Pioneers of the New Thought Movement

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Modern time has brought for us many blessings and almost equal amount of perils. Unemployment, sickness and hopelessness threaten to overpower us every moment of our existence. Increasingly, it feels to make a little money we need to start with a lot of money. But there are ways to lead a fulfilling life. A men and women have proven this and shared their recipes for success more than half a century or so ago. Let us revisit those modern messiah with their prescriptions for success.

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La victoire by Rene Magritte

What All the World’s A-Seeking by Ralph Waldo Trine
Ralph Waldo Trine was one of the earliest of authors to recommend the usage of ‘thought power’ and introduce positive changes in our lives. The book, What All the World’s A-Seeking was published in 1896 and sold two million copies. About 200 pages of this inspirational book are segregated neatly into six parts, each dealing with one specific point. It starts with asking such pointed questions as, ‘how can I attain to a true and lasting greatness?’ and ends with a thorough analysis of ‘Character-Building Thought Power.’
The author, Ralph Waldo Trine (1866 – 1958) started his career as a special correspondent for The Boston Daily Evening Transcript. His wife Grace Hyde Trine, a talented writer herself, shared his passion for writing. For many years they lived at Mt Airy, New York. Trine went on to write many such books and lectured extensively on the subject. Another one of his well–known books that stands the test of time is, In Tune with the Infinite (1910).

Your Forces and How to Use Them by Christian D Larson
Your Forces and How to Use Them was published in 1912. The 350 pages of this book speak extensively on Training the Subconscious for Special Results and The Art of Changing for the Better among other topics. From the very beginning, the author makes his intentions clear declaring, ‘we are here to become great men and women, and with that purpose in view, we must eliminate everything in our religion and philosophy that tends to make the human mind a dependent weakling.’
Christian D Larson (1874 – 1954) is considered to be the father of the American New Thought movement. He even set up a New Thought Temple at his residence in Cincinnati, Ohio! Like Trine, Larson too authored a number of books many of which remain in print to this date. Another one of his famous essays is, Nothing Succeeds Like Success.

The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Delois Wattles
Published in 1910, The Science of Getting Rich is a book that instructs readers on how to overcome the mental barriers and attract a life of prosperity for themselves. Rhonda Byrne, the author of The Secret (2007), credits this book as one of the major sources of her inspiration. The book talks on the subject of creating ‘wealth’ in one’s life in a straight–forward manner. The book continues to be in print owing to its huge popularity.
Wallace Delois Wattles’s (1860 – 1911) had a rather humble beginning to his life. A self–made man, he climbed the ladder of success through his hard work and power of positive thinking. He had written other books covering various topics apart from The Science of Getting Rich.

Creative Mind and Success by Ernest Holmes
Teacher and spiritual writer Ernest Holmes published Creative Mind and Success in 1919. The two–part book deals with a number of important topics which are essential for all–round well being of a human being. It guides the readers on how to control thought, make the right choices, create conducive atmosphere, attract friends and demonstrate success in business. He asserts that ‘money’ is ‘a spiritual idea’ and insists on abolishing negativity that tends to cloud our judgment. By going through this book, aspirants will also learn how to enlarge thought and develop intuition.
Ernest Holmes (1887 – 1960) started a spiritual movement known as Religious Science. He greatly appreciated the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Walker Atkinson.

The Master Key System by Charles F Haanel
The Master Key System (1919) is a book based on Charles F Haanel’s 24-week correspondent course on self-empowerment (1912). It starts with a mini psychological test intended to make students understand how much of ‘mental power’ they are actually using in their daily lives. The final chapter is dedicated to a set of questions and answers on a wide range of topics.
Charles F Haanel (1866 – 1949) was a prosperous businessman, business advisor and author. Post publication of his book, Napoleon Hill wrote a letter to Haanel. Hill stated, ‘My present success and the success which has followed my work as President of the Napoleon Hill Institute is due largely to the principles laid down in The Master-Key System.’

