Once to swim I sought the sea-side, There to sport among the billows; With the stone of many colors Sank poor Aino to the bottom Of the deep and boundless blue-sea, Like a pretty son-bird, perished. Never come a-fishing, father, To the borders of these waters, Never during all thy life-time, As thou lovest daughter Aino. Mother dear, I sought the sea-side, There to sport among the billows; With the stone of many colors, Sank poor Aino to the bottom Of the deep and boundless blue-sea, Like a pretty song-bird perished. Never mix thy bread, dear mother, With the blue-sea's foam and waters, Never during all thy life-time, As thou lovest daughter Aino. Brother dear, I sought the sea-side, There to sport among the billows; With the stone of many colors Sank poor Aino to the bottom Of the deep and boundless blue-sea, Like a pretty song-bird perished. Never bring thy prancing war-horse, Never bring thy royal racer, Never bring thy steeds to water, To the borders of the blue-sea, Never during all thy life-time, As thou lovest sister Aino. Sister dear, I sought the sea-side, There to sport among the billows; With the stone of many colors Sank poor Aino to the bottom Of the deep and boundless blue-sea, Like a pretty song-bird perished. Never come to lave thine eyelids In this rolling wave and sea-foam, Never during all thy life-time, As thou lovest sister Aino. All the waters in the blue-sea Shall be blood of Aino's body; All the fish that swim these waters Shall be Aino's flesh forever; All the willows on the sea-side Shall be Aino's ribs hereafter; All the sea-grass on the margin Will have grown from Aino's tresses.
As for me, I believe that if there's a God - and I am as neutral on the subject as is possible - then the most basic proof of His existence is black humor. What else explains it, that odd, reliable comfort that billows up at the worst moments, like a beautiful sunset woven out of the smoke over a bombed city.
I have seen the sea lashed into fury and tossed into spray, and its grandeur moves the soul of the dullest man; but I remember that it is not the billows, but the calm level of the sea, from which all heights and depths are measured.
President James A. Garfield - courtesy of Millard's "Destiny of the Republic"
One of those flash epiphanies of travel, the realization that worlds you'd love vibrantly exist outside your ignorance of them. The vitality of many lives you know nothing about. The breeze lifting a blue curtain in a doorway billows just the same whether you are lucky enough to observe it or not. Travel gives such jolts. I could live in this town, so how is it that I've never been here before today?
I think of you when upon the sea the sun flings her beams. I think of you when the moonlight shines in silvery streams. I see you when upon the distant hills the dust awakes; At night when on a fragile bridge the traveler quakes. I hear you when the billows rise on high, With murmur deep. To tread the silent grove where wander I, When all's asleep.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It is only the basest writer who cannot speak of the sea without talking of "raging waves," "remorseless floods," "ravenous billows," etc.; and it is one of the signs of the highest power in a writer to check all such habits of thought, and to keep his eyes fixed firmly on the pure fact , out of which if any feeling comes to him or his reader, he knows it must be a true one.
I love to see those paragliders weaving softly around Moon Point, their legs floating above you in the air. When they drift in for a landing, their feet touch the ground and they trot forward from the continued motion of the glider, which billows down like a setting sun. I never get tired of watching them and I've seen them thousands of times. I always wondered what that kind of freedom would feel like.
The Scythians take kannabis seed, creep in under the felts, and throw it on the red-hot stones. It smolders and sends up such billows of steam-smoke that no Greek vapor bath can surpass it. The Scythians howl with joy in these vapor-baths, which serve them instead of bathing, for they never wash their bodies with water.
We were made to enjoy music, to enjoy beautiful sunsets, to enjoy looking at the billows of the sea and to be thrilled with a rose that is bedecked with dew... Human beings are actually created for the transcendent, for the sublime, for the beautiful, for the truthful... and all of us are given the task of trying to make this world a little more hospitable to these beautiful things.
