Mrs. H.A. Deming spent a year assembling lines from 38 English and American poets into this mosaic verse, published in Current Opinion in 1893: 


Why all this toil for triumphs of an hour? [Young] 
Life’s a short summer–man is but a flower. [Dr. Johnson] 
By turns we catch the fatal breath and die; [Pope] 
The cradle and the tomb, alas! how nigh. [Prior] 
To be better far than not to be, [Sewell] 
Though all man’s life may seem a tragedy; [Spencer] 
But light cares speak when mighty griefs are dumb– [Daniel] 
The bottom is but shallow whence they come. [Sir Walter Raleigh] 
Thy fate is the common fate of all; [Longfellow] 
Unmingled joys here no man befall; [Southwell] 
Nature to each allots his proper sphere, [Congreve] 
Fortune makes folly her peculiar care. [Churchill] 
Custom does often reason overrule, [Rochester] 
And throw a cruel sunshine on a fool. [Armstrong] 
Live well; how long or short permit to Heaven. [Milton] 
They who forgive most shall be most forgiven. [Bailey] 
Sin may be clasped so close we cannot see its face– [French] 
Vile intercourse where virtue has no place; [Somerville] 
Then keep each passion down, however dear, [Thompson] 
Thou pendulum betwixt a smile and tear. [Byron] 
Her sensual snares let faithless pleasure lay, [Smollett] 
With craft and skill to ruin and betray; [Crabbe] 
Soar not too high to fall, but stoop to rise; [Massinger] 
We masters grow of all that we despise. [Crowley] 
Oh, then, renounce that impious self-esteem. [Beattie] 
Riches have wings and grandeur is a dream. [Cowper] 
Think not ambition wise because ’tis brave, [Sir William Davenant] 
The paths of glory lead but to the grave; [Gray] 
What is ambition? ‘Tis a glorious cheat, [Wills] 
Only destructive to the brave and great. [Addison] 
What’s all the gaudy glitter of a crown? [Dryden] 
The way to bliss lies not on beds of down. [Francis Quarles] 
How long we live, not years, but actions tell; [Watkins] 
That man lives twice who lives the first life well. [Herrick] 
Make, then, while yet ye may, your God your friend, [William Mason] 
Whom Christians worship, yet not comprehend. [Hill] 
The trust that’s given guard, and to yourself be just, [Dana] 
For live we how we may, yet die we must. [Shakespeare]

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