It had grown darker as they talked, and the wind was sawing and the sawdust was whirling outside paler windows. The underlying churchyard was already settling into deep dim shade, and the shade was creeping up to the housetops among which they sat. "As if," said Eugene, "as if the churchyard ghosts were rising."
Becky -" he begins, and there's a tiny intake of breath around the churchyard. "Will you-" "Yes! Yeee-esssss!" I hear the joyful sound ripping through the churchyard before I even realize I've opened my mouth. I'm so charged up with emotion, my voice doesn't even sound like mine. In fact, it sounds more like... Mum. I don't believe it.
On a Tuesday night they were wed, And by Friday they were dead. And they buried them in the churchyard side by side, Oh my love, And they buried them in the churchyard side by side." Breaking away from Gideon with some reluctance, Sophie rose to her feet and dusted off her dress. "Please forgive me, my dear Mr. Lightwood- I mean Gideon- but I must go and murder the cook. I shall be directly back.
I wonder why he hastened to tell us that George Hearne was buried in the churchyard, and then added that naturally he was!' 'It's the natural place to be buried in, ' said I. 'Quite. That's just why it was hardly worth mentioning.' I felt then, just momentarily, just vaguely, as if my mind was regarding stray pieces of a jig-saw puzzle. The fancied ringing of the telephone bell last night was one of them, this burial of George Hearne in the churchyard was another, and, even more inexplicably, the ladder I had seen under the trees was a third. Consciously I made nothing whatever out of them, and did not feel the least inclination to devote any ingenuity to so fortuitous a collection of pieces. Why shouldn't I add, for that matter, our morning's bathe, or the gorse on the hillside? But I had the sensation that, though my conscious brain was presently occupied with piquet, and was rapidly growing sleepy with the day of sun and sea, some sort of mole inside it was digging passages and connecting corridors below the soil. ("Expiation")
I do not ever remember to have trembled at a tale of superstition or to have feared the apparition of a spirit. Darkness had no effect upon my fancy, and a churchyard was to me merely the receptacle of bodies deprived of life, which, from being the seat of beauty and strength, had become food for the worm.
Again and again, however we know the landscape of love and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names, and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others fall: again and again the two of us walk out together under the ancient trees, lie down again and again among the flowers, face to face with the sky.
Rainer Maria Rilke
No man is quite so much a hero in the dark as in broad daylight, in solitude as in society, in the gloom of the churchyard as in the blaze of the drawing-room. The season and the place may be such as to oppress the stoutest heart with a mysterious awe, which, if not fear, is near akin to it.
William H. Prescott
When stuck years ago in a job I hated, my only friend was the public bench. As the tedious mornings dragged on, how I would long for the lunch hour, when I would be able to escape the torture of the office and stroll over to the churchyard and into the comforting wooden embrace of one of its benches.
NONE OF US WILL SOON FORGET THE DAY BEFORE THOSE THINGS ARRIVED IN THE CHURCHYARD ON THE HILL, A MAN HAD JUST BURIED HIS BRIDE SHE RETURNED THAT DAY, ALIVE. THERE'S A SILHOUETTE ON THE HORIZON LIKE AN EVIL STAIN ON THE RISING SUN. AND AS IT APPROACHED, WE SAW IT WAS HER. AND HER EYES WERE RED, SHE SAID 'YOU'RE ALL DEAD!', THEN COLLAPSED DOWN TO THE GROUND AS IF SOMEBODY CUT HER STRINGS.
What connexion can there be, between the place in Lincolnshire, the house in town, the Mercury in powder, and the whereabout of Jo the outlaw with the broom, who had that distant ray of light upon him when he swept the churchyard-step? What connexion can there have been between many people in the innumerable histories of this world, who, from opposite sides of great gulfs, have, nevertheless, been very curiously brought together!
ROMEO to BALTHASAR But if thou, jealous, dost return to pry In what I further shall intend to do, By heaven, I will tear thee joint by joint And strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs: The time and my intents are savage-wild, More fierce and more inexorable far Than empty tigers or the roaring sea.
"It is a sensation not experienced by many mortals," said he, "to be looking into a churchyard on a wild windy night, and to feel that I no more hold a place among the living than these dead do, and even to know that I lie buried somewhere else, as they lie buried here. Nothing uses me to it. A spirit that was once a man could hardly feel stranger or lonelier, going unrecognized among mankind, than I feel."
