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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Thomas Love Peacock
 
        Clouds on clouds, in volumes driven,
Curtain round the vault of heaven.
  1
        Death comes to all. His cold and sapless hand
Waves o’er the world, and beckons us away.
Who shall resist the summons?
  2
        Dreams, which, beneath the hov’ring shades of night,
Sport with the ever-restless minds of men,
Descend not from the gods. Each busy brain
Creates its own.
  3
        He bore a simple wild-flower wreath:
  Narcissus, and the sweet brier rose;
Vervain, and flexile thyme, that breathe
  Rich fragrance; modest heath, that glows
With purple bells; the amaranth bright,
  That no decay, nor fading knows,
Like true love’s holiest, rarest light;
  And every purest flower, that blows
In that sweet time, which Love most blesses,
  When spring on summer’s confines presses.
  4
        How troublesome is day!
It calls us from our sleep away;
It bids us from our pleasant dreams awake,
And sends us forth to keep or break
      Our promises to pay.
How troublesome is day!
  5
        Man yields to death; and man’s sublimest works
Must yield at length to Time.
  6
        The present is our own; but while we speak,
We cease from its possession, and resign
The stage we tread on, to another race,
As vain, and gay, and mortal as ourselves.
  7
                        Time is lord of thee:
Thy wealth, thy glory, and thy name are his.
  8
        To chase the clouds of life’s tempestuous hours,
To strew its short but weary way with flow’rs,
New hopes to raise, new feelings to impart,
And pour celestial balsam on the heart;
For this to man was lovely woman giv’n,
The last, best work, the noblest gift of Heav’n.
  9
 
 
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