Dynamic Thought by Henry Thomas Hamblin
Dynamic Thought (1923) urges the readers to start walking on the path leading to success, happiness and satisfaction merely by altering the attitude. Twelve chapters of this book center around the fact that, ‘to man, life and the world are reflexes of inward mental states.’
Henry Thomas Hamblin (1873 – 1958) was an author and mystic from England. His own life is somewhat shrouded in obscurity though his books and thought are still preserved, courtesy, the initiative of Hamblin Trust established in 1921.

The Secret of the Ages by Robert Collier
In The Secret of the Ages, Robert Collier asks if it is possible to acquire perfect health, wealth and happiness. He then sets about providing the prescription himself. He frees the bottled up ‘genie’ which is nothing but methods of creating our own world, as desired, by using the latent power of subconscious mind. The book was published in 1926.
Robert Collier (1885 – 1950) was a prolific writer on the subject. Robert Collier Publications, Inc still exists preserving his valuable legacy. More than 300,000 copies of The Secret of the Ages were sold during his lifetime and many more afterwards.

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Robert Collier

The Twelve Powers of Man by Charles Fillmore
Published in 1930, this book is Charles Fillmore’s attempt of making the readers aware of their God-given qualities. Every chapter quotes extensively from the scriptures. It attempts to reveal our divine selves to us. The book also begs to have faith in the power of the ‘spoken word’. It ends with a detailed questionnaire for serious students and followers of the New Thought movement.
Charles Fillmore (1854 – 1948) established Unity, a church dedicated to the ‘higher thought’ and spiritual interpretations of biblical scriptures.

The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn
The Game of Life and How to Play It was published in 1925. The book’s earthly recipes of learning to play the ‘game of life’ well attracted everyone. The examples were all taken from everyday life and Florence Scovel Shinn’s friendly way of approaching the subject made added impression on the minds of the readers. Her book continues inspiring people from every walk of life to this date.
Florence Scovel Shinn (1871 – 1940) was an artist, author and teacher. She wrote other books equally forceful in nature, such as, Your Word Is Your Wand and The Secret Door to Success.

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Illustration by Florence Scovel Shinn

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill published Think and Grow Rich in 1937. Since then it became one of the most widely read and recommended books on using the power of mind to extract benefits from the universe. Napoleon Hill’s inspiring words, ‘What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve’ went on to become a perfect mantra for everyone and is closely followed even today.
The author was deeply influenced by the life of industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The most striking example of the so called law of attraction was present in front of his eyes. Persuaded by Carnegie himself, Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) set about decoding the ‘golden rule’ of having a fulfilling life. In the process he wrote many memorable books including this one.

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Napoleon Hill

From Joy Springs All Creation

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From joy does spring all this creation, by joy is it maintained, towards joy does it progress, and in joy does it permeate.

Upanishad

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Ah! were it worse- who knows?- to be
Victor or vanquished here,
When those confront us angrily
Whose death leaves living drear?
In pity lost, by doubtings tossed,
My thoughts- distracted- turn
To Thee, the Guide I reverence most,
That I may counsel learn:
I know not what would heal the grief
Burned into soul and sense,
If I were earth’s unchallenged chief-
A god- and these gone thence!

Bhagavad Gita (Translation by Edwin Arnold)

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…the wise in heart
Mourn not for those that live, nor those that die.
Nor I, nor thou, nor any one of these,
Ever was not, nor ever will not be,
For ever and for ever afterwards.
All, that doth live, lives always! To man’s frame
As there come infancy and youth and age,
So come there raisings-up and layings-down
Of other and of other life-abodes,
Which the wise know, and fear not. This that irks-
Thy sense-life, thrilling to the elements-
Bringing thee heat and cold, sorrows and joys,
’Tis brief and mutable! Bear with it, Prince!
As the wise bear. The soul which is not moved,
The soul that with a strong and constant calm
Takes sorrow and takes joy indifferently,
Lives in the life undying! That which is
Can never cease to be; that which is not
Will not exist. To see this truth of both
Is theirs who part essence from accident,
Substance from shadow. Indestructible,
Learn thou! the Life is, spreading life through all;
It cannot anywhere, by any means,
Be anywise diminished, stayed, or changed.
But for these fleeting frames which it informs
With spirit deathless, endless, infinite,
They perish. Let them perish, Prince! and fight!
He who shall say, ‘Lo! I have slain a man!’
He who shall think, ‘Lo! I am slain!’ those both
Know naught! Life cannot slay. Life is not slain!
Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never;
Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams!
Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit for
ever; Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it
seems!

