Careful Words

devotion (n.)

  For "ignorance is the mother of devotion," as all the world knows.

Robert Burton (1576-1640): Anatomy of Melancholy. Part iii. Sect. 4, Memb. 1, Subsect. 2.

Your ignorance is the mother of your devotion to me.

John Dryden (1631-1701): The Maiden Queen. Act i. Sc. 2.

  The almighty dollar, that great object of universal devotion throughout our land, seems to have no genuine devotees in these peculiar villages.

Washington Irving (1783-1859): The Creole Village.

  The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward for evermore.

John Adams (1735-1826): Letter to Mrs. Adams, July 3, 1776.

As down in the sunless retreats of the ocean

Sweet flowers are springing no mortal can see,

So deep in my soul the still prayer of devotion,

Unheard by the world, rises silent to Thee.

As still to the star of its worship, though clouded,

The needle points faithfully o'er the dim sea,

So dark when I roam in this wintry world shrouded,

The hope of my spirit turns trembling to Thee.

Thomas Moore (1779-1852): The Heart's Prayer.

The desire of the moth for the star,

Of the night for the morrow,

The devotion to something afar

From the sphere of our sorrow.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822): One Word is too often profaned.