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Valeriu Butulescu

All is vanity. Including this statement.

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Vanity Kills

Have you heard the latest? (you love you)
Have you seen who just walked in (vain vain vain vain)
(uh huh, you love you) right over there
Shes so vain vain vain vain
Vain vain vain vain
Im glad youve found someone who loves you
But sad to say that someone is you
And now perhaps youll both be happy
Guess that makes two just you and you
Someone who cares so much about you
But does that someone have to be you
Bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom yeah
Bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom yeah
Vanity kills, it dont pay bills
Vanity kills, you love you
Vanity kills, it dont pay bills
Vanity kills, it kills
So glad I found you glancing in the mirror
Gazing deeply at loves patron saint
Admire the frame, survey the scenery
Or are you just inspecting the paint
Temptations strong modestys so weak
High on yourself humble you aint
Bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom yeah
Bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom yeah
Vanity kills, it dont pay bills
Vanity kills, you love you
Vanity kills, it dont pay bills
Vanity kills, you love you
Vanity kills, it dont pay bills (no way)
Vanity kills, you love you
Vanity kills, it dont pay bills
Vanity kills, it kills
So vain, vain vain vain
You love you (yeah)
Give it, give it us, give it us
So vain, so vain, so vain
Vanity kills, it dont pay bills
Vanity kills, you love you
Vanity kills, it dont pay bills
Vanity kills, you love you
Vanity kills, it dont pay bills
Vanity kills, you love you
Vanity kills, if the blast dont get you
Then the fallout will
You love you

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Weary Of The World, And With Heaven Most Dear

Farewell, world, farewell
As thrall here I’m weary and no more will dwell,
The manifold burdens that on me have lain,
I wrest them now from me and do them disdain,
I wrench myself free, though am wearied withal:
’Tis vanity all,
’Tis vanity all.

And what everywhere
Does this world embellish with visage so fair?
’Tis all merely shadows and baubles of glass,
’Tis all merely bubbles and clattering brass,
’Tis all but thin ice, filth and mischief withal:
’Tis vanity all,
’Tis vanity all.

My years what are they?
That furtively dwindle and sidle away?
And what are my worries? My thought-troubled mind?
My joy or my sorrow? My fancies so blind?
And what do my work, moil and toil all recall?
’Tis vanity all,
’Tis vanity all.

Oh riches and gold,
You false earthly idol so bright to behold,
You are though among the deceits the world brings
That wax, wane and alter with all other things.
You are but vain glory whate’er may befall:
’Tis vanity all,
’Tis vanity all.

Ah, honour – ’tis what?
Your crowns and your laurels proclaim what you’re not,
And envy consumes you and sits on your back,
You lack peace of mind and are prone to attack!
You stumble where others contrive not to fall:
’Tis vanity all,
’Tis vanity all.

Ah, favour and grace
That mist-like enfold us, are gone without trace.
You fickle infl ator that puffs up the mind,
You thousand-eyed creature that e’en so are blind,
When viewed ’gainst the sun one can see that you pall:
’Tis vanity all,
’Tis vanity all.

Ah, friendship and trust,
That veers vanes to happiness with every gust!

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Vanity Fair

In Vanity Fair, as we bow and smile,
As we talk of the opera after the weather,
As we chat of fashion and fad and style,
We know we are playing a part together.
You know that the mirth she wears, she borrows;
She knows you laugh but to hide your sorrows;
We know that under the silks and laces,
And back of beautiful, beaming faces,
Lie secret trouble and grim despair,
In Vanity Fair.


In Vanity Fair, on dress parade,
Our colors look bright and our swords are gleaming;
But many a uniform's worn and frayed,
And most of the weapons, despite their seeming.
Are dull and blunted and badly battered,
And close inspection will show how tattered
And stained are the banners that float above us.
Our comrades hate, while they swear to love us;
And robed like Pleasure walks gaunt-eyed Care,
In Vanity Fair.


In Vanity Fair, as we strive for place,
As we rush and jostle and crowd and hurry,
We know the goal is not worth the race-
We know the prize is not worth the worry;
That all our gain means loss for another;
That in fighting for self we wound each other;
That the crown of success weighs hard and presse
The brow of the victor with thorns-not caresses;
That honors are empty and worthless to wear,
In Vanity Fair.


