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This noble spirit saved alive
Has foiled the Devil’s will!
“He who strives on and lives to strive
Can earn redemption still.”

[Gerettet ist das edle Glied
Der Geisterwelt vom Bösen,
„Wer immer strebend sich bemüht,
Den können wir erlösen.“]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, statesman, scientist
Faust: a Tragedy [eine Tragödie], Part 2, Act 5, sc. 7 “Mountain Gorges,” l. 11934ff [Angels] (1808-1829) [tr. Luke (1994)]

(Source (German)). The portion in quotation marks is not actually a quote from anything, but Goethe's thesis being highlighted. Alternate translations:

Freed is the noble scion of
The Spirit-world from evil.
Him can we save that tireless strove
Ever to higher level.
[tr. Latham (1790)]

Rescued is the noble limb
Of the spirit-world from the bad one:
For he who toils and ever strives
Him can we aye deliver.
[tr. Bernays (1839)]

Saved is the spirit kingdom's flower
From evil and the grave.
"Who strives with all his power,
We are allowed to save."
[tr. Kaufmann (1961)]

Pure spirits' peer, from evil coil
He was vouchsafed exemption;
Whoever strives in ceaseless toil,
Him we may grant redemption.
[tr. Arndt (1976)]

He's saved from evil, the great soul,
Confounding clever Satan:
"Who strives, and keeps on striving still,
For him there is redemption!"
[tr. Greenberg (1998); in his 2004 revision, the last line reads "For him there is salvation."]

He’s escaped, this noble member
Of the spirit world, from evil,
Whoever strives, in his endeavour,
We can rescue from the devil.
[tr. Klein (2003)]

Added on 25-Oct-22 | Last updated 25-Oct-22
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Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
Added on 23-Apr-21 | Last updated 23-Apr-21
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To be a writer is to accept failure as a profession — which of us is Dante or Shakespeare? — and could they return, wouldn’t they fall at once to revising, knowing they could make the work better? In our own dwarfed way, we are trying for something like perfection, knowing it is unachievable (except of course that trying and failing is a better way of living than not trying).

John Ciardi (1916-1986) American poet, writer, critic
In Vince Clemente, “‘A Man Is What He Does With His Attention’: A Conversation with John Ciardi,” Poesis, Vol. 7 #2 (1986)
Added on 26-Aug-20 | Last updated 26-Aug-20
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Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia, ch. 6 (1759)
Added on 29-Mar-13 | Last updated 13-Oct-14
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