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See, through this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high! progressive life may go!
Around, how wide; how deep extend below!
Vast chain of being! which from God began,
Nature's ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see,
No glass can reach, from infinite to Thee,
From Thee to nothing.
Self-love and reason to one end aspire.
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul;
Reason's comparing balance rules the whole.
Man, but for that no action could attend,
And, but for this, were active to no end:
Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot,
To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot;
Or, meteor-like, flame lawless thro' the void,
Destroying others, by himself destroy'd.
Shakespeare (whom you and every play-house bill
Style the divine, the matchless, what you will)
For gain, not glory, wing'd his roving flight
And grew immortal in his own despite.
She comes unlooked for if she comes at all.
She moves a goddess, and she looks a queen.
Shut, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd I said;
Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.
Sickness is a sort of early old age; it teaches us a diffidence in our earthly state.
Silence that spoke, and eloquence of eyes.
Silence! coeval with eternity! thou wert ere Nature's self began to be; thine was the sway ere heaven was formed on earth, ere fruitful thought conceived creation's birth.
Sleep and death, two twins of winged race,
Of matchless swiftness, but of silent pace.
Sleepless themselves to give their readers sleep.
So vast is art; so narrow human wit.
Soft without weakness; without glaring, gay.
Some old men, by continually praising the time of their youth, would almost persuade us that there were no fools in those days; but unluckily they are left themselves for examples.
Some people are commended for a giddy kind of good-humor, which is as much a virtue as drunkenness.
Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon.
Some to church repair, not for the doctrine, but the music there.
Some to conceit alone their taste confine,
And glittering thoughts struck out at ev'ry line;
Pleas'd with a work where nothing's just or fit;
One glaring chaos and wild heap of wit.
Sometimes virtue starves while vice is fed.
Sped the soft intercourse from soul to soul,
And waft a sigh from Indus to the Pole.
Still when the lust of tyrant power succeeds, some Athens perishes, or some Tully bleeds.
Such as are still observing upon others are like those who are always abroad at other men's houses, reforming everything there while their own runs to ruin.
Such labored nothings, in so strange a style, amaze the unlearned and make the learned smile.
Sure never to o'ershoot, but just to hit.
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