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Verse Quotations in Gems from the East

Compiled by "H.P.B."

These twelve quotations introduce the month sections of the daily quotations.


"UTTISHAT! — Rise! Awake!
Seek the great Teachers, and attend! The road
Is narrow as a knife-edge! Hard to tread!"
"But whoso once perceiveth HIM that IS; —
Without a name, Unseen, Impalpable,
Bodiless, Undiminished, Unenlarged,
To senses undeclared, without an end,
Without beginning, Timeless, Higher than height,
Deeper than depth! Lo! Such an one is saved!
Death hath not power upon him!"

— THE SECRET OF DEATH (fr. The Katha Upanishad).


"Behold, we know not anything;
I can but trust that good shall fall
At last — far off — at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring.

"So runs my dream: but what am I?
An infant crying in the night:
An infant crying for the light:
And with no language but a cry."

— TENNYSON (In Memoriam)


"Say not 'I am,' 'I was,' or 'I shall be,'
Think not ye pass from house to house of flesh
Like travellers who remember and forget,
Ill-lodged or well-lodged. Fresh
Issues upon the universe that sum
Which is the lattermost of lives. It makes
Its habitation as the worm spins silk
And dwells therein."



"The untouched soul,
Greater than all the worlds (because the worlds
By it subsist); smaller than subtleties
Of things minutest; last of ultimates;
Sits in the hollow heart of all that lives!
Whoso hath laid aside desire and fear,
His senses mastered, and his spirit still,
Sees in the quiet light of verity
Eternal, safe, majestical — HIS SOUL!"

— THE SECRET OF DEATH (fr. The Katha Upanishad).


I'm weary of conjectures, — this must end 'em.
Thus am I doubly armed: my death and life,
My bane and antidote, are both before me:
This in a moment brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The Soul, secured in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds.



"There is 'true' Knowledge. Learn thou it is this:

To see one Changeless Life in all that lives,
And in the Separate, One Inseparable.
There is imperfect Knowledge: that which sees
The separate existences apart,
And, being separated, holds them real.
There is false Knowledge: that which blindly clings
To one as if 'twere all, seeking no cause,
Deprived of light, narrow, and dull, and 'dark.' "

— SONG CELESTIAL, Bk. 18 (fr. The Bhagavad-Gita)


"The mind, enlightened, casts its grief away!" —

"It is not to be known by knowledge! man
Wotteth it not by wisdom! learning vast
Halts short of it! Only by soul itself
Is soul perceived — when the soul wills it so!
There shines no light save its own light to show
Itself unto itself!"

— THE SECRET OF DEATH (fr. The Katha Upanishad).


"Death has no power th' immortal soul to slay,
That, when its present body turns to clay
Seeks a fresh home, and with unlessened might
Inspires another frame with life and light.
So I myself (well I the past recall),
When the fierce Greeks begirt Troy's holy wall,
Was brave Euphorbus: and in conflict drear
Poured forth my blood beneath Atrides' spear.
The shield this arm did bear I lately saw
In Juno's shrine, a trophy of that war."



"Shall there not be as good a 'then' as 'now'?
Haply much better. . . Therefore fear I not;
And therefore, Holy Sir! my life is glad,
Nowise forgetting yet those other lives
Painful and poor, wicked and miserable,
Whereon the Gods grant pity! But for me,
What good I see, humbly I seek to do,
And live obedient to the law, in trust
That what will come, and must come, shall come well."



The consciousness of good, which neither gold,
Nor sordid fame, nor hope of heavenly bliss,
Can purchase; but a life of resolute good,
Unalterable will, quenchless desire
Of universal happiness; the heart
That beats with it in unison; the brain
Whose ever-wakeful wisdom toils to change
Reason's rich stores for its eternal weal.
This "commerce" of sincerest virtue needs
No mediative signs of selfishness,
No jealous intercourse of wretched gain,
No balancings of prudence, cold and long: —
In just and equal measure all is weighed;
One scale contains the sum of human weal,



"As large as is the unbounded Universe,
So large that little, hidden Spirit is!
The Heavens and Earths are in it! Fire and air,
And sun and moon and stars; darkness and light,
It comprehends! Whatever maketh Man,
The present of him, and the past of him,
And what shall be of him; — all thoughts and things
Lie folded in the eternal vast of It!"

— THE SECRET OF DEATH (fr. The Katha Upanishad).


"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

"Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind."

— TENNYSON (In Memoriam)

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