But in Vanity Fair, as we pass along,
We meet strong hearts that are worth the knowing;
'Mong poor paste jewels that deck the throng,
We see a solitaire sometimes glowing.
We find grand souls under robes of fashion,
'Neath light demeanors hide strength and passion;
And fair fine honor and Godlike resistance.
In halls of pleasure may have existence;
And we find pure altars and shrines of prayer,
In Vanity Fair.

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Double Ballade on the Nothingness of Things

The big teetotum twirls,
And epochs wax and wane
As chance subsides or swirls;
But of the loss and gain
The sum is always plain.
Read on the mighty pall,
The weed of funeral
That covers praise and blame,
The -isms and the -anities,
Magnificence and shame:--
"O Vanity of Vanities!"

The Fates are subtle girls!
They give us chaff for grain.
And Time, the Thunderer, hurls,
Like bolted death, disdain
At all that heart and brain
Conceive, or great or small,
Upon this earthly ball.
Would you be knight and dame?
Or woo the sweet humanities?
Or illustrate a name?
O Vanity of Vanities!

We sound the sea for pearls,
Or drown them in a drain;
We flute it with the merles,
Or tug and sweat and strain;
We grovel, or we reign;
We saunter, or we brawl;
We search the stars for Fame,
Or sink her subterranities;
The legend's still the same:--
"O Vanity of Vanities!"

Here at the wine one birls,
There some one clanks a chain.
The flag that this man furls
That man to float is fain.
Pleasure gives place to pain:
These in the kennel crawl,
While others take the wall.
She has a glorious aim,
He lives for the inanities.
What come of every claim?
O Vanity of Vanities!

Alike are clods and earls.
For sot, and seer, and swain,
For emperors and for churls,

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Christina Georgina Rossetti

A Testimony

I said of laughter: it is vain.
Of mirth I said: what profits it?
Therefore I found a book, and writ
Therein how ease and also pain,
How health and sickness, every one
Is vanity beneath the sun.

Man walks in a vain shadow; he
Disquieteth himself in vain.
The things that were shall be again;
The rivers do not fill the sea,
But turn back to their secret source;
The winds too turn upon their course.

Our treasures moth and rust corrupt,
Or thieves break through and steal, or they
Make themselves wings and fly away.
One man made merry as he supped,
Nor guessed how when that night grew dim,
His soul would be required of him.

We build our houses on the sand
Comely withoutside and within;
But when the winds and rains begin
To beat on them, they cannot stand;
They perish, quickly overthrown,
Loose from the very basement stone.

All things are vanity, I said:
Yea vanity of vanities.
The rich man dies; and the poor dies:
The worm feeds sweetly on the dead.
Whate'er thou lackest, keep this trust:
All in the end shall have but dust.

The one inheritance, which best
And worst alike shall find and share:
The wicked cease from troubling there,
And there the weary are at rest;
There all the wisdom of the wise
Is vanity of vanities.

Man flourishes as a green leaf,
And as a leaf doth pass away;
Or as a shade that cannot stay,
And leaves no track, his course is brief:
Yet doth man hope and fear and plan
Till he is dead:—oh foolish man!

Our eyes cannot be satisfied

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On Anne Allen

The wind blew keenly from the Western sea,
And drove the dead leaves slanting from the tree--
Vanity of vanities, the Preacher saith--
Heaping them up before her Father's door
When I saw her whom I shall see no more--
We cannot bribe thee, Death.

She went abroad the falling leaves among,
She saw the merry season fade, and sung--
Vanity of vanities the Preacher saith--
Freely she wandered in the leafless wood,
And said that all was fresh, and fair, and good--
She knew thee not, O Death.

She bound her shining hair across her brow,
She went into the garden fading now;
Vanity of vanities the Preacher saith--
And if one sighed to think that it was sere,
She smiled to think that it would bloom next year!
She feared thee not, O Death.

Blooming she came back to the cheerful room
With all the fairer flowers yet in bloom--
Vanity of vanities the Preacher saith--
A fragrant knot for each of us she tied,
And placed the fairest at her Father's side--
She cannot charm thee, Death.

Her pleasant smile spread sunshine upon all;
We heard her sweet clear laughter in the Hall--
Vanity of vanities the Preacher saith--
We heard her sometimes after evening prayer,
As she went singing softly up the stair--
No voice can charm thee, Death.

