To be a good Briton, a man must trade profitably, marry respectably, live cleanly, avoid excess, revere the established order, and wear his heart in his breeches pocket or anywhere but on his sleeve.
Balzac's ambition was to be omnipotent. He would be Michelangelesque, and that by sheer force of minuteness. He exaggerated scientifically, and made things gigantic by a microscopic fulness of detail.
In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud: Under the bludgeoning of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed.
Open your heart and take us in, Love-love and me.
Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.
[T]hey stretch you on a table. Then they bid you close your eyelids, And they mask you with a napkin, And the anÃsthetic reaches Hot and subtle through your being.
Night with her train of stars And her great gift of sleep.
Life - give me life until the end,That at the very top of being,The battle-spirit shouting in my blood,Out of the reddest hell of the fightI may be snatched and flungInto the everlasting lull,The immortal, incommunicable dream.
Behold me waiting-waiting for the knife.... The thick, sweet mystery of chloroform, The drunken dark, the little death-in-life.... [F]ace to face with chance, I shrink a little: My hopes are strong, my will is something weak. ...I am ready But, gentlemen my porters, life is brittle: You carry CÃsar and his fortunes-steady!
There are two men in Tolstoy. He is a mystic and he is also a realist. He is addicted to the practice of a pietism that for all its sincerity is nothing if not vague and sentimental; and he is the most acute and dispassionate of observers, the most profound and earnest student of character and emotion.
Life is a smoke that curls-Curls in a flickering skein,That winds and whisks and whirls,A figment thin and vain,Into the vast inane.One end for hut and hall.
Who but knowsHow it goes!Life's a last year's Nightingale,Love's a last year's rose.
For it's home, dearie, home-it's home I want to be.Our topsails are hoisted, and we'll away to sea.O, the oak and the ash and the bonnie birken treeThey're all growing green in the old countrie.
O, it's die we must, but it's live we can, And the marvel of earth and sun Is all for the joy of woman and man And the longing that makes them one." (Between the Dusk of a Summer Night, 13-16)
Men there have been who have done the essayist's part so well as to have earned an immortality in the doing; but we have had not many of them, and they make but a poor figure on our shelves. It is a pity that things should be thus with us, for a good essayist is the pleasantest companion imaginable.
Shakespeare often writes so ill that you hesitate to believe he could ever write supremely well; or, if this way of putting it seem indecorous and abominable, he very often writes so well that you are loth to believe he could ever have written thus extremely ill.
Were I so tall as to reach the pole or grasp the ocean at a span, I must be measured by my soul. The mind is the standard of the man.
Life is, I think, a blunder and a shame.
Here is the ghost Of a summer that lived for us, Ere is a promise Of summer to be.
Men may scoff, and men may pray, But they pay Every pleasure with a pain.
So many are the deaths we dieBefore we can be dead indeed.
Life is worth LivingThrough every grain of it,From the foundationsTo the last edgeOf the cornerstone, death.
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll; I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade
I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.
Life - life - let there be life!Better a thousand times the roaring hoursWhen wave and wind,Like the Arch-Murderer in flightFrom the Avenger at his heel,Storm through the desolate fastnessesAnd wild waste places of the world!
Life - life - let there be life!
The nightingale has a lyre of gold, The lark's is a clarion call, And the blackbird plays but a boxwood flute, But I love him best of all. For his song is all the joy of life, And we in the mad spring weather, We two have listened till he sang Our hearts and lips together.
Now, to read poetry at all is to have an ideal anthology of one's own, and in that possession to be incapable of content with the anthologies of all the world besides.
I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.
It is the artist's function not to copy but to synthesise: to eliminate from that gross confusion of actuality which is his raw material whatever is accidental, idle, irrelevant, and select for perpetuation that only which is appropriate and immortal.
Into the winter's gray delight, Into the summer's golden dream, Holy and high and impartial, Death, the mother of Life, Mingles all men for ever.
A late lark twitters from the quiet skies.
Life - life - life! 'Tis the sole great thingThis side of death,Heart on heart in the wonder of Spring!
So be my passing! My task accomplished and the long day done, My wages taken, and in my heart Some late lark singing, Let me be gathered in the quiet west, The sundown splendid and serene, Death.
Madam Life's a piece in bloom Death goes dogging everywhere: she's the tenant of the room, he's the ruffian on the stair.
And lo, the Hospital, gray, quiet, old, Where life and death like friendly chafferers meet.
Shakespeare and Rembrandt have in common the faculty of quickening speculation and compelling the minds of men to combat and discussion.
Pointed criticism, if accurate, often gives the artist an inner sense of relief. The criticism that damages is that which disparages, dismisses, ridicules, or condemns.
This is the merit and distinction of art: to be more real than reality, to be not nature but nature's essence.