Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Edward Young

English Poet best known for "Night Thoughts"

"Joy is an import; joy is an exchange; joy flies monopolists: it calls for two; rich fruit! Heaven planted! never pluck'd by one."

"Joy wholly from without, is false, precarious, and short. From without it may be gathered; but, like gathered flowers, though fair, and sweet for a season, it must soon wither, and become offensive. Joy from within is like smelling the rose on the tree; it is more sweet and fair, it is lasting; and, I must add, immortal."

"Joys season'd high, and tasting strong of guilt."

"Kircher, the astronomer, having an acquaintance who denied the existence of a Supreme Being, took the following method to convince him of his error. Expecting him on a visit, he placed a handsome celestial globe in a part of the room where it could not escape the notice of his friend, who, on observing it, inquired whence it came, and who was the maker. "It was not made by any person," said the astronomer. "That is impossible," replied the sceptic; "you surely jest." Kircher then took occasion to reason with his friend upon his own atheistical principles, explaining to him that he had adopted this plan with a design to show him the fallacy of his scepticism. "You will not," said he, "admit that this small body originated in mere chance, and yet you contend that those heavenly bodies, to which it bears only a faint and diminutive resemblance, came into existence without author or design." He pursued this chain of reasoning till his friend was totally confounded, and cordially acknowledged the absurdity of his notions. By night an atheist half believes a God."

"Knocks at our hearts, and finds out thoughts at home."

"Know that without star or angel for their guide, they who worship God shall find him. - Humble love, and not proud reason keeps the door of heaven. - Love finds admission where proud science fails."

"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."

"Lean not on earth; it will pierce thee to the heart; a broken reed at best; but oft a spear, on its sharp point Peace bleeds and Hope expires."

"Learning makes a man fit company for himself."

"Leisure is pain; take off our chariot wheels and how heavily we drag the load of life. - It is our curse, like that of Cain; it makes us wander earth around to fly that tyrant, thought."

"Lemira's sick; make haste, the doctor call, He comes: but where is his patient?--at the ball; the doctor stares; her woman curtsies low, and cries, "My lady, sir, is always so: diversions put her maladies to flight; true, she can't stand, but she can dance all night. I've known my lady (for she loves a tune) for fevers take an opera in June: and, though perhaps you'll think the practice bold, a midnight park is sovereign for a cold.""

"Less base the fear of death than fear of life."

"Let no man trust the first false step of guilt: it hangs upon a precipice, whose steep descent in lost perdition ends."

"Let not the cooings of the world allure thee: which of her lovers ever found her true?"

"Life is the triumph of our moldering clay; death, of the Spirit Infinite! Divine!"

"Life's cares are comforts; such by heaven design'd; he that hath none must make them, or be wretched; cares are employments; and without employ the soul is on the rack; the rack of rest, to souls most adverse; action all their joy."

"Like birds, whose beauties languish half concealed, Till, mounted on the wing, their glossy plumes Expanded, shine with azure, green and gold; How blessings brighten as they take their flight."

"Like lavish ancestors, his earlier years have disinherited his future hours, which starve on orts, and glean their former field."

"Like other tyrants, death delights to smite what, smitten, most proclaims the pride of power and arbitrary nod."

"Like our shadows, our wishes lengthen as our sun declines."

"Long traveled in the ways of men."

"Lorenzo! hast thou ever weigh'd a sigh? Or studied the philosophy of tears?-- Hast thou descended deep into the breast, and seen their source? If not, descend with me, and trace these briny riv'lets to their springs."

"Lovely in death the beauteous ruin lay; and if in death still lovely, lovelier there; far lovelier! pity swells the tide of love."

"Man makes a death which Nature never made."

"Man of the World (for such wouldst thou be called) ? and art thou proud of that inglorious style?"

"Man wants but little, nor that little long. - How soon must he resign his very dust, which frugal nature lent him for an hour."

"Man wants little, nor that little long."

"Man was not made to question, but adore."

"Man, know thyself; all wisdom centres there."

"Mankind praise against their will, and mix as much detraction as they can."

"Man's caution often into danger turns, and his guard falling crushes him to death."

"Man's highest triumph, man's profoundest fall, the death-bed of the just is yet undrawn by mortal hand; it merits a divine: angels should paint it, angels ever there; there, on a post of honor and of joy."

"Man's rich restorative; his balmy bath, that supples, lubricates, and keep in play the various movements of this nice machine, which asks such frequent periods of repair, when tir'd with vain rotations of the day, sleep winds us up for the succeeding dawn; fresh we spin on, till sickness clogs our wheels, or death quite breaks the spring, and motion ends."

"Man's science is the culture of his heart; And not to lose his plummet in the depths Of nature, or the more profound of God."

"Men drop so fast, ere life's mid stage we tread, few know so many friends alive, as dead."

"Men may live fools, but fools they cannot die."

"Men should press forward, in fame's glorious chase; nobles look backward, and so lose the race."

"Men that would blush at being thought sincere, and feign, for glory, the few faults they went; that love a lie, where truth would pay as well; as if to them, vice shone her own reward."

"Mine is the night, with all her stars."

"Misfortune, like a creditor severe, but rises in demand for her delay; she makes a scourge of past prosperity to sting thee more and double thy distress."

"Most of our comforts grow up between our crosses."

"Most pleasures, like flowers, when gathered, die."

"Much learning shows how little mortals know; much wealth, how little worldlings can enjoy."

"Narcissus is the glory of his race: for who does nothing with a better grace?"

"Nature is frugal, and her wants are few."

"Nature is the glass reflecting God, as by the sea reflected is the sun, too glorious to be gazed on in his sphere."

"Ne'er to meet, or ne'er to part, in peace."

"Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne, in rayless majesty, now stretches forth her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world. Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound! Nor eye, nor list'ning ear, an object finds; creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse of life stood still, and nature made a pause; an awful pause! prophetic of her end."

"No man ever served God by doing things tomorrow. If we honor Christ, and are blessed, it is by the things which we do today."

"No man ever thought too highly of his nature or too meanly of himself."