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We are dissipating superstition, ignorance and fear. We are forging courage, will and knowledge. Every striving toward enlightenment is welcome. Every prejudice, caused by ignorance, is exposed.

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Self Is Grand Mother Of All!

Knowledge is mother of fear,
minion of mother,
Understands what is fear,
Knowledge of pain,
Knowledge of failure,
knowledge of action and reaction
and when grown up,
becomes minion of fears!

Soul in the growing body,
knowledge becomes mother of fear,
May be pain of a fall,
Or a bite of ants or wasps,
knowledge of things around us is mother of fear!

Knowledge of own capabilities and inabilities,
Knowledge of bondage and faults,
Old age and death,
knowledge of pain
strain,
failure or insult,
knowledge of fall is mother of all fears!

Body, mind and intelligence,
When glows with knowledge of world,
Every thought and action,
Orbits around unknown fear,
Spinning or rotating around axis of fear,
its cute pet name is carefullness!

Paradoxically,
Fear is mother of all Knowledge,
Fear of fall,
Makes one carefull on walk,
Fear of consequences,
Makes one to think right,
act right or walk straight,
Fear is mother of all Knowledge,
Takes one above the plane,
or takes one to man of knowledge,
Make one polite and flexible,
fear of death makes one to think of eternal,
Fear of law, may be law of land,
Law of divine or law of nature is mother of knowledge,
Everyone is comes with lesson,
Either to teach or to learn,
Every fear of consequences is mother of all Knowledge divine!

Fear of flaws of own,
or flaws in human laws is mother of all Knowledge!

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The Sword

THE FORGING OF THE SWORD.

At the forging of the Sword--
The mountain roots were stirr'd,
Like the heart-beats of a bird;
Like flax the tall trees wav'd,
So fiercely struck the Forgers of the Sword.

At the forging of the Sword--
So loud the hammers fell,
The thrice seal'd gates of Hell,
Burst wide their glowing jaws;
Deep roaring, at the forging of the Sword.

At the forging of the Sword--
Kind mother Earth was rent,
Like an Arab's dusky tent,
And monster-like she fed--
On her children; at the forging of the Sword.

At the forging of the Sword--
So loud the blows they gave,
Up sprang the panting wave;
And blind and furious slew,
Shrill-shouting to the Forgers of the Sword.

At the forging of the Sword--
The startled air swift whirl'd
The red flames round the world,
From the Anvil where was smitten,
The steel, the Forgers wrought into the Sword.

At the forging of the Sword--
The Maid and Matron fled,
And hid them with the dead;
Fierce prophets sang their doom,
More deadly, than the wounding of the Sword.

At the forging of the Sword--
Swift leap'd the quiet hearts,
In the meadows and the marts;
The tides of men were drawn,
By the gleaming sickle-planet of the Sword!

* * * * *

Thus wert thou forged, O lissome sword;
On such dusk anvil wert thou wrought;
In such red flames thy metal fused!
From such deep hells that metal brought;

