Tread Down Quotes

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I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Rorschach's Journal: October 12th, 1985 Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"... and I'll look down and whisper "No.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro Kept treading – treading – till it seemed That Sense was breaking through – And when they all were seated, A Service, like a Drum – Kept beating – beating – till I thought My Mind was going numb – And then I heard them lift a Box And creak across my Soul With those same Boots of Lead, again, Then Space – began to toll, As all the Heavens were a Bell, And Being, but an Ear, And I, and Silence, some strange Race Wrecked, solitary, here – And then a Plank in Reason, broke, And I dropped down, and down – And hit a World, at every plunge, And Finished knowing – then –
Emily Dickinson (The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson)
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
Though no one notices at the time, in-loveness obliterates the humanity of the beloved. One does a curious kind of insult to another by falling in love with him, for we are really looking at our own projection of God, not at the other person. If two people are in love, they tread on star dust for a time and live happily ever after—that is so long as this experience of divinity has obliterated time for them. Only when they come down to earth do they have to look at each other realistically and only then does the possibility of mature love exist. If one person is in love and the other not, the cooler one is likely to say, "We would have something better between us if you would look at me rather than at your image of me.
Robert A. Johnson (Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche)
Bastions of wealth are no deference for the man who treads the grand altar of Justice down and out of sight.
Aeschylus (Agamemnon (Oresteia, #1))
My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as "quothe." Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I've had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it's spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree. "The Flame" is obvious if you've ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it's unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire. "The Thunder" I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age. I've never thought of "The Broken Tree" as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic. My first mentor called me E'lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them. But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant "to know." I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Let's walk down the road that has no end Steal away where only angels tread Heaven or hell or somewhere in between Cross your heart to take me when you leave Don't go Please don't go Don't go without me
The Civil Wars
They travelled for thirteen hours down-hill, whilst the streams broadened and the mountains shrank, and the vegetation changed, and the people ceased being ugly and drinking beer, and began instead to drink wine and to be beautiful.
E.M. Forster (Where Angels Fear to Tread)
I just wish there was a middle, you know. Because that's where people live. It doesn't have to be all or nothing...sink or swim like that. Most people just tread water, and that's enough. Because when you're sinking, you're pulling us down with you.
Chris Whitaker (We Begin at the End)
Notions and scruples were like spilt needles, making one afraid of treading, or sitting down, or even eating.
George Eliot (Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life)
I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them. But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant "to know." I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
I was treading water, trying neither to drown nor to swim to safety, just staying in place, because here was the truth - even if I couldn't speak the truth, or even hint at it, yet I could swear it lay around us, the way we say of a necklace we've just lost while swimming: I know it's down there somewhere. If he knew, if he only knew that I was giving him every chance to put two and two together and come up with a number bigger than infinity.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
As I walked out one harvest night About the stroke of One, The Moon attained to her full height Stood beaming like the Sun. She exorcised the ghostly wheat To mute assent in Love's defeat Whose tryst had now begun. The fields lay sick beneath my tread, A tedious owlet cried; The nightingale above my head With this or that replied, Like man and wife who nightly keep Inconsequent debate in sleep As they dream side by side. Your phantom wore the moon's cold mask, My phantom wore the same, Forgetful of the feverish task In hope of which they came, Each image held the other's eyes And watched a grey distraction rise To cloud the eager flame. To cloud the eager flame of love, To fog the shining gate: They held the tyrannous queen above Sole mover of their fate, They glared as marble statues glare Across the tessellated stair Or down the Halls of State. And now cold earth was Arctic sea, Each breath came dagger keen, Two bergs of glinting ice were we, The broad moon sailed between; There swam the mermaids, tailed and finned, And Love went by upon the wind As though it had not been. - Full Moon
Robert Graves (Poems Selected by Himself)
The lovers were just entering the grounds of the pension. They were leaning toward each other as the water oaks bent from the sea. There was not a particle of earth beneath their feet. Their heads might have been turned upside down, so absolutely did they tread upon blue ether.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!     No hungry generations tread thee down;   The voice I hear this passing night was heard     In ancient days by emperor and clown:   Perhaps the self-same song that found a path      Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,       She stood in tears amid the alien corn;             The same that ofttimes hath     Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam       Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
John Keats
At Bealltainn, or May Day, every effort was made to scare away the fairies, who were particularly dreaded at this season. In the West Highlands charms were used to avert their influence. In the Isle of Man the gorse was set alight to keep them at a distance. In some parts of Ireland the house was sprinkled with holy water to ward off fairy influence. These are only a mere handful out of the large number of references available, but they seem to me to reveal an effort to avoid the attentions of discredited deities on occasions of festival once sacred to them. The gods duly return at the appointed season, but instead of being received with adoration, they are rebuffed by the descendants of their former worshippers, who have embraced a faith which regards them as demons. In like manner the fairies in Ireland were chased away from the midsummer bonfires by casting fire at them. At the first approach of summer, the fairy folk of Scotland were wont to hold a "Rade," or ceremonial ride on horseback, when they were liable to tread down the growing grain.
Lewis Spence (British Fairy Origins)
It is out of the question for our people to rise by treading down any of their own number.
Theodore Roosevelt
He nearly tripped and fell down the last few steps, his legs not used to an end to the descent, a flat piece of ground rather than one more tread to sink to.
Hugh Howey
...a bard's down-to-earth love: My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red and when she walks, treads on the ground...
John Geddes (A Familiar Rain)
Chip the glasses and crack the plates!     Blunt the knives and bend the forks! That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates–     Smash the bottles and burn the corks! Cut the cloth and tread on the fat!     Pour the milk on the pantry floor! Leave the bones on the bedroom mat!     Splash the wine on every door! Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl;     Pound them up with a thumping pole; And when you’ve finished, if any are whole,     Send them down the hall to roll! That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates! So, carefully! carefully with the plates!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
And then I walked out, straight through the twilight, treading the beaten earth. There were no dust clouds, no signs of anyone, but I paid no mind. I was my own lucky hand of solitaire. The desert landscape unchanging: a long, unwinding scroll that I would one day amuse myself by filling. I'm going to remember everything and then I'm going to write it all down. An aria to a coat. A requiem for a café. That's what I was thinking, in my dream, looking down at my hands.
Patti Smith (M Train)
Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling From glen to glen, and down the mountain side The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying 'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide. But come ye back when summer's in the meadow Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow 'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so. And if you come, when all the flowers are dying And I am dead, as dead I well may be You'll come and find the place where I am lying And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me. And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me. I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
Frederic Edward Weatherly
You can tell a lot about a person from seeing them in the water. Some people freak out and spaz their way around like giant insects, others slide in like seals, turn over, dive down, effortlessly. Some people kind of tread water with big goofy smiles, others look slightly broken-armed and broken-legged or as if they are in some kind of serious pain.
Lidia Yuknavitch (The Chronology of Water)
(Frances Ellen Watkins Harper) "In closing, Harper challenged the white women in the audience to stand by their black sisters, to look beyond their own white privilege. “You white women speak here of rights. I speak of wrongs,” she reminded them. “Talk of giving women the ballot-box? … While there exists this brutal element in society which tramples upon the feeble and treads down the weak, I tell you that if there is any class of people who need to be lifted out of their airy nothings and selfishness, it is the white women of America.
Kate Clifford Larson (Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero)
The Hill Breathless, we flung us on the windy hill, Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass. You said, "Through glory and ecstasy we pass; Wind, sun, and earth remain, the birds sing still, When we are old, are old..." "And when we die All's over that is ours; and life burns on Through other lovers, other lips," said I, —"Heart of my heart, our heaven is now, is won!" "We are Earth's best, that learnt her lesson here. Life is our cry. We have kept the faith!" we said; "We shall go down with unreluctant tread Rose-crowned into the darkness!"... Proud we were, And laughed, that had such brave true things to say. —And then you suddenly cried, and turned away.
Rupert Brooke (The Complete Poems)
We caught the tread of dancing feet, We loitered down the moonlit street, And stopped beneath the harlot's house. Inside, above the din and fray, We heard the loud musicians play The 'Treues Liebes Herz' of Strauss. Like strange mechanical grotesques, Making fantastic arabesques, The shadows raced across the blind. We watched the ghostly dancers spin To sound of horn and violin, Like black leaves wheeling in the wind. Like wire-pulled automatons, Slim silhouetted skeletons Went sidling through the slow quadrille, Then took each other by the hand, And danced a stately saraband; Their laughter echoed thin and shrill. Sometimes a clockwork puppet pressed A phantom lover to her breast, Sometimes they seemed to try to sing. Sometimes a horrible marionette Came out, and smoked its cigarette Upon the steps like a live thing. Then, turning to my love, I said, 'The dead are dancing with the dead, The dust is whirling with the dust.' But she--she heard the violin, And left my side, and entered in: Love passed into the house of lust. Then suddenly the tune went false, The dancers wearied of the waltz, The shadows ceased to wheel and whirl. And down the long and silent street, The dawn, with silver-sandalled feet, Crept like a frightened girl.
