Joy Of Spring Quotes

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For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Hermann Hesse (Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
Not forever does the bulbul sing In balmy shades of bowers, Not forever lasts the spring Nor ever blossom the flowers. Not forever reigneth joy, Sets the sun on days of bliss, Friendships not forever last, They know not life, who know not this.
Khushwant Singh (Train to Pakistan)
For if joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its springs are in the wells of sorrow unfathomable at the foundations of the Earth.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Silmarillion)
Take bread away from me, if you wish, take air away, but do not take from me your laughter. Do not take away the rose, the lance flower that you pluck, the water that suddenly bursts forth in joy, the sudden wave of silver born in you. My struggle is harsh and I come back with eyes tired at times from having seen the unchanging earth, but when your laughter enters it rises to the sky seeking me and it opens for me all the doors of life. My love, in the darkest hour your laughter opens, and if suddenly you see my blood staining the stones of the street, laugh, because your laughter will be for my hands like a fresh sword. Next to the sea in the autumn, your laughter must raise its foamy cascade, and in the spring, love, I want your laughter like the flower I was waiting for, the blue flower, the rose of my echoing country. Laugh at the night, at the day, at the moon, laugh at the twisted streets of the island, laugh at this clumsy fool who loves you, but when I open my eyes and close them, when my steps go, when my steps return, deny me bread, air, light, spring, but never your laughter.
Pablo Neruda
They kissed for the first time then in the cold spring rain, though neither one of them now knew that it was raining. Tristran's heart pounded in his chest as if it was not big enough to contain all the joy that it held. He opened his eyes as he kissed the star. Her sky-blue eyes stared back into his, and in her eyes he could see no parting from her.
Neil Gaiman (Stardust)
From childhood's hour I have not been As others were; I have not seen As others saw; I could not bring My passions from a common spring. From the same source I have not taken My sorrow; I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I loved, I loved alone. Then- in my childhood, in the dawn Of a most stormy life- was drawn From every depth of good and ill The mystery which binds me still: From the torrent, or the fountain, From the red cliff of the mountain, From the sun that round me rolled In its autumn tint of gold, From the lightning in the sky As it passed me flying by, From the thunder and the storm, And the cloud that took the form (When the rest of Heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view.
Edgar Allan Poe (Alone)
anyone lived in a pretty how town (with up so floating many bells down) spring summer autumn winter he sang his didn't he danced his did Women and men(both little and small) cared for anyone not at all they sowed their isn't they reaped their same sun moon stars rain children guessed(but only a few and down they forgot as up they grew autumn winter spring summer) that noone loved him more by more when by now and tree by leaf she laughed his joy she cried his grief bird by snow and stir by still anyone's any was all to her someones married their everyones laughed their cryings and did their dance (sleep wake hope and then)they said their nevers they slept their dream stars rain sun moon (and only the snow can begin to explain how children are apt to forget to remember with up so floating many bells down) one day anyone died i guess (and noone stooped to kiss his face) busy folk buried them side by side little by little and was by was all by all and deep by deep and more by more they dream their sleep noone and anyone earth by april wish by spirit and if by yes. Women and men (both dong and ding) summer autumn winter spring reaped their sowing and went their came sun moon stars rain
E.E. Cummings (Selected Poems)
Then came the healing time, hearts started to shine, soul felt so fine, oh what a freeing time it was.
Aberjhani (Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player)
April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot wrote, by which I think he meant (among other things) that springtime makes people crazy. We expect too much, the world burgeons with promises it can't keep, all passion is really a setup, and we're doomed to get our hearts broken yet again. I agree, and would further add: Who cares? Every spring I go out there anyway, around the bend, unconditionally. ... Come the end of the dark days, I am more than joyful. I'm nuts.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
There are in this world blessed souls, whose sorrows all spring up into joys for others; whose earthly hopes, laid in the grave with many tears, are the seed from which spring healing flowers and balm for the desolate and the distressed.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.
John Muir (The Wilderness World of John Muir)
sweet spring is your time is my time is our time for springtime is lovetime and viva sweet love (all the merry little birds are flying in the floating in the very spirits singing in are winging in the blossoming) lovers go and lovers come awandering awondering but any two are perfectly alone there's nobody else alive (such a sky and such a sun i never knew and neither did you and everybody never breathed quite so many kinds of yes) not a tree can count his leaves each herself by opening but shining who by thousands mean only one amazing thing (secretly adoring shyly tiny winging darting floating merry in the blossoming always joyful selves are singing) sweet spring is your time is my time is our time for springtime is lovetime and viva sweet love
E.E. Cummings
From childhood's hour I have not been As others were; I have not seen As others saw; I could not bring My passions from a common spring. From the same source I have not taken My sorrow; I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I loved, I loved alone.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, Vol. 2)
The modern philosopher had told me again and again that I was in the right place, and I still felt depressed even in acquiescence. But I had heard that I was in the wrong place, and my soul sang for joy like a bird in spring.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Amor" So many days, oh so many days seeing you so tangible and so close, how do I pay, with what do I pay? The bloodthirsty spring has awakened in the woods. The foxes start from their earths, the serpents drink the dew, and I go with you in the leaves between the pines and the silence, asking myself how and when I will have to pay for my luck. Of everything I have seen, it's you I want to go on seeing: of everything I've touched, it's your flesh I want to go on touching. I love your orange laughter. I am moved by the sight of you sleeping. What am I to do, love, loved one? I don't know how others love or how people loved in the past. I live, watching you, loving you. Being in love is my nature. You please me more each afternoon. Where is she? I keep on asking if your eyes disappear. How long she's taking! I think, and I'm hurt. I feel poor, foolish and sad, and you arrive and you are lightning glancing off the peach trees. That's why I love you and yet not why. There are so many reasons, and yet so few, for love has to be so, involving and general, particular and terrifying, joyful and grieving, flowering like the stars, and measureless as a kiss. That's why I love you and yet not why. There are so many reasons, and yet so few, for love has to be so, involving and general, particular and terrifying, joyful and grieving, flowering like the stars, and measureless as a kiss.
Pablo Neruda (Intimacies: Poems of Love)
How can the bird that is born for joy Sit in a cage and sing? How can a child, when fears annoy, But droop his tender wing, And forget his youthful spring?
William Blake (Songs of Innocence and of Experience)
Perhaps ... To R.A.L. Perhaps some day the sun will shine again, And I shall see that still the skies are blue, And feel one more I do not live in vain, Although bereft of you. Perhaps the golden meadows at my feet, Will make the sunny hours of spring seem gay, And I shall find the white May-blossoms sweet, Though You have passed away. Perhaps the summer woods will shimmer bright, And crimson roses once again be fair, And autumn harvest fields a rich delight, Although You are not there. But though kind Time may many joys renew, There is one greatest joy I shall not know Again, because my heart for loss of You Was broken, long ago.
Vera Brittain (Testament of Youth)
Something in the air this morning made me feel like flying. . . " Spring Flight
Eileen Granfors (And More White Sheets: An expanded text edition (Volume 1))
God descends to earth like fresh spring rain, and at every level his grace is received differently. For some it feels like love, for others like salvation. It feels like safety and warmth at one level, like coming home at another.
Deepak Chopra (Why Is God Laughing?: The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism)
I feel like spring after winter, and sun on the leaves; and like trumpets and harps and all the songs I have ever heard!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
From the girl who sat before me now...surged a fresh and physical life force. She was like a small animal that has popped into the world with the coming of spring. Her eyes moved like an independent organism with joy, laughter, anger, amazement, and despair. I hadn't seen a face so vivid and expressive in ages, and I enjoyed watching it live and move.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
The birds brought seeds & flowers & bits of brightly colored string & placed them in her hair while she slept so she would remember the wild joy of spring when she finally awoke.
Brian Andreas
i am a little church(no great cathedral) far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities --i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest, i am not sorry when sun and rain make april my life is the life of the reaper and the sower; my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving (finding and losing and laughing and crying)children whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness around me surges a miracle of unceasing birth and glory and death and resurrection: over my sleeping self float flaming symbols of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains i am a little church(far from the frantic world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature --i do not worry if longer nights grow longest; i am not sorry when silence becomes singing winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to merciful Him Whose only now is forever: standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence (welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)
E.E. Cummings
To Earthward" Love at the lips was touch As sweet as I could bear; And once that seemed too much; I lived on air That crossed me from sweet things, The flow of--was it musk From hidden grapevine springs Downhill at dusk? I had the swirl and ache From sprays of honeysuckle That when they're gathered shake Dew on the knuckle. I craved strong sweets, but those Seemed strong when I was young; The petal of the rose It was that stung. Now no joy but lacks salt, That is not dashed with pain And weariness and fault; I crave the stain Of tears, the aftermark Of almost too much love, The sweet of bitter bark And burning clove. When stiff and sore and scarred I take away my hand From leaning on it hard In grass and sand, The hurt is not enough: I long for weight and strength To feel the earth as rough To all my length.
Robert Frost
I can still bring into my body the joy I felt at seeing the first trillium of spring, which seemed to be telling me, "Never give up hope, spring will come.
Jessica Stern (Denial: A Memoir of Terror)
All the spring may be hidden in the single bud, and the low ground nest of the lark may hold the joy that is to herald the feet of many rose-red dawns.
Oscar Wilde (De Profundis)
I love the stillness of the wood; I love the music of the rill: I love the couch in pensive mod Upon some silent hill. Scarce heard, beneath yon arching trees, The silver-crested ripples pass; and, like a mimic brook, the breeze Whispers among the grass. Here from the world I win release, Nor scorn of men, nor footstep rude, Break into mar the holy peace Of this great solitude. Here may the silent tears I weep Lull the vested spirit into rest, As infants sob themselves to sleep Upon a mothers breast. But when the bitter hour is gone, And the keen throbbing pangs are still, Oh, sweetest then to couch alone Upon some silent hill! To live in joys that once have been, To put the cold world out of sight, And deck life's drear and barren scene With hues of rainbow-light. For what to man the gift of breath, If sorrow be his lot below; If all the day that ends in death Be dark with clouds of woe? Shall the poor transport of an hour Repay long years of sore distress- The fragrance of a lonely flower Make glad the wilderness? Ye golden house of life's young spring, Of innocence, of love and truth! Bright, beyond all imagining, Thou fairy-dream of youth! I'd give all wealth that years have piled, The slow result of Life's decay, To be once more a little child For on bright summers day.
Lewis Carroll
It appears to me impossible that I should cease to exist, or that this active, restless spirit, equally alive to joy and sorrow, should only be organised dust - ready to fly abroad the moment the spring snaps, or the spark goes out, which kept it together. Surely something resides in this heart that is not perishable - and life is more than a dream.
Mary Wollstonecraft (A Short Residence in Sweden / Memoirs of the Author of 'The Rights of Woman')
Isn't it a riddle . . . and awe-inspiring, that everything is so beautiful? Despite the horror. Lately I've noticed something grand and mysterious peering through my sheer joy in all that is beautiful, a sense of its creator . . . Only man can be truly ugly, because he has the free will to estrange himself from this song of praise. It often seems that he'll manage to drown out this hymn with his cannon thunder, curses and blasphemy. But during this past spring it has dawned upon me that he won't be able to do this. And so I want to try and throw myself on the side of the victor.
Sophie Scholl
Separation is painful, but so is its opposite. And if being together brings joy, then it is only proper that separation should do the same in its own way.
Yukio Mishima (Spring Snow (The Sea of Fertility #1))
If I could live again my life, In the next – I’ll try, - to make more mistakes, I won’t try to be so perfect, I’ll be more relaxed, I’ll be more full – than I am now, In fact, I’ll take fewer things seriously, I’ll be less hygienic, I’ll take more risks, I’ll take more trips, I’ll watch more sunsets, I’ll climb more mountains, I’ll swim more rivers, I’ll go to more places – I’ve never been, I’ll eat more ice creams and less lima beans, I’ll have more real problems – and less imaginary ones, I was one of those people who live prudent and prolific lives - each minute of his life, Of course that I had moments of joy – but, if I could go back I’ll try to have only good moments, If you don’t know – that’s what life is made of, Don’t lose the now! I was one of those who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, without a hot-water bottle, and without an umbrella and without a parachute, If I could live again – I will travel light, If I could live again – I’ll try to work bare feet at the beginning of spring till the end of autumn, I’ll ride more carts, I’ll watch more sunrises and play with more children, If I have the life to live – but now I am 85, - and I know that I am dying …
Jorge Luis Borges
She was so endearing, so indomitable, that Gabriel was wrenched with a feeling he’d never known before, as if all the extremes of joy and despair had been compressed into some new emotion that threatened to crack the walls of his heart.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
Did I live the spring I’d sought? It’s true in joy, I walked along, took part in dance, and sang the song. and never tried to bind an hour to my borrowed garden bower; nor did I once entreat a day to slumber at my feet. Yet days aren’t lulled by lyric song, like morning birds they pass along, o’er crests of trees, to none belong; o’er crests of trees of drying dew, their larking flight, my hands, eschew Thus I’ll say it once and true… From all that I saw, and everywhere I wandered, I learned that time cannot be spent, It only can be squandered.
Roman Payne (Rooftop Soliloquy)
...as the sun shines down to melt the ice of another winter, to summon spring wildflowers from the earth; as the sky darkens with sudden, drenching showers before the sun returns, I know that both pain and joy are needed for life to grow.
Teri Terry (Shattered (Slated, #3))
Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, all last winter we slept in the seeming death but at the right time God awakened us, and here we are to comfort you.
Edward Payson Roe
For I know that we laughers have a gross cousinship with the most high, and it is this contrast and perpetual quarrel which feeds a spring of merriment in the soul of a sane man.
Hilaire Belloc (The Path to Rome)
I had tried to be happy by telling myself that man is an animal, like any other which sought its meat from God. But now I really was happy, for I had learnt that man is a monstrosity. I had been right in feeling all things as odd, for I myself was at once worse and better than all things. The optimist's pleasure was prosaic, for it dwelt on the naturalness of everything; the Christian pleasure was poetic, for it dwelt on the unnaturalness of everything in the light of the supernatural. The modern philosopher had told me again and again that I was in the right place, and I had still felt depressed even in acquiescence. But I had heard that I was in the wrong place, and my soul sang for joy, like a bird in spring. The knowledge found out and illuminated forgotten chambers in the dark house of infancy. I knew now why grass had always seemed to me as queer as the green beard of a giant, and why I could feel homesick at home.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Like I said, magic comes from life, and especially from emotions. They're a source of the same intangible energy that everyone can feel when an autumn moon rises and fills you with a sudden sense of bone-deep excitement, or when the first warm breeze of spring rushes past your face, full of the scents of life, and drowns you in a sudden flood of unreasoning joy. The passion of mighty music that brings tears to your eyes, and the raw, bubbling, infectious laughter of small children at play, the bellowing power of a stadium full of football fans shouting "Hey!" in time to that damned song—they're all charged with magic. My magic comes from the same places. And maybe from darker places than that. Fear is an emotion, too. So is rage. So is lust. And madness. I'm not a particularly good person. I'm no Charles Manson or anything, but I'm not going to be up for canonization either. Though in the past, I think maybe I was a better person than I am today. In the past I hadn't seen so many people hurt and killed and terrorized by the same kind of power that damn well should have been making the world a nicer place, or at the least staying the hell away from it. I hadn't made so many mistakes back then, so many shortsighted decisions, some of which had cost people their lives. I had been sure of myself. I had been whole.
Jim Butcher (Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7))
In your winter you deny your spring,
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
From childhood’s hour I have not been As others were—I have not seen As others saw—I could not bring My passions from a common spring— From the same source I have not taken My sorrow—I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone— And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Edgar Allan Poe (Alone)
There is much that is immortal in this medieval lady. The dragons have gone, and so have the knights, but still she lingers in our midst. She reigned in many an early Victorian castle, and was Queen of much early Victorian song. It is sweet to protect her in the intervals of business, sweet to pay her honour when she has cooked our dinner well. But alas! the creature grows degenerate. In her heart also there are springing up strange desires. She too is enamoured of heavy winds, and vast panoramas, and green expanses of the sea. She has marked the kingdom of this world, how full it is of wealth, and beauty, and war--a radiant crust, built around the central fires, spinning towards the receding heavens. Men, declaring that she inspires them to it, move joyfully over the surface, having the most delightful meetings with other men, happy, not because they are masculine, but because they are alive. Before the show breaks up she would like to drop the august title of the Eternal Woman, and go there as her transitory self.
E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
Spring dances with joy in every flower and in every bud letting us know that changes are beautiful and an inevitable law of life.
