"We are all born originals---why is it so many of us die copies?" ---Edward Young, poet (1683-1765), as quoted in A Word a Day by Anu Garg.
And should you have time on your hands, don't miss Young's essay "On Lyrick Poetry" which is filled with such gems as
"bad Poets, that is Poets in general, are esteem'd, and really are the most vain, the most irritable, and most ridiculous Set of men upon earth."
He also calls "the Poetic Clan" "Genus Irritabile among mankind."
However, in my mind, this last quote (which ties into today's admonition against winding up a pale copy of yourself) is the real killer, and it's what I find irresistible in any form of writing, be it novels, poetry or drama:
"It holds true in this Province of writing, as in war, "The more danger, the more honour." lt must be very Enterprising, it must (in Shakespear's Style) have hairbreadth 'Scapes; and often tread the very brink of Error"