Henry Van Dyke | |
Let me but live my life from year to year,
With forward face and unreluctant soul;
Not hurrying to, nor turning from the goal;
Not mourning for the things that disappear
In the dim past, nor holding back in fear
From what the future veils; but with a whole
And happy heart, that pays its toll
To Youth and Age, and travels on with cheer.
So let the way wind up the hill or down,
O'er rough or smooth, the journey will be joy:
Still seeking what I sought when but a boy,
New friendship, high adventure, and a crown,
My heart will keep the courage of the quest,
And hope the road's last turn will be the best.
Rainer Maria Rilke | |
O you whose countenance, dissolved
in deepness, hovers above my face.
You who are the heaviest counterweight
to my astounding contemplation.
Night, that trembles as reflected in my eyes,
but in itself strong;
inexhaustible creation, dominant,
enduring beyond the earth's endurance;
Night, full of newly created stars that leave
trails of fire streaming from their seams
as they soar in inaudible adventure
through interstellar space:
how, overshadowed by your all-embracing vastness,
I appear minute!---
Yet, being one with the ever more darkening earth,
I dare to be in you.
Adelaide Crapsey | |
Sun and wind and beat of sea,
Great lands stretching endlessly…
Where be bonds to bind the free?
All the world was made for me!
Robert Louis Stevenson | |
Three of us afloat in the meadow by the swing,
Three of us abroad in the basket on the lea.
Winds are in the air, they are blowing in the spring,
And waves are on the meadow like the waves there are at sea.
Where shall we adventure, to-day that we're afloat,
Wary of the weather and steering by a star?
Shall it be to Africa, a-steering of the boat,
To Providence, or Babylon or off to Malabar?
Hi! but here's a squadron a-rowing on the sea--
Cattle on the meadow a-charging with a roar!
Quick, and we'll escape them, they're as mad as they can be,
The wicket is the harbour and the garden is the shore.
Robert William Service | |
Oh, it is good to drink and sup,
And then beside the kindly fire
To smoke and heap the faggots up,
And rest and dream to heart's desire.
Oh, it is good to ride and run,
To roam the greenwood wild and free;
To hunt, to idle in the sun,
To leap into the laughing sea.
Oh, it is good with hand and brain
To gladly till the chosen soil,
And after honest sweat and strain
To see the harvest of one's toil.
Oh, it is good afar to roam,
And seek adventure in strange lands;
Yet oh, so good the coming home,
The velvet love of little hands.
So much is good.
We thank Thee, God,
For all the tokens Thou hast given,
That here on earth our feet have trod
Thy little shining trails of Heaven.
Robert William Service | |
When twenty-one I loved to dream,
And was to loafing well inclined;
Somehow I couldn't get up steam
To welcome work of any kind.
While students burned the midnight lamp,
With dour ambition as their goad,
I longed to be a gayful tramp
And greet adventure on the road.
But now that sixty years have sped,
Behold! I toil from morn to night.
The thoughts that teem into my head
I pray: God give me time to write.
With eager and unflagging pen
No drudgery of desk I shirk,
And preach to all retiring men
The gospel of unceasing work.
And yet I do not sadly grieve
Such squandering of golden days;
For from my dreaming I believe
Have stemmed my least unworthy lays.
Aye, toil is best when all is said,
As age has made me understand .
So fitly fold, when I am dead,
A pencil in my hand.
Robert William Service | |
When I was brash and gallant-gay
Just fifty years ago,
I hit the ties and beat my way
From Maine to Mexico;
For though to Glasgow gutter bred
A hobo heart had I,
And followed where adventure led,
Beneath a brazen sky.
And as I tramped the railway track
I owned a single shirt;
Like canny Scot I bought it black
So's not to show the dirt;
A handkerchief held all my gear,
My razor and my comb;
I was a freckless lad, I fear,
With all the world for home.
Yet oh I thought the life was grand
And loved my liberty!
Romance was my bed-fellow and
The stars my company.
And I would think, each diamond dawn,
"How I have forged my fate!
Where are the Gorbals and the Tron,
And where the Gallowgate?"
Oh daft was I to wander wild,
And seek the Trouble Trail,
As weakly as a wayward child,
And darkly doomed to fail .
Aye, bindle-stiff I hit the track
Just fifty years ago .
Yet now .
I drive my Cadillac
From Maine to Mexico.
Siegfried Sassoon | |
Where have you been, South Wind, this May-day morning,—
With larks aloft, or skimming with the swallow,
Or with blackbirds in a green, sun-glinted thicket?
Oh, I heard you like a tyrant in the valley;
Your ruffian haste shook the young, blossoming orchards;
You clapped rude hands, hallooing round the chimney,
And white your pennons streamed along the river.
You have robbed the bee, South Wind, in your adventure,
Blustering with gentle flowers; but I forgave you
When you stole to me shyly with scent of hawthorn.
Belinda Subraman | |
I remember India:
palm trees, monkey families,
fresh lime juice in the streets,
the sensual inundation
of sights and smells
and excess in everything.
I was exotic and believable there.
I was walking through dirt
in my sari,
to temples of the deities
following the lead
of my Indian in-laws.
I was scooping up fire with my hands,
glancing at idols that held no meaning for me,
being marked by the ash.
They smiled at the Western woman,
acting religious, knowing
it was my way of showing respect.
It was an adventure for me
but an arm around their culture for them.
To me it was living a dream
I knew I could wake up from.
