Latest quotes | Random quotes | Vote! | Latest comments | Add quote

I must begin by saying something about the old Germany. That Germany, too, suffered from superficial judgment, because appearances and reality were not always kept apart in people's minds.

quote by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Related quotes

Something About The Trees

I remember what my father told me:
There is an age when you are most yourself.
He was just past fifty then,
Was it something about the trees that make him speak?

There is an age when you are most yourself.
I know more than I did once.
Was it something about the trees that make him speak?
Only a single leaf had turned so far.

I know more than I did once.
I used to think he'd always be the surgeon.
Only a single leaf had turned so far,
Even his body kept its secrets.

I used to think he'd always be the surgeon,
My mother was the perfect surgeon's wife.
Even his body kept its secrets.
I thought they both would live forever.

My mother was the perfect surgeon's wife,
I can still see her face at thirty.
I thought they both would live forever.
I thought I'd always be their child.

I can still see her face at thirty.
When will I be most myself?
I thought I'd always be their child.
In my sleep it's never winter.

When will I be most myself?
I remember what my father told me.
In my sleep it's never winter.
He was just past fifty then.


Submitted by Jt

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Something About The Weather

Dear sister, you have no idea
About the weather here
The earth is dry
We haven't seen any rain
For the past few years
And hunger is striking.

Looking out through the window
Father is trying to forecast the weather
And he has been saying something
But no one heard what the exact words are
For he's talking to no one, but himself.
Oh! how terrible things are here
The weather is bad, so bad that
I am beginning to believe what father has said.

'This is not weather, but a curse laid upon us.'
23/03/2004

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

To Know Something About It

When in Rome,
It may be to one's advantage...
To make attempts to do what the Romans do.
With a following of their rules and customs.

But when one decides to visit Poland,
Trying to impress the Polish,
With the speaking of Italian...
Or the French with the speaking of Spanish,
May not achieve the welcoming one expects.

It is suggested to receive,
What one believes is respect...
Is to know something about it.
To ensure it is recognized by others,
When it is projected and reflects.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

There Is Something About Being Shattered

Nothing intentionally broken into pieces,
Over an extended period of time...
Can be painfully put back together again.
As if the act and the lack of integrity,
Restores an unblemished image.
An image not to neglect!
And from its beginning held with the utmost respect.

Or can those responsible for such misdeeds,
Be forgiven back into an innocence remembered.
As if the raising of hypocrisies have rights to be praised!

There is something about being shattered,
That matters!
There is something about a wound inflicted,
That remains intact!
There is something about life,
That should be taught to keep treasured!
And this fact kept from falling off a path that's tracked.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Old Road, The Old Way

Somewhere, somehow
There must be a road, a path
That goes, that leads beyond
Way beyond woman and man...
A Way, that really can be travelled
By all who desire;
An old-old road, a dirt trail
From the deep past
To far ahead
-neither traversed by plane, boat nor rail-
Simply a road, a path
To be walked, crawled, or carried upon by mortal man...
Blazed from and for eternity
-not always difficult nor easy-
A quiet, a gentle Way
Ever calling, ever leading
A peaceful, a beautiful trail...
It is somewhere, out there, and in here
Then and now, forever
From before light, to beyond the last sunset
Going so far
That it now only 'seems' to be
Yet so near
It always is.
Only God truly knows
Where all it's been
And to where fully it finally goes.
But for all
All who do seek
It is a very welcome old road, a good old path;
Down it look, see
A connecting... of now to all eternity...
A million-million
Perhaps a billion-billion
Shadows upon it go, and shall go
One and all forever unending.
Along the way is such beauty
Peace is the air to breath
Rest and joy the pace offered
Something grand dim and far ahead
Where music and laughter faint is heard
A place of great dancing, and fiesta surely awaits.
This old road, the true-old path
So hard to see
Yet so easy to find
It runs between the eternities
Connecting God to man
The never beginning
With the never ending
It shall forever stand.
Tread upon it, walk it's wonderous way
Released from burden
Heart and soul begin to mend.
No more pacing the cage
End of the ravinous age
Stroll freely on
Meander joyfully along
This good old path
This good old Way
That runs forever into
That pure, promised never ending Day.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

