Careful Words

birth (n.)

birth (v.)

  Death borders upon our birth, and our cradle stands in the grave.

Bishop Hall (1574-1656): Epistles. Dec. iii. Ep. 2.

  The dew of thy birth is of the womb of the morning.

Book Of Common Prayer: The Psalter. Psalm cx. 3.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The soul that rises with us, our life's star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar.

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory, do we come

From God, who is our home:

Heaven lies about us in our infancy.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850): Ode. Intimations of Immortality. Stanza 5.

While man is growing, life is in decrease;

And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb.

Our birth is nothing but our death begun.

Edward Young (1684-1765): Night Thoughts. Night v. Line 717.

  I assisted at the birth of that most significant word "flirtation," which dropped from the most beautiful mouth in the world.

Earl Of Chesterfield (1694-1773): The World. No. 101.

It faded on the crowing of the cock.

Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes

Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,

The bird of dawning singeth all night long:

And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;

The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,

No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,

So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.

Hark! to the hurried question of despair:

"Where is my child?"—an echo answers, "Where?"

Lord Byron 1788-1824: The Bride of Abydos. Canto ii. Stanza 27.

Soon as the evening shades prevail,

The moon takes up the wondrous tale,

And nightly to the listening earth

Repeats the story of her birth;

While all the stars that round her burn,

And all the planets in their turn,

Confirm the tidings as they roll,

And spread the truth from pole to pole.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719): Ode.

O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies

In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:

For nought so vile that on the earth doth live

But to the earth some special good doth give,

Nor aught so good but strain'd from that fair use

Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:

Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;

And vice sometimes by action dignified.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Romeo and Juliet. Act ii. Sc. 3.

Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,

A youth to fortune and to fame unknown:

Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,

And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.

Thomas Gray (1716-1771): The Epitaph.

I thank the goodness and the grace

Which on my birth have smiled,

And made me, in these Christian days,

A happy Christian child.

Jane Taylor (1783-1824): A Child's Hymn of Praise.

The sunshine is a glorious birth;

But yet I know, where'er I go,

That there hath passed away a glory from the earth.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850): Ode. Intimations of Immortality. Stanza 2.

'T is fortune gives us birth,

But Jove alone endues the soul with worth.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): The Iliad of Homer. Book xx. Line 290.