On Some of Life's Ideals: On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings; What Makes a Life Significant

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H. Holt, 1900 - 92 pages
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Page 27 - FLOOD-TIDE below me! I see you face to face! Clouds of the west— sun there half an hour high— I see you also face to face. Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious you are to me! On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose, And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.
Page 21 - To every natural form, rock, fruit or flower, Even the loose stones that cover the high-way, I gave a moral life : I saw them feel, Or linked them to some feeling : the great mass Lay bedded in a quickening soul, and all That I beheld respired with inward meaning.
Page 29 - The large and small steamers in motion, the pilots in their pilot-houses, The white wake left by the passage, the quick tremulous whirl of the wheels, The flags of all nations, the falling of them at sunset, The scallop-edged waves in the twilight, the ladled cups, the frolicsome crests and glistening...
Page 37 - Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. I am glad to the brink of fear.
Page 28 - Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt, Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd...
Page 13 - It is said that a poet has died young in the breast of the most stolid. It may be contended, rather, that this (somewhat minor) bard in almost every case survives, and is the spice of life to his possessor.
Page 44 - I had undoubtedly gone back; and that state of intense watchfulness or alertness, rather, with suspension of the higher intellectual faculties, represented the mental state of the pure savage. He thinks little, reasons little, having a surer guide in his [mere sensory perceptions]. He is in perfect harmony with nature, and is nearly on a level, mentally, with the wild animals he preys on, and which in their turn sometimes prey on him.
Page 61 - Not in clanging fights and desperate marches only is heroism to be looked for, but on every railway bridge and fire-proof building that is going up to-day. On freight-trains, on the decks of vessels, in cattle-yards and mines, on lumber-rafts, among the firemen and the policemen, the demand for courage is incessant; and the supply never fails.
Page 14 - There is one fable that touches very near the quick of life: the fable of the monk who passed into the woods, heard a bird break into song, hearkened for a trill or two, and found himself on his return a stranger at his convent gates; for he had been absent fifty years, and of all his comrades there survived but one to recognize him.
Page 27 - Others will enter the gates of the ferry and cross from shore to shore, Others will watch the run of the flood-tide, Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the heights of Brooklyn to the south and east...

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