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

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

see also ::: the_Mothers_Symbol

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


OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
SEE ALSO

the_Mothers_Symbol

AUTH

BOOKS
Modern_Man_in_Search_of_a_Soul
The_Heros_Journey
The_Republic

IN CHAPTERS TITLE
1.fs_-_The_Ring_Of_Polycrates_-_A_Ballad

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
00.03_-_Upanishadic_Symbolism
0.00_-_The_Book_of_Lies_Text
0.00_-_THE_GOSPEL_PREFACE
01.02_-_Sri_Aurobindo_-_Ahana_and_Other_Poems
01.03_-_Mystic_Poetry
0_1969-07-26
07.39_-_The_Homogeneous_Being
1.00c_-_DIVISION_C_-_THE_ETHERIC_BODY_AND_PRANA
1.00e_-_DIVISION_E_-_MOTION_ON_THE_PHYSICAL_AND_ASTRAL_PLANES
1.01_-_The_Rape_of_the_Lock
1.02_-_MAPS_OF_MEANING_-_THREE_LEVELS_OF_ANALYSIS
1.02_-_The_Three_European_Worlds
1.03_-_Japa_Yoga
1.03_-_The_House_Of_The_Lord
1.04_-_The_Core_of_the_Teaching
1.04_-_The_Praise
1.05_-_THE_HOSTILE_BROTHERS_-_ARCHETYPES_OF_RESPONSE_TO_THE_UNKNOWN
1.06_-_THE_MASTER_WITH_THE_BRAHMO_DEVOTEES
1.07_-_A_Song_of_Longing_for_Tara,_the_Infallible
1.07_-_The_Magic_Wand
1.083_-_Choosing_an_Object_for_Concentration
1.12_-_BOOK_THE_TWELFTH
1.14_-_INSTRUCTION_TO_VAISHNAVS_AND_BRHMOS
1.14_-_The_Structure_and_Dynamics_of_the_Self
1.21_-_Tabooed_Things
1.26_-_FESTIVAL_AT_ADHARS_HOUSE
1.28_-_The_Ninth_Bolgia__Schismatics._Mahomet_and_Ali._Pier_da_Medicina,_Curio,_Mosca,_and_Bertr_and_de_Born.
1.439
1.47_-_Lityerses
1.550_-_1.600_Talks
1.63_-_Fear,_a_Bad_Astral_Vision
1.66_-_The_External_Soul_in_Folk-Tales
17.02_-_Hymn_to_the_Sun
18.05_-_Ashram_Poets
1951-04-12_-_Japan,_its_art,_landscapes,_life,_etc_-_Fairy-lore_of_Japan_-_Culture-_its_spiral_movement_-_Indian_and_European-_the_spiritual_life_-_Art_and_Truth
1.ac_-_The_Wizard_Way
1f.lovecraft_-_Sweet_Ermengarde
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Battle_that_Ended_the_Century
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Call_of_Cthulhu
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Colour_out_of_Space
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Dream-Quest_of_Unknown_Kadath
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Dunwich_Horror
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Horror_in_the_Museum
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Last_Test
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Shadow_over_Innsmouth
1f.lovecraft_-_The_Transition_of_Juan_Romero
1f.lovecraft_-_Under_the_Pyramids
1.fs_-_The_Ring_Of_Polycrates_-_A_Ballad
1.hcyc_-_27_-_A_bowl_once_calmed_dragons_(from_The_Shodoka)
1.jk_-_Otho_The_Great_-_Act_III
1.jk_-_Specimen_Of_An_Induction_To_A_Poem
1.jk_-_The_Gadfly
1.jlb_-_The_Golem
1.jr_-_On_Love
1.jr_-_What_Hidden_Sweetness_Is_There
1.pbs_-_Epipsychidion
1.pbs_-_Epipsychidion_(Excerpt)
1.pbs_-_The_Revolt_Of_Islam_-_Canto_I-XII
1.poe_-_Eureka_-_A_Prose_Poem
1.poe_-_The_Bells
1.poe_-_The_Bridal_Ballad
1.rb_-_Fra_Lippo_Lippi
1.rb_-_The_Englishman_In_Italy
1.rmr_-_Spanish_Dancer
1.rt_-_The_Gardener_XI_-_Come_As_You_Are
1.rwe_-_The_Amulet
1.rwe_-_Woodnotes
1.wby_-_The_Gift_Of_Harun_Al-Rashid
1.wby_-_The_Wanderings_Of_Oisin_-_Book_II
1.whitman_-_A_Broadway_Pageant
1.whitman_-_As_I_Sat_Alone_By_Blue_Ontarios_Shores
1.whitman_-_Song_of_Myself
1.whitman_-_Song_Of_Myself-_XXVI
1.ww_-_Book_Third_[Residence_at_Cambridge]
1.ww_-_Lines_Written_As_A_School_Exercise_At_Hawkshead,_Anno_Aetatis_14
2.05_-_ON_THE_VIRTUOUS
2.18_-_January_1939
2.25_-_AFTER_THE_PASSING_AWAY
3.02_-_King_and_Queen
3.02_-_The_Great_Secret
3.08_-_Of_Equilibrium
3.1.24_-_In_the_Moonlight
3.13_-_THE_CONVALESCENT
3.16_-_THE_SEVEN_SEALS_OR_THE_YES_AND_AMEN_SONG
32.11_-_Life_and_Self-Control_(A_Letter)
33.01_-_The_Initiation_of_Swadeshi
33.10_-_Pondicherry_I
38.03_-_Mute
4.19_-_THE_DRUNKEN_SONG
6.03_-_Extraordinary_And_Paradoxical_Telluric_Phenomena
6.0_-_Conscious,_Unconscious,_and_Individuation
7_-_Yoga_of_Sri_Aurobindo
Aeneid
Blazing_P3_-_Explore_the_Stages_of_Postconventional_Consciousness
BOOK_III._-_The_external_calamities_of_Rome
BOOK_I._--_PART_I._COSMIC_EVOLUTION
BOOK_I._--_PART_III._SCIENCE_AND_THE_SECRET_DOCTRINE_CONTRASTED
Book_of_Exodus
Book_of_Genesis
Book_of_Imaginary_Beings_(text)
BOOK_XXII._-_Of_the_eternal_happiness_of_the_saints,_the_resurrection_of_the_body,_and_the_miracles_of_the_early_Church
Ion
Liber_46_-_The_Key_of_the_Mysteries
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)
Talks_026-050
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_1
The_Act_of_Creation_text
Theaetetus
The_Book_of_the_Prophet_Isaiah
the_Eternal_Wisdom
The_Witness
Verses_of_Vemana

PRIMARY CLASS

temp
SIMILAR TITLES
the Ring

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH

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


TERMS ANYWHERE

Active Monitor "networking" A process in an {IBM} {token ring} network which ensures a token is present on the ring, removes circulating frames with unknown or invalid destinations, and performs introductions between machines on the ring. (1996-06-18)

Active Monitor ::: (networking) A process in an IBM token ring network which ensures a token is present on the ring, removes circulating frames with unknown or invalid destinations, and performs introductions between machines on the ring. (1996-06-18)

algebra "mathematics, logic" 1. A loose term for an {algebraic structure}. 2. A {vector space} that is also a {ring}, where the vector space and the ring share the same addition operation and are related in certain other ways. An example algebra is the set of 2x2 {matrices} with {real numbers} as entries, with the usual operations of addition and matrix multiplication, and the usual {scalar} multiplication. Another example is the set of all {polynomials} with real coefficients, with the usual operations. In more detail, we have: (1) an underlying {set}, (2) a {field} of {scalars}, (3) an operation of scalar multiplication, whose input is a scalar and a member of the underlying set and whose output is a member of the underlying set, just as in a {vector space}, (4) an operation of addition of members of the underlying set, whose input is an {ordered pair} of such members and whose output is one such member, just as in a vector space or a ring, (5) an operation of multiplication of members of the underlying set, whose input is an ordered pair of such members and whose output is one such member, just as in a ring. This whole thing constitutes an `algebra' iff: (1) it is a vector space if you discard item (5) and (2) it is a ring if you discard (2) and (3) and (3) for any scalar r and any two members A, B of the underlying set we have r(AB) = (rA)B = A(rB). In other words it doesn't matter whether you multiply members of the algebra first and then multiply by the scalar, or multiply one of them by the scalar first and then multiply the two members of the algebra. Note that the A comes before the B because the multiplication is in some cases not commutative, e.g. the matrix example. Another example (an example of a {Banach algebra}) is the set of all {bounded} {linear operators} on a {Hilbert space}, with the usual {norm}. The multiplication is the operation of {composition} of operators, and the addition and scalar multiplication are just what you would expect. Two other examples are {tensor algebras} and {Clifford algebras}. [I. N. Herstein, "Topics in Algebra"]. (1999-07-14)

algebra ::: (mathematics, logic) 1. A loose term for an algebraic structure.2. A vector space that is also a ring, where the vector space and the ring share the same addition operation and are related in certain other ways.An example algebra is the set of 2x2 matrices with real numbers as entries, with the usual operations of addition and matrix multiplication, and the usual scalar multiplication. Another example is the set of all polynomials with real coefficients, with the usual operations.In more detail, we have: (1) an underlying set,(2) a field of scalars,(3) an operation of scalar multiplication, whose input is a scalar and a member of the underlying set and whose output is a member of the underlying set, just as in a vector space,(4) an operation of addition of members of the underlying set, whose input is an ordered pair of such members and whose output is one such member, just as in a vector space or a ring,(5) an operation of multiplication of members of the underlying set, whose input is an ordered pair of such members and whose output is one such member, just as in a ring.This whole thing constitutes an `algebra' iff: (1) it is a vector space if you discard item (5) and(2) it is a ring if you discard (2) and (3) and(3) for any scalar r and any two members A, B of the underlying set we have r(AB) = (rA)B = A(rB). In other words it doesn't matter whether you multiply that the A comes before the B because the multiplication is in some cases not commutative, e.g. the matrix example.Another example (an example of a Banach algebra) is the set of all bounded linear operators on a Hilbert space, with the usual norm. The multiplication is the operation of composition of operators, and the addition and scalar multiplication are just what you would expect.Two other examples are tensor algebras and Clifford algebras.[I. N. Herstein, Topics_in_Algebra]. (1999-07-14)

ave mary ::: --> A salutation and prayer to the Virgin Mary, as mother of God; -- used in the Roman Catholic church.
A particular time (as in Italy, at the ringing of the bells about half an hour after sunset, and also at early dawn), when the people repeat the Ave Maria.


bablah ::: n. --> The ring of the fruit of several East Indian species of acacia; neb-neb. It contains gallic acid and tannin, and is used for dyeing drab.

bend ::: v. t. --> To strain or move out of a straight line; to crook by straining; to make crooked; to curve; to make ready for use by drawing into a curve; as, to bend a bow; to bend the knee.
To turn toward some certain point; to direct; to incline.
To apply closely or with interest; to direct.
To cause to yield; to render submissive; to subdue.
To fasten, as one rope to another, or as a sail to its yard or stay; or as a cable to the ring of an anchor.


Conditioned Reflex: See Conditioned Response. Conditioned Response: Response of an organism which, originally produced by its "natural" stimulus, is subsequently produced in the absence of the original stimulus by a substitute or "conditioning" stimulus. Thus if S represents an original stimulus (in Pavlov's experiment, the presentation of food to a dog) and R is the natural response (the salivary flow of the dog) and if S' is a conditioning stimulus associated with S (the ringing of a bell at the time of presenting food to the dog) then R, produced by S' in the absence of S is said to be a conditioned or conditional response. See Behaviorism. -- L.W.

copperworm ::: n. --> The teredo; -- so called because it injures the bottoms of vessels, where not protected by copper.
The ringworm.


cric ::: n. --> The ring which turns inward and condenses the flame of a lamp.

curfew ::: n. --> The ringing of an evening bell, originally a signal to the inhabitants to cover fires, extinguish lights, and retire to rest, -- instituted by William the Conqueror; also, the bell itself.
A utensil for covering the fire.


dual-attached The form of {FDDI} interface where a device is connected to both FDDI token-passing rings, so that uninterrupted operation continues in the event of a failure of either of the rings. All connections to the main {FDDI} rings are dual-attached. Typically, a small number of critical infrastructure devices such as {routers} and {concentrators} are dual-attached, whereas {host} computers are normally single-attached or {dual-homed} to a router or concentrator. For example, a ring could be formed between a single router and two concentrators (all dual-attached) then all other components that need to be fault-tolerant (typically file servers) can be {dual-homed} to both concentrators. (1994-12-13)

dual-homed "networking" A kind of connection to a {FDDI} network where a {host} is simultaneously connected to two separate devices in the same FDDI ring. One of the connections becomes active while the other one is automatically blocked. If the first connection fails, the backup link takes over with no perceptible delay. A dual-homed device can tolerate a fault in one of its "homes" whereas a {dual-attached} device can tolerate a fault in one of the rings. (1994-12-13)

dual-homed ::: (networking) A kind of connection to a FDDI network where a host is simultaneously connected to two separate devices in the same FDDI ring. One of the first connection fails, the backup link takes over with no perceptible delay.A dual-homed device can tolerate a fault in one of its homes whereas a dual-attached device can tolerate a fault in one of the rings. (1994-12-13)

dulwilly ::: n. --> The ring plover.

elder days ::: The heroic age of hackerdom (roughly, pre-1980); the era of the PDP-10, TECO, ITS and the ARPANET. This term has been rather consciously adopted from J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings.Compare Iron Age. See also elvish and Great Worm.[Jargon File]

elder days The heroic age of hackerdom (roughly, pre-1980); the era of the {PDP-10}, {TECO}, {ITS} and the {ARPANET}. This term has been rather consciously adopted from J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy epic "The Lord of the Rings". Compare {Iron Age}. See also {elvish} and {Great Worm}. [{Jargon File}]

elvish "character" 1. The Tengwar of Feanor, a table of letterforms resembling the beautiful Celtic half-uncial hand of the "Book of Kells". Invented and described by J.R.R. Tolkien in "The Lord of The Rings" as an orthography for his fictional "elvish" languages, this system (which is both visually and phonetically {elegant}) has long fascinated hackers (who tend to be intrigued by artificial languages in general). It is traditional for graphics printers, plotters, window systems, and the like to support a Feanorian typeface as one of their demo items. By extension, the term might be used for any odd or unreadable typeface produced by a graphics device. 2. The typeface mundanely called "B"ocklin", an art-decoish {display font}. [Why?] [{Jargon File}] (1998-04-28)

engrailment ::: n. --> The ring of dots round the edge of a medal, etc.
Indentation in curved lines, as of a line of division or the edge of an ordinary.


gimbals ::: n. --> A contrivance for permitting a body to incline freely in all directions, or for suspending anything, as a barometer, ship&

“giveth the ring of Vertues” and governs 72

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


Gyges (Greek) One of three giants having a dual aspect as a god and a mortal, imprisoned by Kronos for their rebellion against him. The Ring of Gyges is a familiar metaphor in European literature. Plato relates that Gyges was a Lydian who murdered King Candaules and then married his widow. He once descended into a chasm and found a brazen horse with an opening in its side in which was the skeleton of a man, on whose finger was a brass ring. Gyges took the ring and when placed upon his own finger, it made him invisible.

Hakuin Ekaku. (白隱慧鶴) (1685-1768). Japanese ZEN master renowned for revitalizing the RINZAISHu. Hakuin was a native of Hara in Shizuoka Prefecture. In 1699, Hakuin was ordained and received the name Ekaku (Wise Crane) from the monk Tanrei Soden (d. 1701) at the nearby temple of Shoinji. Shortly thereafter, Hakuin was sent by Tanrei to the temple of Daishoji in Numazu to serve the abbot Sokudo Fueki (d. 1712). Hakuin is then said to have lost faith in his Buddhist training and devoted much of his time instead to art. In 1704, Hakuin visited the monk Bao Sochiku (1629-1711) at the temple Zuiunji in Mino province. While studying under Bao, Hakuin is said to have read the CHANGUAN CEJIN by YUNQI ZHUHONG, which inspired him to further meditative training. In 1708, Hakuin is said to have had his first awakening experience upon hearing the ringing of a distant bell. That same year, Hakuin met Doju Sokaku (1679-1730), who urged him to visit the Zen master Dokyo Etan (1642-1721), or Shoju Ronin, at the hermitage of Shojuan in Iiyama. During one of his begging rounds, Hakuin is said to have had another important awakening after an old woman struck him with a broom. Shortly after his departure from Shojuan, Hakuin suffered from an illness, which he cured with the help of a legendary hermit named Hakuyu. Hakuin's famous story of his encounter with Hakuyu was recounted in his YASENKANNA, Orategama, and Itsumadegusa. In 1716, Hakuin returned to Shoinji and devoted much of his time to restoring the monastery, teaching students, and lecturing. Hakuin delivered famous lectures on such texts as the VIMALAKĪRTINIRDEsA, SADDHARMAPUndARĪKASuTRA, VAJRACCHEDIKĀPRAJNĀPĀRAMITĀSuTRA, BIYAN LU, BAOJING SANMEI, DAHUI PUJUE CHANSHI SHU, and YUANREN LUN, and the recorded sayings (YULU) of LINJI YIXUAN, WUZU FAYAN, and XUTANG ZHIYU. He also composed a number of important texts during this period, such as the Kanzan shi sendai kimon, Kaian kokugo, and SOKKoROKU KAIEN FUSETSU. Prior to his death, Hakuin established the monastery of Ryutakuji in Mishima (present-day Shizuoka prefecture). Hakuin was a strong advocate of "questioning meditation" (J. kanna Zen; C. KANHUA CHAN), which focused on the role of doubt in contemplating the koan (GONG'AN). Hakuin proposed that the sense of doubt was the catalyst for an initial SATORI (awakening; C. WU), which had then to be enhanced through further koan study in order to mature the experience. The contemporary Rinzai training system involving systematic study of many different koans is attributed to Hakuin, as is the famous koan, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" (see SEKISHU KoAN). Hakuin was a prolific writer who left many other works as well, including the Dokugo shingyo, Oniazami, Yabukoji, Hebiichigo, Keiso dokuzui, Yaemugura, and Zazen wasan. Hakuin also produced many prominent disciples, including ToREI ENJI, Suio Genro (1716-1789), and GASAN JITo. The contemporary Japanese Rinzai school of Zen traces its lineage and teachings back to Hakuin and his disciples.

Hebrew king personally by Raphael. The ring,

macaco ::: n. --> Any one of several species of lemurs, as the ruffed lemur (Lemur macaco), and the ring-tailed lemur (L. catta).

maucaco ::: n. --> A lemur; -- applied to several species, as the White-fronted, the ruffed, and the ring-tailed lemurs.

pare ::: v. t. --> To cut off, or shave off, the superficial substance or extremities of; as, to pare an apple; to pare a horse&

ringbill ::: n. --> The ring-necked scaup duck; -- called also ring-billed blackhead. See Scaup.

ringlestone ::: n. --> The ringed dotterel, or ring plover.

ringman ::: n. --> The ring finger.

ringmaster ::: n. --> One in charge of the performances (as of horses) within the ring in a circus.

ringneck ::: n. --> Any one of several species of small plovers of the genus Aegialitis, having a ring around the neck. The ring is black in summer, but becomes brown or gray in winter. The semipalmated plover (Ae. semipalmata) and the piping plover (Ae. meloda) are common North American species. Called also ring plover, and ring-necked plover.
The ring-necked duck.


Ring-Pass-Not ::: A profoundly mystical and suggestive term signifying the circle or bounds or frontiers within which iscontained the consciousness of those who are still under the sway of the delusion of separateness -- andthis applies whether the ring be large or small. It does not signify any one especial occasion or condition,but is a general term applicable to any state in which an entity, having reached a certain stage ofevolutionary growth of the unfolding of consciousness, finds itself unable to pass into a still higher statebecause of some delusion under which the consciousness is laboring, be that delusion mental or spiritual.There is consciously a ring-pass-not for every globe of the planetary chain, a ring-pass-not for theplanetary chain itself, a ring-pass-not for the solar system, and so forth. It is the entities who labor underthe delusion who therefore actually create their own rings-pass-not, for these are not actual entitativematerial frontiers, but boundaries of consciousness.A ring-pass-not furthermore may perhaps be said with great truth to be somewhat of the nature of aspiritual laya-center or point of transmission between plane and plane of consciousness.The rings-pass-not as above said, however, have to do with phases or states of consciousness only. Forinstance, the ring-pass-not for the beasts is self-consciousness, i.e., the beasts have not yet been enabledto develop forth their consciousness to the point of self-consciousness or reflective consciousness exceptin minor degree. A dog, for example, located in a room which it desires to leave, will run to a door out ofwhich it is accustomed to go and will sit there whining for the door to be opened. Its consciousnessrecognizes the point of egress, but it has not developed the self-conscious mental activity to open thedoor.A general ring-pass-not for humanity is their inability to self-consciously participate in spiritualself-consciousness.

Ring-pass-not The limit in spiritual, intellectual, or psychological power or consciousness, beyond which an individual is unable to pass until he evokes from within the strength and the vision to carry him forwards and over the circumscribing limits set by that individual’s own karma. In the Stanzas of Dzyan, the lipikas are said to circumscribe the triangle, the first one, the cube, the second one, and the pentacle within the egg, which is the ring called pass not for those who descend and ascend and for those who are progressing toward the great Day Be-With-Us. Also called the dhyanipasa (rope of the dhyanis or angels) that hedges off the phenomenal from the noumenal kosmos. The world circumscribed by this ring is signified mathematically by 31415 = 14 expressing hierarchies of dhyan-chohans. The imbodying monads, and men who are ascending towards purification but have not yet quite reached the goal, can cross the ring only on the Day Be-With-Us, the day when man will have freed himself from the trammels of ignorance and recognized fully the nonseparateness of his personal ego from the universal ego, and returns into conscious at-one-ness with Brahman.

sea lark ::: --> The rock pipit (Anthus obscurus).
Any one of several small sandpipers and plovers, as the ringed plover, the turnstone, the dunlin, and the sanderling.


Sketchpad ::: A program that allowed users to draw on a screen with a light pen. It supported constraints (e.g. drawing a constrained ellipse produced a circle). It also had some computer aided design features (e.g. computing loads on beams).Sketchpad was the subject of Ivan E. Sutherland's 1963 MIT PhD thesis, which opened the field of computer graphics. It was the progenitor of computer drawing packages like MacDraw or Adobe Illustrator. There is a film of Sketchpad in action.It solved constraints using value inference and introduced the ring list structure.[Sketchpad: A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System, I.e. Sutherland, MIT Lincoln Lab, TR 296 (Jan 1963)].[Sammet 1969, p. 678]. (1995-02-14)

Snyder, Gary. (1930-). American poet and prominent figure in Zen Buddhism in America. Gary Snyder was born in San Francisco and raised on a farm outside Seattle, Washington. He attended Reed College in Oregon, where he studied literature and anthropology. Inspired by DAISETZ TEITARO SUZUKI's Essays in Zen Buddhism, he taught himself to meditate, and devoted himself to the practice of Zen meditation while working as a fire lookout in Washington state. In 1952, he enrolled in the Department of Oriental Languages at the University of California, Berkeley, to study Chinese and Japanese. He met ALLEN GINSBERG and JACK KEROUAC in San Francisco and participated in the famous Six Gallery reading in 1955, where Ginsberg first read Howl. Snyder traveled to Japan in 1956, returning again in 1958 to spend seven years practicing Zen meditation at the monastery of DAITOKUJI. He returned to San Francisco in 1966. His work and his poetry have remained committed both to the exploration of Buddhist, especially Zen, practice and to the protection of the environment. Snyder served on the California Arts Council from 1974 to 1980 and taught at the University of California, Davis, where he helped found the Nature and Culture curriculum. He founded the Ring of Bone Zendo at his mountain farm in the northern Sierra Nevada range in California.

specious ::: 1. Having the ring of truth or plausibility but actually false. 2. Apparently good or right thought lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible. 3. Plausible but false.

Station Management "networking" (SMT) Station Management One of the 4 key {FDDI} component layers. SMT is an overlay function that handles the management of the FDDI ring. It handles neighbor identification, fault detection and reconfiguration, insertion and de-insertion from the ring, and traffic statistics monitoring. (1997-05-11)

Station Management ::: (networking) (SMT) Station Management One of the 4 key FDDI component layers. SMT is an overlay function that handles the management of the FDDI ring. It handles neighbor identification, fault detection and reconfiguration, insertion and de-insertion from the ring, and traffic statistics monitoring. (1997-05-11)

stonehatch ::: n. --> The ring plover, or dotterel.

stonerunner ::: n. --> The ring plover, or the ringed dotterel.
The dotterel.


terret ::: n. --> One of the rings on the top of the saddle of a harness, through which the reins pass.

The lipikas are among the very highest classes of dhyani-chohans or cosmic spirits in the universe; as entities, they may be thought of as acting from the highest plane of our chain of globes. In a sense they connect, karmically, the planes of pure spirit with those of matter, the cosmically vast with the manifested. These recorders of and in the karmic ledger of the solar system mark the distinctive barrier between the personal ego and the impersonal self, which latter is the noumenon and parent-source of the former. Hence the allegory that they circumscribe the manifested world of matter within the Ring-pass-not — a mystical way of saying that they karmically circumscribe the limits of manifestation of the worlds of matter within the limits of karmic achievement for the evolving beings, and these limits form the Ring-pass-not.

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

The same idea underlies the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbath, a period of rest), the Lord’s day, and Jehovah in one of its meanings is Saturn, the genius of the Hebrew nation. It was from Saturn that came the teachings revealed to Qutamy in Nabathean Agriculture. Among the many equivalents of Saturn are Chium, Seth, Cain, Ildabaoth among the Egyptian Gnostics, Agruerus, Sydyk (Melchisedec), and Satan — the girdle about the loins of Satan is the rings of the planet Saturn. In the Biblical list of Gnostic emanations, Saturn corresponds to Thrones.

“The star worshipped in Egypt and reverenced by the Occultists; by the former because its heliacal rising with the Sun was a sign of the beneficent inundation of the Nile, and by the latter because it is mysteriously associated with Thoth-Hermes, god of wisdom, and Mercury, in another form. Thus Sothis-Sirius had, and still has, a mystic and direct influence over the whole living heaven, and is connected with almost every god and goddess. It was ‘Isis in the heaven’ and called Isis-Sothis, for Isis was ‘in the constellation of the dog,’ as is declared on her monuments. ‘The soul of Osiris was believed to reside in a personage who walks with great steps in front of sothis, sceptre in hand and a whip upon his shoulder.’ Sirius is also Anubis, and is directly connected with the ring ‘Pass me not’; it is, moreover, identical with Mithra, the Persian Mystery god, and with Horus and even Hathor, called sometimes the goddess Sothis. Being connected with the Pyramid, Sirius was, therefore, connected with the initiations which took place in it. A temple to Sirius-Sothis once existed within the great temple of Denderah. To sum up, all religions are not, as Dufeu, the French Egyptologist, sought to prove, derived from Sirius, the god-star, but Sirius-Sothis is certainly found in connection with every religion of antiquity” (TG 300).

The term is variable, inasmuch as what would be the ring-pass-not for the human hierarchy would not be so to a superior hierarchy. Similarly the ring-pass-not for the beings below the human kingdom is not a boundary for humans. This has an especial reference to states of consciousness, and the majority of the human host is still unable to extend its consciousness beyond the sphere of man’s immediate activities — which thus at present form for humanity an intangible but very real ring-pass-not. There is a ring-pass-not surrounding globe D, this earth, and a ring of farther extension surrounding the earth planetary-chain, and beyond that still another surrounding the solar system, and a still larger one circumscribing the galaxy, etc.

The Wagner opera cycle “The Ring of the Nibelungen” is based on the Voluspa, which relates the beginning and end of the world, and the fresh, new creation to follow. The sibyl speaks of Ragnarok, when the gods retreat from existence into their own celestial spheres, presenting a grim and fearsome prospect, but the narrative ends with a note of hope for a serene future world to follow.

tocsin ::: n. --> An alarm bell, or the ringing of a bell for the purpose of alarm.

toozoo ::: n. --> The ringdove.

traveler ::: n. --> One who travels; one who has traveled much.
A commercial agent who travels for the purpose of receiving orders for merchants, making collections, etc.
A traveling crane. See under Crane.
The metal loop which travels around the ring surrounding the bobbin, in a ring spinner.
An iron encircling a rope, bar, spar, or the like, and sliding thereon.


tree-killer "jargon, abuse" (Sun) 1. A printer. 2. A person who wastes paper. This epithet should be interpreted in a broad sense; "wasting paper" includes the production of {spiffy} but {content-free} documents. Thus, most {suits} are tree-killers. This term may derive from {J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" (http://sf.www.lysator.liu.se/sf_archive/sf-texts/SF_resource_guide/sfrgft.htm)}. in which Treebeard the Ent uses it to refer to the orcs' master, Saruman of Isengard. Saruman represents, among other things, technology at its most misguided. See also: {dead tree}. [{Jargon File}] (1999-11-03)

vari ::: n. --> The ringtailed lemur (Lemur catta) of Madagascar. Its long tail is annulated with black and white.

varvel ::: n. --> In falconry, one of the rings secured to the ends of the jesses.

viroled ::: a. --> Furnished with a virole or viroles; -- said of a horn or a bugle when the rings are of different tincture from the rest of the horn.

whistler ::: n. --> One who, or that which, whistles, or produces or a whistling sound.
The ring ousel.
The widgeon.
The golden-eye.
The golden plover and the gray plover.
The hoary, or northern, marmot (Arctomys pruinosus).
The whistlefish.




