Proud word you never spoke, but you will speak
Four not exempt from pride some future day.
Resting on one white hand a warm wet cheek,
Over my open volume you will say,
"This man loved me!" then rise and trip away.
--Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864)
in The Works of Walter Savage Landor, Volume II. London: Edward
Moxon, 1853, poem No.LXIX, p.626
Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth.
The glory of action.
The splendor of achievement.
For yesterday is but a dream.
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore to this day!
--Kalidasa (IVth century CE)
(translated from Sanskrit)
this is probably the first quote I collected and saved, after
hearing adventurer John Goddard (1924-2013) use it in a lecture
at my High School c.1962
He who knows, doubts;
He who knows not, believes.
The philosopher is the pessimist;
The fool is the optimist.
The dreamer is stoned;
The tyrant is applauded --
Thus it is in life.
The youth fears that he will regret;
The old man regrets he feared.
The maiden dreams of the godlike lover;
The matron finds him -- Death.
Humanity has its cities
Where men go to live -- but die;
Nature has its deserts
Where men go to die -- but live;
Life is a paradox.
--Arthur Flakoll (1897-1987)
published in Anthony Wons, Editor. Tony's Scrap Book: 1932-33 Edition.
Chicago: Reilly & Lee Company, 1932, p.52
The man who wants to write Good English will, ultimately, write good
English, and his work will have the supreme merit of being rare.
So this mighty Alma Mater of Oxford does well not to teach the
preservation of unsplit infinitives. She teaches you how to teach
yourself, and that is all, and all is everything, and there is
--Frederick Rolfe [Baron Corvo](1860-1913)
Letter to unknown friend, quoted in A.J.A. Symons. The Quest for Corvo. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1955, p.173
Knowledge may be gained from books; but the love of knowledge is
transmitted only by personal contact. No one has deserved better of the
republic than the unknown teacher.
--Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)
Phi Beta Kappa address delivered at the College of William and Mary,
Saturday, 27 November 1926; reprinted in Journal of Chemical Education,
7(2), February 1930, p.348
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!
--Rudyard Kipling [Joseph Rudyard Kipling](1865-1936)
Rewards and Fairies. Garden City NY: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1911
Hurry the baby as fast as you can,
Hurry him, worry him, make him a man.
Off with his baby clothes, get him in pants,
Feed him on brain foods and make him advance.
Hustle him, soon as he's able to walk,
Into a grammar school; cram him with talk.
Fill his poor head full of figures and facts,
Keep on a-jamming them in till it cracks.
Once boys grew up at a rational rate,
Now we develop a man while you wait,
Rush him through college, compel him to grab
Of every known subject a dip and a dab.
Get him in business and after the cash,
All by the time he can grow a mustache.
Let him forget he was ever a boy,
Make gold his god and its jingle his joy.
Keep him a-hustling and clear out of breath,
Until he wins -- nervous prostration and death.
--Nixon Waterman (1859-1944)
T.V. is the place where the pursuit of happiness
has become the pursuit of trivia
Where toothpaste and cars have become sex objects
Where imagination is sucked out of children
by a cathode ray nipple
T.V. is the only wet nurse
that would create a cripple
Television, the drug of the Nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation
--Michael Franti (born 1966)
"Television, the Drug of the Nation", from the Disposable Heroes
of Hiphoprisy album, Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury. 1992
portions heard over end credits of The Comic Strip Presents . . .,
TV series, "Gregory: Diary of a Nutcase", 13 May 1993
Tell me why you are crying my son,
I know you're frightened like everyone.
Is it the thunder in the distance you fear?
Will it help if I stay very near?
I am here.
And if you take my hand my son,
All will be well when the day is done.
And if you take my hand my son,
All will be well when the day is done.
Day is done, Day is done.
Day is done, Day is done.
Do you ask why I'm sighing my son?
You shall inherit what mankind has done.
In a world filled with sorrow and woe,
If you ask me why this is so,
I really don't know.
Tell me why you are smiling, my son,
Is there a secret you can tell everyone?
Do you know more than men who are wise?
Can you see what we all must disguise
Through your loving eyes?
--Peter Yarrow (born 1938)
member of the group Peter, Paul and Mary (1960s-1970s)
from the album Peter, Paul and Mommy, 1969
Build me a son, oh, Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is
weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid. One who will be
proud and unbending in defeat but humble and gentle in victory.
A son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who
will know that to know himself, is the foundation stone of all true knowledge.
