… invariably end up as bear food

From Written in Exile: The Poetry of Liu Tsung-Yuan, translated by Red Pine

Deer are afraid of wildcats, wildcats are afraid of tigers, and tigers are afraid of bears. Covered with long shaggy hair and able to stand upright, bears possess exceptional strength and are capable of killing people. In the south of Ch’u there once was a hunter who could make all kinds of animal calls with his flute. One day he took his bow and arrows and his firepot into the mountains, and he made a call to attract deer. He waited, and when a deer appeared, he started a fire, then he shot the deer. But when a wildcat heard the deer call, it came too. The hunter was terrified and pretended to be a tiger to frighten it. But when the wildcat ran off, a tiger appeared. The man was even more terrified and pretended to be a bear. The tiger disappeared. But a bear heard the call and came looking for a mate. When it saw the man, it grabbed him and tore him apart and ate him. It turns out that those who rely on external aids instead of developing what they have within themselves invariably end up as bear food.

I would still be lonely

From The Song in the Dream of the Hermit: Selections from the Kanginshu

Do not
wear white

it will shine
in the light
of the moon

will know

I would still be lonely
even lying there with you,
moonlight slanting
through the window,
temple bells ringing
for the break of dawn

Per altra via, che fu sì aspra e forte, che lo salire omai ne parrà gioco

Purgatory 2 60ish forward, English from Longfellow.

Da poppa stava il celestial nocchiero,
tal che faria beato pur descripto;
e più di cento spirti entro sediero.
“In exitu Isräel de Aegypto”
cantavan tutti insieme ad una voce
con quanto di quel salmo è poscia scripto.
Poi fece il segno lor di santa croce;
ond’ ei si gittar tutti in su la piaggia:
ed el sen gì, come venne, veloce.
La turba che rimase lì, selvaggia
parea del loco, rimirando intorno
come colui che nove cose assaggia.
Da tutte parti saettava il giorno
lo sol, ch’avea con le saette conte
di mezzo ‘l ciel cacciato Capricorno,
quando la nova gente alzò la fronte
ver’ noi, dicendo a noi: “Se voi sapete,
mostratene la via di gire al monte.”
E Virgilio rispuose: “Voi credete
forse che siamo esperti d’esto loco;
ma noi siam peregrin come voi siete.
Dianzi venimmo, innanzi a voi un poco,
per altra via, che fu sì aspra e forte,
che lo salire omai ne parrà gioco.”

Upon the stern stood the Celestial Pilot;
Beatitude seemed written in his face,
And more than a hundred spirits sat within.
“In exitu Israel de Aegypto!”
They chanted all together in one voice,
With whatso in that psalm is after written.
Then made he sign of holy rood upon them,
Whereat all cast themselves upon the shore,
And he departed swiftly as he came.
The throng which still remained there unfamiliar
Seemed with the place, all round about them gazing,
As one who in new matters makes essay.
On every side was darting forth the day.
The sun, who had with his resplendent shafts
From the mid-heaven chased forth the Capricorn,
When the new people lifted up their faces
Towards us, saying to us: “If ye know,
Show us the way to go unto the mountain.”
And answer made Virgilius: “Ye believe
Perchance that we have knowledge of this place,
But we are strangers even as yourselves.
Just now we came, a little while before you,
Another way, which was so rough and steep,
That mounting will henceforth seem sport to us.”


With what spirit might not Lucian have painted two priests

From Charles Lamb’s Grace Before Meat:

I once drank tea in company with two Methodist divines of different persuasions, whom it was my fortune to introduce to each other for the first time that evening. Before the first cup was handed round, one of these reverend gentlemen put it to the other, with all due solemnity, whether he chose to say anything. It seems it is the custom with some sectaries to put up a short prayer before this meal also. His reverend brother did not at first quite apprehend him, but upon an explanation, with little less importance he made answer that it was not a custom known in his church: in which courteous evasion the other acquiescing for good manners’ sake, or in compliance with a weak brother, the supplementary or tea-grace was waived altogether. With what spirit might not Lucian have painted two priests, of his religion, playing into each other’s hands the compliment of performing or omitting a sacrifice, – the hungry God meantime, doubtful of his incense, with expectant nostrils hovering over the two flamens, and (as between two stools) going away in the end without his supper.

Sopped in claret, steeped in claret, basted with claret

From The Months by Charles Lamb:

The culinary recipes have nothing remarkable in them, except the costliness of them. Every thing (to the meanest meats) is sopped in claret, steeped in claret, basted with claret, as if claret were as cheap as ditch water. I remember Bacon recommends opening a turf or two in your garden walks, and pouring into each a bottle of claret, to recreate the sense of smelling, being no less grateful than beneficial. We hope the chancellor of the exchequer will attend to this in his next reduction of French wines, that we may once more water our gardens with right Bourdeaux

νιφάδες δ᾽ ὡς πῖπτον ἔραζε

Iliad 12.130ish

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ δὴ τεῖχος ἐπεσσυμένους ἐνόησαν
Τρῶας, ἀτὰρ Δαναῶν γένετο ἰαχή τε φόβος τε,
ἐκ δὲ τὼ ἀΐξαντε πυλάων πρόσθε μαχέσθην
ἀγροτέροισι σύεσσιν ἐοικότε, τώ τ᾽ ἐν ὄρεσσιν
ἀνδρῶν ἠδὲ κυνῶν δέχαται κολοσυρτὸν ἰόντα,
δοχμώ τ᾽ ἀΐσσοντε περὶ σφίσιν ἄγνυτον ὕλην
πρυμνὴν ἐκτάμνοντες, ὑπαὶ δέ τε κόμπος ὀδόντων
γίγνεται εἰς ὅ κέ τίς τε βαλὼν ἐκ θυμὸν ἕληται:
ὣς τῶν κόμπει χαλκὸς ἐπὶ στήθεσσι φαεινὸς
ἄντην βαλλομένων: μάλα γὰρ κρατερῶς ἐμάχοντο
λαοῖσιν καθύπερθε πεποιθότες ἠδὲ βίηφιν.
οἳ δ᾽ ἄρα χερμαδίοισιν ἐϋδμήτων ἀπὸ πύργων
βάλλον ἀμυνόμενοι σφῶν τ᾽ αὐτῶν καὶ κλισιάων
νηῶν τ᾽ ὠκυπόρων: νιφάδες δ᾽ ὡς πῖπτον ἔραζε,
ἅς τ᾽ ἄνεμος ζαὴς νέφεα σκιόεντα δονήσας
ταρφειὰς κατέχευεν ἐπὶ χθονὶ πουλυβοτείρῃ:
ὣς τῶν ἐκ χειρῶν βέλεα ῥέον ἠμὲν Ἀχαιῶν
ἠδὲ καὶ ἐκ Τρώων: