John Denham, fully Sir John Denham

Denham, fully Sir John Denham

English Poet and Courtier, Surveyor of the King's Works

Author Quotes

From Egypt arts their progress made to Greece, wrapped in the fable of the golden fleece.

Rashness and haste make all things insecure.

When any great design thou dost intend, think on the means, the manner, and the end.

Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.

Scaliger, comparing the two orators, says that nothing can be taken from Demosthenes nor added to Tully.

When by a pardoned murderer blood is spilt, the judge that pardoned hath the greatest guilt.

I kept on digging the hole deeper and deeper looking for the treasure chest until I finally lifted my head, looked up and realized that I had dug my own grave.

Search not to find things too deeply hid; nor try to know things whose knowledge is forbid.

When wealthy, show thy wisdom not to be to wealth a servant, but make wealth serve thee.

If a heathen philosopher brings up arguments from reason, which none of our atheistical sophisters can confute, for the immortality of the soul, I hope they will so weigh the consequences as neither to talk nor live as if there was no such thing.

So few translations deserve praise, that I scarce ever saw any which deserved pardon.

Who fears not to do ill fears the name, And free from conscience, is a slave to fame.

In age to wish for youth is full as vain as far a youth to turn a child again.

Such was the force of his eloquence, to make the hearers more concerned than h he that spake.

Whosoever offers at verbal translation shall have the misfortune of that young traveller who lost his own language abroad, and brought home no other instead of it.

Man's that savage beast whose mind, from reason to self-love declined, delights to prey upon his kind.

Sure there are poets which did never dream Upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream Of Helicon; we therefore may suppose Those made not poets, but the poets those.

You prove but too clearly that seeking to know Is too frequently learning to doubt.

More in prosperity is reason tost than ships in storms, their helms and anchors lost.

Thames, the most loved of all the Ocean’s sons, By his old sire, to his embraces runs, Hasting to pay his tribute to the Sea, Like mortal life to meet eternity.

Youth, what man's age is like to be, doth show We may our ends by our beginnings know.

Night was our friend, our leader was Despair.

The age, wherein he lived was dark; but he could not want sight, who taught the world to see.

Nor ought a genius less than his that writ attempt translation.

The harmony of things, as well as that of sound, from discord springs.

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Denham, fully Sir John Denham
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English Poet and Courtier, Surveyor of the King's Works