Where is the pleasant smile, the laughter kind,
That made sweet music of the winter wind?
Vanity of vanities the Preacher saith--
Idly they gaze upon her empty place,
Her kiss hath faded from her Father's face--
She is with thee, O Death.

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Anchorless and Engulfed

Two who each other barely knew -
though both drew down delinquency
some streets apart, are past, and few
shall etch sketch wretched memory.
Two travelled on lines parallel
while wheeled real reel of history,
banned reel ran out span's tocsin bell
tolled once to tell eternity

‘Bonjour, ma mie, je t'aime, adieu! '
The mocking bird of Destiny
nests but a moment. All falls through
before each earth-bound entity
grasp pain's pain glass a second, spell
life's sensitivity to see
things in perspective ere Death's knell
engulfs hopes in Styx misery.

Confined upon Earth's ark our zoo
builds up its bars too readily.
Why all the fuss and bother to
paint rosy hues enticingly
when threescore ten years pass pell-mell,
too few attain vain century,
and those that do weak souls would sell
for one more week's dichotomy.

Upon Life's cruise a motley crew
free choice demands, yet few feel free,
awash with superstitious spew,
how few refuse to bend the knee?
The ‘finger writes' and then farewell!
A door to which there is no key
was ever veiled when curtains fell,
'and then no more of thee and me.'

'Time out! ' Reflection's hard to chew
in context where modernity
accelerates change [st]range most rue,
soon redefines autonomy,
confines empowerment to brew
disinformation debility,
losing second thoughts' review
of truth till last breath's verity
renders verdict curlicue
on humankind's inanity.

Climate out of kilter new
climactic catastrophe
prepares, ice-melt sends shockwaves through

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The Night Will Soon Be Lost

THE NIGHT WILL SOON BE LOST

The night will soon be lost
Another night of so many already gone
Who knows how many left?
I have seen far more nights
Than I will ever see again
Mostly it’s done
I have some nights left
But not so many
That I should waste it wholly
On frivolity
I’ll try now
To write a poem down
So this night
Will not have been wholly in vain
But who knows
Vanity of vanity of vanity
Perhaps for all nights and all poems- vanity
I am writing this poem down nonetheless
It flows as if it knows it has real life within it
I don’t know now how long this night will last
Or how many nights I have left
I have written a poem
Will G-d save it as if it were not vanity to vanity?
I do not know.

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I Will Over Come, With Adversity In Full Swing

I will overcome.
With adversity in full swing
I will rewrite it all.
Including who I am.
Destroying the victim
Becoming the savior.
There is just no victim here
Never again.

Listen to me a I scream.
My lungs are exploding.
No more mere whispers.
No more falling on deaf ears.
Killing every once of doubt.
Dedication with greatest sensation.
A fabulous celebration.

I will overcome.
With adversity in full swing
I will rewrite it all.
Including who I am.
Destroying the victim
Becoming the savior.
There is just no victim here
Never again.

My soul burns as never before
This is my new heaven
This is my new hell.
And all I want is more.
An undying hunger as the clock strikes eleven
This is no longer my dirty dusty old shell.

I will overcome.
With adversity in full swing
I will rewrite it all.
Including who I am.
Destroying the victim
Becoming the savior.
There is just no victim here
Never again.

I'm no longer a man in hiding
I am a man now confiding
With every secret we go deeper
The mountain is now getting steeper
So I tie my boot
And I ready my rifle to shoot

I will overcome.

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Have pride and vanity

Service and sacrifice can be the base
For your pride and not your caste or creed.
Have pride that you have helped someone rise
And not that you have conquered someone.
Pride is that one feels about oneself high.

Show vanity for your simplicity;
Show not vanity for your affluence.
Show vanity for your affinity;
Show not vanity for your elegance.
Vanity is that one shows oneself high.
11.07.208

