Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Melody

"I live in the world, but I seem to myself not of it!.. Natural phenomena are but the shadows of the spirit form which they spring, as the human face changes under the influence of love, hatred or fear... When, O when, shall I be able to reveal its poetry? I see everywhere and in ever object unceasing motion, and in that motion a creative force forever and forever repeating and re-repeating the same simple process as to infinity. Through all nature the grand rhythms roll and heaven and earth are filled with the melody. Men are but boys chasing shadows. The spiritual significance of the world none seem to see - the infinite simplicity of its process are none care to understand." - H. B.

"I saw there was no boundary lines between vegetable and animal life, and hence no beginning nor end to either... All physical phenomena, at their best, are dull and murky till they come up into spiritual life. As an illustration that every law has its universality take the familiar law or principle that action and reaction are equal. What is this but reaping the whirlwind after one has sown the wind, or how does natural law differ from this teaching: ‘Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap?’ Are they aught but different strains in the great cosmic melody?" - H. B.

"All music - since its though is upon melody and rhythm - must be the earthly representation of the music there is in the rhythm of the Ideal Realm." - Plotinus NULL

"Life itself is experienced as an endless celebration, an eternal dance and rhythm, continuously pulsating sound. To the initiate, life is a vibrating, harmoniously synchronized melody. The shame works with this feeling of sharing the rhythm of the cosmic dance of fields of energy that are the source, the matrix of all matter." - Holger Kalweit

"Every soul is a melody which needs renewing." - Stephane Mallarme, born Étienne Mallarmé

"Geometry gives us the sense of equality produced by proportion. It also heals by means of fine music all that is harsh and inharmonious or discordant in the soul, under the influence of rhythm, meter and melody." - Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew NULL

"The spirituality that flows from our actions is not fleeting, transient, or solitary in a silent cosmos. The music of refined actions, the melody of a noble soul, is woven into the tapestry of eternal music which God Himself composed." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"When men hear imitations, even apart from the rhythms and tunes themselves, their feelings move in sympathy. Since then music is a pleasure, and virtue consists in rejoicing and loving and hating aright, there is clearly nothing which we are so much concerned to acquire and to cultivate as the power of forming right judgments and of taking delight in good dispositions and noble actions. Rhythm and melody supply imitations of anger and gentleness, and also of courage and temperance, and of all the qualities contrary to these, and of the other qualities of character, which hardly fall short of the actual affections, as we know form our own experience, for in listening to such strains our souls undergo a change. The habit of feeling pleasure or pain at mere representation is not far removed from the same feeling about realities." - Aristotle NULL

"Friends will not only live in harmony, but in melody." - Henry David Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau

"The world’s history is a divine poem of which the history of every nation is a canto and every man a word. Its strains have been pealing along down the centuries, and though there have been mingled the discords of warring cannon and dying men, yet to the Christian philosopher and historian - the humble listener - there has been a divine melody running through the song which speaks of hope and halcyon days to come." - James A. Garfield

"There's no music in "rest," but there's the making of music in it. And people are always missing that part of the life melody, always talking of perseverance and courage and fortitude; but patience is the finest and worthiest part of fortitude, and the rarest, too." - John Ruskin

"Good painting is nothing else but a copy of the perfections of God and a reminder of His painting. Finally, good painting is a music and a melody which intellect only can appreciate, and with great difficulty." - Michelangelo, aka Michaelangelo Buonarroti, fully Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni NULL

"When children listen to music, they don't just listen. They melt into the melody and flow with the rhythm. Something inside starts to unfold its wings - soon the child and the music are one." - Michael Jackson, fully Michael Joseph Jackson, aka MJ or King of Pop

"Good painting is nothing else but a copy of the perfections of God and a reminder of His painting. Finally, good painting is a music and a melody which intellect only can appreciate, and with great difficulty. " -

"The heart of the melody can never be put down on paper." - Pablo Casals, fully Pau Casals i Defilló

"That deep silence has a melody of its own, a sweetness unknown amid the harsh discords of the world's sounds. " - Paul Brunton, born Hermann Hirsch, wrote under various pseudonyms including Brunton Paul, Raphael Meriden and Raphael Delmonte