QUOTES [4 / 4 - 923 / 923]


KEYS (10k)

   1 Yamamura Bocho
   1 Paulo Coelho
   1 Nietzsche
   1 J R R Tolkien

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   30 J R R Tolkien
   11 Anonymous
   10 Muhammad Ali
   10 Andy Serkis
   7 Wladimir Klitschko
   7 Lennox Lewis
   6 Terry Pratchett
   6 Randy Orton
   6 Diana Pavlac Glyer
   5 Patrick Rothfuss
   5 Lev Grossman
   5 Janet Evanovich
   5 Becca Fitzpatrick
   4 Viggo Mortensen
   4 Sophie Kinsella
   4 Sean Bean
   4 Sarah Noffke
   4 Rocky Marciano
   4 Rick Riordan
   4 Rachel Caine

1:Don't give up. Normally it is the last key on the ring which opens the door.
   ~ Paulo Coelho,
2:I am a sleeping emerald Faintly, faintly the ring round the moon Opens within my heart. ~ Yamamura Bocho, 1884-1924,
3: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,
4: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, the Eternal Wisdom

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:My hat is in the ring. ~ theodore-roosevelt, @wisdomtrove
2:I'm not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy. ~ ernest-hemingway, @wisdomtrove
3:I will take the Ring", he said, "though I do not know the way. ~ j-r-r-tolkien, @wisdomtrove
4:Bright is the ring of words When the right man rings them. ~ robert-louis-stevenson, @wisdomtrove
5:My hat's in the ring. The fight is on and I'm stripped to the buff. ~ theodore-roosevelt, @wisdomtrove
6:We dance around the ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows ~ robert-frost, @wisdomtrove
7:The realm of Suaron is ended!' said Gandalf. &
8: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, @wisdomtrove
9:Outside the ring of dancing warriors with spears and axes stood wolves at a respectful distance, watching and waiting. ~ j-r-r-tolkien, @wisdomtrove
10: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, @wisdomtrove
11: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, @wisdomtrove
12: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, @wisdomtrove
13: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, @wisdomtrove
14: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, @wisdomtrove
15: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, @wisdomtrove
16: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, @wisdomtrove
17: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, @wisdomtrove
18:I wonder if people will ever say, &
19:Take now this Ring,' he said; &
20: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, @wisdomtrove
21: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, @wisdomtrove
22: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, @wisdomtrove
23: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, @wisdomtrove
24: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: &
25: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, @wisdomtrove
26: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: &
27: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, @wisdomtrove
28: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, @wisdomtrove
29: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, @wisdomtrove
30: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, @wisdomtrove

*** 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:Let me be the ring leader in your guilt gang-bang. ~ Chuck Palahniuk,
11:The third man in the ring makes boxing possible. ~ Joyce Carol Oates,
12:You want ME in the ring? Now I know you've been drinking ~ Kurt Angle,
13:A circle of lovely, quiet people becomes the ring on my finger. ~ Rumi,
14:I am a winner each and every time I go into the ring. ~ George Foreman,
15:I have brought you to the ring, now you must dance. ~ Robert the Bruce,
16:I have brought you to the ring, now dance if you can! ~ William Wallace,
17:I'm not sure the ring is big enough to hold both these egos! ~ Jim Ross,
18:I will teach you how to behave yourself in the ring. ~ Wladimir Klitschko,
19:When I step in the ring, I bring everything I have. ~ Floyd Mayweather Jr,
20:The ring always believes that the finger lives for it. ~ Malcolm De Chazal,
21:Inside the ring Enson thinks outside the ring Enson's a pussy. ~ Enson Inoue,
22:I ruined my hands in the ring. The referee kept stepping on them. ~ Bob Hope,
23:The ring at the end of my nose makes me look rather pretty. ~ Paul McCartney,
24:I will take the Ring", he said, "though I do not know the way. ~ J R R Tolkien,
25:Every time I stepped into the ring, somebody wanted to kill me. ~ Roberto Duran,
26:Champions aren't made in the ring, they are merely recognized there. ~ Joe Frazier,
27:When you step in the ring, your arms are just too short to box with God. ~ CM Punk,
28:Bright is the ring of words When the right man rings them. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson,
29:I understand the psychology of the sport, especially inside the ring. ~ Randy Orton,
30:I made a lot of mistakes out of the ring, but I never made any in it. ~ Jack Johnson,
31:The choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation. ~ Benjamin Disraeli,
32:Greatness has entered the ring! Thank you very much you may bow at will! ~ Randy Orton,
33:When I was in top shape I'd go to the ring and show my conditioning. ~ Alexis Arguello,
34:By the time The Iron Sheik gets to the ring, it will be Wrestlemania 37! ~ Bobby Heenan,
35:In all, a total of nine Democrats would throw their hats into the ring. ~ Michelle Obama,
36:My hat's in the ring. The fight is on and I'm stripped to the buff. ~ Theodore Roosevelt,
37:Ain't no reason for me to kill nobody in the ring, unless they deserve it. ~ Muhammad Ali,
38:If you go in the ring and box and you're angry, you're gonna lose the match. ~ Wyclef Jean,
39:There is an old adage about gladiators, - that they plan their fight in the ring. ~ Seneca,
40:Don't give up. Normally it is the last key on the ring which opens the door. ~ Paulo Coelho,
41:My team calls all the shots out of the ring, I call them in the ring. ~ Floyd Mayweather Jr,
42:That activated the Ring Formerly Known as the Ring of Derek Controlling, which ~ Andrew Rowe,
43:I’m already yours. Always have been. All you have to do is step into the ring. ~ Jill Shalvis,
44:Don't give up. Normally it is the last key on the ring which opens the door.
   ~ Paulo Coelho,
45:Champions don’t become champions in the ring—they are merely recognized there. ~ John C Maxwell,
46:Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring ~ Helena Hunting,
47:I'm the candidate who forgot to take off her hat before she threw it in the ring. ~ Gracie Allen,
48:We formed the fellowship of the ring when we should've all just gone on medication ~ Nancy Werlin,
49:Dealing with these emotions as an actress is like being a boxer put into the ring. ~ Nicole Kidman,
50:I think really one of the hardest things for me always was just the walk to the ring. ~ Daniel Bryan,
51:In the ring I can stay until I’m old and gray because I know how to hit and dance away ~ Muhammad Ali,
52:Now I am ready to set new goals and start a new career for myself outside of the ring. ~ Lennox Lewis,
53:The realm of Suaron is ended!' said Gandalf. 'The Ring-bearer has fulfilled his Quest ~ J R R Tolkien,
54:I always ask myself why old heavyweights come back, but I plan to stay out of the ring. ~ Lennox Lewis,
55:My face is so pretty, you don’t see a scar, which proves I’m the king of the ring by far. ~ Muhammad Ali,
56:I had did so much to Larry [Holmes] in the ring that I made him respect me in the fight. ~ Michael Spinks,
57:Not all those who wander are lost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring ~ Penny Reid ~ Penny Reid,
58:Roses, the rash; posies to sweeten the putrid air. The ring is…the plague-token, of course. ~ Lauren Royal,
59:There is one hell of a difference between fighting in the ring and going to war in Vietnam. ~ Muhammad Ali,
60:Unfortunately, I've been fighting injuries recently more than facing rivals in the ring. ~ Vitali Klitschko,
61:What counts in the ring is what you can do after you're exhausted. The same is true of life. ~ Muhammad Ali,
62:It looks like Brain and Hormones are in for a fight. Just as long as Heart stays out of the ring. ~ L J Shen,
63:Koko B. Ware is a crossword wrestler: he enters the ring vertically, and leaves horizontally. ~ Jerry Lawler,
64:Of what I call God,  And fools call Nature. ~ Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book, The Pope, line 1,073,
65:If they ever let me in the ring with him [Cassius Clay], I'm liable to be put away for murder. ~ Sonny Liston,
66:If you're going to get in the ring and try to take the belt, you have to prepare to get hit. ~ Stanley Crouch,
67: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,
68:I've been doing this 26 years and have a lot of knowledge which will help me in the ring. ~ Wladimir Klitschko,
69:People want to see me back in the ring. I think it is more of a drag lying around on the beach. ~ Lennox Lewis,
70:The referee is going to be the most important person in the ring tonight besides the fighters. ~ George Foreman,
71:He put the ring away, and Rowan let out his breath, not even realizing he had been holding it. ~ Neal Shusterman,
72: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,
73:And here’s the burglar!” said Bilbo stepping down into the middle of them, and slipping off the ring. ~ Anonymous,
74:Love is overrated. All it brings is emptiness.” I twirled the ring again. “Definitely not beauty. ~ Scarlett Dawn,
75:To John Cena after the fans kept throwing his shirt back in the ring : They didn't throw my shirt back. ~ CM Punk,
76:We know the degree of refinement in people by the matter they laugh at and the ring of the laugh. ~ George Meredith,
77:If I want to win a title I have to beat the champion myself, I don't have teammates inside the ring. ~ Travis Browne,
78:I would compare it to an actor. I drive myself into the character that later on is in the ring. ~ Wladimir Klitschko,
79: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,
80: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,
81:I think we have to bottom out. When the studios jump out of the ring, perhaps the artist can get back in. ~ Don Bluth,
82:2001 King of the Ring? I really like the sound of that! That REEKS OF ROYALTY! So begins the ERA OF AWESOMENESS! ~ Edge,
83:A philosopher who is not taking part in discussions is like a boxer who never goes into the ring. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein,
84:Because there was something in them that had the ring of truth, people always fell for fairytale excuses. ~ Alan Bradley,
85:Winning the IBF title was the greatest night of my life. To give it up outside the ring is truly painful. ~ Ricky Hatton,
86:Sometimes there's more important things in life than being in the ring, like family, like us, & being in love. ~ Amy Dumas,
87: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,
88:It was always the same: in the ring you wanted to kill someone, but once you got out you were mates again. ~ Robert Muchamore,
89:sunshade he wore to the ring failed to conceal the freshets of tears that coursed from his small, cruel eyes. ~ Jennifer Egan,
90:It was my tutor who dissuaded me from patronizing Green or Blue at the races, or Light or Heavy in the ring; ~ Marcus Aurelius,
91: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,
92: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,
93: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,
94: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,
95: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,
96: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,
97:That’s right,” Karen said, clutching the bag to her chest and looking like Gollum with the Ring. “It’s only stuff. ~ Marian Keyes,
98: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,
99:I feel like Ive been engaged to the British Empire since 1980 and tonight you have given me the ring knighthood. ~ Steven Spielberg,
100: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,
101:It was a brutal picture, a tug-of-war between two equal but opposing impulses. It had the ring of truth, however. ~ Deborah Harkness,
102:Thackeray’s The Rose and the Ring (1855), Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market (1862), Kingsley’s The Water Babies (1863). ~ A N Wilson,
103: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,
104:Outside the ring of dancing warriors with spears and axes stood wolves at a respectful distance, watching and waiting. ~ J R R Tolkien,
105: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,
106:Staring into the ring of candles—proud that the number of his years finally made a ring, all around the cake ~ Margaret Peterson Haddix,
107: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,
108:Most men want to follow, and what they demand of their leader is prosperity. We are the ring givers, the gold givers. ~ Bernard Cornwell,
109: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,
110: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,
111: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,
112: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,
113: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,
114: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,
115: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,
116: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,
117: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,
118: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,
119: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,
120: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,
121: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,
122: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,
123: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,
124: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,
125: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,
126: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,
127: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,
128: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,
129: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,
130: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,
131: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,
132: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,
133: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,
134: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,
135: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,
136: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,
137: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,
138: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,
139: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,
140: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,
141: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,
142: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,
143:When corporations are given the ring of Gyges, we can expect catastrophic results (for the ecosystem, the banking system, public health, etc.). ~ Jonathan Haidt,
144: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,
145: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,
146: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,
147: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,
148: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,
149: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,
150: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,
151: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,
152: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,
153: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,
154: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,
155: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,
156: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,
157: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,
158: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,
159: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,
160: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,
161: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,
162: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,
163: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,
164: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,
165: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,
166: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,
167: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,
168: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,
169: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,
170: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,
171: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,
172: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,
173: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,
174: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,
175: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,
176: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,
177: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,
178: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,
179: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,
180: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,
181: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,
182: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,
183: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,
184: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,
185: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,
186: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,
187: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,
188: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,
189: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,
190: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,
191: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,
192: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,
193: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,
194: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,
195: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,
196: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,
197: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,
198: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,
199: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,
200: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,
201: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,
202: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,
203: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,
204: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,
205: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,
206: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,
207: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,
208: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,
209: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,
210: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,
211: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,
212: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,
213: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,
214: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,
215: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,
216: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,
217: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,
218: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,
219: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,
220: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,
221: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,
222: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,
223: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,
224: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,
225: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,
226: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,
227: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,
228: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,
229: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,
230: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,
231: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,
232: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,
233: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,
234: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,
235: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,
236: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,
237: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,
238: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,
239: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,
240: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,
241: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,
242: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,
243: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,
244: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,
245: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,
246: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,
247: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,
248: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,
249: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,
250: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,
251: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,
252: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,
253: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,
254: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,
255: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,
256: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,
257: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,
258: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,
259: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,
260: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,
261: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,
262: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,
263: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,
264: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,
265: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,
266: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,
267: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,
268: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,
269: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,
270: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,
271: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,
272: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,
273: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,
274: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,
275: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,
276: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,
277: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,
278: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,
279: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,
280: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,
281: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,
282: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,
283: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,
284: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,
285: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,
286: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,
287: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,
288: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,
289: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,
290: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,
291: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,
292: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,
293: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,
294: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,
295: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,
296: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,
297: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,
298: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,
299: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,
300: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,
301: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,
302: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,
303: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,
304: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,
305: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,
306: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,
307: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,
308: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,
309: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,
310:‘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,
311: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,
312: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,
313: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,
314: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,
315: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,
316: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,
317: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,
318: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,
319: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,
320: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,
321: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,
322: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,
323: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,
324: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,
325: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,
326: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,
327: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,
328: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,
329: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,
330: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,
331: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,
332: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,
333: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,
334: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,
335: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,
336: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,
337: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,
338: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,
339: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,
340: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,
341: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,
342: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,
343: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,
344: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,
345: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,
346: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,
347:I have to put my father over because he really taught me a lot, especially when it comes to out-of-the-ring psychology and how to react when you're approached by fans after a show or in the airport. It might sound silly, but a lot of those things come into play when you're playing a character. ~ Randy Orton,
348: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,
349: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,
350: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,
351: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,
352: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,
353: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,
354: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,
355: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,
356: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,
357: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,
358: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,
359: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,
360: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,
361: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,
362: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,
363: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,
364: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,
365: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,
366: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,
367: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,
368: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,
369: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,
370: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,
371: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,
372: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,
373: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,
374: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,
375: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,
376: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,
377: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,
378: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,
379: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,
380: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,
381: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,
382: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,
383: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,
384: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,
385: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,
386: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,
387: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,
388: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,
389: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,
390: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,
391: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,
392: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,
393: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,
394: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,
395: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,
396: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,
397: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,
398: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,
399:...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,
400: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,
401: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,
402: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,
403: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,
404: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,
405: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,
406: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,
407: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,
408: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,
409: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,
410: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,
411: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,
412: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,
413: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,
414: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,
415: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,
416: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,
417: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,
418: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,
419: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,
420: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,
421: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,
422: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,
423: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,
424: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,
425: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,
426: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,
427: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,
428: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,
429: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,
430: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,
431: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,
432: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,
433: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,
434: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,
435: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,
436: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,
437: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,
438: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,
439: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,
440: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,
441: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,
442: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,
443: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,
444: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,
445: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,
446: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,
447: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,
448: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,
449: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,
450: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,
451: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,
452: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,
453: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,
454: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,
455: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,
456: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,
457: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,
458: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,
459: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,
460: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,
461: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,
462: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,
463: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,
464: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,
465: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,
466: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,
467: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,
468: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,
469: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,
470: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,
471: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,
472: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,
473: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,
474: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,
475: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,
476: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,
477: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,
478: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,
479: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,
480: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,
481: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,
482: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,
483: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,
484: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,
485: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,
486: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,
487: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,
488: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,
489: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,
490: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,
491: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,
492: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,
493: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,
494: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,
495: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,
496: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,
497: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,
498: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,
499: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,
500: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,
501: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,
502: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,
503: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,
504: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,
505: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,
506: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,
507: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,
508: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,
509: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,
510: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,
511: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,
512: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,
513: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,
514: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,
515: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,
516: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,
517: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,
518: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,
519: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,
520: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,
521: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,
522: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,
523: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,
524: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,
525: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,
526: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,
527: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,
528: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,
529: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,
530: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,
531: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,
532: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,
533: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,
534: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,
535: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,
536: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,
537: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,
538: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,
539: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,
540: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,
541: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,
542: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,
543: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,
544: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,
545: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,
546: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,
547: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,
548: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,
549: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,
550: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,
551: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,
552: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,
553: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,
554: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,
555:[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,
556:The Amulet
Your picture smiles as first it smiled,
The ring you gave is still the same,
Your letter tells, O changing child,
No tidings since it came.

Give me an amulet
That keeps intelligence with you,
Red when you love, and rosier red,
And when you love not, pale and blue.

Alas, that neither bonds nor vows
Can certify possession;
Torments me still the fear that love
Died in its last expression.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Amulet
,
557: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,
558: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,
559: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,
560: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,
561:[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,
562: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,
563: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,
564: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,
565: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,
566: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,
567: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,
568: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,
569: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,
570: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,
571: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,
572: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,
573: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,
574: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,
575: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,
576: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,
577: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,
578: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,
579: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,
580: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,
581: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,
582: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,
583: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,
584: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,
585: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,
586: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,
587: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,
588: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,
589: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,
590: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,
591: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,
592: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,
593: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,
594: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,
595: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,
596: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,
597: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,
598: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,
599: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,
600: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,
601: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,
602: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,
603: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,
604: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,
605: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,
606: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,
607: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,
608: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,
609: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,
610: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,
611: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,
612: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,
613: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,
614: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,
615: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,
616: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,
617: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,
618: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,
619: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,
620: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,
621: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,
622: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,
623: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,
624: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,
625: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,
626: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,
627: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,
628: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,
629: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,
630: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,
631: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,
632: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,
633: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,
634: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,
635: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,
636: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,
637: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,
638:...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,
639: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,
640: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,
641: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,
642: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,
643: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,
644: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,
645: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,
646: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,
647: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,
648:-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,
649: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,
650: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,
651: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,
652: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,
653: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,
654: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,
655: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,
656: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,
657: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,
658: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,
659: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,
660: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,
661: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,
662: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,
663: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,
664: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,
665: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,
666: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,
667: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,
668: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,
669: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,
670: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,
671: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,
672: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,
673: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,
674: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,
675: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,
676: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,
677: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,
678: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,
679: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,
680: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,
681: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,
682: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,
683: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,
684:/Farsi & Turkish Love's way is humility and intoxication, The torrent floods down. How can it run up? You'll be a cabuchon in the ring of lovers, If you're a red ruby's slave, dear friend ; Even as Earth is a serf of the sapphire sky And your monkey body's a slave to your spirit. What did Earth ever lose by this relationship? What mercy has the Self showed to weary limbs? One shouldn't beat the snare drum of awakening Beneath a cosy sofa's, comfy counterpane. Hoist, like a hero, your flag in the desert. Listen with your soul's ear to the song, In that hollow of the vast turquoise dome, Rising from the lover's passionate moan . When your tight gown-strings are loosened By the tipsy inebriation of perfect love, The victorious heavens shout, triumphantly! And the constellations gaze down ashamed. This world is in deep trouble, from top to bottom, But it can be swiftly healed by the balm of love.

~ Jalaluddin Rumi, On Love
,
685: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,
686: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,
687: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,
688: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,
689: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,
690: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,
691: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,
692: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,
693: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,
694: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,
695: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,
696: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,
697: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,
698: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,
699: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,
700: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,
701: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,
702: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,
703: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,
704: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,
705: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,
706: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,
707: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,
708: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,
709: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,
710: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,
711:As in one's hand a lighted match blinds you before
it comes aflame and sends out brilliant flickering
tongues to every side so, within the ring of the
spectators, her dance begins in hasty, heated rhythms
and spreads itself darting flames around.

And suddenly the dance is altogether flame!

With a fierce glance she sets her hair alight.
Unexpectedly she turns with daring artfulness
the swirling flounces of her dress within this
conflagration, out of which her upheld naked arms,
clapping the castanets, appear like serpents striking.

And then, afraid her fire were diminishing,
she gathers it all up and flings it down
with an imperious haughtily gesture, and watches
as it lies there writhing on the ground, unyielding
and unwilling to concede the dance has ended.
Yet she show victory in her sweet swift smile
as she lifts up her face, while with her small firm feet
she stamps out the last of the dying embers.

Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Spanish Dancer
,
712: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,
713: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,
714: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,
715: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,
716: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,
717: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,
718: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,
719: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,
720: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,
721: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,
722: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,
723: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,
724: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,
725: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,
726: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,
727: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,
728: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,
729: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,
730: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,
731: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,
732: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,
733: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,
734: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,
735: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,
736: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,
737: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,
738: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,
739: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,
740: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,
741: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,
742: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,
743: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,
744: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,
745: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,
746:29 · 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,
747: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,
748: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,
749: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,
750: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,
751: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,
752: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,
753: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,
754: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,
755: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,
756: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,
757: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,
758: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,
759: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,
760: What hidden sweetness there is in this emptiness of the belly!
Man is surely like a lute, no more and no less;
For if, for instance, the belly of the lute becomes full, no
lament high or low will arise from that full lute.
If your brain and belly are on fire through fasting, because of
the fire every moment a lament will arise from your breast.
Every moment you will burn a thousand veils by that fire; you
will mount a hundred steps with zeal and endeavor.
Become empty of belly, and weep entreatingly like the reed
pipe; become empty of belly, and tell secrets with the reed pen.
If your belly is full at the time of concourse, it will bring Satan
in place of your reason, an idol in place of the Kaaba.
When you keep the fast, good habits gather together before
you like slaves and servants and retinue.
Keep the fast, for that is Solomons ring; give not the ring to
the div, destroy not your kingdom.
Even if your kingdom has gone from your head and your army
has fled, your army will rise up, pennants flying above them.
The table arrived from heaven to the tents of the fast, by the
intervention of the prayers of Jesus, son of Mary.
In the fast, be expectant of the table of bounty, for the table of
bounty is better than the broth of cabbages.

~ Jalaluddin Rumi, What Hidden Sweetness Is There
,
761: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,
762: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,
763: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,
764: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,
765: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,
766: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,
767: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,
768:...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,
769: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,
770: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,
771: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,
772: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,
773: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,
774: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,
775: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,
776: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,
777: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,
778: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,
779: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,
780: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,
781: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,
782: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,
783: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,
784: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,
785: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,
786: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,
787: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,
788: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,
789: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,
790: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,
791: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,
792: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,
793: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,
794: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,
795: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,
796: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,
797: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,
798: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,
799: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,
800: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,
801: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,
802: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,
803: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,
804: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,
805: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,
806: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,
807: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,
808: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,
809: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,
810: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,
811: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,
812: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,
813: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,
814: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,
815: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,
816: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,
817: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,
818: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,
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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,
819: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,
820: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,
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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,
821: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,
822: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,
823: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,
824: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,
825: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,
826: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,
827: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,
828: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,
829: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,
830: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,
831: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,
832: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,
833: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,
834: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,
835: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,
836: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,
837: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,
838: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,
839: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,
840: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,
841: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,
842: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,
843: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,
844: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,
845: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,
846: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,
847: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,
848: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,
849: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,
850: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,
851: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,
852: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,
853:Lo! I must tell a tale of chivalry;
For large white plumes are dancing in mine eye.
Not like the formal crest of latter days:
But bending in a thousand graceful ways;
So graceful, that it seems no mortal hand,
Or een the touch of Archimagos wand,
Could charm them into such an attitude.
We must think rather, that in playful mood,
Some mountain breeze had turned its chief delight,
To show this wonder of its gentle might.
Lo! I must tell a tale of chivalry;
For while I muse, the lance points slantingly
Athwart the morning air: some lady sweet,
Who cannot feel for cold her tender feet,
From the worn top of some old battlement
Hails it with tears, her stout defender sent:
And from her own pure self no joy dissembling,
Wraps round her ample robe with happy trembling.
Sometimes, when the good Knight his rest would take,
It is reflected, clearly, in a lake,
With the young ashen boughs, gainst which it rests,
And th half seen mossiness of linnets nests.

Ah! shall I ever tell its cruelty,
When the fire flashes from a warriors eye,
And his tremendous hand is grasping it,
And his dark brow for very wrath is knit?
Or when his spirit, with more calm intent,
Leaps to the honors of a tournament,
And makes the gazers round about the ring
Stare at the grandeur of the ballancing?
No, no! this is far off:then how shall I
Revive the dying tones of minstrelsy,
Which linger yet about lone gothic arches,
In dark green ivy, and among wild larches?
How sing the splendour of the revelries,
When but[t]s of wine are drunk off to the lees?
And that bright lance, against the fretted wall,
Beneath the shade of stately banneral,
Is slung with shining cuirass, sword, and shield?
Where ye may see a spur in bloody field.
Light-footed damsels move with gentle paces
Round the wide hall, and show their happy faces;
Or stand in courtly talk by fives and sevens:
Like those fair stars that twinkle in the heavens.
Yet must I tell a tale of chivalry:
Or wherefore comes that knight so proudly by?
Wherefore more proudly does the gentle knight,
Rein in the swelling of his ample might?

Spenser! thy brows are arched, open, kind,
And come like a clear sun-rise to my mind;
And always does my heart with pleasure dance,
When I think on thy noble countenance:
Where never yet was ought more earthly seen
Than the pure freshness of thy laurels green.
Therefore, great bard, I not so fearfully
Call on thy gentle spirit to hover nigh
My daring steps: or if thy tender care,
Thus startled unaware,
Be jealous that the foot of other wight
Should madly follow that bright path of light
Tracd by thy lovd Libertas; he will speak,
And tell thee that my prayer is very meek;
That I will follow with due reverence,
And start with awe at mine own strange pretence.
Him thou wilt hear; so I will rest in hope
To see wide plains, fair trees and lawny slope:
The morn, the eve, the light, the shade, the flowers;
Clear streams, smooth lakes, and overlooking towers.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ John Keats, Specimen Of An Induction To A Poem
,
854: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,
855: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,
856: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,
857:THE GOLEM
If every name is (as the Greek maintains
In the Cratylus) the archetype of its thing,
Among the letters of ring, resides the ring,
And in the word Nile all the Nile remains.

Then, made up of vowels and consonants,
Encoding Gods essence, should exist some Name
Whose exact syllables and letters frame
Within them, terribly, Omnipotence.

Adam and all the stars had known it, placed
There in the Garden. The corrosive rust
Of sin (cabalists say) has long effaced
The Name that generations since have lost.

Human innocency and human guile
Are boundless: it is known that a day came
When the Chosen People pursued the Name
Over the wakeful ghettos midnight oil.

Unlike the way of those who, as in fog,
Beam a dim shadow in dim history,
Green and alive remains the memory
Of Judah, the Hohe Rabbi Lw of Prague.

Yearning to know that which the Deity
Knows, the Rabbi turned to permutations
Of letters in complicated variations,
And finally pronounced the Name which is the Key,

The Entry Gate, the Echo, Host, and Mansion,
Over a dummy at which, with sluggish hand,
He labored hard that it might understand
Secrets of Time, Space, Being, and Extension.

The simulacrum raised its heavy, lowered
Eyelids and perceived colors and forms;
It understood not; lost in loud alarms,
It started to take groping paces forward.

And like ourselves, it gradually became
Locked in the sonorous meshes of the net
Of After, Before, Tomorrow, Meanwhile, Yet,
Right, Left, You, Me, and Different and Same.

(The cabalist from whom the creature took
Its inspiration called the weird thing Golem
But all these matters are discussed by Scholem
In a most learned passage in his book.)

The rabbi revealed to it the universe
(This is my foot; thats yours; this is a log)
And after years of training, the perverse
Pupil managed to sweep the synagogue.

Perhaps there was a faulty text, or breach
In the articulation of the Name;
The magic was the highestall the same,
The apprentice person never mastered speech.

Less a mans than a dogs, less a dogs, well,
Even than a things, the creatures eyes
Would always turn to follow the rabbis
Steps through the dubious shadows of his cell.

Something eerie, gross, about the Golem,
For, at his very coming, the rabbis cat
Would vanish. (The cat cannot be found in Scholem;
Across the years, I divine it, for all that.)

Toward God it would extend those filial palms,
Aping the devotions of its God,
Or bend itself, the stupid, grinning clod,
In hollow, Orientalized salaams.

The rabbi gazed on it with tender eyes
And terror. How (he asked) could it be done
That I engender this distressing son?
Inaction is wisdom. I left off being wise.

To an infinite series why was it for me
To add another integer? To the vain
Hank that is spun out in Eternity
Another cause or effect, another pain?

At the anguished hour when the light gets vague
Upon his Golem his eyes would come to rest.
Who can tell us the feelings in His breast
As God gazed on His rabbi there in Prague?
[John Hollander]
~ Jorge Luis Borges, The Golem
,
858: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,
859: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,
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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,
860: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,
861: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,
862: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,
863: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.
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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,
864: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,
865: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,
866: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,
867: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,
868: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,
869: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,
870:Upon his battlements he stood,
And downward gazed in joyous mood,
On Samos' Isle, that owned his sway,
"All this is subject to my yoke;"
To Egypt's monarch thus he spoke,
"That I am truly blest, then, say!"

"The immortals' favor thou hast known!
Thy sceptre's might has overthrown
All those who once were like to thee.
Yet to avenge them one lives still;
I cannot call thee blest, until
That dreaded foe has ceased to be."

While to these words the king gave vent,
A herald from Miletus sent,
Appeared before the tyrant there:
"Lord, let thy incense rise to-day,
And with the laurel branches gay
Thou well may'st crown thy festive hair!"

"Thy foe has sunk beneath the spear,
I'm sent to bear the glad news here,
By thy true marshal Polydore"
Then from a basin black he takes
The fearful sight their terror wakes
A well-known head, besmeared with gore.

The king with horror stepped aside,
And then with anxious look replied:
"Thy bliss to fortune ne'er commit.
On faithless waves, bethink thee how
Thy fleet with doubtful fate swims now
How soon the storm may scatter it!"

But ere he yet had spoke the word,
A shout of jubilee is heard
Resounding from the distant strand.
With foreign treasures teeming o'er,
The vessels' mast-rich wood once more
Returns home to its native land.

The guest then speaks with startled mind:
"Fortune to-day, in truth, seems kind;
But thou her fickleness shouldst fear:
The Cretan hordes, well skilled, in arms,
Now threaten thee with war's alarms;
E'en now they are approaching here."

And, ere the word has 'scaped his lips,
A stir is seen amongst the ships,
And thousand voices "Victory!" cry:
"We are delivered from our foe,
The storm has laid the Cretan low,
The war is ended, is gone by!"

The shout with horror hears the guest:
"In truth, I must esteem thee blest!
Yet dread I the decrees of heaven.
The envy of the gods I fear;
To taste of unmixed rapture here
Is never to a mortal given."

"With me, too, everything succeeds;
In all my sovereign acts and deeds
The grace of Heaven is ever by;
And yet I had a well-loved heir
I paid my debt to fortune there
God took him henceI saw him die."

"Wouldst thou from sorrow, then, be free.
Pray to each unseen Deity,
For thy well-being, grief to send;
The man on whom the Gods bestow
Their gifts with hands that overflow,
Comes never to a happy end."

"And if the Gods thy prayer resist,
Then to a friend's instruction list,
Invoke thyself adversity;
And what, of all thy treasures bright,
Gives to thy heart the most delight
That take and cast thou in the sea!"

Then speaks the other, moved by fear:
"This ring to me is far most dear
Of all this isle within it knows
I to the furies pledge it now,
If they will happiness allow"
And in the flood the gem he throws.

And with the morrow's earliest light,
Appeared before the monarch's sight
A fisherman, all joyously;
"Lord, I this fish just now have caught,
No net before e'er held the sort;
And as a gift I bring it thee."

The fish was opened by the cook,
Who suddenly, with wondering look,
Runs up, and utters these glad sounds:
"Within the fish's maw, behold,
I've found, great lord, thy ring of gold!
Thy fortune truly knows no bounds!"

The guest with terror turned away:
"I cannot here, then, longer stay,
My friend thou canst no longer be!
The gods have willed that thou shouldst die:
Lest I, too, perish, I must fly"
He spoke,and sailed thence hastily.

~ Friedrich Schiller, The Ring Of Polycrates - A Ballad
,
871: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,
872: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,
873: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,
874: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,
875: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,
876:1.
All gentle folks who owe a grudge
To any living thing
Open your ears and stay your t[r]udge
Whilst I in dudgeon sing.

2.
The Gadfly he hath stung me sore--
O may he ne'er sting you!
But we have many a horrid bore
He may sting black and blue.

3.
Has any here an old grey Mare
With three legs all her store,
O put it to her Buttocks bare
And straight she'll run on four.

4.
Has any here a Lawyer suit
Of 1743,
Take Lawyer's nose and put it to't
And you the end will see.

5.
Is there a Man in Parliament
Dum[b-] founder'd in his speech,
O let his neighbour make a rent
And put one in his breech.

6.
O Lowther how much better thou
Hadst figur'd t'other day
When to the folks thou mad'st a bow
And hadst no more to say.

7.
If lucky Gadfly had but ta'en
His seat * * * * * * * * *
And put thee to a little pain
To save thee from a worse.

8.
Better than Southey it had been,
Better than Mr. D-------,
Better than Wordsworth too, I ween,

Better than Mr. V-------.

9.
Forgive me pray good people all
For deviating so --
In spirit sure I had a call --
And now I on will go.

10.
Has any here a daughter fair
Too fond of reading novels,
Too apt to fall in love with care
And charming Mister Lovels,

11.
O put a Gadfly to that thing
She keeps so white and pert --
I mean the finger for the ring,
And it will breed a wort.

12.
Has any here a pious spouse
Who seven times a day
Scolds as King David pray'd, to chouse
And have her holy way --

13.
O let a Gadfly's little sting
Persuade her sacred tongue
That noises are a common thing,
But that her bell has rung.

14.
And as this is the summon bo
num of all conquering,
I leave "withouten wordes mo"
The Gadfly's little sting.
'On the 17th of July 1818 [Keats and Brown] were approaching Inverary, and Keats began a letter to his brother Tom at "Cairn-something," having walked fifteen miles to breakfast through "two tremendous Glens." One of these was Glencroe and the other perhaps a smaller glen at the southern extremity of Glenfyne: Glencroe is mentioned later on in the letter and is also identifiable by a place called "Rest and be thankful" which the poet names; and at the end of the smaller glen is Cairndow not far from the northern extremity of Loch Fyne, a bathe in which was the occasion of the ballad given above -- a bathe to which the gadflies were the only drawback. This ballad, now I believe first published, seems to me one of the brightest and most humorous of the pieces which Keats classified as doggerel; and I presume it may be assigned to the 17th of July 1818.

(stanza 4) Line 2 is of course to be read "Of seventeen forty three," not "Of seventeen hundred and forty three."

(stanzas 6-8): I have not met with any account of the particular circumstances in which one of the members of Westmoreland figured in the manner described in stanza 6; but probably the contemporary newspaper press might show what episode Keats was contemplating in the memorable campaign in which the whigs tried to upset the then time-honoured influence of the House of Lowther, which had nominated the two county members, undisputedly, for a long time. The particular Lowther of stanza 6 was probably the Treasury Lord who was afterwards second Earl of Lonsdale. Wordsworth's Two Addresses To The Freeholders of Westmoreland are probably glanced at in stanza 8; "Mr. V----" would doubtless be the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nicholas Vansittart; and "Mr. D-----" may perhaps have been Mr. Dundas, who had held office in a previous ministry; but this last name rests upon mere conjecture.

