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NATHANIEL PARKER WILLIS
American poet, essayist, journalist and dramatist
(1806 - 1867)
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A flirt is like a dipper attached to a hydrant; every one is at liberty to drink from it, but no one desires to carry it away.
      - [Coquette]

A lamp is lit in woman's eye; that souls, else lost on earth, remember angels by.
      - [Eyes]

Ah me! the world is full of meetings such as this,--a thrill, a voiceless challenge and reply, and sudden partings after!
      - [Meeting]

As expressive as the face.
      - [Hand]

Content dwells with him, for his mind is fed,
  And temperance has driven out unrest.
      - [Contentment]

Fine taste is an aspect of genius itself, and is the faculty of delicate appreciation, which makes the best effects of art our own.
      - [Taste]

Flirtation is a circulating library, in which we seldom ask twice for the same volume.
      - [Flirting]

Gentleness is the great point to be obtained in the study of manners.
      - [Politeness]

He led on; but thoughts
  Seem'd gathering round which troubled him. The veins
    Grew visible upon his swarthy brow,
      And his proud lip was press'd as if with pain.
        He trod less firmly; and his restless eye
          Glanc'd forward frequently, as if some ill
            He dared not meet were there.
      - [Danger]

Her closed lips were delicate as the tinted penciling of veins upon a flower; and on her cheek the timid blood, had faintly melted through, like something that was half afraid of light.
      - [Face]

Her luxuriant hair,--it was like the sweep of a swift wing in visions!
      - [Hair]

His eye was blue and calm, as is the sky
  In the serenest noon.
      - [Eyes]

I have unlearned contempt; it is a sin that is engendered earliest in the soul, and doth beset it like a poison worm feeding on all its beauty.
      - [Contempt]

-----I have won
  Thy heart, my gentle girl! but it hath been
    When that soft eye was on me; and the love I told beneath the evening influence,
      Shall be as constant as its gentle star.
      - [Constancy]

I knelt, and with the fervor of a lip unused to the cool breath of reason, told my love.
      - [Courtship]

I love to go and mingle with the young
  In the gay festal room--when every heart
    Is beating faster than the merry tune,
      And their blue eyes are restless, and their lips
        Parted with eager joy, and their round cheeks
          Flush'd with the beautiful motion of the dance.
      - [Dancing]

I'm weary of my lonely but
  And of its blasted tree,
    The very lake is like my lot,
      So silent constantly--
        I've liv'd amid the forest gloom
          Until I almost fear--
            When will the thrilling voices come
              My spirit thirsts to hear?
      - [Country]

If e'er I win a parting token,
  'Tis something that has lost its power--
    A chain that has been used and broken,
      A ruin'd glove, a faded flower;
        Something that makes my pleasure less,
          Something that means--forgetfulness.
      - [Forgetfulness]

If there is anything that keeps the mind open to angel visits, and repels the ministry of ill, it is human love.
      - [Affection]

In comparing men and books, one must always remember this important distinction,--that one can put the books down at anytime. As Macaulay says, "Plato is never sullen, Cervantes is never petulant, Demosthenes never comes unseasonably, Dante never stays too long."
      - [Books]

It is godlike to unloose the spirit, and forget yourself in thought.
      - [Thought]

It is not the fear of death
  That damps my brow;
    It is not for another breath
      I ask thee now;
        I could die with a lip unstirred.
      - paraphrase of Andre's letter to Washington
        [Death]

It was Dean Swift who ignored the bill of fare, and asked for a bill of the company.
      - [Diet]

Like Melrose Abbey, large cities should especially be viewed by moonlight.
      - [Cities]

Maturity is most rapid in the low latitudes, where pineapples and women most do thrive.
      - [Precocity]


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