C was a cat
Who ran after a rat;
But his courage did fail
When she seized on his tail.
Crafty old cat!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
AH, ye gods! ye great immortals
In the spacious heavens above us!
Would ye on this earth but give us
Steadfast minds and dauntless courage
We, oh kindly ones, would leave you
All your spacious heavens above us!
I have seen a man betake himself to sterile soil. He
was neither a heretic nor a Musulman; he had neither
riches nor religion, nor God, nor truth, nor law, nor certitude.
Who in this world or in the other would have
so much courage?
Once more, my now bewildered Dove
Bestirs her puzzled wings
Once more her mistress, on the deep
Her troubled question flings --
Thrice to the floating casement
The Patriarch's bird returned,
Courage! My brave Columbia!
There may yet be land
For Mercy, Courage, Kindness, Mirth,
There is no measure upon earth.
Nay, they wither, root and stem,
If an end be set to them.
Overbrim and overflow,
If you own heart you would know;
For the spirit born to bless
Lives but in its own excess
I see neither the means of joining myself to Thee,
nor the possibility of living for the space of a breath
separated from Thee. I have not the courage to drive
out the torments I endure. Oh! how difficult my plight,
how strange my grief, how exquisite my pain!
Supposing that I should have the courage
To let a red sword of virtue
Plunge into my heart,
Letting to the weeds of the ground
My sinful blood,
What can you offer me?
A gardened castle?
A flowery kingdom?
What? A hope?
Then hence with your red sword of virtue.
There were many who went in huddled procession,
They knew not whither;
But, at any rate, success or calamity
Would attend all in equality.
There was one who sought a new road.
He went into direful thickets,
And ultimately he died thus, alone;
But they said he had courage.
O what availeth thee thy melting mood,
When once again thy thralldoms o’er thee brood:
& what doth profit thee thy courage high,
& strength so fain;
So soon agen thy coward heart shall fly?
For more & stronger strife our strength shall strain,
Though hope’s best good
Be but this hope: to strive, & strive again.
NO labor-saving machine,
Nor discovery have I made;
Nor will I be able to leave behind me any wealthy bequest to found a hospital or library,
Nor reminiscence of any deed of courage, for America,
Nor literary success, nor intellect—nor book for the book-shelf;
Only a few carols, vibrating through the air, I leave,
For comrades and lovers.
Riches I hold in light esteem,
And love I laugh to scorn;
And lust of fame was but a dream
That vanish'd with the morn:
And if I pray, the only prayer
That moves my lips for me
Is, "Leave the heart that now I bear,
And give me liberty!"
Yes, as my swift days near their goal,
'Tis all that I implore:
In life and death a chainless soul,
With courage to endure
"They only burn themselves to reach Paradise"
original courage is good,
motivation be damned,
and if you say they are trained
to feel no pain,
is it still not possible
to die for somebody else?
who lay back and
make statements of explanation,
I have seen the red rose burning
and this means more.
Love is universal migraine,
A bright stain on the vision
Blotting out reason.
Symptoms of true love
Are leanness, jealousy,
Are omens and nightmares -
Listening for a knock,
Waiting for a sign:
For a touch of her fingers
In a darkened room,
For a searching look.
Take courage, lover!
Could you endure such pain
At any hand but hers?
Walter de la Mare
Nay, nay, sweet England, do not grieve!
Not one of these poor men who died
But did within his soul believe
That death for thee was glorified.
Ever they watched it hovering near
That mystery 'yond thought to plumb,
Perchance sometimes in loathèd fear
They heard cold Danger whisper, Come! --
Heard and obeyed.
O, if thou weep
Such courage and honour, beauty, care,
Be it for joy that those who sleep
Only thy joy could share.
POsthumus boasts he does not Thunder fear,
And for this cause would Innocent appear;
That in his Soul no Terrour he does feel,
At threatn'd Vultures, or Ixion's Wheel,
Which fright the Guilty: But when Fabius told
What Acts 'gainst Murder lately were enrol'd,
'Gainst Incest, Rapine, ---- straight upon the Tale
His Colour chang'd, and Posthumus grew pale.
His Impious Courage had no other Root,
But that the Villaine, Atheist was to boot.
Assistance and victory in the spiritual warfare.
For ever blessed be the Lord,
My Savior and my shield;
He sends his Spirit with his word,
To arm me for the field.
When sin and hell their force unite,
He makes my soul his care,
Instructs me to the heav'nly fight,
And guards me through the war.
A friend and helper so divine
Does my weak courage raise;
He makes the glorious vict'ry mine,
And his shall be the praise.
To give life you must take life,
and as our grief falls flat and hollow
upon the billion-blooded sea
I pass upon serious inward-breaking shoals rimmed
with white-legged, white-bellied rotting creatures
lengthily dead and rioting against surrounding scenes.
Dear child, I only did to you what the sparrow
did to you; I am old when it is fashionable to be
young; I cry when it is fashionable to laugh.
I hated you when it would have taken less courage
Henry Van Dyke
Oh, quick to feel the lightest touch
Of beauty or of truth,
Rich in the thoughtfulness of age,
The hopefulness of youth,
The courage of the gentle heart,
The wisdom of the pure,
The strength of finely tempered souls
To labour and endure!
The blue of springtime in your eyes
Was never quenched by pain;
And winter brought your head the crown
Of snow without a stain.
The poet's mind, the prince's heart,
You kept until the end,
Nor ever faltered in your work,
Nor ever failed a friend.