Rear him, I pray, not in the paths of ease and comfort but under the
stress and spur of difficulties and challenges. Here let him learn
to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high.
A son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men.
One who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep. One who will
reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of
humor so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too
seriously; a touch of humility, so that he may always remember the
simplicity of true greatness; the open mind of true wisdom;
the meekness of true strength.
Then, I, his father, will dare in the sacred recesses of my own heart
to whisper, "I have not lived in vain".
as published in Anthony Wons, Editor. Tony's Scrap Book: 1932-33 Edition.
Chicago: Reilly & Lee Company, 1932, p.45
usually credited to Gen. Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) as a prayer
written for his son, Arthur IV; MacArthur often quoted it in his speeches,
including a famous one on 12 May 1962, when he addressed the corps of
cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York,
a speech in which he modified the "Prayer" to describe the
attributes of the ideal soldier
I have traveled the land.
I have seen the world.
I have heard it all.
The questions of my childhood,
I have answered.
The things I have dreamed of,
I have done.
But when I look
into the eyes of an Elder,
I have not done enough.
--Lincoln 'Ch'igin' Tritt (1946-2012)
Chief of the Gwich'in Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government
1993; Poster in Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center, Fairbanks, Alaska
Forms of this quote also have been attributed to Mark Twain;
Rory Cochrane; Anon.; The Butthole Surfers ("Sweet Loaf"); and
others. It was mentioned in The League of Gentlemen,
Series 3 (2001), Episode 2 ("The One-Armed Man is King").
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time;
it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
--Sydney Smith (1771-1845)
The follies which a man regrets most in his life, are those
which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity.
--Helen Rowland (1875-1950)
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common-sense, and discover,
when it is too late, that the only things one never regrets are
--Oscar Wilde [Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde](1854-1900)
The Picture of Dorian Gray. first published in
Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, July 1890; revised edition
London: Ward, Lock & Co., 1891, from Chapter 3, spoken by Lord Henry
Wotton; also found in Epigrams - Phrases and Philosophies for
the Use of the Young. New York: Lamb Publishing Co., 1909, p.39
Any experience is better than no experience.
--Chrissie Hynde (born 1951)
member of the rock band The Pretenders, stated as her motto in her
memoir, Reckless: My Life as a Pretender. New York: Doubleday,
2015, Chapter 12
'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all
--Alfred Lord Tennyson [Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS](1809-1892)
"In Memoriam A.H.H.", aka "The Way of the Soul", 1849
I'd rather have something to forget, than nothing to remember.
--Joey Martin [Joey Marie Martin Feek](1975-2016) and Rory Feek (born 1965)
"Nothing to Remember", from the album Can You Duet, 2015
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land,
Here at our sea-washed sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide Welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
--Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)
written in 1883 to aid the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of
Liberty (which opened in New York Harbor in 1886), then unused until 1903,
when it was engraved in bronze and placed inside the statue's pedestal
Be careful with that smile
for it seeps into your eyes
and love, innocent but not naïve,
pours over me
in a waterfall of whimsey
so I am drenched in tenderness
No, don't you be careful
but rather I shall be
lest I drown
in yearning for possession
of a waterfall
which can never be owned
but, by falling, is
--June Goodwin (born mid-XXth century)
I do not choose to be a common man. It is my
right to be uncommon. I seek opportunity to
develop whatever talents God gave me . . . not
security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen,
humbled and dulled by having the state look after
me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream
and to build; to fail and to succeed. I refuse to
barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges
of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of
fulfillment to the stable calm of utopia. I will not
trade freedom for beneficience nor my dignity for a
handout. I will never cower before any earthly
master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to
stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act
myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to
face the world boldly and say, - - - "This, with
God's help, I have done!" All this is what it means
to be an American.
--Dean Alfange (1897-1989)
The rule of law is critical in our society. It's the great equalizer,
because in America everybody is equal before the law. We must never
allow the end to justify the means where the law is concerned.
--George Mitchell [George John Mitchell Jr](born 1933)
United States Senator (D-Maine), 1980-1995
statement during the United States Congress's Iran-Contra hearings,
13 July 1987, in response to the testimony of Col. Oliver North,
reported in The Christian Science Monitor, Volume 79 Number 161,
15 July 1987
Since 1945 -- it's taken for granted that manipulating the masses,
secret service operations, the restriction of public liberties, and the
complete sovereignty of a wide array of police forces were appropriate
ways to ensure democracy, freedom and civilization. [p.86] . . .
