The best poetry will be found to have a power of forming, sustaining, and delighting us, as nothing else can.
The governing idea of Hellenism is spontaneity of consciousness; that of Hebraism, strictness of conscience.
Everything in our political life tends to hide from us that there is anything wiser than our ordinary selves.
The men of culture are the true apostles of equality.
The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light. He who works for sweetness and light, works to make reason and the will of God prevail. He who works for machinery, he who works for hatred, works only for confusion. Culture looks beyond machinery, culture hates hatred; culture has one great passion, the passion for sweetness and light.
Greatness is a spiritual condition worthy to excite love, interest, and admiration; and the outward proof of possessing greatness is that we excite love, interest, and admiration.
Culture is then properly described not as having its origin in curiosity, but as having its origin in the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection.
I am a Liberal, yet I am a Liberal tempered by experience, reflexion, and renouncement, and I am, above all, a believer in culture.
One must, I think, be struck more and more the longer one lives, to find how much in our present society a man's life of each day depends for its solidity and value upon whether he reads during that day, and far more still on what he reads during it.
The whole scope of the essay is to recommend culture as the great help out of our present difficulties; culture being a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world; and through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits, which we now follow staunchly but mechanically, vainly imagining that there is a virtue in following them staunchly which makes up for the mischief of following them mechanically.
Radiant with ardour divine! Beacons of Hope ye appear! Languor is not in your heart, Weakness is not in your word, Weariness not on your brow.
Therefore to thee it was given Many to save with thyself; And, at the end of thy day, O faithful shepherd! to come, Bringing thy sheep in thy hand.
What is the course of the life Of mortal men on the earth? Most men eddy about Here and thereeat and drink, Chatter and love and hate, Gather and squander, are raised Aloft, are hurld in the dust, Striving blindly, achieving Nothing; and, then they die Perish; and no one asks Who or what they have been, More than he asks what waves In the moonlit solitudes mild Of the midmost Ocean, have swelld, Foamd for a moment, and gone.
O strong soul, by what shore Tarriest thou now? For that force, Surely, has not been left vain!
Coldly, sadly descends The autumn evening. The Field Strewn with its dank yellow drifts Of witherd leaves, and the elms, Fade into dimness apace, Silent;hardly a shout From a few boys late at their play!