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ABRAHAM COWLEY
English poet
(1618 - 1667)
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The first three men in the world were a gardener, a ploughman, and a grazier; and if any man object that the second of these was a murderer, I desire he would consider that as soon as he was so, he quitted our profession and turned builder.
      - [Agriculture]

The getting out of doors is the greatest part of the journey.
      - [Proverbs]

The liberty of a people consists in being governed by laws which they have made themselves, under whatsoever form it be of government; the liberty of a private man, in being master of his own time and actions, as far as may consist with the laws of God and of his country.
      - [Liberty]

The slippery tops of human state, the gilded pinnacles of fate.
      - [Fate]

The world is a scene of changes, and to be constant in nature were inconstancy.
      - [Change]

There have been fewer friends on earth than kings.
      - [Friends]

There is some help for all the defects of fortune; for, if a man cannot attain to the length of his wishes, he may have his remedy by cutting of them shorter.
      - [Contentment]

Thou sick man's health!
      - [Hope]

Thou tide of glory, which no rest doth know,
  But ever ebb and ever flow!
    Thou golden shower of a true Jove!
      Who doth in thee descend, and heaven to earth make love.
      - [Sun]

Through the soft ways of heaven, and air, and sea,
  Which open all their pores to thee,
    Like a clear river thou dost glide,
      And with they living stream through the close channel slide.
      - [Sun]

To be a husbandman is but a retreat from the city; to be a philosopher, from the world; or rather a retreat from the world, as it is man's, into the world, as it is God's.
      - [Philosophy]

We may talk what we please of lilies, and lions rampant, and spread eagles, in fields of d'or or d'argent, but if heraldry were guided by reason, a plough in a field arable would be the most noble and ancient arms.
      - [Heraldry]

What a brave privilege is it to be free from all contentions, from all envying or being envied, from receiving or paying all kinds of ceremonies!
      - [Solitude]

Who that has reason, and his smell,
  Would not among roses and jasmin dwell?
      - [Proverbs]

Why dost thou heap up wealth, which thou must quit,
  Or what is worse, be left by it?
    Why dost thou load thyself when thou 'rt to fly,
      Oh, man! ordain'd to die?
        Why dost thou build up stately rooms on high,
          Thou who art under ground to lie?
            Thou sow'st and plantest, but no fruit must see,
              For death, alas! is reaping thee.
      - [Wealth]

To-morrow let my sun his beams display,
  Or in clouds hide them: I have lived to-day.
      - A Vote (last lines) [Today]

Nothing in Nature's sober found,
  But an eternal Health goes round.
    Fill up the Bowl then, fill it high--
      Fill all the Glasses there; for why
        Should every Creature Drink but I?
          Why, Man of Morals, tell me why?
      - Anacreon II--Drinking [Drinking]

The thirsty Earth soaks up the Rain,
  And drinks, and gapes for Drink again;
    The Plants suck in the Earth and are
      With constant Drinking fresh and fair.
      - Anacreon II--Drinking [Drinking]

Gold begets in brethren hate;
  Gold in families debate;
    Gold does friendship separate;
      Gold does civil wars create.
      - Anacreontics--Gold (l. 17) [Gold]

Nature's self's thy Ganymede.
      - Anacreontics--The Grasshopper (l. 8)
        [Gods]

To-day is ours; what do we fear?
  To-day is ours; we have it here.
    Let's treat it kindly, that it may
      Wish, at least, with us to stay.
        Let's banish business, banish sorrow;
          To the gods belong to-morrow.
      - Anacreontique--The Epicure (l. 7) [Today]

Happy insect! what can be
  In happiness compared to thee?
    Fed with nourishment divine,
      The dewy morning's gentle wine!
        Nature waits upon thee still,
          And thy verdant cup does fill;
            'Tis fill'd wherever thou dost tread,
              Nature's self's thy Ganymede.
      - Anacreontiques (no. 10, Grasshopper)
        [Grasshoppers]

Nothing is there to come, and nothing past,
  But an eternal Now does always last.
      - Davideis (bk. I) [Eternity : Time]

Water and air He for the Tenor chose,
  Earth made the Base, the Treble Fame arose,
    To th' active Moon a quick brisk stroke he gave,
      To Saturn's string a touch more sore and grave.
        The motions strait, and round, and swift, and slow,
          And short and long, were mixt and woven so,
            Did in such artful Figures smoothly fall,
              As made this decent measur'd dance of all.
                And this is Musick.
      - Davideis (bk. I, p. 13) [Music]

An harmless flaming meteor shone for hair,
  And fell adown his shoulders with losse care.
      - Davideis (bk. II, l. 803) [Hair]


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