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Fun I love, but too much Fun is of all things the most loathsom. Mirth is better than Fun & Happiness is better than Mirth.
The Angel that presided o'er my birth Said, "Little creature, formed of joy and mirth, Go love without the help of any thing on earth."
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
Ecclesiastes 7:4
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: Ecclesiastes, or, The Preacher; Common Book Name: Ecclesiastes; Chapter: 7; Verse: 4.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
Along the melting shores of earth
An emerald flame there ran,
Forest and field grew bright, and mirth
Gladdened the flocks of man.

Then glory grew on earth and heaven,
Full glory of full day!

Then the bright rainbow's colours seven
On every iceberg lay!

In Balder's hand Christ placed His own,
And it was golden weather,
And on that berg as on a throne
The Brethren stood together!

And countless voices far and wide
Sang sweet beneath the sky —
"All that is beautiful shall abide,
All that is base shall die.
".

Along the melting shores of earth
An emerald flame there ran,
Forest and field grew bright, and mirth
Gladdened the flocks of man.

Then glory grew on earth and heaven,
Full glory of full day!

Then the bright rainbow's colours seven
On every iceberg lay!

In Balder's hand Christ placed His own,
And it was golden weather,
And on that berg as on a throne
The Brethren stood together!

And countless voices far and wide
Sang sweet beneath the sky —
"All that is beautiful shall abide,
All that is base shall die.
"

I am honorary president of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great, spectacularly prolific writer and scientist, Dr. Isaac Asimov in that essentially functionless capacity. At an A.H.A. memorial service for my predecessor I said, "Isaac is up in Heaven now." That was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of humanists. It rolled them in the aisles. Mirth! Several minutes had to pass before something resembling solemnity could be restored. I made that joke, of course, before my first near-death experience — the accidental one. So when my own time comes to join the choir invisible or whatever, God forbid, I hope someone will say, "He's up in Heaven now." Who really knows? I could have dreamed all this.
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
Psalms 137:3
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Book of Psalms; Common Book Name: Psalms; Chapter: 137; Verse: 3.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth, One is nearer God's Heart in a garden Than anywhere else on Earth.
Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
Proverbs 14:13
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Proverbs; Common Book Name: Proverbs; Chapter: 14; Verse: 13.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.
Hosea 2:11
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: Hosea; Common Book Name: Hosea; Chapter: 2; Verse: 11.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
What is love? 'Tis not hereafter; Present mirth hath present laughter; What's to come is still unsure: In delay there lies no plenty; Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty: Youth's a stuff will not endure.
I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 2:1
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: Ecclesiastes, or, The Preacher; Common Book Name: Ecclesiastes; Chapter: 2; Verse: 1.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
Ecclesiastes 2:2
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: Ecclesiastes, or, The Preacher; Common Book Name: Ecclesiastes; Chapter: 2; Verse: 2.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry.
Festivities
• Ecclesiastes, VIII. 15. See also Luke, XII. 19.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Festivities" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 270-71.)
Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter, Sermons and soda-water the day after.
Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter, Sermons and soda water the day after.
Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.
Jeremiah 25:10
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah; Common Book Name: Jeremiah; Chapter: 25; Verse: 10.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.
Jeremiah 7:34
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah; Common Book Name: Jeremiah; Chapter: 7; Verse: 34.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.
Isaiah 24:8
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Book of the Prophet Isaiah; Common Book Name: Isaiah; Chapter: 24; Verse: 8.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
With an auspicious and a dropping eye, With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole.
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 8:15
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: Ecclesiastes, or, The Preacher; Common Book Name: Ecclesiastes; Chapter: 8; Verse: 15.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth.

Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provencal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth.
And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.
Nehemiah 8:12
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Book of Nehemiah; Common Book Name: Nehemiah; Chapter: 8; Verse: 12.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?
Genesis 31:27
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The First Book of Moses, called Genesis; Common Book Name: Genesis; Chapter: 31; Verse: 27.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
I was born to speak all mirth and no matter.
Be large in mirth; anon we'll drink a measure The table round.
Far from all resort of mirth, Save the cricket on the hearth.
Home
• John Milton, Il Penseroso (1631), line 81.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Home" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 369-71.)
There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.
Isaiah 24:11
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Book of the Prophet Isaiah; Common Book Name: Isaiah; Chapter: 24; Verse: 11.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
At Christmas I no more desire a rose, Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled mirth.
Christmas
• William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost (c. 1595-6), Act I, scene 1, line 107.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Christmas" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 116-117.)
Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come, And let my liver rather heat with wine Than my heart cool with mortifying groans.
Merriment
• William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (late 1590s), Act I, scene 1, line 80.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Merriment" (Sourced)
Where is our usual manager of mirth? What revels are in hand? Is there no play, To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
Amusement
• William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act V., Sc. 1., line 35.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Amusement" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 23.)
A man of an angel's wit and singular learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity. A man for all seasons.
Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.
At Christmas I no more desire a rose, Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth; But like of each thing that in season grows.
And let's be red with mirth.
See, your guests approach: Address yourself to entertain them sprightly, And let's be red with mirth.
And frame your mind to mirth and merriment, Which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.
Merriment
• William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (c. 1593-94), Induction, scene 2, line 137.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Merriment" (Sourced)
It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree.
Ezekiel 21:10
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel; Common Book Name: Ezekiel; Chapter: 21; Verse: 10.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
Mirth is God's medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it.
From the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all mirth.
The laughter of man is more terrible than his tears, and takes more forms — hollow, heartless, mirthless, maniacal.
If Love were jester at the court of Death, And Death the king of all, still would I pray, "For me the motley and the bauble, yea, Though all be vanity, as the Preacher saith, The mirth of love be mine for one brief breath!"
Love
• Frederic L. Knowles, If Love were Jester at the Court of Death.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Love" (Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 464-84.)
For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.
Jeremiah 16:9
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah; Common Book Name: Jeremiah; Chapter: 16; Verse: 9.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.
Merriment
• William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost (c. 1595-6), Act V, scene 2, line 867.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Merriment" (Sourced)
The common growth of Mother Earth Suffices me,—her tears, her mirth, Her humblest mirth and tears.
Where glowing embers through the room Teach light to counterfeit a gloom, Far from all resort of mirth, Save the cricket on the hearth.
God sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.
I show more mirth than I am mistress of; and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.
Fail not to call to mind, in the course of the twenty-fifth of this month, that the Divinest Heart that ever walked the earth was born on that day; and then smile and enjoy yourselves for the rest of it; for mirth is also of Heaven's making.
Vexed with mirth the drowsy ear of night.
There's not a string attuned to mirth But has its chord in melancholy.
I am in no way facetious, nor disposed for the mirth and galliardize of company, yet in one dream I can compose a whole Comedy, behold the action, apprehend the jests, and laugh myself awake at the conceits thereof.
In mirth that after no repenting draws.
Conan sensed their uncertainty and grinned mirthlessly and ferociously. "Who dies first?"
Oh, Mirth and Innocence! Oh, Milk and Water! Ye happy mixtures of more happy days!
Happiness
• Lord Byron, Beppo (1818), Stanza 80.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Happiness" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 350-52.)
Mirth, admit me of thy crew, To live with her, and live with thee, In unreprovèd pleasures free.
It seems such a shame When the English claim The Earth, That they give rise To such hilarity And mirth.
But she was a soft landscape of mild earth, Where all was harmony, and calm, and quiet, Luxuriant, budding; cheerful without mirth.
I have written the tale of our life For a sheltered people's mirth, In jesting guise—but ye are wise, And ye know what the jest is worth.
Few things surpass old wine; and they may preach Who please, the more because they preach in vain,— Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter, Sermons and soda-water the day after.
We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
Of the Three Rings that the Elves had preserved unsullied no open word was ever spoken among the Wise, and few even of the Eldar knew where they were bestowed. Yet after the fall of Sauron their power was ever at work, and where they abode there mirth also dwelt and all things were unstained by the griefs of time.
I am honorary president of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great, spectacularly prolific writer and scientist, Dr. Isaac Asimov in that essentially functionless capacity. At an A.H.A. memorial service for my predecessor I said, "Isaac is up in Heaven now." That was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of humanists. It rolled them in the aisles. Mirth! Several minutes had to pass before something resembling solemnity could be restored.
As Tammie glow'red, amazed, and curious, The mirth and fun grew fast and furious.
As Tammie glow'red, amazed and curious, The mirth and fun grew fast and furious.
I love such mirth as does not make friends ashamed to look upon one another next morning.
The lyric sound of laughter Fills all the April hills, The joy-song of the crocus, The mirth of daffodils.
April
• Clinton Scollard, April Music.
• Source: Wikiquote: "April" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 38-39.)
I remember, I remember How my childhood fleeted by,— The mirth of its December And the warmth of its July.
I remember, I remember How my childhood fleeted by,— The mirth of its December, And the warmth of its July.
Memory
• Winthrop Mackworth Praed, I Remember, I Remember.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Memory" (Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 506-09.)
His eye begets occasion for his wit; For every object that the one doth catch, The other turns to a mirth-moving jest.
Wit
• William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost (c. 1595-6), Act II, scene 1, line 69.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Wit" (Quotes)
Bards of Passion and of Mirth, Ye have left your souls on earth! Have ye souls in heaven too, Double-lived in regions new?
As the moral gloom of the world overpowers all systematic gaiety, even so was their home of wild mirth made desolate amid the sad forest.
Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days Have led their children through the mirthful maze, And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore, Has frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore.
Alike all ages: dames of ancient days Have led their children thro' the mirthful maze, And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore, Has frisk'd beneath the burthen of threescore.
Age
• Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller (1764), line 251.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Age" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 12-17.)
Loud laughter is the mirth of the mob, who are only pleased with silly things; for true wit or good sense never excited a laugh since the creation of the world.
Laughter
• Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Letters, Volume I, p. 211, edited by Mahon
• Source: Wikiquote: "Laughter" (C)
I have a dog of Blenheim birth, With fine long ears and full of mirth; And sometimes, running o'er the plain, He tumbles on his nose: But quickly jumping up again, Like lightning on he goes!
Dogs
• John Ruskin, My Dog Dash.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Dogs" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 198-200.)
The crest and crowning of all good,
Life’s final star, is Brotherhood
;
For it will bring again to Earth
Her long-lost Poesy and Mirth;
Will send new light on every face,
A kingly power upon the race.
And till it come, we men are slaves,
And travel downward to the dust of graves.
The crest and crowning of all good,
Life's final star, is Brotherhood
;
For it will bring again to Earth
Her long-lost Poesy and Mirth;
Will send new light on every face,
A kingly power upon the race.
And till it come, we men are slaves,
And travel downward to the dust of graves.
As for the passions and studies of the mind: avoid envy; anxious fears; anger fretting inwards; subtle and knotty inquisitions; joys and exhilarations in excess; sadness not communicated. Entertain hopes; mirth rather than joy; variety of delights, rather than surfeit of them; wonder and admiration, and therefore novelties; studies that fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects, as histories, fables, and contemplations of nature.
Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger, Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her The flowery May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose. Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire Mirth, and youth, and warm desire; Woods and groves are of thy dressing, Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing, Thus we salute thee with our early song, And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
May
• John Milton, Song, On May Morning.
• Source: Wikiquote: "May" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 501.)
Mellifluous Shakespeare, whose enchanting Quill Commandeth Mirth or Passion, was but Will.
About William Shakespeare
• Thomas Heywood, Hierarchie of the Blessed Angels.
• Source: Wikiquote: "William Shakespeare" (Quotes about Shakespeare: Alphabetized by author, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 700-02.)
He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden A Roman thought hath struck him.
O Mirth and Innocence! O milk and water! Ye happy mixtures of more happy days.
Let us have wine and woman, mirth and laughter, Sermons and soda-water the day after.
Th' unwieldy elephant, To make them mirth, us'd all his might, and wreathed His lithe proboscis.
Elephants
• John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book IV, line 345, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 219.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Elephants" (Quotes)
But a merrier man, Within the limit of becoming mirth, I never spent an hour's talk withal.
Merriment
• William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost (c. 1595-6), Act II, scene 1, line 66.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Merriment" (Sourced)
The glad circle round them yield their souls To festive mirth, and wit that knows no gall.
Has he gone to the land of no laughter, The man who made mirth for us all?
Where lives the man that has not tried How mirth can into folly glide, And folly into sin!
Where lives the man that has not tried, How mirth can into folly glide, And folly into sin!
Foolishness
• Walter Scott, Bridal of Triermain, Canto I, Stanza 21.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Foolishness" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 283-85.)
Who mix'd reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth: If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt.
Who mix'd reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth; If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt.
E'en as he trod that day to God, So walked he from his birth, In simpleness, and gentleness and honor And clean mirth.
Character
• Rudyard Kipling, Barrack Room Ballads, Dedication to Wolcott Balestier. (Adaptation of an earlier one).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Character" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 97-106.)
Luxury is an enticing pleasure, a bastard mirth, which hath honey in her mouth, gall in her heart, and a sting in her tail.
Luxury
• Francis Quarles, Emblems, Book I, Hugo.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Luxury" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 484-85.)
Have faith! where'er thy bark is driven,— 'The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth,— Know this! God rules the host of heaven, The inhabitants of earth.
At Christmas I no more desire a rose Than wish a snow in May's newfangled mirth; But life of each thing that in season grows.
Laugh, and be fat, sir, your penance is known. They that love mirth, let them heartily drink, 'Tis the only receipt to make sorrow sink.
There are times when the mirth of others only saddens us, especially the mirth of children with high spirits, that jar on our own quiet mood.
Such strains as would have won the ear Of Pluto, to have quite set free His half-regained Eurydice. These delights, if thou canst give, Mirth, with thee, I mean to live.
There is a God! the sky his presence shares, His hand upheaves the billows in their mirth, Destroys the mighty, yet the humble spares And with contentment crowns the thought of worth.
God
• Charlotte Cushman, There is a God
• Source: Wikiquote: "God" (Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 315-21.)
I have a letter from her Of such contents as you will wonder at: The mirth whereof so larded with my matter, That neither singly can be manifested, Without the show of both.
Mail
• William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor (c. 1597; published 1602), Act IV, scene 6, line 12.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Mail" (Sourced)
Dance and Provençal song and sunburnt mirth! Oh for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene! With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stained mouth.
Wine
• John Keats, Ode to a Nightingale.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Wine" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 874-77.)
I have, as when the sun doth light a storm, Buried this sigh in wrinkle of a smile: But sorrow, that is couch'd in seeming gladness, Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.
Sorrow
• William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (c. 1602), Act I, scene 1, line 37.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Sorrow" (Sourced, William Shakespeare)
With this same cheer of mirth and joy our good Lord looked down on the right side and brought to my mind where our Lady stood in the time of His Passion; and said: Wilt thou see her?
Make we here our camp of winter; And, through sleet and snow, Pitchy knot and beechen splinter On our hearth shall glow. Here, with mirth to lighten duty, We shall lack alone Woman's smile and girlhood's beauty, Childhood's lisping tone.
Winter
• John Greenleaf Whittier, Lumbermen, Stanza 8.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Winter" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 877-78.)
The air is bright with hues of light And rich with laughter and with singing: Young hearts beat high in ecstasy, And banners wave, and bells are ringing: But silence falls with fading day, And there's an end to mirth and play. Ah, well-a-day!
I cannot believe in a paradise Glorious, undefiled, For gates all scrolled and streets of gold Are tales for a dreaming child. I am too lost for shame That it moves me unto mirth, But I can vision a Hell of flame For I have lived on earth.
It was the warrior within
Who called 'Awake, prepare for fight:
Yet lose not memory in the din:
Make of thy gentleness thy might:
'Make of thy silence words to shake
The long-enthroned kings of earth:
Make of thy will the force to break
Their towers of wantonness and mirth.'
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For this brave old earth must borrow its 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.
Ten thousand times a million sons of sons move
Through one great and towering town
Wearing their wits, which means their laughter,
As their crown. Set free upon the earth
By simple gifts of knowing how mere mirth can cut the bonds
And pull the blood spikes out
;
Their conversation shouts of "Fool!"
Or fairy elves, Whose midnight revels by a forest side Or fountain, some belated peasant sees, Or dreams he sees, while overhead the Moon Sits arbitress, and nearer to the Earth Wheels her pale course; they, on their mirth and dance Intent, with jocund music charm his ear; At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
I see them, crowd on crowd they walk the earth, Dry leafless trees no autumn wind laid bare; And in their nakedness find cause for mirth, And all unclad would winter's rudeness dare; No sap doth through their clattering branches flow, Whence springing leaves and blossoms bright appear; Their hearts the living God have ceased to know, Who gives the springtime to th' expectant year.
A merrier man, Within the limit of becoming mirth, I never spent an hour’s talk withal: His eye begets occasion for his wit; For every object that the one doth catch, The other turns to a mirth-moving jest; Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor) Delivers in such apt and gracious words That aged ears play truant at his tales, And younger hearings are quite ravished; So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
He could not be captured,
He could not be bought,
His running was rhythm,
His standing was thought;
With one eye on sorrow
And one eye on mirth,
He galloped in heaven
And gambolled on earth.