What do you think is my favourite book? Just now, I mean; I change every three days. "Wuthering Heights." Emily Bronte was quite young when she wrote it, and had never been outside of Haworth churchyard. She had never known any men in her life; how could she imagine a man like Heathcliffe? I couldn't do it, and I'm quite young and never outside the John Grier Asylum - I've had every chance in the world. Sometimes a dreadful fear comes over me that I'm not a genius. Will you be awfully disappointed, Daddy, if I don't turn out to be a great author?
It is a strange world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles; and yet when King Laugh come he make them all dance to the tune he play. Bleeding hearts, and dry bones of the churchyard, and tears that burn as they fall -- all dance together to the music that he make with that smileless mouth of him.
Guilt and misery shrink, by a natural instinct, from public notice: they court privacy and solitude: and even in their choice of a grave will sometimes sequester themselves from the general population of the churchyard, as if declining to claim fellowship with the great family of man; thus, in a symbolic language universally understood, seeking (in the affecting language of Mr. Wordsworth) ' Humbly to express A penitential loneliness.
Thomas de Quincey
As I've said, it wasn't until a long time afterwards-long after I'd left the Cottages-that I realized just how significant out little encounter in the churchyard had been. I was upset at the time, yes. But I didn't believe it to be anything so different from other tiffs we'd had. It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven could unravel and separate over a thing like that. But the fact was, I suppose, there were powerful tides tugging us apart by then, and it only needed something like that to finish the task. If we'd understood that back then-who knows?-maybe we'd have kept a tighter hold of one another.
Jane Francklyne, born in 1565, had lived for less than a month. She left very little behind. She was buried in the Ecton churchyard, but her father would hardly have paid a carver to engrave so small a stone. If not for the parish register, there would be no record that this Jane Francklyne had ever lived at all. History is what is written and can be found; what isn't saved is lost, sunken and rotted, eaten by the earth.
Many people have heard the remarkable example of devotion involving a Skye terrier dog who worked for a Scottish shepherd named Old Jock. In 1858, the day after Jock was buried (with almost nobody present to mourn him except his shaggy dog) in the churchyard at Greyfriars Abbey in Edinburgh, Bobby was found sleeping on his master's grave, where he continued to sleep every night for fourteen years.
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
It was a very aged, ghostly place; the church had been built many hundreds of years ago, and had once had a convent or monastery attached; for arches in ruins, remains of oriel windows, and fragments of blackened walls, were yet standing-, while other portions of the old building, which had crumbled away and fallen down, were mingled with the churchyard earth and overgrown with grass, as if they too claimed a burying-place and sought to mix their ashes with the dust of men.
Mastema prefers absolutes. He wants fences on the world and everything in its place, neat and tidy as a churchyard garden. God is not like that. God is boundless. For all his wisdom, Mastema cannot comprehend Yahweh's need for surprises. An omniscient Being would naturally yearn for things beyond His control, futures He could not see, wills He could influence but not command. Strange, yes. It is odd when the puppeteer desires his wooden slaves to cut their strings, yet that is exactly what He did when he granted humans free will.
The clouds were flying fast, the wind was coming up in gusts, banging some neighboring shutters that had broken loose, twirling the rusty chimney-cowls and weathercocks, and rushing round and round a confined adjacent churchyard as if it had a mind to blow the dead citizens out of their graves. The low thunder, muttering in all quarters of the sky at once, seemed to threaten vengeance for this attempted desecration, and to mutter, "Let them rest! Let them rest!
Still stands the forest primeval; but far away from its shadow, Side by side, in their nameless graves, the lovers are sleeping.Under the humble walls of the little catholic churchyard,In the heart of the city, they lie, unknown and unnoticed;Daily the tides of life go ebbing and flowing beside them,Thousands of throbbing hearts, where theirs are at rest and forever,Thousands of aching brains, where theirs no longer are busy,Thousands of toiling hands, where theirs have ceased from their labors,Thousands of weary feet, where theirs have completed their journey!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
However constant the visitations of sickness and bereavement, the fall of the year is most thickly strewn with the fall of human life. Everywhere the spirit of some sad power seems to direct the time; it hides from us the blue heavens, it makes the green wave turbid; it walks through the fields, and lays the damp ungathered harvest low; it cries out in the night wind and the shrill hail; it steals the summer bloom from the infant cheek; it makes old age shiver to the heart; it goes to the churchyard, and chooses many a grave.
