Truth And Falsehood

Truth by her own simplicity is known,
Falsehood by varnish and vermilion.

by Robert Herrick.

Truth And Error

Twixt truth and error, there's this difference known
Error is fruitful, truth is only one.

by Robert Herrick.

As gold the Lydian touch-stone tries,
So man-the virtuous, valiant, wise
Must to all-powerful Truth submit
His virtue, valour, and his wit.

by Bacchylides.

Search For Truth

Search for nothing any more, nothing
except truth.
Be very still, and try and get at the truth.

And the first question to ask yourself is:
How great a liar am I?

by David Herbert Lawrence.

We sometimes hap on truth in a strange attire,
As even the gods were wont for their designs
To take on bestial forms; subduing so
Their natures, even their divinity,
To the achievement of a mortal thing.

by Robert Crawford.

Truth—is As Old As God

836

Truth—is as old as God—
His Twin identity
And will endure as long as He
A Co-Eternity—

And perish on the Day
Himself is borne away
From Mansion of the Universe
A lifeless Deity.

by Emily Dickinson.

Tell All The Truth

Tell all the truth but tell it slant,
Success in circuit lies,
Too bright for our infirm delight
The truth's superb surprise;

As lightning to the children eased
With explanation kind,
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind.

by Emily Dickinson.

Ch 08 On Rules For Conduct In Life - Maxim 58

Who interrupts the conversation of others that they may know his excellence, they will become acquainted only with the degree of his folly.

An intelligent man will not give a reply
Unless he be asked a question.
Because though his words may be based on truth,
His claim to veracity may be deemed impossible.




by Saadi Shirazi.

The Truth—is Stirless

780

The Truth—is stirless—
Other force—may be presumed to move—
This—then—is best for confidence—
When oldest Cedars swerve—

And Oaks untwist their fists—
And Mountains—feeble—lean—
How excellent a Body, that
Stands without a Bone—

How vigorous a Force
That holds without a Prop—
Truth stays Herself—and every man
That trusts Her—boldly up—

by Emily Dickinson.

Oh ! why is the world as it is, we ask,
With tears in our voice, and a sigh :
For nothing remains but an unfinished task,
While beauty is only hypocrisy's mask,
The end of it all—but to die.

Believe me, the world is a place full of joy,
And happiness stretches afar:
Alas ! that the workings of man should destroy
The meaning of God, with the deeds they employ,
Oh ! why are we all as we are?

by Radclyffe Hall.

THE HERO first thought it
To him ’twas a deed:
To those who retaught it,
A chain on their speed.

The fire that we kindled,
A beacon by night,
When darkness has dwindled
Grows pale in the light.

For life has no glory
Stays long in one dwelling,
And time has no story
That’s true twice in telling.

And only the teaching
That never was spoken
Is worthy thy reaching,
The fountain unbroken.

by George William Russell.

The Thread Of Truth

Truth is a golden thread, seen here and there
In small bright specks upon the visible side
Of our strange being's parti-coloured web.
How rich the universe! 'Tis a vein of ore
Emerging now and then on Earth's rude breast,
But flowing full below. Like islands set
At distant intervals on Ocean's face,
We see it on our course; but in the depths
The mystic colonnade unbroken keeps
Its faithful way, invisible but sure.
Oh, if it be so, wherefore do we men
Pass by so many marks, so little heeding?

by Arthur Hugh Clough.

Ch 08 On Rules For Conduct In Life - Maxim 60

Mendacity resembles a violent blow, the scar of which remains, though the wound may be healed. Seest thou not how the brothers of Joseph became noted for falsehood, and no trust in their veracity remained, as Allah the most high has said: Nay but ye yourselves have contrived the thing for your own sake.

One habitually speaking the truth
Is pardoned when he once makes a slip
But if he becomes noted for lying,
People do not believe him even when speaking truth.






by Saadi Shirazi.

"Truth," said a traveller,
"Is a rock, a mighty fortress;
Often have I been to it,
Even to its highest tower,
From whence the world looks black."

"Truth," said a traveller,
"Is a breath, a wind,
A shadow, a phantom;
Long have I pursued it,
But never have I touched
The hem of its garment."
And I believed the second traveller;
For truth was to me
A breath, a wind,
A shadow, a phantom,
And never had I touched
The hem of its garment.

by Stephen Crane.

If Truth In Hearts That Perish

If truth in hearts that perish
Could move the powers on high,
I think the love I bear you
Should make you not to die.