Bhagavag Gita (Translation by Edwin Arnold)

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I say to thee weapons reach not the Life;
Flame burns it not, waters cannot o’erwhelm,
Nor dry winds wither it. Impenetrable,
Unentered, unassailed, unharmed, untouched,
Immortal, all-arriving, stable, sure,
Invisible, ineffable, by word
And thought uncompassed, ever all itself,
Thus is the Soul declared! How wilt thou, then,-
Knowing it so,- grieve when thou shouldst not grieve?

Bhagavad Gita (Translation by Edwin Arnold)

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He that abstains
To help the rolling wheels of this great world,
Glutting his idle sense, lives a lost life,
Shameful and vain. Existing for himself,
Self-concentrated, serving self alone,
No part hath he in aught; nothing achieved,
Nought wrought or unwrought toucheth him; no hope
Of help for all the living things of earth
Depends from him. Therefore, thy task prescribed
With spirit unattached gladly perform,
Since in performance of plain duty man
Mounts to his highest bliss.

Bhagavad Gita (Translation by Edwin Arnold)

 

Dollhouse – A Precious Piece of Art & Affection

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If you are of opinion that dollhouses are for child’s play, then you need to think again. A dollhouse could be an elaborate work of art, a sign of both passion and prestige, a showpiece containing many antique items, a combination of all of these and more. The history of dollhouses dates back to the 16th century. In 1557, Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria commissioned a miniature version of his royal residence. Since then, dollhouses have become one of the most coveted items for aristocratic families to own. Many wealthy families in past spared no expense to have their dollhouses designed and decorated. The costs borne to manufacture some of the following dollhouses equalled or exceeded the prices of real houses considering the prevailing market rate of the time.

The Nuremberg House
The Nuremberg House was crafted in 1673. It was one of the earliest dollhouses still in preservation. Though much smaller in size compared to the other German dollhouses of later date, the excellent craftsmanship of this toy house continues to captivate everyone. The name of the original owner of the dollhouse was lost in time. Several suggestions have been made over his business or occupation after reviewing the interior of the house. The inside of the house is skillfully decorated. Several leather bound books, a closet full of costly linen and a kitchen complete with modern amenities according to the standards of the time speak highly of the owner’s taste and financial status.

Nuremberg Dollhouse

Queen Mary’s Dollhouse
Queen Mary’s miniature house is one of the largest and most celebrated examples of dollhouses. Leading architect Sir Edwin Lutyens designed the miniature house for Queen Mary in 1924. He employed the services of approximately 1500 artists and craftsmen to embellish the 16 rooms of the house meticulously. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling contributed miniature books for Queen Mary’s mini house.

Tri-ang Dollhouses
George and Joseph Lines were prominent toy makers of 19th century England. They made several toy houses resembling sprawling mansions and town houses during their lifetime. Their children continued the tradition producing doll houses under the trademark of Tri-ang well into the 20th century. However, the miniature Tudor houses, made by George and Joseph Lines, remained the most popular dollhouses produced by the family. Even the wallpapers of these beautifully crafted dollhouses were custom made to suit the ambience of the rooms.

Bettiscombe Dollhouse
Bettiscombe dollhouse was originally constructed sometime around 1870. Betty Pinney received this from a friend in the first quarter of the 20th century. She was a designer herself. From book covers and wallpapers to textile she designed many an item in her life. She utilized her skills to meticulously decorate her own dollhouse. She even crafted the furniture of the house herself. Betty Pinney used this miniature house as an ode to her own childhood.

Petronella Oortman’s Dollhouse
It is often conjectured that the amount Petronella Oortman spent on procuring her dollhouse was sufficient to buy a spacious house in one of Amsterdam’s prime locations in the 17th century. Each room of her dollhouse is extremely realistic. She specifically ordered miniature porcelain from China, silverware and glassware from local artisans to decorate her toy house.

