Careful Words

moment (n.)

moment (adv.)

moment (adj.)

But who, if he be called upon to face

Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined

Great issues, good or bad for humankind,

Is happy as a lover.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850): Character of the Happy Warrior.

Live while you live, the epicure would say,

And seize the pleasures of the present day;

Live while you live, the sacred preacher cries,

And give to God each moment as it flies.

Lord, in my views, let both united be:

I live in pleasure when I live to thee.

Philip Doddridge (1702-1751): Epigram on his Family Arms.

Catch, then, oh catch the transient hour;

Improve each moment as it flies!

Life's a short summer, man a flower;

He dies—alas! how soon he dies!

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784): Winter. An Ode.

  But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day, and the race a life.

Benjamin Disraeli (Earl Beaconsfield) (1805-1881): Sybil. Book i. Chap. ii.

Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,

Loyal and neutral, in a moment?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Macbeth. Act ii. Sc. 3.

To be, or not to be: that is the question:

Whether 't is nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep:

No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heartache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to,—'t is a consummation

Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub:

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause: there's the respect

That makes calamity of so long life;

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,

The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,

The insolence of office and the spurns

That patient merit of the unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscover'd country from whose bourn

No traveller returns, puzzles the will

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;

And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,

And enterprises of great pith and moment

With this regard their currents turn awry,

And lose the name of action.

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

Alas! how little can a moment show

Of an eye where feeling plays

In ten thousand dewy rays:

A face o'er which a thousand shadows go!

William Wordsworth (1770-1850): The Triad.

Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,

In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;

Some great cause, God's new Messiah offering each the bloom or blight,

Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right;

And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891): The Present Crisis.

  The charging of his enemy was but the work of a moment.

Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616): Don Quixote. Part i. Book i. Chap. viii.