And now, when I have summed up all my store, Thinking (so I myself deceive) So rich a chaplet thence to weave As never yet the King of Glory wore, Alas! I find the serpent old, That, twining in his speckled breast, About the flowers disguised does fold With wreaths of fame and interest.
For having expressed an opinion, however far-fetched, we straightway become its slave, ready to die defending it, and even ready to believe it. And many continue to be martyrs to causes which have ceased to exist, their crowns rusting upon their heads as tin wreaths rust upon forgotten tombs.
The riches of heaven, the honor which cometh from God only, and the pleasures at His right hand, the absence of all evil, the presence and enjoyment of all good, and this good enduring to eternity, never more to be taken from us, never more to be in any, the least degree, diminished, but forever increasing, these are the wreaths which form the contexture of that crown held forth to our hopes.
Thomas Hartwell Horne
Yet, she said to herself, form the dawn of time odes have been sung to love; wreaths heaped and roses; and if you asked nine people out of ten they would say they wanted nothing but this--love; while the women, judging from her own experience, would all the time be feeling, This is not what we want; there is nothing more tedious, puerile, and inhumane than this; yet it is also beautiful and necessary.
Your honors here may serve you for a time, as it were for an hour, but they will be of no use to you beyond this world. Nobody will have heard a word of your honors in the other life. Your glory, your shame, your ambitions, and all the treasures for which you push hard and sacrifice much will be like wreaths of smoke. For these things, which you mostly seek, and for which you spend your life only tarry with you while you are on this side of the flood.
Henry Ward Beecher
We placed the wreaths upon the splendid granite sarcophagus, and at its feet, and felt that only the earthly robe we loved so much was there. The pure, tender, loving spirit which loved us so tenderly, is above us - loving us, praying for us, and free from all suffering and woe - yes, that is a comfort, and that first birthday in another world must have been a far brighter one than any in this poor world below!
... it was religion that saved me. Our ugly church and parochial school provided me with my only aesthetic outlet, in the words ofthe Mass and the litanies and the old Latin hymns, in the Easter lilies around the altar, rosaries, ornamented prayer books, votive lamps, holy cards stamped in gold and decorated with flower wreaths and a saint's picture.
'THIS ROOM HAS MYSTERY LIKE A TRANCE' This room has mystery like a trance Of wine ; forget-me-nots of you Are chair and couch, the books your Fingers touched. And now that you Are absent here the silence scrapes A secret rust from everything; While sudden wreaths of sorrow's Dust uncover emptiness like halls To stumble through, and terror falls
The groves and thickets of smaller trees are full of blooming evergreen vines. These vines are not arranged in separate groups, or in delicate wreaths, but in bossy walls and heavy, mound-like heaps and banks. Am made to feel that I am now in a strange land. I know hardly any of the plants, but few of the birds, and I am unable to see the country for the solemn, dark, mysterious cypress woods which cover everything.
Heaped on the floor were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, bartrels of oysters, re-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam.
Blackened skeleton arms of wood by the wayside pointed upward to the convent, as if the ghosts of former travellers, overwhelmed by the snow, haunted the scene of their distress. Icicle-hung caves and cellars built for refuges from sudden storms, were like so many whispers of the perils of the place; never-resting wreaths and mazes of mist wandered about, hunted by a moaning wind; and snow, the besetting danger of the mountain, against which all its defences were taken, drifted sharply down.
This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green, Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes, Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes. I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration, Faces of people streaming across my gaze.
D. H. Lawrence
When we pulled out into the winter night and the real snow, our snow, began to stretch out beside us and twinkle against the windows, and the dim lights of small Wisconsin stations moved by, a sharp wild brace came suddenly into the air. That's my middle-west - not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away; Lengthen night and shorten day; Every leaf speaks bliss to me Fluttering from the autumn tree. I shall smile when wreaths of snow Blossom where the rose should grow; I shall sing when night's decay Ushers in a drearier day. Post to Facebook 222222222 Post to Twitter Post to Google+ Post to Pinterest Post to Blogger Add to Tumblr Add to LinkedIn
The dawn came - not the flaming sky that promises storm, but a golden dawn of infinite promise. The birds came flying up out of the east in wedge-shaped formation, and the mist lifted in soft wreaths of sun-shot silver. Colour came back to the world. The grass glowed with a green so vivid that it seemed pulsing, like flame, from some hidden fire in the earth, the distant woods took on all the amazing deep crimsons and purples of their winter colouring, the banks were studded with their jewels of lichens and bright moss, and above the wet hedges shone with sun-shot orbs of light.