Oscar Wilde
When you got right down to the place where the cheese binds, there was no such thing as marriage, no such thing as union - each soul stood alone and ultimately defied rationality. That was the mystery. And no matter how well you thought you knew your partner, you occasionally ran into blank walls or fell into pits. And sometimes (rarely, thank God) you ran into a full fledged pocket of alien strangeness, something like the clear-air turbulence that can buffet an air-liner for no reason at all. An attitude or belief which you had never suspected, one so peculiar (at least to you) that it seemed nearly psychotic. And then you tread lightly, if you valued your marriage and your peace of mind; you tried to remember that anger at such discovery was the province of fools who really believed it was possible for one mind to really know another.
Stephen King (Pet Sematary)
You are the king no doubt, but in one respect, at least, I am your equal: the right to reply. I claim that privilege too. I am not your slave. I serve Apollo. I don't need Creon to speak for me in public. So, you mock my blindness? Let me tell you this. You with your precious eyes, you're blind to the corruption in your life, to the house you live in, those you live with- who are your parents? Do you know? All unknowing you are the scourge of your own flesh and blood, the dead below the earth and the living here above, and the double lash of your mother and your father's curse will whip you from this land one day, their footfall treading you down in terror, darkness shrouding your eyes that now can see the light! Soon, soon, you'll scream aloud - what haven won't reverberate? What rock of Cithaeron won't scream back in echo? That day you learn the truth about your marriage, the wedding-march that sang you into your halls, the lusty voyage home to the fatal harbor! And a crowd of other horrors you'd never dream will level you with yourself and all your children. There. Now smear us with insults - Creon, myself and every word I've said. No man will ever be rooted from the earth as brutally as you.
Robert Fagles (The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone)
The practice of that which is ethically best—what we call goodness or virtue—involves a course of conduct which, in all respects, is opposed to that which leads to success in the cosmic struggle for existence. In place of ruthless self-assertion it demands self-restraint; in place of thrusting aside, or treading down, all competitors, it requires that the individual shall not merely respect, but shall help his fellows... It repudiates the gladiatorial theory of existence... Laws and moral precepts are directed to the end of curbing the cosmic process.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Evolution and Ethics: And Other Essays)
At first, the woman thought she had snagged her leg on a rock or a piece of floating wood. There was no initial pain, only one violent tug on her right leg. She reached down to touch her foot, treading water with her left leg to keep her head up, feeling in the blackness with her left hand. She could not find her foot. She reached higher on her leg, and then she was overcome by a rush of nausea and dizziness. Her groping fingers had found a nub of bone and tattered flesh. She knew that the warm, pulsing flow over her fingers in the chill water was her own blood.
Peter Benchley (Jaws)
Well I want something to do, to create, to achieve, to whatever.... Something I can’t get enough of. You know something that I can't wait to get up in the morning to do something I can't get enough of, something that brings me joy and makes my heart sing. It could be anything, could be more than one thing but something that grabs me. Even a job, if it grabs me so that I could hardly wait to get there. Something that makes me feel good, allows me to be me, gives me freedom to grow and expand, something that grasps my heart, my joy, my excitement and leads me down the path to more joyful things, exciting challenges and challenging things. Barely stopping to take a breath I continued. Need a new journey a new destination, I want to grow to be or become, tread a new path, see what I haven't seen be what I haven't been ask what I haven't asked dare to what I haven't dared to . . . I don't even think it is so much a physical thing or mental it's just sort of un-learning some of what I learned It’s being happy, while I am happy but I want something to do that creates even more. (..) Doing it for the joy of doing it not for any other reason; also I want it from and un-edited creativity free flowing something… I have some things that seem very interesting and somehow just don’t feel right almost like I’m taking the wrong path and yet there are other things that I could be doing like writing but it seems that it does not feel good to sit and write but yet some part of me seems to love it and something in me hates it sort of like it could be the thing for me to do and yet it might not be.
Klaus J. Joehle (A Weekend With 'a' Drunken Leprechaun: "Finding Your Joy")
To Juan at the Winter Solstice There is one story and one story only That will prove worth your telling, Whether as learned bard or gifted child; To it all lines or lesser gauds belong That startle with their shining Such common stories as they stray into. Is it of trees you tell, their months and virtues, Or strange beasts that beset you, Of birds that croak at you the Triple will? Or of the Zodiac and how slow it turns Below the Boreal Crown, Prison to all true kings that ever reigned? Water to water, ark again to ark, From woman back to woman: So each new victim treads unfalteringly The never altered circuit of his fate, Bringing twelve peers as witness Both to his starry rise and starry fall. Or is it of the Virgin's silver beauty, All fish below the thighs? She in her left hand bears a leafy quince; When, with her right hand she crooks a finger, smiling, How many the King hold back? Royally then he barters life for love. Or of the undying snake from chaos hatched, Whose coils contain the ocean, Into whose chops with naked sword he springs, Then in black water, tangled by the reeds, Battles three days and nights, To be spewed up beside her scalloped shore? Much snow if falling, winds roar hollowly, The owl hoots from the elder, Fear in your heart cries to the loving-cup: Sorrow to sorrow as the sparks fly upward. The log groans and confesses: There is one story and one story only. Dwell on her graciousness, dwell on her smiling, Do not forget what flowers The great boar trampled down in ivy time. Her brow was creamy as the crested wave, Her sea-blue eyes were wild But nothing promised that is not performed.
Robert Graves
Oh, how can I put into words the joys of a walk over country such as this; the scenes that delight the eyes, the blessed peace of mind, the sheer exuberance which fills your soul as you tread the firm turf? This is something to be lived, not read about. On these breezy heights, a transformation is wondrously wrought within you. Your thoughts are simple, in tune with your surroundings; the complicated problems you brought with you from the town are smoothed away. Up here, you are near to your Creator; you are conscious of the infinite; you gain new perspectives; thoughts run in new strange channels; there are stirrings in your soul which are quite beyond the power of my pen to describe. Something happens to you in the silent places which never could in the towns, and it is a good thing to sit awhile in a quiet spot and meditate. The hills have a power to soothe and heal which is their very own. No man ever sat alone on the top of a hill and planned a murder or a robbery, and no man ever came down from the hills without feeling in some way refreshed, and the better for his experience.
Alfred Wainwright
Oh, when we are journeying through the murky night and the dark woods of affliction and sorrow, it is something to find here and there a spray broken, or a leafy stem bent down with the tread of His foot and the brush of His hand as He passed; and to remember that the path He trod He has hallowed, and thus to find lingering fragrance and hidden strength in the remembrance of Him as " in all points tempted like as we are," bearing grief for us, bearing grief with us, bearing grief like us.
Alexander MacLaren
The winter sunset, flaming beyond spires And chimneys half-detached from this dull sphere, Opens great gates to some forgotten year Of elder splendours and divine desires. Expectant wonders burn in those rich fires, Adventure-fraught, and not untinged with fear; A row of sphinxes where the way leads clear Toward walls and turrets quivering to far lyres. It is the land where beauty's meaning flowers, Where every unplaced memory has a source, Where the great river Time begins its course Down the vast void in starlit streams of hours. Dreams bring us close - but ancient lore repeats That human tread has never soiled these streets.
H.P. Lovecraft
It had been my father's way to remove obstructions, to repair washouts in old trails, to leave each trail better than he had found it. "Tread lightly on the paths," he had told me. "Others will come when you have gone." That was how I would remember my father. There was never a place he walked that was not the better for his having passed. For every tree he cut down he planted two.
Louis L'Amour
I can't stop the bitter laugh. The journey this morning was simple, but the years preceding it have been a tangle of hurt and pain. We have been on the sort of dark, dirty road that no one should have to tread to get to this run-down place of dwindling hope
Anna Stuart (The Midwife of Auschwitz (Women of War #1))
You tread upon my patience: but be sure I will from henceforth rather be myself, Mighty and to be fear'd, than my condition, Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down, And therefore lost that title of respect Which the proud soul ne'er pays but to the proud.
William Shakespeare (King Henry IV, Part 1)
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
I was treading water, trying neither to drown nor to swim to safety, just staying in place, because here was the truth—even if I couldn't speak the truth, or even hint at it, yet I could swear it lay around us, the way we say of a necklace we've just lost while swimming: I know it’s down there somewhere.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
torn out with pincers, and his body burned alive, because he had not kneeled down in the rain to do honour to a dirty procession of monks which passed within his view, at a distance of some fifty or sixty yards. It is likely enough that, rooted in the woods of France and Norway, there were growing trees, when that sufferer was put to death, already marked by the Woodman, Fate, to come down and be sawn into boards, to make a certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in it, terrible in history. It is likely enough that in the rough outhouses of some tillers of the heavy lands adjacent to Paris, there were sheltered from the weather that very day, rude carts, bespattered with rustic mire, snuffed about by pigs, and roosted in by poultry, which the Farmer, Death, had already set apart to be his tumbrils of the Revolution. But that Woodman and that Farmer, though they work unceasingly, work silently, and no one heard them as they went about with muffled tread: the rather, forasmuch as to entertain any suspicion that they were awake, was to be atheistical and traitorous.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities (Bantam Classics))
All unknowing you are the scourge of your own flesh and blood, the dead below the earth and the living here above, and the double lash of your mother and your father’s curse will whip you from this land one day, their footfall treading you down in terror, darkness shrouding your eyes that now can see the light!
