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  Quotations - General  
[Quote No.51722] Need Area: Body > General
"[Age:] And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

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[Quote No.51793] Need Area: Body > General
"When you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It's only painful and difficult for others." - Ricky Gervais
Comedian
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[Quote No.51804] Need Area: Body > General
"Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age." - Jeanne Moreau

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[Quote No.51833] Need Area: Body > General
"A long life may not be good enough, but a good life is long enough." - Benjamin Franklin

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[Quote No.51884] Need Area: Body > General
"It is magnificent to grow old -- if one keeps young!" - Harry Emerson Fosdick

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[Quote No.51920] Need Area: Body > General
"[A story - with message about gluttony, health and exercise:] Aesop's Fables - The Little Fly - There was a fly buzzing around a barn one day when he happened on a pile of fresh cow manure. Due to the fact that it had been hours since his last meal, he flew down and began to eat. He ate and ate and ate. Finally, he decided he had eaten enough and tried to fly away. He had eaten too much though, and could not get off the ground. As he looked around wondering what to do now, he spotted a pitchfork leaning up against the wall. He climbed to the top of the handle and jumped off, thinking that once he got airborne, he would be able to take flight. Unfortunately he was wrong and dropped like a rock, splatting when he hit the floor. Dead." - Aesop

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[Quote No.51976] Need Area: Body > General
"[A story - with a message about keeping youthful while growing older: - Growing Older - When the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was well along in years, his hair was white but he was still a vigorous man. Someone asked him why this was so. The poet pointed to an apple tree in bloom and said...] That tree is very old, but I never saw prettier blossoms on it than it now bears. That tree grows new wood each year. Like that apple tree, I try to grow a little new wood each year!' " - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Fr. Brian Cavanaugh, a Franciscan Friar, T.O.R.(Third Order Franciscan), wrote of this in his book, 'The Sower's Seeds'.
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[Quote No.52016] Need Area: Body > General
"[A poem about death and empathy:]

Now I know I never knew,
when you lost your child,
What you were going through.
I wasn't there,
I stayed away,
I just deserted you.

I didn't know the words to say,
I didn't know the things to do.
I think your pain so frightened me,
I didn't know how to comfort you.

And then one day my child died.
You were the first one there.
You quietly stayed by my side, listened,
And held me as I cried.
You didn't leave, you didn't go.
The lesson learned is . . . Now I know.

