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Campbell Scott

There's no doubt in the world that directing makes you a better actor. Me, anyway. There's no doubt in the world that it makes me a more collaborative actor.

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The Old Leaven

Mark:
So, Maurice, you sail to-morrow, you say?
And you may or may not return?
Be sociable, man! for once in a way,
Unless you're too old to learn.
The shadows are cool by the water side
Where the willows grow by the pond,
And the yellow laburnum's drooping pride
Sheds a golden gleam beyond.
For the blended tints of the summer flowers,
For the scents of the summer air,
For all nature's charms in this world of ours,
'Tis little or naught you care.
Yet I know for certain you haven't stirred
Since noon from your chosen spot;
And you've hardly spoken a single word-
Are you tired, or cross, or what?
You're fretting about those shares you bought,
They were to have gone up fast;
But I heard how they fell to nothing-in short,
They were given away at last.

Maurice:
No, Mark, I'm not so easily cross'd;
'Tis true that I've had a run
Of bad luck lately; indeed, I've lost;
Well! somebody else has won.

Mark:
The glass has fallen, perhaps you fear
A return of your ancient stitch-
That souvenir of the Lady's Mere,
Park palings and double ditch.

Maurice:
You're wrong. I'm not in the least afraid
Of that. If the truth be told,
When the stiffness visits my shoulder-blade,
I think on the days of old;
It recalls the rush of the freshening wind,
The strain of the chestnut springing,
And the rolling thunder of hoofs behind,
Like the Rataplan chorus ringing.

Mark:
Are you bound to borrow, or loth to lend?
Have you purchased another screw?
Or backed a bill for another friend?
Or had a bad night at loo?

Maurice:
Not one of those, you're all in the dark,
If you choose you can guess again;
But you'd better give over guessing, Mark,
It's only labour in vain.

Mark:
I'll try once more; does it plague you still,
That trifle of lead you carry?
A guest that lingers against your will,
Unwelcome, yet bound to tarry.

Maurice:
Not so! That burden I'm used to bear,
'Tis seldom it gives me trouble;
And to earn it as I did then and there,
I'd carry a dead weight double.
A shock like that for a splintered rib
Can a thousand-fold repay-
As the swallow skims through the spider's web,
We rode through their ranks that day!

Mark:
Come, Maurice, you sha'n't escape me so!
I'll hazard another guess:
That girl that jilted you long ago,
You're thinking of her, confess!

Maurice:
Tho' the blue lake flush'd with a rosy light,
Reflected from yonder sky,
Might conjure a vision of Aphrodite
To a poet's or painter's eye;
Tho' the golden drop, with its drooping curl,
Between the water and wood,
Hangs down like the tress of a wayward girl
In her dreamy maidenhood:
Such boyish fancies seem out of date
To one half inclined to censure
Their folly, and yet-your shaft flew straight,
Though you drew your bow at a venture.
I saw my lady the other night
In the crowded opera hall,
When the boxes sparkled with faces bright,
I knew her amongst them all.
Tho' little for these things now I reck,
I singled her from the throng
By the queenly curves of her head and neck,
By the droop of her eyelash long.
Oh! passionless, placid, and calm, and cold,
Does the fire still lurk within
That lit her magnificent eyes of old,
And coloured her marble skin?
For a weary look on the proud face hung,
While the music clash'd and swell'd,
And the restless child to the silk skirt clung
Unnoticed tho' unrepelled.
They've paled, those rosebud lips that I kist,
That slim waist has thickened rather,
And the cub has the sprawling mutton fist,
And the great splay foot of the father.
May the blight--

Mark: Hold hard there, Maurice, my son,
Let her rest, since her spell is broken;
We can neither recall deeds rashly done,
Nor retract words hastily spoken.

Maurice:
Time was when to pleasure her girlish whim,
In my blind infatuation,
I've freely endangered life and limb;
Aye, perilled my soul's salvation.

Mark:
With the best intentions we all must work
But little good and much harm;
Be a Christian for once, not a Pagan Turk,
Nursing wrath and keeping it warm.

Maurice:
If our best intentions pave the way
To a place that is somewhat hot,
Can our worst intentions lead us, say,
To a still more sultry spot?

Mark:
'Tis said that charity makes amends
For a multitude of transgressions.

Maurice:
But our perjured loves and our faithless friends
Are entitled to no concessions.

Mark:
Old man, these many years side by side
Our parallel paths have lain;
Now, in life's long journey, diverging wide,
They can scarcely unite again;
And tho', from all that I've seen and heard,
You're prone to chafe and to fret
At the least restraint, not one angry word
Have we two exchanged as yet.
We've shared our peril, we've shared our sport,
Our sunshine and gloomy weather,
Feasted and flirted, and fenced and fought,
Struggled and toiled together;
In happier moments lighter of heart,
Stouter of heart in sorrow;
We've met and we've parted, and now we part
For ever, perchance, to-morrow.
She's a matron now; when you knew her first
She was but a child, and your hate,
Fostered and cherished, nourished and nursed,
Will it never evaporate?
Your grievance is known to yourself alone,
But, Maurice, I say, for shame,
If in ten long years you haven't outgrown
Ill-will to an ancient flame.

Maurice:
Well, Mark, you're right; if I spoke in spite,
Let the shame and the blame be mine;
At the risk of a headache we'll drain this night
Her health in a flask of wine;
For a castle in Spain, tho' it never was built;
For a dream, tho' it never came true;
For a cup, just tasted, tho' rudely spilt,
At least she can hold me due.
Those hours of pleasure she dealt of yore,
As well as those hours of pain,
I ween they would flit as they flitted before,
If I had them over again.
Against her no word from my lips shall pass,
Betraying the grudge I've cherished,
Till the sand runs down in my hour-glass,
And the gift of my speech has perished.
Say! why is the spirit of peace so weak,
And the spirit of wrath so strong,
That the right we must steadily search and seek,
Tho' we readily find the wrong?

Mark:
Our parents of old entailed the curse
Which must to our children cling;
Let us hope, at least, that we're not much worse
Than the founder from whom we spring.
Fit sire was he of a selfish race,
Who first to temptation yielded,
Then to mend his case tried to heap disgrace
On the woman he should have shielded.
Say! comrade mine, the forbidden fruit
We'd have plucked, that I well believe,
But I trust we'd rather have suffered mute
Than have laid the blame upon Eve.

Maurice (yawning):
Who knows? not I; I can hardly vouch
For the truth of what little I see;
And now, if you've any weed in your pouch,
Just hand it over to me.

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The World I Lived In Is No More

THE WORLD I LIVED IN IS NO MORE

The world I lived in is no more
The world I live in now is less and less my own
I try to hold on to my small part in it
I do not know how long this will last.

The world will continue after me
It will go on and on and on
I will be forgotten
All I have done will be forgotten
I will be lost forever
It will be as if I never was

Dust is the beginning
And dust is the end
And I will be dust
Though I have a voice now.

Unless God decides otherwise.

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Daddy Dont Live In That New York City No More

Daddy dont live in that new york city
No more
He dont celebrate sunday on a saturday night
No more
Daddy dont need no lock and key
For the piece he stowed
Out on avenue d
Daddy dont live in that new york city
No more
Daddy dont drive in that eldorado
No more
He dont travel on down to the neighborhood
Liquor store
Lucy still loves her coke and rum
But she sits alone
cause her daddy cant come
Daddy dont drive in that eldorado
No more
Driving like a fool out to hackensack
Drinking his dinner from a paper sack
He says I gotta see a joker
And Ill be right back
Daddy dont live in that new york city
No more
He cant get tight every night
Pass out on the barroom floor
Daddy cant get no fine cigar
But we know youre smoking
Wherever you are
Daddy dont live in that new york city
No more

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Once The Living Of Life Has Been Given More Respect

One doesn't necessarily,
Have to come to appreciate life...
By being knocked off one's feet,
During a bout with reality.
With a looking at the ground closely.
And from a different perspective.
To come to realize the ground is solid!
And extremely supportive.

Humbling although it may be,
To uncover this awakening experience...
Many have discovered it is the best way,
To eliminate delusions much quicker.
With some finding it very beneficial,
To learn truth and honesty...
Ultimately pays sweet dividends.
Once the living of life has been given more respect.

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That Feeling Of Doubt

from her stern face
it seems that she only had certainty
her face is square like most windows
but hers is different since it is always closed
like the one for winter
during summer when the clouds are blue
and the skies are clear
and so beautiful to watch with the sun
and the greenness of the world out there
she is still stern
closed

i may believe her firmness
but i have never known what is inside here
for judging her is beyond the openness of my door

one day she fell in a hole
no one knows who dug it along the usual path where she takes her walk
and she broke a bone and despite the skill of her doctor
she never knew how to walk again

her eyes sank like a boat to the ocean
her cheeks shrank like a cake dough short of yeast
she fell short of faith
like a candle eating her own body
until it consumed its light

doubt mounted on her like the dust of her furniture
she became more stern
as ever
harsh and hard
and finally the her window was broken
the frame gave in
and fell and blown by this strong wind of change

when she met doubt her world shattered into pieces
unlike others
the rest of us even live in there
though uncomfortably
but without anger and denial

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John Donne

An Anatomy Of The World...