Governing has never been anything other than postponing by a thousand
subterfuges the moment when the crowd will string you up, and every act
of government is nothing but a way of not losing control of the population.
[p.96] . . .
"Terrorist threats," "natural disasters," "virus warnings,"
"social movements" and "urban violence" are, for society's
managers, so many moments of instability where they reinforce their power,
by the selection of those who please them and the elimination of those
who make things difficult. [p.119]
--The Invisible Committee
L'insurrection qui vient [The Coming Insurrection].
Paris: Editions La Fabrique/Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2007/2009,
A foolish hermit closed his doors and said
"I'll live a Godly life untouched by sin."
Alas! Who builds a wall about himself
Shuts out much more of God than he shuts in.
--James C. Lindberg (born late XIXth century)
in Adeline M. Jenney, Editor. Prairie Poets: An Anthology of Verse of the
South Dakota State Poetry Society, 1927-1949. Minneapolis: Lund Press, 1949
[credited as "J.C. Lindberg " in Anthony Wons. Tony's Scrap
Book, 1932-33 Edition. Chicago: Reilly & Lee, 1932, p.36]
Loving people means summoning them forth
with the loudest and most insistent of calls;
it means stirring up in them
a mute and hidden being
who can't help leaping at the sound of our voice --
a being so new
that even those who carried him didn't know him,
and yet so authentic
that they can't fail to recognize him
once they discover him.
All love includes fatherhood and motherhood.
To love someone is to bid him to live,
invite him to grow.
Since people don't have the courage to mature
unless someone has faith in them,
We have to reach those we meet
at the level where they stopped developing,
where they were given up as hopeless,
and so withdrew into
and began to secrete
a protective shell
because they thought they were alone
and no one cared.
They have to feel they're loved very deeply
and very boldly
before they dare appear humble and kind,
--Louis Evely (1910-1985)
That Man is You. Ramsey NJ: Paulist Press, 1964
The man I am prefers the light
The deeds well brought to pass.
The boy I was made friends with night
Where mystery still was.
We dwell as one yet rarely meet
And when we meet oppose
Boy dreams, so often indiscreet
To man deeds won in prose.
We find our union makes for gain:
A vigor that resolves
Work into joy and peace from strain,
True love from lesser loves.
--T. Morris Longstreth [Thomas Morris Longstreth](1886-1975)
Grant that I may not
criticize my neighbor
until I have walked a mile
in his moccasins.
--Native American prayer
Who walks with Beauty has no need of fear:
The sun and moon and stars keep pace with him;
Invisible hands restore the ruined year,
And time itself grows beautifully dim.
One hill will keep the footprints of the moon
That came and went a hushed and secret hour;
One star at dusk will yield the lasting boon:
Remembered beauty's white, immortal flower.
Who takes of Beauty wine and daily bread,
Will know no lack when bitter years are lean;
The brimming cup is by, the feast is spread;
The sun and moon and stars his eyes have seen,
Are for his hunger and the thirst he slakes:
The wine of Beauty and the bread he breaks.
--David Morton (1886-1957)
in Ships in Harbour. New York and London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1921, p.56
O Mensch! Gib Acht!
Was spricht die tiefe Mitternacht?
'Ich schlief, ich schlief --,
aus tiefem Traum bin ich erwacht: --
Die Welt ist tief,
und tiefer als der Tag gedacht.
Tief ist ihr Weh -- ,
Lust -- tiefer noch als Herzeleid.
Weh spricht: Vergeh!
Doch all' Lust will Ewigkeit -- ,
-- will tiefe, tiefe Ewigkeit!'
O Man! Take heed!
What does the deep midnight say?
'I slept, I slept!
I have awakened from a deep dream.
The world is deep,
and deeper than the day remembers.
Deep is its suffering.
Joy is deeper yet than heartache!
Suffering says: Begone!
All joys want eternity,
want deep, deep eternity!'
--Friedrich Nietzsche [Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche](1844-1900)
Also Sprach Zarathustra [Thus Spoke Zarathustra].
Chemnitz: Verlag von Ernst Schmeitzner, 1883-1885, IV:79(12),
"Noch einmal" ["Once Again", also known as "Midnight Song"],
which Nietzsche also uses in Zarathustra III:59(3), part of
"The Second Dance Song"; above as set by Gustav Mahler
(1860-1911), Symphony III (completed in 1896), Fourth Movement,
Sehr langsam. Miserioso; English translation by Robert Cushman
O Röschen rot,
Der Mensch liegt in größter Not,
Der Mensch liegt in größter Pein,
Je lieber möcht ich im Himmel sein,
Da kam ich auf einen breiten Weg,
Da kam ein Engelein und wollt mich abweisen,
Ach nein! Ich ließ mich nicht abweisen.