" - Alice Kerr
From Lower Bucks, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA. She is a member of the Compassionate Friends, an organization for parents who have lost a child.
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[Quote No.52076] Need Area: Body > General
"[A true story - with a message about appearance and inner beauty, identity and individualism.] - The Plaster Shell - Intense feelings of embarrassment and absurdity filled my entire body. This would not help the fact that I was slathered in baby oil, clad in a T-shirt and lying in my basement, in fifty pounds of plaster. I stared down at the warm plaster that embraced my midsection and slowly crept up towards my chest and tried to remember why I had chosen to make a plaster cast of my entire body. For a moment, I simply concluded that I was an utter fool, but I soon remembered my motives, and while the plaster dried, I certainly had the time to think about it. The insecurities of my freshman year in college combined with my poor body image made me feel like an oaf. Here I was surrounded by all these lithe, long girls who wore the latest fashions really well. Was there some mold that was churning out these girls? And, where in the world did I come from? That was the beginning of the question that lead me to my plaster ensconcement. It all began 506 years ago, when my forebears were thrown out of Spain. They migrated to Eastern Europe and developed the stocky, bosomy shape consigned to overstuffed chairs. Though my tall, slender parents seemed to have defeated this pernicious (certainly in my eyes) shape, it continued lurking in the depths of the family gene pool, and flung itself into existence again with the arrival of their first-born child - me. It gifted me with wide hips, a non-existent waistline, powerful shoulders, and ample breasts. Very reminiscent of a long line of intimidating German matriarchs. Built to survive harsh winters and to breed children, I certainly wasn't near anything I say in fashion magazines - or like any of my new college peers. I loathed my shape and cursed my past. Though I was always an independent person who disregarded the edicts of popularity and fashion, I could not ignore our culture's concepts of beauty. The rancor I had for my body made my freshman year of college really hard. Clothing seemed to be made for those generic stick figures I sat next to in class. That was when Dorothy, my slightly eccentric art teacher, and mentor, originated the idea of body casting. Consequently, on a lovely May morning, I found myself sitting in a dank basement encased in plaster. I lost all sensation in my legs at approximately the same time that the plaster hardened. After an additional uncomfortable twenty minutes, I slipped out of my plaster shell. At first, I was rather depressed by the sight of the powder-white and headless torso lying on an old towel. It looked more like a sea creature stranded by the tide than a human shape. My eyes squinted, trying not to take in the entire picture of my shape, which was even more exaggerated by the plaster. I thought about how I would never be graceful or delicate, how two-piece swimsuits were absolutely out of the question, and how I would never be conventionally beautiful, or fashionably thin. As I stared at the empty outer shell of myself, a great realization hit me - I realized that I had been completely wrong about my body image. For the past nineteen years I had believed that my linebacker-like shape would discourage others from noticing my additional attributes. How would they ever see my love of science and books, my creativity, or my offbeat sense of humor? All this time I wanted to be fashionably svelte, but that would not make me a better person. I recognized that confidence was much more important to others than a dainty appearance, and that if I had confidence, they would notice my talents. More important, I realized that I did not actually want to be thin and bikini-clad. I was quite content using my powerful build to lug around sixty-pound scenery pieces, and I liked my one-piece practical bathing suits. My physical appearance had shaped my personality in a largely positive way. It contributed to my dislike of conformity. It gave me my somewhat self-deprecating sense of humor. And it gave me that strong will that I cherish so much. The misconception I was holding all these years, along with the exaggerated body cast that lay there on my basement floor was suddenly so hilarious to me. I laughed for five straight minutes. The body cast currently resides in Dorothy's attic, under a large blanket. I never actually used it in any art piece; I felt like it served its purpose. The process of body casting had been far more important than the product. Since that day three years ago, I have not resented my ancestral build. I have also discovered that being comfortable in my body has given me increased confidence and assertiveness, something many girls, and women lack. Perhaps they should all be given the opportunity to make their own body casts? When the shell of the body is separate from the person it is obvious that it is severely lacking. Without the wisdom, sense of humor and heart it really has no shape at all." - Miriam Goldstein
'Chicken Soup for the College Soul'
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[Quote No.52251] Need Area: Body > General
"[A true story - with a message about not judging a book by its cover, the contents by the appearance, the substance by the style.] - The Little Dwarf - I was sixteen years old when I completed my Army basic training at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and decided to take my leave in Jacksonville, Florida, where I had been raised in a orphanage, before being sent to Fort Wainwright, located in Fairbanks Alaska. As I arrived at the Trailways bus station, I noted the many prostitutes and bums standing around on the street, which was not unusual to me. Some of them I had seen hundreds of times because I myself had lived on these same streets for several years before being placed into the Army by juvenile a court order. I guess I came back to the streets of Jacksonville to show everyone living on the street that I had finally become somebody. I threw my duffle bag over my shoulder and started walking towards Forsythe Street. Since I had no family, I decided to see if I could find someone that I knew from the times when I had lived on the street. I continued to walk to Forsythe. About that time several sailors walking behind me started making joke about my uniform. I quickly turned into a coffee shop and ordered a soda. After I was sure that they had gone, I decided to go back outside and tell these burley looking navy guys just where to get off. But to my surprise, I must have scared them off because they were nowhere to be found. I continued to walk down towards town and decided to stop in at a Army/Navy surplus store. I emerged about a half an hour later with almost every medal known to man-kind, not to mention my white spats and my white pistol-belt. I was one sharp looking dude. I finally reached Forsythe Street. I was walking by the Florida Theatre when I noticed those same three navy guys giving this dwarf guy, on a mechanics board. They had pushed him off the side walk and were laughing at him. As I passed, I could see that the little dwarf had no legs and his hands did not have many fingers and what was there was calloused from pushing himself around by his hands. I had seen this little man many times before, when I lived on the street, but I had never spoken to him because he looked too scary to me. I did not have enough nerve to say anything to the sailors so I just walked on by. The further I got from them the more I hurt inside. Finally I could not take it any more so I turned around and headed back towards them. The sailors were already crossing the street when I arrived. I noticed that they had jammed a single dollar bill in the little dwarf's mouth. I stood before him, looking down, and did not know what to say. I reached out into the street and got his mechanics chair and helped him get back onto it. I told him that I would buy him something to eat if he was hungry. He told me that he was, so I took out my wallet and handed him a twenty dollar bill. That was a lot of money for me because I only received $68.00 a month in army pay. As I turned to leave he yelled at me to stop, I turned around and he asked me if he could buy me dinner. We ordered 10 hamburgers a piece, and a fry. We talked for about an hour and I told him that I had been raised in an orphanage on the Southside. He told me that he also did not have any parents and that he had lived in an institution for about ten years. After we had eaten our meal I paid for his hamburgers so that he could save his $20.00. Then he asked me to wait while he went to get something important. About 30 minutes later he finally returned and handed me a large envelope and asked me not to open it until he was gone. I shook his deformed hand and then watched as the little man rolled himself, with his hands, back down the street towards the Florida Theatre. I folded the envelope and stuck it in my back pocket and left the restaurant. As I stepped out into the street there they were. These same three burley looking sailors, who immediately started shoving me around and finally pushed me against the glass window. Just about that time, several military policemen drove up and asked what was going on. The three sailors just walked away laughing. The MPs got out of their vehicle, walked around me several times and then one of them asked me, ‘Just what damn service are you in?’ ‘The French Foreign Legion’, yelled one of the three sailors. They laughed and continued walking off. I was handcuffed and taken to the Naval Air Station at Mayport where I was stripped of my metals, white pistol-belt and white spats, then locked in a small cell. Several hours later I was told that my leave had been cancelled and I was immediately taken to the Jacksonville International Airport and placed aboard a flight to Fort Wainwright, Alaska. I sat in my airline seat when I happened to remember the envelope that the little dwarf guy had given me. I opened it and found ten one-hundred-dollar bills, a note and a page from a magazine. The note read ‘I said I would take you out to dinner’. On the dirty old wrinkled magazine page was a large picture of a man and a woman, standing next to a fancy six horse drawn carriage, behind them stood a castle. The headline read ‘Scottish Royalty Dies, deformed infant found and placed into institution’. At the bottom of the magazine page was written, ‘A large steak would be nice. That's what I eat every day, my friend’." - Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.

