Bacchus ever fair and young, Drinking joys did first ordain. Bachus's blessings are a treasure, Drinking is the soldier's pleasure, Rich the treasure, Sweet the pleasure- Sweet is pleasure after pain.
Since a true knowledge of nature gives us pleasure, a lively imitation of it, either in poetry or painting, must produce a much greater; for both these arts are not only true imitations of nature, but of the best nature.
As when the dove returning bore the mark Of earth restored to the long labouring ark; The relics of mankind, secure at rest, Oped every window to receive the guest, And the fair bearer of the message bless'd.
Imagination in a poet is a faculty so wild and lawless that, like a high ranging spaniel, it must have clogs tied to it, lest it outrun the judgment. The great easiness of blank verse renders the poet too luxuriant. He is tempted to say many things which might better be omitted, or, at least shut up in fewer words.
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures, Soon he sooth'd his soul to pleasures. War, he sung, is toil and trouble; Honour but an empty bubble; Never ending, still beginning, Fighting still, and still destroying. If all the world be worth the winning, Think, oh think it worth enjoying: Lovely Thais sits beside thee, Take the good the gods provide thee.
Affability, mildness, tenderness, and a word which I would fain bring back to its original signification of virtue,--I mean good-nature,--are of daily use; they are the bread of mankind and staff of life.
Thou spring'st a leak already in thy crown, A flaw is in thy ill-bak'd vessel found; 'Tis hollow, and returns a jarring sound, Yet thy moist clay is pliant to command, Unwrought, and easy to the potter's hand: Now take the mould; now bend thy mind to feel The first sharp motions of the forming wheel.
When I consider Life, 'tis all a cheat;Yet, fooled with hope, men favour the deceit;Trust on, and think to-morrow will repay:To-morrow's falser than the former day;Lies worse; and while it says, we shall be blestWith some new joys, cuts off what we possesst.
We find few historians who have been diligent enough in their search for truth; it is their common method to take on trust what they help distribute to the public; by which means a falsehood once received from a famed writer becomes traditional to posterity.
Want is a bitter and a hateful good, Because its virtues are not understood; Yet many things, impossible to thought, Have been by need to full perfection brought. The daring of the soul proceeds from thence, Sharpness of wit, and active diligence; Prudence at once, and fortitude it gives; And, if in patience taken, mends our lives.
How blessed is he, who leads a country life, Unvex'd with anxious cares, and void of strife! Who studying peace, and shunning civil rage, Enjoy'd his youth, and now enjoys his age: All who deserve his love, he makes his own; And, to be lov'd himself, needs only to be known.
Doeg, though without knowing how or why, Made still a blundering kind of melody; Spurr'd boldly on, and dash'd through thick and thin, Through sense and nonsense, never out nor in; Free from all meaning whether good or bad, And in one word, heroically mad.
How easy it is to call rogue and villain, and that wittily! But how hard to make a man appear a fool, a blockhead, or a knave, without using any of those opprobrious terms! Tosparethegrossness ofthenames, and to dothe thing yet moreseverely, isto drawa full face, and tomake the nose and cheeks stand out, and yet not to employ any depth of shadowing.