World Poetry, Part Deux

For day two’s favorite poetry selection, I give you English poet John Donne’s “Death Be Not Proud:”

 

John Donne, care of Wikimedia Commons.

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadfull, 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 souls delivery.

Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,

And dost with poison, war, and sicknesse 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

From Russia with Love

The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all.
~Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Even so, one step from my grave, I believe that cruelty, spite, The powers of darkness will in time, Be crushed by the spirit of light.
~Boris Pasternak

Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
~Leo Tolstoy

For, after all, you do grow up, you do outgrow your ideals, which turn to dust and ashes, which are shattered into fragments; and if you have no other life, you just have to build one up out of these fragments. And all the time your soul is craving and longing for something else. And in vain does the dreamer rummage about in his old dreams, raking them over as though they were a heap of cinders, looking in these cinders for some spark, however tiny, to fan it into a flame so as to warm his chilled blood by it and revive in it all that he held so dear before, all that touched his heart, that made his blood course through his veins, that drew tears from his eyes, and that so splendidly deceived him!
~ Fyodor Dostoevsky, White Nights

Of the Beauty of Nature

The Famous Red Rocks

It’s Sunday, which means the latest batch of weekly quotes. This time around, keeping to the tune of my Colorado trip, all are nature-themed. One is actually a poem as well, written by the renowned Lord Byron. Beneath these I have also included another pair of pictures from my travels through the mountains. I hope you enjoy – for there is truly no mortal beauty quite so great as the power and majesty we may behold each day in the world around us.

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.  ~Henry David Thoreau

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.  ~E.E. Cummings