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The Killer Cabinet Dollhouse
Unlike many other famous dollhouses, this dollhouse is set in an ebony cabinet complete with elaborate panel paintings. John Egerton Killer, a physician of Manchester, commissioned the piece for the ladies of her family. The cabinet is divided into four rooms, representing a bedroom, kitchen, drawing and morning room. Though it was designed in the early part of the 18th century, it retained the flavors of Dutch dollhouses of a previous era.

Tate Baby House
Tate Baby House was made in circa 1760. It was modeled after a fine house in Dorset. It is possible to dismantle the complex structure of this dollhouse before assembling once again into its complete form. This was done to enable Mrs Tate, the owner, carry the dollhouse with her during her many trips inland or overseas. Her guests used to carry small presents for her dollhouse during their visits to the owner’s residence. A tiny silver kettle still bears the sign of the presenter’s gratitude for the hospitality of the Tates.

Miss Miles’ Dollhouse
Made in 1890, Miss Miles’ dollhouse is stuffed with latest technologies that were fashionable at the time. This includes such items as a telephone, carpet sweeper, knife cleaner and a geyser in the bathroom for a hot water bath. The large house features separate billiard room, children’s nursery and schoolroom among other more common spaces for a residence of such quality.

The Denton Welch Dollhouse
Denton Welch was a talented artist and writer. A severe road accident in 1935 left him almost crippled for life. During one of those days when he was forced to be confined indoors, Welch pulled out this dollhouse from the basement of his family home and set out to renovate it. This became one of his favorite pastimes. The miniature house was originally built in 1783. Welch decorated the Georgian manor with great detail till his own life was tragically cut short in 1948.

Stettheimer Dollhouse
Stettheimer Dollhouse boasts of miniature artworks created by artists like Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Archipenko, Marguerite Zorach and George Bellows. Duchamp painted a miniature version of his ‘Nude Descending a Staircase’ for this dollhouse. The dollhouse itself is the brainchild of Carrie Walter Stettheimer. It was constructed in New York between 1916 and 1935. Carrie Walter Stettheimer stopped working on the dollhouse after her mother’s death. Few rooms were left unfinished which were later completed by her sister Ettie.

Astolat Dollhouse Castle
Alfred Tennyson’s poetry ‘Idylls of the King’, based on the Lady of the Lake, provided inspiration for the creation of Astolat Dollhouse Castle. It was designed by Elaine Diehl between 1974 and 1987. It was appraised for USD 1.1 million in 2005. The 29 rooms of this fairy dollhouse are adorned with finest of novelty items collected from across the globe. From grand ballroom, musician’s alcove, bar area to a well stocked up library, nothing is amiss in the Astolat Castle’s five levels. The parquet floor, gold chandelier and miniature oil paintings create an opulent atmosphere suitable for such piece of art.

Astolat Dollhouse

Titania’s Palace
When little Gwendolen asked for a dollhouse from her father as a home for her fairy friends Sir Nevile Wilkinson could not refuse. He set about working on Titania’s Palace little imagining that it would take 15 years for him to have the dollhouse completed. It was built by Irish cabinet makers James Hicks & Sons. The palace was modeled after Egeskov Castle located in Funen, Denmark. Thousands of miniature antique items collected from all over the world were used to decorate the interior of Titania’s Palace.

Sara Rothé Dollhouse
In the first half of the 18th century, Sara Rothé commissioned not one but two dollhouses for herself. The two toy houses were modeled after her residences located in Amsterdam and Haarlem. Visitors would flock her house to see the beautifully decorated dollhouses. She herself was a skilled embroiderer and seamstress. In the elaborately embroidered draperies, furnishings and linens of the dollhouse we find signs of her expertise. In 1855, Sara Rothé died in an accident when her coach fell into a canal. She was commuting between Haarlem and Amsterdam. Her actual residences also perished with time. But her dollhouses continue to provide glimpses of her life and one of its obsessions to this date.

