John Bartlett (18201905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.
(continued) Oliver Goldsmith. (1730?1774) 4295
The bashful virgins sidelong looks of love.
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Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates, and men decay. Princes and lords may flourish or may fade, A breath can make them, as a breath has made; 1 But a bold peasantry, their countrys pride, When once destroyd, can never be supplied.
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His best companions, innocence and health; And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
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How blest is he who crowns in shades like these A youth of labour with an age of ease!
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While Resignation gently slopes away, And all his prospects brightening to the last, His heaven commences ere the world be past.
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The watch-dogs voice that bayd the whispering wind, And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind.
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A man he was to all the country dear, And passing rich with forty pounds a year.
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Wept oer his wounds, or tales of sorrow done, Shoulderd his crutch, and shewd how fields were won.
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Careless their merits or their faults to scan, His pity gave ere charity began. Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, And even his failings leand to Virtues side.
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And as a bird each fond endearment tries To tempt its new-fledgd offspring to the skies, He tried each art, reprovd each dull delay, Allurd to brighter worlds, and led the way.
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Note 1. See Pope, Quotation 177. Cest un verre qui luit, Quun souffle peut détruire, et quun souffle a produit (It is a shining glass, which a breath may destroy, and which a breath has produced).De Caux (comparing the world to his hour-glass). [ back]