I like collecting pearls of wisdom that I come across while reading books, blogs and poems. Below is a growing collection of such tidbits. I’d try adding notes to some of the quotes which really struck me at some point of time or helped me in a difficult phase of life.

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods
— Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome

This was one of the first quotes which I memorized. I was introduced to this poem by my late grandfather whom I idolize. It speaks of patriotism and valour. Sadly I have not yet felt that kind of patriotism for the nation but I feel a strong desire to work for the poor and destitute of the country.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting.
— H.W. Longfellow, A psalm of life

It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.

I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
No rhetoric, no tremolos,
no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell.
And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.

So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling,
on tiptoes and no luggage,
not even a sponge bag,
completely unencumbered.
— Aldous Huxley, Island