Mournful Quotes

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About Mournful Quotes

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Words (count)578 - 261
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Date (year)1769-500 - 1966
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Tell me not, in mournful numbers, "Life is but an empty dream!" For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream!
• Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, A Psalm of Life, Stanza 1.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Life" (Anonymous, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 440-55.)
Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the Present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy Future, without fear, and with a manly heart.
Look not mournfully into the Past; it comes not back again. Wisely improve the Present; it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy Future without fear and with a manly heart.
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
Malachi 3:14
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: Malachi; Common Book Name: Malachi; Chapter: 3; Verse: 14.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes, But ring the fuller minstrel in!
The leaves of memory seemed to make A mournful rustling in the dark.
On your family's old monument Hang mournful epitaphs.
About Epitaphs
• William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99), Act IV, scene 1, line 208.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Epitaphs" (Quotes about epitaphs)
Dew-drops are the gems of morning, But the tears of mournful eve!
• Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Youth and Age.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Dew" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 193-94.)
In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country. Today marks my final roll call with you. But I want you to know that when I cross the river, my last conscious thoughts will be of the Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps. I bid you farewell.
No I would not give you false hope On this strange and mournful day But the mother and child reunion Is only a motion away, Oh, little darling of mine I can't for the life of me Remember a sadder day I know they say let it be But it just don't work out that way...
Who dreamed that beauty passes like a dream? For these red lips, with all their mournful pride, Mournful that no new wonder may betide, Troy passed away in one high funeral gleam, And Usna's children died.
Who ne'er his bread in sorrow ate, Who ne'er the mournful midnight hours Weeping upon his bed has sate, He knows you not, ye Heavenly Powers.
I see, just see skyward, great cloud-masses, Mournfully slowly they roll, silently swelling and mixing, With at times a half-dimm'd sadden'd far-off star, Appearing and disappearing.
There was a brief moment after 9/11 when Colin Powell said “we should not rush to satisfy the desire for revenge.” It was a great moment, an extraordinary moment, because what he was actually asking people to do was to stay with a sense of grief, mournfulness, and vulnerability.
My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain...There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory.
Chief Seattle
• Source: Wikiquote: "Chief Seattle" (Sourced, Statement on surrendering tribal lands to Isaac Stevens, governor of Washington Territory (1855): (NB: see for historical details of this statement, which states "Chief Seattle gave a speech in January 1854 that was reported by Dr. Henry A. Smith in the Seattle Sunday Star in 1887. It is most usually called Seattle's Reply since it was a response to a speech by Territorial Governor Isaac I. Stevens. While there is no question that Chief Seattle gave a speech on this occasion, the accuracy of Smith's account is doubtful.").)
The great fact was the land itself, which seemed to overwhelm the little beginnings of human society that struggled in its sombre wastes. It was from facing this vast hardness that the boy's mouth had become so bitter; because he felt that men were too weak to make any mark here, that the land wanted to be let alone, to preserve its own fierce strength, its peculiar, savage kind of beauty, its uninterrupted mournfulness.
The wailing owl Screams solitary to the mournful moon.
• David Mallett, Excursion.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Owls" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 574-75.)
Singet nicht in Trauertönen. Sing it not in mournful numbers.
• Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister, Philine.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Life" (Anonymous, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 440-55.)
Prologues precede the piece in mournful verse, As undertakers walk before the hearse.
• David Garrick, Apprentice, Prologue.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Acting" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 4-6.)
Alas for him who never sees The stars shine through his cypress-trees Who, hopeless, lays his dead away, Nor looks to see the breaking day Across the mournful marbles play!
• John Greenleaf Whittier, Snow-Bound, line 204.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Despair" (Quotes: Alphabetized by author , Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 189-90.)
My silks and fine array, My smiles and languished air, By love are driv'n away; And mournful lean Despair Brings me yew to deck my grave: Such end true lovers have.
Let me set my mournful ditty To a merry measure; Thou wilt never come for pity, Thou wilt come for pleasure; Pity then will cut away Those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay.
Whate'er thy joys, they vanish with the day: Whate'er thy griefs, in sleep they fade away, To sleep! to sleep! Sleep, mournful heart, and let the past be past: Sleep, happy soul, all life will sleep at last.