When that rich soul which to her heaven is gone,
Whom all do celebrate, who know they have one
(For who is sure he hath a soul, unless
It see, and judge, and follow worthiness,
And by deeds praise it? He who doth not this,
May lodge an inmate soul, but 'tis not his)
When that queen ended here her progress time,
And, as t'her standing house, to heaven did climb,
Where loath to make the saints attend her long,
She's now a part both of the choir, and song;
This world, in that great earthquake languished;
For in a common bath of tears it bled,
Which drew the strongest vital spirits out;
But succour'd then with a perplexed doubt,
Whether the world did lose, or gain in this,
(Because since now no other way there is,
But goodness, to see her, whom all would see,
All must endeavour to be good as she)
This great consumption to a fever turn'd,
And so the world had fits; it joy'd, it mourn'd;
And, as men think, that agues physic are,
And th' ague being spent, give over care,
So thou, sick world, mistak'st thy self to be
Well, when alas, thou'rt in a lethargy.
Her death did wound and tame thee then, and then
Thou might'st have better spar'd the sun, or man.
That wound was deep, but 'tis more misery
That thou hast lost thy sense and memory.
'Twas heavy then to hear thy voice of moan,
But this is worse, that thou art speechless grown.
Thou hast forgot thy name thou hadst; thou wast
Nothing but she, and her thou hast o'erpast.
For, as a child kept from the font until
A prince, expected long, come to fulfill
The ceremonies, thou unnam'd had'st laid,
Had not her coming, thee her palace made;
Her name defin'd thee, gave thee form, and frame,
And thou forget'st to celebrate thy name.
Some months she hath been dead (but being dead,
Measures of times are all determined)
But long she'ath been away, long, long, yet none
Offers to tell us who it is that's gone.
But as in states doubtful of future heirs,
When sickness without remedy impairs
The present prince, they're loath it should be said,
'The prince doth languish,' or 'The prince is dead;'
So mankind feeling now a general thaw,
A strong example gone, equal to law,
The cement which did faithfully compact
And glue all virtues, now resolv'd, and slack'd,
Thought it some blasphemy to say sh'was dead,
Or that our weakness was discovered
In that confession; therefore spoke no more
Than tongues, the soul being gone, the loss deplore.
But though it be too late to succour thee,
Sick world, yea dead, yea putrified, since she
Thy' intrinsic balm, and thy preservative,
Can never be renew'd, thou never live,
I (since no man can make thee live) will try,
What we may gain by thy anatomy.
Her death hath taught us dearly that thou art
Corrupt and mortal in thy purest part.
Let no man say, the world itself being dead,
'Tis labour lost to have discovered
The world's infirmities, since there is none
Alive to study this dissection;
For there's a kind of world remaining still,
Though she which did inanimate and fill
The world, be gone, yet in this last long night,
Her ghost doth walk; that is a glimmering light,
A faint weak love of virtue, and of good,
Reflects from her on them which understood
Her worth; and though she have shut in all day,
The twilight of her memory doth stay,
Which, from the carcass of the old world free,
Creates a new world, and new creatures be
Produc'd. The matter and the stuff of this,
Her virtue, and the form our practice is.
And though to be thus elemented, arm
These creatures from home-born intrinsic harm,
(For all assum'd unto this dignity
So many weedless paradises be,
Which of themselves produce no venomous sin,
Except some foreign serpent bring it in)
Yet, because outward storms the strongest break,
And strength itself by confidence grows weak,
This new world may be safer, being told
The dangers and diseases of the old;
For with due temper men do then forgo,
Or covet things, when they their true worth know.
There is no health; physicians say that we
At best enjoy but a neutrality.
And can there be worse sickness than to know
That we are never well, nor can be so?
We are born ruinous: poor mothers cry
That children come not right, nor orderly;
Except they headlong come and fall upon
An ominous precipitation.
How witty's ruin! how importunate
Upon mankind! It labour'd to frustrate
Even God's purpose; and made woman, sent
For man's relief, cause of his languishment.
They were to good ends, and they are so still,
But accessory, and principal in ill,
For that first marriage was our funeral;
One woman at one blow, then kill'd us all,
And singly, one by one, they kill us now.
We do delightfully our selves allow
To that consumption; and profusely blind,
We kill our selves to propagate our kind.
And yet we do not that; we are not men;
There is not now that mankind, which was then,
When as the sun and man did seem to strive,
(Joint tenants of the world) who should survive;
When stag, and raven, and the long-liv'd tree,
Compar'd with man, died in minority;
When, if a slow-pac'd star had stol'n away
From the observer's marking, he might stay
Two or three hundred years to see't again,
And then make up his observation plain;
When, as the age was long, the size was great
(Man's growth confess'd, and recompens'd the meat),
So spacious and large, that every soul
Did a fair kingdom, and large realm control;
And when the very stature, thus erect,
Did that soul a good way towards heaven direct.
Where is this mankind now? Who lives to age,
Fit to be made Methusalem his page?
Alas, we scarce live long enough to try
Whether a true-made clock run right, or lie.
Old grandsires talk of yesterday with sorrow,
And for our children we reserve tomorrow.
So short is life, that every peasant strives,
In a torn house, or field, to have three lives.
And as in lasting, so in length is man
Contracted to an inch, who was a span;
For had a man at first in forests stray'd,
Or shipwrack'd in the sea, one would have laid
A wager, that an elephant, or whale,
That met him, would not hastily assail
A thing so equall to him; now alas,
The fairies, and the pigmies well may pass
As credible; mankind decays so soon,
We'are scarce our fathers' shadows cast at noon,
Only death adds t'our length: nor are we grown
In stature to be men, till we are none.
But this were light, did our less volume hold
All the old text; or had we chang'd to gold
Their silver; or dispos'd into less glass
Spirits of virtue, which then scatter'd was.
But 'tis not so; w'are not retir'd, but damp'd;
And as our bodies, so our minds are cramp'd;
'Tis shrinking, not close weaving, that hath thus
In mind and body both bedwarfed us.
We seem ambitious, God's whole work t'undo;
Of nothing he made us, and we strive too,
To bring our selves to nothing back; and we
Do what we can, to do't so soon as he.
With new diseases on our selves we war,
And with new physic, a worse engine far.
Thus man, this world's vice-emperor, in whom
All faculties, all graces are at home
(And if in other creatures they appear,
They're but man's ministers and legates there
To work on their rebellions, and reduce
Them to civility, and to man's use);
This man, whom God did woo, and loath t'attend
Till man came up, did down to man descend,
This man, so great, that all that is, is his,
O what a trifle, and poor thing he is!
If man were anything, he's nothing now;
Help, or at least some time to waste, allow
T'his other wants, yet when he did depart
With her whom we lament, he lost his heart.
She, of whom th'ancients seem'd to prophesy,
When they call'd virtues by the name of she;
She in whom virtue was so much refin'd,
That for alloy unto so pure a mind
She took the weaker sex; she that could drive
The poisonous tincture, and the stain of Eve,
Out of her thoughts, and deeds, and purify
All, by a true religious alchemy,
She, she is dead; she's dead: when thou knowest this,
Thou knowest how poor a trifling thing man is,
And learn'st thus much by our anatomy,
The heart being perish'd, no part can be free,
And that except thou feed (not banquet) on
The supernatural food, religion,
Thy better growth grows withered, and scant;
Be more than man, or thou'rt less than an ant.
Then, as mankind, so is the world's whole frame
Quite out of joint, almost created lame,
For, before God had made up all the rest,
Corruption ent'red, and deprav'd the best;
It seiz'd the angels, and then first of all
The world did in her cradle take a fall,
And turn'd her brains, and took a general maim,
Wronging each joint of th'universal frame.
The noblest part, man, felt it first; and then
Both beasts and plants, curs'd in the curse of man.
So did the world from the first hour decay,
That evening was beginning of the day,
And now the springs and summers which we see,
Like sons of women after fifty be.
And new philosophy calls all in doubt,
The element of fire is quite put out,
The sun is lost, and th'earth, and no man's wit
Can well direct him where to look for it.
And freely men confess that this world's spent,
When in the planets and the firmament
They seek so many new; they see that this
Is crumbled out again to his atomies.
'Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone,
All just supply, and all relation;
Prince, subject, father, son, are things forgot,
For every man alone thinks he hath got
To be a phoenix, and that then can be
None of that kind, of which he is, but he.
This is the world's condition now, and now
She that should all parts to reunion bow,
She that had all magnetic force alone,
To draw, and fasten sund'red parts in one;
She whom wise nature had invented then
When she observ'd that every sort of men
Did in their voyage in this world's sea stray,
And needed a new compass for their way;
She that was best and first original
Of all fair copies, and the general
Steward to fate; she whose rich eyes and breast
Gilt the West Indies, and perfum'd the East;
Whose having breath'd in this world, did bestow
Spice on those Isles, and bade them still smell so,
And that rich India which doth gold inter,
Is but as single money, coin'd from her;
She to whom this world must it self refer,
As suburbs or the microcosm of her,
She, she is dead; she's dead: when thou know'st this,
Thou know'st how lame a cripple this world is
....

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The World In The Heart

--BUT if the foe no more without presides,
There is an inner chamber where it hides ;
In that strong hold prepares its last defence ;
And none but heavenly arms can drive it thence.
This is the Christian's conflict,--he alone
Pursues its flight to that interior throne.
This is the test that makes his title clear ;
For only they approve their aim sincere,
Who seek the flattering world to dispossess
Where none but God and conscience have access.
All modes by man devised to purchase bliss,
Full well he knows are cheaper far than this :
Hence the attempt, with penance, pain, and loss,
And prayers, and alms, to frame a lighter cross.

To travel barefoot to some hallowed shrine,
If this would do, how soon should Heaven be mine !
--To walk with God ; resigning every weight,
To run with patience up to Zion's gate ;
To hold affections fixt on things above ;
To value heavenly more than earthly love ;
To dread the frown of God's discerning eye
More than the world's opprobrious calumny ;
To keep faith's prospects prominent and clear ;
To seek not rest, nor wish to find it here ;
Is harder work--too hard for arms like ours,
Opposed by principalities and powers,
Had He not covenanted to supply
Helmet and shield from Heaven's armory.

A ceaseless round of mummery to fulfil,
Leaves the world's empire unmolested still :
Nor more effective every outward way,
By which we seek to disavow its sway.
The downcast look, grave habit, slow address,
Are vain attempts to make the labour less ;
There is an inward army to pursue ;
A mere external conflict will not do.

They who sincerely bid the world depart
Not only from the house, but from the heart,
Retreating wisely, where its torrent roars,
And anxious still to shut it out of doors,
Contract their wishes to the sober size
Of fire-side comfort, and domestic ties ;
Yet they should deem the battle but begun,
Nor think at such light cost the victory won.
Whatever passes as a cloud, between
The mental eye of faith and things unseen,
Causing that better world to disappear,
Or seem unlovely, and the present dear,
That is our world, our idol, though it bear
Affection's impress, or devotion's air.

They who the quiet walks of life may choose,
Partly for Heaven's sake, partly for the muse ;
Whose taste had led them from the giddy train,
Even if conscience did not say 'refrain ;'
Though wise and good the choice, had need beware,
They shun an obvious, for a hidden snare ;
The fair, bright paths of wit and learning may
Lead off directly from the narrow way.
The pride of intellect, the conscious height
The soul attains to in her mental flight,
At length may cause a less exalted seat
To seem too lowly at the Saviour's feet.
Music, the pencil, nature, books, the muse,
Have charms, and Heaven designed them for our use ;
Yet who that knows and loves them, but could tell
The world disguised in all, in each may dwell,
With charm as fatal, with a spell as strong,
As that which circles pleasure's vacant throng.

'Tis true : and therefore some pronounce in haste,
(Urged less by conscience than by want of taste)
A sweeping censure on the cultured mind ;
And safety hope in ignorance to find.
Alas ! they know not how the world can cheat ;
Or rather, know not their own heart's deceit :
The ground that lies uncultured and unsown,
With rampant weeds is quickly overgrown.
And they who leave the mental field undrest,
Deeming all knowledge useless but the best,
And give those hours that duty freely spares,
Not to superior, but to vulgar cares,
Will find these lead from heavenly converse back,
Not less than those, and by a meaner track.
'Twas by no mental feast, no studious thought,
Her soul was cumbered, and her Lord forgot,
Who lost the unction of His gracious word,
Which, waiting at His feet, another heard.
Those toils engrossed her that may hold the heart
In closest bondage from the better part :
And though that board was spread for such a guest,
As none may now bid welcome to a feast,
Her guest, her Lord reproved her, as He will
The busy Marthas, serving, cumbered still.

Ask the good housewife, mid her bustling maids,
If ne'er the world her humbler sphere invades.
But if (unconscious of its secret sway)
She own it not, her eager looks betray.
Yes, there you find it, spite of locks and bars,
Hid in the store-room with her jams and jars ;
It gilds her china, in her cupboard shines,
Works at the vent-peg of her home-made wines,
Each varied dainty to her board supplies,
And comes up smoking in her Christmas pies.

The charms of mental converse some may fear,
Who scruple not to lend a ready ear
To kitchen tales, of scandal, strife, and love,
Which make the maid and mistress hand and glove ;
And ever deem the sin and danger less,
Merely for being in a vulgar dress.

Thus the world haunts, in forms of varied kind,
The intellectual and the groveling mind ;
Now, sparkling in the muse's fair attire,
Now, red and greasy at the kitchen fire.
And were you called to give a casting voice,
One to select, from such a meagre choice,
Deciding which life's purpose most mistook--
Would you not say,--the worldly-minded cook ?
Not intellectual vanity to flatter ;
--Simply, that mind precedence claims of matter.

And she, whose nobler course is seen to shine,
At once, with human knowledge and divine ;
Who mental culture and domestic rites
In close and graceful amity unites ;
Striving to hold them in their proper place,
Not interfering with her heavenly race ;
Whose constant aim it is, and fervent prayer,
On earthly ground to breathe celestial air ;--
Still, she could witness how the world betrays,
Steals softly in by unsuspected ways,
Her yielding soul from heavenly converse bears,
And holds her captive in its silken snares.
Could she not tell the trifles that are brought
To rival Heaven, and drive it from her thought ?
--Her heart (unconscious of the flowery trap)
Caught in the sprigs upon a baby's cap ;
Thence disengaged, its freedom boasts awhile,
Till taken captive by the baby's smile.

But oh, how mournful when resistance fails,
The conflict slackens, and the foe prevails !
For instance--yonder matron, who appears
Softly descending in the vale of years ;
And yet, with health, and constant care bestowed,
Still comely, embonpoint, and à la mode.
Once in her youthful days, her heart was warm ;
At least, her feelings wore devotion's form ;
And ever since, to quell the rising doubt,
She makes that grain of godliness eke out.
With comfort still, the distant day she sees,
When grief or terror brought her to her knees ;
When Christian friends rejoiced at what she told,
And bade her welcome to the church's fold.
There still she rests, her words, her forms the same ;
There holds profession's lamp without the flame :
Her Sabbaths come and go, with even pace ;
Year after year you find her in her place,
And still no change apparent, saving that
Of time and fashion, in her face and hat.
She stands or kneels as usual, hears and sings ;
Goes home and dines, and talks of other things ;
Enjoys her comforts with as strong a goût
As if they were not fading from her view
And still is telling what she means to do :
Talks of events that happen to befall,
Not like a stranger, passing from it all,
But eager, anxious in their issue still,
Hoping this will not be, or that it will ;
Getting, enjoying, all that can be had ;
Amused with trifles, and at trifles sad :
While hope still whispers in her willing ears,
'Soul, thou hast goods laid up for many years.'
A few brief words her character portray--
--This world contents her, if she might but stay.
When true and fervent pilgrims round her press,
She inly wishes that their zeal were less.
Their works of love, their spirit, faith, and prayers,
Their calm indifference to the world's affairs,
Reproach her deadhess, and she fain, for one,
Would call their zeal and ardour overdone.