Ich bin von Gott, ich will wieder zu Gott!
Der liebe Gott wird mir ein Lichtchen geben,
wird leuchten mir bis in das ewig selig Leben.
Oh red rose!
Man lies in deepest need,
Man lies in deepest pain.
Yes, I would rather be in heaven!
I came upon a broad pathway:
An angel came and wanted to send me away.
Ah no! I would not be sent away!
I am from God and will return to God.
The dear God will give me a light,
Will light me to eternal blessed life!
--German folk poem
Des Knaben Wunderhorn [The Youth's Magic Horn],
Zweiter Teil [Part Two], Munchen: Winkler Verlag, 1806/1984, p.297
Fourth Movement, Sehr feierlich, aber schlicht, from Gustav Mahler
(1860-1911), Symphony II (1895); English translation by
Deryck Cooke (1919-1976)
Oh that I had the wings of a dove
to fly away and be at rest!
I should escape far away
and find a refuge in the wilderness.
--Psalm LV:1-7, New English Bible
An alternate translation of this passage was set to music by
Felix Mendelssohn [Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy](1809-1847)
in his often-recorded anthem "Hear My Prayer",
perhaps the earliest and most famous recording being the 1927 HMV recording
by Ernest Lough with the Temple Church Choir
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you
cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows
are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He
bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also
the bow that is stable.
--Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)
The Prophet. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1923, pp.17-18
I pray that I may let my child live his own life,
and not the one I wish I had lived. Therefore,
guard me against burdening him with doing what
I failed to do.
Help me to see his missteps today in perspective
against the long road he must go, and grant me
the grace of patience with his slow pace.
Give me the wisdom of knowing when to smile
at the small mischiefs of his age and when to
give him the haven of firmness against the impulses
which he fears and cannot master.
Help me to hear the anguish in his heart through
the din of angry words or across the gulf of
brooding silence, and having heard, give me the
grace to bridge the gap between us with
I pray that I may raise my voice more in joy at
what he is, than vexation at what he has done; so
that each day he may grow in sureness of himself.
Help me to hold him with a warmth that will give
him friendliness toward others; then give me
the fortitude to free him to go strongly on his way.
--Dr Marion B. Durfee (fl. mid-XXth century)
published in part in Saturday Evening Post, Volume 244 Issue 3, September 1972, p.137
many variations of this "Prayer" can be found on the Web,
though there seems to be no definitive, original version available;
author was medical director of the Pasadena (California) Child Guidance Clinic
from the late 1940s to the early 1960s
If I am not for me, who will be?
But if I am only for myself, what am I?
If I am not me, who am I?
My views . . . are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection.
. . . To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but
not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the
only sense in which He wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his
doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every
human excellence; & believing he never claimed any other.
(Letter to Dr Benjamin Rush, 21 April 1803)
Among the sayings and discourses imputed to [Jesus] by his biographers,
I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the
most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so
much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture. . . .
Of this band of dupes and impostors, [St] Paul was the . . . first
corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus.
(Letter to W. Short, 1820)
--Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Third president of the United States of America
Jefferson here is giving perspective to his somewhat negative reputation
among some Christian believers of his time and ours, as reflected in
the often-quoted statement (virtually always without noting an original
source), that "The Christian God is cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust."
O great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds. and whose breath gives
life to ail the world, hear me! I am small and weak; I need your strength
and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the
red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may
understand the things you have taught my people. Let me learn the
lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength, not
to be greater than my friend, but to fight my greatest enemy -- myself.
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset, may my spirit come to you
--Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge, South Dakota
Oh, love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away,
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon.
--William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
"The Young Man's Song", from Responsibilities and Other Poems. London/New York: Macmillan Company, 1919
Had I the heavens embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
--William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
No.36 in The Wind Among the Reeds. New York: J. Lane, The Bodley
I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye.
I don't want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I've done.
I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of man I really am,
I don't want to dress myself in a sham.
I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all men's respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and pelf
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to look at myself and know
That I'm bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself and so,
Whatever happens I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.
--Edgar A. Guest [Edgar Albert Guest](1881-1959)
in Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest. Chicago: Reilly & Lee, 1934, p.724
You will observe that virgins do not bear children, and that
dead men are not resurrected.
