Swift Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 266 quotes )
Swifts, on a fine morning in May, flying this way, that way, sailing around at a great hight, perfectly happily. Then, one leaps onto the back of another, grasps tightly and forgetting to fly they both sink down and down, in a great dying fall, fathom after fathom, until the female utters a loud, piercing cry of ecstasy.
Jonathan Swift (November 30, 1667? October 19, 1745) was an Irish cleric, satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for Whigs then for Tories), and poet, famous for works like Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, The Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, and A Tale of a Tub. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language, although he is less well known for his poetry. Swift published all of his works under pseudonyms? such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, M.B. Drapier? or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of 2 styles of satire; the Horatian and Juvenalian styles. Source: Wikipedia
One may picture, too, the sudden shifting of the attention, the swiftly spreading coils and bellyings of that blackness advancing headlong, towering heavenward, turning the twilight to a palpable darkness, a strange and horrible antagonist of vapour striding upon its victims, men and horses near it seen dimly, running, shrieking, falling headlong, shouts of dismay, the guns suddenly abandoned, men choking and writhing on the ground, and the swift broadening-out of the opaque cone of smoke. And then night and extinction? nothing but a silent mass of impenetrable vapour hiding its dead.
As soon as she had gone out, swift, swift light steps sounded on the parquet, and his bliss, his life, himself - what was best in himself, what he had so long sought and longed for - was quickly, so quickly approaching him. She did not walk but seemed, by some unseen force, to float to him. He saw nothing but her clear, truthful eyes, frightened by that same bliss of love that flooded his heart. Those eyes were shining nearer and nearer, blinding him with their light of love. She stopped close to him, touching him. Her hands rose and dropped on his shoulders. She had done all she could - she had run up to him and given herself up entirely, shyly, blissfully. He put his arms around her and pressed his lips to her mouth that sought his kiss.
A quarter-horse jockey learns to think of a twenty-second race as if it were occurring across twenty minutes--in distinct parts, spaced in his consciousness. Each nuance of the ride comes to him as he builds his race. If you can do the opposite with deep time, living in it and thinking in it until the large numbers settle into place, you can sense how swiftly the initial earth packed itself together, how swiftly continents have assembled and come apart, how far and rapidly continents travel, how quickly mountains rise and how quickly they disintegrate and disappear.
He had felt that a moment before his making the turn, someone had been there. The air seemed charged with a special calm as if someone had waited there, quietly, and only a moment before he came, simply turned to a shadow and let him through. Perhaps his nose detected a faint perfume, perhaps the skin on the backs of his hands, on his face, felt the temperature rise at this one spot where a person's standing might raise the immediate atmosphere ten degrees for an instant. There was no understanding it. Each time he made the turn, he saw only the white, unused, buckling sidewalk, with perhaps, on one night, something vanishing swiftly across a lawn before he could focus his eyes or speak. But now, tonight, he slowed almost to a stop. His inner mind, reaching out to turn the corner for him, had heard the faintest whisper. Breathing? Or was the atmosphere compressed merely by someone standing very quietly there, waiting? He turned the corner.
At first the beauty of the melodies and of the interwoven words in elven-tongues, even though he understood them little, held him in a spell, as soon as as he began to attend to them. Almost it seemed that the words took shape, and visions of far lands and bright things that he had never yet imagined opened out before him; and the firelit hall became like a golden mist above the seas of foam that sighed upon the margins of the world. Then the enchantment became more and more dreamlike, until he felt that an endless river of swelling gold and silver was flowing over him, too multitudinous for its pattern to be comprehended; it became part of the throbbing air about him, and it drenched and drowned him. swiftly he sank under its shining weight into a deep realm of sleep.
So here, twisted in steel, and spoiled with redyour sunlight hide, smelling of death and fear, they crushed out your throat the terrible songyou sang in the dark ranges. With what cryingyou mourned him! - the drinker of blood, the swift death-bringerwho ran with you so many a night; and the night was long. I heard you, desperate poet, Did you hearmy silent voice take up the cry? - replying: Achilles is overcome, and Hector dead, and clay stops many a warrior's mouth, wild singer. Voice from the hills and the river drunken with rain, for your lament the long night was too brief. Hurling your woes at the moon, that old cleaned bone, till the white shorn mobs of stars on the hill of the skyhuddled and trembled, you tolled him, the rebel one. Insane Andromache, pacing your towers alone, death ends the verse you chanted; here you lie. The lover, the maker of elegies is slain, and veiled with blood her body's stealthy sun.
But love, first learnd in a lady's eyes, Lives not alone immurd in the brain, But, with the motion of all elements, Courses as swift as thought in every power, And gives to every power a double power, Above their functions and their offices. It adds a precious seeing to the eye; A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind; A lover's ears will hear the lowest sound, When the suspicious head of theft is stopped: Love's feeling is more soft and sensible Than are the tender horns of cockled snails: Love's tongue proves dainty Baccus gross in taste. For valour, is not love a Hercules, Still climbing trees in the Hesperides? Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair; And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony. Never durst poet touch a pen to write Until his ink were tempered with Love's sighs.
They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. To-day, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one but lightly and are soon forgotten, but then—how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal.
From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flamelike as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of those pallid, jade-faced painters of Tokyo who, through the medium of an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion. The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the dusty gilt horns of the straggling woodbine, seemed to make the stillness more oppressive. The dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ.
When the ship approached the equator, I stopped going out on deck in the daytime. The sun burned like a flame. The days had shortened and night came swiftly. One moment it was light, the next it was dark. The sun did not set but fell into the water like a meteor. Late in the evening, when I went out briefly, a hot wind slapped my face. From the ocean came a roar of passions that seemed to have broken through all barriers:'We mus procreate and multiply! We must exhaust all the powers of lust!' The waves glowed like lava, and I imagined I could see multitudes of living beings - algae, whales, sea monsters - reveling in an orgy, from the surface to the bottom of the sea. Immortality was the law here. The whole planet raged with animation. At times, I heard my name in the clamor: the spirit of the abyss calling me to join them in their nocturnal dance. ("Hanka")