Tuesday, July 3, 2018

the journey

"This sense of futility... it's nothing - merely the reverse side of aspiration - and inevitable, just as failure is inevitable. Disregard them both. What can we expect when we aspire as we do, yet remain what we are? Struggle is divine in itself, but to ask to see it crowned with success is to ask for that sign which is forbidden to those who must travel by faith alone. Each fresh leap of the flame from the charred wood lights your footsteps a little farther through the dark."

                                                        - again, from The Herb of Grace

The lover of life holds life in his hand,
Like a ring for the bride,
The lover of life is free of dread;
The lover of life holds life in his hand,
As the hills hold the day.

But lust after life waves life like a brand,
For an ensign of pride.
The lust after life is life half-dead:
Yea, lust after life holds life like a brand,
Dreading air and the ray.

For the sake of life,
For that life is dear,
The lust after life
Clings to it fast.
For the sake of life,
For that life is fair,
The lover of life
Flings its broadcast.

The lover of life knows his labour divine,
And therein is at peace.
The lust after life craves a touch and a sign
That the life shall increase.

The lust after life in the chills of its lust
Claims a passport of death.
The lover of life sees the flame in our dust 
And a gift in our breath.

- George Meredith


  1. I am enjoying all these quotes, Lisa. I especially like the first one here.

  2. Thank you, Clare. Yes, I like that one, too. The poem is almost scary - like I know I can't attain to it, but I know it's the truth, anyway.

    1. Yes, I agree - it is the truth. I haven't read any of Meredith's verse before; I've only read his novel 'Diana of the Crossways' which was really nice.

    2. I wondered about his fiction when I looked him up, so I'll keep that one in mind. For now, I think I'll try to get a book of poetry.

  3. Wow! This is a lot to process... so rich. I just ordered the Goudge book, which I am not familiar with.

    Thank you, Lisa!!

    1. Yes, her works are very rich; that's a good word for them. She makes a whole world you are only too glad to inhabit for a while.