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Beauty Contest

Damsel in distress is quite submissive
Look how somber my vanity is
A feminine human creature
Superficial, seducing detour
Im going to the mall for the cookie cutter
The ugly duckling will always suffer
Contaminated standards, I try to fight it
I better get back on my diet
Obsessed with the beauty contest
Beauty contest
Howd my vanity get such a mess?
Beauty contest
Im obsessed
Reduce myself, I got the strict restrictions
Not sexy enough without the regulations
A melting point countdown the fading features
Born to blossom and bloom to perish
Obsessed with the beauty contest
Beauty contest
Oh, Ive got to get out of this mess
Beauty contest
Im obsessed
And Ive fallen, I cant help myself
Im feeling envious of all the rest
Youre bringing out the lemming in me
A victim of the cattle call disease
Not easy to be me
I feel swollen
Obsessed with the beauty contest
Beauty contest
Howd my vanity get such a mess?
Obsessed with the beauty contest
Obsessed with the beauty contest
Beauty contest
Ive got to get out of this mess
Obsessed with the beauty contest
Obsessed with the beauty contest
Beauty contest
Howd my vanity get such a mess?
Caught up in the beauty contest
Caught up in the beauty contest
Caught up in the beauty contest
Caught up in the beauty contest
Caught up in the beauty contest
And I feel swollen
Howd my vanity get such a mess?
My vanitys a mess

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The Four Ages of Man

1.1 Lo now! four other acts upon the stage,
1.2 Childhood, and Youth, the Manly, and Old-age.
1.3 The first: son unto Phlegm, grand-child to water,
1.4 Unstable, supple, moist, and cold's his Nature.
1.5 The second: frolic claims his pedigree;
1.6 From blood and air, for hot and moist is he.
1.7 The third of fire and choler is compos'd,
1.8 Vindicative, and quarrelsome dispos'd.
1.9 The last, of earth and heavy melancholy,
1.10 Solid, hating all lightness, and all folly.
1.11 Childhood was cloth'd in white, and given to show,
1.12 His spring was intermixed with some snow.
1.13 Upon his head a Garland Nature set:
1.14 Of Daisy, Primrose, and the Violet.
1.15 Such cold mean flowers (as these) blossom betime,
1.16 Before the Sun hath throughly warm'd the clime.
1.17 His hobby striding, did not ride, but run,
1.18 And in his hand an hour-glass new begun,
1.19 In dangers every moment of a fall,
1.20 And when 'tis broke, then ends his life and all.
1.21 But if he held till it have run its last,
1.22 Then may he live till threescore years or past.
1.23 Next, youth came up in gorgeous attire
1.24 (As that fond age, doth most of all desire),
1.25 His Suit of Crimson, and his Scarf of Green.
1.26 In's countenance, his pride quickly was seen.
1.27 Garland of Roses, Pinks, and Gillyflowers
1.28 Seemed to grow on's head (bedew'd with showers).
1.29 His face as fresh, as is Aurora fair,
1.30 When blushing first, she 'gins to red the Air.
1.31 No wooden horse, but one of metal try'd:
1.32 He seems to fly, or swim, and not to ride.
1.33 Then prancing on the Stage, about he wheels;
1.34 But as he went, death waited at his heels.
1.35 The next came up, in a more graver sort,
1.36 As one that cared for a good report.
1.37 His Sword by's side, and choler in his eyes,
1.38 But neither us'd (as yet) for he was wise,
1.39 Of Autumn fruits a basket on his arm,
1.40 His golden rod in's purse, which was his charm.
1.41 And last of all, to act upon this Stage,
1.42 Leaning upon his staff, comes up old age.
1.43 Under his arm a Sheaf of wheat he bore,
1.44 A Harvest of the best: what needs he more?
1.45 In's other hand a glass, ev'n almost run,
1.46 This writ about: This out, then I am done.
1.47 His hoary hairs and grave aspect made way,
1.48 And all gave ear to what he had to say.
1.49 These being met, each in his equipage
1.50 Intend to speak, according to their age,

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Jubilate Agno: Fragment B, Part 2

LET PETER rejoice with the MOON FISH who keeps up the life in the waters by night.

Let Andrew rejoice with the Whale, who is array'd in beauteous blue and is a combination of bulk and activity.

Let James rejoice with the Skuttle-Fish, who foils his foe by the effusion of his ink.

Let John rejoice with Nautilus who spreads his sail and plies his oar, and the Lord is his pilot.

Let Philip rejoice with Boca, which is a fish that can speak.

Let Bartholomew rejoice with the Eel, who is pure in proportion to where he is found and how he is used.

Let Thomas rejoice with the Sword-Fish, whose aim is perpetual and strength insuperable.

Let Matthew rejoice with Uranoscopus, whose eyes are lifted up to God.

Let James the less, rejoice with the Haddock, who brought the piece of money for the Lord and Peter.