You will read in the newspapers of wars and disasters, but
they will report miracles with impatience.
You will be distressed, you will not wish to repudiate your
You will not wish to disappoint your parents, you will suffer
deep troubling of the soul,
You will cry out like David before you, my God, my God, why
hast Thou forsaken me?
Do not hastily concede this territory, do not retreat immediately.
Pass over the slender bridges, pick your road quickly through
Observe the frail planks left by your predecessors, the
stones gained only by leaping.
Press on to the higher ground, to the great hills and the
From whose heights men survey the eternal country, and the
city that has no need of moon or sun.
--Alan Paton (1903-1988)
written in 1950 for the confirmation of his son, Jonathan
There's something strange about it, but fathers seem to feel
From sons a fond affection is something to conceal.
They stoop and kiss the daughter, while near them stands the son,
Though she perhaps is happy, and he the longing one.
They pet the little woman, and pass the little man,
Who wants to tell a trouble or share a boyish plan.
And yet the purest picture of love without alloy
Is when a man encircles the shoulders of his boy.
To him you seem a hero . . . to be a hero, too,
Requires a close communion between your boy and you.
He needs a hand to steady, he needs a word to cheer
Perhaps in greater measure than all the others here.
A mother's love is holy, a mother's love is long,
But oh a dad's affection can keep a boy so strong.
Temptations lie around him, temptations that destroy,
So let your arms enircle the shoulders of your boy.
--Douglas Malloch (1877-1938)
We are men in the making.
We are small, but tomorrow we will move the world.
We will be true to the things of today, and the great things will
follow, as surely as the sun crosses the sky.
We will keep clean, we will be honest and loyal, because there are
those who trust us.
We will prepare for the tasks ahead.
We will study patiently and faithfully. Within the walls of our
classrooms we will weave threads of knowledge into the pattern
of our destinies. From deep within us we will forge the faith
that may someday shine with beauty and usefulness in the darkened
byways of time.
Because of the skill that we capture now, a train, a ship, an airliner
may come into being and reach safe harbor guided by hands grown strong.
There are bridges to build, and we will build them. There are homes
to make, and we will light their windows. There are those who suffer,
and we will ease their sorrow. There is a God to find, and we will
seek Him with all the power of our hearts and minds.
Like the seedling that finds root in the wind and rain, we will grow
sturdy until our arms reach out into the skies.
We are the men of tomorrow.
--Lt. Wilfrid Dellquest
Mt Lowe Military Academy, Altadena, California
"Boys' Creed" was copyrighted on 22 December 1944,
renewed 22 January 1972
I would be true, for there are those who trust me.
I would be pure, for there are those who care.
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer.
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
I would be friend of all, the foe, the friendless.
I would be giving, and forget the gift.
I would be humble, for I know my weakness.
I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift.
--Howard A. Walter [Howard Arnold Walter](1883-1918)
1906, set to music by Joseph Y. Peek in 1911
the text and/or the song is used in the YMCA Rag ceremony
When black people bother to spell out the answer to
that riddle -- with expectations that can only be
described as naïve -- the consistent white responses
add up to rather predictable pranks: another study of
black frustration; another conference on brotherhood;
another million-dollar crash program to tear down an
old ghetto and replace it with a new ghetto.
--Bob Teague (born 1929)
"Charlie Doesn't Even Know His Daily Racism is a Sick Joke"
The New York Times Magazine, 15 September 1968
On such foundations would my judgment be made -- almost
entirely on appearance and personality because, being
so young, it would never occur to me that my pretty teacher
or nice man also had to be proficient, and that
my future growth depended almost entirely on how
seriously they regarded their responsibilities or how
thoroughly they planned for me. No, if I thought of it at
all, I would be certain that they know everything that they
need to know -- and even more! I would be confident they
would do everything for me that needed to be done. You
see, I am eight years old, and grown up people never
cheat little children.
If I were a teen-ager in junior high school, I would take
a long, quiet look at you. You are neither women teachers
or men teachers. You are just teachers.
I would call my crowd together and in a tone of real concern
warn them, "Could be we're headed for trouble. We gotta
stick together". And how surprised I would be to find that
on the very first day you disarmed me so completely!
You kept me so busy! Your poise, your charm, your
dignity, your tremendous ability -- your quiet assurance,
your control of the situation, your infectious
good humor -- I forgot you were supposed to be my enemy.
