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Evil is relative... You can't hang a sign on it. You can't touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.

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XI. Guido

You are the Cardinal Acciaiuoli, and you,
Abate Panciatichi—two good Tuscan names:
Acciaiuoli—ah, your ancestor it was
Built the huge battlemented convent-block
Over the little forky flashing Greve
That takes the quick turn at the foot o' the hill
Just as one first sees Florence: oh those days!
'T is Ema, though, the other rivulet,
The one-arched brown brick bridge yawns over,—yes,
Gallop and go five minutes, and you gain
The Roman Gate from where the Ema's bridged:
Kingfishers fly there: how I see the bend
O'erturreted by Certosa which he built,
That Senescal (we styled him) of your House!
I do adjure you, help me, Sirs! My blood
Comes from as far a source: ought it to end
This way, by leakage through their scaffold-planks
Into Rome's sink where her red refuse runs?
Sirs, I beseech you by blood-sympathy,
If there be any vile experiment
In the air,—if this your visit simply prove,
When all's done, just a well-intentioned trick,
That tries for truth truer than truth itself,
By startling up a man, ere break of day,
To tell him he must die at sunset,—pshaw!
That man's a Franceschini; feel his pulse,
Laugh at your folly, and let's all go sleep!
You have my last word,—innocent am I
As Innocent my Pope and murderer,
Innocent as a babe, as Mary's own,
As Mary's self,—I said, say and repeat,—
And why, then, should I die twelve hours hence? I—
Whom, not twelve hours ago, the gaoler bade
Turn to my straw-truss, settle and sleep sound
That I might wake the sooner, promptlier pay
His due of meat-and-drink-indulgence, cross
His palm with fee of the good-hand, beside,
As gallants use who go at large again!
For why? All honest Rome approved my part;
Whoever owned wife, sister, daughter,—nay,
Mistress,—had any shadow of any right
That looks like right, and, all the more resolved,
Held it with tooth and nail,—these manly men
Approved! I being for Rome, Rome was for me.
Then, there's the point reserved, the subterfuge
My lawyers held by, kept for last resource,
Firm should all else,—the impossible fancy!—fail,
And sneaking burgess-spirit win the day.
The knaves! One plea at least would hold,—they laughed,—
One grappling-iron scratch the bottom-rock

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The Ballad of the White Horse

DEDICATION

Of great limbs gone to chaos,
A great face turned to night--
Why bend above a shapeless shroud
Seeking in such archaic cloud
Sight of strong lords and light?

Where seven sunken Englands
Lie buried one by one,
Why should one idle spade, I wonder,
Shake up the dust of thanes like thunder
To smoke and choke the sun?

In cloud of clay so cast to heaven
What shape shall man discern?
These lords may light the mystery
Of mastery or victory,
And these ride high in history,
But these shall not return.

Gored on the Norman gonfalon
The Golden Dragon died:
We shall not wake with ballad strings
The good time of the smaller things,
We shall not see the holy kings
Ride down by Severn side.

Stiff, strange, and quaintly coloured
As the broidery of Bayeux
The England of that dawn remains,
And this of Alfred and the Danes
Seems like the tales a whole tribe feigns
Too English to be true.

Of a good king on an island
That ruled once on a time;
And as he walked by an apple tree
There came green devils out of the sea
With sea-plants trailing heavily
And tracks of opal slime.

Yet Alfred is no fairy tale;
His days as our days ran,
He also looked forth for an hour
On peopled plains and skies that lower,
From those few windows in the tower
That is the head of a man.

