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JOHN DRYDEN
English poet and dramatist
(1631 - 1700)
 << Prev Page    Displaying page 18 of 21    Next Page >> 

Look around the habitable world, how few
  Know their own good, or knowing it, pursue.
      - Juvenal (satire X) [Goodness]

How happy the lover,
  How easy his chain,
    How pleasing his pain,
      How sweet to discover
        He sighs not in vain.
      - King Arthur (IV, 1, song) [Love]

All human things are subject to decay,
  And when fate summons, monarchs must obey.
      - Mac Flecknoe (l. 1) [Fate]

And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.
      - Mac Flecknoe (l. 208) [Words]

Our souls sit close, and silently within,
  And their own web from their own entrails spin;
    And when eyes meet far off, our sense is such,
      That, spider-like, we feel the tenderest touch.
      - Marriage a la Mode (act II, sc. 1)
        [Sympathy]

For that can power give more than food and drink,
  To live at ease, and not be bound to think?
      - Medal (l. 235) [Power]

Treason is not own'd when 'tis descried;
  Successful crimes alone are justified.
      - Medals (l. 207) [Treason]

Whatever is, is in its causes just.
      - Oedipus (act III, sc. 1) [Providence]

His hair just grizzled
  As in a green old age.
      - Oedipus (act III, sc. I) [Age]

Fate seem'd to wind him up for fourscore years;
  Yet freshly ran he on ten winters more;
    Till like a clock worn out with eating time,
      The wheels of weary life at last stood still.
      - Oedipus (act IV, sc. 1) [Age]

She, though in full-blown flower of glorious beauty,
  Grows cold, even in the summer of her age.
      - Oedipus (act IV, sc. 1) [Beauty]

Of no distemper, of no blast he died,
  But fell like autumn fruit that mellow'd long.
      - Oedipus (act IV, sc. 1, l. 265) [Death]

He was exhal'd; his great Creator drew
  His spirit, as the sun the morning dew.
      - On the Death of a Very Young Gentleman
         (l. 25) [Death]

Heaven gave him all at once; then snatched away,
  Ere mortals all his beauties could survey;
    Just like the flower that buds and withers in a day.
      - On the Death of Amyntas [Death]

And write whatever Time shall bring to pass
  With pens of adamant on plates of brass.
      - Palamon and Arcite [Time]

Aurora had but newly chased the night,
  And purpled o'er the sky with blushing light.
      - Palamon and Arcite (bk. I, l. 186)
        [Aurora]

The love of liberty with life is given,
  And life itself the inferior gift of Heaven.
      - Palamon and Arcite (bk. II, l. 291)
        [Liberty]

Fool, not to know that love endures no tie,
  And Jove but laughs at lovers' perjury.
      - Palamon and Arcite (bk. II, l. 75) [Love]

The monarch oak, the patriarch of the trees,
  Shoots rising up, and spreads by slow degrees.
    Three centuries he grows, and three he stays
      Supreme in state; and in three more decays.
      - Palamon and Arcite (bk. III, l. 1.058)
        [Oak]

Creator Venus, genial power of love,
  The bliss of men below, and gods above!
    Beneath the sliding sun thou runn'st thy race,
      Dost fairest shine, and best become thy place;
        For thee the winds their eastern blasts forbear,
          Thy mouth reveals the spring, and opens all the year;
            Thee, goddess, thee, the storms of winter fly,
              Earth smiles with flowers renewing, laughs the sky.
      - Palamon and Arcite (bk. III, l. 1405)
        [Gods]

The brave man seeks not popular applause,
  Nor, overpower'd with arms, deserts his cause;
    Unsham'd, though foil'd, he does the best he can,
      Force is of brutes, but honor is of man.
      - Palamon and Arcite (bk. III, l. 2015)
        [Bravery]

Like pilgrims to th' appointed place we tend;
  The World's an Inn, and Death the journey's end.
      - Palamon and Arcite (III, 887) [Life]

Since every man, who lives, is born to die,
  And none can boast sincere felicity,
    With equal mind, what happens, let us bear,
      Nor joy nor grieve too much for things beyond our care.
        Like pilgrims, to the appointed place we tend;
          The world's an inn, and death the journey's end.
      - Palmon and Arcite (bk. III, l. 2,159)
        [World]

My right eye itches, some good luck is near.
      - Paraphrase of Amaryllis--Third Idyllium of Theocritus
         (l. 86) [Superstition]

Swear, food, or starve; for the dilemma's even;
  A tradesman thou! and hope to go to heaven?
      - Persius (sat. V, l. 204) [Business]


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