Careful Words

mercury (n.)

Love seldom haunts the breast where learning lies,

And Venus sets ere Mercury can rise.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): The Wife of Bath. Her Prologue. Line 369.

I saw young Harry, with his beaver on,

His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm'd,

Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury,

And vaulted with such ease into his seat

As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,

To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus

And witch the world with noble horsemanship.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Henry IV. Part I. Act iv. Sc. 1.

Look here, upon this picture, and on this,

The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.

See, what a grace was seated on this brow:

Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;

An eye like Mars, to threaten and command;

A station like the herald Mercury

New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill,—

A combination and a form indeed,

Where every god did seem to set his seal,

To give the world assurance of a man.

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

  The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Love's Labour's Lost. Act v. Sc. 2.