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The world's greatest age begins anew,
The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Hellas (last chorus)
The judgment of the world stands upon matter of fortune.
- Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)
Making a perpetual mansion of this poor baiting place.
- Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney), Arcadia
If you choose to represent the various parts in life by holes upon a table, of different shapes,--some circular, some triangular, some square, some oblong,--and the persons acting these parts by bits of wood of similar shapes, we shall generally find that the triangular person has got into the square hole, the oblong into the triangular, and a square person has squeezed himself into the round hole. The officer and the office, the doer and the thing done, seldom fit so exactly that we can say they were almost made for each other.
- Sydney Smith, Sketches of Moral Philosophy
A good man and a wise man may at times be angry with the world, at times grieved for it; but be sure no man was ever discontented with the world who did his duty in it.
- Robert Southey
O Earth! all bathed with blood and years, yet never
Hast thou ceased putting forth thy fruit and flowers.
- Madame de Stael (Baronne Anne Louise Germaine de Stael-Holstein),
Corinne (bk. XIII, ch. IV),
This world surely is wide enough to hold both thou and me.
- Laurence Sterne,
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
(bk. II, ch. XII)
Once kick the world, and the world and you live together at a reasonable good understanding.
- Jonathan Swift
There was all the world and his wife.
- Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation
In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play, and here have I caught sight of him that is formless.
- Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali (96)
A mad world, my maters.
- John Taylor ("The Water Poet"),
Western Voyage (first line)
So many worlds, so much to do,
So little done, such things to be.
- Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam
The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it and it will in turn look sourly upon you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind companion.
- William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist.
- Francis Thompson, Hound of Heaven (l. 126)
Anchorite, who didst dwell
With all the world for cell!
- Francis Thompson,
To the Dead Cardinal of Westminster
For, if the worlds
In worlds enclosed should on his senses burst . . .
He would abhorrent turn.
- James Thomson (1), The Seasons--Summer
Heed not the folk who sing of say
In sonnet said or sermon chill,
"Alas, alack, and well-a-day!
This round world's but a bitter pill."
We too are sand and careful; still
We'd rather be alive than not.
- Graham R. Tomson (pseudonym of Rosamund Marriott Watson),
Ballade of the Optimist
Everything is for the best in this best of possible worlds.
[Fr., Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes.]
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire),
Happy is she that from the world retires, and carries with her what the world admires.
- Edmund Waller
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the new.
- Edmund Waller, Divine Poems--Works
(p. 316), (ed. 1729)
The world is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.
- Horace (Horatio) Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford,
Letter to Sir Horace Mann
We may despise the world, but we cannot do without it.
- Baron Ignaz Heinrich von Wessenberg
What is this world? A net to snare the soule.
- George Whetstone,
in Tottle's "Miscellany", erroneously attributed to Gascoigne
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
- Walt Whitman, Starting from Pawmano
What is the world to him now? a vast and vacant space, for fortune's wheel to roll about at will.
[Ger., Was ist ihm nun die Welt? ein weiter leerer Raum,
Fortunen's Spielraum, frei ihr Rad herum zu rollen.]
- Christoph Martin Wieland, Oberon
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