it…”
“Who are you?” came the question again.
“I just wanted a drink. I was sick, I think I mentioned, and didn’t get any water…”
“Who are you.” This time it wasn’t even a question.
The game was up, of course, but who said I had to surrender meekly? “Just call me Ranisia.” I named my mother, using my hardest voice. “I’m a ghost, one of Galdran Merindar’s many victims.”
Noises from behind caused the ring to tighten, the weapons all pointing a finger’s breadth from my throat. My empty hands were at my sides, but these folks were taking no chances. Maybe they thought I was a ghost.
No one spoke, or moved, until the sound of heels striking the brick path made the soldiers withdraw silently.
Baron Debegri strode up, his rain cape billowing. Under his foppish mustache his teeth gleamed in a very cruel grin. He stopped within a pace of me, and with no warning whatever, backhanded me right across the face. I went flying backward, landing flat in a flower bed. The Baron stepped onto my left knee and motioned a torch bearer over. He stared down at the half-healed marks on my ankle and laughed, then jerked his thumb in a gesture of command. Two soldiers sprang to either side of me, each grabbing an arm and pulling me to my feet.
“What have you to say now, my little hero?” the Baron gloated.
“That you are a fool, the son of a fool, and the servant of the biggest--“
He swung at me again, and I tried to duck, but he grabbed me by the hair and then hit me. The world seemed to explode in stars--for a long time all I could do was gasp for breath and fight against dizziness.
When I came out of it, someone was binding my hands; then two more someones grabbed my arms again, and I was half carried back to the street. My vision was blurry. I realized hazily that a gem on his embroidered gloves must have cut my forehead, for a warm trickle ran nastily down the side of my face, which throbbed even worse than my ankle.
I got thrown over the back of a horse, my hands and feet bound to stirrups. From somewhere I heard Debegri’s harsh voice: “Lift the curfew, but tell those smug-faced Elders that if anyone harbored this criminal, the death penalty still holds. You. Tell his lordship the Marquis that his aid is no longer necessary, and he can return to Remalna-city, or wherever he wants.”
Quick footsteps ran off, and then the Baron said, “Now, to Chovilun. And don’t dawdle.”
Chovilun…
One of the four Merindar fortresses.
I closed my eyes. ~ Sherwood Smith,
1337: The Bells
Hear the sledges with the bellsSilver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bellsFrom the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
II
Hear the mellow wedding bells,
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And an in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells,bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
74
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!
III
Hear the loud alarum bellsBrazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor,
Now- now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows:
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bellsOf the bellsOf the bells, bells, bells,bells,
Bells, bells, bellsIn the clamor and the clangor of the bells!
IV
Hear the tolling of the bells-
75
Iron Bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people- ah, the peopleThey that dwell up in the steeple,
All Alone
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stoneThey are neither man nor womanThey are neither brute nor humanThey are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
Rolls
A paean from the bells!
And his merry bosom swells
With the paean of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the paean of the bellsOf the bells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bellsOf the bells, bells, bellsTo the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bellsOf the bells, bells, bells:
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bellsBells, bells, bells-
76
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
~ Edgar Allan Poe,
1338:There were no shouts, no trumpets, nothing but the ringing of iron-shod boots on the stones of the bridge, and the clank of ready weaponry.
Could we rescue them? I could not see Khesot’s face, but in the utter stillness with which they stood, I read hopelessness.
I readied myself once again--
Then from the center of their forces stepped a single equerry, with a white scarf tied to a pole. He started up the path that we meant to descend. As he walked the light strengthened, now illuminating details. Still with that weird detachment I looked at his curly hair, the freckles on his face, his small nose. We could cut him down in moments, I thought, and then winced the thought away. We were not Galdran. I waited.
He stopped not twenty-five paces from me and said loudly, “Countess, we request a parley.”
Which made it obvious they knew we were there.
Questions skittered through my mind. Had Khesot talked? How otherwise could the enemy have seen us? The only noise now was the rain, pattering softly with the magnificent indifference of nature for the tangled passions of humans.
I stood up. “Here. State your message.”
“A choice. You surrender, and your people can then disperse to their homes. Otherwise, we start with them.” He pointed to the bridge. “Then everyone else.” He lifted his hand, indicating the ridge up behind us.
I turned, and shock burned through me when I saw an uncountable host lined along the rocks we’d descended from half a night ago.
They had us boxed.
Which meant that we had walked right into a waiting trap.
I looked down at the bridge again. Through the curtain of rain the figures were clearer now. Khesot, in the center, stood next to a tall slim man with pale yellow hair.
I closed my eyes, fought for control, then opened my eyes again. “Everyone goes to their homes? Including Khesot and the four down there?”
“Everyone,” the boy said flatly, “except you, Countess.”
Which meant I was staking my life against everyone else’s. And of course there was no answer but one to be made to that.
With black murder in my heart, I flung my sword down rather than hand it over. Stepping across it, I walked past the equerry, whose footfalls I then heard crunching behind me.
Wild vows of death and destruction flowed through my mind as I walked down the trail. No one moved. Only the incessant rain came down, a silver veil, as I slipped down the pathway, then reached the bridge, then crossed it, stalking angrily between the lines of waiting warriors.
When I neared the other end of the bridge, the Marquis turned his back and walked inside the fortress, and the others followed, Khesot and the four scouts still some distance from me. I could not see their faces, could not speak to them.
I walked through the big gates, which closed. Across the courtyard the south gates stood open, and before them mounted warriors waited.
With them were two saddled, riderless horses, one a familiar gray.
In silence the entourage moved toward them, and the Marquis mounted the gray, who sidled nervously, newly shod hooves ringing on the stones.
Khesot and the others were now behind me, invisible behind the crowd of warriors in Renselaeus colors, all of whom watched and waited in silence.
It was weird, dreamlike, the only reality the burning rage in my heart.
Someone motioned me toward the single riderless horse, and I climbed up. For a moment the ground seemed to heave under the animal’s feet, but I shook my head and the world righted itself, and I glared through the softly falling rain to the cold gray gaze of the Marquis of Shevraeth, heir to Renselaeus.
His horse danced a few steps. He looked over his shoulder at me, the low brim of his hat now hiding his eyes.