Sophocles (The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus)
Suddenly she felt guilty for not working harder to forgive him and repair the damage, but he hadn’t either. They had been two lost people, treading water for seven years, after the ship went down. Excerpt From: Steel, Danielle. Country. Delacorte Press, 2015-06-16. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.
Danielle Steel
Hence it became evident that if a man would make his world large, he must be always making himself small. Even the haughty visions, the tall cities, and the toppling pinnacles are the creations of humility. Giants that tread down forests like grass are the creations of humility. Towers that vanish upwards above the loneliest star are the creations of humility. For towers are not tall unless we look up at them; and giants are not giants unless they are larger than we. All this gigantesque imagination, which is, perhaps, the mightiest of the pleasures of man, is at bottom entirely humble. It is impossible without humility to enjoy anything—even pride.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Inversnaid This darksome burn, horseback brown, His rollrock highroad roaring down, In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam Flutes and low to the lake falls home. A windpuff-bonnet of fáwn-fróth Turns and twindles over the broth Of a pool so pitchblack, féll-frówning, It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning. Degged with dew, dappled with dew Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through, Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern, And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn. What would the world be, once bereft Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet; Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
He'd stepped on something. He took a step back and knelt and parted the grass with his hands. It was an apple. He picked it up and held it to the light. Hard and brown and shriveled. He wiped it with the cloth and bit into it. Dry and almost tasteless. But an apple. He ate it entire, seeds and all. He held the stem between his thumb and forefinger and let it drop. Then he went treading softly through the grass. His feet still wrapped in the remnants of the coat and the shreds of tarp and he sat and untied them and stuffed the wrappings in his pocket and went down the rows barefoot. By the time he got to the bottom of the orchard he had four more apples and he put them in his pocket and came back.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
You mortal men know nothing of, whose name   We loathe to utter. You will need   To dig down deep, so deep, to come on them.   Who got us into this fix? You’re to blame.   FAUST. The way, the way!   MEPHISTO.                     No way! Tread, you must tread 6410 The way not trodden, never treadable!   The way not found by asking, it’s unaskable!   Ready and willing, are you, Dr. Faustus?   No locks to open, bolts to slide, from emptiness   To emptiness you’ll fall, cold, shuddering.   Can you conceive such desolation, loneliness?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust: A Tragedy, Parts One and Two)
He heard her coming up the stairs and noticed the difference in her tread when she was carrying two glasses and when she had walked down bare-handed. He heard the rain on the windowpane and he smelled the beech logs burning in the fireplace. As she came into the room he put his hand out for the drink and closed his hand on it and felt her touch the glass with her own.
Ernest Hemingway (The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway)
Advice" I must do as you do? Your way I own Is a very good way, and still, There are sometimes two straight roads to a town, One over, one under the hill. You are treading the safe and the well-worn way, That the prudent choose each time; And you think me reckless and rash to-day Because I prefer to climb. Your path is the right one, and so is mine. We are not like peas in a pod, Compelled to lie in a certain line, Or else be scattered abroad. 'T were a dull old world, methinks, my friend, If we all just went one way; Yet our paths will meet no doubt at the end, Though they lead apart today. You like the shade, and I like the sun; You like an even pace, I like to mix with the crowd and run, And then rest after the race. I like danger, and storm, and strife, You like a peaceful time; I like the passion and surge of life, You like its gentle rhyme. You like buttercups, dewy sweet, And crocuses, framed in snow; I like roses, born of the heat, And the red carnation's glow. I must live my life, not yours, my friend, For so it was written down; We must follow our given paths to the end, But I trust we shall meet--in town.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Wonder of time,' quoth she, 'this is my spite, That, thou being dead, the day should yet be light. 'Since thou art dead, lo, here I prophesy: Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend: It shall be waited on with jealousy, Find sweet beginning, but unsavoury end, Ne'er settled equally, but high or low, That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe. 'It shall be fickle, false and full of fraud, Bud and be blasted in a breathing-while; The bottom poison, and the top o'erstraw'd With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile: The strongest body shall it make most weak, Strike the wise dumb and teach the fool to speak. 'It shall be sparing and too full of riot, Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures; The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet, Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures; It shall be raging-mad and silly-mild, Make the young old, the old become a child. 'It shall suspect where is no cause of fear; It shall not fear where it should most mistrust; It shall be merciful and too severe, And most deceiving when it seems most just; Perverse it shall be where it shows most toward, Put fear to valour, courage to the coward. 'It shall be cause of war and dire events, And set dissension 'twixt the son and sire; Subject and servile to all discontents, As dry combustious matter is to fire: Sith in his prime Death doth my love destroy, They that love best their loves shall not enjoy.
William Shakespeare (Venus and Adonis)
He pushed up the window and leaned out. An L train was rumbling past the end of the street. A whiff of coal smoke stung his nostrils. He hung out of the window a long while looking up and down the street. The world’s second metropolis. In the brick houses and the dingy lamplight and the voices of a group of boys kidding and quarreling on the steps of a house opposite, in the regular firm tread of a policeman, he felt a marching like soldiers, like a sidewheeler going up the Hudson under the Palisades, like an election parade, through long streets towards something tall white full of colonnades and stately. Metropolis.
John Dos Passos (Manhattan Transfer: A Novel)
I saw a fellow in a Don't Tread on Me T-shirt the other day. He was at LaGuardia and he was being trod all over, by the obergropinfuhrers of the TSA, who had decided to subject him to one of their enhanced pat-downs. There are few sights more dismal than that of a law-abiding citizen having his genitalia pawed by state commissars, but having them pawed while wearing a Don't Tread on Me T-shirt is certainly one of them.
Mark Steyn (The Undocumented Mark Steyn)
To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language; for his gayer hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence of beauty, and she glides Into his darker musings, with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;— Go forth, under the open sky, and list To Nature’s teachings, while from all around— Earth and her waters, and the depths of air— Comes a still voice— Yet a few days, and thee The all-beholding sun shall see no more In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground, Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again, And, lost each human trace, surrendering up Thine individual being, shalt thou go To mix for ever with the elements, To be a brother to the insensible rock And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. Yet not to thine eternal resting-place Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings, The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good, Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,—the vales Stretching in pensive quietness between; The venerable woods—rivers that move In majesty, and the complaining brooks That make the meadows green; and, poured round all, Old Ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,— Are but the solemn decorations all Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, Are shining on the sad abodes of death, Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread The globe are but a handful to the tribes That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness, Or lose thyself in the continuous woods Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound, Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there: And millions in those solitudes, since first The flight of years began, have laid them down In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone. So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw In silence from the living, and no friend Take note of thy departure? All that breathe Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care Plod on, and each one as before will chase His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave Their mirth and their employments, and shall come And make their bed with thee. As the long train Of ages glide away, the sons of men, The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes In the full strength of years, matron and maid, The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man— Shall one by one be gathered to thy side, By those, who in their turn shall follow them. So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan, which moves To that mysterious realm, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
William Cullen Bryant (Thanatopsis)
I am tormented, or tantalized, by the sense that I’m almost in view of something that is at the limit of my comprehension. I dream of being in the sea, treading water, trying to see a beacon on shore. But the view is blocked by the crests of the waves. Sometimes, when conditions are perfect, I can pop up high enough to glimpse it. But then, before I can form any firm impression of what it is I’m seeing, I sink back down of my own weight, and get slapped in the face by another wave.” “I feel that way all the time, when I am trying to understand something new,” I said. “Then, one day, all of a sudden—” “You just get it,” Orolo said.
Neal Stephenson (Anathem)
Where is the land of Luthany, Where is the tract of Elenore? I am bound therefore. 'Pierce thy heart to find the key; With thee take Only what none else would keep; Learn to dream when thou dost wake; Learn to wake when thou dost sleep. Learn to water joy with tears, Learn from fears to vanquish fears; To hope, for thou dar'st not despair; Exult, for that thou dar'st not grieve; Plough thou the rock until it bear; Know, for thou else couldst not believe; Lose, that the lost thou may'st receive; Die, for none other way canst live. 'When earth and heave lay down their veil, And that apocalypse turns thee pale; When thy seeing blindeth thee To what thy fellow-mortals see; When their sight to thee is sightless; Their living, death; their light, most lightless; Search no more-- Pass the gates of Luthany, Tread the region Elenore!' Where is the land of Luthany? And where the region Elenore? I do faint therefore. 'When to the new eyes of thee All things by immortal power, Near or far, Hiddenly To each other linked are, That thou canst not stir a flower Without troubling of a star; When thy song is shield and mirror To the fair snake curled pain, Where thou dar'st affront her terror That on her thou may'st attain Persean Conquest; seek no more, O seek no more! Pass the gates of Luthany, Tread the region Elenore!
Francis Thompson
Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale” Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days. Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals. Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices. Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you. Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart. Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope, where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all the things you did and could have done. Remember treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.
Dan Albergotti (The Boatloads)
TREADING ACROSS THE GROUND strewn with exquisite fragments of crimson, Xie Lian slowly approached Hua Cheng. He saw that the man’s shoulders had a few red blossoms scattered on them, and he wanted to brush them off for him, but he realized that gesture would be overly intimate. So he forced down the urge and tucked his arms behind his back, smiling. “Not only can you call forth blood rain, you can also make a flower shower. I didn’t know that. How fun!
Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù (Heaven Official's Blessing: Tian Guan Ci Fu (Novel) Vol. 5)
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)
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room.
