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They say . . .
That, putting all his words together,
'Tis three blue beans in one blue bladder.
- Alma (canto I, l. 26) [Words]
His noble negligences teach
What others' toils despair to reach.
- Alma (canto II, l. 7) [Neglect]
He, perfect dancer, climbs the rope,
And balances your fear and hope.
- Alma (canto II, l. 9) [Dancing]
Similes are like songs in love:
They must describe; they nothing prove.
- Alma (canto III) [Argument]
My copper-lamps, at any rate,
For being true antique, I bought;
Yet wisely melted down my plate,
On modern models to be wrought;
And trifles I alike pursue,
Because they're old, because they're new.
- Alma (canto III) [Antiquity]
Till their own dreams at length deceive 'em
And oft repeating, they believe 'em.
- Alma (canto III, l. 13) [Dreams]
When people once are in the wrong,
Each line they add is much too long;
Who fastest walks, but walks astray,
Is only furthest from his way.
- Alma (canto III, l. 194) [Error]
You tell your doctor, that y' are ill
And what does he, but write a bill,
Of which you need not read one letter,
The worse the scrawl, the dose the better.
For if you knew but what you take,
Though you recover, he must break.
- Alma (canto III, l. 97) [Medicine]
So, if unprejudiced you scan
The going of this clock-work, man,
You find a hundred movements made
By fine devices in his head;
But 'tis the stomach's solid stroke
That tells his being what's o'clock.
- Alma (pt. III, l. 272) [Man]
Be to her virtues very kind;
Be to her faults a little blind.
Let all her ways be unconfin'd;
And clap your padlock--on her mind.
- An English Padlock [Women]
All jargon of the schools.
- An Ode on Exodus III, 14,
"I am that I am." [Teaching]
Ere on thy chin the springing beard began
To spread a doubtful down, and promise man.
- An Ode to the Memory of the Honourable Colonel George Villiers
(l. 5) [Hair]
Serene yet strong, majestic yet sedate,
Swift without violence, without terror great.
- Carmen Seculare (l. 200),
imitation of Denham [Thames River]
And when the parent-rose decays and dies,
With a resembling face the daughter-buds arise.
- Celia to Damon [Roses]
Soft peace she brings, wherever she arrives:
She builds our quiet, as she forms our lives:
Lays the rough paths of peevish Nature even,
And opens in each heart a little Heaven.
- Charity [Charity]
The gray mare will prove the better horse.
- Epilogue to Lucius (last line) [Women]
One single positive weighs more,
You know, than negatives a score.
- Epistle to Fleetwood Shepherd [Argument]
'Tis not how well an author says,
But 'tis how much, that gathers praise.
- Epistle to Fleetwood Shepherd [Authorship]
Ev'n so, with all submission, I
. . . .
Send you each year a homely letter,
Who may return me much a better.
- Epistle to Fleetwood Shepherd (l. 23)
No man's defects sought they to know;
So never made themselves a foe.
No man's good deeds did they commend;
So never rais'd themselves a friend.
- Epitaph [Character]
Heralds and statesman, by your leave,
Here lies what once was Matthew Prior;
The son of Adam and of Eve;
Can Bourbon or Nassau go higher?
- Epitaph--Extempore [Epitaphs]
That if weak women went astray,
Their stars were more in fault than they.
- Hans Carvel [Women]
The end must justify the means.
- Hans Carvel (l. 67) [End]
And oft the pangs of absence to remove
By letters, soft interpreters of love.
- Henry and Emma (l. 147) [Post]
Timely advis'd, the coming evil shun:
Better not do the deed, than weep it done.
- Henry and Emma (l. 308) [Evil]
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