Grace Of A Swan Quotes

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His own image; no longer a dark, gray bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan. To be born in a duck's nest, in a farmyard, is of no consequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swan's egg.
Hans Christian Andersen (The Ugly Duckling)
As graceful as a floating swan, but as deadly as a silver bullet.
Amo Jones (Tacet a Mortuis (The Elite King's Club #3))
He had danced with fair maidens before, but Odette was different. She was graceful and beautiful, but there was something in her eyes and in the things she said, an intelligence and a boldness that belied her quiet demeanor.
Melanie Dickerson (The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest (A Medieval Fairy Tale, #1))
When he heard light, rushing footfalls, he turned his head. Someone was racing along the second-floor balcony. Then laughter drifted down from above. Glorious feminine laughter. He leaned out the archway and glanced at the grand staircase. Bella appeared on the landing above, breathless, smiling, a black satin robe gathered in her hands. As she slowed at the head of the stairs, she looked over her shoulder, her thick dark hair swinging like a mane. The pounding that came next was heavy and distant, growing louder until it was like boulders hitting the ground. Obviously, it was what she was waiting for. She let out a laugh, yanked her robe up even higher, and started down the stairs, bare feet skirting the steps as if she were floating. At the bottom, she hit the mosaic floor of the foyer and wheeled around just as Zsadist appeared in second-story hallway. The Brother spotted her and went straight for the balcony, pegging his hands into the rail, swinging his legs up and pushing himself straight off into thin air. He flew outward, body in a perfect swan dive--except he wasn't over water, he was two floors up over hard stone. John's cry for help came out as a mute, sustained rush of air-- Which was cut off as Zsadist dematerialized at the height of the dive. He took form twenty feet in front of Bella, who watched the show with glowing happiness. Meanwhile, John's heart pounded from shock...then pumped fast for a different reason. Bella smiled up at her mate, her breath still hard, her hands still gripping the robe, her eyes heavy with invitation. And Zsadist came forward to answer her call, seeming to get even bigger as he stalked over to her. The Brother's bonding scent filled the foyer, just as his low, lionlike growl did. The male was all animal at the moment....a very sexual animal. "You like to be chased, nalla, " Z said in a voice so deep it distorted. Bella's smile got even wider as she backed up into a corner. "Maybe." "So run some more, why don't you." The words were dark and even John caught the erotic threat in them. Bella took off, darting around her mate, going for the billiards room. Z tracked her like prey, pivoting around, his eyes leveled on the female's streaming hair and graceful body. As his lips peeled off his fangs, the white canines elongated, protruding from his mouth. And they weren't the only response he had to his shellan. At his hips, pressing into the front of his leathers, was an erection the size of a tree trunk. Z shot John a quick glance and then went back to his hunt, disappearing into the room, the pumping growl getting louder. From out of the open doors, there was a delighted squeal, a scramble, a female's gasp, and then....nothing. He'd caught her. ......When Zsadist came out a moment later, he had Bella in his arms, her dark hair trailing down his shoulder as she lounged in the strength that held her. Her eyes locked on Z's face while he looked where he was going, her hand stroking his chest, her lips curved in a private smile. There was a bite mark on her neck, one that had very definitely not been there before, and Bella's satisfaction as she stared at the hunger in her hellren's face was utterly compelling. John knew instinctively that Zsadist was going to finish two things upstairs: the mating and the feeding. The Brother was going to be at her throat and in between her legs. Probably at the same time. God, John wanted that kind of connection.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
She reminded me of a swan. Beautiful, elegant and graceful. Fiercely protective of her young and deeply devoted to her soul mate. She oozes love, magic and passion. If you meet a swan in human form, protect her heart. She’ll encourage you to spread your wings and fly.
Labhandar Rós
It's a wonder they can sit down at all, and when they walk, nothing touches their legs under the billowing skirts, except their shifts and stockings. They are like swans, drifting along on unseen feet; or else like the jellyfish in the waters of the rocky harbour near our house, when I was little, before I ever made the long sad journey across the ocean. They were bell-shaped and ruffled, gracefully waving and lovely under the sea; but if they washed up on the beach and dried out in the sun there was nothing left of them. And that is what the ladies are like: mostly water.
Margaret Atwood (Alias Grace)
That place where I was born was a cold town. Even the mountains stood away. They were not sure, no more than me, of that dark spot, those same mountains. There was a black river that flowed through the town, and if it had no grace for mortal beings, it did for swans, and many swans resorted there, and even rode the river like some kind of plunging animal, in floods.