What About The Love

I went to see my sister.
She was staying with a friend
Who had turned into a preacher
To save the world from sin.
He said, first deny your body,
And then learn to submit.
Pray to be made worthy,
And tithe your ten percent.
I said, is this all there is,
Just the letter of the law?
Somethings wrong.
I went to see my brother
On the 32nd floor
Of a building down on wall street;
You could hear the futures roar.
He said, here we make decisions,
And we trade commodities;
If you tell me where theres famine,
I can make you guarantees.
I said, is this all there is,
Power to the strong?
Somethings wrong.
Somethings wrong in heaven tonight.
You can almost hear them cry.
Angels to the left and the right,
Saying, what about the love?
What about the love?
What about the love?
I went to see my neighbor.
Hed been taken to a home
For the weak and the discarded
Who have no place to go.
He said, here I lack for nothing;
I am fed and I am clothed.
But at times I miss the freedom
I used to know.
I said, is this all there is,
When your usefulness is gone?
Somethings wrong.
Somethings wrong in heaven tonight. (somethings wrong.)
You can almost hear them cry. (cry.)
Angels to the left and the right,
Saying, what about the love?
What about the love?
What about the love?
(yeah, yeah, yeah....)
(yeah.)
(yeah.)
I looked into the mirror, (yeah.)
Proud as I could be, (yeah.)
And I saw my pointing finger (yeah.)
Pointing back at me,
Saying, who named you accuser? (yeah.)
Who gave you the scales? (yeah.)
I hung my head in sorrow; (yeah.)
I could almost feel the nails.
I said, this is how it is
To be crucified and judged
Without love.
Somethings wrong in heaven tonight. (somethings wrong.)
You can almost hear them cry. (cry.)
Angels to the left and the right,
Saying, what about the love?
What about the love?
What about the love of god?
Somethings wrong in heaven tonight. (somethings wrong.)
You can almost hear them cry. (cry.)
Angels to the left and the right,
Saying, what about the love?
What about the love?
What about the love of god?
Somethings wrong in heaven tonight. (somethings wrong.)
You can almost hear them cry. (cry.)
Angels to the left and the right,
Saying, what about the love?
What about the love?
What about the love...?

song performed by Amy GrantReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Something About The Girl Called Spring (Sonnet Corona)

I

Just after winter you are back enchanting
with unfolding blossoms on hot sunny days
playing your roles in all your beautiful ways
as if every day is a grand setting

with colours and smells alluring, inviting
man, animals and insects to stray
in orchards, gardens and in the veldt to play
wherever you may be wandering

while insects and birds sing sweet melodies,
even the breeze is charming
in the season that you bequeath
that becomes a time of sweet memories
while everywhere life is swarming;
flowers are as fragrant as your breath.


II

Flowers are as fragrant as your breath
and outside the sun does shine
where flowers and insects ephemeral awaits death
living just as small specs of the will divine.

There are tales about flowers and butterflies that you tell,
about all the minute things, before the first shadows fall
but you have to mention the Creator as well
who fathered everything, created all.

His gardens fill the earth in sheer exuberance
while in summer and spring, in daylight hours
bees, butterflies and birds dance
around the fragrant flowers

in their winged flight,
from early twilight.


III

From early twilight
you are everywhere sent
until the dark night
for the whole world’s enjoyment

and flowering fair
you dance along
without a moment to spare
singing a cheerful song

as a seasonal creature being sweet,
dressed very serene
dancing with fairly like feet
as the essence of the productive machine

and nature everywhere tells,
spring is awaking in smells.


IV

Spring is awaking in smells
with birds singing
rising from the valleys and dells,
sounding in joy about the beauty she is bringing

even every bird, deer and bee,
as the blessings have come
as a time of tranquillity to some
until all of nature is happy and free

when love is finally finding its home
and spring is especially dear to me,
in the air above there’s a vibrant hue
as if it’s a living kind of blue

specked with flocks of birds in their flight;
spring is dressed in white.


V

Spring is dressed in white,
dressed for her wedding day,
when she blesses wherever her flowers stray
in celebration in every day and night

while she dances from early morning light
inviting all her guests, the birds and bees to play,
while she lingers everything is gay
in colours jubilant and bright

with butterflies filling the air,
humming yellow and black bees,
even joined by flying birds that in joy sing
roaming among the almond, peach and pear,
flying to and fro from the blue gum trees
in the unfolding of spring.


VI

In the unfolding of spring
it came to my mind
the words, the deeds and every thing,
of the troublesome kind

that man does to his fellow human beings
as if he is inclined
to act only to his own interest without any feelings,
as if so designed

but around me the new awakenings
are totally unrestrained
in days and evenings
with beauty that is gained

while everywhere flowers are rising,
I long for an eternal spring’s blessing.


