Were knowledge all, what were our needTo thrill and faint and sweetly bleed?
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,As I foretold you, were all spirits andAre melted into air, into thin air:And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,The solemn temples, the great globe itself,Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolveAnd, like this insubstantial pageant faded,Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuffAs dreams are made on, and our little lifeIs rounded with a sleep.
The surface of the earth is soft and impressible by the feet of men; and so with the paths which the mind travels. How worn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity! I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains.
Well, in that hit you miss. She'll not be hitWith Cupid's arrow. She hath Dian's wit,And, in strong proff of chastity well armed,From Love's weak childish bow she lives uncharmed. She will not stay the siege of loving terms,Nor bide th' encounter of assailing eyes,Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold.O, she is rich in beauty; only poorThat, when she dies, with dies her store.Act 1,Scene 1, lines 180-197
It was the cool gray dawn, and there was a delicious sense of repose and peace in the deep pervading calm and silence of the woods. Not a leaf stirred; not a sound obtruded upon great Nature's meditation [...] Gradually the cool dim gray of the morning whitened, and as gradually sounds multiplied and life manifested itself. The marvel of Nature shaking off sleep and going to work unfolded itself to the musing boy [...] All Nature was wide awake and stirring, now; long lances of sunlight pierced down through the dense foliage far and near, and a few butterflies came fluttering upon the scene.
We do not want merely to see beauty... we want something else which can hardly be put into words- to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses, and nymphs and elves.