Words of the Day: March 5 – March 9 2021, Abhor Impunity Meticulous Pivot Luminary


March 5: Abhor

And out of dust reduce our scattered rimes,
Th’reiected iewels of these slouthfull times,
Who with the Muses would mispend an hower,
But let blind Gothish Barbarisme deuoure
These feuerous Dogdayes, blest by no record,
But to be euerlastingly abhord.

Author and Text

And weeping said, Ah my long lacked Lord,
Where haue ye bene thus long out of my sight?
Much feared I to haue bene quite abhord,
Or ought haue done, that ye displeasen might,
That should as death vnto my deare hart light:
For since mine eye your ioyous sight did mis,
My chearefull day is turnd to chearelesse night,
And eke my night of death the shadow is;
But welcome now my light, and shining lampe of blis.

Author and Texts

BRITTLE beauty, that Nature made so frail,
Whereof the gift is small, and short the season;
Flowering to-day, to-morrow apt to fail;
Tickle treasure, abhorred of reason:

Author and Text

But long this blessèd time continu’d not:
As soon as he his wishèd purpose got, 460
He, reckless of his promise, did despise
The love of th’ everlasting Destinies.
They, seeing it, both Love and him abhorr’d,
And Jupiter unto his place restor’d:
And, but that Learning, in despite of Fate,
Will mount aloft, and enter heaven-gate,
And to the seat of Jove itself advance,
Hermes had slept in hell with Ignorance.

Hero and Leander Marlowe, Christopher 1593

Were I hard-favour’d, foul, or wrinkled old,
Ill-nurtur’d, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice,
O’erworn, despised, rheumatic, and cold,
Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice,
Then mightst thou pause, for then I were not for thee;
But having no defects, why dost abhor me?

Venus and Adonis Shakespeare, William 1593

What say you to’t? will you again unknit
This churlish knot of all-abhorred war,
And move in that obedient orb again
Where you did give a fair and natural light;
And be no more an exhaled meteor,
A prodigy of fear, and a portent
Of broached mischief to the unborn times?

Author and Texts

The disorders of the mind, continued Demea, though more secret, are not perhaps less dismal and vexatious. Remorse, shame, anguish, rage, disappointment, anxiety, fear, dejection, despair; who has ever passed through life without cruel inroads from these tormentors? How many have scarcely ever felt any better sensations? Labour and poverty, so abhorred by every one, are the certain lot of the far greater number; and those few privileged persons, who enjoy ease and opulence, never reach contentment or true felicity. All the goods of life united would not make a very happy man; but all the ills united would make a wretch indeed; and any one of them almost (and who can be free from every one?) nay often the absence of one good (and who can possess all?) is sufficient to render life ineligible.

Author and Texts

And hence we would agree in this one thing with that erroneous philosopher, who has lately wrote An Apology for Negro Slavery, But if the slave is only to be made acquainted with the form, without the substance; if he is only to be decked out with the external trappings of religion; if he is only to be taught the un∣cheering principles of gloomy superstition; or, if he is only to be inspired with the intemperate frenzy of enthusiastic fanaticism, it were better that he remained in that dark state, where he could not see good from ill. But these words intemperate, frenzy, enthusiastic, and fanaticism may be variously applied, and often wrongfully; but, perhaps never better, or more fitly, than to be ascribed as the genuine character of this author’s brutish philosophy; and he may subscribe it, and the meaning of these words, with as much affinity to himself, as he bears a relation to a Hume, or to his friend Tobin. The poor negroes in the West-Indies, have suffered enough by such reli∣gion as the philosophers of the North produce; Protestants, as they are called, are the most bar∣barous slave-holders, and there are none can equal the Scotch floggers and negroe-drivers, and the barbarous Dutch cruelties. Perhaps as the church of Rome begins to sink in its power, its followers may encrease in virtue and humanity; so that many, who are the professed adherents thereof, would even blush and abhor the very mention of the cruelty and bloody deeds that their ancestors have committed; and we find slavery itself more tolerable among them, than it is in the Protestant countries.

Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species Cugoano, Ottobah 1787

I do not like him though, nor he me; it was expected we should have pleased each other; he is, however, just Tory enough to hate the Bishop of Peterborough for Whiggism, and Whig enough to abhor you for Toryism.

Life Of Johnson, Vol. 3 (of 6) Boswell, James 1791

Ah vision from afar! Ah rebel form that rent the ancient
Heavens; Eternal Viper self-renew’d, rolling in clouds
I see thee in thick clouds and darkness on America’s shore.
Writhing in pangs of abhorred birth; red flames the crest rebellious
And eyes of death; the harlot womb oft opened in vain
Heaves in enormous circles, now the times are return’d upon thee,
Devourer of thy parent, now thy unutterable torment renews.

America a Prophecy, Prophetic Books Blake, William 1793

‘Virtue, and Hope, and Love, like light and Heaven,
Surround the world.–We are their chosen slaves.
Has not the whirlwind of our spirit driven
Truth’s deathless germs to thought’s remotest caves?
Lo, Winter comes!–the grief of many graves,
The frost of death, the tempest of the sword,
The flood of tyranny, whose sanguine waves
Stagnate like ice at Faith the enchanter’s word,
And bind all human hearts in its repose abhorred.