Maya Angelou
Right now, you and I are crossing a deep, dark river. Every time that enormous weight presses down on us and the waters of the river rise over our throats and we want to give up and slip beneath the surface, remember: as heavy as the load we shoulder is the world that we tread upon. Earthbound beings unfortunately cannot break free of gravity. Life demands sacrifice and difficult decisions from us at every moment. Living does not mean passing through a void of nothingness but rather through a web of relationships among beings, each with their own weight and volume and texture. Insofar as everything is always changing, so our sense of hope shall never die out. Therefore, I leave you all with one final thought: Live. Until you are down to your final breath, love and fight and rage and grieve and live.
Shin Kyung-Sook (I'll Be Right There)
We're paying attention. All Creation is listening. Make your noise, but also remember to quiet down and distinguish the truth from illusion. Keep your chin up. You're not going back underground, but there are times you'll have to tread water. This is just another one of them. And you know how to swim. But the earth will remain. And we're not going anywhere. Remember as you walk the land your relatives prepared for you: Prepare the world as best you can for seven generations. Life is still a celebration. Trust me, Grandson. There's a reason we don't have a word for "good-bye.
Chip Livingston (Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times)
Wherever religion is resorted to, as a strong drink, and as an escape from the dull monotonous round of home, those of its ministers who pepper the highest will be the surest to please. They who strew the Eternal Path with the greatest amount of brimstone, and who most ruthlessly tread down the flowers and leaves that grow by the wayside, will be voted the most righteous; and they who enlarge with the greatest pertinacity on the difficulty of getting into heaven, will be considered by all true believers certain of going there: though it would be hard to say by what process of reasoning this conclusion is arrived at.
Charles Dickens (The Complete Works of Charles Dickens)
Avada Kedavra!” “Expelliarmus!” The bang was like a cannon blast, and the golden flames that erupted between them, at the dead center of the circle they had been treading, marked the point where the spells collided. Harry saw Voldemort’s green jet meet his own spell, saw the Elder Wand fly high, dark against the sunrise, spinning across the enchanted ceiling like the head of Nagini, spinning through the air toward the master it would not kill, who had come to take full possession of it at last. And Harry, with the unerring skill of the Seeker, caught the wand in his free hand as Voldemort fell backward, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upward. Tom Riddle hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snakelike face vacant and unknowing. Voldemort was dead, killed by his own rebounding curse, and Harry stood with two wands in his hand, staring down at his enemy’s shell.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Why then I do but dream on sovereignty, Like one that stands upon a promontory And spies a far-off shore where he would tread, Wishing his foot were equal with his eye, And chides the sea that sunders him from thence, Saying, he'll lade it dry to have his way: So do I wish the crown, being so far off, And so I chide the means that keeps me from it, And so, I say, I'll cut the causes off, Flattering me with impossibilities, My eye's too quick, my hear o'erweens too much, Unless my hand and strength could equal them. Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard; What other pleasure can the world afford? I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap, And deck my body in gay ornaments, And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks. O miserable thought! and more unlikely Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns! Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb; And for I should not deal in her soft laws, She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe, To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub, To make an envious mountain on my back, Where sits deformity to mock my body; To shape my legs of an unequal size, To disproportion me in every part, Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp That carries no impression like the dam. And am I then a man to be belov'd? O monstrous fault, to harbor such a thought! Then since this earth affords no joy to me But to command, to check, to o'erbear such As are of better person than myself, I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown, And whiles I live, t' account this world but hell, Until my misshap'd trunk that bears this head Be round impaled with a glorious crown. And yet I know not how to get the crown, For many lives stand between me and home; And I - like one lost in a thorny wood, That rents the thorns, and is rent with the thorns, Seeking a way, and straying from the way, Not knowing how to find the open air, But toiling desperately to find it out - Torment myself to catch the English crown; And from that torment I will free myself, Or hew my way out with a bloody axe. Why, I can smile, and murther whiles I smile, And cry "Content" to that which grieves my heart, And wet my cheeks with artificial tears, And frame my face to all occasions. I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall, I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk, I'll play the orator as well as Nestor, Deceive more slily than Ulysses could, And like a Simon, take another Troy. I can add colors to the chameleon, Change shapes with Proteus for advantages, And set the murtherous Machevil to school. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown? Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.
William Shakespeare (King Henry VI, Part 3)
The great fact all the while however had been the incalculability; since he had supposed himself, from decade to decade, to be allowing, and in the most liberal and intelligent manner, for brilliancy of change. He actually saw that he *had* allowed for nothing; he missed what he would have been sure of finding, he found what he would never have imagined. Proportions and values were upside-down; the ugly things he had expected, the ugly things of his far away youth, when he had too promptly waked up to a sense of the ugly--these uncanny phenomena placed him rather, as it happened, under the charm; whereas the 'swagger' things, the modern, the monstrous, the famous things, those he had more particularly, like thousands of ingenuous enquirers every year, come over to see, were exactly his sources of dismay. They were as so many set traps for displeasure, above all for reaction, of which his restless tread was constantly pressing the spring. It was interesting, doubtless, the whole show, but it would have been too disconcerting hadn't a certain finer truth saved the situation. He had distinctly not, in this steadier light, come over *all* for the monstrosities; he had come, not only in the last analysis but quite on the face of the act, under an impulse with which they had nothing to do. ("The Jolly Corner")
Henry James (Complete Stories 1892–1898)
With the smugness of an end man on parade, he bounced along on his sinewy legs, effortlessly marching to attention, floating with a lightness of step remarkably different from the heavy tread of the soldiers keeping time with him. Down by his thigh he carried, unsheathed, a thin little sword – it was a small curved sabre, for ceremonial use only – and he looked and turned sideways to the commander and back to the men behind, without straining his big powerful frame or getting out of step. He seemed to strive with every fibre of his soul to march past his commander with maximum style, and his strong sense of doing this well made him a happy man. ‘Left . . . left . . . left . . .’ he seemed to be mouthing to himself at each alternate step, and that was the rhythm to which the solid wall of military men, weighed down by packs and guns, advanced; each face was different in its stern concentration, and each one of these hundreds of soldiers seemed to mouth his own ‘Left . . . left . . . left . . .’ at each alternate step
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
France, less favoured on the whole as to matters spiritual than her sister of the shield and trident, rolled with exceeding smoothness down hill, making paper money and spending it. Under the guidance of her Christian pastors, she entertained herself, besides, with such humane achievements as sentencing a youth to have his hands cut off, his tongue torn out with pincers, and his body burned alive, because he had not kneeled down in the rain to do honour to a dirty procession of monks which passed within his view, at a distance of some fifty or sixty yards. It is likely enough that, rooted in the woods of France and Norway, there were growing trees, when that sufferer was put to death, already marked by the Woodman, Fate, to come down and be sawn into boards, to make a certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in it, terrible in history. It is likely enough that in the rough outhouses of some tillers of the heavy lands adjacent to Paris, there were sheltered from the weather that very day, rude carts, bespattered with rustic mire, snuffed about by pigs, and roosted in by poultry, which the Farmer, Death, had already set apart to be his tumbrils of the Revolution. But that Woodman and that Farmer, though they work unceasingly, work silently, and no one heard them as they went about with muffled tread: the rather, forasmuch as to entertain any suspicion that they were awake, was to be atheistical and traitorous.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise.
Maya Angelou (And Still I Rise)
Still I Rise You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
Ah, we've had so many masters, Swine or eagle, lean or fat one: Some were tiers, some hyenas, Still we fed this one and that one. Whether one is better than the other: Ah, one boot is always like another When it treads upon you. What I say about them Is we need no other masters: we can do without them! Yes, the wheel is always turning madly, Neither side stays up or down, But the water underneath fares badly For it has to make the wheel go round. (Ach, wir hatten viele Herren Hatten Tiger und Hyänen Hatten Adler, hatten Schweine Doch wir nährten den und jenen. Ob sie besser waren oder schlimmer: Ach, der Stiefel glich dem Stiefel immer Und uns trat er. Ihr versteht, ich meine Dass wir keine andern Herren brauchen, sondern keine! Freilich dreht das Rad sich immer weiter Dass, was oben ist, nicht oben bleibt. Aber für das Wasser unten heisst das leider Nur dass es das Rad halt ewig treibt.)
Bertolt Brecht (Selected Poems)
Bearded Oaks" The oaks, how subtle and marine, Bearded, and all the layered light Above them swims; and thus the scene, Recessed, awaits the positive night. So, waiting, we in the grass now lie Beneath the languorous tread of light: The grassed, kelp-like, satisfy The nameless motions of the air. Upon the floor of light, and time, Unmurmuring, of polyp made, We rest; we are, as light withdraws, Twin atolls on a shelf of shade. Ages to our construction went, Dim architecture, hour by hour: And violence, forgot now, lent The present stillness all its power. The storm of noon above us rolled, Of light the fury, furious gold, The long drag troubling us, the depth: Dark is unrocking, unrippling, still. Passion and slaughter, ruth, decay descend, minutely whispering down, Silted down swaying streams, to lay Foundation for our voicelessness. All our debate is voiceless here, As all our rage, the rage of stone; If hope is hopeless, then fearless is fear, And history is thus undone. Our feet once wrought the hollow street With echo when the lamps were dead All windows, once our headlight glare Disturbed the doe that, leaping fled. I do not love you less that now The caged heart makes iron stroke, Or less that all that light once gave The graduate dark should now revoke. We live in time so little time And we learn all so painfully, That we may spare this hour's term To practice for eternity.