“Ride,” he said. ~ Sherwood Smith,
1339: Dawendine
There's a spirit on the river, there's a ghost upon the shore,
They are chanting, they are singing through the starlight evermore,
As they steal amid the silence,
And the shadows of the shore.
You can hear them when the Northern candles light the Northern sky,
Those pale, uncertain candle flames, that shiver, dart and die,
Those dead men's icy finger tips,
Athwart the Northern sky.
You can hear the ringing war-cry of a long-forgotten brave
Echo through the midnight forest, echo o'er the midnight wave,
And the Northern lanterns tremble
At the war-cry of that brave.
And you hear a voice responding, but in soft and tender song;
It is Dawendine's spirit singing, singing all night long;
And the whisper of the night wind
Bears afar her Spirit song.
And the wailing pine trees murmur with their voice attuned to hers,
Murmur when they 'rouse from slumber as the night wind through them stirs;
And you listen to their legend,
And their voices blend with hers.
There was feud and there was bloodshed near the river by the hill;
And Dawendine listened, while her very heart stood still:
Would her kinsman or her lover
Be the victim by the hill?
Who would be the great unconquered? who come boasting how he dealt
Death? and show his rival's scalplock fresh and bleeding at his belt.
Who would say, "O Dawendine!
Look upon the death I dealt?"
And she listens, listens, listens--till a war-cry rends the night,
Cry of her victorious lover, monarch he of all the height;
And his triumph wakes the horrors,
Kills the silence of the night.
33
Heart of her! it throbs so madly, then lies freezing in her breast,
For the icy hand of death has chilled the brother she loved best;
And her lover dealt the death-blow;
And her heart dies in her breast.
And she hears her mother saying, "Take thy belt of wampum white;
Go unto yon evil savage while he glories on the height;
Sing and sue for peace between us:
At his feet lay wampum white.
"Lest thy kinsmen all may perish, all thy brothers and thy sire
Fall before his mighty hatred as the forest falls to fire;
Take thy wampum pale and peaceful,
Save thy brothers, save thy sire."
And the girl arises softly, softly slips toward the shore;
Loves she well the murdered brother, loves his hated foeman more,
Loves, and longs to give the wampum;
And she meets him on the shore.
"Peace," she sings, "O mighty victor, Peace! I bring thee wampum white.
Sheathe thy knife whose blade has tasted my young kinsman's blood to-night
Ere it drink to slake its thirsting,
I have brought thee wampum white."
Answers he, "O Dawendine! I will let thy kinsmen be,
I accept thy belt of wampum; but my hate demands for me
That they give their fairest treasure,
Ere I let thy kinsmen be.
"Dawendine, for thy singing, for thy suing, war shall cease;
For thy name, which speaks of dawning, Thou shalt be the dawn of peace;
For thine eyes whose purple shadows tell of dawn,
My hate shall cease.
"Dawendine, Child of Dawning, hateful are thy kin to me;
Red my fingers with their heart blood, but my heart is red for thee:
Dawendine, Child of Dawning,
Wilt thou fail or follow me?"
And her kinsmen still are waiting her returning from the night,
34
Waiting, waiting for her coming with her belt of wampum white;
But forgetting all, she follows,
Where he leads through day or night.
There's a spirit on the river, there's a ghost upon the shore,
And they sing of love and loving through the starlight evermore,
As they steal amid the silence,
And the shadows of the shore.
~ Emily Pauline Johnson,
1340:He removed his hand from his worn, pleasantly snug jeans…and it held something small. Holy Lord, I said to myself. What in the name of kingdom come is going on here? His face wore a sweet, sweet smile.
I stood there completely frozen. “Um…what?” I asked. I could formulate no words but these.
He didn’t respond immediately. Instead he took my left hand in his, opened up my fingers, and placed a diamond ring onto my palm, which was, by now, beginning to sweat.
“I said,” he closed my hand tightly around the ring. “I want you to marry me.” He paused for a moment. “If you need time to think about it, I’ll understand.” His hands were still wrapped around my knuckles. He touched his forehead to mine, and the ligaments of my knees turned to spaghetti.
Marry you? My mind raced a mile a minute. Ten miles a second. I had three million thoughts all at once, and my heart thumped wildly in my chest.
Marry you? But then I’d have to cut my hair short. Married women have short hair, and they get it fixed at the beauty shop.
Marry you? But then I’d have to make casseroles.
Marry you? But then I’d have to wear yellow rubber gloves to do the dishes.
Marry you? As in, move out to the country and actually live with you? In your house? In the country? But I…I…I don’t live in the country. I don’t know how. I can’t ride a horse. I’m scared of spiders.

I forced myself to speak again. “Um…what?” I repeated, a touch of frantic urgency to my voice.
“You heard me,” Marlboro Man said, still smiling. He knew this would catch me by surprise.
Just then my brother Mike laid on the horn again. He leaned out of the window and yelled at the top of his lungs, “C’mon! I am gonna b-b-be late for lunch!” Mike didn’t like being late.
Marlboro Man laughed. “Be right there, Mike!” I would have laughed, too, at the hilarious scene playing out before my eyes. A ring. A proposal. My developmentally disabled and highly impatient brother Mike, waiting for Marlboro Man to drive him to the mall. The horn of the diesel pickup. Normally, I would have laughed. But this time I was way, way too stunned.
“I’d better go,” Marlboro Man said, leaning forward and kissing my cheek. I still grasped the diamond ring in my warm, sweaty hand. “I don’t want Mike to burst a blood vessel.” He laughed out loud, clearly enjoying it all.
I tried to speak but couldn’t. I’d been rendered totally mute. Nothing could have prepared me for those ten minutes of my life. The last thing I remember, I’d awakened at eleven. Moments later, I was hiding in my bathroom, trying, in all my early-morning ugliness, to avoid being seen by Marlboro Man, who’d dropped by unexpectedly. Now I was standing on the front porch, a diamond ring in my hand. It was all completely surreal.
Marlboro Man turned to leave. “You can give me your answer later,” he said, grinning, his Wranglers waving good-bye to me in the bright noonday sun.
But then it all came flashing across my line of sight. The boots in the bar, the icy blue-green eyes, the starched shirt, the Wranglers…the first date, the long talks, my breakdown in his kitchen, the movies, the nights on his porch, the kisses, the long drives, the hugs…the all-encompassing, mind-numbing passion I felt. It played frame by frame in my mind in a steady stream.