(stanza 10): The reference is probably to the hero of Scott's novel The Antiquary, properly the Honourable William Geraldin, heir of the Earl of Glenallan, but known throughout the book as Mr. Lovel.

(stanza 12): Perhaps the reference is to Psalm cix, verse 164, "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgements;" but there is certainly no intentional disrespect to David, the word 'chouse' being the exclusive property of the pious scold.'
~ Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ John Keats, The Gadfly
,
877:Beowulf (Episode 09)
ME thus often the evil monsters
thronging threatened. With thrust of my sword,
the darling, I dealt them due return!
Nowise had they bliss from their booty then
to devour their victim, vengeful creatures,
seated to banquet at bottom of sea;
but at break of day, by my brand sore hurt,
on the edge of ocean up they lay,
put to sleep by the sword. And since, by them
on the fathomless sea-ways sailor-folk
are never molested. -- Light from east,
came bright God's beacon; the billows sank,
so that I saw the sea-cliffs high,
windy walls. For Wyrd oft saveth
earl undoomed if he doughty be!
And so it came that I killed with my sword
nine of the nicors. Of night-fought battles
ne'er heard I a harder 'neath heaven's dome,
nor adrift on the deep a more desolate man!
Yet I came unharmed from that hostile clutch,
though spent with swimming. The sea upbore me,
flood of the tide, on Finnish land,
the welling waters. No wise of thee
have I heard men tell such terror of falchions,
bitter battle. Breca ne'er yet,
not one of you pair, in the play of war
such daring deed has done at all
with bloody brand, -- I boast not of it! -though thou wast the bane of thy brethren dear,
thy closest kin, whence curse of hell
awaits thee, well as thy wit may serve!
For I say in sooth, thou son of Ecglaf,
never had Grendel these grim deeds wrought,
monster dire, on thy master dear,
in Heorot such havoc, if heart of thine
were as battle-bold as thy boast is loud!
But he has found no feud will happen;
from sword-clash dread of your Danish clan
he vaunts him safe, from the Victor-Scyldings.
101
He forces pledges, favors none
of the land of Danes, but lustily murders,
fights and feasts, nor feud he dreads
from Spear-Dane men. But speedily now
shall I prove him the prowess and pride of the Geats,
shall bid him battle. Blithe to mead
go he that listeth, when light of dawn
this morrow morning o'er men of earth,
ether-robed sun from the south shall beam!"
Joyous then was the Jewel-giver,
hoar-haired, war-brave; help awaited
the Bright-Danes' prince, from Beowulf hearing,
folk's good shepherd, such firm resolve.
Then was laughter of liegemen loud resounding
with winsome words. Came Wealhtheow forth,
queen of Hrothgar, heedful of courtesy,
gold-decked, greeting the guests in hall;
and the high-born lady handed the cup
first to the East-Danes' heir and warden,
bade him be blithe at the beer-carouse,
the land's beloved one. Lustily took he
banquet and beaker, battle-famed king.
Through the hall then went the Helmings' Lady,
to younger and older everywhere
carried the cup, till come the moment
when the ring-graced queen, the royal-hearted,
to Beowulf bore the beaker of mead.
She greeted the Geats' lord, God she thanked,
in wisdom's words, that her will was granted,
that at last on a hero her hope could lean
for comfort in terrors. The cup he took,
hardy-in-war, from Wealhtheow's hand,
and answer uttered the eager-for-combat.
Beowulf spake, bairn of Ecgtheow: -"This was my thought, when my thanes and I
bent to the ocean and entered our boat,
that I would work the will of your people
fully, or fighting fall in death,
in fiend's gripe fast. I am firm to do
an earl's brave deed, or end the days
of this life of mine in the mead-hall here."
102
Well these words to the woman seemed,
Beowulf's battle-boast. -- Bright with gold
the stately dame by her spouse sat down.
Again, as erst, began in hall
warriors' wassail and words of power,
the proud-band's revel, till presently
the son of Healfdene hastened to seek
rest for the night; he knew there waited
fight for the fiend in that festal hall,
when the sheen of the sun they saw no more,
and dusk of night sank darkling nigh,
and shadowy shapes came striding on,
wan under welkin. The warriors rose.
Man to man, he made harangue,
Hrothgar to Beowulf, bade him hail,
let him wield the wine hall: a word he added: -"Never to any man erst I trusted,
since I could heave up hand and shield,
this noble Dane-Hall, till now to thee.
Have now and hold this house unpeered;
remember thy glory; thy might declare;
watch for the foe! No wish shall fail thee
if thou bidest the battle with bold-won life."
~ Anonymous Olde English,
878:The Old Timer's Steeplechase
The sheep were shorn and the wool went down
At the time of our local racing;
And I'd earned a spell -- I was burnt and brown -So I rolled my swag for a trip to town
And a look at the steeplechasing.
Twas rough and ready--an uncleared course
As rough as the blacks had found it;
With barbed-wire fences, topped with gorse,
And a water-jump that would drown a horse,
And the steeple three times round it.
There was never a fence the tracks to guard, -Some straggling posts defined 'em:
And the day was hot, and the drinking hard,
Till none of the stewards could see a yard
Before nor yet behind 'em!
But the bell was rung and the nags were out,
Excepting an old outsider
Whose trainer started an awful rout,
For his boy had gone on a drinking bout
And left him without a rider.
"Is there not a man in the crowd," he cried,
"In the whole of the crowd so clever,
Is there not one man that will take a ride
On the old white horse from the Northern side
That was bred on the Mooki River?"
Twas an old white horse that they called The Cow,
And a cow would look well beside him;
But I was pluckier then than now
(And I wanted excitement anyhow),
So at last I agreed to ride him.
And the trainer said,"Well, he's dreadful slow,
And he hasn't a chance whatever;
But I'm stony broke, so it's time to show
A trick or two that the trainers know
418
Who train by the Mooki River.
"The first time round at the further side,
With the trees and the scrub about you,
Just pull behind them and run out wide
And then dodge into the scrub and hide,
And let them go round without you.
"At the third time round, for the final spin
With the pace and the dust to blind 'em,
They'll never notice if you chip in
For the last half-mile -- you'll be sure to win,
And they'll think you raced behind 'em.
"At the water-jump you may have to swim -He hasn't a hope to clear it,
Unless he skims like the swallows skim
At full speed over -- but not for him!
He'll never go next or near it.
"But don't you worry -- just plunge across,
For he swims like a well-trained setter.
Then hide away in the scrub and gorse
The rest will be far ahead, of course -The further ahead the better.
"You must rush the jumps in the last half-round
For fear that he might refuse 'em;
He'll try to baulk with you, I'11 be bound;
Take whip and spurs to the mean old hound,
And don't be afraid to use 'em.
"At the final round, when the field are slow
And you are quite fresh to meet 'em,
Sit down, and hustle him all you know
With the whip and spurs, and he'll have to go -Remember, you've got to beat 'em!"
The flag went down, and we seemed to fly,
And we made the timbers shiver
419
Of the first big fence, as the stand dashed by,
And I caught the ring of the trainer's cry;
"Go on, for the Mooki River!"
I jammed him in with a well-packed crush,
And recklessly -- out for slaughter -Like a living wave over fence and brush
We swept and swung with a flying rush,
Till we came to the dreaded water.
Ha, ha! I laugh at it now to think
Of the way I contrived to work it
Shut in amongst them, before you'd wink,
He found himself on the water's brink,
With never a chance to shirk it!
The thought of the horror he felt beguiles
The heart of this grizzled rover!
He gave a snort you could hear for miles,
And a spring would have cleared the Channel Isles,
And carried me safely over!
Then we neared the scrub, and I pulled him back
In the shade where the gum-leaves quiver:
And I waited there in the shadows black
While the rest of the horses, round the track,
Went on like a rushing river!
At the second round, as the field swept by,
I saw that the pace was telling;
But on they thundered, and by-and-by
As they passed the stand I could hear the cry
Of the folk in the distance, yelling!
Then the last time round! And the hoofbeats rang!
And I said, "Well, it's now or never!"
And out on the heels of the throng I sprang,
And the spurs bit deep and the whipcord sang
As I rode. For the Mooki River!
We raced for home in a cloud of dust
And the curses rose in chorus.
420
'Twas flog, and hustle, and jump you must!
And The Cow ran well -- but to my disgust
There was one got home before us.
Twas a big black horse, that I had not seen
In the part of the race I'd ridden;
And his coat was cool and his rider clean -And I thought that perhaps I had not been
The only one that had hidden.
And the trainer came with a visage blue
With rage, when the race concluded:
Said he, "I thought you'd have pulled us through,
But the man on the black horse planted too,
And nearer to home than you did!"
Alas to think that those times so gay
Have vanished and passed for ever!
You don't believe in the yarn, you say?
Why, man, 'twas a matter of every day
When we raced on the Mooki River!
~ Banjo Paterson,
879: ON THE VIRTUOUS

Slack and sleeping senses must be addressed with
thunder and heavenly fireworks. But the voice of beauty
speaks gently: it creeps only into the most awakened
souls. Gently trembled and laughed my shield today;
that is the holy laughter and tremor of beauty. About
you, the virtuous, my beauty laughed today. And thus
its voice came to me: "They still want to be paid."
You who are virtuous still want to be paid Do you
want rewards for virtue, and heaven for earth, and the
eternal for your today?
And now are you angry with me because I teach that
there is no reward and paymaster? And verily, I do not
even teach that virtue is its own reward.
Alas, that is my sorrow: they have lied reward and
punishment into the foundation of things, and now also
94
into the foundation of your souls, you who are virtuous.
But like the boar's snout, my words shall tear open the
foundation of your souls: a plowshare will I be to you.
All the secrets of your foundation shall come to light;
and when you lie uprooted and broken in the sun, then
will your lies also be separated from your truths.
For this is your truth: you are too pure for the filth
of the words: revenge, punishment, reward, retri bution.
You love your virtue as a mother her child; but when
has a mother ever wished to be paid for her love? Your
virtue is what is dearest to you. The thirst of the ring
lives in you: every ring strives and turns to reach itself
again. And like a dying star is every work of your virtue: its light is always still on its way and it wandersand when will it no longer be on its way? Thus the
light of your virtue is still on its way even when the
work has been done. Though it be forgotten and dead,
the ray of its light still lives and wanders. That your
virtue is your self and not something foreign, a skin, a
cloak, that is the truth from the foundation of your souls,
you who are virtuous.
Yet there are those for whom virtue is the spasm under the scourge, and you have listened to their clamor
too much.
And there are others who call it virtue when their
vices grow lazy; and when their hatred and jealousy
stretch their limbs for once, then their "justice" comes
to life and rubs its sleepy eyes.
And there are others who are drawn downward: their
devils draw them. But the more they sink, the more
fervently glow their eyes and their lust for their god.
Alas, their clamor too has reached your ears, you who
are virtuous: "What I am not, that, that to me are God
and virtue"
And there are others who come along, heavy and
95
creaking like carts carrying stones downhill: they talk
much of dignity and virtue-they call their brake virtue.
And there are others who are like cheap clocks that
must be wound: they tick and they want the tick-tock
to be called virtue. Verily, I have my pleasure in these:
wherever I find such clocks, I shall wind and wound
them with my mockery, and they shall whir for me.
And others are proud of their handful of justice and
commit outrages against all things for its sake, till the
world is drowned in their injustice. Oh, how ill the word
virtue comes out of their mouths And when they say,
"I am just," it always sounds like "I am just-revenged."
With their virtue they want to scratch out the eyes of
their enemies, and they exalt themselves only to humble
others.
And then again there are such as sit in their swamp
and speak thus out of the reeds: "Virtue-that is sitting
still in a swamp. We bite no one and avoid those who
want to bite; and in all things we hold the opinion that
is given to us."
And then again there are such as love gestures and
think that virtue is some kind of gesture. Their knees
always adore, and their hands are hymns to virtue, but
their heart knows nothing about it.
And then again there are such as consider it virtue
to say, "Virtue is necessary"; but at bottom they believe
only that the police is necessary.
And some who cannot see what is high in man call it
virtue that they see all-too-closely what is low in man:
thus they call their evil eye virtue.
And some want to be edified and elevated, and they
call that virtue, while others want to be bowled over,
and they call that virtue too.
And thus almost all believe that they have a share in
96
virtue; and at the very least everyone wants to be an
expert on good and evil.
Yet Zarathustra did not come to say to all these liars
and fools: "What do you know of virtue? What could
you know of virtue?"
Rather, that you, my friends, might grow weary of
the old words you have learned from the fools and liars.
Weary of the words: reward, retri bution, punishment,
and revenge in justice.
Weary of saying: what makes an act good is that it
is unselfish.
Oh, my friends, that your self be in your deed as the
mother is in her child-let that be your word concerning virtue
Verily, I may have taken a hundred words from you
and the dearest toys of your virtue, and now you are
angry with me, as children are angry. They played by
the sea, and a wave came and carried off their toy to the
depths: now they are crying. But the same wave shall
bring them new toys and shower new colorful shells before them. Thus they will be comforted; and like them,
you too, my friends, shall have your comfortings-and
new colorful shells.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE VIRTUOUS
,
880:How We Beat The Favourite
A Lay of the Loamshire Hunt Cup
'Aye, squire,' said Stevens, 'they back him at evens ;
The race is all over, bar shouting, they say ;
The Clown ought to beat her ; Dick Neville is sweeter
Than ever—he swears he can win all the way.
'A gentleman rider—well, I'm an outsider,
But if he's a gent who the mischief's a jock ?
You swells mostly blunder, Dick rides for the plunder,
He rides, too, like thunder—he sits like a rock.
'He calls 'hunted fairly' a horse that has barely
Been stripp'd for a trot within sight of the hounds,
A horse that at Warwick beat Birdlime and Yorick,
And gave Abdelkader at Aintree nine pounds.
'They say we have no test to warrant a protest ;
Dick rides for a lord and stands in with a steward ;
The light of their faces they show him—his case is
Prejudged and his verdict already secured.
'But none can outlast her, and few travel faster,
She strides in her work clean away from The Drag ;
You hold her and sit her, she couldn't be fitter,
Whenever you hit her she'll spring like a stag.
'And p'rhaps the green jacket, at odds though they back it,
May fall, or there's no knowing what may turn up ;
The mare is quite ready, sit still and ride steady,
Keep cool ; and I think you may just win the Cup.'
Dark-brown with tan muzzle, just stripped for the tussle,
Stood Iseult, arching her neck to the curb,
A lean head and fiery, strong quarters and wiry,
A loin rather light, but a shoulder superb.
Some parting injunction, bestowed with great unction,
I tried to recall, but forgot like a dunce,
192
When Reginald Murray, full tilt on White Surrey,
Came down in a hurry to start us at once.
'Keep back in the yellow ! Come up on Othello !
Hold hard on the chestnut ! Turn round on The Drag !
Keep back there on Spartan ! Back you, sir, in tartan !
So, steady there, easy !' and down went the flag.
We started, and Kerr made strong running on Mermaid,
Through furrows that led to the first stake-and-bound,
The crack, half extended, look'd bloodlike and splendid,
Held wide on the right where the headland was sound.
I pulled hard to baffle her rush with the snaffle,
Before her two-thirds of the field got away ;
All through the wet pasture where floods of the last year
Still loitered, they clotted my crimson with clay.
The
The
The
The
fourth fence, a wattle, floor'd Monk and Bluebottle ;
Drag came to grief at the blackthorn and ditch,
rails toppled over Redoubt and Red Rover,
lane stopped Lycurgus and Leicestershire Witch.
She
And
And
And
passed like an arrow Kildare and Cock Sparrow,
Mantrap and Mermaid refused the stone wall ;
Giles on The Greyling came down at the paling,
I was left sailing in front of them all.
I took them a burster, nor eased her nor nursed her
Until the Black Bullfinch led into the plough,
And through the strong bramble we bored with a scramble—
My cap was knock'd off by the hazel-tree bough.
Where furrows looked lighter I drew the rein tighter—
Her dark chest all dappled with flakes of white foam,
Her flanks mud-bespattered, a weak rail she shattered—
We landed on turf with our heads turn'd for home.
Then crash'd a low binder, and then close behind her
The sward to the strokes of the favourite shook ;
His rush roused her mettle, yet ever so little
She shortened her stride as we raced at the brook.
193
She rose when I hit her. I saw the stream glitter,
A wide scarlet nostril flashed close to my knee,
Between sky and water The Clown came and caught her,
The space that he cleared was a caution to see.
And forcing the running, discarding all cunning,
A length to the front went the rider in green ;
A long strip of stubble, and then the big double,
Two stiff flights of rails with a quickset between.
She raced at the rasper, I felt my knees grasp her,
I found my hands give to her strain on the bit ;
She rose when The Clown did—our silks as we bounded
Brush'd lightly, our stirrups clash'd loud as we lit.
A rise steeply sloping, a fence with stone coping—
The last—we diverged round the base of the hill ;
His path was the nearer, his leap was the clearer,
I flogg'd up the straight, and he led sitting still.
She came to his quarter, and on still I brought her,
And up to his girth, to his breastplate she drew ;
A short prayer from Neville just reach'd me, 'The Devil !'
He muttered—lock'd level the hurdles we flew.
A hum of hoarse cheering, a dense crowd careering,
All sights seen obscurely, all shouts vaguely heard ;
'The green wins !' 'The crimson !' The multitude swims on,
And figures are blended and features are blurr'd.
'The horse is her master !' 'The green forges past her !'
'The Clown will outlast her !' 'The Clown wins !' 'The Clown !'
The white railing races with all the white faces,
The chestnut outpaces, outstretches the brown.
On still past the gateway she strains in the straightway,
Still struggles, 'The Clown by a short neck at most,'
He swerves, the green scourges, the stand rocks and surges,
And flashes, and verges, and flits the white post.
Aye ! so ends the tussle,—I knew the tan muzzle
194
Was first, though the ring-men were yelling 'Dead heat !'
A nose I could swear by, but Clarke said, 'The mare by
A short head.' And that's how the favourite was beat.
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
881:O True And Tried
O true and tried, so well and long,
Demand not thou a marriage lay;
In that it is thy marriage day
Is music more than any song.
Nor have I felt so much of bliss
Since first he told me that he loved
A daughter of our house; nor proved
Since that dark day a day like this;
Tho’ I since then have number’d o’er
Some thrice three years: they went and came,
Remade the blood and changed the frame,
And yet is love not less, but more;
No longer caring to embalm
In dying songs a dead regret,
But like a statue solid-set,
And moulded in colossal calm.
Regret is dead, but love is more
Than in the summers that are flown,
For I myself with these have grown
To something greater than before;
Which makes appear the songs I made
As echoes out of weaker times,
As half but idle brawling rhymes,
The sport of random sun and shade.
But where is she, the bridal flower,
That must he made a wife ere noon?
She enters, glowing like the moon
Of Eden on its bridal bower:
On me she bends her blissful eyes
And then on thee; they meet thy look
And brighten like the star that shook
Betwixt the palms of paradise.
408
O when her life was yet in bud,
He too foretold the perfect rose.
For thee she grew, for thee she grows
For ever, and as fair as good.
And thou art worthy; full of power;
As gentle; liberal-minded, great,
Consistent; wearing all that weight
Of learning lightly like a flower.
But now set out: the noon is near,
And I must give away the bride;
She fears not, or with thee beside
And me behind her, will not fear.
For I that danced her on my knee,
That watch’d her on her nurse’s arm,
That shielded all her life from harm
At last must part with her to thee;
Now waiting to be made a wife,
Her feet, my darling, on the dead;
Their pensive tablets round her head,
And the most living words of life
Breathed in her ear. The ring is on,
The ‘wilt thou’ answer’d, and again
The ‘wilt thou’ ask’d, till out of twain
Her sweet ‘I will’ has made you one.
Now sign your names, which shall be read,
Mute symbols of a joyful morn,
By village eyes as yet unborn;
The names are sign’d, and overhead
Begins the clash and clang that tells
The joy to every wandering breeze;
The blind wall rocks, and on the trees
The dead leaf trembles to the bells.
O happy hour, and happier hours
Await them. Many a merry face
409
Salutes them–maidens of the place,
That pelt us in the porch with flowers.
O happy hour, behold the bride
With him to whom her hand I gave.
They leave the porch, they pass the grave
That has to-day its sunny side.
To-day the grave is bright for me,
For them the light of life increased,
Who stay to share the morning feast,
Who rest to-night beside the sea.
Let all my genial spirits advance
To meet and greet a whiter sun;
My drooping memory will not shun
The foaming grape of eastern France.
It circles round, and fancy plays,
And hearts are warm’d and faces bloom,
As drinking health to bride and groom
We wish them store of happy days.
Nor count me all to blame if I
Conjecture of a stiller guest,
Perchance, perchance, among the rest,
And, tho’ in silence, wishing joy.
But they must go, the time draws on,
And those white-favour’d horses wait;
They rise, but linger; it is late;
Farewell, we kiss, and they are gone.
A shade falls on us like the dark
From little cloudlets on the grass,
But sweeps away as out we pass
To range the woods, to roam the park,
Discussing how their courtship grew,
And talk of others that are wed,
And how she look’d, and what he said,
And back we come at fall of dew.
410
Again the feast, the speech, the glee,
The shade of passing thought, the wealth
Of words and wit, the double health,
The crowning cup, the three-times-three,
And last the dance;–till I retire:
Dumb is that tower which spake so loud,
And high in heaven the streaming cloud,
And on the downs a rising fire:
And rise, O moon, from yonder down,
Till over down and over dale
All night the shining vapour sail
And pass the silent-lighted town,
The white-faced halls, the glancing rills,
And catch at every mountain head,
And o’er the friths that branch and spread
Their sleeping silver thro’ the hills;
And touch with shade the bridal doors,
With tender gloom the roof, the wall;
And breaking let the splendour fall
To spangle all the happy shores
By which they rest, and ocean sounds,
And, star and system rolling past,
A soul shall draw from out the vast
And strike his being into bounds,
And, moved thro’ life of lower phase,
Result in man, be born and think,
And act and love, a closer link
Betwixt us and the crowning race
Of those that, eye to eye, shall look
On knowledge; under whose command
Is Earth and Earth’s, and in their hand
Is Nature like an open book;
No longer half-akin to brute,
411
For all we thought and loved and did,
And hoped, and suffer’d, is but seed
Of what in them is flower and fruit;
Whereof the man, that with me trod
This planet, was a noble type
Appearing ere the times were ripe,
That friend of mine who lives in God,
That God, which ever lives and loves,
One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off divine event,
To which the whole creation moves.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
882:In Memoriam 131: O Living Will That Shalt Endure
O living will that shalt endure
When all that seems shall suffer shock,
Rise in the spiritual rock,
Flow thro' our deeds and make them pure,
That we may lift from out of dust
A voice as unto him that hears,
A cry above the conquer'd years
To one that with us works, and trust,
With faith that comes of self-control,
The truths that never can be proved
Until we close with all we loved,
And all we flow from, soul in soul.
O true and tried, so well and long,
Demand not thou a marriage lay;
In that it is thy marriage day
Is music more than any song.
Nor have I felt so much of bliss
Since first he told me that he loved
A daughter of our house; nor proved
Since that dark day a day like this;
Tho' I since then have number'd o'er
Some thrice three years: they went and came,
Remade the blood and changed the frame,
And yet is love not less, but more;
No longer caring to embalm
In dying songs a dead regret,
But like a statue solid-set,
And moulded in colossal calm.
Regret is dead, but love is more
Than in the summers that are flown,
For I myself with these have grown
To something greater than before;
232
Which makes appear the songs I made
As echoes out of weaker times,
As half but idle brawling rhymes,
The sport of random sun and shade.
But where is she, the bridal flower,
That must be made a wife ere noon?
She enters, glowing like the moon
Of Eden on its bridal bower:
On me she bends her blissful eyes
And then on thee; they meet thy look
And brighten like the star that shook
Betwixt the palms of paradise.
O when her life was yet in bud,
He too foretold the perfect rose.
For thee she grew, for thee she grows
For ever, and as fair as good.
And thou art worthy; full of power;
As gentle; liberal-minded, great,
Consistent; wearing all that weight
Of learning lightly like a flower.
But now set out: the noon is near,
And I must give away the bride;
She fears not, or with thee beside
And me behind her, will not fear.
For I that danced her on my knee,
That watch'd her on her nurse's arm,
That shielded all her life from harm
At last must part with her to thee;
Now waiting to be made a wife,
Her feet, my darling, on the dead;
Their pensive tablets round her head,
And the most living words of life
Breathed in her ear. The ring is on,
233
The "wilt thou" answer'd, and again
The "wilt thou" ask'd, till out of twain
Her sweet "I will" has made you one.
Now sign your names, which shall be read,
Mute symbols of a joyful morn,
By village eyes as yet unborn;
The names are sign'd, and overhead
Begins the clash and clang that tells
The joy to every wandering breeze;
The blind wall rocks, and on the trees
The dead leaf trembles to the bells.
O happy hour, and happier hours
Await them. Many a merry face
Salutes them--maidens of the place,
That pelt us in the porch with flowers.
O happy hour, behold the bride
With him to whom her hand I gave.
They leave the porch, they pass the grave
That has to-day its sunny side.
To-day the grave is bright for me,
For them the light of life increased,
Who stay to share the morning feast,
Who rest to-night beside the sea.
Let all my genial spirits advance
To meet and greet a whiter sun;
My drooping memory will not shun
The foaming grape of eastern France.
It circles round, and fancy plays,
And hearts are warm'd and faces bloom,
As drinking health to bride and groom
We wish them store of happy days.
Nor count me all to blame if I
Conjecture of a stiller guest,
Perchance, perchance, among the rest,
234
And, tho' in silence, wishing joy.
But they must go, the time draws on,
And those white-favour'd horses wait;
They rise, but linger; it is late;
Farewell, we kiss, and they are gone.
A shade falls on us like the dark
From little cloudlets on the grass,
But sweeps away as out we pass
To range the woods, to roam the park,
Discussing how their courtship grew,
And talk of others that are wed,
And how she look'd, and what he said,
And back we come at fall of dew.
Again the feast, the speech, the glee,
The shade of passing thought, the wealth
Of words and wit, the double health,
The crowning cup, the three-times-three,
And last the dance,--till I retire:
Dumb is that tower which spake so loud,
And high in heaven the streaming cloud,
And on the downs a rising fire:
And rise, O moon, from yonder down,
Till over down and over dale
All night the shining vapour sail
And pass the silent-lighted town,
The white-faced halls, the glancing rills,
And catch at every mountain head,
And o'er the friths that branch and spread
Their sleeping silver thro' the hills;
And touch with shade the bridal doors,
With tender gloom the roof, the wall;
And breaking let the splendour fall
To spangle all the happy shores
235
By which they rest, and ocean sounds,
And, star and system rolling past,
A soul shall draw from out the vast
And strike his being into bounds,
And, moved thro' life of lower phase,
Result in man, be born and think,
And act and love, a closer link
Betwixt us and the crowning race
Of those that, eye to eye, shall look
On knowledge; under whose command
Is Earth and Earth's, and in their hand
Is Nature like an open book;
No longer half-akin to brute,
For all we thought and loved and did,
And hoped, and suffer'd, is but seed
Of what in them is flower and fruit;
Whereof the man, that with me trod
This planet, was a noble type
Appearing ere the times were ripe,
That friend of mine who lives in God,
That God, which ever lives and loves,
One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off divine event,
To which the whole creation moves.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
883:In Memoriam A. H. H.: 131. O Living Will That Shalt
Endure
O living will that shalt endure
When all that seems shall suffer shock,
Rise in the spiritual rock,
Flow thro' our deeds and make them pure,
That we may lift from out of dust
A voice as unto him that hears,
A cry above the conquer'd years
To one that with us works, and trust,
With faith that comes of self-control,
The truths that never can be proved
Until we close with all we loved,
And all we flow from, soul in soul.-----O true and tried, so well and long,
Demand not thou a marriage lay;
In that it is thy marriage day
Is music more than any song.
Nor have I felt so much of bliss
Since first he told me that he loved
A daughter of our house; nor proved
Since that dark day a day like this;
Tho' I since then have number'd o'er
Some thrice three years: they went and came,
Remade the blood and changed the frame,
And yet is love not less, but more;
No longer caring to embalm
In dying songs a dead regret,
But like a statue solid-set,
And moulded in colossal calm.
Regret is dead, but love is more
Than in the summers that are flown,
For I myself with these have grown
To something greater than before;
249
Which makes appear the songs I made
As echoes out of weaker times,
As half but idle brawling rhymes,
The sport of random sun and shade.
But where is she, the bridal flower,
That must be made a wife ere noon?
She enters, glowing like the moon
Of Eden on its bridal bower:
On me she bends her blissful eyes
And then on thee; they meet thy look
And brighten like the star that shook
Betwixt the palms of paradise.
O when her life was yet in bud,
He too foretold the perfect rose.
For thee she grew, for thee she grows
For ever, and as fair as good.
And thou art worthy; full of power;
As gentle; liberal-minded, great,
Consistent; wearing all that weight
Of learning lightly like a flower.
But now set out: the noon is near,
And I must give away the bride;
She fears not, or with thee beside
And me behind her, will not fear.
For I that danced her on my knee,
That watch'd her on her nurse's arm,
That shielded all her life from harm
At last must part with her to thee;
Now waiting to be made a wife,
Her feet, my darling, on the dead;
Their pensive tablets round her head,
And the most living words of life
Breathed in her ear. The ring is on,
250
The "wilt thou" answer'd, and again
The "wilt thou" ask'd, till out of twain
Her sweet "I will" has made you one.
Now sign your names, which shall be read,
Mute symbols of a joyful morn,
By village eyes as yet unborn;
The names are sign'd, and overhead
Begins the clash and clang that tells
The joy to every wandering breeze;
The blind wall rocks, and on the trees
The dead leaf trembles to the bells.
O happy hour, and happier hours
Await them. Many a merry face
Salutes them--maidens of the place,
That pelt us in the porch with flowers.
O happy hour, behold the bride
With him to whom her hand I gave.
They leave the porch, they pass the grave
That has to-day its sunny side.
To-day the grave is bright for me,
For them the light of life increased,
Who stay to share the morning feast,
Who rest to-night beside the sea.
Let all my genial spirits advance
To meet and greet a whiter sun;
My drooping memory will not shun
The foaming grape of eastern France.
It circles round, and fancy plays,
And hearts are warm'd and faces bloom,
As drinking health to bride and groom
We wish them store of happy days.
Nor count me all to blame if I
Conjecture of a stiller guest,
Perchance, perchance, among the rest,
251
And, tho' in silence, wishing joy.
But they must go, the time draws on,
And those white-favour'd horses wait;
They rise, but linger; it is late;
Farewell, we kiss, and they are gone.
A shade falls on us like the dark
From little cloudlets on the grass,
But sweeps away as out we pass
To range the woods, to roam the park,
Discussing how their courtship grew,
And talk of others that are wed,
And how she look'd, and what he said,
And back we come at fall of dew.
Again the feast, the speech, the glee,
The shade of passing thought, the wealth
Of words and wit, the double health,
The crowning cup, the three-times-three,
And last the dance,--till I retire:
Dumb is that tower which spake so loud,
And high in heaven the streaming cloud,
And on the downs a rising fire:
And rise, O moon, from yonder down,
Till over down and over dale
All night the shining vapour sail
And pass the silent-lighted town,
The white-faced halls, the glancing rills,
And catch at every mountain head,
And o'er the friths that branch and spread
252
Their sleeping silver thro' the hills;
And touch with shade the bridal doors,
With tender gloom the roof, the wall;
And breaking let the splendour fall
To spangle all the happy shores
By which they rest, and ocean sounds,
And, star and system rolling past,
A soul shall draw from out the vast
And strike his being into bounds,
And, moved thro' life of lower phase,
Result in man, be born and think,
And act and love, a closer link
Betwixt us and the crowning race
Of those that, eye to eye, shall look
On knowledge; under whose command
Is Earth and Earth's, and in their hand
Is Nature like an open book;
No longer half-akin to brute,
For all we thought and loved and did,
And hoped, and suffer'd, is but seed
Of what in them is flower and fruit;
Whereof the man, that with me trod
This planet, was a noble type
Appearing ere the times were ripe,
That friend of mine who lives in God,
That God, which ever lives and loves,
One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off divine event,
253
To which the whole creation moves.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson,
884:Song Of The Future
'Tis strange that in a land so strong
So strong and bold in mighty youth,
We have no poet's voice of truth
To sing for us a wondrous song.
Our chiefest singer yet has sung
In wild, sweet notes a passing strain,
All carelessly and sadly flung
To that dull world he thought so vain.
"I care for nothing, good nor bad,
My hopes are gone, my pleasures fled,
I am but sifting sand," he said:
What wonder Gordon's songs were sad!
And yet, not always sad and hard;
In cheerful mood and light of heart
He told the tale of Britomarte,
And wrote the Rhyme of Joyous Garde.
And some have said that Nature's face
To us is always sad; but these
Have never felt the smiling grace
Of waving grass and forest trees
On sunlit plains as wide as seas.
"A land where dull Despair is king
O'er scentless flowers and songless bird!"
But we have heard the bell-birds ring
Their silver bells at eventide,
Like fairies on the mountain side,
The sweetest note man ever heard.
The wild thrush lifts a note of mirth;
The bronzewing pigeons call and coo
Beside their nests the long day through;
The magpie warbles clear and strong
A joyous, glad, thanksgiving song,
For all God's mercies upon earth.
277
And many voices such as these
Are joyful sounds for those to tell,
Who know the Bush and love it well,
With all its hidden mysteries.
We cannot love the restless sea,
That rolls and tosses to and fro
Like some fierce creature in its glee;
For human weal or human woe
It has no touch of sympathy.
For us the bush is never sad:
Its myriad voices whisper low,
In tones the bushmen only know,
Its sympathy and welcome glad.
For us the roving breezes bring
From many a blossum-tufted tree -Where wild bees murmur dreamily -The honey-laden breath of Spring.
We have our tales of other days,
Good tales the northern wanderers tell
When bushmen meet and camp-fires blaze,
And round the ring of dancing light
The great, dark bush with arms of night
Folds every hearer in its spell.
We have our songs -- not songs of strife
And hot blood spilt on sea and land;
But lilts that link achievement grand
To honest toil and valiant life.
Lift ye your faces to the sky
Ye barrier mountains in the west
Who lie so peacefully at rest
Enshrouded in a haze of blue;
'Tis hard to feel that years went by
Before the pioneers broke through
Your rocky heights and walls of stone,
And made your secrets all their own.
278
For years the fertile Western plains
Were hid behind your sullen walls,
Your cliffs and crags and waterfalls
All weatherworn with tropic rains.
Between the mountains and the sea
Like Israelites with staff in hand,
The people waited restlessly:
They looked towards the mountains old
And saw the sunsets come and go
With gorgeous golden afterglow,
That made the West a fairyland,
And marvelled what that West might be
Of which such wondrous tales were told.
For tales were told of inland seas
Like sullen oceans, salt and dead,
And sandy deserts, white and wan,
Where never trod the foot of man,
Nor bird went winging overhead,
Nor ever stirred a gracious breeze
To wake the silence with its breath -A land of loneliness and death.
At length the hardy pioneers
By rock and crag found out the way,
And woke with voices of today
A silence kept for years and tears.
Upon the Western slope they stood
And saw -- a wide expanse of plain
As far as eye could stretch or see
Go rolling westward endlessly.
The native grasses, tall as grain,
Bowed, waved and rippled in the breeze;
From boughs of blossom-laden trees
The parrots answered back again.
They saw the land that it was good,
A land of fatness all untrod,
And gave their silent thanks to God.
279
The way is won! The way is won!
And straightway from the barren coast
There came a westward-marching host,
That aye and ever onward prest
With eager faces to the West,
Along the pathway of the sun.
The mountains saw them marching by:
They faced the all-consuming drought,
They would not rest in settled land:
But, taking each his life in hand,
Their faces ever westward bent
Beyond the farthest settlement,
Responding to the challenge cry
of "better country farther out".
And lo, a miracle! the land
But yesterday was all unknown,
The wild man's boomerang was thrown
Where now great busy cities stand.
It was not much, you say, that these
Should win their way where none withstood;
In sooth there was not much of blood -No war was fought between the seas.
It was not much! but we who know
The strange capricious land they trod -At times a stricken, parching sod,
At times with raging floods beset -Through which they found their lonely way
Are quite content that you should say
It was not much, while we can feel
That nothing in the ages old,
In song or story written yet
On Grecian urn or Roman arch,
Though it should ring with clash of steel,
Could braver histories unfold
Than this bush story, yet untold -The story of their westward march.
280
But times are changed, and changes rung
From old to new -- the olden days,
The old bush life and all its ways,
Are passing from us all unsung.
The freedom, and the hopeful sense
Of toil that brought due recompense,
Of room for all, has passed away,
And lies forgotten with the dead.
Within our streets men cry for bread
In cities built but yesterday.
About us stretches wealth of land,
A boundless wealth of virgin soil
As yet unfruitful and untilled!
Our willing workmen, strong and skilled,
Within our cities idle stand,
And cry aloud for leave to toil.
The stunted children come and go
In squalid lanes and alleys black:
We follow but the beaten track
Of other nations, and we grow
In wealth for some -- for many, woe.
And it may be that we who live
In this new land apart, beyond
The hard old world grown fierce and fond
And bound by precedent and bond,
May read the riddle right, and give
New hope to those who dimly see
That all things yet shall be for good,
And teach the world at length to be
One vast united brotherhood.
So may it be! and he who sings
In accents hopeful, clear, and strong,
The glories which that future brings
Shall sing, indeed, a wondrous song.
~ Banjo Paterson,
885:The Trenches
All night long, it has seemed for many years,
We have heard the terrible sound of guns,
All night long we have lain and watched the calm stars.
We cannot sleep, though we are tired,
The sound of guns is in our ears,
We are growing old and grey,
We have forgotten many simple things.
Is this you? Is this I?
Will the word come to charge today?...
All night long, all night long,
We listen and cannot close our eyes,
We see the ring of violet flashes
Endlessly darting against the skies,
We feel the firm earth shake beneath us,
And all the world we have walked upon
Crumbles to nothing, crumbles to chaos,
Crumbles to incoherent dust;
Till it seems we can never walk again,
That it is foolish to have feet, foolish to be men,
Foolish to think, foolish to have such brains,
And useless to remember
The world we came from,
The world we never shall see again ...
All night long we lie this way,
We cannot talk, I look to see what you are thinking,
And you, and you,We are all thinking, 'Will it come to-day?'
Get your bayonets ready, thenSee that they are sharp and bright,
See that they h ave thirsty edges,
Remember that we are savage men,
Motherless men who have no past ...
Nothing of beauty to call to mind,
No tenderness to stay our hands ...
... We are tired, we have thought all this before,
We have seen it all and thought it all,
Our thumbs are calloused with feeling the bayonet's edge,
We have known it all and felt it all
308
Till we can know no more.
II
All night long we lie
Stupidly watching the smoke puff over the sky,
Stupidly watching the interminable stars
Come out again, peaceful and cold and high,
Swim into the smoke again, or melt in a flare of red ...
All night long, all night long,
Hearing the terrible battle of guns,
We think we shall soon be dead,
We sleep for a second, and wake again,
We dream we are filling pans and baking bread,
Or hoeing the witch-grass out of the wheat,
We dream we are turning lathes,
Or open our shops, in the early morning,
And look for a moment along the quiet street ...
And we do not laugh, though it is strange
In a harrowing second of time
To traverse so many worlds, so many ages,
And come to this chaos again,
This vast symphonic dance of death,
This incoherent dust.
III
We are growing old, we are older than the stars:
You whom I knew a moment ago
Have walked through ages of silence since then,
Memory is forsaking me,
I no longer know
If we are one or two or the blades of grass ...
All night long, lying together,
We think in caverns of dreadful sound,
We grope among falling boulders,
We are overtaken and crushed, we rise once more,
Performing, wearily,
The senseless things we have performed so often before.
Yesterday is coming again,
Yesterday and the day before,
And a million others, all alike, one by one,
Sulphurous clouds and a red sun,
Sulphurous clouds and a yellow moon,
And a cold drizzle of endless rain
Driving across them, wetting the barrels of guns,
309
Dripping, soaking, pattering, slipping,
Chilling our hands, numbing our feet,
Glistening on our chins.
And then, all over again, after grey ages,
Sulphurous clouds and a red sun,
Sulphurous clouds and a yellow moon ...
I had my childhood once, now I have children,
A boy who is learning to read, a girl who is learning to sew,
And my wife has brown hair and blue eyes ...
Our parapet is blown away,
Blown away by a gust of sound,
Dust is falling upon us, blood is dripping upon us,
We are standing somewhere between earth and stars,
Not knowing if we are alive or dead ...
All night long it is so,
All night long we hear the guns, and do not know
If the word will come to charge to-day.
IV
It will be like that other chargeWe will climb out and run
Yelling like madmen in the sun
Running stiffly on the scorched dust
Hardly hearing our voices
Running after the man who points with his hand
At a certain shattered tree,
Running through sheets of fire like idiots,
Sometimes falling, sometimes rising.
I will not remember, then,
How I walked by a hedge of wild roses,
And shook the dew off, with my sleeve,
I will not remember
The shape of my sweetheart's mouth, but with other things
Ringing like anvils in my brain
I will run, I will die, I will forget.
I will hear nothing, and forget ...
I will remember that we are savage men,
Motherless men who have no past,
Nothing of beauty to call to mind
No tenderness to stay our hands ...
We are tired, we have thought all this before,
We have seen it all, and thought it all.
310
We have tried to forget, we have tried to change,
We have struggled to climb an invisible wall,
But if we should climb it, could we ever return?
We have known it all, and felt it all
Till we can know no more ...
Let us climb out and end it, then,
Lest it become immortal.
Let us climb out and end it, then,
Just for the change ...
This is the same night, still, and you, and I,
Struggling to keep our feet in a chaos of sound.
And the same puff of smoke
Passes, to leave the same stars in the sky.
VI
Out there, in the moonlight,
How still in the grass they lie,
Those who panted beside us, or stumbled before us,
Those who yelled like madmen and ran at the sun,
Flinging their guns before them.
One of them stares all day at the sky
As if he had seen some strange thing there,
One of them tightly holds his gun
As if he dreaded a danger there,
One of them stoops above his friend,
By moon and sun we see him there.
One of them saw white cottage walls
With purple clematis flowers and leaves,
And heard through trees his waterfalls
And whistled under the eaves;
One of them walked on yellow sand
And watched a young girl gathering shellsOnce, a white wave caught her hand ...
One of them heard how certain bells
Chimed in a valley, mellow and slow,
Just as he turned to go ...
VII
All night long, all night long,
We see them and do not remember them,
We hear the terrible sounds of guns,
We see the white rays darting and darting,
We are beaten down and crawl to our feet,
We wipe the dirt from mouths and eyes,
311
Dust-coloured animals creeping in dust,
Animals stupefied by sound;
We are beaten down, and some of us rise,
And some become a part of the ground,
But what do we care? We never knew them,
Or if we did it was long ago ...
Night will end in a year or so,
We look at each other as if to say,
Across the void of time between us,
'Will the word come to-day?'
~ Conrad Potter Aiken,
886:Part I: Visions In The Smoke
Rest, and be thankful ! On the verge
Of the tall cliff rugged and grey,
But whose granite base the breakers surge,
And shiver their frothy spray,
Outstretched, I gaze on the eddying wreath
That gathers and flits away,
With the surf beneath, and between my teeth
The stem of the 'ancient clay'.
With the anodyne cloud on my listless eyes,
With its spell on my dreamy brain,
As I watch the circling vapours rise
From the brown bowl up to the sullen skies.
My vision becomes more plain,
Till a dim kaleidoscope succeeds
Through the smoke-rack drifting and veering,
Like ghostly riders on phantom steeds
To a shadowy goal careering.
In their own generation the wise may sneer,
They hold our sports in derision ;
Perchance to sophist, or sage, or seer,
Were allotted a graver vision.
Yet if man, of all the Creator plann'd,
His noblest work is reckoned,
Of the works of His hand, by sea or by land,
The horse may at least rank second.
Did they quail, those steeds of the squadrons light,
Did they flinch from the battle's roar,
When they burst on the guns of the Muscovite,
By the echoing Black Sea shore ?
On ! on ! to the cannon's mouth they stride,
With never a swerve nor a shy,
Oh ! the minutes of yonder maddening ride,
Long years of pleasure outvie !
No slave, but a comrade staunch, in this,
Is the horse, for he takes his share,
207
Not in peril alone, but in feverish bliss,
And in longing to do and dare.
Where bullets whistle, and round shot whiz,
Hoofs trample, and blades flash bare,
God send me an ending as fair as his
Who died in his stirrups there !
The wind has slumbered throughout the day,
Now a fitful gust springs over the bay,
My wandering thoughts no longer stray,
I'll fix my overcoat buttons ;
Secure my old hat as best I may
(And a shocking bad one it is, by the way),
Blow a denser cloud from my stunted clay,
And then, friend Bell, as the Frenchmen say,
We'll 'go back again to our muttons'.
There's a lull in the tumult on yonder hill,
And the clamour has grown less loud,
Though the Babel of tongues is never still,
With the presence of such a crowd.
The bell has rung. With their riders up
At the starting post they muster,
The racers stripp'd for the 'Melbourne Cup',
All gloss and polish and lustre ;
And the course is seen, with its emerald sheen,
By the bright spring-tide renew'd,
Like a ribbon of green, stretched out between
The ranks of the multitude.
The flag is lowered. 'They're off !' 'They come !'
The squadron is sweeping on ;
A sway in the crowd—a murmuring hum !
'They're here !' 'They're past !' 'They're gone !'
They came with the rush of the southern surf,
On the bar of the storm-girt bay ;
And like muffled drums on the sounding turf
Their hoof-strokes echo away.
The rose and black draws clear of the ruck,
And the murmur swells to a roar,
As the brave old colours that never were struck,
208
Are seen with the lead once more.
Though the feathery ferns and grasses wave
O'er the sod where Lantern sleeps,
Though the turf is green on Fisherman's grave,
The stable its prestige keeps.
Six lengths in front she scours along,
She's bringing the field to trouble ;
She's tailing them off, she's running strong,
She shakes her head and pulls double.
Now Minstrel falters and Exile flags,
The Barb finds the pace too hot,
And Toryboy loiters, and Playboy lags,
And the bolt of Ben Bolt is shot.
That she never may be caught this day,
Is the worst that the public wish her.
She won't be caught ; she comes right away ;
Hurrah for Seagull and Fisher ;
See, Strop falls back, though his reins are slack,
Sultana begins to tire,
And the top-weight tells on the Sydney crack,
And the pace on 'the Gippsland flyer'.
The rowels, as round the turn they sweep,
Just graze Tim Whiffler's flanks ;
Like the hunted deer that flies through the sheep,
He strides through the beaten ranks.
Daughter of Omen, prove your birth,
The colt will take lots of choking ;
The hot breath steams at your saddle girth,
From his scarlet nostril smoking.
The shouts of the Ring for a space subside,
And slackens the bookmaker's roar ;
Now, Davis, rally ; now, Carter, ride,
As man never rode before.
When Sparrowhawk's backers cease to cheer,
When Yattendon's friends are dumb,
When hushed is the clamour for Volunteer—
Alone in the race they come !
209
They're neck and neck ; they're head and head ;
They're stroke for stroke in the running ;
The whalebone whistles, the steel is red,
No shirking as yet nor shunning.
One effort, Seagull, the blood you boast
Should struggle when nerves are strained ;—
With a rush on the post, by a neck at the most,
The verdict for Tim is gained.
Tim Whiffler wins. Is blood alone
The sine qua non for a flyer ?
The breed of his dam is a myth unknown,
And we've doubts respecting his sire.
Yet few (if any) those proud names are,
On the pages of peerage or stud,
In whose 'scutcheon lurks no sinister bar,
No taint of the base black blood.
Aye, Shorthouse, laugh—laugh loud and long,
For pedigree you're a sticker ;
You may be right, I may be wrong,
Wiseacres both ! Let's liquor.
Our common descent we may each recall
To a lady of old caught tripping,
The fair one in fig leaves, who d——d us all
For a bite at a golden pippin.
When first on this rocky ledge I lay,
There was scarce a ripple in yonder bay,
The air was serenely still ;
Each column that sailed from my swarthy clay
Hung loitering long ere it passed away,
Though the skies wore a tinge of leaden grey,
And the atmosphere was chill.
But the red sun sank to his evening shroud,
Where the western billows are roll'd
Behind a curtain of sable cloud,
With a fringe of scarlet and gold ;
There's a misty glare in the yellow moon,
And the drift is scudding fast,
There'll be storm, and rattle, and tempest soon,
When the heavens are overcast.
210
The neutral tint of the sullen sea
Is fleck'd with the snowy foam,
And the distant gale sighs drearilie,
As the wanderer sighs for his home.
The white sea-horses toss their manes
On the bar of the southern reef,
And the breakers moan, and—by Jove, it rains
(I thought I should come to grief) ;
Though it can't well damage my shabby hat,
Though my coat looks best when it's damp ;
Since the shaking I got (no matter where at),
I've a mortal dread of the cramp.
My matches are wet, my pipe's put out,
And the wind blows colder and stronger ;
I'll be stiff, and sore, and sorry, no doubt,
If I lie here any longer.
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
887:
Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos;
Sedjuvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis.
(Martial, Epigrams 12.84)

