But the Genius which, according to the old belief, stands at the door by which we enter, and gives us the lethe to drink, that we may tell no tales, mixed the cup too strongly, and we cannot shake off the lethargy now at noonday.
Sleep lingers all our lifetime about our eyes, as night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir-tree. Our life is not so much threatened as our perception.
It is said, all martyrdoms looked mean when they were suffered.
Every ship is a romantic object, except that we sail in.
It is very difficult indeed to gain a perspective on life until we are a part of and engaged in life.
We are confused in our relationship with nature and our powers.
The lords of life, the lords of life,—I saw them pass, In their own guise, Like and unlike, Portly and grim, Use and Surprise, Surface and Dream, Succession swift, and spectral Wrong, Temperament without a tongue, And the inventor of the game Omnipresent without name; —Some to see, some to be guessed, They marched from east to west: Little man, least of all, Among the legs of his guardians tall, Walked about with puzzled look: —Him by the hand dear nature took; Dearest nature, strong and kind, Whispered, 'Darling, never mind! In a series of which we do not know the extremes, and believe that it has none.
Tomorrow they will wear another face, The founder thou! We wake and find ourselves on a stair; there are stairs below us, which we seem to have ascended; there are stairs above us, many a one, which go upward and out of sight.
That, like all the rest, plays about the surface, and never introduces me into the reality, for contact with which, we would even pay the costly price of sons and lovers.
Was it Boscovich who found out that bodies never come in contact? An innavigable sea washes with silent waves between us and the things we aim at and converse with. In the death of my son, now more than two years ago, I seem to have lost a beautiful estate, — no more. If tomorrow I should be informed of the bankruptcy of my principal debtors, the loss of my property would be a great inconvenience to me, perhaps, for many years; but it would leave me as it found me, — neither better nor worse.