Our grandsire, Adam, ere of Eve possesst, Alone, and e'en in Paradise unblest, With mournful looks the blissful scenes survey'd, And wander'd in the solitary shade. The Maker saw, took pity, and bestow'd Woman, the last, the best reserv'd of God.
• Alexander Pope, January and May, line 63.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Women" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 886-97.)
The nightingale as soon as April bringeth Unto her rested sense a perfect waking, While late bare earth, proud of new clothing, springeth, Sings out her woes, a thorn her song-book making. And mournfully bewailing, Her throat in tunes expresseth What grief her breast oppresseth.
• Sir Philip Sidney, O Philomela Fair.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Nightingales" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 557-59.)
Some people believe it is hard to lead the heaven-bound life that is called "spiritual" because they have heard that we need to renounce the world and give up the desires attributed to the body and the flesh and "live spiritually." All they understand by this is spurning worldly interests, especially concerns for money and prestige, going around in constant devout meditation about God, salvation, and eternal life, devoting their lives to prayer, and reading the Word and religious literature. They think this is renouncing the world and living for the spirit and not for the flesh. However, the actual case is quite different, as I have learned from an abundance of experience and conversation with angels. In fact, people who renounce the world and live for the spirit in this fashion take on a mournful life for themselves, a life that is not open to heavenly joy, since our life does remain with us [after death]. No, if we would accept heaven's life, we need by all means to live in the world and to participate in its duties and affairs. In this way, we accept a spiritual life by means of our moral and civic life; and there is no other way a spiritual life can be formed within us, no other way our spirits can be prepared for heaven. This is because living an inner life and not an outer life at the same time is like living in a house that has no foundation, that gradually either settles or develops gaping cracks or totters until it collapses.
This mournful truth is ev'rywhere confessed — Slow rises worth, by poverty depressed.
This flower that first appeared as summer's guest Preserves her beauty 'mid autumnal leaves And to her mournful habits fondly cleaves.
• William Wordsworth, Love Lies Bleeding, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 484.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Flowers" (Quotes, Specific types, Love Lies Bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus))
Billie Holiday’s burned voice had as many shadows as lights, a mournful candelabra against a sleek piano, the gardenia her signature under that ruined face.
Pale, mournful flower, that hidest in shade Mid dewy damps and murky glade, With moss and mould, Why dost thou hang thy ghastly head, So sad and cold?
• Catherine E. Beecher, To the Monotropa, or Ghost Flower.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Flowers" (Quotes, Specific types, Indian Pipe (Monotropa Uniflora), Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 391.)
That ignorant confidence in one's self and one's future, which comes in life's first dawn, has a sort of mournful charm in experienced eyes, who know how much it all amounts to.
Lead out the pageant: sad and slow, As fits an universal woe, Let the long, long procession go, And let the sorrowing crowd about it grow, And let the mournful martial music blow; The last great Englishman is low.
Youth, that pursuest with such eager pace Thy even way, Thou pantest on to win a mournful race: Then stay! oh, stay! Pause and luxuriate in thy sunny plain; Loiter,—enjoy: Once past, Thou never wilt come back again, A second Boy.
• Richard Monckton Milnes, Carpe Diem.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Youth" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 921-24.)
Over the darkened city, the city of towers, The city of a thousand gates, Over the gleaming terraced roofs, the huddled towers, Over a somnolent whisper of loves and hates, The slow wind flows, drearily streams and falls, With a mournful sound down rain-dark walls.
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage is closed and done. From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won. Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells; but I with mournful tread Walk the deck my captain lies, fallen cold and dead.
About Abraham Lincoln
• Walt Whitman, Captain! My Captain!
• Source: Wikiquote: "Abraham Lincoln" (Quotes about Lincoln: These are arranged alphabetically by author, followed by some of the more notable anonymous quotations about him., Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 458-59.)
Down and back at day dawn, Tramp from lake to lake, Washing brain and heart clean Every step we take. Leave to Robert Browning Beggars, fleas, and vines; Leave to mournful Ruskin Popish Apennines, Dirty stones of Venice, And his gas lamps seven, We've the stones of Snowdon And the lamps of heaven.
• Charles Kingsley, Letters and Memories, Aug., 1856. (Edited by Mrs. Kingsley).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Fishing" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 28-30.)
As I go musing through this mournful land Soothed by the pine-tree's solemn harmony, Thy well-loved image comes and walks by me. I seem to hold thee by the gentle hand And talk of things I dimly understand, That thy dear spirit set to mine may be As to an intricate lock the simple key.
