Reference > Quotations > James Wood, comp. > Dictionary of Quotations
James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
  A poet is a nightingale, who sits in the darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds.  1
  Commerce has set the mark of selfishness, the signet of all-enslaving power, upon a shining ore and called it gold.  2
  Common as light is love, / And its familiar voice wearies not ever.  3
  Echoes we: listen! / We cannot stay, / As dewdrops glisten, / Then fade away.  4
  Fear not that tyrants shall rule for ever, / Or the priests of the bloody faith; / They stand on the brink of that mighty river / Whose waves they have tainted with death.  5
  Fear not the future; weep not for the past.  6
  From kings and priests and statesmen war arose, / Whose safety is man’s deep embittered woe, / Whose grandeur his debasement.  7
  History is a cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of man.  8
  How vainly seek / The selfish for that happiness denied / To aught but virtue!  9
  How wonderful is Death, / Death and his brother Sleep! / One, pale as yonder waning moon, / With lips of lurid blue; / The other, rosy as the morn, / When, throned on ocean’s wave, / It blushes o’er the world: / Yet both so passing wonderful.  10
  In just and equal measure all is weighed; / One scale contains the sum of human weal, / And one, the good man’s heart.  11
  Kings are like stars; they rise and set; they have / The worship of the world, but no repose.  12
  Life, like a dome of many coloured glass, / Stains the white radiance of eternity.  13
  Most wretched men / Are cradled into poetry by wrong; / They learn in suffering what they teach in song.  14
  Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.  15
  Power, like a desolating pestilence, / Pollutes whate’er it touches; and obedience, / Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, / Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton.  16
  Religion and morality, as they now stand, compose a practical code of misery and servitude…. How would morality, dressed up in stiff stays and finery, start from her own disgusting image, should she look into the mirror of Nature!  17
  Reviewers, with some rare exceptions, are a most stupid and malignant race. As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic.  18
  She (i.e., Nature) only knows / How justly to proportion to the fault the punishment it merits.  19
  The awful shadow of some unseen Power / Floats, though unseen, among us.  20
  The desire of the moth for the star, / Of the night for the morrow, / The devotion to something afar / From the sphere of our sorrow.  21
  The unpastured sea hungering for calm.  22
  Those of us who are worth anything spend our manhood in unlearning the follies or expiating the mistakes of our youth.  23
  We look before and after, / And pine for what is not; / E’en our sincerest laughter / With some pain is fraught; / Our sweetest songs are those which tell of saddest thought.  24
  What ’twas weak to do, / ’Tis weaker to lament, once being done.  25
  When the power of imparting joy / Is equal to the will, the human soul / Requires no other heaven.  26
  Worse than despair, / Worse than the bitterness of death, is hope: / It is the only ill which can find place / Upon the giddy, sharp, and narrow hour / Tottering beneath us.  27

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