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JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
American poet
(1819 - 1891)
 << Prev Page    Displaying page 9 of 14    Next Page >> 

Talent is that which is in a man's power! genius is that in whose power a man is.
      - Among My Books.--Rousseau and the Sentimentalists
        [Genius]

But life is sweet, though all that makes it sweet
  Lessen like sound of friends' departing feet;
    And Death is beautiful as feet of friend
      Coming with welcome at our journey's end.
      - An Epistle to George William Curtis
        [Death]

For me Fate gave, whate'er she else denied,
  A nature sloping to the southern side;
    I thank her for it, though when clouds arise
      Such natures double-darken gloomy skies.
      - An Epistle to George William Curtis
         (postscript 1887, l. 53) [Character]

All thoughts that mould the age begin
  Deep down within the primitive soul.
      - An Incident in a Railroad Car [Thought]

It may be glorious to write
  Thoughts that shall glad the two or three
    High souls, like those far stars that come in sight
      Once in a century.
      - An Incident in a Railroad Car [Authorship]

All that hath been majestical
  In life or death, since time began,
    Is native in the simple heart of all,
      The angel heat of man.
      - An Incident in a Railroad Car (st. 10)
        [Character]

What visionary tints the year puts on,
  When falling leaves falter through motionless air
    Or numbly cling and shiver to be gone!
      How shimmer the low flats and pastures bare,
        As with her nectar Hebe Autumn fills
          The bowl between me and those distant hills,
            And smiles and shakes abroad her misty, tremulous hair!
      - An Indian Summer Reverie [Autumn]

O'er yon bare knoll the pointed cedar shadows
  Drowse on the crisp, gray moss.
      - An Indian-Summer Reverie [Cedar]

The ash her purple drops forgivingly
  And sadly, breaking not the general hush;
    The maple swamps glow like a sunset sea,
      Each leaf a ripple with its separate flush;
        All round the wood's edge creeps the skirting blaze,
          Ere the rain falls, the cautious farmer burns his brush.
      - An Indian-Summer Reverie (st. 11) [Ash]

God is not dumb, that he should speak no more;
  If thou hast wanderings in the wilderness
    And find'st not Sinai, 'tis thy soul is poor.
      - Bibliolatres [Religion]

'Twas kin' o' kingdom-come to look
  On sech a blessed cretur.
      - Biglow Papers--Introduction to Second Series--The Courtin'
         (st. 7) [Women]

"What means this glory round our feet,"
  The Magi mused, "more bright than morn!"
    And voices chanted clear and sweet,
      "To-day the Prince of Peace is born."
      - Christmas Carol [Christmas]

Endurance is the crowning quality,
  And patience all the passion of great hearts.
      - Columbus (l. 237) [Character : Patience]

One day with life and heart,
  Is more than time enough to find a world.
      - Columbus (last lines) [World]

Let us be of good cheer, however, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never come.
      - Democracy and Addresses--Democracy
        [Misfortune]

There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat.
      - Democracy and Other Addresses, Democracy
        [Argument]

The Don Quixote of one generation may live to hear himself called the savior of society by the next.
      - Don Quixote [Society]

In life's small things be resolute and great
  To keep thy muscle trained: knowst thou when Fate
    Thy measure takes, or when she'll say to thee,
      "I find thee worthy; do this deed for me?"
      - Epigram [Resolution]

The clear, sweet singer with the crown of snow
  Not whiter than the thoughts that housed below!
      - Epistle to George William Curtis
         (l. 43, postscript) [Poets]

Sincerity is impossible, unless it pervade the whole being, and the pretence of it saps the very foundation of character.
      - Essay on Pope [Sincerity]

Nature fits all her children with something to do,
  He who would write and can't write, can surely review;
    Can set up a small booth as critic and sell us his
      Petty conceit and his pettier jealousies.
      - Fable for Critics [Criticism]

Three-fifths of him genius and two-fifths sheer fudge.
      - Fable for Critics (l. 1,296) [Genius]

There are slave-drivers quietly whipped underground,
  There bookbinders, done up in boards, are fast bound,
    There card-players wait till the last trump be played,
      There all the choice spirits get finally laid,
        There are the babe that's unborn is supplied with a berth,
          There men without legs get their six feet of earth,
            There lawyers repose, each wrapped up in his case,
              There seekers of office are sure of a place,
                There defendant and plaintiff get equally cast,
                  There shoemakers quietly stick to the last.
      - Fable for Critics (l. 1,656) [Graves]

For, of all compositions, he thought the sonnet
  Best repaid all the toil you expended on it.
      - Fable for Critics (l. 368) [Poetry]

He who esteems the Virginia reel
  A bait to draw saints from their spiritual weal,
    And regards the quadrille as a far greater knavery
      Than crushing His African children with slavery,
        Since all who take part in a waltz or cotillon
          Are mounted for hell on the devil's own pillion,
            Who, as every true orthodox Christian well knows,
              Approaches the heart through the door of the toes.
      - Fable for Critics (l. 492) [Dancing]


Displaying page 9 of 14 for this author:   << Prev  Next >>  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10 11 12 13 14

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