"TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS"
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
(continuing inside card and/or from "A Visit from St, Nicholas")
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
ODE TO BEAUTY
Lower left: Emerson, from "The Rhodora." Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on earth and sky, Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew; But, in my simple ignorance, suppose The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.
Lower right: Hopkins, from "The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo." Resign them, sign them, seal them, send them, motion them with breath, And with sighs soaring, soaring sighs, deliver Them; beauty-in-the-ghost, deliver it, early now, long before death Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty's self and beauty's giver.
Center: Hopkins, from "The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo." Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty's self and beauty's giver.
Upper left: Dickinson, from #1474. For Beauty is Infinity - And power to be finite ceased Before Identity was leased.
Upper left: Psalms 29:2, ...worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Upper left: Emerson, Beauty is the creator of the universe.
Upper right: Shakespeare, from Sonnet 54. O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
Upper right: Keats, from "Ode to a Grecian Urn." "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," - that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is a sadness, joy...
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whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
"The desert shall rejoice and blossom... It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing."
"Christmas is here" eighteen hundred and sixty-nine years ago the stars were shedding a purer lustre above the barren hills of Bethlehem, and possibly flowers were being charmed to life in the dismal plain where the shepherds watched their flocks, and the hovering angels were singing, peace on earth..."
Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) first wrote this poetic description of the Nativity in a letter to Mary Mason Fairbanks, dated December 24, 1868, and it was subsequently published in the Cleveland Herald on January 16, 1869.
"Wake up," she cried, "Peter Pan has come and he is to teach us to fly..." "You just think lovely wonderful thoughts," Peter explained, "and they lift you up in the air."
"The little cares that fretted me, I lost them yesterday.
It's not an idea. As an idea, it's no more powerful than war. It's not a demonstration. We can carry signs on behalf of other problems. It's not an admonition; reproach cannot produce it. It's not historical; we cannot look back and retrieve it. It's not human nature, not a natural behavior. Primitive, we would not know it any better. It might be uncertain. It might be an endless pursuit. It might be a state of mind. It might be a journey. It might be pure energy. It might be a dream. Peaceful is not something we are, that we decided once, or something we do, that is the only route. Like forgiveness, peace is a practice. Moment to moment, it's how we choose to be: when the grill won't start, when the dog keeps barking, when the check bounces, when the train is late, when we are angry and searching for someone to blame.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; The Lord make
"A little girl has just brought me a purple finch or American linnet. These birds are now moving south. It reminds me of the pine and spruce, and the juniper and cedar on whose berries it feeds. It has the crimson hues of the October evenings, and its plumage still shines as if it had caught some of their tints (beams?). We know it chiefly as a traveller. It reminds me of many things I had forgotten. Many a serene evening lies snugly packed under its wing. Journal, October 7, 1842."
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