What a night it was! The jagged masses of heavy dark cloud were rolling at intervals from horizon to horizon, and thin white wreaths covered the stars. Through all the rush of the cloud river the moon swam, breasting the waves and disappearing again in the darkness. I walked up and down, drinking in the beauty of the quiet earth and the changing sky. The night was absolutely silent. Nothing seemed to be abroad. There was no scurrying of rabbits, or twitter of the half-asleep birds. And though the clouds went sailing across the sky, the wind that drove them never came low enough to rustle the dead leaves in the woodland paths. Across the meadows I could see the church tower standing out black and grey against the sky. ("Man Size In Marble")
Such was the complexity of things. For what happened to her, especially staying with the Ramsays, was to be made to feel violently two opposite things at the same time; that's what you feel, was one; that's what I feel, was the other, and then they fought together in her mind, as now. It is so beautiful, so exciting, this love, that I tremble on the verge of it, and offer, quite out of my own habit, to look for a brooch on a beach; also it is the stupidest, the most barbaric of human passions, and turns a nice young man with a profile like a gem's (Paul's was exquisite) into a bully with a crowbar (he was swaggering, he was insolent) in the Mile End Road. Yet, she said to herself, from the dawn of time odes have been sung to love; wreaths heaped and roses; and if you asked nine people out of ten they would say they wanted nothing but this-love; while the women, judging from her own experience, would all the time be feeling, This is not what we want; there is nothing more tedious, puerile, and inhumane than this; yet it is also beautiful and necessary.
Lines Written In Early Spring I heard a thousand blended notes, While in a grove I sate reclined, In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind. To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man. Through primrose tufts, in that green bower, The periwinkle trailed its wreaths; And 'tis my faith that every flower Enjoys the air it breathes. The birds around me hopped and played, Their thoughts I cannot measure:- But the least motion which they made It seemed a thrill of pleasure. The budding twigs spread out their fan, To catch the breezy air; And I must think, do all I can, That there was pleasure there. If this belief from heaven be sent, If such be Nature's holy plan, Have I not reason to lament What man has made of man?
The moon went slowly down in loveliness; she departed into the depth of the horizon, and long veil-like shadows crept up the sky through which the stars appeared. Soon, however, they too began to pale before a splendour in the east, and the advent of the dawn declared itself in the newborn blue of heaven. Quieter and yet more quiet grew the sea, quiet as the soft mist that brooded on her bosom, and covered up her troubling, as in our tempestuous life the transitory wreaths of sleep brook upon a pain-racked soul, causing it to forget its sorrow. From the east to the west sped those angels of the Dawn, from sea to sea, from mountain-top to mountain-top, scattering light from breast and wing. On they sped out of the darkness, perfect, glorious; on, over the quiet sea, over the low coast-line, and the swamps beyond, and the mountains above them; over those who slept in peace and those who woke in sorrow; over the evil and the good; over the living and the dead; over the wide world and all that breathes or as breathed thereon.
H. Rider Haggard
The Second Koran tells us that the darkness in ourselves is a sinister thing. It waits until we relax, it waits until we reach the most vulnerable moments, and then it snares us. I want to be dutiful. I want to do what I should. But when I go back to the tube, I think of where I am going; to that small house and my empty room. What will I do tonight? Make more paper flowers, more wreaths? I am sick of them. Sick of the Nekropolis. I can take the tube to my mistress' house, or I can go by the street where Mardin's house is. I'm tired. I'm ready to go to my little room and relax. Oh, Holy One, I dread the empty evening. Maybe I should go by the street just to fill up time. I have all this empty time in front of me. Tonight and tomorrow and the week after and the next month and all down through the years as I never marry and become a dried-up woman. Evenings spent folding paper. Days cleaning someone else's house. Free afternoons spent shopping a bit, stopping in tea shops because my feet hurt. That is what lives are, aren't they? Attempts to fill our time with activity designed to prevent us from realizing that there is no meaning?
