Page images
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

I have given suck; and know

How tender 't is to love the babe that milks me:

I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck'd my nipple from its boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn
As you have done to this.

Shaks. Macbeth

I said to Sorrow's awful storm,
That beat against my breast,
Rage on- - thou may'st destroy this form,
And lay it low at rest;

But still the spirit that now brooks
Thy tempest raging high,
Undaunted on its fury looks,

With steadfast eye.


Mrs. Stoddard.

'Tis not the wholesome sharp morality, Or modest anger of a satiric spirit,

That hurts or wounds the body of a state;

But the sinister application

Of the malicious, ignorant, and base
Interpreter; who will distort, and strain
The gen'ral scope and purpose of an author,
To his particular and private spleen.

Jonson's Poetasier. Who stabs my name, would stab my person too, Did not the hangman's axe lie in the way.

Crown's Henry VII. Happy are they that hear their detractions, And can put them to mending.

Shaks. Much ado.

Detraction's a bold monster, and fears not
To wound the fame of princes, if it find
But any blemish in their lives to work on.

To you I shall no trophy raise

From other men's detraction or dispraise:
That jewel never had inherent worth,
Which ask'd such foils as these to set it forth.
Bishop King


And that same dew, which sometimes on the buds
Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls,
Stood now within the pretty flow'rets' eyes,
Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail.
Shaks. Midsummer Night's Dream.
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Shaks. Midsummer Night's Dream.


The starlight dews

All silently their tears of love instil,

Weeping themselves away, till they infuse,

Deep into nature's breast, the spirit of her hues.

Within these leaves the holy dew

That falls from heaven, hath won anew
A glory-in declining.

Oh dew, thou droppest soft below
And platest all the ground;


Great honours are great burdens: but, on whom
They're cast with envy, he doth bear two loads;
His cares must still be double to his joys,

In any dignity; where, if he err,

[blocks in formation]

A most small praise, and that wrung out by force.
Jonson's Catiline
True dignity is never gained by place,

Miss Barrett. And never lost when honours are withdrawn.

Yet when the noontide comes, I know
Thou never cans't be found.


Maria Lowell.




One grain of incense with devotion offer'd,
'S beyond all perfumes or Sabæan spices,
By one that proudly thinks he merits it.
Massinger's Bashful Lover.

The immortal gods

Accept the meanest altars that are raised
By pure devotion; and sometimes prefer
An ounce of frankincense, honey, or milk,
Before whole hecatombs of Sabæan gems,
Offer'd in ostentation.


The hand is rais'd, the pledge is given,
One monarch to obey, one creed to own,
That monarch, GOD; that creed, His word alone.

Like earth, awake, and warm, and bright
With joy the spirit moves and burns;
So up to thee! O Fount of Light!

Our light returns.


John Sterling.

I know myself now, and I feel within me

A peace above all earthly dignities;


O thoughts of men accurs'd!
Past and to come, seem best; things present, worst.
Shaks. Henry IV. Part Il.
Happiness courts thee in her best array;
But, like a misbehav'd and sullen wench,
Thou poutest upon thy fortune and thy love:
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.
Shaks. Henry IV. Part II.
He reads much;

He is a good observer, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no


As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music:
Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort,
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit
That could be mov'd to smile at any thing.
Shaks. Julius Cæsar.

She is peevish, sullen, froward,

Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty;
Neither regarding that she is my child,
Nor fearing me as if I were her father.
Shaks. Two Gentlemen of Verona.

A still and quiet conscience. The king has cur'd Worthy Montano, you were wont to be civil;

[blocks in formation]

Did I request thec, maker, from my clay
To mould me man, did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me, or here place
In this delicious garden? as my will
Concurr'd not to my being, it were but right
And equal to reduce me to my dust,
Desirous to resign and render back
All I receiv'd unable to perform

Thy terms so hard, by which I was to hold
The good I sought not.

Milton's Paradise Lost.

Sour discontent that quarrels with our fate,
May give fresh smart, but not the old abate;
The uneasy passion's disingenuous wit,
The ill reveals, but hides the benefit.

