Kavanach: A Tale

Men of genius are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing meteor, when it descends to earth, is only a stone.

The natural alone is permanent.  Fantastic idols may be worshipped for a while; but at length they are overturned by the continual and silent progress of Truth, as the grim statues of Copan have been pushed from their pedestals by the growth of forest-trees, whose seeds were sown by the wind in the ruined walls.

The everyday cares and duties, which men call drudgery, are the weights and counterpoises of the clock of time, giving its pendulum a true vibration, and its hands a regular motion; and when they cease to hang upon the wheels, the pendulum no longer swings, the hands no longer move, and the clock stands still.

The same object , seen from the three different points of view – the Past, the Present, and the Future – often exhibits three different faces to us; like those signboards over shop doors, which represent the face of a lion as we approach, of a man when we are in front, and of an ass when we have passed.

In character, in manners, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.

From  Kavanach: A Tale
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1893

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