Do not be troubled because you have not great virtues. God made a million spears of grass where He made one tree. The earth is fringed and carpeted, not with forests, but with grasses. Only have enough of little virtues and common fidelities, and you need not mourn because you are neither a hero or a saint.
Henry Ward Beecher
The darkness is not so dense as it was; there are faint streaks on the horizon's verge; mist is in the valleys, but there is a radiance on the distant hill. It comes nearer--that promise of the day. The clouds roll rapidly away, and they are fringed with amber and gold. It is, it is the blest sunlight that I feel around me--Morning! It is morning!
William Morley Punshon
I heard the trailing garments of the Night Sweep through her marble halls! I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light From the celestial walls! I felt her presence, by its spell of might, Stoop o'er me from above; The calm, majestic presence of the Night, As of the one I love.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
She sleeps: her breathings are not heard In palace chambers far apart. The fragrant tresses are not stirr'd That lie upon her charmed heart She sleeps: on either hand upswells The gold-fringed pillow lightly prest: She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells A perfect form in perfect rest.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
In Africa a thing is true at first light and a lie by noon and you have no more respect for it than for the lovely, perfect wood-fringed lake you see across the sun-baked salt plain. You have walked across that plain in the morning and you know that no such lake is there. But now it is there absolutely true, beautiful and believable.
In midmost of the stream, embraced in the weir's shimmering arm-spread, a small island lay anchored, fringed close with willow and silver birch and alder. Reserved, shy, but full of significance, it hid whatever it might hold behind a veil, keeping it till the hour should come, and, with the hour, those who were called and chosen.
The ship's boards were still sticky with new resin. We leaned over the railing to wave our last farewell, the sun-warm wood pressed against our bellies. The sailors heaved up the anchor, square and chalky with barnacles, and loosened the sails. Then they took their seats at the oars that fringed the boat like eyelashes, waiting for the count. The drums began to beat, and the oars lifted and fell, taking us to Troy.
My litter sister looks up at me. Mom was right. Her eyes are the same as they've always been. Brown eyes fringed with long lashes and steeped with the memory of sweetness and light, laughter and joy - trapped in this mangled corpse-like face. "It's all right, baby girl, " I whisper into her hair as I hug her. "I'm here. I came for you." Her face crumples and her eyes shine. "You came for me." I stroke her hair. It's as silky as ever.
Light That's how I feel- like the winter-fringed breeze might scoop me up into its wings, fly away with me trapped in its feathered embrace. I am a snowflake. A wisp of eiderdown, liberated from gravity. My body is light. Ephemeral. My head is light. I want to sway beneath the weight of air, dizzy with thought. Light filters through my closed eyelids. The sun, chasing shadows, tells me I'm not afloat in dreams.
The government tells us we need flood control and comes to straighten the creek in our pasture. The engineer on the job tells us the creek is now able to carry off more flood water, but in the process we have lost our old willows where the owl hooted on a winter night and under which the cows switched flies in the noon shade. We lost the little marshy spot where our fringed gentians bloomed.
Life is not mean, it is grand; if it is mean to any, he or she makes it so. God made it glorious. It is paved with diamonds; its banks he fringed with flowers. He overarched it with stars. Around it He spread the glory of the physical universe-suns, moon, worlds, constellations, systems-all that is magnificent in motion, sublime in magnitude, and grand in order and obedience. God would not have attended life with this broad march of grandeur if it did not mean something.
Orison Swett Marden
Her ears, lightly fringed with white that looked silver, lifted and moved, back, forward, listening and sensing. Her face turned, slightly, after each new sensation, alert. Her tail moved, in another dimension, as if its tip was catching messages her other organs could not. She sat poised, air-light, looking, hearing, feeling, smelling, breathing, with all of her, fur, whiskers, ears - everything, in delicate vibration.
As a thinker I keep discovering that beauty itself is as much a fact, and a mystery...I consider nature's facts -- its beautiful and grotesque forms and events -- in terms of the import to thought and their impetus to the spirit. In nature I find grace tangled in a rapture with violence; I find an intricate landscape whose forms are fringed in death; I find mystery, newness, and a kind of exuberant, spendthrift energy.
Then her eyes narrowed. The sun was spilling in the window behind her and Dageus's eyes were golden, dappled with darker flecks. Smoky and sensual, fringed by thick dark lashes, but gold nonetheless. "What is with your eyes?" she exclaimed. "Is it part of being a Druid?" "What color are they?" he asked warily. "Gold." He flashed her another unguarded smile. It was like basking in the sun, she thought, tracing her fingers over his beard-shadowed jaw, smiling helplessly back.
Karen Marie Moning
Seek to make life henceforth a consecrated thing; that so, when the sunset is nearing, with its murky vapors and lowering skies, the very clouds of sorrow may be fringed with golden light. Thus will the song in the house of your pilgrimage be always the truest harmony. It will be composed of no jarring, discordant notes; but with all its varied tones will form one sustained, life-long melody; dropped for a moment in death, only to be resumed with the angels, and blended with the everlasting cadences of your Father's house.