What dire offence from am'rous causes springs,
What mighty contests rise from trivial things,
I singThis verse to Caryl, Muse! is due:
This, ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view:
Slight is the subject, but not so the praise,
If she inspire, and he approve my lays.

   Say what strange motive, Goddess! could compel
A well-bred lord t' assault a gentle belle?
O say what stranger cause, yet unexplor'd,
Could make a gentle belle reject a lord?
In tasks so bold, can little men engage,
And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage?

   Sol thro' white curtains shot a tim'rous ray,
And op'd those eyes that must eclipse the day;
Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake,
And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake:
Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground,
And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound.
Belinda still her downy pillow press'd,
Her guardian sylph prolong'd the balmy rest:
'Twas he had summon'd to her silent bed
The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head;
A youth more glitt'ring than a birthnight beau,
(That ev'n in slumber caus'd her cheek to glow)
Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay,
And thus in whispers said, or seem'd to say.

   "Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care
Of thousand bright inhabitants of air!
If e'er one vision touch'd thy infant thought,
Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught,
Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen,
The silver token, and the circled green,
Or virgins visited by angel pow'rs,
With golden crowns and wreaths of heav'nly flow'rs,
Hear and believe! thy own importance know,
Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.
Some secret truths from learned pride conceal'd,
To maids alone and children are reveal'd:
What tho' no credit doubting wits may give?
The fair and innocent shall still believe.
Know then, unnumber'd spirits round thee fly,
The light militia of the lower sky;
These, though unseen, are ever on the wing,
Hang o'er the box, and hover round the Ring.
Think what an equipage thou hast in air,
And view with scorn two pages and a chair.
As now your own, our beings were of old,
And once inclos'd in woman's beauteous mould;
Thence, by a soft transition, we repair
From earthly vehicles to these of air.
Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled,
That all her vanities at once are dead;
Succeeding vanities she still regards,
And tho' she plays no more, o'erlooks the cards.
Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive,
And love of ombre, after death survive.
For when the fair in all their pride expire,
To their first elements their souls retire:
The sprites of fiery termagants in flame
Mount up, and take a Salamander's name.
Soft yielding minds to water glide away,
And sip with Nymphs, their elemental tea.
The graver prude sinks downward to a Gnome,
In search of mischief still on earth to roam.
The light coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair,
And sport and flutter in the fields of air.

   Know further yet; whoever fair and chaste
Rejects mankind, is by some sylph embrac'd:
For spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease
Assume what sexes and what shapes they please.
What guards the purity of melting maids,
In courtly balls, and midnight masquerades,
Safe from the treach'rous friend, the daring spark,
The glance by day, the whisper in the dark,
When kind occasion prompts their warm desires,
When music softens, and when dancing fires?
'Tis but their sylph, the wise celestials know,
Though honour is the word with men below.

   Some nymphs there are, too conscious of their face,
For life predestin'd to the gnomes' embrace.
These swell their prospects and exalt their pride,
When offers are disdain'd, and love denied:
Then gay ideas crowd the vacant brain,
While peers, and dukes, and all their sweeping train,
And garters, stars, and coronets appear,
And in soft sounds 'Your Grace' salutes their ear.
'Tis these that early taint the female soul,
Instruct the eyes of young coquettes to roll,
Teach infant cheeks a bidden blush to know,
And little hearts to flutter at a beau.

   Oft, when the world imagine women stray,
The Sylphs through mystic mazes guide their way,
Thro' all the giddy circle they pursue,
And old impertinence expel by new.
What tender maid but must a victim fall
To one man's treat, but for another's ball?
When Florio speaks, what virgin could withstand,
If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand?
With varying vanities, from ev'ry part,
They shift the moving toyshop of their heart;
Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots sword-knots strive,
Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive.
This erring mortals levity may call,
Oh blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all.

   Of these am I, who thy protection claim,
A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name.
Late, as I rang'd the crystal wilds of air,
In the clear mirror of thy ruling star
I saw, alas! some dread event impend,
Ere to the main this morning sun descend,
But Heav'n reveals not what, or how, or where:
Warn'd by the Sylph, oh pious maid, beware!
This to disclose is all thy guardian can.
Beware of all, but most beware of man!"

   He said; when Shock, who thought she slept too long,
Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue.
'Twas then, Belinda, if report say true,
Thy eyes first open'd on a billet-doux;
Wounds, charms, and ardors were no sooner read,
But all the vision vanish'd from thy head.