Sebastian Barry (The Secret Scripture (McNulty Family))
Soft white billowed about the surface, blowing gently against the windowsill in remembrance of the enigmatic swan’s graceful flight. Or so it reminded me, alluringly tranquil in its flicker of light and form, but not quite translucent. Not quite here.
Gina Marinello-Sweeney (Peter (The Veritas Chronicles, #3))
It was one of the great fen sunsets, flaming across the sky from horizon to horizon, burning up the earth beneath it to nothingness. But it could not subdue the Cathedral. Isaac was looking straight up at the three great towers and the flaming clouds were streaming out from them like banners. Yet there was no wind, and no movement in the sky except just above the Rollo tower where two small white clouds were in gentle flight. They soared and sank again, infinitely graceful and lovely, the golden light touching their wings and breasts. Then they soared once more and were lost in the light. They were two white swans.
Elizabeth Goudge (The Dean's Watch)
Blonde movie stars in the 1950s seem to have been pretty much divided between breathy bombshells (Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield) and slim, elegant swans (Grace Kelly, Eva Marie Saint). Producers didn’t really know what to do with Judy Holliday, a brilliant, versatile actress who simply didn’t fit into any easy category. Though she left behind a handful of delightful films, one can’t help feeling a sense of waste that her gifts were not better handled by Hollywood (or, for that matter, by Broadway). Perhaps, like Lucille Ball, Judy Holliday would have blossomed with a really good sitcom; but, unlike Lucy, she never got one.
Eve Golden (Bride of Golden Images)
His leap was exact, mathematical. The initial arc - head tucked between taut arms that spread out gradually like wings - was as graceful as a swan dive.
Juan Filloy (Op Oloop)
Lions are beautiful, box jellyfish are magnificent, and swans are grace personified, but if you mess with them or what’s theirs, you’re liable to come out the loser.
Alexa B. James (Dirty Alphas (Heartland Forest, #1))
Istvhan, you ever kill someone with an ice swan?” he whispered. “I clubbed someone unconscious with a frozen goose once. That’s similar?” The Bishop suffered a mysterious coughing fit. “No, you had to use the goose as a bludgeon, didn’t you? For the swan, I figure you’d snap the head off and try to stab with the neck.” “Hmmm…” Istvhan eyed the ice sculpture speculatively. “It’s pretty big. And not well balanced.” “I figure you’d have to go two-handed with it.” “I think I’d grab one of the candelabras instead. Some of those are nice and heavy.” “Far too unwieldy. I could take you apart with the ice swan while you were still trying to get the candelabra off the ground.” “Gentlemen,” said Beartongue, “I forbid you to smash the Archon’s decor and try to duel with it.” “Yes, your holiness.” “I’ll have you both excommunicated.” Stephen coughed. “Technically we’re not in your church, your holiness.” “Then I will have you confirmed so that I can excommunicate you even harder.” “Yes, your holiness.” He and Istvhan traded smug looks. Shane gazed into the distance, perhaps imagining a place where he had suitably serious colleagues.
T. Kingfisher (Paladin's Grace (The Saint of Steel, #1))
Yes You Are! Like the Blossoming rose, Like the Rays of hope. Like a deer in the forest, Like an athlete full of zest. Like a lamp in temple, Like the life feeling ample. Like the feel of the dawn, Like the grace of the swan. Like the melody of sitar, Like the rage of guitar. Like a group of angels in the sky, Like the pot that makes you high. Like the peacock's dance, Like she is the romance. Like the silent talk, Like the wine from Medoc. Like the colors of life, Like the music from the fife. Like the calmness of the cold wind Like the beauty of the hind.
Ameya Agrawal (A Leap Within)
The evening before I departed I stood on the rim of a lagoon on Isla Rabida. Flamingos rode on its dark surface like pink swans, apparently asleep. Small, curved feathers, shed from their breasts, drifted away from them over the water on a light breeze. I did not move for an hour. It was a moment of such peace, every troubled thread in a human spirit might have uncoiled and sorted itself into a graceful order. Other flamingos stood in the shallows with diffident elegance in the falling light, not feeding but only staring off toward the ocean. They seemed a kind of animal I had never quite seen before.
