„Though the snow-drifts of Yoshino were heaped across his path, doubt not that whither his heart is set, his footsteps shall tread out their way.“

—  Murasaki Shikibu, Ch. 19: A Wreath of Cloud
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„In the dark a glimmering light is often sufficient for the pilot to find the polar star and to fix his course. To the pilgrim often a single footstep suffices to enable him to find his way across the bewildering plain.“

—  Pietro Metastasio Italian poet and librettist (born 3 January 1698, died 12 April 1782) 1698 - 1782
Fra l' ombre un lampo solo Basta al nocchier fugace Che già ritrova il polo, Già riconosce il mar. Al pellegrin ben spesso Basta un vestigio impresso, Perchè la via fallace Non l'abbia ad ingannar. Act I, scene 6.

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Tsunetomo Yamamoto photo

„If by setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling.“

—  Tsunetomo Yamamoto, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
Context: The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reaching one's aim is to die a dog's death is the frivolous way of sophisticates. When pressed with the choice of life or death, it is not necessary to gain one's aim. We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live is cowardice. This is a thin dangerous line. To die without gaining one's aim is a dog's death and fanaticism. But there is no shame in this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling. As translated by William Scott Wilson. This first sentence of this passage was used as a military slogan during the early 20th century to encourage soldiers to throw themselves into battle. Variant translations: Bushido is realised in the presence of death. In the case of having to choose between life and death you should choose death. There is no other reasoning. Move on with determination. To say dying without attaining ones aim is a foolish sacrifice of life is the flippant attitude of the sophisticates in the Kamigata area. In such a case it is difficult to make the right judgement. No one longs for death. We can speculate on whatever we like. But if we live without having attaining that aim, we are cowards. This is an important point and the correct path of the Samurai. When we calmly think of death morning and evening and are in despair, We are able to gain freedom in the way of the Samurai. Only then can we fulfil our duty without making mistakes in life. By the Way of the warrior is meant death. The Way of the warrior is death. This means choosing death whenever there is a choice between life and death. It means nothing more than this. It means to see things through, being resolved. I have found that the Way of the samurai is death. This means that when you are compelled to choose between life and death, you must quickly choose death. The way of the Samurai is in death. I have found the essence of Bushido: to die!

 Novalis photo

„Over his own heart and his own thoughts he watched attentively. He knew not whither his longing was carrying him.“

—  Novalis German poet and writer 1772 - 1801
Context: Over his own heart and his own thoughts he watched attentively. He knew not whither his longing was carrying him. As he grew up, he wandered far and wide; viewed other lands, other seas, new atmospheres, new rocks, unknown plants, animals, men; descended into caverns, saw how in courses and varying strata the edifice of the Earth was completed, and fashioned clay into strange figures of rocks. By and by, he came to find everywhere objects already known, but wonderfully mingled, united; and thus often extraordinary things came to shape in him. He soon became aware of combinations in all, of conjunctures, concurrences. Erelong, he no more saw anything alone. — In great variegated images, the perceptions of his senses crowded round him; he heard, saw, touched and thought at once. He rejoiced to bring strangers together. Now the stars were men, now men were stars, the stones animals, the clouds plants; he sported with powers and appearances; he knew where and how this and that was to be found, to be brought into action; and so himself struck over the strings, for tones and touches of his own.

Joyce Kilmer photo

„God be thanked for the Milky Way that runs across the sky,
That's the path that my feet would tread whenever I have to die.“

—  Joyce Kilmer American poet, editor, literary critic, soldier 1886 - 1918
Context: God be thanked for the Milky Way that runs across the sky, That's the path that my feet would tread whenever I have to die. Some folks call it a Silver Sword, and some a Pearly Crown, But the only thing I think it is, is Main Street, Heaventown. "Main Street"

William Cowper photo

„God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.“

—  William Cowper (1731–1800) English poet and hymnodist 1731 - 1800
The opening statement is often paraphrased: God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform. No. 35, "Light Shining out of Darkness".

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