But what her thought is--what her hope and stay
In moments of reflection, who shall say ?
--Time does not slacken, nay, he speeds his pace,
Bearing her onward to her finished race :
The common doom awaits her--'dust to dust ;'
The young may soon receive it, but she must.
What is the Christian's course ?--the Scriptures say,
'Brighter and brighter to the perfect day !'
Oh ! does her earthly mind, her anxious heart,
Clinging to life, not longing to depart,
Her languid prayer, her graces dim and faint,
Meet that description of the growing saint ?
Let her inquire (for far is spent the night)
If she be meetened for that world of light :
Where are her fondest, best affections placed ?--
Death may improve but not reverse the taste :
Does she indeed the things of time prefer ?
Then surely Heaven could not be Heaven to her.

Are there not portions of the sacred word,
So often preached and quoted, read and heard,
That, though of deepest import, and designed
With joy or fear to penetrate the mind,
They pass away with notice cold and brief,
Like drops of rain upon a glossy leaf ?
--Such as the final sentence, on that day,
When all distinctions shall be done away,
But that the righteous Judge shall bring to light,
Between the left-hand millions, and the right ?
Here, in His word, in beams of light, it stands,
What will be then demanded at our hands ;
Clear and unclouded now the page appears,
As even then, illumed by blazing spheres.

--The question is not, if our earthly race
Was once enlightened by a flash of grace ;
If we sustained a place on Zion's hill,
And called Him Lord--but if we did His will.
What, if the stranger, sick and captive, lie
Naked and hungry, and we pass them by !
Or do but some extorted pittance throw,
To save our credit, not to ease their woe !
Or, strangers to the charity whence springs
The liberal heart, devising liberal things,
We, cumbered ever with our own pursuits,
To others leave the labour and its fruits ;
Pleading excuses for the crum we save,
For want of faith to cast it on the wave !
--Shall we go forth with joy to meet our Lord
Enter His kingdom, reap the full reward ?
--Can such His good, His faithful servants be,
Blest of the Father ?--Read His word and see !

What, if in strange defiance of that rule,
Made not in Moses', but the Gospel school,
Shining as clearly as the light of Heaven,
'They who forgive not, shall not be forgiven,'
We live in anger, hatred, envy, strife,
Still firmly hoping for eternal life ;
And where the streams of Christian love should flow,
The root of bitterness is left to grow ;
Resisting evil, indisposed to brook
A word of insult, or a scornful look ;
And speak the language of the world in all,
Except the challenge and the leaden ball !

What if, mistrustful of its latent worth,
We hide our single talent in the earth !
And what if self is pampered, not denied !
What if the flesh is never crucified !
What if the world be hidden in the heart,--
Will it be, 'Come, ye blessed !'--or, 'Depart ?'

Who then shall conquer ?--who maintain the fight ?
E'en they that walk by faith and not by sight :
Who having 'washed their robes and made them white,'
Press towards the mark, and see the promised land,
Not dim and distantly, but near at hand.
--We are but marching down a sloping hill,
Without a moment's time for standing still ;
Where every step accelerates the pace,
More and more rapid till we reach the base ;
And then, no clinging to the yielding dust !
An ocean rolls below, and plunge we must.
What plainer language labours to express,
Thus, metaphoric is employed to dress :
And this but serves on naked truth to throw
That hazy, indistinct, and distant glow,
Through which we wish the future to appear,--
Not as indeed it is,--true, awful, near.

And yet, amid the hurry, toil, and strife,
The claims, the urgencies, the whirl of life,--
The soul--perhaps in silence of the night--
Has flashes, transient intervals of light ;
When things to come, without a shade of doubt,
In terrible reality stand out.
Those lucid moments suddenly present
A glance of truth, as though the Heavens were rent ;
And through that chasm of pure celestial light,
The future breaks upon the startled sight :
Life's vain pursuits, and Time's advancing pace,
Appear with death-bed clearness, face to face ;
And Immortality's expanse sublime,
In just proportion to the speck of time :
While Death, uprising from the silent shades,
Shows his dark outline ere the vision fades ;
In strong relief against the blazing sky,
Appears the shadow as it passes by.
And though o'erwhelming to the dazzled brain,
These are the moments when the mind is sane.
For then, a hope of Heaven--the Savior's cross,
Seem what they are, and all things else but loss.
Oh ! to be ready--ready for that day,
Would we not give earth's fairest toys away
Alas ! how soon its interests cloud the view,
Rush in, and plunge us in the world anew !

Once Paul beheld, with more than mortal eye,
The unveiled glories of the upper sky :
And when descending from that vision's height,
(His faith and hope thenceforward turned to sight)
When he awoke and cast his eye anew,
Still aching, dazzled, wondering at the view,
On this dark world, how looked it ? mean and dim ;
And such it is, as then it seemed to him.
As when the eye a moment turns to gaze,
Adventurous, on the sun's meridian blaze,
The shining orb pursues whete'er it roves,
And hides in gloom the fields, the hills, the groves :
'Twas thus he saw the things that sense entice,
Fade in the glorious beam of Paradise ;
And felt how far eternal joys outweigh
The light afflictions of our fleeting day.
Well might he then press forward to the prize,
And every weight, and every woe despise !

Oh, with what pity would his bosom glow,
For this poor world, and those who walk below,
When fresh from glory--fraught with Heaven, he viewed
The busy, eager, earth-bound multitude !
Each groping where his loudest treasure lies ;
One at his farm, one at his merchandize :
--To see the cumbered Christian faintly strive
To keep his doubtful spark of grace alive,
By formal service, paid one day in seven,
And brief, reluctant, misty thoughts of Heaven.
How he would weep, expostulate, and pray !
For he had seen--but there the verse must stay :
Paul could not utter--nor his pencil draw,
Yet, there it is--that glory that he saw :
Now, even now --whatever vain designs
Engross our worldly spirits--there it shines !
Oh ! place it not at time's remotest bounds
In doubtful distance, when the trump shall sound ;
Since what we hope for,--yes, and what we fear,
Is even near as death,--and death is near !
The quiet chamber where the Christian sleeps,
And where, from year to year, he prays and weeps ;
Whence, in the midnight watch, his thoughts arise
To those bright mansions where his treasure lies,--
How near it is to all his faith can see !
How short and peaceful may the passage be !
One beating pulse--one feeble struggle o'er,
May open wide the everlasting door.
Yes, for that bliss unspeakable, unseen,
Is ready--and the veil of flesh between
A gentle sigh may rend--and then display
The broad, full splendour of an endless day.
--This bright conviction elevates his mind ;
He presses forward, leaving all behind.--
Thus from his throne the tyrant foe is hurled,
--This is the faith that overcomes the world.

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Solomon on the Vanity of the World, A Poem. In Three Books. - Power. Book III.

The Argument


Solomon considers man through the several stages and conditions of life, and concludes, in general, that we are all miserable. He reflects more particularly upon the trouble and uncertainty of greatness and power; gives some instances thereof from Adam down to himself; and still concludes that All Is Vanity. He reasons again upon life, death, and a future being; finds human wisdom too imperfect to resolve his doubts; has recourse to religion; is informed by an angel what shall happen to himself, his family, and his kingdom, till the redemption of Israel; and, upon the whole, resolves to submit his inquiries and anxieties to the will of his Creator.


Come then, my soul: I call thee by that name,
Thou busy thing, from whence I know I am;
For, knowing that I am, I know thou art,
Since that must needs exist which can impart:
But how thou camest to be, or whence thy spring,
For various of thee priests and poets sing.

Hearest thou submissive, but a lowly birth,
Some secret particles of finer earth,
A plain effect which Nature must beget,
As motion orders, and as atoms meet,
Companion of the body's good or ill,
From force of instinct more than choice of will,
Conscious of fear or valour, joy or pain,
As the wild courses of the blood ordain;
Who, as degrees of heat and cold prevail,
In youth dost flourish, and with age shalt fail,
Till, mingled with thy partner's latest breath,
Thou fliest, dissolved in air and lost in death.

Or, if thy great existence would aspire
To causes more sublime, of heavenly fire
Wert thou a spark struck off, a separate ray,
Ordain'd to mingle with terrestrial clay,
With it condemn'd for certain years to dwell,
To grieve its frailties, and its pains to feel,
To teach it good and ill, disgrace or fame,
Pale it with rage, or redden it with shame,
To guide its actions with informing care,
In peace to judge, to conquer in the war;
Render it agile, witty, valiant, sage,
As fits the various course of human age,
Till, as the earthly part decays and falls,
The captive breaks her prison's mouldering walls,
Hovers awhile upon the sad remains,
Which now the pile or sepulchre contains,
And thence, with liberty unbounded, flies,
Impatient to regain her native skies?

Whate'er thou art, where'er ordain'd to go,
(Points which we rather may dispute than know)
Come on, thou little inmate of this breast,
Which for thy sake from passions'l divest
For these, thou say'st, raise all the stormy strife,
Which hinder thy repose, and trouble life;
Be the fair level of thy actions laid
As temperance wills and prudence may persuade
By thy affections undisturb'd and clear,
Guided to what may great or good appear,
And try if life be worth the liver's care.

Amass'd in man, there justly is beheld
What through th whole creation has excell'd,
The angel's forecast and intelligence:
Say, from these glorious seeds what harvest flows?
Recount our blessings, and compare our woes:
In its true light let clearest reason see
The man dragg'd out to act, and forced to be;
Helpless and naked, on a woman's knees,
To be exposed or rear'd as she may please,
Feel her neglect, and pine from her disease:
His tender eye by too direct a ray
Wounded, and flying from unpractised day;
His heart assaulted by invading air,
And beating fervent to the vital war;
To his young sense how various forms appear,
That strike this wonder, and excite his fear;
By his distortions he reveals his pains;
He by his tears and by his sighs complains,
Till time and use assist the infant wretch,
By broken words, and rudiments of speech,
His wants in plainer characters to show,
And paint more perfect figures of his wo,
Condemn'd to sacrifice his childish years
To babbling ignorance, and to empty fears;
To pass the riper period of his age,
Acting his part upon a crowded stage;
To lasting toils exposed, and endless cares,
To open dangers, and to secret snares;
To malice which the vengeful foe intends,
And the more dangerous love of seeming friends:
His deeds examined by the people's will.
Prone to forget the good, and blame the ill;
Or, sadly censured in their cursed debate,
Who, in the scorner's or the judge's seat
Dare to condemn the virtue which they hate:
Or would he rather leave this frantic scene,
And trees and beasts prefer to courts and men,
In the remotest wood and lonely grot
Certain to meet that worst of evils, thought,
Different ideas to his memory brought,
Some intricate, as are the pathless woods,
Impetuous some, as the descending floods;
With anxious doubts, with raging passions torn,
No sweet companion near with whom to mourn,
He hears the echoing rock return his sighs,
And from himself the frighted hermit flies.

Thus, through what path soe'er of life we rove,
Rage companies our hate, and grief our love;
Vex'd with the present moment's heavy gloom,
Why seek we brightness from the years to come?
Disturb'd and broken, like a sick man's sleep,
Our troubled thoughts to distant prospects leap,
Desirous still what flies us to o'ertake;
For hope is but the dream of those that wake:
But looking back we see the dreadful train
Of woes, anew, which, were we to sustain,
We should refuse to tread the path again:
Still adding grief, still counting from the first,
Judging the latest evil still the worst,
And sadly finding each progressive hour
Heighten their number and augment their power,
Till by one countless sum of woes oppress'd,
Hoary with cares, and ignorant of rest,
We find the vital springs relax'd and worn,
Compell'd our common impotence to mourn:
Thus, through the round of age, to childhood we return;
Reflecting find, that naked, from the womb
We yesterday came forth; that in the tomb
Naked again we must to-morrow lie,
Born to lament, to labour, and to die.

