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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

John Norris 1657-1711 John Bartlett

      How fading are the joys we dote upon!
  Like apparitions seen and gone.
  But those which soonest take their flight
Are the most exquisite and strong,—
  Like angels’ visits, short and bright; 1
Mortality ’s too weak to bear them long.
          The Parting.
Note 1.
Like those of angels, short and far between.—Robert Blair: The Grave, line 588.

Like angel visits, few and far between.—Thomas Campbell: Pleasures of Hope, part ii. line 378. [back]