"A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"There is eloquence in the tongueless wind, and a melody in the flowing brooks and the rustling of the reeds beside them, which by their inconceivable relation to something within the soul, awaken the spirits to a dance of breathless rapture, and bring tears of mysterious tenderness to the eyes, like the enthusiasm of patriotic success, or the voice of one beloved singing to you alone. " - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"I have found in every word a certain musical value, a melody in every thought, harmony in every feeling, and I have tried to interpret the same things with clear and simple words to those who used to listen to my music." - Inayat Khan, aka Hazrat Inayat Khan, fully Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

"A friend is someone who knows the melody of your heart, and she plays to you if you forget it. " - Albert Einstein

"My love is like a red, red rose That's newly sprung in June: My love is like the melody That's sweetly played in tune. How fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in love am I; And I will love thee still, my dear, Till all the seas gang dry. Till all the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt with the sun; I will love thee still, my dear, While the sands of life shall run. And fare thee weel, my only love. And fare thee weel awhile! And I will come again, my love, Though it were ten thousand mile. " - Robert Burns, aka Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard

"My heart craves to praise Thee, But I am unable. Would my understanding Were as spacious as Solomon’s. Without it my wisdom As yet ill suffices For expounding Thy wonders And Thy deeds of beneficence Wrought for me and all mankind. Without Thee all’s hopeless, And where is the rock Sustaining, suspending The weight of the world? I am as one orphaned; Nay, on Thee I am cast. What then can I do But look to Thee, wait on Thee, In whose hand is the spirit Of all that is living, In whose hand is the breath Of all the creation?" - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"To Thee, O living God, my being yearns, For Thee my soul consumes, my spirit burns. Within Thy chosen people’s hearts Thy glory Inhabits, be they babes or fathers hoary, To bind Thy chosen to Thy chariot wheels. And with the radiance that Thee conceals I fill my heart and make for my delight A lampstand set beside me in the night. The wisest weary them to comprehend Thy mystery, then how should I ascend The secret of Thy glorious shrine to tell? Thy shining semblance is unsearchable. Then let my craving to my own soul turn To find the wealth divine for which I yearn. For Wisdom’s house is as of sapphires builded, Her pavement as with gold of Ophir gilded. Within the body is her hidden lair, Like a young lion she is couchant there. She is my bliss and joy in lamentation, She is my thinking cap of meditation. What man dare all her beauty’s praises sum, Or be to her perfections wholly dumb? Answer her swiftly, God of grace above, For she is sick with longing for Thy love. "Gently, dear damsel, sip salvation’s water, For thou, most dazzling maiden, art My daughter."" - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"The old cathedrals are good, but the great blue dome that hangs over everything is better." - Thomas Carlyle

"It will not do to trust to long life." - Welsh Proverbs

"It could be said that a liberal education has the nature of a bequest, in that it looks upon the student as the potential heir of a cultural birthright, whereas a practical education has the nature of a commodity to be exchanged for position, status, wealth, etc., in the future. A liberal education rests on the assumption that nature and human nature do not change very much or very fast and that one therefore needs to understand the past. The practical educators assume that human society itself is the only significant context, that change is therefore fundamental, constant, and necessary, that the future will be wholly unlike the past, that the past is outmoded, irrelevant, and an encumbrance upon the future -- the present being only a time for dividing past from future, for getting ready. But these definitions, based on division and opposition, are too simple. It is easy, accepting the viewpoint of either side, to find fault with the other. But the wrong is on neither side; it is in their division... Without the balance of historic value, practical education gives us that most absurd of standards: relevance, based upon the suppositional needs of a theoretical future. But liberal education, divorced from practicality, gives something no less absurd: the specialist professor of one or another of the liberal arts, the custodian of an inheritance he has learned much about, but nothing from." - Wendell Berry

"What is this jest in majesty? This ass in passion? How do God and Devil combine to form a live dog?" - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"As the health and strength or weakness of our bodies is very much owing to their methods of treating us when we were young, so the soundness or folly of our minds is not less owing to those first tempers and ways of thinking which we eagerly received from the love, tenderness, authority, and constant conversation of our mothers." - William Law

"Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are, that bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, how shall your houseless heads and unfed sides, your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you from seasons such as these? O! I have ta'en too little care of this! Take physic, pomp; expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, that thou mayst shake the superflux to them, and show the heavens more just. King Lear, Act iii, Scene 4-5" -

"Painting is nature seen through a temperament." - Emile Zola

"Then, as horizons step, or noons report away, without the formula of sound, it passes, and we stay: a quality of loss affecting our content." - Emily Dickinson, fully Emily Elizabeth Dickinson