Debasish Mridha
There must be a glowing light above such houses. The joy they contain must escape in light through the stones of the walls and shine dimly into the darkness. It is impossible that this sacred festival of destiny should not send a celestial radiation to the infinite. Love is the sublime crucible in which is consummated the fusion of man and woman; the one being, the triple being, the final being-- the human trinity springs from it. This birth of two souls into one space must be an emotion for space. The lover is priest; the apprehensive maiden submits. Something of this joy goes to God. Where there really is marriage, that is to say, where there is love, the ideal is mingled with it. A nuptial bed makes a halo in the darkness. Were it given to the eye of the flesh to perceive the fearful and enchanting sights of the superior life, it is likely that we should see the forms of night, the winged stranger, the blue travelers of the invisible, bending, a throng of shadowy heads, over the luminous house, pleased, blessing, showing to one another the sweetly startled maiden bride and wearing the reflection of the human felicity on their divine countenances. If at that supreme hour, the wedded pair, bewildered with pleasure, and believing themselves alone, were to listen, they would hear in their room a rustling of confused wings. Perfect happiness implies the solidarity of the angels. That obscure little alcove has for its ceiling the whole heavens. When two mouths, made sacred by love, draw near to each other to create, it is impossible, that above that ineffable kiss there should not be a thrill in the immense mystery of the stars.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life. Youth means a tempermental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of 60 more than a boy of 20. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirits back to dust. Whether 60 or 16, there is in every human being's heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing childlike appetite of what's next and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station: so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the Infinite, so long are you young. When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you are grown old, even at 20, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at 80.
Samuel Ullman
My joy is like Spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth. My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans. Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Being Peace (Being Peace, #1))
After all, you can’t truly be happy if you’ve never known pain. You can’t truly feel joy if you’ve never felt heartbreak. You can’t really know what its like to be filled unless you’ve been empty. And here’s the other thing: sometimes in life seasons don’t come in order instead of fall, winter, spring, summer, we get three winters in a row. But that doesn’t mean spring won’t come eventually.
Kelly Cutrone
Joy is distinctly a Christian word and a Christian thing. It is the reverse of happiness. Happiness is the result of what happens of an agreeable sort. Joy has its spring deep down inside. And that spring never runs dry, no matter what happens. Only Jesus gives that joy.
Samuel Gordon
My everlasting Summer fills heart with laughter like a blooming flower... Her diverse sounds is nature's symphony, sprinkle delight, with comfort of ocean breeze which needs no attest.. The unique every moment of soul's revival and its sun to shine...
Oksana Rus
Nothing ever seems impossible in spring, you know.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #6))
Willing or not, we are all hostages of the joy of which we deprive ourselves. Here springs love’s pre-eternal sadness.
Odysseas Elytis (Open Papers)
Therefore…‘Sing, my darlings, sing, Before your petals fade, To feed the flowers of another spring.
Jennifer Worth (Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times)
Learn the discipline of being surprised not by suffering but by joy. As we grow old, there is suffering ahead of us, immense suffering, a suffering that will continue to tempt us to think that we have chosen the wrong road. But don't be surprised by pain. Be surprised by joy, be surprised by the little flower that shows its beauty in the midst of a barren desert, and be surprised by the immense healing power that keeps bursting forth like springs of fresh water from the depth of our pain.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Snowdrops Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know what despair is; then winter should have meaning for you. I did not expect to survive, earth suppressing me. I didn’t expect to waken again, to feel in damp earth my body able to respond again, remembering after so long how to open again in the cold light of earliest spring— afraid, yes, but among you again crying yes risk joy in the raw wind of the new world.
Louise Glück (Poems 1962-2012)
The old oak, utterly transformed, draped in a tent of sappy dark green, basked faintly, undulating in the rays of the evening sun. Of the knotted fingers, the gnarled excrecenses, the aged grief and mistrust- nothing was to be seen. Through the rough, century-old bark, where there were no twigs, leaves had burst out so sappy, so young, that is was hard to believe that the aged creature had borne them. "Yes, that is the same tree," thought Prince Andrey, and all at once there came upon him an irrational, spring feeling of joy and renewal. All the best moments of his life rose to his memory at once. Austerlitz, with that lofty sky, and the dead, reproachful face of his wife, and Pierre on the ferry, and the girl, thrilled by the beauty of the night, and that night and that moon- it all rushed at once into his mind.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
I have been a joy to live with all spring: Upbeat, warm and tender, uncomplicated, and loving. I am no trouble at all. You could press me into dough and make sugar cookies out of me, I've been so sweet.
Adriana Trigiani (Big Cherry Holler (Big Stone Gap, #2))
She belongs to the winter that is past, to the darkness that is over, and has no part or lot in the life I shall lead for the next six months. Oh, I could dance and sing for joy that the spring is here! What a resurrection of beauty there is in my garden, and of brightest hope in my heart.
Elizabeth von Arnim (Elizabeth and Her German Garden)
Who are you, reader, reading my poems a hundred years hence? I cannot send you one single flower from this wealth of the spring, one single streak of gold from yonder clouds. Open your doors and look abroad. From your blossoming garden gather fragrant memories of the vanished flowers of an hundred years before. In the joy of your heart may you feel the living joy that sang one spring morning, sending its glad voice across an hundred years.
Rabindranath Tagore (The Gardener)
Boredom was at the root of Lazare's unhappiness, an oppressive, unremitting boredom, exuding from everything like the muddy water of a poisoned spring. He was bored with leisure, with work, with himself even more than with others. Meanwhile he blamed his own idleness for it, he ended by being ashamed of it.
Émile Zola (The Joy of Life)
I've just been playing the Trout Quintet on the phonograph. Listening to the andantino makes me want to be a trout myself. You can't help rejoicing and laughing, however moved or sad you feel, when you see the springtime clouds in the sky, the budding branches, moved by the wind, in the bright early sunlight. I'm really looking forward to the spring again. In that piece of Schubert's you can positively feel and smell the breeze and hear the birds and the whole of creation shouting for joy.
Sophie Scholl
Every nation ends and every empire. Every baby born was going to die, given enough time. If being fated for destruction were enough to take the joy out of things, we’d slaughter children fresh from the womb. But we don’t. We wrap them in warm cloth and we sing to them and feed them milk as if it might all go on forever.
Daniel Abraham (The Price of Spring (Long Price Quartet, #4))
Spring is made of solid, fourteen-karat gratitude, the reward for the long wait. Every religious tradition from the northern hemisphere honors some form of April hallelujah, for this is the season of exquisite redemption, a slam-bang return to joy after a season of cold second thoughts.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
Joy is found in the simple and ordinary things of life: the smile of a newborn baby, the kiss from a sweet new puppy, and the warm sunshine on a spring day.
Marie Cornelio
Spring is here and my old joy blooms in the world.
Steve Scafidi (For Love of Common Words: Poems)
Spring is the time to bloom like a flower with all our beauty. It is the time to spread the fragrance of our love and fill the air with joy.
Debasish Mridha
It is deep winter with shivering cold air, but my heart is dancing with joy and spring flowers.
Debasish Mridha
Now, remember: they're not for eating, but for listening, because you'll often be hungry for sounds as well as food. Here are street noises at night, train whistles from a long way off, dry leaves burning, busy department stores, crunching toast, creaking bed springs, and of course, all kinds of laughter. There's a little of each, and in far off, lonely places, I think you will be glad to have them.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
ON THE DAY I DIE On the day I die, when I'm being carried toward the grave, don't weep. Don't say, He's gone! He's gone. Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets and the moon sets, but they're not gone. Death is a coming together. The tomb looks like a prison, but it's really release into union. The human seed goes down in the ground like a bucket into the well where Joseph is. It grows and comes up full of some unimagined beauty. Your mouth closes here, and immediately opens with a shout of joy there. --------------------------------- One who does what the Friend wants done will never need a friend. There's a bankruptcy that's pure gain. The moon stays bright when it doesn't avoid the night. A rose's rarest essence lives in the thorn. ---------------------------------- Childhood, youth, and maturity, and now old age. Every guest agrees to stay three days, no more. Master, you told me to remind you. Time to go. ----------------------------------- The angel of death arrives, and I spring joyfully up. No one knows what comes over me when I and that messenger speak! ------------------------------------- When you come back inside my chest no matter how far I've wandered off, I look around and see the way. At the end of my life, with just one breath left, if you come then, I'll sit up and sing. -------------------------------------- Last night things flowed between us that cannot now be said or written. Only as I'm being carried out and down the road, as the folds of my shroud open in the wind, will anyone be able to read, as on the petal-pages of a turning bud, what passed through us last night. ------------------------------------- I placed one foot on the wide plain of death, and some grand immensity sounded on the emptiness. I have felt nothing ever like the wild wonder of that moment. Longing is the core of mystery. Longing itself brings the cure. The only rule is, Suffer the pain. Your desire must be disciplined, and what you want to happen in time, sacrificed.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
As if one killed by calculation! A person kills only from an impulse that springs from his blood and sinews, from the vestiges of ancient struggles, from the need to live and the joy of being strong.
Émile Zola (La Bête humaine)
It was my teacher's genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact which made the first years of my education so beautiful. It was because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made it so pleasant and acceptable to me. She realized that a child's mind is like a shallow brook which ripples and dances merrily over the stony course of its education and reflects here a flower, there a bush, yonder a fleecy cloud; and she attempted to guide my mind on its way, knowing that like a brook it should be fed by mountain streams and hidden springs, until it broadened out into a deep river, capable of reflecting in its placid surface, billowy hills, the luminous shadows of trees and the blue heavens, as well as the sweet face of a little flower. Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment before he takes with a will the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of textbooks. My teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her. How much of my delight in all beautiful things is innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell. I feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the footsteps of my life are in hers. All the best of me belongs to her--there is not a talent, or an aspiration or a joy in me that has not been awakened by her loving touch.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy)
beauty such as theirs was something with which one lived joyously — racing with the wind, with storm and snow, dancing in the frost or among the golden wattles, galloping, galloping in the spring sun. Life might be dangerous, with beauty that was so difficult to hide, but life was always and ever had been very, very good
Elyne Mitchell (Silver Brumby's Daughter)
And, I think, this greening does thaw at the edges, at least, of my own cold season. Joy sneaks in: listening to music, riding my bicycle, I catch myself feeling, in a way that’s as old as I am but suddenly seems unfamiliar, light. I have felt so heavy for so long. At first I felt odd- as if I shouldn’t be feeling this lightness, that familiar little catch of pleasure in the heart which is inexplicable, though a lovely passage of notes or the splendidly turned petal of a tulip has triggered it. It’s my buoyancy, part of what keeps me alive: happy, suddenly with the concomitant experience of a sonata and the motion of the shadows of leaves. I have the desire to be filled with sunlight, to soak my skin in as much of it as I can drink up, after the long interior darkness of this past season, the indoor vigil, in this harshest and darkest of winters, outside and in.
Mark Doty (Heaven's Coast: A Memoir)
There is a peace that springs soon after sorrow, Of hope surrendered, not of hope fulfilled; A peace that does not look upon tomorrow, But calmly on the storm that it has stilled. A peace that lives not now in joy’s excesses, Nor in the happy life of love secure; But in the unerring strength the heart possesses, Of conflicts won while learning to endure.
Lettie B. Cowman (Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
In Paradise it is true that I shall drink at dawn the pure wine mentioned in the Koran, but where in Paradise are the long walks with intoxicated friends in the night, or the drunken crowds shouting merrily? Where shall I find there the intoxication of Monsoon clouds? Where there is no Autumn how can Spring exist? If the beautiful houris are always there, where will be the sadness of a separation and the joy of union? Where shall we find there a girl who flees away when we would kiss her?
Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib
I don't know what I was hoping for. Some small praise, I guess. A bit of encouragement. I didn't get it. Miss Parrish took me aside one day after school let out. She said she'd read my stories and found them morbid and dispiriting. She said literature was meant to uplift the heart and that a young woman such as myself ought to turn her mind to topics more cheerful and inspiring than lonely hermits and dead children. "Look around yourself, Mathilda," she said. "At the magnificence of nature. It should inspire joy and awe. Reverence. Respect. Beautiful thoughts and fine words." I had looked around. I'd seen all the things she'd spoken of and more besides. I'd seen a bear cub lift it's face to the drenching spring rains. And the sliver moon of winter, so high and blinding. I'd seen the crimson glory of a stand of sugar maples in autumn and the unspeakable stillness of a mountain lake at dawn. I'd seen them and loved them. But I'd also seen the dark of things. The starved carcasses of winter deer. The driving fury of a blizzard wind. And the gloom that broods under the pines always. Even on the brightest days.
Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light)
When you think everything is someone else's fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.
The 14th Dalai Lama
Count your summers, not your winters.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Happiness is just a little thing; Humans mostly are too large for it. If you cannot feel the joy of spring Shrink yourself and maybe then you'll fit.
Michael Leunig (Curly Verse: Selected Poems)
The little house is not too small To shelter friends who come to call. Though low the roof and small its space It holds the Lord's abounding grace, And every simple room may be Endowed with happy memory. The little house, severly plain, A wealth of beauty may contain. Within it those who dwell may find High faith which makes for peace of mind, And that sweet understanding which Can make the poorest cottage rich. The little house can hold all things From which the soul's contentment springs. 'Tis not too small for love to grow, For all the joys that mortals know, For mirth and song and that delight Which make the humblest dwelling bright.
Edgar A. Guest
As all men are touched by God’s love, so all are also touched by the desire for His intimacy. No one escapes this longing; we are all kings in exile, miserable without the Infinite. Those who reject the grace of God have a desire to avoid God, as those who accept it have a desire for God. The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will; it is not knowledge that makes him an atheist…The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God—from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity. That is why the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion—he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth. His feeling toward God is the same as that which a wicked man has for one whom he has wronged: he wishes he were dead so that he could do nothing to avenge the wrong. The betrayer of friendship knows his friend exists, but he wished he did not; the post-Christian atheist knows God exists, but he desires He should not.
Fulton J. Sheen (Peace of Soul: Timeless Wisdom on Finding Serenity and Joy by the Century's Most Acclaimed Catholic Bishop)
Last Will Prologue: We, Sacco and Vanzetti, sound of body and mind, Devise and bequeath to all we leave behind, The worldly wealth we inherited at our birth, Each one to share alike as we leave this earth. To Wit: To babies we will their mothers’ love, To youngsters we will the sun above. To spooners who wont to tryst the night, We give the moon and stars that shine so bright. To thrill them in their hours of joy, When boy hugs maid and maid hugs boy. To nature’s creatures we allot the spring and summer, To the doe, the bear, the gold-finch and the hummer. To the fishes we ascribe the deep blue sea, The honey we apportion to the bustling bee. To the pessimist—good cheer—his mind to sooth, To the chronic liar we donate the solemn truth. And Lastly: To those who judge solely seeking renown, With blaring trumpets of the fakir and clown; To the prosecutor, persecutor, and other human hounds, Who’d barter another’s honor, recognizing no bounds, To the Governor, the Jury, who another’s life they’d sell— We endow them with the fiery depths of HELL! (Industrial Worker, Aug. 20, 1927)
Nicola Sacco
No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with itshideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? . . . You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius-- is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile. . . . People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial.That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders.It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. . . . Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you.But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully.When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats.Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days,listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure,or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals,of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing. . . . A new Hedonism-- that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol.With your personality there is nothing you could not do.The world belongs to you for a season. . . . The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself.I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time.The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again.The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Today While the blossoms still cling to the vine I'll taste your strawberries I'll drink your sweet wine A million tomorrows shall all pass away Here I forget all the joy that is mine. Today I'll be a dandy and I'll be a rover You know who I am by the songs that I sing I'll feast at your table I'll sleep in your clover Who cares what tomorrow shall bring I can't be contented with yesterday's glory I can't live on promises winter to spring Today is my moment and now is my story I'll laugh and I'll cry and I'll sing
John Denver (Poems, Prayers and Promises: The Art and Soul of John Denver)
Aeneas' mother is a star?" "No; a goddess." I said cautiously, "Venus is the power that we invoke in spring, in the garden, when things begin growing. And we call the evening star Venus." He thought it over. Perhaps having grown up in the country, among pagans like me, helped him understand my bewilderment. "So do we, he said. "But Venus also became more...With the help of the Greeks. They call her Aphrodite...There was a great poet who praised her in Latin. Delight of men and gods, he called her, dear nurturer. Under the sliding star signs she fills the ship-laden sea and the fruitful earth with her being; through her the generations are conceived and rise up to see the sun; from her the storm clouds flee; to her the earth, the skillful maker, offers flowers. The wide levels of the sea smile at her, and all the quiet sky shines and streams with light..." It was the Venus I had prayed to, it was my prayer, though I had no such words. They filled my eyes with tears and my heart with inexpressible joy.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Lavinia)
Spring buds burst to bloom, and the river carries their song of life.
Jayita Bhattacharjee
When you feel a child inside of you springing to life, that's how you know you're where you should be.
C. JoyBell C.
the springs of human joy are almost always poisoned by possessiveness; and the joy of possession is restricted by the object possessed and by the fear of losing it.
Isha Schwaller de Lubicz
Spring has a secret to tell us: life is for beauty and life is for joy.
Debasish Mridha
Let us make the earth peaceful to enjoy the joy and beauty of spring.
Debasish Mridha
When you think everything is someone else's fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.