John Ross Macduff
He thought himself awake when he was already asleep. He saw the stars above his face, whirling on their silent and sleepless axis, and the leaves of the trees rustling against them, and he heard small changes in the grass. These little noises of footsteps and soft-fringed wing-beats and stealthy bellies drawn over the grass blades or rattling against the bracken at first frightened or interested him, so that he moved to see what they were (but never saw), then soothed him, so that he no longer cared to see what they were but trusted them to be themselves, and finally left him altogether as he swam down deeper and deeper, nuzzling into the scented turf, into the warm ground, into the unending waters under the earth.
On the second and the third night there was again a ball - this time in mid-ocean, during a furious storm sweeping over the ocean, which roared like a funeral mass and rolled up mountainous seas fringed with mourning silvery foam. The Devil, who from the rocks of Gibraltar, the stony gateway of two worlds, watched the ship vanish into night and storm, could hardly distinguish from behind the snow the innumerable fiery eyes of the ship. The Devil was as huge as a cliff, but the ship was even bigger, a many-storied, many-stacked giant, created by the arrogance of the New Man with his ancient heart.
Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery. The surface of mystery is not smooth, any more than the planet is smooth; not even a single hydrogen atom is smooth, let alone a pine. Nor does it fit together; not even the chlorophyll and hemoglobin molecules are a perfect match, for, even after the atom of iron replaces the magnesium, long streamers of disparate atoms trail disjointedly from the rims of the molecule's loops. Freedom cuts both ways. Mystery itself is as fringed and intricate at the shape of the air at times. Forays into mystery cut bays and fine fjords, but the forested mainland itself is implacable both in its bulk and in its most filigreed fringe of detail.
But I'll have to ask you to wait a long time, Anne, " said Gilbert sadly. "It will be three years before I'll finish my medical course. And even then there will be no diamond sunbursts and marble halls." Anne laughed. "I don't want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want YOU. You see I'm quite as shameless as Phil about it. Sunbursts and marble halls may be all very well, but there is more `scope for imagination' without them. And as for the waiting, that doesn't matter. We'll just be happy, waiting and working for each other - and dreaming. Oh, dreams will be very sweet now." Gilbert drew her close to him and kissed her. Then they walked home together in the dusk, crowned king and queen in the bridal realm of love, along winding paths fringed with the sweetest flowers that ever bloomed, and over haunted meadows where winds of hope and memory blew.
Singing at the Edge of Need by Susan Laughter Meyers (fragment) Three things I turned my back to: light, the past, the trunk of an old tree. One by one each unfastened itself. To sit is to present when the roll is called. I knew that. I wore my hat of straw, fringed like fingers sifting a breeze. My hat collecting a thousand thoughts... I had no map and few lessons yet to guide me. I was a study of questions. O Grandmother, I was small, sitting in the midst of wildness, a child thrilling at the boss of thunder. A rustle of leaves, moss tipping at me- I was small, I was hunger, I was thirst- wings flitting in a brush pile. O Grandmother, I was small, kneeling in the midst of wonder, quaking and singing at the edge of need.
Susan Laughter Meyers
She walked with measured steps, draped in striped and fringed cloths, treading the earth proudly, with a slight jingle and flash of barbarous ornaments. She carried her head high; her hair was done in the shape of a helmet; she had brass leggings to the knee, brass wire gauntlets to the elbow, a crimson spot on her tawny cheek, innumerable necklaces of glass beads on her neck; bizarre things, charms, gifts of witch-men, that hung about her, glittered and trembled at every step. She must have had the value of several elephant tusks upon her. She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress. And in the hush that had fallen suddenly upon the whole sorrowful land, the immense wilderness, the colossal body of the pensive, as though it had been looking at the image of its own tenebrous and passionate soul.
He looked at them and saw their faces did not fit. The skin on the skulls crawled and twitched like half-solid paste. All the heads in his angle of vision seemed irregular lumps, like potatoes but without a potato's repose: potatoes with crawling surfaces punctured by holes which opened and shut, holes blocked with coloured jelly or fringed with bone stumps, elastic holes through which air was sucked or squirted, holes secreting salt, wax, spittle and snot. He grasped a pencil in his trouser pocket, wishing it were a knife he could thrust through his cheek and use to carve his face down to the clean bone. But that was foolish. Nothing clean lay under the face. He thought of sectioned brains, palettes, eyeballs and ears seen in medical diagrams and butcher's shops. He thought of elastic muscle, pulsing tubes, gland sacks full of lukewarm fluid, the layers of cellular and fibrous and granular tissues inside a head. What was felt as tastes, caresses, dreams and thoughts could be seen as a cleverly articulated mass of garbage.