But who shall look from Alfred's hood

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Contract In Love

written by Lamont Dozier, Janie Bradford, & Brian Holland
(c) 1962 Jobete Music Co., Inc. (ASCAP)
Baby, baby, sign my contract on love
Baby, baby, sign my contract on love
Baby, baby, sign my contract on love
Baby, baby, sign it
Sign it
Sign it
Sign it
You say you love me
And I believe it's true
But before I let myself go
Here's what you've got to do
(Sign it)
(Sign it)
(Sign it)
(Sign it)
You've got to sign
(You, you, you'd better sign it)
My contract on love
(You, you, you'd better sign it)
Write it in your heart
(You, you, you'd better sign it)
That you'll never do anything
To ever make us part
(Sign it)
(Sign it)
(Sign it)
(Sign it)
Yeah, I know it may seem strange to you
Yeah, but I've lost a love so many times before
Yeah, and now that I know the score
No one's gonna hurt me no more
And I'm takin' all my chances with romances
Yeah
(Sign it)
(Sign it)
(Sign it)
(Sign it)
So just sign
(You, you, you'd better sign it)
Right here on this dotted line
(You, you, you'd better sign it)
Where it says you'll be mine, all mine
(You, you, you'd better sign it)
Until the end of time
(Sign it)
(Sign it)
(Sign it)
(Sign it)

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Contract On Love

Baby, baby, sign my contract on love
Baby, baby, sign my contract on love
Baby, baby, sign my contract on love
Baby, baby, sign it
Sign it
Sign it
Sign it
You say you love me
And I believe its true
But before I let myself go
Heres what youve got to do
(sign it)
(sign it)
(sign it)
(sign it)
Youve got to sign
(you, you, youd better sign it)
My contract on love
(you, you, youd better sign it)
Write it in your heart
(you, you, youd better sign it)
That youll never do anything
To ever make us part
(sign it)
(sign it)
(sign it)
(sign it)
Yeah, I know it may seem strange to you
Yeah, but Ive lost a love so many times before
Yeah, and now that I know the score
No ones gonna hurt me no more
And Im takin all my chances with romances
Yeah
(sign it)
(sign it)
(sign it)
(sign it)
So just sign
(you, you, youd better sign it)
Right here on this dotted line
(you, you, youd better sign it)
Where it says youll be mine, all mine
(you, you, youd better sign it)
Until the end of time
(sign it)
(sign it)
(sign it)
(sign it)
So come on, come on, come on, and
Sign, yeah

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Fundamental of Liar Chapter XCVIII: Absolutely Relative

Expensive is absolute, cheap is relative
Far is absolute, near is relative
Ugly is absolute, beauty is relative
Weird is absolute, crazy is relative
Stubborn is absolute, brave is relative
Stupid is absolute, smart is relative
Weak is absolute, strong is relative
Old is absolute, mature is relative
Lose is absolute, win is relative
Rich is absolute, poor is relative
Sad is absolute, happy is relative
Misfortune is absolute, lucky is relative
Safe is absolute, fear is relative
Love is absolute, hate is relative
Important is absolute, forgotten is relative
Easy is absolute, difficult is relative
Wrong is absolute, right is relative
Bad is absolute, good is relative
Lie is absolute, truth is relative

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Go Cut Creator Go

[LL Cool J]
1, 2, 3 'o' clock 4 'o' clock ROCK
5, 6, 7 'o' clock 8 'o' clock ROCK
9, 10, 11 'o' clock 12 'o' clock ROCK
Gonna ROCK (What?) ROCK, ROCK around the clock
Three years ago in St. Albans, Queens
I was rockin at a park called one eighteen
Little kids stood and watched as I rocked the spot
Didn't know that years later I'll be standin on top
Livin near Farmers Boulevard I was born and base-shaw
Stopped the rich and shaked hands with the poor
And this is a story about a brother I know
Cut Creator on the fader no watch him go
[Chorus]
Go, go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
Go, go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
[LL Cool J]
When back in the days before I clocked some dough
I used to go to the show and sit in the front row
Hopin and prayin one day I'll get on the road
So I had a feeler and a summer and I meet when I'm stoned
Not fearin a thought, got stung like a horse
Don't make fun of my posse, cause each man is a boss
When his only damn way to pull a jam out the crate
One time for your mind
Check out the guitar break
[Chorus]
Go, go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
Go, go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
Go Cut Creator Go
[LL Cool J]
This jam just wasn't enough for Jimmy Hendrix to see
He could do lessons of mixin take you under his wing
Straight from the heart cause it ain't the money that we came here for
Ain't no thoughts in the room ain't breakin no roles
And in the Rock 'n' Roll land, a big strivin plan
Just my posse learn the vocals what little they had
It's all about us three: Eve, Phil & Jay
He heard Cut Creator cut now check it out to play

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Quintetto

[To the tune of "Turning, turning, turning, as wheel goes round."]