   And now, unveil'd, the toilet stands display'd,
Each silver vase in mystic order laid.
First, rob'd in white, the nymph intent adores
With head uncover'd, the cosmetic pow'rs.
A heav'nly image in the glass appears,
To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears;
Th' inferior priestess, at her altar's side,
Trembling, begins the sacred rites of pride.
Unnumber'd treasures ope at once, and here
The various off'rings of the world appear;
From each she nicely culls with curious toil,
And decks the goddess with the glitt'ring spoil.
This casket India's glowing gems unlocks,
And all Arabia breathes from yonder box.
The tortoise here and elephant unite,
Transform'd to combs, the speckled and the white.
Here files of pins extend their shining rows,
Puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet-doux.
Now awful beauty puts on all its arms;
The fair each moment rises in her charms,
Repairs her smiles, awakens ev'ry grace,
And calls forth all the wonders of her face;
Sees by degrees a purer blush arise,
And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes.
The busy Sylphs surround their darling care;
These set the head, and those divide the hair,
Some fold the sleeve, whilst others plait the gown;
And Betty's prais'd for labours not her own.
~ Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock
,
888:The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 1
Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos;
Sedjuvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis.
(Martial, Epigrams 12.84)
What dire offence from am'rous causes springs,
What mighty contests rise from trivial things,
I sing--This verse to Caryl, Muse! is due:
This, ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view:
Slight is the subject, but not so the praise,
If she inspire, and he approve my lays.
Say what strange motive, Goddess! could compel
A well-bred lord t' assault a gentle belle?
O say what stranger cause, yet unexplor'd,
Could make a gentle belle reject a lord?
In tasks so bold, can little men engage,
And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage?
Sol thro' white curtains shot a tim'rous ray,
And op'd those eyes that must eclipse the day;
Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake,
And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake:
Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground,
And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound.
Belinda still her downy pillow press'd,
Her guardian sylph prolong'd the balmy rest:
'Twas he had summon'd to her silent bed
The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head;
A youth more glitt'ring than a birthnight beau,
(That ev'n in slumber caus'd her cheek to glow)
Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay,
And thus in whispers said, or seem'd to say.
"Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care
Of thousand bright inhabitants of air!
If e'er one vision touch'd thy infant thought,
Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught,
Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen,
The silver token, and the circled green,
Or virgins visited by angel pow'rs,
With golden crowns and wreaths of heav'nly flow'rs,
221
Hear and believe! thy own importance know,
Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.
Some secret truths from learned pride conceal'd,
To maids alone and children are reveal'd:
What tho' no credit doubting wits may give?
The fair and innocent shall still believe.
Know then, unnumber'd spirits round thee fly,
The light militia of the lower sky;
These, though unseen, are ever on theg,
Hang o'er the box, and hover round the Ring.
Think what an equipage thou hast in air,
And view with scorn two pages and a chair.
As now your own, our beings were of old,
And once inclos'd in woman's beauteous mould;
Thence, by a soft transition, we repair
From earthly vehicles to these of air.
Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled,
That all her vanities at once are dead;
Succeeding vanities she still regards,
And tho' she plays no more, o'erlooks the cards.
Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive,
And love of ombre, after death survive.
For when the fair in all their pride expire,
To their first elements their souls retire:
The sprites of fiery termagants in flame
Mount up, and take a Salamander's name.
Soft yielding minds to water glide away,
And sip with Nymphs, their elemental tea.
The graver prude sinks downward to a Gnome,
In search of mischief still on earth to roam.
The light coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair,
And sport and flutter in the fields of air.
Know further yet; whoever fair and chaste
Rejects mankind, is by some sylph embrac'd:
For spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease
Assume what sexes and what shapes they please.
What guards the purity of melting maids,
In courtly balls, and midnight masquerades,
Safe from the treach'rous friend, the daring spark,
The glance by day, the whisper in the dark,
When kind occasion prompts their warm desires,
222
When music softens, and when dancing fires?
'Tis but their sylph, the wise celestials know,
Though honour is the word with men below.
Some nymphs there are, too conscious of their face,
For life predestin'd to the gnomes' embrace.
These swell their prospects and exalt their pride,
When offers are disdain'd, and love denied:
Then gay ideas crowd the vacant brain,
While peers, and dukes, and all their sweeping train,
And garters, stars, and coronets appear,
And in soft sounds 'Your Grace' salutes their ear.
'Tis these that early taint the female soul,
Instruct the eyes of young coquettes to roll,
Teach infant cheeks a bidden blush to know,
And little hearts to flutter at a beau.
Oft, when the world imagine women stray,
The Sylphs through mystic mazes guide their way,
Thro' all the giddy circle they pursue,
And old impertinence expel by new.
What tender maid but must a victim fall
To one man's treat, but for another's ball?
When Florio speaks, what virgin could withstand,
If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand?
With varying vanities, from ev'ry part,
They shift the moving toyshop of their heart;
Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots sword-knots strive,
Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive.
This erring mortals levity may call,
Oh blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all.
Of these am I, who thy protection claim,
A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name.
Late, as I rang'd the crystal wilds of air,
In the clear mirror of thy ruling star
I saw, alas! some dread event impend,
Ere to the main this morning sun descend,
But Heav'n reveals not what, or how, or where:
Warn'd by the Sylph, oh pious maid, beware!
This to disclose is all thy guardian can.
223
Beware of all, but most beware of man!"
He said; when Shock, who thought she slept too long,
Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue.
'Twas then, Belinda, if report say true,
Thy eyes first open'd on a billet-doux;
Wounds, charms, and ardors were no sooner read,
But all the vision vanish'd from thy head.
And now, unveil'd, the toilet stands display'd,
Each silver vase in mystic order laid.
First, rob'd in white, the nymph intent adores
With head uncover'd, the cosmetic pow'rs.
A heav'nly image in the glass appears,
To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears;
Th' inferior priestess, at her altar's side,
Trembling, begins the sacred rites of pride.
Unnumber'd treasures ope at once, and here
The various off'rings of the world appear;
From each she nicely culls with curious toil,
And decks the goddess with the glitt'ring spoil.
This casket India's glowing gems unlocks,
And all Arabia breathes from yonder box.
The tortoise here and elephant unite,
Transform'd to combs, the speckled and the white.
Here files of pins extend their shining rows,
Puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet-doux.
Now awful beauty puts on all its arms;
The fair each moment rises in her charms,
Repairs her smiles, awakens ev'ry grace,
And calls forth all the wonders of her face;
Sees by degrees a purer blush arise,
And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes.
The busy Sylphs surround their darling care;
These set the head, and those divide the hair,
Some fold the sleeve, whilst others plait the gown;
And Betty's prais'd for labours not her own.
~ Alexander Pope,
889:The River
It is a venerable place,
An old ancestral ground,
So broad, the rainbow wholly stands
Within its lordly bound;
And here the river waits and winds
By many a wooded mound.
Upon a rise, where single oaks
And clumps of beeches tall
Drop pleasantly their shade beneath,
Half-hid amidst them all,
Stands in its quiet dignity
An ancient manor-hall.
About its many gable-ends
The swallows wheel their flight;
The huge fantastic weather-vanes
Look happy in the light;
The warm front through the foliage gleams,
A comfortable sight.
The ivied turrets seem to love
The low, protected leas;
And, though this manor-hall hath seen
The snow of centuries,
How freshly still it stands amid
Its wealth of swelling trees!
The leafy summer-time is young;
The yearling lambs are strong;
The sunlight glances merrily;
The trees are full of song;
The valley-loving river flows
Contentedly along.
Look where the merry weather-vanes
Veer upon yonder tower:
There, amid starry jessamine
And clasping passion-flower,
The sweetest Maid of all the land
Is weeping in her bower.
Alas, the lowly Youth she loves
Loves her, but fears to sue:
He came this morning hurriedly;
195
Then forth her blushes flew!
But he talk'd of common things, and so
Her eyes are fill'd with dew.
Time passes on; the clouds are come;
The river, late so bright,
Rolls foul and black, and gloomily
Makes known across the night,
In far-heard plash and weary drench,
The passage of its might.
The noble Bridegroom counts the hours;
The guests are coming fast;
(The vanes are creaking drearily
Within the dying blast!)
The bashful Bride is at his side;
And night is here at last.
The guests are gay; the minstrels play;
'Tis liker noon than night;
From side to side, they toast the Bride,
Who blushes ruby light:
For one and all within that hall,
It is a cheerful sight.
But unto one, who stands alone,
Among the mists without,
Watching the windows, bright with shapes
Of king and saint devout,
Strangely across the muffled air
Pierces the laughter-shout.
No sound or sight this solemn night
But moves the soul to fear:
The faded saints stare through the gloom,
Askant, and wan, and blear;
And wither'd cheeks of watchful kings
Start from their purple gear.
The burthen of the wedding-song
Comes to him like a wail;
The stream, athwart the cedar-grove,
Is shining ghastly pale:
His cloudy brow clears suddenly!
Dark soul, what does thee ail?
He turns him from the lighted hall;
The pale stream curls and heaves
And moans beyond the gloomy wood,
196
Through which he breaks and cleaves;
And now his footfall dies away
Upon the wither'd leaves.
The restless moon, among the clouds,
Is loitering slowly by;
Now in a circle like the ring
About a weeping eye;
Now left quite bare and bright; and now
A pallor in the sky;
And now she's looking through the mist,
Cold, lustreless, and wan,
And wildly, past her dreary form,
The watery clouds rush on,
A moment white beneath her light,
And then, like spirits, gone.
Silent and fast they hurry past,
Their swiftness striketh dread,
For earth is hush'd, and no breath sweeps
The spider's rainy thread,
And everything, but those pale clouds,
Is dark, and still, and dead.
The lonely stars are here and there,
But weak and wasting all;
The winds are dead, the cedars spread
Their branches like a pall;
The guests, by laughing twos and threes,
Have left the bridal hall.
Beneath the mossy, ivied bridge,
The river slippeth past:
The current deep is still as sleep,
And yet so very fast!
There's something in its quietness
That makes the soul aghast.
No wind is in the willow-tree
That droops above the bank;
The water passes quietly
Beneath the sedges dank;
Yet the willow trembles in the stream,
And the dry reeds talk and clank.
The weak stars swoon; the jagged moon
Is lost in the cloudy air.
No thought of light! save where the wave
197
Sports with a fitful glare.
The dumb and dreadful world is full
Of darkness and night-mare.
The hall-clocks clang; the watch-dog barks.
What are his dreams about?
Marsh lights leap, and tho' fast asleep
The owlets shriek and shout;
The stars, thro' chasms in utter black,
Race like a drunken rout.
‘Wake, wake, oh wake!’ the Bridegroom now
Calls to his sleeping Bride:
‘Alas, I saw thee, pale and dead,
Roll down a frightful tide!’
He takes her hand: ‘How chill thou art!
What is it, sweet my Bride?’
The Bride bethinks her now of him
Who last night was no guest.
‘Sweet Heaven! and for me? I dream!
Be calm, thou throbbing breast.’
She says, in thought, a solemn prayer
And sinks again to rest.
Along, along, swiftly and strong
The river slippeth past;
The current deep is still as sleep,
And yet so very fast!
There's something in its quietness
That makes the soul aghast.
The morn has risen: wildly by
The water glides to-day;
Outspread upon its eddying face,
Long weeds and rushes play;
And on the bank the fungus rots,
And the grass is foul'd with clay.
Time passes on: the park is bare;
The year is scant and lean;
The river's banks are desolate;
The air is chill and keen;
But, now and then, a sunny day
Comes with a thought of green.
Amid blear February's flaw,
Tremulous snowdrops peep;
198
The crocus, in the shrewd March morn,
Starts from its wintry sleep;
The daisies sun themselves in hosts,
Among the pasturing sheep.
The waters, in their old content,
Between fresh margins run;
The pike, as trackless as a sound,
Shoots thro' the current dun;
And languid new-born chestnut-leaves
Expand beneath the sun.
The summer's prime is come again;
The lilies bloom anew;
The current keeps the doubtful past
Deep in its bosom blue,
And babbles low thro' quiet fields
Gray with the falling dew.
The sheep-bell tolls the curfew-time;
The gnats, a busy rout,
Fleck the warm air; the distant owl
Shouteth a sleepy shout;
The voiceless bat, more felt than seen,
Is flitting round about;
The poplar's leaflet scarcely stirs;
The river seems to think;
Across the dusk, the lily broad
Looks coolly from the brink;
And knee-deep in the freshet's fall,
The meek-eyed cattle drink.
The chafers boom; the white moths rise
Like spirits from the ground;
The gray-flies sing their weary tune,
A distant, dream-like sound;
And far, far off, in the slumberous eve,
Bayeth a restless hound.
At this sweet time, the Lady walks
Beside the gentle stream;
She marks the waters curl along,
Beneath the sunset gleam,
And in her soul a sorrow moves,
Like memory of a dream.
She passes on. How still the earth,
And all the air above!
199
Here, where of late the scritch-owl shriek'd,
Whispers the happy dove;
And the river, through the ivied bridge,
Flows calm as household love.
~ Coventry Patmore,
890:Flee On Your Donkey
Because there was no other place
to flee to,
I came back to the scene of the disordered senses,
came back last night at midnight,
arriving in the thick June night
without luggage or defenses,
giving up my car keys and my cash,
keeping only a pack of Salem cigarettes
the way a child holds on to a toy.
I signed myself in where a stranger
puts the inked-in X's—
for this is a mental hospital,
not a child's game.
Today an intern knocks my knees,
testing for reflexes.
Once I would have winked and begged for dope.
Today I am terribly patient.
Today crows play black-jack
on the stethoscope.
Everyone has left me
except my muse,
that good nurse.
She stays in my hand,
a mild white mouse.
The curtains, lazy and delicate,
billow and flutter and drop
like the Victorian skirts
of my two maiden aunts
who kept an antique shop.
Hornets have been sent.
They cluster like floral arrangements on the screen.
Hornets, dragging their thin stingers,
hover outside, all knowing,
hissing: the hornet knows.
I heard it as a child
72
but what was it that he meant?
The hornet knows!
What happened to Jack and Doc and Reggy?
Who remembers what lurks in the heart of man?
What did The Green Hornet mean, he knows?
Or have I got it wrong?
Is it The Shadow who had seen
me from my bedside radio?
Now it's Dinn, Dinn, Dinn!
while the ladies in the next room argue
and pick their teeth.
Upstairs a girl curls like a snail;
in another room someone tries to eat a shoe;
meanwhile an adolescent pads up and down
the hall in his white tennis socks.
A new doctor makes rounds
advertising tranquilizers, insulin, or shock
to the uninitiated.
Six years of such small preoccupations!
Six years of shuttling in and out of this place!
O my hunger! My hunger!
I could have gone around the world twice
or had new children - all boys.
It was a long trip with little days in it
and no new places.
In here,
it's the same old crowd,
the same ruined scene.
The alcoholic arrives with his gold clubs.
The suicide arrives with extra pills sewn
into the lining of her dress.
The permanent guests have done nothing new.
Their faces are still small
like babies with jaundice.
Meanwhile,
they carried out my mother,
wrapped like somebody's doll, in sheets,
bandaged her jaw and stuffed up her holes.
73
My father, too. He went out on the rotten blood
he used up on other women in the Middle West.
He went out, a cured old alcoholic
on crooked feet and useless hands.
He went out calling for his father
who died all by himself long ago that fat banker who got locked up,
his genes suspended like dollars,
wrapped up in his secret,
tied up securely in a straitjacket.
But you, my doctor, my enthusiast,
were better than Christ;
you promised me another world
to tell me who
I was.
I spent most of my time,
a stranger,
damned and in trance—that little hut,
that naked blue-veined place,
my eyes shut on the confusing office,
eyes circling into my childhood,
eyes newly cut.
Years of hints
strung out—a serialized case history—
thirty-three years of the same dull incest
that sustained us both.
You, my bachelor analyst,
who sat on Marlborough Street,
sharing your office with your mother
and giving up cigarettes each New Year,
were the new God,
the manager of the Gideon Bible.
I was your third-grader
with a blue star on my forehead.
In trance I could be any age,
voice, gesture—all turned backward
like a drugstore clock.
Awake, I memorized dreams.
Dreams came into the ring
74
like third string fighters,
each one a bad bet
who might win
because there was no other.
I stared at them,
concentrating on the abyss
the way one looks down into a rock quarry,
uncountable miles down,
my hands swinging down like hooks
to pull dreams up out of their cage.
O my hunger! My hunger!
Once, outside your office,
I collapsed in the old-fashioned swoon
between the illegally parked cars.
I threw myself down,
pretending dead for eight hours.
I thought I had died
into a snowstorm.
Above my head
chains cracked along like teeth
digging their way through the snowy street.
I lay there
like an overcoat
that someone had thrown away.
You carried me back in,
awkwardly, tenderly,
with help of the red-haired secretary
who was built like a lifeguard.
My shoes,
I remember,
were lost in the snowbank
as if I planned never to walk again.
That was the winter
that my mother died,
half mad on morphine,
blown up, at last,
like a pregnant pig.
I was her dreamy evil eye.
In fact,
75
I carried a knife in my pocketbook—
my husband's good L. L. Bean hunting knife.
I wasn't sure if I should slash a tire
or scrape the guts out of some dream.
You taught me
to believe in dreams;
thus I was the dredger.
I held them like an old woman with arthritic fingers,
carefully straining the water out—
sweet dark playthings,
and above all, mysterious
until they grew mournful and weak.
O my hunger! My hunger!
I was the one
who opened the warm eyelid
like a surgeon
and brought forth young girls
to grunt like fish.
I told you,
I said—
but I was lying—
that the knife was for my mother . . .
and then I delivered her.
The curtains flutter out
and slump against the bars.
They are my two thin ladies
named Blanche and Rose.
The grounds outside
are pruned like an estate at Newport.
Far off, in the field,
something yellow grows.
Was it last month or last year
that the ambulance ran like a hearse
with its siren blowing on suicide—
Dinn, dinn, dinn!—
a noon whistle that kept insisting on life
all the way through the traffic lights?
76
I have come back
but disorder is not what it was.
I have lost the trick of it!
The innocence of it!
That fellow-patient in his stovepipe hat
with his fiery joke, his manic smile—
even he seems blurred, small and pale.
I have come back,
recommitted,
fastened to the wall like a bathroom plunger,
held like a prisoner
who was so poor
he fell in love with jail.
I stand at this old window
complaining of the soup,
examining the grounds,
allowing myself the wasted life.
Soon I will raise my face for a white flag,
and when God enters the fort,
I won't spit or gag on his finger.
I will eat it like a white flower.
Is this the old trick, the wasting away,
the skull that waits for its dose
of electric power?
This is madness
but a kind of hunger.
What good are my questions
in this hierarchy of death
where the earth and the stones go
Dinn! Dinn! Dinn!
It is hardly a feast.
It is my stomach that makes me suffer.
Turn, my hungers!
For once make a deliberate decision.
There are brains that rot here
like black bananas.
Hearts have grown as flat as dinner plates.
Anne, Anne,
77
flee on your donkey,
flee this sad hotel,
ride out on some hairy beast,
gallop backward pressing
your buttocks to his withers,
sit to his clumsy gait somehow.
Ride out
any old way you please!
In this place everyone talks to his own mouth.
That's what it means to be crazy.
Those I loved best died of it—
the fool's disease.
~ Anne Sexton,
891:Emily,
A ship is floating in the harbour now,
A wind is hovering o'er the mountain's brow;
There is a path on the sea's azure floor,
No keel has ever plough'd that path before;
The halcyons brood around the foamless isles;
The treacherous Ocean has forsworn its wiles;
The merry mariners are bold and free:
Say, my heart's sister, wilt thou sail with me?
Our bark is as an albatross, whose nest
Is a far Eden of the purple East;
And we between her wings will sit, while Night,
And Day, and Storm, and Calm, pursue their flight,
Our ministers, along the boundless Sea,
Treading each other's heels, unheededly.
It is an isle under Ionian skies,
Beautiful as a wreck of Paradise,
And, for the harbours are not safe and good,
This land would have remain'd a solitude
But for some pastoral people native there,
Who from the Elysian, clear, and golden air
Draw the last spirit of the age of gold,
Simple and spirited; innocent and bold.
The blue Aegean girds this chosen home,
With ever-changing sound and light and foam,
Kissing the sifted sands, and caverns hoar;
And all the winds wandering along the shore
Undulate with the undulating tide:
There are thick woods where sylvan forms abide;
And many a fountain, rivulet and pond,
As clear as elemental diamond,
Or serene morning air; and far beyond,
The mossy tracks made by the goats and deer
(Which the rough shepherd treads but once a year)
Pierce into glades, caverns and bowers, and halls
Built round with ivy, which the waterfalls
Illumining, with sound that never fails
Accompany the noonday nightingales;
And all the place is peopled with sweet airs;
The light clear element which the isle wears
Is heavy with the scent of lemon-flowers,
Which floats like mist laden with unseen showers,
And falls upon the eyelids like faint sleep;
And from the moss violets and jonquils peep
And dart their arrowy odour through the brain
Till you might faint with that delicious pain.
And every motion, odour, beam and tone,
With that deep music is in unison:
Which is a soul within the soul--they seem
Like echoes of an antenatal dream.
It is an isle 'twixt Heaven, Air, Earth and Sea,
Cradled and hung in clear tranquillity;
Bright as that wandering Eden Lucifer,
Wash'd by the soft blue Oceans of young air.
It is a favour'd place. Famine or Blight,
Pestilence, War and Earthquake, never light
Upon its mountain-peaks; blind vultures, they
Sail onward far upon their fatal way:
The wingd storms, chanting their thunder-psalm
To other lands, leave azure chasms of calm
Over this isle, or weep themselves in dew,
From which its fields and woods ever renew
Their green and golden immortality.
And from the sea there rise, and from the sky
There fall, clear exhalations, soft and bright,
Veil after veil, each hiding some delight,
Which Sun or Moon or zephyr draw aside,
Till the isle's beauty, like a naked bride
Glowing at once with love and loveliness,
Blushes and trembles at its own excess:
Yet, like a buried lamp, a Soul no less
Burns in the heart of this delicious isle,
An atom of th' Eternal, whose own smile
Unfolds itself, and may be felt not seen
O'er the gray rocks, blue waves and forests green,
Filling their bare and void interstices.
But the chief marvel of the wilderness
Is a lone dwelling, built by whom or how
None of the rustic island-people know:
'Tis not a tower of strength, though with its height
It overtops the woods; but, for delight,
Some wise and tender Ocean-King, ere crime
Had been invented, in the world's young prime,
Rear'd it, a wonder of that simple time,
An envy of the isles, a pleasure-house
Made sacred to his sister and his spouse.
It scarce seems now a wreck of human art,
But, as it were, Titanic; in the heart
Of Earth having assum'd its form, then grown
Out of the mountains, from the living stone,
Lifting itself in caverns light and high:
For all the antique and learned imagery
Has been eras'd, and in the place of it
The ivy and the wild-vine interknit
The volumes of their many-twining stems;
Parasite flowers illume with dewy gems
The lampless halls, and when they fade, the sky
Peeps through their winter-woof of tracery
With moonlight patches, or star atoms keen,
Or fragments of the day's intense serene;
Working mosaic on their Parian floors.
And, day and night, aloof, from the high towers
And terraces, the Earth and Ocean seem
To sleep in one another's arms, and dream
Of waves, flowers, clouds, woods, rocks, and all that we
Read in their smiles, and call reality.

This isle and house are mine, and I have vow'd
Thee to be lady of the solitude.
And I have fitted up some chambers there
Looking towards the golden Eastern air,
And level with the living winds, which flow
Like waves above the living waves below.
I have sent books and music there, and all
Those instruments with which high Spirits call
The future from its cradle, and the past
Out of its grave, and make the present last
In thoughts and joys which sleep, but cannot die,
Folded within their own eternity.
Our simple life wants little, and true taste
Hires not the pale drudge Luxury to waste
The scene it would adorn, and therefore still,
Nature with all her children haunts the hill.
The ring-dove, in the embowering ivy, yet
Keeps up her love-lament, and the owls flit
Round the evening tower, and the young stars glance
Between the quick bats in their twilight dance;
The spotted deer bask in the fresh moonlight
Before our gate, and the slow, silent night
Is measur'd by the pants of their calm sleep.
Be this our home in life, and when years heap
Their wither'd hours, like leaves, on our decay,
Let us become the overhanging day,
The living soul of this Elysian isle,
Conscious, inseparable, one. Meanwhile
We two will rise, and sit, and walk together,
Under the roof of blue Ionian weather,
And wander in the meadows, or ascend
The mossy mountains, where the blue heavens bend
With lightest winds, to touch their paramour;
Or linger, where the pebble-paven shore,
Under the quick, faint kisses of the sea,
Trembles and sparkles as with ecstasy--
Possessing and possess'd by all that is
Within that calm circumference of bliss,
And by each other, till to love and live
Be one: or, at the noontide hour, arrive
Where some old cavern hoar seems yet to keep
The moonlight of the expir'd night asleep,
Through which the awaken'd day can never peep;
A veil for our seclusion, close as night's,
Where secure sleep may kill thine innocent lights;
Sleep, the fresh dew of languid love, the rain
Whose drops quench kisses till they burn again.
And we will talk, until thought's melody
Become too sweet for utterance, and it die
In words, to live again in looks, which dart
With thrilling tone into the voiceless heart,
Harmonizing silence without a sound.
Our breath shall intermix, our bosoms bound,
And our veins beat together; and our lips
With other eloquence than words, eclipse
The soul that burns between them, and the wells
Which boil under our being's inmost cells,
The fountains of our deepest life, shall be
Confus'd in Passion's golden purity,
As mountain-springs under the morning sun.
We shall become the same, we shall be one
Spirit within two frames, oh! wherefore two?
One passion in twin-hearts, which grows and grew,
Till like two meteors of expanding flame,
Those spheres instinct with it become the same,
Touch, mingle, are transfigur'd; ever still
Burning, yet ever inconsumable:
In one another's substance finding food,
Like flames too pure and light and unimbu'd
To nourish their bright lives with baser prey,
Which point to Heaven and cannot pass away:
One hope within two wills, one will beneath
Two overshadowing minds, one life, one death,
One Heaven, one Hell, one immortality,
And one annihilation. Woe is me!
The winged words on which my soul would pierce
Into the height of Love's rare Universe,
Are chains of lead around its flight of fire--
I pant, I sink, I tremble, I expire!

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Epipsychidion (Excerpt)
,
892:The Peter-Bird
Out of the woods by the creek cometh a calling for Peter,
And from the orchard a voice echoes and echoes it over;
Down in the pasture the sheep hear that strange crying for Peter,
Over the meadows that call is aye and forever repeated.
So let me tell you the tale, when, where, and how it all happened,
And, when the story is told, let us pay heed to the lesson.
Once on a time, long ago, lived in the State of Kentucky
One that was reckoned a witch--full of strange spells and devices;
Nightly she wandered the woods, searching for charms voodooistic-Scorpions, lizards, and herbs, dormice, chameleons, and plantains!
Serpents and caw-caws and bats, screech-owls and crickets and adders-These were the guides of that witch through the dank deeps of the forest.
Then, with her roots and her herbs, back to her cave in the morning
Ambled that hussy to brew spells of unspeakable evil;
And, when the people awoke, seeing that hillside and valley
Sweltered in swathes as of mist--"Look!" they would whisper in terror-"Look! the old witch is at work brewing her spells of great evil!"
Then would they pray till the sun, darting his rays through the vapor,
Lifted the smoke from the earth and baffled the witch's intentions.
One of the boys at that time was a certain young person named Peter,
Given too little to work, given too largely to dreaming;
Fonder of books than of chores, you can imagine that Peter
Led a sad life on the farm, causing his parents much trouble.
"Peter!" his mother would call, "the cream is a'ready for churning!"
"Peter!" his father would cry, "go grub at the weeds in the garden!"
So it was "Peter!" all day--calling, reminding, and chiding-Peter neglected his work; therefore that nagging at Peter!
Peter got hold of some books--how, I'm unable to tell you;
Some have suspected the witch--this is no place for suspicions!
It is sufficient to stick close to the thread of the legend.
Nor is it stated or guessed what was the trend of those volumes;
What thing soever it was--done with a pen and a pencil,
Wrought with a brain, not a hoe--surely 't was hostile to farming!
"Fudge on all readin'!" they quoth; or "that's what's the ruin of
Peter!"
350
So, when the mornings were hot, under the beech or the maple,
Cushioned in grass that was blue, breathing the breath of the blossoms,
Lulled by the hum of the bees, the coo of the ring-doves a-mating,
Peter would frivol his time at reading, or lazing, or dreaming.
"Peter!" his mother would call, "the cream is a'ready for churning!"
"Peter!" his father would cry, "go grub at the weeds in the garden!"
"Peter!" and "Peter!" all day--calling, reminding, and chiding-Peter neglected his chores; therefore that outcry for Peter;
Therefore the neighbors allowed evil would surely befall him-Yes, on account of these things, ruin would come upon Peter!
Surely enough, on a time, reading and lazing and dreaming
Wrought the calamitous ill all had predicted for Peter;
For, of a morning in spring when lay the mist in the valleys-"See," quoth the folk, "how the witch breweth her evil decoctions!
See how the smoke from her fire broodeth on woodland and meadow!
Grant that the sun cometh out to smother the smudge of her caldron!
She hath been forth in the night, full of her spells and devices,
Roaming the marshes and dells for heathenish magical nostrums;
Digging in leaves and at stumps for centipedes, pismires, and spiders,
Grubbing in poisonous pools for hot salamanders and toadstools;
Charming the bats from the flues, snaring the lizards by twilight,
Sucking the scorpion's egg and milking the breast of the adder!"
Peter derided these things held in such faith by the farmer,
Scouted at magic and charms, hooted at Jonahs and hoodoos-Thinking and reading of books must have unsettled his reason!
"There ain't no witches," he cried; "it isn't smoky, but foggy!
I will go out in the wet--you all can't hender me, nuther!"
Surely enough he went out into the damp of the morning,
Into the smudge that the witch spread over woodland and meadow,
Into the fleecy gray pall brooding on hillside and valley.
Laughing and scoffing, he strode into that hideous vapor;
Just as he said he would do, just as he bantered and threatened,
Ere they could fasten the door, Peter had done gone and done it!
Wasting his time over books, you see, had unsettled his reason-Soddened his callow young brain with semi-pubescent paresis,
And his neglect of his chores hastened this evil condition.
Out of the woods by the creek cometh a calling for Peter
351
And from the orchard a voice echoes and echoes it over;
Down in the pasture the sheep hear that shrill crying for Peter,
Up from the spring house the wail stealeth anon like a whisper,
Over the meadows that call is aye and forever repeated.
Such were the voices that whooped wildly and vainly for Peter
Decades and decades ago down in the State of Kentucky-Such are the voices that cry now from the woodland and meadow,
"Peter--O Peter!" all day, calling, reminding, and chiding-Taking us back to the time when Peter he done gone and done it!
These are the voices of those left by the boy in the farmhouse
When, with his laughter and scorn, hatless and bootless and sockless,
Clothed in his jeans and his pride, Peter sailed out in the weather,
Broke from the warmth of his home into that fog of the devil,
Into the smoke of that witch brewing her damnable porridge!
Lo, when he vanished from sight, knowing the evil that threatened,
Forth with importunate cries hastened his father and mother.
"Peter!" they shrieked in alarm, "Peter!" and evermore "Peter!"-Ran from the house to the barn, ran from the barn to the garden,
Ran to the corn-crib anon, then to the smoke-house proceeded;
Henhouse and woodpile they passed, calling and wailing and weeping,
Through the front gate to the road, braving the hideous vapor-Sought him in lane and on pike, called him in orchard and meadow,
Clamoring "Peter!" in vain, vainly outcrying for Peter.
Joining the search came the rest, brothers and sisters and cousins,
Venting unspeakable fears in pitiful wailing for Peter!
And from the neighboring farms gathered the men and the women,
Who, upon hearing the news, swelled the loud chorus for Peter.
Farmers and hussifs and maids, bosses and field-hands and niggers,
Colonels and jedges galore from cornfields and mint-beds and thickets,
All that had voices to voice, all to those parts appertaining,
Came to engage in the search, gathered and bellowed for Peter.
The Taylors, the Dorseys, the Browns, the Wallers, the Mitchells, the
Logans,
The Yenowines, Crittendens, Dukes, the Hickmans, the Hobbses, the Morgans;
The Ormsbys, the Thompsons, the Hikes, the Williamsons, Murrays, and
Hardins,
The Beynroths, the Sherleys, the Hokes, the Haldermans, Harneys, and
Slaughters-All, famed in Kentucky of old for prowess prodigious at farming,
352
Now surged from their prosperous homes to join in that hunt for the
truant,
To ascertain where he was at, to help out the chorus for Peter.
Still on those prosperous farms where heirs and assigns of the people
Specified hereinabove and proved by the records of probate-Still on those farms shall you hear (and still on the turnpikes
adjacent)
That pitiful, petulant call, that pleading, expostulant wailing,
That hopeless, monotonous moan, that crooning and droning for Peter.
Some say the witch in her wrath transmogrified all those good people;
That, wakened from slumber that day by the calling and bawling for Peter,
She out of her cave in a thrice, and, waving the foot of a rabbit
(Crossed with the caul of a coon and smeared with the blood of a chicken),
She changed all those folk into birds and shrieked with demoniac venom:
"Fly away over the land, moaning your Peter forever,
Croaking of Peter, the boy who didn't believe there were hoodoos,
Crooning of Peter, the fool who scouted at stories of witches,
Crying of Peter for aye, forever outcalling for Peter!"
This is the story they tell; so in good sooth saith the legend;
As I have told it to you, so tell the folk and the legend.
That it is true I believe, for on the breezes this morning
Come the shrill voices of birds calling and calling for Peter;
Out of the maple and beech glitter the eyes of the wailers,
Peeping and peering for him who formerly lived in these places-Peter, the heretic lad, lazy and careless and dreaming,
Sorely afflicted with books and with pubescent paresis,
Hating the things of the farm, care of the barn and the garden,
Always neglecting his chores--given to books and to reading,
Which, as all people allow, turn the young person to mischief,
Harden his heart against toil, wean his affections from tillage.
This is the legend of yore told in the state of Kentucky
When in the springtime the birds call from the beeches and maples,
Call from the petulant thorn, call from the acrid persimmon;
When from the woods by the creek and from the pastures and meadows,
When from the spring house and lane and from the mint-bed and orchard,
When from the redbud and gum and from the redolent lilac,
When from the dirt roads and pikes cometh that calling for Peter;
Cometh the dolorous cry, cometh that weird iteration
Of "Peter" and "Peter" for aye, of "Peter" and "Peter" forever!
353
This is the legend of old, told in the tum-titty meter
Which the great poets prefer, being less labor than rhyming
(My first attempt at the same, my last attempt, too, I reckon!);
Nor have I further to say, for the sad story is ended.
~ Eugene Field,
893:The Coming Of The Rauparaha
BLUE, the wreaths of smoke, like drooping banners
From the flaming battlements of sunset
Hung suspended; and within his whare
Hipe, last of Ngatiraukawa's chieftains,
Lay a-dying! Ringed about his death-bed,
Like a palisade of carven figures,
Stood the silent people of the village—
Warriors and women of his hapu—
Waiting. Then a sudden spilth of sunlight
Splashed upon the mountain-peak above them,
And it blossomed redly like a rata.
With his people and the twilight pausing;
Withering to death in regal patience,
Taciturn and grim, lay Hipe dying.
Shuddering and green, a little lizard
Made a ripple through the whare's darkness,
Writhing close to Hipe! Then a whisper
On the women's dry lips hesitated
As the ring of figures fluttered backwards;
“ 'T is the Spirit-Thing that comes to carry
Hipe's tardy soul across the waters
To the world of stars!” And Hipe, grimly,
Felt its hungry eyes a-glitter on him;
Then he knew the spirit-world had called him;
Knew the lizard-messenger must hasten,
And would carry back a soul for answer.
Twenty days in silence he had listened,
Dumb with thoughts of death, and sorely troubled
For his tribe left leaderless and lonely.
Now like sullen thunder from the blackness
Of the whare swept a voice untinctured
With a stain of sickness; and the women,
Breaking backwards, shrieked in sudden terror,
“ 'T is the weird Thing's voice, the greenish lizard,
All-impatient for the soul of Hipe!”
But the warriors in the shadow straightened
Drooping shoulders, gripped their greenstone meres,
And the rhythmic tumult of the war-dance
77
Swept the great pah with its throbbing thunder:
While their glad throats chanted, “E, 't is Hipe!
Hipe's voice that led us in the battle;
Hipe, young, come back to lead us ever!”
“Warriors and women of my hapu,”
Whirled the voice of Hipe from the darkness,
“I have had communion with the spirits;
Listen while I chant the song they taught me!
“I have seen the coming end of all things,
Seen the Maori shattered 'neath the onrush
Of the white-faced strangers. Like the flashing
Of the Sun-God through the ranks of darkness,
Like the Fire-God rippling through the forest,
Like the winter's silent blight of snowflakes—
Lo, the strange outbreak of pallid blossoms!—
Sweeps this surging wave of stranger-faces,
Frothing irresistibly upon us.
“Lo, the Pakeha shall come and conquer;
We have failed; the Gods are angry with us.
See, the withered autumn of our greatness!
“Old ancestral myths and sacred legends
That we deemed immortal—(priest and wizard
Died, and yet their stories, like a river,
Through the long years ran on, ever changeless!)—
Shall be buried; and the names long given
To each hill, and stream, and path and gully,
Shall be like a yesterday forgotten,
Blown like trembling froth before the sea-breeze.
“And the gods that people all our islands—
This great sea of presences immortal,
Living, real, alert for charm or evil,
Hurrying in every breeze, and haunting,
Heavy-winged, the vistas of the forest,
Deluging the daylight with their presence,
Teeming, flooding, brimming in the shadows—
Shall be banished to their spirit-regions,
And the world be lorn of gods and lonely.
“And the Maori shall no long time linger
Ere, a tardy exile, he shall journey
To the under-world. Yet he shall never
Break before this influx, but shall fight on
78
Till, a mangled thing, the tide o'erwhelm him.
And my tribe, the mighty Ngatiraukawa,
Had they left one worthy chieftain only
Who could lead my people on to victory,
Who could follow where my feet have trodden,
Might yet rear their name into a pillar
Carved with fame, until their stubborn story
From the mists of legend broke tremendous.
Flaming through the chilly years to follow
With a sunset-splendour, huge, heroic!
“Yes, the time is yours to rear a nation
From one conquering tribe, the Ngatiraukawa;
But my pah is leaderless and lonely;
I am left, the last of Maori chieftains;
And the gods have called me now to lead them
In their mighty battles! There is no one
Worthy now to wield my dying mana!”
So he ceased, and tremulous the silence
Sighed to voice in one long wail of sorrow.
So; it was the truth that Hipe taught them:
None was left to lead them on to victory;
None could follow where his feet had trodden.
Then by name old Hipe called the chieftains—
Weakling sons of that gaunt wrinkled giant,
Stunted saplings blanching in the shadow
Of the old tree's overarching greatness.
One by one he called them, and they shivered,
For they knew no answer to his question,
“Can you lead my people on to victory?
Can you follow where my feet have trodden?”
One by one a great hope burned within them,
And their feeble hearts beat fast and proudly;
One by one a chill of terror took them,
And the challenge on their lips was frozen.
Then the old chief in his anger chaunted
Frenziedly a song of scorn of all things,
And the frightened people of the village—
Warriors and women of his hapu—
Quavered into murmurs 'neath the whirlwind
Of his lashing words; and then he fretted
79
Into gusts of anger; and the lizard
Made a greenish ripple in the darkness,
Shuddering closer to him. And the people
Bending heard a whisper pass above them,
“Is there none to lead you on to victory,
None to follow where my feet have trodden?”
Lo, a sudden rumour from the edges
Of the silent concourse, where the humblest
Of the village crouched in utter baseness—
There among the outcasts one leapt upright,
Clean-limbed, straight and comely as a sunbeam.
Eager muscles clad in tawny velvet,
Eyes aflash with prescience of his power,
Yet a boy, untried in warriors' warfare,
Virgin to the battle! And untroubled
Rang a daring voice across the darkness,
“Yes, my people, one there is to lead you;
I dare point you on to fame and victory,
I dare tread where Hipe's feet have trodden.
Yea,” and prouder sang the voice above them,
“I can promise mightier fame unending;
I shall lead where Hipe dared not tempt you;
I shall make new footprints through the future—
I, the youth Te Rauparaha, have spoken!”
On the boy who braved them stormed the people,
Swept with fear and anger, and they clamoured,
“Who so proudly speaks, though not a chieftain?
Rank and name and fame he has none; how then
Dare he lead when sons of chieftains falter?”
But the boy leapt forward to the whare,
Clean-limbed, straight and comely as a sunbeam,
Eager muscles clad in tawny velvet,
Eyes aflash with prescience of his power,
Swinging high the mere he had fashioned
Out of wood, and carven like a chieftain's—
Aye, and with the toy had slain a foeman!
Flinging fiery speech out like a hailstorm,
“If ye choose me chieftain I shall lead you
Down to meet the white one on the sea-coast,
Where his hordes shall break like scattered billows
From our wall of meres. Him o'erwhelming,
80
I shall wrest his flaming weapons from him,
Fortify for pah the rugged island
Kapiti; then like a black-hawk swooping
I shall whirl upon the Southern Island,
Sweep it with my name as with a tempest,
Overrun it like the play of sunlight,
Sigh across it like a flame, till Terror
Runs before me shrieking! And our pathway
Shall be sullen red with flames and bloodshed,
And shall moan with massacre and battle!
“Quenching every foe, beneath my mana
Tribe shall stand with tribe, till all my nation
Like a harsh impassive wall of forest
Imperturbably shall front the strangers;
And with frown inscrutable shall wither
All this buzz and stir of stinging insects
That persist about us; then our islands
Garlanded with peace are ours for ever!
“Then the name of me, Te Rauparaha,
And the tribe I lead, the Ngatitoa,
Shall be shrined in sacred myth and legend
With the glamour of our oft-told prowess
Wreathed about them! Think, we shall be saviours
Of a race, a nation! And this island
We have sown so thick with names—each hillock,
Glen and gully, stream and tribal limit—
Shall for ever blossom like a garden
With the liquid softness of their music!
And the flute shall still across the evening
Lilt and waver, brimming with love's yearning!
And the exiled gods and banished spirits
Shall steal back to people all our islands
With their sea of presences immortal,
Living, real, alert for charm or evil,
Hurrying in every breeze and haunting,
Heavy-winged, the vistas of the forest,
Deluging the daylight with their presence,
Teeming, flooding, brimming in the shadows,
Till the world, a tawny world of gladness,
Shall no more of gods be lorn and lonely!
81
I, the youth Te Rauparaha, have spoken!”
Hipe heard, and, dying, cried in triumph,
“Warriors and women of my hapu,
He shall lead you, he, Te Rauparaha!
He shall do the things that he has promised.
He may fail; but think how grand his failure!
He alone can lift against the tempest
That proud head of his, and hugely daring,
God-like, hugely fail, or hugely conquer!”
Still he spoke, but suddenly the lizard
Made a greenish ripple through the darkness,
And was gone! Upon the long lone journey
To Te Reinga and the world of spirits
It had started with the soul of Hipe!
Then the plaintive wailing of the women
Quavered through the darkness, and a shudder
Took the slaves that in a horror waited
For the mercy of the blow to send them—
Ah! the sombre, slowly-stepping phalanx—
To the twilight world with Hipe's spirit.
~ Arthur Henry Adams,
894:The Enchanted Ring
A Tale of Halloween
You ask me for a tale of Halloween?
'Tis well. I lately read a treasure tome
Within whose legend-haunted lone demesne
The free, wild Fancy finds herself at home.
Now, while the night wind wings the starlit dome,
And while the dead leaves eerie converse hold,
Through the rich Conjurer's Kingdom with me roam;
And, wandering there, the story shall be told
Of what befell in Leinster in the days of old.
II
In Leinster in the days of old, I wis,
There was no maiden of the countryside
But on All Hallows (such a night as this!)
In Love's dim chancery her fortune tried.
The bursting nut upon the hearth she plied;
Or, while a lighted candle she would bear,
Gazed in her glass with eyes intent and wide;
Or, with weird mutterings, like a witch's prayer,
She sowed three rows of nothing on the empty air!
III
All rites had little Barbara performed,
Yet nothing did she see, and nothing hear;
Her busy thoughts soon into dreamland swarmed.
The rosy apple lay, untasted, near
For him who, ere another rounded year,
Should taste Love's feast with her. And now the wind
(As on this very night) with sighings drear,
Spake close beneath her latticed window-blind
Such dreamwise things as it hath spoke time out of mind.
IV
16
Why moans our little sister? 'Rest thee, rest!
Fear naught.' Soon careful arms have clasp'd her round,
And a soft cheek against her own is pressed.
For thus, since childhood, Barbara hath found
In mother-love with sister's love upbound,
Swift respite from the terrors of the night.
But now, what sleep so restless, yet so sound,
That not for touch or tone will take its flight,
Or aught at all except the broadcast morning light!
'My precious one, such troubled dreams were thine;
Yet, though I strove, I could not waken thee.'
'Dear mother-sister- dearest sister mineMethought an unknown guide did beckon me
Far, far from here. My will I could not free;
I needs must follow through weald and waste.
Outworn I reached a manor fair to see;
Outworn, alone, through a long hall I paced,
That was with many a speaking, stately portrait graced.
VI
'Then, stilly as a spirit loosed from earth,
I climbed a stair, and to a chamber came,
Rich hung with broidered cloths. Upon the hearth
Dull embers held a little fitful flame.
A sudden trembling ran through all my frame,
When, from amidst those silken hangings rare,
A voice pronounced: 'Reveal thy face and name,
I conjure thee! At least, some token spare
That I may trace thee when thou goest I know not where!'
VII
'It was a grievous and a sinful thingBut over me was sovereign, stern command
I must obey. Thy gift, the birthday ring,
With my own name engraved within the bandThe ring, alas! I drew it from my hand,
17
And laid it on the marble mantel high.
Then died the flame from out the falling brand,
Then were the four walls darkling earth and sky;
And, once again, till dawn a wanderer was I.
VIII
'But, Agatha, thou art not vexed at me?
Thou dost not mourn the ring? 'Twas mine last eve,
This morning it is gone, as thou canst see!'
'Nay, darling, thou no reason hast to grieve:
I may not tell thee why, but I believe
That ere another wingèd year is flown
Some brightest threads for thee will Fortune weave.'
So spake her sister, sage of look and tone,
And held the little, fevered hand within her own.
IX
The Winter long is over in the land,
And mellow is the furrowed soil, and quick
With hopeful promise to the toiler's hand.
He, too, that toils not, leaning on his stick,
Is cheered to see the bean-flowers set so thick,
And thick the blossoms on the orchard bough.
How sweet the air! Hath any soul been sick?
Oh, let that soul drink health from beauty now;
Stand forth beneath the sky; unknit the careworn brow!
'Say, children, if ye guess, what aileth himThe stranger who oft leans beyond the hedge
To see our budding roses? Yet so dim
His eye, he knows them not from ragged sedge!
The black ox's hoof hath trod on him, I pledge
My hopes beyond the grave, he seeketh aye
For that which flees him to the world's far edge!
Come, children, tell me what the gossips say:
Your grandsire nothing hears- the old at home must stay!'
XI
18
Good Agatha replies with playful look:
'Let Barbara speak. And if she be the rose
(To us the sweetest flower in any nookOr tame or wild- that in our Leinster grows)
Hath drawn the stranger to our garden-close,
With what true eye hath he the best discerned.'
(A blush-rose, on the moment, springs and blows!)
'Ay, sister, grandsire, all that I have learned,
I freely tell you; since deceit I always spurned.
XII
'But twice have I had speech with him- no more,
First time he asked a rose, and spake me fair,
I gave it him, so sad a look he wore;
And on he passed, as one who doth not care.
Again, as I was searching everywhere
My bracelet that had fallen to the ground,
He leaped the hedge-row ere I was aware;
And he it was that, searching, quickly found
My bracelet. Surely, I to courtesy was bound.'
XIII
'Ay, surely, child. Your grandsire taught you that,
What said you then?' 'I bade him stay and rest;
And down upon the old oak bench we sat.
He spake of losses- how another's quest
'Twas ever his to aid, for he was blest
With wizard sight, save for the thing he soughtA thing not lost, since never yet possessed;
He had but dreamed of it! I answered naught;
But much, in truth, since then of what he said have thought.'
XIV
By this time closed are the ears of age,
And lid-fast are the eyes. And now, alone,
Spake carelessly good Agatha the sage:
'Great prudence, little Barbe, thou hast shown;
But I have heard the stranger well is known,
19
That gentle is his birth, and the estate
Is broad and fair, which singly he doth own.
'Tis said his health hath suffered much of late;
Wholesome this air; so he prolongs his visit's date.'
XV
Then subtly did fond Agatha contrive:
'Thou dost but a charitable deed,
If from his soul this withering gloom thou drive.
Lightly along the self-same channel lead
Thy talk. Say that thou gav'st his words good heed;
Since back to thee thy bracelet he could bring,
Thou would'st, once more, consult his wizard rede,
For thou hast lost a yet more precious thingThy sister's gift to thee- the name, too, on the ring!'
XVI
'That dare I not- !' broke in the little maid;
'For well thou knowest how the ring was lost,
And all the tricks at Halloween I played.
Alas, those charms were wrought at heavy cost,
To be, as I have been, a homeless ghostA shadow of myself- of self bereft!'
'Then, child, tell only what importeth mostA ring of thine was somewhere lost, or left;
And thou, once more, art fain to seek his counsel deft.'
XVII
The Rose sends challenge to the flower-world all:
What bloom like mint- at once both proud and sweet?
Unstored to the Rose's burning accents fall
Upon the twain within the garden-seat.
Yet, what can make the Rose's color fleet
From a young maiden's cheek- what sudden stress?
What words are these a young man may repeat,
While light springs up in eyes long lustreless?
But come, let us o'erhear- 'twere idle, still to guess?
XVIII
20
It thus had chanced: when came the moment fit,
Full simply little Barbara broached the theme
Directed by her sister's subtler wit:
Since he had found her bracelet, it would seem
A yet mor precious loss he might redeem:
A ring of hers had vanished- left no trace.
So great a wizard might some potent scheme
Devise, to bring it from its hiding-place.'
She lightly spake. Intent, her comrade scanned her face.
XIX
'Speak thou the truth, no word from me withhold;
Lift up thine eyes, and they the truth shall speak,
For it must be that slender ring of gold
Bounds the whole world of happiness I seek.
Tell me when thou this ring didst lose, and eke
All circumstance that did the time attend.'
'Twas then the Rose's color fled her cheek;
But since her tongue to guile she could not lend,
She told straightforwardly her story to the end.
XX
'As thou hast spoken truth, and naught beside'
He said, 'I'll speak the living truth to thee.
That night some charms of Halloween I tried,
Dared thus to do by a blithe company
In mine old hall, far in the West Country.
The charms performed, I thought of them no more;
Yet deemed it strange that sleep came not to me;
And as the rising wind shook blind and door,
I watched with half-shut eyes the firelight on the floor.
XXI
'Then glidingly, and noiseless as a dream,
A figure stoled in white, with floating hair,
Touched faintly by the embers' fitful gleam,
Approached the fireplace and stood wavering thereStood piteously, with tender feet all bare,
21
And tender palms reached out above the coals
(As they had borne too long the frosty air).
Then, I remembered me the time- All Souls,
When visions vanish as the hour of midnight tolls!
XXII
'Already was the clock upon the stroke,
Already had the vision turned to go
When, in a voice I scarcely knew, I spoke,
Desiring that the presence should bestow
Some sign, or constant pledge of truth, to show
When daylight should to disbelief incline.
The vision faded. On the mantel, lo!
This ring I found. And surely, it is thine,
And surely, maiden, both the ring and thou art mine!'
XXIII
Needs not to say what afterwards befellHow smiled the mother-sister sage and dear,
When came the fine confession, guessed full well;
Or how, before the rounding of the year,
She saw- through many a rainbow-lighted tearHer darling pace the aisle, a happy bride!
Nay!- rather must I counsel all who hear
Leave juggling wiles of Halloween untried,
Lest no such powers benign your doubtful venture guide!
~ Edith Matilda Thomas,
895:directed many of his own productions, and according to ancient critics, he is said
to have brought the Furies onstage in so realistic a manner that women
miscarried in the audience.
Although ~ Aeschylus



