If I wanted to become a tramp, I would seek information and advice from the most successful tramp I could find. If I wanted to become a failure, I would seek advice from people who have never succeeded. If I wanted to succeed in all things, I would look around me for those who are succeeding, and do as they have done.
Norman Vincent Peale
There is a hush over all Europe, nay, over all the world. Alas! it is the hush of suspense, and in many lands it is the hush of fear. Listen! No, listen carefully, I think I hear somethingyes, there it was quite clear. Dont you hear it? It is the tramp of armies crunching the gravel of the paradegrounds, splashing through rain-soaked fields, the tramp of two million German soldiers and more than a million Italiansgoing on maneuversyes, only on maneuvers!
Would to God we were all Christians who profess to be Christians, and that we lived up to what we profess. Then would the Christian shine forth 'clear as the sun, fair as the moon, ' and what besides-why, 'amazing as an army with banners'! A consistent Church is an amazing Church-an honest, upright Church would shake the world! The tramp of godly men is the tramp of heroes; these are the thundering legions that sweep everything before them. The men that are what they profess to be, hate the semblance of a lie-whatever shape it wears-and would sooner die than do that which is dishonest, or that which would be degrading to the glory of a Heaven-born race, and to the honor of Him by whose name they have been called! O Christians! You will be the world's contempt; you will be their despising, and hissing unless you live for one objective!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
So many people have asked me how I could possibly be a role model and dress like a tramp and get implants... all I have to say is that self-esteem is how you look at yourself and I feel good enough about myself so wear that kind of clothing... the breast implant issue has nothing to do with that...
With how you were reacting to that glamour, I'll have to keep an eye on you. Otherwise the next time I see you, you'll probably have a Doctor Who tramp stamp. For one awkward second, I realized that the only way Suzume could possibly look hotter to me was if she had a tattoo of the TARDIS on the middle of her lower back. I was profoundly grateful in that moment that the kitsune were unable to read minds.
Brin tilted his head. 'For a moment I thought you were a dirty little tramp like the rest of us, but then you go and ruin it. For future reference, stories about anonymous hookups in alleys should not end up with you going to the library alone.' 'I had a paper due.' Brin burst out laughing and hugged him. 'You're too adorable for words.'
I make jokes about it, but it's the truth that I kind of patterned my look after the town tramp. I didn't know what she was, just this woman who was blond and piled her hair up, wore high heels and tight skirts, and, boy, she was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen. Momma used to say, "Aw, she's just trash," and I thought, That's what I want to be when I grow up. Trash.
In Japan, the people preserve their temples for their exquisite beauty, and there are a great many sincere Buddhists; but China is irreligious: a nation of atheists or agnostics, or slaves of impious superstitions. In an extended tramp among temples, I have not seen a single male worshiper or a thing to please the eye.
I don't ever dream about you and me I don't ever make up stuff about us That would be considered insanity I don't ever drive by your house To see if you're in I don't even have an opinion On that tramp that you are still seeing I don't know your timetable I don't know your face off by heart But I must admit that there's still a part of me That thinks we might get on
The word humility (also human) is derived from the Latin humus, meaning the soil. Perhaps this is not simply because it entails stooping and returning to earthly origins, but also because, as we are rooted in this earth of everyday life, we find in it all the vitality and fertility unnoticed by people who merely tramp on across the surface, drawn by distant landscapes.
If I ever opened a trampoline store, I don't think I'd call it Trampo-Land, because you might think it was a store for tramps, which is not the impression we are trying to convey with our store. On the other hand, we would not prohibit tramps from browsing, or testing the trampolines, unless a tramp's gyrations seemed to be getting out of control.
In the course of time I have learned to tramp about coral reefs, twenty to thirty feet under water, so unconcernedly that I can pay attention to particular definite things. But after all my silly fears have been allayed, even now, with eyes overflowing with surfeit of color, I am still almost inarticulate. We need a whole new vocabulary, new adjectives, adequately to describe the designs and colors of under sea.