RECITATIVE. MR. PAPERSTAMP:

Jack Horner's CHRISTMAS PIE my learned nurse
Interpreted to mean the public purse.
From thence a plum he drew. O happy Horner!
Who would not be ensconced in thy snug corner


THE FIVE:

While round the public board all eagerly we linger,
for what we can get we will try, try, try:
And we'll all have a finger, a finger, a finger,
We'll all have a finger in the CHRISTMAS PIE.


MR. FEATHERNEST:

By my own poetic laws, I'm a dealer in applause
For those who don't deserve it, but will buy, buy
So round the court I linger, and thus I get a finget
A finger, finger, finger in the CHRISTMAS PIE.


THE FIVE:

And we'll all have a finger, a finger, a finger,
We'll all have a finger in the CHRISTMAS PIE.


MR. VAMP:

My share of pie to win, I will dash through thick and thin
And philosophy and liberty shall fly, fly, fly:
And truth and taste shall know, that their eve Iasting foe
Has a finger, finger, finger in the CHRISTMAS PIE.


THE FIVE:

And we'll all have a finger, a finger, a finger,
We'll all have a finger in the CHRISTMAS PIE.


MR. KILLTHEDEAD:

I'll make my verses rattle with the din of war and battle,

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Pharsalia - Book VII: The Battle

Ne'er to the summons of the Eternal laws
More slowly Titan rose, nor drave his steeds,
Forced by the sky revolving, up the heaven,
With gloomier presage; wishing to endure
The pangs of ravished light, and dark eclipse;
And drew the mists up, not to feed his flames,
But lest his light upon Thessalian earth
Might fall undimmed.

Pompeius on that morn,
To him the latest day of happy life,
In troubled sleep an empty dream conceived.
For in the watches of the night he heard
Innumerable Romans shout his name
Within his theatre; the benches vied
To raise his fame and place him with the gods;
As once in youth, when victory was won
O'er conquered tribes where swift Iberus flows,
And where Sertorius' armies fought and fled,
The west subdued, with no less majesty
Than if the purple toga graced the car,
He sat triumphant in his pure white gown
A Roman knight, and heard the Senate's cheer.
Perhaps, as ills drew near, his anxious soul,
Shunning the future wooed the happy past;
Or, as is wont, prophetic slumber showed
That which was not to be, by doubtful forms
Misleading; or as envious Fate forbade
Return to Italy, this glimpse of Rome
Kind Fortune gave. Break not his latest sleep,
Ye sentinels; let not the trumpet call
Strike on his ear: for on the morrow's night
Shapes of the battle lost, of death and war
Shall crowd his rest with terrors. Whence shalt thou
The poor man's happiness of sleep regain?
Happy if even in dreams thy Rome could see
Once more her captain! Would the gods had given
To thee and to thy country one day yet
To reap the latest fruit of such a love:
Though sure of fate to come! Thou marchest on
As though by heaven ordained in Rome to die;
She, conscious ever of her prayers for thee
Heard by the gods, deemed not the fates decreed
Such evil destiny, that she should lose
The last sad solace of her Magnus' tomb.
Then young and old had blent their tears for thee,
And child unbidden; women torn their hair
And struck their bosoms as for Brutus dead.
But now no public woe shall greet thy death
As erst thy praise was heard: but men shall grieve

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Panic

Panic on the streets of london
Panic on the streets of birmingham
I wonder to myself
Could life ever be sane again ?
The leeds side-streets that you slip down
I wonder to myself
Hopes may rise on the grasmere
But honey pie, you're not safe here
So you run down
To the safety of the town
But there's panic on the streets of carlisle
Dublin, dundee, humberside
I wonder to myself
Burn down the disco
Hang the blessed dj
Because the music that they constantly play
It says nothing to me about my life
Hang the blessed dj
Because the music they constantly play
On the leeds side-streets that you slip down
Or provincial towns you jog 'round
Hang the dj, hang the dj, hang the dj
Hang the dj, hang the dj, hang the dj
Hang the dj, hang the dj, hang the dj
Hang the dj, hang the dj
Hang the dj, hang the dj
Hang the dj, hang the dj, hang the dj
Hang the dj, hang the dj
Hang the dj, hang the dj
Hang the dj, hang the dj, hang the dj
Hang the dj, hang the dj
Hang the dj, hang the dj
Hang the dj, hang the dj
Thankyou ...

