Busy old fool, unruly Sun, why dost thou thus through windows and through curtains call on us? Must to thy motions lovers seasons run?
—John Donne (1572–1631) English Poet, Cleric
Lovers who love truly do not write down their happiness.
—Anatole France (1844–1924) French Novelist
These two imparadised in one another’s arms, the happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill of bliss on bliss.
—John Milton (1608–74) English Poet, Civil Servant, Scholar, Debater
One can be a soldier without dying, and a lover without sighing.
—Edwin Arnold (1832–1904) English Poet, Journalist, Editor
One who has not only the four S’s, which are required in every good lover, but even the whole alphabet; as for example… Agreeable, Bountiful, Constant, Dutiful, Easy, Faithful, Gallant, Honorable, Ingenious, Kind, Loyal, Mild, Noble, Officious, Prudent, Quiet, Rich, Secret, True, Valiant, Wise; the X indeed, is too harsh a letter to agree with him, but he is Young and Zealous.
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) Spanish Novelist
No one worth possessing can be quite possessed.
—Sara Teasdale (1884–1933) American Poet
There is no pain equal to that which two lovers can inflict on one another. This should be made clear to all who contemplate such a union. The avoidance of this pain is the beginning of wisdom, for it is strong enough to contaminate the rest of our lives.
—Cyril Connolly (1903–74) British Literary Critic, Writer
There’s nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It’s a thing no married man knows anything about.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
One seeks to make the loved one entirely happy, or, if that cannot be, entirely wretched.
—Jean de La Bruyere (1645–96) French Satiric Moralist, Author
In every loving woman there is a priestess of the past—a pious guardian of some affection, of which the object has disappeared.
—Henri Frederic Amiel (1821–81) Swiss Moral Philosopher, Poet, Critic
The more one loves a mistress, the more one is ready to hate her.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
Mistresses are like books; if you pore upon them too much, they doze you and make you unfit for company; but if used discreetly, you are the fitter for conversation by em.
—William Wycherley (c.1640–1716) English Dramatist
A man can go from being a lover to being a stranger in three moves flat but a woman under the guise of friendship will engage in acts of duplicity which come to light very much later. There are different species of self-justification.
—Anita Brookner (1928–2016) English Novelist, Art Historian
Every man needs two women, a quiet home-maker, and a thrilling nymph.
—Iris Murdoch (1919–99) British Novelist, Playwright, Philosopher
The one who loves least controls the relationship.
I would not miss your face, your neck, your hands, your limbs, your bosom and certain other of your charms. Indeed, not to become boring by naming them all, I could do without you, Chloe, altogether.
—Martial (40–104) Ancient Roman Latin Poet
When Death to either shall come—I pray it be first to me.
—Robert Bridges (1844–1930) English Poet, Critic
We that are true lovers run into strange capers.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
Lovers may be—and indeed generally are—enemies, but they never can be friends, because there must always be a spice of jealousy and a something of Self in all their speculations.
—Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron) (1788–1824) English Romantic Poet
A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all. Circumspection and devotion are a contradiction in terms.
—Thomas Hardy (1840–1928) English Novelist, Poet
Pity the selfishness of lovers: it is brief, a forlorn hope; it is impossible.
—Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973) Irish Novelist, Short-story Writer
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety. Other women cloy the appetites they feed, but she makes hungry where most she satisfies.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
A lover, when he is admitted to cards, ought to be solemnly silent, and observe the motions of his mistress. He must laugh when she laughs, sigh when she sighs. In short, he should be the shadow of her mind. A lady, in the presence of her lover, should never want a looking-glass; as a beau, in the presence of his looking-glass, never wants a mistress.
—Henry Fielding (1707–54) English Novelist, Dramatist
There exists, between people in love, a kind of capital held by each. This is not just a stock of affects or pleasure, but also the possibility of playing double or quits with the share you hold in the other’s heart.
—Jean Baudrillard (1929–2007) French Sociologist, Philosopher
An orange on the table, your dress on the rug, and you in my bed, sweet present of the present, cool of night, warmth of my life.
—Jacques Prevert (1900–77) French Poet, Screenwriter
My God, these folks don’t know how to love—that’s why they love so easily.
—D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930) English Novelist, Playwright, Poet, Essayist, Literary Critic
Scratch a lover, and find a foe.
—Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) American Humorist, Journalist
It is a beautiful trait in the lovers character, that they think no evil of the object loved.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
Never the time and the place and the loved one all together!
—Robert Browning (1812–89) English Poet
Lovers should also have their days off.
—Natalie Clifford Barney (1876–1972) American Playwright, Poet, Novelist