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MATTHEW PRIOR
English poet and diplomat
(1664 - 1721)
  Displaying page 1 of 5    Next Page >> 

A real grief I ne'er can find till thou provest perjured or unkind.
      - [Unkindness]

Against our peace we arm our will;
  Amidst our plenty something still,
    For horses, houses, pictures planting,
      To thee, to me, to him is wanting;
        That cruel something unpossest
          Corrodes and leavens all the rest,
            That something if we could obtain,
              Would soon create a future pain.
      - [Discontent]

And fondly mourn the dear delusions gone.
      - [Memory]

And now your matrimonial Cupid,
  Lash'd on by time, grows tired and stupid.
    For story and experience tell us
      That man grows old and woman jealous.
        Both would their little ends secure;
          He sighs for freedom, she for power:
            His wishes tend abroad to roam,
              And hers to domineer at home.
      - [Matrimony]

And when obedient nature, knows his will,
  A fly, a grapestone, or a hair can kill.
      - [Death]

Backed his opinion with quotations.
      - [Quotations]

Behold where age's wretched victim lies
  See his head trembling, and his half clos'd eyes,
    Frequent for breath his panting bosom heaves;
      To broken sleep his remnant sense he gives,
        And only by his pains, awaking, finds he lives.
      - [Age]

Examples draw where precept fails, and sermons are less read than tales.
      - [Example]

Examples I could cite you more;
  But be contented with these four;
    For when one's proofs are aptly chosen
      Four are as valid as four dozen.
      - [Argument]

Faith and hope themselves shall die, while deathless charity remains.
      - [Charity]

From nature's constant or eccentric laws,
  The thoughtful soul this general inference draws,
    That an effect must pre-suppose a cause;
      And, while she does her upward flight sustain,
        Touching each link of the continued chain,
          At length she is oblig'd and forc'd to see
            A first, a source, a life, a Deity;
              Which has forever been and must forever be.
      - [Creation]

He alone is blessed who never was born.
      - [Blessedness]

He that fights and runs away,
  Will live to fight another day;
    For he that runs may fight again,
      Which he can never do that's slain.
        Deeper to wound she shuns the fight;
          She drops her arms, to gain the field:
            Secures her conquest by her flight:
              And triumphs when she seems to yield.
      - [Proverbs]

He's half absolv'd who has confessed.
      - [Confession]

Her hair
  In ringlets rather dark than fair,
    Does down her ivory bosom roll,
      And hiding half adorns the whole.
      - [Hair]

Hope is but the dream of those that wake.
      - [Hope]

How mean the order and perfection sought
  In the best product of the human thought,
    Compar'd to the great harmony that reigns
      In what the spirit of the world ordain!
      - [Nature]

Human science is uncertain guess.
      - [Science]

I drank: I liked it not: 'twas rage, 'twas noise,
  An airy scene of transitory joys.
    In vain I trusted that the flowing bowl
      Would banish sorrow and enlarge the soul.
      - [Drunkenness]

In silence weep, and thy convulsive sorrow inward keep.
      - [Weeping]

In the flowers that wreathe the sparkling bowl, fell adders hiss, and poisonous serpents roll.
      - [Intemperance]

Like the Grecian, woos the image he himself has wrought.
      - [Sculpture]

Love and life are for to-day.
      - [Proverbs]

Love, well thou know'st no partnership allows,
  Cupid averse rejects divided vows.
      - [Proverbs]

Music's force can tame the furious beast.
      - [Music]


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