Suddenly I am pushed by a movement of the horse on which I am lying. I see that he has turned his great head aside; he is mournfully eating grass. I saw this horse but lately in the middle of the regiment — I know him by the white in his mane — rearing and whinnying like the true battle-chargers; and now, broken somewhere, he is silent as the truly unhappy are.
The universal joy of Christmas is certainly wonderful. We ring the bells when princes are born, or toll a mournful dirge when great men pass away. Nations have their red-letter days, their carnivals and festivals, but once a year and only once, the whole world stands still to celebrate the advent of a life. Only Jesus of Nazareth claims this worldwide, undying remembrance. You cannot cut Christmas out of the calendar, nor out of the heart of the world.
Vocally is where I see him as this great synthesiser of American traditions; his voice is something of a shape shifter, it can sound high and mournful and soulful, and he can also sound like a preacher, or be quite gruff, or be a sweet crooner; it’s not the tone, it’s the technique, like he had to adopt all these other techniques and put them together to make something extraordinary; the reason there are so many Elvis impersonators is because the voice is undoable – it’s a mystery.
I have signifying of Three manners of Cheer of our Lord. The first is Cheer of Passion, as He shewed while He was here in this life, dying. Though this Beholding be mournful and troubled, yet it is glad and joyous: for He is God. — The second manner of Cheer is Ruth and Compassion: and this sheweth He, with sureness of Keeping, to all His lovers that betake them to His mercy. The third is the Blissful Cheer, as it shall be without end: and this was oftenest and longest-continued.
Poor soul, he has always seemed to me an extremely weak creature, and lamentable much more than admirable. Weak in genius, weak in character (for these two always go together); a poor thin, spasmodic, hectic, shrill and pallid being; -- one of those unfortunates, of whom I often speak, to whom the 'talent of silence', first of all, has been denied. The speech of such is never good for much. Poor Shelley, there is something void and Hades-like in the whole inner-world of him; his universe is all vacant azure, hung with a few frosty mournful if beautiful stars; the very voice of him (his style &c), shrill, shrieky, to my ear has too much of the ghost!
This mournful truth is everywhere confess'd, Slow rises worth by poverty depress'd.
• Samuel Johnson, London, line 175.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Worth" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 919-20.)
It's mournful and troubling in a way that goes beyond ordinary movie manipulation. It burns clean.
Mournfully, oh, mournfully, The midnight wind doth sigh, Like some sweet plaintive melody Of ages long gone by.
Sleep sweet within this quiet room, O thou! whoe'er thou art; And let no mournful Yesterday, Disturb thy peaceful heart.
• Ellen M. H. Gates, Sleep Sweet.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Sleep" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 716-21.)
I know that something dies when i give up my books, and that my memory keeps going back to them with mournful nostalgia.
Lo! at the couch where infant beauty sleeps; Her silent watch the mournful mother keeps; She, while the lovely babe unconscious lies, Smiles on her slumbering child with pensive eyes.
• Thomas Campbell, Pleasures of Hope, Part I, line 225.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Babies" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 54-56.)
He seems very mournful, but there is all the winter still to be survived. He no longer lives in years; he is down to seasons. Finally it will become single nights.
Blest be those feasts, with simple plenty crowned, Where all the ruddy family around Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale.
Thou hast fair forms that move With queenly tread; Thou hast proud fanes above Thy mighty dead. Yet wears thy Tiber's shore A mournful mien:- Rome, Rome, thou art no more As thou hast been.
• Felicia Hemans, Roman Girl's Song, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 791.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Rivers" (Sourced, Specific rivers: For the Nile River, see Nile; for the Rhine, see Rhine.)
King, tried in fires of woe! Men hunger for thy grace: And through the night I go, Loving thy mournful face. Yet, when the city sleeps; When all the cries are still: The stars and heavenly deeps Work out a perfect will.
Fling out, fling out, with cheer and shout, To all the winds Our Country's Banner! Be every bar, and every star, Displayed in full and glorious manner! Blow, zephyrs, blow, keep the dear ensign flying! Blow, zephyrs, sweetly mournful, sighing, sighing, sighing!
• Abraham Coles, The Microcosm and other Poems, p. 191.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Flag" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 274-75.)