Dalai Lama XIV
To boast wonder takes great courage. Being left speechless with joy is not for the weak. We forget to be surprised by everyday miracles, like toast springing up, the mesmerizing blue in the sky, or even simple friendships. To touch and remember this delicate sense of wonder, we travel. We deliberately let ourselves become tourists to welcome in this unique delight.
Edmond Manning
A Lament O world! O life! O time! On whose last steps I climb, Trembling at that where I had stood before; When will return the glory of your prime? No more -- Oh, never more! Out of the day and night A joy has taken flight; Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar, Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight No more -- Oh, never more!
Percy Bysshe Shelley (The Complete Poems)
She glanced at Evie, who flashed her a smile, and Annabelle, whose face was reassuringly calm. They would help each other through all the challenges and joys and fears of their lives, Daisy thought, and she was suddenly overwhelmed with love for all of them. “I will never live away from you,” she said. “I want the four of us to be together always. I could never bear to lose any of you.” She felt Annabelle’s slippered toe nudge her leg affectionately. “Daisy…you can never lose a true friend.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
The hour of spring was dark at last, sensuous memories of sunlight past, I stood alone in garden bowers and asked the value of my hours. Time was spent or time was tossed, Life was loved and life was lost. I kissed the flesh of tender girls, I heard the songs of vernal birds. I gazed upon the blushing light, aware of day before the night. So let me ask and hear a thought: Did I live the spring I’d sought? It's true in joy, I walked along, took part in dance, and sang the song. and never tried to bind an hour to my borrowed garden bower; nor did I once entreat a day to slumber at my feet. Yet days aren't lulled by lyric song, like morning birds they pass along, o'er crests of trees, to none belong; o'er crests of trees of drying dew, their larking flight, my hands, eschew Thus I’ll say it once and true... From all that I saw, and everywhere I wandered, I learned that time cannot be spent, It only can be squandered.
Roman Payne (Rooftop Soliloquy)
Now some of you will say that the two are one and the same - happiness and joy - but this is not so. Happiness is a feeling. Happiness is fleeting, dependent on the moment, the circumstances, even the weather. Joy is transcendent, enduring, and, in the biblical context, is not an emotion. Joy is an attitude of the heart. Joy brings us peace, a refuge in the midst of troubles. God gives us joy through His Spirit. But the enemy tries to steal your joy and give you temporary happiness instead. Now, is there anything wrong with being happy? Nee, but it cannot last. So, you may wonder why I bring up the difference between these two - it is simple really. [...] marriage is sacred before the Lord, a decision for a lifetime, but too often I think young people look upon it as a source of happiness. Do not look at marriage this way. See it as a reservoir of joy, a deep, welling spring that endures the icy blast of temper, the bite of an angry word, the void of loneliness in a heart hungry for talk when there is no response. [...] Seek joy in each other, not happiness.
Kelly Long (Lilly's Wedding Quilt (Patch of Heaven, #2))
O, were I loved as I desire to be! What is there in the great sphere of the earth, Or range of evil between death and birth, That I should fear, - if I were loved by thee! All the inner, all the outer world of pain, Clear love would pierce and cleave, if thou wert mine; As I have heard that somewhere in the main Fresh-water springs come up through bitter brine. ‘I were joy, not fear, clasped hand in hand with thee, To wait for death - mute - careless of all ills, Apart upon a mountain, though the surge Of some new deluge from a thousand hills Flung leagues of roaring foam into the gorge Below us, as far on as eye could see.
Alfred Tennyson
On the seventh day God rested in the darkness of the tomb; Having finished on the sixth day all his work of joy and doom. Now the Word had fallen silent, and the water had run dry, The bread had all been scattered, and the light had left the sky. The flock had lost its shepherd, and the seed was sadly sown, The courtiers had betrayed their king, and nailed him to his throne. O Sabbath rest by Calvary, O calm of tomb below, Where the grave-clothes and the spices cradle him we do not know! Rest you well, beloved Jesus, Caesar’s Lord and Israel’s King, In the brooding of the Spirit, in the darkness of the spring.
N.T. Wright (The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is)
We read the pagan sacred books with profit and delight. With myth and fable we are ever charmed, and find a pleasure in the endless repetition of the beautiful, poetic, and absurd. We find, in all these records of the past, philosophies and dreams, and efforts stained with tears, of great and tender souls who tried to pierce the mystery of life and death, to answer the eternal questions of the Whence and Whither, and vainly sought to make, with bits of shattered glass, a mirror that would, in very truth, reflect the face and form of Nature's perfect self. These myths were born of hopes, and fears, and tears, and smiles, and they were touched and colored by all there is of joy and grief between the rosy dawn of birth, and death's sad night. They clothed even the stars with passion, and gave to gods the faults and frailties of the sons of men. In them, the winds and waves were music, and all the lakes, and streams, and springs,—the mountains, woods and perfumed dells were haunted by a thousand fairy forms. They thrilled the veins of Spring with tremulous desire; made tawny Summer's billowed breast the throne and home of love; filled Autumns arms with sun-kissed grapes, and gathered sheaves; and pictured Winter as a weak old king who felt, like Lear upon his withered face, Cordelia's tears. These myths, though false, are beautiful, and have for many ages and in countless ways, enriched the heart and kindled thought. But if the world were taught that all these things are true and all inspired of God, and that eternal punishment will be the lot of him who dares deny or doubt, the sweetest myth of all the Fable World would lose its beauty, and become a scorned and hateful thing to every brave and thoughtful man.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
Have you forgotten yet?... For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days, Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways: And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go, Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare. But the past is just the same--and War's a bloody game... Have you forgotten yet?... Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget. Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets? Do you remember the rats; and the stench Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench-- And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain? Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?' Do you remember that hour of din before the attack-- And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men? Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back With dying eyes and lolling heads--those ashen-grey Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay? Have you forgotten yet?... Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.
Siegfried Sassoon
As we make the first step into the "bright sadness" of Lent, we see—far, far away—the destination. It is the joy of Easter, it is the entrance into the glory of the Kingdom. And it is this vision, the foretaste of Easter, that makes Lent's sadness bright and our lenten effort a "spiritual spring." The night may be dark and long, but all along the way a mysterious and radiant dawn seems to shine on the horizon.
Alexander Schmemann (Great Lent: Journey to Pascha)
Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.   You really don’t have a sacred space, a rescue land, until you find somewhere to be that’s not a wasteland, some field of action where there is a spring of ambrosia—a joy that comes from inside, not something external that puts joy into you—a place that lets you experience your own will and your own intention and your own wish so that, in small, the Kingdom is there. I think everybody, whether they know it or not, is in need of such a place.
Joseph Campbell (A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living)
Everything has turned sour, I’ll never be carried away with joy again. There’s a terrible clarity dominating everything. As though the world were made of crystal so that you only have to flick part of it with your fingernail for a tiny shudder to run through it all.… And then the loneliness—it’s something that burns. Like hot thick soup you can’t bear inside your mouth unless you blow on it again and again. And there it is, always in front of me. In its heavy white bowl of thick china, dirty and dull as an old pillow. Who is it that keeps forcing it on me? “I’ve been left all alone. I’m burning with desire. I hate what’s happened to me. I’m lost and I don’t know where I’m going. What my heart wants it can’t have … my little private joys, rationalizations, self-deceptions—all gone! All I have left is a flame of longing for times gone by, for what I’ve lost. Growing old for nothing. I’m left with a terrible emptiness. What can life offer me but bitterness? Alone in my room … alone all through the nights … cut off from the world and from everyone in it by my own despair. And if I cry out, who is there to hear me?
Yukio Mishima (Spring Snow (The Sea of Fertility #1))
In time, Arjuna tires of mere beauty and hearing tales about the valour of princess Chitrangada, he seeks her out. The princess then reveals her true self to Arjuna. Her words are one of the most beautiful declarations of the angst of a woman, ‘I am not beautifully perfect as the flowers with which I worship. I have many flaws and blemishes. I am a traveller in the great world-path, my garments are dirty, and my feet are bleeding with thorns. Where should I achieve flower-beauty, the unsullied loveliness of a moment’s life? The gift that I proudly bring you is the heart of a woman. Here have all pains and joys gathered, the hopes and fears and shames of a daughter of the dust; here love springs up struggling towards immortal life. Herein lies an imperfection which yet is noble and grand.
Devdutt Pattanaik (Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata)
Oh, sweet cherry tree- how lovely your blossoms are. Spring brings joy to life.
A.K. White
Enlightenment, peace, and joy will not be granted by someone else. The well is within us, And if we dig deeply in the present moment, The water will spring forth
Thich Nhat Hanh (Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life)
God's favor floats as it were over all this and finds joy in turning all those miseries to the greater profit of those who love Him. From toil He makes patience spring forth.
Francis de Sales
A perfect spring day! Enjoy it while it lasts because you don't know what's coming.
Marty Rubin
Oh, wait. You’re threatening us?’ Her smile returned, a delightful expression filled with spring sunshine, heartfelt joy, and the imminence of wholesale slaughter.
Jonathan L. Howard (The Fall of the House of Cabal (Johannes Cabal, #5))
In early spring, every petal of tulips sing a song of love and life, dance with joy and happiness to enjoy her short life of dazzling beauty.
Debasish Mridha
It is spring again, my heart is dancing with flowers with love and joy.
Debasish Mridha
Feel happy and joyful like a fresh blooming spring flower.
Debasish Mridha
The dragon was dead, and the goblins overthrown, and their hearts looked forward after winter to a spring of joy.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit (The Lord of the Rings, #0))
Is it difficult to recognize spring when the air is dancing with joy and the flowers are blooming bright colorful smiles?
Debasish Mridha
Sadness still fell—the soft pitter-patter of spring rain—but each small joy opened like an umbrella right above me.
Emery Lord (The Start of Me and You (The Start of Me and You, #1))
Water, thou hast no taste, no color, no odor; canst not be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself, thou fillest us with a gratification that exceeds the delight of the senses. By thy might, there return into us treasures that we had abandoned. By thy grace, there are released in us all the dried-up runnels of our heart. Of the riches that exist in the world, thou art the rarest and also the most delicate - thou so pure within the bowels of the earth! A man may die of thirst lying beside a magnesian spring. He may die within reach of a salt lake. He may die though he hold in his hand a jug of dew, if it be inhabited by evil salts. For thou, water, art a proud divinity, allowing no alteration, no foreignness in thy being. And the joy that thou spreadest is an infinitely simple joy.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
Yesterday it was sun outside. The sky was blue and people were lying under blooming cherry trees in the park. It was Friday, so records were released, that people have been working on for years. Friends around me find success and level up, do fancy photo shoots and get featured on big, white, movie screens. There were parties and lovers, hand in hand, laughing perfectly loud, but I walked numbly through the park, round and round, 40 times for 4 hours just wanting to make it through the day. There's a weight that inhabits my chest some times. Like a lock in my throat, making it hard to breathe. A little less air got through and the sky was so blue I couldn’t look at it because it made me sad, swelling tears in my eyes and they dripped quietly on the floor as I got on with my day. I tried to keep my focus, ticked off the to-do list, did my chores. Packed orders, wrote emails, paid bills and rewrote stories, but the panic kept growing, exploding in my chest. Tears falling on the desk tick tick tick me not making a sound and some days I just don't know what to do. Where to go or who to see and I try to be gentle, soft and kind, but anxiety eats you up and I just want to be fine. This is not beautiful. This is not useful. You can not do anything with it and it tries to control you, throw you off your balance and lovely ways but you can not let it. I cleaned up. Took myself for a walk. Tried to keep my eyes on the sky. Stayed away from the alcohol, stayed away from the destructive tools we learn to use. the smoking and the starving, the running, the madness, thinking it will help but it only feeds the fire and I don't want to hurt myself anymore. I made it through and today I woke up, lighter and proud because I'm still here. There are flowers growing outside my window. The coffee is warm, the air is pure. In a few hours I'll be on a train on my way to sing for people who invited me to come, to sing, for them. My own songs, that I created. Me—little me. From nowhere at all. And I have people around that I like and can laugh with, and it's spring again. It will always be spring again. And there will always be a new day.
Charlotte Eriksson
~A Comparison of Seasons~ Snow's unforgiving power causes some men to wish for spring's flower. Some might hate snow's bitter chill, but you love it at your own will. I see snow as something fun, but others might still long for summer's sun. You and I hate summer's heat, but we still love the warmth of a fire on our feet. Spring has jays whose virtuous songs are nice, but winter's lonely echoes are earth's frigged vice. I enjoy spring's life, yet I still love winter's seemingly harsh sorrow; sometimes I can't get out of the house, so I worry about tomorrow. I love the sight of snow and I treasure the sight of summer's river which swiftly flows. Also, winter can be cold, but we can look forward to seeing spring's life and joy unfold.
Seth D.
Come, come everyone, come with love, come with joy, come to my heart, there is always spring, roses always smiling, soul is always singing with joy in the light of love. I am waiting, are you coming. My heart is always ready to dance, always ready to love, always ready with a song.
Debasish Mridha
Suppose after all that death does end all. Next to eternal joy, next to being forever with those we love and those who have loved us, next to that, is to be wrapt in the dreamless drapery of eternal peace. Next to eternal life is eternal sleep. Upon the shadowy shore of death the sea of trouble casts no wave. Eyes that have been curtained by the everlasting dark, will never know again the burning touch of tears. Lips touched by eternal silence will never speak again the broken words of grief. Hearts of dust do not break. The dead do not weep. Within the tomb no veiled and weeping sorrow sits, and in the rayless gloom is crouched no shuddering fear. I had rather think of those I have loved, and lost, as having returned to earth, as having become a part of the elemental wealth of the world – I would rather think of them as unconscious dust, I would rather dream of them as gurgling in the streams, floating in the clouds, bursting in the foam of light upon the shores of worlds, I would rather think of them as the lost visions of a forgotten night, than to have even the faintest fear that their naked souls have been clutched by an orthodox god. I will leave my dead where nature leaves them. Whatever flower of hope springs up in my heart I will cherish, I will give it breath of sighs and rain of tears. But I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has created a human soul for eternal pain. I would rather that every god would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should suffer eternal agony. I have made up my mind that if there is a God, he will be merciful to the merciful. Upon that rock I stand. – That he will not torture the forgiving. – Upon that rock I stand. – That every man should be true to himself, and that there is no world, no star, in which honesty is a crime. Upon that rock I stand. The honest man, the good woman, the happy child, have nothing to fear, either in this world or the world to come. Upon that rock I stand.
Robert G. Ingersoll
We all know that if the seasons were the same, there would be no growth. We know that without winter there would be no spring. We know that without frosts there would be no bulbs and without the monsoon there would be no rice harvest. In the same way, we also know that without sorrow there would be no joy. Without pain there would be no healing. I think that's precisely where the beauty comes in. It comes in through the fruit of the seasons. He has indeed made everything beautiful in its time.
Naomi Reed (My Seventh Monsoon: A Himalayan Journey Of Faith And Mission)
If I could have made the change sooner I daresay I should never have given a thought to the literary delights of Paris or London; for life in the country is the only state which has always completely satisfied me, and I had never been allowed to gratify it, even for a few weeks at a time. Now I was to know the joys of six or seven months a year among fields and woods of my own, and the childish ecstasy of that first spring outing at Mamaroneck swept away all restlessness in the deep joy of communion with the earth.
Edith Wharton
There was a spring in his carefully measured step. He opened the door and let the sunlight in, as if opening himself up, letting pent-up energy out and, letting the world enter inside- letting the light illuminate him. It was strange to see him like that, a tad amusing perhaps. He had thought it over. He had decided to welcome me with happiness and joy and to present his best self to me, whenever I decide to come.
Ashay Abbhi (Chronicles of Urban Nomads)
That love, which is the highest joy, which is divine simplicity itself, is not for you moderns, you children of reflection. It works only evil in you. As soon as you wish to be natural, you become common. To you nature seems something hostile; you have made devils out of the smiling gods of Greece, and out of me a demon. You can only exorcise and curse me, or slay yourselves in bacchantic madness before my altar. And if ever one of you has had the courage to kiss my red mouth, he makes a barefoot pilgrimage to Rome in penitential robes and expects flowers to grow from his withered staff, while under my feet roses, violets, and myrtles spring up every hour, but their fragrance does not agree with you. Stay among your northern fogs and Christian incense; let us pagans remain under the debris, beneath the lava; do not disinter us.
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (Venus in Furs)
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Robert Browning
Flowers bloom in spring Oh, the sky spreads in summer They’re engraved and sparkling In my heart Rain falls in the morning Even on a day when I shut the window The light overflowing to my chest Is from above the clouds Joy and sorrow I hold everything close while I’m walking They’re things that firmly join My hand And your hand together Autumn is at the waterside Winter lurks at the treetop There’s a boundless kindness Deep in the world Every time when night comes Let’s offer a prayer Let’s quietly greet The day to come tomorrow Oh, a voice calling out from far, far away Guides me As if it smiles As if it sings The sound of wind echoes Joy and sorrow I hold everything close while I’m walking They’re things that firmly join My hand And your hand together
Kobato
Not forever lasts the spring Nor ever blossom flowers. Not forever reigneth joy, Sets the sun on days of bliss, Friendships not forever last, They know not life, who know not this. ‘They know not life, who know not this,
Khushwant Singh (Train To Pakistan)
And who cares for imagination? Who does not think it a rather dangerous, senseless attribute, akin to weakness, perhaps partaking of frenzy - a disease rather than a gift of the mind? Probably all think it so but those who possess, or fancy they possess it. To hear them speak, you would believe that their hearts would be cold if that elixir did not flow about them, that their eyes would be dim if that flame did not refine their vision, that they would be lonely if this strange companion abandoned them. You would suppose that it imparted some glad hope to spring, some fine charm to summer, some tranquil joy to autumn, some consolation to winter, which you do not feel. All illusion, of course; but the fanatics cling to their dream, and would not give it for gold.
Charlotte Brontë
The face of everyone in mine, the oneness with every blade of grass, the flight with the flocks in the sky, the dance with the clouds across endless skies. The strength with every tree, rooting deep into mother earth, springing forth into the heavens, extending branches of gratitude and love.... Such a privilege, honor and grace, such a gift and joy.
Patsie Smith (Awaken Our Spirit Within: A Journey of Self-Realization and Transformation)
From childhood’s hour I have not been As others were—I have not seen As others saw—I could not bring My passions from a common spring— From the same source I have not taken My sorrow—I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone— And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone— Then—in my childhood—in the dawn Of a most stormy life—was drawn From ev’ry depth of good and ill The mystery which binds me still— From the torrent, or the fountain— From the red cliff of the mountain— From the sun that ’round me roll’d In its autumn tint of gold— From the lightning in the sky As it pass’d me flying by— From the thunder, and the storm— And the cloud that took the form (When the rest of Heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view—
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven and other sketches of horror, Vol. 1)
Joy and anger, sorrow and happiness, caution and remorse Come upon us by turns, with ever changing mood. They come like music from hollows, like wood when played by the wind, or how mushrooms grow from the damp. Daily and nightly they alternate within but we cannot tell whence they spring. Without these emotions I should not be. Without me, they would have no instrument
Zhuangzi
Three Haiku, Two Tanka (Kyoto) CONFIDENCE (after Bashō) Clouds murmur darkly, it is a blinding habit— gazing at the moon. TIME OF JOY (after Buson) Spring means plum blossoms and spotless new kimonos for holiday whores. RENDEZVOUS (after Shiki) Once more as I wait for you, night and icy wind melt into cold rain. FOR SATORI In the spring of joy, when even the mud chuckles, my soul runs rabid, snaps at its own bleeding heels, and barks: “What is happiness?” SOMBER GIRL She never saw fire from heaven or hotly fought with God; but her eyes smolder for Hiroshima and the cold death of Buddha.
Philip Appleman
Do not allow another person to set you back. Continue moving forward not backwards. When someone pulls you back, be like the arrow to a bow and spring forth greater than ever. And, what they thought would be your disadvantage, you turn it into your advantage.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana
This is now. Now is. Don’t postpone till then. Spend the spark of iron on stone. Sit at the head of the table. Dip your spoon in the bowl. Seat yourself next to your joy and have your awakened soul pour wine. Branches in the spring wind, easy dance of jasmine and cypress. Cloth for green robes has been cut from pure absence. You’re the tailor, settled among his shop goods, quietly sewing.
Rumi (The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing)
Life, death, preservation, loss, failure, success, poverty, riches, worthiness, unworthiness, slander, fame, hunger, thirst, cold, heat - these are the alternations of the world, the workings of fate. Day and night they change place before us, and wisdom cannot spy out their source. Therefore, they should not be enough to destroy your harmony; they should not be allowed to enter the storehouse of the spirit. If you can harmonize and delight in them, master them and never be at a loss for joy; if you can do this day and night without break and make it be spring with everything, mingling with all and creating the moment within your own mind - this is what I call being whole in power.
Zhuangzi (The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu)
With so many cesspools to fall into in life, we need a spring we can go to for splashes of joy — a spring full of living water that only Jesus provides. The foundation of all joy for Christians is that we can live as though Christ died yesterday, rose today, and is coming tomorrow.
Barbara Johnson (Splashes of Joy Mini Book (Mini Book Series))
Free! Body and soul free!" she kept whispering. Josephine was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhole, imploring for admission. "Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door--you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heaven's sake open the door." Go away. I am not making myself ill." No; she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window. Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long. She arose at length and opened the door to her sister's importunities. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory. She clasped her sister's waist, and together they descended the stairs. Richards stood waiting for them at the bottom. Some one was opening the front door with a latchkey. It was Brently Mallard who entered, a little travel-stained, composedly carrying his grip-sack and umbrella. He had been far from the scene of the accident, and did not even know there had been one. He stood amazed at Josephine's piercing cry; at Richards' quick motion to screen him from the view of his wife. When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease--of the joy that kills. (last lines)
Kate Chopin (The Story of an Hour)
In the deep places he gives thought to music great and terrible; and the echo of that music runs through all the veins of the world in sorrow and in joy; for if joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its springs are in the wells of sorrow unfathomed at the foundations of the Earth.
J.R.R. Tolkien
You’re sure you want to do this,” Galen says, eyeing me like I’ve grown a tiara of snakes on my head. “Absolutely.” I unstrap the four-hundred-dollar silver heels and spike them into the sand. When he starts unraveling his tie, I throw out my hand. “No! Leave it. Leave everything on.” Galen frowns. “Rachel would kill us both. In our sleep. She would torture us first.” “This is our prom night. Rachel would want us to enjoy ourselves.” I pull the thousand-or-so bobby pins from my hair and toss them in the sand. Really, both of us are right. She would want us to be happy. But she would also want us to stay in our designer clothes. Leaning over, I shake my head like a wet dog, dispelling the magic of hairspray. Tossing my hair back, I look at Galen. His crooked smile almost melts me where I stand. I’m just glad to see a smile on his face at all. The last six months have been rough. “Your mother will want pictures,” he tells me. “And what will she do with pictures? There aren’t exactly picture frames in the Royal Caverns.” Mom’s decision to mate with Grom and live as his queen didn’t surprise me. After all, I am eighteen years old, an adult, and can take care of myself. Besides, she’s just a swim away. “She keeps picture frames at her house though. She could still enjoy them while she and Grom come to shore to-“ “Okay, ew. Don’t say it. That’s where I draw the line.” Galen laughs and takes off his shoes. I forget all about Mom and Grom. Galen, barefoot in the sand, wearing an Armani tux. What more could a girl ask for? “Don’t look at me like that, angelfish,” he says, his voice husky. “Disappointing your grandfather is the last thing I want to do.” My stomach cartwheels. Swallowing doesn’t help. “I can’t admire you, even from afar?” I can’t quite squeeze enough innocence in there to make it believable, to make it sound like I wasn’t thinking the same thing he was. Clearing his throat, he nods. “Let’s get on with this.” He closes the distance between us, making foot-size potholes with his stride. Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to the water. At the edge of the wet sand, just out of reach of the most ambitious wave, we stop. “You’re sure?” he says again. “More than sure,” I tell him, giddiness swimming through my veins like a sneaking eel. Images of the conference center downtown spring up in my mind. Red and white balloons, streamers, a loud, cheesy DJ yelling over the starting chorus of the next song. Kids grinding against one another on the dance floor to lure the chaperones’ attention away from a punch bowl just waiting to be spiked. Dresses spilling over with skin, matching corsages, awkward gaits due to six-inch heels. The prom Chloe and I dreamed of. But the memories I wanted to make at that prom died with Chloe. There could never be any joy in that prom without her. I couldn’t walk through those doors and not feel that something was missing. A big something. No, this is where I belong now. No balloons, no loud music, no loaded punch bowl. Just the quiet and the beach and Galen. This is my new prom. And for some reason, I think Chloe would approve.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
He also lived for a short while like a very materialistic-minded person, and found that compared to the spiritual life and its greater vistas, the life of the worldly man is almost nothing. The joys of the spirit are much superior and it is the worldly man who renounces real happiness that springs from the heart.
Sri M. (The Little Guide To Greater Glory And A Happier Life)
The long, green, seaward-looking glen was filled with dusk, and beyond it were meadows of sunset. The harbour was radiant, purple here, azure there, opal elsewhere. The maple grove was beginning to be misty green. Rilla looked about her with wistful eyes. Who said that spring was the joy of the year? It was the heart-break of the year. And the pale-purply mornings and the daffodil stars and the wind in the old pine were so many separate pangs of the heart-break. Would life ever be free from dread again?
L.M. Montgomery (Rilla of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #8))
Now smiling had been something almost alien to me just a few weeks ago. But over this short period of time, I had rediscovered this art thanks to that noble emotion of love. Joy that had been bottled up inside since childhood now overcame me from deep within just like the healing water reaching folks at hot springs from regions deep below the surface.
Vivek Pereira (Indians in Pakistan)
Not to waste the spring I threw down everything, And ran into the open world To sing what I could sing... To dance what I could dance! And join with everyone! I wandered with a reckless heart beneath the newborn sun. First stepping through the blushing dawn, I crossed beneath a garden bower, counting every hermit thrush, counting every hour. When morning's light was ripe at last, I stumbled on with reckless feet; and found two nymphs engaged in play, approaching them stirred no retreat. With naked skin, their weaving hands, in form akin to Calliope's maids, shook winter currents from their hair to weave within them vernal braids. I grabbed the first, who seemed the stronger by her soft and dewy leg, and swore blind eyes, Lest I find I, before Diana, a hunted stag. But the nymphs they laughed, and shook their heads. and begged I drop beseeching hands. For one was no goddess, the other no huntress, merely two girls at play in the early day. "Please come to us, with unblinded eyes, and raise your ready lips. We will wash your mouth with watery sighs, weave you springtime with our fingertips." So the nymphs they spoke, we kissed and laid, by noontime's hour, our love was made, Like braided chains of crocus stems, We lay entwined, I laid with them, Our breath, one glassy, tideless sea, Our bodies draping wearily. We slept, I slept so lucidly, with hopes to stay this memory. I woke in dusty afternoon, Alone, the nymphs had left too soon, I searched where perched upon my knees Heard only larks' songs in the trees. "Be you, the larks, my far-flung maids? With lilac feet and branchlike braids... Who sing sweet odes to my elation, in your larking exaltation!" With these, my clumsy, carefree words, The birds they stirred and flew away, "Be I, poor Actaeon," I cried, "Be dead… Before they, like Hippodamia, be gone astray!" Yet these words, too late, remained unheard, By lark, that parting, morning bird. I looked upon its parting flight, and smelled the coming of the night; desirous, I gazed upon its jaunt, as Leander gazes Hellespont. Now the hour was ripe and dark, sensuous memories of sunlight past, I stood alone in garden bowers and asked the value of my hours. Time was spent or time was tossed, Life was loved and life was lost. I kissed the flesh of tender girls, I heard the songs of vernal birds. I gazed upon the blushing light, aware of day before the night. So let me ask and hear a thought: Did I live the spring I’d sought? It's true in joy, I walked along, took part in dance, and sang the song. and never tried to bind an hour to my borrowed garden bower; nor did I once entreat a day to slumber at my feet. Yet days aren't lulled by lyric song, like morning birds they pass along, o'er crests of trees, to none belong; o'er crests of trees of drying dew, their larking flight, my hands, eschew Thus I'll say it once and true… From all that I saw, and everywhere I wandered, I learned that time cannot be spent, It only can be squandered.
Roman Payne (Rooftop Soliloquy)
Ungratified sexuality is readily transformed into rage. "Prison explosions" are outbreaks of sadism resulting from the absence of sexual gratification. Hence, when 33,000 workers leave their employment site all at once precisely in spring, there can be no doubt that the unsatisfying sex-economic conditions in the Soviet Union are the cause. By "sex-economic conditions" we mean more than just the possibility of a regulated and satisfying love life; over and above this we mean everything that is related to pleasure and the joy of life in one's work.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
The old woman sits on a bench before the door and quarrels With her meagre pale demoralized daughter. Once when I passed I found her alone, laughing in the sun And saying that when she was first married She lived in the old farmhouse up Garapatas Canyon. (It is empty now, the roof has fallen But the log walls hang on the stone foundation; the redwoods Have all been cut down, the oaks are standing; The place is now more solitary than ever before.) "When I was nursing my second baby My husband found a day-old fawn hid in a fern-brake And brought it; I put its mouth to the breast Rather than let it starve, I had milk enough for three babies. Hey how it sucked, the little nuzzler, Digging its little hoofs like quills into my stomach. I had more joy from that than from the others." Her face is deformed with age, furrowed like a bad road With market-wagons, mean cares and decay. She is thrown up to the surface of things, a cell of dry skin Soon to be shed from the earth's old eye-brows, I see that once in her spring she lived in the streaming arteries, The stir of the world, the music of the mountain.
Robinson Jeffers (The Selected Poetry)
Despair is not solid. Neither is joy. They alternate, and contain each other. There is no joy that is not also touched by sorrow, no grief that is not rendered sharper by the memory of bliss. If things move forward in one direction and not another, they do so by rolling there, passing through the same tight orbit, touching here an ecstasy, there another shattering loss.
Ben Ehrenreich (The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine)
I dreamed I stood upon a little hill, And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed Like a waste garden, flowering at its will With buds and blossoms. There were pools that dreamed Black and unruffled; there were white lilies A few, and crocuses, and violets Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun. And there were curious flowers, before unknown, Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades Of Nature's willful moods; and here a one That had drunk in the transitory tone Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades Of grass that in an hundred springs had been Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars, And watered with the scented dew long cupped In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen Only God's glory, for never a sunrise mars The luminous air of Heaven. Beyond, abrupt, A grey stone wall. o'ergrown with velvet moss Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair. And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across The garden came a youth; one hand he raised To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes Were clear as crystal, naked all was he, White as the snow on pathless mountains frore, Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes A marble floor, his brow chalcedony. And he came near me, with his lips uncurled And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth, And gave me grapes to eat, and said, 'Sweet friend, Come I will show thee shadows of the world And images of life. See from the South Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.' And lo! within the garden of my dream I saw two walking on a shining plain Of golden light. The one did joyous seem And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids And joyous love of comely girl and boy, His eyes were bright, and 'mid the dancing blades Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy; And in his hand he held an ivory lute With strings of gold that were as maidens' hair, And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute, And round his neck three chains of roses were. But he that was his comrade walked aside; He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide With gazing; and he sighed with many sighs That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight, And yet again unclenched, and his head Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death. A purple robe he wore, o'erwrought in gold With the device of a great snake, whose breath Was fiery flame: which when I did behold I fell a-weeping, and I cried, 'Sweet youth, Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove These pleasent realms? I pray thee speak me sooth What is thy name?' He said, 'My name is Love.' Then straight the first did turn himself to me And cried, 'He lieth, for his name is Shame, But I am Love, and I was wont to be Alone in this fair garden, till he came Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.' Then sighing, said the other, 'Have thy will, I am the love that dare not speak its name.
Alfred Bruce Douglas
It had been in a Paris house, with many people around, and my dear friend Jules Darboux, wishing to do me a refined aesthetic favor, had touched my sleeve and said, "I want you to meet-" and led me to Nina, who sat in the corner of a couch, her body folded Z-wise, with an ashtray at her heel, and she took a long turquoise cigarette holder from her lips and joyfully, slowly exclaimed, "Well, of all people-" and then all evening my heart felt like breaking, as I passed from group to group with a sticky glass in my fist, now and then looking at her from a distance (she did not look...), and listening to scraps of conversation, and overheard one man saying to another, "Funny, how they all smell alike, burnt leaf through whatever perfume they use, those angular dark-haired girls," and as it often happens, a trivial remark related to some unknown topic coiled and clung to one's own intimate recollection, a parasite of its sadness.
Vladimir Nabokov (The Portable Nabokov)
Form is everything. It is the secret of life. Find expression for a sorrow, and it will become dear to you. Find expression for a joy, and you intensify its ecstasy. Do you wish to love? Use Love's Litany, and the words will create the yearning from which the world fancies that they spring. Have you a grief that corrodes your heart? Steep yourself in the language of grief, learn its utterance from Prince Hamlet and Queen Constance, and you will find that mere expression is a mode of consolation, and that Form, which is the birth of passion, is also the death of pain.
Oscar Wilde (The Critic as Artist)
[The Relief Society] is composed of women whose feelings of charity spring from hearts changed by qualifying for and by keeping covenants offered only in the Lord's true Church. Their feelings of charity come from Him through His Atonement. Their acts of charity are guided by His example—and come out of gratitude for His infinite gift of mercy—and by the Holy Spirit, which He sends to accompany His servants on their missions of mercy. Because of that, they have done and are able to do uncommon things for others and to find joy even when their own unmet needs are great.
