Francis Quarles

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The world's an Inn; and I her guest.

Francis Quarles (baptised May 8 1592, died September 8 1644) was a prolific English prose-writer and poet. He is now best known for his Emblems (1638) and other moral and devotional verse.

Quotes[edit]

  • No man is born unto himself alone;
    Who lives unto himself, he lives to none.
    • Esther (1621), Sec. 1, Meditation 1.
  • The way to bliss lies not on beds of down,
    And he that has no cross deserves no crown.
    • Esther (1621), Sec. 9, Meditation 9.
  • Shine Son of glory, and my sinnes are gone
    Like twinkling Starres before the rising Sunne.
    • The Authour's Dreame (1629).
  • Even such is man, whose glory lends
    His life a blaze or two, and ends.
    • Hos ego versiculos (1629).
  • He that loves thee, He that keeps
    And guards thee, never slumbers, never sleeps.
    • Good Night (1632).
  • My soul, sit thou a patient looker-on;
    Judge not the play before the play is done:
    Her plot hath many changes; every day
    Speaks a new scene; the last act crowns the play.
    • Epigram. Respice Finem (1635).
  • Thou art my life, my way, my light
    • Why dost thou Shade thy Lovely Face? (1635).
  • Let the fear of a danger be a spur to prevent it: He that fears otherwise, gives advantage to the danger.
    • Enchiridion (1640).
  • Anger, when it is long in coming, is the stronger when it comes, and the longer kept.
    • Enchiridion (1640).
  • And what's a life? A weary pilgrimage,
    Whose glory in one day doth fill the stage
    With childhood, manhood, and decrepit age.
    • What Is Life.
  • Let all thy joys be as the month of May
    And all thy days be as a marriage day:
    Let sorrow, sickness, and a troubled mind
    Be stranger to thee.
    • To a Bride.
  • The world's an Inn; and I her guest.
    • On the World.
  • Death aims with fouler spite
    At fairer marks.
    • Divine Poems (ed. 1669). Compare: "Death loves a shining mark, a signal blow", Edward Young, Night Thoughts, night v. line 1011.
  • In having all things, and not Thee, what have I?
    Not having Thee, what have my labors got?
    Let me enjoy but Thee, what farther crave I?
    And having Thee alone, what have I not?
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 609.

Emblems (1635)[edit]

  • This house is to be let for life or years;
    Her rent is sorrow, and her income tears.
    Cupid, 't has long stood void; her bills make known,
    She must be dearly let, or let alone.
    • Book I, no. 10, Epigram 10.
  • Sweet Phosphor, bring the day
    Whose conquering ray
    May chase these fogs;
    Sweet Phosphor, bring the day!

    Sweet Phosphor, bring the day!
    Light will repay
    The wrongs of night;
    Sweet Phosphor, bring the day!
    • Book I, no. 14.
  • We spend our midday sweat, our midnight oil;
    We tire the night in thought, the day in toil.
    • Book II, no. 2.
  • Be wisely worldly, be not worldly wise.
    • Book II, no. 2.
  • This house is to be let for life or years;
    Her rent is sorrow, and her income tears.
    Cupid, 't has long stood void; her bills make known,
    She must be dearly let, or let alone.
    • Book II, no. 10, Epigram.
  • The slender debt to Nature's quickly paid,
    Discharged, perchance, with greater ease than made.
    • Book II, no. 13. Compare: "To die is a debt we must all of us discharge", Euripides, Alcestis, line 418.
  • The road to resolution lies by doubt:
    The next way home's the farthest way about.
    • Book IV, no. 2, Epigram.
  • The next way home's the farthest way about.
    • Book IV, no. 2, Epigram 2. Compare: "The longest way round is the shortest way home", Bohn, Foreign Proverbs (Italian).
  • It is the lot of man but once to die.
    • Book V, no. 7.

External links[edit]

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