is said to have written over ninety plays, only seven have
survived. His first extant work, The Suppliants, reveals a young ~ Aeschylus



still
struggling with the problems of choral drama. The tale revolves around the fifty
daughers of Danaus who seek refuge in Argos from the attentions of the fifty
sons of Aegyptus. His second extant drama, The Persians, recounts the battle of
Salamis--in which ~ Aeschylus



and his brother actually fought--and deals primarily
with the reception of the news at the imperial court. This play contains the first
"ghost scene" of extant drama.
In his third surviving play, Prometheus Bound, ~ Aeschylus



tackles the myth of
Prometheus, the world's first humanitarian. As the play begins, the titan is being
fastened against his will to a peak in the Caucasian mountains for giving mankind
the gift of fire without the consent of the gods. Prometheus knows Zeus is
destined to fall. In fact, he holds the secret of the Olympian's doom--a certain
woman that will be his undoing--but Prometheus will not reveal her name. Even
amid the fire from heaven that is hurled at him in a frightening climax,
Prometheus remains fearless and silent.
In Seven Against Thebes, ~ Aeschylus



deals with themes of patricide and incest. He
was not, however, willing to settle for the conventional explanation of the "family
curse". Instead, ~ Aeschylus



delved deeper, suggesting that heredity is nothing
more than a predisposition--that the true cause of such "acts of wickedness" is
ambition, greed, and a lack of moral fortitude. Thus, eliminating the gods as an
excuse for wickedness, ~ Aeschylus



demanded that men take responsibility for
their actions.
The Oresteia, a trilogy, was performed in 458 BC, less than two years before
~ Aeschylus



' death. Once again, he dealt with the tragedy of a royal house, a
"hereditary curse" which began in a dim, legendary world in which Tantalus was
cast into the pit of Tartarus for revealing to mankind the secrets of the gods. This
situation paralleled events in ~ Aeschylus



' own life. He was reportedly charged with
"impiety" for revealing the Eleusinian mysteries--the secret rites of the city of his
birth--to outsiders. It is likely, however, that these charges were politically
motivated, and he was not convicted.
Legend has it that ~ Aeschylus



met his death when an eagle mistook his bald head
for a rock and dropped a tortoise on it. Whatever the cause of his death, his life
laid the groundwork the dramatic arts would need to flourish, and by the time of
his death, there were two notable successors ready to take his place--
~ Aeschylus



claims at lines 1026-7 that he "taught the Athenians to desire always
to defeat their enemies." ~ Aeschylus



goes on to say at lines 1039ff. that his plays
inspired the Athenians to be brave and virtuous.
Influence outside of Greek Culture
~ Aeschylus



's works were influential beyond his own time. Hugh Lloyd-Jones
(Regius Professor of Greek Emeritus at Oxford University) draws attention to
Wagner's reverence of ~ Aeschylus



. Michael Ewans argues in his Wagner and
~ Aeschylus



. The Ring and the Oresteia (London: Faber. 1982) that the influence
was so great as to merit a direct character by character comparison between
Wagner's Ring and ~ Aeschylus



's Oresteia. A critic of his book however, while not
denying that Wagner read and respected ~ Aeschylus



, has described his arguments
as unreasonable and forced.
Sir J. T. Sheppard argues in the second half of his ~ Aeschylus



and Sophocles:
Their Work and Influence that ~ Aeschylus



, along with Sophocles, have played a
major part in the formation of dramatic literature from the Renaissance to the
present, specifically in French and Elizabethan drama. He also claims that their
influence went beyond just drama and applies to literature in general, citing
href="
During his presidential campaign in 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy quoted the
Edith Hamilton translation of ~ Aeschylus



on the night of the assassination of
Martin Luther King, Jr. Kennedy was notified of King's murder before a campaign
stop in Indianapolis, Indiana and was warned not to attend the event due to
fears of rioting from the mostly African-American crowd. Kennedy insisted on
attending and delivered an impromptu speech that delivered news of King's
death to the crowd. Acknowledging the audience's emotions, Kennedy referred to
his own grief at the murder of his brother, President John F. Kennedy and,
quoting a passage from the play Agamemnon, said: "My favorite poet was
~ Aeschylus



. He once wrote: 'Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop
by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God.' What we need in the United States is not
division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the
United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and
compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still
suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black... Let us
dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the
savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world." The speech is
considered to be Kennedy's finest. The quotation from ~ Aeschylus



was later
inscribed on a memorial at the gravesite of Robert Kennedy following his own
assassination
A Prayer For Artemis
STROPHE IV
Though Zeus plan all things right,
Yet is his heart's desire full hard to trace;
Nathless in every place
Brightly it gleameth, e'en in darkest night,
Fraught with black fate to man's speech-gifted race.
ANTISTROPHE IV
Steadfast, ne'er thrown in fight,
The deed in brow of Zeus to ripeness brought;
For wrapt in shadowy night,
Tangled, unscanned by mortal sight,
Extend the pathways of his secret thought.
STROPHE V
From towering hopes mortals he hurleth prone
To utter doom; but for their fall
No force arrayeth he; for all
That gods devise is without effort wrought.
A mindful Spirit aloft on holy throne
By inborn energy achieves his thought.
ANTISTROPHE V
But let him mortal insolence behold:-How with proud contumacy rife,
Wantons the stem in lusty life
My marriage craving;--frenzy over-bold,
Spur ever-pricking, goads them on to fate,
By ruin taught their folly all too late.
STROPHE VI
Thus I complain, in piteous strain,
Grief-laden, tear-evoking, shrill;
Ah woe is me! woe! woe!
Dirge-like it sounds; mine own death-trill
I pour, yet breathing vital air.
Hear, hill-crowned Apia, hear my prayer!
Full well, O land,
My voice barbaric thou canst understand;
While oft with rendings I assail
My byssine vesture and Sidonian veil.
ANTISTROPHE VI
My nuptial right in Heaven's pure sight
Pollution were, death-laden, rude;
Ah woe is me! woe! woe!
Alas for sorrow's murky brood!
Where will this billow hurl me? Where?
Hear, hill-crowned Apia, hear my prayer;
Full well, O land,
My voice barbaric thou canst understand,
While oft with rendings I assail
My byssine vesture and Sidonian veil.
STROPHE VII
The oar indeed and home with sails
Flax-tissued, swelled with favoring gales,
Staunch to the wave, from spear-storm free,
Have to this shore escorted me,
Nor so far blame I destiny.
But may the all-seeing Father send
In fitting time propitious end;
So our dread Mother's mighty brood,
The lordly couch may 'scape, ah me,
Unwedded, unsubdued!
ANTISTROPHE VII
Meeting my will with will divine,
Daughter of Zeus, who here dost hold
Steadfast thy sacred shrine,-Me, Artemis unstained, behold,
Do thou, who sovereign might dost wield,
Virgin thyself, a virgin shield;
So our dread Mother's mighty brood
The lordly couch may 'scape, ah me,
Unwedded, unsubdued!
~ Aeschylus,
896:Saint Maura: A.D. 304
Thank God! Those gazers' eyes are gone at last!
The guards are crouching underneath the rock;
The lights are fading in the town below,
Around the cottage which this morn was ours.
Kind sun, to set, and leave us here alone;
Alone upon our crosses with our God;
While all the angels watch us from the stars.
Kind moon, to shine so clear and full on him,
And bathe his limbs in glory, for a sign
Of what awaits him! Oh look on him, Lord!
Look, and remember how he saved thy lamb!
Oh listen to me, teacher, husband, love,
Never till now loved utterly! Oh say,
Say you forgive me! No-you must not speak:
You said it to me hours ago-long hours!
Now you must rest, and when to-morrow comes
Speak to the people, call them home to God,
A deacon on the Cross, as in the Church;
And plead from off the tree with outspread arms,
To show them that the Son of God endured
For them-and me. Hush! I alone will speak,
And while away the hours till dawn for you.
I know you have forgiven me; as I lay
Beneath your feet, while they were binding me,
I knew I was forgiven then! When I cried
'Here am I, husband! The lost lamb returned,
All re-baptized in blood!' and you said, 'Come!
Come to thy bride-bed, martyr, wife once more!'
From that same moment all my pain was gone;
And ever since those sightless eyes have smiled
Love-love! Alas, those eyes! They made me fall.
I could not bear to see them, bleeding, dark,
Never, no never to look into mine;
Never to watch me round the little room
Singing about my work, or flash on me
Looks bright with counsel.-Then they drove me mad
With talk of nameless tortures waiting youAnd I could save you! You would hear your loveThey knew you loved me, cruel men! And then-
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Then came a dream; to say one little word,
One easy wicked word, we both might say,
And no one hear us, but the lictors round;
One tiny sprinkle of the incense grains,
And both, both free! And life had just begunOnly three months-short months-your wedded wife
Only three months within the cottage thereHoping I bore your child. . . .
Ah! husband! Saviour! God! think gently of me!
I am forgiven! . . .
And then another dream;
A flash-so quick, I could not bear the blaze;
I could not see the smoke among the lightTo wander out through unknown lands, and lead
You by the hand through hamlet, port, and town,
On, on, until we died; and stand each day
To glory in you, as you preached and prayed
From rock and bourne-stone, with that voice, those words,
Mingled with fire and honey-you would wake,
Bend, save whole nations! would not that atone
For one short word?-ay, make it right, to save
You, you, to fight the battles of the Lord?
And so-and so-alas! you knew the rest!
You answered me. . . .
Ah cruel words! No! Blessed, godlike words.
You had done nobly had you struck me dead,
Instead of striking me to life!-the temptress! . . .
'Traitress! apostate! dead to God and me!''The smell of death upon me?'-so it was!
True! true! well spoken, hero! Oh they snapped,
Those words, my madness, like the angel's voice
Thrilling the graves to birth-pangs. All was clear.
There was but one right thing in the world to do;
And I must do it. . . . Lord, have mercy! Christ!
Help through my womanhood: or I shall fail
Yet, as I failed before! . . . I could not speakI could not speak for shame and misery,
And terror of my sin, and of the things
I knew were coming: but in heaven, in heaven!
There we should meet, perhaps-and by that time
I might be worthy of you once againOf you, and of my God. . . . So I went out.
77
......
Will you hear more, and so forget the pain?
And yet I dread to tell you what comes next;
Your love will feel it all again for me.
No! it is over; and the woe that's dead
Rises next hour a glorious angel. Love!
Say, shall I tell you? Ah! your lips are dry!
To-morrow, when they come, we must entreat,
And they will give you water. One to-day,
A soldier, gave me water in a sponge
Upon a reed, and said, 'Too fair! too young!
She might have been a gallant soldier's wife!'
And then I cried, 'I am a soldier's wife!
A hero's!' And he smiled, but let me drink.
God bless him for it!
So they led me back:
And as I went, a voice was in my ears
Which rang through all the sunlight, and the breath
And blaze of all the garden slopes below,
And through the harvest-voices, and the moan
Of cedar-forests on the cliffs above,
And round the shining rivers, and the peaks
Which hung beyond the cloud-bed of the west,
And round the ancient stones about my feet.
Out of all heaven and earth it rang, and cried,
'My hand hath made all these. Am I too weak
To give thee strength to say so?' Then my soul
Spread like a clear blue sky within my breast,
While all the people made a ring around,
And in the midst the judge spoke smilingly'Well! hast thou brought him to a better mind?'
'No! He has brought me to a better mind!'I cried, and said beside-I know not whatWords which I learnt from thee-I trust in God
Nought fierce or rude-for was I not a girl
Three months ago beneath my mother's roof?
I thought of that. She might be there! I lookedShe was not there! I hid my face and wept.
And when I looked again, the judge's eye
Was on me, cold and steady, deep in thought'She knows what shame is still; so strip her.' 'Ah!'
I shrieked, 'Not that, Sir! Any pain! So young
78
I am-a wife too-I am not my own,
But his-my husband's!' But they took my shawl,
And tore my tunic off, and there I stood
Before them all. . . . Husband! you love me still?
Indeed I pleaded! Oh, shine out, kind moon,
And let me see him smile! Oh! how I prayed,
While some cried 'Shame!' and some, 'She is too young!'
And some mocked-ugly words: God shut my ears.
And yet no earthquake came to swallow me.
While all the court around, and walls, and roofs,
And all the earth and air were full of eyes,
Eyes, eyes, which scorched my limbs like burning flame,
Until my brain seemed bursting from my brow:
And yet no earthquake came! And then I knew
This body was not yours alone, but God'sHis loan-He needed it: and after that
The worst was come, and any torture more
A change-a lightening; and I did not shriekOnce only-once, when first I felt the whipIt coiled so keen around my side, and sent
A fire-flash through my heart which choked me-then
I shrieked-that once. The foolish echo rang
So far and long-I prayed you might not hear.
And then a mist, which hid the ring of eyes,
Swam by me, and a murmur in my ears
Of humming bees around the limes at home;
And I was all alone with you and God.
And what they did to me I hardly know;
I felt, and did not feel. Now I look back,
It was not after all so very sharp:
So do not pity me. It made me pray;
Forget my shame in pain, and pain in you,
And you in God: and once, when I looked down,
And saw an ugly sight-so many wounds!
'What matter?' thought I. 'His dear eyes are dark;
For them alone I kept these limbs so whiteA foolish pride! As God wills now. 'Tis just.'
But then the judge spoke out in haste: 'She is mad,
Or fenced by magic arts! She feels no pain!'
He did not know I was on fire within:
Better he should not; so his sin was less.
Then he cried fiercely, 'Take the slave away,
79
And crucify her by her husband's side!'
And at those words a film came on my faceA sickening rush of joy-was that the end?
That my reward? I rose, and tried to goBut all the eyes had vanished, and the judge;
And all the buildings melted into mist:
So how they brought me here I cannot tellHere, here, by you, until the judgment-day,
And after that for ever and for ever!
Ah! If I could but reach that hand! One touch!
One finger tip, to send the thrill through me
I felt but yesterday!-No! I can wait:Another body!-Oh, new limbs are ready,
Free, pure, instinct with soul through every nerve,
Kept for us in the treasuries of God.
They will not mar the love they try to speak,
They will not fail my soul, as these have done!
.....
Will you hear more? Nay-you know all the rest:
Yet those poor eyes-alas! they could not see
My waking, when you hung above me there
With hands outstretched to bless the penitentYour penitent-even like The Lord HimselfI gloried in you!-like The Lord Himself!
Sharing His very sufferings, to the crown
Of thorns which they had put on that dear brow
To make you like Him-show you as you were!
I told them so! I bid them look on you,
And see there what was the highest throne on earthThe throne of suffering, where the Son of God
Endured and triumphed for them. But they laughed;
All but one soldier, gray, with many scars;
And he stood silent. Then I crawled to you,
And kissed your bleeding feet, and called aloudYou heard me! You know all! I am at peace.
Peace, peace, as still and bright as is the moon
Upon your limbs, came on me at your smile,
And kept me happy, when they dragged me back
From that last kiss, and spread me on the cross,
And bound my wrists and ankles-Do not sigh:
I prayed, and bore it: and since they raised me up
My eyes have never left your face, my own, my own,
80
Nor will, till death comes! . . .
Do I feel much pain?
Not much. Not maddening. None I cannot bear.
It has become like part of my own life,
Or part of God's life in me-honour-bliss!
I dreaded madness, and instead comes rest;
Rest deep and smiling, like a summer's night.
I should be easy, now, if I could move . . .
I cannot stir. Ah God! these shoots of fire
Through all my limbs! Hush, selfish girl! He hears you!
Who ever found the cross a pleasant bed?
Yes; I can bear it, love. Pain is no evil
Unless it conquers us. These little wrists, nowYou said, one blessed night, they were too slender,
Too soft and slender for a deacon's wifePerhaps a martyr's:-You forgot the strength
Which God can give. The cord has cut them through;
And yet my voice has never faltered yet.
Oh! do not groan, or I shall long and pray
That you may die: and you must not die yet.
Not yet-they told us we might live three days . . .
Two days for you to preach! Two days to speak
Words which may wake the dead!
.....
Hush! is he sleeping?
They say that men have slept upon the cross;
So why not he? . . . Thanks, Lord! I hear him breathe:
And he will preach Thy word to-morrow!-save
Souls, crowds, for Thee! And they will know his worth
Years hence-poor things, they know not what they do!And crown him martyr; and his name will ring
Through all the shores of earth, and all the stars
Whose eyes are sparkling through their tears to see
His triumph-Preacher! Martyr!-Ah-and me?If they must couple my poor name with his,
Let them tell all the truth-say how I loved him,
And tried to damn him by that love! O Lord!
Returning good for evil! and was this
The payment I deserved for such a sin?
To hang here on my cross, and look at him
Until we kneel before Thy throne in heaven!
81
Eversley, 1852.
~ Charles Kingsley,
897:THE CONVALESCENT
1

One morning, not long after his return to the cave,
Zarathustra jumped up from his resting place like a
madman, roared in a terrible voice, and acted as if
somebody else were still lying on his resting place who
refused to get up. And Zarathustra's voice resounded so
that his animals approached in a fright, while out of all
the caves and nooks that were near Zarathustra's cave
all animals fled-flying, fluttering, crawling, jumping,
according to the kind of feet or wings that were givert
to them. Zarathustra, however, spoke these words:
Up, abysmal thought, out of my depth! I am your
cock and dawn, sleepy worm. Up! Up! My voice shall
yet crow you awakel Unfasten the fetters of your ears:
listen For I want to hear you. Up! Up! Here is thunder
enough to make even tombs learn to listen. And wipe
sleep and all that is purblind and blind out of your eyes
Listen to me even with your eyes: my voice cures even
those born blind. And once you are awake, you shall
remain awake eternally. It is not my way to awaken
great-grandmo thers from their sleep to bid them sleep
on!
You are stirring, stretching, wheezing? Up! Up! You
shall not wheeze but speak to me. Zarathustra, the god-
216
less, summons youl I, Zarathustra, the advocate of life,
the advocate of suffering, the advocate of the circle; I
summon you, my most abysmal thought!
Hail to mel You are coming, I hear you. My abyss
speaks, I have turned my ultimate depth inside out into
the light. Hail to mel Come here Give me your handle
Huhl Let gol Huhhuhl Nausea, nausea, nausea-woe
unto mel
2

No sooner had Zarathustra spoken these words than
he fell down as one dead and long remained as one
dead. But when he regained his senses he was pale, and
he trembled and remained lying there, and for a long
time he wanted neither food nor drink. This behavior
lasted seven days; but his animals did not leave him by
day or night, except that the eagle flew off to get food.
And whatever prey he got together, he laid on Zarathustra's resting place; and eventually Zarathustra lay
among yellow and red berries, grapes, rose apples,
fragrant herbs, and pine cones. But at his feet two
lambs lay spread out, which the eagle had with difficulty robbed from their shepherds.
At last, after seven days, Zarathustra raised himself
on his resting place, took a rose apple into his hand,
smelled it, and found its fragrance lovely. Then his
animals thought that the time had come to speak to him.
"O Zarathustra," they said, 'it is now seven days that
you have been lying like this with heavy eyes; won't
you at last get up on your feet again? Step out of your
cave: the world awaits you like a garden. The wind is
playing with heavy fragrances that want to get to you,
and all the brooks would run after you. All things have
been longing for you, while you have remained alone foi
seven days. Step out of your cavel All things would be
your physicians. Has perhaps some new knowledge
come to you, bitter and hard? Like leavened dough you
have been lying; your soul rose and swelled over all its
rims."
"O my animals," replied Zarathustra, "chatter on like
this and let me listen. It is so refreshing for me to hear
you chattering: where there is chattering, there the
world lies before me like a garden. How lovely it is that
there are words and sounds Are not words and sounds
rainbows and illusive bridges between things which are
eternally apart?
"To every soul there belongs another world; for every
soul, every other soul is an afterworld. Precisely between what is most similar, illusion lies most beautifully; for the smallest cleft is the hardest to bridge.
"For me-how should there be any outside-myself?
There is no outside. But all sounds make us forget this;
how lovely it is that we forget. Have not names and
sounds been given to things that man might find things
refreshing? Speaking is a beautiful folly: with that man
dances over all things. How lovely is all talking, and all
the deception of sounds With sounds our love dances
on many-hued rainbows."
"O Zarathustra," the animals said, "to those who
think as we do, all things themselves are dancing: they
come and offer their hands and laugh and flee-and
come back. 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
218
every Now, being begins; round every Here rolls the
sphere There. The center is everywhere. Bent is the
path of eternity."
"O you buffoons and barrel organs" Zarathustra replied and smiled again. "How well you know what had
to be fulfilled in seven days, and how that monster
crawled down my throat and suffocated me. But I bit
off its head and spewed it out. And you, have you already made a hurdy-gurdy song of this? But now I lie
here, still weary of this biting and spewing, still sick
from my own redemption. And you watched all this? 0
my animals, are even you cruel? Did you want to watch
my great pain as men do? For man is the cruelest
animal.
"At tragedies, bullfights, and crucifixions he has so
far felt best on earth; and when he invented hell for
himself, behold, that was his heaven on earth.
"When the great man screams, the small man comes
running with his tongue hanging from lasciviousness.
But he calls it his 'pity.'
"The small man, especially the poet-how eagerly he
accuses life with words Hear him, but do not fail to
hear the delight that is in all accusation. Such accusers
of life-life overcomes with a wink. 'Do you love me?'
she says impudently. 'Wait a little while, just yet I
have no time for you.'
"Man is the cruelest animal against himself; and
whenever he calls himself 'sinner' and 'cross-bearer' and
'penitent,' do not fail to hear the voluptuous delight
that is in all such lamentation and accusation.
'And I myself-do I thus want to be man's accuser?
Alas, my animals, only this have I learned so far, that
man needs what is most evil in him for what is best in
him-that whatever is most evil is his best power and
219
the hardest stone for the highest creator; and that man
must become better and more evil.
"My torture was not the knowledge that man is evil
-but I cried as no one has yet cried: 'Alas, that his
greatest evil is so very small! Alas, that his best is so
very small'
"The great disgust with man-this choked me and
had crawled into my throat; and what the soothsayer
said: 'All is the same, nothing is worth while, knowledge chokes.' A long twilight limped before me, a sadness, weary to death, drunken with death, speaking
with a yawning mouth. 'Eternally recurs the man of
whom you are weary, the small man'-thus yawned my
sadness and dragged its feet and could not go to sleep.
Man's earth turned into a cave for me, its chest sunken;
all that is living became human mold and bones and
musty past to me. My sighing sat on all human tombs
and could no longer get up; my sighing and questioning
croaked and gagged and gnawed and wailed by day
and night: 'Alas, man recurs eternally! The small man
recurs eternally!
"Naked I had once seen both, the greatest man and
the smallest man: all-too-similar to each other, even the
greatest all-too-human. All-too-small, the greatestl-that
was my disgust with man. And the eternal recurrence
even of the smallest-that was my disgust with all
existence. Alasl Nausea! Nauseal Nauseal"
Thus spoke Zarathustra and sighed and shuddered,
for he remembered his sickness. But then his animals
would not let him go on.
"Do not speak on, 0 convalescent" thus his animals
answered him; "but go out where the world awaits you
like a garden. Go out to the roses and bees and dovecots. But especially to the songbirds, that you may learn
220
from them how to single For singing is for the convalescent; the healthy can speak. And when the healthy man
also wants songs, he wants different songs from the
convalescent."
"O you buffoons and barrel organs, be silent!" Zarathustra replied and smiled at his animals. "How well
you know what comfort I invented for myself in seven
days! That I must sing again, this comfort and convalescence I invented for myself. Must you immediately turn
this too into a hurdy-gurdy song?"
"Do not speak on!" his animals answered him again;
"rather even, 0 convalescent, fashion yourself a lyre
first, a new lyrel For behold, Zarathustra, new lyres are
needed for your new songs. Sing and overflow, 0 Zarathustra; cure your soul with new songs that you may
bear your great destiny, which has never yet been any
man's destiny. For your animals know well, 0 Zarathustra, who you are and must become: behold, you
are the teacher of the eternal recurrence-thatis your
destiny! That you as the first must teach this doctrinehow could this great destiny not be your greatest danger
and sickness too?
"Behold, we know what you teach: that all things
recur eternally, and we ourselves too; and that we have
already existed an eternal number of times, and all
things with us. You teach that there is a great year of
becoming, a monster of a great year, which must, like
an hourglass, turn over again and again so that it may
run down and run out again; and all these years are
alike in what is greatest as in what is smallest; and we
ourselves are alike in every great year, in what is greatest as in what is smallest.
"And if you wanted to die now, 0 Zarathustra, behold, we also know how you would then speak to yourself. But your animals beg you not to die yet. You
221

would speak, without trembling but breathing deeply
with happiness, for a great weight and sultriness would
be taken from you who are most patient.
"'Now I die and vanish,' you would say, 'and all at
once I am nothing. The soul is as mortal as the body.
But the knot of causes in which I am entangled recurs
and will create me again. I myself belong to the causes
of the eternal recurrence. I come again, with this sun,
with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent-not
to a new life or a better life or a similar life: I come
back eternally to this same, selfsame life, in what is
greatest as in what is smallest, to teach again the eternal
recurrence of all things, to speak again the word of the
great noon of earth and man, to proclaim the overman
again to men. I spoke my word, I break of my word:
thus my eternal lot wants it; as a proclaimer I perish.
The hour has now come when he who goes under should
bless himself. Thus ends Zarathustra's going under.'"
When the animals had spoken these words they were
silent and waited for Zarathustra to say something to
them; but Zarathustra did not hear that they were silent.
Rather he lay still with his eyes closed, like one sleeping, although he was not asleep; for he was conversing
with his soul. The serpent, however, and the eagle,
when they found him thus silent, honored the great
stillness around him and cautiously stole away.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE CONVALESCENT
,
898:Now, man of croziers, shadows called our names
And then away, away, like whirling flames;
And now fled by, mist-covered, without sound,
The youth and lady and the deer and hound;
'Gaze no more on the phantoms,' Niamh said,
And kissed my eyes, and, swaying her bright head
And her bright body, sang of faery and man
Before God was or my old line began;
Wars shadowy, vast, exultant; faeries of old
Who wedded men with rings of Druid gold;
And how those lovers never turn their eyes
Upon the life that fades and flickers and dies,
Yet love and kiss on dim shores far away
Rolled round with music of the sighing spray:
Yet sang no more as when, like a brown bee
That has drunk full, she crossed the misty sea
With me in her white arms a hundred years
Before this day; for now the fall of tears
Troubled her song.