Sure, sure, if stedfast meaning,
If single thought could save,
The world might end to-morrow,
You should not see the grave.

This long and sure-set liking,
This boundless will to please,
--Oh, you should live for ever,
If there were help in these.

But now, since all is idle,
To this lost heart be kind,
Ere to a town you journey
Where friends are ill to find.

by Alfred Edward Housman.

Tell Thee Truth, Sweet; No

TELL thee truth, sweet; no.
Truth is cross and sad and cold:
Lies are pitiful and kind,
Honey-soft as Love's own tongue:
Let me, love, lie so.
Lies are like a summer wind,
Wooing flower-buds to unfold
Lies will last while men are young.
Tell thee truth, love; no.

Let me, sweet, lie so.
Lies are Hope's light ministers,
Footless birds upon the wing:
Truth's a name for plodding care:
Tell thee truth, sweet; no.
Truth's the east wind on the Spring—
'Tis the wind, not Spring-time, errs.
Lies will last while maids are fair.
Let me lie, love, so.

by Augusta Davies Webster.

The Truth Of Woman

Woman's faith, and woman's trust -
Write the characters in the dust;
Stamp them on the running stream,
Print them on the moon's pale beam,
And each evanescent letter
Shall be clearer, firmer, better,
And more permanent, I ween,
Than the thing those letters mean.

I have strain'd the spider's thread
'Gainst the promise of a maid;
I have weigh'd a grain of sand
'Gainst her plight of heart and hand;
I told my true love of the token,
How her faith proved light, and her word was broken:
Again her word and truth she plight,
And I believed them again ere night.

by Sir Walter Scott.

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

by Matthew Arnold.

Truth, Not Form!

I came upon a fountain on my way
When it was hot, and sat me down to drink
Its sparkling stream, when all around the brink
I spied full many vessels made of clay,
Whereon were written, not without display,
In deep engraving or with merely ink,
The blessings which each owner seemed to think
Would light on him who drank with each alway.
I looked so hard my eyes were looking double
Into them all, but when I came to see
That they were filthy, each in his degree,
I bent my head, though not without some trouble,
To where the little waves did leap and bubble,
And so I journeyed on most pleasantly.

by George MacDonald.

Xxxii From Love Redeemed

Love feeds, like Intellect, his lamp with truth;
In the clear truths he finds its flame is measured.
And is not flesh, there, verity? In sooth!
So Love not by this fantasy is pleasured
That slurs the fact in flesh. Its atmosphere,
Too rare and nebulous, no fusing shows;
Its manna too ambrosial is and sheer:
Love craves that union, earthly hunger knows.
O sage is Love—he seeks the living line,
The miracles in breathing flesh explores,
The riches in the depth of sense, divine,
The veiled things only eternal longing pours
Light unobscured on—yes, his doubting done,
With flesh the imminent two converts to one.

by William Baylebridge.

Thou poet-painter, preacher of great truth,
Far more suggestive thine than written tome
Lo, we return with thee to that vast dome,
Dim cavern of the past. Visions uncouth,
Vague, rayless, all impalpable in sooth,
Send back the startled soul. The waters come
All tranquilly from that dim cavern forth,
The mystic tide of human life. A child,
Borne on its bosom, sports with blossoms wild.
A Presence, felt, but still unseen, the boat
With gentle hand guides onward, and beguiled
With music lost in other years, they float
Upon the stream. The hours unfelt, for life
Is joy in its first voyage, with light and blossoms rife.

by Elizabeth Oakes Smith.

Sonnet 138: When My Love Swears That She Is Made Of Truth

When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth,
Unlearnèd in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue;
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O, love's best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love, loves not to have years told.
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flattered be.

by William Shakespeare.

To An Enthusiast

Young ardent soul, graced with fair Nature's truth,
Spring warmth of heart, and fervency of mind,
And still a large late love of all thy kind.
Spite of the world's cold practice and Time's tooth,—
For all these gifts, I know not, in fair sooth,
Whether to give thee joy, or bid thee blind
Thine eyes with tears,—that thou hast not resign'd
The passionate fire and freshness of thy youth:
For as the current of thy life shall flow,
Gilded by shine of sun or shadow-stain'd,
Through flow'ry valley or unwholesome fen,
Thrice blessed in thy joy, or in thy woe
Thrice cursed of thy race,—thou art ordain'd
To share beyond the lot of common men.

by Thomas Hood.