He had the tendency, unfortunate for a new member of the committee, to like if not the rich themselves, at least their activities and surroundings, and to dislike the poor; a woman in rags toting a baby, barefoot children, made him feel sadistic rather than compassionate. His socialism, then, had the impatience and unfriendliness of a fashionable doctor forced to attend a tramp run over in the street.
Even at the time-twenty years old-I said to myself: better to go hungry, to go to prison, to be a tramp, than to sit at an office desk ten hours a day. There is no particular daring in this vow, but I have not broken it and shall not do so. The wisdom of my grandfathers sat in my head: we are born for the pleasure of work, fighting, love, we are born for that and nothing else. (Guy de Maupassant)
Even at the time""twenty years old""I said to myself: better to go hungry, to go to prison, to be a tramp, than to sit at an office desk ten hours a day. There is no particular daring in this vow, but I have not broken it and shall not do so. The wisdom of my grandfathers sat in my head: we are born for the pleasure of work, fighting, love, we are born for that and nothing else. (Guy de Maupassant)
Yes you're getting your tattoo." I threw my arms around Dad's neck. "Thank you!" "Hey, " Mom said. "I'm the one who had to persuade him it wasn't turning his little girl into a streetwalker." "I never said that, " Dad said. "No?" I said. "Cool. Cause I've decided to skip the paw print. I'm thinking of a tramp stamp with flames that says 'Hot in Here.' No wait. Arrows. For directionally challenged guys
Yes you're getting your tattoo." I threw my arms around Dad's neck. "Thank you!" "Hey," Mom said. "I'm the one who had to persuade him it wasn't turning his little girl into a streetwalker." "I never said that," Dad said. "No?" I said. "Cool. Cause I've decided to skip the paw print. I'm thinking of a tramp stamp with flames that says 'Hot in Here.' No wait. Arrows. For directionally challenged guys
Temptation is as old as time; or at least, the history of temptation extends as far back as the moment Eve gave Adam that serpent's apple. But what sets the lady apart from the tramp is the ability to acknowledge she needs to clean up her act - and then, of course, the fact that she actually does clean up her act.
Remember that old Disney movie, the cartoon with the dogs, Lady and the Tramp?" she said with a jerky laugh. "it's Jade's favorite of course. We've watched it a million times. This reminds me of that scene where they're eating spaghetti." He raised his eyebrows. He knew exactly the scene. Both dogs both slurped the same piece and ended up kissing.
We're headed for collapse, if you want my opinion, Missy. I can see it in the fallin' off of the quality of vagrants. There was atime you could find real good company in almost any jungle you'd pick, men who could talk, men who'd read a book now and then; and now, what do you find, a lot of dirty little guttersnipes no decent tramp would want to associate with.Well, it's been that way all through history.
John Dos Passos
In people's eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment in June.
I loved Disney. 'Fantasia' was my first, favorite Disney movie. And it just kept going. I loved 'Bambi.' I loved 'Cinderella,' 'Lady and the Tramp' and 'Snow White' and even 'Mary Poppins' which wasn't even fully animated - it was just a little bit animated. They were such a part of my growing up years; I was just very connected to them.
Anika Noni Rose
The poor, stupid, free American citizen! Free to starve, free to tramp the highways of this great country, he enjoys universal suffrage, and by that right, he has forged chains around his limbs. The reward that he receives is stringent labor laws prohibiting the right of boycott, of picketing, of everything, except the right to be robbed of the fruits of his labor.
One year I went as a pirate, but from then on I went as a hobo. It's a word you don't hear anymore. Along with 'tramp, ' it's been replaced by 'homeless person, ' which isn't the same thing. Unlike someone who was evicted or lost his house in a fire, the hobo roughed it by choice. Being at liberty, unencumbered by bills and mortgages, better suited his drinking schedule, and so he found shelter wherever he could, never a bum, but something much less threatening, a figure of merriment, almost.
