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

William Morris 1834-1896 John Bartlett

    Dreamer of dreams, born out of my due time,
Why should I strive to set the crooked straight?
The idle singer of an empty day.
          An Apology.
    Masters, I have to tell a tale of woe,
A tale of folly and of wasted life,
Hope against hope, the bitter dregs of strife,
Ending, where all things end, in death at last.
          The Earthly Paradise. Prologue.
    Slayer of the Winter, art thou here again?
  O welcome, thou that bring’st the Summer nigh!
The bitter wind makes not thy victory vain,
  Nor will we mock thee for thy faint blue sky.
          The Earthly Paradise. March.
            Rejoice, lest pleasureless ye die.
Within a little time must ye go by.
Stretch forth your open hands, and while ye live
Take all the gifts that Death and Life may give!
          The Earthly Paradise. March.
    Forgetfulness of grief I yet may gain;
In some wise may come ending to my pain;
It may be yet the Gods will have me glad!
Yet, Love, I would that thee and pain I had!
          The Earthly Paradise. The Death of Paris.
    Earth, left silent by the wind of night,
Seems shrunken ’neath the gray unmeasured height.
          The Earthly Paradise. December.
    Late February days; and now, at last,
Might you have thought that Winter’s woe was past;
So fair the sky was and so soft the air.
          The Earthly Paradise. February.
              A world made to be lost,—
A bitter life ’twixt pain and nothing tost.
          The Earthly Paradise. The Hill of Venus.
                To happy folk
All heaviest words no more of meaning bear
Than far-off bells saddening the Summer air.
          The Earthly Paradise. The Hill of Venus.
    But boundless risk must pay for boundless gain. 1 
          The Earthly Paradise. The Wanderers.
    Wert thou more fickle than the restless sea,
Still should I love thee, knowing thee for such.
          Life and Death of Jason. Book ix.
                        The majesty
That from man’s soul looks through his eager eyes.
          Life and Death of Jason. Book xiii.
    Now such an one for daughter Creon had
As maketh wise men fools and young men mad.
          Life and Death of Jason. Book xvii.
    O thrush, your song is passing sweet
  But never a song that you have sung,
Is half so sweet as thrushes sang
  When my dear Love and I were young.
          Other Days.
    From out the throng and stress of lies,
From out the painful noise of sighs,
One voice of comfort seems to rise:
“It is the meaner part that dies.”
Note 1.
Naught venture, naught have. Thomas Tusser. (See Heywood, page 15). [back]