Philip James Bailey

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Philip James Bailey (22 April 1816 — 1902) was an English poet; he authored Festus.


Festus (1839)

  • Evil and good are God's right hand and left.
    • Proem.
  • Art is man's nature; nature is God's art.
    • Proem.
  • Let each man think himself an act of God,
    His mind a thought, his life a breath of God;
    And let each try, by great thoughts and good deeds,
    To show the most of Heaven he hath in him.
    • Proem.
  • Men might be better if we better deemed
    Of them. The worst way to improve the world
    Is to condemn it.
    • Scene iv. A Mountain; Sunrise. Compare: "The surest plan to make a man / Is to think him so", J. R. Lowell, Biglow Papers, II, ii. St. 9.
  • We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
    In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
    We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
    Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
    Life's but a means unto an end; that end
    Beginning, mean, and end to all things, —God.
    • Scene v. A Country Town.
  • Who never doubted never half believed
    Where doubt there truth is—'t is her shadow.
    • Scene v. A Country Town. Compare: "There lives more faith in honest doubt / Believe me, than in half the creeds", Alfred Tennyson.
  • America thou half-brother of the world!
    With something good and bad of every land.
    • Scene x. Earth's Surface.
  • Music tells no truths.
    • Scene xi. A Village Feast.
  • Poets are all who love, who feel great truths,
    And tell them; and the truth of truths is love.
    • Scene xvi. The Hesperian Sphere.
  • The worst men often give the best advice.
  • They who forgive most shall be most forgiven.
  • I cannot be content with less than heaven.
  • Kindness is wisdom.
  • Envy's a coal comes hissing hot from hell.
  • Respect is what we owe; love what we give.

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