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Ere I was old! Ah, woeful Ere!
When we are old :
Of age, the glory is to wish to die :
What folly can be ranker? Like our shadows,
114. AGED. Afflictions and Infirmities of the
The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon; With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side, His youthful hose well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again towards childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound.—Shakespeare.
Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness, and mere oblivion ; Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
113. AGED. Absurdities of the O MY coevals ! remnants of ourselves ! Poor human ruins tottering o'er the grave ! Shall we, shall aged men, like aged trees, Strike deeper their vile root, and closer cling, Still more enamour'd of this wretched soil ! Shall our pale, wither'd hands be still stretch'd out, Trembling, at once, with eagerness and age ? With avarice, and convulsions, grasping hard ? Grasping at air ; for what has earth beside ? Man wants but little ; nor that little long; How soon must he resign his very dust, Which frugal nature lent him for an hour !- Young. Absurd longevity! More, more, it cries ; More life, more wealth, more trash of every kind. And wherefore mad for more, when relish fails ? Object and appetite must club for joy Baubles, I mean, that strike us from without. Shall solly labour hard to mend the bow, While Nature is relaxing every string? Ask thought for joy: grow rich, and hoard within. Think you the soul, when this life's rattles cease, Ilas nothing of more manly to succeed ? Contract the taste immortal ; learn e'en now To relish what alone subsists hereafter. Divine or none, henceforth, your joys for ever.
Till length of years, And sedentary numbness, craze my limbs To a contemptible old age obscure.--Milton.
To what can I be useful, wherein serve,
Thou must outlive Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will
change To wither'd, weak, and grey.--Milton.
Behold where age's wretched victim lies,
Frequent for breath his panting bosom heaves; 116. AGED. Death of the
AGE, like ripe apples, on earth's bosom drops ; And only by his pains, awaking, finds he lives.
Denham. When once men reach their autumn, sickly joys
117. AGED. Death Song for the Fall off apace, as yellow leaves from trees, At every little breath misfortune blows,
IN age and feebleness extreme Till, left quite naked of their happiness,
Who shall a sinful worm redeem ? In the chill blasts of winter they expire.- Young. Jesus, my only hope Thou art,
Strength of my failing flesh and heart; Now then the ills of age, its pains, its care,
Oh, could I catch a smile from Thee, The drooping spirit for its fate prepare ;
And drop into eternity !-Charles Wesley. And each affection failing, leaves the heart Loosed from life's charm, and willing to depart. 118. AGED. Example of the
Our green youth copies what grey sinners act, Superfluous lags the veteran on the stage.
When age commends the fact. --Dryden.
119. AGED. Flattery of the
Younger by scores of years ; flatters his age And scarce a legacy can bribe to hear.- Johnson. With confident belying, with hopes he may
With charms, like Eson, have his youth restored ; In life's last scene what prodigies surprise, And with those thoughts so battens, as if fate Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise !
Would be as easily cheated on as he.-Ben Jonson. From Marlb'rough's eyes the streams of dotage flow,
120. AGED. Happiness of the Add Swift expires a driv'ler and a show.
Johnson. Behold a patriarch of years, who leaneth on the
staff of religion ; Thus pleasures fade away;
Lofty aspirations, deep affections, holy hopes, are Youth, talents, beauty thus decay,
his delight; And leave us dark, forlorn, and grey.---Scott. | His abhorrence is to strip from life its charitable
garment of ideal. What is the worst of woes that wait on age ?
| The shrewd world laughed at him for honesty, the What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?
vain world mouthed at him for honour, To view each loved one blotted from life's page,
The false world hated him for truth, the cold world And be alone on earth as I am now.
despised him for affection. Before the Chastener humbly let me bow
Still he kept his treasure, the warm and noble heart, O'er hearts divided, and o'er hopes destroy'd.