Pass we the ills which each man feels or dreads,
The weight or fall'n or hanging o'er our heads;
The bear, the lion, terrors of the plain,
The sheepfold scatter'd, and the shepherd slain;
The frequent errors of the pathless wood,
The giddy precipice, and the dangerous flood;
The noisome pestilence, that in open war
Terrible, marches through the mid-way air,
And scatters death; the arrow that by night
Cuts the dank mist, and fatal wings its flight;
The billowing snow, and violence of the shower,
That from the hills disperse their dreadful store,
And o'er the vales collected ruin pour;
The worm that gnaws the ripening fruit, sad guest,
Canker or locust, hurtful to infest
The blade; while husks elude the tiller's care,
And eminence of want distinguishes the year.

Pass we the slow disease, and subtile pain
Which our weak frame is destined to sustain;
The cruel stone with congregated war,
Tearing his bloody way; the cold catarrh,
With frequent impulse, and continued strife
Weakening the wasted seeds of irksome life;
The gout's fierce rack, the burning fever's rage,
The sad experience of decay and age,
Herself the sorest ill, while death and ease,
Oft and in vain invoked, or to appease
Or end the grief, with hasty wings recede
From the vex'd patient and the sickly bed.

Nought shall it profit that the charming fair,
Angelic, softest work of Heaven, draws near
To the cold shaking paralytic hand,
Senseless of Beauty's touch, or Love's command,
No longer apt or able to fulfil
The dictates of its feeble master's will.
Nought shall the psaltery and the harp avail,
The pleasing song, or well-repeated tale,
When the quick spirits their warm march forbear,
And numbing coldness has unbraced the ear.

The verdant rising of the flowery hill,
The vale enamell'd, and the crystal rill,
The ocean rolling, and the shelly shore,
Beautiful objects, shall delight no more,
When the lax'd sinews of the weaken'd eye
Day follows night; the clouds return again
After the falling of the latter rain;
But to the aged blind shall ne'er return
Grateful vicissitude; he still must mourn,
The sun, and moon, and every starry light,
Eclipsed to him, and lost in everlasting night.

Behold where Age's wretched victim lies;
See his head trembling, and his half-closed eyes;
Frequent for breath his panting bosom heaves;
To broken sleeps his remnant sense he gives,
And only by his pains awaking finds he lives.

Loosed by devouring Time, the silver cord
Dissever'd lies; unhonour'd from the board
The crystal urn, when broken, is thrown by,
And apter utensils their place supply.
These things and thou must share one equal lot;
Die and be lost, corrupt and be forgot;
While still another and another race
Shall now supply and now give up the place.
From earth all came, to earth must all return,
Frail as the cord, and brittle as the urn.

But the terror of these ills suppress'd,
And view we man with health and vigour bless'd.
Home he returns with the declining sun,
His destined task of labour hardly done;
Goes forth again with the ascending ray,
Again his travail for his bread to pay,
And find the ill sufficient to the day.
Haply at night he does with honour shun
A widow'd daughter, or a dying son;
His neighbour's offspring he to-morrow sees,
And doubly feels his want in their increase:
The next day, and the next, he must attend
His foe triumphant, or his buried friend.
In every act and turn of life he feels
Public calamities, or household ills;
The due reward to just desert refused,
The trust betray'd, the nuptial bed abused:
The judge corrupt, the long-depending cause,
And doubtful issue of misconstrued laws:
The crafty turns of a dishonest state,
And violent will of the wrong-doing great;
The venom'd tongue, injurious to his fame,
Which nor can wisdom shun nor fair advice reclaim.

Esteem we these, my friend, event and chance,
Produced as atoms form their fluttering dance?
Or higher yet their essence may we draw
From destined order and eternal law?
Again, my Muse, the cruel doubt repeat?
Spring they, I say, from accident or fate?
Yet such we find they are, as can control
The servile actions of our wavering soul;
Can fright, can alter, or can chain the will;
Their ills all built on life, that fundamental ill.

O fatal search! in which the labouring mind,
Still press'd with weight of wo, still hopes to find
A shadow of delight, a dream of peace,
From years of pain one moment of release;
Hoping, at least, she may herself deceive,
Against experience willing to believe,
Desirous to rejoice, condemn'd to grieve,

Happy the mortal man who now at last
Has through this doleful vale of misery pass'd,
Who to his destined stage has carried on
The tedious load, and laid his burden down;
Whom the cut brass or wounded marble shows
Victor o'er Life, and all her train of woes:
He happier yet, who privileged by Fate
To shorter labour and a lighter weight,
Received but yesterday the gift of breath,
Order'd to-morrow to return to death:
But, O! beyond description happiest he
Who ne'er must roll on life's tumultuous sea;
Exempt, must never force the teeming womb,
Nor see the sun, nor sink into the tomb.

Who breathes must suffer, and who thinks must mourn!
And he alone is bless'd who ne'er was born.

'Yet in thy turn, thou frowning Preacher, hear;
Are not these general maxims too severe?
Say, cannot power secure its owner's bliss?
Are victors bless'd with fame, or kings with ease?'

I tell thee, life is but one common care,
And man was born to suffer and to fear.

'But is no rank, no station, no degree,
From this contagious taint of sorrow free?'

None, mortal, none: yet in a bolder strain
Let me this melancholy truth maintain:
But hence, ye worldly and profane, retire,
For I adapt my voice and raise my lyre
To notions not by vulgar ear received;
Yet still must covet life, and be deceived;
Your very fear of death shall make you try
To catch the shade of immortality,
Wishing on earth to linger, and to save
Part of its prey from the devouring grave;
To those who may survive ye to bequeath
Something entire, in spite of time and death;
A fancied kind of being to retrieve,
And in a book, or from a building live.
False hope! vain labour! let some ages fly,
The dome shall moulder, and the volume die.
Wretches, still taught! still will ye think it strange
That all the parts of this great fabric change.
Quit their high station and primeval frame,
And lose their shape, their essence and their name?

Reduce the song; our hopes, our joys, are vain;
Our lot is sorrow, and our portion pain.

What pause from wo, what hopes of comfort bring
The name of wise or great, of judge or king?
What is a king? a man condemn'd to bear
The public burden of the nation's care;
Now crown'd, some angry faction to appease,
Now falls a victim to the people's ease;
From the first blooming of his ill-taught youth
Nourish'd flattery, and estranged from truth:
At home surrounded by a servile crowd,
Prompt to abuse, and in detraction loud;
Abroad begirt with men, and swords and spears,
His very state acknowledging his fears;
Marching amidst a thousand guards, he shows
His secret terror of a thousand foes;
In war, however prudent, great, or brave,
To blind events and fickle chance a slave;
Seeking to settle what for ever flies,
Sure of the toil, uncertain of the prize.

But he returns with conquest on his brow,
Brings up the triumph, and absolves the vow:
The captive generals to his car are tied;
The joyful citizens, tumultuous tide,
Echoing his glory, gratify his pride.
What is this triumph? madness, shouts, and noise,
One great collection of the people's voice.
The wretches he brings back, in chains relate
What may to-morrow be the victor's fate.
The spoils and trophies borne before him show
National loss and epidemic wo,
Various distress which he and his may know.
Does he not mourn the valiant thousands slain,
The heroes, once the glory of the plain,
Left in the conflict of the fatal day,
Or the wolf's portion, or the vulture's prey?
Does he not weep the laurel which he wears,
Wet with the soldiers' blood and widows tears?

See where he comes, the darting of the war!
See millions crowding round the gilded car!
In the vast joys of this ecstatic hour,
And full fruition of successful power,
One moment and one thought might let him scan
The various turns of life, and fickle state of man.
Are the dire images of sad distrust,
And popular change, obscured amid the dust
That rises from the victor's rapid wheel?
Can the loud clarion or shrill life repel
The inward cries of Care? can Nature's voice,
Plaintive, be drown'd, or lessen'd in the noise,
Though shouts, as thunder loud, afflict the air,
Stun the birds, now released, and shake the ivory chair?

Yon crowd, (he might reflect) yon joyful crowd,
Pleased with my honours, in my praise loud,
(Should fleeting victory to the vanquish'd go,
Should she depress my arms and raise the foe)
Would for that foe with equal ardour wait,
At the high palace or the crowded gate,
With restless rage would pull my statues down,
And cast the brass anew to his renown.

O impotent desire of worldly sway!
That I who make the triumph of to-day,
May of to-morrow's pomp one part appear,
Ghastly with wounds, and lifeless on the bier!
Then, (vileness of mankind!) then of all these
Whom my dilated eye with labour sees,
Would one, alas! repeat me good or great,
Wash my pale body, or bewail my fate?
Or, march'd I chain'd behind the hostile car,
The victor's pastime, and the sport of war,
Would one, would one his pitying sorrow lend,
Or be so poor to own he was my friend?

Avails it then, O Reason, to be wise?
To see this cruel scene with quicker eyes?
To know with more distinction to complain,
And have superior sense in feeling pain?

Let us resolve, that roll with strictest eye,
Where safe from time distinguish'd actions lie,
And judge if greatness be exempt from pain,
Or pleasure ever may with power remain.
Adam, great type, for whom the world was made,
The fairest blessing to his arms convey'd,
A charming wife; and air, and sea, and land,
And all that move therein, to his command
Render'd obedient: say, my pensive Muse,
What did these golden promises produce?
Scarce tasting life he was of joy bereaved;
One day I think in Paradise he lived,
Destined the next his journey to pursue
Where wounding thorns and cursed thistles grew.
Ere yet he earns his bread, adown his brow,
Inclined to earth, his labouring sweat must flow;
His limbs must ache, with daily toils oppress'd,
Ere long-wish'd night brings necessary rest:
Still viewing with regret his darling Eve,
He for her follies and his own must grieve.
Bewailing still afresh their hapless choice,
His ear oft frighted with the imaged voice,
Of Heaven when first it thundere'd, oft his view,
Aghast, as when the infant lightning flew,
And the stern cherub stopp'd the fatal road,
Arm'd with the flames of an avenging God,
His younger son on the polluted ground,
First fruit of death, lies plaintive of a wound
Given by a brother's hand; his eldest birth
Flies, mark'd by Heaven, a fugitive o'er earth:
Yet why these sorrows heap'd upon the sire,
Becomes nor man nor angel to inquire.

Each age sinn'd on, and guild advanced with time;
The son still added to the father's crime;
Till God arose, and, great in anger, said,
Lo! it repenteth me that man was made.
And from your deep abyss, ye waters, rise!
The frighted angels heard th' Almighty Lord,
And o'er the earth from wrathful vials pour'd
Tempests and storm, obedient to his word.
Meantime his providence to Noah gave
The guard of all that he design'd to save:
Exempt from general doom the patriarch stood,
Contemn'd the waves, and triumph'd o'er the flood.

The winds fall silent and the waves decrease;
The dove brings quiet, and the clive peace;
Yet still his heart does inward sorrow feel,
Which faith alone forbids him to reveal.
If on the backward world his views are cast,
'Tis death diffused, and universal waste.
Present, (sad prospect!) can he ought descry
But (what affects his melancholy eye)
The beauties of the ancient fabric lost,
In chains of craggy hill, or lengths of dreary coast?
While to high heaven his pious breathings turn'd,
Weeping he hoped, and sacrificing mourn'd;
When of God's image only eight he found
Snatch'd from the watery grave, and saved from nations drown'd;
And of three sons, the future hopes of earth,
The seed whence empires must receive their birth,
One he foresees excluded heavenly grace,
And mark'd with curses fatal to his race.

Abraham, potent prince, the friend of God,
Of human ills must bear the destined load,
By blood and battles must his power maintain,
And slay the monarchs ere he rules the plain;
Must deal just portions of a servile life
To a proud handmaid and a peevish wife;
Must with the mother leave the weeping son,
In want to wander and in wilds to groan;
Must take his other child, his age's hope,
To trembling Moriah's melancholy top,
Order'd to drench his knife in filial blood,
Destroy his heir, or disobey his God.

Moses beheld that God; but how beheld
The Deity, in radiant beams conceal'd,
And clouded in a deep abyss of light!
While present too severe for human sight,
Nor staying longer than one swift-wing'd night
The following days, and months, and years, decreed
To fierce encounter, and to toilsome deed:
His youth with wants and hardships must engage,
Plots and rebellions must disturb his age:
Some Corah still arose, some rebel slave,
Prompter to sink the state than he to save,
And Israel did his rage so far provoke,
That what the Godhead wrote the prophet broke.
His voice scarce heard, his dictates scarce believed,
In camps, in arms, in pilgrimage, he lived,
And died obedient to severest law,
Forbid to tread the Promised land he saw.