Yet man dies not whilst the world, at once his mother and his monument, remains. His name is lost, indeed, but the breath he breathed still stirs the pine-tops on the mountains, the sound of the words he spoke yet echoes on through space; the thoughts his brain gave birth to we have inherited to-day; his passions are our cause of life; the joys and sorrows that he knew are our familiar friends-the end from which he fled aghast will surely overtake us also! Truly the universe is full of ghosts, not sheeted churchyard spectres, but the inextinguishable elements of individual life, which having once been, can never die, though they blend and change, and change again for ever.
H. Rider Haggard
It is a strange world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles. And yet when King Laugh come, he make them all dance to the tune he play. Bleeding hearts, and dry bones of the churchyard, and tears that burn as they fall, all dance together to the music that he make with that smileless mouth of him. Ah, we men and women are like ropes drawn tight with strain that pull us different ways. Then tears come, and like the rain on the ropes, they brace us up, until perhaps the strain become too great, and we break. But King Laugh he come like the sunshine, and he ease off the strain again, and we bear to go on with our labor, what it may be.
Sonnet III: Black Coffin opened wide for all to See Black Coffin opened wide for all to See, The lifeless form of one I loved so dear. O, listen! mournful knells that soon shall be All night long tolling for the folk to hear. The lanterns overlight the old churchyard To watch the coffin lowered into the ground; Soon Frost shall grasp the turf already hard, Decay ye have to face without a sound. But years have pass'd herein do I relate My dear sweet mother's form within my mind. Still happiness fills all my heart and state, As I see my small family so kind. Love cannot be withheld by death or grave, It stays alive within the heart so brave.
Keep it always with you that laughter who knock at your door and say, 'May I come in?' is not the true laughter. No! he is a king, and he come when and how he like. He ask no person; he choose no time of suitability. He say, 'I am here.'... Oh, friend John, it is a strange world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles; and yet when King Laugh come he make them all dance to the tune he play. Bleeding hearts, and dry bones of the churchyard, and tears that burn as they fall - all dance together to the music that he make with that smileless mouth of him. And believe me, friend John, that he is good to come, and kind. Ah, we men and women are like ropes drawn tight with strain that pull us different ways. Then tears come; and, like the rain on the ropes, they brace us up, until perhaps the strain become too great, and we break. But King Laugh he come like the sunshine, and he ease off the strain again; and we bear to go on with our labour, what it may be.
When she opened her eyes, she was both in her body and watching it, nowhere near the cavity of the tree. The Blue that was before her stood inches from a boy in an Aglionby sweater. There was a slight stoop to his posture, and his shoulders were spattered darkly with rain. It was his fingers that Blue felt on her face. He touched her cheek with the backs of his fingers. Tears coursed down the other Blue's face. Though some strange magic, Blue could feel them on her face as well. She could feel, too, sick, rising misery she'd felt in the churchyard, the grief that felt bigger than her. The other Blue's tears seemed endless. One drop slid after another, each following an identical path down her cheeks. The boy in the Aglionby sweater leaned his forehead against Blue's. She felt the pressure of his skin against hers, and suddenly she could smell mint. It'll be okay. Gansey told the other Blue. She could tell that he was afraid. It'll be okay. Impossibly, Blue realized that this other Blue was crying because she loved Gansey. And that the reason Gansey touched her like that, his fingers so careful with her, was because he knew that her kiss could kill him. She could feel how badly the other Blue wanted to kiss him, even as she dreaded it. Though she couldn't understand why, her real, present day memories in the tree cavity were clouded with other false memories of their lips nearly touching, a life this other Blue had already lived. Okay, I'm ready- Gansey's voice caught, just a little. Blue, kiss me.
