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English poet and writer
(1784 - 1859)
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We lose in depth of expression when we go to inferior animals for comparisons with human beauty. Homer calls Juno ox-eyed; and the epithet suits well with the eyes of that goddess, because she may be supposed, with all her beauty, to want a certain humanity. Her large eyes look at you with a royal indifference.
      - [Eyes]

We must regard all matter as an intrusted secret which we believe the person concerned would wish to be considered as such. Nay, further still, we must consider all circumstances as secrets intrusted which would bring scandal upon another if told.
      - [Secrecy]

We really cannot see what equanimity there is in jerking a lacerated carp out of the water by the jaws, merely because it has not the power of making a noise; for we presume that the most philosophic of anglers would hardly delight in catching shrieking fish.
      - [Angling]

What a soul, twenty fathom deep, in her eyes!
      - [Eyes]

When Goethe says that in every human condition foes lie in wait for us, "invincible only by cheerfulness and equanimity," he does not mean that we can at all times be really cheerful, or at a moment's notice; but that the endeavor to look at the better side of things will produce the habit, and that this habit is the surest safeguard against the danger of sudden is evils.
      - [Cheerfulness]

When moral courage feels that it is in the right, there is no personal daring of which it is incapable.
      - [Courage]

Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good. So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers.
      - [Endurance]

Where the mouth is sweet and the eyes intelligent, there is always the look of beauty, with a right heart.
      - [Beauty]

Words are often things also, and very precious, especially on the gravest occasions. Without "words," and the truth of things that is in them, what were we?
      - [Words]

And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
      - Abou Ben Adhem [Names]

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
  Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And say, within the moonlight in his room,
      Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
        An angel, writing in a book of gold;
          Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
            And to the presence in the room he said--
              "What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head,
                And, with a look made all of sweet accord,
                  Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
      - Abou Ben Adhem and the Angel
        [Dreams : Visions]

Jenny kissed me when we wet,
  Jumping from the chair she sat in;
    Time, you thief, you love to get
      Sweets into your list, put that in.
        Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
          Say that health and wealth have missed me;
            Say I'm growing old, but add
              Jenny kissed me.
      - Jenny Kissed Me,
        ("Jenny" was Mrs. Carlyle) [Kisses]

An exquisite invention this,
  Worthy of Love's most honeyed kiss,--
    This art of writing billet-doux--
      In buds, and odors, and bright hues!
        In saying all one feels and thinks
          In clever daffodils and pinks;
            In puns of tulips; and in phrases,
              Charming for their truth, of daisies.
      - Love-Letters Made of Flowers [Flowers : Post]

Growing one's own choice words and fancies
  In orange tubs, and beds of pansies'
    One's sighs and passionate declarations,
      In odorous rhetoric of carnations.
      - Love-Letters Made of Flowers [Flowers]

There are two worlds, the world that we can measure with line and rule, and the world that we feel with our hearts and imaginations.
      - Men, Women, and Books--Fiction and Matter of Fact

Yon second-hand bookseller is second to none in the worth of the treasures which he dispenses.
      - On the Beneficence of Bookstalls

The closeness of their intercourse [the intercourse of nations] will assuredly render war as absurd and impossible by-and-by, as it would be for Manchester to fight with Birmingham, or Holborn Hill with the Strand.
      - Preface to Poems [War]

We are Lilies fair,
  The flower of virgin light;
    Nature held us forth, and said,
      "Lo! my thoughts of white."
      - Songs and Chorus of the Flowers--Lilies

Central depth of purple,
  Leaves more bright than rose,
    Who shall tell what brightest thought
      Out of darkness grows?
        Who, through what funereal pain,
          Souls to love and peace attain?
      - Songs and Chorus of the Flowers--Poppies

We are slumberous poppies,
  Lords of Lethe downs,
    Some awake and some asleep,
      Sleeping in our crowns.
        What perchance our dreams may know,
          Let our serious may know.
      - Songs and Chorus of the Flowers--Poppies

We are violets blue,
  For our sweetness found
    Careless in the mossy shades,
      Looking on the ground.
        Love's dropp'd eyelids and a kiss,--
          Such our breath and blueness is.
      - Songs and Chorus of the Flowers--Violets

Wild-rose, Sweetbriar, Eglantine,
  All these pretty names are mine,
    And scent in every leaf is mine,
      And a leaf for all is mine,
        And the scent--Oh, that's divine!
          Happy-sweet and pungent fine,
            Pure as dew, and pick'd as wine.
      - Songs and Chrous of the Flowers--Sweetbrier
        [Sweetbrier Roses]

Patience and Gentleness is Power.
      - Sonnet--On a Lock of Milton's Hair [Power]

It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands,
  Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream.
      - Sonnet--The Nile [Nile River]

O scaly, slippery, wet, swift, staring wights,
  What is 't ye do? what life lead? eh, dull goggles?
    How do ye vary your vile days and nights?
      How pass your Sundays? Are ye still but joggles
        In ceaseless wash? Still nought but gapes and bites,
          And drinks, and stares, diversified with boggles.
      - Sonnets--The Fish, the Man, and the Spirit

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