The aim of life is some way of living, as flexible and gentle as human nature; so that ambition may stoop to kindness, and philosophy to condor and humor. Neither prosperity nor empire nor heaven can be worth winning at the price of a virulent temper, bloody hands, an anguished spirit, and a vain hatred of the rest of the world.George Santayana
- Forever seeking, never found,
In this wide varied scene;
Sole object of unceasing search,
While in this low terrene.
Yet vain the search, if in the heart
Some lurking passion dwell;
For this will hang with cypress wreath
Retirement's secret cell.
In vain the outward scene is calm,
In vain the world we fly;
If thou, in pure religion's garb,
Thy friendly aid deny.
- "Address to Happiness", from Poems, on Various Occasions (1806)
- Why , alas! is life decreed
Full of pain and full of sorrow?
All uncertain as it is,
Can we rest upon to-morrow?
Why should blessings yet in store,
Hold us still in expectation?
Leading thro' succeeding sorrows,
By some fond anticipation:
'Tis to give a tender interest
To the scenes in which we're moving:
While those hopes so often blasted,
Sensual pleasures are reproving.
- "An Effusion", from Poems, on Various Occasions (1806)