quote by Zelda Fitzgerald

Most people hew the battlements of life from compromise, erecting their impregnable keeps from judicious submissions, fabricating their philosophical drawbridges from emotional retractions and scalding marauders in the boiling oil of sour grapes.

— Zelda Fitzgerald

Provocative Battlements quotations

Suddenly, I became conscious of the fact that the driver was in the act of pulling up the horses in the courtyard of a vast ruined castle, from whose tall black windows came no ray of light, and whose broken battlements showed a jagged line against the sky.


It is not the glorious battlements, the painted windows, the crouching gargoyles that support a building, but the stones that lie unseen in or upon the earth. It is often those who are despised and trampled on that bear up the weight of a whole nation.

How those holy men of old could storm the battlements above! When there was no way to look but up, they lifted up their eyes to God who made the hills, with unshakable confidence.

It was an elevating, transforming vision: a new, fresh, vigorous, and above all morally regenerate people rising from the obscurity to defend the battlements of liberty and then in triumph standing forth, heartening and sustaining the cause of freedom everywhere.

The soul of the river had entered my soul, And the gathered power of my soul was moving So swiftly, it seemed to be at rest Under cities of cloud and under Spheres of silver and changing worlds Until I saw a flash of trumpets Above the battlements over Time!


Primeval forests! virgin sod! That Saxon has not ravish'd yet, Lo! peak on peak in stairways set- In stepping stairs that reach to God! Here we are free as sea or wind, For here are set Time's snowy tents In everlasting battlements Against the march of Saxon mind.

And as the years flowed by, some villagers told travelers of a beast and a beauty who lived in the castle and could be seen walking on the battlements, and others told of two beauties, and others, of two beasts.

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.

Most people hew the battlements of life from compromise, erecting their impregnable keeps from judicious submissions, fabricating their philosophical drawbacks from emotional retractions and scalding marauders in the boiling oil of sour grapes.

A moment, and its glory was no more. The sun went down beneath the long dark lines of hill and cloud which piled up in the west an airy city, wall heaped on wall, and battlement on battlement; the light was all withdrawn; the shining church turned cold and dark; the stream forgot to smile; the birds were silent; and the gloom of winter dwelt on everything.


The house built on the sand may oftentimes be built higher, have more fair parapets and battlements, windows and ornaments, than that which is built upon the rock; yet all gifts and privileges equal not one grace.

It may be that at this moment every battlement of heaven is alive with the redeemed. There is a sainted mother watching for her daughter. Have you no response to that long hushed voice which has prayed for you so often? And for you, young man, are there no voices there that have prayed for you? And are there none whom you promised once to meet again, if not on earth, in heaven?

It is not our frowning battlements...or the strength our gallant and disciplined army? These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land... Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere.

Huge knots of sea-weed hung upon the jagged and pointed stones, trembling in every breath of wind; and the green ivy clung mournfully round the dark and ruined battlements. Behind it rose the ancient castle, its towers roofless, and its massive walls crumbling away, but telling us proudly of its own might and strength, as when, seven hundred years ago, it rang with the clash of arms, or resounded with the noise of feasting and revelry.

The spider is the chamberlain in the Palace of the Caesars The owl is the trumpeter on the battlements of Afrasiyah.


With battlements that on their restless fronts Bore stars.

Meadows trim with daisies pied, Shallow brooks and rivers wide Towers and battlements it sees Bosom'd high in tufted trees, Where perhaps some beauty lies, The cynosure of neighboring eyes.

Fate sits on these dark battlements and frowns, And as the portal opens to receive me, A voice in hollow murmurs through the courts Tells of a nameless deed.