Hence when lightning fires the arch of heaven, and thunders rock the ground, when furious whirlwinds rend the howling air, and ocean, groaning from his lowest bed, heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky; amid the mighty uproar, while below the nations tremble, Shakespeare looks abroad from some high cliff, superior, and enjoys the elemental war.
The moonlight shines and billows; the broken clouds scud above the trees. Leaves fly everywhere. But the moonlight stays unmoved by the wind, passing through clouds, through air, in what seems to Werner like impossibly slow imperturbable rays. They hang across the buckling grass. Why doesn't the wind move the light?
When winds are raging o'er the upper ocean And billows wild contend with angry roar, 'Tis said, far down beneath the wild commotion That peaceful stillness reigneth evermore. Far, far beneath, the noise of tempests dieth And silver waves chime ever peacefully, And no rude storm, how fierce soe'er it flyeth Disturbs the Sabbath of that deeper sea.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Swelter, as soon as he saw who it was, stopped dead, and across his face little billows of flesh ran swiftly here and there until, as though they had determined to adhere to the same impulse, they swept up into both oceans of soft cheek, leaving between them a vacuum, a gaping segment like a slice cut from a melon. It was horrible. It was as though nature had lost control. As though the smile, as a concept, as a manifestation of pleasure, had been a mistake, for here on the face of Swelter the idea had been abused.
If there are singles who find the waters of singleness dark and deep, who feel, 'I sink in deep waters; the billows go over my head; all his waves go over me,' this is my message to you concerning singleness: Be of good cheer, my brother, my sister; I feel the bottom, and it is good.
Hither rolls the storm of heat;I feel its finer billows beatLike a sea which me infolds;Heat with viewless fingers moulds,Swells, and mellows, and matures,Paints, and flavors, and allures,Bird and brier inly warms,Still enriches and transforms,Gives the reed and lily length,Adds to oak and oxen strength,Transforming what it doth infold,Life out of death, new out of old.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
To contact the cosmic giggle, to have the flow of casuistry begin to give off synchronistic ripples, whitecaps in the billows of the coincidental ether, if you will. To achieve that, a precondition is a kind of unconsciousness, a kind of drifting, a certain taking-your-eye-off-the-ball, a certain assumptions that things are simpler than they are, almost always precedes what Mircea Eliade called 'the rupture of plane' that indicates that there is an archetypal world, an archetypal power behind profane appearances.
Orpheus with his lute made trees, And the mountain tops that freeze, Bow themselves, when he did sing; To his music, plants and flowers Ever sprung; as sun and showers There had made a lasting spring. Every thing that heard him play, Even the billows of the sea, Hung their heads, and then lay by. In sweet music is such art, Killing care and grief of heart Fall asleep, or hearing, die.
I am the woman at the water's edge, offering you oranges for the peeling, knife glistening in the sun. This is the scent and taste of my skin: citon and sweet. Touch me and your life will unfold before you, easily as this skirt billows then sinks, lapping against my legs, my toes filtering through the rivers silt. Following the current out to sea, I am the kind of woman who will come back to haunt your dreams, move through your humid nights the way honey swirls through a cup of hot tea
He was beautiful, that was always affirmed, but his beauty was hard to fix or to see, for he was always glimmering, flickering, melting, mixing, he was the shape of a shapeless flame, he was the eddying thread of needle-shapes in the shapeless mass of the waterfall. He was the invisible wind that hurried the clouds in billows and ribbons. You could see a bare tree on the skyline bent by the wind, holding up twisted branches and bent twigs, and suddenly its formless form would resolve itself into that of the trickster.
A. S. Byatt
From all that urges and admonishes, the romantic turns away. He wants to dream, enjoy, immerse himself, instead of clearing his way by striving and wrestling. That which has been and rises out of what is past occupies him far more than what is to become and also more than what wants to become; for the word of the future would always be command. Experiences with their many echoes and their billows stand higher in his estimation than life with its tasks; for tasks always establish a bond with harsh reality. And from this he is in flight. He does not want to struggles against fate, but rather to receive it with an ardent and devout soul; he does not want to wrestle for the blessing, but to experience it, abandoning himself, devoid of will, to what spells salvation and bliss.