Sonnet Xi: In Truth, Oh Love

In truth, oh Love, with what a boyish kind
Thou doest proceed in thy most serious ways:
That when the heav'n to thee his best displays,
Yet of that best thou leav'st the best behind.

For like a child that some fair book doth find,
With gilded leaves or colored vellum plays,
Or at the most on some find picture stays,
But never heeds the fruit of writer's mind:

So when thou saw'st in Nature's cabinet
Stella, thou straight lookst babies in her eyes,
In her cheek's pit thou didst thy pitfall set:

And in her breast bopeep or couching lies,
Playing and shining in each outward part:
But, fool, seekst not to get into her heart.

by Sir Philip Sidney.

Friend, though thy soul should burn thee, yet be still
Thoughts were not meant for strife, nor tongues for swords,
He that sees clear is gentlest of his words,
And that's not truth that hath the heart to kill.
The whole world's thought shall not one truth fulfil.
Dull in our age, and passionate in youth,
No mind of man hath found the perfect truth,
Nor shalt thou find it; therefore, friend, be still.

Watch and be still, nor hearken to the fool,
The babbler of consistency and rule:
Wisest is he, who, never quite secure,
Changes his thoughts for better day by day:
To-morrow some new light will shine, be sure,
And thou shalt see thy thought another way.

by Archibald Lampman.

Vox Ecclesiae, Vox Christi

Not 'neath the altar only,—yet, in sooth,
There more than elsewhere,—is the cry, “How long?”
The right sown there hath still borne fruit in wrong—
The wrong waxed fourfold. Thence, (in hate of truth)
O'er weapons blessed for carnage, to fierce youth
From evil age, the word hath hissed along:—
“Ye are the Lord's: go forth, destroy, be strong:
Christ's Church absolves ye from Christ's law of ruth.”
Therefore the wine-cup at the altar is
As Christ's own blood indeed, and as the blood
Of Christ's elect, at divers seasons spilt
On the altar-stone, that to man's church, for this,
Shall prove a stone of stumbling,—whence it stood
To be rent up ere the true Church be built.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

I SAW Truth on the mountains, golden-shod
With day-dawn, girt about with skies
Of azure mist, half veiling from man's eyes
Her silent face and gaze upturned to God.
Beneath were clouded steeps of shale and sod,
5
Tracked deviously by feet that human-wise
Toiled upward, but toiled vainly towards the prize;
Some following, shunning some where others trod.
Yet in the darkness oft there came, "I see,"
From eager hearts I met. "Behold!" men cried,
10
Yet variously; "such are Truth's features high."
Self's shadow, form the soul's intensity
Cast on the mist, not such the face I spied,
Calm, sovereign, silent, upturned 'midst the sky.

by Frederick George Scott.

Where Art Thou Come?

'Friend, whereto art thou come?' Thus Verity;
Of each that to the world's sad Olivet
Comes with no multitude, but alone by night,
Lit with the one torch of his lifted soul,
Seeking her that he may lay hands on her;
Thus: and waits answer from the mouth of deed.
Truth is a maid, whom men woo diversely;
This, as a spouse; that, as a light-o'-love,
To know, and having known, to make his brag.
But woe to him that takes the immortal kiss,
And not estates her in his housing life,
Mother of all his seed! So he betrays,
Not Truth, the unbetrayable, but himself:
And with his kiss's rated traitor-craft,
The Haceldama of a plot of days
He buys, to consummate his Judasry
Therein with Judas' guerdon of despair.

by Francis Thompson.

They mustered us up with a royal din,
In wearisome weeks of drought.
Ere ever half of the crops were in,
Or the half of the sheds cut out.

'Twas down with the saddle and spurs and whip
The swagman dropped his swag.
And we hurried us off to the outbound ship
To fight for the English flag.

The English flag, it is ours in sooth
We stand by it wrong or right.
But deep in our hearts is the honest truth
We fought for the sake of a fight.

And the English flag may flutter and wave
Where the World-wide Oceans toss,
But the flag the Australian dies to save
Is the flag of the Southern Cross.

If ever they want us to stand the brunt
Of a hard-faught, grim campaign,
We will carry our own flag up to the front
When we go to the wars again.

by Banjo Paterson.

Irregular Verses To Truth

Written at Fourteen Years of Age.


Where, lovely Goddess, dost thou dwell?
In what remote and silent shade?
Within what cave or lonely cell?
With what old hermit, or unpractis'd maid?
In vain I've sought thee all around,
But thy unfashionable sound
In crowds was never heard,
Nor ever has thy form in town or court appear'd.

The sanctuary is not safe to thee,
Chas'd thence by endless mystery;
Thy own professors chase thee thence,
And wage eternal war with thee and sense;
Then in perplexing comments lost,
E'en when they would be thought to show the most.
Most beautiful when most distress'd,
Descend, O Goddess, to my breast;
There thou may'st reign, unrivall'd and alone,
My thoughts thy subject, and my heart thy throne.

by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

Loving In Truth, And Fain In Verse My Love To Show

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That She, dear She, might take some pleasure of my pain,
—Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain—
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburnt brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay;
Invention, Nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows;
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite—
"Fool!" said my Muse to me "look in thy heart, and write!"

by Sir Philip Sidney.

Sonnet I: Loving In Truth

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she (dear She) might take some pleasure of my pain:
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain;

I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain:
Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-burn'd brain.

But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay,
Invention, Nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows,
And others' feet still seem'd but strangers in my way.

Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite--
"Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart and write."

by Sir Philip Sidney.

Death, Always cruel


Death, always cruel, Pity's foe in chief,
Mother who brought forth grief,
Merciless judgment and without appeal!
Since thou alone hast made my heart to feel
This sadness and unweal,
My tongue upbraideth thee without relief.

And now (for I must rid thy name of ruth)
Behoves me speak the truth
Touching thy cruelty and wickedness:
Not that they be not known; but ne'ertheless
I would give hate more stress
With them that feed on love in very sooth.

Out of this world thou hast driven courtesy,
And virtue, dearly prized in womanhood;
And out of youth's gay mood
The lovely lightness is quite gone through thee.

Whom now I mourn, no man shall learn from me
Save by the measure of these praises given.
Whoso deserves not Heaven
May never hope to have her company.

translated by D.G. Rossetti

by Dante Alighieri.

Truth And Divine Love Rejected By The World

O love, of pure and heavenly birth!
O simple truth, scarce known on earth!
Whom men resist with stubborn will;
And, more perverse and daring still,
Smother and quench, with reasonings vain,
While error and deception reign.

Whence comes it, that, your power the same
As His on high from whence you came,
Ye rarely find a listening ear,
Or heart that makes you welcome here?—
Because ye bring reproach and pain,
Where'er ye visit, in your train.

The world is proud, and cannot bear
The scorn and calumny ye share;
The praise of men the mark they mean,
They fly the place where ye are seen;
Pure love, with scandal in the rear,
Suits not the vain; it costs too dear.

Then, let the price be what it may,
Though poor, I am prepared to pay;
Come shame, come sorrow; spite of tears,
Weakness, and heart–oppressing fears;
One soul, as least, shall not repine,
To give you room; come, reign in mine!

by William Cowper.

Truth Lies Within

Within the body lies the essence which the Vedas and the Puranas are seeking.
Within this body exists the entire Universe, so the sagacious Saints say.
Recluses, ascetics and monks are searching for Him in variegated garbs.
Rishis, munis and avdhoots lay stress on scriptures and holy books.
The learned of the world, puffed up with pride in their scholarly traditions, remain deluded by their erudition.
They delude the world through the practice of pilgrimage, fasting and charity;
They glorify bathing in holy waters and their gollowers bear the evil consequences.
They get lost in rituals and external observances and never can reach the destination.

Such is the state of people in this world
Who keep revolving in the cycle of eighty-four.
Only the Saints have attained the Ultimate, O Tulsi,
They obtain liberation who realize this truth.
The pedantic are engrossed in the practice of traditions,
And evermore, in their ego, are they enslaved by delusion

[Translation by S. L. Sondhi]

by Goswami Tulsidas.

The Truth About Hhorace

It is very aggravating
To hear the solemn prating
Of the fossils who are stating
That old Horace was a prude;
When we know that with the ladies
He was always raising Hades,
And with many an escapade his
Best productions are imbued.

There's really not much harm in a
Large number of his carmina,
But these people find alarm in a
Few records of his acts;
So they'd squelch the muse caloric,
And to students sophomoric
They d present as metaphoric
What old Horace meant for facts.

We have always thought 'em lazy;
Now we adjudge 'em crazy!
Why, Horace was a daisy
That was very much alive!
And the wisest of us know him
As his Lydia verses show him,--
Go, read that virile poem,--
It is No. 25.