“Hey,” I said, walking toward him and effortlessly sliding the ring on my finger. I wrapped my arms around his neck as his arms, instinctively, wrapped around my waist and raised me off the ground in our all-too-familiar pose. “Yep,” I said effortlessly. He smiled and hugged me tightly. Mike, once again, laid on the horn, oblivious to what had just happened. Marlboro Man said nothing more. He simply kissed me, smiled, then drove my brother to the mall. ~ Ree Drummond,
1341:I

Hear the sledges with the bells -
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.


II

Hear the mellow wedding bells -
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight! -
From the molten - golden notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle - dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! - how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!


III

Hear the loud alarum bells -
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now - now to sit, or never,
By the side of the pale - faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear, it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells -
Of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
In the clamor and the clanging of the bells!


IV

Hear the tolling of the bells -
Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people - ah, the people -
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All alone,
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone -
They are neither man nor woman -
They are neither brute nor human -
They are Ghouls: -
And their king it is who tolls: -
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
Rolls
A paean from the bells!
And his merry bosom swells
With the paean of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the paean of the bells: -
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells: -
To the sobbing of the bells: -
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells -
To the tolling of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells, -
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells. ~ Edgar Allan Poe,
1342: The Knight And Shepherd's Daughter
There was a shepherds daughter
Came tripping on the waye,
And there by chance a knighte shee mett,
Which caused her to staye.
'Good morrowe to you, beauteous maide,'
These words pronounced hee;
'O I shall dye this daye,' he sayd,
'If Ive not my wille of thee.'
'The Lord forbid,' the maide replyde,
'That you shold waxe so wode!'
But for all that shee could do or saye,
'He wold not be withstood.'
'Sith you have had your wille of mee,
And put me to open shame,
Now, if you are a courteous knighte,
Tell me what is your name?'
'Some do call mee Jacke, sweet heart,
And some do call me Jille;
But when I come to the kings fair courte,
They calle me Wilfulle Wille.'
He sett his foot into the stirrup,
And awaye then he did ride;
She tuckt her girdle about her middle,
And ranne close by his side.
But when she came to the brode water,
She sett her brest and swamme;
And when she was got out againe,
She tooke to her heels and ranne.
He never was the courteous knighte,
To saye, 'Faire maide, will ye ride?'
'And she was ever too loving a maide
To saye, 'Sir Knighte, abide.''
930
When she came to the kings faire courte,
She knocked at the ring:
So readye was the king himself
To let this faire maid in.
'Now Christ you save, my gracious liege,
Now Christ you save and see;
You have a knighte within your courte
This daye hath robbed mee.'
'What hath he robbed thee of, sweet heart?
Of purple or of pall?
Or hath he took thy gaye gold ring
From off thy finger small?'
'He hath not robbed mee, my liege,
Of purple nor of pall;
But he hath gotten my maiden-head,
Which grieves mee worst of all.'
'Now if he be a batchelor,
His bodye Ile give to thee;
But if he be a married man,
High hanged he shall bee.'
He called downe his merrye men all,
By one, by two, by three;
Sir William used to bee the first,
But nowe the last came hee.
He brought her downe fulle fortye pounde,
Tyed up withinne a glove:
'Faire maid, Ile give the same to thee;
Go seeke thee another love.'
'O Ile have none of your gold,' she sayde,
'Nor Ile have none of your fee;
But your faire bodye I must have,
The king hath granted mee.'
Sir William ranne and fetchd her then
931
Five hundred pound in golde,
Saying, 'Faire maide, take this to thee,
Thy fault will never be tolde.'
'Tis not the gold that shall mee tempt,'
These words then answered shee,
'But your own bodye I must have,
The king hath granted mee.'
'Would I had dranke the water cleare,
When I did drink the wine,
Rather than any shepherds brat
Shold bee a ladye of mine!
'Would I had drank the puddle foule,
When I did drink the ale,
Rather that ever a shepherds brat
Shold tell me such a tale!'
'A shepherds brat even as I was,
You mote have let mee bee;
I never had come to the kings faire courte,
To crave any love of thee.'
He sett her on a milk-white steede,
And himself upon a graye;
He hung a bugle about his necke,
And soe they rode awaye.
But when they came unto the place,
Where marriage-rites were done,
She proved herself a dukes daughter,
And he but a squires sonne.
'Now marrye me, or not, Sir Knight,
Your pleasure shall be free:
If you make me ladye of one good towne,
Ile make you lord of three.'
'Ah! cursed bee the gold;' he sayd,
'If thou hadst not been trewe,
I shold have forsaken my sweet love,
932
And have changed her for a newe.'
And now their hearts being linked fast,
They joyned hand in hande:
Thus he had both purse, and person too,
And all at his commande.
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1343:Close your eyes and stare into the dark. My father's advice when I couldn't sleep as a little girl. He wouldn't want me to do that now but I've set my mind to the task regardless. I'm staring beyond my closed eyelids. Though I lie still on the ground, I feel perched at the highest point I could possibly be; clutching at a star in the night sky with my legs dangling above cold black nothingness. I take one last look at my fingers wrapped around the light and let go. Down I go, falling, then floating, and, falling again, I wait for the land of my life. I know now, as I knew as that little girl fighting sleep, that behind her gauzed screen of shut-eye, lies colour. It taunts me, dares me to open my eyes and lose sleep. Flashes of red and amber, yellow and white speckle my darkness. I refuse to open them. I rebel and I squeeze my eyelids together tighter to block out the grains of light, mere distractions that keep us awake but a sign that there's life beyond.
But there's no life in me. None that I can feel, from where I lie at the bottom of the staircase. My heart beats quicker now, the lone fighter left standing in the ring, a red boxing glove pumping victoriously into the air, refusing to give up. It's the only part of me that cares, the only part that ever cared. It fights to pump the blood around to heal, to replace what I'm losing. But it's all leaving my body as quickly as it's sent; forming a deep black ocean of its own around me where I've fallen.
Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Never have enough time here, always trying to make our way there. Need to have left here five minutes ago, need to be there now. The phone rings again and I acknowledge the irony. I could have taken my time and answered it now.
Now, not then.
