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Ah! why will kings forget that they are men?
And men that they are brethren? Why delight
In human sacrifice? Why burst the ties
Of nature, that should knit their souls together
In one soft bond of amity and love?
Yet still they breathe destruction, still go on
Inhumanly, ingeniously to find out
New pains for life, new terrors for the grave;
Artificers of death! still monarchs dream
Of universal empire, growing up
From universal ruin. Blast the design
Great God of Hosts, nor let thy creatures fall
Unpitied victims of Ambition's shrine!
But let eternal infamy pursue
The wretch to nought but his ambition true,
Who, for the sake of filling with one blast
The post-horns of all Europe, lays her waste.
Think yourself station'd on a towering rock,
To see a people scatter'd like a flock,
Some royal mastiff panting at their heels,
With all the savage thirst a tiger feels;
Then view him self-proclaim'd in a gazette
Chief monster that has plagued the nations yet,
The globe and sceptre in such hands misplaced,
Those ensigns of dominion, how disgraced!
The glass, that bids man mark the fleeting hour,
And death's own scythe would better speak his power;
Then grace the bony phantom in their stead
With the king's shoulder-knot and gay cockade;
Clothe the twin brethren in each other's dress,
The same their occupation and success. Cowper.
Nor reigns ambition in bold man alone;
Soft female hearts the rude invader own.
But there, indeed, it deals in nicer things
Than routing armies, and dethroning kings.
Attend and you discern it in the fair,
Conduct a finger, or reclaim a hair;
Or roll the lucid orbit of an eye,
Or in full joy elaborate a sigh.
Spectators only on this bustling stage,
We see what vain designs mankind engage;
Armies embattled meet, and thousands bleed
For some vile spot where fifty cannot feed;
Squirrels for nuts contend; and wrong or right
For the world's empire kings ambitious fight.
What odds? to us 'tis all the self-same thing,
A nut, a world, a squirrel, and a king. Churchill.
Thus mad ambition prompts to desperate deeds,
And for a phantom thus a nation bleeds.
The cheat ambition, eager to espouse
Dominion, courts it with a lying shew,
And shines in borrowed pomp to serve a turn;
But the match made, the farce is at an end,
And all the hireling equipage of virtues,
Faith, honour, justice, gratitude, and friendship,
Discharged at once.
Jeffrey Our glories float between the earth and heaven Like clouds which seem pavilions of the sun, And are the playthings of the casual wind; Still like the cloud which drops on unseen cragsThe dews the wild flower feeds on, our ambition May from its airy height drop gladness down On unsuspected virtue ;-and the flower May bless the cloud when it hath passed away.
Ambition's but a trumpet note,
That's mute as soon as blown;
For death succeeds, and men like weeds
Triumphant tramples down.
Oh! man on love of things above
Should place his stay and trust;
For what is glory here and fame
But crowned and laurelled dust?
What is ambition?—'Tis a glorious cheat!
Angels of light walk not so dazzlingly
The sapphire walls of heaven.
N. P. Willis.
In some, ambition is the chief concern;
For this they languish and for this they burn;
For this they smile, for this alone they sigh;
For this they live, for this would freely die.
And man, the image of his God, is found,
Just for an empty name, an airy sound,
Spending the short remainder of his life
In brutal conflict, and in deadly strife:-
For 'tis a strife, disguise it as you may,
Keen as the warrior's in the battle day.
J. T. Watson, I saw a falling leaf soon strew
The soil to which it owed its birth; I saw a bright star falling, too,
But never reach the quiet earth. Such is the lowly portion blest
Such is ambition's foiled endeavour; The falling leaf is soon at rest,
While stars that fall, fall on for ever. Anon.
Ar his touch, (Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand) They presently amend.
When I a prisoner chained, scarce freely drew
The air imprisoned also, close and danıp,
Unwholesome draught; but here I feel amends,
The breath of heaven fresh blowing, pure and sweet,
With day-spring born: here leave me to respire.
“Amend your ways, your life amend !"
The preacher cries, but few attend;
Or, if awhile they seem to give
Heed to the warning voice, and live
More soberly, 'tis ten to one,
That when the fear is past and gone,
They'll make amends for stinted measure,
And take a double share of pleasure. H. G. t.
O GRACE serene! O Virtue heavenly fair,
Divine oblivion of low-thoughted care!
Fresh blooming Hope, gay daughter of the sky!
And Faith, our early immortality!
Enter each mild, each amiable guest,
Receive and wrap me in eternal rest.
Through the dun mist, in blooming beauty fresh,
Two lovely youths that amicably walked
O'er verdant meads.
I found my subjects amicable join
To lessen their defects, by citing mine. Prior.
For that which thou has sworn to do amiss,
Is yet amiss when thou hast truly done.
Shakspere. To my
sick soul, as sin's true nature is, Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss.
Shakspere. O ye powers that search The heart of man, and weigh his inmost thoughts! If I have done amiss, impute it not.
Addison. Your kindred is not much amiss, 'tis true, Yet I am somewhat better born than you.
She sighed withal, they construed all amiss,
And thought she wished to kill who longed to kiss.
Fairfax, from Tasso.
In vain we seek below for bliss,
There's something ever haps amiss ;
The bowl is broke our lips would kiss,
Beneath the flowers the serpents hiss.
H. G. A.
And sure there seem of human kind
Some born to shun the solemn strife;
Some for amusive tasks designed,
To soothe the certain ills of life,
Grace its lone vales with many a budding rose,
New founts of bliss disclose,
Call forth refreshing shades and decorate repose.
If but amusement were the end of life,
One would not wonder at the eagerness
With which the giddy multitude pursue
The round amusive.
H. G. A.
ANAGRAM. Though all her parts be not in the usual place, She hath yet the onagrams of a good face: If we might put the letters but one way, In this lean dearth of words, what could we say?
Donne. Thy genius calls thee not to purchase fame In 'keen iambics, but mild anagram. Dryden.
But with still more disordered march advance,
Nor march it seemed, but wild fantastic dance,
The uncouth anagram's distorted train
Shifting in double mazes o’er the plain.-Scribleriad.
The anarch old,
With faltering speech, and visage incomposed.
Where eldest night
And chaos, ancestors of nature, hold
Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise
Of endless wars, and by confusion stand. Milton
Despotic sway and old tyrannic rule
Will in the end assuredly produce
In body politics an atrophy,
Or else wide wasting social anarchy.-H. G. A.