Слике страница
PDF
ePub

SKILL. SKULL. SKY.

SKILL.

THE workman in his stuff his skill doth show,

And yet the stuff gives not the man his skill; Kings their affairs do by their servants know,

And order them by their own royal will.-Davies.

Your whale he can swallow a hogshead for a pill,
But the maker of the mouse-trap, 't is he that hath
the skill.
Ben Jonson.

583

SKULL.

REMOVE yon skull from out the scatter'd heaps;
Is that a temple where a God may dwell?
Why ev'n the worm at last disdains her shatter'd cell!
Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall,

Its chambers desolate, and portals foul:
Yes, this was once ambition's airy hall,
The dome of thought, the palace of the soul:
Behold through each lacklustre, eyeless hole,
The gay recess of wisdom and of wit,
And passion's host, that never brook'd control:
Can all, saint, sage, or sophist ever writ
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?

SKY.

A BREATH thou art,
Subject to all the skyey influences
That do this habitation where thou keep'st,
Hourly affect.

Byron.

Shakspere.

The skies, the air, the morning's breezy call,
Alike are free, and full of health to all.

We envy not the warmer clime that lies
In ten degrees of more indulgent skies;
Nor at the coarseness of our heav'n repine,
Though o'er our heads the frozen Pleiades shine.

Addison.

Sir E. Brydges.

[blocks in formation]

SLANDER.

THEY talk as they are wont, not as I merit;
Traduce by custom, as most dogs do bark;
Do nothing out of judgment, but disease;
Speak ill, because they never could speak well:
And who'd be angry with these race of creatures?
What wise physician have we ever seen
Moved with a frantic man? The same effects
That he doth bear to his sick patient,

Should a right mind carry to such as these:
And I do count it a most sure revenge
That I can thus with such a sweet neglect
Pluck from them all the pleasure of their malice,
For that's the mark of their ingenious drifts.

Ben Jonson.

No might nor greatness in mortality
Can censure 'scape; back-wounding calumny
The whitest virtue strikes: What king so strong,
Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?

Shakspere.

All slander

Must still be strangled in its birth; or time
Will soon conspire to make it strong enough
To overcome the truth.
Sir W. Davenant.

'Twas Slander filled her mouth with lying words,
Slander, the foulest whelp of Sin. The man
In whom this spirit entered was undone.
His tongue was set on fire of hell, his heart
Was black as death, his legs were faint with haste
To propagate the lie his soul had framed;
His pillow was the peace of families
Destroyed, the sigh of innocence reproached,
Broken friendships, and the strife of brotherhoods.
Yet did he spare his sleep, and hear the clock
Number the midnight watches on his bed
Devising mischief more; and early rose,
And made most hellish meals of good men's names.

Pollok.

[blocks in formation]

SLAUGHTER.

THE lust of kingdom knows no sacred faith,
No rule of reason, no regard of right,
No kindly love, no fear of Heaven's wrath:
But with contempt of God's and man's despight,
Through bloody slaughter doth prepare the ways
To fatal sceptre, and accursed reign:
The son so loathes the father's lingering days,
Nor dreads his hand in brother's blood to stain!
Sackville.

585

Is death more cruel from a private dagger,
Than in the field from murdering swords of thousands?
Or does the number slain make slaughter glorious?

Cibber.

And slaughter heaped on high its weltering ranks. Byron.

SLAVERY.

You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
Because you bought them.

Shakspere.

I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews bought and sold have ever earned.
No! dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Just estimation prized above all price,
I had much rather be myself the slave,
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.

The Roman legions, boasting once how loud
Of liberty, and fighting bravely o'er
The torrid and the frigid zone, the sands
Of burning Egypt, and the frozen hills
Of snowy Albion, to make mankind

Cowper.

Their thralls, untaught, that he who made or kept A slave, could ne'er himself be truly free.

R. Pollok.

[blocks in formation]

SLEEP.

NEAR the Cimmerians, in his dark abode,
Deep in a cavern dwells the drowsy god;

*

*

*

*

*

An arm of Lethe, with a gentle flow
Arising upwards from the rock below,
The palace moats, and o'er the pebbles creeps,
And with soft murmurs calls the coming sleeps;
Around its entry nodding poppies grow,
And all cool simples that sweet rest bestow;
Night from the plants their sleepy virtue drains,
And passing, sheds it on the silent plains:
No door there was th' unguarded house to keep,
On creaking hinges turn'd, to break his sleep.
But in the gloomy court was raised a bed,
Stuff'd with black plumes, and on an ebon stead;
Black was the covering too where lay the god,
And slept supine, his limbs display'd abroad:
About his head fantastic visions fly,
Which various images of things supply,

And mock their forms; the leaves on trees not more,
Nor bearded ears in fields, nor sands upon the shore.
Dryden, from Ovid.
By him lay heavy sleep, the cousin of Death,
Flat on the ground, and still as any stone,
A very corpse, save yielding forth a breath;
Small keep took he, whom fortune frowned on,
Or whom she lifted up into the throne
Of high renown; but as a living death,
So dead alive, of life he drew the breath.

Sackville.

How happy is that balm to wretches, sleep!
No cares perplex them for their future state,
And fear of death thus dies in senseless sleep.
Unruly love is this way lulled to rest,
And injured honour, when redress is lost,
Is no way solved but this.

Beaumont.

Kind sleep affords

The only boon the wretched mind can feel;
A momentary respite from despair.

Murphy.

SLEEP.

Tir'd nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep!
He, like the world, his ready visit pays,
Where fortune smiles-the wretched he forsakes.

**

*

*

*

*

*

When tir'd with vain rotations of the day,
Sleep winds us up for the succeeding dawn.-Young.

Oh! thou best comforter of the sad heart,

When fortune spite assails-come gentle sleep, The weary mourner soothe! For well the art Thou know'st in soft forgetfulness to steep The eyes which sorrow taught to watch and weep. Mrs. Tighe.

O magic sleep! O comfortable bird,
That broodest on the troubled sea of mind
Till it is hushed and smooth. O unconfined
Restraint! imprisoned liberty! great key
To golden palaces-ay, all the world
Of silvery enchantment.

587

Of all the thoughts of God that are
Borne inward unto minds afar,

Along the Psalmist's music deep,
Now tell me if than any is,
For gift or grace surpassing this-
"He giveth his beloved sleep."-Miss Barrett.

Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole.

Keats.

Thou hast been called, O sleep, the friend of woe, But 't is the happy who have called thee so.

Southey.

Coleridge.

Sleep! to the homeless thou art home,
The friendless find in thee a friend;
And well is wheresoe'er we roam,

Who meets thee at his journey's end.

E. Elliott.

Life may not be without thee, gentle sleep,
But with thee;-'mid the desert, on the deep,
Still to the care-worn heart some joy remains,
Some sunny spot amid thy mystic plains.-R. Morris.

« ПретходнаНастави »