I long ago lost a hound, a bay horse, and a turtle-dove, and am still on their trail. Many are the travellers I have spoken concerning them, describing their tracks and what calls they answered to. I have met one or two who had heard the hound, and the tramp of the horse, and even seen the dove disappear behind a cloud, and they seemed as anxious to recover them as if they had lost them themselves.
Henry David Thoreau
The most agreeable thing in life is worthy accomplishment. It is not possible that the idle tramp is as contented as the farmers along the road who own their own farms, and whose credit is good at the bank in town. When the tramps get together at night, they abuse the farmers, but do not get as much satisfaction out of it as do the farmers who abuse the tramps. The sounder your argument, the more satisfaction you get out of it.
E. W. Howe
Formerly I believed books were made like this: a poet came, lightly opened his lips, and the inspired fool burst into song - if you please! But it seems, before they can launch a song, poets must tramp for days with callused feet, and the sluggish fish of the imagination flounders softly in the slush of the heart. And while, with twittering rhymes, they boil a broth of loves and nightingales, the tongueless street merely writhes for lack of something to shout or say
Formerly I believed books were made like this: a poet came, lightly opened his lips, and the inspired fool burst into song "" if you please! But it seems, before they can launch a song, poets must tramp for days with callused feet, and the sluggish fish of the imagination flounders softly in the slush of the heart. And while, with twittering rhymes, they boil a broth of loves and nightingales, the tongueless street merely writhes for lack of something to shout or say
Perhaps the greatest charm of tramp-life is the absence of monotony. In Hobo Land the face of life is protean-an ever changing phantasmagoria, where the impossible happens and the unexpected jumps out of the bushes at every turn of the road. The hobo never knows what is going to happen the next moment; hence, he lives only in the present moment. He has learned the futility of telic endeavor, and knows the delight of drifting along with the whimsicalities of Chance
Late April and you are three; today We dug your garden in the yard. To curb the damage of your play, Strange dogs at night and the moles tunneling, Four slender sticks of lath stand guard Uplifting their thin string. So you were the first to tramp it down. And after the earth was sifted close You brought your watering can to drown All earth and us. But these mixed seeds are pressed With light loam in their steadfast rows. Child, we've done our best.
W. D. Snodgrass
A sentence begins quite simply, then it undulates and expands, parentheses intervene like quick-set hedges, the flowers of comparison bloom, and three fields off, like a wounded partridge, crouches the principal verb, making one wonder as one picks it up, poor little thing, whether after all it was worth such a tramp, so many guns, and such expensive dogs, and what, after all, is its relation to the main subject, potted so gaily half a page back, and proving finally to have been in the accusative case.
E. M. Forster
How Beautiful is the rain! After the dust and heat, In the broad and fiery street, In the narrow lane, How beautiful is the rain! How it clatters along the roofs, Like the tramp of hoofs! How it gushes and struggles out From the throat of the overflowing spout! Across the window-pane It pours and pours; And swift and wide, With a muddy tide, Like a river down the gutter roars The rain, the welcome rain! -"Rain in Summer
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I love this word decadence, all shimmering in purple and gold. It suggests the subtle thoughts of ultimate civilization, a high literary culture, a soul capable of intense pleasures. It throws off bursts of fire and the sparkle of precious stones. It is redolent of the rouge of courtesans, the games of the circus, the panting of the gladiators, the spring of wild beasts, the consuming in flames of races exhausted by their capacity for sensation, as the tramp of an invading army sounds.
There is another important point: encountering the poor. If we step outside ourselves we find poverty. Today-it sickens the heart to say so-the discovery of a tramp who has died of the cold is not news. Today what counts as news is, maybe, a scandal. A scandal: ah, that is news! Today, the thought that a great many children do not have food to eat is not news. This is serious, this is serious! We cannot put up with this! Yet that is how things are. We cannot become starched Christians, those over-educated Christians who speak of theological matters as they calmly sip their tea.
