Francis Quarles

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Francis Quarles (baptised 1592-05-08, died 1644-09-08) was a prolific English prose-writer and poet. He is now best known for his Emblems (1638) and other moral and devotional verse.

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  • No man is born unto himself alone;
    Who lives unto himself, he lives to none.
    • Esther (1621), Sec. 1, Meditation 1.
  • The way to bliss lies not on beds of down,
    And he that has no cross deserves no crown.
    • Esther (1621), Sec. 9, Meditation 9.
  • Shine Son of glory, and my sinnes are gone
    Like twinkling Starres before the rising Sunne.
    • The Authour's Dreame (1629).
  • Even such is man, whose glory lends
    His life a blaze or two, and ends.
    • Hos ego versiculos (1629).
  • He that loves thee, He that keeps
    And guards thee, never slumbers, never sleeps.
    • Good Night (1632).
  • My soul, sit thou a patient looker-on;
    Judge not the play before the play is done:
    Her plot hath many changes; every day
    Speaks a new scene; the last act crowns the play.
    • Epigram. Respice Finem (1635).
  • Thou art my life, my way, my light
    • Why dost thou Shade thy Lovely Face? (1635).
  • Let the fear of a danger be a spur to prevent it: He that fears otherwise, gives advantage to the danger.
    • Enchiridion (1640).
  • Anger, when it is long in coming, is the stronger when it comes, and the longer kept.
    • Enchiridion (1640).
  • And what's a life? - a weary pilgrimage,
    Whose glory in one day doth fill the stage
    With childhood, manhood, and decrepit age.
    • What Is Life.
  • Let all thy joys be as the month of May
    And all thy days be as a marriage day:
    Let sorrow, sickness, and a troubled mind
    Be stranger to thee.
    • To a Bride.
  • The world's an Inn; and I her guest.
    • On the World
  • Death aims with fouler spite
    At fairer marks.
    • Divine Poems (ed. 1669). Compare: "Death loves a shining mark, a signal blow", Edward Young, Night Thoughts, night v. line 1011.

Emblems (1635)

  • This house is to be let for life or years;
    Her rent is sorrow, and her income tears.
    Cupid, 't has long stood void; her bills make known,
    She must be dearly let, or let alone.
    • Book I, no. 10, Epigram 10.
  • Sweet Phosphor, bring the day
    Whose conquering ray
    May chase these fogs;
    Sweet Phosphor, bring the day!

    Sweet Phosphor, bring the day!
    Light will repay
    The wrongs of night;
    Sweet Phosphor, bring the day!
    • Book I, no. 14.
  • We spend our midday sweat, our midnight oil;
    We tire the night in thought, the day in toil.
    • Book II, no. 2.
  • Be wisely worldly, be not worldly wise.
    • Book II, no. 2.
  • This house is to be let for life or years;
    Her rent is sorrow, and her income tears.
    Cupid, 't has long stood void; her bills make known,
    She must be dearly let, or let alone.
    • Book II, no. 10, Epigram.
  • The slender debt to Nature's quickly paid,
    Discharged, perchance, with greater ease than made.
    • Book II, no. 13. Compare: "To die is a debt we must all of us discharge", Euripides, Alcestis, line 418.
  • The road to resolution lies by doubt:
    The next way home's the farthest way about.
    • Book IV, no. 2, Epigram.
  • The next way home's the farthest way about.
    • Book IV, no. 2, Epigram 2. Compare: "The longest way round is the shortest way home", Bohn, Foreign Proverbs (Italian).
  • It is the lot of man but once to die.
    • Book V, no. 7.

External links

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