And only the poet
With wings to his brain
Can mount him and ride him
Without any rein,
The stallion of heaven,
The steed of the skies,
The horse of the singer
Who sings as he flies.

"I once saw a man hanging from a cliff," he said slowly. "The brink was crumbling beneath his fingers, and the only thing near enough to grasp was a tuft of grass, a few long blades with roots barely clinging to the rock. The only chance he had of climbing back up on the cliff. So he grabbed it." His abrupt chuckle held no mirth. "He had to know it would pull free."
Thus he became at last the most hardy of living Men, skilled in their crafts and lore, and was yet more than they; for he was elven-wise, and there was a light in his eyes that when they were kindled few could endure. His face was sad and stem because of the doom that was laid on him, and yet hope dwelt ever in the depths of his heart, from which mirth would arise at times like a spring from the rock.
Grove of Tuoni, grove of night! There thy bed of sand is light. Thither my baby I lead. Mirth and joy each long hour yields In the Prince of Tuoni's fields Tending the Tuonela cattle. Mirth and joy my babe will know, Lulled to sleep at evening glow By the pale Tuonela maiden. Surely joy hours will hold, Lying in thy cot of gold, Hearing the nightjar singing. Grove of Tuoni, grove of peace! There all strife and passion cease. Distant the treacherous world.
I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.
The whole meadow and distant fields all seemed to be shaking and singing to the measures of this wild merry song with its shouts and whistles and clapping. Levin felt envious of this health and mirthfulness; he longed to take part in the expression of this joy of life. But he could do nothing, and had to lie and look on and listen. When the peasants, with their singing, had vanished out of sight and hearing, a weary feeling of despondency at his own isolation, his physical inactivity, his alienation from this world, came over Levin.
Alienation
• Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, C. Garnett, trans. (New York: 2003), Part 3, Chapter 12, p. 258
• Source: Wikiquote: "Alienation" (Quotes: Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author, S - Z)
Mine understanding was lifted up into Heaven where I saw our Lord as a lord in his own house, which hath called all his dearworthy servants and friends to a stately feast. Then I saw the Lord take no place in His own house, but I saw Him royally reign in His house, fulfilling it with joy and mirth, Himself endlessly to gladden and to solace His dearworthy friends, full homely and full courteously, with marvellous melody of endless love, in His own fair blessed Countenance. Which glorious Countenance of the Godhead fulfilleth the Heavens with joy and bliss.
An ounce of mirth is worth a pound of sorrow.
Merriment
• Richard Baxter, Self Denial.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Merriment" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 511-12.)
The star that danced at Carroll's birth In high exuberance of mirth Is dancing yet.
Chide him for faults, and do it reverently, When you perceive his blood inclined to mirth.
Faults
• William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II (c. 1597-99), Act IV, scene 4, line 37.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Faults" (Sourced)
Brother, even by my mother's dust, I charge you, Do not betray me to your mirth or hate.
Mirth, admit me of thy crew, To live with her, and live with thee, In unreprov'd pleasures free.
Merriment
• John Milton, L'Allegro, line 38.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Merriment" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 511-12.)
But owned that smile, if oft observed and near, Waned in its mirth, and wither'd to a sneer.
I avoid excessive mirth [arrogance] or excessive vexation and anger and am always, Satya, engaged in serving my husbands.
On this hapless earth There ’s small sincerity of mirth, And laughter oft is but an art To drown the outcry of the heart.
No simple word That shall be uttered at our mirthful board, Shall make us sad next morning; or affright The liberty that we'll enjoy to-night.
Regret
• Ben Jonson, Epigram CI
• Source: Wikiquote: "Regret" (Quotes: Sorted alphabetically by author or source, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 661)
When thou dost tell another's jest, therein Omit the oaths, which true wit cannot need; Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin.
The Lord being the author both of mirth and gravity, is it not lawful in itself for the truth to use either of these ways, when the circumstances do make it lawful?
Martin Marprelate
• "Hay any Work for Cooper" (March 1589), p. 115.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Martin Marprelate" (Sourced: Quotations are cited from Joseph L. Black (ed.) The Martin Marprelate Tracts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), to which page-numbers also refer.)
For now, the corn house filled, the harvest home, Th' invited neighbors to the husking come; A frolic scene, where work and mirth and play Unite their charms to cheer the hours away.
Harvest
• Joel Barlow, The Hasty Pudding.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Harvest" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 353.)
And ones their hastie heate a littell controlde, Than perceiue they well, hotte love soone colde. And whan hasty witlesse mirth is mated weele, Good to be mery and wise, they thinke and feele.
And once their hasty heat a little controlled, Than perceive they well, hot love soon cold. And when hasty witless mirth is mated well, Good to be merry and wise, they think and feel.
John Heywood
• Part I, chapter 2.
• Source: Wikiquote: "John Heywood" (Sourced, Proverbs (1546): Heywood did not invent what he calls "our common plaine pithie Proverbs olde." Rather, he collected and contextualized them:)
In all thy humours, whether grave or mellow, Thou'rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow; Hast so much wit, and mirth, and spleen about thee, That there's no living with thee, or without thee.
Character
• Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XII, Epistle 47. Translation by Addison. Spectator. No. 68.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Character" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 97-106.)
In all thy humours, whether grave or mellow, Thou 'rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow, Hast so much wit and mirth and spleen about thee, There is no living with thee, nor without thee.
In the midst of mirth, reflect that many of your fellow creatures round the world are expiring; and that your turn will come shortly. So will you keep your life uniform and free from excess.
What's this dull town to me? Robin's not near— He whom I wished to see, Wished for to hear; Where's all the joy and mirth Made life a heaven on earth? O! they're all fled with thee, Robin Adair.
Love
• Caroline Keppel, Robin Adair.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Love" (Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 464-84.)
And one would worship a woman whom all perfections dower, But the other smiles at transparent wiles; and he quotes from Schopenhauer. Thus two by two we wrangle and blunder about the earth, And that body we share we may not spare; but the Gods have need of mirth.
Stream of the living world Where dash the billows of strife!— One plunge in the mighty torrent Is a year of tamer life! City of glorious days, Of hope, and labour and mirth, With room and to spare, on thy splendid bays For the ships of all the earth!
New York City
• Richard Watson Gilder, The City.
• Source: Wikiquote: "New York City" (Quotes: Sorted alphabetically by author or source, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922): Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 552-53.)
Lila (pronounced Leela) is the play of creation. To awakened consciousness, the entire universe. With all its joys and sorrows, pleasures and pains, appears as a divine game, sport, or drama. It is a play in which the one Consciousness performs all the roles. Alluding to this lila of the Divine Mother the physical universe is a “mansion of mirth.”
A precious place is Paradise and none may know its worth,
But Eden ever longeth for the knicknacks of the earth.

The angels grow quite wistful over worldly things below;
They hear the hurdy-gurdies in the Candle Makers Row.

They listen for the laughter from the antics of the earth;
They lower pails from heaven's walls to catch the milk-maids mirth.

