Home  »  Dictionary of Quotations  »  Thomson

James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.


Base envy withers at another’s joy, / And hates that excellence it cannot reach.

Beauty, when unadorned, adorned the most.

Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave.

Delightful task! to rear the tender thought, / To teach the young idea how to shoot.

Desponding fear, of feeble fancies full, / Weak and unmanly, loosens every power.

From seeming evil still educing good.

He little merits bliss who others can annoy.

He whom toil has braced or manly play, / As light as air each limb, each thought as clear as day.

Heavens! can you then thus waste, in shameful wise, / Your few important days of trial here? / Heirs of eternity! yborn to rise / Through endless states of being, still more near / To bliss approaching, and perfection clear.

Heavens! if privileged from trial, / How cheap a thing were virtue!

Justice were cruel weakly to relent; / From Mercy’s self she got her sacred glaive: / Grace be to those who can and will repent; / But penance long and dreary to the slave.

Loveliness / Needs not the foreign aid of ornament, / But is, when unadorn’d, adorn’d the most.

Never yet, since the proud selfish race / Of men began to jar, did passion give, / Nor can it ever give, a right decision.

Oft when blind mortals think themselves secure, in height of bliss, they touch the brink of ruin.

Passion often makes a fool of the most ingenious man, and often makes the greatest blockhead ingenious.

Peace is the happy natural state of man; war his corruption, his disgrace.

Poor is the triumph o’er the timid hare.

Resolve, resolve, and to be men aspire. / Exert that noblest privilege, alone / Here to mankind indulged; control desire: / Let godlike Reason, from her sovereign throne, / Speak the commanding word “I will!” and it is done.

Rule, Britannia, Britannia rules the waves; / Britons never shall be slaves.

The valiant in himself, what can he suffer? / Or what need he regard his single woes?

Their only labour was to kill the time, / And labour dire it is, and weary woe.

These / Are but the varied God. The rolling year / Is full of thee.

Those tender tears that humanise the soul.

Thrice happy he who without rigour saves.

’Tis sweet to hear of heroes dead, / To know them still alive, / But sweeter if we earn their bread, / And in us they survive.

True comeliness, which nothing can impair, / Dwells in the mind; all else is vanity and glare.

Up from unfeeling mould, / To seraphs burning round the Almighty’s throne, / Life rising still on life, in higher tone, / Perfection forms, and with perfection bliss.

Weak Virtue that amid the shade / Lamenting lies, with future schemes amused, / While Wickedness and Folly, kindred powers, / Confound the world!

What avail the largest gifts of Heaven, / When drooping health and spirits go amiss? / How tasteless then whatever can be given! / Health is the vital principle of bliss, / And exercise of health.

What is the adored Supreme Perfection, say?— / What, but eternal never-resting soul, / Almighty power, and all-directing day; / By whom each atom stirs, the planets roll; / Who fills, surrounds, informs, and agitates the whole.

What makes people discontented with their condition is the chimerical idea they conceive of the happiness of others.

What proves the hero truly great, / Is never, never to despair.

When nothing is enjoyed, can there be greater waste?

When unadorn’d, adorn’d the most.

Who does not act is dead; absorpt entire / In miry sloth, no pride, no joy he hath: / O leaden-hearted men, to be in love with death!

Who so unworthy but may proudly deck him / With his fair-weather virtue, that exults / Glad o’er the summer main? The tempest comes, / The rough winds rage aloud; when from the helm / This virtue shrinks, and in a corner lies / Lamenting.