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It smelt so faint, and it smelt so sweet,
It made me creep and it made me cold.
Like the scent that steals from the crumbling sheet
Where a mummy is half unroll'd.
- Aux Italiens [Jasmines]
And the jasmine flower in her fair young breast,
(O the faint, sweet smell of that jasmine flower!)
And the one bird singing alone to his nest.
And the one star over the tower.
- Aux Italiens (st. 13) [Jasmines]
We are but as the instrument of Heaven.
Our work is not design, but destiny.
- Clytemnestra (pt. XIX) [Destiny]
There's nothing certain in man's life but this:
That he must lose it.
- Clytemnestra (pt. XX) [Death]
God be thank'd that the dead have left still
Good undone for the living to do--
Still some aim for the heart and the will
And the soul of a man to pursue.
- Epilogue [Work]
The things which must be, must be for the best,
God helps us do our duty and not shrink,
And trust His mercy humbly for the rest.
- Imperfection [Duty]
Only by knowledge of that which is not Thyself, shall thyself be learned.
- Know Thyself [Knowledge]
Talk not of genius baffled. Genius is master of man.
Genius does what it must, and Talent does what it can.
Blot out my name, that the spirits of Shakespeare and Milton and Burns
Look not down on the praises of fools with a pity my soul yet spurns.
- Last Words of a Sensitive Second-rate Poet,
published in "Cornhill Magazine", p. 516
[Genius : Talent]
His classical reading is great: he can quote
Horace, Juvenal, Ovid and Martial by rote.
He has read Metaphysics . . . Spinoza and Kant
And Theology too: I have heard him descant
Upon Basil and Jerome. Antiquities, art,
He is fond of. He knows the old masters by heart,
And is taste is refined.
- Lucile (canto II, pt. IV) [Reading]
Ay, these young things lie safe in our hearts just so long
As their wings are in growing; and when these are strong
They break it, and farewell! the bird flies!
- Lucile (canto VI, pt. II, st. 29)
Can be pure in its purpose or strong in its strife
And all life not be purer and stronger thereby.
- Lucile (pr. II, canto VI, st. 40)
O hour, of all hours, the most blesse'd upon earth,
The bless'd hour of our dinners!
- Lucile (pt. I, canto II, st. 23) [Eating]
We may live without poetry, music and art;
We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
We may live without friends; we may live without books;
But civilized man cannot live without cooks.
He may live without books,--what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without hope,--what is hope but deceiving?
He may live without love,--what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?
- Lucile (pt. I, canto II, st. 24) [Eating]
Oh, better no doubt is a dinner of herbs,
When season'd with love, which no rancour disturbs
And sweeten'd by all that is sweetest in life
Than turbot, bisque, ortolans, eaten in strife!
But if, out of humour, and hungry, alone
A man should sit down to dinner, each one
Of the dishes which the cook chooses to spoil
With a horrible mixture of garlic and oil,
The chances are ten against one, I must own,
He gets up as ill-tempered as when he sat down.
- Lucile (pt. I, canto II, st. 27) [Cookery]
The man who seeks one thing in life, and but one,
May hope to achieve it before life be done;
But he who seeks all things, wherever he goes,
Only reaps from the hopes which around him he sows
A harvest of barren regrets.
- Lucile (pt. I, canto II, st. 8) [Ambition]
Words, however, are things; and the man who accords
To his language the license to outrage his soul,
Is controll'd by the words he disdains to control.
- Lucile (pt. I, canto II, st. VI) [Words]
'Twas a hand
White, delicate, dimpled, warm, languid, and bland.
The hand of a woman is often, in youth,
Somewhat rough, somewhat red, somewhat graceless in truth;
Does its beauty refine, as its pulses grow calm,
Or as sorrow has crossed the life line in the palm?
- Lucile (pt. I, canto III, st. 18) [Hand]
We are what we must
And not what we would be. I know that one hour
Assures not another. The will and the power
- Lucile (pt. I, canto III, st. 19)
There is war in the skies!
- Lucile (pt. I, canto IV, st. 12) [War]
'Tis more brave
To live, than to die.
- Lucile (pt. I, canto VI, st. 11) [Bravery]
Rest is sweet after strife.
- Lucile (pt. I, canto VI, st. 25) [Rest]
There are moments when silence, prolong'd and unbroken,
More expressive may be than all words ever spoken,
It is when the heart has an instinct of what
In the heart of another is passing.
- Lucile (pt. II, canto I, st. 20) [Silence]
No true love there can be without
Its dread penalty--jealousy.
- Lucile (pt. II, canto I, st. 24, l. 8)
When life leaps in the veins, when it beats in the heart,
When it thrills as it fills every animate part,
Where lurks it? how works it? . . . we scarcely detect it.
- Lucile (pt. II, canto I, st. 5) [Life]
Do not think that years leave us and find us the same!
- Lucile (pt. II, canto II, st. 3) [Change]
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