Henry B. Eyring
(Ivan) Hold your tongue, or I'll kill you! (The devil) You'll kill me? No, excuse me, I will speak. I came to treat myself to that pleasure. Oh, I love the dreams of my ardent young friends, quivering with eagerness for life! 'There are new men,' you decided last spring, when you were meaning to come here, 'they propose to destroy everything and begin with cannibalism. Stupid fellows! they didn't ask my advice! I maintain that nothing need be destroyed, that we only need to destroy the idea of God in man, that's how we have to set to work. It's that, that we must begin with. Oh, blind race of men who have no understanding! As soon as men have all of them denied God -- and I believe that period, analogous with geological periods, will come to pass -- the old conception of the universe will fall of itself without cannibalism, and, what's more, the old morality, and everything will begin anew. Men will unite to take from life all it can give, but only for joy and happiness in the present world. Man will be lifted up with a spirit of divine Titanic pride and the man-god will appear. From hour to hour extending his conquest of nature infinitely by his will and his science, man will feel such lofty joy from hour to hour in doing it that it will make up for all his old dreams of the joys of heaven. Everyone will know that he is mortal and will accept death proudly and serenely like a god. His pride will teach him that it's useless for him to repine at life's being a moment, and he will love his brother without need of reward. Love will be sufficient only for a moment of life, but the very consciousness of its momentariness will intensify its fire, which now is dissipated in dreams of eternal love beyond the grave'... and so on and so on in the same style. Charming! Ivan sat with his eyes on the floor, and his hands pressed to his ears, but he began trembling all over. The voice continued. (The devil) The question now is, my young thinker reflected, is it possible that such a period will ever come? If it does, everything is determined and humanity is settled for ever. But as, owing to man's inveterate stupidity, this cannot come about for at least a thousand years, everyone who recognises the truth even now may legitimately order his life as he pleases, on the new principles. In that sense, 'all things are lawful' for him. What's more, even if this period never comes to pass, since there is anyway no God and no immortality, the new man may well become the man-god, even if he is the only one in the whole world, and promoted to his new position, he may lightheartedly overstep all the barriers of the old morality of the old slaveman, if necessary. There is no law for God. Where God stands, the place is holy. Where I stand will be at once the foremost place... 'all things are lawful' and that's the end of it! That's all very charming; but if you want to swindle why do you want a moral sanction for doing it? But that's our modern Russian all over. He can't bring himself to swindle without a moral sanction. He is so in love with truth-.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
How long, Klara wondered now, how long after the mortar set did the joy remain? When one embraces a moment of rapture from the past, either by trying to reclaim it or by refusing to let it go, how can its brightness not tarnish, turn grey with longing and sorrow, until the wild spell of the remembered interlude is lost altogether and the memory of sadness claims its rightful place in the mind? And what is it we expect from the sun-drenched past? There is no formula for re-entry, nothing we can do to enable reconstruction. The features of an absent loved one's face are erased one by one, the timbre of the voice drowned by the noise of the world. Fondly recalled landscapes are savagely altered; we lose them tree by tree. Even the chestnut tree outside Klara's window would die a slow, rotting death until it would fall one night in a summer storm when everything in Klara wanted it to remain standing, blossoming in spring, leafy in summer, the only access, she secretly believed, to the window of her former self.
Jane Urquhart
The gold had asked that he should sit weaving longer and longer, deafened and blinded more and more to all things except the monotony of his loom and the repetition of his web; but Eppie called him away from his weaving, and made him think all its pauses a holiday, reawakening his senses with her fresh life, even to the old winter-flies that came crawling forth in the early spring sunshine, and warming him into joy because she had joy.
George Eliot (Silas Marner)
I sense that the thing I am seeking is higher than love and higher than the joy of life and higher than science and glory and higher even than starts. Don’t keep my wings tied in Your embrace. You are only a shadow and only a smile in the great journey of my soul. Your eyes are the two clear springs where my thoughts came to drink and rest for a moment. And between Your breasts hides the soft pillow where I slept for a moment in order to waken again. Don’t hold me bound. The enigma is not hidden in Your Lions nor in Your enormous eyes. And Your arms are small and weak and do not embrace my entire soul. There is a magnet above the stars that pulls me. And my entire body shudders, magnetized by the Great Nostalgia and the Great Longing. Someone is pulling at me from the stars. Do not hold me bound. The thing I am seeking is higher than love and higher than the joy of life.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Serpent and Lily: A Novella with a Manifesto: The Sickness of the Age)
Your essays spoke of beauty, of love, of light and darkness, of joy and sorrow, and of the goodness of life. They were wonderful compositions. I have seldom read any that have touched me more. To thank you and your teacher Mrs. Ellis, I am sending you what I think is one of the most beautiful and miraculous things in the world—an egg. I have a goose named Felicity and she lays about forty eggs every spring. It takes her almost three months to accomplish this. Each egg is a perfect thing. I am mailing you one of Felicity's eggs. The insides have been removed—blown out—so the egg should last forever. I hope you will enjoy seeing this great egg and loving it. Thank you for sending me your essays about being somebody. I was pleased that so many of you felt the beauty and goodness of the world. If we feel that when we are young, then there is great hope for us when we grow older.
E.B. White
. . . to my surprise I began to know what The Language was about, not just the part we were singing now but the whole poem. It began with the praise and joy in all creation, copying the voice of the wind and the sea. It described sun and moon, stars and clouds, birth and death, winter and spring, the essence of fish, bird, animal, and man. It spoke in what seemed to be the language of each creature. . . . It spoke of well, spring, and stream, of the seed that comes from the loins of a male creature and of the embryo that grows in the womb of the female. It pictured the dry seed deep in the dark earth, feeling the rain and the warmth seeping down to it. It sang of the green shoot and of the tawny heads of harvest grain standing out in the field under the great moon. It described the chrysalis that turns into a golden butterfly, the eggs that break to let out the fluffy bird life within, the birth pangs of woman and of beast. It went on to speak of the dark ferocity of the creatures that pounce upon their prey and plunge their teeth into it--it spoke in the muffled voice of bear and wolf--it sang the song of the great hawks and eagles and owls until their wild faces seemed to be staring into mine, and I knew myself as wild as they. It sang the minor chords of pain and sickness, of injury and old age; for a few moments I felt I was an old woman with age heavy upon me.
Monica Furlong (Wise Child (Doran #1))
the only prospect which is really desirable or delightful, is that from the window of the breakfast-room [...] where we meet the first light of the dewy day, the first breath of the morning air, the first glance of gentle eyes; to which we descend in the very spring and elasticity of mental renovation and bodily energy, in the gathering up of our spirit for the new day, in the flush of our awakening from the darkness and the mystery of faint and inactive dreaming, in the resurrection from our daily grave, in the first tremulous sensation of the beauty of our being, in the most glorious perception of the lightning of our life; there, indeed, our expatiation of spirit, when it meets the pulse of outward sound and joy, the voice of bird and breeze and billow, does demand some power of liberty, some space for its going forth into the morning, some freedom of intercourse with the lovely and limitless energy of creature and creation.
John Ruskin (The Poetry Of Architecture: Or, The Architecture Of The Nations Of Europe Considered In Its Association With Natural Scenery And National Character)
The Sun Has Burst The Sky The sun has burst the sky Because I love you And the river its banks. The sea laps the great rocks Because I love you And takes no heed of the moon dragging it away And saying coldly 'Constancy is not for you'. The blackbird fills the air Because I love you With spring and lawns and shadows falling on lawns. The people walk in the street and laugh I love you And far down the river ships sound their hooters Crazy with joy because I love you
Jenny Joseph
From childhood's hour I have not been As others were- I have not seen As others saw- I could not bring My passions from a common spring From the same source I have not taken My sorrow, I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I lov'd, I lov'd alone.' I tried to read the words in a flat sing-song tone without feeling, so none of the kids would understand what his poem meant to me, but their eyes were already glazed with boredom. I dropped my gaze and walked back to my seat. Mrs. Noble squeezed my arm as I passed, and when I looked up I saw she had tears in her eyes. The way she looked at me made me want to cry, too. It was as though she could really see me, and there was no criticism of me in her eyes.
Leslie Feinberg
Ode to Love Lin Huiyin I think you are the April of this world, Sure, you are the April of this world. Your laughter has lit up all the wind, So gently mingling with the spring. You are the clouds in early spring, The dusk wind blows up and down. And the stars blink now and then, Fine rain drops down amid the flowers. So gentle and graceful, You are crowned with garlands. So sublime and innocent, You are a full moon over each evening. The snow melts, with that light yellow, You look like the first budding green. You are the soft joy of white lotus Rising up in your fancy dreamland. You’re the blooming flowers over the trees, You’re a swallow twittering between the beams; Full of love, full of warm hope, You are the spring of this world!
Lin Huiyin (April on the World(the Selection of Lin Huiyin))
This afternoon, being on Fair Haven Hill, I heard the sound of a saw, and soon after from the Cliff saw two men sawing down a noble pine beneath, about forty rods off. I resolved to watch it till it fell, the last of a dozen or more which were left when the forest was cut and for fifteen years have waved in solitary majesty over the sprout-land. I saw them like beavers or insects gnawing at the trunk of this noble tree, the diminutive manikins with their cross-cut saw which could scarcely span it. It towered up a hundred feet as I afterward found by measurement, one of the tallest probably in the township and straight as an arrow, but slanting a little toward the hillside, its top seen against the frozen river and the hills of Conantum. I watch closely to see when it begins to move. Now the sawers stop, and with an axe open it a little on the side toward which it leans, that it may break the faster. And now their saw goes again. Now surely it is going; it is inclined one quarter of the quadrant, and, breathless, I expect its crashing fall. But no, I was mistaken; it has not moved an inch; it stands at the same angle as at first. It is fifteen minutes yet to its fall. Still its branches wave in the wind, as it were destined to stand for a century, and the wind soughs through its needles as of yore; it is still a forest tree, the most majestic tree that waves over Musketaquid. The silvery sheen of the sunlight is reflected from its needles; it still affords an inaccessible crotch for the squirrel’s nest; not a lichen has forsaken its mast-like stem, its raking mast,—the hill is the hulk. Now, now’s the moment! The manikins at its base are fleeing from their crime. They have dropped the guilty saw and axe. How slowly and majestic it starts! as it were only swayed by a summer breeze, and would return without a sigh to its location in the air. And now it fans the hillside with its fall, and it lies down to its bed in the valley, from which it is never to rise, as softly as a feather, folding its green mantle about it like a warrior, as if, tired of standing, it embraced the earth with silent joy, returning its elements to the dust again. But hark! there you only saw, but did not hear. There now comes up a deafening crash to these rocks , advertising you that even trees do not die without a groan. It rushes to embrace the earth, and mingle its elements with the dust. And now all is still once more and forever, both to eye and ear. I went down and measured it. It was about four feet in diameter where it was sawed, about one hundred feet long. Before I had reached it the axemen had already divested it of its branches. Its gracefully spreading top was a perfect wreck on the hillside as if it had been made of glass, and the tender cones of one year’s growth upon its summit appealed in vain and too late to the mercy of the chopper. Already he has measured it with his axe, and marked off the mill-logs it will make. And the space it occupied in upper air is vacant for the next two centuries. It is lumber. He has laid waste the air. When the fish hawk in the spring revisits the banks of the Musketaquid, he will circle in vain to find his accustomed perch, and the hen-hawk will mourn for the pines lofty enough to protect her brood. A plant which it has taken two centuries to perfect, rising by slow stages into the heavens, has this afternoon ceased to exist. Its sapling top had expanded to this January thaw as the forerunner of summers to come. Why does not the village bell sound a knell? I hear no knell tolled. I see no procession of mourners in the streets, or the woodland aisles. The squirrel has leaped to another tree; the hawk has circled further off, and has now settled upon a new eyrie, but the woodman is preparing [to] lay his axe at the root of that also.
Henry David Thoreau (The Journal, 1837-1861)
Every person you meet has been assigned to play a role in your story as you are assigned to play one in someone else’s. I often say that the people we come across can be one of the four kinds. They can be like pebbles, fountains, quagmire or bridges. Pebbles are those who you meet commonly and in abundance. They do not facilitate anything great but they help you continue walking on this journey of life. Everyone you cross in life without really connecting with them are pebbles. Then there are fountains – who spring water of happiness on you. They bring positivity and joy; they nourish your soul and irrigate the seeds of good thoughts. Your friends, well-wishers are all fountains. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, you have quagmires. These are the people who cause you pain. Now, even some pebbles may have caused you pain as it happens if you tread on a barbed pebble but the difference is that quagmires do that on purpose. They pull you down, induce fear and negativity by discouraging you and worrying you. They will not let you move on – that’s why they keep you bogged down in your failures. Finally, the rarest ones are the bridges – they connect you to unchartered ground that you wouldn’t have reached on your own. They unite you to your destiny. With them, your plane of consciousness expands, you see things you have not seen before; your life becomes more aware, more enlightened. Your parents, your teachers and anyone who touches your life and transcends it into something more beautiful – they are all bridges.
Nistha Tripathi (Seven Conversations)
The Bird of Time O Bird of Time on your fruitful bough What are the songs you sing? ... Songs of the glory and gladness of life, Of poignant sorrow and passionate strife, And the lilting joy of the spring; Of hope that sows for the years unborn, And faith that dreams of a tarrying morn, The fragrant peace of the twilight's breath, And the mystic silence that men call death. O Bird of Time, say where did you learn The changing measures you sing? ... In blowing forests and breaking tides, In the happy laughter of new-made brides, And the nests of the new-born spring; In the dawn that thrills to a mother's prayer, And the night that shelters a heart's despair, In the sigh of pity, the sob of hate, And the pride of a soul that has conquered fate.
Sarojini Naidu
ON THE DEATH OF THE BELOVED Though we need to weep your loss, You dwell in that safe place in our hearts Where no storm or night or pain can reach you. Your love was like the dawn Brightening over our lives, Awakening beneath the dark A further adventure of color. The sound of your voice Found for us A new music That brightened everything. Whatever you enfolded in your gaze Quickened in the joy of its being; You placed smiles like flowers On the altar of the heart. Your mind always sparkled With wonder at things. Though your days here were brief, Your spirit was alive, awake, complete. We look toward each other no longer From the old distance of our names; Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath, As close to us as we are to ourselves. Though we cannot see you with outward eyes, We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face, Smiling back at us from within everything To which we bring our best refinement. Let us not look for you only in memory, Where we would grow lonely without you. You would want us to find you in presence, Beside us when beauty brightens, When kindness glows And music echoes eternal tones. When orchids brighten the earth, Darkest winter has turned to spring; May this dark grief flower with hope In every heart that loves you. May you continue to inspire us: To enter each day with a generous heart. To serve the call of courage and love Until we see your beautiful face again In that land where there is no more separation, Where all tears will be wiped from our mind, And where we will never lose you again.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings)
...the greater part or my spring happiness is due to the scent of the wet earth and young leaves. I am always happy (out of doors be it understood, for indoors there are servants and furniture), but in quite different ways, and my spring happiness bears no resemblance to my summer or autumn happiness, though it is not more intense, and there were days last winter when I danced for sheer joy out in my frost-bound garden in spite of my years and children. But I did it behind a bush, having a due regard for the decencies.
Elizabeth von Arnim (Elizabeth and Her German Garden)
Poem in October" It was my thirtieth year to heaven Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood And the mussel pooled and the heron Priested shore The morning beckon With water praying and call of seagull and rook And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall Myself to set foot That second In the still sleeping town and set forth. My birthday began with the water- Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name Above the farms and the white horses And I rose In rainy autumn And walked abroad in a shower of all my days. High tide and the heron dived when I took the road Over the border And the gates Of the town closed as the town awoke. A springful of larks in a rolling Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling Blackbirds and the sun of October Summery On the hill's shoulder, Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly Come in the morning where I wandered and listened To the rain wringing Wind blow cold In the wood faraway under me. Pale rain over the dwindling harbour And over the sea wet church the size of a snail With its horns through mist and the castle Brown as owls But all the gardens Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud. There could I marvel My birthday Away but the weather turned around. It turned away from the blithe country And down the other air and the blue altered sky Streamed again a wonder of summer With apples Pears and red currants And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother Through the parables Of sun light And the legends of the green chapels And the twice told fields of infancy That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine. These were the woods the river and sea Where a boy In the listening Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide. And the mystery Sang alive Still in the water and singingbirds. And there could I marvel my birthday Away but the weather turned around. And the true Joy of the long dead child sang burning In the sun. It was my thirtieth Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon Though the town below lay leaved with October blood. O may my heart's truth Still be sung On this high hill in a year's turning.
