Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it’s mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain


Two Friends0

Posted in Poetry

Two Friends
Jalal al-Din Rumi

A certain person came to the Friend’s door
and knocked.
“Who’s there?”
“It’s me.”
The Friend answered, “Go away. There’s no place
for raw meat at this table.”

The individual went wandering for a year.
Nothing but the fire of separation
can change hypocrisy and ego. The person returned
completely cooked,
walked up and down in front of the Friend’s house,
gently knocked.
“Who is it?”
“Please come in, my self,
there’s no place in this house for two.
The doubled end of the thread is not what goes through
the eye of the needle.
It’s a single-pointed, fined-down, thread end,
not a big ego-beast with baggage.”


Dao de jing

Everything is here in me. There is no joy greater than to discover creativity (cheng) in one’s person and nothing easier in striving to be authoritative in one’s conduct (ren) than committing oneself to treating others as on would oneself be treated.


Dao de jing

Cultivate it in your person,
And the character you develop will be genuine;
Cultivate it in your family,
And its character will be abundant;
Cultivate it in your village,
And its character will be enduring;
Cultivate it in the state,
And its character will be flourish;
Cultivate it in the world,
And its character will be all-pervading.


Dao de jing

As soon as everyone in the world knows that the beautiful are beautiful,
There is already ugliness.
As soon as everyone knows the able,
There is ineptness.

Determinacy (you) and indeterminacy (wu) give rise to each other,
Difficult and easy complement each other,
Long and short set each other off,
High and low complete each other,
Refined notes and raw sounds harmonize (he) with each other,
And before and after lend sequence to each other–
This is really how it all works.

It is for this reason that sages keep to service that does not entail coercion (wuwei)
And disseminate teachings that go beyond what can be said.

In all that happens (wanwu),
The sages develop things but do initiate them,
They act on behalf of things but do not lay any claim to them,
They see things through to fruition but do not take credit for them.
It is only because they do not take credit for them that things do not take their leave.


Dao de jing

Exemplary persons (junzi) concentrate their efforts on the root, for the root having taken hold, the way (dao)will grow therefrom. As for filia and fraternal responsibility, it is, I suspect, the root of authoritative conduct (ren).


Dao de jing

It is upon misfortune that good fortune leans,
It is within good fortune itself that misfortune crouches in ambush,
And where does it all end?


“No-business (wushi) ”
Dao de jing

The more prohibitions and taboos there are in the world,
The poorer the people will be.
The more sharp instruments in the hands of the common people,
The darker the days for the state,
The more wisdom hawked among the people,
The more that perverse things will proliferate.
The more prominently the laws and statutes are displayed,
The more widespread will be the brigands and thieves.

Hence in the words of the sages:

We do things noncoercively
And the common people develop along their own lines;
We cherish equilibrium
And the common people order themselves;
We are the non-interfering in our governance
And the common people prosper themselves;
We are objectless in our desires
And the common people are of themselves like unworked wood.


“The nameless and what is named”
Dao de jing

Wawy-making (dao) that can be put into words is not really way-making,
And naming (ming) that can assign fixed reference to things is not really naming.

The nameless (wuming) is the fetal beginnings of everything that is happening (wanwu),
While that which is named is their mother.

Thus, to be really objectless in one’s desires (wuyyu) is how one observes the mysteries of all things,
While really having desires is how one observes their boundaries.

These two– the nameless and what is named –emerge from the same source yet are referred to differently.

Together they are called obscure.
The obscurest of the obscure,
They are the swining gateway of manifold mysteries.


“Nonimpositional rulership”
Dao de jing

With the most excellent rulers, their subjects only know that they
are there,
The next best are the rulers they love and praise,
Next are the rulers they hold in awe,
And the worst are the rulers they disparage…
With all things accomplished and the work complete
The common people say, “We are spontaneously like this.”


Dao de jing

Not promoting those of superior character
Will save the common people from becoming contentious.
Not prizing property that is hard to come by
Will save them from becoming thieves.
Not making a show of what might be desired
Will save them from becoming disgruntled.

It is for this reason that in the proper governing by the sages:

They empty the hearts-and-minds of the people and fill their stomachs,
They weaken their aspirations and strengthen their bones,
Ever teaching the common people to be unprincipled in their knowing
And objectless in their desires.
They keep the hawkers of knowledge at bay.
It is simply in doing things noncoercively
That everything is governed properly.


“No heart-and-mind”
Dao de jing

Sages really think and feel immediately (wuxin). They take the thoughts and feelings of the common people as their own.


Dao de jing

The heavens are lasting and the earth enduring.
The reason the world is able to be lasting and enduring
Is because it does not live for itself.
Thus it is able to be long-lived.

It is on this model that the sages withdraw their persons from contention
yet find themselves out in front,
Put their own persons out of mind yet find themselves taken care of.
Isn’t it simply because they are unselfish that they can satisfy their own needs?


The Seven Stages of Man
William Shakespeare

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts. His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms. Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like snail unwilling to school. And then the lover, sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, seeking the bubble reputation. Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice, in fair round belly with good capon lined, with eyes severe and beard of formal cut, full of wise saws and modern instances, an d so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts into the lean and slippered Pantaloon with spectacles on nose and pouch on side, his youthful hose, well-saved, a world too wide for his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, turning again toward childish treble, pipes and whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history, is second childishness and mere oblivion, sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.


Sonnet LXVI “Tired with all these, for restful death I cry”
William Shakespeare

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm’d in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplac’d,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgrac’d,
And strength by limping sway disabled
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly–doctor-like–controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall’d simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tir’d with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

1234...18nextPage 1 of 5