Abraham Cowley Quotes | Quotes by Abraham Cowley
1All the world's bravery that delights our eyes is but thy several liveries.
2Ah, yet, e'er I descend to th' grave, May I a small House and a large Garden have. And a few Friends, and many Books both true, Both wise, and both delightful too. And since Love ne'er will from me flee, A mistress moderately fair, And good as Guardian angels are, Only belov'd and loving me.
3Lukewarmness I account a sin, as great in love as in religion.
4Our yesterday's to-morrow now is gone, And still a new to-morrow does come on. We by to-morrow draw out all our store, Till the exhausted well can yield no more.
5Neither the praise nor the blame is our own.
6Thus would I double my life's fading space;For he that runs it well, runs twice his race.
7Poets by Death are conquer'd but the wit Of poets triumphs over it.
8His time's forever, everywhere his place.
9God the first garden made, and the first city Cain.
10Awake, awake, my Lyre!And tell thy silent master's humble taleIn sounds that may prevail;Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire:Though so exalted sheAnd I so lowly beTell her, such different notes make all thy harmony.
11But what is woman? Only one of nature's agreeable blunders.
12I confess I love littleness almost in all things. A little convenient estate, a little cheerful house, a little company, and a little feast.
13Hope! fortune's cheating lottery; when for one prize an hundred blanks there be!
14Does not the passage of Moses and the Israelites into the Holy Land yield incomparably more poetic variety than the voyages of Ulysses or Aeneas?
15Who that has reason, and his smell, Would not among roses and jasmin dwell?
16Beauty, thou wild fantastic ape Who dost in every country change thy shape!
17Man is too near all kinds of beasts,--a fawning dog, a roaring lion, a thieving fox, a robbing wolf, a dissembling crocodile, a treacherous decoy, and a rapacious vulture.
18Ah! Wretched and too solitary he who loves not his own company.
19Water and air He for the Tenor chose, Earth made the Base, the Treble Fame arose, To th' active Moon a quick brisk stroke he gave, To Saturn's string a touch more sore and grave. The motions strait, and round, and swift, and slow, And short and long, were mixt and woven so, Did in such artful Figures smoothly fall, As made this decent measur'd dance of all. And this is Musick.
20Unbind the charms that in slight fables lie and teach that truth is truest poesy.
21What shall I do to be for ever known, And make the age to come my own?
22Sleep is a god too proud to wait in palaces, and yet so humble too as not to scorn the meanest country cottages.
23Acquaintance I would have, but when it depends; not on number, but the choice of friends.
24Life for delays and doubts no time does give, None ever yet made haste enough to live.
25For the whole world, without a native home, Is nothing but a prison of larger room.
26Much will always wanting be To him who much desires.
27Thus each extreme to equal danger tends, Plenty, as well as Want, can sep'rate friends.
28Hope is the most hopeless thing of all.
29A mighty pain to love it is, And 'tis a pain that pain to miss; But, of all pains, the greatest pain Is to love, but love in vain.
30Who lets slip fortune, her shall never find: Occasion once past by, is bald behind.
31What a brave privilege is it to be free from all contentions, from all envying or being envied, from receiving or paying all kinds of ceremonies!
32s a scene of changes, and to be constant in Nature were inconstancy.
33Happy insect! what can be In happiness compared to thee? Fed with nourishment divine, The dewy morning's gentle wine! Nature waits upon thee still, And thy verdant cup does fill; 'Tis fill'd wherever thou dost tread, Nature's self's thy Ganymede.
34Why to mute fish should'st thou thyself discoverAnd not to me, thy no less silent lover?
35Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise, He who defers this work from day to day, Does on a river's bank expecting stay, Till the whole stream, which stopped him, should be gone, That runs, and as it runs, for ever will run on.
36Solitude can be used well by very few people. They who do must have a knowledge of the world to see the foolishness of it, and enough virtue to despise all the vanity.
37To-day is ours; what do we fear? To-day is ours; we have it here. Let's treat it kindly, that it may Wish, at least, with us to stay. Let's banish business, banish sorrow; To the gods belong to-morrow.
38Curiosity does, no less than devotion, pilgrims make.
39Life is an incurable disease.
40Curs'd be that wretch (Death's factor sure) who brought Dire swords into the peaceful world, and taught Smiths (who before could only make The spade, the plough-share, and the rake) Arts, in most cruel wise Man's left to epitomize!
41As for being much known by sight, and pointed out, I cannot comprehend the honor that lies withal; whatsoever it be, every mountebank has it more than the best doctor.
42The monster London laugh at me.
43Nay, in death's hand, the grape-stone proves As strong as thunder is in Jove's.
44May I a small house and large garden have; And a few friends, And many books, both true.
45Stones of small worth may lie unseen by day, But night itself does the rich gem betray.
46Plenty, as well as Want, can separate friends.
47Coy Nature, (which remain'd, though aged grown, A beauteous virgin still, enjoy'd by none, Nor seen unveil'd by anyone), When Harvey's violent passion she did see, Began to tremble and to flee; Took sanctuary, like Daphne, in a tree: There Daphne's Lover stopped, and thought it much The very leaves of her to touch: But Harvey, our Apollo, stopp'd not so; Into the Bark and Root he after her did go!
48Enjoy the present hour, Be thankful for the past, And neither fear nor wish Th' approaches of the last.
49It is a hard and nice subject for a man to speak of himself: it grates his own heart to say anything of disparagement, and the reader's ear to hear anything of praise from him.
50Gold begets in brethren hate; Gold in families debate; Gold does friendship separate; Gold does civil wars create.
51His faith, perhaps, in some nice tenets might Be wrong; his life, I'm sure, was in the right.
52All this world's noise appears to me a dull, ill-acted comedy!
53I would not fear nor wish my fate, but boldly say each night, to-morrow let my sun his beams display, or in clouds hide them; I have lived today.
54This only grant me, that my means may lie, too low for envy, for contempt to high.
55Nothing so soon the drooping spirits can raise As praises from the men, whom all men praise.
56"We may talk what we please," he cries in his enthusiasm for the oldest of the arts, "of lilies, and lions rampant, and spread eagles, in fields d'or or d'argent; but, if heraldry were guided by reason, a plough in a field arable would be the most noble and ancient arms."
57And I myself a Catholic will be, So far at least, great saint, to pray to thee. Hail, Bard triumphant! and some care bestow On us, the Poets militant below.
58Why dost thou heap up wealth, which thou must quit, Or what is worse, be left by it? Why dost thou load thyself when thou 'rt to fly, Oh, man! ordain'd to die? Why dost thou build up stately rooms on high, Thou who art under ground to lie? Thou sow'st and plantest, but no fruit must see, For death, alas! is reaping thee.
59Build yourself a book-nest to forget the world without.
60Vain, weak-built isthmus, which dost proudly rise Up between two eternities!
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