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[Quote No.52342] Need Area: Body > General
"[A true story - with a message about the importance of persistence and creativity to overcome the obstacles that everyone faces in one form or another to achieve their dreams!] - Django Reinhardt - When you hear the guitar playing of Django Reinhardt, with its fluid phrasing and lightning-fast arpeggios, it's incredible to think that he [was disabled as he] had only two good fingers on his left hand. When Reinhardt was 18 years old he was badly burned in a fire. It was late on the night of November 2, 1928. The young guitarist was at home with his common-law wife, Bella, in their gypsy caravan on the edge of Paris. To scrape together a little money, Bella had been making artificial flowers out of paper and highly flammable celluloid. When Django accidently knocked over a candle, the material from the flowers ignited and the trailer was quickly engulfed in flames. They both survived, but Django would spend the next 18 months recovering from terrible injuries. When a doctor expressed interest in amputating his right leg, Reinhardt left the hospital and moved into a nursing home, where he eventually got better. The two smallest fingers on his left hand–crucial to a guitarist for articulating notes on the fretboard–were paralyzed. A lesser musician would have given up, but Reinhardt overcame the limitation by inventing his own method of playing. With his two good fingers he moved rapidly up and down the guitar neck while making very limited use of his two shriveled fingers on chords, double-stops and triple-stops. He rose above his handicap to create one of the most distinctive instrumental styles in 20th century music. [Reinhardt's amazing technique, can be seen in the 1938 short film, Jazz 'Hot.' It features Reinhardt with violinist Stéphane Grappelli and their band, Quintette du Hot Club de France, playing a swing version of the popular song 'J'attendrai.' (It means 'I will wait.')]" - Mike Springer
[refer http://www.openculture.com/2012/08/django_reinhardt_and_the_inspiring_story_behind_his_guitar_technique.html ]
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[Quote No.52378] Need Area: Body > General
"[A story - with a message about the mystery we call death.] - Emperor and Master Gudo - The Emperor asked Master Gudo, 'What happens to a man of enlightenment after death?' 'How should I know?' replied Gudo. 'Because you are the master,' answered the Emperor. 'Yes sir,' said Gudo, 'but not a dead one.'" - Unknown

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[Quote No.52436] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem about the mystery of dying and death:]

'Gone From My Sight'

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says:
‘There, she is gone!’

‘Gone where?’

Gone from my sight. That is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says, ‘There, she is gone!’ There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout:

‘Here she comes!’

'And that is dying.'

" - Henry Van Dyke
(1852-1933)
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[Quote No.52464] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the ineffable mystery of death and what happens to us after life.]

'Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep'

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

" - Mary Elizabeth Frye

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[Quote No.52506] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and that all things are temporary with a beginning and an end but also each ending is the beginning of something else and each beginning an ending.]

'All Things will Die'

Clearly the blue river chimes in its flowing
Under my eye;
Warmly and broadly the south winds are blowing
Over the sky.
One after another the white clouds are fleeting;
Every heart this May morning in joyance is beating
Full merrily;
Yet all things must die.
The stream will cease to flow;
The wind will cease to blow;
The clouds will cease to fleet;
The heart will cease to beat;
For all things must die.
All things must die.
Spring will come never more.
O, vanity!
Death waits at the door.
See! our friends are all forsaking
The wine and the merrymaking.
We are call’d - we must go.
Laid low, very low,
In the dark we must lie.
The merry glees are still;
The voice of the bird
Shall no more be heard,
Nor the wind on the hill.
O, misery!
Hark! death is calling
While I speak to ye,
The jaw is falling,
The red cheek paling,
The strong limbs failing;
Ice with the warm blood mixing;
The eyeballs fixing.
Nine times goes the passing bell:
Ye merry souls, farewell.
The old earth
Had a birth,
As all men know,
Long ago.
And the old earth must die.
So let the warm winds range,
And the blue wave beat the shore;
For even and morn
Ye will never see
Thro’ eternity.
All things were born.
Ye will come never more,
For all things must die.

