Careful Words

verse (n.)

verse (v.)

verse (adj.)

The vision and the faculty divine;

Yet wanting the accomplishment of verse.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850): The Excursion. Book i.

Cheer'd up himself with ends of verse

And sayings of philosophers.

Samuel Butler (1600-1680): Hudibras. Part i. Canto iii. Line 1011.

Cursed be the verse, how well so e'er it flow,

That tends to make one worthy man my foe.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot. Prologue to the Satires. Line 283.

Happy who in his verse can gently steer

From grave to light, from pleasant to severe.

Nicholas Boileau-Despreaux (1636-1711): The Art of Poetry. Canto i. Line 75.

Yet truth will sometimes lend her noblest fires,

And decorate the verse herself inspires:

This fact, in virtue's name, let Crabbe attest,—

Though Nature's sternest painter, yet the best.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. Line 839.

But touch me, and no minister so sore;

Whoe'er offends at some unlucky time

Slides into verse, and hitches in a rhyme,

Sacred to ridicule his whole life long,

And the sad burden of some merry song.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace. Satire i. Book ii. Line 76.

Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows,

And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;

But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,

The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar.

When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,

The line too labours, and the words move slow:

Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,

Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Essay on Criticism. Part ii. Line 166.

And ever against eating cares

Lap me in soft Lydian airs,

Married to immortal verse,

Such as the meeting soul may pierce,

In notes with many a winding bout

Of linked sweetness long drawn out.

John Milton (1608-1674): L'Allegro. Line 135.

Wisdom married to immortal verse.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850): The Excursion. Book vii.

A verse may find him who a sermon flies,

And turn delight into a sacrifice.

George Herbert (1593-1632): The Church Porch.

Your monument shall be my gentle verse,

Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read,

And tongues to be your being shall rehearse

When all the breathers of this world are dead;

You still shall live—such virtue hath my pen—

Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Sonnet lxxxi.

The fatal facility of the octosyllabic verse.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: The Corsair. Preface.

For what is worth in anything

But so much money as 't will bring?

Samuel Butler (1600-1680): Hudibras. Part ii. Canto i. Line 465.

For what is worth in anything

But so much money as 't will bring?

Samuel Butler (1600-1680): Hudibras. Part ii. Canto i. Line 465.

To write a verse or two is all the praise

That I can raise.

George Herbert (1593-1632): Praise.

Verse sweetens toil, however rude the sound;

She feels no biting pang the while she sings;

Nor, as she turns the giddy wheel around,

Revolves the sad vicissitudes of things.

Richard Gifford (1725-1807): Contemplation.

Underneath this sable hearse

Lies the subject of all verse,—

Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother.

Death, ere thou hast slain another,

Learn'd and fair and good as she,

Time shall throw a dart at thee.

Ben Jonson (1573-1637): Epitaph on the Countess of Pembroke.

Waller was smooth; but Dryden taught to join

The varying verse, the full resounding line,

The long majestic march, and energy divine.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace. Epistle i. Book ii. Line 267.

Thy rare gold ring of verse (the poet praised)

Linking our England to his Italy.

Robert Browning (1812-1890): The Ring and the Book. The Pope. Line 873.

My unpremeditated verse.

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book ix. Line 24.

Who says in verse what others say in prose.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace. Epistle i. Book ii. Line 202.

Read Homer once, and you can read no more;

For all books else appear so mean, so poor,

Verse will seem prose; but still persist to read,

And Homer will be all the books you need.

Sheffield, Duke Of Buckinghamshire (1649-1720): Essay on Poetry.