Robert Penn Warren (The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren)
ODE TO A HAGGIS Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great Chieftan o’ the Puddin-race! Aboon them a’ ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy of a grace As lang’s my arm The groaning trencher there ye fill, Your hurdies like a distant hill, You pin wad help to mend a mill In time o’need While thro’ your pores the dews distil Like amber bead His knife see Rustic-labour dight, An’ cut you up wi’ ready slight, Trenching your gushing entrails bright Like onie ditch; And then, O what a glorious sight, Warm-reeking, rich! Then, horn for horn they stretch an’ strive, Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive, Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve Are bent like drums; Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive Bethankit hums Is there that owre his French ragout, Or olio that wad staw a sow, Or fricassee wad mak her spew Wi’ perfect sconner, Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view On sic a dinner? Poor devil! see him owre his trash, As feckless as a wither’d rash His spindle-shank a guid whip-lash, His nieve a nit; Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash, O how unfit! But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, The trembling earth resounds his tread, Clap in his walie nieve a blade, He’ll mak it whissle; An’ legs, an’ arms an’ heads will sned, Like taps o’ thrissle Ye pow’rs wha mak mankind your care, An’ dish them out their bill o’fare, Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware That jaups in luggies; But, if ye wish her gratefu’ pray’r, Gie her a Haggis!
Robert Burns
That was the night he got up and went to the boys' division; perhaps he was looking for his history in the big room where all the boys slept, but what he found instead was Dr. Larch kissing every boy a late good night. Homer imagined then that Dr. Larch had kissed him like that, when he'd been small; Homer could not have imagined how those kisses, even now, were still kisses meant for him. They were kisses seeking Homer Wells. That was the same night that he saw the lynx on the barren, unplanted hillside—glazed with snow that had thawed and then refrozen into a thick crust. Homer had stepped outside for just a minute; after witnessing the kisses, he desired the bracing air. It was a Canada lynx—a dark, gunmetal gray against the lighter gray of the moonlit snow, its wildcat stench so strong Homer gagged to srnell the thing. Its wildcat sense was keen enough to keep it treading within a single leap's distance of the safety of the woods. The lynx was crossing the brow of the hill when it began to slide; its claws couldn't grip the crust of the snow, and the hill had suddenly grown steeper. The cat moved from the dull moonlight into the sharper light from Nurse Angela's office window; it could not help its sideways descent. It traveled closer to the orphanage than it would ever have chosen to come, its ferocious death smell clashing with the freezing cold. The lynx's helplessness on the ice had rendered its expression both terrified; and resigned; both madness and fatalism were caught in the cat's fierce, yellow eyes and in its involuntary, spitting cough as it slid on, actually bumping against the hospital before its claws could find a purchase on the crusted snow. It spit its rage at Homer Wells, as if Homer had caused its unwilling descent. Its breath had frozen on its chin whiskers and its tufted ears were beaded with ice. The panicked animal tried to dash up the hill; it was less than halfway up when it began to slide down again, drawn toward the orphanage against its will. When it set out from the bottom of the hill a second time, the lynx was panting; it ran diagonally uphill, slipping but catching itself, and slipping again, finally escaping into the softer snow in the woods— nowhere near where it had meant to go; yet the lynx would accept any route of escape from the dark hospital. Homer Wells, staring into the woods after the departed lynx, did not imagine that he would ever leave St. Cloud's more easily.
John Irving (The Cider House Rules)
Opportunity (from Machiavelli) "But who art thou, with curious beauty graced, O woman, stamped with some bright heavenly seal Why go thy feet on wings, and in such haste?" "I am that maid whose secret few may steal, Called Opportunity. I hasten by Because my feet are treading on a wheel, Being more swift to run than birds to fly. And rightly on my feet my wings I wear, To blind the sight of those who track and spy; Rightly in front I hold my scattered hair To veil my face, and down my breast to fall, Lest men should know my name when I am there; And leave behind my back no wisp at all For eager folk to clutch, what time I glide So near, and turn, and pass beyond recall." "Tell me; who is that Figure at thy side?" "Penitence. Mark this well that by decree Who lets me go must keep her for his bride. And thou hast spent much time in talk with me Busied with thoughts and fancies vainly grand, Nor hast remarked, O fool, neither dost see How lightly I have fled beneath thy hand.
James Elroy Flecker (Forty-Two Poems)
During this psychological phase one observed that people with natures of a more primitive kind could not escape the influences of the brutality which had surrounded them in camp life. Now, being free, they thought they could use their freedom "licentiously and ruthlessly. The only thing that had changed for them was that they were now the oppressors instead of the oppressed. They became instigators, not objects, of willful force and injustice. They justified their behavior by their own terrible experiences. This was often revealed in apparently insignficant events. A friend was walking across a field with me toward the camp when suddenly we came to a field of green crops. Automatically, I avoided it. but he drew his arm through mine and dragged me through it. I stammered something about not treading down the young crops. He became annoyed, gave me an angry look and shouted, "You don't say! And hasn't enough been taken from us? My wife and child have been gassed - not to mention everything else - and you would forbid me to tread on a few stalks of oats!
Viktor E. Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning)
The poor cannot always reach those whom they want to love, and they can hardly ever escape from those whom they love no longer. We rich can. Imagine the tragedy last June, if Helen and Paul Wilcox had been poor people, and couldn't invoke railways and motor-cars to part them." "That's more like Socialism," said Mrs. Munt suspiciously. "Call it what you like. I call it going through life with one's hand spread open on the table. I'm tired of these rich people who pretend to be poor, and think it shows a nice mind to ignore the piles of money that keep their feet above the waves. I stand each year upon six hundred pounds, and Helen upon the same, and Tibby will stand upon eight, and as fast as our pounds crumble away into the sea they are renewed--from the sea, yes, from the sea. And all our thoughts are the thoughts of six-hundred-pounders, and all our speeches; and because we don't want to steal umbrellas ourselves, we forget that below the sea people do want to steal them and do steal them sometimes, and that what's a joke up here is down there reality.
E.M. Forster (Howards End, The Longest Journey, A Room with a View, Where Angels Fear to Tread and The Machine Stops)
we can picture history, not in terms of chains, but rather in terms of cascading waves unfolding in time, producing new information, new options-"miracles," if you wish. This new information, whether it be a novel arrangement in the 1)NA molecule to produce a new species or a novel arrangement of language to produce a new idea, is what ultimately rules. Meat and hones, cathedrals, species, the tread of mighty armies, all are subsumed in rhythm, and a rearrangement of vocal sounds or pen scratches on paper can bring an empire down.
George Leonard (The Silent Pulse: A Search for the Perfect Rhythm that Exists in Each of Us)
To have a goddess like you in his arms and not appreciate it…” He kissed her, unable to resist the lush, succulent mouth so close to his. He put everything he felt into it, so he could wipe out any hurt the Neds of the world had given her. When he broke away, realizing he was treading dangerous ground, she said hoarsely, “You weren’t always so…appreciative. When I said that men enjoyed my company, you said you found that hard to believe.” “What?” he retorted with a scowl. “I never said any such thing.” “Yes, you did, the day that I asked you to investigate my suitors. I remember it clearly.” “There’s no way in hell I ever…” The conversation came back to him suddenly, and he shook his head. “You’re remembering only part, sweeting. You said that men enjoyed your company and considered you easy to talk to. It was the last part I found hard to believe.” “Oh.” She eyed him askance. “Why? You never seem to have trouble talking to me. Or rather, lecturing me.” “It’s either lecture you or stop up your mouth with kisses,” he said dryly. “Talking to you isn’t easy, because every time I’m near you I burn to carry you off to some secluded spot and do any number of wicked things with you.” She blinked, then gazed at him with such softness that at made his chest hurt. “Then why don’t you?” “Because you’re a marquess’s daughter and my employer’s sister.” “What does that signify? You’re an assistant magistrate and a famous Bow Street Runner-“ “And the bastard of nobody knows whom.” “Which merely makes you a fitting companion for a hellion with a reputation for recklessness.” The word companion resonated in his brain. What did she mean by it? Then she pressed a kiss to his jaw, eroding his resistance and his reason, and he knew precisely what she meant. He tried to set her off of him before he lost his mind entirely, but she looped her arms about his neck and wouldn’t let go. “Show me.” “Show you what?” “All the wicked things you want to do with me.” Desire bolted in a fever through his vein. “My God, Celia-“ “I won’t believe a word you’ve said if you don’t.” Her gaze grew troubled. “I don’t think you know what you want. Yesterday you gave me such lovely kisses and caresses and then at the ball you acted like you’d never met me.” “You were with your suitors,” he said hoarsely. “You could have danced with me. You didn’t even ask me for one dance.” Having her on his lap was rousing him to a painful hardness. “Because I knew if I did, I would want…I would need…” She kissed a path down his throat, turning his blood to fire. “Show me,” she whispered, “Show me now what you want. What you need.” “I refuse to ruin you,” he said, half as a caution to himself. “You already have.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
But imagine the evenings," exclaimed her aunt, pointing to the Mansions with the spout of the watering can. "Turn the electric light on here or there, and it's almost the same room. One evening they may forget to draw their blinds down, and you'll see them; and the next, you yours, and they'll see you. Impossible to sit out on the balconies. Impossible to water the plants, or even speak. Imagine going out of the front-door, and they come out opposite at the same moment. And yet you tell me that plans are unnecessary, and you'd rather risk it." "I hope to risk things all my life.
