This is Daniel's tattoo.
I love both the quotes, especially the way that the same four words can mean two completely different things. Sometimes I tell people it's Peake, sometimes Shakespeare! I never tell them it's from the Moulin Rouge, because it isn't....
I first came across the quote in Peake, it was one of those moments, when you read, that you remember. It felt like a Big Thing, and I think his poem gets across some really huge truths in a simple, effective way.
To live at all is miracle enough.
The doom of nations is another thing.
Here in my hammering blood-pulse is my proof.
Let every painter paint and poet sing
And all the sons of music ply their trade;
Machines are weaker than a beetle’s wing.
Swung out of sunlight into cosmic shade,
Come what come may the imagination’s heart
Is constellation high and can’t be weighed.
Nor greed nor fear can tear our faith apart
When every heart-beat hammers out the proof
That life itself is miracle enough.
- Mervyn Peake, "To Live is Miracle Enough"
Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.
- Shakespeare, "Macbeth"
"The prince of Cumberland! that is a step
On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see me black and deep desires"
- Excerpt from Shakespeare's Macbeth (I.iv.48-51).
This tattoo was submitted by Hilary.
"Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
-- From Macbeth (V, v, 19)
(See another picture here.)
"She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
- Shakespeare's Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)