Family of Sara Rothé

Information Source:

http://www.spielzeug-welten-museum-basel.ch/en/museum/

http://46.236.36.161/queenmarysdollshouse/house.html

From Our Jewellery Boxes

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Indians have a historical fondness for jewelleries, or more specifically gold jewelleries. The plethora of choices available to bedeck oneself is overwhelming. The intricacy of the craftsmanship speaks volume about the dedication of the goldsmiths towards their craft. Owing to gold’s perceived asset value ornaments made of this precious metal are highly coveted but Indians do appreciate other less expensive and equally painstakingly crafted jewelleries made of copper, cotton thread, shells, lac, glass beads studded with precious and semi–precious stones. Even fresh flowers and green leaves are also used to embellish hair, neck, arms and waistline.

Elaborate jewelleries in the sculptures – Somnath Temple:

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Though changing socio–economic condition and increasing exposure to different cultures have resulted in changing tastes in jewelleries yet one piece of jewellery almost universally worn by Indian women (and sometimes men) remained to be ear ornaments. There again each region has its own specialty and borrows heavily from the culture and history of the place.

Jhumkas or chandelier earrings are prized possession for any Indian girl with the more elaborate ones reserved for her marriage ceremonies. Jhumkas are could be multi–layered, studded with gemstones, peals and crystals resembling various floral and avian (peacocks are the favourite ones) motifs. While Jhumkas with Meenakari (sophisticated decoration with enamel dust) is the hallmark of Rajastan, their South Indian counterparts almost always come with kaan (ornate ear shaped support to hold up the weight of the metal).

Painting of Raja Ravi Varma of woman wearing Jhumka and Karwari Nath:

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For daily uses stud or bangle earrings are preferred. These also merge easily with office attire and if stylised properly enhances the look with subtlety. Both of these though have more illustrious varieties fit for wearing in various social dos. Kaan Bala (bangle for ears), made of circles of varying radii and decoration, are favourite pieces of ear ornaments among the Bengalis. Kaan Pasha on the other hand is a ornate form of stud earrings.

Jadau and Kundan earrings are dependent on uncut gemstones, including diamonds, rubies and emeralds, to accentuate its beauty. Skilled craftsmen of Rajasthan and Hyderabad boast of making these fine pieces. The process of making Jadau and Kundan is considered to have originated in Varanasi centuries ago and before becoming a featured item in the jewellery boxes of Mughal emperors and empresses.

Temple Jewelleries are inspired by sculptures and carvings of temples across India and ear rings made following this philosophy often feature Hindu deities. Apart from precious metal and gemstones holy beads of rudraksha are also used in crafting these pieces.

Examples of Temple Jewellery – a necklace made of precious metal and rudraksha beads and bangles:

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Geometric shapes are seen in Thewa earrings belonging western part of the country. These jewelleries are often crafted with silver, terracotta and / or crystals making them more affordable. Traditional Kolhapuri designs include the intricacies of sun’s rays and the tenderness of flower buds into their designs.

Exquisitely crafted jewelleries such as these are genuine ode to true beauty even if you contradict saying a truly graceful face does not require any further embellishments. Moreover, by opting for a piece of ornament as these, today’s women unconsciously become beads in time’s Mohan Mala (necklace) that it started stringing no less than five millennia ago.

For though we never spoke – The Life & Time of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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June 29 marks the 154th death anniversary of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She was born on March 6, 1806 in county Durham to Edward Barrett Moulton Barrett and Mary Graham Clarke. The Barretts were wealthy and Elizabeth’s early childhood spent with her eleven siblings in their family estate of Herefordshire were comfortable. She revealed her literary aspirations early in her life. Her father admired her efforts and on her 14th birthday presented her with 50 printed copies of her poetry.
About this time Elizabeth also started showing signs of a failing health. A mystery disease that remained undetected during her lifetime started plaguing her. She contacted lung infections in her early days which also showed sings of recurrence. Her illness often used to make her dizzy and morphine was of no use to subdue her pain that spread across her spine and head. She started becoming dependent on a opium concoction to alleviate her physical discomfort.
Elizabeth’s courtship and eventual marriage to Robert Browning in 1840s did not go down well with the family. Her father disinherited her from the property and her brothers severed ties with her. Elizabeth moved to Italy with her husband Robert Browning and her loyal nurse since childhood. Robert Browning was well known in Italy, did have earnings of his own to sustain his family. Together Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning shared an amicable relationship. Both the conviviality at home and the warmer climate of Italy had a positive effect on Elizabeth’s health.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning knew and was friendly with many of the prominent authors of the day. This included such personalities as William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Makepeace Thackeray, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Thomas Carlyle, Harriet Beecher Stowe and George Sand. She vehemently campaigned for the abolition of slavery, a curse that she was well aware of owing to her ancestral connection to the plantations of Jamaica.

