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Look to the players! see them well bestowed;
They are the abstract and brief chronicles of the times.
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
Play not for gain, but sport; who plays for more Than he can lose with pleasure, stakes his heart; Perhaps his wife's too, and whom she hath borne.
That as in birth in beauty you excel,
The muse might dictate, and the poet tell:
Your art no other art can speak, and you,
To shew how well you play, must play anew.
Behold the child by nature's kindly law,
Pleas'd with a rattle, tickled with a straw;
Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight-
A little louder but as empty quite:
Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper age,
And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age.
Pleas'd with this bauble still as that before,
Till tired he sleeps, and life's poor play is o'er.
They say we live by vice: indeed 't is true;
As the physicians by diseases do,
Only to cure them. Boldly I dare say
There has been more by us in one-one play
Laugh'd into wit and virtue, than hath been
By twenty tedious lectures drawn from sin,
And foppish humours; hence the cause doth rise,
Men are not won by th' ears, so well as eyes.
Look round, the wrecks of play behold,
Estates dismember'd mortgag'd, sold!
Their owners now to jails confin'd,
Shew equal poverty of mind.
FORM'D by the converse happily to steer
From grave to gay, from lively to severe;
Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease,
Intent to reason, or polite to please.
His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand;
His manners were gentle, complying, and bland;
Still born to improve us in every part,
His pencil our faces-his manners our heart.
Describe him who can,
An abridgement of all that was pleasant in man. Goldsmith.
PLEASURES, or wrong or rightly understood,
Our greatest evil or our greatest good.
It was not mirth-for mirth she was too still;
It was not wit-wit leaves the heart more chill;
But that continuous sweetness, which with ease
Pleases all round it, from the wish to please.
The New Timon.
Pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls on the river,
A moment white-then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That fit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form,
Evanishing amid the storm.
The youth, who bathes in pleasure's limpid streams
At well-judg'd intervals, feels all his soul
Nerv'd with recruited strength; but if too oft
He swims in sportive mazes through the flood,
It chills his languid virtue.
There is no sterner moralist than pleasure. Byron.
WHAT have continual plodders ever won,
Save base authority from others' books.
The unlettered christian who believes in gross,
Plods on to heaven, and ne'er is at a loss.-Dryden.
Some stupid, plodding, money-loving wight,
Who wins their hearts by knowing black from white.
My plots fall short, like darts, which rash hands throw
With an ill aim, and have too far to go;
Nor can I long discoveries prevent,
I deal too much among the innocent.
Sir Robert Howard.
He who envies now thy state, Who now is plotting how he may seduce Thee from obedience.
O think what anxious moments pass between
The birth of plots, and their last fatal periods!
O'tis a dreadful interval of time,
Made up of horror all, and big with death.
HERE'S no fantastic masque, nor dance,
But of our kids, that frisk and prance.
Nor wars are seen,
Unless upon the green
Two harmless lambs are battling one the other, Which done, both bleating run, each to his mother; And wounds are never found,
Save what the plough-share gives the ground.
He that by the plough would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive.
Sir Walter Raleigh.
THE poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
It is not poetry that makes men poor;
For few do write, that were not so before,
And those that have writ best, had they been rich,
Had ne'er been seized with a poetic itch;
Had loved their ease too well to take the pains
To undergo that drudgery of brains;
But being for all other trades unfit,
Only t'avoid being idle set up wit.
'Tis long disputed, whether poets claim
From art or nature their best right to fame;
But art, if not enrich'd by nature's vein,
And a rude genius of uncultur'd strain,
Are useless both; but when in friendship join'd,
A mutual succour in each other find.
Francis, from Horace.
Read, meditate, reflect, grow wise-in vain;
Try every help, force fire from every spark;
Yet shall you ne'er the poet's power attain,
If heaven ne'er stamp'd you with the muses' mark.
And thou, sweet poetry, thou loveliest maid,
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade!
Unfit, in these degenerate times of shame,
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame.
Dear charming nymph, neglected and decay'd,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride;
Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe,
That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;
Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
The world is full of poetry-the air
Is living with its spirit; and the waves
Dance to the music of its melodies,
And sparkle in its brightness. Earth is veil'd
And mantled with its beauty; and the walls,
That close the universe with crystal in,
Are eloquent with voices, that proclaim
The unseen glories of immensity,
In harmonies too perfect and too high
For aught but beings of celestial mould,
And speak to man in one eternal hymn,
Unfading beauty, and unyielding power.
Never did poesy appear
So full of heaven to me, as when
I saw how it would pierce through pride and fear
To the lives of coarsest men!
I thought, these men will carry hence
Promptings their former life above,
And something of a finer reverence
For beauty, truth, and love.
Sit still upon your thrones,
O ye poetic ones!
And if, sooth, the world decry you,
Let it pass, unchalleng'd by you!
Ye to yourselves suffice,
Without its flatteries,
Self-contentedly approve you
Unto Him who sits above you!
Vex not thou the poet's mind
With thy shallow wit:
Vex not the poet's mind;
For thou can'st not fathom it.
Clear and bright it should be ever,
Flowing like a crystal river;
Bright as light, and clear as wind.
With one poor poet's scroll, and with his word,
He shook the world.