" - Alfred Lord Tennyson

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[Quote No.52545] Need Area: Body > General
"Every night before I go to sleep I say out loud three things that I am grateful for, all the significant, insignificant, extraordinary, ordinary stuff of my life. It is s small practice and humble, and yet, I find I sleep better holding what lightens and softens my life every so briefly at the end of the day." - Carrie Newcomer
'A Permeable Life: Poems & Essays'
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[Quote No.52548] Need Area: Body > General
"[Song lyrics: about a ritual of gratitude before sleep]

'Three Gratitudes'

Every night before I go to sleep
I say out loud
Three things that I'm grateful for,
All the significant, insignificant
Extraordinary, ordinary stuff of my life.
It's a small practice and humble,
And yet, I find I sleep better
Holding what lightens and softens my life
Ever so briefly at the end of the day.
Sunlight, and blueberries,
Good dogs and wool socks,
A fine rain,
A good friend,
Fresh basil and wild phlox,
My father's good health,
My daughter's new job,
The song that always makes me cry,
Always at the same part,
No matter how many times I hear it.
Decent coffee at the airport,
And your quiet breathing,
The stories you told me,
The frost patterns on the windows,
English horns and banjos,
Wood Thrush and June bugs,
The smooth glassy calm of the morning pond,
An old coat,
A new poem,
My library card,
And that my car keeps running
Despite all the miles.
And after three things,
More often than not,
I get on a roll and I just keep on going,
I keep naming and listing,

Until I lie grinning,
Blankets pulled up to my chin,
Awash with wonder
At the sweetness of it all.

" - Carrie Newcomer
American folk singer-songwriter and author. Her albums include 'Betty’s Diner', 'The Gathering of Spirits', and 'A Permeable Life', which has an accompanying book of poetry and essays.
(The above lyrics are obviously the property and copyright of their legal owners. They are provided for educational purposes and personal use only.)

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[Quote No.52599] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about one way to face the 'fascinating' mystery of death and die mentally 'embracing' life.]

'A Wish'

I ask not that my bed of death
From bands of greedy heirs be free;
For these besiege the latest breath
Of fortune's favoured sons, not me.

I ask not each kind soul to keep
Tearless, when of my death he hears;
Let those who will, if any, weep!
There are worse plagues on earth than tears.

I ask but that my death may find
The freedom to my life denied;
Ask but the folly of mankind,
Then, at last, to quit my side.

Spare me the whispering, crowded room,
The friends who come, and gape, and go;
The ceremonious air of gloom -
All which makes death a hideous show!

Nor bring, to see me cease to live,
Some doctor full of phrase and fame,
To shake his sapient head and give
The ill he cannot cure a name.

Nor fetch, to take the accustomed toll
Of the poor sinner bound for death,
His brother doctor of the soul,
To canvass with official breath

The future and its viewless things -
That undiscovered mystery
Which one who feels death's winnowing wings
Must need read clearer, sure, than he!

Bring none of these; but let me be,
While all around in silence lies,
Moved to the window near, and see
Once more before my dying eyes

Bathed in the sacred dew of morn
The wide aerial landscape spread -
The world which was ere I was born,
The world which lasts when I am dead.

Which never was the friend of one,
Nor promised love it could not give,
But lit for all its generous sun,
And lived itself, and made us live.

There let me gaze, till I become
In soul with what I gaze on wed!
To feel the universe my home;
To have before my mind -instead
Of the sick-room, the mortal strife,
The turmoil for a little breath -
The pure eternal course of life,
Not human combatings with death.

Thus feeling, gazing, let me grow
Composed, refreshed, ennobled, clear;
Then willing let my spirit go
To work or wait elsewhere or here!

" - Matthew Arnold
(1822 – 1888), English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools.
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[Quote No.52638] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about an individual's joys in life and acceptance of death after an emotionally rewarding life.]

'I Have Loved Hours at Sea'

I have loved hours at sea, gray cities,
The fragile secret of a flower,
Music, the making of a poem
That gave me heaven for an hour;

First stars above a snowy hill,
Voices of people kindly and wise,
And the great look of love, long hidden,
Found at last in meeting eyes.

I have loved much and been loved deeply -
Oh when my spirit's fire burns low,
Leave me the darkness and the stillness,
I shall be tired and glad to go.

" - Sara Teasdale
Poet. From her poem collection, 'Flame and Shadow'.
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[Quote No.52671] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about an attitude towards the mystery of death.]

'Thanatopsis'

...

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

" - William Cullen Bryant
(1794 – 1878). The quote contains the last lines of this poem.
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[Quote No.52707] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about one view on the mystery of death.]

'Sleep'

O Sleep, thou kindest minister to man,
Silent distiller of the balm of rest,
How wonderful thy power, when naught else can,
To soothe the torn and sorrow-laden breast!
When bleeding hearts no comforter can find,
When burdened souls droop under weight of woe,
When thought is torture to the troubled mind,
When grief-relieving tears refuse to flow;
'Tis then thou comest on soft-beating wings,
And sweet oblivion's peace from them is shed;
But ah, the old pain that the waking brings!
That lives again so soon as thou art fled!
Man, why should thought of death cause thee to weep;
Since death be but an endless, dreamless sleep?