The Listeners 'Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller, Knocking on the moonlit door; And his horse in the silence champed the grasses Of the forest's ferny floor. And a bird flew up out of the turret, Above the Traveller's head: And he smote upon the door again a second time; 'Is there anybody there?' he said. But no one descended to the Traveller; No head from the leaf-fringed sill Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes, Where he stood perplexed and still. But only a host of phantom listeners That dwelt in the lone house then Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight To that voice from the world of men: Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair, That goes down to the empty hall, Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken By the lonely Traveller's call. And he felt in his heart their strangeness, Their stillness answering his cry, While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf, 'Neath the starred and leafy sky; For he suddenly smote on the door, even Louder, and lifted his head:- 'Tell them I came, and no one answered, That I kept my word, ' he said. Never the least stir made the listeners, Though every word he spake Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house From the one man left awake: Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup, And the sound of iron on stone, And how the silence surged softly backward, When the plunging hoofs were gone.
Walter de la Mare
Nancy waded out to her own rocks and searched her own pools and let that couple look after themselves. She crouched low down and touched the smooth rubber-like sea anemones, who were stuck like lumps of jelly to the side of the rock. Brooding, she changed the pool into the sea, and made the minnows into sharks and whales, and cast vast clouds over this tiny world by holding her hand against the sun, and so brought darkness and desolation, like God himself, to millions of ignorant and innocent creatures, and then took her hand away suddenly and let the sun stream down. Out on the pale criss-crossed sand, high-stepping, fringed, gauntleted, stalked some fantastic leviathan (she was still enlarging the pool), and slipped into the vast fissures of the mountain side. And then, letting her eyes slide imperceptibly above the pool and rest on that wavering line of sea and sky, on the tree trunks which the smoke of steamers made waver on the horizon, she became with all that power sweeping savagely in and inevitably withdrawing, hypnotised, and the two senses of that vastness and this tininess (the pool had diminished again) flowering within it made her feel that she was bound hand and foot and unable to move by the intensity of feelings which reduced her own body, her own life, and the lives of all the people in the world, for ever, to nothingness. So listening to the waves, crouching over the pool, she brooded.
You are God. You want to make a forest, something to hold the soil, lock up energy, and give off oxygen. Wouldn't it be simpler just to rough in a slab of chemicals, a green acre of goo? You are a man, a retired railroad worker who makes replicas as a hobby. You decide to make a replica of one tree, the longleaf pine your great-grandfather planted- just a replica- it doesn't have to work. How are you going to do it? How long do you think you might live, how good is your glue? For one thing, you are going to have to dig a hole and stick your replica trunk halfway to China if you want the thing to stand up. Because you will have to work fairly big; if your replica is too small, you'll be unable to handle the slender, three-sided needles, affix them in clusters of three in fascicles, and attach those laden fascicles to flexible twigs. The twigs themselves must be covered by 'many silvery-white, fringed, long-spreading scales.' Are your pine cones' scales 'thin, flat, rounded at the apex?' When you loose the lashed copper wire trussing the limbs to the trunk, the whole tree collapses like an umbrella. You are a sculptor. You climb a great ladder; you pour grease all over a growing longleaf pine. Next, you build a hollow cylinder around the entire pine... and pour wet plaster over and inside the pine. Now open the walls, split the plaster, saw down the tree, remove it, discard, and your intricate sculpture is ready: this is the shape of part of the air. You are a chloroplast moving in water heaved one hundred feet above ground. Hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen in a ring around magnesium... you are evolution; you have only begun to make trees. You are god- are you tired? Finished?
I used to have a cat, an old fighting tom, who sprang through the open window by my bed and pummeled my chest, barely sheathing his claws. I've been bloodied and mauled, wrung, dazzled, drawn. I taste salt on my lips in the early morning; I surprise my eyes in the mirror and they are ashes, or fiery sprouts, and I gape appalled or full of breath. The planet whirls along and dreaming. Power broods, spins, and lurches down. The planet and the power meet with a shock. They fuse and tumble, lightning, ground fire; they part, mute, submitting, and touch again with hiss and cry. The tree with the lights in it buzzes into flame and the cast-rock mountains ring. Emerson saw it. 'I dreamed that I floated at will in the great Ether, and I saw this world floating also not far off, but diminished to the size of an apple. Then an angel took it in his hand and brought it to me and said, 'This must thou eat.' And I ate the world.' All of it. All of it intricate, speckled, gnawed, fringed, and free. Israel's priests offered the wave breast and the heave shoulder together, freely, in full knowledge, for thanksgiving. They waved, they heaved, and neither gesture was whole without the other, and both meant a wide-eyed and keen-eyed thanks. Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, said the bell. A sixteenth-century alchemist wrote of the philosopher's stone, 'One finds it in the open country, in the village and in the town. It is in everything which God created. Maids throw it on the street. Children play with it.' The giant water bug ate the world. And like Billy Bray, I go my way, and my left foot says 'Glory,' and my right foot says 'Amen': in and out of Shadow Creek, upstream and down, exultant, in a daze, dancing, to the twin silver trumpets of praise.