I, the ocean of mind, drink all creation’s waves.
The four veils of solid, liquid, vapor, light,
Lift aright.
Myself, in everything,
Enters the Great Myself.
Gone forever,
The fitful, flickering shadows of a mortal memory.
Spotless is my mental sky,
Below, ahead, and high above.
Eternity and I, one united ray.
I, a tiny bubble of laughter,
Have become the Sea of Mirth Itself.
Owe, certes, what I am worthely wroghte with wyrschip, iwys! For in a glorius gle my gleteryng it glemes; I am so mightyly made my mirth may noghte mys- Ay sall I byde in this blys thorowe brightnes of bemes. Me nedes noghte of noy for to neven, All welth in my welde have I weledande; Abowne yohit sall I be beeldand, On heghte in the hyeste of hewuen.
York Mystery Plays
• Oh, what, how I am worthily wrought with worship like this!
In a glorious glow, my glittering gleams.
I am so mightily made that my mirth may not miss;
I shall abide in this bliss, through my brightness of beams.
By concern I need never be driven;
All might in my hand I am wielding;
Above I shall always be dwelling,
On high, in the highest of Heaven.
Lucifer, in The Barkers' Play: The Fall of the Angels, line 81.
• Source: Wikiquote: "York Mystery Plays"
Spring, young Spring, with song and mirth, Spring is on the newborn earth. Spring is here, the time of love — The merry birds pair in the grove, And the green trees hang their tresses, Loosen'd by the rain's caresses. Tomorrow sees the dawn of May, When Venus will her sceptre sway, Glorious, in her justice-hall: There where woodland shadows fall, On bowers of myrtle intertwined, Many a band of love she'll bind.
I saw the cause of Christ's government, and of the bishops' antichristian dealing, to be hidden. The most part of men could not be gotten to read anything written in the defence of the one and against the other. I bethought me therefore of a way whereby men might be drawn to do both, perceiving the humors of men in these times (especially of those that are in any place) to be given to mirth. I took that course.
Martin Marprelate
• "Hay any Work for Cooper" (March 1589), p. 115.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Martin Marprelate" (Sourced: Quotations are cited from Joseph L. Black (ed.) The Martin Marprelate Tracts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), to which page-numbers also refer.)
Another word or two and the author will throw himself upon the kindness of his reader. His attempt has been to interest and amuse; should it be thought that he has thrown too much levity amid scenes of suffering and of gloom, his excuse must be that he belongs rather to the school of laughing than crying philosophers—to a class who would rather see a smile upon the face of melancholy than a tear in the eye of mirth.
He became at last the most hardy of living Men, skilled in their crafts and lore, and was yet more than they; for he was elven-wise, and there was a light in his eyes that when they were kindled few could endure. His face was sad and stern because of the doom that was laid on him, and yet hope dwelt ever in the depths of his heart, from which mirth would arise at times like a spring from the rock.
Doom
• J. R. R. Tolkien, in Appendices to The Lord of the Rings, of Aragorn Elessar
• Source: Wikiquote: "Doom" (T)
Only in the theatre was it possible to see the performers and to be warmed by their personal charm, to respond to their efforts and to feel their response to the applause and appreciative laughter of the audience. It had an intimate quality; audience and actors conspired to make a little oasis of happiness and mirth within the walls of the theatre. Try as we will, we cannot be intimate with a shadow on a screen, nor a voice from a box.
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
Psalms
• 137: 1- 6
• By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down.
Yes, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
On the willows in its midst,
we hung up our harps.
For there, those who led us captive asked us for songs.
Those who tormented us demanded songs of joy:
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
How can we sing Yahweh’s song in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget its skill.
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth if I don’t remember you;
if I don’t prefer Jerusalem above my chief joy.
 • 137: 1- 6 American Standard Version
• Source: Wikiquote: "Psalms" (Psalm 137: א על נהרות, בבל--שם ישבנו, גם-בכינו: בזכרנו, את-ציון.
ב על-ערבים בתוכה-- תלינו, כנרותינו.
ג כי שם שאלונו שובינו, דברי-שיר-- ותוללינו שמחה:
שירו לנו, משיר ציון.
ד איך--נשיר את-שיר-יהוה: על, אדמת נכר.
ה אם-אשכחך ירושלם-- תשכח ימיני.
ו תדבק-לשוני, לחכי-- אם-לא אזכרכי:
אם-לא אעלה, את-ירושלם-- על, ראש שמחתי.)
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds,—and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air…. Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace Where never lark nor ever eagle flew— And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
Aviation
John Gillespie Magee, Jr., "High Flight" (September 3, 1941); reported in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989). Ronald Reagan quoted from the first and last lines in a televised address to the nation after the space shuttle Challenger exploded, January 28, 1986. Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (February 3, 1986), p. 105.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Aviation" (Quotes)
Had Grover Cleveland been a politician, with the record of a spoilsman behind, his promises would mean little. They might have deceived a few of the simple, disgusted a few of the honest, caused mirth to a few other spoilsmen, and thus fulfilled their intended mission; for Americans had long since learned that, as the devil can quote Scripture, so the most dangerous type of demagogue can sing of ideals in false notes not easily distinguishable from true. But Mr. Cleveland had already put into practice the ideals which he announced, and Republicans bent on reform rallied to his support with an enthusiasm equal to that of his Democratic followers.
One of the many problems with the American left, and indeed of the American left, has been its image and self-image as something rather too solemn, mirthless, herbivorous, dull, monochrome, righteous, and boring. How many times, in my old days at The Nation magazine, did I hear wistful and semienvious ruminations? Where was the radical Firing Line show? Who will be our Rush Limbaugh? I used privately to hope that the emphasis, if the comrades ever got around to it, would be on the first of those and not the second. But the meetings themselves were so mind-numbing and lugubrious that I thought the danger of success on either front was infinitely slight.
A Paradise, that's Delhi Humpty Dumpty, hocus pocus, hurly burly If there is a paradise on earth, it is Delhi Full of people, overflowing Markets onto the road going Full of fumes, full of gases Full of ultra modern asses Full of shining, made-up faces Full of heart and cancer cases Car and truck and motorcycle Full of vehicle on the vehicle Full of jolting, full of stoking Full of lanes and bylanes choking Full of housing haywire going Full of sewage into Jamuna flowing Full of callous indifference breeding Full of pastures fast receding Full of power, and still power crisis Full of smoothly rising prices Full of girth and grime and mirth Our Delhi is a paradise on earth.
New Delhi
• Khushwant Singh, in Who will be our next President?, Hindustan Times, 13 April 2007
• Source: Wikiquote: "New Delhi" (Quotes: With evidence of continuous settlement dating back to the 6th Century BC, Delhi is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. The legendary city of Indraprastha from the epic Mahabharata is said to have been situated where Delhi now lies. Thought to have been built and destroyed 11 times, evidence of at least eight distinct settlements can still be seen in Delhi.)
As they stared blankly in dumb misery deepening as they slowly realised all they had seen and all they had lost, a capricious little breeze, dancing up from the surface of the water, tossed the aspens, shook the dewy roses and blew lightly and caressingly in their faces; and with its soft touch came instant oblivion. For this is the last best gift that the kindly demi-god is careful to bestow on those to whom he has revealed himself in their helping: the gift of forgetfulness. Lest the awful remembrance should remain and grow, and overshadow mirth and pleasure, and the great haunting memory should spoil all the after-lives of little animals helped out of difficulties, in order that they should be happy and lighthearted as before.
There are three lessons I would write, —
Three words — as with a burning pen,
In tracings of eternal light
Upon the hearts of men.

Have Hope. Though clouds environ now,
And gladness hides her face in scorn,
Put thou the shadow from thy brow, —
No night but hath its morn.

Have Faith. Where'er thy bark is driven, —
The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth, —
Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven,
The habitants of earth.

Have Love. Not love alone for one,
But men, as man, thy brothers call;
And scatter, like the circling sun,
Thy charities on all.

Thus grave these lessons on thy soul, —
Hope, Faith, and Love, — and thou shalt find
Strength when life's surges rudest roll,
Light when thou else wert blind.

