Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

If intermingled in the tomb with kings,
Could hardly be distinguish'd. The stars shoot
An equal influence on the open cottage,
Where the poor shepherd's child is rudely nursed,
As on the cradle where the prince is rock'd
With care and whisper.

Habbington.

Mark if his birth make any difference,
If to his words it adds one grain of sense. --Dryden.

Be just in all you say and all you do;
Whatever be your birth, you're sure to be
A peer of the first magnitude to me. Dryden.

Alas! this day First gave me birth, and (which is strange to tell) The fates e'er since, as watching its return, Have caught it as it flew, and mark'd it deep With something great; extremes of good or ill.

Young. Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting, The soul that rises with us, our life's star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come,

From God, who is our home. Wordsworth.

Vain was the man, and false as vain,

Who said, “Were he ordained to run
His long career of life again,

He would do all that he had done.”
Ah! 't is not thus the voice that dwells

In sober birthdays speaks to me;
Far otherwise. Of time it tells

Lavished unwisely-carelessly;
Of counsel mocked; of talents made

Haply for high and pure designs,
But oft, like Israel's incense, laid

Upon unholy earthly shrines.

Moore.

If any white-wing'd power above

My joys and griefs survey,
The day when thou wert born, my love,

He surely bless'd that day.
And duly shall my raptured song,

And gladly shall my eyes,
Still bless tňis day's return, so long
As thou shalt see it rise.

Campbell.
My birthday! O, beloved mother!

My heart is with thee o'er the seas,
I did not think to count another,

Before I wept upon thy knees. Willis.
I have had dreams of greatness, glorious dreams,
How I would play the lord!-How I would spurn
The littleness of that false pride which seeks
To build on pedigree its high renown:-
How I would lend my influence to suppress
The haughtiness of titled rank, and teach
That brain, not blood, were proof of noble birth.

I've learned to judge of men by their own deeds,
I do not make the accident of birth
The standard of their merit.

Mrs. Hale.
My birthday! what a joyous sound

That word possessed in earlier years!
Then it could make my pulses bound;

Now it but dims mine eye with tears;
For ah! the time has passed away.

When birthdays had for me a charm,
And wrapped in feeling's dull decay,
Their spell no more my heart can warm.

Mrs. C. B. Wilson.
A birthday anniversary!

What crowding thoughts it brings;
What conflicts in the human breast,

Where hope eternal springs.
When mem'ry faithful to her charge,

Recalls to mind the past,
And tells the tale of other days,

Of joys too pure to last. E. N. Marks.

118

BITTERNESS.

BLADDER.

BITTERNESS.

FRIENDS now fast sworn
Unseparable, shall within this hour,
On a dissension of a breath, break out
To bitterest enmity..

Shakspere.
I so lively acted with my tears,
That my poor mistress, moved therewithal,
Wept bitterly.

Shakspere.
Shall we bé thus afflicted in his wreaks,
His fits, his phrensy, and his bitterness. Shakspere.

There lived a poet in this town,
(If we may term our modern writers poets,)
Sharp-witted, bitter-tongued; his pen of steel;
His ink was tempered with the biting juice,
And extracts of the bitterest weeds that grew;
He never wrote but when the elements
Of fire and water tilted in his brain.

Thomas Heyrood.
It is a bitter thing to know

The heart's enchantment o'er;
It is more bitter still to feel

It can be charmed no more.Miss Landon,

BLADDER. That huge great body which the giant bore, Was vanquished quite, and of that monstrous mass Was nothing left, but like an empty bladder was.

Spenser. I have ventured Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, These many summers, on a sea of glory; But far beyond my depth; my high-blown pride At length broke under me.

Shakspere. This same world of ours; 'Tis but a pool amid, a storm of rain, And we the air bladders that course up and down, And joust and tilt in every tournament; And when one bubble runs foul of another, The weaker needs must break.

Coleridge.

BLAME.

OUR power

Shall do a court'sy to our wrath, which men
May blame, but not controul.

Shakspere.
in me you ’ve hallowed a pagan muse,
And denizened a stranger, who mistaught
By blamers of the times they marred, hath sought
Virtue in corners.

Donne, Each finding, like a friend, Something to blame, and something to commend.

Pope. Fond man, the vision of a moment made! Dream of a dream, and shadow of a shade! What worlds hast thou produced, what creatures

framed, What insects cherished, that thy God is blamed?

Young,

BLASPHEMY. We cannot weigh our brother with ourself. Great men may jest with saints; 't is wit in them; But, in the less, foul profanation. That in the captain 's but a choleric word, Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy. Shakspere.

O man, take heed how thou the Gods do move,

To cause full wrath, which thou canst not resist; Blasphemous words the speaker vain do prove.

Sir P. Sidney. And dar’st thou to the Son of God propound To worship thee accurst; now more accurst For this attempt, bolder than that on Eve, And more blasphemous.

Milton. Should each blasphemer quite escape the rod, Because the insult's not to man, but God? Pope. Deny the curst blasphemer's tongue to rage, And turn God's fury from an impious age.--Tickell.

120

BLESSING

BLINDNESS.

They would defy That which they loved most tenderly; Quarrel with minced pies, and disparage Their best and dearest friend, plum-porridge; Fat pig and goose itself oppose, And blaspheme custard thro’ their nose. Butler.

BLESSING.
The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed-
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

Shakspere. Blessed be that great power that hath us blessed With longer life than earth or heaven can have.

Davies. He that neglects a blessing, though he want A present knowledge how to use it, Neglects himself.

Beaumont and Fletcher.

Pope.

Man never is, but always to be blest.
0, tell him I have sat these three long hours,
Counting the weary beatings of the clock,
Which slowly portion'd out the promised time
That brought him not to bless me with his sight.

Joanna Baillie.

BLINDNESS.

THESE eyes, though clear, To outward view, of blemish or of spot, Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot; Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year, Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not Against heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot Of heart or hope; but still bear up and eer Right onward. What supports mé, dost thou ask?

« PreviousContinue »