James Russell Lowell (February 22, 1819 - August 12, 1891) was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American ... more
Careless seems the great Avenger; historys pages but recordOne death-grapple in the darkness twixt old systems and the Word;Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own. New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth;They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth;Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must Pilgrims be,Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the desperate winter sea,Nor attempt the Futures portal with the Pasts blood-rusted key.
Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us,We bargain for the graves we lie in;At the Devils booth are all things sold,Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;For a cap and bells our lives we pay,Bubbles we buy with a whole souls tasking:T is heaven alone that is given away,T is only God may be had for the asking;No price is set on the lavish summer;June may be had by the poorest comer. And what is so rare as a day in June?Then, if ever, come perfect days;Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,And over it softly her warm ear lays:Whether we look, or whether we listen,We hear life murmur, or see it glisten.
Those who know the truth are not equal to those who love it Confucius All truth is safe and nothing else is safe, but he who keeps back truth, or withholds it from men, from motives of expediency, is either a coward or a criminal.