Category Archives: Quotes

Chasing poetry…

It’s time to have another adventure!

“There’s no sense in going further—it’s the edge of cultivation,”
  So they said, and I believed it—broke my land and sowed my crop—
Built my barns and strung my fences in the little border station
  Tucked away below the foothills where the trails run out and stop.

Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
  On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated—so:
“Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges—
  “Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!”

So I went, worn out of patience; never told my nearest neighbours—
  Stole away with pack and ponies—left ’em drinking in the town;
And the faith that moveth mountains didn’t seem to help my labours
  As I faced the sheer main-ranges, whipping up and leading down.

March by march I puzzled through ’em, turning flanks and dodging shoulders,
  Hurried on in hope of water, headed back for lack of grass;
Till I camped above the tree-line—drifted snow and naked boulders—
  Felt free air astir to windward—knew I’d stumbled on the Pass.

’Thought to name it for the finder: but that night the Norther found me—	
  Froze and killed the plains-bred ponies; so I called the camp Despair
(It’s the Railway Gap to-day, though). Then my Whisper waked to hound me:—
  “Something lost behind the Ranges. Over yonder! Go you there!”

Then I knew, the while I doubted—knew His Hand was certain o’er me.
  Still—it might be self-delusion—scores of better men had died—
I could reach the township living, but … He knows what terror tore me …	
  But I didn’t … but I didn’t. I went down the other side,

Till the snow ran out in flowers, and the flowers turned to aloes,
  And the aloes sprung to thickets and a brimming stream ran by;
But the thickets dwined to thorn-scrub, and the water drained to shallows,
  And I dropped again on desert—blasted earth, and blasting sky….

I remember lighting fires; I remember sitting by ’em;
  I remember seeing faces, hearing voices, through the smoke;
I remember they were fancy—for I threw a stone to try ’em.
  “Something lost behind the Ranges” was the only word they spoke.

I remember going crazy. I remember that I knew it
  When I heard myself hallooing to the funny folk I saw.
’Very full of dreams that desert, but my two legs took me through it …
  And I used to watch ’em moving with the toes all black and raw.

But at last the country altered—White Man’s country past disputing—
  Rolling grass and open timber, with a hint of hills behind—
There I found me food and water, and I lay a week recruiting.
  Got my strength and lost my nightmares. Then I entered on my find.

’Thence I ran my first rough survey—chose my trees and blazed and ringed ’em—
  Week by week I pried and sampled—week by week my findings grew.
Saul he went to look for donkeys, and by God he found a kingdom!
  But by God, who sent His Whisper, I had struck the worth of two!

Up along the hostile mountains, where the hair-poised snowslide shivers—
  Down and through the big fat marshes that the virgin ore-bed stains,
Till I heard the mile-wide mutterings of unimagined rivers,
  And beyond the nameless timber saw illimitable plains!

’Plotted sites of future cities, traced the easy grades between ’em;
  Watched unharnessed rapids wasting fifty thousand head an hour;
Counted leagues of water-frontage through the axe-ripe woods that screen ’em—
  Saw the plant to feed a people—up and waiting for the power!

Well I know who’ll take the credit—all the clever chaps that followed—
  Came, a dozen men together—never knew my desert-fears;
Tracked me by the camps I’d quitted, used the water-holes I’d hollowed.
  They’ll go back and do the talking. They’ll be called the Pioneers!

They will find my sites of townships—not the cities that I set there.
  They will rediscover rivers—not my rivers heard at night.
By my own old marks and bearings they will show me how to get there,
  By the lonely cairns I builded they will guide my feet aright.

Have I named one single river? Have I claimed one single acre?
  Have I kept one single nugget—(barring samples)? No, not I!
Because my price was paid me ten times over by my Maker.
  But you wouldn’t understand it. You go up and occupy.

Ores you’ll find there; wood and cattle; water-transit sure and steady
  (That should keep the railway rates down), coal and iron at your doors.
God took care to hide that country till He judged His people ready,
  Then He chose me for His Whisper, and I’ve found it, and it’s yours!

Yes, your “Never-never country”—yes, your “edge of cultivation”
  And “no sense in going further”—till I crossed the range to see.
God forgive me! No, I didn’t. It’s God’s present to our nation.
  Anybody might have found it but—His Whisper came to Me!

— Rudyard Kipling, “The Explorer”

If by whiskey, you mean…

A 1952 speech by Noah S. “Soggy” Sweat, Jr., a lawmaker from the state of Mississippi, on the subject of whether Mississippi should continue to prohibit (which it did until 1966) or finally legalize alcoholic beverages.

My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey:

If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.

This kind of sums up politics.

I secretly upgraded you to Hulu Plus

I would never tell you, because we always got in fights over stuff like this, but I got this really intense feeling of love for you one time while I was watching you sew a button onto your shirt. I was totally overcome by your beauty or vunerability or something, and I got caught up in the moment and secretly opened your computer and upgraded you to Hulu Plus.

— Chelsea Martin, Even Though I Don’t Miss You

Sufficient, but knows nothing of practical gardening

He said that he would acquire no knowledge which did not bear upon his object. Therefore all the knowledge which he possessed was such as would be useful to him. I enumerated in my own mind all the various points upon which he had shown me that he was exceptionally well-informed. I even took a pencil and jotted them down. I could not help smiling at the document when I had completed it. It ran in this way —

SHERLOCK HOLMES — his limits.

Knowledge of Literature: Nil.
Knowledge of Philosophy: Nil.
Knowledge of Astronomy: Nil.
Knowledge of Politics: Feeble.
Knowledge of Botany: Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening.
Knowledge of Geology: Practical but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.
Knowledge of Chemistry: Profound.
Knowledge of Anatomy: Accurate but unsystematic.
Knowledge of Sensational Literature: Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century.
Plays the violin well.
Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman.
Has a good practical knowledge of British law.

— Dr. Watson