It had come so softly towards us over the waters; this war; gradually, as clouds which quietly fill in a horizon from end to end. But as yet it had not broken. Only the rumour of it gripped the heart with conflicting hopes and fears. At first it had seemed to portend the end of the so-called civilised world, but this hope soon proved vain. No, it was to be as always simply the end of kindness and safety and moderate ways; the end of the artist's hopes, of nonchalance, of joy. Apart from this everything else about the human condition would be confirmed and emphasised; perhaps even a certain truthfulness had already begun to emerge from behind appearances, for death heightens every tension and permits us fewer of the half-truths by which we normally live.
-- Lawrence Durrell, Clea
Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come the myrtle tree, and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
-- Isaiah 55:13