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CHARLES SPRAGUE
American poet
(1791 - 1875)

Be purity of life the test, leave to the heart, to heaven the rest.
      - [Purity]

Hate shuts her soul when dove-eyed mercy pleads.
      - [Hate]

Jealousy, that doats but dooms, and murders, yet adores.
      - [Jealousy]

The enquiring spirit will not be controll'd,
  We would make certain all, and all behold.
      - [Curiosity]

The hand is rais'd, the pledge is given,
  One monarch to obey, one creed to own,
    That monarch, God; that creed, His word alone.
      - [Devout]

The news! our morning, noon and evening cry,
  Day after day repeats it till we die.
    For this the city, the critic, and the fop,
      Dally the hour away in tonsor's shop;
        For this the gossip takes her daily route,
          And wears your threshold and your patience out;
            For this we leave the parson in the lurch,
              And pause to prattle on our way to church;
                Even when some coffin'd friend we gather round,
                  We ask--"what news?"--then lay him in the ground.
      - [News]

Thou mayst from law, but not from scorn escape. The pointed finger, cold, averted eye, insulted virtue's hiss, thou canst not fly.
      - [Scorn]

Trade hardly deems the busy day begun
  Till his keen eye along the sheet has run;
    The blooming daughter throws her needle by,
      And reads her schoolmate's marriage with a sigh;
        While the grave mother puts her glasses on,
          And gives a tear to some old crony gone.
            The preacher, too, his Sunday theme lays down
              To know what last new folly fills the town;
                Lively or sad, life's meanest, mightiest things,
                  The fate of fighting cocks, or fighting kings.
      - [Journalism]

Turn to the press--its teeming sheets survey,
  Big with he wonders of each passing day;
    Births, deaths, and weddings, forgeries, fires and wrecks,
      Harangues and hailstones, brawls and broken necks.
      - [Newspapers]

Behold! in Liberty's unclouded blaze
  We lift our heads, a race of other days.
      - Centennial Ode (st. 22) [Liberty]

Lo, where the Stage, the poor, degraded Stage,
  Holds its warped mirror to a gaping age!
      - Curiosity [Acting]

Through life's dark road his sordid way he wends,
  An incarnation of fat dividends.
      - Curiosity (st. 25) [Wealth]

Yes, social friend, I love thee well,
  In learned doctor's spite;
    Thy clouds all other clouds dispel
      And lap me in delight.
      - To My Cigar [Tobacco]


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