VII

I long for an eternal spring’s blessing
as if the Godly plan
in a place where everything is living,
is still in effect for man,

where the songs of birds through the hubbub ring
as if the singing birds are right here
bringing pleasure to everything
making existing so sweet and sincere,

as if from the very beginning
the Lord God was near,
even before human beings were sinning
when these joyous songs fall on the ear:
.
with all of the love that God is granting,
just after winter you are back enchanting.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

About the Little Girl that Beat Her Sister

Go, go, my naughty girl, and kiss
Your little sister dear;
I must not have such things as this,
And noisy quarrels here.

What! little children scratch and fight,
That ought to be so mild;
Oh! Mary, it's a shocking sight
To see an angry child.

I can't imagine, for my part,
The reason for your folly;
She did not do you any hurt
By playing with your dolly.

See, see, the little tears that run
Fast from her watery eye:
Come, my sweet innocent, have done,
'Twill do no good to cry.

Go, Mary, wipe her tears away,
And make it up with kisses:
And never turn a pretty play
To such a pet as this is.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Something In The Air

Call out the instigator
Because theres something in the air
Weve got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolutions here
And you know its right
And you know that its right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now
Run through the fields and houses
Because theres something in the air
Weve got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolutions here
And you know its right
And you know that its right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now
Call out the instigator
Because theres something in the air
Weve got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolutions here
And you know its right
And you know that its right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now

song performed by Tom PettyReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

It Is About The Entire Performance

It is highly unlikely...
But,
Nothing is impossible...
That a leaf,
Connected to a twig or a branch...
Of a rooted tree,
Would not have a clue...
How it is associated with the process,
Of life.

Or...
That it accepts it has nothing to do with it at all.

However...
Attempts to deceive the other leaves,
They too are equally independent.
And can do what they wish...
With this being totally ignored,
By the Earth from which it feeds!
It is unlikely that a leaf would be that selfish.
But...
I BET it gets the point,
When that tree begins to give it signals...
Its leeching days,
Are not permanently attached.
And that leaf has to go!

And the Earth,
In agreement AND with approval given...
Knows WHO runs the show!
It is not about the part the leaf plays in the act.
It is about the entire performance that is important.
AND...
Has only ONE director.

'Some' leaves get this!
However,
Many do not.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Old School House At Ruby

In old school house yard at Ruby a dark brown shorthorn cow
And leghorn pullets cackling beneath the cypress bough
This school must hold good memories and memories live somehow
Here in their lunch hour children played but where are those children now? .

The old school room now a tea room has undergone some change
And if past pupil came back here he'd find the place quite strange
Where is the desk he sat at? the blackboard is not there
And time has brought change to Ruby as it has done elsewhere.

The old school house at Ruby a memory of past years
Here Ruby children sang and laughed and shed their fledgeling tears
And do those children of Ruby who now live far away
In dreams return to old school house and Ruby childhood day? .

The old school house at Ruby a memory of the past
And time has brought about some change and time bring change too fast
This school must hold good memories and memories live somehow
Here in their lunch hour children played but where are those children now? .

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

It's All About The Feeling Giving

Go get that hot coco cup,
And fill it up to sit and sip...
Since,
It's all about the feeling giving.

As the seasons seem to slip,
To come and go quickly to dip.
It's all about the feeling giving.

To give a 'thanks' is an investment,
To receive and benefit.
'Cause...
It's all about the feeling giving.

Getting gifts to reminisce,
Is only part of it that fits...
'Cause,
It's all about the feeling giving.

Come what may,
Everyday that's over-rated...
It's,
All about the feeling giving.

Those holidays we love to celebrate,
Don't come to stay...
'Cause...
It's all about the feeling giving.

We hope with a faith and pray,
Dedicated...
To give a feeling someone's getting,
Come what may...
It's all about the feeling giving.
Come what may,
It's all about the feeling giving.