Barry Lopez (About This Life)
Her pockets yielded only ordinary feathers, shells, and seedpods, so she hurried back to the shack and stood in front of her feather-wall, window-shopping. The most graceful were the tail feathers from a tundra swan.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
You know, I’ve been wanting to tell you what the word Aria means on my world, but I just never seemed to get the chance. It refers to a beautiful song. A graceful melody that floats on air and delights the senses. It’s a fitting name for you.
Donald Swan
The trumpeter is beautiful to behold, graceful and elegant, just like our Ms. Swan. But if you disturb a trumpeter, trespass through its territory, or threaten its nest, it will hiss like a cobra and attack with the viciousness of a wolf. That is the black swan side.
Suzanne Selfors (Next Top Villain (Ever After High: A School Story, #1))
Beware o’ Bonie Ann (Song) YE gallants bright, I rede you right, Beware o’ bonie Ann; Her comely face sae fu’ o’ grace, Your heart she will trepan: Her een sae bright, like stars by night,   5 Her skin sae like the swan; Sae jimply lac’d her genty waist, That sweetly ye might span.
Robert Burns (Complete Works of Robert Burns)
I move like I'm gravity, like it's not a decision. Standing on my toes, on the edge of the high dive, the water looks as clear and blue as the sky. In my head there's the possibility that this moment isn't here yet, that maybe I'm not born. I could be an idea. Or I could be realized, and life is standing still. For this moment, the world has stopped. I have a perfect balance. The wind moves around me. My heart is as light and bright as the sun. I am as light as a sparrow bone, and for one moment I am everything that can't be caught and held. Then I'm passing through the air, turning, arms drawn in, toes pointed. My chin rests on my chest. I believe I have a chance at anything: one full revolution. I spread my wings. I arch my back. I remember why swans are graceful, why someone would name this for something beautiful. I think I'm touching the clouds. For a long time they keep me from breaking the blue. I don't hear the shattering surface. I belong behind this sky, all-silent and calm, and part of the world where butterflies live after they give up their feet and dream of flight. I can stay, if I pretend the fire in my chest doesn't burn, if I pretend the world is upside down, if I pretend water is the air I breathe.
Suzanne Marie Phillips (Chloe Doe)
[ The ‘wretch’ who has been saved by grace] believes and feels his own weakness and unworthiness, and lives upon the grace and pardoning love of his Lord. This gives him an habitual tenderness and gentleness of spirit. Humble under a sense of much forgiveness to himself, he finds it easy to forgive others.” 76
John Piper (The Roots of Endurance: Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce (The Swans Are Not Silent))
Suddenly the semipalmated plovers startle, then lift, swirling off in one smooth oscillation. They bank out over the water, stream up over the horizon, then arch backward in a long graceful curve, as if they were being sculpted by the wind. They return as abruptly as they left, falling out of the sky like drops of rain.~~The Black Swan
Ann Batterson
За Отрока — за Голубя — за Сына, За царевича младого Алексия Помолись, церковная Россия! Очи ангельские вытри, Вспомяни, как пал на плиты Голубь углицкий — Димитрий. Ласковая ты, Россия, матерь! Ах, ужели у тебя не хватит На него — любовной благодати? Грех отцовский не карай на сыне. Сохрани, крестьянская Россия, Царскосельского ягнёнка — Алексия! 4 апреля 1917, третий день Пасхи Pray for the Son - the Dove - the Adolescent, For the young Tsarevich, for the young Alexis - Russia, pray, who the true faith confessest! Wipe those angel eyes now, ponder deeply Him that fell upon the stones - think meetly On the dove of Uglich, on Dimitri. Gentle mother, Russia, kind, caressing! Is thy heart so hard as not to grace him With thy loving-kindness, with thy blessing? Visit not upon the son the father's trespass. Russia of the country folk - be his protectress: Spare the lamb of Tsarskoye Selo, Alexis! 4 April 1917 Third day of Easter
Marina Tsvetaeva (The Demesne of the Swans)
And are you married, sir?" Mrs Winstanley asked Tom. "Oh no, madam!" said Tom. "Yes," David reminded him. "You are, you know." Tom made a motion with his hand to suggest that it was a situation susceptible to different interpretations. The truth was that he had a Christian wife. At fifteen she had had a wicked little face, almond-shaped eyes and a most capricious nature. Tom had constantly compared her to a kitten. In her twenties she had been a swan; in her thirties a vixen; and then in rapid succession a bitch, a viper, a cockatrice and, finally, a pig. What animals he might have compared her to now no one knew. She was well past ninety now and for forty years or more she had been confined to a set of apartments in a distant part of the Castel des Tours saunz Nowmbre under strict instructions not to shew herself, while her husband waited impatiently for someone to come and tell him she was dead.
