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

271 Edmund Spenser 1552?-1599 John Bartlett

AUTHOR:Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
QUOTATION:Full little knowest thou that hast not tride,
What hell it is in suing long to bide:
To loose good dayes, that might be better spent;
To wast long nights in pensive discontent;
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow;
To feed on hope, to pine with feare and sorrow.
     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
To fret thy soule with crosses and with cares;
To eate thy heart through comfortlesse dispaires; 1
To fawne, to crowche, to waite, to ride, to ronne,
To spend, to give, to want, to be undonne.
Unhappie wight, borne to desastrous end,
That doth his life in so long tendance spend!
ATTRIBUTION:Mother Hubberds Tale. Line 895.
Note 1.
Eat not thy heart; which forbids to afflict our souls, and waste them with vexatious cares.—Plutarch: Of the Training of Children.

But suffered idleness
To eat his heart away.
Bryant: Homer’s Iliad, book i. line 319. [back]