Thursday, May 14, 2009

Atheism, Aspiration, Beauty, Blind

So will a greater fame redound to thee,
To have formed a party by thyself alone.

—Dante, Paradise, xvi.

Atheism.—Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-
(Portentous sight!) the owlet Atheism, [place
Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon,
Drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close,
And, hooting at the glorious sun in heaven,
Cries out, " Where is it ?"

A little philosophy inclineth a man's mind to atheism, hut depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.

Attention.—The one serviceable, safe, certain, remunerative, attainable quality in every study and in every pursuit is the quality of attention. My own invention, or imagination, such as it is, I can most truthfully assure you,would never have served me as it has but for the habit of commonplace, humble, patient, daily, toiling, drudging attention. —Dickens.

Aspiration.—Still doth the soul, from its lone fastness high,

Upon our life a rilling effluence send;
And when it falls, fight as we will, we die;
And while it lasts we cannot wholly end.

—Matthew Arnold.

" When I'm a man!" is the poetry of youth.
" When I was young!" is the poetry of old age
" When I'm a man," the stripling cries,
And strives the coming years to scan—
"Ah, then I shall be strong and wise,
When I'm a man!"
" When I was young," the old man sighs,
" Bravely the lark and linnet sung
Their carol under sunny skies,
When I was young I"

***** The boy's bright dream is all before,

The man's romance lies far behind. Had we the present and no more,

Fate were unkind.

But, brother, toiling in the night,

Still count yourself not all unblest,
If in the east there gleams a light,
Or in the west.

—Blackwood's Magazine.

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast.
Till thou at last art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea

—O. W. Holmes.

O paradise, O paradise!

Who doth not crave for rest,
Who would not seek the happy land

Where they that loved are blest ?
Where loyal hearts and true

Stand ever in the light,
All rapture through and through,
In God's most holy light.

For myself alone I doubt;
All is well, I know, without;
I alone the beauty mar,
I alone the music jar.
Yet with hands by evil stained,
And an ear by discord pained,
I am groping for the keys
Of the heavenly harmonies.
—J. G. Whittier.

The desire of the moth for the star,
Of the night for the morrow,
The devotion to something afar
From the sphere of our sorrow!

Into the sunshine,
Full of the light,
Leaping and flashing
From morn till night!
Glorious fountain!
Let my heart be
Fresh, changeful, constant,

Upward, like thee! —J. R. Lowell. Ballads.—I knew a very wise man that believed that if a man were permitted to make all the ballads he need not care who should make the laws of a nation.
—Andrew Fletcher.

I had rather be a kitten and cry mew, than one of these same metre ballad-mongers.
—Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I.

Beauty.—A thing of beauty is a joy forever;
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams and health and quiet
breathing. —John Keats.

A blind man is a poor man, and blind a poor man is;
For the former seeth no man, and the latter no man sees. —Longfellow (Translation)

Thou hast no faults, or I no faults can spy,
Thou art all beauty, or all blindness I.
—Christopher Codrington.

Change.—Changed! There the epitaph of all the years

Was sounded! I am changed too. Let it be. Yet it is sad to know my latest tears Were faithful to a memory—not to thee.
—Owen Meredith. Charity.—Then gently scan your brother man,

Still gentler, sister woman ;
Though they may gang a kennin wrang,
To step aside is human.

What's done we partly may compute,
But know not what's resisted.

An old man broken with the storms of state Is come to lay his weary bones among ye: Give him a little earth for charity.
—Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

Alas for the rarity Of Christian charity Under the sun !
—Thomas Hood.

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