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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Armstrong
 
        For pale and trembling anger rushes in
With faltering speech, and eyes that wildly stare,
Fierce as the tiger, madder than the seas,
Desperate and armed with more than human strength.
  1
        Good native Taste, tho’ rude, is seldom wrong,
Be it in music, painting, or in song:
But this, as well as other faculties,
Improves with age and ripens by degrees.
  2
        He chooses best, whose labor entertains
His vacant fancy most; the toil you hate
Fatigues you soon, and scarce improves your limbs.
  3
        He knows enough, the mariner, who knows
Where lurk the shelves, and where the whirlpools boil,
What signs portend the storm: to subtler minds
He leaves to scan, from what mysterious cause
Charybdis rages in the Ionian wave;
Whence those impetuous currents in the main
Which neither oar nor sail can stem; and why
The roughening deep expects the storm, as sure
As red Orion mounts the shrouded heaven.
  4
                  How happy he whose toil
Has o’er his languid pow’rless limbs diffus’d
A pleasing lassitude; he not in vain
Invokes the gentle Deity of dreams.
His pow’rs the most voluptuously dissolve
In soft repose; on him the balmy dews
Of Sleep with double nutriment descend.
  5
        Music exalts each joy, allays each grief,
Expels diseases, softens every pain,
Subdues the rage of poison and of plague.
  6
        Of right and wrong he taught
Truths as refined as ever Athens heard;
And (strange to tell!) he practised what he preach’d.
  7
        Riches are oft by guilt and baseness earn’d;
Or dealt by chance to shield a lucky knave,
Or throw a cruel sunshine on a fool.
But for one end, one much-neglected use,
Are riches worth your care; (for nature’s wants
Are few, and without opulence supplied;)
This noble end is, to produce the soul;
To show the virtues in their fairest light;
To make humanity the minister
Of bounteous Providence; and teach the breast
The generous luxury the gods enjoy.
  8
        The body  *  *  *
Much toil demands; the lean elastic less.
While winter chills the blood and binds the veins,
No labors are too hard; by those you ’scape
The slow diseases of the torpid year,
Endless to name.
  9
        There are, while human miseries abound,
A thousand ways to waste superfluous wealth,
Without one fool or flatterer at your board,
Without one hour of sickness or disgust.
  10
        There is, they say, (and I believe there is),
A spark within us of th’ immortal fire,
That animates and moulds the grosser frame;
And when the body sinks, escapes to heaven;
Its native seat, and mixes with the gods.
  11
        Time shakes the stable tyranny of thrones,
And tottering empires rush by their own weight.
  12
        ’Tis chiefly taste, or blunt, or gross, or fine,
Makes life insipid, bestial, or divine.
Better be born with taste to little rent
Than the dull monarch of a continent;
Without this bounty which the gods bestow,
Can Fortune make one favorite happy? No.
  13
        Toil, and be strong; by toil the flaccid nerves
Grow firm, and gain a more compacted tone:
The greener juices are by toil subdued,
Mellow’d, and subtilis’d; the vapid old
Expell’d, and all the rancor of the blood.
  14
        Virtue and sense are one; and trust me still
A faithless heart betrays the head unsound.
Virtue (for meree good nature is a fool)
Is sense and spirit with humanity.
’Tis sometimes angry, and its frown confounds;
’Tis even vindictive, but in vengeance just,
Knaves fain would laugh at it; some great ones dare
But at his heart the most undaunted son
Of Fortune dreads its name and awful charms.
  15
        Virtue and sense are one; and, trust me, still
A faithless heart betrays the head unsound.
  16
        Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
Is the best gift of heaven; a happiness
That, even above the smiles and frowns of fate,
Exalts great Nature’s favorites; a wealth
That ne’er encumbers, nor can be transferr’d.
  17
        What avails it that indulgent Heaven
From mortal eyes has wrapt the woes to come,
If we, ingenious to torment ourselves,
Grow pale at hideous fictions of our own?
Enjoy the present; nor with needless cares
Of what may spring from blind misfortune’s womb,
Appal the surest hour that life bestows.
Serene, and master of yourself, prepare
For what may come; and leave the rest to Heaven.
  18
        Your friends avoid you, brutishly transform’d
They hardly know you, or if one remains
To wish you well, he wishes you in heaven.
  19
  ’T is not for mortals always to be blest.  20
 
 
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