THE MOST EXTENSIVE
ON THE INTERNET
Was genius ever ungrateful? Mere talents are dry leaves, tossed up and down by gusts of passion, and scattered and swept away; but, Genius lies on the bosom of Memory, and Gratitude at her feet.
We are no longer happy so soon as we wish to be happier.
We are poor, indeed, when we have no half-wishes left us. The heart and the imagination close the shutters the instant they are gone.
We cannot conquer fate and necessity, yet we can yield to them in such a manner as to be greater than if we could.
We care not how many see us in choler, when we rave and bluster, and make as much noise and bustle as we can; but if the kindest and most generous affection comes across us, we suppress every sign of it, and hide ourselves in nooks and covert.
We enter our studies, and enjoy a society which we alone can bring together. We raise no jealousy by conversing with one in preference to another; we give no offence to the most illustrious by questioning him as long as we will, and leaving him as abruptly. Diversity of opinion raises no tumult in our presence: each interlocutor stands before us, speaks or is silent, and we adjourn or decide the business at our leisure.
We fancy that our afflictions are sent us directly from above; sometimes we think it in piety and contrition, but oftener in moroseness and discontent.
We must distinguish between felicity and prosperity; for prosperity leads often to ambition, and ambition to disappointment; the course is then over, the wheel turns round but once, while the reaction of goodness and happiness is perpetual.
We oftener say things because we can say them well than because they are sound and reasonable.
What is companionship where nothing that improves the intellect is communicated, and where the larger heart contracts itself to the model and dimension of the smaller?
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
When a woman hath ceased to be quite the same to us, it matters little how different she becomes.
When the mind loses its feeling for elegance, it grows corrupt and groveling, and seeks in the crowd what ought to be found at home.
Where power is absent we may find the robe of genius, but we miss the throne.
Wherever there is excessive wealth, there is also in train of it excessive poverty; as where the sun is brightest the shade is deepest.
Wisdom consisteth not in knowing many things, nor even in knowing them thoroughly; but in choosing and in following what conduces the most certainly to our lasting happiness and true glory.
Women commiserate the brave, and men the beautiful.
Wrong is but falsehood put in practice.
I strove with none, for none was worth my strife;
Nature I loved, and after Nature, Art;
I warmed both hands before the fire of life;
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.
- Epitaph on Himself [Epitaphs]
But I have sinuous shells of pearly hue;
. . . .
Shake one, and it awakens; then apply
Its polished lips to your attentive ear,
And it remembers its august abodes,
And murmurs as the ocean murmurs there.
- Gebir (bk. V) [Ocean]
Past are three summers since she first beheld
The ocean; all around the child await
Some exclamation of amazement here:
She coldly said, her long-lasht eyes abased,
Is this the mighty ocean? is this all?
- Gebir (bk. V) [Ocean]
Have heard her sigh and soften out the name.
- Gebir (bk. V, l. 145) [Names]
Thou breathing dial! since thy day began
The present hour was ever mark'd with shade.
- Miscellaneous Poems
(vol. VIII, p. 92 (1846))
[Sun Dial Mottoes]
When she kissed me once in a play,
Rubies were less bright than they;
And less bright were those which shone
In the palace of the Sun.
Will they be as bright again?
Not if kiss'd by other men.
- Rubies [Kisses]
You should indeed have longer tarried
By the roadside before you married.
- To One Ill-mated [Matrimony]
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