Sir Richard Blackmore.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

O, save to one familiar friend,

Thy heart its veil should wear,
The faithless vow be all unheard, —
The flattery wasted there;
Heeding the homage of the vain
As lightly as some star,

Burns. Whose steady radiance changes not,
Though thousands kneel afar.






I cannot bear to be with men

Who only see my weaknesses;

Who know not what I might have been,


But scan my spirit as it is.


It is not well to brood

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


His name was Doubt, that had a double face,
Th' one forward looking, th' other backward bent,
Therein resembling Janus auncient,

Which had in charge the ingate of the year:
And evermore his eyes about him went,
As if some proved peril he did fear,

Or did misdoubt some ill, whose cause did not
Spenser's Fairy Queen.

"T is good to doubt the worst,

We may in our belief be too secure.
Webster's and Rowley's Thracian Wonder.

Known mischiefs have their cure, but doubts have

[blocks in formation]

What though the world has whisper'd thee, Be


Thou dost not dream of change. Nay, do not speak,

For any answer would imply a doubt

In love's deep confidence, which not for worlds Should have existence.

Robert Morris.

The clear, cold question chills to frozen doubt;
Tired of beliefs, we dread to live without;
O then, if reason waver at thy side,
Let humbler Memory be thy gentle guide,
Go to thy birth-place, and, if faith was there,

Repeat thy father's creed, thy mother's prayer.

Yet do not think I doubt thee,

I know thy truth remains; I would not live without thee, For all the world contains.

O. W. Holmes

G. P. Morris. Beware of doubt-faith is the subtle chain Which binds us to the infinite: the voice Of a deep life within, that will remain Until we crowd it thence.

Mrs. E. Oakes Smith.


Dreams are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy;
Which is as thin of substance as the air,
And more inconstant than the wind.

Shaks. Romeo and Juliet.
If I may trust the flattering eye of sleep,
My dreams presage some joyful news at hand;
My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne;
And all this day, an unaccustom'd spirit
Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts
Shaks. Romeo and Juliet
Ah me! how sweet is love itself possess'd,
When but love's shadows are so rich in joy!
Shaks. Romeo and Juliet.
Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,
And thus hath so bestirr'd thee in thy sleep,
That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow,
Like bubbles in a late-disturbed stream:
And in thy face strange motions have appear'd,
Such as we see when men restrain their breath
On some great sudden haste.

Shaks. Henry IV. Part 1 Dreams are toys:

Yof, for this once, yea, superstitiously,

I will the squar'd by this.


Shaks. Winter's Tule

[blocks in formation]

Dreams are but interludes which fancy makes;
When monarch reason sleeps, this mimic wakes:
Compounds a medley of disjointed things,
A mob of cobblers, and a court of kings:
Light fumes are merry, grosser fumes are sad;
Both are the reasonable soul run mad:
And many monstrous forms in sleep we see,
That neither were, nor arc, nor e'er can be.
Sometimes forgotten things long cast behind
Rush forward in the brain, and come to mind.
The nurse's legends are for truths received,
And the man dreams but what the boy believed.


But dreams full oft are found of real events
The forms and shadows.

Joanna Baillie's Ethwald.

While o'er my limbs sleep's soft dominion spread,
What though my soul fantastic measures trod
O'er fairy fields; or mourn'd along the gloom
Of pathless woods; or down the craggy steep
Huri'd headlong, swam with pain the mantled

Or scal'd the cliff, or danc'd on hollow winds,
With antic shapes, wild natives of the brain?
Her ceaseless flight, though devious, speaks her


Of subtler essence than the trodden clod;For human weal, heaven husbands all events,

[blocks in formation]

And shake us with the vision that's gone by,
The dread of vanish'd shadows-Are they so?
Is not the past all shadow? what are they?
Creations of the mind? the mind can make

Substance, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
Byron's Dream.

O Spirit Land! thou land of dreams!
A world thou art of mysterious gleams,
Of startling voices and sounds of strife,
A world of the dead in the hues of life.

Mrs. Hemans's Poems.

I walk with sweet friends in the sunset glow;
I listen to music of long ago;

But one thought, like an omen, breathes faint
through the lay, -

Dull sleep instructs, nor sport vain dreams in vain. "It is but a dream; it will melt away."

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »