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We have not wings, we cannot soar,
But we have feet to scale and climb
By slow degrees, by more and more,
The cloudy summits of our time.
We may build more splendid habitations, fill our rooms with paintings and with sculptures, but we cannot buy with gold the old associations.
We often excuse our own want of philanthropy by giving the name of fanaticism to the more ardent zeal of others.
We waste our best years in distilling the sweetest flowers of life into potions which, after all, do not immortalize, but only intoxicate.
Weak minds make treaties with the passions they cannot overcome, and try to purchase happiness at the expense of principle; but the resolute will of a strong man scorns such means, and struggles nobly with his foe to achieve great deeds.
Welcome, Disappointment! Thy hand is cold and hard, but it is the hand of a friend. Thy voice is stern and harsh, but it is the voice of a friend. Oh, there is something sublime in calm endurance, something sublime in the resolute, fixed purpose of suffering without complaining, which makes disappointment oftentimes better than success!
Well has it been said that there is no grief like the grief which does not speak.
What a glorious thing human life is, * * * and how glorious man's destiny!
What child has a heart to sing in this capricious clime of ours, when spring comes sailing in from the sea, with wet and heavy cloud-sails and the misty pennon of the east-wind nailed to the mast.
What heart has not acknowledged the influence of this hour, the sweet and soothing hour of twilight, the hour of love, the hour of adoration, the hour of rest, when we think of those we love only to regret that we have not loved them more dearly, when we remember our enemies only to forgive them.
What is time? The shadow on the dial, the striking of the clock, the running of the sand--day and night, summer and winter, months, years, centuries--these are but arbitrary and outward signs, the measure of time, not time itself. Time is the life of the soul.
What rapturous flights of sound! what thrilling, pathetic chimes! what wild, joyous revelry of passion! what an expression of agony and woe! All the feelings of suffering and rejoicing humanity sympathized with and finding a voice in those tones.
What seem to us but dim funereal tapers may be heaven's distant lamps.
When she passed it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.
Whene'er a noble deed is wrought,
Whene'er is spoken a noble thought,
Our hearts, in glad surprise,
To higher levels rise.
Where, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,
The crystal icicle is hung.
Winter giveth the fields, and the trees so old, their beards of icicles and snow.
With many readers brilliancy of style passes for affluence of thought; they mistake buttercups in the grass for immeasurable mines of gold under ground.
Within her heart was his image,
Cloth'd in the beauty of love and youth, as last she beheld him,
Only more beautiful made by his death-like silence and absence.
Wondrous strong, are the spells of fiction.
Work is my recreation,
The play of faculty; a delight like that
Which a bird feels in flying, or a fish
In darting through the water,--Nothing more.
I hear the wind among the trees
Playing the celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.
- A Day of Sunshine (st. 3) [Wind]
This memory brightens o'er the past,
As when the sun concealed
Behind some cloud that near us hangs,
Shines on a distant field.
- A Gleam of Sunshine [Memory]
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave us behind
Footprints on the sands of time.
- A Psalm of Life [Example]
Trust no future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead past bury its dead!
Act,--act in the living Present!
Heart within and God o'erhead.
- A Psalm of Life [Action : Future]
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