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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Shirley
 
        All buildings are but monuments of death,
All clothes but winding-sheets for our last knell,
All dainty fattings for the worms beneath,
All curious music but our passing bell:
Thus death is nobly waited on, for why?
All that we have is but death’s livery.
  1
        Divinity hath oftentimes descended
Upon our slumbers, and the blessed troupes
Have, in the calm and quiet of the soule,
Conversed with us.
  2
        He is an adorer of chaste truth,
And speaks religiously of ev’ry man:
He will not trust obscure traditions.
Or faith implicit, but concludes of things
Within his own clear knowledge: what he says
You may believe, and pawn your soul upon ’t.
  3
                        Heav’n, that knows
The weakness of our natures, will forgive,
Nay, must applaud love’s debt, when decent paid:
Nor can the bravest mortal blame the tear
Which glitters on the bier of fallen worth.
  4
        Heaven, the perfection of all that can
Be said, of thought, riches, delight or harmony,
Health, beauty; and all those not subject to
The waste of time, but in their height eternal.
  5
        Her eye did seem to labour with a tear,
Which suddenly took birth, but overweigh’d
With its own weight, swelling, dropp’d upon her bosom,
Which, by reflection of her light, appear’d
As nature meant her sorrow for an ornament.
  6
        Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.
  7
        Take heed what you say, sir.
An hundred honest men! why, if there were
So many i’ th’ city, ’twere enough to forfeit
Their charter.
  8
        The glories of our blood and state
  Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
  Death lays his icy hand on kings.
  9
        This fellow must have a rare understanding;
For nature recompenseth the defects
Of one part with redundance in another;
Blind men have excellent memories, and the tongue
Thus indisposed, there’s treasure in the intellect.
  10
  Death lays his icy hand on kings.  11
  How wise are we in thought! how weak in practice! our very virtue, like our will, is nothing.  12
  Knaves will thrive when honest plainness knows not how to live.  13
  The honor is overpaid when he that did the act is commentator.  14
  The sin of excessive length.  15
 
 
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