Tennyson – Tho’ much is taken, much abides

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to see, to find, and not to yield.

~Tennyson

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the wind-blown bud
which blooms in placid beauty at Verdun.

Forgiveness is the tiny slate-gray sparrow
which has built its nest of twigs and string
among the shards of glass upon
the wall of shame.

Forgiveness is the child who
laughs in merry ecstasy
beneath the toothed fence that
closes in Da Nang.

Forgiveness is the fragrance of the violet
which still clings fast to the
heel that crushed it.

Forgiveness is the broken dream
which hides itself within the corner of the mind
oft called forgetfulness so that
it will not bring pain to the dreamer.

Forgiveness is the reed
which stands up straight and green
when nature’s mighty rampage halts, full spent.

Forgiveness is a God who will not leave us
after all we’ve done.

by George Roemisch

Kshemendra – A Poet Should Learn with His Eyes

A poet should learn with his eyes
The forms of leaves –
He should know about oceans and mountains
In themselves,
And the sun and the moon and the stars.
His mind should enter into the seasons,
He should go
Among many people
In many places
And learn their languages.

Kshemendra (c.1150)
from Kavikanthabharana from the Sanskrit

Rumi – Guest House

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~Rumi

Rabindranath Tagore – Let My Country Awake

Where the mind is without fear and the head held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)