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  Quotations - General  
[Quote No.53300] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about persistence and good sportsmanship in life and death]

'A Sportsman's Prayer'

...

Let this be my epitaph.

Here lies one who took his chances
In life's busy world of men;
Battled fate and circumstances,
Fought and fell and fought again.
Won sometimes, but did no crowing,
Lost sometimes, but didn't wail,
Took his beating, but kept going
Never let his courage fail.

...

" - Unknown

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[Quote No.53312] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about sunrise and sunset, which can act as a metaphor for life and death]

'XVI - How clear, how lovely bright'

How clear, how lovely bright,
How beautiful to sight
Those beams of morning play;
How heaven laughs out with glee
Where, like a bird set free,
Up from the eastern sea
Soars the delightful day.

...

Ensanguining the skies
How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day.

" - A. E. Housman
(1859 – 1936), Alfred Edward Housman, usually known as A. E. Housman, was an English classical scholar and poet. This poem is from his book, 'More Poems'.
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[Quote No.53316] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death]

'Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud'

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

" - John Donne
(1572 – 1631), English poet, satirist, lawyer and a cleric in the Church of England. He is considered the pre-eminent representative of the metaphysical poets.
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[Quote No.53334] Need Area: Body > General
"[Sleep:]

Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

" - William Shakespeare
English Playwright. From his play, 'Macbeth', Act II, Scene II, lines 46-51.
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[Quote No.53335] Need Area: Body > General
"[Sleep: or more accurately not falling asleep]

O sleep! O gentle sleep!
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

" - William Shakespeare
English Playwright. From his play, 'King Henry IV, Part II', Act III, Scene I, lines 7-16.
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[Quote No.53361] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem:- about expecting to continually get better - certainly wiser - and therefore more appreciated as grow older, like fine wine gets better with age]

'Let Me Grow Lovely'

Let me grow lovely, growing old -
So many fine things do;
Laces, and ivory, and gold,
And silks need not be new;

And there is healing in old trees,
Old streets a glamour hold;
Why may not I, as well as these,
Grow lovely, growing old?

" - Karle Wilson Baker
(1878–1960) (Mrs.) Karle Wilson Baker was an American poet and author, born in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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[Quote No.53363] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of life and death]

'Epitaph'

Do not carve on stone or wood,
'He was honest' or 'He was good.'
Write in smoke on a passing breeze
Seven words... and the words are these,
Telling all that a volume could,
'He lived, he laughed and... he understood.'

" - Don Blanding
(1894-1957), Hawaiian Poet Laureate, artist, designer, songwriter, theatrical actor, director and producer of musicals, soldier, lecturer, radio, film and television personality and newspaper columnist.
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[Quote No.53372] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and the pervasive faith in most world religions and individual spiritualties that there is everlasting life after death - so 'death is merely the end of the beginning'. This poem is often recited at funerals.]

'There Is No Death'

There is no death! The stars go down
To rise upon some other shore,
And bright in heaven's jeweled crown
They shine forevermore.

There is no death! The forest leaves
Convert to life the viewless air;
The rocks disorganize to feed
The hungry moss they bear.

There is no death! The dust we tread
Shall change, beneath the summer showers
To golden grain, or mellowed fruit,
Or rainbow-tinted flowers.

There is no death! The leaves may fall,
And flowers may fade and pass away --
They only wait, through wintry hours,
The warm, sweet breath of May.

There is no death! The choicest gifts
That heaven hath kindly lent to earth
Are ever first to seek again
The country of their birth.

And all things that for growth or joy
Are worthy of our love or care,
Whose loss has left us desolate,
Are safely garnered there.

Though life becomes a desert waste,
We know it's fairest, sweetest flowers,
Transplanted into Paradise,
Adorn immortal bowers.

The voice of birdlike melody
That we have missed and mourned so long,
Now mingles with the angel choir
In everlasting song.

There is no death! Although we grieve
When beautiful, familiar forms
That we have learned to love are torn
From our embracing arms --

Although with bowed and breaking heart,
With sable garb and silent tread,
We bear their senseless dust to rest,
And say that they are 'dead,'

They are not dead! They have but passed
Beyond the mists that blind us here
Into the new and larger life
Of that serener sphere.

They have but dropped their robe of clay
To put their shining raiment on;
They have not wandered far away --
They are not 'lost' nor 'gone.'

Though disenthralled and glorified
They still are here and love us yet;
The dear ones they have left behind
They never can forget.

And sometimes, when our hearts grow faint
Amid temptations fierce and deep,
Or when the wildly raging waves
Of grief or passion sweep,

We feel upon our fevered brow
Their gentle touch, their breath of balm;
Their arms enfold us, and our hearts
Grow comforted and calm.

And ever near us, though unseen,
The dear, immortal spirits tread --
For all the boundless universe
Is Life -- there are no dead!

" - J. L. McCreery
(1835–1906), John Luckey McCreery, American printer, journalist and poet. He published one book of poems, called 'Songs of Toil and Triumph' in 1883. The poem above was completed and published in 1863 but through a number of accidents over the next few years misattributed to Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton. The poem's popularity is captured in Burton Egbert Stevenson's claim that 'there is no poem in the language which has been spoken so often above an open grave, none which has brought so much consolation to stricken hearts'. [Refer http://boards.ancestry.com/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=3826&p=localities.northam.usa.states.districtofcolumbia.washington and http://yesteryearsnews.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/there-is-no-death/ and https://archive.org/details/songstoilandtri00mccrgoog ]
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[Quote No.53374] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about life and death using the metaphor of a loom-woven design for our experiences.]