Go get that hot coco cup,
And fill it up to sit and sip...
Since,
It's all about the feeling giving.
Sit and sip to reminisce,
Since...
It's all about the feeling giving.
Everyday,
It's all about the feeling giving.
Come what may,
It's all about the feeling giving.
Come what may,
It's all about the feeling giving.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Something For The Girl With Everything

Something for the girl with everything
See, the writings on the wall
You bought the girl a wall
Complete with matching ball-point pen
You can breathe another day
Secure in knowing she wont break you (yet)
Something for the girl with everything
Have another sweet my dear
Dont try to talk my dear
Your tiny little mouth is full
Heres a flavour you aint tried
You shouldnt try to talk, your mouth is full
Something for the girl with everything
Three wise men are here
Three wise men are here
Bearing gifts to aid amnesia
She knows everything
yes yes everyting
She knew way back when you weren't yourself
Something for the girl with everything
Heres a really preatty car
I hope it takes you far
I hope it takes you fast and far
Wow, the engines really loud
Nobodys gonna hear a thing you say
Something for the girl with everything
Three wise men are here
Three wise men are here
Where should they leave these imported gimmicks
Leave them anywhere
An-an-anywhere
Make sure that theres a clear path to the door
Something for the girl with everything
Something for the girl with everything
Something for the girl with everything
Something for the girl with everything
Three wise men are here
Three wise men are here
Three wise men are here
Three wise men are here
Heres a patridge in a tree,
A gardener for the tree
Complete with ornithologist
Careful, careful with that crate
You wouldn't want to dent Sinatra, no
Something for the girl who has got everything,
Yes, yes, everything
Hey, come out and say hello
Before you friends all go
But say no more than just hello
Ah, the little girl is shy
You see of late sh

song performed by Faith No MoreReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Ave et Vale

FAREWELL is said! Yea, but I cannot take
All that my Greeting gave.
In you hath Hope her doom and Joy her grave;
Still you go crowned with old imaginings,
Clad in the purple that young passion flings
About the sorriest god that Love can make.

Ah! would you might forget, and so pass by
Unwounded of my kiss,
Made free of Youth's unmemorable bliss!
Love's hand that speeds along his daisy chain
Forgets in swift delight to tell again
Old prayers upon a new-strung rosary.

For when I part from you I would not leave
One shadow that might be
A ghost to haunt you, what you had of me
I would fold by in Memory's lavender-
Something my breath may very gently stir
In the slow fading of a rainy eve.

When you drop cherries in the purple wine
For other lips to drain,
Let not old nights betrayed leap up again,
Throw down no murdering chalice at your feast
To-night, nor find another woman's breast
Less lovely with the sudden dream of mine.

Yet if a stranger bear my name, or one
With the same-coloured eyes
Glance at you suddenly, lost dreams shall rise
With unintelligible swift appeals,
The broken images of old ideals
Shall stare from corners where as gods they shone.

Farewell is on the lips of the first kiss
But speaks no word until
The loud voice of Desire hath had its will.
Greeting is swift and beautiful, Farewell
Is slow and patient and immutable,
Knowing of old that love must lead to this.

Greeting! Farewell! The day's grown very old,
My heart put out the light,
Read no more pages of the Past to-night.
There are no roses here to miss the sun;
A soul hath looked on love and he hath flown;
Ashes are on the wind; the tale is told.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Ave et Vale

FAREWELL is said! Yea, but I cannot take
All that my Greeting gave.
In you hath Hope her doom and Joy her grave;
Still you go crowned with old imaginings,
Clad in the purple that young passion flings
About the sorriest god that Love can make.

Ah! would you might forget, and so pass by
Unwounded of my kiss,
Made free of Youth's unmemorable bliss!
Love's hand that speeds along his daisy chain
Forgets in swift delight to tell again
Old prayers upon a new-strung rosary.

For when I part from you I would not leave
One shadow that might be
A ghost to haunt you, what you had of me
I would fold by in Memory's lavender--
Something my breath may very gently stir
In the slow fading of a rainy eve.

When you drop cherries in the purple wine
For other lips to drain,
Let not old nights betrayed leap up again,
Throw down no murdering chalice at your feast
To-night, nor find another woman's breast
Less lovely with the sudden dream of mine.

Yet if a stranger bear my name, or one
With the same-coloured eyes
Glance at you suddenly, lost dreams shall rise
With unintelligible swift appeals,
The broken images of old ideals
Shall stare from corners where as gods they shone.

Farewell is on the lips of the first kiss
But speaks no word until
The loud voice of Desire hath had its will.
Greeting is swift and beautiful, Farewell
Is slow and patient and immutable,
Knowing of old that love must lead to this.