They stood and listened, arms around each other for comfort, as the sound washed over them. It reverberated in the marrow of their bones, sung high and sweet, heartbreakingly mournful, quick as a jig, slow as the saddest air. Their hearts swelled with its beauty, its mystery. With all it revealed, and all that it hid.
Misfortune is never mournful to the soul that accepts it; for such do always see that every cloud is an angel’s face. Every man deems that he has precisely the trials and temptations which are the hardest of all others for him to bear; but they are so, simply because they are the very ones he most needs.
Albert Gleizes did not know Montmartre, (9) had never seen anything of Picasso or Juan Gris, never heard Maurice Princet construct an infinite number of different spaces for the use of painters, but he described to me the absurdity of the museums in which mournful, extravagantly three dimensional crowds threaten to crush the visitor by jumping out of their frames.
Jean Metzinger
• Source: Wikiquote: "Jean Metzinger" (Quotes, Cubism was born: Jean Metzinger, Le Cubisme était né, Souvenirs, Chambéry, Editions Présence, 1972. Translated by Peter Brooke. It is not known when these texts were written, whether intended as part of a projected autobiography or as detached occasional pieces. They were given to the publisher Henri Viaud by Metzinger's widow, Suzanne Phocas.)
About thee stands in mournful mood; A sore-afflicted multitude, And Tara and thy lords of state Around their monarch weep and wait. Arise my lord, with gentle speech, As was thy wont, dismissing each, Then in the forest will, we play. And love shall make our spirits gay, The Vanar dames raised Tara, drowned In floods of sorrow, from the ground;
Tara (Ramayana)
• In: p. 131-32.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Tara (Ramayana)" (Quotes, The Rámáyaṇ of Vālmīki Translated Into English Verse by Ralph T. H. Griffith: IV, Volume 4: Valmiki in: ''[ The Rámáyaṇ of Vālmīki Translated Into English Verse by Ralph T. H. Griffith: IV, Volume 4]'', Trübner, 1873)
Regret must be an action with a collected mind, so it can be spoken about for upbuilding, so it may of itself give birth to new life, so that it does not become an event whose mournful legacy is a sorrowful mood; repentance in the sense of freedom with the stamp of eternity must have its time, yes, even its time for preparation.
Consecrate the place and day To music and Cecilia. Let no rough winds approach, nor dare Invade the hallow'd bounds, Nor rudely shake the tuneful air, Nor spoil the fleeting sounds. Nor mournful sigh nor groan be heard, But gladness dwell on every tongue; Whilst all, with voice and strings prepar'd, Keep up the loud harmonious song, And imitate the blest above, In joy, and harmony, and love.
Why do we profess to so love and adore and worship and seek closeness to the wolf, the supposed poster child for all that's remote, wild and free, the mournful soul-searching stuff of poetry and song, not to mention fawning documentaries and movies, while at the same time we're taught to despise and persecute by any means — bullet, trap, wire, poison — its close cousin and equally beautiful and rightful occupant of the wild, the coyote?
But then to part! to part when Time Has wreathed his tireless wing with flowers, And spread the richness of a clime Of fairy o'er this land of ours; When glistening leaves and shaded streams In the soft light of Autumn lay, And, like the music of our dreams, The viewless breezes seemed to stray— 'T was bitter then to rend the heart With the sad thought that we must part; And, like some low and mournful spell, To whisper but one word—farewell!
Rus! Rus! I see you, from my lovely enchanted remoteness I see you: a country of dinginess, and bleakness and dispersal; no arrogant wonders of nature crowned by the arrogant wonders of art appear within you to delight or terrify the eyes... So what is the incomprehensible secret force driving me towards you? Why do I constantly hear the echo of your mournful song as it is carried from the sea through your entire expanse?... And since you are without end yourself, is it not within you that a boundless thought will be born?
I just wanted to pay tribute to him and talk about the situation." When asked if it was a conscious thing to give an eastern flavor to the song, Sheik says "Definitely... I know that he was, like, a big fan of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and he was listening to a lot of that kind of music. There's also just a really mournful quality to that kind of string playing." Sheik says, "I wanted to send him off and say a few things about how much his music moved me and other people.
Lying, robed in snowy white That loosely flew to left and right — The leaves upon her falling light — Thro' the noises of the night, She floated down to Camelot: And as the boat-head wound along The willowy hills and fields among, They heard her singing her last song, The Lady of Shalott. Heard a carol, mournful, holy, Chanted loudly, chanted lowly, Till her blood was frozen slowly, And her eyes were darkened wholly, Turn'd to tower'd Camelot. For ere she reach'd upon the tide The first house by the water-side, Singing in her song she died, The Lady of Shalott.