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Losing Life to Fear

In fear of being heard,

In fear of being understood,


In fear of not being heard,

In fear of not being understood,


In fear of being misheard,

In fear of being misunderstood,


In fear of hearing too much,

In fear of understanding too much,

In fear of saying too much,

In fear of saying too little,


In fear of being too enlightened,

In fear of not being factually correct,


In fear of being too bright,

In fear of being too ignorant,

In fear of being praised,

In fear of being bullied,


In fear of not being like others,

In fear of loosing my individuality,


In fear of being ostracized,

In fear of being camouflaged,

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Fears of a teenage mafioso

Fear of love,
Fear of pain,
Fear of the unforgiving cane,
Fear of lies,
Fear of sighs,
Fear of those distraught eyes,
Fear for the unknown,
Fear for the known,
Fear of everything combined,
Fear is what makes me blind,
Fear is what makes me think,
and act in blind accordance,
Hindering the world around me,
Hence, My Fear of myself
Fear is when you run away,
Fear is when you’re scared to love someone,
Fear is when the sky turns grey,
Fear of confusion,
Fear is like a dark blue ocean,
Fear won’t let me escape
Fear mocks me, watching
Fear taunts me, waiting
Fear of losing,
Fear you cannot see,
Fear dealt upon thee.
Fear of darkness and death,
Fear of a dead comrade,
Fear of a gun being cocked,
Fear of being endlessly stalked,
Fear of time,
Fear of all the crime,
Fear of the undesirable truth,
Fear for the good.
Fear for the sake of life,
Fear of the neighbors next door,
Fear of the secretive man in the subway,
Fear of the revolutionary uproar,
Fear is to not rejoice your living,
Fear for the sake of your life,
But to fear is to forsake it.
Fear is to have no hope in life,
Fear of the fear of fear,
We need no reason to fear,
For fear has no reason for itself.
I guess life is just like that,
To fear for no reason,
For to fear is not to reason,
But to reason is to fear.
To fear for the sake of fear,
Is fear for fear,

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Prejudice

IN yonder red-brick mansion, tight and square,
Just at the town's commencement, lives the mayor.
Some yards of shining gravel, fenced with box,
Lead to the painted portal--where one knocks :
There, in the left-hand parlour, all in state,
Sit he and she, on either side the grate.
But though their goods and chattels, sound and new,
Bespeak the owners very well to do,
His worship's wig and morning suit betray
Slight indications of an humbler day

That long, low shop, where still the name appears,
Some doors below, they kept for forty years :
And there, with various fortunes, smooth and rough,
They sold tobacco, coffee, tea, and snuff.
There labelled drawers display their spicy row--
Clove, mace, and nutmeg : from the ceiling low
Dangle long twelves and eights , and slender rush,
Mix'd with the varied forms of genus brush ;
Cask, firkin, bag, and barrel, crowd the floor,
And piles of country cheeses guard the door.
The frugal dames came in from far and near,
To buy their ounces and their quarterns here.
Hard was the toil, the profits slow to count,
And yet the mole-hill was at last a mount.
Those petty gains were hoarded day by day,
With little cost, for not a child had they ;
Till, long proceeding on the saving plan,
He found himself a warm, fore-handed man :
And being now arrived at life's decline,
Both he and she, they formed the bold design,
(Although it touched their prudence to the quick)
To turn their savings into stone and brick.
How many an ounce of tea and ounce of snuff,
There must have been consumed to make enough !

At length, with paint and paper, bright and gay,
The box was finished, and they went away.
But when their faces were no longer seen
Amongst the canisters of black and green ,
--Those well-known faces, all the country round--
'Twas said that had they levelled to the ground
The two old walnut trees before the door,
The customers would not have missed them more.
Now, like a pair of parrots in a cage,
They live, and civic honours crown their age :
Thrice, since the Whitsuntide they settled there,
Seven years ago, has he been chosen mayor ;
And now you'd scarcely know they were the same ;
Conscious he struts, of power, and wealth, and fame ;

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Coffee Courage

The bitter coffee kicked;
I shook and then I licked
My lips and gave a sigh.

Shattered eyes encouraged,
I nearly had envisaged
Waking up an eye.

Another sip; a jolt –
Not unlike a bolt
Of wattage from the mains.

My sockets under strain,
I tried it once again:
Aha! The light, the searing white –
My God, the bloody pain!