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises, and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory. This most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me then a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.
The one who came from farthest to my lodge, through deepest snows and most dismal tempests, was a poet. A farmer, a hunter, a soldier, a reporter, even a philosopher, may be daunted; but nothing can deter a poet, for he is actuated by pure love. Who can predict his comings and goings? His business calls him out at all hours, even when doctors sleep. We made that small house ring with boisterous mirth and resound with the murmur of much sober talk, making amends then to Walden vale for the long silences. Broadway was still and deserted in comparison. At suitable intervals there were regular salutes of laughter, which might have been referred indifferently to the last-uttered or the forth-coming jest. We made many a "bran new" theory of life over a thin dish of gruel, which combined the advantages of conviviality with the clear-headedness which philosophy requires.
  There, at the table's further end I see In his old place our Poet's vis-à-vis, The great PROFESSOR, strong, broad-shouldered, square, In life's rich noontide, joyous, debonair. His social hour no leaden care alloys, His laugh rings loud and mirthful as a boy's,— That lusty laugh the Puritan forgot,— What ear has heard it and remembers not? How often, halting at some wide crevasse Amid the windings of his Alpine pass, High up the cliffs, the climbing mountaineer, Listening the far-off avalanche to hear, Silent, and leaning on his steel-shod staff, Has heard that cheery voice, that ringing laugh, From the rude cabin whose nomadic walls Creep with the moving glacier as it crawls!   How does vast Nature lead her living train In ordered sequence through that spacious brain, As in the primal hour when Adam named The new-born tribes that young creation claimed!— How will her realm be darkened, losing thee, Her darling, whom we call our AGASSIZ!
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God. There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.
Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.
And this shadowed earthly love In the twilight of the grove, Dance and song and soft caresses, Meeting looks and tangled tresses, Jayadev the same hath writ, That ye might have gain of it, Sagely its deep sense conceiving And its inner light believing; How that Love -- the mighty Master, Lord of all the stars that cluster In the sky, swiftest and slowest, Lord of highest, Lord of lowest - Manifests Himself to mortals, Winning them towards the portals Of his secret house, the gates Of that bright paradise which waits The wise in love. Ah, human creatures! Even your fantasies are teachers. Mighty Love makes sweet in seeming Even Krishna's woodland dreaming; Mighty Love sways all alike From self to selfishness. Oh! Strike From your eyes the veil, and see What love willeth Him to be Who in error, but in grace, Sitteth with that Lotus-face, And those eyes whose rays of heaven Unto phantom-eyes are given; Holding fast of foolish mirth With these visions of the Earth; Leaving Love, and Love imparting; Yet with sense of loss upstarting: --
Burns's Brother Gilbert, a man of much sense and worth, has told me that Robert, in his young days, in spite of their hardship, was usually the gayest of speech; a fellow of infinite frolic, laughter, sense and heart; far pleasanter to hear there, stript cutting peats in the bog, or such like, than he ever afterwards knew him. I can well believe it. This basis of mirth, a primal element of sunshine and joyfulness, coupled with his other deep and earnest qualities, is one of the most attractive characteristics of Burns. A large fund of Hope dwells in him; spite of his tragical history, he is not a mourning man. He shakes his sorrows gallantly aside; bounds forth victorious over them. Burns's gifts, expressed in conversation, are the theme of all that ever heard him. All kinds of gifts: from the gracefulest utterances of courtesy, to the highest fire of passionate speech; loud floods of mirth, soft wailings of affection, laconic emphasis, clear piercing insight; all was in him. Burns too could have governed, debated in National Assemblies; politicized, as few could.
Now that he is really eager to please, Emile begins to feel the value of the accomplishments he has acquired. Sophy is fond of singing, he sings with her; he does more, he teaches her music. She is lively and light of foot, she loves skipping; he dances with her, he perfects and develops her untrained movements into the steps of the dance. These lessons, enlivened by the gayest mirth, are quite delightful, they melt the timid respect of love; a lover may enjoy teaching his betrothed—he has a right to be her teacher. There is an old spinet quite out of order. Emile mends and tunes it; he is a maker and mender of musical instruments as well as a carpenter; it has always been his rule to learn to do everything he can for himself. The house is picturesquely situated and he makes several sketches of it, in some of which Sophy does her share, and she hangs them in her father's study. The frames are not gilded, nor do they require gilding. When she sees Emile drawing, she draws too, and improves her own drawing; she cultivates all her talents, and her grace gives a charm to all she does.
Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian. And as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.
The Inclinations of Men, in this their degenerate State, carry them with great Force to those voluptuous Objects, that please their Appetites and gratify their Senses; and which not only by their early Acquaintance and Familiarity, but as they are adapted to the prevailing Instincts of Nature, are more esteem'd and pursu'd than all other Satisfactions. As those inferior Enjoyments, that only affect the Organs of the Body are chiefly coveted, so next to these, that light and facetious Qualification of the Mind, that diverts the Hearers and is proper to produce Mirth and Alacrity, has, in all Ages, by the greatest Part of Mankind, been admir'd and applauded. No Productions of Human Understanding are receiv'd with such a general Pleasure and Approbation, as those that abound with Wit and Humour, on which the People set a greater Value, than on the wisest and most instructive Discourses. Hence a pleasant Man is always caress'd above a wise one, and Ridicule and Satyr, that entertain the Laughers, often put solid Reason and useful Science out of Countenance. The wanton Temper of the Nation has been gratify'd so long with the high Seasonings of Wit and Raillery in Writing and Conversation, that now almost all Things that are not accommodated to their Relish by a strong Infusion of those Ingredients, are rejected as the heavy and insipid Performances of Men of a plain Understanding and meer Masters of Sense.
But when I think of a child of ten or twelve, strong, healthy, well-grown for his age, only pleasant thoughts are called up, whether of the present or the future. I see him keen, eager, and full of life, free from gnawing cares and painful forebodings, absorbed in this present state, and delighting in a fullness of life which seems to extend beyond himself. I look forward to a time when he will use his daily increasing sense, intelligence and vigour, those growing powers of which he continually gives fresh proof. I watch the child with delight, I picture to myself the man with even greater pleasure. His eager life seems to stir my own pulses, I seem to live his life and in his vigour I renew my own.
The hour strikes, the scene is changed. All of a sudden his eye grows dim, his mirth has fled. Farewell mirth, farewell untrammelled sports in which he delighted. A stern, angry man takes him by the hand, saying gravely, "Come with me, sir," and he is led away. As they are entering the room, I catch a glimpse of books. Books, what dull food for a child of his age! The poor child allows himself to be dragged away; he casts a sorrowful look on all about him, and departs in silence, his eyes swollen with the tears he dare not shed, and his heart bursting with the sighs he dare not utter.