To them it was the willingness
to be Indian that pleased.
We were holding hands
across a cultural cosmos,
knowing there were no differences
hearts could not soothe.
They accepted me
as I accepted them,
baffled but in love
with our wedded mystery.
Paul Verlaine | |
I am the Empire in the last of its decline,
That sees the tall, fair-haired Barbarians pass,--the while
Composing indolent acrostics, in a style
Of gold, with languid sunshine dancing in each line.
The solitary soul is heart-sick with a vile
Down yon, they say, War's torches bloody shine.
Alas, to be so faint of will, one must resign
The chance of brave adventure in the splendid file,-
Of death, perchance! Alas, so lagging in desire!
Ah, all is drunk! Bathyllus, has done laughing, pray?
Ah, all is drunk,--all eaten! Nothing more to say!
Alone, a vapid verse one tosses in the fire;
Alone, a somewhat thievish slave neglecting one;
Alone, a vague disgust of all beneath the sun!
Hilaire Belloc | |
Who caroused in the Dirt and was corrected by His Uncle.
His Uncle came upon Franklin Hyde
Carousing in the Dirt.
He Shook him hard from Side to Side
And Hit him till it Hurt,
Exclaiming, with a Final Thud,
"Take that! Abandoned boy!
For Playing with Disgusting Mud
As though it were a Toy!"
From Franklin Hyde's adventure, learn
To pass your Leisure Time
In Cleanly Merriment, and turn
From Mud and Ooze and Slime
And every form of Nastiness-
But, on the other Hand,
Children in ordinary Dress
May always play with Sand.
Rudyard Kipling | |
The Law whereby my lady moves
Was never Law to me,
But 'tis enough that she approves
Whatever Law it be.
For in that Law, and by that Law
My constant course I'll steer;
Not that I heed or deem it dread,
But that she holds it dear.
Tho' Asia sent for my content
Her richest argosies,
Those would I spurn, and bid return,
If that should give her ease.
With equal heart I'd watch depart
Each spiced sail from sight;
Sans bitterness, desiring less
Great gear than her delight.
Though Kings made swift with many a gift
My proven sword to hire--
I would not go nor serve 'em so--
Except at her desire.
With even mind, I'd put behind
Adventure and acclaim,
And clean give o'er, esteeming more
Her favour than my fame.
Yet such am I, yea, such am I--
Sore bond and freest free,
The Law that sways my lady's ways
Is mystery to me!
Rudyard Kipling | |
Who gives him the Bath?
"I," said the wet,
"I'll give him the Bath!"
Who'll sing the psalms?
"We," said the Palms.
"Ere the hot wind becalms,
"We'll sing the psalms.
Who lays on the sword ?
"I," said the Sun,
Before he has done,
"I'll lay on the sword.
"Who fastens his belt?
"I," said Short-Rations,
" I know all the fashions
"Of tightening a belt!"
Who gives him his spur?
"I," said his Chief,
Exacting and brief,
"I'll give him the spur.
Who'll shake his hand?
"I," said the Fever,
"And I'm no deceiver,
"I'll shake his hand.
Who brings him the wine?
"I," said Quinine,
"It's a habit of mine.
"I'11 come with his wine.
Who'll put him to proof?
"I," said All Earth.
"Whatever he's worth,
"I'll put to the proof.
Who'll choose him for Knight?
"I," said his Mother,
"Before any other,
"My very own Knight.
And after this fashion, adventure to seek,
Sir Galahad made--as it might be last week!
Rudyard Kipling | |
When the Great Ark, in Vigo Bay,
Rode stately through the half-manned fleet,
From every ship about her way
She heard the mariners entreat--
Before we take the seas again
Let down your boats and send us men!
"We have no lack of victual here
With work--God knows!--enough for all,
To hand and reef and watch and steer,
Because our present strength is small.
While your three decks are crowded so
Your crews can scarcely stand or go.
"In war, your numbers do but raise
Confusion and divided will;
In storm, the mindless deep obeys
Not multitudes but single skills.
In calm, your numbers, closely pressed,
Must breed a mutiny or pest.
"We even on unchallenged seas,
Dare not adventure where we would,
But forfeit brave advantages
For lack of men to make 'em good;
Whereby, to England's double cost,
Honour and profit both are lost!"
Emily Dickinson | |
This Consciousness that is aware
Of Neighbors and the Sun
Will be the one aware of Death
And that itself alone
Is traversing the interval
And most profound experiment
Appointed unto Men --
How adequate unto itself
Its properties shall be
Itself unto itself and none
Shall make discovery.
Adventure most unto itself
The Soul condemned to be --
Attended by a single Hound
Its own identity.
William Butler Yeats | |
A man I praise that once in Tara's Hals
Said to the woman on his knees, 'Lie still.
My hundredth year is at an end.
That something is about to happen, I think
That the adventure of old age begins.
To many women I have said, ''Lie still,''
And given everything a woman needs,
A roof, good clothes, passion, love perhaps,
But never asked for love; should I ask that,
I shall be old indeed.
Thereon the man
Went to the Sacred House and stood between
The golden plough and harrow and spoke aloud
That all attendants and the casual crowd might hear.
'God I have loved, but should I ask return
Of God or woman, the time were come to die.
He bade, his hundred and first year at end,
Diggers and carpenters make grave and coffin;
Saw that the grave was deep, the coffin sound,
Summoned the generations of his house,
Lay in the coffin, stopped his breath and died.