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SIR JOHN DENHAM
Irish poet
(1615 - 1669)
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All human wisdom, to divine, is folly.
      - [Wisdom]

Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals.
      - [Ambition]

And doubt, a greater mischief than despair.
      - [Despair]

Be just in all thy actions, and if join'd
  With those that are not, never change thy mind.
      - [Justice]

Clear-sighted reason, wisdom's judgment leads; and sense, her vassal, in her footsteps treads.
      - [Reason]

Expect not more from servants than is just;
  Reward them well, if they observe their trust,
    Nor with them cruelty or pride invade;
      Since God and nature them our brothers made.
      - [Servants]

From Egypt arts their progress made to Greece, wrapped in the fable of the golden fleece.
      - [Art]

In age to wish for youth is full as vain
  As far a youth to turn a child again.
      - [Age]

Man's that savage beast whose mind, from reason to self-love declined, delights to prey upon his kind.
      - [Self-love]

More in prosperity is reason tost than ships in storms, their helms and anchors lost.
      - [Prosperity]

Not from gray hairs authority doth flow,
  Nor from bald heads, nor from a wrinkled brow;
    But our past life, when virtuously spent,
      Must to our age those happy fruits present.
      - [Authority]

O happiness of blindness! now no beauty
  Inflames my lust; no other's goods my envy,
    Or misery my pity; no man's wealth
      Draws my respect; nor poverty my scorn,
        Yet still I see enough! man to himself
          Is a large prospect, raised above the level
            Of his low creeping thoughts; if then I have
              A world within myself, that world shall be
                My empire; there I'll reign, commanding freely,
                  And willingly obey'd, secure from fear
                    Of foreign forces, or domestic treasons.
      - [Blindness]

O happiness of sweet retir'd content!
  To be at once secure and innocent.
      - [Retirement]

Poesy is of so subtle a spirit, that in the pouring out of one language into another it will evaporate.
      - [Poetry]

Rashness and haste make all things insecure.
      - [Rashness]

Such was the force of his eloquence, to make the hearers more concerned than h he that spake.
      - [Eloquence]

'T is in worldly accidents,
  As in the world itself, where things most distant
    Meet one another: Thus the east and west,
      Upon the globe a mathematical point
        Only divides: Thus happiness and misery,
          And all extremes, are still contiguous.
      - [Extremes]

The age, wherein he lived was dark; but he
  Could not want sight, who taught the world to see.
      - in Todd's "Johnson" [Sight]

The harmony of things, as well as that of sound, from discord springs.
      - [Music]

Whatsoever is worthy of their love is worth their anger.
      - [Anger]

When any great design thou dost intend,
  Think on the means, the manner, and the end.
      - [Design]

When by a pardoned murderer blood is spilt, the judge that pardoned hath the greatest guilt.
      - [Pardon]

When wealthy, show thy wisdom not to be to wealth a servant, but make wealth serve thee.
      - [Wealth]

The spring, like youth, fresh blossoms doth produce,
  But autumn makes them ripe and fit for use:
    So Age a mature mellowness doth set
      On the green promises of youthful heat.
      - Cato Major (pt. IV, l. 47) [Age]

Sure there are poets which did never dream
  Upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream
    Of Helicon; we therefore may suppose
      Those made not poets, but the poets those.
      - Cooper's Hill [Poets]


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