“[God] chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:

From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.

So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.”

— Psalm 78:70-72 (King James Version)

“[God] chose David his servant
    and took him from the sheep pens;
from tending the sheep he brought him
    to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
    of Israel his inheritance.
And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
    with skillful hands he led them.”

— Psalm 78:70-72 (New International Version)


“But [God] made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.

And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.”

— Psalm 78:52-53 (King James Version)

“But [God] brought his people out like a flock;
    he led them like sheep through the wilderness.
He guided them safely, so they were unafraid;
    but the sea engulfed their enemies.”

— Psalm 78:52-53 (New International Version)


“But [God], being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.

For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.”

— Psalm 78:38-39 (King James Version)

“Yet [God] was merciful;
    he forgave their iniquities
    and did not destroy them.
Time after time he restrained his anger
    and did not stir up his full wrath.
He remembered that they were but flesh,
    a passing breeze that does not return.”

— Psalm 78:38-39 (New International Version)


Sonnet 14

by: William Shakespeare
from: Sonnets

Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck,
And yet methinks I have astronomy;
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality.
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
’Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well
By oft predict that I in heaven find;
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert.
   Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
   Thy end is truth’s and beauty’s doom and date.


Sonnet 13

by: William Shakespeare
from: Sonnets

O that you were yourself! But, love, you are
No longer yours than you yourself here live.
Against this coming end you should prepare,
And your sweet semblance to some other give.
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination; then you were
Yourself again after your self’s decease,
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold
Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day
And barren rage of death’s eternal cold?
   O, none but unthrifts, dear my love, you know.
   You had a father; let your son say so.


Sonnet 12

by: William Shakespeare
from: Sonnets

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silvered o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard:
Then of thy beauty do I question make
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake,
And die as fast as they see others grow;
   And nothing ’gainst time’s scythe can make defence
   Save breed to brave him when he takes thee hence.


“[P]romotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.

But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”

— Psalm 75:6-7 (King James Version)

“No one from the east or the west
    or from the desert can exalt themselves.
It is God who judges:
    He brings one down, he exalts another.”

— Psalm 75:6-7 (New International Version)


“[O Lord, h]ave respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.”

— Psalm 74:20 (King James Version)

“[O Lord, h]ave regard for your covenant,
    because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.”

— Psalm 74:20 (New International Version)


“The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.”

— Psalm 74:16 (King James Version)

“The day is yours, and yours also the night;
    you established the sun and moon.”

— Psalm 74:16 (New International Version)


“[I]t is good for me to draw near to God.”

— Psalm 73:28 (King James Version)

“[A]s for me, it is good to be near God.”

— Psalm 73:28 (New International Version)



“I clung to the hope that my husband would be found in a hospital, would magically appear at the airport for his return flight or, worst-case scenario, that his body would be discovered in some weedy cove.

None came to pass. And I discovered there is something worse: absence without answers.”


“We tell our children the stories of our lives to shape our shared history, to give them identity and meaning, and sometimes to protect them. At some point, though, they will yank the story from our hands and make it theirs.”


“Are the old legends… and the poetry that illumined them, obsolete? No, even without the aid of allegory, the legends and the poems aid us to discover our lives, to order ourselves and change our lives. The legends contain, and will always contain, the ancient wisdom and the history of its subsequent growth and flowerings, the traditions of human experience. But this wisdom cannot be directly handed on, cannot be swallowed, digested, possessed. For poetry—or at least this poetry—is not moralistic, or is not, in the usual sense, didactic. It is, rather, dialectical and maieutic: verba admonent tantum ut quaeramus res, non exhibent ut norimus [St. Augustine, De magistro 11] (‘For words only urge us on to look for realities; they do not explain realities so that we comprehend them’). The legends and the poets’ meditations on the legends can persuade us to ponder the realities outside us and inside us that the makers of legends imagine in their proper forms and that the poets re-create.”

— W. R. Johnson, “Praise and Blame: Greek Lyric,” The Idea of Lyric: Lyric Modes in Ancient and Modern Poetry (via bookofwriting)


“Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.

So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.

Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.

But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.”

— Psalm 73:21-28 (King James Version)

“When my heart was grieved
    and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
    I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

Those who are far from you will perish;
    you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds.”

— Psalm 73:21-28 (New International Version)