No matter how well-born, how intelligent, how highly educated, how virtuous, how rich, how refined, the women of to-day constitutea political class below that of every man, no matter how base-born, how stupid, how ignorant, how vicious, how poverty-stricken, how brutal. The pauper in the almshouse may vote; the lady who devotes her philanthropic thought to making that almshouse habitable, may not. The tramp who begs cold victuals in the kitchen may vote; the heiress who feeds him and endows universities may not.
Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi
He done his level best. Was he a mining on the flat.. He done it with a zest.. Was he a leading of the choir.. He done his level best. If he'd a reg'lar task to do, He never took no rest.. Or if 'twas off and on the same.. He done his level best. If he was preachin' on his beat, He'd tramp from east to west, And north to south..in cold and heat.. He done his level best. He'd Yank a sinner outen (Hades), And land him with the blest; Then snatch a prayer'n waltz in again, And do his level best. He'd cuss and sing and howl and pray, And dance and drink and jest, He done his level best. Whate'er this man was sot to do He done it with a zest; No matter what his contract was, He'd do his level best...
FRYING-PAN, n. One part of the penal apparatus employed in that punitive institution, a woman's kitchen. The frying-pan was invented by Calvin, and by him used in cooking span-long infants that had died without baptism; and observing one day the horrible torment of a tramp who had incautiously pulled a fried babe from the waste-dump and devoured it, it occurred to the great divine to rob death of its terrors by introducing the frying-pan into every household in Geneva. Thence it spread to all corners of the world, and has been of invaluable assistance in the propagation of his sombre faith.
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand... nor look through the eyes of the dead... nor feed on the spectres in books. I tramp a perpetual journey All goes onward and outward... and nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier. If no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content. The final three stanzas of 'Song of Myself" were also highlighted. I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good health to your nevertheless, And filter and fibre your blood. Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one places search another, I stop some where waiting for you It became a weekend of reading, of trying to see her in the fragments of the poem she'd left for me. I could never get anywhere with the lines, but I kepr thinking about them anyway, becase I didn't want to disappoint her. She wanted me to play out with the string, to find the place where she had stopped and was waiting for me, to follow the bread crumb trail until it dead-ended into her.
Big Brown Moose I'm a big brown moose, I'm a rascally moose, I'm a moose with a tough, shaggy hide; and I kick and I prance in a long-legged dance with my moose-mama close by my side. I shrug off the cold and I sneeze at the wind and I swivel my ears in the snow; and I tramp and I tromp over forest and swamp, 'cause there's nowhere a moose cannot go. I'm a big brown moose, I'm a ravenous moose as I hunt for the willow and yew; with a snort and a crunch, I rip off each bunch, and I chew and I chew and I chew. When together we slump in a comfortable clump - my mountainous mama and I - I give her a nuzzle of velvety muzzle. Our frosty breath drifts to the sky. I'm a big brown moose, I'm a slumberous moose, I'm a moose with a warm, snuggly hide; and I bask in the moon as the coyotes croon, with my moose-mama close by my side.
These werewolves and the gwrgi are not like the American breed of werewolf. They are not part timers. They do not spend the one, full moon, night in every twenty eight as a wolf or wolf-man beast. They do not spend twenty eight days and twenty seven nights wandering round high school hallways and shopping malls filled with teenage angst about falling in love with the 'one'. They do not go to cool parties where everyone is half naked and waxed. When werewolves change that's it, seven years as a wolf. Gwrgi are stuck the way they are permanently and aren't so much a wolf with a large dollop of teenage heart throb mixed in, but more a wolf with a little too much stinky tramp mixed in. One folk legend is true. You can kill both werewolves and gwrgi by either shooting them through the heart with a silver bullet or by chopping their head off. But then, pretty much any animal can be killed by shooting them through the heart with a silver bullet or by chopping their head off. And if you're on a budget, the bullet probably doesn't even need to be silver.
