Matthew Prior

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In the game of life it's a good idea to have a few early losses, which relieves you of the pressure of trying to maintain an undefeated season.
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Matthew Prior (July 21, 1664September 18, 1721) was an English poet and diplomat.


  • Our hopes, like towering falcons, aim
    At objects in an airy height;
    The little pleasure of the game
    Is from afar to view the flight.
    • To the Honorable Charles Montague (1692)
  • The end must justify the means.
    • Hans Carvel (1700)
  • Lays the rough paths of peevish Nature even,
    And opens in each heart a little heaven.
    • Charity (1703)
  • Be to her virtues very kind;
    Be to her faults a little blind;
    Let all her ways be unconfined;
    And clap your padlock — on her mind!
    • An English Padlock (1707)
  • And thought the nation ne'er would thrive
    Till all the whores were burnt alive.
    • Paulo Purganti and His Wife (1708)
  • He ranged his tropes, and preached up patience;
    Backed his opinion with quotations.
    • Paulo Purganti and His Wife (1708)
  • Cured yesterday of my disease,
    I died last night of my physician.
    • The Remedy Worse than the Disease (1714)
  • And often took leave, but was loth to depart.
    • The Thief and the Cordelier (1718)
  • His noble negligences teach
    What others' toils despair to reach.
    • Alma, Canto II, l. 7 (1718)
  • Till their own dreams at length decive 'em,
    And oft repeating, they believe 'em.
    • Alma, Canto III, l. 13 (1718)
  • To John I owed great obligation;
    But John, unhappily, thought fit
    To publish it to all the nation:
    Sure John and I are more than quit.
    • Epigram (1718)
  • Venus, take my votive glass;
    Since I am not what I was,
    What from this day I shall be,
    Venus, let me never see.
    • The Lady Who Offers Her Looking-Glass to Venus (1718)
  • Nobles and heralds, by your leave,
    Here lies what once was Matthew Prior;
    The son of Adam and of Eve:
    Can Bourbon or Nassau claim higher?
    • Epitaph (1721)

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