Aloft Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 33 quotes )
But what after all is one night? A short space, especially when the darkness dims so soon, and so soon a bird sings, a cock crows, or a faint green quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollow of the wave. Night, however, succeeds to night. The winter holds a pack of them in store and deals them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers. They lengthen; they darken. Some of them hold aloft clear planets, plates of brightness. The autumn trees, ravaged as they are, take on the flash of tattered flags kindling in the gloom of cool cathedral caves where gold letters on marble pages describe death in battle and how bones bleach and burn far away in Indian sands. The autumns trees gleam in the yellow moonlight, in the light of harvest moons, the light which mellows the energy of labour, and smooths the stubble, and brings the wave lapping blue to the shore.
The first fruit of love is the musing of the mind on God. He who is in love, his thoughts are ever upon the object. He who loves God is ravished and transported with the contemplation of God. "When I awake, I am still with thee" (Psalm 139:18). The thoughts are as travelers in the mind. David's thoughts kept heaven-road. "I am still with Thee." God is the treasure, and where the treasure is, there is the heart. By this we may test our love to God. What are our thoughts most upon? Can we say we are ravished with delight when we think on God? Have our thoughts got wings? Are they fled aloft? Do we contemplate Christ and glory?... A sinner crowds God out of his thoughts. He never thinks of God, unless with horror, as the prisoner thinks of the judge.
Perhaps I shouldn't call it shit. That's a bit crude. I don't really despise Christianity or even the Roman Church, and certainly not the incontrovertible glory of the Middle Ages. What I do despise is the contemporary inclination to flop to the knees and crawl back into the past, to shy from what seem like impossible problems in order to bury the head, asshole aloft and twitching, in the Sands of Time. Cowardice, I calls it. Illusion-seeking. Womb-crawling. And treason. Desertion in the face of the enemy. Strong words indeed. But I've always been rather a blunt, tough, plain-spoken type . . .
If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?" I…don't know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?" To shrug.
There were a great many other such tableaux. AsMartial had predicted, bears featured prominently inmost of them. A temple thief was made to reenactthe role of the robber Laureolus, made famous bythe ancient plays of Ennius and Naevius; he wasnailed to a cross and then subjected to the attack ofthe bears. A freedman who had killed his formermaster was made to put on a Greek chlamys and gowalking though a stage forest populated by cavortingsatyrs and nymphs, like Orpheus lost in the woods; when one of the satyrs played a shrill tune on hispipes, the trees dispersed and the man was subjectto an attack by bears. An arsonist was made tostrap on wings in imitation of Daedalus, ascend ahigh platform, and then leap off; the wings actuallycarried him aloft for a short distance, a remarkablesight, until he plunged into an enclosure full of bearsand was torn to pieces.
You have grudged the very fire in your house because the wood cost overmuch!" he cried. "You have grudged life. To live cost overmuch, and you have refused to pay the price. Your life has been like a cabin where the fire is out and there are no blankets on the floor." He signaled to a slave to fill his glass, which he held aloft. "But I have lived. And I have been warm with life as you have never been warm. It is true, you shall live long. But the longest nights are the cold nights when a man shivers and lies awake. My nights have been short, but I have slept warm
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art--- Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night And watching, with eternal lids apart, Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, The moving waters at their priestlike task Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--- No---yet still stedfast, still unchangeable, Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast, To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live ever---or else swoon in death.
