March 24

IF Thou be one whose heart the holy forms
Of young imagination have kept pure,
Stranger! henceforth be warned; and know that pride,
Howe’er disguised in its own majesty,
Is littleness ; that he who feels contempt
For any living thing, hath faculties
Which he has never used; that thought with him
Is in its infancy. The man whose eye
Is ever on himself doth look on one,
The least of Nature’s works, one who might move
The wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds
Unlawful, ever. O be wiser, Thou!
Instructed that true knowledge leads to love,
True dignity abides with him alone
Who, in the silent hour of inward thought,
Can still suspect, and still revere himself,
In lowliness of heart.
William Wordsworth


BE, and not seem. Let us acquiesce. Let us take our bloated nothingness out of the path of divine circuits. Let us unlearn our wisdom of the world. Let us lie low in the Lord’s power, and learn that truth alone makes rich and great.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


WOULDST thou rather be a peasant’s son that knew, were it ever so rudely, there was a God in Heaven and in Man; or a duke’s son that only knew there were two and thirty quarters on the family coach?
Thomas Carlyle

March 23

IN countless upward-striving waves
The moon-drawn tide-wave strives;
In thousand far-transplanted grafts
The parent fruit survives;
So, in the new-born millions,
The perfect Adam lives.
Not less are summer mornings dear
To every child they wake,
And each with novel life his sphere
Fills for his proper sake.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


GOD appoints to every one of His creatures a separate mission, and if they discharge it honourably, if they quit themselves like men, and faithfully follow the light which is in them, withdrawing from it all cold and quenching influence, there will assuredly come of it such burning as, in its appointed mode and measure, shall shine before men, and be of service constant and holy. Degrees infinite of lustre there must always be, but the weakest among us has a gift, however seemingly trivial, which is peculiar to him, and which, worthily used, will be a gift also to his race for ever.
John Ruskin


OUR duty is to be useful, not according to our desires but according to our powers.
Henri F. Amiel

March 21

GO, speed the stars of Thought
On to their shining goals;—
The sower scatters broad his seed,
The wheat thou strew’st be souls.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


BEAUTIFUL it is to understand and know that a thought did never yet die; that as thou, the originator thereof, hast gathered it and created it from the whole Past, so thou wilt transmit it to the whole Empire. It is thus that the heroic Heart, the seeing Eye of the first times, still feels and sees in us of the latest; that the Wise Man stands ever encompassed, and spiritually embraced, by a cloud of witnesses and brothers; and there is a living, literal Communion of Saints, wide as the World itself, and as the History of the World.
Thomas Carlyle


MYSTERIES of influence fall from every earnest volition, to return to us, in gladness or in weeping, after many days. No insult can we pass upon the divine but gentle dignity of duty, no quenching of God’s spirit can we allow, that will not prepare a curse for others as well as for ourselves: nor any reverence, prompt and due, in act as in thought, can we pay to the God within, that will not yield abundant blessing.
James Martineau

 

March 11

BOOKS! ’tis a dull and endless strife;
Come, hear the woodland linnet.
How sweet his music! on my life,
There’s more of wisdom in it.
William Wordsworth


A MORNING-GLORY at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.
Walt Whitman


POETRY is to be found nowhere unless we carry it within us.
Joseph Joubert


THOUGH we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we it not.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

March 10

NO—Man is dear to Man; the poorest poor
Long for some moments in a weary life
When they can know and feel that they have been,
Themselves, the fathers and the dealers-out
Of some small blessings; have been kind to such
As needed kindness, for this single cause,
That we have all of us one human heart.
William Wordsworth


THE race of mankind would perish, did they cease to aid each other. From the time that the mother binds the child’s head, till the moment that some kind assistant wipes the death-damp from the brow of the dying, we cannot exist without mutual help. All, therefore, that need aid, have a right to ask it from their fellow-mortals; no one who holds the power of granting, can refuse it without guilt.
Sir Walter Scott


WE have a great deal more kindness than is ever spoken. Maugre all the selfishness that chills like east winds the world, the whole human family is bathed with an element of love like a fine ether.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