Men go forth to marvel at the height of mountains, and the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the vastness of the ocean, the orbits of the stars, and yet they neglect to marvel at themselves. Variant: Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, and pass themselves by.
I am always hearing... the sound of a far off song. I do not exactly know where it is, or what it means; and I don't hear much of it, only the odour of its music, as it were, flitting across the great billows of the ocean outside this air in which I make such a storm; but what I do hear, is quite enough to make me able to bear the cry from the drowning ship. So it would you if you could hear it.' 'No it wouldn't, ' returned Diamond stoutly. 'For they wouldn't hear the music of the far-away song; and if they did, it wouldn't do them any good. You see you and I are not going to be drowned, and so we might enjoy it.' 'But you have never heard the psalm, and you don't know what it is like. Somehow, I can't say how, it tells me that all is right; that it is coming to swallow up all the cries... It wouldn't be the song it seems if it did not swallow up all their fear and pain too, and set them singing it themselves with all the rest.
Have you really not noticed, then, that here of all places, in this private, personal solitude that surrounds me, I have turned to you? All the memories of my youth speak to me as I walk, just as the sea shells crunch under my feet on the beach. The crash of every wave awakens far-distant reverberations within me... I hear the rumble of bygone days, and in my mind the whole endless series of old passions surges forward like the billows. I remember my spasms, my sorrows, gusts of desire that whistled like wind in the rigging, and vast vague longings that swirled in the dark like a flock of wild gulls in a stormcloud... On whom should I lean, if not on you? My weary mind turns for refreshment to the thought of you as a dusty traveler might sink onto a soft and grassy bank...
Deep the waves may be and cold, But Jehovah is our refuge, And His promise is our hold; For the Lord Himself hath said it, He, the faithful God and true: "When thou comest to the waters Thou shalt not go down, BUT THROUGH." Seas of sorrow, seas of trial, Bitterest anguish, fiercest pain, Rolling surges of temptation Sweeping over heart and brain They shall never overflow us For we know His word is true; All His waves and all His billows He will lead us safely through. Threatening breakers of destruction, Doubt's insidious undertow, Shall not sink us, shall not drag us Out to ocean depths of woe; For His promise shall sustain us, Praise the Lord, whose Word is true! We shall not go down, or under, For He saith, "Thou passest THROUGH
Annie Johnson Flint
Love is an emotion that creeps up at you like darkness; you become wary watching love come at you like a scary movie with billows of black smoke, puffy like racing towards a doomed target. Love can also be like lounging on the beach, listening to the waves, slapping the seashore, the calm and serenity of a tropical vacation. Love is art's greatest muse. We spend our entire lives trying to chase love, this elusive emotion, sometimes our pursuit is like hurling coins into a well and jumping in after, tumbling unknowingly into an abyss. Love is ideally the greatest affection; the crowning of all ambitions, love consumes us at the birth of a child and crushes us when our loved one dies. Love channels us into the lives and minds of others like tributaries, rivers converging into a great ocean. Love embraces us in both death and Life. a Freelancer said he was deeply disappointed with this quote
In the country, a good he-snowstorm makes a lovely design for putting on a holiday greetings card. In the city it just makes an infernal mess for the street-cleaning department to wrestle with... By midday of next day it would be licked to a custard- molten into puddles of foggy slush where cellar furnaces exhaled their hot breath up out of sidewalk gratings, roiled and fouled and crunched down beneath the heels and the tires of the town, flung up in crumply billows by the conscripted shovel crews, and under the park trees and on the park meadows would show a stark and grayish cast like the face of a grimy pauper whose corpse the undertaker scanted. And the longer it stayed there the sootier and the dirtier and the deader-looking it would get to be. You may worry the city with your winter weathers; you cannot keep her licked for any great length of time.
Irvin S. Cobb
The immense accretion of flesh which had descended on her in middle life like a flood of lava on a doomed city had changed her from a plump active little woman with a neatly-turned foot and ankle into something as vast and august as a natural phenomenon. She had accepted this submergence as philosophically as all her other trials, and now, in extreme old age, was rewarded by presenting to her mirror an almost unwrinkled expanse of firm pink and white flesh, in the centre of which the traces of a small face survived as if awaiting excavation. A flight of smooth double chins led down to the dizzy depths of a still-snowy bosom veiled in snowy muslins that were held in place by a miniature portrait of the late Mr. Mingott; and around and below, wave after wave of black silk surged away over the edges of a capacious armchair, with two tiny white hands poised like gulls on the surface of the billows.
I replied that I did not quite know what my ailment had been, but that I had certainly suffered a good deal especially in mind. Further, on this subject, I did not consider it advisable to dwell, for the details of what I had undergone belonged to a portion of my existence in which I never expected my godmother to take a share. Into what a new region would such a confidence have led that hale, serene nature! The difference between her and me might be figured by that between the stately ship cruising safe on smooth seas, with its full complement of crew, a captain gay and brave, and venturous and provident; and the life-boat, which most days of the year lies dry and solitary in an old, dark boat-house, only putting to sea when the billows run high in rough weather, when cloud encounters water, when danger and death divide between them the rule of the great deep. No, the "Louisa Bretton" never was out of harbour on such a night, and in such a scene: her crew could not conceive it; so the half-drowned life-boat man keeps his own counsel, and spins no yarns.
Inexpensive Progress Encase your legs in nylons, Bestride your hills with pylons O age without a soul; Away with gentle willows And all the elmy billows That through your valleys roll. Let's say goodbye to hedges And roads with grassy edges And winding country lanes; Let all things travel faster Where motor car is master Till only Speed remains. Destroy the ancient inn-signs But strew the roads with tin signs 'Keep Left, ' 'M4, ' 'Keep Out!' Command, instruction, warning, Repetitive adorning The rockeried roundabout; For every raw obscenity Must have its small 'amenity, ' Its patch of shaven green, And hoardings look a wonder In banks of floribunda With floodlights in between. Leave no old village standing Which could provide a landing For aeroplanes to roar, But spare such cheap defacements As huts with shattered casements Unlived-in since the war. Let no provincial High Street Which might be your or my street Look as it used to do, But let the chain stores place here Their miles of black glass facia And traffic thunder through. And if there is some scenery, Some unpretentious greenery, Surviving anywhere, It does not need protecting For soon we'll be erecting A Power Station there. When all our roads are lighted By concrete monsters sited Like gallows overhead, Bathed in the yellow vomit Each monster belches from it, We'll know that we are dead.