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2009

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Enlightenment

Chop that wood
Carry water
Whats the sound of one hand clapping
Enlightenment, dont know what it is
Every second, every minute
It keeps changing to something different
Enlightenment, dont know what it is
Enlightenment, dont know what it is
It says its non attachment
Non attachment. non attachment
Im in the here and now, and Im meditating
And still Im suffering but thats my problem
Enlightenment, dont know what it is
Wake up
Enlightenment says the world is nothing
Nothing but a dream, everythings an illusion
And nothing is real
Good or bad baby
You can change it anyway you want
You can rearrange it
Enlightenment, dont know what it is
Chop that wood
And carry water
Whats the sound of one hand clapping
Enlightenment, dont know what it is
All around baby. you can see
Youre making your own reality. everyday because
Enlightenment, dont know what it is
One more time
Enlightenment. dont know what it is
Its up to you
Enlightenment. dont know what it is
Its up to you everyday
Enlightenment, dont know what it is
Its always up to you
Enlightenment, dont know what it is
Its up to you, the way you think

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Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society

Epigraph

Υδραν φονεύσας, μυρίων τ᾽ ἄλλων πόνων
διῆλθον ἀγέλας . . .
τὸ λοίσθιον δὲ τόνδ᾽ ἔτλην τάλας πόνον,
. . . δῶμα θριγκῶσαι κακοῖς.

I slew the Hydra, and from labour pass'd
To labour — tribes of labours! Till, at last,
Attempting one more labour, in a trice,
Alack, with ills I crowned the edifice.

You have seen better days, dear? So have I —
And worse too, for they brought no such bud-mouth
As yours to lisp "You wish you knew me!" Well,
Wise men, 't is said, have sometimes wished the same,
And wished and had their trouble for their pains.
Suppose my Œdipus should lurk at last
Under a pork-pie hat and crinoline,
And, latish, pounce on Sphynx in Leicester Square?
Or likelier, what if Sphynx in wise old age,
Grown sick of snapping foolish people's heads,
And jealous for her riddle's proper rede, —
Jealous that the good trick which served the turn
Have justice rendered it, nor class one day
With friend Home's stilts and tongs and medium-ware,—
What if the once redoubted Sphynx, I say,
(Because night draws on, and the sands increase,
And desert-whispers grow a prophecy)
Tell all to Corinth of her own accord.
Bright Corinth, not dull Thebes, for Lais' sake,
Who finds me hardly grey, and likes my nose,
And thinks a man of sixty at the prime?
Good! It shall be! Revealment of myself!
But listen, for we must co-operate;
I don't drink tea: permit me the cigar!
First, how to make the matter plain, of course —
What was the law by which I lived. Let 's see:
Ay, we must take one instant of my life
Spent sitting by your side in this neat room:
Watch well the way I use it, and don't laugh!
Here's paper on the table, pen and ink:
Give me the soiled bit — not the pretty rose!
See! having sat an hour, I'm rested now,
Therefore want work: and spy no better work
For eye and hand and mind that guides them both,
During this instant, than to draw my pen
From blot One — thus — up, up to blot Two — thus —
Which I at last reach, thus, and here's my line
Five inches long and tolerably straight:

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The Queen of Jhansi

1st Stanza

The throne was shaken and tensions rose among the Raajvanshs, the royal heirs,
In aged India, new ideas were taking hold,
The people of all India lamented their lost freedom,
And decided to cast off British rule,
Old swords glittered anew as the freedom movement of 1857 started.
The Bandelas and Harbolas sang once again of the courage of the Queen of Jhansi,
How she fought like a man against the British intruders
So was the Queen of Jhansi.

2nd Stanza

She was as dear to the Nana (Nana Ghunghupant) of Kanpur as his real sister,
Laxmibai was her name, her parents only daughter
She'd been with Nana since her schoolgirl days
The spear, knife, sword, and axe were her constant companions.
She knew by heart the tales of valor of Shivaji
The Bandelas and Harbolas sang once again of the courage of the Queen of Jhansi,
How she fought like a man against the British intruders
So was the Queen of Jhansi.

3rd Stanza

None were sure, was she Laxmi or Durga devi or Devi durga reincarnate?
The people of Marathward were awed by her (expertise) skill with the sword,
They learned from her how to fight, the strategy of war,
To attack and humiliate the enemy were her favorite sports.
Her love for Maharashatra-kul-Devi was equaled only by her love for Bhavani.
The Bandelas and Harbolas sang once again of the courage of the Queen of Jhansi,
How she fought like a man against the British intruders,
8) So was the Queen of Jhansi.

