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 beetleâ€™s wing.
Swung out of sunlight into cosmic shade,
Come what come may the imaginationâ€™s heart
Is constellation high and canâ€™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“