I could have taken all the time in the world on each of those steps. But we're always rushing. All, but my heart. That slows now. I don't mind so much. I place my hand on my belly. If my child is gone, and I suspect this is so, I'll join it there. There.....where? Wherever. It; a heartless word. He or she so young; who it was to become, still a question. But there, I will mother it.
There, not here. I'll tell it; I'm sorry, sweetheart, I'm sorry I ruined your chances - our chances of a life together.But close your eyes and stare into the darkness now, like Mummy is doing, and we'll find our way together.
There's a noise in the room and I feel a presence. 'Oh God, Joyce, oh God. Can you hear me, love? Oh God. Oh God, please no, Hold on love, I'm here. Dad is here.'
I don't want to hold on and I feel like telling him so. I hear myself groan, an animal-like whimper and it shocks me, scares me. I have a plan, I want to tell him. I want to go, only then can I be with my baby. Then, not now.
He's stopped me from falling but I haven't landed yet. Instead he helps me balance on nothing, hover while I'm forced to make the decision. I want to keep falling but he's calling the ambulance and he's gripping my hand with such ferocity it's as though I'm all he has. He's brushing the hair from my forehead and weeping loudly. I've never heard him weep. Not even when Mum died. He clings to my hand with all of his strength I never knew his old body had and I remember that I am all he has and that he, once again just like before, is my whole world. The blood continues to rush through me. Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Maybe I'm rushing again. Maybe it's not my time to go. I feel the rough skin of old hands squeezing mine, and their intensity and their familiarity force me to open my eyes. Lights fills them and I glimpse his face, a look I never want to see again. He clings to his baby. I know I lost mind; I can't let him lose his. In making my decision I already begin to grieve. I've landed now, the land of my life. And still my heart pumps on.
Even when broken it still works. ~ Cecelia Ahern,
1344: Beowulf (Episode 13)
MANY at morning, as men have told me,
warriors gathered the gift-hall round,
folk-leaders faring from far and near,
o'er wide-stretched ways, the wonder to view,
trace of the traitor. Not troublous seemed
the enemy's end to any man
who saw by the gait of the graceless foe
how the weary-hearted, away from thence,
baffled in battle and banned, his steps
death-marked dragged to the devils' mere.
Bloody the billows were boiling there,
turbid the tide of tumbling waves
horribly seething, with sword-blood hot,
by that doomed one dyed, who in den of the moor
laid forlorn his life adown,
his heathen soul, and hell received it.
Home then rode the hoary clansmen
from that merry journey, and many a youth,
on horses white, the hardy warriors,
back from the mere. Then Beowulf's glory
eager they echoed, and all averred
that from sea to sea, or south or north,
there was no other in earth's domain,
under vault of heaven, more valiant found,
of warriors none more worthy to rule!
(On their lord beloved they laid no slight,
gracious Hrothgar: a good king he!)
From time to time, the tried-in-battle
their gray steeds set to gallop amain,
and ran a race when the road seemed fair.
From time to time, a thane of the king,
who had made many vaunts, and was mindful of verses,
stored with sagas and songs of old,
bound word to word in well-knit rime,
welded his lay; this warrior soon
of Beowulf's quest right cleverly sang,
and artfully added an excellent tale,
in well-ranged words, of the warlike deeds
he had heard in saga of Sigemund.
111
Strange the story: he said it all, -the Waelsing's wanderings wide, his struggles,
which never were told to tribes of men,
the feuds and the frauds, save to Fitela only,
when of these doings he deigned to speak,
uncle to nephew; as ever the twain
stood side by side in stress of war,
and multitude of the monster kind
they had felled with their swords. Of Sigemund grew,
when he passed from life, no little praise;
for the doughty-in-combat a dragon killed
that herded the hoard: under hoary rock
the atheling dared the deed alone
fearful quest, nor was Fitela there.
Yet so it befell, his falchion pierced
that wondrous worm, -- on the wall it struck,
best blade; the dragon died in its blood.
Thus had the dread-one by daring achieved
over the ring-hoard to rule at will,
himself to pleasure; a sea-boat he loaded,
and bore on its bosom the beaming gold,
son of Waels; the worm was consumed.
He had of all heroes the highest renown
among races of men, this refuge-of-warriors,
for deeds of daring that decked his name
since the hand and heart of Heremod
grew slack in battle. He, swiftly banished
to mingle with monsters at mercy of foes,
to death was betrayed; for torrents of sorrow
had lamed him too long; a load of care
to earls and athelings all he proved.
Oft indeed, in earlier days,
for the warrior's wayfaring wise men mourned,
who had hoped of him help from harm and bale,
and had thought their sovran's son would thrive,
follow his father, his folk protect,
the hoard and the stronghold, heroes' land,
home of Scyldings. -- But here, thanes said,
the kinsman of Hygelac kinder seemed
to all: the other was urged to crime!
And afresh to the race, the fallow roads
by swift steeds measured! The morning sun
112
was climbing higher. Clansmen hastened
to the high-built hall, those hardy-minded,
the wonder to witness. Warden of treasure,
crowned with glory, the king himself,
with stately band from the bride-bower strode;
and with him the queen and her crowd of maidens
measured the path to the mead-house fair.
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1345:What are the common wages of labour, depends everywhere upon the contract usually made between those two parties, whose interests are by no means the same. The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little as possible. The former are disposed to combine in order to raise, the latter in order to lower the wages of labour.

It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily; and the law, besides, authorizes, or at least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work; but many against combining to raise it. In all such disputes the masters can hold out much longer. A landlord, a farmer, a master manufacturer, a merchant, though they did not employ a single workman, could generally live a year or two upon the stocks which they have already acquired. Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and scarce any a year without employment. In the long run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him; but the necessity is not so immediate.