Susanna Clarke (The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories)
There was a difference between quality and mere showiness, he thought. That notion was reinforced immediately by the appearance of Lady Aline. She was dazzling, with strands of white pearls in her lustrous dark hair, her voluptuous body wrapped in a blue dress that molded tightly over the swell of her breasts. A double circlet of fresh white rosebuds was wrapped around one of her gloved wrists. Extending her hands in welcome, she went to a group of guests near the door of the ballroom. Her smile was a flash of magic. As he watched her, McKenna noticed something about her that had not registered during their earlier meeting... she walked differently than he remembered. Instead of exhibiting the impetuous grace she had possessed as a girl, Aline now moved with the leisurely deliberateness of a swan gliding across a still pond. Aline's entrance attracted many gazes, and it was obvious that McKenna was not the only man who appreciated her sparkling allure. No matter how tranquil her facade, there was no concealing the luminous sensuality beneath.
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0))
Tinker Bell, meanwhile, was drifting with purpose up to the highest leafy branches of the jungle. Her light glowed warmly off the leaves below, the droplets seeping off their thick veins, the sweet sap running down the trunks of the trees. It made the whole clearing look... Well, like it was touched by fairies, Wendy thought with a smile. All her life she had looked for fairies in more mundane places, experiencing a rush of hope and warmth whenever a scene even palely imitated the one before here now. Candles at Christmas, fireflies in the park, flickering lamps in teahouses. The sparkling leaded glass windows of a sweets shop on winter afternoons when dusk came at four. A febrile, glowing crisscross of threads on a rotten log her cousin had once shown her out in the country: fox fire, magical mushrooms. And here it was, for real! Tinker Bell was performing what appeared to be a slow and majestic dance. First, she moved to specific points in the air around her, perhaps north, south, east, and west, twirling a little at each stop. Then she flew back to the center and made a strange bowing motion, keeping her tiny feet daintily together and putting her arms out gracefully like a swan. As she completed each movement, fairy dust fell from her wings in glittering, languorous trails, hanging in the air just long enough to form shapes. She started the dance over again, faster this time. And again even faster. Her trail of sparkles almost resolved into a picture, crisscrossed lines constantly flowing slowly down like drips of luminous paint. Wendy felt a bit like John, overwhelmed with a desire to try to reduce and explain and thereby translate the magic. But she also felt a lot like Michael, with an almost overwhelming urge to break free from her hiding place and see it up close, to feel the sparkles on her nose, to run a hand through the sigils not for the purpose of destruction but form a hapless, joyful desire to be part of it all.
Liz Braswell (Straight On Till Morning (Twisted Tales))
The Phoenix and the Turtle Let the bird of loudest lay On the sole Arabian tree Herald sad and trumpet be, To whose sound chaste wings obey. But thou shrieking harbinger, Foul precurrer of the fiend, Augur of the fever's end, To this troop come thou not near. From this session interdict Every fowl of tyrant wing, Save the eagle, feather'd king; Keep the obsequy so strict. Let the priest in surplice white, That defunctive music can, Be the death-divining swan, Lest the requiem lack his right. And thou treble-dated crow, That thy sable gender mak'st With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st, 'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go. Here the anthem doth commence: Love and constancy is dead; Phoenix and the Turtle fled In a mutual flame from hence. So they lov'd, as love in twain Had the essence but in one; Two distincts, division none: Number there in love was slain. Hearts remote, yet not asunder; Distance and no space was seen 'Twixt this Turtle and his queen: But in them it were a wonder. So between them love did shine That the Turtle saw his right Flaming in the Phoenix' sight: Either was the other's mine. Property was thus appalled That the self was not the same; Single nature's double name Neither two nor one was called. Reason, in itself confounded, Saw division grow together, To themselves yet either neither, Simple were so well compounded; That it cried, "How true a twain Seemeth this concordant one! Love has reason, reason none, If what parts can so remain." Whereupon it made this threne To the Phoenix and the Dove, Co-supremes and stars of love, As chorus to their tragic scene: Beauty, truth, and rarity, Grace in all simplicity, Here enclos'd, in cinders lie. Death is now the Phoenix' nest, And the Turtle's loyal breast To eternity doth rest, Leaving no posterity: 'Twas not their infirmity, It was married chastity. Truth may seem but cannot be; Beauty brag but 'tis not she; Truth and beauty buried be. To this urn let those repair That are either true or fair; For these dead birds sigh a prayer
William Shakespeare
(From Chapter 3: Puss In Corner) The visitors wear afternoon dresses with rows of buttons up their fronts, and stiff wire crinolines beneath. It’s a wonder they can sit down at all, and when they walk, nothing touches their legs under the billowing skirts, except their shifts and stockings. They are like swans, drifting along on unseen feet; or else like the jellyfish [...] They were bell-shaped and ruffled, gracefully waving and lovely under the sea; but if they washed up on the beach and dried out in the sun there was nothing left of them. And that is what the ladies are like: mostly water. I have looked at [the wire crinolines] hanging in the wardrobes, when I go in to tidy and empty the slops. They are like birdcages; but what is being caged in? Legs, the legs of ladies; legs pinned in so they cannot get out and go rubbing up against the gentlemen’s trousers.