E.M. Forster (Howards End, The Longest Journey, A Room with a View, Where Angels Fear to Tread and The Machine Stops)
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro Kept treading - treading - till it seemed That Sense was breaking through - And when they all were seated, A Service, like a Drum - Kept beating - beating - till I thought My mind was going numb - And then I heard them lift a Box And creak across my Soul With those same Boots of Lead, again, Then Space - began to toll, As all the Heavens were a Bell, And Being, but an Ear, And I, and Silence, some strange Race, Wrecked, solitary, here - And then a Plank in Reason, broke, And I dropped down, and down - And hit a World, at every plunge, And Finished knowing - then -
Emily Dickinson (The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson)
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine happiness,— That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease. O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stained mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim: Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs, Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs, Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow. Away! away! for I will fly to thee, Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy, Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night, And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays; But here there is no light, Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet Wherewith the seasonable month endows The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild; White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves; And mid-May's eldest child, The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves. Darkling I listen; and, for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme, To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die, To cease upon the midnight with no pain, While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that oft-times hath Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. Forlorn! the very word is like a bell To toll me back from thee to my sole self! Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf. Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades Past the near meadows, over the still stream, Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep In the next valley-glades: Was it a vision, or a waking dream? Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep? - Ode to a Nightingale
John Keats (The Complete Poems)
The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna" Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note, As his corse to the rampart we hurried; Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot O’er the grave where our hero we buried. We buried him darkly at dead of night, The sods with our bayonets turning; By the struggling moonbeam’s misty light And the lantern dimly burning. No useless coffin enclosed his breast, Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him, But he lay like a warrior taking his rest With his martial cloak around him. Few and short were the prayers we said, And we spoke not a word of sorrow; But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead, And we bitterly thought of the morrow. We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed And smoothed down his lonely pillow, That the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head, And we far away on the billow! Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him, But little he’ll reck, if they let him sleep on In the grave where a Briton has laid him. But half of our heavy task was done When the clock struck the hour for retiring; And we heard the distant and random gun That the foe was sullenly firing. Slowly and sadly we laid him down, From the field of his fame fresh and gory; We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone, But left him alone with his glory.
Charles Wolfe (The Burial of Sir John Moore and Other Poems)
They were still quite near the ship; she saw its green side towering high above them, and people looking at her from the deck. Then, as one might have expected, Eustace clutched at her in a panic and down they both went. When they came up again she saw a white figure diving off the ship’s side. Edmund was close beside her now, treading water, and had caught the arms of the howling Eustace. Then someone else, whose face was vaguely familiar, slipped an arm under her from the other side. There was a lot of shouting going on from the ship, heads crowding together above the bulwarks, ropes being thrown. Edmund and the stranger were fastening ropes round her. After that followed what seemed a very long delay during which her face got blue and her teeth began chattering. In reality the delay was not very long; they were waiting till the moment when she could be got on board the ship without being dashed against its side. Even with all their best endeavors she had a bruised knee when she finally stood, dripping and shivering, on the deck. After her Edmund was heaved up, and then the miserable Eustace. Last of all came the stranger--a golden-headed boy some years older than herself. “Ca--Ca--Caspian!” gasped Lucy as soon as she had breath enough. For Caspian it was; Caspian, the boy king of Narnia whom they had helped to set on the throne during their last visit. Immediately Edmund recognized him too. All three shook hands and clapped one another on the back with great delight.
C.S. Lewis (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3))
He concluded that nothing could happen, not knowing that human love and love of truth sometimes conquer where love of beauty fails. A little disenchanted, a little tired, but aesthetically intact, he resumed his placid life, relying more and more on his second gift, the gift of humour. If he could not reform the world, he could at all events laugh at it, thus attaining at least an intellectual superiority. Laughter, he read and believed, was a sign of good moral health, and he laughed on contentedly, till Lilia's marriage toppled contentment down for ever. Italy, the land of beauty, was ruined for him. She had no power to change men and things who dwelt in her. She, too, could produce avarice, brutality, stupidity—and, what was worse, vulgarity.
E.M. Forster (WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD Annotated book)
We are glad to visit your beautiful country. It is prosperous—you all live far from the struggle. Nobody destroys your towns, cities, fields. Nobody kills your citizens, your sisters and mothers, your fathers and brothers. I come from a place where bombs pound villages into ash, where Russian blood oils the treads of German tanks, where innocent civilians die every day.” She caught herself up, exhaled slowly as she marshaled her next words. No one moved, least of all the marksman. “An accurate bullet fired by a sniper like me, Mrs. Roosevelt, is no more than a response to an enemy. My husband lost his life at Sevastopol before my eyes. He died in my arms. As far as I am concerned, any Hitlerite I see through my telescopic sights is the one who killed him.” A frozen silence fell over the room. Only the marksman’s eyes moved as he looked around the table, cataloging responses. The Soviet delegation leader sat clutching his butter knife, looking like he wanted to saw off her head and bowl it through the window into the White House gardens. The smart Washington women in their frills and pearls looked appalled. The First Lady looked . . . Embarrassed? the marksman wondered. Did that horsey presidential bitch look embarrassed? “I’m sorry, Lyudmila dear,” she said quietly, laying down her napkin. “I had no wish to offend you. This conversation is important, and we will continue it in a more suitable setting. But now, unfortunately, it is time to disperse. My duties are calling, and I understand
Kate Quinn (The Diamond Eye)
Old Ironsides" Aye tear her tattered ensign down long has it waved on high, And many an eye has danced to see That banner in the sky; Beneath it rung the battle shout, And burst the cannon's roar;-- The meteor of the ocean air Shall sweep the clouds no more. Her deck, once red with heroes' blood, Where knelt the vanquished foe, When winds were hurrying o'er the flood, And waves were white below, No more shall feel the victor's tread, Or know the conquered knee;-- The harpies of the shore shall pluck The eagle of the sea! Oh, better that her shattered hulk Should sink beneath the wave; Her thunders shook the mighty deep, And there should be her grave; Nail to the mast her holy flag, Set every threadbare sail, And give her to the god of storms, The lightning and the gale!
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Drowning in Blue Pulled deeper and deeper into the void, I dig down into my pocket, find the capsule I stashed, first beneath a flap of tongue, then in a cave of fleece. I hold it like a jewel, the key to some magic kingdom where only good feelings are allowed. Funny, but sometimes all I feel is good. More than good. Great. Invincible. When Mama felt like that, Daddy called her manic. But why is mania bad, if it means you're on top of the world, where everything is white? Bright. I wish I were up there now, instead of treading water in this damn blue hole. This magic pill won't fly me there. It will only take me halfway, to what others call normal and I call gray-- toeing a straight gray line is all medication is good for. Bad genes have doomed me to seesaw, white to blue and back again, for the rest of my pitiful life. And the thought of that makes me want to open a vein, experience pain, know I'm alive, despite this living death.
Ellen Hopkins
Instead of one bad king we’ve got Parliament, which is a heap of bad kings. Men that care no more for the people than I care for that fly. Men that will grind you, and tax you, and make merchandise of you, and neglect your interest and tread you down to the ground. Many is the cheat they’ve passed upon you. At this moment you cheer me when I say down with the kings, but you look at one another and you raise your eyebrows when I say down with the parliament. You’ve got the suffrage and you think that’s all right. The suffrage! what does the suffrage do for you? It’s another sham, a little stronger than all the rest. They’ll give more of you, and more of you the suffrage, till they let in the women (I don’t say a word against that. Some of the women have more sense than you have, and the rest you can always whop them) and the babies next for anything I can tell. And it will all be rotten, rotten, rotten to the core. And then a great cry will rise out of this poor country, and it will be Hamlet again,” cried the orator,
Mrs. Oliphant (He That Will Not When He May)
He was forever wallowing in the mire, dirtying his nose, scrabbling his face, treading down the backs of his shoes, gaping at flies and chasing the butterflies (over whom his father held sway); he would pee in his shoes, shit over his shirt-tails, [wipe his nose on his sleeves,] dribble snot into his soup and go galumphing about. [He would drink out of his slippers, regularly scratch his belly on wicker-work baskets, cut his teeth on his clogs, get his broth all over his hands, drag his cup through his hair, hide under a wet sack, drink with his mouth full, eat girdle-cake but not bread, bite for a laugh and laugh while he bit, spew in his bowl, let off fat farts, piddle against the sun, leap into the river to avoid the rain, strike while the iron was cold, dream day-dreams, act the goody-goody, skin the renard, clack his teeth like a monkey saying its prayers, get back to his muttons, turn the sows into the meadow, beat the dog to teach the lion, put the cart before the horse, scratch himself where he ne’er did itch, worm secrets out from under your nose, let things slip, gobble the best bits first, shoe grasshoppers, tickle himself to make himself laugh, be a glutton in the kitchen, offer sheaves of straw to the gods, sing Magnificat at Mattins and think it right, eat cabbage and squitter puree, recognize flies in milk, pluck legs off flies, scrape paper clean but scruff up parchment, take to this heels, swig straight from the leathern bottle, reckon up his bill without Mine Host, beat about the bush but snare no birds, believe clouds to be saucepans and pigs’ bladders lanterns, get two grists from the same sack, act the goat to get fed some mash, mistake his fist for a mallet, catch cranes at the first go, link by link his armour make, always look a gift horse in the mouth, tell cock-and-bull stories, store a ripe apple between two green ones, shovel the spoil back into the ditch, save the moon from baying wolves, hope to pick up larks if the heavens fell in, make virtue out of necessity, cut his sops according to his loaf, make no difference twixt shaven and shorn, and skin the renard every day.]
