The poets' year, a birthday register with selections from Chaucer to Longfellow

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Pagina 7 - Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, So do our minutes hasten to their end; Each changing place with that which goes before, In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Pagina 58 - To have done, is to hang Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail In monumental mockery. Take the instant way For honour travels in a strait so narrow, W'here one but goes abreast: keep then the path; For emulation hath a thousand sons, That one by one pursue: If you give way, Or hedge aside from the direct forthright, Like to an enter'd tide, they all rush by, And leave you hindmost...
Pagina 62 - In the corrupted currents of this world Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice, And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself Buys out the law...
Pagina 279 - Were half the power that fills the world with terror, Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts, Given to redeem the human mind from error, There were no need of arsenals or forts: The warrior's name would be a name abhorred!
Pagina 58 - Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves ; for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike As if we had them not.
Pagina 64 - The chariest maid is prodigal enough, If she unmask her beauty to the moon: Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes: The canker galls the infants of the spring, Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd; And in the morn and liquid dew of youth Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Pagina 98 - Thyself how wondrous then! Unspeakable, who sitt'st above these heavens To us invisible, or dimly seen In these Thy lowest works : yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine. Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, Angels ! for ye behold him, and with songs And choral symphonies, day without night, Circle his throne rejoicing : ye in heaven, On earth join all ye creatures to extol Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
Pagina 66 - There is some soul of goodness in things evil, Would men observingly distil it out, For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers, Which is both healthful, and good husbandry : Besides, they are our outward consciences, And preachers to us all ; admonishing, That we should 'dress us fairly for our end. Thus may we gather honey from the weed, And make a moral of the devil himself.
Pagina 68 - LAERTES' head. And these few precepts in thy memory Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade.
Pagina 282 - Down the dark future, through long generations, The echoing sounds grow fainter and then cease; And like a bell, with solemn, sweet vibrations, I hear once more the voice of Christ say, "Peace !" Peace ! and no longer from its brazen portals The blast of War's great organ shakes the skies ! But beautiful as songs of the immortals, The holy melodies of love arise.

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