My father's life was one long line of care,
A scene of danger and a state of war.
The bear's rough gripe and foaming lion's rage,
By various turns his threaten'd youth must fear
Goliath's lifted sword and Saul's emitted spear.
Forlorn he must, and persecuted, fly,
Climb the steep mountain, in the cavern lie,
And often ask, and be refused to die.

For ever from his manly toils are known
The weight of power and anguish of a crown.
What tongue can speak the restless monarch's woes,
When God and Nathan were declared his foes?
When every object his offence reviled,
The husband murder'd and the wife defiled,
The parent's sins impress'd upon the dying child!
What heart can think the grief which he sustain',d
When the King's crime brought vengeance on the land,
And the inexorable prophet's voice
Give famine, plague, or war, and bid him fix his choice?

He died; and, oh! may no reflection shed
Its poisonous venom on the royal dead:
Yet the unwilling truth must be express'd
Which long has labour'd in this pensive breast;
Dying he added to my weight of care;
He made me to his crimes undoubted heir;
Left his unfinish'd murder to his son,
And Joab's blood entail'd on Judah's crown.

Young as I was, I hasted to fulfil
The cruel dictates of my parent's will:
Of his fair deeds a distant view I took,
But turn'd the tube upon his faults to look;
Forgot his youth spent in his country's cause,
His care of right, his reverence to the laws,
But could with joy his years of folly trace,
Broken and old in Bathsheba's embrace
Could follow him where'er he stray'd from good,
And cite his sad example, whilst I trod
Paths open to deceit, and track'd with blood.
With smiles I could betray, with temper kill;
Soon in a brother could a rival view,
Watch all his acts, and all his ways pursue:
In vain for life he to the altar fled;
Ambition and Revenge have certain speed.
Even there, my soul, even there he should have fell,
But that my interest did my rage conceal:
Doubling my crime I promise and deceive,
Purpose to slay, whilst swearing to forgive.
Treaties, persuasions, sighs, and tears, are vain
With a mean lie cursed vengeance I sustain.
Join fraud to force, and policy to power,
Till of the destined fugitive secure,
In solemn state to parricide I rise,
And, as God lives, this day my brother dies.

Be witness to my tears, celestial Muse!
In vain I would forget, in vain excuse,
Fraternal blood by my direction spilt;
In vain on Joab's head transfer the guilt:
The deed was acted by the subject's hand,
The sword was pointed by the King's command:
Mine was the murder; it was mine alone;
Years of contrition must the crime atone:
Nor can my guilty soul expect relief
But from a long sincerity of grief.

With an imperfect hand and trembling heart,
Her love of truth superior to her art,
Already the reflecting Muse has traced
The mournful figures of my actions past,
The pensive goddess has already taught
How vain is hope, and how vexatious thought;
From growing childhood to declining age,
How tedious every step, how gloomy every stage,
This course of vanity almost complete,
Tired in the field of life, I hope retreat
In the still shades of death; for dread, and pain,
And grief, will find their shafts elanced in vain,
And their points broke, retorted from the head,
Safe in the grave, and free among the dead.

Yet tell me, frighted reason! what is death?
Blood only stopp'd, and interrupted breath?
The utmost limit of a narrow span,
And end of motion, which with life began?
As smoke that rises from the kindling fires
Is seen this moment, and the next expires;
As empty clouds by rising winds are lost,
Their fleeting forms scarce sooner found than lost,
So vanishes our state, so pass our days,
So life but opens now, and now decays;
The cradle and the tomb, alas! so nigh,
To live is scarce distinguish'd from to die.

Cure of the miser's wish and coward's fear,
Death only shows us what we knew was near,
With courage therefore view the pointed hour,
Dread not Death's anger, but expect his power,
Nor Nature's law with fruitless sorrow mourn,
But die, O mortal man! for thou wast born.

Cautious through doubt, by want of courage wise,
To such advice the reasoner still replies.

Yet measuring all the long continued space,
Every successive day's repeated race,
Since Time first started from his pristine goal,
Till he had reach'd that hour wherein my soul
Join'd to my body swell'd the womb, I was
(At least I think so) nothing; must I pass
Again to nothing when this vital breath
Ceasing, consigns me o'er to rest and death?
Must the whole man, amazing thought! return
To the cold marble or contracted urn?
And never shall those particles agree
That were in life this individual he?
But sever'd, must they join the general mass,
Through other forms and shapes ordain'd to pass,
Nor thought nor image kept of what he was?
Does the great word that gave him sense ordain
That life shall never wake that sense again?
And will no power his sinking spirits save
From the dark caves of death, and chambers of the grave?

Each evening I behold the setting sun
With downward speed into the ocean run;
Yet the same light (pass but some fleeting hours)
Exerts his vigour and renews his powers;
Starts the bright race again: his constant flame
Rises and sets, returning still the same.
I mark the various fury of the winds;
These neither seasons guide nor order binds;
They now dilate, and now contract their force;
Various their speed, but endless is their course,
From his first fountain and beginning ooze,
Down to the sea each brook and torrent flows;
Though sundry drops or leave or swell the stream,
The whole still runs, with equal pace the same;
Still other waves supply the rising urns,
And the eternal flood no want of water mourns.

Why then must man obey the sad decree,
Which subjects neither sun, nor wind, nor sea?

A flower that does with opening morn arise,
And flourishing the day at evening dies;
A winged eastern blast, just skimming o'er
The ocean's brow, and sinking on the shore;
A fire, whose flames through crackling stubbles fly;
A meteor shooting from the summer sky;
A bowl adown the bending mountain roll'd;
A bubble breaking, and a fable told;
A noontide shadow, and a midnight dream,
Are emblems which with semblance apt proclaim
Our earthly course; but, O my Soul! so fast
Must life run off, and death for ever last!

This dark opinion sure is too confined,
Else whence this hope and terror of the mind?
Does something still, and somewhere, yet remain,
Reward or punishment, delight or pain?
Say, shall our relics second birth receive?
Sleep we to wake, and only die to live?
When the sad wife has closed her husband's eyes,
And pierced the echoing vault with doleful cries,
Lies the pale corpse not yet entirely dead,
The spirit only from the body fled,
The grosser part of heat and motion void,
To be by fire, or worm, or time, destroy'd;
The soul, immortal substance, to remain
Conscious of joy and capable of pain?
And if her acts have been directed well,
While with her friendly clay she deign'd to dwell,
Shall she with safety reach her pristine seat,
Find her rest endless, and her bliss complete?
And while the buried man we idly mourn,
Do angels joy to see his better half return?
But if she has deform'd this earthly life
With murderous rapine and seditious strife,
Amazed, repulsed, and by those angels driven
From the ethereal seat and blissful heaven,
In everlasting darkness must she lie,
Still more unhappy that she cannot die?
Amid two seas, on one small point of land,
Wearied, uncertain, and amazed, we stand;
On either side our thoughts incessant turn,
Forward we dread, and looking back we mourn,
Losing the present in this dubious haste,
And lost ourselves betwixt the future and the past.

These cruel doubts contending in my breast,
My reason staggering and my hopes oppress'd,
Once more I said, once more I will inquire,
What is this little, agile, pervious fire,
This flattering motion which we call the Mind,
How does she act? and where is she confined?
Have we the power to give her as we please?
Whence then those evils that obstruct our ease?
We happiness pursue: we fly from pain;
Yet the pursuit and yet the flight is vain;
And while poor Nature labours to be bless'd,
By day with pleasure, and by night with rest,
Some stronger power eludes our sickly will,
Dashes our rising hope with certain ill,
And makes us, with reflective trouble, see
That all is destined which we fancy free.

That power superior then which rules our mind,
Is his decree by human prayer inclined?
Will he for sacrifice our sorrows ease!
And can our tears reverse his firm decrees?
Then let religion aid where reason fails,
Throw loads of incense in to turn the scales,
And let the silent sanctuary show,
What from the babbling schools we may not know,
How man may shun or bear his destined part of wo.

What shall amend, or what absolve our fate?
Anxious we hover in a mediate state
Betwixt infinity and nothing; bounds,
Or boundless terms, whose doubtful sense confounds:
Unequal thought, whilst all we apprehend
Is, that our hopes must rise, our sorrows end,
As our Creator deigns to be our friend.

I said, - and instant bade the priests prepare
The ritual sacrifice and solemn prayer.
Select from vulgar herds, with garlands gay,
A hundred bulls ascend the sacred way:
The artful youth proceed to form the choir,
They breathe the flute, or strike the vocal wire.
The maids in comely order next advance,
They beat the timbrel and instruct the dance:
Follows the chosen tribe, from Levi sprung,
Chanting by just return the holy song.
Along the choir in solemn state they pass'd,
- The anxious King came last.
The sacred hymn perform'd, my promised vow
I paid, and, bowing at the altar low.

Father of heaven! I said, and Judge of earth!
Whose word call'd out this universe to birth,
By whose kind power and influencing care
The various creatures move, and live, and are;
But ceasing once that care, withdrawn that power,
They move (alas!) and live, and are no more;
Omniscient Master, omnipresent King,
To thee, to thee my last distress I bring.

Thou that canst still the raging of the seas,
Chain up the winds, and bid the tempests cease,
Redeem my shipwreck'd soul from raging gusts
Of cruel passion and deceitful lusts;
From storms of rage and dangerous rocks of pride,
Let thy strong hand this little vessel guide,
(It was thy hand that made it) through the tide
Impetuous of this life, let thy command
Direct my course, and bring me safe to land.

If, while this wearied flesh draws fleeting breath,
Not satisfied with life, afraid of death,
It haply be thy will that I should know
Glimpse of delight, or pause from anxious wo,
From now, from instant now, great Sire! dispel
The clouds that press my soul; from now reveal
A gracious beam of light; from now inspire
My tongue to sing, my hand to touch the lyre;
My open'd thought to joyous prospects raise,
And for thy mercy let me sing thy praise:
Or, if thy will ordains, I still shall wait
Some new hereafter and a future state,
Permit me strength my weight of wo to bear,
And raise my mind superior to my care.
Let me, howe'er unable to explain
The secret lab'rinths of thy ways to man,
With humble zeal confess thy awful power,
Still weeping hope, and wondering, still adore:
So in my conquest be thy might declared,
And for thy justice be thy name revered.

My prayer scarce ended, a stupendous gloom
Darkens the air; loud thunder shakes the dome:
To the beginning miracle succeed
An awful silence and religious dread.
Sudden breaks forth a more than common day,
The sacred wood, which on the alter lay
Untouch'd, unlighted glows -
Ambrosial odour, such as never flows
From Arab's gum or the Sabaean rose,
Does round the air evolving scents diffuse:
The holy ground is wet with heavenly dews:
Celestial music (such Jessides' lyre,
Such Miriam's timbrel would in vain require)
Strikes to my thought through admiring ear,
With ecstasy too fine, and pleasure hard to bear:
And, lo! what sees my ravish'd eye? what feels
My wondering soul? an opening cloud reveals
A heavenly form embodied and array'd
With robes of light, I heard; the angel said,

Cease, Man, of women born, to hope relief
From daily trouble and continued grief.
Thy hope of joy deliver to the wind:
Suppress thy passions, and prepare thy mind.
Free and familiar with misfortune grow;
Be used to sorrow, and inured to wo.
By weakening toil and hoary age o'ercome,
See thy decrease, and hasting to thy tomb.
Leave to thy children tumult, strife, and war,
Portions of toil, and legacies of care:
Send the successive ills through ages down,
And let each weeping father tell his son
That, deeper struck, and more distinctly grieved,
He must augment the sorrows he received.

The child to whose success thy hope is bound,
Ere thou art scarce interr'd or he is crown'd,
To lust of arbitrary sway inclined,
(That cursed poison to the prince's mind!)
Shall from thy dictates and his duty rove,
And lose his great defence, his people's love:
Ill counsell'd, vanquish'd, fugitive, disgraced,
Shall mourn the fame of Jacob's strength effaced:
Shall sigh the King diminish'd, and the crown
With lessen'd rays descending to his son:
Shall see the wreaths his grandsire knew to reap
By active toil and military sweat,
Rining incline their sickly leaves, and shed
Their falling honours from his giddy head:
By arms or prayer unable to assuage
Domestic horror and intestine rage,
Shall from the victor and the vanquish'd fear,
From Israel's arrow and from Judah's spear:
Shall cast his wearied limbs on Jordan's flood,
By brothers' arms disturb'd, and stain'd with kindred blood.

Hence labouring years shall weep their destined race,
Charged with ill omens, sully'd with disgrace;
Time, by necessity compell'd, shall go
Through scenes of war, and epochas of wo:
The empire lessen',d in a parted stream
Shall lose its course -
Indulge thy tears; the Heathen shall blaspheme;
Judah shall fall, oppress'd by grief and shame,
And men shall from her ruins know her fame.

New Egypts yet and second bonds remain,
A harsher Pharaoh, and a heavier chain.
Again, obedient to a dire command,
Thy captive sons shall leave the promised land;
Their name more low, their servitude more vile,
Shall on Euphrates' bank renew the grief of Nile.

These pointed spires that wound the ambient sky,
Inglorious change shall in destruction lie
Low, levell'd with the dust, their heights unknown,
Or measured by their ruin. Yonder throne,
For lasting glory built, design'd the seat
Of kings for ever bless'd, for ever great,
Removed by the invader's barbarous hand,
Shall grace his triumph in a foreign land:
The tyrant shall demand yon' sacred load
Of gold and vessels set apart to God,
Then by bile hands to common use debased,
Shall send them flowing round his drunken feast,
With sacrilegious taunt and impious jest.

Twice fourteen ages shall their way complete,
Empires by various turns shall rise and set,
While thy abandon'd tribes shall only know
A different master and a change of wo;
With downcast eyelids, and with looks aghast,
Shall dread the future or bewail the past.
Afflicted Israel shall sit weeping down,
Fast by the streams where Babel's waters run,
Their harps upon the neighbouring willows hung,
Nor joyous hymn encouraging their tongue,
Nor cheerful dance their feet; with toil oppress'd,
Their wearied limbs aspiring but to rest.
In the reflective stream the sighing bride,
Viewing her charms impair'd, abash'd shall hide
Her pensive head, and in her languid face
The bridegroom shall foresee his sickly race,
While ponderous fetters vex their close embrace
With irksome anguish then your priests shall mourn
Their long neglected feasts despair'd return,
And sad oblivion of their solemn days:
Thenceforth their voices they shall only raise,
Louder to weep. By day your frighted seers
Shall call for fountains to express their tears,
And wish their eyes were floods: by night, from dreams
Of opening gulfs, black storms, and raging flames,
Starting amazed, shall to the people show
Emblems of heavenly wrath, and mystic types of wo.

The captives, as their tyrant shall require
That they should breathe the song and touch the lyre,
Shall say, Can Jacob's servile race rejoice,
Untuned the music, and disused the voice?
What can we play, (they shall discourse) how sing
In foreign lands, and to a barbarous king?
We and our fathers, from our childhood bred
To watch the cruel victor's eye, to dread
The arbitrary lash, to bend, to grieve,
(Outcast of mortal race) can we conceive
Image of ought delightful, soft, or gay?
Alas! when we have toil the longsome day,
The fullest bliss our hearts aspire to know,
Is but some interval from active wo;
In broken rest and startling sleep to mourn,
Till morn the tyrant and the scourge return:
Bred up in grief, can pleasure be our theme?
Our endless anguish does not nature claim?
Reason and sorrow are to us the same.
Alas! with wild amazement we require
If idle Folly was not Pleasure's sire?
Madness, we fancy, gave an ill-timed birth.

This is the series of perpetual wo
Which thou, alas! and thine, are born to know.
Illustrious wretch! repine not nor reply;
View not what Heaven ordains with reason's eye;
Too bright the object is, the distance is too high.
The man who would resolve the work of fate
May limit number and make crooked straight:
Stop thy inquiry, then, and curb thy sense,
'Tis God who must dispose and man sustain,
Born to endure, forbidden to complain:
Thy sum of life must his decrees fufil;
What derogates from his command is ill,
And that alone is good which centres in his will.

Yet that thy labouring senses may not droop,
Lost to delight, and destitute of hope,
Remark what I, God's messenger, aver
From him who neither can deceive nor err.
The land, at length redeem'd, shall cease to mourn,
Shall from her sad captivity return:
Sion shall raise her long-dejected head,
And in her courts the law again be read,
Again the glorious temple shall arise,
And with now lustre pierce the neighbouring skies:
The promised seat of empire shall again
Cover the mountain and command the plain;
And from thy race distinguish'd, One shall spring
Greater in act than victor, more than king;
In dignity and power sent down from heaven
To succour earth. To him, to him, 'tis given
Passion, and care, and anguish, to destroy;
Through him soft peace and plenitude of joy
Perpetual o'er the world redeem'd shall flow;
No more may man inquire or angel know.

Now, Solomon, remembering who thou art,
Act through thy remnant life a decent part:
Go forth; be strong; with patience and with care
Perform and suffer; to thyself severe,
Gracious to others, thy desires suppress'd,
Diffused thy virtues, first of men, be best.
Thy sum of duty let two words contain,
O may they graven in thy heart remain!
Be humble and be just. The angel said:
With upward speed his agile wings he spread,
Whilst on the holy ground I prostrate lay,
By various doubts impell'd, or to obey
Or to object; at length (my mournful look
Heavenward erect) determined, thus I spoke:

Supreme, all-wise, eternal Potentate!
Sole author, sole disposer, of our fate!
Enthroned in light and immortality,
Whom no man fully sees, and none can see!
Original of Beings! Power divine!
Since that I live, that I think, is thine;
Benign Creator! let thy plastic hand
Dispose its own effect: let thy command
Restore, great Father, thy instructed son,
And in my act may thy great will be done.

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The World Cup, A Common Stage

The World Cup is a common stage
It is an arena for winners
and an arena for losers
Without the losers, there is no
proclamation of winners.

The winners may rejoice
to have scored more
But their victory only happens
because there are those who
have scored less.

As a common arena in life's
test of strength and wits,
the winners can rejoice
but still without forgetting
that they win because others lose.

Those who lose do no lose
their great value in that common stage.

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Hand That Rocks The Cradle

Holidays are comin'
The kids are getting fat
Put another penny in the corporation hat
There's computer consolation now
For every boy and girl
Coz the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world
Sony in the nursery, no need to turn the page
The cartoon generation are soon to come of age
Virtual relationships untouched by human hands
Laying their foundation in the ever shifting sand
If politics is just for fools, equality a dream
Then you'd better wear protection so you never hear them scream
Animated babysitters always there to play
Will keep the undesirables a million miles away
Everything is changing but the song remains the same
Asylum has been locked away, the seekers has been framed

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The One That Really Matters

I know your mind like the back of my hand,
A race that I ran before,
Are you so blind that youd turn your back
On love and slam the door,
If youre searching for something more,
Have a good time,
But if youd follow your heart,
Youre gonna find that im...
*the one, the one,
The one that really matters,
The one that really cares,
The one, when your whole world is shattered,
Snap your fingers and Ill be there.*
Theres someone new,
Hes your brand new toy,
You could break that poor boy in two,
If thats your style,
I should have known from the start,
This heart wants no part of you,
But if youre still the same girl I knew,
All in good time,
Youre gonna follow your heart,
And youre gonna find Im still...
( * repeat)

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Henry Van Dyke

Liberty Enlightening the World

Thou warden of the western gate, above Manhatten Bay,
The fogs of doubt that hid thy face are driven clean away:
Thine eyes at last look far and clear, thou liftest high thy hand
To spread the light of liberty world-wide for every land.

No more thou dreamest of a peace reserved alone for thee,
While friends are fighting for thy cause beyond the guardian sea:
The battle that they wage is thine; thou fallest if they fall;
The swollen flood of Prussian pride will sweep unchecked o'er all.

O cruel is the conquer-lust in Hohenzollern brains;
The paths they plot to gain their goal are dark with shameful stains:
No faith they keep, no law revere, no god but naked Might; --
They are the foemen of mankind. Up, Liberty, and smite!

Britain, and France, and Italy, and Russia newly born,
Have waited for thee in the night. Oh, come as comes the morn.
Serene and strong and full of faith, America, arise,
With steady hope and mighty help to join th brave Allies.

O dearest country of my heart, home of the high desire,
Make clean thy soul for sacrifice on Freedom's altar-fire:
For thou must suffer, thou must fight, until the warlords cease,
And all the peoples lift their heads in liberty and peace.

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The World Lacks Patience

My world burns,
Its cities, towns and villages,
Plains, valleys and hills,
And the tops of mountains,
Smoke and smoulder.


No one knows whether he will return safe,
When he leaves his abode.
The mosques, the temples and the churches:
The sacred places of prayers are no more secure.


Whom we obey and whom we represent?
We have confounded the affairs,
The eyes are blurred with the mist of rashness,
We act but with the muffled hearts,
Baffled minds and hazy eyes.

Assuming we are right, others are wrong,
We have bunged to the humanity
The windows of our hearts,
And plugged the porches of ears.

We are moving farther and farther,
From one another, the gaps are widening,
Among hearts and among minds.
Ah! The distances are becoming immense.

We have launched a vain expedition
Against terrorism, but with out defining the term,
Its limits and boundaries,
Only to kill them whose noses we like not.

If one smashes my house,
Obliterating all the members of my family,
And I have no door to knock at for justice;
What should I do?
Why should not I make a bomb of myself?
Why should not I fasten
Explosives to contest the violent hands?
And this is being done in the world.

Though street, roads and parks are splattered with blood,
Human shreds are seen scattered,
And spectacles are too horrible to see,
Yet there is no terrorism.

All that we see is a reaction of our ferocious deeds,
In case we intend to impede the reaction,
We must stop the action.
To crush force by using force is an aged method,
Now for the sake of humanity discard the old measures
Deepening the roots of violence,
For since beginning mankind becoming
Fuel of the devastative devices, has suffered a lot;
Just once apply the appliance of love
To resolve the threatening issues.

One who seeds the bushes must be prepared to taste
The pang of pricking;
And one who plants roses might cherish himself
With enthralling colours and sweet perfume.
If one slaps me on the face,
He must be prepared to have two on both of the cheeks,
But patience is the best route to move ahead,
And the world lacks patience.

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Clear the Stage

The world was; before mankind was born
and will be when the last mans gone
There will be no left to mourn.
Who will replace us still unknown

It seems that since the world began
Dame Nature tries experiments
the latest of which seems to be man
She has established precedents.

At one time reptiles ruled the earth.
at last ashamed of what she’d wrought.
Great behemoths of giant girth
She wiped them out without a thought.

She cleared the way to try again
With creatures more intelligent
the reptile’s loss the mammals gain.
This seemed to her to represent.

A forward leap towards her goal.
Although she waited patiently
She was convinced that on the whole
too little progress she could see.

She thought maybe that the monkeys
With just a little tinkering
could be persuaded from the trees
The monkeys proved to be willing.

Monkeys evolved slowly into men
and not quite as she meant they should...
Her well laid plans had failed again
At last Dame Nature understood.


Mankind was too belligerent.
Determined to go his own sweet way.
A little too intelligent
he saw no reason to obey.

the rules Dame Nature had laid down
Rebelled against them constantly.
Convinced that he should wear the crown
Until at last reluctantly.

She thought it time to call a halt.
Another failed experiment
some inbred genetic fault.
Rendered them obsolescent.

The human race had reached their peak
and stubbornly refused to change.
Considering themselves unique.
The time had come to re arrange.

the way they thought and urgently.
They’d had their chance but lost their way
Nature reacted ruthlessly
Thats why there are no men today.

The world is peaceful once again
Without the constant battling
between opposing bands of men.
There is no sabre rattling.

I have no doubt she’ll try again
Perhaps next time she’ll get it right
with some new race replacing men
Without the warlike appetite.

The world was before mankind was born
and will be when the last man has gone
their wilfulness not to be borne.
the fault was theirs and theirs alone.

Dame nature warned them frequently
Her warnings they chose to ignore
So full of pride they could not see
That it was time to pay the score.

Extinction is the penalty
which failed experiments must pay.
This is the harsh reality
The race of man has had its day.

28-Jan-09

http: // blog.myspace.com/poeticpiers

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The Manners - An O D E

FAREWELL, for clearer Ken design'd,
The dim-discover'd Tracts of Mind:
Truths which, from Action's Paths retir'd,
My silent Search in vain requir'd!
No more my Sail that Deep explores,
No more I search those magic Shores,
What Regions part the World of Soul,
Or whence thy Streams, Opinion, roll:
If e'er I round such Rairy Field,
Some Pow'r impart the Spear and Shield,
At which the Wizzard Passions fly,
By which the giant Follies die!
Farewell the Porch, whose Roof is seen,
Arch'd with th'enlivening Olive's Green:
Where Science, prank'd in tissued Vest,
By Reason, Pride, and Fancy drest,
Comes like a Bride so trim array'd,
To wed with Doubt in Plato's Shade!
Youth of the quick uncheated Sight,
Thy Walks, Observance, more invite!
O Thou, who lov'st that ampler Range,
Where Life's wide Prospects round thee change,
And with her mingling Sons ally'd,
Throw'st the prattling Page aside:
To me in Converse sweet impart,
To read in Man the native Heart,
To learn, where Science sure is found,
From Nature as she lives around:
And gazing oft her Mirror true,
By turns each shifting Image view!
Till meddling Art's officious Lore,
Reverse the lessons taught before,
Alluring [him] from a safer Rule,
To dream in her enchanted School;
Thou Heav'n, whate'er of Great we boast,
Hast blest this social Science most.
Retiring hence to thoughtful Cell,
As Fancy breathes her potent Spell,
Not vain she finds the charmful Task,
In Pageant quaint, in motley Mask,
Behold before her musing Eyes,
The countless Manners round her rise;
While ever varying as they pass,
To some Contempt applies her Glass:
With these the white-rob'd Maids combine,
And those the laughing Satyrs join!
But who is He whom now she views,
In Robe of wild contending Hues?
Thou by the Passions nurs'd, I greet
The comic Sock that binds thy Feet!
O Humour, Thou whose Name is known,
To Britain's favor'd Isle alone:
Me too amidst thy Band admit,
There where the young-eyed healthful Wit,
(Whose Jewels in his crisped Hair
Are plac'd each other's Beams to share,
Whom no Delights from Thee divide)
In Laughter loos'd attends thy Side!
By old Miletus who so long
Has ceas'd his Love-inwoven Song:
By all you taught the Tuscan Maids,
In chang'd Italia's modern Shades:
By Him, whose Knight's distinguish'd Name
Refin'd a Nation's Lust of Fame;
Whose Tales ev'n now, with Echos sweet,
Castilia's Moorish Hills repeat:
Or Him, whome Seine's blue Nymphs deplore,
In watchet Weeds on Gallia's Shore,
Who drew the sad Sicilian Maid,
By Virtues in her Sire betray'd:
O Nature boon, from whom proceed
Each forceful Thought, each prompted Deed;
If but from Thee I hope to feel,
On all my Heart imprint thy Seal!
Let some retreating Cynic find,
Those oft-turn'd Scrolls I leave behind,
The Sports and I this Hour agree,
To rove thy Scene-full World with Thee!

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Llewellyn and the Tree

Could he have made Priscilla share
The paradise that he had planned,
Llewellyn would have loved his wife
As well as any in the land.

Could he have made Priscilla cease
To goad him for what God left out,
Llewellyn would have been as mild
As any we have read about.

Could all have been as all was not,
Llewellyn would have had no story;
He would have stayed a quiet man
And gone his quiet way to glory.

But howsoever mild he was
Priscilla was implacable;
And whatsoever timid hopes
He built—she found them, and they fell.

And this went on, with intervals
Of labored harmony between
Resounding discords, till at last
Llewellyn turned—as will be seen.

Priscilla, warmer than her name,
And shriller than the sound of saws,
Pursued Llewellyn once too far,
Not knowing quite the man he was.

The more she said, the fiercer clung
The stinging garment of his wrath;
And this was all before the day
When Time tossed roses in his path.

Before the roses ever came
Llewellyn had already risen.
The roses may have ruined him,
They may have kept him out of prison.

And she who brought them, being Fate,
Made roses do the work of spears,—
Though many made no more of her
Than civet, coral, rouge, and years.

You ask us what Llewellyn saw,
But why ask what may not be given?
To some will come a time when change
Itself is beauty, if not heaven.

One afternoon Priscilla spoke,
And her shrill history was done;
At any rate, she never spoke
Like that again to anyone.

One gold October afternoon
Great fury smote the silent air;
And then Llewellyn leapt and fled
Like one with hornets in his hair.

Llewellyn left us, and he said
Forever, leaving few to doubt him;
And so, through frost and clicking leaves,
The Tilbury way went on without him.

And slowly, through the Tilbury mist,
The stillness of October gold
Went out like beauty from a face.
Priscilla watched it, and grew old.

He fled, still clutching in his flight
The roses that had been his fall;
The Scarlet One, as you surmise,
Fled with him, coral, rouge, and all.

Priscilla, waiting, saw the change
Of twenty slow October moons;
And then she vanished, in her turn
To be forgotten, like old tunes.

So they were gone—all three of them,
I should have said, and said no more,
Had not a face once on Broadway
Been one that I had seen before.

The face and hands and hair were old,
But neither time nor penury
Could quench within Llewellyn’s eyes
The shine of his one victory.

The roses, faded and gone by,
Left ruin where they once had reigned;
But on the wreck, as on old shells,
The color of the rose remained.

His fictive merchandise I bought
For him to keep and show again,
Then led him slowly from the crush
Of his cold-shouldered fellow men.

“And so, Llewellyn,” I began—
“Not so,” he said; “not so at all:
I’ve tried the world, and found it good,
For more than twenty years this fall.

“And what the world has left of me
Will go now in a little while.”
And what the world had left of him
Was partly an unholy guile.

That I have paid for being calm
Is what you see, if you have eyes;
For let a man be calm too long,
He pays for much before he dies.

“Be calm when you are growing old
And you have nothing else to do;
Pour not the wine of life too thin
If water means the death of you.

You say I might have learned at home
The truth in season to be strong?
Not so; I took the wine of life
Too thin, and I was calm too long.

“Like others who are strong too late,
For me there was no going back;
For I had found another speed,
And I was on the other track.

“God knows how far I might have gone
Or what there might have been to see;
But my speed had a sudden end,
And here you have the end of me.”

The end or not, it may be now
But little farther from the truth
To say those worn satiric eyes
Had something of immortal youth.

He may among the millions here
Be one; or he may, quite as well,
Be gone to find again the Tree
Of Knowledge, out of which he fell.

He may be near us, dreaming yet
Of unrepented rouge and coral;
Or in a grave without a name
May be as far off as a moral.

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The Anarchist

THE dawn hangs heavy on the distant hill,
The darkness shudders slowly into light;
And from the weary bosom of the night
The pent winds sigh, then sink with horror still.
Naked and grey, the guillotine stands square
Upon the hill, while from its base the crowd
Surges out far, and waits, to silence cowed,
Impatient for the thing to happen there.
Listen! The bells within the tower toll
Five naked notes; and down within his cell
The prisoner hears and mutters, “It is well,”
Though like that other knife each cuts his soul.
His sick nerves from the probing echoes shrink,
“This is the end,” he says; “let me be strong;
Let me be brave till then—‘t is not for long:
I must not think of it—I must not think!”
See, through the courtyard, guarded, comes the slight
Thin figure of the anarchist. Amazed,
He sees the thousand faces swiftly raised—
The billows of the crowd break into white!
One narrow, alien glance below, and then
The scene fades dimly from his film-glazed eyes;
And shuddering he sees his past arise—
The cycle of his life begins again.

And as misshapen memories crowd fast
Upon him, jostling in a sudden strife,
Athwart the dull, drab level of his life
Stand sharply out the blood-stains of his past:
His youth, before he knew he had it, lost;
His father's body by an accident
'Neath the rich man's remorseless mill-wheels pent—
A corpse; and sister, mother, brother tossed
Out to the mercy of the merciless.
His mother stricken next; her humble niche
Was needed by the reckless and the rich,
And death was easier than life's loneliness.
His sister, she had fortune in her face,
And won it, too, till Vice's fingers tore
The freshness from her figure, and no more
In idleness she flaunted her disgrace.
He lost her, stifled in the world's wide smother,
For years; till one night on the street they met.
She seized him—he can feel that hot thrill yet!—
She spoke him—knowing not he was her brother!
Wrong reeking of the rich incessantly!
Oppression and oppression o'er again!
Till from the smouldering hate within his brain
Mad fever fired the fuse of Anarchy.

Then plot and cunning, weak, futile and mean,
The maddened one against the many; thus
He strove to strangle Order's octopus—
And gained the goal at last—the guillotine!
It waits him grim and grey; he sees it not,
Nor hears the rising murmur ripple out
To the crowd's edge, and, turning, die in doubt.
The vague, uncertain future threatens—what?
So…shall he speak, fling out his last reply
Why waste the time in trivialities?
One throbbing thought now holds him; and there is
No room for sign or speech—he has to die.
Only a murmur wavers up and shakes
The sullen air, then hesitates and dies;
And the grim hush of horror stifled lies,
Suspended like a billow ere it breaks.
One bitter prayer, half-curse, he mutters when
The knife hangs high above, and the world waits.
But ere it swoops an age it hesitates:
The word is given, breaths are drawn, and then…
With eyes and soul close shut—be swift, relief!—
The prisoner waits the end that does not come.
For hark! that heavy, low, tumultuous hum
That surges, surges till it shouts “ Reprieve! ”

“ Reprieved and pardoned! ” All his senses swim
In a rose-mist! As Sleep's soft hand that soothes
The terse, strained limbs of fevered Day and smoothes
Life's knotted nerves—so comes relief to him.
And when he woke again his soul, set free,
Had wandered far, within a moment's space,
And seen the sadness of God's silent face—
The mighty calm of immortality.
How like a triumph his home-coming! Then
The glorious news that met him, how that Right
Had routed Wrong, for ever faction's fight
Was finished, and the world was one again.
Then swiftly through his swimming, mist-dimmed eyes
He sees the good and great upright again;
And Reason rings the knell of grief and pain;
The gladdened new world lapped in sunlight lies.
Long life was his with honour. On Fame's breath
His name was borne, until in perfect peace—
Glad like a mellow fruit to fall and cease—
His long life ripened richly into death.
Yet none knew this but he . The crowd still waits;
Shoots swift the lightning of the knife, and loud
Roars the hoarse thunder from the sated crowd
And justice has been done. God compensates.

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Please Wake up to the Factors That Have Created Such an Education Mess; Our Education System is Fundamentally Flawed

Our leaders have determined that everyone should have at least an undergraduate degree. So we push students during their prime years of study to become Jacks of all trades. While the Germans make their students into experts in particular professions.

What has Wisdom Education got to do With Regular Education and Why the German Education Model is Superior and More Effective Than the American Model?

We provide generalized knowledge in many fields while the Germans train most into becoming specialists in particular fields. Our students end up having knowledge while their students become knowledge; capable of generating wealth. Wealth is like wisdom and like wisdom wealth is nothing on its own, it exists in different entities other than wealth. Mostly wealth is created through 'becoming' the expert in a particular field. Professionals are the ones who create wealth for themselves and for the government; while most of the nonprofessionals miss the bus and are at least partly dependent on the welfare system. Instead of being an asset they drain the government coffers.

We have this famous expression, 'Jack of all trades' and master of none. This is exactly what our education system accomplishes! It is a much bigger crisis than we realize. Our leaders have determined that everyone should have at least an undergraduate degree. So we push students during their prime years of study to become Jacks of all trades. While the Germans use this prime time to make their students into experts in particular professions.

One prospers by being an expert in some particular field. What is a nonprofessional undergraduate degree good for? Not much as every single job in society needs expertise. Most under graduates end up with low level jobs. Why do we need to graduate them with unpayable debt and diminish our government finances?

The student debt is now 1 trillion,70% of which is more or less wasted. Plus we saddle those students with the most debt, the ones who are most likely to default. For the rest of their lives they feel the burden of being in debt, frustrated with not being able to make enough money to survive let alone pay their student loan. Imagine if these very students had been educated into becoming professionals.

We are so eager to push every one to become an undergraduate that we ignore the fact that some will never even be able to become Jacks of all trades. A large chunk take 6 to 8 years to graduate and still others never graduate and remain saddled with huge student loans. Less than 25% graduate in 4 years. Why do we need such a looser education policy?

The aim of education above all is to provide an opportunity to the student to become more than self sufficient, to become rich so the government does not need to provide assistance and the government can collect taxes.

We can set a more ambitious goal to make every student capable of becoming wealthy. Education has to be specifically designed to make the student rich and the government richer through collective income tax.

Just image if we put in place an even better system than the German education system. Successful education means creating citizens that earn money for themselves and for the government. Education is as much for life as it is for the economy. The economic impact of education in our country is a big disaster.

