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Quotations #12:  from Poetry
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  1. Music, the greatest good that mortals know,
    And all of heaven we have below.
       Joseph Addison

  2. See, as the carver carves a rose,
    A wing, a toad, a serpent's eye,
    In cruel granite, to disclose
    The soft things that in hardness lie
       Conrad Aiken, from The Carver

  3. Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
    And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
    These things do not remember you, belovèd,
    And yet your touch upon them will not pass.
       Conrad Aiken, from Bread and Music

  4. Sit at the western window. Take the sun
    Between your hands like a ball of flaming crystal,
    Poise it to let it fall, but hold it still,
    And meditate on the beauty of your existence;
    The beauty of this, that you exist at all.
       Conrad Aiken, from Chiarascuro: Rose

  5. When I was a boy, and saw bright rows of icicles
    In many lengths along a wall
    I was dissappointed to find
    That I could not play music upon them:
    I ran my hand lightly across them
    And they fell, tinkling.
    I tell you this, young man, so that your expectations of life
    Will not be too great.
       Conrad Aiken, from Improvisations: Light and Snow

  6. How many times have I sat here,
    How many times will I sit here again,
    Thinking these same things over and over in solitude
    As a child says over and over
    The first word he has learned to say.
       Conrad Aiken, from Improvisations: Light and Snow

  7. All lovely things will have an ending,
       All lovely things will fade and die,
    And youth, that's now so bravely spending,
       Will beg a penny by and by.
       Conrad Aiken, from All Lovely Things

  8. So much do I love wandering,
       So much I love the sea and sky,
    That it will be a piteous thing
       In one small grave to lie.
       Zoe Akins, from The Wanderer

  9. You will hear thunder and remember me,
    And think: she wanted storms. The rim
    Of the sky will be the colour of hard crimson,
    And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.
       Anna Akhmatova

  10. And the sunset itself on such waves of ether that I just can’t comprehend
    Whether it is the end of the day, the end of the world,
    Or the mystery of mysteries in me again.
       Anna Akhmatova

  11. October turned my maple's leaves to gold;
    The most are gone now; here and there one lingers:
    Soon these will slip from out the twigs weak hold,
    Like coins between a dying miser's fingers.
       Thomas Bailey Aldrich, from Maple Leaves

  12. All things bright and beauteous,
    All creatures great and small,
    All things wise and wondrous,
    The LORD GOD made them all.
       Cecil Frances Alexander, from All things bright and beauteous

  13. To catch some fragment from her hands
    That else would fall into the sands
    And lie lost and disintegrate:
    For this I wait: for this I wait.
       Kenneth Slade Alling, from Beauty

  14.       Honor the maggot,
          supreme catalyst:
    he spurs the rate of change. . . .
       A. R. Ammons, "Catalyst," 1-3

  15. how we own who are owned!
       A. R. Ammons, "Christmas Eve," 68

  16.    Overall is beyond me: is the sum of these events
    I cannot draw, the ledger I cannot keep, the accounting
    beyond the account. . . .
       A. R. Ammons, "Corson's Inlet," 30-32

  17. Mud is
    and eternal.
       A. R. Ammons, "Upright," 24-26

  18.    the leaves that shake
    in the aftermath shake
    in a safe, tested place.
       A. R. Ammons, "Storm," 16-18

  19. Applause is a shower
    to the watertable of
    self regard. . . .
       A. R. Ammons, "Increment," 1-3

  20. tune up
    drill imagination right through necessity. . . .
       A. R. Ammons, "Play," 15-17

  21. shadows are bodiless shapes, yet they have a song.
       A. R. Ammons, "Transaction," 24

  22. The steed bit his master;
        How came this to pass?
    He heard the good pastor
        Cry, "All flesh is grass."
       Anonymous, from On a Clergyman's Horse Biting Him

  23. We cannot kindle when we will
    The fire which in the heart resides,
    The spirit bloweth and is still,
    In mystery our soul abides:
    But tasks, in hours of insight willed,
    May be through hours of gloom fulfilled.
       Matthew Arnold

  24. Nature, with equal mind,
    Sees all her sons at play,
    Sees man control the wind,
    The wind sweep man away.
       Matthew Arnold

  25. The world which seems
    To lie before us like a land of dreams,
    So various, so beautiful, so new,
    Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
    Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
    And we are here as on a darkling plain
    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
    Where ignorant armies clash by night.
       Matthew Arnold, from Dover Beach

  26. Man must begin, know this, where Nature ends;
    Nature and man can never be fast friends.
       Matthew Arnold, from In Harmony with Nature (lines 12-13)

  27. Yes! in the sea of life enisled,
    With echoing straits between us thrown,
    Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
    We mortal millions live alone.
       Matthew Arnold, from To Marguerite--Continued (lines 1-4)

  28. Wandering between two worlds, one dead,
    The other powerless to be born,
    With nowhere yet to rest my head,
    Like these, on earth I wait forlorn.
       Matthew Arnold, from Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse (85-88)

  29. For what wears out the life of mortal men?
       'Tis that from change to change their being rolls....
       Matthew Arnold, from The Scholar-Gipsy (lines 142-143)

  30. We, in some unknown Power's employ,
    Move on a rigorous line;
    Can neither, when we will, enjoy,
    Nor, when we will, resign.
       Matthew Arnold, from Stanzas in Memory of the Author of 'Obermann' (133-136)

  31. Calm soul of all things! make it mine
    To feel, amid the city's jar,
    That there abides a peace of thine,
    Man did not make, and cannot mar.
       Matthew Arnold, from Lines Written in Kensington Gardens (lines 37-40)

  32. The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.
       W. H. Auden, from Four Cabaret Songs for Miss Hedli Anderson

  33. Let them leave language to their lonely betters
    Who count some days and long for certain letters;
    We, too, make noises when we laugh or weep,
    Words are for those with promises to keep.
       W. H. Auden, from Their Lonely Betters

  34. I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
    Till China and Africa meet
    And the river jumps over the mountain
    And the salmon run in the street.
       W. H. Auden, from Song: As I Walked Out One Evening

  35. When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
    And when he cried the little children died in the streets.
       W. H. Auden, from Epitaph on a Tyrant

  36. When we do evil,
    We and our victems
    Are equally bewildered.
       W. H. Auden

  37. When have we not preferred some going round
    To going straight to where we are?
       W. H. Auden, "Our Bias," 13-14

  38. Genius, that power that dazzles mortal eyes,
    Is oft but perserverence in disguise.
       Henry Willard Austin, from Perserverence Conquers All

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