Here is a very bad aphorism for the purpose of illustrative quotation.
Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.
England’s on the anvil — hear the hammers ring —
Clanging from the Severn to the Tyne!
Never was a blacksmith like our Norman King —
England’s being hammered, hammered, hammered into line.
England’s on the anvil! Heavy are the blows!
(But the work will be a marvel when it’s done.)
Little bits of Kingdoms cannot stand against their foes.
England’s being hammered, hammered, hammered into one!
There shall be one people — it shall serve one Lord —
(Neither Priest nor Baron shall escape!)
It shall have one speech and law, soul and strength and sword.
England’s being hammered, hammered, hammered into shape!
Mistakes are the portals of discovery.
Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of ‘touching’ a man’s heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it.
Sir. I bear a rhyme excelling
In mystic force and magic spelling.
My wife had an uncle who could never walk down the nave of an abbey without wondering whether it would take spin.
Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.
How many people ruin themselves by laying out money on trinkets of frivolous utility? What pleases these lovers of toys is not so much the utility, as the aptness of the machines which are fitted to promote it. All their pockets are stuffed with little conveniences. They contrive new pockets, unknown in the clothes of other people, in order to carry a greater number. They walk about loaded with a multitude of baubles, in weight and sometimes in value not inferior to an ordinary Jew’s-box, some of which may sometimes be of some little use, but all of which might at all times be very well spared, and of which the whole utility is certainly not worth the fatigue of bearing the burden.
Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.
The turtle lives twixt plated decks
Which practically conceal its sex.
I think it clever of the turtle,
In such a fix to be so fertile.
Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.
My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.
God made the integers, all the rest is the work of man.
The world has held great Heroes,
As history-books have showed;
But never a name to go down to fame
Compared with that of Toad!
The clever men at Oxford
Know all that there is to be knowed.
But they none of them know one half as much
As intelligent Mr Toad!
The animals sat in the Ark and cried,
Their tears in torrents flowed.
Who was it said, “There’s land ahead”?
Encouraging Mr Toad!
The army all saluted
As they marched along the road.
Was it the King? Or Kitchener?
No. It was Mr Toad.
The Queen and her Ladies-in-waiting
Sat at the window and sewed.
She cried, “Look! Who’s that HANDSOME man?”
They answered, “Mr Toad.”
Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do – but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.
You can’t live on amusement. It is the froth on water – an inch deep and then the mud.
And so while the great ones depart to their dinner,
the secretary stays, growing thinner and thinner,
racking his brain to record and report
what he thinks that they think that they ought to have thought.
The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.
In all science, error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last.
Just remember that the things that you put in our head are there forever, … You might want to think about that.
Two sticks and an apple,
Ring the bells at Whitechapel.
Old Father Bald Pate,
Ring the bells Aldgate.
Maids in white aprons,
Ring the bells at St. Catherine`s.
Oranges and Lemons,
Ring the bells at St. Clement`s
When will you pay me?
Ring the bells at the Old Bailey.
When I am rich,
Ring the bells at Fleetditch.
When will that be?
Ring the bells of Stepney.
When I am old,
Ring the great bell at Paul`s.
The Viking Terror
Bitter is the wind tonight.
It tosses the ocean’s white hair.
Tonight I fear not the fierce warriors of Norway
Coursing on the Irish Sea.
To begin at the beginning:
It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’-and- rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine to-night in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows’ weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.
the opening lines from Under Milk Wood
Pa was forced to be a hobo
Because he played the oboe
And the oboe it is clearly understood
Is an ill wind that nobody blows good
We didn’t have metaphors in our day. We didn’t beat about the bush.
An intellectual is someone who can listen to the “William Tell Overture” without thinking of the Lone Ranger.
In science, “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.”
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.