         I do not know if days
Or hours passed by, yet hold the morning rays
Shone many times among the glimmering flowers
Woven into her hair, before dark towers
Rose in the darkness, and the white surf gleamed
About them; and the horse of Faery screamed
And shivered, knowing the Isle of Many Fears,
Nor ceased until white Niamh stroked his ears
And named him by sweet names.

               A foaming tide
Whitened afar with surge, fan-formed and wide,
Burst from a great door matred by many a blow
From mace and sword and pole-axe, long ago
When gods and giants warred. We rode between
The seaweed-covered pillars; and the green
And surging phosphorus alone gave light
On our dark pathway, till a countless flight
Of moonlit steps glimmered; and left and right
Dark statues glimmered over the pale tide
Upon dark thrones. Between the lids of one
The imaged meteors had flashed and run
And had disported in the stilly jet,
And the fixed stars had dawned and shone and set,
Since God made Time and Death and Sleep: the other
Stretched his long arm to where, a misty smother,
The stream churned, churned, and churned - his lips apart,
As though he told his never-slumbering heart
Of every foamdrop on its misty way.
Tying the horse to his vast foot that lay
Half in the unvesselled sea, we climbed the stair
And climbed so long, I thought the last steps were
Hung from the morning star; when these mild words
Fanned the delighted air like wings of birds:
'My brothers spring out of their beds at morn,
A-murmur like young partridge: with loud horn
They chase the noontide deer;
And when the dew-drowned stars hang in the air
Look to long fishing-lines, or point and pare
An ashen hunting spear.
O sigh, O fluttering sigh, be kind to me;
Flutter along the froth lips of the sea,
And shores the froth lips wet:
And stay a little while, and bid them weep:
Ah, touch their blue-veined eyelids if they sleep,
And shake their coverlet.
When you have told how I weep endlessly,
Flutter along the froth lips of the sea
And home to me again,
And in the shadow of my hair lie hid,
And tell me that you found a man unbid,
The saddest of all men.'

A lady with soft eyes like funeral tapers,
And face that seemed wrought out of moonlit vapours,
And a sad mouth, that fear made tremulous
As any ruddy moth, looked down on us;
And she with a wave-rusted chain was tied
To two old eagles, full of ancient pride,
That with dim eyeballs stood on either side.
Few feathers were on their dishevelled wings,
For their dim minds were with the ancient things.

'I bring deliverance,' pearl-pale Niamh said.

'Neither the living, nor the unlabouring dead,
Nor the high gods who never lived, may fight
My enemy and hope; demons for fright
Jabber and scream about him in the night;
For he is strong and crafty as the seas
That sprang under the Seven Hazel Trees,
And I must needs endure and hate and weep,
Until the gods and demons drop asleep,
Hearing Aed touch the mournful strings of gold.'

'Is he so dreadful?'
          'Be not over-bold,
But fly while still you may.'
               And thereon I:
'This demon shall be battered till he die,
And his loose bulk be thrown in the loud tide.'
'Flee from him,' pearl-pale Niamh weeping cried,
'For all men flee the demons'; but moved not
My angry king-remembering soul one jot.
There was no mightier soul of Heber's line;
Now it is old and mouse-like. For a sign
I burst the chain: still earless, nerveless, blind,
Wrapped in the things of the unhuman mind,
In some dim memory or ancient mood,
Still earless, nerveless, blind, the eagles stood.

And then we climbed the stair to a high door;
A hundred horsemen on the basalt floor
Beneath had paced content: we held our way
And stood within: clothed in a misty ray
I saw a foam-white seagull drift and float
Under the roof, and with a straining throat
Shouted, and hailed him: he hung there a star,
For no man's cry shall ever mount so far;
Not even your God could have thrown down that hall;
Stabling His unloosed lightnings in their stall,
He had sat down and sighed with cumbered heart,
As though His hour were come.

               We sought the part
That was most distant from the door; green slime
Made the way slippery, and time on time
Showed prints of sea-born scales, while down through it
The captive's journeys to and fro were writ
Like a small river, and where feet touched came
A momentary gleam of phosphorus flame.
Under the deepest shadows of the hall
That woman found a ring hung on the wall,
And in the ring a torch, and with its flare
Making a world about her in the air,
Passed under the dim doorway, out of sight,
And came again, holding a second light
Burning between her fingers, and in mine
Laid it and sighed: I held a sword whose shine
No centuries could dim, and a word ran
Thereon in Ogham letters, 'Manannan';
That sea-god's name, who in a deep content
Sprang dripping, and, with captive demons sent
Out of the sevenfold seas, built the dark hall
Rooted in foam and clouds, and cried to all
The mightier masters of a mightier race;
And at his cry there came no milk-pale face
Under a crown of thorns and dark with blood,
But only exultant faces.

            Niamh stood
With bowed head, trembling when the white blade shone,
But she whose hours of tenderness were gone
Had neither hope nor fear. I bade them hide
Under the shadowS till the tumults died
Of the loud-crashing and earth-shaking fight,
Lest they should look upon some dreadful sight;
And thrust the torch between the slimy flags.
A dome made out of endless carven jags,
Where shadowy face flowed into shadowy face,
Looked down on me; and in the self-same place
I waited hour by hour, and the high dome,
Windowless, pillarless, multitudinous home
Of faces, waited; and the leisured gaze
Was loaded with the memory of days
Buried and mighty. When through the great door
The dawn came in, and glimmered on the floor
With a pale light, I journeyed round the hall
And found a door deep sunken in the wall,
The least of doors; beyond on a dim plain
A little runnel made a bubbling strain,
And on the runnel's stony and bare edge
A dusky demon dry as a withered sedge
Swayed, crooning to himself an unknown tongue:
In a sad revelry he sang and swung
Bacchant and mournful, passing to and fro
His hand along the runnel's side, as though
The flowers still grew there: far on the sea's waste
Shaking and waving, vapour vapour chased,
While high frail cloudlets, fed with a green light,
Like drifts of leaves, immovable and bright,
Hung in the passionate dawn. He slowly turned:
A demon's leisure: eyes, first white, now burned
Like wings of kingfishers; and he arose
Barking. We trampled up and down with blows
Of sword and brazen battle-axe, while day
Gave to high noon and noon to night gave way;
And when he knew the sword of Manannan
Amid the shades of night, he changed and ran
Through many shapes; I lunged at the smooth throat
Of a great eel; it changed, and I but smote
A fir-tree roaring in its leafless top;
And thereupon I drew the livid chop
Of a drowned dripping body to my breast;
Horror from horror grew; but when the west
Had surged up in a plumy fire, I drave
Through heart and spine; and cast him in the wave
Lest Niamh shudder.

         Full of hope and dread
Those two came carrying wine and meat and bread,
And healed my wounds with unguents out of flowers
That feed white moths by some De Danaan shrine;
Then in that hall, lit by the dim sea-shine,
We lay on skins of otters, and drank wine,
Brewed by the sea-gods, from huge cups that lay
Upon the lips of sea-gods in their day;
And then on heaped-up skins of otters slept.
And when the sun once more in saffron stept,
Rolling his flagrant wheel out of the deep,
We sang the loves and angers without sleep,
And all the exultant labours of the strong.
But now the lying clerics murder song
With barren words and flatteries of the weak.
In what land do the powerless turn the beak
Of ravening Sorrow, or the hand of Wrath?
For all your croziers, they have left the path
And wander in the storms and clinging snows,
Hopeless for ever: ancient Oisin knows,
For he is weak and poor and blind, and lies
On the anvil of the world.

S. Patrick.    Be still: the skies
Are choked with thunder, lightning, and fierce wind,
For God has heard, and speaks His angry mind;
Go cast your body on the stones and pray,
For He has wrought midnight and dawn and day.

Oisin. Saint, do you weep? I hear amid the thunder
The Fenian horses; atmour torn asunder;
Laughter and cries. The armies clash and shock,
And now the daylight-darkening ravens flock.
Cease, cease, O mournful, laughing Fenian horn!

We feasted for three days. On the fourth morn
I found, dropping sea-foam on the wide stair,
And hung with slime, and whispering in his hair,
That demon dull and unsubduable;
And once more to a day-long battle fell,
And at the sundown threw him in the surge,
To lie until the fourth morn saw emerge
His new-healed shape; and for a hundred years
So watred, so feasted, with nor dreams nor fears,
Nor languor nor fatigue: an endless feast,
An endless war.

       The hundred years had ceased;
I stood upon the stair: the surges bore
A beech-bough to me, and my heart grew sore,
Remembering how I had stood by white-haired Finn
Under a beech at Almhuin and heard the thin
Outcry of bats.

       And then young Niamh came
Holding that horse, and sadly called my name;
I mounted, and we passed over the lone
And drifting greyness, while this monotone,
Surly and distant, mixed inseparably
Into the clangour of the wind and sea.

'I hear my soul drop down into decay,
And Mananna's dark tower, stone after stone.
Gather sea-slime and fall the seaward way,
And the moon goad the waters night and day,
That all be overthrown.

'But till the moon has taken all, I wage
War on the mightiest men under the skies,
And they have fallen or fled, age after age.
Light is man's love, and lighter is man's rage;
His purpose drifts and dies.'

And then lost Niamh murmured, 'Love, we go
To the Island of Forgetfulness, for lo!
The Islands of Dancing and of Victories
Are empty of all power.'

            'And which of these
Is the Island of Content?'

             'None know,' she said;
And on my bosom laid her weeping head.

~ William Butler Yeats, The Wanderings Of Oisin - Book II
,
899:THE

DRUNKEN SONG
1

Meanwhile one after the other had stepped out
into the open and into the cool reflective night; but
Zarathustra himself led the ugliest man by the hand to
show him his night-world and the big round moon and
the silvery waterfalls near his cave. There they stood together at last in silence, old people all of them, but with
comforted brave hearts and secretly amazed at feeling
so well on this earth; but the secrecy of the night came
closer and closer to their hearts. And again Zarathustra
thought to himself: "How well I like them now, these
higher men!" But he did not say it out loud, for he
respected their happiness and their silence.
But then that happened which, on that whole long
amazing day, was the most amazing thing of all: the
ugliest man began once more and for the last time to
gurgle and snort, and when he found words, behold, a
question jumped out of his mouth, round and clean, a
good, deep, clear question, which moved the hearts of
all who were listening to him.
"My friends, all of you," said the ugliest man, "what
do you think? For the sake of this day, I am for the
first time satisfied that I have lived my whole life. And
that I attest so much is still not enough for me. Living
on earth is worth while: one day, one festival with
Zarathustra, taught me to love the earth.
318
'Was that life?' I want to say to death. 'Well then!
Once more!'
"My friends, what do you think? Do you not want to
say to death as I do: Was that life? For Zarathustra's
sakel Well then! Once morel"
Thus spoke the ugliest man; but it was not long before midnight. And what do you suppose happened
then? As soon as the higher men had heard his question
they all at once became conscious of how they had
changed and convalesced and to whom they owed this:
then they jumped toward Zarathustra to thank, revere,
caress him, and kiss his hands, each according to his
own manner; and some were laughing and some were
crying. But the old soothsayer was dancing with joy; and
even if, as some of the chroniclers think, he was full of
sweet wine, he was certainly still fuller of the sweetness
of life and he had renounced all weariness. There are
even some who relate that the ass danced too, and that
it had not been for nothing that the ugliest man had
given him wine to drink before. Now it may have been
so or otherwise; and if the ass really did not dance that
night, yet greater and stranger wonders occurred than
the dancing of an ass would have been. In short, as the
proverb of Zarathustra says: "What does it matter?"
2

But when this happened to the ugliest man, Zarathustra stood there like a drunkard: his eyes grew dim,
his tongue failed, his feet stumbled. And who could
guess what thoughts were then running over Zarathustra's soul? But his spirit fled visibly and flew ahead
and was in remote distances and, as it were, "on a high
ridge," as it is written, "between two seas, wandering
like a heavy cloud between past and future." But as
319
the higher men held him in their arms, he gradually
recovered his senses to some extent and with his hands
warded off the throng of the revering and worried; yet
he did not speak. All at once, however, he turned his
head quickly, for he seemed to be hearing something.
Then he put one finger to his mouth and said, "Comel"
And presently it became quiet and secret around; but
from the depth the sound of a bell came up slowly.
Zarathustra and the higher men listened for it; but then
he put one finger to his mouth another time and said
again, "Comel Come! Midnight approaches." And his
voice had changed. But still he did not stir from his
place. Then it grew still more quiet and secret, and
everything listened, even the ass and Zarathustra's animals of honor, the eagle and the serpent, as well as
Zarathustra's cave and the big cool moon and the night
itself. But Zarathustra put his hand to his mouth, for
the third time and said, "Comel Comel Let us wander
now! The hour has come: let us wander into the night!"
3
You higher men, midnight approaches: I want to
whisper something to you as that old bell whispers it
into my ears-as secretly, as terribly, as cordially as that
midnight bell, which has experienced more than any
man, says it to me. It has counted the beats even of
your fathers' hearts and smarts. Alas! Alasl How it
sighsl How it laughs in a dream! Old deep, deep midnightl
Still! Still Here things are heard that by day may not
become loud; but now in the cool air, when all the
noise of your hearts too has become still-now it speaks,
now it is heard, now it steals into nocturnal, overawake
souls. Alasl Alasl How it sighsl How it laughs in a dreamt
320
Do you not hear how it speaks secretly, terribly, cordially to you-the old deep, deep midnight?
0 man, take care
4
Woe unto mel Where is time gone? Have I not sunk
into deep wells? The world sleeps. Alasl Alasl The dog
howls, the moon shines. Sooner would I die, die rather
than tell you what my midnight heart thinks now.
Now I have died. It is gone. Spider, what do you spin
around me? Do you want blood? Alasl Alasl The dew
falls, the hour approaches-the hour when I shiver and
freeze, which asks and asks and asks, "Who has heart
enough for it? Who shall be the lord of the earth? Who
will say: thus shall you run, you big and little rivers"
The hour approaches: 0 man, you higher man, take
care! This speech is for delicate ears, for your ears:
What does the deep midnight declare?
5
I am carried away, my soul dances. Day's work Day's
work! Who shall be the lord of the earth?
The moon is cool, the wind is silent. Alas! Alas! Have
you flown high enough yet? You have danced: but a leg
is no wing. You good dancers, now all pleasure is gone:
wine has become lees, every cup has become brittle,
the tombs stammer. You did not fly high enough: now
the tombs stammer, "Redeem the dead! Why does the
night last so long? Does not the moon make us
drunken?"
You higher men, redeem the tombs, awaken the
corpses! Alas, why does the worm still burrow? The
hour approaches, approaches; the bell hums, the heart
still rattles, the deathwatch, the heart-worm still burrows. Alas! Alasl The world is deep.
321
6
Sweet lyrel Sweet lyre! I love your sound, your
drunken ranunculus' croaking. From how long ago, from
how far away your sound comes to me, from the distant
ponds of lovely You old bell, you sweet lyre! Every pain
has torn into your heart, father-pain, fathers' pain, fore-

fathers' pain; your speech grew ripe-ripe as golden
autumn and afternoon, as my hermit's heart; now you
say: the world itself has grown ripe, the grape is turning brown, now it would die, die of happiness. You
higher men, do you not smell it? A smell is secretly
welling up, a fragrance and smell of eternity, a roseblessed, brown gold-wine fragrance of old happiness, of
the drunken happiness of dying at midnight, that
sings. the world is deep, deeper than day had been
aware.
7
Leave me! Leave mel I am too pure for you. Do not
touch mel Did not my world become perfect just now?
My skin is too pure for your hands. Leave me, you stupid,
boorish, dumb dayl Is not the midnight brighter? The
purest shall be the lords of the earth-the most unknown, the strongest, the midnight souls who are
brighter and deeper than any day.
0 day, you grope for me? You seek my happiness? I
seem rich to you, lonely, a treasure pit, a gold-chamber?
0 world, you want me? Am I worldly to you? Am I
spiritual to you? Am I godlike to you? But day and
world, you are too ponderous; have cleverer hands, reach
for deeper happiness, for deeper unhappiness, reach for
any god, do not reach for me: my unhappiness, my
happiness is deep, you strange day, but I am yet no god,
no god's hell: deep is its woe.
322
8
God's woe is deeper, you strange world Reach for
God's woe, not for me! What am I? a drunken sweet
lyre-a midnight lyre, an ominous bell-frog that nobody
understands but that must speak, before the deaf, you
higher men. For you do not understand mel
Gone! Gonel 0 youth! 0 noonl 0 afternoon! Now
evening has come and night and midnight-the dog
howls, the wind: is not the wind a dog? It whines, it
yelps, it howls. Alasl Alasl How the midnight sighsl
How it laughs, how it rattles and wheezesl
How she speaks soberly now, this drunken poetessl
Perhaps she overdrank her drunkenness? She became
overawake? She ruminates? Her woe she ruminates in
a dream, the old deep midnight, and even more her joy.
For joy, even if woe is deep, joy is deeper yet than
agony.
9
You vinel Why do you praise me? Did I not cut you?
I am cruel, you bleed; what does your praise of my
drunken cruelty mean?
"What has become perfect, all that is ripe-wants to
die"-thus you speak. Blessed, blessed be the vintager's
knife But all that is unripe wants to live: woel
Woe entreats: Gol Away, woel But all that suffers
wants to live, that it may become ripe and joyous and
longing-longing for what is farther, higher, brighter.
"I want heirs"-thus speaks all that suffers; "I want
children, I do not want myself."
Joy, however, does not want heirs, or children-joy
wants itself, wants eternity, wants recurrence, wants
everything eternally the same.
Woe says, "Break, bleed, heart! Wander, legal Wing,
323
flyl Get onl Up! Pain!" Well then, old heart: Woe implores, "Gor'
10

You higher men, what do you think? Am I a
soothsayer? A dreamer? A drunkard? An interpreter of
dreams? A midnight bell? A drop of dew? A haze and
fragrance of eternity? Do you not hear it? Do you not
smell it? Just now my world became perfect; midnight
too is noon; pain too is a joy; curses too are a blessing;
night too is a sun-go away or you will learn: a sage
too is a fool.
Have you ever said Yes to a single joy? 0 my friends,
then you said Yes too to all woe. All things are entangled, ensnared, enamored; if ever you wanted one
thing twice, if ever you said, "You please me, happiness!
Abide, moment!" then you wanted all back. All anew,
all eternally, all entangled, ensnared, enamored-oh,
then you loved the world. Eternal ones, Jove it eternally
and evermore; and to woe too, you say: go, but return!
For all joy wants-eternity.
11

All joy wants the eternity of all things, wants honey,
wants lees, wants drunken midnight, wants tombs, wants
tomb-tears' comfort, wants gilded evening glow.
What does joy not want? It is thirstier, more cordial,
hungrier, more terrible, more secret than all woe; it
wants itself, it bites into itself, the ring's will strives in
it; it wants love, it wants hatred, it is overrich, gives,
throws away, begs that one might take it, thanks the
taker, it would like to be hated; so rich is joy that it
thirsts for woe, for hell, for hatred, for disgrace, for
the cripple, for world-this world, oh, you know itl
You higher men, for you it longs, joy, the intractable
324
blessed one-for your woe, you failures. All eternal joy
longs for failures. For all joy wants itself, hence it also
wants agony. 0 happiness, 0 pain! Oh, break, heart!
You higher men, do learn this, joy wants eternity. Joy
wants the eternity of all things, wants deep, wants deep
eternity.
12