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We walked beside the sea,
After a day which perished silently
Of its own glory – like the Princess weird
Who, combating the Genius, scorched and seared,
Uttered with burning breath, ‘Ho! victory!’
And sank adown, an heap of ashes pale;
So runs the Arab tale.

The sky above us showed
An universal and unmoving cloud,
On which, the cliffs permitted us to see
Only the outline of their majesty,
As master–minds, when gazed at by the crowd!
And, shining with a gloom, the water grey
Swang in its moon–taught way.

Nor moon nor stars were out.
They did not dare to tread so soon about,
Though trembling, in the footsteps of the sun.
The light was neither night’s nor day’s, but one
Which, life–like, had a beauty in its doubt;
And Silence’s impassioned breathings round
Seemed wandering into sound.

O solemn–beating heart
Of nature! I have knowledge that thou art
Bound unto man’s by cords he cannot sever–
And, what time they are slackened by him ever,
So to attest his own supernal part,
Still runneth thy vibration fast and strong,
The slackened cord along.

For though we never spoke
Of the grey water anal the shaded rock,–
Dark wave and stone, unconsciously, were fused
Into the plaintive speaking that we used,
Of absent friends and memories unforsook;
And, had we seen each other’s face, we had
Seen haply, each was sad.

Painting by Pierre–Auguste Renoir (25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919)twofigures

The Road Through Chaos by Alfred Noyes

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The Road Through Chaos by Alfred Noyes (16th September, 1880 – 28th June, 1958)

I

There is one road, one only, to the Light:
A narrow way, but Freedom walks therein;
A straight, firm road through Chaos and old Night,
And all these wandering Jack-o-Lents of Sin.

It is the road of Law, where Pilate stays
To hear, at last, the answer to his cry;
And mighty sages, groping through their maze
Of eager questions, hear a child reply.

Truth? What is Truth? Come, look upon my tables.
Begin at your beginnings once again.
Twice one is two! Though all the rest be fables,
Here’s one poor glimpse of Truth to keep you sane.

For Truth, at first, is clean accord with fact,
Whether in line or thought, or word, or act.

II

Then, by those first, those clean, precise, accords,
Build to the Lord your temples and your song;
The curves of beauty, music’s wedded chords
Resolving into heaven all hate and wrong.

Let harmonies of colour marry and follow
And breaking waves in a rhythmic dance ensue;
And all your thought fly free as the wings of the swallow,
Whose arrowy curves obey their measure, too.

Then shall the marching stars and tides befriend you,
And your own heart, and the world’s heart, pulse in rhyme;
Then shall the mob of the passions that would rend you
Crown you their Captain and march on in time.

So shall you repossess your struggling soul,
Conquer your world, and find the eternal goal.

Nike_of_Samothrake

 

Life & It’s Witness

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Michael Jackson

Life bears us on like the stream of a mighty river. Our boat at first glides down the narrow channel through the playful murmurings of the little brook, and the winding of the grassy borders. The trees shed their blossoms over our young heads, the flowers on the brink seem to offer themselves to our young hands; we are happy in hope, and we grasp eagerly at the beauties around us; but the stream hurries us on, and still our hands are empty. Our course in youth and manhood is along a wilder and deeper flood, amid objects more striking and magnificent. We are animated at the moving pictures of enjoyment and industry passing around us. We are excited at some short–lived disappointment. The stream bears us on, and our joys and griefs are alike left behind us. We may be shipwrecked – we cannot be delayed; whether rough or smooth, the river hastens to its home, till the roar of the ocean is in our ears, and the tossing of the waves is beneath our feet, and the land lessens from our eyes, and the floods are lifted up around us, and we take our leave of earth and its inhabitants, until of our further voyage there is no witness save the Infinite and Eternal.

~Reginald Heber (via It’s Quoted)

Digital artwork by me.

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