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Taste So Good

[intro]
Please play at low volume
Preferably, while having sex
Can I taste you, can I taste you
(yes, you can)
Can I taste your body, girl
(of course you can)
Can I taste you, can I taste you
I just cant wait to
Can I taste you, can I taste you
(of course you can)
Can I taste your body, girl
(yes, you can)
Can I taste you, can I taste you
(oh, dont stop, until I tell you to)
Oh, baby whatcha doing
Got me feining like this
I wanna go to your valley
I wanna taste your lips, oh yeah
Never understood it
All my homies say dont do it
But baby when I tried it
Girl I couldnt help but like it
You taste so good
Baby you taste so good
You know you do girl
You taste so good
Baby do you like it when I taste your love, yeah
You taste so good
Baby, you taste so good
You know that it tastes so good
You taste so good
So good to me, my baby
So good to me, yeah
Sweeter than candy
Making my tongue so happy, oh
Loving down your backside
Girl, wont you take me on a thigh ride
Well go home
We;ll go around when we bounce
Youre giving me so much
Just swing and make you bounce
Your love is so delicious
Baby, I can tell by the smile on your face
Ya dont mind
If I have another taste
You taste so good
Baby, you taste so good
You taste so good
I cant get over this taste I found

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Tastes So Good

Please play at low volume
Preferably while havin sex
can i taste you can i taste you
(yes you can)
Can i taste your body girl
(of course you can)
Can i taste you can i taste you
I just cant wait to
Can i taste you can i taste you
( of course you can)
Can i taste your body Girl
(yes you can)
can i taste you can i taste you
( oh dont stop until i tell you to)
Oh baby whatcha doin
got me feining like this
I wanna go to your valley
I wanna taste your lips oh yeah
Never understood it
All my homies say dont do it
But baby when i tried it
Girl i couldnt help but like it
You taste so good
baby you tase so good
you know you do girl
you taste so good
Baby do you like it when i taste your love yeah
you taste so good
Baby you taste so good
you know that it tastes so good
you taste so good
so good to me my baby
so good to me yeah
Sweeter than candy
makin my tongue so happy oh
Lovin down your backside
Girl wont you take me on a thigh ride
we'll go home
we'll go areound when we bounce
your givin me so much
just swing and make you bounce
your love is so delicious
baby i can tell by the smile on your face
ya dont mind
if i have another taste
You taste so good
baby you taste so good
you taste so good
I cant get over this taste i found
when i go downtown down

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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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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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The Aeneid of Virgil: Book 12

WHEN Turnus saw the Latins leave the field,
Their armies broken, and their courage quell’d,
Himself become the mark of public spite,
His honor question’d for the promis’d fight;
The more he was with vulgar hate oppress’d, 5
The more his fury boil’d within his breast:
He rous’d his vigor for the last debate,
And rais’d his haughty soul to meet his fate.
As, when the swains the Libyan lion chase,
He makes a sour retreat, nor mends his pace; 10
But, if the pointed jav’lin pierce his side,
The lordly beast returns with double pride:
He wrenches out the steel, he roars for pain;
His sides he lashes, and erects his mane:
So Turnus fares; his eyeballs flash with fire, 15
Thro’ his wide nostrils clouds of smoke expire.
Trembling with rage, around the court he ran,
At length approach’d the king, and thus began:
“No more excuses or delays: I stand
In arms prepar’d to combat, hand to hand, 20
This base deserter of his native land.
The Trojan, by his word, is bound to take
The same conditions which himself did make.
Renew the truce; the solemn rites prepare,
And to my single virtue trust the war. 25
The Latians unconcern’d shall see the fight;
This arm unaided shall assert your right:
Then, if my prostrate body press the plain,
To him the crown and beauteous bride remain.”
To whom the king sedately thus replied: 30
“Brave youth, the more your valor has been tried,
The more becomes it us, with due respect,
To weigh the chance of war, which you neglect.
You want not wealth, or a successive throne,
Or cities which your arms have made your own: 35
My towns and treasures are at your command,
And stor’d with blooming beauties is my land;
Laurentum more than one Lavinia sees,
Unmarried, fair, of noble families.
Now let me speak, and you with patience hear, 40
Things which perhaps may grate a lover’s ear,
But sound advice, proceeding from a heart
Sincerely yours, and free from fraudful art.
The gods, by signs, have manifestly shown,
No prince Italian born should heir my throne: 45
Oft have our augurs, in prediction skill’d,
And oft our priests, a foreign son reveal’d.
Yet, won by worth that cannot be withstood,
Brib’d by my kindness to my kindred blood,
Urg’d by my wife, who would not be denied, 50

