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Page 12 - What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion ; it is easy in solitude to live after our own ; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness...
Page 505 - O'er England's Abbeys bends the sky As on its friends with kindred eye ; For, out of Thought's interior sphere These wonders rose to upper air, And Nature gladly gave them place, Adopted them into her race, And granted them an equal date With Andes and with Ararat.
Page 114 - As Heaven and Earth are fairer, fairer far Than Chaos and blank Darkness, though once chiefs; And as we show beyond that Heaven and Earth In form and shape compact and beautiful, In will, in action free, companionship, And thousand other signs of purer life; So on our heels a fresh perfection treads, A power more strong in beauty, born of us And fated to excel us, as we pass In glory that old Darkness: nor are we Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule Of shapeless Chaos.
Page 488 - And now in age I bud again, After so many deaths I live and write; I once more smell the dew and rain, And relish versing: O my only light, It cannot be That I am he, On whom thy tempests fell all night.
Page 15 - If we ask whence this comes, if we seek to pry into the soul that causes, all philosophy is at fault. Its presence or its absence is all we can affirm.
Page 99 - It is very unhappy, but too late to be helped, the discovery we have made that we exist.* That discovery is called the Fall of Man. Ever afterwards we suspect our instruments. We have learned that we do not see directly, but mediately, and that we have no means of correcting these colored and distorting lenses which we are, or of computing the amount of their errors.
Page 505 - As I spoke, beneath my feet The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath, Running over the club-moss burrs ; I inhaled the violet's breath ; Around me stood the oaks and firs ; Pine-cones and acorns lay on the ground ; Over me soared the eternal sky, Full of light and of deity ; Again I saw, again I heard, The rolling river, the morning bird ; — Beauty through my senses stole ; I yielded myself to the perfect whole.
Page 391 - There is always a best way of doing everything, if it be to boil an egg. Manners are the happy ways of doing things; each once a stroke of genius or of love, — now repeated and hardened into usage. They form at last a rich varnish, with which the routine of life is washed, and its details adorned. If they are superficial, so are the dew-drops which give such a depth to the morning meadows.
Page 89 - Here is the difference betwixt the poet and the mystic, that the last nails a symbol to one sense, which was a true sense for a moment, but soon becomes old and false. For all symbols are fluxional ; all language is vehicular and transitive, and is good, as ferries and horses are, for conveyance, not as farms and houses are, for homestead.