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Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
Some men with swords may reap the field,
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
The garlands wither on your brow;
See where the victor-victim bleeds:
To the cold tomb;
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.
SPIRITS OF THE DEAD.
OFT may the spirits of the dead descend
There may these gentle guests delight to dwell
O, WOULD the fairest of mortal kind
HOGG. Queen's Wake.
"TIS sweet to think the pure ethereal being,
She comes in dreams, a thing of light and lightness;
Yet, yet remain! till freed like thee delighted
BARHAM. Ingoldsby Legends.
AT our old pastimes in the hall
We paused: the winds were in the beech:
Sat silent, looking each at each.
Then echo-like our voices rang;
We sung, tho' every eye was dim,
* My sprightly neighbour! gone before
Some summer morning-
C. LAMB. Hester.
We ceased: a gentler feeling crept
Upon us: surely rest is meet:
They rest," we said, "their sleep is sweet,"
Our voices took a higher range;
Once more we sang: "They do not die
Nor change to us, although they change."
TENNYSON. In Memoriam.
REVENGE is a kind of wild justice; which the more it spreads in human nature, the more ought the law to weed it out. For the first injury only offends the law, but revenge entirely sets aside its authority. Certainly in taking revenge a man is but even with his enemy, whereas by forgiving he becomes his superior. For 'tis a princely thing to pardon. And Solomon says 'tis the glory of a man to pass over a transgression. What is past is irrevocable, and wise men find it enough to regard what is present and to come, and those therefore do but trifle and disquiet themselves in vain who labour about what is past. BACON. Essays.
A MORE glorious victory cannot be gained over another man, than this, that when the injury began on his part, the kindness should begin on ours.
THE best sort of revenge is not to be like him who did the injury.
ABSENCE, hear thou my protestation
Against thy strength,
Distance, and length;
Do what thou canst for alteration:
For hearts of truest mettle
Absence doth join, and Time doth settle.
Who loves a mistress of such quality,
He soon hath found
Beyond time, place, and all mortality.
ALONE I tread this path;-for aught I know,
Timing my steps to thine.
WORDSWORTH. The Excursion.
LARA was not there,
Nor sent, nor came he, till conjecture grew
Lara, Canto I.
ABSENCE, like death, sets a seal on the image of those we have loved; we cannot realize the intervening changes which time may have effected.
GOLDSMITH. Preface to the Life of Parnell.
I AM not sure if the ladies understand the full value of the influence of absence, nor do I think it wise to teach it them, lest, like the Clelias and Mandanes of yore, they should resume the humour of sending their lovers into banishment. Distance, in truth, produces in idea the same effect as in real perspective. Objects are softened, and rounded, and rendered doubly graceful; the harsher and more ordinary points of character are mellowed down, and those by which it is remembered are the more striking outlines that mark sublimity, grace, or beauty.
Waverley, Chap. XXIX.
* And all that fills the heart of friends,
LONGFELLOW. Fire of Driftwood.
SAE true his heart, sae smooth his speech,
His breath like caller air;
In troth I'm like to greet.
If Colin's weel, and weel content,
I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought,
THOUGH a man has all other perfections and wants discretion, he will be of no great consequence in the world; but if he has this single talent in perfection, and but a common share of others, he may do what he pleases in his particular station of life. Spectator, No. 225.
THERE seems to be no part of knowledge in fewer hands, than that of discerning when to have done.
SWIFT. Tale of a Tub.
THERE are numbers in the world who do not want sense to make a figure, so much as an opinion of their own abilities, to put them upon recording their observations, and allowing them the same importance which they do to those which others print. SHENSTONE.
MR. BOYLE, in the preface to his essays, makes an apology for the frequent use of the word "perhaps," "it seems, 'tis not improbable," as implying a diffidence of the justice of his opinions; and this diffidence arose, as he informs us, from repeated observations, that what pleased him for a while, was afterwards disgraced by some farther, or more recent discovery.