|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Collected Articles by Frederick Douglass:
to secure my freedom had not only failed, but had seemed only to rivet
my fetters the more firmly, and to render my escape more difficult.
Baffled, entangled, and discouraged, I had at times asked myself
the question, May not my condition after all be God's work,
and ordered for a wise purpose, and if so, Is not submission my duty?
A contest had in fact been going on in my mind for a long time,
between the clear consciousness of right and the plausible make-
shifts of theology and superstition. The one held me an abject
slave--a prisoner for life, punished for some transgression in
which I had no lot nor part; and the other counseled me to manly
endeavor to secure my freedom. This contest was now ended; my
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Heap O' Livin' by Edgar A. Guest:
But he who treads them leaves behind
The tender things and true.
Oh, north and south and east and west
The crowded roadways go,
And sweating brow and weary breast
Are all they seem to know.
And mad for pleasure some are bent,
And some are seeking fame,
And some are sick with discontent,
And some are bruised and lame.
Across the world the gleaming steel
A Heap O' Livin'
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Whirligigs by O. Henry:
his door, with only faint interest; but when the lank
driver wrapped the reins about his whip, awkwardly
descended, and stepped into the office, he rose unsteadily
to receive him, recognizing Pike Garvey, the new, the
transformed, the recently civilized.
The mountaineer took the chair Goree offered him.
They who cast doubts upon Garvey's soundness of mind
had a strong witness in the man's countenance. His face
was too long, a dull saffron in hue, and immobile as a
statue's. Pale-blue, unwinking round eyes without
lashes added to the singularity of his gruesome visage.
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Bucolics by Virgil:
Ah! might such length of days to me be given,
And breath suffice me to rehearse thy deeds,
Nor Thracian Orpheus should out-sing me then,
Nor Linus, though his mother this, and that
His sire should aid- Orpheus Calliope,
And Linus fair Apollo. Nay, though Pan,
With Arcady for judge, my claim contest,
With Arcady for judge great Pan himself
Should own him foiled, and from the field retire.
Begin to greet thy mother with a smile,
O baby-boy! ten months of weariness