" - James Weldon Johnson
(1871 - 1938) American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist.
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[Quote No.52708] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about one view on the mystery of death.]

'Mother Night'

Eternities before the first-born day,
Or ere the first sun fledged his wings of flame,
Calm Night, the everlasting and the same,
A brooding mother over chaos lay.
And whirling suns shall blaze and then decay,
Shall run their fiery courses and then claim
The haven of the darkness whence they came;
Back to Nirvanic peace shall grope their way.

So when my feeble sun of life burns out,
And sounded is the hour for my long sleep,
I shall, full weary of the feverish light,
Welcome the darkness without fear or doubt,
And heavy-lidded, I shall softly creep
Into the quiet bosom of the Night.

" - James Weldon Johnson
(1871 - 1938) American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist.
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[Quote No.52730] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem:]

'On Growing Old'

Be with me, Beauty, for the fire is dying;
My dog and I are old, too old for roving.
Man, whose young passion sets the spindrift flying,
Is soon too lame to march, too cold for loving.
I take the book and gather to the fire,
Turning old yellow leaves; minute by minute
The clock ticks to my heart. A withered wire,
Moves a thin ghost of music in the spinet.
I cannot sail your seas, I cannot wander
Your cornland, nor your hill-land, nor your valleys
Ever again, nor share the battle yonder
Where the young knight the broken squadron rallies.
Only stay quiet while my mind remembers
The beauty of fire from the beauty of embers.

Beauty, have pity! for the strong have power,
The rich their wealth, the beautiful their grace,
Summer of man its sunlight and its flower.
Spring-time of man, all April in a face.
Only, as in the jostling in the Strand,
Where the mob thrusts, or loiters, or is loud,
The beggar with the saucer in his hand
Asks only a penny from the passing crowd,
So, from this glittering world with all its fashion,
Its fire, and play of men, its stir, its march,
Let me have wisdom, Beauty, wisdom and passion,
Bread to the soul, rain when the summers parch.
Give me but these, and though the darkness close
Even the night will blossom as the rose.

" - John Masefield
(1878 - 1967), John Edward Masefield, OM was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death in 1967. [Spindrift = sea spray. Spinet = a small harpsichord having a single keyboard.]
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[Quote No.52808] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem:]

'The Story of Life'

Say, what is life? 'T is to be born;
A helpless Babe, to greet the light
With a sharp wail, as if the morn
Foretold a cloudy noon and night;
To weep, to sleep, and weep again,
With sunny smiles between; and then?

And then apace the infant grows
To be a laughing, puling boy,
Happy, despite his little woes,
Were he but conscious of his joy;
To be, in short, from two to ten,
A merry, moody Child; and then?

And then, in coat and trousers clad,
To learn to say the Decalogue,
And break it; an unthinking Lad,
With mirth and mischief all agog;
A truant oft by field and fen
To capture butterflies; and then?

And then, increased in strength and size,
To be, anon, a Youth full-grown;
A hero in his mother's eyes,
A young Apollo in his own;
To imitate the ways of men
In fashionable sins; and then?

And then, at last, to be a Man;
To fall in love; to woo and wed;
With seething brain to scheme and plan;
To gather gold, or toil for bread;
To sue for fame with tongue or pen,
And gain or lose the prize; and then?

And then in gray and wrinkled Eld
To mourn the speed of life's decline;
To praise the scenes his youth beheld,
And dwell in memory of Lang-Syne;
To dream awhile with darkened ken,
Then drop into his grave; and then?

" - John Godfrey Saxe
(1816-1887) [This is similar to William Shakespeare's 'All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players, They have their exits and entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages...' ]
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[Quote No.52897] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of life and death]

'Life, I Know Not What Thou Art'

Life! I know not what thou art.
But know that thou and I must part;
And when, or how, or where we met,
I own to me's a secret yet.

...

Life! we've been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
Tis hard to part when friends are dear -
Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;
- Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time;
Say not Good Night, - but in some brighter clime
Bid me Good Morning.

" - A.L. Barbauld
(1743 - 1825), Anna Laetitia Barbauld, prominent English poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, and children's author.
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[Quote No.52908] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: About our ultimate individual freedom to choose whether to live or die:- the famous existential question of how to find meaning, purpose and fulfilment in life or escape life's difficulties through suicide. The Nazi-Death-camp surviving Austrian-Jewish neurologist and psychiatrist Dr Viktor Frankl, wrote extensively about this in his best-selling and highly influential book, 'Man's Search For Meaning'.]

