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And tulips, children love to stretch
Their fingers down, to feel in each
Its beauty's sweet nearer.
- A Flower in a Letter [Tulips]
Deep violets, you liken to
The kindest eyes that look on you,
Without a thought disloyal.
- A Flower in a Letter [Violets]
Pansies for ladies all--(I wis
That none who wear such brooches miss
A jewel in the mirror).
- A Flower in a Letter [Pansies]
And thus, what can we do,
Poor rose and poet too,
Who both antedate our mission
In an unprepared season?
- A Lay of the Early Rose [Roses]
"For if I wait," said she,
"Till time for roses be,--
For the moss-rose and the musk-rose,
Maiden-blush and royal-dusk rose,--
"What glory then for me
In such a company?--
Roses plenty, roses plenty
And one nightingale for twenty?"
- A Lay of the Early Rose [Roses]
Yet half the beast is the great god Pan,
To laugh, as he sits by the river,
Making a poet out of a man.
The true gods sigh for the cost and the pain--
For the reed that grows never more again
As a reed with the reeds of the river.
- A Musical Instrument [Music]
There, Shakespeare, on whose forehead climb
The crowns o' the world. Oh, eyes sublime
With tears and laughter for all time.
- A Vision of Poets [Shakespeare]
Life treads on life, and heart on heart;
We press too close in church and mart
To keep a dream or grave apart.
- A Vision of Poets (conclusion) [Destiny]
World's use is cold, world's love is vain,
World's cruelty is bitter bane;
But pain is not the fruit of pain.
- A Vision of Poets (st. 146) [Pain]
Knowledge by suffering entereth,
And life is perfected by Death.
- A Vision of Poets--Conclusion [Suffering]
The place is all awave with trees,
Limes, myrtles, purple-beaded,
Acacias having drunk the lees
Of the night-dew, fain headed,
And wan, grey olive-woods, which seem
The fittest foliage for a dream.
- An Island [Trees]
For poets (bear the word)
Half-poets even, are still whole democrats.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. 4) [Democracy]
And stroke with listless hand
The woodbine through the window, till at last
I came to do it with a sort of love.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. I) [Woodbines]
The beauty seems right
By force of beauty, and the feeble wrong
Because of weakness.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. I) [Beauty]
Whoever lives true life, will love true love.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. I, l. 1,096) [Love]
By the way,
The works of women are symbolical.
We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull out sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you're weary--or a stool
To tumble over and vex you . . . curse that stool!
Or else at best, a cushion where you lean
And sleep, and dream of something we are not,
But would be for your sake. Alas, alas!
This hurts most, this . . . that, after all, we are paid
The worth of our work, perhaps.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. I, l. 465) [Work]
The way to rear up children (to be just);
They know a simple, merry, tender knack
Of tying sashes, fitting baby-shoes,
And stringing pretty words that make no sense,
And kissing full sense into empty words;
Which things are corals to cut life upon,
Although such trifles.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. I, l. 48) [Childhood]
We get no good
By being ungenerous, even to a book,
And calculating profits--so much help
By so much reading. It is rather when
We gloriously forget ourselves, and plunge
Soul-forward, headlong, into a book's profound,
Impassioned for its beauty, and salt of truth--
'Tis then we get the right good from a book.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. I, l. 700) [Books]
Capacity for joy
- Aurora Leigh (bk. I, l. 703) [Joy]
Many a crown
Covers bald foreheads.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. I, l. 754) [Royalty]
Books, books, books!
I had found the secret of a garret room
Piled high with cases in my father's name;
Piled high, packed large,--where, creeping in and out
Among the giant fossils of my past,
Like some small nimble mouse between the ribs
Of a mastodon, I nibbled here and there
At this or that box, pulling through the gap,
In heats of terror, haste, victorious joy,
The first book first. And how I felt it beat
Under my pillow, in the morning's dark,
An hour before the sun would let me read!
At last, because the time was ripe,
I chanced upon the poets.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. I, l. 830) [Books]
Is like a prayer--with God.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. II) [Prayer : Wishes]
God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers,
And thrusts the thing we have prayed for in our face,
A gauntlet with a gift in 't.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. II) [Prayer]
Nor myrtle--which means chiefly love: and love
Is something awful which one dare not touch
So early o' mornings.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. II) [Myrtle]
That headlong ivy! not a leaf will grow
But thinking of a wreath, . . .
I like such ivy; bold to leap a height
'Twas strong to climb! as good to grow on graves
As twist about a thyrsus; pretty too
(And that's not ill) when twisted round a comb.
- Aurora Leigh (bk. II) [Ivy]
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