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I almost think it is the ultimate destiny of science to exterminate the human race.
My thoughts by night are often filled
With visions false as fair:
For in the past alone, I build
My castles in the air.
- Castles in the Air (st. 1) [Visions]
In one of those beautiful valleys, through which the Thames (not yet polluted by the tide, the scouring of cities, or even the minor defilement of the sandy streams of Surrey), rolls a clear flood through flowery meadows, under the shade of old beech woods, and the smooth glossy greensward of the chalk hills (which pour into it their tributary rivulets, as pure and pellucid as the fountain of Bandusium, or the wells of Scamander, by which the wives and daughters of the Trojans washed their splendid garments in the days of peace, before the coming of the Greeks); in one of those beautiful valleys, on a bold round-surfaced lawn, spotted with junipers, that opened itself in the bosom of an old wood, which rose with a steep, but not precipitous ascent, from the river to the summit of the hill, stood the castellated villa of a retired citizen.
- Crotchet Castle [Books (First Lines)]
Dreams, which, beneath the hov'ring shades of night,
Sport with the ever-restless minds of men,
Descend not from the gods. Each busy brain
Creates its own.
- Dreams [Dreams]
How troublesome is day!
It calls us from our sleep away;
It bids us from our pleasant dreams awake,
And sends us forth to keep or break
Our promises to pay.
How troublesome is day!
- Fly-by-Night--Paper Money Lyrics [Day]
Oh! Who art thou so fast proceeding,
Ne'er glancing back thine eyes of flame?
Mark'd but by few, through earth I'm speeding,
And Opportunity's my name.
What form is that which scowls beside thee?
Repentance is the form you see:
Learn then, the fate may yet betide thee.
She seizes them who seize not me.
- Love and Opportunity, in "Headlong Hall"
My steps have pressed the flowers,
That to the Muses' bowers
The eternal dews of Helicon have given:
And trod the mountain height,
Where Science, young and bright,
Scans with poetic gaze the midnight-heaven.
Yet have I found no power to vie
With thine, severe necessity!
- Necessity [Necessity]
He bore a simple wild-flower wreath:
Narcissus, and the sweet brier rose;
Vervain, and flexible thyme, that breathe
Rich fragrance; modest heath, that glows
With purple bells; the amaranth bright,
That no decay, no fading knows,
Like true love's holiest, rarest light;
And every purest flower, that blows
In that sweet time, which Love most blesses,
When spring on summer's confines presses.
- Rhododaphne (canto I, l. 107) [Flowers]
Clouds on clouds, in volumes driven,
Curtain round the vault of heaven.
- Rhododaphne (canto V, l. 257) [Clouds]
Day is ended, Darkness shrouds
The shoreless seas and lowering clouds.
- Rhododaphne (canto V, l. 264) [Night]
Time, the foe of man's dominion,
Wheels around in ceaseless flight,
Scattering from his hoary pinion
Shades of everlasting night.
- The Genius of the Thames (pt. II, st. 42)
The mountain sheep are sweeter,
But the valley sheep are fatter.
We therefore deemed it meeter
To carry off the latter.
- The Misfortune of Elphin--The War-Song of Dinas Vawr
Names are changed more readily than doctrines, and doctrines more readily than ceremonies.
- The Misfortunes of Elphin
[Ceremony : Doctrine : Names]
To chase the clouds of life's tempestuous hours,
To strew its short but weary way with flow'rs,
New hopes to raise, new feelings to impart,
And pour celestial balsam on the heart;
For this to man was lovely woman giv'n,
The last, best work, the noblest gift of Heav'n.
- The Visions of Love [Women]
In a bowl to sea went wise men three,
On a brilliant night in June:
They carried a net, and their hearts were set
On fishing up the moon.
- The Wise Men of Gotham--Paper Money Lyrics
(st. 1) [Fishing]
Death comes to all. His cold and sapless hand
Waves o'er the world, and beckons us away.
Who shall resist the summons?
- Time [Death]
Man yields to death; and man's sublimest works
Must yield at length to Time.
- Time (l. 65) [Time]
Time is lord of thee:
Thy wealth, thy glory. and thy name are his.
- Time (l. 71) [Time]
The present is our own; but while we speak,
We cease from its possession, and resign
The stage we tread on, to another race,
As vain, and gay, and mortal as ourselves.
- Time (l. 9) [Time]
"In his last binn Sir Peter lies."
. . . .
He kept at true humour's mark
The social flow of pleasure's tide:
He never made a brow look dark,
Nor caused a tear, but when he died.
- To Sir Peter [Epitaphs]