So on this windy sea of land, the Fiend Walked up and down alone bent on his prey.john milton: 1665 Paradise Lost (published1667), bk.3, l.440-1.
Freedom is only the distance between the hunter and his prey.Zhenkai pen name Beo Dao Zhao: c.1989 'Answer', collected in Donald Finkel A Splintered Mirror (1991).
You think that you are Ann's suitor; that you are the pursuer and she the pursued Fool: it is you who are pursued, the marked down quarry, the destined prey.George Bernard Shaw: 1903 JohnTanner to Octavius Robinson. Man and Superman, act 2.
Fair laughs the morn and soft the zephyr blows, While proudly riding o'er the azure realm In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes; Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm; Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway, That, hushed in grim repose, expects his evening prey.thomas gray: 1757 The Bard. A Pindaric Ode, l.71-6.
So, naturalists observe, a flea Hath smaller fleas on him prey; And these have smaller fleas to bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum. Thus every poet, in his kind, Is bit by him that comes behind.jonathan swift: 1733 'On Poetry', l.337-42.
It fell about the Lammas tide, When the muir-men win their hay, The doughty Douglas bound him to ride Into England, to drive a prey.'The Battle of Otterbourne', opening lines.
Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled; The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!Alexander Pope: 1733 An Essay on Man, epistle 2, l.15-18.
One day I wrote her name upon the strand, But came the waves and washe' d it away; Again I wrote it with a second hand, But came the tide, and made my pains his prey. 'Vain man,'said she,'that doest in vain assay A mortal thing so to immortalise, For I my self shall like to this decay, And eke my name be wipe' d out likewise.' 'Not so,'quod I,'let baser things devise To die in dust, but you shall live by fame: My verse your virtues rare shall eternise, And in the heavens write your glorious name. Where when as death shall all the world subdue, Our love shall live, and later life renew.'Edmund Spenser: 1595 Amoretti, sonnet 75.
Sun-girt city, thou hast been Ocean's child, and then his queen; Now is come a darker day, And thou soon must be his prey.Percy Bysshe Shelley: 1818 'Lines written amongst the Euganean Hills', l.115-18.
What gave transcendent importance to the aggressiveness of power was the fact that its natural prey, its necessary victim, was liberty, or law, or right.bernard bailyn: Chapter III, POWER AND LIBERTY A THEORY OF POLITICS, p. 57
England totally disarmed and an easy prey to hostile forces! Can you think of anything more likely to excite cupidity and hostile intention? We should sink to the level of a fifth rate Power, our Colonies would be stripped from us, our commerce would decline, famine and unemployment would stalk the land. ... I share your longing for peace. God forbid that it should be again disturbed! The constant and undivided effort of the Government is for its preservation. But I have yet to learn that the cause of peace can be served by rendering our country impotent.stanley baldwin: Letter to Arthur Ponsonby (16 December 1927); published in Semi-detached Idealists: The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1854-1945 (2000) by Martin Ceadel, p. 271
You, who know better than any one the motley world of cosmopolites, understand why I have confined myself to painting here only a fragment of it. That world, indeed, does not exist, it can have neither defined customs nor a general character. It is composed of exceptions and of singularities. We are so naturally creatures of custom, our continual mobility has such a need of gravitating around one fixed axis, that motives of a personal order alone can determine us upon an habitual and voluntary exile from our native land. It is so, now in the case of an artist, a person seeking for instruction and change; now in the case of a business man who desires to escape the consequences of some scandalous error; now in the case of a man of pleasure in search of new adventures; in the case of another, who cherishes prejudices from birth, it is the longing to find the "happy mean;" in the case of another, flight from distasteful memories. The life of the cosmopolite can conceal all beneath the vulgarity of its whims, from snobbery in quest of higher connections to swindling in quest of easier prey, submitting to the brilliant frivolities of the sport, the sombre intrigues of policy, or the sadness of a life which has been a failure. Such a variety of causes renders at once very attractive and almost impracticable the task of the author who takes as a model that ever-changing society so like unto itself in the exterior rites and fashions, so really, so intimately complex and composite in its fundamental elements. The writer is compelled to take from it a series of leading facts, as I have done, essaying to deduce a law which governs them.paul bourget: Introduction
Tarzan must act quickly or his prey would be gone; but Tarzan's life training left so little space between decision and action when an emergency confronted him that there was not even room for the shadow of a thought between.Edgar Rice Burroughs: Ch. 9 : Man and Man
Tarzan of the Apes, young and savage beast of the jungle, wondered at the cruel brutality of his own kind.Sheeta, the leopard, alone of all the jungle folk, tortured his prey. The ethics of all the others meted a quick and merciful death to their victims.Tarzan had learned from his books but scattered fragments of the ways of human beings.Edgar Rice Burroughs: Ch. 11 : "King of the Apes"
Upon this I sent to the Register who brought me the [twenty-four] articles, which I have read and find so curiously penned, so full of branches and circumstance, as I think the Inquisitors of Spain use not so many questions to comprehend and to trap their prey. ... this kind of proceeding is too much savouring of the Roman inquisition, and is rather a device to seek for offenders than to reform any.cecil, william, 1st baron burghley: Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Whitgift, criticising the Court of High Commission which was persecuting nonconformists (1 July, 1584).
