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WILLIAM ALEXANDER, EARL OF STIRLING
Scottish poet, statesman and courtier
(c. 1567 - 1640)

And while they live, we see their glorious actions
  Oft wrested to the worst; and all their life
    Is but a stage of endless toil and strife,
      Of torments, uproars, mutinies, and factions;
        They rise with fear, and lie with danger down;
          Huge are the cares that wait upon the crown.
      - [Kings]

Death is the port where all may refuge find,
  The end of labor, entry into rest;
    Death hath the bounds of misery confin'd
      Whose sanctuary shrouds affliction best.
      - [Death]

This self-conceit is a most dangerous shelf
  Where many have made shipwreck unawares;
    He who doth trust too much unto himself
      Can never fail to fall in many snares.
      - [Conceit]

-----those whose cruelty makes many mourn
  Do by the fires, which they first kindle, burn.
      - [Cruelty]

Though all things do to harm him what they can,
  No greater en'my to himself than man.
      - [Enemies]

What fairer cloak than courtesy for fraud?
      - [Courtesy]

The deepest rivers make least din,
  The silent soule doth most abound in care.
      - Aurora (song) [Silence]

A pilot's part in calms cannot be spy'd,
  In dangerous times true worth is only tri'd.
      - Doomes-day--The Fifth Houre [Worth]

Yet all that I have learn'd (hugh toyles now past)
  By long experience, and in famous schooles,
    Is but to know my ignorance at last,
      Who think themselves most wise are greatest fools.
      - Recreation with the Muses
         (London, fol. 1637, p. 7) [Knowledge]

The white sail of his soul has rounded
  The promontory--death.
      - The Icebound Ship [Death]


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