4th Stanza

Laxmibai was married in Jhansi, with great jubilation
Entering the joyous city as Queen,
Grand celebrations were held in the palace in Jhansi, in honor of her coming.
Just as when Chitra met Arjun or Shiv had found his beloved Bhavani.
The Bandelas and Harbolas sang once again of the courage of the Queen of Jhansi,
How she fought like a man against the British intruders,
So was the Queen of Jhansi.


5th Stanza

Her presence was a blessing at the palace of Jhansi and candles of celebration burned long
But as days passed the dark clouds of misfortune overshadowed the royal palace.
She put aside her bangles and prepared for battle
For fate was unkind and made her a widow

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Oscar Wilde

The Teacher Of Wisdom

From his childhood he had been as one filled with the perfect
knowledge of God, and even while he was yet but a lad many of the
saints, as well as certain holy women who dwelt in the free city of
his birth, had been stirred to much wonder by the grave wisdom of
his answers.

And when his parents had given him the robe and the ring of manhood
he kissed them, and left them and went out into the world, that he
might speak to the world about God. For there were at that time
many in the world who either knew not God at all, or had but an
incomplete knowledge of Him, or worshipped the false gods who dwell
in groves and have no care of their worshippers.

And he set his face to the sun and journeyed, walking without
sandals, as he had seen the saints walk, and carrying at his girdle
a leathern wallet and a little water-bottle of burnt clay.

And as he walked along the highway he was full of the joy that
comes from the perfect knowledge of God, and he sang praises unto
God without ceasing; and after a time he reached a strange land in
which there were many cities.

And he passed through eleven cities. And some of these cities were
in valleys, and others were by the banks of great rivers, and
others were set on hills. And in each city he found a disciple who
loved him and followed him, and a great multitude also of people
followed him from each city, and the knowledge of God spread in the
whole land, and many of the rulers were converted, and the priests
of the temples in which there were idols found that half of their
gain was gone, and when they beat upon their drums at noon none, or
but a few, came with peacocks and with offerings of flesh as had
been the custom of the land before his coming.

Yet the more the people followed him, and the greater the number of
his disciples, the greater became his sorrow. And he knew not why
his sorrow was so great. For he spake ever about God, and out of
the fulness of that perfect knowledge of God which God had Himself
given to him.

And one evening he passed out of the eleventh city, which was a
city of Armenia, and his disciples and a great crowd of people
followed after him; and he went up on to a mountain and sat down on
a rock that was on the mountain, and his disciples stood round him,
and the multitude knelt in the valley.

And he bowed his head on his hands and wept, and said to his Soul,
'Why is it that I am full of sorrow and fear, and that each of my
disciples is an enemy that walks in the noonday?' And his Soul
answered him and said, 'God filled thee with the perfect knowledge
of Himself, and thou hast given this knowledge away to others. The

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John Milton

Paradise Lost: Book 09

No more of talk where God or Angel guest
With Man, as with his friend, familiar us'd,
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast; permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam'd. I now must change
Those notes to tragick; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,
And disobedience: on the part of Heaven
Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgement given,
That brought into this world a world of woe,
Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery
Death's harbinger: Sad talk!yet argument
Not less but more heroick than the wrath
Of stern Achilles on his foe pursued
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd;
Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long
Perplexed the Greek, and Cytherea's son:

If answerable style I can obtain
Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplor'd,
And dictates to me slumbering; or inspires
Easy my unpremeditated verse:
Since first this subject for heroick song
Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late;
Not sedulous by nature to indite
Wars, hitherto the only argument
Heroick deem'd chief mastery to dissect
With long and tedious havock fabled knights
In battles feign'd; the better fortitude
Of patience and heroick martyrdom
Unsung; or to describe races and games,
Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd shields,
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds,
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshall'd feast
Serv'd up in hall with sewers and seneshals;
The skill of artifice or office mean,
Not that which justly gives heroick name
To person, or to poem. Me, of these
Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
Remains; sufficient of itself to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years, damp my intended wing
Depress'd; and much they may, if all be mine,
Not hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.
The sun was sunk, and after him the star
Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring

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William Shakespeare

Venus and Adonis

'Vilia miretur vulgus; mihi flavus Apollo
Pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua.'

