Quotes About Personal




As that renownèd poet them compyled
With warlike numbers and heroicke sound,
Dan Chaucer, well of English undefyled,
On Fame's eternall beadroll worthie to be fyled.
_Faërie Queene, Bk. IV. Canto II_. E. SPENSER.


Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick!
Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings.
_King Henry VI., Part III. Act iii. Sc. 3_. SHAKESPEARE.


The starry Galileo, with his woes.
_Childe Harold, Canto IV_. LORD BYRON.


The admired mirror, glory of our isle,
Thou far, far more than mortal man, whose style
Struck more men dumb to hearken to thy song
Than Orpheus' harp, or Tully's golden tongue.
To him, as right, for wit's deep quintessence,
For honor, valor, virtue, excellence,
Be all the garlands, crown his tomb with bay,
Who spake as much as e'er our tongue can say.
_Britannia's Pastorals, Bk. II. Song 2_. W. BROWNE.


Divinest Spenser, heaven-bred, happy Muse!
Would any power into my brain infuse
Thy worth, or all that poets had before,
I could not praise till thou deserv'st no more.
_Britannia's Pastorals, Bk. II. Song 1_. W. BROWNE.


If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shined,
The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind!
_Essay on Man, Epistle IV_. A. POPE.


O rare Ben Jonson!
_Epitaph_. SIR J. YOUNG.

What things have we seen
Done at the Mermaid! heard words that have been
So nimble, and so full of subtle flame,
As if that every one from whence they came
Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest,
And had resolved to live a fool the rest
Of his dull life: then when there hath been thrown
Wit able enough to justify the town
For three days past; wit that might warrant be
For the whole city to talk foolishly
Till that were cancelled; and when that was gone,
We left an air behind us, which alone
Was able to make the two next companies
(Right witty, though but downright fools) more wise.
_Letter to Ben Jonson_. F. BEAUMONT.


Renownèd Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
To learnèd Chaucer, and rare Beaumont lie
A little nearer Spenser, to make room
For Shakespeare in your threefold, fourfold tomb.
_On Shakespeare_. W. BASSE.


Old mother-wit and nature gave
Shakespeare and Fletcher all they have;
In Spenser and in Jonson art
Of slower nature got the start;
But both in him so equal are,
None knows which bears the happiest share;
To him no author was unknown,
Yet what he wrote was all his own.
_Elegy on Cowley_. SIR J. DENHAM.


[Lord President of the Council to King James I. Parliament was
dissolved March 10, and he died March 14, 1628.]

Till the sad breaking of that Parliament
Broke him....
Killed with report that old man eloquent.
_To the Lady Margaret Ley_. MILTON.


As thou these ashes, little Brook! wilt bear
Into the Avon, Avon to the tide
Of Severn, Severn to the narrow seas,
Into main ocean they, this deed accursed
An emblem yields to friends and enemies,
How the bold Teacher's doctrine, sanctified
By truth, shall spread, throughout the world dispersed.
_Ecclesiastical Sonnets, Part II. xvii. To Wickliffe_. W. WORDSWORTH.

[Bartlett quotes, in this connection, the following:]

"Some prophet of that day said:
'The Avon to the Severn runs,
The Severn to the sea;
And Wickliffe's dust shall spread abroad,
Wide as the waters be.'"
_From Address before the "Sons of New Hampshire" (1849)_. D. WEBSTER.


Nor second he, that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of ecstasy,
The secrets of the abyss to spy.
He passed the flaming bounds of place and time,
The living throne, the sapphire blaze,
Where angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,
Closed his eyes in endless night.
_Progress of Poesy_. T. GRAY.


His grandeur he derived from Heaven alone;
For he was great, ere fortune made him so:
And wars, like mists that rise against the sun,
Made him but greater seem, not greater grow.
_Oliver Cromwell_. J. DRYDEN.

Or, ravished with the whistling of a name,
See Cromwell, damned to everlasting fame!
_Essay on Man, Epistle IV_. A. POPE.


Here lies our sovereign lord the king,
Whose word no man relies on;
He never says a foolish thing,
Nor ever does a wise one.
_Written on the Bedchamber Door of Charles II_. EARL OF ROCHESTER.


The solitary monk who shook the world
From pagan slumber, when the gospel trump
Thundered its challenge from his dauntless lips
In peals of truth.
_Luther_. R. MONTGOMERY.


I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous Boy,
The sleepless soul that perished in his pride.
_Resolution and Independence_. W. WORDSWORTH.


A bard here dwelt, more fat than bard beseems,
Who, void of envy, guile, and lust of gain,
On virtue still, and Nature's pleasing themes,
Poured forth his unpremeditated strain:

The world forsaking with a calm disdain,
Here laughed he careless in his easy seat;
Here quaffed, encircled with the joyous train,
Oft moralizing sage: his ditty sweet
He lothèd much to write, he carèd to repeat.
_Stanza introduced into Thomson's "Castle of Indolence,"

In yonder grave a Druid lies.
Where slowly winds the stealing wave;
The year's best sweets shall duteous rise
To deck its poet's sylvan grave.
_Ode on the Death of Thomson_. W. COLLINS.


The hand of him here torpid lies
That drew the essential form of grace;
Here closed in death the attentive eyes
That saw the manners in the face.
_Epitaph_. DR. S. JOHNSON.


Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
God said, "Let Newton be!" and all was light.
_Epitaph_. A. POPE.


Here lies David Garrick--describe me, who can.
An abridgement of all that was pleasant in man.
As an actor, confessed without rival to shine;
As a wit, if not first, in the very first line.
_Retaliation_. O. GOLDSMITH.


Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such,
We scarcely can praise it, or blame it, too much;
Who, born for the universe, narrowed his mind.
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.
Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat,
To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote:
Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining;
Though equal to all things, for all things unfit,
Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit;
For a patriot too cool; for a drudge disobedient;
And too fond of the _right_ to pursue the _expedient_.
In short, 'twas his fate, unemployed, or in place, sir,
To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.
_Retaliation_. O. GOLDSMITH.


Whose humor, as gay as the firefly's light,
Played round every subject, and shone as it played;--
Whose wit, in the combat, as gentle as bright,
Ne'er carried a heart-stain away on its blade;--
Whose eloquence--brightening whatever it tried,
Whether reason or fancy, the gay or the grave--
Was as rapid, as deep, and as brilliant a tide,
As ever bore freedom aloft on its wave!
_Lines on the Death of Sheridan_. T. MOORE.

Long shall we seek his likeness,--long in vain.
And turn to all of him which may remain,
Sighing that Nature formed but one such man.
And broke the die--in moulding Sheridan!
_Monody on the Death of Sheridan_. LORD BYRON.


While Washington's a watchword, such as ne'er
Shall sink while there's an echo left to air.
_Age of Bronze_. LORD BYRON.


O good gray head which all men knew,
O voice from which their omens all men drew,
O iron nerve to true occasion true,
O fallen at length that tower of strength
Which stood four-square to all the winds that blew!
Such was he whom we deplore.
The long self-sacrifice of life is o'er.
The great World-victor's victor will be seen no more.
_On the Death of the Duke of Wellington_. A. TENNYSON.


His nature's a glass of champagne with the foam on 't.
As tender as Fletcher, as witty as Beaumont;
So his best things are done in the flash of the moment.
_A Fable for Critics_. J.R. LOWELL.


There in seclusion and remote from men
The wizard hand lies cold,
Which at its topmost speed let fall the pen,
And left the tale half told.

Ah! who shall lift that wand of magic power,
And the lost clew regain?
The unfinished window in Aladdin's tower
Unfinished must remain!
_Hawthorne, May 23, 1864_ H.W. LONGFELLOW.


A Greek head on right Yankee shoulders, whose range
Has Olympus for one pole, for t'other the Exchange;
He seems, to my thinking (although I'm afraid
The comparison must, long ere this, have been made).
A Plotinus-Montaigne, where the Egyptian's gold mist
And the Gascon's shrewd wit cheek-by-jowl coexist.
_A Fable for Critics_. J.R. LOWELL.


C.'s the Titan, as shaggy of mind as of limb,--
E. the clear-eyed Olympian, rapid and slim;
The one's two thirds Norseman, the other half Greek,
Where the one's most abounding, the other's to seek;
C.'s generals require to be seen in the mass,--
E.'s specialties gain if enlarged by the glass;
C. gives nature and God his own fits of the blues.
And rims common-sense things with mystical hues,--
E. sits in a mystery calm and intense,
And looks coolly around him with sharp common-sense.
_A Fable for Critics_. J.R. LOWELL.


There comes Poe, with his raven, like Barnaby Rudge,
Three-fifths of him genius and two-fifths sheer fudge,
Who talks like a book of iambs and pentameters.
In a way to make people of common sense damn metres,
Who has written some things quite the best of their kind,
But the heart somehow seems all squeezed out by the mind.
_A Fable for Critics_. J.R. LOWELL.


There is Whittier, whose swelling and vehement heart
Strains the strait-breasted drab of the Quaker apart,
And reveals the live Man, still supreme and erect,
Underneath the bemummying wrappers of sect;
There was ne'er a man born who had more of the swing
Of the true lyric bard and all that kind of thing;

* * * * *

Our Quaker leads off metaphorical fights
For reform and whatever they call human rights,
Both singing and striking in front of the war,
And hitting his foes with the mallet of Thor.
_A Fable for Critics_. J.R. LOWELL.


The intellectual power, through words and things,
Went sounding on, a dim and perilous way!

_The Excursion, Bk. III_. W. WORDSWORTH.

How charming is divine philosophy!
Not harsh, and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,
But musical as is Apollo's lute,
And a perpetual feast of nectared sweets,
Where no crude surfeit reigns.
_Comus_. MILTON.

In discourse more sweet,
(For eloquence the soul song charms the sense,)
Others apart sat on a hill retired,
In thoughts more elevate, and reasoned high
Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate,
Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute;
And found no end, in wand'ring mazes lost.
Of good and evil much they argued then,
Of happiness and final misery,
Passion and apathy, and glory and shame;
Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy.
_Paradise Lost, Bk. II_. MILTON.

Sublime Philosophy!
Thou art the patriarch's ladder, reaching heaven,
And bright with beckoning angels;--but alas!
We see thee, like the patriarch, but in dreams.
By the first step,--dull slumbering on the earth.
_Richelieu, Act_ iii. _Sc_. 1. E. BULWER-LYTTON.

Not so the son; he marked this oversight.
And then mistook reverse of wrong for right;
(For What to shun, will no great knowledge need,
But What to follow, is a task indeed!)
_Moral Essays, Epistle III_. A. POPE.

He knew what's what, and that's as high
As metaphysic wit can fly.
_Hudibras, Pt. I_. DR. S. BUTLER.

His cogitative faculties immersed
In cogibundity of cogitation.
_Chronon, Act_ i. _Sc_. 1. H. CAREY.

When Bishop Berkeley said "there was no matter,"
And proved it--'t was no matter what he said.
_Don Juan, Canto XI_. LORD BYRON.

Thinking is but an idle waste of thought.
And naught is everything and everything is naught.
_Rejected Addresses: Cui Bono_? H. AND J. SMITH.

HORATIO.--O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
HAMLET.--And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
_Hamlet, Act_ i. _Sc_. 5. SHAKESPEARE.


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