Careful Words

lines (v.)

The fineness which a hymn or psalm affords

If when the soul unto the lines accords.

George Herbert (1593-1632): A True Hymn.

One simile that solitary shines

In the dry desert of a thousand lines.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace. Epistle i. Book ii. Line 111.

  The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

Old Testament: Psalm xvi. 6.

But let a lord once own the happy lines,

How the wit brightens! how the style refines!

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Essay on Criticism. Part ii. Line 220.

Whose lines are mottoes of the heart,

Whose truths electrify the sage.

Thomas Campbell (1777-1844): Ode to the Memory of Burns.

  The sagacious reader who is capable of reading between these lines what does not stand written in them, but is nevertheless implied, will be able to form some conception.

Goethe (1749-1832): Autobiography. Book xviii. Truth and Beauty.

Accept a miracle instead of wit,—

See two dull lines with Stanhope's pencil writ.

Edward Young (1684-1765): Lines written with the Diamond Pencil of Lord Chesterfield.

He who hath bent him o'er the dead

Ere the first day of death is fled,—

The first dark day of nothingness,

The last of danger and distress,

Before decay's effacing fingers

Have swept the lines where beauty lingers.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: The Giaour. Line 68.

Where go the poet's lines?

Answer, ye evening tapers!

Ye auburn locks, ye golden curls,

Speak from your folded papers!

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894): The Poet's Lot.