Greeting! Farewell! The day's grown very old,
My heart put out the light,
Read no more pages of the Past to-night.
There are no roses here to miss the sun;
A soul hath looked on love and he hath flown;
Ashes are on the wind; the tale is told.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Old House

The candle flame flickers from a draft
on a dark and stormy night,
the floorboards creak with every step
as I move about the old house.

There is a chill in the air,
that seems to be everywhere,
and the clock’s tick sounds louder
as time passes hour to hour.

I hear the thunder rumble in the night
and see lightning illuminate the sky
and I stop and listen intently
to the yawns and groans that echo in my ears.

The old house’s settling graces
that are always heard in the quiet of the night.
My heart beats against my chest
as my imagination begins to fly.

I breath in the musty air within the room
where I am about to sleep.
Everywhere the shadows move
under the light of my flickering candle.

I know the old house is not haunted,
but my mind tells me other wise.
My imagination creates noises
where the dancing shadows fall.

I gaze about suspiciously
knowing that there is nothing there
as a branch outside taps my window
wanting to come in out of the storm.

The curtains move from a draft
as if something is sheltering behind them.
All of which make my mind
thinks of ghost stories I have been told.

In bed, I slip under the cover,
and then blow the candle out
as something gets on the bed
resting across my legs for the night.

My ears detect the slightest sound
in the blackness that surrounds me
and I am blind to everything
on this stormy moonless night.

The streaks of dawn break through the window
and the terrors of the night have fled.
I smile at my imagination
as I lay there with the cat upon the bed.

The old house is reputed to be haunted,
but take it from one who lives there
that the only ghosts are our imagination
and on dark and stormy nights it grows.

5 June 2010

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Girl Who Was a Waiter

'We never care for the present moment. We are so foolish that we wander in times that are not ours, and never think of the only time that belongs to us; we are so frivolous that we dream of the days that are not, and thoughtlessly pass over the only one that exists. We never live, but hope to live; and since we are always preparing to be happy it is inevitable that we shall never be so.'

- Blaise Pascal
(1623 - 1662)
French philosopher and mathematician
---------------

Not a waitress; just a waiter.
Though she sees herself as
a planner; a Girl With Plans.

Mid-January; travel brochures
all over the sofa; and not decided yet.
But it’s just such fun – she’s been like that
since she was a little girl – the future’s always
golden, shining, full of possibility…
the present simply doesn’t compare..

She’ll take an early holiday this year; and then,
a whole summer of café tables, clubs;
she, tanned and glowing, sharp eyes skinned
for – no, not Mr Right – thats silly chick-mag stuff.. but
a Truly Meaningful Relationship…
oh she just can’t wait. Though wait she will.

Then, it will all fall into place; glowing
with life, she’ll get that new job
which must be waiting for the glowing her, and with
more money, then that sure success which she knows
is just waiting in her to surge out;
feeling that good, how could people
miss the potential sparkling dormant there?

She’s in good shape for a girl
in her late 30s; and what is that these days?
She doesn’t throw herself at men, more
than a girl looking for a TMR has to do;
looks them long and straight between the eyes,
letting them know that here they’ve met
a Girl With Plans; and that, soon
sorts them out..

Time to look at those brochures again;
she just can’t wait to begin to live;
until then, what to do but wait?

Her much-loved cat is wiser in its way than she:
living only in the present, and well content with that;
while she just waits her life away.


[based on a character-sketch from Ernst Tolle’sThe Power of Now’]

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Captain Craig

I

I doubt if ten men in all Tilbury Town
Had ever shaken hands with Captain Craig,
Or called him by his name, or looked at him
So curiously, or so concernedly,
As they had looked at ashes; but a few—
Say five or six of us—had found somehow
The spark in him, and we had fanned it there,
Choked under, like a jest in Holy Writ,
By Tilbury prudence. He had lived his life
And in his way had shared, with all mankind,
Inveterate leave to fashion of himself,
By some resplendent metamorphosis,
Whatever he was not. And after time,
When it had come sufficiently to pass
That he was going patch-clad through the streets,
Weak, dizzy, chilled, and half starved, he had laid
Some nerveless fingers on a prudent sleeve,
And told the sleeve, in furtive confidence,
Just how it was: “My name is Captain Craig,”
He said, “and I must eat.” The sleeve moved on,
And after it moved others—one or two;
For Captain Craig, before the day was done,
Got back to the scant refuge of his bed
And shivered into it without a curse—
Without a murmur even. He was cold,
And old, and hungry; but the worst of it
Was a forlorn familiar consciousness
That he had failed again. There was a time
When he had fancied, if worst came to worst,
And he could do no more, that he might ask
Of whom he would. But once had been enough,
And soon there would be nothing more to ask.
He was himself, and he had lost the speed
He started with, and he was left behind.
There was no mystery, no tragedy;
And if they found him lying on his back
Stone dead there some sharp morning, as they might,—
Well, once upon a time there was a man—
Es war einmal ein König, if it pleased him.
And he was right: there were no men to blame:
There was just a false note in the Tilbury tune—
A note that able-bodied men might sound
Hosannas on while Captain Craig lay quiet.
They might have made him sing by feeding him
Till he should march again, but probably
Such yielding would have jeopardized the rhythm;
They found it more melodious to shout
Right on, with unmolested adoration,
To keep the tune as it had always been,
To trust in God, and let the Captain starve.