We need serious education reform. The vast majority who struggle with their studies are emotionally unprepared to focus on their studies. This is where my wisdom education comes in, it provides focus, patients, love of learning, responsibility, in fact it provides all the attributes of wisdom to regular education. We can not only take the subnormal students and make them into normal students we can make the majority into super normal students. We need to make the student professionally wise as well as emotionally wise. Wisdom is essential for both living a life and making a living.

We must make our students into professionally wise wealth making machines.

Please Google:

http: //www.einnews.com/pr-news/662136-the-difference-b etween-wisdom-and-knowledge? v=XDNwLpUxtm/vBQNp36m8WBnNhamk

http: //education.einnews.com/pr-news/660003-wisdom? v=XDNwLpUxtm/vBQNp36m8WBnNhamk

Can Happiness Be Bought? - World News Report Sajid Khan

Love. - brainwizard Sajid Khan

Pure happiness is an innate property of the pure self. By explaining pure happiness we explain the whole works of what is involved in the pure self.

We have added our own refinements to the traditional emotional healing processes. We teach wisdom education through 'Pure Happiness Seminars' and 'Pure Love Therapy'. There is much room for improvement and we need to develop new routes to wisdom education by finding ways for teaching all individual attributes of wisdom.

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The King's Missive

UNDER the great hill sloping bare
To cove and meadow and Common lot,
In his council chamber and oaken chair,
Sat the worshipful Governor Endicott.
A grave, strong man, who knew no peer
In the pilgrim land, where he ruled in fear
Of God, not man, and for good or ill
Held his trust with an iron will.

He had shorn with his sword the cross from out
The flag, and cloven the May-pole down,
Harried the heathen round about,
And whipped the Quakers from town to town.
Earnest and honest, a man at need
To burn like a torch for his own harsh creed,
He kept with the flaming brand of his zeal
The gate of the holy common weal.

His brow was clouded, his eye was stern,
With a look of mingled sorrow and wrath;
'Woe's me!' he murmured: 'at every turn
The pestilent Quakers are in my path!
Some we have scourged, and banished some,
Some hanged, more doomed, and still they come,
Fast as the tide of yon bay sets in,
Sowing their heresy's seed of sin.

'Did we count on this? Did we leave behind
The graves of our kin, the comfort and ease
Of our English hearths and homes, to find
Troublers of Israel such as these?
Shall I spare? Shall I pity them? God forbid!
I will do as the prophet to Agag did
They come to poison the wells of the Word,
I will hew them in pieces before the Lord!'

The door swung open, and Rawson the clerk
Entered, and whispered under breath,
'There waits below for the hangman's work
A fellow banished on pain of death--
Shattuck, of Salem, unhealed of the whip,
Brought over in Master Goldsmith's ship
At anchor here in a Christian port,
With freight of the devil and all his sort!'

Twice and thrice on the chamber floor
Striding fiercely from wall to wall,
'The Lord do so to me and more,'
The Governor cried, 'if I hang not all!
Bring hither the Quaker.' Calm, sedate,
With the look of a man at ease with fate,
Into that presence grim and dread
Came Samuel Shattuck, with hat on head.

'Off with the knave's hat!' An angry hand
Smote down the offence; but the wearer said,
With a quiet smile, 'By the king's command
I bear his message and stand in his stead.'
In the Governor's hand a missive he laid
With the royal arms on its seal displayed,
And the proud man spake as he gazed thereat,
Uncovering, 'Give Mr. Shattuck his hat.'

He turned to the Quaker, bowing low,--
'The king commandeth your friends' release;
Doubt not he shall be obeyed, although
To his subjects' sorrow and sin's increase.
What he here enjoineth, John Endicott,
His loyal servant, questioneth not.
You are free! God grant the spirit you own
May take you from us to parts unknown.'

So the door of the jail was open cast,
And, like Daniel, out of the lion's den
Tender youth and girlhood passed,
With age-bowed women and gray-locked men.
And the voice of one appointed to die
Was lifted in praise and thanks on high,
And the little maid from New Netherlands
Kissed, in her joy, the doomed man's hands.

And one, whose call was to minister
To the souls in prison, beside him went,
An ancient woman, bearing with her
The linen shroud for his burial meant.
For she, not counting her own life dear,
In the strength of a love that cast out fear,
Had watched and served where her brethren died,
Like those who waited the cross beside.

One moment they paused on their way to look
On the martyr graves by the Common side,
And much scourged Wharton of Salem took
His burden of prophecy up and cried
'Rest, souls of the valiant! Not in vain
Have ye borne the Master's cross of pain;
Ye have fought the fight, ye are victors crowned,
With a fourfold chain ye have Satan bound!'

The autumn haze lay soft and still
On wood and meadow and upland farms;
On the brow of Snow Hill the great windmill
Slowly and lazily swung its arms;
Broad in the sunshine stretched away,
With its capes and islands, the turquoise bay;
And over water and dusk of pines
Blue hills lifted their faint outlines.

The topaz leaves of the walnut glowed,
The sumach added its crimson fleck,
And double in air and water showed
The tinted maples along the Neck;
Through frost flower clusters of pale star-mist,
And gentian fringes of amethyst,
And royal plumes of golden-rod,
The grazing cattle on Centry trod.

But as they who see not, the Quakers saw
The world about them; they only thought
With deep thanksgiving and pious awe
On the great deliverance God had wrought.
Through lane and alley the gazing town
Noisily followed them up and down;
Some with scoffing and brutal jeer,
Some with pity and words of cheer.

One brave voice rose above the din.
Upsall, gray with his length of days,
Cried from the door of his Red Lion Inn
'Men of Boston, give God the praise
No more shall innocent blood call down
The bolts of wrath on your guilty town.
The freedom of worship, dear to you,
Is dear to all, and to all is due.

'I see the vision of days to come,
When your beautiful City of the Bay
Shall be Christian liberty's chosen home,
And none shall his neighbor's rights gainsay.
The varying notes of worship shall blend
And as one great prayer to God ascend,
And hands of mutual charity raise
Walls of salvation and gates of praise.'

So passed the Quakers through Boston town,
Whose painful ministers sighed to see
The walls of their sheep-fold falling down,
And wolves of heresy prowling free.
But the years went on, and brought no wrong;
With milder counsels the State grew strong,
As outward Letter and inward Light
Kept the balance of truth aright.

The Puritan spirit perishing not,
To Concord's yeomen the signal sent,
And spake in the voice of the cannon-shot
That severed the chains of a continent.
With its gentler mission of peace and good-will
The thought of the Quaker is living still,
And the freedom of soul he prophesied
Is gospel and law where the martyrs died.

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Patrick White

Let Me Be Worthy Of The River

Let me be worthy of the river
and the strange ores that glow at night,
buried like teachers in the mountain;
let my blood always taste of the moon
and my heart burn like a black rose,
like the poem in the fire
that sweetened the sky with a flower of smoke,
for the wisdom of the generously unattainable,
and transcend the hell that shadows the folly
of not being foolish.

May the stars,
when they gather in gardens
water the roots of my seeing from clear fountains
and the wind bleed like ink from my pen
when I'm wounded by the beauty and the terror
of my helplessness.

When I am large, spacious, profound,
let me sit like the universe
on the throne of a seed
that lies in the dirt;
and when I am small, brief,
a trinket of light in a flash of ephemera,
robe me in the lion skin of the night sky
and ennoble me
with delusion and enlightenment
on this road of ghosts.

Whatever befall,
let me perish or prosper as a human
who insists upon the divinity of all
and burns and rises
for the heresy and truth of it.

Let anyone born be accounted a hero,
a lifeboat that hauled the world aboard
when the seas raged in the womb
to give birth to suffering;
and may I always be entrusted
with the ancient shales of dark courage it takes
to look into the dragon's eyes
and not be horrified
by the ferocity of the freedom
that thaws space
like an hourglass in the rain.

And should love occur
to shape the blade of the moon
on the anvil of my heart,
and a cauldron of passionate visions
scald the eyes with intimate glimpses
of myriad heavens and hells,
all truer than reason,
may my bitterness pass
like the eclipse of an hour,
a left-handed blessing,
no vinegar of injured illusion
accept the sad surrender of the wine
like the death poppy of a folded flag,
no tar of judgment and denial
feather the dream with stone pillows,
no abyss under the brief era of an eyelid,
make me too petty or afraid
to dance with my skin off
engulfed like the wind
in secret sails of mystic fire.

There's always a clown, a jester
who rides beside the hero like an anti-self,
a thoroughbred and a dray
yoked to the little red wagon of the heart
like two thieves either side
of an unwitnessed crucifixion,
two dadaphors, two torches
disposed like opposable hinges
on a door that opens like water
at the whisper of a key.

Let me be the clown-prince
of my own idiotic profundities then,
let me survive my way into the wisdom
of the inspired fools
who know that anything they ask for
from the stolen bounty of the king
is just another absurdity in disguise,
that even laughter isn't a lifeline.

I've always had my heart
caught in my throat
like a bird in a chimney,
a cork in a wine-bottle,
a habitable planet in a black hole.

I have loved and befriended
almost anyone
who would let me
and seen their evanescence,
their transigence, their vagrancy, their passage
through this mansion of space
with the amazing windows and chandeliers,
the sad brevity of the things they cherished.

Blind to restorative grails,
I have not sought the meaning of life,
I have not hunted the dragon with nets,
knowing reality is meaningless
because it has no fingers,
it doesn't point to anything beyond itself,
nor bear witness in a mirror,
but I have walked in the peacock robes
of the twilight sky, all eyes,
in the gardens of the life of meaning,
past the hushed bloodtalk of the roses,
and seen for myself
that there are flowers with petals of water
and roots of fire
that drink the stars like rain.

Meaning dethrones the flowers like bottle-caps
and there's no refund on the empties.
Night puts its hands over your eyes
and asks you to guess;
and there's no end of the mystery,
no end of the blessing
of sitting under a tree
looking up at a star
wondering what human beings,
what you are doing on earth;
what a thought is, an emotion,
the blade of grass beside you,
everything alone together
in the silent boat of the rising moon
docking at its own reflection
as if the port were always in the voyage,
understanding
merely an expression of the intensity
of our not knowing.

The answers come and go,
governments, religions, arts, sciences, fortune-cookies,
like parking meters, like waterbirds,
like oceans on the moon.

Life is the lock that opens the key,
the skymouth of the dream that woke itself up
talking in its sleep,
trying to remember the dreamer.

Like the fleets and caravans
of the seeds on the autumn wind
we are the purest expression
of a universe
that answers us with ourselves
when we ask for a sign.

Like cherries that ripen in the silence
of the deepening night,
turning our tears to wine,
our darkness into eyes,
may my shadows always be worthy
of the light that casts them.

Sixty-three years a human being,
sixty-three years of suffering and doubt,
of boredom and magmatic intensities,
of mystic elation and mythic insignificance,
of anger, danger, risk, defeat and victory,
of saying and seeing,
of trying to kiss the shadow of my pain away
by deepening my ignorance
and progressing backwards
through the re-runs of old eclipses
that once gorged on the moon like dragons.

Tonight the wind howls bitterly outside
and the stars seem eras away in the cold
as if the intimacy I have felt with their shining
since I was a boy
were just another leaf torn from the tree.

It's rare to catch a glimpse of your agony,
to see that even the brightest fountains
of your efflorescence
are rooted in a wounded watershed
that has never known the colour of your eyes.

I don't need to be forgiven
for being born;
and I won't be poured
like a tidal wine
into a life that isn't mine
however many cracks appear in the cup,
however I recede and leak out of myself,
my blood isn't anyone else's signature,
and this walking to nowhere I call a poem,
no one's footprints following me but my own.

How should it be otherwise
that I fall like rain
to appease this rumour of life
like a fire in my roots
and flash through the creekbeds
of my own flowing
like time returning to its hidden source
with news of nothing?

An echo of light
looking for its lost voice like a star,
I don't need to prove myself to the night
like a theory in the heart of a passing stranger
and space is the only death mask
that is the true likeness of my face.

No more than the light and the rain
that open the seeds like love-letters,
I don't need to know
what I will become
or what was revealed behind me in the dark,
but let me be worthy
of this wounded boat of the moment
with its cargo of eyes
enduring the burden and inspiration
of the voyage
like illegal refugees
with forged passports to Atlantis;
and if I must be accounted
one of the martyrs of absurdity,
then let me be as generous as wings
to the worms in my name
that blindly tilled the soil
of a rootless country.

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