Margaret Atwood (Alias Grace)
Elegy for the Swans at Grace Pond" Bored with bread the children throw to her, the swan who lost her one great love when he washed up, tangled in the cold dawn, drowned in the roots of the willow, clings to the blue pond and its amnesia. Grief makes her circle the willow’s shadow where she waits for him to appear evenings when the light disappears and each lap of waves grows greener. Before a hole opened up in the life they’d invented in the clouds, we watched them, tangle their necks around each other, sailing side by side as to save themselves from our world.
Bruce Weigl (What Saves Us)
You know how ducks and swans look like they're floating gracefully, but they're actually paddling really hard to keep themselves afloat? Do you think they would feel sad if they realized nobody could see how much effort they're putting in?
Lee Yeon (The Makeup Remover 화장 지워주는 남자 [Hwajang Jiwojuneun Namja] (The Man Who Cleans Up Makeup))
Crystal took a moment to admire the black swans gliding across the water, wishing she could possess such style and grace.
L. Starla (Crystal's Crucible (Phoebe Braddock Books #3))
Debus, A. G. Man and Nature in the Renaissance. Cambridge University Press. Eamon, William. Science and the Secrets of Nature. Princeton University Press. Eisenbichler, Konrad, editor. The Pre-Modern Teenager: Youth in Society 1150–1650. University of Toronto Press. Evangelisti, Silvia. Nuns: A History of Convent Life. Oxford University Press. Fenlon, Iain. Music and Culture in Late Renaissance Italy. Oxford University Press. Findlen, Paula. Possessing Nature. University of California Press. Flinders, Carol Lee. Enduring Grace. HarperCollins. Glucklich, Ariel. Sacred Pain: Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul. Oxford University Press. Greenfield, Amy Butler. A Perfect Red. Black Swan Books.
Sarah Dunant (Sacred Hearts)
Something plays a part in survival, something you don’t understand. Omertà, the men call it. Honor, says the military. Grace, says the priest. What do the women call it?” That wasn’t rhetorical; she was waiting to have the question returned to her. “What do the women call it?” asked Laura. “Despair,” said Nonna. “Despair can be stronger than faith or hope. When you have no faith and no hope, something else mounts up in you. It’s just—animal anger. I mean when all the other blessings fail you, the animal sense of desperation uses you. It stands you up and walks you across the room and puts you on a boat and gets you to America. And
Gregory Maguire (A Wild Winter Swan)
We must look good from a distance: picturesque, like Dutch milkmaids on a wallpaper frieze, like a shelf full of period-costume ceramic salt and pepper shakers, like a flotilla of swans or anything that repeats itself with at least minimum grace and without variation. Soothing to the eye, the eyes, the Eyes, for that’s who this show is for.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale)
My name is Grace,” I said, to Elián, to Talis, to Queen Agnes Little, to the listening world. Then I drew with my hand a circle across the whole of the sky, and it filled with streaking, breaking platforms. Grace, the gift unexpected, unearned. Grace in a grid of falling stars.
Erin Bow (The Swan Riders (Prisoners of Peace, #2))
On days her spirits are low, like now, or between ballet seasons, when she has time to think about herself outside of the roles she plays, when she is not Odette in Swan Lake or Clara in The Nutcracker, she finds her feet reason enough to doubt the grace for which she is applauded when she spins on the tips of her toes.
