The truth is that we are saved by grace only after all we ourselves can do. (See 2 Ne. 25:23.) There will be no government dole which can get us through the pearly gates. Nor will anybody go into the celestial kingdom who wants to go there on the works of someone else. Every man must go through on his own merits. We might just as well learn this here and now.
Marion G. Romney
This is what I say to the most conservative person that's so terrified of gay marriage becoming legal. Just because the state says it's legal, it's not like God's going to let them into Heaven. So you can still sleep sound every night knowing that goal line defense is up at the pearly gates.
Violet said nothing, though big pearly tears, like a child's, trembled at her lashes. She suddenly missed John very much. Into him she could pour all the inarticulate perceptions, all the knowings and unknowings she felt, which, though he couldn't understand them really, he would receive reverently, and out of him would come then the advice, the warnings, the clever decisions she could never have made.
I'm sad. Pressed down by sorrow. I'm angry. Pissed at God, if there is one, and the way things are. I'm scared. Confused by the whys. Why are we here? Is there, really, some intelligent design? Why do we cry for someone who leaves us if there's some Grand Pearly Gate in the sky? Why worry about how we build our lives if the ultimate ending for all is death, a single breath away? (358)
The conversation progressed, bumper-car style, to a very heated discussion about death and the survival of the soul. It amazes me that we, as a species, can argue so fervently over something that is, when all is said and done, unknowable and unprovable. Nonetheless, we all arrive at conclusions and cleave to our certainties: that there is nothing but the Void; or that we will find ourselves writing an admissions exam at the Pearly Gates.
Really, just looking around, you feel a twinge of pity for the poor souls who succeeded in getting past the Pearly Gates. One can't help but picture the lackluster VIP lounge in Heaven, a kind of nonalcoholic ice-cream social starring Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mahatma Gandhi. Hardly anyone's idea of a "with-it" social register.
But I have sinuous shells of pearly hue Within, and they that lustre have imbibed In the sun's palace-porch, where when unyoked chariot-wheel stands midway in the wave: Shake one, and it awakens; then apply Its polisht lips to your attentive ear, And it remembers its august abodes, And murmurs as the ocean murmurs there.
Walter Savage Landor
They were standing in a very large room. The floorboards stretched in a pale expanse at their feet. There was so much dust on the floor that it had a pearly sheen. "Even you could not nap on this floor," Kami told Angela. "I don't know, a dust mattress might be very comfortable," said Angela. "Also possibly orthopedic.
Sarah Rees Brennan
In the spangled sky, the rainbow, the woodland hung with diamonds, the sward sown with pearly dew, the rosy dawn, the golden clouds of even, the purple mountains, the hoary rock, the blue boundless main, Nature's simplest flower, or some fair form of laughing child or lovely maiden, we cannot see the beautiful without admiring it.
Organic life beneath the shoreless wavesWas born and rais'd in Ocean's pearly cavesFirst forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;These, as successive generations bloom,New powers acquire, and larger limbs assume;Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,And breathing realms of fin, and feet and wing.
Organic life beneath the shoreless wavesWas born and nurs'd in ocean's pearly caves;First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;These, as successive generations bloom,New powers acquire and larger limbs assume;Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,And breathing realms of fin and feet and wing.
Gem thought it would be hilarious to shear his brother's fine hair off while he was sleeping. Ever since then Menai decided he actually preferred the Mohawk. Both had inherited their mother's Western Continent coloring, a blend of pearly white and sea grass green that set their bold sea-colored eyes off handsomely. And since they had grown old enough to realize this, they had become a pair of pre-pubescent manipulating terrors.
Once upon a time, when men and women hurtled through the air on metal wings, when they wore webbed feet and walked on the bottom of the sea, learning the speech of whales and the songs of the dolphins, when pearly-fleshed and jewelled apparitions of Texan herdsmen and houris shimmered in the dusk on Nicaraguan hillsides, when folk in Norway and Tasmania in dead of winter could dream of fresh strawberries, dates, guavas and passion fruits and find them spread next morning on their tables, there was a woman who was largely irrelevant, and therefore happy.
Some folk learned the nature of God, that He was merciful, having spared a husband or some cattle, that He was strict, having meted out hard punishment for small sins, that He was attentive, having sent signs of the hunger beforehand, that He was just, having sent the hunger in the first place, or having sent the whales and the teeming reindeer in the end. Some folk learned that He was to be found in the world-in the richness of the grass and the pearly beauty of the Heavens, and others learned that He could not be found in the world, for the world is always wanting, and God is completion.
From the dim regions beyond the mountains at the upper end of our encircled domain, there crept out a narrow and deep river, brighter than all save the eyes of Eleonora; and, winding stealthily about in mazy courses, it passed away, at length, through a shadowy gorge, among hills still dimmer than those whence it had issued. We called it the "River of Silence"; for there seemed to be a hushing influence in its flow. No murmur arose from its bed, and so gently it wandered along, that the pearly pebbles upon which we loved to gaze, far down within its bosom, stirred not at all, but lay in a motionless content, each in its own old station, shining on gloriously forever.
Edgar Allan Poe
London was a city of ghosts, some deader than others. Thorne knew that in this respect, it wasn't unlike any other major city - New York or Paris or Sydney - but he felt instinctively that London was... at the extreme. The darker side of that history, as opposed to the parks, palaces and pearly kings' side that made busloads of Japanese and American tourists gawk and jabber. The hidden history of a city where the lonely, the dispossessed, the homeless, wandered the streets, brushing shoulders with the shadows of those that had come before them. A city in which the poor and the plague-ridden, those long-since hanged for stealing a loaf or murdered for a shilling, jostled for position with those seeking a meal, or a score, or a bed for the night. A city where the dead could stay lost a long time
And in front of it all are the pearly gates: the proverbial entrance to Heaven that she, in earthly life, thought might not exist. But they are real, not myth or fantasy. As she passes through them, several people greet her. In foreign tongues even, but she understands. Language no longer matter. There are no barriers between herself and others, just love. The gorgeous views seem to go on forever. Ornate structures, mansions, banquet halls, and natural beauty, orchards, gardens. People congregate around huge marble fountains. In the distance are snow-capped mountains of the purist white. She can hear the sounds of rushing rivers and the surf of the ocean at once. Everyone around her is happy, loving, thankful. A choir sings songs of joy and peace while others play musical instruments of every kind in perfect harmony. Children laugh and play in the streets as well as in the clouds above her head.
THE GHOST IS SITTING BLISTERING IN BAGGAGE CLAIM, LIKE A SINNER AT THE PEARLY GATES PRAYING FOR YOU TO SHOUT MY NAME YOUR THRIFT STORE SUITCASES TO THE GAUDY FACES TO BECOMING THE QUEEN THE FAX MACHINE TRANSMITTING ALL THE SHIRTS AND THINGS HOPING MAYBE THE LADY I'M SAVING FROM A FLORESCENT HATIES, ESCAPES THROW THE TICKET AWAY INSIDE DECAYS MAYBE SHE'S GONE MISSING BY MIX UP OR HICCUP THAT SWITCHES THE TERMINAL CHANGE LANE BLAME THE PLANE EITHER WAY I AIN'T GONNA LEAVE TODAY WITHOUT SEEN HER FACE THIS PLACE IS POISON I CAN GET A TASTE TRADE MY HOPE FOR AN ANTIDOTE TO MAYBE MAKE MY ESCAPE, BUT I GO BACK INTO THE FLAMES TO MAKE SURE SHE IS OKAY THEY SAY ITS JUST A PHASE, THEY TELL ME SIT AND WAIT, THEY SAY ITS ON ITS WAY, THEY SAY THAT EVERY CASE BECOMES A FRAME CULTIVATE A COMMON NAME, PACK MY THINGS TO GET ON THE PLANE AND FLY LEAVE HER STANDING AT THE BAGGAGE CLAIM...
She was a Victorian girl; a girl of the days when men were hard and top-hatted and masculine and ruthless and girls were gentle and meek and did a great deal of sewing and looked after the poor and laid their tender napes beneath a husband's booted foot, and even if he brought home cabfuls of half-naked chorus girls and had them dance on the rich round mahogany dining-table (rosily reflecting great pearly hams and bums in its polished depths). Or, drunk to a frenzy, raped the kitchen-maid before the morning assembly of servants and children and her black silk-dressed self (gathered for prayers). Or forced her to stitch, on shirts, her fingers to rags to pay his gambling debts. Husbands were a force of nature or an act of God; like an earthquake or the dreaded consumption, to be borne with, to be meekly acquiesced to, to be impregnated by as frequently as Nature would allow. It took the mindless persistence, the dogged imbecility of the grey tides, to love a husband.
