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VISIONS
[ Also see Angels Anticipation Apparitions Dreams Fairies Fancy Imagination Mermaids Poets Prophecy (Prophesy) Revelation Romance Spirit Spirits Wonder ]

Concerning perfect blessed ness which consists in a vision of God.
  [Lat., Circa beatitudinem perfectam, quae in Dei visione consistit.]
      - Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologie,
        probably the origin of the phrase "beatific vision"

I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
      - Bible, Hosea (ch. XII, v. 10)

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
      - Bible, Proverbs (ch. XXIX, v. 18)

And like a passing thought, she fled
  In light away.
      - Robert Burns, The Vision (last lines)

The people's prayer, the glad diviner's theme!
  The young men's vision, and the old men's dream.
      - John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel
         (pt. I, l. 238)

So little distant dangers seem:
  So we mistake the future's face,
    Ey'd thro' Hope's deluding glass;
      As yon summits soft and fair,
        Clad in colours of the air,
          Which to those who journey near,
            Barren, brown, and rough appear.
      - John Dyer, Gronger Hill (l. 884)

Visions of glory, spare my aching sight!
  Ye unborn ages, crown not on my soul.
      - Thomas Gray, The Bard (III, 1, l. 11)

I wonder if ever a song was sung but the singer's heart sang sweeter!
  I wonder if ever a rhyme was rung but the thought surpassed the meter!
    I wonder if ever a sculptor wrought till the cold stone echoed his ardent thought!
      Or, if ever a painter with light and shade the dream of his inmost heart portrayed!
      - James Clarence Harvey, Incompleteness

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
  Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And say, within the moonlight in his room,
      Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
        An angel, writing in a book of gold;
          Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
            And to the presence in the room he said--
              "What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head,
                And, with a look made all of sweet accord,
                  Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
      - Leigh Hunt (James Henry Leigh Hunt),
        Abou Ben Adhem and the Angel

It is a dream, sweet child! a waking dream,
  A blissful certainty, a vision bright,
    Of that rare happiness, which even on earth
      Heaven gives to those it loves.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Spanish Student (act III, sc. 5)

An angel stood and met my gaze,
  Through the low doorway of my tent;
    The tent is struck, the vision stays;
      I only know she came and went.
      - James Russell Lowell, She Came and Went

Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimaeras dire.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. II, l. 628)

O visions ill foreseen! Better had I
  Liv'd ignorant of future, so had borne
    My part of evil only.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. XI, l. 763)

My thoughts by night are often filled
  With visions false as fair:
    For in the past alone, I build
      My castles in the air.
      - Thomas Love Peacock, Castles in the Air
         (st. 1)

Hence the fool's paradise, the statesman's scheme,
  The air-built castle, and the golden dream,
    The maid's romantic wish, the chemist's flame,
      And poet's vision of eternal fame.
      - Alexander Pope, The Dunciad
         (bk. III, l. 9)

Our revels are now ended. These our actors
  As I foretold you, were all spirits and
    Are melted into air, into thin air;
      And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
        The cloud-capped tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
          The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
            Yea, all of which it inherit, shall dissolve,
              And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
                Is rounded with a sleep.
      - William Shakespeare, The Tempest
         (Prospero at IV, i)

Hence, dear delusion, sweet enchantment hence!
      - Horace Smith and James Smith,
        Rejected Addresses--An Address without a Phoenix--By "S.T.P.",
        (not an imitation, initials used to puzzle critics)

But shapes that come not at an earthly call,
  Will not depart when mortal voices bid.
      - William Wordsworth, Dion (V)

Fond man! the vision of a moment made!
  Dream of a dream! and shadow of a shade!
      - Edward Young,
        Paraphrase on Part of the Book of Job
         (l. 187)


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