Let it be ours to be self-reliant amidst hosts of the vacillating "" real in a generation of triflers "" true amongst a multitude of shams; when tempted to swerve from principle, sturdy as an oak in its maintenance; when solicited by the enticement of sinners, firm as a rock in our denial.
William Morley Punshon
O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even if against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah takes care of both. So do not follow your desires, lest you swerve. If you deviate, or turn away-then Allah is Aware of what you do.
For historians ought to be precise, truthful, and quite unprejudiced, and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor affection, should cause them to swerve from the path of truth, whose mother is history, the rival of time, the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instruction of the present, the monitor of the future.
Miguel de Cervantes
Eyes are at rest, the stars are setting. Hushed are the stirrings of birds in their nests, Of monsters in the ocean. You are the Just who knows no change, The Balance that can never swerve, The Eternal which never passes away. The doors of Kings are bolted now and guarded by soldiers. Your Door is open to all who call upon You. Each love is now alone with his beloved. And I am alone with You.
Senseless is the breast and cold Which relenting love would fold; Bloodless are the veins and chill Which the pulse of pain did fill; Every little living nerve That from bitter words did swerve Round the tortur'd lips and brow, Are like sapless leaflets now Frozen upon December's bough.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Struggle hard and then if you do not succeed, you are not to blame. Let the world praise or blame you. Let all the wealth of the earth come to your feet, or let you be made the poorest on earth. Let death come this moment or hundreds of years hence. Swerve not from the path you have taken. All good thoughts are immortal and go to make Buddhas and Christs.
Prophet may you be! If I be false, or swerve a hair from truth, when time is old and hath forgot itself, when waterdrops have worn the stones of Troy, and blind oblivion swallowed cities up, and mighty states characterless are grated to dusty nothing, yet let memory, from false to false, among false maids in love, upbraid my falsehood!
Nobody gives way to anybody. Everyone just angles, points, dives directly toward his destination, pretending it is an all-or-nothing gamble. People glare at one another and fight for maneuvering space. All parties are equally determined to get the right-of-way--insist on it. They swerve away at the last possible moment, giving scant inches to spare. The victor goes forwards, no time for a victory grin, already engaging in another contest of will. Saigon traffic is Vietnamese life, a continuous charade of posturing, bluffing, fast moves, tenacity and surrenders.
Andrew X. Pham
Its subtlest, most appealing accomplishment may be in how other characters respond to Gregorius' precipitous swerve onto the spiritual path. (...) That said, Night Train to Lisbon is a very long, ambitious book that's feverishly overwritten. (...) Think of W.G. Sebald recast for the mass market: stripped of nuance, cooked at high temperature and pounded home, clause after clause. Some of the clumsiness derives from Barbara Harshav's inelegant translation -- we're often aware of her struggle -- but she can't be blamed for the pervasive bloat.
Man's life is a line that nature commands him to describe upon the surface of the earth, without his ever being able to swerve from it, even for an instant. He is born without his own consent; his organization does in nowise depend upon himself; his ideas come to him involuntarily; his habits are in the power of those who cause him to contract them; he is unceasingly modified by causes, whether visible or concealed, over which he has no control, which necessarily regulate his mode of existence, give the hue to his way of thinking, and determine his manner of acting. He is good or bad, happy or miserable, wise or foolish, reasonable or irrational, without his will being for any thing in these various states.
Paul Henri Thiry d'Holbach
I PLAYED THE PART I PLAYED THE START I MADE A TABLE OUT OF CLAY I PLACED MY HANDS UPON THE PLANS I WAITED FOR A PROUD DISPLAY I PLAYED AROUND I HEARD THE SOUND OF CERTAIN TROUBLE ON THE WAY I GOT BULLDOG SKIN I TOOK A CAR I DROVE IT FAR I DUG THE QUALITY OF STEEL I CRASHED MY NERVE I MADE IT SWERVE I MADE IT BACK - WAS NO BIG DEAL I TASTED BLOOD A DATE WITH SCUD AND NOW I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FEEL I GOT BULLDOG SKIN
Guided by Voices
So spake the Seraph Abdiel faithful found, Among the faithless, faithful only hee; Among innumerable false, unmov'd, Unshak'n, unseduc'd, unterrifi'd His Loyaltie he kept, his Love, his Zeale; Nor number, nor example with him wrought To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind Though single. From amidst them forth he passd, Long way through hostile scorn, which he susteind Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught; And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd On those proud Towrs to swift destruction doom'd.
For the movement was without scruples; she rolled towards her goal unconcernedly and deposed the corpses of the drowned in the windings of her course. Her course had many twists and windings; such was the law of her being. And whosoever could not follow her crooked course was washed on to the bank, for such was her law. The motives of the individual did not matter to her. His conscience did not matter to her, neither did she care what went on in his head and his heart. The Party knew only one crime: to swerve from the course laid out; and only one punishment: death. Death was no mystery in the movement; there was nothing exalted about it: it was the logical solution to political divergences
For as long as I could remember, I had been transparent to myself, unselfconscious, learning, doing, most of every day. Now I was in my own way; I myself was a dark object I could not ignore. I couldn't remember how to forget myself. I didn't want to think about myself, to reckon myself in, to deal with myself every livelong minute on top of everything else - but swerve as I might, I couldn't avoid it. I was a boulder blocking my own path. I was a dog barking between my own ears, a barking dog who wouldn't hush. So this was adolescence. Is this how the people around me had died on their feet - inevitably, helplessly? Perhaps their own selves eclipsed the sun for so many years the world shriveled around them, and when at least their inescapable orbits had passed through these dark egoistic years it was too late, they had adjusted. Must I then lose the world forever, that I had so loved? Was it all, the whole bright and various planet, where I had been so ardent about finding myself alive, only a passion peculiar to children, that I would outgrow even against my will?
