March 16, 2010

Sun and Shadow

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--Description: 19th C, Holmes O.W., Nature--
As I look from the isle, o'er its billows of green,
To the billows of foam-crested blue,
Yon bark, that afar in the distance is seen,
Half dreaming, my eyes will pursue:
Now dark in the shadow, she scatters the spray
As the chaff in the stroke of the flail;
Now white as the sea-gull, she flies on her way,
The sun gleaming bright on her sail.

Yet her pilot is thinking of dangers to shun,--
Of breakers that whiten and roar;
How little he cares, if in shadow or sun
They see him who gaze from the shore!
He looks to the beacon that looms from the reef,
To the rock that is under his lee,
As he drifts on the blast, like a wind-wafted leaf,
O'er the gulfs of the desolate sea.

Thus drifting afar to the dim-vaulted caves
Where life and its ventures are laid,
The dreamers who gaze while we battle the waves
May see us in sunshine or shade;
Yet true to our course, though the shadows grow dark,
We'll trim our broad sail as before,
And stand by the rudder that governs the bark,
Nor ask how we look from the shore!

Oliver Wendell Holmes

--Did You Know: (August 29, 1809 – October 7, 1894) Holmes was an American physician, professor, lecturer, and author. Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century, he is considered a member of the Fireside Poets. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858). He is recognized as an important medical reformer. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Holmes was educated at Phillips Academy and Harvard College. After graduating from Harvard in 1829, he briefly studied law before turning to the medical profession. He began writing poetry at an early age; one of his most famous works, "Old Ironsides", was published in 1830. Following training at the prestigious medical schools of Paris, Holmes was granted his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1836. Holmes retired from Harvard in 1882 and continued writing poetry, novels and essays until his death in 1894. Read more at: Oliver Wendell Holmes

--Word of the Day: erudite \AIR-yuh-dyt; -uh-dyt\, adjective:
Characterized by extensive reading or knowledge; learned.
Example:
In front of imposing edifices like the Topkapi Palace or Hagia Sophia are guides displaying Government-issued licenses. Many of these guides are erudite historians who have quit low-paying jobs as university professors and now offer private tours.
-- "What's Doing in Istanbul", New York Times, February 23, 1997

--Quote of the Day: Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly. It comes as a by-product of providing a useful service.
- Henry Ford

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