[Hamlet's Soliloquy:] 'To be, or not to be'

To be, or not to be, - that is the question
Whether 't is nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them? - To die, to sleep; -
No more; and, by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, - 't is a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, - to sleep; -
To sleep! perchance to dream: - ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pains of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death, -
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, - puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

" - William Shakespeare
From his play 'Hamlet', Act III. Scene I.
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[Quote No.52909] Need Area: Body > General
"[The mystery of death:] In the middle of the room, in its white coffin, lay the dead child, the nephew of the poet. Near it, in a great chair, sat Walt Whitman, surrounded by little ones, and holding a beautiful little girl on his lap. She looked wonderingly at the spectacle of death, and then inquiringly into the old man's face. 'You don't know what it is, do you, my dear?' said he, and added, 'We don't, either.'" - Mary Mapes Dodge
(1831–1905). Quote from the preamble to her poem, 'The Two Mysteries'.
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[Quote No.52910] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death]

'To A Friend Dying'

They tell you that Death's at the turn of the road,
That under the shade of a cypress you'll find him,
And, struggling on wearily, lashed by the goad
Of pain, you will enter the black mist behind him.

I can walk with you up to the ridge of the hill,
And we'll talk of the way we have come through the valley;
Down below there a bird breaks into a trill,
And a groaning slave bends to the oar of his galley.

You are up on the heights now, you pity the slave -
'Poor soul, how fate lashes him on at his rowing!
Yet it's joyful to live, and it's hard to be brave
When you watch the sun sink and the daylight is going.'

We are almost there - our last walk on this height -
I must bid you good-bye at that cross on the mountain.
See the sun glowing red, and the pulsating light
Fill the valley, and rise like the flood in a fountain!

And it shines in your face and illumines your soul;
We are comrades as ever, right here at your going;
You may rest if you will within sight of the goal,
While I must return to my oar and the rowing.

We must part now? Well, here is the hand of a friend;
I will keep you in sight till the road makes its turning
Just over the ridge within reach of the end
Of your arduous toil, - the beginning of learning.

You will call to me once from the mist, on the verge,
'An revoir!' and 'Good night!' while the twilight is creeping
Up luminous peaks, and the pale stars emerge?
Yes, I hear your faint voice: 'This is rest, and like sleeping!'

" - Robert Bridges
(1844 – 1930) Robert Seymour Bridges, OM, British poet, and poet laureate from 1913 to 1930.
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[Quote No.52911] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and some negative things that the dead gratefully will never have to suffer through again here]

'Fear no more the heat o' the sun'

Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o' the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;
Care no more to clothe, and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning flash
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

" - William Shakespeare
From his play, 'Cymbeline', Act IV, Scene II.
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[Quote No.52912] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death]

'Beyond The Smiling And The Weeping'

Beyond the smiling and the weeping
I shall be soon;
Beyond the waking and the sleeping,
Beyond the sowing and the reaping,
I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home!
Sweet hope!
Lord, tarry not, but come.

Beyond the blooming and the fading
I shall be soon;
Beyond the shining and the shading,
Beyond the hoping and the dreading,
I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home! etc.

Beyond the rising and the setting
I shall be soon;
Beyond the calming and the fretting,
Beyond remembering and forgetting,
I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home! etc.

Beyond the gathering and the strowing
I shall be soon;
Beyond the ebbing and the flowing.
Beyond the coming and the going,
I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home! etc.

Beyond the parting and the meeting
I shall be soon;
Beyond the farewell and the greeting,
Beyond this pulse's fever beating,
I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home! etc.

Beyond the frost chain and the fever
I shall be soon;
Beyond the rock waste and the river,
Beyond the ever and the never,
I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home!
Sweet hope!
Lord, tarry not, but come.

" - Horatius Bonar
(1808 – 1889) Scottish churchman and poet.
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[Quote No.52913] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and accepting it almost happily after a productive, full life]

'Habeas Corpus'

My body, eh? Friend Death, how now?
Why all this tedious pomp of writ?
Thou hast reclaimed it sure and slow
For half a century, bit by bit.

In faith thou knowest more to-day
Than I do, where it can be found!
This shrivelled lump of suffering clay,
To which I now am chained and bound,

Has not of kith or kin a trace
To the good body once I bore;
Look at this shrunken, ghastly face:
Didst ever see that face before?

Ah, well, friend Death, good friend thou art;
Thy only fault thy lagging gait,
Mistaken pity in thy heart
For timorous ones that bid thee wait.

Do quickly all thou hast to do,
Nor I nor mine will hindrance make;
I shall be free when thou art through;
I grudge thee naught that thou must take!

...

" - Helen Hunt Jackson
(1830 – 1885), American poet and writer who became an activist for improved treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government. This was her last poem - 7 August, 1885 and she died before finishing it.
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[Quote No.52915] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and the relief it brings some who are unfortunately not enjoying their lives.]

'For Annie'

Thank Heaven! the crisis, -
The danger is past,
And the lingering illness
Is over at last, -
And the fever called 'Living'
Is conquered at last.

Sadly, I know,
I am shorn of my strength,
And no muscle I move
As I lie at full length, -
But no matter! - I feel
I am better at length.

And I rest so composedly
Now, in my bed,
That any beholder
Might fancy me dead, -
Might start at beholding me,
Thinking me dead.

The moaning and groaning,
The sighing and sobbing,
Are quieted now,
With that horrible throbbing
At heart, - ah, that horrible,
Horrible throbbing!

The sickness, the nausea,
The pitiless pain,
Have ceased, with the fever
That maddened my brain, -
With the fever called 'Living'
That burned in my brain.

...

" - Edgar Allen Poe
(1809 – 1849) American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
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[Quote No.52933] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and some challenging but insightful words about our feelings of loss, bereavement and mourning]

'Selfishness'

Death takes our loved ones --
We are bowed in grief. For whom?
Are we not selfish?
A mourner weeps for himself,
The dead know nought of sorrow.

" - Margaret E. Bruner

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[Quote No.52941] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and how many people use hope and faith to cope in the present with this fear of the unknown future]

'An Essay on Man: Epistle I'

...

Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore!
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

...

" - Alexander Pope
(1688–1744), English poet. [Expatiate = verb - speak or write in detail about.]
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[Quote No.52962] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and what may await the deceased]

'A Soul’s Soliloquy'

Today the journey is ended,
I have worked out the mandates of fate;
Naked, alone, undefended,
I knock at the Uttermost Gate.
Behind is life and its longing,
Its trial, its trouble, its sorrow;
Beyond is the Infinite Morning
Of a day without a tomorrow.

Go back to dust and decay,
Body, grown weary and old;
You are worthless to me from today -
No longer my soul can you hold.
I lay you down gladly forever
For a life that is better than this;
I go where partings ne’er sever
You into oblivion’s abyss.

Lo, the gate swings wide at my knocking,
Across endless reaches I see
Lost friends with laughter come flocking
To give a glad welcome to me.
Farewell, the maze has been threaded,
This is the ending of strife;
Say not that death should be dreaded -
‘Tis but the beginning of life.

" - Wenonah Stevens Abbott

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[Quote No.52963] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of life and death and what comes after]

...Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep...

" - William Shakespeare
(1564 – 1616), English playwright. The character Prospero says this in the play, 'The Tempest', Act IV, Scene I.
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[Quote No.52965] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about your 'age']

'How Old Are You?'

Age is a quality of mind.
If you have left your dreams behind,
If hope is cold,
If you no longer look ahead,
If your ambitions' fires are dead -
Then you are old.

But if from life you take the best,
And if in life you keep the jest,
If love you hold;
No matter how the years go by,
No matter how the birthdays fly -
You are not old.

" - H. S. Fritsch

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[Quote No.52970] Need Area: Body > General
"[The mystery of life and death:] Life's like a play; it's not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters." - Seneca

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[Quote No.53020] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about one person's perspective on and experience of growing old]

'Growing Old'

What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The luster of the eye?
Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?
- Yes, but not this alone.

Is it to feel our strength -
Not our bloom only, but our strength - decay?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Each nerve more loosely strung?

Yes, this, and more; but not
Ah, ’tis not what in youth we dreamed ’twould be!
’Tis not to have our life
Mellowed and softened as with sunset glow,
A golden day’s decline.

’Tis not to see the world
As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes,
And heart profoundly stirred;
And weep, and feel the fullness of the past,
The years that are no more.

It is to spend long days
And not once feel that we were ever young;
It is to add, immured
In the hot prison of the present, month
To month with weary pain.

It is to suffer this,
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel.
Deep in our hidden heart
Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
But no emotion - none.

It is - last stage of all -
When we are frozen up within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves,
To hear the world applaud the hollow ghost
Which blamed the living man.

" - Matthew Arnold
(1822–1888), English poet.
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[Quote No.53025] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about aging, growing older and the mystery of death]

'Growing Old'

A little more tired at the close of day,
A little more anxious to have our way,
A little less ready to scold and blame,
A little more care for a brother's name;
And so we are nearing the journey's end,
Where time and eternity meet and blend.

A little less care for bonds or gold,
A little more zeal for the days of old;
A broader view and a saner mind,
And a little more love for all mankind;
And so we are faring down the way
That leads to the gates of a better day.

A little more love for the friends of youth,
A little more zeal for established truth,
A little more charity in our views,
A little less thirst for the daily news;
And so we are folding our tents away
And passing in silence at close of day.

A little more leisure to sit and dream,
A little more real the things unseen,
A little nearer to those ahead,
With visions of those long loved and dead;
And so we are going where all must go --
To the place the living may never know.

A little more laughter, a few more tears,
And we shall have told our increasing years.
The book is closed and the prayers are said,
And we are part of the countless dead;
Thrice happy, then, if some soul can say,
'I live because of their help on the way.'

" - Rollin J. Wells
(1848 - 1923), lawyer and senior member of the well-known and prominent law firm of Wells & Blackman, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA. The poem is sometimes called 'As We Grow Older' or 'Growing Older' and its author is sometimes given as R. G. Wells.
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[Quote No.53045] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about getting old and sick and the mystery of death]

'The Little Joys'

My little joys went by me
As little children run
Across the fields at sunset
When playing time is done.

