James Shirley

(September 1596 – October 1666 / London, England)

Quotations

  • ''Victorious men of earth, no more
    Proclaim how wide your empires are;
    Though you bind in every shore
    And your triumphs reach as far
    As night or day,
    Yet you, proud monarchs, must obey
    And mingle with forgotten ashes, when
    Death calls ye to the crowd of common men.''
    James Shirley (1596-1666), British dramatist. Cupid and Death (l. 23-24). . . Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse, The. H. J. C. Grierson and G. Bullough, eds. (1934) Oxford University Press.
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  • ''The glories of our blood and state
    Are shadows, not substantial things;
    There is no armour against fate;
    Death lays his icy hand on kings:
    Sceptre and crown
    Must tumble down,
    And in the dust be equal made
    With the poor crooked scythe and spade.''
    James Shirley (1596-1666), British dramatist. The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses (l. 1-8). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''Only the actions of the just
    Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.''
    James Shirley (1596-1666), British dramatist. The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses (l. 23-24). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''They stoop to fate,
    And must give up their murmuring breath,
    When they, pale captives, creep to death.''
    James Shirley (1596-1666), British dramatist. The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses (l. 14-16). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.

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The Garden

This Garden does not take my eyes,
Though here you show how art of men
Can purchase Nature at a price
Would stock old Paradise again.

These glories while you dote upon,
I envy not your spring nor pride,
Nay, boast the summer all your own,
My thoughts with less are satisified.

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