We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate. To violate this combination is everywhere a most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master among his neighbours and equals. We seldom, indeed, hear of this combination, because it is the usual, and one may say, the natural state of things, which nobody ever hears of. Masters, too, sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this rate. These are always conducted with the utmost silence and secrecy, till the moment of execution, and when the workmen yield, as they sometimes do, without resistance, though severely felt by them, they are never heard of by other people. Such combinations, however, are frequently resisted by a contrary defensive combination of the workmen; who sometimes too, without any provocation of this kind, combine of their own accord to raise the price of their labour. Their usual pretences are, sometimes the high price of provisions; sometimes the great profit which their masters make by their work. But whether their combinations be offensive or defensive, they are always abundantly heard of. In order to bring the point to a speedy decision, they have always recourse to the loudest clamour, and sometimes to the most shocking violence and outrage. They are desperate, and act with the folly and extravagance of desperate men, who must either starve, or frighten their masters into an immediate compliance with their demands. The masters upon these occasions are just as clamorous upon the other side, and never cease to call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, and the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combinations of servants, labourers, and journeymen. The workmen, accordingly, very seldom derive any advantage from the violence of those tumultuous combinations, which, partly from the interposition of the civil magistrate, partly from the necessity superior steadiness of the masters, partly from the necessity which the greater part of the workmen are under of submitting for the sake of present subsistence, generally end in nothing, but the punishment or ruin of the ringleaders.

But though in disputes with their workmen, masters must generally have the advantage, there is, however, a certain rate be. ~ Adam Smith,
1346: Fra Pedro
Golden lights and lengthening shadows,
Flings the splendid sun declining,
O'er the monastery garden
Rich in flower, fruit and foliage.
Through the avenue of nut trees,
Pace two grave and ghostly friars,
Snowy white their gowns and girdles,
Black as night their cowls and mantles.
Lithe and ferret-eyed the younger,
Black his scapular denoting
A lay brother; his companion
Large, imperious, towers above him.
'T is the abbot, great Fra Pedro,
Famous through all Saragossa
For his quenchless zeal in crushing
Heresy amidst his townfolk.
Handsome still with hood and tonsure,
E'en as when the boy Pedrillo,
Insolent with youth and beauty,
Who reviled the gentle Rabbi.
Lo, the level sun strikes sparkles
From his dark eyes brightly flashing.
Stern his voice: 'These too shall perish.
I have vowed extermination.
'Tell not me of skill or virtue,
Filial love or woman's beautyJews are Jews, as serpents serpents,
In themselves abomination.'
Earnestly the other pleaded,
'If my zeal, thrice reverend master,
E'er afforded thee assistance,
Serving thee as flesh serves spirit,
80
'Hounding, scourging, flaying, burning,
Casting into chains or exile,
At thy bidding these vile wretches,
Hear and heed me now, my master.
'These be nowise like their brethren,
Ben Jehudah is accounted
Saragossa's first physician,
Loved by colleague as by patient.
'And his daughter Donna Zara
Is our city's pearl of beauty,
Like the clusters of the vineyard
Droop the ringlets o'er her temples.
'Like the moon in starry heavens
Shines her face among her people,
And her form hath all the languor,
Grace and glamour of the palm-tree.
'Well thou knowest, thrice reverend master,
This is not their first affliction,
Was it not our Holy Office
Whose bribed menials fired their dwelling?
'Ere dawn broke, the smoke ascended,
Choked the stairways, filled the chambers,
Waked the household to the terror
Of the flaming death that threatened.
'Then the poor bed-ridden mother
Knew her hour had come; two daughters,
Twinned in form, and mind, and spirit,
And their father-who would save them?
'Towards her door sprang Ben Jehudah,
Donna Zara flew behind him
Round his neck her white arms wreathing,
Drew him from the burning chamber.
'There within, her sister Zillah
81
Stirred no limb to shun her torture,
Held her mother's hand and kissed her,
Saying, 'We will go together.'
'This the outer throng could witness,
As the flames enwound the dwelling,
Like a glory they illumined
Awfully the martyred daughter.
'Closer, fiercer, round they gathered,
Not a natural cry escaped her,
Helpless clung to her her mother,
Hand in hand they went together.
'Since that 'Act of Faith' three winters
Have rolled by, yet on the forehead
Of Jehudah is imprinted
Still the horror of that morning.
'Saragossa hath respected
His false creed; a man of sorrows,
He hath walked secure among us,
And his art repays our sufferance.'
Thus he spoke and ceased. The Abbot
Lent him an impatient hearing,
Then outbroke with angry accent,
'We have borne three years, thou sayest?
''T is enough; my vow is sacred.
These shall perish with their brethren.
Hark ye! In my veins' pure current
Were a single drop found Jewish,
'I would shrink not from outpouring
All my life blood, but to purge it.
Shall I gentler prove to others?
Mercy would be sacrilegious.
'Ne'er again at thy soul's peril,
Speak to me of Jewish beauty,
Jewish skill, or Jewish virtue.
82
I have said. Do thou remember.'
Down behind the purple hillside
Dropped the sun; above the garden
Rang the Angelus' clear cadence
Summoning the monks to vespers.
~ Emma Lazarus,
1347: At The Long Sault: May, 1660
Under the day-long sun there is life and mirth
In the working earth,
And the wonderful moon shines bright
Through the soft spring night,
The innocent flowers in the limitless woods are springing
Far and away
With the sound and the perfume of May,
And ever up from the south the happy birds are winging,
The waters glitter and leap and play
While the grey hawk soars.
But far in an open glade of the forest set
Where the rapid plunges and roars,
Is a ruined fort with a name that men forget,-A shelterless pen
With its broken palisade,
Behind it, musket in hand,
Beyond message or aid
In this savage heart of the wild,
Mere youngsters, grown in a moment to men,
Grim and alert and arrayed,
The comrades of Daulac stand.
Ever before them, night and day,
The rush and skulk and cry
Of foes, not men but devils, panting for prey;
Behind them the sleepless dream
Of the little frail-walled town, far away by the plunging stream,
Of maiden and matron and child,
With ruin and murder impending, and none but they
To beat back the gathering horror
Deal death while they may,
And then die.
Day and night they have watched while the little plain
Grew dark with the rush of the foe, but their host
Broke ever and melted away, with no boast
But to number their slain;
And now as the days renew
Hunger and thirst and care
62
Were they never so stout, so true,
Press at their hearts; but none
Falters or shrinks or utters a coward word,
Though each setting sun
Brings from the pitiless wild new hands to the Iroquois horde,
And only to them despair.