François Rabelais (Gargantua and Pantagruel)
Madness,” he exclaimed to himself, in astonishment, faltering. “Madness! What do they want? Once again, once again!” War once again, war that had so recently shattered his whole life? With a strange shudder, he looked at those young faces, staring at the black mass on the move in ranks of four, like a square strip of film running, unrolling out of a narrow alley as if out of a dark box, and every face it showed was instantly rigid with bitter determination, a threat, a weapon. Why was this threat so noisily uttered on a mild June evening, hammered home in a gently dreaming city? “What do they want? What do they want?” The question still had him by the throat. Only just now he had seen the world in bright, musical clarity, with the light of love and tenderness shining over it, he had been part of a melody of kindness and trust. And suddenly the iron steps of that marching throng were treading everything down, men girding themselves for the fray, men of a thousand different kinds, shouting with a thousand voices, yet expressing only one thing in their eyes and their onward march, hate, hate, hate.
Stefan Zweig (Journey into the Past)
God Commissions Joshua JOSHUA 1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, 2“Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. 3Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. 4From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. 5No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success [1] wherever you go. 8This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth,
Anonymous (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (without Cross-References))
XII.—LOCHINVAR. Oh! young Lochinvar is come out of the west, Through all the wide Border his steed was the best; And save his good broadsword, he weapons had none, He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone; So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war, There never was knight like the young Lochinvar. He stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for stone; He swam the Esk river, where ford there was none; But ere he alighted at Netherby gate, The bride had consented, the gallant came late; For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war, Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar. So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall, Among bride's-men, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all; Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword - For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word - "Oh! come ye in peace here, or come ye in war, Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?" "I long wooed your daughter, my suit you denied; Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide; And now am I come, with this lost love of mine, To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine. There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far, That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar." The bride kissed the goblet: the knight took it up, He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup. She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh, With a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye. He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar - "Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar. So stately his form, and so lovely her face, That never a hall such a galliard did grace; While her mother did fret, and her father did fume, And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume: And the bride's-maidens whispered, "'Twere better by far To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar." One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear, When they reached the hall-door, and the charger stood near; So light to the croup the fair lady he swung, So light to the saddle before her he sprung. "She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur; They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochinvar. There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan; Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran: There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee, But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see. So daring in love, and so dauntless in war, Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?
Walter Scott (Marmion)
We keep sending colonies up into space,” Akilah says, “and we don’t even know what’s at the bottom of the sea.” “Yeah, we do,” I counter. “Fish and stuff.” Akilah laughs. “We’ve barely explored the sea. There are places where the water is so deep that it has never seen light.” She sighs. “I would like to go to those places. I would like to sink down and down and down and see what’s hidden at the bottom.” The sea is a dangerous place because it makes you believe in forever. I stare back at the shoreline, where heavy boulders clutter the shore, a remembrance of the attacks during the Secessionary War. For all the hundreds of thousands of people killed in the war, more are dead and gone beneath the waves of the sea. I tread water, turning slowly, so the island’s behind me and all I can see is the blue-green waters. The sea goes on forever and ever. We are tiny, almost invisible specks. It could swallow us up. We are less than the bright stars of the night sky, compared to the vastness of the sea. And it is this place, as one tiny, barely visible speck bobbing in the water, where Akilah feels safe. Maybe being alone in the sea, with its unexplored depths, its clawing-finger waves, really is safer compared to the land, where there are people and malice and death.
Beth Revis (The Body Electric)
What is so rewarding about friendship?” my son asked, curling his upper lip into a sour expression. “Making friends takes too much time and effort, and for what?” I sat on the edge of his bed, understanding how it might seem simpler to go at life solo. “Friendship has unique rewards,” I told him. “They can be unpredictable. For instance....” I couldn’t help but pause to smile crookedly at an old memory that was dear to my heart. Then I shared with my son an unforgettable incident from my younger years. “True story. When I was about your age, I decided to try out for a school play. Tryouts were to begin after the last class of the day, but first I had to run home to grab a couple props for the monologue I planned to perform during tryouts. Silly me, I had left them at the house that morning. Luckily, I only lived across a long expanse of grassy field that separated the school from the nearest neighborhood. Unluckily, it was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella. “Determined to get what I needed, I raced home, grabbed my props, and tore back across the field while my friend waited under the dry protection of the school’s wooden eaves. She watched me run in the rain, gesturing for me to go faster while calling out to hurry up or we would be late. “The rain was pouring by that time which was added reason for me to move fast. I didn’t want to look like a wet rat on stage in front of dozens of fellow students. Don’t ask me why I didn’t grab an umbrella from home—teenage pride or lack of focus, I’m not sure—but the increasing rain combined with the hollering from my friend as well as my anxious nerves about trying out for the play had me running far too fast in shoes that lacked any tread. “About a yard from the sidewalk where the grass was worn from foot traffic and consequently muddied from the downpour of rain, I slipped and fell on my hind end. Me, my props, and my dignity slid through the mud and lay there, coated. My things were dripping with mud. I was covered in it. I felt my heart plunge, and I wanted to cry. I probably would have if it hadn’t been for the wonderful thing that happened right then. My crazy friend ran over and plopped herself down in the mud beside me. She wiggled in it, making herself as much a mess as I was. Then she took my slimy hand in hers and pulled us both to our feet. We tried out for the play looking like a couple of swine escaped from a pigsty, laughing the whole time. I never did cry, thanks to my friend. “So yes, my dear son, friendship has its unique rewards—priceless ones.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a Few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
Just like rain, let it all flow incessantly until the sky clears out. Sometimes a part of me asks how is it that the ones who love the most, dearly, tenderly giving their all, find their hollow end meeting with scars that they never deserved. How is it that sometimes Life turns cold for those who sprinkle the most amount of sunshine, the hand that wipes other's pain how is that parched with betrayals and misunderstandings. But I guess it is about life lessons, how a soul grows through it all, as if the soul walks across the pyre of fire to know and eventually become its own mettle. Through it all the heart becomes more open and the mind more understanding, a unique strength of peace walks inside the very fire that rages the soul. Patience flows in through perseverance and the ashes mould in the teardrop of resilience to wear the smile of kindness. I have realised that when the worst happens to us, the soul is confronted with two choices, either to become bitter with repeating the question why or to become better with understanding the way how to walk ahead. Eventually it boils down to two simple emotions, love and hate, astonishingly born out of the same part of our mind and heart. It is a selection of either vengeance or forgiveness, not an easy choice to make especially when we are at our most vulnerable self. Whatever we choose becomes our reality, as if we get soaked in it, and somehow Time runs by. And when years pass by and we look back and see the path, and reflect on our choice we understand the meaning of both the choices, to some they take the shape of peace and to some they take the shape of agony, but looking closely we can see that the agony is the pathway leading to peace, forgiveness is the destination, sooner or later we all reach that space to find it in us to forgive, some in years while some in lifetimes. And perhaps, that is why we all undergo all that happens to us, chained in our Karma. So even when Life seems unfair, give it your all. Love with all your soul and no matter what comes by, don't stop walking along this shore of Time, because no matter how long it takes, you will find your Home. And when Life puts up a question as to why some who broke your soul find pleasure so easy, remind yourself the difference between pleasure and peace and don't forget to acknowledge the fact that perhaps you have paid your Karmic debt in full while theirs might just be beginning. So break if you must, but remind yourself about the gift of Life and Love every passing moment that breathes like a dream in an illusion of Time. Let your Faith walk hand in hand with you as you tread softly towards your destination, because no matter the years or the lifetimes, someday the sky shall be clear for the rainbow of your soul to smile in the Justice of Him, who knows all, sees all, feels all and does all.
