I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
I’ve learned that we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.
I’ve learned that money doesn’t buy class.
I’ve learned that it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
I’ve learned that under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
I’ve learned that the Lord didn’t do it all in one day.
What makes me think I can?
I’ve learned that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I’ve learned. I’ve learned….That the less time I have to work, the more things I get done.
Each, in himself, his hour to be and cease
Endures alone, but who of men shall dare,
Sole with himself, his single burden bear,
All the long day until the night’s release?
Yet ere night falls, and the last shadows close,
This labour of himself is each man’s lot;
All he has gained on earth shall be forgot,
Himself he leaves behind him when he goes.
If he has any valiancy within,
If he has made his life his very own,
If he has loved or laboured, and has known
A strenuous virtue, or a strenuous sin;
Then, being dead, his life was not all vain,
For he has saved what most desire to lose,
And he has chosen what the few must choose,
Since life, once lived, shall not return again.
For of our time we lose so large a part
In serious trifles, and so oft let slip
The wine of every moment, at the lip
Its moment, and the moment of the heart.
We are awake so little on the earth,
And we shall sleep so long, and rise so late,
If there is any knocking at that gate
Which is the gate of death, the gate of birth.
Beyond the last horizon’s rim
Beyond adventure’s farthest quest,
Somewhere they rise, serene and dim,
The happy, happy Hills of Rest.
Upon their sunlit slopes uplift
The castles we have built in Spain-
While fair amid the summer drift
Our faded gardens flower again.
Sweet hours we did not live go by
To soothing note, on scented wing;
In golden-lettered volumes lie
The songs we tried in vain to sing.
They are all there, the days of dream
That build the inner lives of men;
The silent, sacred years we deem
The might be and the might have been.
Some evening when the sky is gold
I’ll follow day into the west;
Nor pause, nor heed, till I behold
The happy, happy Hills of Rest.
~Albert Bigelow Paine~
Heart free, hand free,
Blue above, brown under,
All the world to me
Is a place of wonder.
Sun shine, moon shine,
Stars, and winds a-blowing,
All into this heart of mine
Flowing, flowing, flowing!
Mind free, step free,
Days to follow after,
Joys of life sold to me
For the price of laughter.
Girl’s love, man’s love,
Love of work and duty,
Just a will of God’s to prove
Beauty, beauty, beauty!
~ William Stanley Braithwaite~
Although with lives, submerged and brief,
Insects will mount above,
Until they make a coral reef
They are not dreaming of.
So from dark waters of our doubt,
More than we ever meant,
On our dead selves, we may lift out
A fertile continent.
To those who see with loving eyes, life is beautiful.
To those who speak with tender voices, life is peaceful.
To those who help with gentle hands, life is full.
And to those who care with compassionate hearts, life is good beyond all measure.
From As You Like It…
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
An excerpt from the verse of Greek Style Drama…
Before the beginning of years
There came to the making of man
Time, with a gift of tears;
Grief, with a glass that ran;
Pleasure, with pain for leaven;
Summer, with flowers that fell;
Remembrance, fallen from heaven,
And madness risen from hell;
Strength without hands to smite;
Love that endures for a breath;
Night, the shadow of light,
And Life, the shadow of death.
~Algernon Charles Swinburne~
Some reckon their age by years,
Some measure their life by art;
But some tell their days by the flood of their tears,
And their lives by the moans of their heart.
The dials of earth may show
The length, not the depth, of years–
Few or many they come, few or many they go,
But time is best measured by tears.
Ah! not by the silver gray
That creeps through the sunny hair,
And not by the scenes that we pass on our way,
And not by the furrows the fingers of care
On forehead and face have made,–
Not so do we count our years;
Not by the sun of the earth, but the shade
Of our souls, and the fall of our tears.
For the young are oft-times old,
Though their brows be bright and fair;
While their blood beats warm, their hearts are cold–
O’er them the spring–but winter is there;
And the old are oft-times young
When their hair is thin and white;
And they sing in age, as in youth they sung,
And they laugh, for their cross was light.
