Sir William Davenant

1606 - 1668

A Quote by Sir William Davenant on abuse and wit

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It is the wit and policy of sin to hate those we have abused.

Sir William Davenant (1606 - 1668)

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A Quote by Sir William Davenant on beauty, blindness, death, doubt, knowledge, life, love, lovers, philosophy, poets, sorrow, and time

To a Mistress Dying Lover. YOUR beauty, ripe and calm and fresh As eastern summers are, Must now, forsaking time and flesh, Add light to some small star. Philosopher. Whilst she yet lives, were stars decay'd, Their light by hers relief might find; But Death will lead her to a shade Where Love is cold and Beauty blind. Lover. Lovers, whose priests all poets are, Think every mistress, when she dies, Is changed at least into a star: And who dares doubt the poet wise? Philosopher. But ask not bodies doom'd to die To what abode they go; Since Knowledge is but Sorrow's spy, It is not safe to know.

Sir William Davenant (1606 - 1668)

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A Quote by Sir William Davenant on knowledge and sorrow

Since knowledge is but sorrow's spy, It is not safe to know.

Sir William Davenant (1606 - 1668)

Source: The Just Italian. Act v. Sc. 1.

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A Quote by Sir William Davenant

For angling-rod he took a sturdy oake; For line, a cable that in storm ne'er broke; His hooke was such as heads the end of pole To pluck down house ere fire consumes it whole; The hook was baited with a dragon's tale,- And then on rock he stood to bob for whale.

Sir William Davenant (1606 - 1668)

Source: Britannia Triumphans. Page 15. 1637.

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A Quote by Sir William Davenant on beauty, dawn, day, and seasons

Aubade THE lark now leaves his wat'ry nest, And climbing shakes his dewy wings. He takes this window for the East, And to implore your light he sings- Awake, awake! the morn will never rise Till she can dress her beauty at your eyes. The merchant bows unto the seaman's star, The ploughman from the sun his season takes, But still the lover wonders what they are Who look for day before his mistress wakes. Awake, awake! break thro' your veils of lawn! Then draw your curtains, and begin the dawn!

Sir William Davenant (1606 - 1668)

Source: Aubade

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A Quote by Sir William Davenant on death

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I shall ask leave to desist, when I am interrupted by so great an experiment as dying.

Sir William Davenant (1606 - 1668)

Source: Apology for not finishing Gondibert due to illness.

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A Quote by Sir William Davenant on heroism, liberty, pleasure, and poets

How much pleasure they lose (and even the pleasures of heroic poesy are not unprofitable) who take away the liberty of a poet, and fetter his feet in the shackles of a historian.

Sir William Davenant (1606 - 1668)

Source: Letter from S. T. Coleridge to Thomas Hobbes, Biographia Literaria, 1817.

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A Quote by Sir William Davenant on blush, design, god, heaven, interest, losing, men, praise, prayer, rest, sacrifice, and world

Praise and Prayer PRAISE is devotion fit for mighty minds, The diff'ring world's agreeing sacrifice; Where Heaven divided faiths united finds: But Prayer in various discord upward flies. For Prayer the ocean is where diversely Men steer their course, each to a sev'ral coast; Where all our interests so discordant be That half beg winds by which the rest are lost. By Penitence when we ourselves forsake, 'Tis but in wise design on piteous Heaven; In Praise we nobly give what God may take, And are, without a beggar's blush, forgiven.

Sir William Davenant (1606 - 1668)

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A Quote by Sir William Davenant on men and soul

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The assembled souls of all that men held wise.

Sir William Davenant (1606 - 1668)

Source: Gondibert, Book ii. Canto v. Stanza 37.

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