I crossed the tracks and sought out White prey. I did this consciously, deliberately, willfully, methodically [...] Rape was an insurrectionary act. It delighted me that I was defying and trampling upon the White man's law [...] and that I was defiling his women [...]Eldridge Cleaver: Soul on Fire (1978)
"Quite rightly, we do not normally take the behaviour of animals as a model for how we may treat them. We would not, for example, justify tearing a cat to pieces because we had observed the cat tearing a mouse to pieces. Carnivorous fishes don’t have a choice about whether to kill other fish or not. They kill as a matter of instinct. Meanwhile, humans can choose to abstain from killing or eating fish and other animals. Alternatively, the argument could be made that is part of natural order that there are predators and prey, and so it cannot be wrong for us to play our part in this order. But this “argument from nature” can justify all kinds of inequities, including the rule of men over women and leaving the weak and the sick to fall by the wayside. "Peter Singer, The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter
To enjoy anything, we cannot be attached to it. William Blake understood this beautifully: He who binds to himself a Joy, Doth the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the Joy as it flies / Lives in Eternity's sunrise. What we usually try to do is capture any joy that comes our way before it can escape. We have our butterfly net and go after the joy like a hunter stalking his prey. We hide and wait, pounce on it, catch it, and take it home to put on our wall. When our friends come to visit, we say, "Hey, Stu, would you like to see my joy?" There it is on the wall - dead. We try to cling to pleasure, but all we succeed in doing is making ourselves frustrated because, whatever it promises, pleasure simply cannot last. But if I am willing to kiss the joy as it flies, I say, 'Yes, this moment is beautiful. I won't grab it. I'll let it go.'eknath easwaran: Easwaran, Eknath (2006). Take your time: How to find patience, peace, and meaning. Tomales, CA: Nilgiri Press. ISBN 9781586380182. (p. 103) (work originally published 1994)
The tiger is humbled by memories of prey.steven erikson: Final thoughts of Treach, the Tiger of Summer
After years of secret slavery the Republican Party and the Democratic Party come out into the open and reveal to themselves and to the nation as nothing but the right wing and the left wing of the same bird of prey. There is not a word in either of their platforms that might not have been written and unanimously endorsed by a convention exclusively of corporation lawyers and Wall Street Bankers. The only difference between these platforms as some one has remarked, is the number of words used to say nothing. Confronted by the gravest crisis in the history of civilization, they have demonstrated, even to their own adherents, that they are without the vision of statesmanship, the courage of leadership or the conviction of patriotism.Allen McCurdy, Keynotes for the Third Party National Convention (1920)
So, nat'ralists observe, a flea Hath smaller fleas that on him prey, And these have smaller still to bite 'em And so proceed ad infinitum.Jonathan Swift, On Poetry: A Rhapsody
Until face to face with the enemy, who inexorably advanced well protected toward sure prey, they cried with the last spark of life, "Long Live Italy!"rodolfo graziani: Quoted in "Marshal Is Frank" - "New York Times" article, December 23, 1940
Can't is the word that is foe to ambition,An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;Its prey is forever the man with a missionAnd bows but to courage and patience and skill.Hate it, with hatred that's deep and undying,For once it is welcomed 'twill break any man;Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep tryingAnd answer this demon by saying: "I can."edgar guest: Can't, stanza 4, p. 54
Hopeless, filthy, degraded, superstitious with the craven superstition which made them the easy prey of their unscrupulous clergy and left them wholly sensual and stupid; as animals, without the animals' instinctive joy of life and fearlessness of the morrow ; with no ambitions for themselves or the children who turned to curse them for having brought them into such a world; with no time to dream or love, no time for the tenderness which makes life, life indeed — they toiled for a few cruel years because they feared to die, and died because they feared to live. Such were the people Turgot was sent to redeem.evelyn beatrice hall: Ch. 8 : Turgot: The Statesman, p. 218