March 9

GREAT is the facile conqueror;
Yet haply he, who, wounded sore,
Breathless, unhorsed, all covered o’er
With blood and sweat,
Sinks foiled, but fighting evermore,
Is greater yet.
William Watson


EVERY chain is a ray of light, and every prison is a palace, and every loss is the purchase of a kingdom, and every affront in the cause of God is an eternal honour, and every day of sorrow is a thousand years of comfort, multiplied with a never-ceasing numeration; days without night, joys without sorrow, sanctity without sin, charity without stain, possession without fear, society without envying, communication of joys without lessening; and they shall dwell in a blessed country, where an enemy never entered, and from whence a friend never went away.
Jeremy Taylor


THE martyr cannot be dishonoured. Every lash inflicted is a tongue of fame; every prison, a more illustrious abode; every burned book or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side. Hours of sanity and consideration are always arriving to communities, as to individals, when the truth is seen, and the martyrs are justified.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

February 20

THAT day of wrath, that dreadful day
When heaven and earth shall pass away,
What power shall be the sinner’s stay?
How shall we meet that dreadful day?

When, shriveling like a parched scroll,
The flaming heavens together roll;
When louder yet, and yet more dread
Swells the high trump that wakes the dead.
Thomas of Celano


EVERY day is a day of judgment—every day is a Dies Iræ, and writes its irrevocable verdict in the flame of its West. Think you that judgment waits till the doors of the grave are opened? It waits at the doors of your houses—it waits at the corners of your streets; we are in the midst of judgment—the insects that we crush are our judges, the moments we fret away are our judges—the elements that feed us, judge, as they minister—and the pleasures that deceive us, judge, as they indulge. Let us, for our lives, do the work of Men while we bear the form of them, if indeed those lives are not as a vapour, and do not vanish away.
John Ruskin


THE world is full of Judgment Days, and into every assembly that a man enters, in every action he attempts, he is gauged and stamped.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

February 8

SO every spirit, as it is most pure
And hath in it the more of heavenly light,
So it the fairer bodie doth procure
To habit in, and it more fairly dight
With chearfull grace and amiable sight;
For to the soule the bodie forme doth take,
For soule is forme and doth the bodie make.
Edmund Spenser


A BEAUTIFUL form is better than a beautiful face; a beautiful behaviour is better than a beautiful form; it gives a higher pleasure than statues or pictures; it is the finest of the fine arts.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


SOME glances of real beauty may be seen in their faces, who dwell in true meekness. There is a harmony in the sound of that voice to which Divine love gives utterance, and some appearance of right order in their temper and conduct whose passions are regulated.
John Woolman

January 30

I SAY, the acknowledgment of God in Christ
Accepted by thy reason, solves for thee
All questions in the earth and out of it,
And has so far advanced thee to be wise.
Robert Browning


“I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Without the Way, there is no going; without the Truth, there is no knowing; without the Life, there is no living. I am the Way, which thou oughtest to follow; the Truth, which thou oughtest to trust; the Life, which thou oughtest to hope for. I am the inviolable Way, the infallible Truth, the endless Life. I am the straightest Way, the supreme Truth, the true, the blessed, the uncreated Life. If thou remain in My way, thou shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make thee free, and thou shalt lay hold on eternal life.
Thomas A Kempis


JESUS astonishes and overpowers sensual people. They cannot unite Him to history, or reconcile Him with themselves. As they come to revere their intuitions and aspire to live holily, their own piety explains every fact, every word.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

January 21

A CREED is a rod,
And a crown is of night;
But this thing is God:
To be man with thy might
To grow straight in the strength of thy spirit, and
live out thy life as the light.
Algernon C. Swinburne


I CANNOT praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and seeks her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.
John Milton


TO enjoy true happiness we must travel into a very far country, and even out of ourselves; for the Pearl we seek for is not to be found in the Indian, but in the Empyrean Ocean.
Sir Thomas Browne


WHAT I must do concerns me, not what the people think.
Ralph Waldo Emerson