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

Page 30

Edmund Spenser. (1552?–1599) (continued)
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!
          Mother Hubberds Tale. Line 895.
    What more felicitie can fall to creature
Than to enjoy delight with libertie,
And to be lord of all the workes of Nature,
To raine in th’ aire from earth to highest skie,
To feed on flowres and weeds of glorious feature.
          Muiopotmos: or, The Fate of the Butterflie. Line 209.
    I hate the day, because it lendeth light
To see all things, but not my love to see.
          Daphnaida, v. 407.
    Tell her the joyous Time will not be staid,
Unlesse she doe him by the forelock take. 2
          Amoretti, lxx.
    I was promised on a time
To have reason for my rhyme;
From that time unto this season,
I received nor rhyme nor reason. 3
          Lines on his Promised Pension. 4
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]
Note 2.
Take Time by the forelock.—Thales (of Miletus). 636–546 B. C. [back]
Note 3.
Rhyme nor reason.—Pierre Patelin, quoted by Tyndale in 1530. Farce du Vendeur des Lieures, sixteenth century. George Peele: Edward I. William Shakespeare: As You Like It, act iii. sc. 2; Merry Wives of Windsor, act v. sc. 5; Comedy of Errors, act ii. sc. 2.

Sir Thomas More advised an author, who had sent him his manuscript to read, “to put it in rhyme.” Which being done, Sir Thomas said, “Yea, marry, now it is somewhat, for now it is rhyme; before it was neither rhyme nor reason.” [back]
Note 4.
Thomas Fuller: Worthies of England, vol ii. p. 379. [back]