Ode to the Human Soul by Ibn Sina (Avicenna)
It descended upon thee from out of the regions above,
That exalted, ineffable, glorious, heavenly Dove.
Twas concealed from the eyes of all those who its nature would ken
Yet it wears not a veil, and is ever apparent to men.
Unwilling it sought thee and joined thee, and yet, though it grieve,
It is like to be still more unwilling thy body to leave.
It resisted and struggled, and would not be tamed in haste,
Yet it joined thee, and slowly grew used to this desolate waste,
Till, forgotten at length, as I ween, ere hounds and its troth
In the heavenly gardens and groves, which to leave it was loath.
Until, when it entered the D of its downward Descent,
And to ear, to the C of its centre, unwillingly went,
The eye of (I) infirmity smote it, and lo, it was hurled
Midst the sign-posts and ruined abodes of this desolate world.
It weeps, when it thinks of its home and the peace it possessed,
With tears welling forth from its eyes without pausing or rest,
And with plaintive mourning it broodeth like one bereft
O'er such trace of its home as the fourfold winds have left.
Thick nets detain it, and strong is the cage whereby
It is held from seeking the lofty and spacious sky.
Until, when the hour of its homeward flight draws near,
And 'tis time for it to return to its ampler sphere,
It carols with joy, for the veil is raised, and it spies
Such things as cannot be witnessed by waking eyes.
On a lofty height doth it warble its songs of praise
(For even the lowliest of being doth knowledge raise).
And so it returneth, aware of all hidden things
In the universe, while no stain to its garment clings.
Now why from its perch on high was it cast like this
To the lowest Nadir's gloomy and drear abyss?
Was it God who cast it forth for some purpose wise,
Concealed from the keenest seeker's inquiring eyes?
Then is its descent a disciple wise but stern,
That the things that it hath not heard it thus may learn.
So 'tis she whom Fate doth plunder, while her star
Setteth at length in a place from its rising far,
Like a gleam of lightning which over the meadows shone,
And, as though it ne'er had been, in a moment is gone.
Burghers of Calais photos from the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, PA USA and quotes from Apocalypse Now by John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola
Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one.
What the hell do you know about surfing? You're from goddamned New Jersey.
Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right.
You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks....to collect a bill.
I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream.
I don't see any method at all, sir.
"Spanish Johnny" by Paul Siebel
Those other years, the dusty years
We drove the big hearse through
I tried to forget the miles we rode
And Spanish Johnny too
He'd sit beside a water ditch when all this herd was in
And he'd never harm a child but sing to his mandolin
The old talk, the old ways, and the dealin' of our game
But Spanish Johnny never spoke, but sing a song of Spain
And his talk with men was vicious talk
When he was drunk on gin
Ah, but those were golden things he said to his mandolin
We had to stand, we tried to judge, we had to stop him then
For the hand so gentle to a child had killed so many men
He died a hard death long ago before the road come in
And the night before he swung he sung to his mandolin
Well, we carried him out in the mornin' sun
A man that done no good
And we lowered him down in the cold clay
Stuck in a cross of wood
And a letter we wrote to his kinfolk
To tell them where he'd been
And we shipped it out to Mexico, along with his mandolin