'The Weaver'

Ceaselessly the weaver, Time,
Sitting at his mystic loom,
Keeps his arrowy shuttle flying;
Every thread anears our dying --
And, with melancholy chime,
Very low and sad withal,
Sings his solemn madrigal
As he weaves our web of doom.

'Mortals!' thus he, weaving, sings,
'Bright or dark the web shall be,
As ye will it; all the tissues
Blending in harmonious issues,
Or discordant colorings;
Time the shuttle drives; but you
Give to every thread its hue,
And elect your destiny.

'God bestowed the shining warp,
Fill it with as bright a woof;
And the whole shall glow divinely,
As if wrought by angels finely,
To the music of the harp,
And the blended colors be
Like perfected harmony,
Keeping evil things aloof.

'Envy, malice, pride, and hate --
Foulest progeny of sin --
Let not these the weft entangle,
With their blind and furious wrangle,
Marring your diviner fate;
But with love and deeds of good
Be the web throughout endued,
And the perfect ye shall win.'

Thus he singeth very low,
Sitting at his mystic loom;
And his shuttle still is flying --
Thread by thread anears our dying,
Grows our shroud by every throw;
And the hues of woe or heaven
To each thread by us are given,
As he weaves our web of doom.

" - William Henry Burleigh
(1812-1871) [Madrigal = secular vocal composition without music, Anear = near, nearly ] [refer http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=moa&cc=moa&sid=95e3f6e828e116b80d4cccd93c806bc1&view=text&rgn=main&idno=ABF0163.0001.001 ]
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[Quote No.53377] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about how some see life as being difficult for most, rich and poor alike, until death's release]

'Man Was Made To Mourn: A Dirge'

When chill November's surly blast
Made fields and forests bare,
One ev'ning, as I wander'd forth
Along the banks of Ayr,
I spied a man, whose aged step
Seem'd weary, worn with care;
His face furrow'd o'er with years,
And hoary was his hair.

'Young stranger, whither wand'rest thou?'
Began the rev'rend sage;
'Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,
Or youthful pleasure's rage?
Or haply, prest with cares and woes,
Too soon thou hast began
To wander forth, with me to mourn
The miseries of man.

'The sun that overhangs yon moors,
Out-spreading far and wide,
Where hundreds labour to support
A haughty lordling's pride;-
I've seen yon weary winter-sun
Twice forty times return;
And ev'ry time has added proofs,
That man was made to mourn.
'O man! while in thy early years,
How prodigal of time!
Mis-spending all thy precious hours -
Thy glorious, youthful prime!
Alternate follies take the sway;
Licentious passions burn;
Which tenfold force gives Nature's law.
That man was made to mourn.

'Look not alone on youthful prime,
Or manhood's active might;
Man then is useful to his kind,
Supported in his right:
But see him on the edge of life,
With cares and sorrows worn;
Then Age and Want-oh! ill-match'd pair -
Shew man was made to mourn.

'A few seem favourites of fate,
In pleasure's lap carest;
Yet, think not all the rich and great
Are likewise truly blest:
But oh! what crowds in ev'ry land,
All wretched and forlorn,
Thro' weary life this lesson learn,
That man was made to mourn.

'Many and sharp the num'rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves,
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, -
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!

'See yonder poor, o'erlabour'd wight,
So abject, mean, and vile,
Who begs a brother of the earth
To give him leave to toil;
And see his lordly fellow-worm
The poor petition spurn,
Unmindful, tho' a weeping wife
And helpless offspring mourn.

'If I'm design'd yon lordling's slave,
By Nature's law design'd,
Why was an independent wish
E'er planted in my mind?
If not, why am I subject to
His cruelty, or scorn?
Or why has man the will and pow'r
To make his fellow mourn?

'Yet, let not this too much, my son,
Disturb thy youthful breast:
This partial view of human-kind
Is surely not the last!
The poor, oppressed, honest man
Had never, sure, been born,
Had there not been some recompense
To comfort those that mourn!

'O Death! the poor man's dearest friend,
The kindest and the best!
Welcome the hour my aged limbs
Are laid with thee at rest!
The great, the wealthy fear thy blow
From pomp and pleasure torn;
But, oh! a blest relief for those
That weary-laden mourn!'

" - Robert Burns
(1759 – 1796), also known as Robbie Burns, Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as The Bard. He was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. This poem was first published in 1784.
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[Quote No.53391] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and honouring the dead]

'Hallowed Ground'

...

That’s hallowed ground where, mourned and missed,
The lips repose our love has kissed; -
But where’s their memory’s mansion? Is’t
Yon churchyard’s bowers?
No! in ourselves their souls exist,
A part of ours.

...

But strew his ashes to the wind
Whose sword or voice has served mankind, -
And is he dead, whose glorious mind
Lifts thine on high? -
To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.

...