He must have understood that afterwards—
When we had laid some fuel to the spark
Of him, and oxidized it—for he laughed
Out loud and long at us to feel it burn,
And then, for gratitude, made game of us:
“You are the resurrection and the life,”
He said, “and I the hymn the Brahmin sings;
O Fuscus! and we’ll go no more a-roving.”
We were not quite accoutred for a blast
Of any lettered nonchalance like that,
And some of us—the five or six of us
Who found him out—were singularly struck.
But soon there came assurance of his lips,
Like phrases out of some sweet instrument
Man’s hand had never fitted, that he felt
“No penitential shame for what had come,
No virtuous regret for what had been,—
But rather a joy to find it in his life
To be an outcast usher of the soul
For such as had good courage of the Sun
To pattern Love.” The Captain had one chair;
And on the bottom of it, like a king,
For longer time than I dare chronicle,
Sat with an ancient ease and eulogized
His opportunity. My friends got out,
Like brokers out of Arcady; but I
May be for fascination of the thing,
Or may be for the larger humor of it—
Stayed listening, unwearied and unstung.
When they were gone the Captain’s tuneful ooze
Of rhetoric took on a change; he smiled
At me and then continued, earnestly:
“Your friends have had enough of it; but you,
For a motive hardly vindicated yet
By prudence or by conscience, have remained;
And that is very good, for I have things
To tell you: things that are not words alone—
Which are the ghosts of things—but something firmer.
“First, would I have you know, for every gift
Or sacrifice, there are—or there may be—
Two kinds of gratitude: the sudden kind
We feel for what we take, the larger kind
We feel for what we give. Once we have learned
As much as this, we know the truth has been
Told over to the world a thousand times;—
But we have had no ears to listen yet
For more than fragments of it: we have heard
A murmur now and then, and echo here
And there, and we have made great music of it;
And we have made innumerable books
To please the Unknown God. Time throws away
Dead thousands of them, but the God that knows
No death denies not one: the books all count,
The songs all count; and yet God’s music has
No modes, his language has no adjectives.”

“You may be right, you may be wrong,” said I;
“But what has this that you are saying now—
This nineteenth-century Nirvana-talk—
To do with you and me?” The Captain raised
His hand and held it westward, where a patched
And unwashed attic-window filtered in
What barren light could reach us, and then said,
With a suave, complacent resonance: “There shines
The sun. Behold it. We go round and round,
And wisdom comes to us with every whirl
We count throughout the circuit. We may say
The child is born, the boy becomes a man,
The man does this and that, and the man goes,—
But having said it we have not said much,
Not very much. Do I fancy, or you think,
That it will be the end of anything
When I am gone? There was a soldier once
Who fought one fight and in that fight fell dead.
Sad friends went after, and they brought him home
And had a brass band at his funeral,
As you should have at mine; and after that
A few remembered him. But he was dead,
They said, and they should have their friend no more.—
However, there was once a starveling child—
A ragged-vested little incubus,
Born to be cuffed and frighted out of all
Capacity for childhood’s happiness—
Who started out one day, quite suddenly,
To drown himself. He ran away from home,
Across the clover-fields and through the woods,
And waited on a rock above a stream,
Just like a kingfisher. He might have dived,
Or jumped, or he might not; but anyhow,
There came along a man who looked at him
With such an unexpected friendliness,
And talked with him in such a common way,
That life grew marvelously different:
What he had lately known for sullen trunks
And branches, and a world of tedious leaves,
Was all transmuted; a faint forest wind
That once had made the loneliest of all
Sad sounds on earth, made now the rarest music;
And water that had called him once to death
Now seemed a flowing glory. And that man,
Born to go down a soldier, did this thing.
Not much to do? Not very much, I grant you:
Good occupation for a sonneteer,
Or for a clown, or for a clergyman,
But small work for a soldier. By the way,
When you are weary sometimes of your own
Utility, I wonder if you find
Occasional great comfort pondering
What power a man has in him to put forth?
‘Of all the many marvelous things that are,
Nothing is there more marvelous than man,’
Said Sophocles; and he lived long ago;
And earth, unending ancient of the gods
He furrows; and the ploughs go back and forth,
Turning the broken mould, year after year.’…