A.A. Patawaran (Manila Was A Long Time Ago - Official)
Elegy for the Swans at Grace Pond" Bored with bread the children throw to her, the swan who lost her one great love when he washed up, tangled in the cold dawn, drowned in the roots of the willow, clings to the blue pond and its amnesia. Grief makes her circle the willow’s shadow where she waits for him to appear evenings when the light disappears and each lap of waves grows greener. Before a hole opened up in the life they’d invented in the clouds, we watched them, tangle their necks around each other, sailing side by side as to save themselves from our world. Bruce Weigl, What Saves Us. (Triquarterly; 1 edition January 1, 1992)
Bruce Weigl (What Saves Us)
Always graceful, sweetheart, like a beautiful swan. Paddle like hell where no one can see, but up above, all ease and charm. And no ugly frowny face; yes, just like you’re doing right now.
Lila Monroe (Snowed In (Christmas With A Billionaire Novella Collection))
Her wild tumbled hair - he loved those curls that defied gravity and rules with uniform indifference. Her head held, she swanned with a graceful saunter. She took his breath away.
Sherdley S. (The Guardian of Arcadin)
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust him for his grace; Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.
John Piper (The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd (The Swans Are Not Silent, #2))
Is everything all right, ladies?” Sabrina whirled to face both men as they dismounted. “Oh, my, yes. Everything is fine. Why ever would you think otherwise?” Brinna could just see Lord Thurleah’s face as he arched one eyebrow, his lips appearing to struggle to hold back an amused smile. “Mayhap because Lady Joan has fallen in the snow?” “Fallen?” Lady Sabrina’s genuine horror seemed to suggest ladies simply did not do anything as embarrassing as fall off the back of the wagon into the snow. She gasped, “Oh, nay. You must be mistaken, my lord. Why Lady Joan would never have fallen. She is the epitome of grace and beauty. She is as nimble as a fawn, as graceful as a swan. She is ---“ “Presently lying in the snow,” Lord Thurleah pointed out dryly.
Lynsay Sands (Three French Hens)
[the virgin birth account] occurs everywhere. When the Herod figure ( the extreme figure of misgovernment) has brought man to the nadir of spirit, the occult forces of the cycle begin to move. In an inconspicuous village, Mary is born who will maintain herself undefiled by fashionable errors of her generation. Her womb, remaining fallw as the primordial abyss, summons itself by its very readiness the original power that fertilzed the void. Mary's virgin birth story is recounted everywhere. and with such striking unity of the main contours, that early christian missionaries had to think the devil must be creating mockeries of Mary's birth wherever they testified. One missionary reports that after work was begun among Tunja and Sogamozzo South American Indians, "the demon began giving contrary doctrines. The demon sought to discredit Mary's account, declaring it had not yet come to pass; but presently, the sun would bring it to pass by taking flesh in the womb of a virgin in a small village, causing her to conceive by rays of the sun while she yet remained virgin." Hindu mythology tells of the maiden parvati who retreated to the high hills to practice austerities. Taraka had usurped mastery of the world, a tyrant. Prophecy said only a son of the high god Shiva could overthrow him. Shive however was the pattern god of yoga-alone, aloof, meditating. It was impossible Shiva could be moved to beget. Parvati tried changing the world situation by metching Shiva in meditation. Aloof, indrawn in her soul meditating, she fasted naked beneath the blazing sun, even adding to the heat by building four great fires. One day a Brahmin youth arrived and asked why anyone so beautiful should be destroying herself with such torture. "My desire," she said "is Shiva, the Highest. He is the god of solitude and concentration. I therefore imitate his meditation to move him from his balance and bring him to me in love." Shiva, the youth announced, is a god of destruction, shiva is World Annhilator. Snakes are his garlands. The virgin said: He is beyond the mind of such as you. He is terrifying but the source of grace. snake garlands or jewel garlands he can assume or put off at will. Shiva is my love. The youth thereupon put away his disguise-he was Shiva. The Buddha descended from heaven to his mother's womb in the shape of a milk white elephant. The Aztec Coatlicue was approached by a god in the form of a ball of feathers. The chapters of Ovid's Metamorphoses swarm with nymphs beset by gods in sundry masquerades: jove as a bull, a swan, a shower of gold. Any leaf, any nut, or even the breath of a breeze, may be enough to fertilize the ready virgin womb. The procreating power is everywhere. And according to whim or destiny of the hour, either a hero savior or a world--annihilating demon may be conceived-one can never know.