" - Thomas Campbell
(1777 – 1844), Scottish poet chiefly remembered for his sentimental poetry dealing especially with human affairs. He was also one of the initiators of a plan to found what became the University of London.
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[Quote No.53396] Need Area: Body > General
"The mystery of life and death has been expressed in metaphors throughout history. For example life has been seen as a tapestry woven on the loom of time [For example the poem, 'The Weaver' by William Henry Burleigh and the poem, 'Tapestry Weavers', by Anson G. Chester]. Another good metaphor that has been used is the water-cycle - where water evaporates into the air from the heat of the sun, where eventually it condenses into clouds and then rain, sleet, snow or hail. Once on the ground it forms into a fast-running stream progressively over time it becomes a wider, slower, deeper river which eventually re-joins the ocean, where the cycle starts again." - Unknown

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[Quote No.53421] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about fear and worry and not allowing them to enter your mind when trying to sleep]

'Don't Take Your Troubles To Bed'

You may labor your fill, friend of mine, if you will;
You may worry a bit, if you must;
You may treat your affairs as a series of cares,
You may live on a scrap and a crust;
But when the day's done, put it out of your head;
Don't take your troubles to bed.

You may batter your way through the thick of the fray,
You may sweat, you may swear, you may grunt;
You may be a jack-fool if you must, but this rule
Should ever be kept at the front: --
Don't fight with your pillow, but lay down your head
And kick every worriment out of the bed.

That friend or that foe (which he is, I don't know),
Whose name we have spoken as Death,
Hovers close to your side, while you run or you ride,
And he envies the warmth of your breath;
But he turns him away, with a shake of his head,
When he finds that you don't take your troubles to bed.

" - Edmund Vance Cooke

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[Quote No.53445] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of life and death]

'The Rose Beyond The Wall'

Near a shady wall a rose once grew,
Budded and blossomed in God's free light,
Watered and fed by morning dew,
Shedding its sweetness day and night.

As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier height,
It came to a crevice in the wall,
Through which there shone a beam of light.

Onward it crept with added strength,
With never a thought of fear or pride.
It followed the light through the crevice's length
And unfolded itself on the other side.

The light, the dew, the broadening view
Were found the same as they were before;
And it lost itself in beauties new,
Breathing its fragrance more and more.

Shall claim of death cause us to grieve,
And make our courage faint or fail?
Nay! Let us faith and hope receive:
The rose still grows beyond the wall.

Scattering fragrance far and wide,
Just as it did in days of yore,
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will for evermore.

" - A. L. Frank
This poem is sometimes called, 'The Rose Still Grows Beyond The Wall'.
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[Quote No.53450] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the fear of death, worry and pessimism. It also demonstrates the captain misusing the ideas of focus, persistence and comparison to create negatives and so make himself and others unhappy rather than the way that the first mate uses them to create positives and make himself and others happy!]

'The Worried Skipper'

’I hates to think of dyin',’ says the skipper to the mate;
‘Starvation, shipwrecks, heart disease, I loathe to contemplate.
I hates to think of vanities And all the crimes they lead to.’
‘Then,’ says the mate,
With looks sedate,
‘Ye doesn't really need to.’

‘It fills me breast with sorrer,’ says the skipper with a sigh,
‘To conjer up the happy days what careless has slipped by.
I hates to contemplate the day I ups and left me Mary.’
‘Then,’ says the mate,
‘Why contemplate,
If it ain't necessary?’

‘Suppose that this here vessel,’ says the skipper with a groan,
‘Should lose 'er bearin's, run away, and hump upon a stone.
Suppose she'd shiver and go down, when save ourselves we couldn't.’
The mate replies,
‘Oh, blow me eyes!
Suppose ag'in, she shouldn't?’

‘The chances is agin' us,’ says the skipper in dismay;
‘If fate don't kill us out and out, it gits us all some day.
So many perish of old age, the death rate must be fearful.’
‘Well,’ says the mate
‘At any rate,
we might as well die cheerful.’

‘I read in them statistic books,’ the nervous skipper cries,
‘That every minute by the clock some feller up and dies;
I wonder what disease they gits that kills in such a hurry.’
The mate he winks
and says ‘I thinks
they mostly dies of worry.’

‘Of certain things,’ the skipper sighs, ‘me conscience won't be rid,
And all the wicked things I done I sure should not have did.
The wrinkles on me inmost soul compel me oft to shiver.’
‘Yer soul's first rate,’
Observes the mate,
‘The trouble's with yer liver.’

" - Wallace Irwin
(1875 – 1959) American writer.
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[Quote No.53457] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death]

'Emigravit'

With sails full set, the ship her anchor weighs.
Strange names shine out beneath her figure head.
What glad farewells with eager eyes are said!
What cheer for him who goes, and him who stays!
Fair skies, rich lands, new homes, and untried days
Some go to seek: the rest but wait instead,
Watching the way wherein their comrades led,
Until the next stanch ship her flag doth raise.
Who knows what myriad colonies there are
Of fairest fields, and rich, undreamed-of gains
Thick planted in the distant shining plains
Which we call sky because they lie so far?
Oh, write of me, not 'Died in bitter pains,'
But 'Emigrated to another star!'