I turned a little furrow of my own
Once on a time, and everybody laughed—
As I laughed afterwards; and I doubt not
The First Intelligence, which we have drawn
In our competitive humility
As if it went forever on two legs,
Had some diversion of it: I believe
God’s humor is the music of the spheres—
But even as we draft omnipotence
Itself to our own image, we pervert
The courage of an infinite ideal
To finite resignation. You have made
The cement of your churches out of tears
And ashes, and the fabric will not stand:
The shifted walls that you have coaxed and shored
So long with unavailing compromise
Will crumble down to dust and blow away,
And younger dust will follow after them;
Though not the faintest or the farthest whirled
First atom of the least that ever flew
Shall be by man defrauded of the touch
God thrilled it with to make a dream for man
When Science was unborn. And after time,
When we have earned our spiritual ears,
And art’s commiseration of the truth
No longer glorifies the singing beast,
Or venerates the clinquant charlatan,—
Then shall at last come ringing through the sun,
Through time, through flesh, a music that is true.
For wisdom is that music, and all joy
That wisdom:—you may counterfeit, you think,
The burden of it in a thousand ways;
But as the bitterness that loads your tears
Makes Dead Sea swimming easy, so the gloom,
The penance, and the woeful pride you keep,
Make bitterness your buoyance of the world.
And at the fairest and the frenziedest
Alike of your God-fearing festivals,
You so compound the truth to pamper fear
That in the doubtful surfeit of your faith
You clamor for the food that shadows eat.
You call it rapture or deliverance,—
Passion or exaltation, or what most
The moment needs, but your faint-heartedness
Lives in it yet: you quiver and you clutch
For something larger, something unfulfilled,
Some wiser kind of joy that you shall have
Never, until you learn to laugh with God.”
And with a calm Socratic patronage,
At once half sombre and half humorous,
The Captain reverently twirled his thumbs
And fixed his eyes on something far away;
Then, with a gradual gaze, conclusive, shrewd,
And at the moment unendurable
For sheer beneficence, he looked at me.

“But the brass band?” I said, not quite at ease
With altruism yet.—He made a sort
Of reminiscent little inward noise,
Midway between a chuckle and a laugh,
And that was all his answer: not a word
Of explanation or suggestion came
From those tight-smiling lips. And when I left,
I wondered, as I trod the creaking snow
And had the world-wide air to breathe again,—
Though I had seen the tremor of his mouth
And honored the endurance of his hand—
Whether or not, securely closeted
Up there in the stived haven of his den,
The man sat laughing at me; and I felt
My teeth grind hard together with a quaint
Revulsion—as I recognize it now—
Not only for my Captain, but as well
For every smug-faced failure on God’s earth;
Albeit I could swear, at the same time,
That there were tears in the old fellow’s eyes.
I question if in tremors or in tears
There be more guidance to man’s worthiness
Than—well, say in his prayers. But oftentimes
It humors us to think that we possess
By some divine adjustment of our own
Particular shrewd cells, or something else,
What others, for untutored sympathy,
Go spirit-fishing more than half their lives
To catch—like cheerful sinners to catch faith;
And I have not a doubt but I assumed
Some egotistic attribute like this
When, cautiously, next morning I reduced
The fretful qualms of my novitiate,
For most part, to an undigested pride.
Only, I live convinced that I regret
This enterprise no more than I regret
My life; and I am glad that I was born.

