Though the most beautiful creature were waiting for me at the end of a journey or a walk; though the carpet were of silk, the curtains of the morning clouds; the chairs and sofa stuffed with cygnet’s down; the food manna, the wine beyond claret, the window opening on Winander Mere, I should not feel—or rather my happiness would not be so fine, as my solitude is sublime.
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And feel that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;- then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think,
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.
Topics: Death, Dying
Who would wish to be among the commonplace crowd of the little famous—who are each individually lost in a throng made up of themselves?
Wide sea, that one continuous murmur breeds along the pebbled shore of memory!
I cannot exist without you. I am forgetful of everything but seeing you again. My life seems to stop there, I see no further. You have absorb’d me. I ave a sensation at the present moment as though I were dissolving. I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion… I have hudder’d at it… I shudder no more. I could be martyr’d for my religion: Love is my religion. I could die for that. I could die for you. My creed is love, and you are its only tenet. You have ravish’d me away by a power I cannot resist
Topics: Romance, Love
My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk.
Undescribed sounds, that come a-swooning over hollow grounds, and wither drearily on barren moors.
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.
Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterward carefully avoid.
Topics: Failure, Failures, Success & Failure, Mistakes, Difficulties, Adversity
I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.
Let me have music dying, and I seek no more delight.
There is not a fiercer hell than the failure in a great object.
What is more gentle than a wind in summer?
O for the gentleness of old Romance, the simple planning of a minstrel’s song!
O fret not after knowledge—I have none, and yet my song comes native with the warmth. O fret not after knowledge—I have none, and yet the Evening listens.
Are there not thousands in the world who love their fellows even to the death, who feel the giant agony of the world, and more, like slaves to poor humanity, labor for mortal good?
It appears to me that almost any man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy citadel.
My passions are all asleep from my having slumbered till nearly eleven and weakened the animal fiber all over me to a delightful sensation about three degrees on this sight of faintness—if I had teeth of pearl and the breath of lilies I should call it languor—but as I am I must call it laziness. In this state of effeminacy the fibers of the brain are relaxed in common with the rest of the body, and to such a happy degree that pleasure has no show of enticement and pain no unbearable frown. Neither poetry, nor ambition, nor love have any alertness of countenance as they pass by me.
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’—that is all
Ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know.
Away with old Romance! Away with novels, plots and plays of foreign courts; Away with love-verses, sugar’d in rhyme, the intrigues, amours of idlers; Fitted for only banquets of the night where dancers to late music slide; The unhealthy pleasures, ex
Even if I was well – I must make myself as good a Philosopher as possible. Now I have had opportunities of passing nights anxious and awake I have found other thoughts intrude upon me. If I should die, said I to myself, I have left no immortal work behind me – nothing to make my friends proud of my memory – but I have lov’d the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had had time I would have made myself remember’d.
Axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proved upon our pulses: We read fine things but never feel them to the full until we have gone the same steps as the Author.
I shall soon be laid in the quiet grave – thank God for the quiet grave
There’s a blush for won t, and a blush for shan’t, and a blush for having done it: There’s a blush for thought and a blush for naught, and a blush for just begun it.
There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify—so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish.
Topics: Human Nature, Humanity
Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity—it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.
Topics: Art, Poets, Poetry
The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a space of life between, in which the soul is in ferment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted: thence proceeds mawkishness.
Topics: Thrift, Imagination
I would jump down Etna for any public good—but I hate a mawkish popularity.
Knowledge enormous makes a God of me. Names, deeds, gray legends, dire events, rebellions, Majesties, sovran voices, agonies, Creations and destroyings, all at once Pour into the wide hollows of my brain, And deify me, as if some blithe wine Or bright elixir peerless I had drunk, And so become immortal.
Faded the flower and all its budded charms,
Faded the sight of beauty from my eyes,
Faded the shape of beauty from my arms,
Faded the voice, warmth, whiteness, paradise—
Vanish’d unseasonably at shut of eve.
Give me women, wine and snuff Until I cry out hold, enough You may do so san objection Till the day of resurrection; For bless my beard then aye shall be My beloved Trinity.
Souls of Poets dead and gone, What Elysium have ye known, Happy field or mossy cavern, Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern? Have ye tippled drink more fine Than mine hosts Canary wine?
What the imagination seizes as beauty must be the truth.
Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific—and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
Topics: Tourism, Reading, Travel
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
The roaring of the wind is my wife and the stars through the window pane are my children. The mighty abstract idea I have of beauty in all things stifles the more divided and minute domestic happiness.
I always made an awkward bow.
Topics: Last Words
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Arthur Henry Hallam English Essayist, Poet
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti British Poet, Artist
- Edward Lear English Humorist, Illustrator
- Matthew Arnold English Poet, Critic
- Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron) English Romantic Poet
- A. E. Housman English Scholar, Poet
- Leigh Hunt British Author
- John Donne English Poet, Cleric
- John Milton English Poet
- Thomas Hood British Poet, Humorist