And in that happy old man survive the child and Byron.
lover. — Tupper. 115. AGED. Characteristics of the
121. AGED. Hope in the THIRST of power and of riches now bear sway,
Old husbandmen I at Sabinum know, The passion and infirmity of age. - Frowde.
Who for another year dig, plough, and sow; These are the effects of doting age,
For never any man was yet so old, Vain doubts, and idle cares, and over-caution.
But hoped his life one winter more would hold. Dryden.
Denham. Age is froward, uneasy, scrutinous,
Fresh hopes are hourly sown Hard to be pleased, and parsimonious.-Denham. In furrow'd brows: To gentle life's descent,
We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain : Young men soon give, and soon forget affronts ; We take fair days in winter for the spring; Old age is slow in both.-Addison.
And turn our blessings into bane. — Young.
But autumn makes them ripe, and fit for use :
125. AGRICULTURE. Nobility of
In ancient times, the sacred plough employ'd
128. AIM. The Christian's
Thou'lt haply reach to one not far below.
Strive first the goal to compass : is too slow Thy speed, the attempt may ne'ertheless avail The next best post to conquer. Let not quail Eye, heart, or limb : but still right onward go;
The Judge shall heed thee, and a crown bestow, And bid thy name the loud-voiced herald hail. To the wish'd mark one racer only came
Of old victorious : to intwine his brow One only grasp'd the crown, and won the game,
Isthmian or proud Olympian. Happier thou Pursu'st thy course with no uncertain aim,
Secure to seize an amaranthine bough.--Mant.
129. ALLOTMENT. Diversities of
126. AGRICULTURE. Prayerful First offer incense ; then thy field and meads Shall smile and smell the better by thy beads; The spangling dew dreg'd o'er the grasse shall be Turn'd all to mell and manna there for thee. Butter of amber, cream, and wine, and oil Shall run, and rivers, all throughout thy soyl. Wod'st thou to sincere silver turn thy mold ? Pray once, twice pray, and turn thy ground to gold.
ANOTHER feature in the ways of God,
The highest take, and lowest--and conceive
Was robed in silk and gold, and every day
So slight, that virtue never could grow strong: And wouldst thou do one duty to His mind, The imposer's-over-burden'd thou shalt ask, And own thy need of grace to help, ere long.
R. C. Trench.
131. ALLUREMENTS. Earthly
O STREAMS of earthly love and joy,
On whose green banks we dwell, Gleaming in beauty to the eye,
Ye promise fair and well !
Ye lure us, and we venture in,
Cheated by sun and smiles ; Ye tempt us, and we brave your depths,
Won by your winning wiles. Too deep and strong for us !-We glide
Down your deceiving wave ; Like men by siren song beguiled
On to a siren grave.
Turn now thine eye, and look on poverty! Look on the lowest of her ragged sons : We find him by the way, sitting in dust; He has no bread to eat, no tongue to ask; No limbs to walk; no home, no house, no friend. See how his hand, if any hand he has, Involuntarily opens, and trembles forth, As comes the traveller's foot; and hear his groan. On him hail, rain, and tempest rudely beat ; And all the winds of heaven, in jocular mood, Sport with his wither'd rags, that, toss'd about, Display his nakedness to passers by, And grievously burlesque the human form. Observe him yet more narrowly: his limbs, With palsy shaken, about him blasted lie; And all his flesh is full of putrid sores, And noisome wounds, his bones of racking pains. Strange vesture this for an immortal soul ! Strange retinue to wait a lord of earth! It seems as Nature, in some surly mood, After debate and musing long, had tried How vile and miserable thing her hand Could fabricate, then made this meagre man: A sight so full of perfect misery, That passengers their faces turn'd away, And hasted to be gone; and delicate And tender woman took another path.
This great disparity of outward things Taught many lessons; but this taught in chief, Though learn'd by few: that God no value set, That man should none, on goods of worldly kind; On transitory, frail, external things, Of migratory, ever-changing sort; And further taught, that in the soul alone, The thinking, reasonable, willing soul, God placed the total excellence of man; And meant him evermore to seek it there.