The Revolt of Islam Shelley, Percy Bysshe 1817

King, king, he is dead; some strange triumphant thought
So filled his heart with joy that it has burst
Being grown too mighty for our frailty,
And we who gaze grow like him and abhor
The moments that come between us and that death
You promised us.

Seven Poems and a Fragment Yeats, William Butler 1922

And it was another sweet, and sanctified, and sanctifying bond between them. For, whatever some lovers may sometimes say, love does not always abhor a secret, as nature is said to abhor a vacuum. Love is built upon secrets, as lovely Venice upon invisible and incorruptible piles in the sea. Love’s secrets, being mysteries, ever pertain to the transcendent and the infinite; and so they are as airy bridges, by which our further shadows pass over into the regions of the golden mists and exhalations; whence all poetical, lovely thoughts are engendered, and drop into us, as though pearls should drop from rainbows.

Pierre; or The Ambiguities Melville, Herman 1852

March 6: Impunity

Impunity maketh Insolence; Insolence Hatred; and Hatred, an Endeavour to pull down all oppressing and contumelious greatnesse, though with the ruine of the Common-wealth.

Author and Text

Impunity in Locke and Hume.

March 7: Meticulous

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous–
Almost, at times, the Fool.

Prufrock and Other Observations Eliot, T. S. 1910

Slowly the strophe and antistrophe of frogs and goat-suckers resumed possession of his consciousness. But now some primitive instinct perhaps or some subconscious intimation of danger made him meticulously noiseless.

Author and Texts

March 8: Pivot

You must cross the invisible border. Between the foreground, which is our own, and Etna, pivot of winds in lower heaven, there is a dividing line. You must change your state of mind. A metempsychosis. It is no use thinking you can see and behold Etna and the foreground both at once. Never. One or the other. Foreground and a transcribed Etna. Or Etna, pedestal of heaven.

Sea and Sardinia Lawrence, D. H. 1921

But at the first reading, not being able–as he thought–to master the pivot-idea of the pamphlet; and as every incomprehended idea is not only a perplexity but a taunting reproach to one’s mind, Pierre had at last ceased studying it altogether; nor consciously troubled himself further about it during the remainder of the journey. But still thinking now it might possibly have been mechanically retained by him, he searched all the pockets of his clothes, but without success. He begged Millthorpe to do his best toward procuring him another copy; but it proved impossible to find one. Plotinus himself could not furnish it.

Author and Texts

They turn indeed; but then they turn upon
Some central pivot of their thought and choice
And veer out by the force of holding fast.

Author and Text

March 9: Luminary

Likewise, whether the World was created in Autumn, Summer, or the Spring, because it was created in them all; for whatsoever Sign the Sun possesseth, those four Seasons are actually existent: It is the Nature of this Luminary to distinguish the several Seasons of the year, all which it makes at one time in the whole Earth, and successive in any part thereof. There are a bundle of curiosities, not only in Philosophy, but in Divinity, proposed and discussed by men of most supposed abilities, which indeed are not worthy our vacant hours, much less our serious Studies. Pieces only fit to be placed in Pantagruel’s Library, or bound up with Tartaretus, De modo Cacandi.

Author and Texts

So that if the Clothes-Volume itself was too like a Chaos, we have now instead of the solar Luminary that should still it, the airy Limbo which by intermixture will farther volatilize and discompose it! As we shall perhaps see it our duty ultimately to deposit these Six Paper-Bags in the British Museum, farther description, and all vituperation of them, may be spared. Biography or Autobiography of Teufelsdrockh there is, clearly enough, none to be gleaned here: at most some sketchy, shadowy fugitive likeness of him may, by unheard-of efforts, partly of intellect, partly of imagination, on the side of Editor and of Reader, rise up between them.

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The last day had come. Doomsday was at hand. The stars of heaven were falling upon the earth like the figs cast by the figtree which the wind has shaken. The sun, the great luminary of the universe, had become as sackcloth of hair. The moon was bloodred. The firmament was as a scroll rolled away. The archangel Michael, the prince of the heavenly host, appeared glorious and terrible against the sky. With one foot on the sea and one foot on the land he blew from the archangelical trumpet the brazen death of time. The three blasts of the angel filled all the universe. Time is, time was, but time shall be no more. At the last blast the souls of universal humanity throng towards the valley of Jehosaphat, rich and poor, gentle and simple, wise and foolish, good and wicked.

Her antiquity in preceding and surviving successive tellurian generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence: her luminary reflection: her constancy under all her phases, rising and setting by her appointed times, waxing and waning: the forced invariability of her aspect: her indeterminate response to inaffirmative interrogation: her potency over effluent and refluent waters: her power to enamour, to mortify, to invest with beauty, to render insane, to incite to and aid delinquency: the tranquil inscrutability of her visage: the terribility of her isolated dominant implacable resplendent propinquity: her omens of tempest and of calm: the stimulation of her light, her motion and her presence: the admonition of her craters, her arid seas, her silence: her splendour, when visible: her attraction, when invisible.

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