THE MOST EXTENSIVE
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Joy comes and goes, hope ebbs and flows
Like the wave;
Change doth unknit the tranquil strength of men.
Love tends life a little grace,
A few sad smiles; and then,
Both are laid in one cold place,
In the grave.
- A Question (st. 1) [Change]
And see all sights from pole to pole
And glance, and nod, and bustle by,
And never once possess our soul
Before we die.
- A Southern Night (st. 18) [Soul]
Odin, thou whirlwind, what a threat is this
Thou threatenest what transcends thy might, even thine,
For of all powers the mightiest far art thou,
Lord over men on earth, and Gods in Heaven;
Yet even from thee thyself hath been withheld
One thing--to undo what thou thyself hast ruled.
- Balder Dead--The Funeral [Power]
The Greek word euphuia, a finely tempered nature, gives exactly the notion of perfection as culture brings us to perceive it; a harmonious perfection, a perfection in which the characters of beauty and intelligence are both present, which unites "the two noblest of things"--as Swift . . . most happily calls them in his Battle of the Books, "the two noblest of things, sweetness and light."
- Culture and Anarchy [Sweetness]
The pursuit of the perfect, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light.
- Culture and Anarchy [Sweetness]
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain.
- Dover Beach [Love]
I met a preacher there I knew, and said,
Ill and overworked, how fare you in this scene?
Bravely! said he; for I of late have been
Much cheered with thoughts of Christ, the living bread.
- East London [Preaching]
If Paris that brief flight allow,
My humble tomb explore!
It bears: "Eternity, be thou
My refuge!" and no more.
- Epitaph [Epitaphs]
The eloquent voice of our century uttered, shortly before leaving the world, a warning cry against the "Anglo-Saxon contagion."
- Essay on Criticism, Second Series
[Oxford] Home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs and unpopular names and impossible loyalties.
- Essays in Criticism
(closing paragraph of preface) [Failure]
I must not say that she was true,
Yet let me say that she was fair;
And they, that lovely face who view,
They should not ask if truth be there.
- Euphrosyne [Beauty]
On one she smiled, and he was blest;
She smiles elsewhere--we make a din!
But 'twas not love which heaved her breast,
Fair child!--it was the bliss within.
- Euphrosyne [Women]
What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The lustre of the eye?
Is it for Beauty to forego her wreath?
Yes; but not this alone.
- Growing Old [Age]
Culture is "To know the best that has been said and thought in the world."
- Literature and Dogma (preface) [Education]
Culture is the passion for sweetness and light, and (what is more) the passion for making them prevail.
- Literature and Dogma--Preface [Sweetness]
Time may restore us in his course
Goethe's sage mind and Byron's force;
But where will Europe's latter hour
Again find Wordworth's healing power?
- Memorial Verses [Wordsworth, William]
With aching hands and bleeding feet
We dig and heap, lay stone on stone;
We bear the burden and the heat
Of the long day, and wish 'twere done.
Not till the hours of light return
All we have built as we discern.
- Morality (st. 2) [Life]
Six years--six little years--six drops of time.
- Mycerinus (st. 11) [Time]
The East bow'd low before the blast,
In patient, deep disdain.
She let the legions thunder past,
And plunged in thought again.
- Obermann Once More (st. 28) [Countries]
Hark! ah, the nightingale--
Hark from that moonlit cedar what a burst!
What triumph! hark!--what pain!
. . . .
- Philomela (l. 32) [Nightingales]
Children of men! the unseen Power, whose eye
Forever doth accompany mankind,
Hath look'd on no religion scornfully
That men did ever find.
- Progress (st. 10) [Religion]
Nature's great law, and law of all men's minds?--
To its own impulse every creature stirs;
Live by thy light, and earth will live by hers!
- Religious Isolation (st. 4) [Nature]
Her cabin'd ample spirit,
It fluttered and fail'd for breath;
Tonight it doth inherit
The vasty hall of death.
- Requiescat [Death]
This strange disease of modern life,
With its sick hurry, its divided aims.
- Scholar-Gypsy (st. 21) [Life]
Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask--Thou smilest and art still,
- Shakespeare [Shakespeare]
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