I wasted time, and now doth time waste me; For now hath time made me his numbering clock: My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch, Whereto my finger, like a dial's point, Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears. Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is Are clamorous goans, which strike upon my heart, Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans Show minutes, times, and hours.
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me; For now hath time made me his numbering clock: My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch, Whereto my finger, like a dial's point, Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears. Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is Are clamorous groans, which strike upon my heart, Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans Show minutes, times, and hours.
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o'erflow? If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad, Threatening the welking with his big-swoln face? And wilt though have a reason for this coil? I am the sea; hark, how her sighs do blow! She is the weeping welkin, I the earth: Then must my sea be moved with her sighs; Then must my earth with her continual tears Become a deluge, overflow'd and drown'd; For why my bowels cannot hide her woes, But like a drunkard must I vomit them. Then give me leave, for losers will have leave To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.
What madness, to love a man as something more than human! I lived in a fever, convulsed with tears and sighs that allowed me neither rest nor peace of mind. My soul was a burden, bruised and bleeding. It was tired of the man who carried it, but I found no place to set it down to rest. Neither the charm of the countryside nor the sweet scents of a garden could soothe it. It found no peace in song or laughter, none in the company of friends at table or in the pleasures of love, none even in books or poetry. Everything that was not what my friend had been was dull and distasteful. I had heart only for sighs and tears, for in them alone I found some shred of consolation.
Augustine of Hippo
Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs; Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes; Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears. What is it else? A madness most discreet, A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. *Here's what love is: a smoke made out of lovers' sighs. When the smoke clears, love is a fire burning in your lover's eyes. If you frustrate love, you get an ocean made out of lovers' tears. What else is love? It's a wise form of madness. It's a sweet lozenge that you choke on.*
Now and again, one could detect in a childless woman of a certain age the various characteristics of all the children she had never issued. Her body was haunted by the ghost of souls who hadn't lived yet. Premature ghosts. Half-ghosts. X's without Y's. Y's without X's. They applied at her womb and were denied, but, meant for her and no one else, they wouldn't go away. Like tiny ectoplasmic gophers, they hunkered in her tear ducts. They shone through her sighs. Often to her chagrin, they would soften the voice she used in the marketplace. When she spilled wine, it was their playful antics that jostled the glass. They called out her name in the bath or when she passed real children in the street. The spirit babies were everywhere her companions, and everywhere they left her lonesome - yet they no more bore her resentment than a seed resents uneaten fruit. Like pet gnats, like phosphorescence, like sighs on a string, they would follow her into eternity.
Elizabeth." I feel my smile on my face as I understand what she is doing. Though it's a strange one, she has a name-sound just like I do, and she's telling me what it is. I try to make the same sounds. "Ehh..beh." I frown. Why is her name-sound so difficult and so long? She frowns right back at me and says it again. "Elizabeth." "Beh-tah-babaa." She sighs and her forehead wrinkles. "Elizabeth. Eeee-lizzzz-ahh-beth." "Laahh... baaay." She taps her chest again. "Beth!" The sound is shorter but still very odd. "Beh-bet." "Beth, " she repeats. I've had enough. I reach out and touch her should. "Beh." "Beth." I tap her a little harder and growl. "Beh", I repeat. I tap her again. "BEH!" Her eyes widen a bit, and she inhales sharply. A moment later, her shoulders drop and she sighs. "Beh, " she says quietly.