I did not recognize your weapons because my own weapons
have always been so different.
If I were a teen-ager in senior high school, I would level my
look at you with my head held high. I can wait. Since
you are only a very few years older than I, it could be
that you are not really much more competent. If you can prove
your ability so completely that I cannot ignore it, I shall
give you my allegiance -- every ounce of it! If I do not
recognize my progress, or the progress of the organization
which you direct, I can ignore you completely,
and my life will be just as happy without you.
If I m a boy, I may even flirt with you, kid you along.
If I am a girl, I may bedevil you by making mooneyes
at you! But whatever I am, and however I behave, you really
matter to me only when you have commanded my respect for
your leadership and your adulthood! When this has
happened, I shall elevate you to the rank of an idol, and I
beg you not to betray my action. Will you, please, not have
feet of clay.
I shall adhere to your tastes wholeheartedly in whatever you
give me to do. Your judgment will be superior to that of
any other, even to that of my parents. I shall remember
you through all of my life because you have provided my first
real experience of aesthetic exaltation -- my first realization
that there is something in the world much bigger than I have ever
known, and because you have opened up this world to me -- a
world of beauty, of taste, of discrimination, of tremendous
satisfaction -- because you have thus turned me toward the
way of emotional maturity, I shall never forget you.
--Oleta Albertson Benn (1904-1991)
speaking to a convention of new music teachers in 1954
(references to music edited)
He who bends to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy.
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.
-- William Blake (1757-1827)
(Note: According to The Note Book 1793, of Blake, an early version
of the fourth line is "Lives in an eternal sun rise". And one revised
version of it is "Lives in eternity's sun rise".)
Go not too near a House of Rose--
The depredation of a Breeze--
Or inundation of a Dew
Alarms its walls away--
Nor try to tie the Butterfly,
Nor climb the Bars of Ecstasy,
In insecurity to lie
Is Joy's insuring quality.
--Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
The white people never cared for land or deer or bear. When
we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots,
we make little holes. . . . We shake down acorns and pine nuts.
We don't chop down the trees. We only use dead wood. But the
white people plow up the ground, pull up the trees, kill everything.
The tree says, "Don't. I am sore. Don't hurt me." But they chop
it down and cut it up. The spirit of the land hates them. . . .
The Indians never hurt anything, but the white people destroy all.
They blast rocks and scatter them on the ground. The rock says,
"Dont. You are hurting me." But the white people pay no attention.
When the Indians use rocks, they take little round ones for their
cooking. . . . How can the spirit of the earth like the white man? . . .
Everywhere the white man has touched it, it is sore.
--Dorothy D. Lee (1905-1975)
Freedom and Culture. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1959, p.163,
quoted by Theodore Roszak, The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections
on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition. Garden City NY:
Doubleday, 1969, p.245
A great city is that
which has the greatest men and women.
If it be a few ragged huts,
it is still the greatest city
in the whole world.
--Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
"Song of the Broad-Axe", Leaves of Grass. Brooklyn NY:
privately printed, 1855; final ("Deathbed") edition, Philadelphia:
David McKay, 1891-1892
He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;
Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men
and the love of little children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty or failed
to express it;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
Who has always looked for the best in others and given them
the best he had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction.
--Bessie Anderson Stanley (1879-1952)
Brown Book Magazine, 1904; also published in
Joseph Mitchell Chappie, Editor. More Heart Throbs, Volume 2. New York:
Grosset & Dunlap, 1911, pp.1-2
There are those
Who are beings complete unto themselves
Whole, undaunted -- a source
As leaves of grass, as stars,
As mountains, alike, alike, alike,
Each is complete and contained
And each unalike star shines
Each ray of light is forever gone
To leave way for a new ray
And a new ray as from a fountain
Complete unto itself, full, flowing.
So are some souls like stars
And their words, works and songs
Like strong, quick flashes of light
From a brilliant, erupting cone.
So where are your mountains
To match some men?
--Johnny Cash (1932-2003)
from "On Bob Dylan", 1969, liner notes for "Nashville Skyline" album
My people? Who are they?
I went into the church where the congregation
Worshiped my God. Were they my people?
I felt no kinship to them as they knelt there.
My people! Where are they?
I went into the land where I was born,
Where men spoke my language . . .
I was a stranger there.
My people, my soul cried. Who are my people?
Last night in the rain I met an old man
Who spoke a language I do not speak,
Which marked him as one who does not know my God.