" - Helen Hunt Jackson
(1830 – 1885), American poet and writer who became an activist for improved treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government.
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[Quote No.53458] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death]

'Immortality’

Two caterpillars crawling on a leaf
By some strange accident in contact came;
Their conversation, passing all belief,
Was that same argument, the very same,
That has been ‘proed and conned’ from man to man,
Yea, ever since this wondrous world began.
The ugly creatures,
Deaf and dumb and blind,
Devoid of features
That adorn mankind,
Were vain enough, in dull and wordy strife,
To speculate upon a future life.
The first was optimistic, full of hope;
The second, quite dyspeptic, seemed to mope.
Said number one, ‘I'm sure of our salvation.’
Said number two, ‘I'm sure of our damnation;
Our ugly forms alone would seal our fates
And bar our entrance through the golden gates.
Suppose that death should take up unawares,
How could we climb the golden stairs?
If maidens shun us as they pass us by,
Would angels bid us welcome in the sky?
I wonder what great crimes we have committed,
That leave us so forlorn and so unpitied.
Perhaps we've been ungrateful, unforgiving;
'Tis plain to me that life's not worth the living.’
‘Come, come, cheer up,’ the jovial worm replied,
‘Let's take a look upon the other side;
Suppose we cannot fly like moths or millers,
Are we to blame for being caterpillars?
Will that same God that doomed us crawl the earth,
A prey to every bird that's given birth,
Forgive our captor as he eats and sings,
And damn poor us because we have not wings?
If we can't skim the air like owl or bat,
A worm will turn 'for a' that.'‘
They argued through the summer; autumn nigh,
The ugly things composed themselves to die;
And so, to make their funeral quite complete,
Each wrapped him in his little winding sheet.
The tangled web encompassed them full soon,
Each for his coffin made him a cocoon.
All through the winter's chilling blast they lay
Dead to the world, aye, dead as human clay.
Lo, spring comes forth with all her warmth and love;
She brings sweet justice from the realms above;
She breaks the chrysalis, she resurrects the dead;
Two butterflies ascend encircling her head.
And so this emblem shall forever be
A sign of immortality.

" - Joseph Jefferson

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[Quote No.53461] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of life, aging and death using the metaphor of weaving a stocking-sock]

'The Sermon In A Stocking'

The supper is over, the hearth is swept,
And in the wood-fire's glow,
The children cluster to hear a tale
Of the time so long ago.

When Grandmamma's hair was golden brown
And the warm blood came and went
O'er the face that could scarce have been sweeter then
Than now, in its rich content.

The face is wrinkled and careworn now,
And the golden hair is gray,
But the light that shone in the young girl's eyes
Has never gone away.

And her needles catch the firelight
As in and out they go,
With the clicking music that Grandma loves,
Shaping the stocking toe.

And the waking children love it, too,
For they know the stocking song
Brings many a tale to Grandma's mind
Which they shall hear ere long.

But it brings no story of olden times
To Grandma's heart to-night;
Only a ditty, quaint and short,
Is sung by the needles bright.

‘Life is a stocking,’ Grandma says,
‘And yours is just begun;
And I am knitting the toe of mine,
And my work is almost done.

‘With merry hearts we begin to knit,
And the ribbing is almost play;
Some are gay colors and some are white,
And some are ashen gray;

‘But most are made of many a hue,
With many a stitch set wrong,
And many a row to be sadly ripped
Ere the whole is fair and strong.

‘There are long plain spaces, without a break,
That in youth are hard to bear,
And many a weary tear is dropped
As we fashion the heel with care.

‘But the saddest, happiest time is that
We court and yet we shun,
When our Heavenly Father breaks the thread
And says that our work is done.’

The children came to say good-night,
With tears in their bright young eyes,
While in Grandma's lap, with a broken thread,
The finished stocking lies.

" - Ellen A. Jewett
This poem is sometimes called, 'Grandmother's Sermon'.
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[Quote No.53463] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of life and death]

'Song Of The River'

The snow melts on the mountain
And the water runs down to the spring,
And the spring in a turbulent fountain,
With a song of youth to sing,
Runs down to the riotous river,
And the river flows on to the sea,
And the water again
Goes back in rain
To the hills where it used to be.
And I wonder if Life's deep mystery
Isn't much like the rain and the snow
Returning through all eternity
To the places it used to know.
For life was born on the lofty heights
And flows in a laughing stream
To the river below
Whose onward flow
Ends in a peaceful dream.
And so at last,
When our life has passed
And the river has run its course,
It again goes back,
O'er the self-same track,
To the mountain which was its source.

So why prize life
Or why fear death,
Or dread what is to be?
The river ran its allotted span
Till it reached the silent sea.
Then the water harked back to the mountaintop
To begin its course once more.

So we shall run the course begun
Till we reach the silent shore,
Then revisit earth in a pure rebirth
From the heart of the virgin snow.
So don't ask why we live or die,
Or wither, or when we go,
Or wonder about the mysteries
That only God may know.

" - William Randolph Hearst
(1863 – 1951) American newspaper publisher who built the nation's largest newspaper chain and whose methods profoundly influenced American journalism.
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[Quote No.53467] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about aging and the mystery of death using the metaphor of the autumn season]

'Autumn Chant'

Now the autumn shudders
In the rose's root,
Far and wide the ladders
Lean among the fruit.

Now the autumn clambers
Up the trellised frame
And the rose remembers
The dust from which it came.

Brighter than the blossom
On the rose's bough
Sits the wizened, orange,
Bitter berry now;

Beauty never slumbers;
All is in her name;
But the rose remembers
The dust from which it came.