Dylan Thomas (Collected Poems)
Hamish Alexander-Harrington knew his wife as only two humans who had both been adopted by a pair of mated treecats ever could. He'd seen her deal with joy and with sorrow, with happiness and with fury, with fear, and even with despair. Yet in all the years since their very first meeting at Yeltsin's Star, he suddenly realized, he had never actually met the woman the newsies called "the Salamander." It wasn't his fault, a corner of his brain told him, because he'd never been in the right place to meet her. Never at the right time. He'd never had the chance to stand by her side as she took a wounded heavy cruiser on an unflinching deathride into the broadside of the battlecruiser waiting to kill it, sailing to her own death, and her crew's, to protect a planet full of strangers while the rich beauty of Hammerwell's "Salute to Spring" spilled from her ship's com system. He hadn't stood beside her on the dew-soaked grass of the Landing City duelling grounds, with a pistol in her hand and vengeance in her heart as she faced the man who'd bought the murder of her first great love. Just as he hadn't stood on the floor of Steadholders' Hall when she faced a man with thirty times her fencing experience across the razor-edged steel of their swords, with the ghosts of Reverend Julius Hanks, the butchered children of Mueller Steading, and her own murdered steaders at her back. But now, as he looked into the unyielding flint of his wife's beloved, almond eyes, he knew he'd met the Salamander at last. And he recognized her as only another warrior could. Yet he also knew in that moment that for all his own imposing record of victory in battle, he was not and never had been her equal. As a tactician and a strategist, yes. Even as a fleet commander. But not as the very embodiment of devastation. Not as the Salamander. Because for all the compassion and gentleness which were so much a part of her, there was something else inside Honor Alexander-Harrington, as well. Something he himself had never had. She'd told him, once, that her own temper frightened her. That she sometimes thought she could have been a monster under the wrong set of circumstances. And now, as he realized he'd finally met the monster, his heart twisted with sympathy and love, for at last he understood what she'd been trying to tell him. Understood why she'd bound it with the chains of duty, and love, of compassion and honor, of pity, because, in a way, she'd been right. Under the wrong circumstances, she could have been the most terrifying person he had ever met. In fact, at this moment, she was . It was a merciless something, her "monster"—something that went far beyond military talent, or skills, or even courage. Those things, he knew without conceit, he, too, possessed in plenty. But not that deeply personal something at the core of her, as unstoppable as Juggernaut, merciless and colder than space itself, that no sane human being would ever willingly rouse. In that instant her husband knew, with an icy shiver which somehow, perversely, only made him love her even more deeply, that as he gazed into those agate-hard eyes, he looked into the gates of Hell itself. And whatever anyone else might think, he knew now that there was no fire in Hell. There was only the handmaiden of death, and ice, and purpose, and a determination which would not— couldnot—relent or rest. "I'll miss them," she told him again, still with that dreadful softness, "but I won't forget. I'll never forget, and one day— oneday, Hamish—we're going to find the people who did this, you and I. And when we do, the only thing I'll ask of God is that He let them live long enough to know who's killing them.
David Weber (Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington, #12))
I cried. In the spring I returned home from captivity, on muddy roads, without my saber, without strength, without joy, without my former self. I was holding on to a mere memory, like a talisman, but even that became weak; it lost its color and freshness, its vivacity and former meaning. I trudged silently onward, through the mud of the gloomy plains; I spent the nights in silence, in village bowers and inns; I walked in silence, in the spring rains, guessing my direction like an animal, driven by the desire to die in my homeland, among the people who had given me life.
Meša Selimović (Death and the Dervish)
In the first week of April the weather turned suddenly, unseasonably, insistently lovely. The sky was blue, the air warm and windless, and the sun beamed on the muddy ground with all the sweet impatience of June. Toward the fringe of the wood, the young trees were yellow with the first tinge of new leaves; woodpeckers laughed and drummed in the copses and, lying in bed with my window open, I could hear the rush and gurgle of the melted snow running in the gutters all night long. In the second week of April everyone waited anxiously to see if the weather would hold. It did, with serene assurance. Hyacinth and daffodil bloomed in the flower beds, violet and periwinkle in the meadows; damp, bedraggled white butterflies fluttered drunkenly in the hedgerows. I put away my winter coat and overshoes and walked around, nearly light-headed with joy, in my shirtsleeves.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
The value of Greek prose composition, he said, was not that it gave one any particular facility in the language that could not be gained as easily by other methods but that if done properly, off the top of one's head, it taught one to think in Greek. One's thought patterns become different, he said, when forced into the confines of a rigid and unfamiliar tongue. Certain common ideas become inexpressible; other, previously undreamt-of ones spring to life, finding miraculous new articulation. By necessity, I suppose, it is difficult for me to explain in English exactly what I mean. I can only say that an incendium is in its nature entirely different from the feu with which a Frenchman lights his cigarette, and both are very different from the stark, inhuman pur that the Greeks knew, the pur that roared from the towers of Ilion or leapt and screamed on that desolate, windy beach, from the funeral pyre of Patroklos. Pur: that one word contains for me the secret, the bright, terrible clarity of ancient Greek. How can I make you see it, this strange harsh light which pervades Homer's landscapes and illumines the dialogues of Plato, an alien light, inarticulable in our common tongue? Our shared language is a language of the intricate, the peculiar, the home of pumpkins and ragamuffins and bodkins and beer, the tongue of Ahab and Falstaff and Mrs. Gamp; and while I find it entirely suitable for reflections such as these, it fails me utterly when I attempt to describe in it what I love about Greek, that language innocent of all quirks and cranks; a language obsessed with action, and with the joy of seeing action multiply from action, action marching relentlessly ahead and with yet more actions filing in from either side to fall into neat step at the rear, in a long straight rank of cause and effect toward what will be inevitable, the only possible end. In a certain sense, this was why I felt so close to the other in the Greek class. They, too, knew this beautiful and harrowing landscape, centuries dead; they'd had the same experience of looking up from their books with fifth-century eyes and finding the world disconcertingly sluggish and alien, as if it were not their home. It was why I admired Julian, and Henry in particular. Their reason, their very eyes and ears were fixed irrevocably in the confines of those stern and ancient rhythms – the world, in fact, was not their home, at least the world as I knew it – and far from being occasional visitors to this land which I myself knew only as an admiring tourist, they were pretty much its permanent residents, as permanent as I suppose it was possible for them to be. Ancient Greek is a difficult language, a very difficult language indeed, and it is eminently possible to study it all one's life and never be able to speak a word; but it makes me smile, even today, to think of Henry's calculated, formal English, the English of a well-educated foreigner, as compared with the marvelous fluency and self-assurance of his Greek – quick, eloquent, remarkably witty. It was always a wonder to me when I happened to hear him and Julian conversing in Greek, arguing and joking, as I never once heard either of them do in English; many times, I've seen Henry pick up the telephone with an irritable, cautious 'Hello,' and may I never forget the harsh and irresistible delight of his 'Khairei!' when Julian happened to be at the other end.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
Pan and the Cherries I RECOGNIZED him by his skips and hops, And by his hair I knew that he was Pan. Through sunny avenues he ran, And leapt for cherries to the red tree-tops. Upon his fleece were pearling water drops Like little silver stars. How pure he was! And this was when my spring was arched with blue. Now, seeing a cherry of a smoother gloss, He seized it, and bit the kernel from the pulp. I watched him with great joy ... I came anigh ... He spat the kernel straight into my eye. I ran to kill Pan with my knife! He stretched his arm out, swirled-- And the whole earth whirled! Let us adore Pan, god of all the world!
Paul Fort
The universe is but a tenement of all things visible. Darkness and day the passing guests of Time. Life slips away, a dream of little joy and mean content. Ah! wise the old philosophers who sought To lengthen their long sunsets among flowers, By stealing the young night's unsullied hours And the dim moments with sweet burdens fraught. And now Spring beckons me with verdant hand, And Nature's wealth of eloquence doth win Forth to the fragrant-bowered nectarine, Where my dear friends abide, a careless band. There meet my gentle, matchless brothers, there I come, the obscure poet, all unfit To wear the radiant jewelry of wit, And in their golden presence cloud the air. And while the thrill of meeting lingers, soon As the first courtly words, the feast is spread, While, couched on flowers 'mid wine-cups flashing red, We drink deep draughts unto The Lady Moon. Then as without the touch of verse divine There is no outlet for the pent-up soul, 'Twas ruled that he who quaffed no fancy's bowl Should drain the "Golden Valley" cups of wine
Li Bai
Alone" From childhood’s hour I have not been As others were—I have not seen As others saw—I could not bring My passions from a common spring— From the same source I have not taken My sorrow—I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone— And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone— Then—in my childhood—in the dawn Of a most stormy life—was drawn From ev’ry depth of good and ill The mystery which binds me still— From the torrent, or the fountain— From the red cliff of the mountain— From the sun that ’round me roll’d In its autumn tint of gold— From the lightning in the sky As it pass’d me flying by— From the thunder, and the storm— And the cloud that took the form (When the rest of Heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view—
Edger Allen Poe
I generally rested during the day and travelled only when I was secured by night from the view of man. One morning, however, finding that my path lay through a deep wood, I ventured to continue my journey after the sun had risen; the day, which was one of the first of spring, cheered even me by the loveliness of its sunshine and the balminess of the air. I felt emotions of gentleness and pleasure, that had long appeared dead, revive within me. Half surprised by the novelty of these sensations, I allowed myself to be borne away by them, and forgetting my solitude and deformity, dared to be happy. Soft tears again bedewed my cheeks, and I even raised my humid eyes with thankfulness towards the blessed sun, which bestowed such joy upon me.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein: The 1818 Text)
We can, simply by a sincere aspiration, open a sealed door in us and find... that Something which will change the whole significance of life, reply to all our questions, solve all our problems and lead us to the perfection we aspire for without knowing it, to that Reality which alone can satisfy us and give us lasting joy, equilibrium, strength, life. All have heard it - Oh! there are even some here who are so used to it that for them it seems to be the same thing as drinking a glass of water or opening a window to let in the sunlight.... We have tried a little, but now we are going to try seriously! The starting-point: to want it, truly want it, to need it. The next step: to think, above all, of that. A day comes, very quickly, when one is unable to think of anything else. That is the one thing which counts. And then... One formulates one’s aspiration, lets the true prayer spring up from one’s heart, the prayer which expresses the sincerity of the need. And then... well, one will see what happens. Something will happen. Surely something will happen. For each one it will take a different form.
The Mother (Questions and Answers 1957-1958)
to have a physical body and to work with it and to work with the forces of nature to mold it into the highest expression of joy, and to keep it always by using it to learn how to overcome disease, impairment and as today’s cutting edge, non-funded, objective, purposeful science says, one day, even death?   What if short-term excitement and intensity created by the overblown desire to win at all cost could be replaced by a more durable excitement in an intensity springing from the heart of the physical athletic experience itself?  It would soon be discovered that sports and physical activities reformed and refurbished with integrity, not buy-offs are the best possible path to personal enlightenment and social transformation for this new millennium.
Don Tolman (Air, Fire, Earth & Water)
Ever since black people came to this country we have needed a Moses. There has always been so much water that needs parting. It seems like all black children, from the time we are born, come into the world in the midst of a rushing current that threatens to swallow us whole if we don't heed the many, many warnings we are told to heed. We come into the world as alchemists of the water, bending it, willing it to bear us safe passage and cleanse us along the way, to teach us to move with joy and purpose and to never, ever stop flowing forward into something grand waiting at the other end of the delta. We're a people forever in exodus. Before Moses there was Abraham, and ever since black people came to this country we have needed an Abraham. We have always been sending each other away -- for our own good, don't you know it -- and calling each other back, finding kinship where a well springs from tears. We are masters of the art of sacrifice; no one is more skilled at laying their greatest beloveds on the altar and feeling certainty even as we feel sorrow. And when we see the ram, we know how to act fast, and prosper, even as the stone knife warms in our hands.
Eve L. Ewing (Electric Arches)
The whole long day was a blaze of sunshine. The ghostly winter silence had given way to the great spring murmur of awakening life. This murmur arose from all the land, fraught with the joy of living. It came from the things that lived and moved again, things which had been as dead and which had not moved during the long months of frost. The sap was rising in the pines. The willows and aspens were bursting out in young buds. Shrubs and vines were putting on fresh garbs of green. Crickets sang in the nights, and in the days all manner of creeping, crawling things rustled forth into the sun. Partridges and woodpeckers were booming and knocking in the forest. Squirrels were chattering, birds singing, and overhead honked the wild-fowl driving up from the south in cunning wedges that split the air.
Jack London (The Call of the Wild)
Please Call Me By My True Names Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow— even today I am still arriving. Look deeply: every second I am arriving to be a bud on a Spring branch, to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings, learning to sing in my new nest, to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone. I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, to fear and to hope. The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that is alive. I am a mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river. And I am the bird that swoops down to swallow the mayfly. I am a frog swimming happily in the clear water of a pond. And I am the grass-snake that silently feeds itself on the frog. I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks. And I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda. I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate. And I am also the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving. I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands. And I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to my people dying slowly in a forced-labor camp. My joy is like Spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth. My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans. Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one. Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up and the door of my heart could be left open, the door of compassion.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Margo Brinker always thought summer would never end. It always felt like an annual celebration that thankfully stayed alive long day after long day, and warm night after warm night. And DC was the best place for it. Every year, spring would vanish with an explosion of cherry blossoms that let forth the confetti of silky little pink petals, giving way to the joys of summer. Farmer's markets popped up on every roadside. Vendors sold fresh, shining fruits, vegetables and herbs, wine from family vineyards, and handed over warm loaves of bread. Anyone with enough money and enough to do on a Sunday morning would peruse the tents, trying slices of crisp peaches and bites of juicy smoked sausage, and fill their fisherman net bags with weekly wares. Of all the summer months, Margo liked June the best. The sun-drunk beginning, when the days were long, long, long with the promise that summer would last forever. Sleeping late, waking only to catch the best tanning hours. It was the time when the last school year felt like a lifetime ago, and there were ages to go until the next one. Weekend cookouts smelled like the backyard- basil, tomatoes on the vine, and freshly cut grass. That familiar backyard scent was then smoked by the rich addition of burgers, hot dogs, and buttered buns sizzling over charcoal.
Beth Harbison (The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship)
I realised one day not so long ago, that I believe in many things, but that I do not trust any of them. I have, for the longest time, not trusted anything that I believe in. And so it dawned upon me: that belief and trust are two entirely different things. One may believe wholeheartedly without trusting for a minute. I have been like a seed in the ground: believing that the Sun is shining somewhere up there; believing that rain falls and that it probably feels really good too; believing that there is Winter and Summer, Spring and Fall... but never trusting anything that I believe in enough to break through the soil and reach my branches up towards the sky! The French have a saying from the 15'th Century: "Fleuris là où tu es plantée", which means, "Bloom where you are planted". Blooming has everything to do with trust, I have discovered, and very little to do with belief. To become anything at all, the seed must trust. And so shall I.
C. JoyBell C.
What we feel and how we feel is far more important than what we think and how we think. Feeling is the stuff of which our consciousness is made, the atmosphere in which all our thinking and all our conduct is bathed. All the motives which govern and drive our lives are emotional. Love and hate, anger and fear, curiosity and joy are the springs of all that is most noble and most detestable in the history of men and nations. The opening sentence of a sermon is an opportunity. A good introduction arrests me. It handcuffs me and drags me before the sermon, where I stand and hear a Word that makes me both tremble and rejoice. The best sermon introductions also engage the listener immediately. It’s a rare sermon, however, that suffers because of a good introduction. Mysteries beg for answers. People’s natural curiosity will entice them to stay tuned until the puzzle is solved. Any sentence that points out incongruity, contradiction, paradox, or irony will do. Talk about what people care about. Begin writing an introduction by asking, “Will my listeners care about this?” (Not, “Why should they care about this?”) Stepping into the pulpit calmly and scanning the congregation to the count of five can have a remarkable effect on preacher and congregation alike. It is as if you are saying, “I’m about to preach the Word of God. I want all of you settled. I’m not going to begin, in fact, until I have your complete attention.” No sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as crystal. The getting of that sentence is the hardest, most exacting, and most fruitful labor of study. We tend to use generalities for compelling reasons. Specifics often take research and extra thought, precious commodities to a pastor. Generalities are safe. We can’t help but use generalities when we can’t remember details of a story or when we want anonymity for someone. Still, the more specific their language, the better speakers communicate. I used to balk at spending a large amount of time on a story, because I wanted to get to the point. Now I realize the story gets the point across better than my declarative statements. Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. Limits—that is, form—challenge the mind, forcing creativity. Needless words weaken our offense. Listening to some speakers, you have to sift hundreds of gallons of water to get one speck of gold. If the sermon is so complicated that it needs a summary, its problems run deeper than the conclusion. The last sentence of a sermon already has authority; when the last sentence is Scripture, this is even more true. No matter what our tone or approach, we are wise to craft the conclusion carefully. In fact, given the crisis and opportunity that the conclusion presents—remember, it will likely be people’s lasting memory of the message—it’s probably a good practice to write out the conclusion, regardless of how much of the rest of the sermon is written. It is you who preaches Christ. And you will preach Christ a little differently than any other preacher. Not to do so is to deny your God-given uniqueness. Aim for clarity first. Beauty and eloquence should be added to make things even more clear, not more impressive. I’ll have not praise nor time for those who suppose that writing comes by some divine gift, some madness, some overflow of feeling. I’m especially grim on Christians who enter the field blithely unprepared and literarily innocent of any hard work—as though the substance of their message forgives the failure of its form.
