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As drifting logs of wood may haply meet
On ocean's waters surging to and fro,
And having met, drift once again apart,
So, fleeting is the intercourse of men.
E'en as a traveler meeting with the shade
Of some o'erhung tree, awhile reposes,
Then leaves its shelter to pursue his ways,
So men meet friends, then part with them for ever.
- Unattributed Author, Code of Manu,
translation in "Words of Wisdom"
As two floating planks meet and part on the sea,
O friend! so I met and then drifted from thee.
- William R. Alger,
Oriental Poetry--The Brief Chance Encounter
Like a plank of driftwood
Tossed on the watery main,
Another plank encountered,
Meets, touches, parts again;
So tossed, and drifting ever,
On life's unresting sea,
Men meet, and greet, and sever,
- Sir Edwin Arnold, Book of Good Counsel
Like driftwood spares which meet and pass
Upon the boundless ocean-plain,
So on the sea of life, alas!
Man nears man, meets, and leaves again.
- Matthew Arnold, Terrace at Berne
We met--'twas a crowd.
- Thomas Haynes Bayly (Bayley), We Met
Meeting people unlike oneself does not enlarge one's outlook; it only confirms one's idea that one is unique.
- Elizabeth Bowen
Our meetings are held to discuss many problems which would never arise if we held fewer meetings.
- Ashleigh Brilliant
Two lives that once part, are as ships that divide
When, moment on moment, there rushes between
The one and the other, a sea;--
Ah, never can fall from the days that have been
A gleam on the years that shall be!
- Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton,
A Lament (l. 10)
As vessels starting from ports thousands of miles apart pass close to each other in the naked breadth of the ocean, nay, sometimes even touch in the dark.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
Professor at the Breakfast Table
The joy of meeting not unmixed with pain.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
Morituri Salutamus (l. 113)
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness:
So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
Tales of a Wayside Inn--The Theologian's Tale--Elizabeth
In life there are meetings which seem
Like a fate.
- Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton ("Owen Meredith"),
Lucile (pt. II, canto III, st. 8)
And soon, too soon, we part with pain,
To sail o'er silent seas again.
- Thomas Moore, Meeting of the Ships
Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.
- Anais Nin
Some day, some day of days, threading the street
With idle, heedless pace,
Unlooking for such grace,
I shall behold your face!
Some day, some day of days, thus may we meet.
- Nora Perry, Some Day of Days
When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
- William Shakespeare, Macbeth
(First Witch at I, i)
But now will canker sorrow eat my bud
And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
And he will look as hollow as a ghost,
As dim and meagre as an ague's fit,
And so he'll die; and rising so again,
When I shall meet him in the court of heaven
I shall not know him.
- William Shakespeare,
The Life and Death of King John
(Constance at III, iv)
We twain have met like the ships upon the sea,
Who behold an hour's converse, so short, so sweet:
One little hour! and then, away they speed
On lonely paths, through mist, and cloud, and foam,
To meet no more.
- Alexander Smith, Life Drama (sc. IV)
Alas, by what rude fate
Our lives, like ships at sea, an instant meet,
Then part forever on their courses fleet.
- Edmund Clarence Stedman, Blameless Prince
Absence, with all its pains,
Is by this charming moment wip'd away.
- James Thomson (1)
You always meet people a second time.
We shall meet but we shall miss him,
There will be one vacant chair;
We will linger to caress him
While we breathe our evening prayer;
When a year ago we gathered,
Joy was in his mild blue eye,
But a golden chord is severed,
And our hopes in ruin lie.
- H.S. (Henry Stevenson) Washburn,
The Vacant Chair
Ah me! the world is full of meetings such as this,--a thrill, a voiceless challenge and reply, and sudden partings after!
- Nathaniel Parker Willis