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English poet and dramatist
(1683 - 1765)
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One to destroy is murder by the law,
  And gibbets keep the lifted hand in awe;
    To murder thousands takes a specious name,
      War's glorious art, and gives immortal fame.
      - Love of Fame (satire VII, l. 55)
        [Murder : Proverbs]

Some future strain, in which the muse shall tell
  How science dwindles, and how volumes swell.
    How commentators each dark passage shun,
      And hold their farthing candle to the sun.
      - Love of Fame (satire VII, l. 95)

None think the great unhappy, but the great.
      - Love of Fame--Satire [Misfortune]

Teach me my days to number, and apply
  My trembling heart to wisdom.
      - Night Thought (night IX, l. 1,312)

Pygmies are pygmies still, though percht on Alps;
  And pyramids are pyramids in vales.
    Each man makes his own stature, builds himself.
      Virtue alone outbuilds the Pyramids;
        Her monuments shall last when Egypt's fall.
      - Night Thoughts [Virtue]

The spider's most attenuated thread
  Is cord, is cable, to man's tender tie
    On earthly bliss; it breaks at every breeze.
      - Night Thoughts (night 1, l, 178) [Bliss]

Tired Nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep!
  He, like the world, his ready visit pays
    Where fortune smiles; the wretched he forsakes.
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 1) [Sleep]

Ocean into tempest wrought,
  To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 153) [Ocean]

Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne,
  In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
    Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world.
      Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound!
        Nor eye, nor list'ning ear, an object finds;
          Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse
            Of life stood still, and nature made a pause;
              An awful pause! prophetic of her end.
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 18) [Night]

Insatiate archer! could not one suffice?
  Thy shaft flew thrice; and thrice my peace was slain!
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 212) [Death]

Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse
  Of life stood still, and nature made a pause.
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 23) [Sleep]

Some for hard masters, broken under arms,
  In battle lopt away, with half their limbs,
    Beg bitter bread thro' realms their valour saved.
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 250)

In human hearts what bolder thoughts can rise,
  Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn!
    Where is to-morrow?
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 374)

Procrastination is the thief of time:
  Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
    And to the mercies of a moment leaves
      The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 390) [Time]

At thirty, man suspects himself a fool,
  Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
    At fifty, chides his infamous delay,
      Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve,
        In all the magnanimity of thought;
          Resolves, and re-resolves, then dies the same.
            And why? because he thinks himself immortal,
              All men think all men mortal but themselves.
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 417)
        [Folly : Mortality]

The bell strikes one. We take no note of time
  But from its loss: to give it then a tongue
    Is wise in man.
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 55) [Time]

And can eternity belong to me,
  Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour?
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 66) [Eternity]

How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
  How complicate, how wonderful, is man!
    How passing wonder He, who made him such!
      - Night Thoughts (night I, l. 68) [Man]

And then, exulting in their taper, cry, "Behold the Sun;" and, Indian-like, adore.
      - Night Thoughts (night II) [Authorship]

Time is eternity;
  Pregnant with all eternity can give;
    Pregnant will all that makes archangels smile.
      Who murders Time, he crushes in the birth
        A power ethereal, only not adorn'd.
      - Night Thoughts (night II, l. 107) [Time]

Ah! how unjust to nature, and himself,
  Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man.
      - Night Thoughts (night II, l. 112) [Man]

Leisure is pain; take off our chariot wheels,
  How heavily we drag the load of life!
    Blest leisure is our curse; like that of Cain,
      It makes us wander, wander earth around
        To fly that tyrant, thought.
      - Night Thoughts (night II, l. 125)

We cry for mercy to the next amusement,
  The next amusement mortgages our fields.
      - Night Thoughts (night II, l. 131)

Time wasted is existence, used is life.
      - Night Thoughts (night II, l. 149) [Time]

We push time from us, and we wish him back;
  . . . .
    Life we think long and short; death seek and shun.
      - Night Thoughts (night II, l. 174) [Time]

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