“Life. This morning the sun made me adore it. It had, behind the dripping pine trees, the oriental brightness, orange and crimson, of a living being, a rose and an apple, in the physical and ideal fusion of a true and daily paradise.” ~ Juan Ramón Jiménez.
“O Dreary life!” we cry, “O dreary life!”
And still the generations of the birds
Sing through our sighing, and the flocks and herds
Serenely live while we are keeping strife
With Heaven’s true purpose in us, as a knife
Against which we may struggle. Ocean girds
Unslackened the dry land: savannah-swards
Unweary sweep: hills watch, unworn; and rife
Meek leaves drop yearly from the forest-trees,
To show, above, the unwasted stars that pass
In their old glory. O thou God of old!
Grant me some smaller grace than comes to these;—
But so much patience, as a blade of grass
Grows by contented through the heat and cold.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Where in this wide world can man find
nobility without pride,
friendship without envy,
or beauty without vanity?
Here where grace is laced with muscle
and strength by gentleness confined.
~ Ronald Duncan.
Have you slept in a tent alone—a tent
Out under the desert sky—
Where a thousand thousand desert miles
All silent round you lie?—
The dust of the aeons of ages dead,
And the peoples that trampled by?
Have you looked in the desert’s painted cup,
Have you smelled at dawn the wild sage musk,
Have you seen the lightning flashing up
From the ground in the desert dusk?
Have you heard the song in the desert rain
(Like the undertone of a wordless rhyme?)
Have you watched the glory of colors flame
In its marvel of blossom time?
Have you lain with your face in your hands, afraid,
Face down—flat down on your face—and prayed,
While the terrible sand storm whirled and swirled
In its soundless fury, and hid the world
And quenched the sun in its yellow glare—
Just you, and your soul, and nothing, there?
If you have, then you know, for you’ve felt its spell,
The lure of the desert land,
And if you have not, then I could not tell—
For you could not understand.
Buzz! buzz! buzz!
This is the song of the bee.
His legs are of yellow;
A jolly, good fellow,
And yet a great worker is he.
Buzz! buzz! buzz!
From morning’s first light
Till the coming of night,
He’s singing and toiling
The summer day through.
Oh! we may get weary,
And think work is dreary;
‘Tis harder by far
To have nothing to do.
~ Marian Douglas.