That evening, at “The Chrysalis,” I found
The faces of my comrades all suffused
With what I chose then to denominate
Superfluous good feeling. In return,
They loaded me with titles of odd form
And unexemplified significance,
Like “Bellows-mender to Prince Æolus,”
“Pipe-filler to the Hoboscholiast,”
“Bread-fruit for the Non-Doing,” with one more
That I remember, and a dozen more
That I forget. I may have been disturbed,
I do not say that I was not annoyed,
But something of the same serenity
That fortified me later made me feel
For their skin-pricking arrows not so much
Of pain as of a vigorous defect
In this world’s archery. I might have tried,
With a flat facetiousness, to demonstrate
What they had only snapped at and thereby
Made out of my best evidence no more
Than comfortable food for their conceit;
But patient wisdom frowned on argument,
With a side nod for silence, and I smoked
A series of incurable dry pipes
While Morgan fiddled, with obnoxious care,
Things that I wished he wouldn’t. Killigrew,
Drowsed with a fond abstraction, like an ass,
Lay blinking at me while he grinned and made
Remarks. The learned Plunket made remarks.

It may have been for smoke that I cursed cats
That night, but I have rather to believe
As I lay turning, twisting, listening,
And wondering, between great sleepless yawns,
What possible satisfaction those dead leaves
Could find in sending shadows to my room
And swinging them like black rags on a line,
That I, with a forlorn clear-headedness
Was ekeing out probation. I had sinned
In fearing to believe what I believed,
And I was paying for it.—Whimsical,
You think,—factitious; but “there is no luck,
No fate, no fortune for us, but the old
Unswerving and inviolable price
Gets paid: God sells himself eternally,
But never gives a crust,” my friend had said;
And while I watched those leaves, and heard those cats,
And with half mad minuteness analyzed
The Captain’s attitude and then my own,
I felt at length as one who throws himself
Down restless on a couch when clouds are dark,
And shuts his eyes to find, when he wakes up
And opens them again, what seems at first
An unfamiliar sunlight in his room
And in his life—as if the child in him
Had laughed and let him see; and then I knew
Some prowling superfluity of child
In me had found the child in Captain Craig
And let the sunlight reach him. While I slept,
My thought reshaped itself to friendly dreams,
And in the morning it was with me still.

Through March and shifting April to the time
When winter first becomes a memory
My friend the Captain—to my other friend’s
Incredulous regret that such as he
Should ever get the talons of his talk
So fixed in my unfledged credulity—
Kept up the peroration of his life,
Not yielding at a threshold, nor, I think,
Too often on the stairs. He made me laugh
Sometimes, and then again he made me weep
Almost; for I had insufficiency
Enough in me to make me know the truth
Within the jest, and I could feel it there
As well as if it were the folded note
I felt between my fingers. I had said
Before that I should have to go away
And leave him for the season; and his eyes
Had shone with well-becoming interest
At that intelligence. There was no mist
In them that I remember; but I marked
An unmistakable self-questioning
And a reticence of unassumed regret.
The two together made anxiety—
Not selfishness, I ventured. I should see
No more of him for six or seven months,
And I was there to tell him as I might
What humorous provision we had made
For keeping him locked up in Tilbury Town.
That finished—with a few more commonplace
Prosaics on the certified event
Of my return to find him young again—
I left him neither vexed, I thought, with us,
Nor over much at odds with destiny.
At any rate, save always for a look
That I had seen too often to mistake
Or to forget, he gave no other sign.

That train began to move; and as it moved,
I felt a comfortable sudden change
All over and inside. Partly it seemed
As if the strings of me had all at once
Gone down a tone or two; and even though
It made me scowl to think so trivial
A touch had owned the strength to tighten them,
It made me laugh to think that I was free.
But free from what—when I began to turn
The question round—was more than I could say:
I was no longer vexed with Killigrew,
Nor more was I possessed with Captain Craig;
But I was eased of some restraint, I thought,
Not qualified by those amenities,
And I should have to search the matter down;
For I was young, and I was very keen.
So I began to smoke a bad cigar
That Plunket, in his love, had given me
The night before; and as I smoked I watched
The flying mirrors for a mile or so,
Till to the changing glimpse, now sharp, now faint,
They gave me of the woodland over west,
A gleam of long-forgotten strenuous years
Came back, when we were Red Men on the trail,
With Morgan for the big chief Wocky-Bocky;
And yawning out of that I set myself
To face again the loud monotonous ride
That lay before me like a vista drawn
Of bag-racks to the fabled end of things.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

There's something about the Foreign Service that takes the guts out of people.

quote by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

There is something about the Australian psyche that seems to like films that are slightly offbeat.

quote by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
 

Search


Recent searches | Top searches