He was a very owl, sir,
And starting out to prowl, sir,
You bet he made Rome howl, sir,
Until he filled his date;
With a massic-laden ditty
And a classic maiden pretty
He painted up the city,
And Maecenas paid the freight!

by Eugene Field.

A stripling Bonze (from Eastern clime
We bring the tale we have to tell)
Was standing, once upon a time,
Beside the margin of a well.
Down which he peer'd him wistfully,
As if all deeply pondering
On matter which therein might be,
Some curious or some precious thing.
There while he paused, an old Fakir
Observing, as he wandered by,
Thus spake him, 'What dost thou do here?
To whom the stripling made reply.

'Good Father! I have heard them tell
How truth, our angel-friend in doubt,
Doth hold her dwelling in a well,
And I full fain would win her out.'
'Nay, prythee, Boy! lift not that rope,
If grey experience may advise.
The very best we e'er may hope
From truth, when won, is compromise.'
'Or, scorning that, make sure, fond youth!
Thou now art sowing years of strife.
Who needs will battle for the truth
Shall lead a mighty sorry life.'
The stripling heard; the rope let go;
And never from that hour applied
To such unthankful task; and lo!
Became Chief Bonze before he died.

by John Kenyon.

COME then, let us at least know what's the truth.
Let us not blink our eyes and say
We did not understand; old age or youth
Benumbed our sense or stole our sight away.
It is a lie — just that, a lie — to declare
That Wages are the worth of Work.
No; they are what the Employer wills to spare
To let the Employee sheer starvation shirk.
They're the life-pittance Competition leaves,
The least for which brother'll slay brother.
He who the fruits of this hell-strife receives,
He is a thief, an assassin, and none other.
It is a lie — just that, a lie — to declare
That Rent's the interest on just gains.
Rent's the thumb-screw that makes the worker share
With him who worked not the produce of his pains.
Rent's the wise tax the human tape-worm knows.
The fat he takes; the life-lean leaves.
The holy Landlord is, as we suppose,
Just this — the model of assassin-thieves!
What is the trick the Rich-man, then, contrives?
How play my lords their brilliant rôles? —
They live on the plunder of our toiling lives,
The degradation of our bodies and souls!

by Francis William Lauderdale Adams.

La Bocca De-La-Verita' (The Mouth Of Truth)

In d'una chiesa sopra a 'na piazzetta
Un po' ppiù ssù de Piazza Montanara
Pe la strada che pporta a la Salara,
C'è in nell'entrà una cosa benedetta.

Pe ttutta Roma quant'è larga e stretta
Nun poterai trovà cosa ppiù rara.
È una faccia de pietra che tt'impara
Chi ha detta la bucìa, chi nu l'ha detta.

S'io mo a sta faccia, c'ha la bocca uperta,
Je ce metto una mano, e nu la striggne
La verità da me ttiella pe certa.

Ma ssi fficca la mano uno in bucìa,
Èssi sicuro che a tirà né a spiggne
Quella mano che lì nun viè ppiù via.


English

In a church, in a small square
Shortly after Montanara Square [2] ,
Along the road leading to the salt-works,
As soon as you enter there's something holy.

In all Rome far and wide
You could not find something as rare as that.
It's a face of stone, which tells
Who is a lier and who is not.

If in the mouth of this statue, which is open,
I insert my hand and it does not clasp it,
Consider my truth as most reliable.

But if a lier inserts his hand
Be sure that, push or pull,
That hand won't come out.

by Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli.

The Truth Teller

The Truth Teller lifts the curtain,
And shows us the people's plight;
And everything seems uncertain,
And nothing at all looks right.
Yet out of the blackness groping,
My heart finds a world in bloom;
For it somehow is fashioned for hoping,
And it cannot live in the gloom.


He tells us from border to border,
That race is warring with race;
With riot and mad disorder,
The earth is a wretched place;
And yet ere the sun is setting
I am thinking of peace, not strife;
For my heart has a way of forgetting
All things save the joy of life.


I heard in my Youth's beginning
That earth was a region of woe,
And trouble, and sorrow, and sinning:
The Truth Teller told me so.
I knew it was true, and tragic;
And I mourned over much that was wrong;
And then, by some curious magic,
The heart of me burst into song.


The years have been going, going,
A mixture of pleasure and pain;
But the Truth Teller's books are showing
That evil is on the gain.
And I know that I ought to be grieving,
And I should be too sad to sing;
But somehow I keep on believing
That life is a glorious thing.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.