" - Edna St. Vincent Millay

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[Quote No.53476] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about true love endures regardless of physical changes as age]

'Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms'

Believe me if all those
Endearing young charms
Which I gaze on so fondly today
Were to change by tomorrow
And fleet in my arms,
Like fairy gifts fading away
Though would'st still be adored
As this moment thou art
Let thy loveliness fade as it will
And around the dear ruin
Each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself
Verdantly still.

It is not while beauty
And youth are thine own
And thy cheeks
Unprofaned by a tear
That the ferver and faith
Of a soul can be known
To which time will but
Make thee more dear
No the heart that has truly loved
Never forgets
But as truly loves
On to the close
As the sunflower turns
On her god when he sets
The same look which
She'd turned when he rose.

" - Thomas Moore
(1779 – 1852) Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer
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[Quote No.53480] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about facing death and dying with some dreams still unfulfilled and unsatisfied is not bad, in fact it is normal. Each of us has many desires that motivate us and that we happily anticipate achieving in the future. If we are lucky we do not exhaust them all, but have some that even outlast us. Or else if we achieve everything we want, after feeling content for a short time, we will then feel that we have no reason to continue living and struggling and become apathetic, unmotivated and without hope.]

'Carcassonne' [English translation from the original French]

'I'm growing old, I've sixty years;
I've labored all my life in vain:
In all that time of hopes and fears
I've failed my dearest wish to gain.
I see full well that here below
Bliss unalloyed there is for none.
My prayer will ne'er fulfilment know
I never have seen Carcassonne,

I never have seen Carcassonne!
You see the city from the hill,
It lies beyond the mountains blue,
And yet to reach it one must still
Five long and weary leagues pursue,
And to return as many more!
Ah! had the vintage plenteous grown!
The grape withheld its yellow store!
I shall not look on Carcassonne,
I shall not look on Carcassonne!

'They tell me every day is there
Not more or less than Sunday gay:
In shining robes and garments fair
The people walk upon their way.
One gazes there on castle walls
As grand as those of Babylon,
A bishop and two generals!
I do not know fair Carcassonne,
I do not know fair Carcassonne!

'The vicar's right; he says that we
Are ever wayward, weak and blind,
He tells us in his homily
Ambition ruins all mankind;
Yet could I there two days have spent
While still the autumn sweetly shone,
Ah me! I might have died content
When I had looked on Carcassonne,
When I had looked on Carcassonne!

'Thy pardon, Father, I beseech,
In this my prayer if I append:
One something sees beyond his reach
From childhood to his journey's end.
My wife, our little boy Aignon,
Have traveled even to Narbonne;
My grandchild has seen Perpignon,
And I have not seen Carcassonne,
And I have not seen Carcassonne!'

So crooned one day, close by Limoux,
A peasant double-bent with age;
'Rise up, my friend,' said I; 'with you
I'll go upon this pilgrimage.'
We left next morning his abode,
But (Heaven forgive him) halfway on,
The old man died upon the road;
He never gazed on Carcassonne,
Each mortal has his Carcassonne!

" - Gustave Nadaud
(1820 – 1893) French songwriter and chansonnier (solitary cabaret singer). Carcassonne is a French city in the south of the country. It has a famous medieval fortress and is a popular tourist destination. [http://www.poetryatlas.com/poetry/poem/1904/carcassonne.html ]
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[Quote No.53498] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about how we all must eventually meet death and die whether in violent conflict or peacefully in bed]

'I Have a Rendezvous with Death'

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air -
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath -
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

" - Alan Seeger
(1888 – 1916) American poet who fought and died in World War I during the Battle of the Somme serving in the French Foreign Legion. Seeger was the uncle of American folk singer Pete Seeger, and was a classmate of T.S. Eliot at Harvard. This particular poem, according to the JFK Library, 'was one of [U.S. President] John F. Kennedy's favorite poems and he often asked his wife (Jacqueline) to recite it.'
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[Quote No.53524] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death]

'Death, To The Dead For Evermore'

Death, to the dead for evermore
A King, a God, the last, the best of friends -
Whene'er this mortal journey ends
Death, like a host, comes smiling to the door;
Smiling, he greets us, on that tranquil shore
Where neither piping bird nor peeping dawn
Disturbs the eternal sleep,
But in the stillness far withdrawn
Our dreamless rest for evermore we keep.

For as from open windows forth we peep
Upon the night-time star beset
And with dews for ever wet;
So from this garish life the spirit peers;
And lo! as a sleeping city death outspread,
Where breathe the sleepers evenly; and lo!
After the loud wars, triumphs, trumpets, tears
And clamour of man's passion, Death appears,
And we must rise and go.

Soon are eyes tired with sunshine; soon the ears
Weary of utterance, seeing all is said;
Soon, racked by hopes and fears,
The all-pondering, all-contriving head,
Weary with all things, wearies of the years;
And our sad spirits turn toward the dead;
And the tired child, the body, longs for bed.

" - Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850 – 1894) Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, travel writer and a literary celebrity during his lifetime. He now ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world.
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[Quote No.53525] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and some, perhaps, consoling thoughts for those left behind]

'Consolation'

Though he, that ever kind and true,
Kept stoutly step by step with you,
Your whole long, gusty lifetime through,
Be gone a while before,
Be now a moment gone before,
Yet, doubt not, soon the seasons shall restore
Your friend to you.