I once expected to spend seven years walking around the world on foot. I walked from Mexico to Panama where the road ended before an almost uninhabited swamp called the Choco Colombiano. Even today there is no road. Perhaps it is time for me to resume my wanderings where I left off as a tropical tramp in the slums of Panama. Perhaps like Ambrose Bierce who disappeared in the desert of Sonora I may also disappear. But after being in all mankind it is hard to come to terms with oblivion - not to see hundreds of millions of Chinese with college diplomas come aboard the locomotive of history - not to know if someone has solved the riddle of the universe that baffled Einstein in his futile efforts to make space, time, gravitation and electromagnetism fall into place in a unified field theory - never to experience democracy replacing plutocracy in the military-industrial complex that rules America - never to witness the day foreseen by Tennyson 'when the war-drums no longer and the battle-flags are furled, in the parliament of man, the federation of the world.' I may disappear leaving behind me no worldly possessions - just a few old socks and love letters, and my windows overlooking Notre-Dame for all of you to enjoy, and my little rag and bone shop of the heart whose motto is 'Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.' I may disappear leaving no forwarding address, but for all you know I may still be walking among you on my vagabond journey around the world." [Shakespeare and Company, archived statement]
The world is changing, I said. It is no longer a world just for boys and men. Our women are respected here, said the father. We would never let them tramp the world as American women do. There is always someone to look after the Olinka woman. A father. An uncle. A brother or nephew. Do not be offended, Sister Nettie, but our people pity women such as you who are cast out, we know not from where, into a world unknown to you, where you must struggle all alone, for yourself. So I am an object of pity and contempt, I thought, to men and women alike. Furthermore, said Tashi's father, we are not simpletons. We understand that there are places in the world where women live differently from the way our women do, but we do not approve of this different way for our children. But life is changing, even in Olinka, I said. We are here. He spat on the ground. What are you? Three grownups and two children. In the rainy season some of you will probably die. You people do not last long in our climate. If you do not die, you will be weakened by illness. Oh, yes. We have seen it all before. You Christians come here, try hard to change us, get sick and go back to England, or wherever you come from. Only the trader on the coast remains, and even he is not the same white man, year in and year out. We know because we send him women. Tashi is very intelligent, I said. She could be a teacher. A nurse. She could help the people in the village. There is no place here for a woman to do those things, he said. Then we should leave, I said. Sister Corrine and I. No, no, he said. Teach only the boys? I asked. Yes, he said, as if my question was agreement. There is a way that the men speak to women that reminds me too much of Pa. They listen just long enough to issue instructions. They don't even look at women when women are speaking. They look at the ground and bend their heads toward the ground. The women also do not 'look in a man's face' as they say. To 'look in a man's face' is a brazen thing to do. They look instead at his feet or his knees.
For a long while I have believed - this is perhaps my version of Sir Darius Xerxes Cama's belief in a fourth function of outsideness - that in every generation there are a few souls, call them lucky or cursed, who are simply born not belonging, who come into the world semi-detached, if you like, without strong affiliation to family or location or nation or race; that there may even be millions, billions of such souls, as many non-belongers as belongers, perhaps; that, in sum, the phenomenon may be as 'natural' a manifestation of human nature as its opposite, but one that has been mostly frustrated, throughout human history, by lack of opportunity. And not only by that: for those who value stability, who fear transience, uncertainly, change, have erected a powerful system of stigmas and taboos against rootlessness, that disruptive, anti-social force, so that we mostly conform, we pretend to be motivated by loyalties and solidarities we do not really feel, we hide our secret identities beneath the false skins of those identities which bear the belongers' seal of approval. But the truth leaks out in our dreams; alone in our beds (because we are all alone at night, even if we do not sleep by ourselves), we soar, we fly, we flee. And in the waking dreams our societies permit, in our myths, our arts, our songs, we celebrate the non-belongers, the different ones, the outlaws, the freaks. What we forbid ourselves we pay good money to watch, in a playhouse or a movie theater, or to read about between the secret covers of a book. Our libraries, our palaces of entertainment tell the truth. The tramp, the assassin, the rebel, the thief, the mutant, the outcast, the delinquent, the devil, the sinner, the traveler, the gangster, the runner, the mask: if we did not recognize in them our least-fulfilled needs, we would not invent them over and over again, in every place, in every language, in every time.