Have you now learned my song? Have you guessed its
intent? Well then, you higher men, sing me now my
round. Now you yourselves sing me the song whose
name is "Once More" and whose meaning is "into all
eternity"-sing, you higher men, Zarathustra's round!
O man, take care!
What does the deep midnight declare?
"I was asleepFrom a deep dream I woke and swear:
The world is deep,
Deeper than day had been aware.
Deep is its woe;
Joy-deeper yet than agony:
Woe implores: Gol
But all joy wants eternityWants deep, wants deep eternity."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE DRUNKEN SONG
,
900:Charades
I.
She stood at Greenwich, motionless amid
The ever-shifting crowd of passengers.
I marked a big tear quivering on the lid
Of her deep-lustrous eye, and knew that hers
Were days of bitterness. But, 'Oh! what stirs'
I said 'such storm within so fair a breast?'
Even as I spoke, two apoplectic curs
Came feebly up: with one wild cry she prest
Each singly to her heart, and faltered, 'Heaven be blest!'
Yet once again I saw her, from the deck
Of a black ship that steamed towards Blackwall.
She walked upon MY FIRST. Her stately neck
Bent o'er an object shrouded in her shawl:
I could not see the tears--the glad tears--fall,
Yet knew they fell. And 'Ah,' I said, 'not puppies,
Seen unexpectedly, could lift the pall
From hearts who KNOW what tasting misery's cup is,
As Niobe's, or mine, or Mr. William Guppy's.'
***
Spake John Grogblossom the coachman to Eliza Spinks the cook:
'Mrs. Spinks,' says he, 'I've foundered: 'Liza dear, I'm overtook.
Druv into a corner reglar, puzzled as a babe unborn;
Speak the word, my blessed 'Liza; speak, and John the coachman's yourn.'
Then Eliza Spinks made answer, blushing, to the coachman John:
'John, I'm born and bred a spinster: I've begun and I'll go on.
Endless cares and endless worrits, well I knows it, has a wife:
Cooking for a genteel family, John, it's a goluptious life!
'I gets 20 pounds per annum--tea and things o' course not reckoned, There's a cat that eats the butter, takes the coals, and breaks MY
SECOND:
There's soci'ty--James the footman;--(not that I look after him;
But he's aff'ble in his manners, with amazing length of limb -
'Never durst the missis enter here until I've said 'Come in':
If I saw the master peeping, I'd catch up the rolling-pin.
Christmas-boxes, that's a something; perkisites, that's something too;
And I think, take all together, John, I won't be on with you.'
John the coachman took his hat up, for he thought he'd had enough;
Rubbed an elongated forehead with a meditative cuff;
Paused before the stable doorway; said, when there, in accents mild,
'She's a fine young 'oman, cook is; but that's where it is, she's
spiled.'
***
I have read in some not marvellous tale,
(Or if I have not, I've dreamed)
Of one who filled up the convivial cup
Till the company round him seemed
To be vanished and gone, tho' the lamps upon
Their face as aforetime gleamed:
And his head sunk down, and a Lethe crept
O'er his powerful brain, and the young man slept.
Then they laid him with care in his moonlit bed:
But first--having thoughtfully fetched some tar Adorned him with feathers, aware that the weather's
Uncertainty brings on at nights catarrh.
They staid in his room till the sun was high:
But still did the feathered one give no sign
Of opening a peeper--he might be a sleeper
Such as rests on the Northern or Midland line.
At last he woke, and with profound
Bewilderment he gazed around;
Dropped one, then both feet to the ground,
But never spake a word:
Then to my WHOLE he made his way;
Took one long lingering survey;
And softly, as he stole away,
10
Remarked, 'By Jove, a bird!'
II.
If you've seen a short man swagger tow'rds the footlights at Shoreditch,
Sing out 'Heave aho! my hearties,' and perpetually hitch
Up, by an ingenious movement, trousers innocent of brace,
Briskly flourishing a cudgel in his pleased companion's face;
If he preluded with hornpipes each successive thing he did,
From a sun-browned cheek extracting still an ostentatious quid;
And expectorated freely, and occasionally cursed:Then have you beheld, depicted by a master's hand, MY FIRST.
O my countryman! if ever from thy arm the bolster sped,
In thy school-days, with precision at a young companion's head;
If 'twas thine to lodge the marble in the centre of the ring,
Or with well-directed pebble make the sitting hen take wing:
Then do thou--each fair May morning, when the blue lake is as glass,
And the gossamers are twinkling star-like in the beaded grass;
When the mountain-bee is sipping fragrance from the bluebell's lip,
And the bathing-woman tells you, Now's your time to take a dip:
When along the misty valleys fieldward winds the lowing herd,
And the early worm is being dropped on by the early bird;
And Aurora hangs her jewels from the bending rose's cup,
And the myriad voice of Nature calls thee to MY SECOND up:Hie thee to the breezy common, where the melancholy goose
Stalks, and the astonished donkey finds that he is really loose;
There amid green fern and furze-bush shalt thou soon MY WHOLE behold,
Rising 'bull-eyed and majestic'--as Olympus queen of old:
Kneel,--at a respectful distance,--as they kneeled to her, and try
With judicious hand to put a ball into that ball-less eye:
Till a stiffness seize thy elbows, and the general public wake Then return, and, clear of conscience, walk into thy well-earned steak.
11
III.
Ere yet 'knowledge for the million'
Came out 'neatly bound in boards;'
When like Care upon a pillion
Matrons rode behind their lords:
Rarely, save to hear the Rector,
Forth did younger ladies roam;
Making pies, and brewing nectar
From the gooseberry-trees at home.
They'd not dreamed of Pan or Vevay;
Ne'er should into blossom burst
At the ball or at the levee;
Never come, in fact, MY FIRST:
Nor illumine cards by dozens
With some labyrinthine text,
Nor work smoking-caps for cousins
Who were pounding at MY NEXT.
Now have skirts, and minds, grown ampler;
Now not all they seek to do
Is create upon a sampler
Beasts which Buffon never knew:
But their venturous muslins rustle
O'er the cragstone and the snow,
Or at home their biceps muscle
Grows by practising the bow.
Worthier they those dames who, fable
Says, rode 'palfreys' to the war
With gigantic Thanes, whose 'sable
Destriers caracoled' before;
Smiled, as--springing from the war-horse
As men spring in modern 'cirques' They plunged, ponderous as a four-horse
Coach, among the vanished Turks:In the good times when the jester
Asked the monarch how he was,
And the landlady addrest her
12
Guests as 'gossip' or as 'coz';
When the Templar said, 'Gramercy,'
Or, ''Twas shrewdly thrust, i' fegs,'
To Sir Halbert or Sir Percy
As they knocked him off his legs:
And, by way of mild reminders
That he needed coin, the Knight
Day by day extracted grinders
From the howling Israelite:
And MY WHOLE in merry Sherwood
Sent, with preterhuman luck,
Missiles--not of steel but firwood Thro' the two-mile-distant buck.
IV.
Evening threw soberer hue
Over the blue sky, and the few
Poplars that grew just in the view
Of the hall of Sir Hugo de Wynkle:
'Answer me true,' pleaded Sir Hugh,
(Striving to woo no matter who,)
'What shall I do, Lady, for you?
'Twill be done, ere your eye may twinkle.
Shall I borrow the wand of a Moorish enchanter,
And bid a decanter contain the Levant, or
The brass from the face of a Mormonite ranter?
Shall I go for the mule of the Spanish Infantar (That _R_, for the sake of the line, we must grant her,) And race with the foul fiend, and beat in a canter,
Like that first of equestrians Tam o' Shanter?
I talk not mere banter--say not that I can't, or
By this MY FIRST--(a Virginia planter
Sold it me to kill rats)--I will die instanter.'
The Lady bended her ivory neck, and
Whispered mournfully, 'Go for--MY SECOND.'
She said, and the red from Sir Hugh's cheek fled,
And 'Nay,' did he say, as he stalked away
The fiercest of injured men:
13
'Twice have I humbled my haughty soul,
And on bended knee I have pressed MY WHOLE But I never will press it again!'
V.
On pinnacled St. Mary's
Lingers the setting sun;
Into the street the blackguards
Are skulking one by one:
Butcher and Boots and Bargeman
Lay pipe and pewter down;
And with wild shout come tumbling out
To join the Town and Gown.
And now the undergraduates
Come forth by twos and threes,
From the broad tower of Trinity,
From the green gate of Caius:
The wily bargeman marks them,
And swears to do his worst;
To turn to impotence their strength,
And their beauty to MY FIRST.
But before Corpus gateway
MY SECOND first arose,
When Barnacles the freshman
Was pinned upon the nose:
Pinned on the nose by Boxer,
Who brought a hobnailed herd
From Barnwell, where he kept a van,
Being indeed a dogsmeat man,
Vendor of terriers, blue or tan,
And dealer in MY THIRD.
'Twere long to tell how Boxer
Was 'countered' on the cheek,
And knocked into the middle
Of the ensuing week:
How Barnacles the Freshman
14
Was asked his name and college;
And how he did the fatal facts
Reluctantly acknowledge.
He called upon the Proctor
Next day at half-past ten;
Men whispered that the Freshman cut
A different figure then:That the brass forsook his forehead,
The iron fled his soul,
As with blanched lip and visage wan
Before the stony-hearted Don
He kneeled upon MY WHOLE.
VI.
Sikes, housebreaker, of Houndsditch,
Habitually swore;
But so surpassingly profane
He never was before,
As on a night in winter,
When--softly as he stole
In the dim light from stair to stair,
Noiseless as boys who in her lair
Seek to surprise a fat old hare He barked his shinbone, unaware
Encountering MY WHOLE.
As pours the Anio plainward,
When rains have swollen the dykes,
So, with such noise, poured down MY FIRST,
Stirred by the shins of Sikes.
The Butler Bibulus heard it;
And straightway ceased to snore,
And sat up, like an egg on end,
While men might count a score:
Then spake he to Tigerius,
A Buttons bold was he:
'Buttons, I think there's thieves about;
Just strike a light and tumble out;
15
If you can't find one, go without,
And see what you may see.'
But now was all the household,
Almost, upon its legs,
Each treading carefully about
As if they trod on eggs.
With robe far-streaming issued
Paterfamilias forth;
And close behind him,--stout and true
And tender as the North, Came Mrs. P., supporting
On her broad arm her fourth.
Betsy the nurse, who never
From largest beetle ran,
And--conscious p'raps of pleasing caps The housemaids, formed the van:
And Bibulus the Butler,
His calm brows slightly arched;
(No mortal wight had ere that night
Seen him with shirt unstarched
And Bob, the shockhaired knifeboy,
Wielding two Sheffield blades,
And James Plush of the sinewy legs,
The love of lady's maids:
And charwoman and chaplain
Stood mingled in a mass,
And 'Things,' thought he of Houndsditch,
'Is come to a pretty pass.'
Beyond all things a Baby
Is to the schoolgirl dear;
Next to herself the nursemaid loves
Her dashing grenadier;
Only with life the sailor
Parts from the British flag;
While one hope lingers, the cracksman's fingers
Drop not his hard-earned 'swag.'
But, as hares do MY SECOND
Thro' green Calabria's copses,
16
As females vanish at the sight
Of short-horns and of wopses;
So, dropping forks and teaspoons,
The pride of Houndsditch fled,
Dumbfoundered by the hue and cry
He'd raised up overhead.
***
They gave him--did the Judges As much as was his due.
And, Saxon, should'st thou e'er be led
To deem this tale untrue;
Then--any night in winter,
When the cold north wind blows,
And bairns are told to keep out cold
By tallowing the nose:
When round the fire the elders
Are gathered in a bunch,
And the girls are doing crochet,
And the boys are reading Punch:Go thou and look in Leech's book;
There haply shalt thou spy
A stout man on a staircase stand,
With aspect anything but bland,
And rub his right shin with his hand,
To witness if I lie.
~ Charles Stuart Calverley,
901:Custer: Book Third
As in the long dead days marauding hosts
Of Indians came from far Siberian coasts,
And drove the peaceful Aztecs from their grounds,
Despoiled their homes (but left their tell-tale mounds),
So has the white man with the Indians done.
Now with their backs against the setting sun
The remnants of a dying nation stand
And view the lost domain, once their beloved land.
II
Upon the vast Atlantic's leagues of shore
The happy red man's tent is seen no more;
And from the deep blue lakes which mirror heaven
His bounding bark canoe was long since driven.
The mighty woods, those temples where his God
Spoke to his soul, are leveled to the sod;
And in their place tall church spires point above,
While priests proclaim the law of Christ, the King of Love.
III
The avaricious and encroaching rail
Seized the wide fields which knew the Indians' trail.
Back to the reservations in the West
The native owners of the land were pressed,
And selfish cities, harbingers of want,
Shut from their vision each accustomed haunt.
Yet hungry Progress, never satisfied,
Gazed on the western plains, and gazing, longed and sighed.
IV
As some strange bullock in a pasture field
Compels the herds to fear him, and to yield
The juicy grass plots and the cooling shade
Until, despite their greater strength, afraid,
200
They huddle in some corner spot and cower
Before the monarch's all controlling power,
So has the white man driven from its place
By his aggressive greed, Columbia's native race.
Yet when the bull pursues the herds at bay,
Incensed they turn, and dare dispute his sway.
And so the Indians turned, when men forgot
Their sacred word, and trespassed on the spot,
The lonely little spot of all their lands,
The reservation of the peaceful bands.
But lust for gold all conscience kills in man,
'Gold in the Black Hills, gold!' the cry arose and ran
VI
From lip to lip, as flames from tree to tree
Leap till the forest is one fiery sea,
And through the country surged that hot unrest
Which thirst for riches wakens in the breast.
In mighty throngs the fortune hunters came,
Despoiled the red man's lands and slew his game,
Broke solemn treaties and defied the law.
And all these ruthless acts the Nation knew and saw.
VII
Man is the only animal that kills
Just for the wanton love of slaughter; spills
The blood of lesser things to see it flow;
Lures like a friend, to murder like a foe
The trusting bird and beast; and, coward like,
Deals covert blows he dare not boldly strike.
The brutes have finer souls, and only slay
When torn by hunger's pangs, or when to fear a prey.
VIII
The pale-faced hunter, insolent and bold,
Pursued the bison while he sought for gold.
201
And on the hungry red man's own domains
He left the rotting and unused remains
To foul with sickening stench each passing wind
And rouse the demon in the savage mind,
Save in the heart where virtues dominate
Injustice always breeds its natural offspring-hate.
IX
The chieftain of the Sioux, great Sitting Bull,
Mused o'er their wrongs, and felt his heart swell full
Of bitter vengeance. Torn with hate's unrest
He called a council and his braves addressed.
'From fair Wisconsin's shimmering lakes of blue
Long years ago the white man drove the Sioux.
Made bold by conquest, and inflamed by greed,
He still pursues our tribes, and still our ranks recede.
'Fair are the White Chief's promises and words,
But dark his deeds who robs us of our herds.
He talks of treaties, asks the right to buy,
Then takes by force, not waiting our reply.
He grants us lands for pastures and abodes
To devastate them by his iron roads.
But now from happy Spirit Lands, a friend
Draws near the hunted Sioux, to strengthen and defend.
XI
'While walking in the fields I saw a star;
Unconsciously I followed it afarIt led me on to valleys filled with light,
Where danced our noble chieftains slain in fight.
Black Kettle, first of all that host I knew,
He whom the strong armed Custer foully slew.
And then a spirit took me by the hand,
The Great Messiah King who comes to free the land.
XII
202
'Suns were his eyes, a speaking tear his voice,
Whose rainbow sounds made listening hearts rejoice
And thus he spake: 'The red man's hour draws near
When all his lost domains shall reappear.
The elk, the deer, the bounding antelope,
Shall here return to grace each grassy slope.'
He waved his hand above the fields, and lo!
Down through the valleys came a herd of buffalo.
XIII
'The wondrous vision vanished, but I knew
That Sitting Bull must make the promise true.
Great Spirits plan what mortal man achieves,
The hand works magic when the heart believes.
Arouse, ye braves! let not the foe advance.
Arm for the battle and begin the danceThe sacred dance in honor of our slain,
Who will return to earth, ere many moons shall wane.'
XIV
Thus Sitting Bull, the chief of wily knaves,
Worked on the superstitions of his braves.
Mixed truth with lies; and stirred to mad unrest
The warlike instinct in each savage breast.
A curious product of unhappy times,
The natural offspring of unnumbered crimes,
He used low cunning and dramatic arts
To startle and surprise those crude untutored hearts.
XV
Out from the lodges pour a motley throng,
Slow measures chanting of a dirge-like song.
In one great circle dizzily they swing,
A squaw and chief alternate in the ring.
Coarse raven locks stream over robes of white,
Their deep set orbs emit a lurid light,
And as through pine trees moan the winds refrains,
So swells and dies away, the ghostly graveyard strains.
203
XVI
Like worded wine is music to the ear,
And long indulged makes mad the hearts that hear.
The dancers, drunken with the monotone
Of oft repeated notes, now shriek and groan
And pierce their ruddy flesh with sharpened spears;
Still more excited when the blood appears,
With warlike yells, high in the air they bound,
Then in a deathlike trance fall prostrate on the ground.
XVII
They wake to tell weird stories of the dead,
While fresh performers to the ring are led.
The sacred nature of the dance is lost,
War is their cry, red war, at any cost.
Insane for blood they wait for no command,
But plunge marauding through the frightened land.
Their demon hearts on devils' pleasures bent,
For each new foe surprised, new torturing deaths invent.
XVIII
Staked to the earth one helpless creature lies,
Flames at his feet and splinters in his eyes.
Another groans with coals upon his breast,
While 'round the pyre the Indians dance and jest.
A crying child is brained upon a tree,
The swooning mother saved from death, to be
The slave and plaything of a filthy knave,
Whose sins would startle hell, whose clay defile a grave.
XIX
Their cause was right, their methods all were wrong.
Pity and censure both to them belong.
Their woes were many, but their crimes were more.
The soulless Satan holds not in his store
Such awful tortures as the Indians' wrath
Keeps for the hapless victim in his path.
And if the last lone remnants of that race
204
Were by the white man swept from off the earth's fair face,
XX
Were every red man slaughtered in a day,
Still would that sacrifice but poorly pay
For one insulted woman captive's woes.
Again great Custer in his strength arose,
More daring, more intrepid than of old.
The passing years had touched and turned to gold
The ever widening aureole of fame
That shone upon his brow, and glorified his name.
XXI
Wise men make laws, then turn their eyes away,
While fools and knaves ignore them day by day;
And unmolested, fools and knaves at length
Induce long wars which sap a country's strength.
The sloth of leaders, ruling but in name,
Has dragged full many a nation down to shame.
A word unspoken by the rightful lips
Has dyed the land with blood, and blocked the sea with ships.
XXII
The word withheld, when Indians asked for aid,
Came when the red man started on his raid.
What Justice with a gesture might have done
Was left for noisy war with bellowing gun.
And who save Custer and his gallant men
Could calm the tempest into peace again?
What other hero in the land could hope
With Sitting Bull, the fierce and lawless one to cope?
XXIII
What other warrior skilled enough to dare
Surprise that human tiger in his lair?
Sure of his strength, unconscious of his fame
Out from the quiet of the camp he came;
205
And stately as Diana at his side
Elizabeth, his wife and alway bride,
And Margaret, his sister, rode apace;
Love's clinging arms he left to meet death's cold embrace.
XXIV
As the bright column wound along its course,
The smiling leader turned upon his horse
To gaze with pride on that superb command.
Twelve hundred men, the picked of all the land,
Innured to hardship and made strong by strife
Their lithe limbed bodies breathed of out-door life;
While on their faces, resolute and brave,
Hope stamped its shining seal, although their thoughts were grave.
XXV
The sad eyed women halted in the dawn,
And waved farewell to dear ones riding on.
The modest mist picked up her robes and ran
Before the Sun god's swift pursuing van.
And suddenly there burst on startled eyes,
The sight of soldiers, marching in the skies;
That phantom host, a phantom Custer led;
Mirage of dire portent, forecasting days ahead.
XXVI
The soldiers' children, flaunting mimic flags,
Played by the roadside, striding sticks for nags.
Their mothers wept, indifferent to the crowd
Who saw their tears and heard them sob aloud.
Old Indian men and squaws crooned forth a rhyme
Sung by their tribes from immemorial time;
And over all the drums' incessant beat
Mixed with the scout's weird rune, and tramp of myriad feet.
XXVII
So flawless was the union of each part
The mighty column (moved as by one heart)
206
Pulsed through the air, like some sad song well sung,
Which gives delight, although the soul is wrung.
Farther and fainter to the sight and sound
The beautiful embodied poem wound;
Till like a ribbon, stretched across the land
Seemed the long narrow line of that receding band.
XXVIII
The lot of those who in the silence wait
Is harder than the fighting soldiers' fate.
Back to the lonely post two women passed,
With unaccustomed sorrow overcast.
Two sad for sighs, too desolate for tears,
The dark forebodings of long widowed years
In preparation for the awful blow
Hung on the door of hope the sable badge of woe.
XXIX
Unhappy Muse! for thee no song remains,
Save the sad miséréré of the plains.
Yet though defeat, not triumph, ends the tale,
Great victors sometimes are the souls that fail.
All glory lies not in the goals we reach,
But in the lessons which our actions teach.
And he who, conquered, to the end believes
In God and in himself, though vanquished, still achieves.
XXX
Ah, grand as rash was that last fatal raid
The little group of daring heroes made.
Two hundred and two score intrepid men
Rode out to war; not one came back again.
Like fiends incarnate from the depths of hell
Five thousand foemen rose with deafening yell,
And swept that vale as with a simoon's breath,
But like the gods of old, each martyr met his death.
XXXI
207
Like gods they battled and like gods they died.
Hour following hour that little band defied
The hordes of red men swarming o'er the plain,
Till scarce a score stood upright 'mid the slain.
Then in the lull of battle, creeping near,
A scout breathed low in Custer's listening ear:
'Death lies before, dear life remains behind
Mount thy sure-footed steed, and hasten with the wind.'
XXXII
A second's silence. Custer dropped his head,
His lips slow moving as when prayers are saidTwo words he breathed-'God and Elizabeth,'
Then shook his long locks in the face of death,
And with a final gesture turned away
To join that fated few who stood at bay.
Ah! deeds like that the Christ in man reveal
Let Fame descend her throne at Custer's shrine to kneel.
XXXIII
Too late to rescue, but in time to weep,
His tardy comrades came. As if asleep
He lay, so fair, that even hellish hate
Withheld its hand and dared not mutilate.
By fiends who knew not honor, honored still,
He smiled and slept on that far western hill.
Cast down thy lyre, oh Muse! thy song is done!
Let tears complete the tale of him who failed, yet won.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
902:Epistle Ii: To A Lady (Of The Characters Of Women )
NOTHING so true as what you once let fall,
"Most Women have no Characters at all."
Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear,
And best distinguish'd by black, brown, or fair.
How many pictures of one Nymph we view,
All how unlike each other, all how true!
Arcadia's Countess, here, in ermin'd pride,
Is, there, Pastora by a fountain side.
Here Fannia, leering on her own good man,
And there, a naked Leda with a Swan.
Let then the Fair one beautifully cry,
In Magdalen's loose hair and lifted eye,
Or drest in smiles of sweet Cecilia shine,
With simpering Angels, Palms, and Harps divine;
Whether the Charmer sinner it, or saint it,
If Folly grow romantic, I must paint it.
Come then, the colours and the ground prepare!
Dip in the Rainbow, trick her off in Air;
Choose a firm Cloud, before it fall, and in it
Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute.
Rufa, whose eye quick-glancing o'er the Park,
Attracts each light gay meteor of a Spark,
Agrees as ill with Rufa studying Locke,
As Sappho's diamonds with her dirty smock;
Or Sappho at her toilet's greasy task,
With Sappho fragrant at an evening Masque:
So morning Insects that in muck begun,
Shine, buzz, and flyblow in the setting sun.
How soft is Silia! fearful to offend;
The Frail one's advocate, the Weak one's friend:
To her, Calista prov'd her conduct nice;
And good Simplicius asks of her advice.
Sudden, she storms! she raves! You tip the wink,
But spare your censure; Silia does not drink.
All eyes may see from what the change arose,
65
All eyes may see--a Pimple on her nose.
Papillia, wedded to her amorous spark,
Sighs for the shades--"How charming is a Park!"
A Park is purchas'd, but the Fair he sees
All bath'd in tears--"Oh odious, odious Trees!"
Ladies, like variegated Tulips, show;
'Tis to their Changes half their charms we owe;
Fine by defect, and delicately weak,
Their happy Spots the nice admirer take,
'Twas thus Calypso once each heart alarm'd,
Aw'd without Virtue, without Beauty charmed;
Her tongue bewitch'd as oddly as her Eyes,
Less Wit than Mimic, more a Wit than wise;
Strange graces still, and stranger flights she had,
Was just not ugly, and was just not mad;
Yet ne'er so sure our passion to create,
As when she touch'd the brink of all we hate.
Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild,
To make a wash, would hardly stew a child;
Has ev'n been prov'd to grant a Lover's pray'r,
And paid a Tradesman once to make him stare;
Gave alms at Easter, in a Christian trim,
And made a Widow happy, for a whim.
Why then declare Good-nature is her scorn,
When 'tis by that alone she can be borne?
Why pique all mortals, yet affect a name?
A fool to Pleasure, yet a slave to Fame:
Now deep in Taylor and the Book of Martyrs,
Now drinking citron with his Grace and Chartres:
Now Conscience chills her, and now Passion burns;
And Atheism and Religion take their turns;
A very Heathen in the carnal part,
Yet still a sad, good Christian at her heart.
See Sin in State, majestically drunk;
Proud as a Peeress, prouder as a Punk;
Chaste to her Husband, frank to all beside,
A teeming Mistress, but a barren Bride.
What then? let Blood and Body bear the fault,
66
Her Head's untouch'd, that noble Seat of Thought:
Such this day's doctrine--in another fit
She sins with Poets thro' pure Love of Wit.
What has not fir'd her bosom or her brain?
Caesar and Tallboy, Charles and Charlemagne.
As Helluo, late Dictator of the Feast,
The Nose of Hautgout, and the Tip of Taste,
Critick'd your wine, and analyz'd your meat,
Yet on plain Pudding deign'd at home to eat;
So Philomede, lecturing all mankind
On the soft Passion, and the Taste refin'd,
Th' Address, the Delicacy--stoops at once,
And makes her hearty meal upon a Dunce.
Flavia's a Wit, has too much sense to Pray;
To Toast our wants and wishes, is her way;
Nor asks of God, but of her Stars, to give
The mighty blessing, "while we live, to live."
Then all for Death, that Opiate of the soul!
Lucretia's dagger, Rosamonda's bowl.
Say, what can cause such impotence of mind?
A spark too fickle, or a Spouse too kind.
Wise Wretch! with Pleasures too refin'd to please;
With too much Spirit to be e'er at ease;
With too much Quickness ever to be taught;
With too much Thinking to have common Thought:
You purchase Pain with all that Joy can give,
And die of nothing but a Rage to live.
Turn then from Wits; and look on Simo's Mate,
No Ass so meek, no Ass so obstinate.
Or her, that owns her Faults, but never mends,
Because she's honest, and the best of Friends.
Or her, whose life the Church and Scandal share,
For ever in a Passion, or a Pray'r.
Or her, who laughs at Hell, but (like her Grace)
Cries, "Ah! how charming, if there's no such place!"
Or who in sweet vicissitude appears
Of Mirth and Opium, Ratafie and Tears,
The daily Anodyne, and nightly Draught,
To kill those foes to Fair ones, Time and Thought.
Woman and Fool are two hard things to hit;
67
For true No-meaning puzzles more than Wit.
But what are these to great Atossa's mind?
Scarce once herself, by turns all Womankind!
Who, with herself, or others, from her birth
Finds all her life one warfare upon earth:
Shines, in exposing Knaves, and painting Fools,
Yet is, whate'er she hates and ridicules.
No Thought advances, but her Eddy Brain
Whisks it about, and down it goes again.
Full sixty years the World has been her Trade,
The wisest Fool much Time has ever made.
From loveless youth to unrespected age,
No passion gratify'd except her Rage.
So much the Fury still outran the Wit,
The Pleasure miss'd her, and the Scandal hit.
Who breaks with her, provokes Revenge from Hell,
But he's a bolder man who dares be well.
Her ev'ry turn with Violence pursu'd,
Nor more a storm her Hate than Gratitude:
To that each Passion turns, or soon or late;
Love, if it makes her yield, must make her hate:
Superiors? death! and Equals? what a curse!
But an Inferior not dependant? worse.
Offend her, and she knows not to forgive;
Oblige her, and she'll hate you while you live:
But die, and she'll adore you--Then the Bust
And Temple rise--then fall again to dust.
Last night, her Lord was all that's good and great;
A Knave this morning, and his Will a Cheat.
Strange! by the Means defeated of the Ends,
By Spirit robb'd of Pow'r, by Warmth of Friends,
By Wealth of Followers! without one distress
Sick of herself thro' very selfishness!
Atossa, curs'd with ev'ry granted pray'r,
Childless with all her Children, wants an Heir.
To Heirs unknown descends th' unguarded store,
Or wanders, Heav'n-directed, to the Poor.
Pictures like these, dear Madam, to design,
Asks no firm hand, and no unerring line;
Some wandering touches, some reflected light,
68
Some flying stroke alone can hit 'em right:
For how should equal Colours do the knack?
Chameleons who can paint in white and black?
"Yet Chloe sure was form'd without a spot--"
Nature in her then err'd not, but forgot.
"With ev'ry pleasing, ev'ry prudent part,
Say, what can Chloe want?"--She wants a Heart.
She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought;
But never, never, reach'd one gen'rous Thought.
Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour,
Content to dwell in Decencies for ever.
So very reasonable, so unmov'd,
As never yet to love, or to be lov'd.
She, while her Lover pants upon her breast,
Can mark the figures on an Indian chest;
And when she sees her Friend in deep despair,
Observes how much a Chintz exceeds Mohair.
Forbid it Heav'n, a Favour or a Debt
She e'er should cancel--but she may forget.
Safe is your Secret still in Chloe's ear;
But none of Chloe's shall you ever hear.
Of all her Dears she never slander'd one,
But cares not if a thousand are undone.
Would Chloe know if you're alive or dead?
She bids her Footman put it in her head.
Chloe is prudent--Would you too be wise?
Then never break your heart when Chloe dies.
One certain Portrait may (I grant) be seen,
Which Heav'n has varnish'd out, and made a Queen:
The same for ever! and describ'd by all
With Truth and Goodness, as with Crown and Ball.
Poets heap Virtues, Painters Gems at will,
And show their zeal, and hide their want of skill.
'Tis well--but, Artists! who can paint or write,
To draw the Naked is your true delight.
That robe of Quality so struts and swells,
None see what Parts of Nature it conceals:
Th' exactest traits of Body or of Mind,
We owe to models of an humble kind.
If QUEENSBURY to strip there's no compelling,
69
'Tis from a Handmaid we must take a Helen.
From Peer or Bishop 'tis no easy thing
To draw the man who loves his God, or King:
Alas! I copy (or my draught would fail)
From honest Mah'met, or plain Parson Hale.
But grant, in Public Men sometimes are shown,
A Woman's seen in Private life alone:
Our bolder Talents in full light displayed;
Your Virtues open fairest in the shade.
Bred to disguise, in Public 'tis you hide;
There, none distinguish twixt your Shame or Pride,
Weakness or Delicacy; all so nice,
That each may seem a Virtue, or a Vice.
In Men, we various Ruling Passions find;
In Women, two almost divide the kind;
Those, only fix'd, they first or last obey,
The Love of Pleasure, and the Love of Sway.
That, Nature gives; and where the lesson taught
Is but to please, can Pleasure seem a fault?
Experience, this; by Man's oppression curst,
They seek the second not to lose the first.
Men, some to Business, some to pleasure take;
But ev'ry Woman is at heart a Rake:
Men, some to Quiet, some to public Strife;
But ev'ry Lady would be Queen for life.
Yet mark the fate of a whole Sex of Queens!
Pow'r all their end, but Beauty all the means:
In Youth they conquer, with so wild a rage,
As leaves them scarce a subject in their Age:
For foreign glory, foreign joy, they roam;
No thought of peace or happiness at home.
But Wisdom's triumph is a well-tim'd Retreat,
As hard a science to the Fair as Great!
Beauties, like Tyrants, old and friendless grown,
Yet hate repose, and dread to be alone,
Worn out in public, weary ev'ry eye,
Nor leave one sigh behind them when they die.
70
Pleasures the sex, as children Birds, pursue,
Still out of reach, yet never out of view;
Sure, if they catch, to spoil the Toy at most,
To covet flying, and regret when lost:
At last, to follies Youth could scarce defend,
It grows their Age's prudence to pretend;
Asham'd to own they gave delight before,
Reduc'd to feign it, when they give no more:
As Hags hold Sabbaths, less for joy than spite,
So these their merry, miserable Night;
Still round and round the Ghosts of Beauty glide,
And haunt the places where their Honour died.
See how the World its Veterans rewards!
A Youth of Frolics, an old Age of Cards;
Fair to no purpose, artful to no end,
Young without Lovers, old without a Friend;
A Fop their Passion, but their Prize a Sot;
Alive, ridiculous, and dead, forgot!
Ah Friend! to dazzle let the Vain design;
To raise the Thought, and touch the Heart be thine!
That Charm shall grow, while what fatigues the Ring,
Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded thing:
So when the Sun's broad beam has tir'd the sight,
All mild ascends the Moon's more sober light,
Serene in Virgin Modesty she shines,
And unobserv'd the glaring Orb declines.
Oh! blest with Temper, whose unclouded ray
Can make tomorrow cheerful as today;
She, who can love a Sister's charms, or hear
Sighs for a Daughter with unwounded ear;
She, who ne'er answers till a Husband cools,
Or, if she rules him, never shows she rules;
Charms by accepting, by submitting sways,
Yet has her humour most, when she obeys;
Let Fops or Fortune fly which way they will;
Disdains all loss of Tickets, or Codille;
Spleen, Vapours, or Smallpox, above them all,
And Mistress of herself, though China fall.
71
And yet, believe me, good as well as ill,
Woman's at best a Contradiction still.
Heav'n, when it strives to polish all it can
Its last best work, but forms a softer Man;
Picks from each sex, to make the Favorite blest,
Your love of Pleasure, our desire of Rest:
Blends, in exception to all general rules,
Your Taste of Follies, with our Scorn of Fools:
Reserve with Frankness, Art with Truth ally'd,
Courage with Softness, Modesty with Pride;
Fix'd Principles, with Fancy ever new;
Shakes all together, and produces--You.
Be this a Woman's Fame: with this unblest,
Toasts live a scorn, and Queens may die a jest.
This Phoebus promis'd (I forget the year)
When those blue eyes first open'd on the sphere;
Ascendant Phoebus watch'd that hour with care,
Averted half your Parents' simple Pray'r;
And gave you Beauty, but deny'd the Pelf
That buys your sex a Tyrant o'er itself.
The generous God, who Wit and Gold refines,
And ripens Spirits as he ripens Mines,
Kept Dross for Duchesses, the world shall know it,
To you gave Sense, Good Humour, and a Poet.
~ Alexander Pope,
903:Lay le Freine
We redeth oft and findeth ywrite And this clerkes wele it wite Layes that ben in harping
Ben yfounde of ferli thing.
Sum bethe of wer and sum of wo,
And sum of joie and mirthe also,
And sum of trecherie and of gile,
Of old aventours that fel while;
And sum of bourdes and ribaudy,
And mani ther beth of fairy.
Of al thinges that men seth,
Mest o love for sothe thai beth.
In Breteyne bi hold time
This layes were wrought, so seith this rime.
When kinges might our yhere
Of ani mervailes that ther were,
Thai token an harp in gle and game,
And maked a lay and gaf it name.
Now of this aventours that weren yfalle,
Y can tel sum ac nought alle.
Ac herkneth lordinges, sothe to sain,
Ichil you telle Lay le Frayn.
Bifel a cas in Breteyne
Whereof was made Lay le Frain.
In Ingliche for to tellen ywis
Of an asche for sothe it is;
On ensaumple fair with alle
That sum time was bifalle.
In the west cuntré woned tuay knightes,
And loved hem wele in al rightes;
Riche men in her best liif,
And aither of hem hadde wedded wiif.
That o knight made his levedi milde
That sche was wonder gret with childe.
And when hir time was comen tho,
She was deliverd out of wo.
The knight thonked God almight,
And cleped his messanger an hight.
'Go,' he seyd, 'to mi neighebour swithe,
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And say y gret him fele sithe,
And pray him that he com to me,
And say he schal mi gossibbe be.'
The messanger goth, and hath nought forgete,
And fint the knight at his mete.
And fair he gret in the halle
The lord, the levedi, the meyné alle.
And seththen on knes doun him sett,
And the Lord ful fair he gret:
'He bad that thou schust to him te,
And for love his gossibbe be.'
'Is his levedi deliverd with sounde?'
'Ya, sir, ythonked be God the stounde.'
'And whether a maidenchild other a knave?'
'Tuay sones, sir, God hem save.'
The knight therof was glad and blithe,
And thonked Godes sond swithe,
And graunted his erand in al thing,
And gaf him a palfray for his tiding.
Than was the levedi of the hous
A proude dame and an envieous,
Hokerfulliche missegging,
Squeymous and eke scorning.
To ich woman sche hadde envie;
Sche spac this wordes of felonie:
'Ich have wonder, thou messanger,
Who was thi lordes conseiler,
To teche him about to send
And telle schame in ich an ende,
That his wiif hath to childer ybore.
Wele may ich man wite therfore
That tuay men hir han hadde in bour;
That is hir bothe deshonour.' 1
The messanger was sore aschamed;
The knight himself was sore agramed,
And rebouked his levedy
To speke ani woman vilaynie.
And ich woman therof might here
Curssed hir alle yfere,
And bisought God in heven
For His holy name seven
That yif hye ever ani child schuld abide
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A wers aventour hir schuld bitide.
Sone therafter bifel a cas
That hirself with child was.
When God wild, sche was unbounde
And deliverd al with sounde.
To maidenchilder sche hadde ybore.
When hye it wist, wo hir was therefore.
'Allas,' sche seyd, 'that this hap come!
Ich have ygoven min owen dome.
Forboden bite ich woman
To speken ani other harm opon.
Falsliche another y gan deme;
The selve happe is on me sene.
Allas,' sche seyd, 'that y was born!
Withouten ende icham forlorn.
Or ich mot siggen sikerly
That tuay men han yly me by;
Or ich mot sigge in al mi liif
That y bileighe mi neghbours wiif;
Or ich mot - that God it schilde! Help to sle min owhen child.
On of this thre thinges ich mot nede
Sigge other don in dede.
'Yif ich say ich hadde a bileman,
Than ich leighe meselve opon;
And eke thai wil that me se
Held me wer than comoun be.
And yif ich knaweleche to ich man
That ich leighe the levedi opon,
Than ich worth of old and yong
Behold leighster and fals of tong.
Yete me is best take mi chaunce,
And sle mi childe, and do penaunce.'
Hir midwiif hye cleped hir to:
'Anon,' sche seyd, 'this child fordo.
And ever say thou wher thou go
That ich have o child and namo.'
The midwiif answerd thurchout al
That hye nil, no hye ne schal. 2
[The levedi hadde a maiden fre,
Who ther ynurtured hade ybe,
And fostered fair ful mony a yere;
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Sche saw her kepe this sori chere,
And wepe, and syke, and crye, 'Alas!'
And thoghte to helpen her in this cas.
And thus sche spake, this maiden ying,
'So n'olde y wepen for no kind thing: 3
But this o child wol I of-bare
And in a covent leve it yare.
Ne schalt thou be aschamed at al;
And whoso findeth this childe smal,
By Mary, blissful quene above,
May help it for Godes love.'
The levedi graunted anon therto,
And wold wele that it were ydo.
Sche toke a riche baudekine
That hir lord brought from Costentine
And lapped the litel maiden therin,
And toke a ring of gold fin,
And on hir right arm it knitt,
With a lace of silke therin plit;
And whoso hir founde schuld have in mende
That it were comen of riche kende.
The maide toke the child hir mide
And stale oway in an eventide,
And passed over a wild heth.
Thurch feld and thurch wode hye geth
Al the winterlong night The weder was clere, the mone was light So that hye com bi a forest side;
Sche wax al weri and gan abide.
Sone after sche gan herk
Cokkes crowe and houndes berk.
Sche aros and thider wold.
Ner and nere sche gan bihold.
Walles and hous fele hye seighe,
A chirche with stepel fair and heighe.
Than nas ther noither strete no toun,
Bot an hous of religioun,
An order of nonnes wele ydight
To servy God bothe day and night.
The maiden abod no lengore,
Bot yede hir to the chirche dore,
And on knes sche sat adoun,
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And seyd wepeand her orisoun:
'O Lord,' she seyd, 'Jesu Crist,
That sinful man bedes herst,
Underfong this present,
And help this seli innocent
That it mot ycristned be,
For Marie love, thi moder fre.'
Hye loked up and bi hir seighe
An asche bi hir fair and heighe,
Wele ybowed, of michel priis;
The bodi was holow as mani on is.
Therin sche leyd the child for cold,
In the pel as it was bifold,
And blisced it with al hir might.
With that it gan to dawe light.
The foules up and song on bough,
And acremen yede to the plough.
The maiden turned ogain anon,
And toke the waye he hadde er gon.
The porter of the abbay aros,
And dede his ofice in the clos,
Rong the belles and taperes light,
Leyd forth bokes and al redi dight.
The chirche dore he undede,
And seighe anon in the stede
The pel liggen in the tre,
And thought wele that it might be
That theves hadde yrobbed sumwhare,
And gon ther forth and lete it thare.
Therto he yede and it unwond,
And the maidenchild therin he fond.
He tok it up betwen his hond,
And thonked Jesu Cristes sond;
And hom to his hous he it brought,
And tok it his douhter and hir bisought
That hye schuld kepe it as sche can,
For sche was melche and couthe theran.
Sche bad it souke and it nold,
For it was neighe ded for cold.
Anon fer sche alight
And warmed it wele aplight.
Sche gaf it souke opon hir barm,
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And sethen laid it to slepe warm.
And when the masse was ydon,
The porter to the abbesse com ful son
'Madame, what rede ye of this thing?
Today right in the morning,
Sone after the first stounde,
A litel maidenchild ich founde
In the holwe assche ther out,
And a pel him about.
A ring of gold also was there.
Hou it com thider y not nere.'
The abbesse was awonderd of this thing.
'Go,' hye seyd, 'on heighing,
And feche it hider, y pray the.
It is welcom to God and to me.
Ichil it help as y can
And sigge it is mi kinswoman.'
The porter anon it gan forth bring
With the pal and with the ring.
The abbesse lete clepe a prest anon,
And lete it cristin in funston.
And for it was in an asche yfounde,
Sche cleped it Frain in that stounde.
(The Freyns of the 'asche' is a freyn
After the language of Breteyn;
Forthe Le Frein men clepeth this lay
More than Asche in ich cuntray).
This Frein thrived fram yer to yer.
The abbesse nece men wend it were.
The abbesse hir gan teche and beld.
Bi that hye was of twelve winter eld,
In al Inglond ther nas non
A fairer maiden than hye was on.
And when hye couthe ought of manhed,
Hye bad the abbesse hir wis and rede
Whiche were her kin, on or other,
Fader or moder, soster or brother.
The abbesse hir in conseyl toke,
To tellen hir hye nought forsoke,
Hou hye was founden in al thing,
And tok hir the cloth and the ring,
And bad hir kepe it in that stede;
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And ther whiles sche lived so sche dede.
Than was ther in that cuntré
A riche knight of lond and fe,