He has but turned the corner — still
He pushes on with right good will,
Through mire and marsh, by heugh and hill,
That self-same arduous way —
That self-same upland, hopeful way,
That you and he through many a doubtful day
Attempted still.

He is not dead, this friend — not dead,
But in the path we mortals tread
Got some few, trifling steps ahead
And nearer to the end;
So that you too, once past the bend,
Shall meet again, as face to face, this friend
You fancy dead.

Push gaily on, strong heart! The while
You travel forward mile by mile,
He loiters with a backward smile
Till you can overtake,
And strains his eyes to search his wake,
Or whistling, as he sees you through the brake,
Waits on a stile.

" - Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850 – 1894) Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, travel writer and a literary celebrity during his lifetime. He now ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world. [Heugh = cliff]
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[Quote No.53529] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death, as seen through the lens of Greek and Roman mythology rather than through, for example, the much more recent lens of Christian religious beliefs]

'The Garden of Proserpine'

Here, where the world is quiet;
Here, where all trouble seems
Dead winds' and spent waves' riot
In doubtful dreams of dreams;
I watch the green field growing
For reaping folk and sowing,
For harvest-time and mowing,
A sleepy world of streams.

I am tired of tears and laughter,
And men that laugh and weep;
Of what may come hereafter
For men that sow to reap:
I am weary of days and hours,
Blown buds of barren flowers,
Desires and dreams and powers
And everything but sleep.

Here life has death for neighbour,
And far from eye or ear
Wan waves and wet winds labour,
Weak ships and spirits steer;
They drive adrift, and whither
They wot not who make thither;
But no such winds blow hither,
And no such things grow here.

No growth of moor or coppice,
No heather-flower or vine,
But bloomless buds of poppies,
Green grapes of Proserpine,
Pale beds of blowing rushes
Where no leaf blooms or blushes
Save this whereout she crushes
For dead men deadly wine.

Pale, without name or number,
In fruitless fields of corn,
They bow themselves and slumber
All night till light is born;
And like a soul belated,
In hell and heaven unmated,
By cloud and mist abated
Comes out of darkness morn.

Though one were strong as seven,
He too with death shall dwell,
Nor wake with wings in heaven,
Nor weep for pains in hell;
Though one were fair as roses,
His beauty clouds and closes;
And well though love reposes,
In the end it is not well.

Pale, beyond porch and portal,
Crowned with calm leaves, she stands
Who gathers all things mortal
With cold immortal hands;
Her languid lips are sweeter
Than love's who fears to greet her
To men that mix and meet her
From many times and lands.

She waits for each and other,
She waits for all men born;
Forgets the earth her mother,
The life of fruits and corn;
And spring and seed and swallow
Take wing for her and follow
Where summer song rings hollow
And flowers are put to scorn.

There go the loves that wither,
The old loves with wearier wings;
And all dead years draw thither,
And all disastrous things;
Dead dreams of days forsaken,
Blind buds that snows have shaken,
Wild leaves that winds have taken,
Red strays of ruined springs.

We are not sure of sorrow,
And joy was never sure;
To-day will die to-morrow;
Time stoops to no man's lure;
And love, grown faint and fretful,
With lips but half regretful
Sighs, and with eyes forgetful
Weeps that no loves endure.

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.

Then star nor sun shall waken,
Nor any change of light:
Nor sound of waters shaken,
Nor any sound or sight:
Nor wintry leaves nor vernal,
Nor days nor things diurnal;
Only the sleep eternal
In an eternal night.

" - Algernon Charles Swinburne
(1837 – 1909) English poet, playwright, novelist, and critic. He wrote several novels, and contributed to the famous Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in every year from 1903 to 1907 and again in 1909. This poem was written in 1866, when he was 29. Proserpine, sometimes called Proserpina, is the Latin spelling of [Greek goddess] Persephone, married to [Pluto] Hades, god of the underworld. According to some accounts, she had a garden of ever blooming flowers (poppies) in the underworld. The [Greek and] Roman festivals honoring her and her mother, [Demeter] Ceres - goddess of grain and agriculture, emphasized Proserpine's return to the upper world in spring. The best-known myth surrounding [Persephone] Proserpine, is of her abduction by the [Pluto] Hades, god of the Underworld - usually described as the Rape of Proserpina, [or of Persephone], her mother [Demeter's] Ceres' frantic search for her, and her eventual but temporary - 6-8 monthly - restitution to the world above causing spring-summer-autumn, before returning to the underworld, causing winter. [Refer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proserpina ]
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[Quote No.53531] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and some thoughts of consolation perhaps]

'No Funeral Gloom'

No funeral gloom, my dears, when I am gone,
Corpse-gazing, tears, black raiment, graveyard grimness.
Think of me as withdrawn into the dimness,
Yours still, you mine,
Remember all the best of our past moments and forget the rest,
And so to where I wait come gently on.

" - Ellen Terry

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[Quote No.53534] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death]

'Death Is A Door'

Death is only an old door
Set in a garden wall
On gentle hinges it gives, at dusk
When the thrushes call.

Along the lintel are green leaves
Beyond the light lies still;
Very willing and weary feet
Go over that sill.

There is nothing to trouble any heart;
Nothing to hurt at all.
Death is only a quiet door.
In an old wall.