But, bead by bead, I tell
The rosary of my tears;
From a cross to a cross they lead; ’tis well,
And they’re blessed with a blessing of tears.
Better a day of strife
Than a century of sleep;
Give me intead of a long stream of life
The tempests and tears of the deep.
A thousand joys may foam
On the billows of all the years;
But never the foam brings the lone back home,–
He reaches the haven through tears.
~Abram Joseph Ryan~
Whether I loved you who shall say?
Whether I drifted down your way
In the endless River of Chance and Change
And you woke the strange
Unknown longings that have no names,
But burn us all in their hidden flames,
Who shall say?
Life is a strange and a wayward thing:
We heard the bells of the Temples ring,
The married children, in passing, sing.
The month of marriage, the month of spring,
Was full of the breath of sunburnt flowers
That bloom in a fiercer light than ours,
And, under a sky more fiercely blue,
I came to you!
You told me tales of your vivid life
Where death was cruel and danger rife–
Of deep dark forests, of poisoned trees,
Of pains and passions that scorch and freeze,
Of southern noontides and eastern nights,
Where love grew frantic with strange delights,
While men were slaying and maidens danced,
Till I, who listened, lay still, entranced.
Then, swift as a swallow heading south,
I kissed your mouth!
One night when the plains were bathed in blood
From sunset light in a crimson flood,
We wandered under the young teak trees
Whose branches whined in the light night breeze;
You led me down to the water’s brink,
“The Spring where the Panthers came to drink
At night; there is always water here
Be the season never so parched and sere.”
Have we souls of beasts in the forms of men?
I fain would have tasted your life-blood then.
The night fell swiftly; this sudden land
Can never lend us a twilight strand
‘Twixt the daylight shore and the ocean night,
But takes–as it gives–at once, the light.
We laid us down on the steep hillside,
While far below us wild peacocks cried,
And we sometimes heard, in the sunburnt grass,
The stealthy steps of the Jungle pass.
We listened; knew not whether they went
On love or hunger the more intent.
And under your kisses I hardly knew
Whether I loved or hated you.
But your words were flame and your kisses fire,
And who shall resist a strong desire?
Not I, whose life is a broken boat
On a sea of passions, adrift, afloat.
And whether I came in love or hate,
That I came to you was written by Fate
In every hue of the blood-red sky,
In every tone of the peacocks’ cry.
While every gust of the Jungle night
Was fanning the flame you had set alight.
For these things have power to stir the blood
And compel us all to their own chance mood.
And to love or not we are no more free
Than a ripple to rise and leave the sea.
We are ever and always slaves of these,
Of the suns that scorch and the winds that freeze,
Of the faint sweet scents of the sultry air,
Of the half heard owl from the far off lair.
These chance things muster us ever. Compel
To the heights of Heaven, the depths of Hell.
Whether I love you? You do not ask
Nor waste yourself on the thankless task.
I give your kisses at least return,
What matter whether they freeze or burn.
I feel the strength of your fervent arms,
What matter whether it heals or harms.
You are wise; you take what the Gods have sent.
You ask no questions, but rest content
So I am with you to take your kiss,
And perhaps I value you more for this.
For this is Wisdom; to love, to live,
To take what Fate, or the Gods, may give,
To ask no question, to make no prayer,
To kiss the lips and caress the hair,
Speed passion’s ebb as you greet its flow,–
To have,–to hold,–and,–in time,–let go!
And this is our Wisdom: we rest together
On the great lone hills in the storm-filled weather,
And watch the skies as they pale and burn,
The golden stars in their orbits turn,
While love is with us, and Time and Peace,
And life has nothing to give but these,
But, whether you love me, who shall say.
Or whether you, drifting down my way
In the great sad River of Chance and Change,
With your looks so weary and words so strange,
Lit my soul from some hidden flame
To a passionate longing without a name,
Who shall say?
Not I, who am but a broaken boat,
Content for a while to drift afloat
In the little noontide of love’s delights
Between two Nights.