With apologetic smile he offered me
The shelter of his patched umbrella.
I met his eyes . . . And then I knew . . .
--Rosa Zagnoni Marinoni (1888-1970)
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
For it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
--often attributed to St Francis of Assisi (c.1182-1226)
first appeared in print (French) in La Clochette, 1912;
first appearance in English was in the Quaker magazine,
Friends' Intelligencer (1929), where it was attributed to St Francis
used in the YMCA Gold Rag study guide
5 The scoundrel will no longer be thought noble,
nor the villain called a prince;
for the scoundrel will speak like a scoundrel
and will hatch evil in his heart;
he is an impostor in all his actions,
and in his words a liar even to the Lord;
he starves the hungry of their food
and refuses drink to the thirsty.
The villain's ways are villainous
and he devises infamous plans to ruin the poor
with his lies and deny justice to the needy.
8 But the man of noble mind forms noble designs
and stands firm in his nobility.
--Isaiah 32:1-8, New English Bible
They are bored because they experience nothing. And they experience
nothing because the wonder has gone out of them. And when the wonder
has gone out of a man, he is dead. He is henceforth only an insect.
When all comes to all, the most precious element in life is wonder.
Love is a great emotion, and power is power. But both love and power
are based on wonder. Love without wonder is a sensational affair,
and power without wonder is mere force and compulsion. The one
universal element in consciousness which is fundamental to life,
is the element of wonder.
--D.H. Lawrence [David Herbert Richards Lawrence](1885-1930)
"Hymns in a Man's Life", Evening News, 13 October 1928
Oh that we might, for one brief hour
Forget that we are bound apart,
And lie within each other's arms
Mouth pressed on mouth, and heart on heart.
For just one hour from all our life
To sink unchained through passion's deep
And, cast upon the farther shore
To lie entwined in tender sleep!
--Mary Wilson [Gladys Mary Wilson, Baroness Wilson of Rievaulx](born 1916)
Selected Poems. London: Hutchinson, 1970, p.20
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
--William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)
If a person can't be what they are,
what's the purpose of being anything at all? [Act 2]
--David Storey (born 1933)
Home, first produced at the Morosco Theatre, New York City, 17 November 1970
spoken by Jack (Ralph Richardson in the 1970 production)
Act 2 quote used by Charles Pierce to close his show, 3 December 1971
Do not weep for me in my state,
For I am only where I have desired.
But mourn for all who have not
Found a place -- for they know not
What is in the wanting. . . .
If you will tell me why the fen
appears impassable, I then
will tell you why I think that I
can get across it if I try.
--Marianne Moore (1887-1972)
"I May, I Might, I Must", 1909, in O To Be a Dragon.
New York: Viking Press, 1959
The strange child who refuses
to wear our uniform
plays on tomorrow's team.
None of us knows the rules
he goes by, even the game.
Nor he. Poor pioneer
halfway between two eras,
rocketing blind from here
to a postulated planet,
he is our emissary
ferrying into the future
love if not understanding.
--Francis Maguire (1918-2011)
XV - Choral
No sad thought his soul affright,
Sleep it is that maketh night.
Let no murmur or rude wind
To his slumbers prove unkind
But a quire of angels make
His dreams of heaven
And let him wake
To as many joys as can
In this world befall a man.
Promise fills the sky with light
Stars and angels dance in flight.
Joy of heaven shall now unbind
Chains of evil from mankind.
Love and joy their power shall break
And for a new-born prince's sake.
Never since the world began
Such a light such dark did span.
set to music in 1954 by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
extended version (with Biblical references):
Who is wise?
He who learns from all people, as it is said:
'From all those who taught me I gained understanding' (Psalms CXIX:99).
Who is strong?
He who conquers his evil inclination, as it is said:
'Better is one slow to anger than a strong man, and one who
rules over his spirit than a conqueror of a city' (Proverbs XVI:32).
Who is rich?
He who is satisfied with his lot, as it is said:
'When you eat the toil of your hands you are fortunate [in this world]
and it is good for you [in the world to come]'(Psalms CXXVIII:2).
Who is honored?
He who honors others, as it is said:
'For those who honor Me will I honor, and those who scorn
Me will be degraded' (I Samuel II:30).
--Shimon ben Zoma (IInd century CE)
Who is blind?
The man that cannot see another world.
Who is dumb?
The man that cannot say a kind word at the right time.
Who is poor?
The man plagued with too-strong desires.
Who is rich?
The man whose heart is contented.