To the right honorable Henry Wriothesly, Earl of Southampton, and Baron of Tichfield.
Right honorable.

I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to your lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burden only, if your honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours, till I have honoured you with some graver labour. But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a god-father, and never after ear so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your honour to your heart's content; which I wish may always answer your own wish and the world's hopeful expectation.

Your honour's in all duty.

Even as the sun with purple-colour'd face
Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheek'd Adonis hied him to the chase;
Hunting he loved, but love he laugh'd to scorn;
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And like a bold-faced suitor 'gins to woo him.
'Thrice-fairer than myself,' thus she began,
'The field's chief flower, sweet above compare,
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,
More white and red than doves or roses are;
Nature that made thee, with herself at strife,
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life.
'Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed,
And rein his proud head to the saddle-bow;
If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed
A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know:
Here come and sit, where never serpent hisses,
And being set, I'll smother thee with kisses;
'And yet not cloy thy lips with loathed satiety,
But rather famish them amid their plenty,
Making them red and pale with fresh variety,
Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty:
A summer's day will seem an hour but short,
Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.'
With this she seizeth on his sweating palm,
The precedent of pith and livelihood,
And trembling in her passion, calls it balm,
Earth's sovereign salve to do a goddess good:
Being so enraged, desire doth lend her force
Courageously to pluck him from his horse.
Over one arm the lusty courser's rein,
Under her other was the tender boy,
Who blush'd and pouted in a dull disdain,
With leaden appetite, unapt to toy;
She red and hot as coals of glowing fire,
He red for shame, but frosty in desire.
The studded bridle on a ragged bough
Nimbly she fastens:--O, how quick is love!--
The steed is stalled up, and even now
To tie the rider she begins to prove:

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Loath and Fear

If I would rely on phrenology,
Or science, or mythology,
I'd burn down this damned city
And disembark in a conclusion
Of the ugly veracity:
I loathe everything!
I fear everything!
I loathe that I am writing about loathing
And I fear that I might lose every one
Though I barely have anyone,
So I loathe even more on this fear.
I loathe that I write about myself all the time, and
I fear that I might not be writing at all
I loathe that I would narrate a story
In the surreal slopes of enigma, and
I fear, afterwards, that no one will pry
To understand or even console.
I loathe that my mouth cannot mouth
What my hands opted to write, and
I fear that my hands aren't equipped
To write what I cannot mouth.
I loathe even more that I build walls
For people to beat down and divulge
The forlorn boy inside, and yet
I fear to be found.
And I loathe to the point of breaking
That no one ever cared to pry
And that makes me shudder in fear, and
I fear this kind of loathing
And loathe this kind of fear.
I loathe that I cannot gain readers, and
I fear that I may never have
I loathe that readers appreciates the writing
But not the congealed brook
Between the lines of it, and
I fear that they might not even
Appreciate the spilled blood
In every line of it.
I loathe, I fear,
That apart from writing
I am never good at anything
Except maybe from fearing and loathing.
I loathe that I blame the past
For making me loathe a lot, and
For making me fear a lot
For making me loathe sports, and
For making me fear trying
And all the brusquely recreations
And the shame of failing.
I loathe, I fear,

