Careful Words

lay (n.)

lay (v.)

lay (adj.)

Go boldly forth, my simple lay,

Whose accents flow with artless ease,

Like orient pearls at random strung.

Sir William Jones (1746-1794): A Persian Song of Hafiz.

Lay her i' the earth:

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh

May violets spring!

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

An old man, broken with the storms of state,

Is come to lay his weary bones among ye:

Give him a little earth for charity!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Henry VIII. Act iv. Sc. 2.

But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,

With his martial cloak around him.

Charles Wolfe (1791-1823): The Burial of Sir John Moore.

To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.

Thomas Gray (1716-1771): The Bard. I. 2, Line 14.

Now I lay me down to take my sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep;

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take.

As aromatic plants bestow

No spicy fragrance while they grow;

But crush'd or trodden to the ground,

Diffuse their balmy sweets around.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774): The Captivity. Act i.

Bring me to the test,

And I the matter will re-word; which madness

Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,

Lay not that flattering unction to your soul.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.

Lay on, Macduff,

And damn'd be him that first cries, "Hold, enough!"

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Macbeth. Act v. Sc. 8.

As she lay, on that day,

In the bay of Biscay, O!

Andrew Cherry (1762-1812): The Bay of Biscay.

Rise up, rise up, Xarifa! lay your golden cushion down;

Rise up! come to the window, and gaze with all the town.

John G. Lockhart (1794-1854): The Bridal of Andalla.