In this I saw matter of mirth and matter of moaning: matter of mirth: for our Lord, our Maker, is so near to us, and in us, and we in Him, by sureness of keeping through His great goodness; matter of moaning: for our ghostly eye is so blind and we be so borne down by weight of our mortal flesh and darkness of sin, that we may not see our Lord God clearly in His fair Blissful Cheer. No; and because of this dimness scarsely we can believe and trust His great love and our sureness of keeping. And therefore it is that I say we may never stint of moaning nor of weeping. This "weeping" meaneth not all in pouring out of tears by our bodily eye, but also hath more ghostly understanding. For the kindly desire of our soul is so great and so unmeasurable, that if there were given us for our solace and for our comfort all the noble things that ever God made in heaven and in earth, and we saw not the fair Blissful Cheer of Himself, yet we should not stint of moaning nor ghostly weeping, that is to say, of painful longing, till when we see verily the fair Blissful Cheer of our Maker. And if we were in all the pain that heart can think and tongue may tell, if we might in that time see His fair Blissful Cheer, all this pain should not aggrieve us.
According to Hindu cosmology, we're in the Kali Yuga, a dark period when the cow of history is balanced precariously on one leg, soon to topple. Then there are our new-age friends who believe that this December we're in for a global cage-rattling which, once the dust has settled, will usher in a great spiritual awakening. Most of this apocalyptic noise appears to be just wishful thinking on the part of people who find life too messy and uncertain for comfort, let alone for serenity and mirth.  The truth, from my perspective, is that the world, indeed, is ending  –  and is also being reborn.  It's been doing that all day, every day, forever.  Each time we exhale, the world ends; when we inhale, there can be, if we allow it, rebirth and spiritual renewal.  It all transpires inside of us.  In our consciousness, in our hearts.  All the time. Otherwise, ours is an old, old story with an interesting new wrinkle.  Throughout most of our history, nothing  –  not flood, famine, plague, or new weapons  –  has endangered humanity one-tenth as much as the narcissistic ego, with its self-aggrandizing presumptions and its hell-hound spawn of fear and greed. The new wrinkle is that escalating advances in technology are nourishing the narcissistic ego the way chicken manure nourishes a rose bush, while exploding worldwide population is allowing its effects to multiply geometrically.  Here's an idea:  let's get over ourselves, buy a cherry pie, and go fall in love with life.
No quality of human nature is more remarkable, both in itself and in its consequences, than that propensity we have to sympathize with others, and to receive by communication their inclinations and sentiments, however different from, or even contrary to our own. This is not only conspicuous in children, who implicitly embrace every opinion propos’d to them; but also in men of the greatest judgment and understanding, who find it very difficult to follow their own reason or inclination, in opposition to that of their friends and daily companions. To this principle we ought to ascribe the great uniformity we may observe in the humours and turn of thinking of those of the same nation; and ’tis much more probable, that this resemblance arises from sympathy, than from any influence of the soil and climate, which, tho’ they continue invariably the same, are not able to preserve the character of a nation the same for a century together. A good-natur’d man finds himself in an instant of the same humour with his company; and even the proudest and most surly take a tincture from their countrymen and acquaintance. A chearful countenance infuses a sensible complacency and serenity into my mind; as an angry or sorrowful one throws a sudden dump upon me. Hatred, resentment, esteem, love, courage, mirth and melancholy; all these passions I feel more from communication than from my own natural temper and disposition. So remarkable a phaenomenon merits our attention, and must be trac’d up to its first principles.
Oh, everyone laughs in my face now, and assures me that one cannot dream of such details as I am telling now, that I only dreamed or felt one sensation that arose in my heart in delirium and made up the details myself when I woke up. And when I told them that perhaps it really was so, my God, how they shouted with laughter in my face, and what mirth I caused! Oh, yes, of course I was overcome by the mere sensation of my dream, and that was all that was preserved in my cruelly wounded heart; but the actual forms and images of my dream, that is, the very ones I really saw at the very time of my dream, were filled with such harmony, were so lovely and enchanting and were so actual, that on awakening I was, of course, incapable of clothing them in our poor language, so that they were bound to become blurred in my mind; and so perhaps I really was forced afterwards to make up the details, and so of course to distort them in my passionate desire to convey some at least of them as quickly as I could. But on the other hand, how can I help believing that it was all true? It was perhaps a thousand times brighter, happier and more joyful than I describe it. Granted that I dreamed it, yet it must have been real. You know, I will tell you a secret: perhaps it was not a dream at all!
Christians, and some Jews, claim we're in the "end times," but they've been saying this off and on for more than two thousand years.  According to Hindu cosmology, we're in the Kali Yuga, a dark period when the cow of history is balanced precariously on one leg, soon to topple.  Then there are our new-age friends who believe that this December we're in for a global cage-rattling which, once the dust has settled, will usher in a great spiritual awakening. Most of this apocalyptic noise appears to be just wishful thinking on the part of people who find life too messy and uncertain for comfort, let alone for serenity and mirth.  The truth, from my perspective, is that the world, indeed, is ending  –  and is also being reborn.  It's been doing that all day, every day, forever.  Each time we exhale, the world ends; when we inhale, there can be, if we allow it, rebirth and spiritual renewal.  It all transpires inside of us.  In our consciousness, in our hearts.  All the time. Otherwise, ours is an old, old story with an interesting new wrinkle.  Throughout most of our history, nothing  –  not flood, famine, plague, or new weapons  –  has endangered humanity one-tenth as much as the narcissistic ego, with its self-aggrandizing presumptions and its hell-hound spawn of fear and greed. The new wrinkle is that escalating advances in technology are nourishing the narcissistic ego the way chicken manure nourishes a rose bush, while exploding worldwide population is allowing its effects to multiply geometrically.  Here's an idea:  let's get over ourselves, buy a cherry pie, and go fall in love with life.
The chief risks occur at the beginning of life; the shorter our past life, the less we must hope to live. Of all the children who are born scarcely one half reach adolescence, and it is very likely your pupil will not live to be a man. What is to be thought, therefore, of that cruel education which sacrifices the present to an uncertain future, that burdens a child with all sorts of restrictions and begins by making him miserable, in order to prepare him for some far-off happiness which he may never enjoy? Even if I considered that education wise in its aims, how could I view without indignation those poor wretches subjected to an intolerable slavery and condemned like galley-slaves to endless toil, with no certainty that they will gain anything by it? The age of harmless mirth is spent in tears, punishments, threats, and slavery. You torment the poor thing for his good; you fail to see that you are calling Death to snatch him from these gloomy surroundings. Who can say how many children fall victims to the excessive care of their fathers and mothers? They are happy to escape from this cruelty; this is all that they gain from the ills they are forced to endure: they die without regretting, having known nothing of life but its sorrows. Men, be kind to your fellow-men; this is your first duty, kind to every age and station, kind to all that is not foreign to humanity. What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? Love childhood, indulge its sports, its pleasures, its delightful instincts. Who has not sometimes regretted that age when laughter was ever on the lips, and when the heart was ever at peace? Why rob these innocents of the joys which pass so quickly, of that precious gift which they cannot abuse? Why fill with bitterness the fleeting days of early childhood, days which will no more return for them than for you? Fathers, can you tell when death will call your children to him? Do not lay up sorrow for yourselves by robbing them of the short span which nature has allotted to them. As soon as they are aware of the joy of life, let them rejoice in it, go that whenever God calls them they may not die without having tasted the joy of life.
Far to the King's left Elf the bard
Led on the eastern wing
With songs and spells that change the blood;
And on the King's right Harold stood,
The kinsman of the King.

