„Handle a book as a bee does a flower, extract its sweetness but do not damage it.“

—  John Muir

Last update June 3, 2021. History
John Muir photo
John Muir183
Scottish-born American naturalist and author 1838 - 1914

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„You should watch the wise bee and do as it does. It dwells in unity, in the congregation of its fellows, and goes forth, not in the storm, but in calm and still weather, in the sunshine, towards all those flowers in which sweetness may be found.“

—  John Ruysbroeck Flemish mystic 1293 - 1381

The Spiritual Espousals (c. 1340)
Context: You should watch the wise bee and do as it does. It dwells in unity, in the congregation of its fellows, and goes forth, not in the storm, but in calm and still weather, in the sunshine, towards all those flowers in which sweetness may be found. It does not rest on any flower, neither on any beauty nor on any sweetness; but it draws from them honey and wax, that is to say, sweetness and light-giving matter, and brings both to the unity of the hive, that therewith it may produce fruits, and be greatly profitable. Christ, the Eternal Sun, shining into the open heart, causes that heart to grow and to bloom, and it overflows with all the inward powers with joy and sweetness. So the wise man will do like the bee, and he will fly forth with attention and with reason and with discretion, towards all those gifts and towards all that sweetness which he has ever experienced, and towards all the good which God has ever done to him. And in the light of love and with inward observation, he will taste of the multitude of consolations and good things; and will not rest upon any flower of the gifts of God, but, laden with gratitude and praise, will fly back into the unity, wherein he wishes to rest and to dwell eternally with God.

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„208. The honey is sweet, but the bee stings.“

—  George Herbert Welsh-born English poet, orator and Anglican priest 1593 - 1633

Jacula Prudentum (1651)

Richard Henry Horne photo

„A sweet content
Passing all wisdom or its fairest flower.“

—  Richard Henry Horne English poet and critic 1802 - 1884

Orion (1843), Book iii, Canto ii.

Pietro Metastasio photo

„The bee and the serpent often sip from the selfsame flower.“

—  Pietro Metastasio Italian poet and librettist (born 3 January 1698, died 12 April 1782) 1698 - 1782

L'ape e la serpe spesso
Suggon l'istesso umore;
Part I.
Morte d' Abele (1732)

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„Sweet is the breath of vernal shower,
The bee's collected treasures sweet,
Sweet music's melting fall, but sweeter yet
The still small voice of gratitude.“

—  Thomas Gray English poet, historian 1716 - 1771

Ode for Music http://www.thomasgray.org/cgi-bin/display.cgi?text=ocmu (1769), V, line 8

Edgar Allan Poe photo

„Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely—flowers.“

—  Edgar Allan Poe American author, poet, editor and literary critic 1809 - 1849

"Israfel", st. 7 (1831).

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„Writing poetry and reading books causes brain damage.“

—  Pat Conroy, book The Prince of Tides

Source: The Prince of Tides, character Henry Wingo, chapter 2, page 53 (e-book edition)

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