We which were Ovids five books, now are three,For these before the rest preferreth he:If reading five thou plainst of tediousnesse,Two tane away, thy labor will be lesse:With Muse upreard I meant to sing of armes,Choosing a subject fit for feirse alarmes:Both verses were alike till Love (men say)Began to smile and tooke one foote away.Rash boy, who gave thee power to change a line?We are the Muses prophets, none of thine.What if thy Mother take Dianas bowe,Shall Dian fanne when love begins to glowe?In wooddie groves ist meete that Ceres Raigne,And quiver bearing Dian till the plaine:Who'le set the faire treste sunne in battell ray,While Mars doth take the Aonian harpe to play?Great are thy kingdomes, over strong and large,Ambitious Imp, why seekst thou further charge?Are all things thine? the Muses Tempe thine?Then scarse can Phoebus say, this harpe is mine.When in this workes first verse I trod aloft,Love slackt my Muse, and made my numbers soft.I have no mistris, nor no favorit,Being fittest matter for a wanton wit,Thus I complaind, but Love unlockt his quiver,Tooke out the shaft, ordaind my hart to shiver:And bent his sinewy bow upon his knee,Saying, Poet heers a worke beseeming thee.Oh woe is me, he never shootes but hits,I burne, love in my idle bosome sits.Let my first verse be sixe, my last five feete,Fare well sterne warre, for blunter Poets meete.Elegian Muse, that warblest amorous laies,Girt my shine browe with sea banke mirtle praise.-- P. Ovidii Nasonis AmorumLiber PrimusELEGIA 1(Quemadmodum a Cupidine, pro bellis amores scribere coactus sit)
Far out on the desert to the north dustspouts rose wobbling and augered the earth and some said they'd heard of pilgrims borne aloft like dervishes in those mindless coils to be dropped broken and bleeding upon the desert again and there perhaps to watch the thing that had destroyed them lurch onward like some drunken djinn and resolve itself once more into the elements from which it sprang. Out of that whirlwind no voice spoke and the pilgrim lying in his broken bones may cry out and in his anguish he may rage, but rage at what? And if the dried and blackened shell of him is found among the sands by travelers to come yet who can discover the engine of his ruin?
Do you know the only value life has is what life puts upon itself? And it is of course overestimated, for it is of necessity prejudiced in its own favour. Take that man I had aloft. He held on as if he were a precious thing, a treasure beyond diamonds of rubies. To you? No. To me? Not at all. To himself? Yes. But I do not accept his estimate. He sadly overrates himself. There is plenty more life demanding to be born. Had he fallen and dripped his brains upon the deck like honey from the comb, there would have been no loss to the world. The supply is too large.
Immortal amarant, a flower which once. In paradise, fast by the tree of life, Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence. To heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows, And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life, And where the river of bliss through midst of heaven. Rolls o'er elysian flowers her amber stream: With these that never fade the spirits elect. Bind their resplendent locks.
When they had arranged their blankets the boy lowered the lamp and stepped into the yard and pulled the door shut behind, leaving them in profound and absolute darkness. No one moved. In that cold stable the shutting of the door may have evoked in some hearts other hostels and not of their choosing. The mare sniffed uneasily and the young colt stepped about. Then one by one they began to divest themselves of their outer clothes, the hide slickers and raw wool serapes and vests, and one by one they propagated about themselves a great crackling of sparks and each man was seen to wear a shroud of palest fire. Their arms aloft pulling at their clothes were luminous and each obscure soul was enveloped in audible shapes of light as if it had always been so. The mare at the far end of the stable snorted and shied at this luminosity in beings so endarkened and the little horse turned and hid his face in the web of his dam's flank.
Maybe he didn't want that life after all, starting over broke, hailing a cab in a busy intersection filled with jockeying junior executives, arms aloft, bodies smartly spinning to cover every compass point. What did he want that was not posthumous? He stared into space. He understood what was missing, the predatory impulse, the sense of large excitation that drove him through his days, the sheer and reeling need to be.
Riding down the unhorsed Saxons and spearing and clubbing them and leaping from their mounts with knives and running about on the ground with a peculiar bandylegged trot like creatures driven to alien forms of locomotion and stripping the clothes from the dead and seizing them up by the hair and passing their blades about the skulls of the living and the dead alike and snatching aloft the bloody wigs and hacking and chopping at the naked bodies, ripping off limbs, heads, gutting the strange white torsos and holding up great handfuls of viscera, genitals, some of the savages so slathered up with gore they might have rolled in it like dogs and some who fell upon the dying and sodomized them with loud cries to their fellows.
Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see?—Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks glasses! of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster— tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone?
Father monks, why do you fast! Why do you expect reward in heaven for that?...No, saintly monk, you try being virtuous in the world, do good to society, without shutting yourself up in a monastery at other people's expense, and without expecting a reward up aloft for it--you'll find that a bit harder.