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William Shakespeare

Venus and Adonis

Even as the sun with purple-colour'd face
Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheek'd Adonis tried him to the chase;
Hunting he lov'd, but love he laugh'd to scorn;
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And like a bold-fac'd suitor 'gins to woo him.
'Thrice fairer than myself,' thus she began,
'The field's chief flower, sweet above compare,
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,
More white and red than doves or roses are;
Nature that made thee, with herself at strife,
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life.
'Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed,
And rein his proud head to the saddle-bow;
If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed
A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know:
Here come and sit, where never serpent hisses;
And being set, I'll smother thee with kisses:
'And yet not cloy thy lips with loath'd satiety,
But rather famish them amid their plenty,
Making them red and pale with fresh variety;
Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty:
A summer's day will seem an hour but short,
Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.'
With this she seizeth on his sweating palm,
The precedent of pith and livelihood,
And, trembling in her passion, calls it balm,
Earth's sovereign salve to do a goddess good:
Being so enrag'd, desire doth lend her force
Courageously to pluck him from his horse.
Over one arm the lusty courser's rein
Under her other was the tender boy,
Who blush'd and pouted in a dull disdain,
With leaden appetite, unapt to toy;
She red and hot as coals of glowing fire
He red for shame, but frosty in desire.
The studded bridle on a ragged bough
Nimbly she fastens;--O! how quick is love:--
The steed is stalled up, and even now
To tie the rider she begins to prove:
Backward she push'd him, as she would be thrust,
And govern'd him in strength, though not in lust.
So soon was she along, as he was down,
Each leaning on their elbows and their hips:
Now doth she stroke his cheek, now doth he frown,
And 'gins to chide, but soon she stops his lips;
And kissing speaks, with lustful language broken,
'If thou wilt chide, thy lips shall never open.'
He burns with bashful shame; she with her tears
Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheeks;

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John Dryden

The Hind And The Panther, A Poem In Three Parts : Part III.

Much malice, mingled with a little wit,
Perhaps may censure this mysterious writ;
Because the muse has peopled Caledon
With panthers, bears, and wolves, and beasts unknown,
As if we were not stocked with monsters of our own.
Let Æsop answer, who has set to view
Such kinds as Greece and Phrygia never knew;
And Mother Hubbard, in her homely dress,
Has sharply blamed a British lioness;
That queen, whose feast the factious rabble keep,
Exposed obscenely naked, and asleep.
Led by those great examples, may not I
The wonted organs of their words supply?
If men transact like brutes, 'tis equal then
For brutes to claim the privilege of men.
Others our Hind of folly will indite,
To entertain a dangerous guest by night.
Let those remember, that she cannot die,
Till rolling time is lost in round eternity;
Nor need she fear the Panther, though untamed,
Because the Lion's peace was now proclaimed;
The wary savage would not give offence,
To forfeit the protection of her prince;
But watched the time her vengeance to complete,
When all her furry sons in frequent senate met;
Meanwhile she quenched her fury at the flood,
And with a lenten salad cooled her blood.
Their commons, though but coarse, were nothing scant,
Nor did their minds an equal banquet want.
For now the Hind, whose noble nature strove
To express her plain simplicity of love,
Did all the honours of her house so well,
No sharp debates disturbed the friendly meal.
She turned the talk, avoiding that extreme,
To common dangers past, a sadly-pleasing theme;
Remembering every storm which tossed the state,
When both were objects of the public hate,
And dropt a tear betwixt for her own children's fate.
Nor failed she then a full review to make
Of what the Panther suffered for her sake;
Her lost esteem, her truth, her loyal care,
Her faith unshaken to an exiled heir,
Her strength to endure, her courage to defy,
Her choice of honourable infamy.
On these, prolixly thankful, she enlarged;
Then with acknowledgments herself she charged;
For friendship, of itself an holy tie,
Is made more sacred by adversity.
Now should they part, malicious tongues would say,
They met like chance companions on the way,