There had been no crises of incident, or marked movements of experience such as in Felipe's imaginations of love were essential to the fulness of its growth. This is a common mistake on the part of those who have never felt love's true bonds. Once in those chains, one perceives that they are not of the sort full forged in a day. They are made as the great iron cables are made, on which bridges are swung across the widest water-channels, -not of single huge rods, or bars, which would be stronger, perhaps, to look at; but myriads of the finest wires, each one by itself so fine, so frail, it would barely hold a child's kite in the wind: by hundreds, hundreds of thousands of such, twisted, re-twisted together, are made the mighty cables, which do not any more swerve from their place in the air, under the weight and jar of the ceaseless traffic and tread of two cities, than the solid earth swerves under the same ceaseless weight and jar. Such cables do not break.
Helen Hunt Jackson
Early Summer, loveliest season, The world is being colored in. While daylight lasts on the horizon, Sudden, throaty blackbirds sing. The dusty-colored cuckoo cuckoos. "Welcome, summer" is what he says. Winter's unimaginable. The wood's a wickerwork of boughs. Summer means the river's shallow, Thirsty horses nose the pools. Long heather spreads out on bog pillows. White bog cotton droops in bloom. Swallows swerve and flicker up. Music starts behind the mountain. There's moss and a lush growth underfoot. Spongy marshland glugs and stutters. Bog banks shine like ravens' wings. The cuckoo keeps on calling welcome. The speckled fish jumps; and the strong Swift warrior is up and running. A little, jumpy, chirpy fellow Hits the highest note there is; The lark sings out his clear tidings. Summer, shimmer, perfect days.
I swear by God the Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit to keep according to my ability and my judgment. The following Oath and agreement, ' she began to recite, 'to consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him. To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art; and that by my teaching, I will impart knowledge of this art to my own sons, and to my teacher's sons, and to disciples bound by an indenture and oath according to the medical laws, and no others. I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts. I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art. In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or men, be they free or slaves. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, whom ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal. If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all humanity and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my life.' Sophia Dennison to Peace on the matters of genocide
Kipjo Kenyatta Ewers
I used to read in books how our fathers persecuted mankind. But I never appreciated it. I did not really appreciate the infamies that have been committed in the name of religion, until I saw the iron arguments that Christians used. I saw the Thumbscrew-two little pieces of iron, armed on the inner surfaces with protuberances, to prevent their slipping; through each end a screw uniting the two pieces. And when some man denied the efficacy of baptism, or may be said, 'I do not believe that a fish ever swallowed a man to keep him from drowning, ' then they put his thumb between these pieces of iron and in the name of love and universal forgiveness, began to screw these pieces together. When this was done most men said, 'I will recant.' Probably I should have done the same. Probably I would have said: 'Stop; I will admit anything that you wish; I will admit that there is one god or a million, one hell or a billion; suit yourselves; but stop.' But there was now and then a man who would not swerve the breadth of a hair. There was now and then some sublime heart, willing to die for an intellectual conviction. Had it not been for such men, we would be savages to-night. Had it not been for a few brave, heroic souls in every age, we would have been cannibals, with pictures of wild beasts tattooed upon our flesh, dancing around some dried snake fetich. Let us thank every good and noble man who stood so grandly, so proudly, in spite of opposition, of hatred and death, for what he believed to be the truth. Heroism did not excite the respect of our fathers. The man who would not recant was not forgiven. They screwed the thumbscrews down to the last pang, and then threw their victim into some dungeon, where, in the throbbing silence and darkness, he might suffer the agonies of the fabled damned. This was done in the name of love-in the name of mercy, in the name of Christ. I saw, too, what they called the Collar of Torture. Imagine a circle of iron, and on the inside a hundred points almost as sharp as needles. This argument was fastened about the throat of the sufferer. Then he could not walk, nor sit down, nor stir without the neck being punctured, by these points. In a little while the throat would begin to swell, and suffocation would end the agonies of that man. This man, it may be, had committed the crime of saying, with tears upon his cheeks, 'I do not believe that God, the father of us all, will damn to eternal perdition any of the children of men.' I saw another instrument, called the Scavenger's Daughter. Think of a pair of shears with handles, not only where they now are, but at the points as well, and just above the pivot that unites the blades, a circle of iron. In the upper handles the hands would be placed; in the lower, the feet; and through the iron ring, at the centre, the head of the victim would be forced. In this condition, he would be thrown prone upon the earth, and the strain upon the muscles produced such agony that insanity would in pity end his pain. I saw the Rack. This was a box like the bed of a wagon, with a windlass at each end, with levers, and ratchets to prevent slipping; over each windlass went chains; some were fastened to the ankles of the sufferer; others to his wrists. And then priests, clergymen, divines, saints, began turning these windlasses, and kept turning, until the ankles, the knees, the hips, the shoulders, the elbows, the wrists of the victim were all dislocated, and the sufferer was wet with the sweat of agony. And they had standing by a physician to feel his pulse. What for? To save his life? Yes. In mercy? No; simply that they might rack him once again. This was done, remember, in the name of civilization; in the name of law and order; in the name of mercy; in the name of religion; in the name of Christ.
Robert G. Ingersoll