Maureen F. McHugh
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up-for you the flag is flung-for you the bugle trills, For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths-for you the shores a-crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head! It is some dream that on the deck, You've fallen cold and dead. My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will, The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; Exult O shores, and ring O bells! But I with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Art is the conscious making of numinous phenomena. Many objects are just objects - inert, merely utilitarian. Many events are inconsequential, too banal to add anything to our experience of life. This is unfortunate, as one cannot grow except by having one's spirit greatly stirred; and the spirit cannot be greatly stirred by spiritless things. Much of our very life is dead. For primitive man, this was not so. He made his own possessions, and shaped and decorated them with the aim of making them not merely useful, but powerful. He tried to infuse his weapons with the nature of the tiger, his cooking pots with the life of growing things; and he succeeded. Appearance, material, history, context, rarity - perhaps rarity most of all - combine to create, magically, the quality of soul. But we modern demiurges are prolific copyists; we give few things souls of their own. Locomotives, with their close resemblance to beasts, may be the great exception; but in nearly all else with which today's poor humans are filling the world, I see a quelling of the numinous, an ashening of the fire of life. We are making an inert world; we are building a cemetery. And on the tombs, to remind us of life, we lay wreaths of poetry and bouquets of painting. You expressed this very condition, when you said that art beautifies life. No longer integral, the numinous has become optional, a luxury - one of which you, my dear friend, are fond, however unconsciously. You adorn yourself with the same instincts as the primitive who puts a frightening mask of clay and feathers on his head, and you comport yourself in an uncommonly calculated way - as do I. We thus make numinous phenomena of ourselves. No mean trick - to make oneself a rarity, in this overpopulated age.
The bast, dispersing in shreds in the sunset whispered "Time has begun." The son, Adam, stripped naked, descended into the Old Testament of his native land and arrayed himself in bast; a wreath of roadside field grass he placed upon his brow, a staff, not a switch, he pulled from the ground, flourishing the birch branch like a sacred palm. On the road he stood like a guard. The dust-gray road ran into the sunset. And a crow perched there, perched and croaked, there where the celestial fire consumed the earth. There were blind men along the dust-gray road running into the twilight. Antique, crooken, they trailed along, lonely and sinister silhouettes, holding to one another and to their leader's cane. They were raising dust. One was beard-less, he kept squinting. Another, a little old man with a protruding lip, was whispering and praying. A third, covered with red hair, frowned. Their backs were bent, their heads bowed low, their arms extended to the staff. Strange it was to see this mute procession in the terrible twilight. They made their way immutable, primordial, blind. Oh, if only they could open their eyes, oh if only they were not blind! Russian Land, awake! And Adam, rude image of the returned king, lowered the birch branch to their white pupils. And on them he laid his hands, as, groaning and moaning they seated themselves in the dust and with trembling hands pushed chunks of black bread into their mouths. Their faces were ashen and menacing, lit with the pale light of deadly clouds. Lightning blazed, their blinded faces blazed. Oh, if only they opened their eyes, oh, if only they saw the light! Adam, Adam, you stand illumined by lightnings. Now you lay the gentle branch upon their faces. Adam, Adam, say, see, see! And he restores their sight. But the blind men turning their ashen faces and opening their white eyes did not see. And the wind whispered "Thou art behind the hill." From the clouds a fiery veil began to shimmer and died out. A little birch murmured, beseeching, and fell asleep. The dusk dispersed at the horizon and a bloody stump of the sunset stuck up. And spotted with brilliant coals glowing red, the bast streamed out from the sunset like a striped cloak. On the waxen image of Adam the field grass wreaths sighed fearfully giving a soft whistle and the green dewy clusters sprinkled forth fiery tears on the blind faces of the blind. He knew what he was doing, he was restoring their sight. ("Adam")