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To create a little flower is the labor of ages.
To generalize is to be an idiot.
To the eyes of a miser a guinea is far more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions that a vine filled with grapes.
God forbid that Truth should be confined to Mathematical Demonstration!
- circa 1808,
"Notes on Reynold's Discourses" [Truth]
Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.
- A Cradle Song [Babyhood]
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower:
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
- Auguries of Innocence [Innocence]
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
- Christian Forbearance [Anger]
To Chloe's breast young Cupid slily stole,
But he crept in at Myra's pocket-hole.
- Couplets and Fragments (IV) [Love]
The grave is Heaven's golden gate,
And rich and poor around it wait;
O Shepherdess of England's fold,
Behold this gate of pearl and gold!
- Dedication of the Designs to Blair's "Grave"--To Queen Charlotte
When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it.
- Laughing Song [Laughter]
I have mental joys and mental health,
Mental friends and mental wealth,
I've a wife that I love and that loves me;
I've all but riches bodily.
- Mammon [Wealth]
I rose up at the dawn of day,--
"Get thee away! get thee away!
Pray'st thou for riches? Away, away!
This is the throne of Mammon grey."
- Mammon [Mammon]
Tools were made and born with hands,
Every farmer understands.
- Proverbs [Work]
Since all the riches of this world
May be gifts from the devil and earthly kings,
I should suspect that I worshipped the devil
If I thanked my God for worldly things.
- Riches [Wealth]
For a tear is an intellectual thing;
And a sigh is the sword of an angel-king;
And the bitter groan of a martyr's woe
Is an arrow from the Almighty's bow.
- The Grey Monk [Martyrdom]
What is now proved was once only imagin'd.
- The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-3)
But to go to school in a summer morn,
Oh, it drives all joy away!
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day--
In sighing and dismay.
- The Schoolboy (st. 2) [Education]
Ah, Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime,
Where the traveller's journal done;
Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!
- The Sunflower [Sunflowers]
Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
- The Tiger [Tigers]
O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou mayest rest
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
- To Autumn (st. 1) [Autumn]
O thou who passest through our valleys in
Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat
That flames from their large nostrils! Thou, O Summer,
Oft pitchest here thy golden tent, and oft
Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld
With joy thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair.
- To Summer [Summer]
O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
The north is thine; there hast thou build thy dark,
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs,
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.
- To Winter [Winter]
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