[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil] Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet, When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet; He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how We are working to completion, working on from then to now. Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete, Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet, And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true, And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you. But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn, You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn, What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles; What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles. You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late, But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight; You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night. I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known. You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'? Well then, kiss me, - since my mother left her blessing on my brow, There has been a something wanting in my nature until now; I can dimly comprehend it, - that I might have been more kind, Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind. I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,- Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life; But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still To the service of our science: you will further it? you will! There are certain calculations I should like to make with you, To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true; And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage, Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age. I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap; But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name; See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame. I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak; Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak: It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,- God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
I saw thee once - only once - years ago: I must not say how many - but not many. It was a July midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber, Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared stir, unless on tiptoe - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light, Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in the parterre, enchanted By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell upon the upturn'd faces of the roses, And on thine own, upturn'd - alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight - Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow, ) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footsteps stirred: the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven! - oh, G! How my heart beats in coupling those two words!) Save only thee and me. I paused - I looked - And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind the garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out: The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All - all expired save thee - save less than thou: Save only divine light in thine eyes - Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them - they were the world to me. I saw but them - saw only them for hours - Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a wo! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition! yet how deep - How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go - they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me - they lead me through the years. They are my ministers - yet I their slave. Their office is to illumine and enkindle - My duty, to be saved by their bright fire, And purified in their electric fire, And sanctified in their elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope, ) And are far up in Heaven - the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still - two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe
To Helen I saw thee once-once only-years ago; I must not say how many-but not many. It was a july midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light Thier odorous souls in an ecstatic death- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted by thee, by the poetry of thy prescence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses And on thine own, upturn'd-alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate that, on this july midnight- Was it not Fate (whose name is also sorrow) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footstep stirred; the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh Heaven- oh, God! How my heart beats in coupling those two worlds!) Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked- And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out; The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All- all expired save thee- save less than thou: Save only the divine light in thine eyes- Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them- they were the world to me. I saw but them- saw only them for hours- Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a woe! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition!yet how deep- How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go- they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me- they lead me through the years. They are my ministers- yet I thier slave Thier office is to illumine and enkindle- My duty, to be saved by thier bright light, And purified in thier electric fire, And sanctified in thier Elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope), And are far up in heaven- the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still- two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe
Honest to God, I hadn't meant to start a bar fight. 'So. You're the famous Jordan Amador.' The demon sitting in front of me looked like someone filled a pig bladder with rotten cottage cheese. He overflowed the bar stool with his gelatinous stomach, just barely contained by a white dress shirt and an oversized leather jacket. Acid-washed jeans clung to his stumpy legs and his boots were at least twice the size of mine. His beady black eyes started at my ankles and dragged upward, past my dark jeans, across my black turtleneck sweater, and over the grey duster around me that was two sizes too big. He finally met my gaze and snorted before continuing. 'I was expecting something different. Certainly not a black girl. What's with the name, girlie?' I shrugged. 'My mother was a religious woman.' 'Clearly, ' the demon said, tucking a fat cigar in one corner of his mouth. He stood up and walked over to the pool table beside him where he and five of his lackeys had gathered. Each of them was over six feet tall and were all muscle where he was all fat. 'I could start to examine the literary significance of your name, or I could ask what the hell you're doing in my bar, ' he said after knocking one of the balls into the left corner pocket. 'Just here to ask a question, that's all. I don't want trouble.' Again, he snorted, but this time smoke shot from his nostrils, which made him look like an albino dragon. 'My ass you don't. This place is for fallen angels only, sweetheart. And we know your reputation.' I held up my hands in supplication. 'Honest Abe. Just one question and I'm out of your hair forever.' My gaze lifted to the bald spot at the top of his head surrounded by peroxide blonde locks. 'What's left of it, anyway.' He glared at me. I smiled, batting my eyelashes. He tapped his fingers against the pool cue and then shrugged one shoulder. 'Fine. What's your question?' 'Know anybody by the name of Matthias Gruber?' He didn't even blink. 'No.' 'Ah. I see. Sorry to have wasted your time.' I turned around, walking back through the bar. I kept a quick, confident stride as I went, ignoring the whispers of the fallen angels in my wake. A couple called out to me, asking if I'd let them have a taste, but I didn't spare them a glance. Instead, I headed to the ladies' room. Thankfully, it was empty, so I whipped out my phone and dialed the first number in my Recent Call list. 'Hey. He's here. Yeah, I'm sure it's him. They're lousy liars when they're drunk. Uh-huh. Okay, see you in five.' I hung up and let out a slow breath. Only a couple things left to do. I gathered my shoulder-length black hair into a high ponytail. I looped the loose curls around into a messy bun and made sure they wouldn't tumble free if I shook my head too hard. I took the leather gloves in the pocket of my duster out and pulled them on. Then, I walked out of the bathroom and back to the front entrance. The coat-check girl gave me a second unfriendly look as I returned with my ticket stub to retrieve my things-three vials of holy water, a black rosary with the beads made of onyx and the cross made of wood, a Smith and Wesson.9mm Glock complete with a full magazine of blessed bullets and a silencer, and a worn out page of the Bible. I held out my hands for the items and she dropped them on the counter with an unapologetic, 'Oops.' 'Thanks, ' I said with a roll of my eyes. I put the Glock back in the hip holster at my side and tucked the rest of the items in the pockets of my duster. The brunette demon crossed her arms under her hilariously oversized fake breasts and sent me a vicious sneer. 'The door is that way, Seer. Don't let it hit you on the way out.' I smiled back. 'God bless you.' She let out an ugly hiss between her pearly white teeth. I blew her a kiss and walked out the door. The parking lot was packed outside now that it was half-past midnight. Demons thrived in darkness, so I wasn't surprised. In fact, I'd been counting on it.