Careful Words

span (n.)

span (v.)

span (adj.)

Pity the sorrows of a poor old man,

Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door,

Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span;

Oh give relief, and Heaven will bless your store.

Thomas Moss (1740-1808): The Beggar.

Were I so tall to reach the pole,

Or grasp the ocean with my span,

I must be measured by my soul:

The mind's the standard of the man.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748): Horae Lyricae. Book ii. False Greatness.

Whose life is a bubble, and in length a span.

William Browne (1590-1645): Britannia's Pastorals. Book i. Song 2.

The world's a bubble, and the life of man

Less than a span.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): The World.

Spick and span new.

Thomas Middleton (1580-1627): The Family of Love. Act iv. Sc. 3.

While the honour thou hast got

Is spick and span new.

Samuel Butler (1600-1680): Hudibras. Part i. Canto iii. Line 398.

  As they use to say, spick and span new.

Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616): Don Quixote. Part ii. Chap. lviii.

Our days begin with trouble here,

Our life is but a span,

And cruel death is always near,

So frail a thing is man.