Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
Today the glint of green is there.
~ L. H. Bailey
It is more noble to sit like Jove than to fly like Mercury: – let us not therefore go hurrying about and collecting honey, bee-like, buzzing here and there impatiently from a knowledge of what is to be arrived at. But let us open our leaves like a flower, and be passive and receptive; budding patiently under the eye of Apollo and taking hints from every noble insect that favours us with a visit – sap will be given us for meat, and dew for drink.
~ John Keats
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
~ Andrew Marvell
I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel;
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.
But, for the unquiet heart and brain,
A use in measured language lies;
The sad mechanic exercise,
Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.
In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er,
Like coarsest clothes against the cold;
But that large grief which these enfold
Is given in outline and no more.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
Sketch: Tennyson Reading Maud by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Oh, you who read some song that I have sung –
What know you of the soul from whence it sprung?
Dost dream the poet ever speaks aloud
His secret thought unto the listening crowd?
Go take the murmuring sea-shell from the shore –
You have its shape, its colour – and no more.
It tells not one of those vast mysteries
That lie beneath the surface of the seas.
Our songs are shells, cast out by waves of thought;
Here, take them at your pleasure; but think not
You've seen beneath the surface of the waves,
Where lie our shipwrecks, and our coral caves.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox