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George Eliot

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No eye saw him, while with loving pride
Each voice with each in praise of Jubal vied.
Must he in conscious trance, dumb, helpless lie
While all that ardent kindred passed him by?
His flesh cried out to live with living men,
And join that soul which to the inward ken
Of all the hymning train was present there.

 
George Eliot

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He rushed before them to the glittering space,
And, with a strength that was but strong desire,
Cried, "I am Jubal, I!.... I made the lyre!"
The tones amid a lake of silence fell
Broken and strained, as if a feeble bell
Had tuneless pealed the triumph of a land
To listening crowds in expectation spanned.
Sudden came showers of laughter on that lake;
They spread along the train from front to wake
In one great storm of merriment, while he
Shrank doubting whether he could Jubal be...

 
George Eliot
 

But ere the laughter died from out the rear,
Anger in front saw profanation near;
Jubal was but a name in each man's faith
For glorious power untouched by that slow death
Which creeps with creeping time; this too, the spot,
And this the day, it must be crime to blot,
Even with scoffing at a madman's lie:
Jubal was not a name to wed with mockery.
Two rushed upon him: two, the most devout
In honor of great Jubal, thrust him out,
And beat him with their flutes. 'Twas little need;
He strove not, cried not, but with tottering speed,
As if the scorn and howls were driving wind
That urged his body, serving so the mind
Which could but shrink and yearn, he sought the screen
Of thorny thickets, and there fell unseen.
The immortal name of Jubal filled the sky,
While Jubal lonely laid him down to die.

 
George Eliot
 

"The war had been on for quite a while now when Poppa got his notice from the draft. He didn't have to go, but he more or less enlisted. Mother and I and Aunt Mae went down to the train to see him off, and when he left he kissed Mother and he cried, and I'd never seen a man cry before. The train pulled away, and we stood there and watched it go, and Mother kept looking long after it had passed around the hill.

 
John Kennedy Toole
 

What man most passionately wants is his living wholeness and his living unison, not his own isolate salvation of his "soul." Man wants his physical fulfillment first and foremost, since now, once and once only, he is in the flesh and potent. For man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive. Whatever the unborn and the dead may know, they cannot know the beauty, the marvel of being alive in the flesh. The dead may look after the afterwards. But the magnificent here and now of life in the flesh is ours, and ours alone, and ours only for a time. We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh, and part of the living, incarnate cosmos. I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea. My soul knows that I am part of the human race, my soul is an organic part of the great human soul, as my spirit is part of my nation. In my own very self, I am part of my family. There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the waters.

 
D. H. Lawrence
 

Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy. Awake,
Voice of sweet song! awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.

 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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