English Poet best known for "Night Thoughts"
"Art thou not dearer to my eyes than light? Dost thou not circulate through all my veins? Mingle with life, and form my very soul?"
"As in smooth oil the razor is whet, so wit is by politeness sharpest set; Their want of edge from their offence is seen, Both pain us least when exquisitely keen."
"As Love alone can exquisitely bless, love only feels the marvelous of pain; opens new veins of torture in the foul, and wakes the nerve where agonies are born."
"At thirty, man suspects himself a fool, knows it at forty, and reforms his plan; at fifty, chides his infamous delay, pushes his prudent purpose to resolve, in all the magnanimity of thought; resolves, and re-resolves, then dies the same. And why? because he thinks himself immortal, all men think all men mortal but themselves."
"Beautiful as sweet! And young as beautiful! and soft as young! And gay as soft! and innocent as gay."
"Britannia's shame! There took her gloomy flight, on wing impetuous, a black sullen soul? Less base the fear of death than fear of life. O Britain! infamous for suicide."
"But if man loses all, when life is lost, he lives a coward, or a fool expires. A daring infidel (and such there are, from pride, example, lucre, rage, revenge, or pure heroical defect of thought), of all earth's madmen, most deserves a chain."
"But wisdom, awful wisdom! which inspects, discerns, compares, weighs, separates, infers, Seizes the right, and holds it to the last."
"Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine? Can we dig peace, or wisdom, from the mine? Wisdom to gold prefer; for 'tis much less to make our fortune, than our happiness."
"Can it be? matter immortal? and shall spirit die? above the nobler, shall less nobler rise? shall man alone, for whom all else revives, no resurrection know? shall man alone, imperial man! be sown in barren ground, less privileged than grain, on which he feeds?"
"Can wealth give happiness? Look round and see what gay distress! what splendid misery! Whatever fortunes lavishly can pour, the mind annihilates, and calls for more."
"Cast an eye on the gay and fashionable world, and what see we for the most part, but a set of querulous, emaciated, fluttering fantastical beings, worn out in the keen pursuit of pleasure - creatures that know, own, condemn, deplore, and yet pursue their own infelicity? The decayed monuments of error! The thin remains of what is called delight!"
"Confiding, though confounded; hoping on, untaught by trial, unconvinced by proof, and ever looking for the never-seen."
"Creation sleeps! 'Tis as the general pulse of life stood still, and Nature made a pause; an awful pause! prophetic of her end."
"Critics on verse, as squibs on triumphs wait, proclaim their glory, and augment the state; hot, envious, noisy, proud, the scribbling fry burn, hiss, and bounce, waste paper, ink, and die."
"Darkness has divinity for me; it strikes thought inward; it drives back the soul to settle on herself, our point supreme! There lies our theater; there sits our judge. Darkness the curtain drops o'er life's dull scene; 'tis the kind hand of Providence stretched out 'twixt man and vanity: 'tis reason's reign, and virtue's too; these tutelary shades are man's asylum from the tainted throng. Night is the good man's friend, and guardian too; it no less rescues virtue, than inspires."
"Death is the crown of life; were it denied, to live would not be life, and even fools would wish to die. - Death wounds to cure; we fall to rise and reign; spring from our fetters; fasten in the skies."
"Death treads in pleasure's footsteps round the world, when pleasure treads the paths which reason shuns."
"Death wounds to cure: we fall; we rise; we reign! Spring from our fetters; fasten in the skies; where blooming Eden withers in our sight: Death gives us more than was in Eden lost. This king of terrors is the prince of peace."
"Each moment has its sickle, emulous Of Time's enormous scythe, whose ample sweep Strikes empires from the root."
"Early, bright, transient, chaste as morning dew, she sparkled, was exhal'd and went to heaven."
"Earth's highest station ends in "Here he lies;" and "Dust to dust" concludes the noblest songs."
"Even the best must own that patience and resignation are the pillars of human peace on earth."