Brief Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 373 quotes )
You are so young, Lyra, too young to understand this, but I shall tell you anyway and you'll understand it later: men pass in front of our eyes like butterflies, creatures of a brief season. We love them; they are brave, proud, beautiful, clever; and they die almost at once. They die so soon that our hearts are continually racked with pain. We bear their children, who are witches if they are female, human if not; and then in the blink of an eye they are gone, felled, slain, lost. Our sons, too. When a little boy is growing, he thinks he is immortal. His mother knows he isn't. Each time becomes more painful, until finally your heart is broken. Perhaps that is when Yambe-Akka comes for you. She is older than the tundra. Perhaps, for her, witches' lives are as brief as men's are to us.
The life of Man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish form our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm of sympathy, to give them the pure joy of a never-tiring affection, to strengthen failing courage, to instill faith in times of despair.
whats here a cup closed in my true loves hand poisin i see hath been his timeless end. oh churl drunk all and left no friendly drop to help me after. i will kiss thy lips some poisin doth hang on them, to help me die with a restorative. thy lips are warm. yea noise then ill be brief oh happy dagger this is thy sheath. there rust and let me die.
The sixth grade seemed to please him from the beginning: he went through a brief Egyptian Period that baffled me - he tried to walk flat a great deal, sticking one arm in front of him and one in back of him, putting one foot behind the other. He declared Egyptians walked that way; I said if they did I didn't see how they got anything done, but Jem said they accomplished more than the Americans ever did, they invented toilet paper and perpetual embalming, and asked where would we be today if they hadn't? Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 7
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.
After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with colour, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked -- as I am surprisingly often -- why I bother to get up in the mornings. To put it the other way round, isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be a part of it?
If history is to be creative, to anticipate a possible future without denying the past, it should, I believe, emphasize new possibilities by disclosing those hidden episodes of the past when, even if in brief flashes, people showed their ability to resist, to join together, occasionally to win. I am supposing, or perhaps only hoping, that our future may be found in the past's fugitive movements of compassion rather than in its solid centuries of warfare.
How, in such an alien and inhuman world, can so powerless a creature as man preserve his aspirations untarnished? A strange mystery it is that nature, omnipotent but blind, in the revolutions of her secular hurryings through the abysses of space, has brought forth at last a child, subject still to her power, but gifted with sight, with knowledge of good and evil, with the capacity of judging all the works of his unthinking mother. In spite of death, the mark and seal of the parental control, man is yet free, during his brief years, to examine, to criticize, to know, and in imagination to create. To him alone, in the world with which he is aquainted, this freedom belongs; and in this lies his superiority to the resistless forces that control his outward life.
The life so brief, the art so long in the learning, the attempt so hard, the conquest so sharp, the fearful joy that ever slips away so quickly - by all this I mean love, which so sorely astounds my feeling with its wondrous operation, that when I think upon it I scarce know whether I wake or sleep.
My external sensations are no less private to myself than are my thoughts or my feelings. In either case my experience falls within my own circle, a circle closed on the outside; and, with all its elements alike, every sphere is opaque to the others which surround it. . . . In brief, regarded as an existence which appears in a soul, the whole world for each is peculiar and private to that soul.
They believed us and perished for it. Our statecraft, our learning. Delivered them bound to the Pit and alive to the burning. Whither they mirthfully hastened as jostling for honour -Not since her birth has our Earth seen such worth loosed upon her. Nor was their agony brief, or once only imposed on them. The wounded, the war-spent, the sick received no exemption: Being cured they returned and endured and achieved our redemption, Hopeless themselves of relief, till Death, marvelling, closed on them. That flesh we had nursed from the first in all cleanness was given. To corruption unveiled and assailed by the malice of Heaven -By the heart-shaking jests of Decay where it lolled on the wires -To be blanched or gay-painted by fumes - to be cindered by fires -To be senselessly tossed and retossed in stale mutilation. From crater to crater. For this we shall take expiation. But who shall return us the children?
The important fact is that for the man the act is eternal, and that for the brief space he has to live, he is already dead. He is already in a different world from ours. He has crossed the frontier. The important fact is that something is done which can not be undone-a possibility which none of us realize until we face it ourselves.
In a brief moment of lucidity, I was sure that we'd all gone crazy. But then that moment of lucidity was displaced by a supersecond of superlucidity (if I can put it that way), in which I realized that this scene was the logical outcome of our ridiculous lives. It wasn't a punishment but a new wrinkle. It gave us a glimpse of ourselves in our common humanity. It wasn't proof of our idle guilt but a sign of our miraculous and pointless innocence. But that's not it. That's not it. We were still and they were in motion and the sand on the beach was moving, not because of the wind but because of what they were doing and what we were doing, which was nothing, which was watching, and all of that together was the wrinkle, the moment of superlucidity. Then, nothing.
She had a brief affair with a novelist, W. L. River, whose Death of a Young Man had been published several years earlier. He called her Motsie and pledged himself to her in letters composed of stupendously long run-on sentences, in one case seventy-four lines of single-spaced typewriting. At the time this passed for experimental prose.
For one brief, never-ending second, an entirely different path expanded behind the lids of my tear-wet eyes. As if I were looking through the filter of Jacob's thoughts, I could see exactly what I was going to give up, exactly what this new self-knowledge would not save me from losing. I could see Charlie and Rene mixed into a strange collage with Billy and Sam and La Push. I could see years passing, and meaning something as they passed, changing me. I could see the enormous red-brown wolf that I loved, always standing as protector if I needed him. For the tiniest fragment of a second, I saw the bobbing heads of two small, black-haired children, running away from me into the familiar forest. When they disappeared, they took the rest of the vision with them.