With the first jolt he was in daylight; they had left the gateways of King's Cross, and were under blue sky. Tunnels followed, and after each the sky grew bluer, and from the embankment at Finsbury Park he had his first sight of the sun. It rolled along behind the eastern smokes - a wheel, whose fellow was the descending moon - and as yet it seemed the servant of the blue sky, not its lord. He dozed again. Over Tewin Water it was day. To the left fell the shadow of the embankment and its arches; to the right Leonard saw up into the Tewin Woods and towards the church, with its wild legend of immortality. Six forest trees - that is a fact - grow out of one of the graves in Tewin churchyard. The grave's occupant - that is the legend - is an atheist, who declared that if God existed, six forest trees would grow out of her grave. These things in Hertfordshire; and farther afield lay the house of a hermit - Mrs. Wilcox had known him - who barred himself up, and wrote prophecies, and gave all he had to the poor. While, powdered in between, were the villas of business men, who saw life more steadily, though with the steadiness of the half-closed eye. Over all the sun was streaming, to all the birds were singing, to all the primroses were yellow, and the speedwell blue, and the country, however they interpreted her, was uttering her cry of 'now. ' She did not free Leonard yet, and the knife plunged deeper into his heart as the train drew up at Hilton. But remorse had become beautiful.
To my lovely starling, Maybe there are magical words that will make you understand, but if so, I do not know them. Words are your domain. I've always been better with pictures. I fear you think I am a monster. It's true I've disrupted many graves. The way I see it, the dead are dead. If, after their death, we can learn things from the about the human form - things that will increase the sum of human knowledge and the possibilities of art - what harm is that? After death, new life, new beauty. How can that be wrong? My friends and I have made use of some of the bodies as models. some we sell to surgeons who study them with the hopes of learning something about the frail mechanisms of the human body. I don't know exactly what Dottor de Gradi does in his workshop on the Rialto, and I was as surprised as you were to stumble on it. He couldn't - he wouldn't tell me if your friend's body ended up there. But he did assure me all of his work is focused solely on extending human life. I won't lie. I did it for the money as well. Don Loredan is holding a private exhibition in his palazzo tomorrow. The entry fee was quite steep but two of my paintings were accepted. This could be the beginning for me. I could find my own patrons. I could be more than just a peasant. Tommaso's assistant. So yes; a little for money. But mostly I did for the art. I don't expect these words to change how you feel. I simply want you not to see me as a monster. I don't want to be a monster. Not anymore. Not after meeting you. I know that we disrupted you dear friend's body, and for that I am deeply regretful. But if we had not done so, if I had not lingered in the San Domenico churchyard after standing guard for my friends, you and I might never have met. Meeting you is one thing I will never regret. I hope you like the painting. Consider tit a wedding gift. How stupid of me to let my heart go. It was a lovely fantasy while it lasted, though, wasn't it? Yours, Falco
Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming. All the magic and glass mountains and pearls the size of houses and princesses beautiful as the day and talking birds and part-time serpents are distractions from the core of most of the stories, the struggle to survive against adversaries, to find your place in the world, and to come into your own. Fairy tales are almost always the stories of the powerless, of youngest sons, abandoned children, orphans, of humans transformed into birds and beasts or otherwise enchanted away from their own lives and selves. Even princesses are chattels to be disowned by fathers, punished by step-mothers, or claimed by princes, though they often assert themselves in between and are rarely as passive as the cartoon versions. Fairy tales are children's stories not in wh they were made for but in their focus on the early stages of life, when others have power over you and you have power over no one. In them, power is rarely the right tool for survival anyway. Rather the powerless thrive on alliances, often in the form of reciprocated acts of kindness - from beehives that were not raided, birds that were not killed but set free or fed, old women who were saluted with respect. Kindness sewn among the meek is harvested in crisis... In Hans Christian Andersen's retelling of the old Nordic tale that begins with a stepmother, "The Wild Swans, " the banished sister can only disenchant her eleven brothers - who are swans all day look but turn human at night - by gathering stinging nettles barehanded from churchyard graves, making them into flax, spinning them and knitting eleven long-sleeved shirts while remaining silent the whole time. If she speaks, they'll remain birds forever. In her silence, she cannot protest the crimes she accused of and nearly burned as a witch. Hauled off to a pyre as she knits the last of the shirts, she is rescued by the swans, who fly in at the last moment. As they swoop down, she throws the nettle shirts over them so that they turn into men again, all but the youngest brother, whose shirt is missing a sleeve so that he's left with one arm and one wing, eternally a swan-man. Why shirts made of graveyard nettles by bleeding fingers and silence should disenchant men turned into birds by their step-mother is a question the story doesn't need to answer. It just needs to give us compelling images of exile, loneliness, affection, and metamorphosis - and of a heroine who nearly dies of being unable to tell her own story.