Joseph Campbell
My very first necklace, from my grandmother, had a swan pendant. Now, as an adult, I do still wear a swan pendant and it's my favourite one. I have been on dates wearing it and always get the same comment: "Did you know that swans may look graceful and elegant but they can break your arms with their wings?" They always say it like it's a bad thing. I think it's one of the most fantastic things in nature!
C. JoyBell C.
The Lilly in a Christal You have beheld a smiling Rose When Virgins hands have drawn O’r it a Cobweb-Lawne: And here, you see, this Lilly shows, Tomb’d in a Christal stone, More faire in this transparent case, Then when it grew alone; And had but single grace. You see how Creame but naked is; Nor daunces in the eye Without a Strawberrie: Or some fine tincture, like to this, Which draws the sight thereto, More by that wantoning with it; Then when the paler hieu No mixture did admit. You see how Amber through the streams More gently stroaks the sight, With some conceal’d delight; Then when he darts his radiant beams Into the boundless aire: Where either too much light his worth Doth all at once impaire, Or set it little forth. Put Purple Grapes, or Cherries in- To Glasse, and they will send More beauty to commend Them, from that cleane and sbutile skin, Then if they naked stood, And had no other pride at all, But their own flesh and blood, And tinctures natural. Thus Lillie, Rose, Grape, Cherry, Creame And Straw-berry do stir More love, when they transfer A weak, a soft, a broken beame; Then if they sho’d discover At fulltheir proper excellence; Without some Scean cast over, To juggle with the sense. Thus let this Christal’d Lillie be A Rule, how far to teach, Your nakednesse must reach: And that, no further, then we see Those glaring colours laid By Arts wise hand, but to this end They sho’d obey a shade; Lest they too far extend. So though y’are white as Swan, or Snow, And have the power to move A world of men to love: Yet, when your Lawns & Silks shal flow; And that white cloud divide Into a doubtful Twi-light; then, Then will your hidden Pride Raise greater fires in men.
Robert Welch Herrick (Selected Poems)
The Swan Oh, a swan! Blooming in grace and power. Were you thrown out of the forest of reeds by Pan To flourish as a white rose-flower? Do not doubt: Over the tired waves An unearthly light shines out; He hides his bright plumage. The face of the flood-tide Grows clearer and clearer to see. Poppy-milk ripples, runs wide, Where the wings rested momentarily. Image of woman, He sings the deepest of deaths; Out of the glass-cold dew The sweet silence drips from his breath. Cup of down, Defenceless, utterly abandoning, He has forgotten the sound And the dreams by evening. Floating, drifting, Changed into golden grey, The swan is singing A song whose end is sadness and decay.
Gertrud Kolmar
I beg your pardon, my ladies, Mr. Trottenham. I did not realize I’d be intruding unannounced.” “Deene, good day.” Trottenham rose and bowed, smacking his heels together audibly. “The more the merrier, I say, what? Saw your colt beat Islington’s by two lengths. Well done, jolly good and all that. Islington’s made a bit too much blunt off that animal in my opinion.” Trottenham apparently had a nervous affliction of the eyebrows, for they bounced up and down as he spoke, suggesting either a severe tic or an attempt to indicate some sort of shared confidence. “Perhaps the ladies would rather we save the race talk for the clubs?” “The ladies would indeed,” Louisa said. “Sit you down, Deene, and do the pretty. Mr. Trottenham was just leaving.” She gave a pointed look at the clock, while Eve, who had said nothing, busied herself pouring tea, which Deene most assuredly did not want. “Leaving?” Trottenham’s eyebrows jiggled around. “Suppose I ought, but first I must ask Lady Eve to join me at the fashionable hour for a drive around The Ring. It’s a beautiful day, and I’ve a spanking pair of bays to show off.” Deene accepted his cup of tea with good grace. “Afraid she’s not in a position to oblige, Trottenham, at least not today.” He smiled over at Eve, who blinked once then smiled back. Looking just a bit like Louisa when she did. “Sorry, Mr. Trottenham.” She did not sound sorry to Deene. “His lordship has spoken for my time today.” Trottenham’s smile dimmed then regained its strength. “Tomorrow, then?” Jenny spoke up. “We’re supposed to attend that Venetian breakfast with Her Grace tomorrow.” “And the next day is His Grace’s birthday. Couldn’t possibly wander off on such an occasion as that,” Louisa volunteered. “Why don’t I see you out, Mr. Trottenham, and you can tell me where you found these bays.” She rose and took him by the arm, leaving a small silence after her departure, in which Deene spared a moment to pity poor Trottenham. “I have an appointment at the modiste,” Lady Jenny said, getting to her feet. “Lucas, I’m sure you’ll excuse me.” She swanned off, leaving Eve sitting before the tea tray and Deene wondering what had just happened. “Did you tell them I’ve a preference for leeks?” “I did not, but I cannot vouch for the queer starts my sisters take.
