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their vices and follies.*
The great enemy of mankind, notwith
standing his wit and angelic features, is the most odious being in the whole creation.
SIR R. BLACKMORE. Quoted Spect., No. VI.
ALL false practices and affectations of knowledge are more odious to God, and deserve to be so to men, than any want or defect of knowledge can be.†
How beautiful is genius when combined
The tones of earthly harp whose chords are touch'd
"THE great art to learn much," says Locke, "is to undertake a little at a time."
SOME people will never learn anything, for this reason, that they understand everything too soon.
FOR who knows all that knowledge contains?
So 'tis with knowledge's vast height.
Hudibras, Part II., Canto 3.
HE made an instrument to know
If the moon shine at full or no;
That would as soon as e'er she shone, straight
Ibid., Part II., Canto 3.
* To compliment vice is but one remove from worshipping the devil. COLLIER. On the Stage.
Feed no man in his sins: for adulation
+ The abuse of any advantage is much more uncreditable than the want
COLLIER. Essays, Honesty.
TO A LADY SINGING A SONG OF HIS COMPOSING.
CHLORIS, yourself you so excel,
When you vouchsafe to breathe my thought,
Of my own teaching, I am caught.
That eagle's fate and mine are one,
Which in the shaft that made him die
Espy'd a feather of his own,
Wherewith he wont to soar so high.
Had Echo with so sweet a grace
Not for reflexion of his face,
But of his voice the boy had burn'd.
POETRY AND POETS.
POETRY is musick in words: and musick is poetry in sound: both excellent sauce, but they have lived and died poore, that made them their meat.
POETS alone found the delightful way,
In charming numbers; * so that as men grew
* Thither thou know'st the world is best inclined,
And truth convey'd in verse of gentle kind
FAIRFAX. TASSO. Jerusalem Delivered, Book I.
Thou, whose sweet youth and early hopes enhance
Rhyme thee to good, and make a bait of pleasure:
A POET'S mind should be clear and unsullied; and the Muses being virgins, their performances should agree with their condition.
COLLIER. Essay on the Immorality of the Stage.
THE common things of sky and earth,
And hills and valley he has view'd:
And impulses of deeper birth,
Have come to him in solitude.
From common things, that round us lie
The harvest of a quiet eye,
That sleeps and broods on its own heart.
FORGETTING the great end
Of Poesy, that it should be a friend
To soothe the cares, and lift the thoughts of men.
Is there so small a range
In the present strength of manhood, that the high
As she was wont of old? prepare her steeds,
Ay, in those days the Muses were nigh cloy'd
Men were thought wise who could not understand
His glories: with a puling infant's force
A verse may find him, who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice.
They sway'd about upon a rocking-horse,
That blasphemed the bright Lyrist to his face,
MANY are poets who have never penn'd
Their inspiration, and perchance the best.
They felt and loved and died, but would not lend
The god within them, and rejoin'd the stars
Unlaurell'd upon earth, but far more blest
Of passion and their frailties link'd to fame;
From overfeeling good or ill; and aim
* Oh! many are the poets that are sown
Yet wanting the accomplishment of verse.
These favour'd beings
All but a scatter'd few live out their time,
Husbanding that which they possess within,
And go to the grave unthought of. Strongest minds
WORDSWORTH. The Excursion, Book I.
And be the new Prometheus of new men
The form which their creations may essay,
Are Bards: the kindred marble's bust may wear More poesy upon its speaking brow
Than aught less than the Homeric page may bear: One noble stroke with a whole life may glow,
Or deify the canvas till it shine
With beauty, so surpassing all below
That they who kneel to idols so divine
Break no commandment, for high heaven is there,
Of poesy which peoples but the air
With thought, and beings of our thought reflected, Can do no more: then let the artist share
The palm, he shares the peril, and dejected Faints o'er the labour unapproved.-Alas! Despair and genius are too oft connected.
BYRON. Prophecy of Dante.
IN foreign universities,
When a king's born, or wed, or dies,
Some write in Hebrew, some in Greek,
Of difficulter wit and sense;