Young Harold, coarse, with colours gay,
Smoking with oil and musk,
And the pleasant violence of the young,
Pushed through his people, giving tongue
Foewards, where, grey as cobwebs hung,
The banners of the Usk.

But as he came before his line
A little space along,
His beardless face broke into mirth,
And he cried: "What broken bits of earth
Are here? For what their clothes are worth
I would sell them for a song."

For Colan was hung with raiment
Tattered like autumn leaves,
And his men were all as thin as saints,
And all as poor as thieves.

No bows nor slings nor bolts they bore,
But bills and pikes ill-made;
And none but Colan bore a sword,
And rusty was its blade
.

And Colan's eyes with mystery
And iron laughter stirred,
And he spoke aloud, but lightly
Not labouring to be heard.

"Oh, truly we be broken hearts,
For that cause, it is said,
We light our candles to that Lord
That broke Himself for bread.

"But though we hold but bitterly
What land the Saxon leaves,
Though Ireland be but a land of saints,
And Wales a land of thieves,

"I say you yet shall weary
Of the working of your word,
That stricken spirits never strike
Nor lean hands hold a sword.

"And if ever ye ride in Ireland,
The jest may yet be said,
There is the land of broken hearts,
And the land of broken heads.
"

Not less barbarian laughter
Choked Harold like a flood,
"And shall I fight with scarecrows
That am of Guthrum's blood?

"Meeting may be of war-men,
Where the best war-man wins;
But all this carrion a man shoots
Before the fight begins."

