Vagrant Quotes (displaying: 1 - 19 of 19 quotes )
I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks, who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering; which word is beautifully derived "from idle people who roved about the country, in the middle ages, and asked charity, under pretence of going la sainte terre"? to the holy land, till the children exclaimed, "There goes a sainte-terrer", a saunterer? a holy-lander. They who never go to the holy land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds, but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all, but the Saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the first, which indeed is the most probable derivation. For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit (1) in us, to go forth and reconquer this holy land from the hands of the Infidels.
I try to believe everything I read in the newspapers, but I had difficulty with last week's account of the London vagrant who was found, after death, to be carrying 1,500 in small change in his socks. My reason for doubting the story is that I, too, like to carry small change in my socks, but I have found that with more that 15 or 20 worth it becomes impossible to walk.
I shared a vagrant optimism that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I felt that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actor, kidding ourselves on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between those two poles - a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other - that kept me going.
But Jesus makes his appearance here only as a corpse; the living man, the wine-guzzling vagrant and precocious socialist, is never once mentioned, nor anything he ever had to say. Christ crucified rules, and it may be that the true business of modern Christianity is to crucify him again and again so that he can never get a word out of his mouth.
Tears came to my eyes when I read of a mere boy in one of our eastern cities who noticed a vagrant asleep on a sidewalk and who then went to his own room, retrieved his own pillow, and placed it beneath the head of that one whom he knew not. Perhaps there came from the precious past the welcome words: ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me’ (Matt. 25:40).
Sea-Fever"I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking, And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking. I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide. Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying. I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover. And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over
A subject to which few intellectuals ever give a thought is the right to be a vagrant, the freedom to wander. Yet vagrancy is a deliverance, and life on the open road is the essence of freedom. To have the courage to smash the chains with which modern life has weighted us (under the pretext that it was offering us more liberty), then to take up the symbolic stick and bundle and get out.
It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream--a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought--a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!
Once leprosy had gone, and the figure of the leper was no more than a distant memory, these structures still remained. The game of exclusion would be played again, often in these same places, in an oddly similar fashion two or three centuries later. The role of the leper was to be played by the poor and by the vagrant, by prisoners and by the 'alienated', and the sort of salvation at stake for both parties in this game of exclusion is the matter of this study.
Life's an act of magic, too. Claire Hamill sings a line in one of her songs that really sums it up for me: 'If there's no magic, there's no meaning.' Without magic- or call it wonder, mystery, natural wisdom- nothing has any depth. It's all just surface. You know: what you see is what you get. I honestly believe there's more to everything than that, whether it's a Monet hanging in a gallery or some old vagrant sleeping in an alley.
The cowardly belief that a person must stay in one place is too reminiscent of the unquestioning resignation of animals, beasts of burden stupefied by servitude and yet always willing to accept the slipping on of the harness. There are limits to every domain, and laws to govern every organized power. But the vagrant owns the whole vast earth that ends only at the non-existent horizon, and her empire is an intangible one, for her domination and enjoyment of it are things of the spirit.
This was a vagrant of sixty-five, who was going to prison for not playing the flute; or, in other words, for begging in the streets, and doing noting for his livelihood. In the next cell, was another man, who was going to the same prison for hawking tin saucepans without a licence; thereby doing something for his living, in defiance of the Stamp-office.