Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Garden of Prosperine

We are not sure of sorrow.
And joy was never sure;
Today will die tomorrow;
Time stoops to no man’s lure;
And love, grown faint and fretful,
With lips but half regretful
Sighs, and with eyes forgetful
Weeps that no loves endure.

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be,
That no life lives forever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.

Here, where the world is quiet,
Here, where all trouble seems
Dead winds’ and spent waves’ riot
In doubtful dreams of dreams;
I watch the green field growing
For reaping folk and sowing,
For harvest-time and mowing,
A sleepy world of streams.

I am tired of tears and laughter,
And men that laugh and weep
Of what may come hereafter
For men that sow to reap:
I am weary of days and hours,
Blown buds of barren flowers,
Desires and dreams and powers
And everything but sleep.

Algernon Charles Swinburne (born April 5, 1837)

Religion As Regulation

The great purpose of Religion is to direct, to regulate, and to refine, the natural affections of the soul. There is no one of these which is, in itself considered, sinful; and, on the other hand, there is no one which may not be perverted in reference to its object, carried to excess in its exercise, or debased by the admixture of earthly alloys. Those which we term the passions, are the mainsprings of human action. If the judgment influences, it is by showing what ought to excite their activity, what ought to check, or what ought to change the course of their direction. Desire and aversion, hope and fear, are, under an infinite variety of modifications, the great agents within us, which arouse to exertion, which carry on the activity of the whole moral system. Even the purest and noblest dictates of the understanding, can operate only through them. Well is it for us, when these direct their agency; when these are permitted to regulate the extent of their influence; when these are employed to chasten and refine them, and to prepare them for their most exalted exercise in a state, where we shall no more have to bewail the disorders of the heart, or to dread lest our spiritual strength should fail, and faith and fortitude yield to the allurements of time and sense.

Lant Carpenter (died April 5, 1840)

Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)

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