And stopping in his onward strides,
He snatched a bow in scorn
From some mean slave, and bent it on
Colan, whose doom grew dark; and shone
Stars evil over Caerleon,
In the place where he was born.

For Colan had not bow nor sling,
On a lonely sword leaned he,
Like Arthur on Excalibur
In the battle by the sea.

To his great gold ear-ring Harold
Tugged back the feathered tail,
And swift had sprung the arrow,
But swifter sprang the Gael.

Whirling the one sword round his head,
A great wheel in the sun,
He sent it splendid through the sky,
Flying before the shaft could fly—
It smote Earl Harold over the eye,
And blood began to run.

Colan stood bare and weaponless,
Earl Harold, as in pain,
Strove for a smile, put hand to head,
Stumbled and suddenly fell dead;
And the small white daisies all waxed red
With blood out of his brain.

And all at that marvel of the sword,
Cast like a stone to slay,
Cried out. Said Alfred: "Who would see
Signs, must give all things. Verily
Man shall not taste of victory
Till he throws his sword away.
"

Then Alfred, prince of England,
And all the Christian earls,
Unhooked their swords and held them up,
Each offered to Colan, like a cup
Of chrysolite and pearls.

And the King said, "Do thou take my sword
Who have done this deed of fire,
For this is the manner of Christian men,
Whether of steel or priestly pen,
That they cast their hearts out of their ken
To get their heart's desire.

Van Helsing and I came on here. The moment we were alone in the carriage he gave way to a regular fit of hysterics. He has denied to me since that it was hysterics, and insisted that it was only his sense of humour asserting itself under very terrible conditions. He laughed till he cried, and I had to draw down the blinds lest any one should see us and misjudge; and then he cried, till he laughed again; and laughed and cried together, just as a woman does. I tried to be stern with him, as one is to a woman under the circumstances; but it had no effect. Men and women are so different in manifestations of nervous strength or weakness! Then when his face grew grave and stern again I asked him why his mirth, and why at such a time. His reply was in a way characteristic of him, for it was logical and forceful and mysterious. He said:—
“Ah, you don't comprehend, friend John. Do not think that I am not sad, though I laugh. See, I have cried even when the laugh did choke me. But no more think that I am all sorry when I cry, for the laugh he come just the same. Keep it always with you that laughter who knock at your door and say, ‘May I come in?’ is not the true laughter. No! he is a king, and he come when and how he like. He ask no person; he choose no time of suitability. He say, ‘I am here.’ Behold, in example I grieve my heart out for that so sweet young girl; I give my blood for her, though I am old and worn; I give my time, my skill, my sleep; I let my other sufferers want that so she may have all. And yet I can laugh at her very grave — laugh when the clay from the spade of the sexton drop upon her coffin and say ‘Thud, thud!’ to my heart, till it send back the blood from my cheek. My heart bleed for that poor boy — that dear boy, so of the age of mine own boy had I been so blessed that he live, and with his hair and eyes the same. There, you know now why I love him so. And yet when he say things that touch my husband-heart to the quick, and make my father-heart yearn to him as to no other man — not even you, friend John, for we are more level in experiences than father and son — yet even at such a moment King Laugh he come to me and shout and bellow in my ear, ‘Here I am! here I am!’ till the blood come dance back and bring some of the sunshine that he carry with him to my cheek. Oh, friend John, it is a strange world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles; and yet when King Laugh come, he make them all dance to the tune he play. Bleeding hearts, and dry bones of the churchyard, and tears that burn as they fall — all dance together to the music that he make with that smileless mouth of him. And believe me, friend John, that he is good to come, and kind. Ah, we men and women are like ropes drawn tight with strain that pull us different ways. Then tears come; and, like the rain on the ropes, they brace us up, until perhaps the strain become too great, and we break. But King Laugh he come like the sunshine, and he ease off the strain again; and we bear to go on with our labour, what it may be.
My only set rule would be this: wherever I was I would pay no heed to anything else. I would take each day as it came, as if there were neither yesterday nor to-morrow. As I should be a man of the people, with the populace, I should be a countryman in the fields; and if I spoke of farming, the peasant should not laugh at my expense. I would not go and build a town in the country nor erect the Tuileries at the door of my lodgings. On some pleasant shady hill-side I would have a little cottage, a white house with green shutters, and though a thatched roof is the best all the year round, I would be grand enough to have, not those gloomy slates, but tiles, because they look brighter and more cheerful than thatch, and the houses in my own country are always roofed with them, and so they would recall to me something of the happy days of my youth.
There I would gather round me a company, select rather than numerous, a band of friends who know what pleasure is, and how to enjoy it, women who can leave their arm-chairs and betake themselves to outdoor sports, women who can exchange the shuttle or the cards for the fishing line or the bird-trap, the gleaner's rake or grape-gatherer's basket. There all the pretensions of the town will be forgotten, and we shall be villagers in a village; we shall find all sorts of different sports and we shall hardly know how to choose the morrow's occupation. Exercise and an active life will improve our digestion and modify our tastes. Every meal will be a feast, where plenty will be more pleasing than any delicacies. There are no such cooks in the world as mirth, rural pursuits, and merry games; and the finest made dishes are quite ridiculous in the eyes of people who have been on foot since early dawn. Our meals will be served without regard to order or elegance; we shall make our dining-room anywhere, in the garden, on a boat, beneath a tree; sometimes at a distance from the house on the banks of a running stream, on the fresh green grass, among the clumps of willow and hazel; a long procession of guests will carry the material for the feast with laughter and singing; the turf will be our chairs and table, the banks of the stream our side-board, and our dessert is hanging on the trees; the dishes will be served in any order, appetite needs no ceremony; each one of us, openly putting himself first, would gladly see every one else do the same; from this warm-hearted and temperate familiarity there would arise, without coarseness, pretence, or constraint, a laughing conflict a hundredfold more delightful than politeness, and more likely to cement our friendship. No tedious flunkeys to listen to our words, to whisper criticisms on our behaviour, to count every mouthful with greedy eyes, to amuse themselves by keeping us waiting for our wine, to complain of the length of our dinner. We will be our own servants, in order to be our own masters. Time will fly unheeded, our meal will be an interval of rest during the heat of the day. If some peasant comes our way, returning from his work with his tools over his shoulder, I will cheer his heart with kindly words, and a glass or two of good wine, which will help him to bear his poverty more cheerfully; and I too shall have the joy of feeling my heart stirred within me, and I should say to myself—I too am a man.
If the inhabitants of the district assembled for some rustic feast, I and my friends would be there among the first; if there were marriages, more blessed than those of towns, celebrated near my home, every one would know how I love to see people happy, and I should be invited. I would take these good folks some gift as simple as themselves, a gift which would be my share of the feast; and in exchange I should obtain gifts beyond price, gifts so little known among my equals, the gifts of freedom and true pleasure. I should sup gaily at the head of their long table; I should join in the chorus of some rustic song and I should dance in the barn more merrily than at a ball in the Opera House.

End Mirth Quotes