Silent, white-faced, again and again
Charged and hemmed round by furious hands,
Each for a moment faces them all and stands
In his little desperate ring; like a tired bull moose
Whom scores of sleepless wolves, a ravening pack,
Have chased all night, all day
Through the snow-laden woods, like famine let loose;
And he turns at last in his track
Against a wall of rock and stands at bay;
Round him with terrible sinews and teeth of steel
They charge and recharge; but with many a furious plunge and wheel,
Hither and thither over the trampled snow,
He tosses them bleeding and torn;
Till, driven, and ever to and fro
Harried, wounded, and weary grown,
His mighty strength gives way
And all together they fasten upon him and drag him down.
So Daulac turned him anew
With a ringing cry to his men
In the little raging forest glen,
And his terrible sword in the twilight whistled and slew.
And all his comrades stood
With their backs to the pales, and fought
Till their strength was done;
The thews that were only mortal flagged and broke
Each struck his last wild stroke,
And they fell one by one,
And the world that had seemed so good
Passed like a dream and was naught.
And then the great night came
With the triumph-songs of the foe and the flame
Of the camp-fires.
Out of the dark the soft wind woke,
63
The song of the rapid rose alway
And came to the spot where the comrades lay,
Beyond help or care,
With none but the red men round them
To gnash their teeth and stare.
All night by the foot of the mountain
The little town lieth at rest,
The sentries are peacefully pacing;
And neither from East nor from West
Is there rumour of death or of danger;
None dreameth tonight in his bed
That ruin was near and the heroes
That met it and stemmed it are dead.
But afar in the ring of the forest,
Where the air is so tender with May
And the waters are wild in the moonlight,
They lie in their silence of clay.
The numberless stars out of heaven
Look down with a pitiful glance;
And the lilies asleep in the forest
Are closed like the lilies of France.
~ Archibald Lampman,
1348: The Broomfield Hill
There was a knight and lady bright
Set trysts amo the broom,
The one to come at morning eav,
The other at afternoon.
'I'll wager a wager wi' you,' he said,
'An hundred marks and ten,
That ye shall not go to Broomfield Hills,
Return a maiden again.'
'I'll wager a wager wi' you,' she said,
'A hundred pounds and ten,
That I will gang to Broomfield Hills,
A maiden return again.'
The lady stands in her bower door,
And thus she made her mane:
'Oh, shall I gang to Broomfield Hills,
Or shall I stay at hame?
'If I do gang to Broomfield Hills
A maid I'll not return;
But if I stay from Broomfield Hills,
I'll be a maid mis-sworn.'
Then out it speaks an auld witch wife,
Sat in the bower aboon:
'O ye shall gang to Broomfield Hills,
Ye shall not stay at hame.
'But when ye gang to Broomfield Hills,
Walk nine times round and round;
Down below a bonny burn bank,
Ye'll find your love sleeping sound.
'Ye'll pu the bloom frae off the broom,
Strew't at his head and feet,
And aye the thicker that ye do strew,
The sounder he will sleep.
207
'The broach that is on your napkin,
Put it on his breast bane,
To let him know, when he does wake,
That's true love's come and gane.
'The rings that are on your fingers,
Lay them down on a stane,
To let him know, when he does wake,
That's true love's come and gane.
'And when he hae your work all done,
Ye'll gang to a bush o' broom,
And then you'll hear what he will say,
When he sees ye are gane.'
When she came to Broomfield Hills,
She walked it nine times round,
And down below yon burn bank,
She found him sleeping sound.
She pu'd the bloom frae off the broom,
Strew'd it at 's head and feet,
And aye the thicker that she strewd,
The sounder he did sleep.
The broach that was on her napkin,
She put it on his breast-bane,
To let him know, when he did wake,
His love was come and gane.
The rings that were on her fingers,
She laid upon a stane,
To let him know, when he did wake,
His love was come and gane.
Now when she had her work all dune,
She went to a bush o' broom,
That she might hear what he did say,
When he saw that she was gane.
'O where were ye my guid grey hound,
208
That I paid for sae dear,
Ye didna waken me frae my sleep
When my true love was sae near?'
'I scraped wi' my foot, master,
Till a' my collars rang,
But still the mair that I did scrape,
Waken woud ye nane.'
'Where were ye, my bony brown steed,
That I paid for sae dear,
That ye woudna waken me out o' my sleep
When my love was sae near?'
'I patted wi my foot, master,
Till a' my bridles rang,
But the mair that I did patt,
Waken woud ye nane.'
'O where were ye, my gay goss-hawk
That I paid for sae dear,
That ye woudna waken me out o' my sleep
When ye saw my love near?'
'I flapped wi my wings, master,
Till a' my bells they rang,
But still, the mair that I did flap,
Waken woud ye nane.'
'O where were ye, my merry young men
That I pay meat and fee,
That ye woudna waken me out o' my sleep
When my love ye did see?'
'Ye'll sleep mair on the night, master,
And wake mair on the day;
Gae sooner down to Broomfield Hills
When ye've sic pranks to play.
'If I had seen any armed men
Come riding over the hill-But I saw but a fair lady
209
Come quietly you until.'
'O wae mat worth yow, my young men,
That I pay meat and fee,
That ye woudna waken me frae sleep
When ye my love did see?
'O had I waked when she was nigh,
And o her got my will,
I shoudna cared upon the morn
The sma birds o her were fill.'
When she went out, right bitter she wept,
But singing came she hame;
Says, 'I hae been at Broomfield Hills,
And maid returned again.'
~ Andrew Lang,
1349: Episode 32
THAT way he went with no will of his own,
in danger of life, to the dragon's hoard,
but for pressure of peril, some prince's thane.
He fled in fear the fatal scourge,
seeking shelter, a sinful man,
and entered in. At the awful sight
tottered that guest, and terror seized him;
yet the wretched fugitive rallied anon
from fright and fear ere he fled away,
and took the cup from that treasure-hoard.
Of such besides there was store enough,
heirlooms old, the earth below,
which some earl forgotten, in ancient years,
left the last of his lofty race,
heedfully there had hidden away,
dearest treasure. For death of yore
had hurried all hence; and he alone
left to live, the last of the clan,
weeping his friends, yet wished to bide
warding the treasure, his one delight,
though brief his respite. The barrow, new-ready,
to strand and sea-waves stood anear,
hard by the headland, hidden and closed;
there laid within it his lordly heirlooms
and heaped hoard of heavy gold
that warden of rings. Few words he spake:
"Now hold thou, earth, since heroes may not,
what earls have owned! Lo, erst from thee
brave men brought it! But battle-death seized
and cruel killing my clansmen all,
robbed them of life and a liegeman's joys.