Let Jude bless with the Bream, who is of melancholy from his depth and serenity.

Let Simon rejoice with the Sprat, who is pure and innumerable.

Let Matthias rejoice with the Flying-Fish, who has a part with the birds, and is sublimity in his conceit.

Let Stephen rejoice with Remora -- The Lord remove all obstacles to his glory.

Let Paul rejoice with the Scale, who is pleasant and faithful!, like God's good ENGLISHMAN.

Let Agrippa, which is Agricola, rejoice with Elops, who is a choice fish.

Let Joseph rejoice with the Turbut, whose capture makes the poor fisher-man sing.

Let Mary rejoice with the Maid -- blessed be the name of the immaculate CONCEPTION.

Let John, the Baptist, rejoice with the Salmon -- blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus for infant Baptism.

Let Mark rejoice with the Mullet, who is John Dore, God be gracious to him and his family.

Let Barnabus rejoice with the Herring -- God be gracious to the Lord's fishery.

Let Cleopas rejoice with the Mackerel, who cometh in a shoal after a leader.

Let Abiud of the Lord's line rejoice with Murex, who is good and of a precious tincture.

Let Eliakim rejoice with the Shad, who is contemned in his abundance.

Let Azor rejoice with the Flounder, who is both of the sea and of the river,

Let Sadoc rejoice with the Bleak, who playeth upon the surface in the Sun.

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Faithful In Vanity-Fair

I.

THE great human whirlpool--'t is seething and seething:
On! No time for shrieking out--scarcely for breathing:
All toiling and moiling, some feebler, some bolder,
But each sees a fiend-face grim over his shoulder:
Thus merrily live they in Vanity-fair.

The great human caldron--it boils ever higher:
Some drowning, some sinking; while some, stealing nigher
Athirst, come and lean o'er its outermost verges,
Or touch, as a child's feet touch, timorous, the surges--
One plunge--lo! more souls swamped in Vanity-fair.

Let's live while we live; for to-morrow all's over:
Drink deep, drunkard bold; and kiss close, maddened lover;
Smile, hypocrite, smile; it is no such hard labor,
While each stealthy hand stabs the heart of his neighbor--
Faugh! Fear not: we've no hearts in Vanity-fair.

The mad crowd divides and then soon closes after:
Afar towers the pyre. Through the shouting and laughter
'What new sport is this?' gasps a reveller, half turning.--
'One Faithful, meek fool, who is led to the burning,
He cumbered us sorely in Vanity-fair.

'A dreamer, who held every man for a brother;
A coward, who, smit on one cheek, gave the other;
A fool, whose blind soul took as truth all our lying,
Too simple to live, so best fitted for dying:
Sure, such are best swept out of Vanity-fair.'


II.

SILENCE! though the flames arise and quiver:
Silence! though the crowd howls on forever:
Silence! Through this fiery purgatory
God is leading up a soul to glory.

See, the white lips with no moans are trembling,
Hate of foes or plaint of friends' dissembling;
If sighs come--his patient prayers outlive them,
'Lord--these know not what they do. Forgive them!'

Thirstier still the roaring flames are glowing;
Fainter in his ear the laughter growing;
Brief will last the fierce and fiery trial,
Angel welcomes drown the earth denial.

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V. Count Guido Franceschini

Thanks, Sir, but, should it please the reverend Court,
I feel I can stand somehow, half sit down
Without help, make shift to even speak, you see,
Fortified by the sip of … why, 't is wine,
Velletri,—and not vinegar and gall,
So changed and good the times grow! Thanks, kind Sir!
Oh, but one sip's enough! I want my head
To save my neck, there's work awaits me still.
How cautious and considerate … aie, aie, aie,
Nor your fault, sweet Sir! Come, you take to heart
An ordinary matter. Law is law.
Noblemen were exempt, the vulgar thought,
From racking; but, since law thinks otherwise,
I have been put to the rack: all's over now,
And neither wrist—what men style, out of joint:
If any harm be, 't is the shoulder-blade,
The left one, that seems wrong i' the socket,—Sirs,
Much could not happen, I was quick to faint,
Being past my prime of life, and out of health.
In short, I thank you,—yes, and mean the word.
Needs must the Court be slow to understand
How this quite novel form of taking pain,
This getting tortured merely in the flesh,
Amounts to almost an agreeable change
In my case, me fastidious, plied too much
With opposite treatment, used (forgive the joke)
To the rasp-tooth toying with this brain of mine,
And, in and out my heart, the play o' the probe.
Four years have I been operated on
I' the soul, do you see—its tense or tremulous part—
My self-respect, my care for a good name,
Pride in an old one, love of kindred—just
A mother, brothers, sisters, and the like,
That looked up to my face when days were dim,
And fancied they found light there—no one spot,
Foppishly sensitive, but has paid its pang.
That, and not this you now oblige me with,
That was the Vigil-torment, if you please!
The poor old noble House that drew the rags
O' the Franceschini's once superb array
Close round her, hoped to slink unchallenged by,—
Pluck off these! Turn the drapery inside out
And teach the tittering town how scarlet wears!
Show men the lucklessness, the improvidence
Of the easy-natured Count before this Count,
The father I have some slight feeling for,
Who let the world slide, nor foresaw that friends
Then proud to cap and kiss their patron's shoe,
Would, when the purse he left held spider-webs,
Properly push his child to wall one day!

