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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Cowley
 
        Here tears and sighs speak his imperfect moan,
In language far more moving than his own.
  1
        Teeth, like falling snow
For white, were placed in a double row.
  2
        Th’ adorning thee with so much art
  Is but a barbarous skill;
’Tis like the poisoning of a dart,
  Too apt before to kill.
  3
        The thirsty Earth soaks up the Rain,
And drinks, and gapes for Drink again;
The Plants suck in the Earth and are
With constant Drinking fresh and fair.
  4
        Thou tide of glory, which no rest doth know,
But ever ebb and ever flow!
Thou golden shower of a true Jove!
Who doth in thee descend, and heaven to earth make love.
  5
        Through the soft ways of heaven, and air, and sea,
Which open all their pores to thee,
Like a clear river thou dost glide,
And with they living stream through the close channel slide.
  6
        Thus each extreme to equal danger tends,
Plenty, as well as Want, can separate friends.
  7
        To-day is ours; what do we fear?
To-day is ours; we have it here.
Let’s treat it kindly, that it may
Wish, at least, with us to stay.
Let’s banish business, banish sorrow;
To the gods belongs to-morrow.
  8
        What shall I do to be forever known,
And make the age to come my own?
  9
        Why dost thou heap up wealth, which thou must quit,
Or what is worse, be left by it?
Why dost thou load thyself when thou ’rt to fly,
Oh, man! ordain’d to die?
Why dost thou build up stately rooms on high,
Thou who art under ground to lie?
Thou sow’st and plantest, but no fruit must see,
For death, alas! is reaping thee.
  10
  Ah! wretched and too solitary he who loves not his own company!  11
  All the world’s bravery that delights our eyes is but thy several liveries.  12
  All this world’s noise appears to me a dull, ill-acted comedy!  13
  As for being much known by sight, and pointed out, I cannot comprehend the honor that lies withal; whatsoever it be, every mountebank has it more than the best doctor.  14
  But what is woman? Only one of nature’s agreeable blunders.  15
  Come, my best friends, my books! and lead me on.  16
  Does not the passage of Moses and the Israelites into the Holy Land yield incomparably more poetic variety than the voyages of Ulysses or Æneas?  17
  God the first garden made, and the first city, Cain.  18
  He loves his old hereditary trees.  19
  Hope! fortune’s cheating lottery; when for one prize an hundred blanks there be!  20
 
 
  It is a hard and nice subject for a man to speak of himself: it grates his own heart to say anything of disparagement, and the reader’s ear to hear anything of praise from him.  21
  Man is too near all kinds of beasts,—a fawning dog, a roaring lion, a thieving fox, a robbing wolf, a dissembling crocodile, a treacherous decoy, and a rapacious vulture.  22
  Neither the praise nor the blame is our own.  23
  Poverty wants some, luxury many, and avarice all things.  24
  Shines upon all men with impartial light.  25
  Sire of repentance, child of fond desire!  26
  Sleep is a god too proud to wait in palaces, and yet so humble too as not to scorn the meanest country cottages.  27
  Solitude can be well applied and sit right upon but very few persons. They must have knowledge enough of the world to see the follies of it, and virtue enough to despise all vanity.  28
  The first three men in the world were a gardener, a ploughman, and a grazier: and if any man object that the second of these was a murderer, I desire he would consider that as soon as he was so, he quitted our profession and turned builder.  29
  The liberty of a people consists in being governed by laws which they have made themselves, under whatsoever form it may be of government; the liberty of a private man, in being master of his own time and actions, as far as may consist with the laws of God and of his country.  30
  The slippery tops of human state, the gilded pinnacles of fate.  31
  The world is a scene of changes, and to be constant in nature were inconstancy.  32
  There have been fewer friends on earth than kings.  33
  There is some help for all the defects of fortune; for if a man cannot attain to the length of his wishes, he may have his remedy by cutting of them shorter.  34
  Thou sick man’s health!  35
  To be a husbandman is but a retreat from the city; to be a philosopher, from the world; or rather a retreat from the world, as it is man’s, into the world, as it is God’s.  36
  Unbind the charms that in slight fables lie, and teach that truth is truest poesy.  37
  We may talk what we please of lilies, and lions rampant, and spread eagles, in fields of d’or or d’argent, but if heraldry were guided by reason, a plough in a field arable would be the most noble and ancient arms.  38
  What a brave privilege is it to be free from all contentions, from all envying or being envied, from receiving or paying all kinds of ceremonies!  39
  Words that weep, and tears that speak.  40
 
 
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