None have I left to lift the sword,
or to cleanse the carven cup of price,
beaker bright. My brave are gone.
And the helmet hard, all haughty with gold,
shall part from its plating. Polishers sleep
who could brighten and burnish the battle-mask;
and those weeds of war that were wont to brave
over bicker of shields the bite of steel
201
rust with their bearer. The ringed mail
fares not far with famous chieftain,
at side of hero! No harp's delight,
no glee-wood's gladness! No good hawk now
flies through the hall! Nor horses fleet
stamp in the burgstead! Battle and death
the flower of my race have reft away."
Mournful of mood, thus he moaned his woe,
alone, for them all, and unblithe wept
by day and by night, till death's fell wave
o'erwhelmed his heart. His hoard-of-bliss
that old ill-doer open found,
who, blazing at twilight the barrows haunteth,
naked foe-dragon flying by night
folded in fire: the folk of earth
dread him sore. 'Tis his doom to seek
hoard in the graves, and heathen gold
to watch, many-wintered: nor wins he thereby!
Powerful this plague-of-the-people thus
held the house of the hoard in earth
three hundred winters; till One aroused
wrath in his breast, to the ruler bearing
that costly cup, and the king implored
for bond of peace. So the barrow was plundered,
borne off was booty. His boon was granted
that wretched man; and his ruler saw
first time what was fashioned in far-off days.
When the dragon awoke, new woe was kindled.
O'er the stone he snuffed. The stark-heart found
footprint of foe who so far had gone
in his hidden craft by the creature's head. -So may the undoomed easily flee
evils and exile, if only he gain
the grace of The Wielder! -- That warden of gold
o'er the ground went seeking, greedy to find
the man who wrought him such wrong in sleep.
Savage and burning, the barrow he circled
all without; nor was any there,
none in the waste.... Yet war he desired,
was eager for battle. The barrow he entered,
sought the cup, and discovered soon
that some one of mortals had searched his treasure,
202
his lordly gold. The guardian waited
ill-enduring till evening came;
boiling with wrath was the barrow's keeper,
and fain with flame the foe to pay
for the dear cup's loss. -- Now day was fled
as the worm had wished. By its wall no more
was it glad to bide, but burning flew
folded in flame: a fearful beginning
for sons of the soil; and soon it came,
in the doom of their lord, to a dreadful end.
~ Anonymous Olde English,
1350: The Old Whim Horse
He's an old grey horse, with his head bowed sadly,
And with dim old eyes and a queer roll aft,
With the off-fore sprung and the hind screwed badly,
And he bears all over the brands of graft;
And he lifts his head from the grass to wonder
Why by night and day the whim is still,
Why the silence is, and the stampers' thunder
Sounds forth no more from the shattered mill.
In that whim he worked when the night winds bellowed
On the riven summit of Giant's Hand,
And by day when prodigal Spring had yellowed
All the wide, long sweep of enchanted land;
And he knew his shift, and the whistle's warning,
And he knew the calls of the boys below;
Through the years, unbidden, at night or morning,
He had taken his stand by the old whim bow.
But the whim stands still, and the wheeling swallow
In the silent shaft hangs her home of clay,
And the lizards flirt and the swift snakes follow
O'er the grass-grown brace in the summer day;
And the corn springs high in the cracks and corners
Of the forge, and down where the timber lies;
And the crows are perched like a band of mourners
On the broken hut on the Hermit's Rise.
All the hands have gone, for the rich reef paid out,
And the company waits till the calls come in;
But the old grey horse, like the claim, is played out,
And no market's near for his bones and skin.
So they let him live, and they left him grazing
By the creek, and oft in the evening dim
I have seen him stand on the rises, gazing
At the ruined brace and the rotting whim.
The floods rush high in the gully under,
And the lightnings lash at the shrinking trees,
Or the cattle down from the ranges blunder
144
As the fires drive by on the summer breeze.
Still the feeble horse at the right hour wanders
To the lonely ring, though the whistle's dumb,
And with hanging head by the bow he ponders
Where the whim boy's gone -- why the shifts don't come.
But there comes a night when he sees lights glowing
In the roofless huts and the ravaged mill,
When he hears again all the stampers going -Though the huts are dark and the stampers still:
When he sees the steam to the black roof clinging
As its shadows roll on the silver sands,
And he knows the voice of his driver singing,
And the knocker's clang where the braceman stands.
See the old horse take, like a creature dreaming,
On the ring once more his accustomed place;
But the moonbeams full on the ruins streaming
Show the scattered timbers and grass-grown brace.
Yet HE hears the sled in the smithy falling,
And the empty truck as it rattles back,
And the boy who stands by the anvil, calling;
And he turns and backs, and he "takes up slack".
While the old drum creaks, and the shadows shiver
As the wind sweeps by, and the hut doors close,
And the bats dip down in the shaft or quiver
In the ghostly light, round the grey horse goes;
And he feels the strain on his untouched shoulder,
Hears again the voice that was dear to him,
Sees the form he knew -- and his heart grows bolder
As he works his shift by the broken whim.
He hears in the sluices the water rushing
As the buckets drain and the doors fall back;
When the early dawn in the east is blushing,
He is limping still round the old, old track.
Now he pricks his ears, with a neigh replying
To a call unspoken, with eyes aglow,
And he sways and sinks in the circle, dying;
From the ring no more will the grey horse go.
145
In a gully green, where a dam lies gleaming,
And the bush creeps back on a worked-out claim,
And the sleepy crows in the sun sit dreaming
On the timbers grey and a charred hut frame,
Where the legs slant down, and the hare is squatting
In the high rank grass by the dried-up course,
Nigh a shattered drum and a king-post rotting
Are the bleaching bones of the old grey horse.
~ Edward George Dyson,
1351: Love Gregor; Or, The Lass Of Lochroyan
'O wha will shoe my fu' fair foot?
And wha will glove my hand?
And wha will lace my middle jimp,
Wi' the new-made London band?
'And wha will kaim my yellow hair,
Wi' the new made silver kaim?
And wha will father my young son,
Till Love Gregor come hame?'
'Your father will shoe your fu' fair foot,
Your mother will glove your hand;
Your sister will lace your middle jimp
Wi' the new-made London band.
