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[ Also see Destiny Fate Fortune God Idolatry Idols Luck Oracle Providence Religion Superstition Worship ]

As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods;
  They kill us for their sport.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Gloucester at IV, i)

The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
  Make instruments to plague us.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Edgar at V, iii)

This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy,
  This signor-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid,
    Regent of love-rimes, lord of folded arms,
      The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
        Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
          Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces,
            Sole imperator and great general
              Of trotting paritors--O my little heart!
      - William Shakespeare, Love's Labor's Lost
         (Berowne at III, i)

The basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Fifth
         (Dauphin at III, vii)

Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
  Draw near them then in being merciful.
    Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge:
      Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son.
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Tamora at I, i)

Me goatfoot Pan of Arcady--the Median fear,
  The Athenians's friend, Miltiades placed here.
      - Simonides of Ceos, in "Greek Anthology"

Atlas, we read in ancient song,
  Was so exceeding tall and strong,
    He bore the skies upon his back,
      Just as the pedler does his pack;
        But, as the pedler overpress'd
          Unloads upon a stall to rest,
            Or, when he can no longer stand,
              Desires a friend to lend a hand,
                So Atlas, lest the ponderous spheres
                  Should sink, and fall about his ears,
                    Got Hercules to bear the pile,
                      That he might sit and rest awhile.
      - Jonathan Swift,
        Atlas; or, the Minister of State

A glimpse of Breidablick, whose walls are light
  As e'en the silver on the cliff it shone;
    Of dark blue steel its columns azure height
      And the big altar was one agate stone.
        It seemed as if the air upheld alone
          Its dome, unless supporting spirits bore it,
            Studded with stars Odin's spangled throne,
              A light inscrutable burned fiercely o'er it;
                In sky-blue mantles,
                  Sat the gold-crowned gods before it.
      - Esaias Tegner, Fridthjof's Saga
         (canto XXIII, st. 13)

Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet;
  Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Higher Pantheism

Here comes to-day
  Pallas and Aphrodite, claiming each
    This meed of fairest.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Oenone (st. 9)

Or sweet Europa's mantle blew unclasped
  From off her shoulder backward borne;
    From one had drooped a crocus: one hand grasped
      The mild bull's golden horn.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Palace of Art
         (st. 30)

Or else flushed Ganymede, his rosy thigh
  Half buried in the Eagle's down,
    Sole as a flying star, shot thro' the sky,
      Above the pillared town.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Palace of Art
         (st. 31)

But a bevy of Eroses apple-cheeked
  In a shallop of crystal ivory-beaked.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, The Islet

The gods also dwelt in the woods.
  [Lat., Habitarunt Di quoque sylvas.]
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        Eclogues (II, 60)

Oh, meet is the reverence unto Bacchus paid!
  We will praise him still in the songs of our fatherland,
    We will pour the sacred wine, the chargers lade,
      And the victim kid shall unresisting stand,
        Led by his horns to the altar, where we turn
          The hazel spits while the dripping entrails burn.
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        Georgics (bk. II, st. 17, l. 31),
        (H.W. Preston's translation)

The god so willing.
  [Lat., Volente Deo.]
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        The Aeneid (I, 303)

By her gait the goddess was known.
  [Lat., Incessu patuit Dea.]
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        The Aeneid (I, 405)

Alas! it is not well for anyone to be confident when the gods are adverse.
  [Lat., Heu nihil invitis fas quemquam fidere divis.]
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        The Aeneid (II, 402)

That day I shall always recollect with grief; with reverence also, for the gods so willed it.
  [Lat., Jamque dies, ni fallor adest quem semper acerbum
    Semper honoratur (sic dii voluistis) habeo.]
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        The Aeneid (V, 49)

He calls the gods to arms.
  [Lat., Vocat in certamina Divos.]
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        The Aeneid (VI, 172)

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