So began my love affair with books. Years later, as a college student, I remember having a choice between a few slices of pizza that would have held me over for a day or a copy of On the Road. I bought the book. I would have forgotten what the pizza tasted like, but I still remember Kerouac. The world was mine for the reading. I traveled with my books. I was there on a tramp steamer in the North Atlantic with the Hardy Boys, piecing together an unsolvable crime. I rode into the Valley of Death with the six hundred and I stood at the graves of Uncas and Cora and listened to the mournful song of the Lenni Linape. Although I braved a frozen death at Valley Forge and felt the spin of a hundred bullets at Shiloh, I was never afraid. I was there as much as you are where you are, right this second. I smelled the gunsmoke and tasted the frost. And it was good to be there. No one could harm me there. No one could punch me, slap me, call me stupid, or pretend I wasn't in the room. The other kids raced through books so they could get the completion stamp on their library card. I didn't care about that stupid completion stamp. I didn't want to race through books. I wanted books to walk slowly through me, stop, and touch my brain and my memory. If a book couldn't do that, it probably wasn't a very good book. Besides, it isn't how much you read, it's what you read. What I learned from books, from young Ben Franklin's anger at his brother to Anne Frank's longing for the way her life used to be, was that I wasn't alone in my pain. All that caused me such anguish affected others, too, and that connected me to them and that connected me to my books. I loved everything about books. I loved that odd sensation of turning the final page, realizing the story had ended, and feeling that I was saying a last goodbye to a new friend.
John William Tuohy
I tramp the perpetual journey My signs are a rain-proof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut from the woods, No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair, I have no chair, no philosophy, I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange, But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll, My left hand hooking you round the waist, My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road. Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you, You must travel it for yourself. It is not far, it is within reach, Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know, Perhaps it is everywhere on water and on land. Shoulder your duds dear son, and I will mine, and let us hasten forth, Wonderful cities and free nations we shall fetch as we go. If you tire, give me both burdens, and rest the chuff of your hand on my hip, And in due time you shall repay the same service to me, For after we start we never lie by again. This day before dawn I ascended a hill and look'd at the crowded heaven, And I said to my spirit When we become the enfolders of those orbs, and the pleasure and knowledge of every thing in them, shall we be fill'd and satisfied then? And my spirit said No, we but level that lift to pass and continue beyond. You are also asking me questions and I hear you, I answer that I cannot answer, you must find out for yourself. Sit a while dear son, Here are biscuits to eat and here is milk to drink, But as soon as you sleep and renew yourself in sweet clothes, I kiss you with a good-by kiss and open the gate for your egress hence. Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams, Now I wash the gum from your eyes, You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life. Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore, Now I will you to be a bold swimmer, To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.
This is a love story, Michael Deane says. But, really, what isn't? Doesn't the detective love the mystery, or the chase, or the nosy female reporter, who is even now being held against her wishes at an empty warehouse on the waterfront? Surely the serial murderer loves his victims, and the spy loves his gadgets or his country or the exotic counterspy. The ice trucker is torn between his love for ice and truck, and the competing chefs go crazy for scallops, and the pawnshop guys adore their junk just as the Housewives live for catching glimpses of their own Botoxed brows in gilded hall mirrors, and the rocked-out dude on 'roids totally wants to shred the ass of the tramp-tatted girl on Hookbook, and because this is reality, they are all in love-madly, truly-with the body mic clipped to their back buckle, and the producer casually suggesting just one more angle, one more Jell-O shot. And the robot loves his master, alien loves his saucer, Superman loves Lois, Lex, and Lana, Luke love Leia (till he finds out she's his sister), and the exorcist loves the demon even as he leaps out the window with it, in full soulful embrace, as Leo loves Kate and they both love the sinking ship, and the shark-God, the shark loves to eat, which is what the Mafioso loves, too-eating and money and Paulie and omerta` -the way the cowboy loves his horse, loves the corseted girl behind the piano bar, and sometimes loves the other cowboy, as the vampire loves night and neck, and the zombie-don't even start with the zombie, sentimental fool; has anyone ever been more lovesick than a zombie, that pale, dull metaphor for love, all animal craving and lurching, outstretched arms, his very existence a sonnet about how much he wants those brains? This, too, is a love story.
