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Great Alexander to subdue the world,
Lyceum there, and painted Stoa next:
There shalt thou hear and learn the secret power
Of harmony, in tones and numbers hit
By voice or hand; and various-measured verse,
Æolian charms and Dorian lyric odes,
And his who gave them breath but higher sung,
Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer call’d,
Whose poem Phæbus challenged for his own ;
Thence what the lofty grave tragedians taught
In chorus or iambic, teachers best
Of moral prudence, with delight received
In brief sententious precepts, while they treat
Of fate, and chance, and change in human life,
High actions, and high passions best describing :
Thence to the famous orators repair,
Those ancient, whose resistless eloquence
Wielded at will that fierce democratie,
Shook the arsenal, and fulmined over Greece
To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne :
To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear,
From heaven descended to the low-roof'd house
Of Socrates; see there his tenement,
Whom well inspired the oracle pronounced
Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth
Mellifluous streams, that water'd all the schools
Of Academics old and new, with those
Surnamed Peripatetics, and the sect
Epicurean, and the Stoic severe.
Paradise Regained, Book IV.
It is not growing like a tree,
In bulk, doth make man better be ;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere :
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night,
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
"And in short measures life may perfect be.
TIME steals away like to a stream,
And we glide hence away with him :
No sound recalls the hours once fled,
Or roses being witherèd :-
Whose life with care is overcast,
That man's not said to live, but last;
Nor is't a life seven years to tell,
But for to live that half seven well.
HERRICK. TO John Wicks.
LONG I have lasted in this world 'tis true,
But yet those years that I have lived but few.
He lives who lives to virtue; men who cast
Their ends for pleasure, do not live, but last.
HERRICK. On Himself.
THO’ death the virtuous young destroy,*
They go to rest and heavenly joy;
Life is not to be judged by days,
Virtue endures--when time decays,
And many old we falsely call,
Who, truly, never lived at all;
For what is Time if not employ'd
In worthy deeds—but all a void ?
Then think not, tho' abridged by fate,
Too short this youth's allotted date.
With dignity he fill’d his span,
In conduct and in worth a man.
So spent, a life to Heaven appears
As full as Nestor's length of years.
ODE TO THE WEST WIND. O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Perhaps the early grave
Which men weep over may be sent to save.
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, *
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes. O thou
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill :
Wild spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver: Hear, O hear!
Thou on whose stream, ʼmid the steep sky's commotion,
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of heaven and ocean,
Angels of rain and lightning; these are spread
On the blue surface of thy airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head
Of some fierce Maenad, e'en from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith's height-
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge
Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: O hear !
Thou who didst waken from his summer-dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay
Lulld by the coil of his crystalline streams
Beside a pumice isle in Baix's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave's intenser day,
All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic's level powers
Angel forms, who lay entranced
Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks
In Vallambrosa, where th' Etrurian shades
High over arch'd imbow'r.
Paradise Lost, Book I.
Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms, and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know
Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves : O hear!
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind ?
A sightless labourer, whistles at his task,
WORDSWORTH. The Excursion.
DONE the tales, to bed we creep,
By whisp'ring winds soon lull'd asleep.
Now gentle gales,
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now art past
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours from the spicy shore
Of Araby the Blest; with such delay
Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league,
Cheer'd with the grateful smell, old ocean smiles.
Paradise Lost. Book IV,
It is an old and good distinction that some things are made only for our use, and some things for enjoyment. The first we value only for their use, the second we account our happiness.
SHERLOCK. On Death.
Lear. O, REASON not the need; our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous :
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is cheap as beasts’; thou art a lady;
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st,
Which scarcely keeps thee warm.
BOASTING is but an art our fears to blind,
And with false terrors sink another mind.
POPE. Iliad, Book XXII.
FEAR not, but be bold:
A decent boldness ever meets with friends,
Succeeds, and ev'n a stranger recommends.
POPE. Odyssey, Book VII.
'Tis chastity, my brother, chastity:
She that has that, is clad in complete steel;
And, like a quiver'd nymph with arrows keen,
May trace huge forests, and unharbour'd heaths,
Infamous hi and sandy perilous wilds ;
Where, through the sacred rays of chastity,
No sayage fierce, bandit, or mountaineer,
Will dare to soil her virgin purity.
Yea, there where every desolation dwells,
By grots and caverns shagg’d with horrid shades,
She may pass on with unblench'd majesty,
Be it not done in pride, or in presumption.
Some say, no evil thing that walks by night,
In fog or fire, by lake or moorish fen,
Blue meagre hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost
That breaks his magic chains at curfew time,
No goblin, or swart faery of the mine,
Hath hurtful power o'er true virginity.
ye believe me yet, or shall I call
Antiquity from the old schools of Greece
To testify the arms of chastity ?
Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow,
Fair silver-shafted queen, for ever chaste,
Wherewith she tamed the brinded lioness
And spotted mountain-pard, but set at naught
The frivolous bolt of Cupid; gods and men
Fear'd her stern frown, and she was queen o' the woods.
What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield,
That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd virgin,
Wherewith she freezed her foes to congeald stone,
But rigid looks of chaste austerity,
And noble grace that dash'd brute violence