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If I Could Only Bear My Own Silence

IF I COULD ONLY BEAR MY OWN SILENCE

If I could only bear my own silence
If I could only be quiet and still
If I could only let the world say itself
Without my commentary,

If I could only be wise enough
To know all my words
Vanity of vanity of vanity.

Oh again and again and again
As now
I must say that I am -

But in this world of billions now
And billions more before
And billions more after
Why me?
Why my name?

Vanity of vanities’
All aloud again.

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The Dream Land

I

To think that men of former days
In naked truth deserved the praise
Which, fain to have in flesh and blood
An image of imagined good,
Poets have sung and men received,
And all too glad to be deceived,
Most plastic and most inexact,
Posterity has told for fact;
To say what was, was not as we,
This also is a vanity.

II

Ere Agamemnon, warriors were,
Ere Helen, beauties equalling her,
Brave ones and fair, whom no one knows,
And brave or fair as these or those.
The commonplace whom daily we
In our dull streets and houses see,
To think of other mould than these
Were Cato, Solon, Socrates,
Or Mahomet or Confutze,
This also is a vanity.

III

Hannibal, Cæsar, Charlemain,
And he before, who back on Spain
Repelled the fierce inundant Moor;
Godfrey, St. Louis, wise and pure,
Washington, Cromwell, John, and Paul,
Columbus, Luther, one and all,
Go mix them up, the false and true,
With Sindbad, Crusoe, or St. Preux,
And say as he was, so was he,
This also is a vanity.

IV

Say not: Behold it here or there,
Or on the earth, or in the air.
That better thing than can be seen
Is neither now nor e’er has been;
It is not in this land or that,
But in a place we soon are at,
Where all can seek and some can find,
Where hope is liberal, fancy kind,
And what we wish for we can see,

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The Castle Of Indolence

The castle hight of Indolence,
And its false luxury;
Where for a little time, alas!
We lived right jollily.

O mortal man, who livest here by toil,
Do not complain of this thy hard estate;
That like an emmet thou must ever moil,
Is a sad sentence of an ancient date:
And, certes, there is for it reason great;
For, though sometimes it makes thee weep and wail,
And curse thy star, and early drudge and late;
Withouten that would come a heavier bale,
Loose life, unruly passions, and diseases pale.
In lowly dale, fast by a river's side,
With woody hill o'er hill encompass'd round,
A most enchanting wizard did abide,
Than whom a fiend more fell is no where found.
It was, I ween, a lovely spot of ground;
And there a season atween June and May,
Half prankt with spring, with summer half imbrown'd,
A listless climate made, where, sooth to say,
No living wight could work, ne cared even for play.
Was nought around but images of rest:
Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns between;
And flowery beds that slumbrous influence kest,
From poppies breathed; and beds of pleasant green,
Where never yet was creeping creature seen.
Meantime, unnumber'd glittering streamlets play'd,
And hurled every where their waters sheen;
That, as they bicker'd through the sunny glade,
Though restless still themselves, a lulling murmur made.
Join'd to the prattle of the purling rills
Were heard the lowing herds along the vale,
And flocks loud bleating from the distant hills,
And vacant shepherds piping in the dale:
And, now and then, sweet Philomel would wail,
Or stock-doves plain amid the forest deep,
That drowsy rustled to the sighing gale;
And still a coil the grasshopper did keep;
Yet all these sounds yblent inclined all to sleep.
Full in the passage of the vale, above,
A sable, silent, solemn forest stood;
Where nought but shadowy forms was seen to move,
As Idless fancied in her dreaming mood:
And up the hills, on either side, a wood
Of blackening pines, aye waving to and fro,
Sent forth a sleepy horror through the blood;
And where this valley winded out, below,
The murmuring main was heard, and scarcely heard, to flow.