" - Nancy Byrd Turner
(1880 - 1971) American poet, editor and lecturer.
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[Quote No.53537] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and any afterlife. The following poem refers to a fiery hell which some religious traditions believe people go to for all eternity as punishment for a life ignoring their religion's dictates and not repenting, converting and begging forgiveness before death]

'The Hell-Bound Train'

A Texas cowboy lay down on a barroom floor,
Having drunk so much he could drink no more;
So he fell asleep with a troubled brain
To dream that he rode on a hell-bound train.

The engine with murderous blood was damp
And was brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp;
An imp, for fuel, was shoveling bones,
While the furnace rang with a thousand groans.

The boiler was filled with lager beer
And the devil himself was the engineer;
The passengers were a most motley crew -
Church member, atheist, Gentile, and Jew,

Rich men in broadcloth, beggars in rags,
Handsome young ladies, and withered old hags,
Yellow and black men, red, brown, and white,
All chained together - O God, what a sight!

While the train rushed on at an awful pace -
The sulphurous fumes scorched their hands and face;
Wider and wider the country grew,
As faster and faster the engine flew.

Louder and louder the thunder crashed
And brighter and brighter the lightning flashed;
Hotter and hotter the air became
Till the clothes were burned from each quivering frame.

And out of the distance there arose a yell,
‘Ha, ha,’ said the devil, ‘we're nearing hell!’
Then oh, how the passengers all shrieked with pain
And begged the devil to stop the train.

But he capered about and danced for glee,
And laughed and joked at their misery.
‘My faithful friends, you have done the work
And the devil never can a payday shirk.

‘You've bullied the weak, you've robbed the poor,
The starving brother you've turned from the door;
You've laid up gold where the canker rust,
And you've given free vent to your beastly lust.

‘You've justice scorned, and corruption sown,
And trampled the laws of nature down.
You have drunk, rioted, cheated, plundered, and lied,
And mocked at God in your hell-born pride.

‘You have paid full fare, so I'll carry you through,
For it's only right you should have your due.
Why, the laborer always expects his hire,
So I'll land you safe in the lake of fire,

‘Where your flesh will waste in the flames that roar,
And my imps torment you forevermore.’
Then the cowboy awoke with an anguished cry,
His clothes wet with sweat and his hair standing high

Then he prayed as he never had prayed till that hour
To be saved from his sin and the demon's power;
And his prayers and his vows were not in vain,
For he never rode the hell-bound train.

" - Unknown

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[Quote No.53551] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about the mystery of death and human remains]

'Lines On A Skeleton'

Behold this ruin! 'T was a skull
Once of ethereal spirit full.
This narrow cell was Life's retreat;
This space was Thought's mysterious seat.
What beauteous visions filled this spot!
What dreams of pleasure long forgot!
Nor hope, nor joy, nor love, nor fear
Has left one trace of record here.
Beneath this moldering canopy
Once shone the bright and busy eye:
But start not at the dismal void, --
If social love that eye employed,
If with no lawless fire it gleamed,
But through the clews of kindness beamed,
That eye shall be forever bright
When stars and sun are sunk in night.
Within this hollow cavern hung
The ready, swift, and tuneful tongue:
If falsehood's honey it disdained,
And when it could not praise was chained;
If bold in Virtue's cause it spoke,
Yet gentle concord never broke, --
This silent tongue shall plead for thee
When Time unveils Eternity:
Say, did these fingers delve the mine,
Or with the envied rubies shine?
To hew the rock, or wear a gem,
Can little now avail to them;
But if the page of Truth they sought,
Or comfort to the mourner brought,
These hands a richer meed shall claim
Than all that wait on Wealth and Fame.
Avails it whether bare or shod
These feet the paths of duty trod?
If from the bowers of Ease they fled,
To seek Affliction's humble shed;
If Grandeur's guilty bribe they spurned,
And home to Virtue's cot returned, --
These feet with angel wings shall vie,
And tread the palace of the sky!

" - Anna Jane Vardill
(1781-1852) She was a poet born in London, England. Her father was clergyman, playwright, poet and pamphleteer, John Vardill (1749 - 1811). She married James Niven, who died leaving her a widow. Later in life she became a close friend of novelist Mary Russell Mitford.
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[Quote No.53765] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem:- about death, dying, courage, character and self-esteem.]

'How Did You Die'

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a troubles a ton, or trouble’s an ounce,
Or trouble is what you make it,
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to Earth? Well, well, what’s that!
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there – that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce,
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts,
It’s how did you fight – and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or it comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only how did you die?