Grace Burrowes (Lady Eve's Indiscretion (The Duke's Daughters, #4; Windham, #7))
After escaping from Paris and finally leaving France entirely, Calvin spent his exile in Basel, Switzerland, between 1534 and 1536. To redeem the time, “he devoted himself to the study of Hebrew.” (Imagine such a thing! Would any pastor today, exiled from his church and country, and living in mortal danger, study Hebrew? What has become of the vision of ministry that such a thing seems unthinkable today?)
John Piper (The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God's Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin (The Swans Are Not Silent, #1))
So when you hold the “Institutes” of John Calvin in your hand, remember that theology, for John Calvin, was forged in the furnace of burning flesh, and that Calvin could not sit idly by without some effort to vindicate the faithful and the God for whom they suffered. I think we would, perhaps, do our theology better today if more were at stake in what we said.
John Piper (The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God's Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin (The Swans Are Not Silent, #1))
She loved San Francisco but always remembered the happiness of that summer traveling through lovely towns like Gundagai and Tumut. The rural countryside was beautiful, and the people were always ready to smile at a pretty young American girl on vacation. She knew she was just average pretty, but she felt beautiful that summer, a duck transformed into a graceful swan. Perhaps it was just that moment in a young girl's life when all things feel possible, and she cannot imagine growing old, looking out a bedroom window in the evenings with no one to put their arms around her.
Bobby Underwood (Chance at Heaven)
Drake looked down at his bride, pride nearly crushing him. She looked the picture of virtue in a gown the color of dark cream. Her hair sat atop her head in a shining red-gold mass of thick braids and curls. A band of small pink rosebuds haloed the curls, their stems a tightly intertwined crown. There was no cap now. Her face was pale and glowing, her neck as graceful as any swan's he had ever seen on the lakes of Northumberland, her delicate collarbones as elegant and stately as the jewels of a queen. What he wouldn't have done to give her the magnificent London wedding she deserved. He would relish seeing her in rich satin and jewels, the envy of the civilized world. But Serena would never be in London... would probably not 'wish' to be, he realized. Gazing at her beauty, her tranquility, he had a blinding realization that caused him to grasp more tightly to her hand and almost falter as he turned toward the minister: Had he not left all behind, he never would have found her. For the first time, he had something to be thankful for in the wake of his ruined existence. Had he stayed in London, he would have wed one of the haughty women of the ton, a woman in whose eyes he would have seen a hunger that was never satisfied. Instead, he was marrying a woman of quiet strength and faith, all of which gave the very air around her peace. Was she not worth a dukedom? Yes. A thousand times yes. That and more. She was worth all that he had gone through to have her.
Jamie Carie (The Duchess and the Dragon)
Try the gougères," Lumière interrupted, popping one into her mouth before she could continue. It was warmed by his flame and melted on her tongue- nothing at all like the perfectly good but usually rock-hard ones she and her father baked. "Ohhh..." she couldn't help saying. "It's been so long since we had a guest!" Mrs. Potts danced around on the table happily, somehow managing to fold a napkin with her spout-nose. She tossed it into Belle's lap: a swan shape that gracefully unfolded as it fell, almost like it was flying. Belle shrank back, worried it was actually going to fly. "I can't imagine why," she muttered. And then she was distracted by the food. Piles of it. More than a feast- a banquet. There was a whole leg of lamb, multiple terrines and soufflés, three soup courses, a delicate fish in white wine broth, an orange ice in between to clear the palate... There was a water glass, a golden glass for red wine, a crystal one for white, and a saucer for consommé. There were seven forks of descending size and different numbers of tines, the last three whose use she couldn't even begin to work out.
Liz Braswell (As Old as Time)
Love beautifies and invests its object with a thousand nameless graces unrevealed to the indifferent eye.
Annie S. Swan (Doris Cheyne [microform]: the story of a noble life)