O world, with all thy smiles and loves,
With all thy song and wine, What mockery of human hearts,
What treachery is thine !
Thou woundest, but thou canst not heal,
Thy words are warbled lies ;
And he who drinks it dies.
O world, there's fever in thy touch,
And frenzy in thine eye;
To win thee is to die !-Bonar.
132. ALLUREMENTS. Fatal
130. ALLOTMENT. Thy
A FOUNT-O’ERSHADING tree stands near the high
way-side, And many a good fellow, pausing there, has died. For in the fountain's depths a dragon lies asleep : Sits on the tree a bird, his constant watch to keep. The bird's sweet song allures the unwary wanderer
near : Then sings he loud, so loud the dragon wakes to
hear. The thirsty traveller drinks, — the dragon darts
aloft,And on the tree the fatal bird sings soft.-Oriental.
THou cam'st not to thy place by accident,
133. ALLUREMENTS. Looking on Turn thou thine eyes from each seducing sight, For looking whets the ready edge of appetite.
Oriental, tr. by W. R. Alger.
134. ALLUREMENTS. Resisting
137. AMBITION. Baseness of ungoverned
Dare to be great without a guilty crown; View it, and lay the bright temptation down. 'Tis base to seize on all.-Dryden.
138. AMBITION. Cheat of
Ulysses, sailing by the Siren's isle, Seal'd first his comrades' ears, then bade them fast Bind him with many a fetter to the mast, Lest those sweet voices should their souls beguile, And to their ruin flatter them, the while Their homeward bark was sailing swiftly past; And thus the peril they behind them cast, Though chased by those weird voices many a mile. But yet a nobler cunning Orpheus used : No fetter he put on, nor stopp'd his ear, But ever, as he pass'd, sang high and clear The blisses of the gods, their holy joys, And with diviner melody confused And marr'd earth's sweetest music to a noise.
R. C. Trench.
135. ALMS. Law of
In alms regard thy means, and others' merits.
Think Heaven a better bargain than to give Only thy single market-money for it,
Join hands with God to make a man to live. Give to all something; to a good poor man, Till thou change names, and be where he began.
What is AMBITION? 'Tis a glorious cheat! It seeks the chamber of the gifted boy And lifts his humble window, and comes in. The narrow walls expand, and spread away Into a kingly palace, and the roof Lifts to the sky, and unseen fingers work The ceilings with rich blazonry, and write His name in burning letters over all. And ever, as he shuts his 'wildered eyes, The phantom comes and lays upon his lids A spell that murders sleep, and in his ear Whispers a deathless word, and on his brain Breathes a fierce thirst no water will allay. He is its slave henceforth! His days are spent In chaining down his heart, and watching where To rise by human weaknesses. His nights Bring him no rest in all their blessed hours. His kindred are forgotten or estranged. Unhealthful fires burn constant in his eye. His lip grows restless, and its smile is curl'd Half into scorn-till the bright, fiery boy, That was a daily blessing but to see, His spirit was so bird-like and so pure, Is frozen, in the very flush of youth, Into a cold, care-fretted, heartless man.
Man is God's image; but a poor man is
Christ's stamp to boot : both images regard. God reckons for him, counts the favour His : Write, So much given to God; thou shalt be
heard. Let thine alms go before, and keep Heaven's gate Open for thee; or both may come too late.
136. ALMSGIVING. A Reason for
I am a humble pensioner
Myself for daily bread; Shall I forget my brothers
Who seem in greater need ? I know not how it happen'd
That I had more than they,
A part of it away.
And I have needs the same;
While God callid out the name.
And what is its reward ? At best, a name !
N. P. Willis,
139. AMBITION. Check to
Go, climb the rugged Alps, ambitious fool,
Yet, enter'd in the brick-built town, he tried
So, brother, it but happen'd
The name he call'd was mine, The food was given for us both.
Here! Half of it is thine !