One night he sits up. In cots around him are a few dozen sick or wounded. A warm September wind pours across the countryside and sets the walls of the tent rippling. Werner's head swivels lightly on his neck. The wind is strong and gusting stronger, and the corners of the tent strain against their guy ropes, and where the flaps at the two ends come up, he can see trees buck and sway. Everything rustles. Werner zips his old notebook and the little house into his duffel and the man beside him murmurs questions to himself and the rest of the ruined company sleeps. Even Werner's thirst has faded. He feels only the raw, impassive surge of the moonlight as it strikes the tent above him and scatters. Out there, through the open flaps of the tent, clouds hurtle above treetops. Toward Germany, toward home. Silver and blue, blue and silver. Sheets of paper tumble down the rows of cots, and in Werner's chest comes a quickening. He sees Frau Elena kneel beside the coal stove and bank up the fire. Children in their beds. Baby Jutta sleeps in her cradle. His father lights a lamp, steps into an elevator, and disappears. The voice of Volkheimer: What you could be. Werner's body seems to have gone weightless under his blanket, and beyond the flapping tent doors, the trees dance and the clouds keep up their huge billowing march, and he swings first one leg and then the other off the edge of the bed. 'Ernst, ' says the man beside him. 'Ernst.' But there is no Ernst; the men in the cots do not reply; the American soldier at the door of the tent sleeps. Werner walks past him into the grass. The wind moves through his undershirt. He is a kite, a balloon. Once, he and Jutta built a little sailboat from scraps of wood and carried it to the river. Jutta painted the vessel in ecstatic purples and greens, and she set it on the water with great formality. But the boat sagged as soon as the current got hold of it. It floated downstream, out of reach, and the flat black water swallowed it. Jutta blinked at Werner with wet eyes, pulling at the battered loops of yarn in her sweater. 'It's all right, ' he told her. 'Things hardly ever work on the first try. We'll make another, a better one.' Did they? He hopes they did. He seems to remember a little boat-a more seaworthy one-gliding down a river. It sailed around a bend and left them behind. Didn't it? The moonlight shines and billows; the broken clouds scud above the trees. Leaves fly everywhere. But the moonlight stays unmoved by the wind, passing through clouds, through air, in what seems to Werner like impossibly slow, imperturbable rays. They hang across the buckling grass. Why doesn't the wind move the light? Across the field, an American watches a boy leave the sick tent and move against the background of the trees. He sits up. He raises his hand. 'Stop, ' he calls. 'Halt, ' he calls. But Werner has crossed the edge of the field, where he steps on a trigger land mine set there by his own army three months before, and disappears in a fountain of earth.
[Robert's eulogy at his brother, Ebon C. Ingersoll's grave. Even the great orator Robert Ingersoll was choked up with tears at the memory of his beloved brother] The record of a generous life runs like a vine around the memory of our dead, and every sweet, unselfish act is now a perfumed flower. Dear Friends: I am going to do that which the dead oft promised he would do for me. The loved and loving brother, husband, father, friend, died where manhood's morning almost touches noon, and while the shadows still were falling toward the west. He had not passed on life's highway the stone that marks the highest point; but, being weary for a moment, he lay down by the wayside, and, using his burden for a pillow, fell into that dreamless sleep that kisses down his eyelids still. While yet in love with life and raptured with the world, he passed to silence and pathetic dust. Yet, after all, it may be best, just in the happiest, sunniest hour of all the voyage, while eager winds are kissing every sail, to dash against the unseen rock, and in an instant hear the billows roar above a sunken ship. For whether in mid sea or 'mong the breakers of the farther shore, a wreck at last must mark the end of each and all. And every life, no matter if its every hour is rich with love and every moment jeweled with a joy, will, at its close, become a tragedy as sad and deep and dark as can be woven of the warp and woof of mystery and death. This brave and tender man in every storm of life was oak and rock; but in the sunshine he was vine and flower. He was the friend of all heroic souls. He climbed the heights, and left all superstitions far below, while on his forehead fell the golden dawning, of the grander day. He loved the beautiful, and was with color, form, and music touched to tears. He sided with the weak, the poor, and wronged, and lovingly gave alms. With loyal heart and with the purest hands he faithfully discharged all public trusts. He was a worshipper of liberty, a friend of the oppressed. A thousand times I have heard him quote these words: 'For Justice all place a temple, and all season, summer!' He believed that happiness was the only good, reason the only torch, justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest. He added to the sum of human joy; and were every one to whom he did some loving service to bring a blossom to his grave, he would sleep to-night beneath a wilderness of flowers. Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry. From the voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there comes no word; but in the night of death hope sees a star and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. He who sleeps here, when dying, mistaking the approach of death for the return of health, whispered with his latest breath, 'I am better now.' Let us believe, in spite of doubts and dogmas, of fears and tears, that these dear words are true of all the countless dead. And now, to you, who have been chosen, from among the many men he loved, to do the last sad office for the dead, we give his sacred dust. Speech cannot contain our love. There was, there is, no gentler, stronger, manlier man.
Robert G. Ingersoll