What is the course of the life
Of mortal men on the earth? 
Most men eddy about
Here and there – eat and drink,
Chatter and love and hate,
Gather and squander, are raised
Aloft, are hurl’d 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 swell’d,
Foam’d for a moment, and gone.”

Matthew Arnold, “Rugby Chapel, November 1857”

My beloved father, Luther E. Jones II was a lover of poetry.  He would continually walk about the house quoting his favorite verse.  Here are a few gems selected from his favorite poetry and verse.

Trent Jones

2022

Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

That moment is gone forever,

Like lightning that flashed and died,

Like a snowflake upon the river,

Like a sunbeam upon the tide, 

Which the dark shadows hide. 

“A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle for bread; they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other. Age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; shames and humiliations bring down their prides and their vanities. Those they love are taken from them and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. The burden of pain, care, misery, grows heavier year by year. At length ambition is dead; pride is dead; vanity is dead; longing for release is in their place. It comes at last - the only unpoisoned gift ever had for them - and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence; where they achieved nothing; where they were a mistake and a failure and a foolishness; where they have left no sign that they have existed – a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever. Then another myriad takes their place and copies all they did and goes along the same profitless road and vanishes as they vanished - to make room for another and another and a million other myriads to follow the same arid path through the same desert and accomplish what the first myriad and all the myriads that came after it accomplished - nothing!”

 

Mark Twain

I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.  Shelley

Poetry Foundation ... lovers of poetry 

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/foundation/about

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,   
  Black as the Pit from pole to pole,   
I thank whatever gods may be   
  For my unconquerable soul.  

 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
  I have not winced nor cried aloud.   
Under the bludgeonings of chance   
  My head is bloody, but unbowed.  

 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears   
  Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years   
  Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.  

 

It matters not how strait the gate,   
  How charged with punishments the scroll,   
I am the master of my fate:
  I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley - 1849-1903

I've come to know that storing health

Is better for her than storing wealth; 

That smug success has little worth 

besides the simple joys of earth;

That's famous but a bubble brief,

and glory being beyond belief;

That it is good to eat and drink;

That it is bad to over think;

The only stupid people claim

To take them selves was serious aim. 

And so, frail creatures of the day, 

Let's have a good time while we may,

And to the best we can

Go give one to our fellow man. 

The above verse was found in my fathers notes however I am not sure the author of this verse.  If you know the author contact me via contact.  

I drank at every vine.
The last was like the first.
I came upon no wine
So wonderful as thirst.

I gnawed at every root.
I ate of every plant.
I came upon no fruit
So wonderful as want.

Feed the grape and bean
To the vintner and monger:
I will lie down lean
With my thirst and my hunger.”


― Edna St. Vincent Millay

My Father love Shakespeare ... Here is one he quoted continually.

To be, or not to be, that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep,

No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to: 'tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;

To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there's the rub:

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause—there's the respect

That makes calamity of so long life.

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

Th'oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,

The pangs of dispriz'd love, the law's delay,

The insolence of office, and the spurns

That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make

With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscovere'd country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns, puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience doth make cowards of us all,

And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,

And enterprises of great pith and moment

With this regard their currents turn awry

And lose the name of action.

The fountains mingle with the river 

   And the rivers with the ocean, 

The winds of heaven mix for ever 

   With a sweet emotion; 

Nothing in the world is single; 

   All things by a law divine 

In one spirit meet and mingle. 

   Why not I with thine?— 

 

See the mountains kiss high heaven 

   And the waves clasp one another; 

No sister-flower would be forgiven 

   If it disdained its brother; 

And the sunlight clasps the earth 

   And the moonbeams kiss the sea: 

What is all this sweet work worth 

   If thou kiss not me? 

Shelley