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The Vanity of All Worldly Things

As he said vanity, so vain say I,
Oh! Vanity, O vain all under sky;
Where is the man can say, "Lo, I have found
On brittle earth a consolation sound"?
What isn't in honor to be set on high?
No, they like beasts and sons of men shall die,
And whilst they live, how oft doth turn their fate;
He's now a captive that was king of late.
What isn't in wealth great treasures to obtain?
No, that's but labor, anxious care, and pain.
He heaps up riches, and he heaps up sorrow,
It's his today, but who's his heir tomorrow?
What then? Content in pleasures canst thou find?
More vain than all, that's but to grasp the wind.
The sensual senses for a time they pleasure,
Meanwhile the conscience rage, who shall appease?
What isn't in beauty? No that's but a snare,
They're foul enough today, that once were fair.
What is't in flow'ring youth, or manly age?
The first is prone to vice, the last to rage.
Where is it then, in wisdom, learning, arts?
Sure if on earth, it must be in those parts;
Yet these the wisest man of men did find
But vanity, vexation of the mind.
And he that know the most doth still bemoan
He knows not all that here is to be known.
What is it then? To do as stoics tell,
Nor laugh, nor weep, let things go ill or well?
Such stoics are but stocks, such teaching vain,
While man is man, he shall have ease or pain.
If not in honor, beauty, age, nor treasure,
Nor yet in learning, wisdom, youth, nor pleasure,
Where shall I climb, sound, seek, search, or find
That summum bonum which may stay my mind?
There is a path no vulture's eye hath seen,
Where lion fierce, nor lion's whelps have been,
Which leads unto that living crystal fount,
Who drinks thereof, the world doth naught account.
The depth and sea have said " 'tis not in me,"
With pearl and gold it shall not valued be.
For sapphire, onyx, topaz who would change;
It's hid from eyes of men, they count it strange.
Death and destruction the fame hath heard,
But where and what it is, from heaven's declared;
It brings to honor which shall ne'er decay,
It stores with wealth which time can't wear away.
It yieldeth pleasures far beyond conceit,
And truly beautifies without deceit.
Nor strength, nor wisdom, nor fresh youth shall fade,
Nor death shall see, but are immortal made.

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The Interpretation of Nature and

I.

MAN, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature: beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.


II.

Neither the naked hand nor the understanding left to itself can effect much. It is by instruments and helps that the work is done, which are as much wanted for the understanding as for the hand. And as the instruments of the hand either give motion or guide it, so the instruments of the mind supply either suggestions for the understanding or cautions.

III.

Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.

IV.

Towards the effecting of works, all that man can do is to put together or put asunder natural bodies. The rest is done by nature working within.

V.

The study of nature with a view to works is engaged in by the mechanic, the mathematician, the physician, the alchemist, and the magician; but by all (as things now are) with slight endeavour and scanty success.

VI.

It would be an unsound fancy and self-contradictory to expect that things which have never yet been done can be done except by means which have never yet been tried.

VII.

The productions of the mind and hand seem very numerous in books and manufactures. But all this variety lies in an exquisite subtlety and derivations from a few things already known; not in the number of axioms.

VIII.

Moreover the works already known are due to chance and experiment rather than to sciences; for the sciences we now possess are merely systems for the nice ordering and setting forth of things already invented; not methods of invention or directions for new works.

IX.

The cause and root of nearly all evils in the sciences is this -- that while we falsely admire and extol the powers of the human mind we neglect to seek for its true helps.

X.

The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding; so that all those specious meditations, speculations, and glosses in which men indulge are quite from the purpose, only there is no one by to observe it.

XI.

As the sciences which we now have do not help us in finding out new works, so neither does the logic which we now have help us in finding out new sciences.

XII.

The logic now in use serves rather to fix and give stability to the errors which have their foundation in commonly received notions than to help the search after truth. So it does more harm than good.

XIII.

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