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Cut You Down To Size

Dont you know theyre gonna cut you down to size
(they cut you down yeah theyll cut you down)
Youre gonna find out when you see it right in their eyes
(they cut you down yeah theyll cut you down)
How does it feel when you see through your disguise
(they cut you down yeah theyll cut you down)
And they cut you down, yeah they cut you down
They cut you down to size
How does it feel
Whatd you do with this fire inside
Where do you turn now that you realize
Where you go when you run out of alibis
Tell me
Dont you know theyre gonna cut you down to size
(they cut you down yeah theyll cut you down)
Youre gonna find out when you see it right in their eyes
(they cut you down yeah theyll cut you down)
How does it feel when you see through your disguise
(they cut you down yeah theyll cut you down)
And they cut you down to, they cut you down to
They cut you down to size
How does it feel
How does it feel
Youve been living with your own suspicion
Now youve got to believe
I know youve heard it said that only the strong survive
Dont you know theyre gonna cut you down to size
(they cut you down yeah theyll cut you down)
Youre gonna find out when you see it right in their eyes
(they cut you down yeah theyll cut you down)
How does it feel when you see through your disguise
(they cut you down yeah theyll cut you down)
And they cut you down to size
Dont you know theyre gonna
How does it feel when you see through your disguise
And they cut you down to, cut you down to
Cut you down to size
Get up stand up, come back for another round
And they cut you down to size
Cut you down to size

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Charles Baudelaire

Beowulf

LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings
of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!
Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes,
from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore,
awing the earls. Since erst he lay
friendless, a foundling, fate repaid him:
for he waxed under welkin, in wealth he throve,
till before him the folk, both far and near,
who house by the whale-path, heard his mandate,
gave him gifts: a good king he!
To him an heir was afterward born,
a son in his halls, whom heaven sent
to favor the folk, feeling their woe
that erst they had lacked an earl for leader
so long a while; the Lord endowed him,
the Wielder of Wonder, with world's renown.
Famed was this Beowulf: far flew the boast of him,
son of Scyld, in the Scandian lands.
So becomes it a youth to quit him well
with his father's friends, by fee and gift,
that to aid him, aged, in after days,
come warriors willing, should war draw nigh,
liegemen loyal: by lauded deeds
shall an earl have honor in every clan.
Forth he fared at the fated moment,
sturdy Scyld to the shelter of God.
Then they bore him over to ocean's billow,
loving clansmen, as late he charged them,
while wielded words the winsome Scyld,
the leader beloved who long had ruled….
In the roadstead rocked a ring-dight vessel,
ice-flecked, outbound, atheling's barge:
there laid they down their darling lord
on the breast of the boat, the breaker-of-rings,
by the mast the mighty one. Many a treasure
fetched from far was freighted with him.
No ship have I known so nobly dight
with weapons of war and weeds of battle,
with breastplate and blade: on his bosom lay
a heaped hoard that hence should go
far o'er the flood with him floating away.
No less these loaded the lordly gifts,
thanes' huge treasure, than those had done
who in former time forth had sent him
sole on the seas, a suckling child.
High o'er his head they hoist the standard,
a gold-wove banner; let billows take him,
gave him to ocean. Grave were their spirits,
mournful their mood. No man is able

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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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V. Count Guido Franceschini