Debatrayee Banerjee
That means we don’t exist in one place. Instead, everything we do is left in … like a trail out there, a big ring of decisions. Every action we take—” “And mistake.” He nodded and dabbed at his forehead with his sleeve. “And every mistake. But every good thing we do as well. They are immortal, every single touch we leave behind. Even if nobody sees them or remembers them, that doesn’t matter. That trail will always be what happened, what we did, every choice. The past lives on forever. There’s no changing it.” “Makes you not want to fuck up,” Juliette said, thinking on all the times she had, wondering if this box between them was one more mistake. She saw images of herself in a great loop of space: fighting with her father, losing a lover, going out to clean, a great spiral of hurts like a journey down the stairs with a bleeding foot. And the stains would never wash out. That’s what Lukas was saying. She would always have hurt her father. Was that the way to phrase it? Always have had. It was immortal tense. A new rule of grammar. Always have had gotten friends killed. Always have had a brother die and a mother take her own life. Always have had taken that damn job as sheriff. There was no going back. Apologies weren’t welds; they were just an admission that something had been broken. Often between two people. “You okay?” Lukas asked. “Ready to go on?” But she knew he was asking more than if her arm was tired. He had this ability to spot her secret worries. He had a keen vision that allowed him to glimpse the smallest pinprick of hurt through heavy clouds. “I’m fine,” she lied. And she searched her past for some noble deed, for a bloodless tread, for any touch on the world that had left it a brighter place. But when she had been sent to clean, she had refused. Always have had refused. She had turned her back and walked off, and there was no chance of going back and doing it any other way. ••••
Hugh Howey (Dust (Silo, #3))
The man who had him pinned kicked him over again and pointed down at the tire. "Stay down, you little bastard, or we'll rape your mum and skin her alive." Chris clamped his hands over Michael's ears. When Dean edged the truck forwards, Tommy's eyes jumped from his face. "Mum! Mummy! Help me, Mummy! Mum!" The engine bellowed, Tommy cried, Marie screamed, Frank roared, and Chris' pulse thumped in his ears. Locked in a maniacal fit, Dean cackled at the sky, his pointy nose and gaunt face making him look like a satanic Mr. Punch. He edged forward again. As Michael fought against Chris' restraint, he eased off a little. Should he just let him go? Were the images in his mind worse than those outside? When the truck moved forward again, the thick treads of the huge tires biting into the back of Tommy's head, he squeezed tightly once more. No mind could create anything worse than that. Chris looked away too.  Tommy's scream was so shrill Chris thought all of the glass in the cul-de-sac would crack, and he fought harder against his thrashing son to keep him restrained. When he felt like he couldn't fight the boy's will any more, he let go.  Instead of looking outside, Michael fell to the floor in a ball, scuttled beneath some blankets, and covered his ears. From beneath the sheets, Chris heard his small voice singing, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Nudging his boy, Chris waited for him to resurface and put a finger to his lips again. They couldn't afford for the looters to hear them no matter how much it took his son away from their dark reality. The sound of a beeping horn was accompanied by Dean howling and laughing, the vehicle's engine releasing a war cry under the weight of his heavy foot. The cacophony of chaos outside got louder. Frank wailed, Marie let out louder screams, the engine roared, the horn beeped, Dean laughed, and Tommy shrieked. Looking outside again, Chris kept his eyes away from Tommy. Instead, he watched George. If there was anyone who would save them, it was him.  Crunch! Crash!  The truck dropped by six inches. Tommy stopped screaming.  When Dean cut the engine, silence settled over the cul-de-sac, spreading outwards like the thick pool of blood from Tommy's crushed head. Marie's face was locked in a silent scream. Frank slumped further and shook with inaudible sobs. The men, even the weasel with the tennis racket, stood frozen. None of them looked at the dead boy.  Turning away from the murder, Chris looked down to find Michael staring back at him. What could he say to him? Tommy was his best friend. Then, starting low like a distant air-raid siren, Marie began to wail.  After rapidly increasing in volume, it turned into a sustained and brutal cry as if she was being torn in two. Chilled
Michael Robertson (Crash (Crash, #1))
Sean was watching me, though. And Sean wiped the bryozoa residue from his hand across my stomach. This was the third time a boy had ever touched my bare tummy, and I’d had enough. Through gritted teeth, like any extra movement might spread the bryozoa further across my skin, I told him, “I like you less than I did.” I bailed over the side of the boat-the side opposite where the bryozoa returned to its native habitat. Deep in the warm water, I scrubbed at my tummy with both hands. A combination of bryozoa waste and Sean germs: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Leaning toward worst, because now I had slime on my hands. Or maybe this was psychosomatic. Holding my hands open in front of me in the water, I didn’t see any slime. I rubbed my hands together anyway. Something dove into the water beside me in a rush of bubbles. I came up for air. Sean surfaced, too, tossing sparkling drops of water from his hair. “You still like me a lot, though, right?” “No prob. Green is the new black.” Giving up on getting clean, I swam a few strokes back toward the platform to get out again. What I needed was a shower with chlorinated water and disinfectant soap. I might need to bubble out my belly button with hydrogen peroxide. “What if I made it up to you?” He splashed close behind me. “What if I helped you get clean? We don’t want you dirty.” He moved both hands around me under the water, up and down across my tummy. It was the fourth time a boy had touched my tummy! And it was very awkward. He bobbed so close behind me that I had a hard time treading water without kicking him. I needed to choose between flirting and breathing. Cameron and my brother leaned over the side of the boat and gaped at us, which didn’t help matters. I’d been afraid of this. Flirting with Sean was no fun if the other boys acted like we were lepers. Well, okay, it was fun, but not as fun as it was supposed to be. Obviously I would need to give McGullicuddy the little dolphin talk. I wasn’t sure I could do this with Cameron-Cameron and I didn’t have heart-to-heart convos-but I might need to make an exception, if he continued to watch us like we were a dirty movie on Pay-Per-View (which I’d also seen a lot of. Life with boys). BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE- Sean and I started and turned toward the boat. Still behind the steering wheel, Adam had his chin in his hand and his elbow on the horn. -EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Damn it! I turned around to face Sean and gave him a wry smile, but he’d already taken his hands away from my tummy. The horn really ruined the mood. -EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Sean hauled himself up onto the platform. I followed close behind him, and (glee!) he put out a hand to help me. Cameron and my brother yelled at Adam. -EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. “Oh!” Adam said as if he’d had no idea he’d been laying on the horn. He looked at his elbow like it belonged to someone else. I was in the boat with Sean now, and he was still holding my hand. Or, maybe I was still clinging to his hand, but this is a question of semantics. In any case, I pulled him by the hand past the other boys to the bow. We didn’t have privacy. There was no privacy on a wakeboarding boat. At least we had the boat’s windshield between us and the others. As I turned to sit down on the bench, I stuck out my tongue at Adam behind the windshield. He crossed his eyes at me.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
In the tumultuous business of cutting-in and attending to a whale, there is much running backwards and forwards among the crew. Now hands are wanted here, and then again hands are wanted there. There is no staying in any one place; for at one and the same time everything has to be done everywhere. It is much the same with him who endeavors the description of the scene. We must now retrace our way a little. It was mentioned that upon first breaking ground in the whale’s back, the blubber-hook was inserted into the original hole there cut by the spades of the mates. But how did so clumsy and weighty a mass as that same hook get fixed in that hole? It was inserted there by my particular friend Queequeg, whose duty it was, as harpooneer, to descend upon the monster’s back for the special purpose referred to. But in very many cases, circumstances require that the harpooneer shall remain on the whale till the whole flensing or stripping operation is concluded. The whale, be it observed, lies almost entirely submerged, excepting the immediate parts operated upon. So down there, some ten feet below the level of the deck, the poor harpooneer flounders about, half on the whale and half in the water, as the vast mass revolves like a tread-mill beneath him. On the occasion in question, Queequeg figured in the Highland costume—a shirt and socks—in which to my eyes, at least, he appeared to uncommon advantage; and no one had a better chance to observe him, as will presently be seen. Being the savage’s bowsman, that is, the person who pulled the bow-oar in his boat (the second one from forward), it was my cheerful duty to attend upon him while taking that hard-scrabble scramble upon the dead whale’s back. You have seen Italian organ-boys holding a dancing-ape by a long cord. Just so, from the ship’s steep side, did I hold Queequeg down there in the sea, by what is technically called in the fishery a monkey-rope, attached to a strong strip of canvas belted round his waist. It was a humorously perilous business for both of us. For, before we proceed further, it must be said that the monkey-rope was fast at both ends; fast to Queequeg’s broad canvas belt, and fast to my narrow leather one. So that for better or for worse, we two, for the time, were wedded; and should poor Queequeg sink to rise no more, then both usage and honor demanded, that instead of cutting the cord, it should drag me down in his wake. So, then, an elongated Siamese ligature united us. Queequeg was my own inseparable twin brother; nor could I any way get rid of the dangerous liabilities which the hempen bond entailed. So strongly and metaphysically did I conceive of my situation then, that while earnestly watching his motions, I seemed distinctly to perceive that my own individuality was now merged in a joint stock company of two; that my free will had received a mortal wound; and that another’s mistake or misfortune might plunge innocent me into unmerited disaster and death. Therefore, I saw that here was a sort of interregnum in Providence; for its even-handed equity never could have so gross an injustice. And yet still further pondering—while I jerked him now and then from between the whale and ship, which would threaten to jam him—still further pondering, I say, I saw that this situation of mine was the precise situation of every mortal that breathes; only, in most cases, he, one way or other, has this Siamese connexion with a plurality of other mortals. If your banker breaks, you snap; if your apothecary by mistake sends you poison in your pills, you die. True, you may say that, by exceeding caution, you may possibly escape these and the multitudinous other evil chances of life. But handle Queequeg’s monkey-rope heedfully as I would, sometimes he jerked it so, that I came very near sliding overboard. Nor could I possibly forget that, do what I would, I only had the management of one end of it.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)