Stephen Vincent Bent Quotes

A man with a mouth like a mastiff, a brow like a mountain and eyes like burning anthracite that was Dan'l Webster in his prime. And the biggest case he argued never got written down in the books, for he argued it against the devil, nip and tuck and no holds barred. And this is the way I used to hear it told.

Stephen Vincent Bent

It's a story they tell in the border country, where Massachusetts joins Vermont and New Hampshire. Yes, Dan'l Webster's dead or, at least, they buried him. But every time there's a thunderstorm around Marshfield, they say you can hear his rolling voice in the hollows of the sky. And they say that if you go to his grave and speak loud and clear, "Dan'l Webster Dan'l Webster!" the ground'll begin to shiver and the trees begin to shake. And after a while you'll hear a deep voice saying, "Neighbor, how stands the Union?" Then you better answer the Union stands as she stood, rock-bottomed and copper-sheathed, one and indivisible, or he's liable to rear right out of the ground. At least, that's what I was told when I was a youngster.

Stephen Vincent Bent

For the cold of the pistol-butt and the bullet's heat, For the ropes that choke, the manacles that bind, The huge voice, metal, that lies from a thousand tubes And the stuttering machine-gun that answers all.

Stephen Vincent Bent

For the women who mourn their dead in the secret night, For the children taught to keep quiet, the old children, The children spat-on at school. For the wrecked laboratory, The gutted house, the dunged picture, the pissed-in well The naked corpse of Knowledge flung in the square And no man lifting a hand and no man speaking.

Stephen Vincent Bent

We heard the shots in the night But nobody knew next day what the trouble was And a man must go to his work. So I didn't see him For three days, then, and me near out of my mind And all the patrols on the streets with their dirty guns And when he came back, he looked drunk, and the blood was on him.

Stephen Vincent Bent

For those denounced by their smug, horrible children For a peppermint-star and the praise of the Perfect State, For all those strangled, gelded or merely starved To make perfect states; for the priest hanged in his cassock, The Jew with his chest crushed in and his eyes dying, The revolutionist lynched by the private guards To make perfect states, in the names of the perfect states.

Stephen Vincent Bent

For those who planned and were leaders and were beaten And for those, humble and stupid, who had no plan But were denounced, but were angry, but told a joke, But could not explain, but were sent away to the camp, But had their bodies shipped back in the sealed coffins, "Died of pneumonia." "Died trying to escape."

Stephen Vincent Bent

For those slain at once. For those living through the months and years Enduring, watching, hoping, going each day To the work or the queue for meat or the secret club, Living meanwhile, begetting children, smuggling guns, And found and killed at the end like rats in a drain.

Stephen Vincent Bent

For all those beaten, for the broken heads, The fosterless, the simple, the oppressed, The ghosts in the burning city of our time

Stephen Vincent Bent

On the highest steeps of Space he will have his dwelling-place, In those far, terrific regions where the cold comes down like Death Gleams the red glint of his pinions, smokes the vapor of his breath. Floating downward, very clear, still the echoes reach the ear Of a little tune he whistles and a little song he sings, Mounting, mounting still, triumphant, on his torn and broken wings!

Stephen Vincent Bent

Icarus, Icarus, though the end is piteous, Yet forever, yea, forever we shall see thee rising thus, See the first supernal glory, not the ruin hideous.

Stephen Vincent Bent

The moon, a sweeping scimitar, dipped in the stormy straits, The dawn, a crimson cataract, burst through the eastern gates, The cliffs were robed in scarlet, the sands were cinnabar, Where first two men spread wings for flight and dared the hawk afar.

Stephen Vincent Bent

For ever... well... it droops the mouth. Till I Look up. There's one blue patch no smoke dares touch. Sky, clear, ineffable, alive with light, Always the same... Before, I never knew Rest and green peace.

Stephen Vincent Bent

Eternally the choking steam goes up From the black pools of seething oil...

Stephen Vincent Bent

Oh dear and laughing, lost to me, Hidden in grey Eternity, I shall attain, with burning feet, To you and to the mercy-seat! The ages crumble down like dust, Dark roses, deviously thrust And scattered in sweet wine but I, I shall lift up to you my cry, And kiss your wet lips presently Beneath the ever-living Tree. This in my heart I keep for goad! Somewhere, in Heaven she walks that road. Somewhere... in Heaven... she walks... that... road...

Stephen Vincent Bent

There was no pain when I awoke, No pain at all. Rest, like a goad, Spurred my eyes open and light broke Upon them like a million swords: And she was there. There are no words. Heaven is for a moment's span. And ever.

Stephen Vincent Bent

Quote of the Day

Social Media
Our Partners