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English poet, scholar, writer and patriot
(1608 - 1674)
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And, weaponless himself,
  Made arms ridiculous.
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 130) [Strength]

I on the other side
  Us'd no ambition to comment my deeds;
    The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the doer.
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 246) [Deeds]

Just are the ways of God,
  And justifiable to men.
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 293) [Justice]

O madness to think use of strongest wines
  And strongest drinks our chief support of health,
    When God with these forbidden made choice to rear
      His mighty champion, strong above compare,
        Whose drink was only from the liquid brook.
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 553) [Temperance]

What boots it at one gate to make defence,
  And at another to let in the foe?
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 560)
        [Enemies : Proverbs : War]

O loss of sight, of thee I most complain!
  Blind among enemies, O worse than chains,
    Dungeon, or beggary, or decrepit age!
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 67) [Blindness]

An amber scent of odorous perfume
  Her harbinger.
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 720) [Perfume]

O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
  Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse
    Without all hope of day!
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 80) [Blindness]

If weakness may excuse,
  What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
    Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?
      All wickedness is weakness; that plea, therefore,
        With God or man will gain thee no remission.
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 831) [Weakness]

But zeal moved thee;
  To please thy gods thou didst it!
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 895) [Zeal]

These false pretexts and varnished colours failing,
  Rare in thy guilt how foul must thou appear.
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 901) [Guilt]

In argument with men a woman ever
  Goes by the worse, whatever be her course.
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 903) [Argument]

Fame, if not double fac'd, is double mouth'd,
  And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds;
    On both his wings, one black, the other white,
      Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight.
      - Samson Agonistes (l. 971) [Fame]

Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
  Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
    The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
      The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
        Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
          Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
            Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
              Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing,
                Thus we salute thee with our early song,
                  And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
      - Song--On May Morning [May : Stars]

. . . as that dishonest victory
  At Chaeronea, fatal to liberty,
    Killed with report that old man eloquent,
      [Isocrates, the celebrated orator of Greece.]
      - Sonnet X [Eloquence]

These eyes, tho' clear
  To outward view of blemish or of spot,
    Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot,
      Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
        Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,
          Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
            Against Heaven's hand or will, not bate a jot
              Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
                Right onward.
      - Sonnet XXII (l. 1) [Blindness]

They also serve who only stand and wait.
      - Sonnet--On His Blindness [Service]

Who best
  Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state
    Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
      And post o'er land and ocean without rest.
      - Sonnet--On His Blindness [God]

I argue not
  Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
    Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
      Right onward.
      - Sonnet--To Cyriack Skinner [Courage]

Peace hath her victories,
  No less renowned than war.
      - Sonnet--To the Lord General Cromwell

In vain doth valour bleed,
  While Avarice and Rapine share the land.
      - Sonnet--To the Lord General Fairfax

O nightingale, that on yon bloomy spray
  Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still;
    Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill
      While the jolly hours lead on propitious May.
      - Sonnet--To the Nightingale [Nightingales]

Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day
  First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill,
    Portend success in love.
      - Sonnet--To the Nightingale [Nightingales]

Yet I argue not
  Again Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
    Of right or hope; but still bear up and steer
      Right onward.
      - To Cyriack Skinner [Faith : Perseverance]

Enflamed with the study of learning, and the admiration of virtue; stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave men, and worthy patriots, dear to God, and famous to all ages.
      - Tract on Education [Education]

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