Far over the misty mountains cold To dungeons deep and caverns old We must away ere break of day To seek the pale enchanted gold. The dwarves of yore made mighty spells, While hammers fell like ringing bells In places deep, where dark things sleep, In hollow halls beneath the fells. For ancient king and elvish lord There many a gleaming golden hoard They shaped and wrought, and light they caught To hide in gems on hilt of sword. On silver necklaces they strung The flowering stars, on crowns they hung The dragon-fire, in twisted wire They meshed the light of moon and sun. Far over the misty mountains cold To dungeons deep and caverns old We must away, ere break of day, To claim our long-forgotten gold. Goblets they carved there for themselves And harps of gold; where no man delves There lay they long, and many a song Was sung unheard by men or elves. The pines were roaring on the height, The wind was moaning in the night. The fire was red, it flaming spread; The trees like torches blazed with light. The bells were ringing in the dale And men looked up with faces pale; The dragon's ire more fierce than fire Laid low their towers and houses frail. The mountain smoked beneath the moon; The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom. They fled their hall to dying fall Beneath his feet, beneath the moon. Far over the misty mountains grim To dungeons deep and caverns dim We must away, ere break of day, To win our harps and gold from him!
In good truth he had started in London with some vague idea that as his life in it would not be of long continuance, the pace at which he elected to travel would be of little consequence; but the years since his first entry into the Metropolis were now piled one on top of another, his youth was behind him, his chances of longevity, spite of the way he had striven to injure his constitution, quite as good as ever. He had come to that period of existence, to that narrow strip of tableland, whence the ascent of youth and the descent of age are equally discernible - when, simply because he has lived for so many years, it strikes a man as possible he may have to live for just as many more, with the ability for hard work gone, with the boon companions scattered, with the capacity for enjoying convivial meetings a mere memory, with small means perhaps, with no bright hopes, with the pomp and the circumstance and the fairy carriages, and the glamour which youth flings over earthly objects, faded away like the pageant of yesterday, while the dreary ceremony of living has to be gone through today and tomorrow and the morrow after, as though the gay cavalcade and the martial music, and the glittering helmets and the prancing steeds were still accompanying the wayfarer to his journey's end. Ah! my friends, there comes a moment when we must all leave the coach with its four bright bays, its pleasant outside freight, its cheery company, its guard who blows the horn so merrily through villages and along lonely country roads. Long before we reach that final stage, where the black business claims us for its own speecial property, we have to bid goodbye to all easy, thoughtless journeying and betake ourselves, with what zest we may, to traversing the common of reality. There is no royal road across it that ever I heard of. From the king on his throne to the laborer who vaguely imagines what manner of being a king is, we have all to tramp across that desert at one period of our lives, at all events; and that period is usually when, as I have said, a man starts to find the hopes, and the strength, and the buoyancy of youth left behind, while years and years of life lie stretching out before him. The coach he has travelled by drops him here. There is no appeal, there is no help; therefore, let him take off his hat and wish the new passengers good speed without either envy or repining. Behld, he has had his turn, and let whosoever will, mount on the box-seat of life again, and tip the coachman and handle the ribbons - he shall take that journey no more, no more for ever. ("The Banshee's Warning")