Contrarian verses

“Not to admire, is all the art I know
To make men happy, or to keep them so.”
Thus Pope quotes Horace; but had none admired,
Would Pope have sung, or Horace been inspired?
(These rhymes are clipped from Byron, every line:
For God’s sake, reader! take them not for mine.)

*

I’ll never see nor ever hear
A tree as lovely as Shakespeare,
Nor think that God shall ever make
A tree to rival William Blake.
Not since the tree that wrought Eve’s curse
Have leaves of green matched leaves of verse.

*

If cut worm lives,
It ne’er forgives.

*

What was once proved
Is now only imagin’d.

*

Two Principles in human nature reign;
Reason, to urge, and Self-love, to restrain.

*

What Browning meant I think I see
And understand — yet men there be
Whose grasp exceeds their wildest reach,
Who practice what they dare not preach,
Whose flesh is willing, spite of pride,
And for these, too, I think, Christ died.

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