Sunday, November 04, 2012

Fragments of encouragement

Things don't really look so good for the United States of America. Need I go into great detail about why? Well, I'm not going to. Too depressing. Nor are readers likely to be in any doubt as to why I happen to be feeling a bit gloomy about our nation just now.

Here are a couple of literary bits that I find encouraging myself and pass on for any encouragement they may provide to readers:

         [The Warden of Shrewsbury College] "I sometimes wonder whether we gain anything by gaining time."
         [Lord Peter Wimsey] "Well--if one leaves letters unanswered long enough, some of them answer themselves. Nobody can prevent the Fall of Troy, but a dull, careful person may manage to smuggle out the Lares and Penates--even at the risk of having the epithet pius tacked to his name."
         "The Universities are always being urged to march in the van of progress."
         "But epic actions are all fought by the rearguard--at Rancevaux and Thermopylae."
          "Very well," said the Warden, laughing, "let us die in our tracks, having accomplished nothing but an epic."
From Gaudy Night, by Dorothy Sayers.
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Mind must be the firmer,  heart the more fierce,
Courage the greater, as our strength lessens.
From "The Battle of Maldon," Anglo-Saxon poem

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Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song!
’Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore;
Till, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest. 
From "The Church's One Foundation" by Samuel J. Stone
 

1 comment:

Alex said...

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


Final lines from Tennyson's Ulysses.

Despite the decadence which appears on almost every hand, I still find a little encouragement in these lines.