16 Then said I, wisdom is better than strength; nevertheless, the poor
man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him
that ruleth among fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war.
--Ecclesiastes IX:16-18 (Vulgate, and KJV)
Verse 18 inscribed over South doorway of Doheny Memorial Library,
University of Southern California
Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace
there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and
clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in
your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full
of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many
persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical
about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is
as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the
things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden
misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a
child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is
unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you
conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the
noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams,
drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
--Max Ehrmann (1872-1945)
written in 1927, published posthumously in The Poems of Max Ehrmann.
Boston: Bruce Humphries Publishing Company, 1948
widely believed to have been written in 1692, the date of the founding of
Old St Paul's Church in Baltimore, since the church's rector (1956-1961),
the Rev. Frederick Kates (1910-1987), had included it, without reference to
author or date of creation, in a compilation of devotional materials
(NOTE: obviously, this is a parody of the Desiderata shown above.
Please resist the temptation to take it seriously!)
You are a fluke of the universe.
You have no right to be here
Whether you can hear it or not,
The universe is laughing behind your back.
Go placidly amid the noise and waste.
And remember what comfort there may be
In owning a piece thereof.
Avoid quiet and passive persons
Unless you are in need of sleep.
Rotate your tires.
Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself
And heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys.
Know what to kiss . . . and when!
Consider that two wrongs never make a right
But that three . . . do.
Wherever possible, put people on hold.
Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment
And despite the changing fortunes of time,
There is always a big future in computer maintenance.
Remember the Pueblo.
Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate.
If you need help, call the FBI.
Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
Especially with those persons closest to you.
That lemon on your left, for instance.
Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls
Would scarcely get your feet wet.
Fall not in love therefore; it will stick to your face.
Gracefully surrender the things of youth:
The birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan
And let not the sands of time get in your lunch.
Hire people with hooks.
For a good time call 606-4311; ask for "Ken."
Take heart amid the deepening gloom
That your dog is finally getting enough cheese.
And reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot
It could only be worse in Milwaukee.
Therefore, make peace with your god
Whatever you conceive him to be --
Hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.
With all its hopes, dreams, promises and urban renewal
The world continues to deteriorate.
--Tony Hendra (born 1941)
National Lampoon Radio Dinner, 1972 comedy recording
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
--The Rotary Club
If of they mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store
two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed the soul.
--attributed to the Gulistan of Moslih Eddin Saadi [c.1184-1291]
Mohammedan sheik and Persian poet
I don't know about that theory. Because if it were true,
today I would be a nun.
--Mark Russell (born 1932)
The day has come
when something must
about me. I am
the one to do it.
The day has come
and I am moved by
its loyalty -- it
came yesterday too
and the day before
me is me
am me --
well, I'll be . . . !
--David Watts Morgan (1867-1933)
O glaube: Du wardst nicht umsonst geboren!
Hast nicht umsonst gelebt, gelitten!
. . .
Was entstanden ist, das muß vergehen!
Was vergangen, auferstehen!
Hör auf zu beben!
Bereite dich zu leben!
. . .
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen,
Werd ich entschweben!
Sterben werd' ich, um zu leben!
Aufersteh'n, ja aufersteh'n wirst du,
Mein Herz, in einem Nu!
Was du geschlagen,
Zu Gott wird es dich tragen!
Oh believe: you were not born in vain!
You have not lived, nor suffered in vain!
. . .
What has come into being must pass away!
What is gone must rise again!
Prepare yourself to live!
. . .
With wings that I have gained
I shall soar!
I shall die to live!
Rise, yes, you shall rise again,
my heart, in a moment!
What you have struggled for
[lit: What has struck you, beaten you down]
will take you to God!
--Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Fifth (final) Movement, Langsam. Misterioso, Symphony II (1895)
English is a hybrid version of several translations provided in
various concert programmes, including those by Deryck Cooke,
Salvador Pila, Lionel Salter and William Mann
In the noontime of my life I shall look to the sunshine,
At a moment in my life when the sky is blue,
And the blessing I shall ask will remain unchanging:
To be brave and strong and true
And to fill the world with love my whole life through.
In the evening of my life I shall look to the sunset,
At a moment in my life when the night is due,
And the question I shall ask only I can answer:
Was I brave and strong and true?
Did I fill the world with love my whole life through?
--Leslie Bricusse (born 1931)
(lyrics), "Fill the World With Love", from the musical film
Goodbye Mr Chips (1969)
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