   No more, America, in mournful strain Of wrongs, and grievance unredress'd complain, No longer shalt thou dread the iron chain, Which wanton Tyranny with lawless hand Had made, and with it meant t' enslave the land.    Should you, my lord, while you peruse my song, Wonder from whence my love of Freedom sprung, Whence flow these wishes for the common good, By feeling hearts alone best understood, I, young in life, by seeming cruel fate Was snatch'd from Afric's fancy'd happy seat: What pangs excruciating must molest, What sorrows labour in my parent's breast? Steel'd was that soul and by no misery mov'd That from a father seiz'd his babe belov'd: Such, such my case. And can I then but pray Others may never feel tyrannic sway?
These women were fatuous with a fatuity which had threatened her all her life, as it threatened all people of means, and which was of mournful significance for humanity in general, since it proved the emptiness of one of man's most reasonable expectations. No more sensible form of government could be imagined than aristocracy. If certain able stocks in the community were able to amass enough wealth to give their descendants beautiful houses to grow up in, the widest opportunities of education, complete economic security, so that they need never be influenced by mercenary considerations, and easy access to any public form of work they chose to undertake— why, then, the community had a race of perfect governors ready made. Only, as the Lauristons showed, the process worked out wholly different in practice. There came to these selected stocks a deadly, ungrateful complacence, which made them count these opportunities as their achievements, and belittle everybody else's achievements unless they were similarly confused with opportunities; and which did worse than this, by abolishing all standards from their minds except what they themselves were and did.
Let the modern eye look earnestly on that old midnight hour in St. Edmundsbury Church, shining yet on us, ruddy-bright, through the depths of seven hundred years; and consider mournfully what our Hero-worship once was, and what it now is! Our new Abbot has a right honest unconscious feeling, without insolence as without fear or flutter, of what he is and what others are. A courage to quell the proudest, an honest pity to encourage the humblest. Withal there is a noble reticence in this Lord Abbot: much vain unreason he hears; lays up without response. He is not there to expect reason and nobleness of others; he is there to give them of his own reason and nobleness. Is he not their servant, as we said, who can suffer from them, and for them; bear the burden their poor spindle-limbs totter and stagger under; and in virtue thereof govern them, lead them out of weakness into strength, out of defeat into victory! He has a mild grave face; a thoughtful sternness, a sorrowful pity: but there is a terrible flash of anger in him too.
Under these circumstances, there has arisen in society a figure which is certainly the most mournful, and in some respects the most awful, upon which the eye of the moralist can dwell. That unhappy being whose very name is a shame to speak; who counterfeits with a cold heart the transports of affection, and submits herself as the passive instrument of lust; who is scorned and insulted as the vilest of her sex, and doomed, for the most part, to disease and abject wretchedness and an early death, appears in every age as the perpetual symbol of the degradation and sinfulness of man. Herself the supreme type of vice, she is ultimately the most efficient guardian of virtue. But for her, the unchallenged purity of countless happy homes would be polluted, and not a few who, in the pride of their untempted chastity, think of her with an indignant shudder, would have known the agony of remorse and of despair. On that one degraded and ignoble form are concentrated the passions that might have filled the world with shame. She remains, while creeds and civilisations rise and fall, the eternal priestess of humanity, blasted for the sins of the people.
Life is what we make it, and the world is what we make it. The eyes of the cheerful and of the melancholy man are fixed upon the same creation; but very different are the aspects which it bears to them. To the one, it is all beauty and gladness; the waves of ocean roll in light, and the mountains are covered with day. Life, to him, flashes, rejoicing, upon every flower and every tree that trembles in the breeze. There is more to him, everywhere, than the eye sees; a presence of profound joy, on hill and valley, and bright, dancing water. The other idly or mournfully gazes at the same scene, and everything wears a dull, dim, and sickly aspect. The murmuring of the brooks is a discord to him, the great roar of the sea has an angry and threatening emphasis, the solemn music of the pines sings the requiem of his departed happiness, the cheerful light shines garishly upon his eyes and offends him. The great train of the seasons passes before him like a funeral procession; and he sighs, and turns impatiently away. The eye makes that which it looks upon; the ear makes its own melodies and discords: the world without reflects the world within.
