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Action is the parent of results; dormancy, the brooding mother of discontent.
Alack, this world
Is full of change, change, change--nothing but change!
An author departs, he does not die.
And when I lie in the green kirkyard,
With the mould upon my breast,
Say not that she did well--or ill,
"Only, She did her best."
- given in her obituary notice in the "Athenoeum"
By the fireside still the light is shining,
The children's arms round the parents twining.
From love so sweet, O who would roam?
Be it ever so homely, home is home.
Ethics, as has been well said, are the finest fruits of humanity, but they are not its roots.
How the sting of poverty, or small means, is gone when one keeps house for one's own comfort and not for the comfort of one's neighbors.
In the June twilight, in the soft gray twilight, the yellow sun-glow trembling through the rainy eve.
It is astonishing what a lot of odd minutes one can catch during the day, if one really sets about it.
It is the Christmas time:
And up and down 'twixt heaven and earth,
In glorious grief and solemn mirth,
The shining angels climb.
O how beautiful is morning!
How the sunbeams strike the daisies
And the kingcups fill the meadow
Like a golden-shielded army
Marching to the uplands fair.
O, the sweet, sweet twilight just before the time of rest,
When the black clouds are driven away, and the stormy winds suppressed.
One only "right" we have to assert in common with mankind--and that is as much in our hands as theirs--is the right of having something to do.
Our natural and happiest life is when we lose ourselves in the exquisite absorption of home, the delicious retirement of dependent love.
Poor robin, driven in by rain-storms wild
To lie submissive under household hands
With beating heart that no love understands,
And scared eye, like a child
Who only knows that he is all alone
And summer's gone.
Queens you must always be: queens to your lovers; queens to your husbands and your sons, queens of higher mystery to the world beyond. . . . But alas, you are too often idle and careless queens, grasping at majesty in the least things, while you abdicate it in the greatest.
- quoted from Ruskin on the title page of "The Woman's Kingdom"
The life of action is nobler than the life of thought.
The present only is a man's possession; the past is gone out of his hand wholly, irrevocably. He may suffer from it, learn from it,--in degree, perhaps, expiate it; but to brood over it is utter madness.
There are no judgments so harsh as those of the erring, the inexperienced, and the young.
Unless a woman has a decided pleasure and facility in teaching, an honest knowledge of everything she professes to impart, a liking for children, and, above all, a strong moral sense of her responsibility towards them, for her to attempt to enroll herself in the scholastic order is absolute profanation.
Wedlock's a lane where there is no turning.
Forgotten? No, we never do forget:
We let the years go; wash them clean with tears,
Leave them to bleach out in the open day,
Or lock them careful by, like dead friends' clothes,
Till we shall dare unfold them without pain,--
But we forget not, never can forget.
- A Flower of a Day [Forgetfulness]
I said to the brown, brown thrush:
Through the wood's full strains I hear
Thy monotone deep and clear,
Like a sound amid sounds most fine."
- A Rhyme About Birds [Thrushes]
I said to the Nightingale:
"Hail, all hail!
Pierce with thy trill the dark,
Like a glittering music-spark,
When the earth grows pale and dumb."
- A Rhyme About Birds [Nightingales]
I said to the sky-poised Lark:
Thy note is more loud and free
Because there lies safe for thee
A little nest on the ground."
- A Rhyme About Birds [Larks]
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