Mark Galli (Preaching That Connects: Using Techniques of Journalists to Add Impact)
The people cast themselves down by the fuming boards while servants cut the roast, mixed jars of wine and water, and all the gods flew past like the night-breaths of spring. The chattering female flocks sat down by farther tables, their fresh prismatic garments gleaming in the moon as though a crowd of haughty peacocks played in moonlight. The queen’s throne softly spread with white furs of fox gaped desolate and bare, for Penelope felt ashamed to come before her guests after so much murder. Though all the guests were ravenous, they still refrained, turning their eyes upon their silent watchful lord till he should spill wine in libation for the Immortals. The king then filled a brimming cup, stood up and raised it high till in the moon the embossed adornments gleamed: Athena, dwarfed and slender, wrought in purest gold, pursued around the cup with double-pointed spear dark lowering herds of angry gods and hairy demons; she smiled and the sad tenderness of her lean face, and her embittered fearless glance, seemed almost human. Star-eyed Odysseus raised Athena’s goblet high and greeted all, but spoke in a beclouded mood: “In all my wandering voyages and torturous strife, the earth, the seas, the winds fought me with frenzied rage; I was in danger often, both through joy and grief, of losing priceless goodness, man’s most worthy face. I raised my arms to the high heavens and cried for help, but on my head gods hurled their lightning bolts, and laughed. I then clasped Mother Earth, but she changed many shapes, and whether as earthquake, beast, or woman, rushed to eat me; then like a child I gave my hopes to the sea in trust, piled on my ship my stubbornness, my cares, my virtues, the poor remaining plunder of god-fighting man, and then set sail; but suddenly a wild storm burst, and when I raised my eyes, the sea was strewn with wreckage. As I swam on, alone between sea and sky, with but my crooked heart for dog and company, I heard my mind, upon the crumpling battlements about my head, yelling with flailing crimson spear. Earth, sea, and sky rushed backward; I remained alone with a horned bow slung down my shoulder, shorn of gods and hopes, a free man standing in the wilderness. Old comrades, O young men, my island’s newest sprouts, I drink not to the gods but to man’s dauntless mind.” All shuddered, for the daring toast seemed sacrilege, and suddenly the hungry people shrank in spirit; They did not fully understand the impious words but saw flames lick like red curls about his savage head. The smell of roast was overpowering, choice meats steamed, and his bold speech was soon forgotten in hunger’s pangs; all fell to eating ravenously till their brains reeled. Under his lowering eyebrows Odysseus watched them sharply: "This is my people, a mess of bellies and stinking breath! These are my own minds, hands, and thighs, my loins and necks!" He muttered in his thorny beard, held back his hunger far from the feast and licked none of the steaming food.
Nikos Kazantzakis (The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel)
He saw that men who worked hard, and earned their scanty bread with lives of labour, were cheerful and happy; and that to the most ignorant, the sweet face of Nature was a never-failing source of cheerfulness and joy. He saw those who had been delicately nurtured, and tenderly brought up, cheerful under privations, and superior to suffering, that would have crushed many of a rougher grain, because they bore within their own bosoms the materials of happiness, contentment, and peace. He saw that women, the tenderest and most fragile of all God's creatures, were the oftenest superior to sorrow, adversity, and distress; and he saw that it was because they bore, in their own hearts, an inexhaustible well-spring of affection and devotion. Above all, he saw that men like himself, who snarled at the mirth and cheerfulness of others, were the foulest weeds on the fair surface of the earth; and setting all the good of the world against the evil, he came to the conclusion that it was a very decent and respectable sort of world after all.
Charles Dickens (The Pickwick Papers)
This is the life I lead by day. But on a deeper level of consciousness I lead a different life. There, an insistent, persistent, hidden voice has been saying for years: No, no, this is not it! Some other kind of will in me turns away in misery and distaste from all of culture, from all that is being said and done around me. It finds all this tedious and vain, like a struggle of phantoms flailing away in a void; it seems to know another world, to foresee a different life, not yet to be found on earth but which will come and cannot fail to come, for only then will true reality be achieved. To me this voice is the voice of my real self. I live like a foreigner acclimatized in an alien land; the natives like me and I like them. I diligently work for their good, share their sorrows and rejoice in their joys, but at the same time I know that I am a stranger, I secretly long for the fields of my homeland, for its different spring, the smell of its flowers, and the way its women speak. Where is my homeland? I shall never see it, I shall die in foreign parts.
Guy Vanderhaeghe (Man Descending: Selected Stories)
We can, simply by a sincere aspiration, open a sealed door in us and find... that Something which will change the whole significance of life, reply to all our questions, solve all our problems and lead us to the perfection we aspire for without knowing it, to that Reality which alone can satisfy us and give us lasting joy, equilibrium, strength, life. All have heard it - Oh! there are even some here who are so used to it that for them it seems to be the same thing as drinking a glass of water or opening a window to let in the sunlight.... We have tried a little, but now we are going to try seriously! The starting-point: to want it, truly want it, to need it. The next step: to think, above all, of that. A day comes, very quickly, when one is unable to think of anything else. That is the one thing which counts. And then... One formulates one’s aspiration, lets the true prayer spring up from one’s heart, the prayer which expresses the sincerity of the need. And then... well, one will see what happens. Something will happen. Surely something will happen. For each one it will take a different form.
The Mother (Questions and Answers 1957-1958)
Her. Her. Her. Future breezes implore me to stay. But I'm no future. I'm no past. Only ever contemporary of this path. I'll sacrifice everything for all her seasons give from losing. She, I sigh from The Mountain top. By her now. My only role. And for that freedom, spread my polar chill, reaching even the warmest times, a warning upon the back of every life that would by harming Hailey's play, ever wayward around this vegetative rush of orbit & twine, awaken among these cascading cliffs of bellicose ice me. And my Vengeance. At once. The Justice of my awful loss set free upon this crowded land. An old terror violent for the glee of ends. But to those who would tend her, harrowed by such Beauty & Fleeting Presence to do more, my cool cries will kiss their gentle foreheads and my tears will kiss their tender cheeks, and then if the Love of their Kindness, which only Kindness ever finds, spills my ear, for a while I might slip down and play amidst her canopies of gold. Solitude. Hailey's bare feet. And all her patience now assumes. Garland of Spring's Sacred Bloom. By you, ever sixteen, this World's preserved. By you, this World has everything left to lose. And I, your sentry of ice, shall allways protect what your Joy so dangerously resumes. I'll destroy no World so long it keeps turning with flurry & gush, petals & stems bending and lush, and allways our hushes returning anew. Everyone betrays the Dream but who cares for it? O Hailey no, I could never walk away from you. - Haloes! Haleskarth! Contraband! I can walk away from anything. Everyone loves the Dream but I kill it. Bald Eagles soar over me: —Reveille Rebel! I jump free this weel. On fire. Blaze a breeze. I'll devastate the World. \\ Samsara! Samarra! Grand! I can walk away from anything. Everyone loves the Dream but I kill it. Atlas Mountain Cedars gush over me: —Up Boogaloo! I leap free this spring. On fire. How my hair curls. I'll destroy the World. - Him. Him. Him. Future winds imploring me to stay. But I'm no tomorrow. I'm no yesterday. Only ever contemporary of this way. I will sacrifice everything for all his seasons miss of soaring. He, I sigh from The Mountain top. By him now. My only role. And for that freedom, spread my polar chill, reaching even the warmest climes, a warning upon the back of every life that would by harming Sam's play, ever wayward around this animal streak of orbit & wind, awaken among these cataracts of belligerent ice me. And my Justice. At once. The Vengeance of my awful loss set free upon this crowded land. An old terror violent for the delirium of ends. But to those who would protect him, frightened by such Beauty & Savage Presence to do more, my cool cries will kiss their tender foreheads and my tears will kiss their gentle cheeks, and then if the Kindness of their Love, which only Loving ever binds, spills my ear, for a while I might slip down and play among his foals so green. My barrenness. Sam's solitude. And all his patience now presumes. Luster of Spring's Sacred Brood. By you, ever sixteen, this World's reserved. By you, this World has everything left to lose. And I, your sentry of ice, shall allways protect what your Joy so terrifyingly elects. I'll destroy no World so long it keeps turning with scurry & blush, fledgling & charms beading with dews, and allways our rush returning renewed. Everyone betrays the Dream but who cares for it? O Sam no, I could never walk away from you.
Mark Z. Danielewski (Only Revolutions)
Three postcards await our perusal, yea, three visions of a world. One: I see a theme park where there are lots of rides, but there is nobody who can control them and nobody who knows how the rides end. Grief counseling, however, is included in the price of admission. Two: I see an accident. An explosion of some kind inhabited by happenstantial life forms. A milk spill gone bacterial, only with more flame. It has no meaning or purpose or master. It simply is. Three: I see a stage, a world where every scene is crafted. Where men act out their lives within a tapestry, where meaning and beauty exist, where right and wrong are more than imagined constructs. There is evil. There is darkness. There is the Winter of tragedy, every life ending, churned back into the soil. But the tragedy leads to Spring. The story does not end in frozen death. The fields are sown in grief. The harvest will be reaped in joy. I see a Master's painting. I listen to a Master's prose. When darkness falls on me, when I stand on my corner of the stage and hear my cue, when I know my final scene has come and I must exit, I will go into the ground like corn, waiting for the Son.
N.D. Wilson (Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World)
Moral for psychologists. -- Not to go in for backstairs psychology. Never to observe in order to observe! That gives a false perspective, leads to squinting and something forced and exaggerated. Experience as the wish to experience does not succeed. One must not eye oneself while having an experience; else the eye becomes "an evil eye." A born psychologist guards instinctively against seeing in order to see; the same is true of the born painter. He never works "from nature"; he leaves it to his instinct, to his camera obscura, to sift through and express the "case," "nature," that which is "experienced." He is conscious only of what is general, of the conclusion, the result: he does not know arbitrary abstractions from an individual case. What happens when one proceeds differently? For example, if, in the manner of the Parisian novelists, one goes in for backstairs psychology and deals in gossip, wholesale and retail? Then one lies in wait for reality, as it were, and every evening one brings home a handful of curiosities. But note what finally comes of all this: a heap of splotches, a mosaic at best, but in any case something added together, something restless, a mess of screaming colors. The worst in this respect is accomplished by the Goncourts; they do not put three sentences together without really hurting the eye, the psychologist's eye. Nature, estimated artistically, is no model. It exaggerates, it distorts, it leaves gaps. Nature is chance. To study "from nature" seems to me to be a bad sign: it betrays submission, weakness, fatalism; this lying in the dust before petit faits [little facts] is unworthy of a whole artist. To see what is--that is the mark of another kind of spirit, the anti-artistic, the factual. One must know who one is. Toward a psychology of the artist. -- If there is to be art, if there is to be any aesthetic doing and seeing, one physiological condition is indispensable: frenzy. Frenzy must first have enhanced the excitability of the whole machine; else there is no art. All kinds of frenzy, however diversely conditioned, have the strength to accomplish this: above all, the frenzy of sexual excitement, this most ancient and original form of frenzy. Also the frenzy that follows all great cravings, all strong affects; the frenzy of feasts, contests, feats of daring, victory, all extreme movement; the frenzy of cruelty; the frenzy in destruction, the frenzy under certain meteorological influences, as for example the frenzy of spring; or under the influence of narcotics; and finally the frenzy of will, the frenzy of an overcharged and swollen will. What is essential in such frenzy is the feeling of increased strength and fullness. Out of this feeling one lends to things, one forces them to accept from us, one violates them--this process is called idealizing. Let us get rid of a prejudice here: idealizing does not consist, as is commonly held, in subtracting or discounting the petty and inconsequential. What is decisive is rather a tremendous drive to bring out the main features so that the others disappear in the process. In this state one enriches everything out of one's own fullness: whatever one sees, whatever one wills, is seen swelled, taut, strong, overloaded with strength. A man in this state transforms things until they mirror his power--until they are reflections of his perfection. This having to transform into perfection is--art. Even everything that he is not yet, becomes for him an occasion of joy in himself; in art man enjoys himself as perfection.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols / The Anti-Christ)
The old oak, quite transfigured, spreading out a canopy of sappy dark-green foliage, stood rapt and slightly trembling in the rays of the evening sun. Neither gnarled fingers nor old scars nor old doubts and sorrows were any of them in evidence now. Through the hard century-old bark, even where there were no twigs, leaves had sprouted such as one could hardly believe the old veteran could have produced. ‘Yes, it is the same oak,’ thought Prince Andrei, and all at once he was seized by an unreasoning spring-time feeling of joy and renewal. All the best moments of his life suddenly rose to his memory. Austerlitz with the lofty heavens, his wife’s dead reproachful face, Pierre at the ferry, that girl thrilled by the beauty of the night, and that night itself and the moon, and … all this rushed suddenly to his mind. ‘No, life is not over at thirty-one!’ Prince Andrei suddenly decided finally and decisively. ‘It is not enough for me to know what I have in me—everyone must know it: Pierre, and that young girl who wanted to fly away into the sky, everyone must know me, so that my life may not be lived for myself alone while others live so apart from it, but so that it may be reflected in them all, and they and I may live in harmony.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
But our Edenic tent–God doesn’t just want to save us. He actually wants to be with us. He doesn’t just love us. God actually likes us. So God removes His royal robes and steps down from His throne to experience—for the first time—what it is like to be human. God is omniscient, which means that He is all-knowing. There’s nothing in the universe, no piece of information, no fact, no statistic that He doesn’t know. The hairs on your head, the zits on your face—He knows about every one. But until the incarnation, God hadn’t experienced human nature. Since zits aren’t a sin, perhaps Jesus had them too. God knows every hair on your head, but through the incarnation, God knows what it feels like to have hair ripped out. God knows about tiredness, but through the incarnation, He experiences exhaustion. God knows how many molecules it takes to shoot a hunger pain from your stomach to your brain. But through the incarnation, God knows what it feels like to starve to the point of death. Through the incarnation, God has enjoyed the same warm wave of sunlight that splashes across your face on the first day of spring. When you bathe in it, God smiles because He’s bathed in it too. He’s been refreshed by a night’s sleep after a long day of work. Warmed by a toasty bed on a cold winter night. Enjoyed a rich glass of wine while celebrating among friends. God authored creation. But through the incarnation, God experienced creation. And He encountered joy under the bridge. He also experienced pain. Relational, psychological, emotional, and physical agony. God has suffered the misery and brokenness of the same sin-saturated world that oppresses us every day. The pain of being rejected, beaten, abused, unloved, uncared for, mocked, shamed, spat upon, and disrespected as an image bearer of the Creator. Jesus knows all of this. He’s experienced all of this. And He willingly endured it to bring you back to Eden.
Preston Sprinkle (Charis: God's Scandalous Grace for Us)
If, when you say whiskey, you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacles of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degredation and despair, shame and helplessness and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it with all my power. But if, when you say whiskey, you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the stuff that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty morning; if you mean the drink that enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrows, if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm, to build highways, hospitals, and schools, then certainly I am in favor of it.