'Your brother will kaim your yellow hair,
Wi' the new made silver kaim;
And the king of heaven will father your bairn,
Till Love Gregor come haim.'
'But I will get a bonny boat,
And I will sail the sea,
For I maun gang to Love Gregor,
Since he canno come hame to me.'
O she has gotten a bonny boat,
And sailld the sa't sea fame;
She langd to see her ain true-love,
Since he could no come hame.
'O row your boat, my mariners,
And bring me to the land,
For yonder I see my love's castle,
Close by the sa't sea strand.'
She has ta'en her young son in her arms,
And to the door she's gone,
And lang she's knocked and sair she ca'd,
But answer got she none.
121
'O open the door, Love Gregor,' she says,
'O open, and let me in;
For the wind blaws thro' my yellow hair,
And the rain draps o'er my chin.'
'Awa, awa, ye ill woman,
You'r nae come here for good;
You'r but some witch, or wile warlock,
Or mer-maid of the flood.'
'I am neither a witch nor a wile warlock,
Nor mer-maid of the sea,
I am Fair Annie of Rough Royal;
O open the door to me.'
'Gin ye be Annie of Rough Royal-And I trust ye are not she-Now tell me some of the love-tokens
That past between you and me.'
'O dinna you mind now, Love Gregor,
When we sat at the wine,
How we changed the rings frae our fingers?
And I can show thee thine.
'O yours was good, and good enough,
But ay the best was mine;
For yours was o' the good red goud,
But mine o' the diamonds fine.
'But open the door now, Love Gregor,
O open the door I pray,
For your young son that is in my arms
Will be dead ere it be day.'
'Awa, awa, ye ill woman,
For here ye shanno win in;
Gae drown ye in the raging sea,
Or hang on the gallows-pin.'
When the cock had crawn, and day did dawn,
122
And the sun began to peep,
Then up he rose him, Love Gregor,
And sair, sair did he weep.
'O I dreamd a dream, my mother dear,
The thoughts o' it gars me greet,
That Fair Annie of Rough Royal
Lay cauld dead at my feet.'
'Gin it be for Annie of Rough Royal
That ye make a' this din,
She stood a' last night at this door,
But I trow she wan no in.'
'O wae betide ye, ill woman,
An ill dead may ye die!
That ye woudno open the door to her,
Nor yet woud waken me.'
O he has gone down to yon shore-side,
As fast as he could fare;
He saw Fair Annie in her boat,
But the wind it tossd her sair.
And 'Hey, Annie!' and 'How, Annie!
O Annie, winna ye bide?'
But ay the mair that he cried 'Annie,'
The braider grew the tide.
And 'Hey, Annie!' and 'How, Annie!
Dear Annie, speak to me!'
But ay the louder he cried 'Annie,'
The louder roard the sea.
The wind blew loud, the sea grew rough,
And dashd the boat on shore;
Fair Annie floats on the raging sea,
But her young son rose no more.
Love Gregor tare his yellow hair,
And made a heavy moan;
Fair Annie's corpse lay at his feet,
123
But his bonny young son was gone.
O cherry, cherry was her cheek,
And gowden was her hair,
But clay cold were her rosey lips,
Nae spark of life was there,
And first he's kissd her cherry cheek,
And neist he's kissed her chin;
And saftly pressd her rosey lips,
But there was nae breath within.
'O wae betide my cruel mother,
And an ill dead may she die!
For she turnd my true-love frae my door,
When she came sae far to me.'
~ Andrew Lang,
1352: Greeting Poem
There was a sound in the wind to-day,
Like a joyous cymbal ringing!
And the leaves of the trees talked with the breeze,
And they altogether were singing,
For they knew that an army, both bold and strong,
A brave, brave army, was coming,
Not with the fife and sounds of strife,
With marshal music and drumming,
Not with stern faces and gleaming swords,
That would make blood to flow like water,
While brother and brother should slay each other
On wholesale fields of slaughter;
But rather like rills from a thousand hills,
That ripple through valley and heather,
On, on to the sea, with a song of glee,
Till they meet and mingle together.
They come from the South, and the East, and the West,
The bravest and best in the nation.
They come at no idle and aimless quest,
But to work for a world's salvation.
From the Scot's fair land and from England's strand,
O'er mountain and heather and ocean,
They come; and the foe by their coming shall know
The strength of a Templar's devotion.
On the earnest brows, in the thoughtful eyes,
We read the unchanging storyThey fight in their might for the truth and the right,
And not for vain name or glory.
O grandest of armies! O bravest of bands!
We give you a cordial greeting,
And the blood of our warm hearts beats in the hands
That are offered to you in meeting.
The heart of a Templar is never cold,
Nor stands it aloof from a brother,
And his hand is steady, and always ready
To clasp the hand of another.
In God's great Book, where but angels look,
276
On pages of spotless beauty
Are written in letters of living light
A Templar's vow and his duty.
'For ever and ever,' the promise reads,
For ever and ever 'twas given.
And who keeps or breaks the pledge that he takes
Must meet the record in heaven.
Our order is noble and grand and strong,
And is gathering strength each hour,
And the good of the earth proclaim its worth,
While the foe turns pale at its power.
And we of the State that men call great,
The nation's brave 'Badger' daughter,
Step by step as we go, are defeating the foe,
While we add to the hosts of cold water.
With a chief at our head whom the foe may well dread,
The Sherman or Grant of our battles,
By day and by night we fight the good fight,
Though never a cannon rattles.
For the tongue and the pen are the swords of our men,
And prayer keeps them whetted and polished;
They will let God's light in on the foe's licensed sin,
Till the traffic of death is abolished.
With cunning hands we fashioned the strands
Of a stout restraining tether,
To fasten the beast, for a season at least,
And our statesmen tied it together.
The beast strains the rope with the idle hope
Of making it weaker or longer,
But the Templars to-day are working away
To make it shorter and stronger.
We give you greeting-we need your aid!
There is work for many a morrow,
There are beautiful souls going down in the bowls,
277
There are homes that are burdened with sorrow,
There are mourning captives all over the earth,
Hugging the fetters that bind them.
We must show them the light, we must set them aright,
We must work for them all as we find them.
With a soaring 'Faith,' that is stronger than death,
We must work while the day hangs o'er us.
We are brave and st