And now alone at twilight
What is there may content
The heart that loved their laughter
And frolic merriment?

Ah well, who knows but still may dawn
Another fairer day
Wherein my little joys may come
A-dancing out to play.

" - Theodosia Pickering Garrison
(1874–1944)
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[Quote No.53046] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about old age and the joys of youth that time has taught the elderly to truly appreciate]

'Youth'

What do they know of youth, who still are young?
They but the singers of a golden song
Who may not guess its worth or wonder -- flung
Like largesse to the throng.
We only, -- young no longer, -- old so long
Before its harmonies, stand marvelling --
Oh! we who listen -- never they who sing.

Not for itself is beauty, but for us
Who gaze upon it with all reverent eyes;
And youth which sheds its glory luminous,
Gives ever in this wise: --
Itself the joy it may not realise.
Only we know, who linger overlong
Youth that is made of beauty and of song.

" - Theodosia Pickering Garrison
(1874–1944)
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[Quote No.53134] Need Area: Body > General
"I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. In fact it's better for all concerned if I'm not." - Unknown

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[Quote No.53163] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and the feelings of those left behind]

'Time's Hand Is Kind'

For those who place their blooms on new-made graves
And feel that life holds nought but emptiness,
Know that time's hand in kindness ever saves
The heart from too much sorrow and distress.

Yet all deep wounds heal slowly, it would seem,
But gradually the yearning pain will cease. . . .
Thus will your grief become a hallowed dream
And, in its stead, will come a strange new peace.

" - Margaret E. Bruner

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[Quote No.53173] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the right attitude to approach life and death]

'Life Owes Me Nothing'

Life owes me nothing. Let the years
bring clouds or azure, joy or tears;
Already a full cup I’ve quaffed;
already wept and loved and laughed,
And seen, in ever-endless ways,
new beauties overwhelm the days.

Life owes me nought. No pain that waits
can steal the wealth from memory’s gates;
No aftermath of anguish slow
can quench the soul fire’s early glow.
I breathe, exulting, each new breath,
embracing Life, ignoring Death.

Life owes me nothing. One clear morn
is boon enough for being born;
And be it ninety years or ten,
no need for me to question when.
While Life is mine, I’ll find it good,
and greet each hour with gratitude.

" - Unknown

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[Quote No.53216] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the death of an individual and their unique 'song']

'Requiem'

It was as if a flowering tree
Had loosed its petalled cloud;
As if a prisoned bird set free
Had paused to sing aloud
A strange and lovely snatch of song
And then had flown away;
As if a wind that all night long
And all the hours of day
Had blown across the curving sky
Had ceased while wood and hill
Were kissed by rain; as if a cry
Had quivered and grown still:
So poignantly her troubled breath
Was silenced in the hush of Death.

" - Leona Ames Hill
The American Mercury, June 1940, p. 191.
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[Quote No.53220] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death using the evocative metaphor of a sea journey embarking from the sheltered river, through the harbour and out into the surrounding bay, out past the bar-sandspit-promontory and finally into the endless, deep ocean.]

'Crossing the Bar'

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

" - Alfred Lord Tennyson
(1809 – 1892) Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria's reign. He remains one of the most popular British poets. [The bar referred to is a sandspit or similar promontory at the mouth of a river or harbour where tides have deposited sand over time. To hear the wind and waves moaning off the bar usually means that there is insufficient water to sail over the bar without grounding. Hence the second verse and its reference to a 'full tide' or 'high water' - refer http://allpoetry.com/Crossing-the-Bar ]
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[Quote No.53222] Need Area: Body > General
"Fourty is the old age of youth; Fifty is the youth of old age!" - Victor Hugo

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[Quote No.53270] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about nature and it can act as a metaphor for individual aging and the eventual mystery of death and society's generations]

'A Song Of Autumn'

'Where shall we go for our garlands glad
At the falling of the year,
When the burnt-up banks are yellow and sad,
When the boughs are yellow and sere?
Where are the old ones that once we had,
And where are the new ones near?
What shall we do for our garlands glad
At the falling of the year?'

'Child! Can I tell where the garlands go?
Can I say where the lost leaves veer
On the brown-burnt banks, when the wild winds blow,
When they drift through the dead-wood drear?
Girl! When the garlands of next year glow,
You may gather again, my dear -
But I go where the last year’s lost leaves go
At the falling of the year.'

" - Adam Lindsay Gordon
(1833 – 1870) Australian poet, jockey and politician. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Song_of_Autumn ]
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[Quote No.53276] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about life, age, philosophical value and experience]

'Festus' (1839) (Scene v. A Country Town)

...

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.

...

" - Philip James Bailey
(1816 – 1902) English poet. Quote from the lengthy poem 'Festus' (1839), which eventually was extended to over 40,000 lines.
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