Adam Rogers (Proof: The Science of Booze)
Gabriel was stunned by Pandora's compassion for a man who had caused her such harm. He shook his head in wonder as he stared into her eyes, as dark as cloud-shadow on a field of blue gentian. "That doesn't excuse him," he said thickly. Gabriel would never forgive the bastard. He wanted vengeance. He wanted to strip the flesh from the bastard's corpse and hang up his skeleton to scare the crows. His fingers contained a subtle tremor as he reached out to trace the fine edges of her face, the sweet, high plane of her cheekbone. "What did the doctor say about your ear? What treatment did he give?" "It wasn't necessary to send for a doctor." A fresh flood of rage seared his veins as the words sunk in. "Your eardrum was ruptured. What in God's name do you mean a doctor wasn't necessary?" Although he had managed to keep from shouting, his tone was far from civilized. Pandora quivered uneasily and began to inch backward. He realized the last thing she needed from him was a display of temper. Battening down his rampaging emotions, he used one arm to bring her back against his side. "No, don't pull away. Tell me what happened." "The fever had passed," she said after a long hesitation, "and... well, you have to understand my family. If something unpleasant happened, they ignored it, and it was never spoken of again. Especially if it was something my father had done when he'd lost his temper. After a while, no one remembered what had really happened. Our family history was erased and rewritten a thousand times. But ignoring the problem with my ear didn't make it disappear. Whenever I couldn't hear something, or when I stumbled or fell, it made my mother very angry. She said I'd been clumsy because I was hasty or careless. She wouldn't admit there was anything wrong with my hearing. She refused even to discuss it." Pandora stopped, chewing thoughtfully on her lower lip. "I'm making her sound terrible, and she wasn't. There were times when she was affectionate and kind. No one's all one way or the other." She flicked a glance of dread in his direction. "Oh God, you're not going to pity me, are you?" "No." Gabriel was anguished for her sake, and outraged. It was all he could do to keep his voice calm. "Is that why you keep it a secret? You're afraid of being pitied?" "That, and... it's a shame I'd rather keep private." "Not your shame. Your father's." "It feels like mine. Had I not been eavesdropping, my father wouldn't have disciplined me." "You were a child," he said brusquely. "What he did wasn't bloody discipline, it was brutality." To his surprise, a touch of unrepentant amusement curved Pandora's lips, and she looked distinctly pleased with herself. "It didn't even stop my eavesdropping. I just learned to be more clever about it." She was so endearing, so indomitable, that Gabriel was wrenched with a feeling he'd never known before, as if all the extremes of joy and despair had been compressed into some new emotion that threatened to crack the walls of his heart.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
And under the cicadas, deeper down that the longest taproot, between and beneath the rounded black rocks and slanting slabs of sandstone in the earth, ground water is creeping. Ground water seeps and slides, across and down, across and down, leaking from here to there, minutely at a rate of a mile a year. What a tug of waters goes on! There are flings and pulls in every direction at every moment. The world is a wild wrestle under the grass; earth shall be moved. What else is going on right this minute while ground water creeps under my feet? The galaxy is careening in a slow, muffled widening. If a million solar systems are born every hour, then surely hundreds burst into being as I shift my weight to the other elbow. The sun’s surface is now exploding; other stars implode and vanish, heavy and black, out of sight. Meteorites are arcing to earth invisibly all day long. On the planet, the winds are blowing: the polar easterlies, the westerlies, the northeast and southeast trades. Somewhere, someone under full sail is becalmed, in the horse latitudes, in the doldrums; in the northland, a trapper is maddened, crazed, by the eerie scent of the chinook, the sweater, a wind that can melt two feet of snow in a day. The pampero blows, and the tramontane, and the Boro, sirocco, levanter, mistral. Lick a finger; feel the now. Spring is seeping north, towards me and away from me, at sixteen miles a day. Along estuary banks of tidal rivers all over the world, snails in black clusters like currants are gliding up and down the stems of reed and sedge, migrating every moment with the dip and swing of tides. Behind me, Tinker Mountain is eroding one thousandth of an inch a year. The sharks I saw are roving up and down the coast. If the sharks cease roving, if they still their twist and rest for a moment, they die. They need new water pushed into their gills; they need dance. Somewhere east of me, on another continent, it is sunset, and starlings in breathtaking bands are winding high in the sky to their evening roost. The mantis egg cases are tied to the mock-orange hedge; within each case, within each egg, cells elongate, narrow, and split; cells bubble and curve inward, align, harden or hollow or stretch. And where are you now?
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Thus I learned from life itself. At the beginning I was only a little mass of possibilities. It was my teacher who unfolded and developed them. When she came, everything about me breathed of love and joy and was full of meaning. She has never since let pass an opportunity to point out the beauty that is in everything, nor has she ceased trying in thought and action and example to make my life sweet and useful. It was my teacher’s genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact which made the first years of my education so beautiful. It was because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made it so pleasant and acceptable to me. She realized that a child’s mind is like a shallow brook which ripples and dances merrily over the stony course of its education and reflects here a flower, there a bush, yonder a fleecy cloud; and she attempted to guide my mind on its way, knowing that like a brook it should be fed by mountain streams and hidden springs, until it broadened out into a deep river, capable of reflecting in its placid surface, billowy hills, the luminous shadows of trees and the blue heavens, as well as the sweet face of a little flower. Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment before he takes with a will the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of textbooks.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life)
{From Luther Burbank's funeral. He was loved until he revealed he was an atheist, then he began to receive death threats. He tried to amiably answer them all, leading to his death} It is impossible to estimate the wealth he has created. It has been generously given to the world. Unlike inventors, in other fields, no patent rights were given him, nor did he seek a monopoly in what he created. Had that been the case, Luther Burbank would have been perhaps the world's richest man. But the world is richer because of him. In this he found joy that no amount of money could give. And so we meet him here today, not in death, but in the only immortal life we positively know--his good deeds, his kindly, simple, life of constructive work and loving service to the whole wide world. These things cannot die. They are cumulative, and the work he has done shall be as nothing to its continuation in the only immortality this brave, unselfish man ever sought, or asked to know. As great as were his contributions to the material wealth of this planet, the ages yet to come, that shall better understand him, will give first place in judging the importance of his work to what he has done for the betterment of human plants and the strength they shall gain, through his courage, to conquer the tares, the thistles and the weeds. Then no more shall we have a mythical God that smells of brimstone and fire; that confuses hate with love; a God that binds up the minds of little children, as other heathen bind up their feet--little children equally helpless to defend their precious right to think and choose and not be chained from the dawn of childhood to the dogmas of the dead. Luther Burbank will rank with the great leaders who have driven heathenish gods back into darkness, forever from this earth. In the orthodox threat of eternal punishment for sin--which he knew was often synonymous with yielding up all liberty and freedom--and in its promise of an immortality, often held out for the sacrifice of all that was dear to life, the right to think, the right to one's mind, the right to choose, he saw nothing but cowardice. He shrank from such ways of thought as a flower from the icy blasts of death. As shown by his work in life, contributing billions of wealth to humanity, with no more return than the maintenance of his own breadline, he was too humble, too unselfish, to be cajoled with dogmatic promises of rewards as a sort of heavenly bribe for righteous conduct here. He knew that the man who fearlessly stands for the right, regardless of the threat of punishment or the promise of reward, was the real man. Rather was he willing to accept eternal sleep, in returning to the elements from whence he came, for in his lexicon change was life. Here he was content to mingle as a part of the whole, as the raindrop from the sea performs its sacred service in watering the land to which it is assigned, that two blades may grow instead of one, and then, its mission ended, goes back to the ocean from whence it came. With such service, with such a life as gardener to the lilies of the field, in his return to the bosoms of infinity, he has not lost himself. There he has found himself, is a part of the cosmic sea of eternal force, eternal energy. And thus he lived and always will live. Thomas Edison, who believes very much as Burbank, once discussed with me immortality. He pointed to the electric light, his invention, saying: 'There lives Tom Edison.' So Luther Burbank lives. He lives forever in the myriad fields of strengthened grain, in the new forms of fruits and flowers, plants, vines, and trees, and above all, the newly watered gardens of the human mind, from whence shall spring human freedom that shall drive out false and brutal gods. The gods are toppling from their thrones. They go before the laughter and the joy of the new childhood of the race, unshackled and unafraid.
Benjamin Barr Lindsey
In the deep woods of the far North, under feathery leaves of fern, was a great fairyland of merry elves, sometimes called forest brownies. These elves lived joyfully. They had everything at hand and did not need to worry much about living. Berries and nuts grew plentiful in the forest. Rivers and springs provided the elves with crystal water. Flowers prepared them drink from their flavorful juices, which the munchkins loved greatly. At midnight the elves climbed into flower cups and drank drops of their sweet water with much delight. Every elf would tell a wonderful fairy tale to the flower to thank it for the treat. Despite this abundance, the pixies did not sit back and do nothing. They tinkered with their tasks all day long. They cleaned their houses. They swung on tree branches and swam in forested streams. Together with the early birds, they welcomed the sunrise, listened to the thunder growling, the whispering of leaves and blades of grass, and the conversations of the animals. The birds told them about warm countries, sunbeams whispered of distant seas, and the moon spoke of treasures hidden deeply in the earth. In winter, the elves lived in abandoned nests and hollows. Every sunny day they came out of their burrows and made the forest ring with their happy shouts, throwing tiny snowballs in all directions and building snowmen as small as the pinky finger of a little girl. The munchkins thought they were giants five times as large as them. With the first breath of spring, the elves left their winter residences and moved to the cups of the snowdrop flowers. Looking around, they watched the snow as it turned black and melted. They kept an eye on the blossoming of hazel trees while the leaves were still sleeping in their warm buds. They observed squirrels moving their last winter supplies from storage back to their homes. Gnomes welcomed the birds coming back to their old nests, where the elves lived during winters. Little by little, the forest once more grew green. One moonlight night, elves were sitting at an old willow tree and listening to mermaids singing about their underwater kingdom. “Brothers! Where is Murzilka? He has not been around for a long time!” said one of the elves, Father Beardie, who had a long white beard. He was older than others and well respected in his striped stocking cap. “I’m here,” a snotty voice arose, and Murzilka himself, nicknamed Feather Head, jumped from the top of the tree. All the brothers loved Murzilka, but thought he was lazy, as he actually was. Also, he loved to dress in a tailcoat, tall black hat, boots with narrow toes, a cane and a single eyeglass, being very proud of that look. “Do you know where I’m coming from? The very Arctic Ocean!” roared he. Usually, his words were hard to believe. That time, though, his announcement sounded so marvelous that all elves around him were agape with wonder. “You were there, really? Were you? How did you get there?” asked the sprites. “As easy as ABC! I came by the fox one day and caught her packing her things to visit her cousin, a silver fox who lives by the Arctic Ocean. “Take me with you,” I said to the fox. “Oh, no, you’ll freeze there! You know, it’s cold there!” she said. “Come on.” I said. “What are you talking about? What cold? Summer is here.” “Here we have summer, but there they have winter,” she answered. “No,” I thought. “She must be lying because she does not want to give me a ride.” Without telling her a word, I jumped upon her back and hid in her bushy fur, so even Father Frost could not find me. Like it or not, she had to take me with her. We ran for a long time. Another forest followed our woods, and then a boundless plain opened, a swamp covered with lichen and moss. Despite the intense heat, it had not entirely thawed. “This is tundra,” said my fellow traveler. “Tundra? What is tundra?” asked I. “Tundra is a huge, forever frozen wetland covering the entire coast of the Arctic Ocean.
Anna Khvolson
And beauty is a form of genius--is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it. You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile.... People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial. That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.... Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats. Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.... A new Hedonism--that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol. With your personality there is nothing you could not do. The world belongs to you for a season.... The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time. The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The Garden of Proserpine" Here, where the world is quiet; Here, where all trouble seems Dead winds' and spent waves' riot In doubtful dreams of dreams; I watch the green field growing For reaping folk and sowing, For harvest-time and mowing, A sleepy world of streams. I am tired of tears and laughter, And men that laugh and weep; Of what may come hereafter For men that sow to reap: I am weary of days and hours, Blown buds of barren flowers, Desires and dreams and powers And everything but sleep. Here life has death for neighbour, And far from eye or ear Wan waves and wet winds labour, Weak ships and spirits steer; They drive adrift, and whither They wot not who make thither; But no such winds blow hither, And no such things grow here. No growth of moor or coppice, No heather-flower or vine, But bloomless buds of poppies, Green grapes of Proserpine, Pale beds of blowing rushes Where no leaf blooms or blushes Save this whereout she crushes For dead men deadly wine. Pale, without name or number, In fruitless fields of corn, They bow themselves and slumber All night till light is born; And like a soul belated, In hell and heaven unmated, By cloud and mist abated Comes out of darkness morn. Though one were strong as seven, He too with death shall dwell, Nor wake with wings in heaven, Nor weep for pains in hell; Though one were fair as roses, His beauty clouds and closes; And well though love reposes, In the end it is not well. Pale, beyond porch and portal, Crowned with calm leaves, she stands Who gathers all things mortal With cold immortal hands; Her languid lips are sweeter Than love's who fears to greet her To men that mix and meet her From many times and lands. She waits for each and other, She waits for all men born; Forgets the earth her mother, The life of fruits and corn; And spring and seed and swallow Take wing for her and follow Where summer song rings hollow And flowers are put to scorn. There go the loves that wither, The old loves with wearier wings; And all dead years draw thither, And all disastrous things; Dead dreams of days forsaken, Blind buds that snows have shaken, Wild leaves that winds have taken, Red strays of ruined springs. We are not sure of sorrow, And joy was never sure; To-day will die to-morrow; Time stoops to no man's lure; And love, grown faint and fretful, With lips but half regretful Sighs, and with eyes forgetful Weeps that no loves endure. From too much love of living, From hope and fear set free, We thank with brief thanksgiving Whatever gods may be That no life lives for ever; That dead men rise up never; That even the weariest river Winds somewhere safe to sea. Then star nor sun shall waken, Nor any change of light: Nor sound of waters shaken, Nor any sound or sight: Nor wintry leaves nor vernal, Nor days nor things diurnal; Only the sleep eternal In an eternal night.
Algernon Charles Swinburne (Poems and Ballads & Atalanta in Calydon)
Jack Sanford looks back fondly on childhood visits to the old family farmhouse in New Hampshire. In particular, he’s never forgotten the old well that stood outside the front door. The water from the well was surprisingly pure and cold, and no matter how hot the summer or how severe the drought, the well was always dependable, a source of refreshment and joy. The faithful old well was a big part of his memories of summer vacations at the family farmhouse. Time passed and eventually the farmhouse was modernized. Wiring brought electric lights, and indoor plumbing brought hot and cold running water. The old well was no longer needed, so it was sealed shut. Years later while vacationing at the farmhouse, Sanford hankered for the cold, pure water of his youth. So he unsealed the well and lowered the bucket for a nostalgic taste of the delightful refreshment he once knew. But he was shocked to discover that the well that had once survived the worst droughts was bone dry. Perplexed, he began to ask questions of the locals who knew about these kinds of things. He learned that wells of that sort were fed by hundreds of tiny underground rivulets, which seep a steady flow of water. As long as water is drawn out of the well, new water will flow in through the rivulets, keeping them open for more to flow. But when the water stops flowing, the rivulets clog with mud and close up. The well dried up not because it was used too much but because it wasn’t used enough. Our souls are like that well. If we do not draw regularly and frequently on the living water that Jesus promised would well up in us like a spring,66 our hearts will close and dry up. The consequence of not drinking deeply of God is to eventually lose the ability to drink at all. Prayerlessness is its own worst punishment, both its disease and cause. David’s description of his prayer life is a picture of a man who knew the importance of frequent, regular prayer—disciplined prayer, each morning. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. He knew how important it was to keep the water flowing—that from the human side of prayer, the most important thing to do is just to keep showing up. Steady, disciplined routine may be the most underrated necessity of the prayerful life.
Ben Patterson (God's Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms)
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel “T hey shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us)” (Matthew 1:23 ESV). This is perhaps our oldest Christmas carol. Historians say its roots go back to the 8th century. In its earliest form, it was a “plain song” or a chant and the monks sang it a cappella. It was sung or chanted in Latin during the seven days leading up to Christmas. Translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851, we sing it to the tune “Veni, Emmanuel,” a 15th-century melody. Many churches sing it early in the Advent season because of its plaintive tone of expectant waiting. Traditionally Advent centers on the Old Testament preparation for the coming of the Messiah who will establish his kingdom on the earth. When the words form a prayer that Christ will come and “ransom captive Israel,” we ought to remember the long years of Babylonian captivity. Each verse of this carol features a different Old Testament name or title of the coming Messiah: “O come, O come, Emmanuel.” “O come, Thou Wisdom from on high.” “O come, Thou Rod of Jesse.” “O come, Thou Day-spring.” “O come, Thou Key of David.” “O come, Thou Lord of Might.” “O come, Desire of Nations.” This carol assumes a high level of biblical literacy. That fact might argue against singing it today because so many churchgoers don’t have any idea what “Day-spring” means or they think Jesse refers to a wrestler or maybe to a reality TV star. But that argument works both ways. We ought to sing this carol and we ought to use it as a teaching tool. Sing it—and explain it! We can see the Jewish roots of this carol in the refrain: Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel. But Israel’s Messiah is also our Savior and Lord. What Israel was waiting for turns out to be the long-expected Jesus. So this carol rightly belongs to us as well. The first verse suggests the longing of the Jewish people waiting for Messiah to come: O come, O come, Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appears The second verse pictures Christ redeeming us from hell and death: O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan’s tyranny From depths of Hell Thy people save And give them victory o’er the grave This verse reminds us only Christ can take us home to heaven: O come, Thou Key of David, come, And open wide our heavenly home; Make safe the way that leads on high, And close the path to misery. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel. Let’s listen as Selah captures the Jewish flavor of this carol. Lord, we pray today for all those lost in the darkness of sin. We pray for those who feel there is no hope. May the light of Jesus shine in their hearts today. Amen.
Ray Pritchard (Joy to the World! An Advent Devotional Journey through the Songs of Christmas)
Let us go and sit in the shade," said Lord Henry. "Parker has brought out the drinks, and if you stay any longer in this glare, you will be quite spoiled, and Basil will never paint you again. You really must not allow yourself to become sunburnt. It would be unbecoming." "What can it matter?" cried Dorian Gray, laughing, as he sat down on the seat at the end of the garden. "It should matter everything to you, Mr. Gray." "Why?" "Because you have the most marvellous youth, and youth is the one thing worth having." "I don't feel that, Lord Henry." "No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly. Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? ... You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius--is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it. You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile.... People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial. That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.... Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats. Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.... A new Hedonism--that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol. With your personality there is nothing you could not do. The world belongs to you for a season.... The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time. The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)