Albert Pike
• Ch. XXII : Grand Master Architect, p. 193
• Source: Wikiquote: "Albert Pike" (Quotes, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (1871): Also published as The Magnum Opus or the Great Work of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry)
That splendid effort failed, and nothing in the style of it has succeeded. There has been no rationalist festival, no rationalist ecstasy. Men are still in black for the death of God. When Christianity was heavily bombarded in the last century upon no point was it more persistently and brilliantly attacked than upon that of its alleged enmity to human joy. Shelley and Swinburne and all their armies have passed again and again over the ground, but they have not altered it. They have not set up a single new trophy or ensign for the world's merriment to rally to. They have not given a name or a new occasion of gaiety. Mr. Swinburne does not hang up his stocking on the eve of the birthday of Victor Hugo. Mr. William Archer does not sing carols descriptive of the infancy of Ibsen outside people's doors in the snow. In the round of our rational and mournful year one festival remains out of all those ancient gaieties that once covered the whole earth. Christmas remains to remind us of those ages, whether Pagan or Christian, when the many acted poetry instead of the few writing it. In all the winter in our woods there is no tree in glow but the holly.
He willeth that we know by the sweetness and homely loving of Him, that all that we see or feel, within or without, that is contrary to this is of the enemy and not of God. And thus — If we be stirred to be the more reckless of our living or of the keeping of our hearts because that we have knowing of this plenteous love, then need we greatly to beware. For this stirring, if it come, is untrue; and greatly we ought to hate it, for it all hath no likeness of God’s will. And when that we be fallen, by frailty or blindness, then our courteous Lord toucheth us and stirreth us and calleth us; and then willeth He that we see our wretchedness and meekly be aware of it. But He willeth not that we abide thus, nor He willeth not that we busy us greatly about our accusing, nor He willeth not that we be wretched over our self; but He willeth that we hastily turn ourselves unto Him. For He standeth all aloof and abideth us sorrowfully and mournfully till when we come, and hath haste to have us to Him. For we are His joy and His delight, and He is our salve and our life.
It was there he composed these most beautiful of short pages which he modestly entitled the Preludes. They are masterpieces. Several bring to mind visions of deceased monks and the sound of funeral chants; others are melancholy and fragrant; they came to him in times of sun and health, in the clamor of laughing children under he window, the faraway sound of guitars, birdsongs from the moist leaves, in the sight of the small pale roses coming in bloom on the snow. … Still others are of a mournful sadness, and while charming your ear, they break your heart. There is one that came to him through an evening of dismal rain — it casts the soul into a terrible dejection. Maurice and I had left him in good health one morning to go shopping in Palma for things we needed at out "encampment." The rain came in overflowing torrents. We made three leagues in six hours, only to return in the middle of a flood. We got back in absolute dark, shoeless, having been abandoned by our driver to cross unheard of perils. We hurried, knowing how our sick one would worry. Indeed he had, but now was as though congealed in a kind of quiet desperation, and, weeping, he was playing his wonderful Prelude. Seeing us come in, he got up with a cry, then said with a bewildered air and a strange tone, "Ah, I was sure that you were dead." When he recovered his spirits and saw the state we were in, he was ill, picturing the dangers we had been through, but he confessed to me that while waiting for us he had seen it all in a dream, and no longer distinguished the dream from reality, he became calm and drowsy while playing the piano, persuaded that he was dead himself. He saw himself drowned in a lake. Heavy drops of icy water fell in a regular rhythm on his breast, and when I made him listen to the sound of the drops of water indeed falling in rhythm on the roof, he denied having heard it. He was even angry that I should intepret this in terms of imitative sounds. He protested with all his might — and he was right to — against the childishness of such aural imitations. His genius was filled with the mysterious sounds of nature, but transformed into sublime equivalents in musical thought, and not through slavish imitation of the actual external sounds. His composition of that night was surely filled with raindrops, resounding clearly on the tiles of the Charterhouse, but it had been transformed in his imagination and in his song into tears falling upon his heart from the sky. … The gift of Chopin is [the expression of] the deepest and fullest feelings and emotions that have ever existed. He made a single instrument speak a language of infinity. He could often sum up, in ten lines that a child could play, poems of a boundless exaltation, dramas of unequalled power.

End Mournful Quotes