Thanks, Sir, but, should it please the reverend Court,
I feel I can stand somehow, half sit down
Without help, make shift to even speak, you see,
Fortified by the sip of … why, 't is wine,
Velletri,—and not vinegar and gall,
So changed and good the times grow! Thanks, kind Sir!
Oh, but one sip's enough! I want my head
To save my neck, there's work awaits me still.
How cautious and considerate … aie, aie, aie,
Nor your fault, sweet Sir! Come, you take to heart
An ordinary matter. Law is law.
Noblemen were exempt, the vulgar thought,
From racking; but, since law thinks otherwise,
I have been put to the rack: all's over now,
And neither wrist—what men style, out of joint:
If any harm be, 't is the shoulder-blade,
The left one, that seems wrong i' the socket,—Sirs,
Much could not happen, I was quick to faint,
Being past my prime of life, and out of health.
In short, I thank you,—yes, and mean the word.
Needs must the Court be slow to understand
How this quite novel form of taking pain,
This getting tortured merely in the flesh,
Amounts to almost an agreeable change
In my case, me fastidious, plied too much
With opposite treatment, used (forgive the joke)
To the rasp-tooth toying with this brain of mine,
And, in and out my heart, the play o' the probe.
Four years have I been operated on
I' the soul, do you see—its tense or tremulous part—
My self-respect, my care for a good name,
Pride in an old one, love of kindred—just
A mother, brothers, sisters, and the like,
That looked up to my face when days were dim,
And fancied they found light there—no one spot,
Foppishly sensitive, but has paid its pang.
That, and not this you now oblige me with,
That was the Vigil-torment, if you please!
The poor old noble House that drew the rags
O' the Franceschini's once superb array
Close round her, hoped to slink unchallenged by,—
Pluck off these! Turn the drapery inside out
And teach the tittering town how scarlet wears!
Show men the lucklessness, the improvidence
Of the easy-natured Count before this Count,
The father I have some slight feeling for,
Who let the world slide, nor foresaw that friends
Then proud to cap and kiss their patron's shoe,
Would, when the purse he left held spider-webs,
Properly push his child to wall one day!

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Matthew Arnold

Sohrab and Rustum

And the first grey of morning fill'd the east,
And the fog rose out of the Oxus stream.
But all the Tartar camp along the stream
Was hush'd, and still the men were plunged in sleep;
Sohrab alone, he slept not; all night long
He had lain wakeful, tossing on his bed;
But when the grey dawn stole into his tent,
He rose, and clad himself, and girt his sword,
And took his horseman's cloak, and left his tent,
And went abroad into the cold wet fog,
Through the dim camp to Peran-Wisa's tent.

Through the black Tartar tents he pass'd, which stood
Clustering like bee-hives on the low flat strand
Of Oxus, where the summer-floods o'erflow
When the sun melts the snows in high Pamere
Through the black tents he pass'd, o'er that low strand,
And to a hillock came, a little back
From the stream's brink--the spot where first a boat,
Crossing the stream in summer, scrapes the land.
The men of former times had crown'd the top
With a clay fort; but that was fall'n, and now
The Tartars built there Peran-Wisa's tent,
A dome of laths, and o'er it felts were spread.
And Sohrab came there, and went in, and stood
Upon the thick piled carpets in the tent,
And found the old man sleeping on his bed
Of rugs and felts, and near him lay his arms.
And Peran-Wisa heard him, though the step
Was dull'd; for he slept light, an old man's sleep;
And he rose quickly on one arm, and said:--

"Who art thou? for it is not yet clear dawn.
Speak! is there news, or any night alarm?"

But Sohrab came to the bedside, and said:--
"Thou know'st me, Peran-Wisa! it is I.
The sun is not yet risen, and the foe
Sleep; but I sleep not; all night long I lie
Tossing and wakeful, and I come to thee.
For so did King Afrasiab bid me seek
Thy counsel, and to heed thee as thy son,
In Samarcand, before the army march'd;
And I will tell thee what my heart desires.
Thou know'st if, since from Ader-baijan first
I came among the Tartars and bore arms,
I have still served Afrasiab well, and shown,
At my boy's years, the courage of a man.
This too thou know'st, that while I still bear on
The conquering Tartar ensigns through the world,

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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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