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Patrick White

Enlightenment Isn't Lumpy

Enlightenment isn't lumpy
even if sometimes you've got your heart
stuck in your throat
like a bird in a chimney
warming up like a phoenix
to go the way of the sumac leaves
and the ghosts of smoke
on the pyres of the sky burials
of the Canada geese.
Just because November
can't feel its pulse
and the garden snakes are nesting
like a sloppy knot of wavelengths
deep in the cold heartwood
of a rootless tree that can feel
the brutal chill of serpent fire
running up its spine like a lightning rod
doesn't mean enlightenment's a placebo
you have to keep away from the kids.
It's real enough to be unattainable
without disrespecting the integrity
of the picture plane.
It hides out in the open
where no one ever thinks to look.
The simpler it gets
the bigger the book you need to write
in order to conclude ambiguously
you do and you don't not understand it.
Say not two
and all is well.
And mean it deeper than you can say it
so that pain doesn't adulterate the child
that's trying to transcend it
by hanging on to the lifelines
of his fire-proof constellations
like the kites of distant stars burning in the wind.
Enlightenment doesn't care
if you've lost your integrity.
Your absence of self-respect
for someone who isn't there
is a rare opportunity
to uphold the dignity
of stars and rivers and trees.
Enlightenment's just the blossom.
It's not the fruit
of what there is yet to be.
The smell of autumn
in a windfall of apples
cradled like small planets in your arms.
Enlightenment isn't salvation from pain.

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John Dryden

Annus Mirabilis, The Year Of Wonders, 1666

1
In thriving arts long time had Holland grown,
Crouching at home and cruel when abroad:
Scarce leaving us the means to claim our own;
Our King they courted, and our merchants awed.

2
Trade, which, like blood, should circularly flow,
Stopp'd in their channels, found its freedom lost:
Thither the wealth of all the world did go,
And seem'd but shipwreck'd on so base a coast.

3
For them alone the heavens had kindly heat;
In eastern quarries ripening precious dew:
For them the Idumaean balm did sweat,
And in hot Ceylon spicy forests grew.

4
The sun but seem'd the labourer of the year;
Each waxing moon supplied her watery store,
To swell those tides, which from the line did bear
Their brimful vessels to the Belgian shore.

5
Thus mighty in her ships, stood Carthage long,
And swept the riches of the world from far;
Yet stoop'd to Rome, less wealthy, but more strong:
And this may prove our second Punic war.

6
What peace can be, where both to one pretend?
(But they more diligent, and we more strong)
Or if a peace, it soon must have an end;
For they would grow too powerful, were it long.

7
Behold two nations, then, engaged so far
That each seven years the fit must shake each land:
Where France will side to weaken us by war,
Who only can his vast designs withstand.

8
See how he feeds the Iberian with delays,
To render us his timely friendship vain:
And while his secret soul on Flanders preys,
He rocks the cradle of the babe of Spain.

9
Such deep designs of empire does he lay

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Quatrains Of Life

What has my youth been that I love it thus,
Sad youth, to all but one grown tedious,
Stale as the news which last week wearied us,
Or a tired actor's tale told to an empty house?

What did it bring me that I loved it, even
With joy before it and that dream of Heaven,
Boyhood's first rapture of requited bliss,
What did it give? What ever has it given?

'Let me recount the value of my days,
Call up each witness, mete out blame and praise,
Set life itself before me as it was,
And--for I love it--list to what it says.

Oh, I will judge it fairly. Each old pleasure
Shared with dead lips shall stand a separate treasure.
Each untold grief, which now seems lesser pain,
Shall here be weighed and argued of at leisure.

I will not mark mere follies. These would make
The count too large and in the telling take
More tears than I can spare from seemlier themes
To cure its laughter when my heart should ache.

Only the griefs which are essential things,
The bitter fruit which all experience brings;
Nor only of crossed pleasures, but the creed
Men learn who deal with nations and with kings.

All shall be counted fairly, griefs and joys,
Solely distinguishing 'twixt mirth and noise,
The thing which was and that which falsely seemed,
Pleasure and vanity, man's bliss and boy's.

So I shall learn the reason of my trust
In this poor life, these particles of dust
Made sentient for a little while with tears,
Till the great ``may--be'' ends for me in ``must.''

My childhood? Ah, my childhood! What of it
Stripped of all fancy, bare of all conceit?
Where is the infancy the poets sang?
Which was the true and which the counterfeit?