" - Edmund Vance Cooke

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[Quote No.53777] Need Area: Body > General
"[Here are the thirteen virtues that Benjamin Franklin set for himself throughout his life, in his own words, plus his added commentary, as he defined them in 1741 and wrote them in his autobiography for the edification and emulation of his children and those who read his autobiography:] --- Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. --- Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. --- Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. --- Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. --- Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing. --- Industry. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. --- Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly. --- Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty. --- Moderation. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. --- Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation! --- Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. --- Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation. --- Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates." - Ben Franklin
From his book, 'The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin'.
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[Quote No.53818] Need Area: Body > General
"So curiosity, I think, is a really important aspect of staying young or youthful." - Goldie Hawn

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[Quote No.53822] Need Area: Body > General
"One of the secrets of life is to keep our intellectual curiosity acute!" - William Lyon Phelps

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[Quote No.53834] Need Area: Body > General
"[The mystery of dying and death:] Life runs to death as its goal, and we should go towards that next stage of experience either carelessly as to what must be, or with a good, honest curiosity as to what may be." - James Stephens
Irish novelist and poet. Quote from his book, 'The Crock of Gold'.
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[Quote No.53919] Need Area: Body > General
"[Aging well:] In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways." - Edith Wharton
Quote from her autobiography 'A Backward Glance' (1934).
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[Quote No.53920] Need Area: Body > General
"The biggest part of aging gracefully is aging gratefully!" - Dr. Mardy Grothe

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[Quote No.53922] Need Area: Body > General
"[Aging well:] To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent -- that is to triumph over old age. " - Thomas Bailey Aldrich

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[Quote No.53923] Need Area: Body > General
"[Aging well:] To know how to grow old is the masterwork of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living. " - Henri Frederic Amiel

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[Quote No.53924] Need Area: Body > General
"[Aging well:] It's sad to grow old -- but nice to ripen." - Brigitte Bardot

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[Quote No.53925] Need Area: Body > General
"[Aging well:] Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art." - Garson Kanin

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[Quote No.53926] Need Area: Body > General
"[Poem: about aging well:]

Age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.

" - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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[Quote No.53929] Need Area: Body > General
"[Aging well:] Years are only garments, and you either wear them with style all your life, or else you go dowdy to the grave. " - Dorothy Parker

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[Quote No.53930] Need Area: Body > General
"[Aging well:] The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it." - Jean Paul Richter

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[Quote No.53931] Need Area: Body > General
"[Aging well:] It is a mistake to regard age as a downhill grade toward dissolution. The reverse is true. As one grows older one climbs with surprising strides." - George Sand

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[Quote No.54038] Need Area: Body > General
"[The mystery of dying, death and the aftermath:] A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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[Quote No.54108] Need Area: Body > General
"[A true story: about persisting past rejection and not letting age be a barrier to pursuing your dream:] COLONEL SANDERS: The founder of KFC. He started his dream at 65 years old! He got a social security check for only $105 and was mad. Instead of complaining he did something about it! He thought restaurant owners would love his fried chicken recipe, use it, sales would increase, and he’d get a percentage of it. He drove around the country knocking on doors, sleeping in his car, wearing his white suit. Do you know how many times people said no till he got one yes? 1009 times!" - Unknown
[Refer http://getbusylivingblog.com/famous-people-who-found-success-despite-failures/ ]
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[Quote No.54116] Need Area: Body > General
"[A true story - with a message about finding fulfilment and success regardless of age.] - The Grandma Who Could - At the age of eighty, a farmer's wife in Cambridge, Virginia, suffered from painful arthritis. The mother of ten children and many grandchildren -- and great-grandchildren -- loved to do needlework, but her fingers could no longer manipulate the large needle to embroider. The elderly woman looked for something else that would keep her occupied and found she could hold a small paintbrush much easier than a needle. So she tried her hand painting. She thought her farm and country scenes were good enough to show at the Cambridge Fair, but only won prizes for her jams and canned fruit. There were no blue ribbons for her art. Then one day an art collector from New York City was traveling through the village and noticed several of her paintings for sale in a local drug store. When he showed them to his friends in the art circles of Manhattan, they were more than curious. Soon, 'Grandma Moses' gained an international reputation. Her widely-collected works of art were featured on calendars, greeting cards and in exhibitions in leading galleries including the Modern Museum of Art in New York. Even more amazing, twenty-five percent of her 1,500 popular paintings were done after she was 100!" - Neil Eskelin

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[Quote No.54134] Need Area: Body > General
"[A true story - with a message about perseverance and dogged determination regardless of disabilities:] David Seidler: Although the movie ‘The King's Speech’ tells the story of one kind of perseverance as George VI overcomes his stutter through speech lessons, the story behind the film tells a more modern tale. David Seidler, the 73-year-old screenwriter for the film, is the oldest winner of an Oscar for best original screenplay. Prior to the Oscar-winning film, only one of his screenplays was ever produced, and there was more than a 20-year lull between that script, ‘Tucker,’ and ‘The King's Speech.’ He was inspired to write the story of the stammering king because he suffered from the same disability as a child." - Tara Green
eHow Contributor. [Refer http://www.ehow.com/info_8053170_inspirational-stories-perseverance.html ]
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[Quote No.54135] Need Area: Body > General
"[A true story: about persisting past rejection and not letting age be a barrier to pursuing your dream:] David Seidler: Although the movie ‘The King's Speech’ tells the story of one kind of perseverance as George VI overcomes his stutter through speech lessons, the story behind the film tells a more modern tale. David Seidler, the 73-year-old screenwriter for the film, is the oldest winner of an Oscar for best original screenplay. Prior to the Oscar-winning film, only one of his screenplays was ever produced, and there was more than a 20-year lull between that script, ‘Tucker,’ and ‘The King's Speech.’ He was inspired to write the story of the stammering king because he suffered from the same disability as a child." - Tara Green
eHow Contributor. [Refer http://www.ehow.com/info_8053170_inspirational-stories-perseverance.html ]
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