I see it now, alas, with eyes unsealed,
That age of innocence too well revealed.
The flowers I gathered--for I gathered flowers--
Were not more vain than I in that far field.

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Samuel Butler

Hudibras: Part 1 - Canto III

THE ARGUMENT

The scatter'd rout return and rally,
Surround the place; the Knight does sally,
And is made pris'ner: Then they seize
Th' inchanted fort by storm; release
Crowdero, and put the Squire in's place;
I should have first said Hudibras.

Ah me! what perils do environ
The man that meddles with cold iron!
What plaguy mischiefs and mishaps
Do dog him still with after-claps!
For though dame Fortune seem to smile
And leer upon him for a while,
She'll after shew him, in the nick
Of all his glories, a dog-trick.
This any man may sing or say,
I' th' ditty call'd, What if a Day?
For HUDIBRAS, who thought h' had won
The field, as certain as a gun;
And having routed the whole troop,
With victory was cock a-hoop;
Thinking h' had done enough to purchase
Thanksgiving-day among the Churches,
Wherein his mettle, and brave worth,
Might be explain'd by Holder-forth,
And register'd, by fame eternal,
In deathless pages of diurnal;
Found in few minutes, to his cost,
He did but count without his host;
And that a turn-stile is more certain
Than, in events of war, dame Fortune.

For now the late faint-hearted rout,
O'erthrown, and scatter'd round about,
Chas'd by the horror of their fear
From bloody fray of Knight and Bear,
(All but the dogs, who, in pursuit
Of the Knight's victory, stood to't,
And most ignobly fought to get
The honour of his blood and sweat,)
Seeing the coast was free and clear
O' th' conquer'd and the conqueror,
Took heart again, and fac'd about,
As if they meant to stand it out:
For by this time the routed Bear,
Attack'd by th' enemy i' th' rear,
Finding their number grew too great
For him to make a safe retreat,

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VI. Giuseppe Caponsacchi

Answer you, Sirs? Do I understand aright?
Have patience! In this sudden smoke from hell,—
So things disguise themselves,—I cannot see
My own hand held thus broad before my face
And know it again. Answer you? Then that means
Tell over twice what I, the first time, told
Six months ago: 't was here, I do believe,
Fronting you same three in this very room,
I stood and told you: yet now no one laughs,
Who then … nay, dear my lords, but laugh you did,
As good as laugh, what in a judge we style
Laughter—no levity, nothing indecorous, lords!
Only,—I think I apprehend the mood:
There was the blameless shrug, permissible smirk,
The pen's pretence at play with the pursed mouth,
The titter stifled in the hollow palm
Which rubbed the eyebrow and caressed the nose,
When I first told my tale: they meant, you know,
"The sly one, all this we are bound believe!
"Well, he can say no other than what he says.
"We have been young, too,—come, there's greater guilt!
"Let him but decently disembroil himself,
"Scramble from out the scrape nor move the mud,—
"We solid ones may risk a finger-stretch!
And now you sit as grave, stare as aghast
As if I were a phantom: now 't is—"Friend,
"Collect yourself!"—no laughing matter more—
"Counsel the Court in this extremity,
"Tell us again!"—tell that, for telling which,
I got the jocular piece of punishment,
Was sent to lounge a little in the place
Whence now of a sudden here you summon me
To take the intelligence from just—your lips!
You, Judge Tommati, who then tittered most,—
That she I helped eight months since to escape
Her husband, was retaken by the same,
Three days ago, if I have seized your sense,—
(I being disallowed to interfere,
Meddle or make in a matter none of mine,
For you and law were guardians quite enough
O' the innocent, without a pert priest's help)—
And that he has butchered her accordingly,
As she foretold and as myself believed,—
And, so foretelling and believing so,
We were punished, both of us, the merry way:
Therefore, tell once again the tale! For what?
Pompilia is only dying while I speak!
Why does the mirth hang fire and miss the smile?
My masters, there's an old book, you should con
For strange adventures, applicable yet,

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