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OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, SR.
American author, wit and poet
(1809 - 1894)
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Men, like peaches and pears, grow sweet a little while before they begin to decay.
      - [Age]

Mountains have a grand, stupid, lovable tranquillity.
      - [Mountains]

Nature is in earnest when she makes a woman.
      - [Women]

Not all the pumice of the polish'd town
  Can smooth the roughness of the barnyard clown;
    Rich, honor'd, titled, he betrays his race
      By this one mark--he's awkward in his face.
      - [Awkwardness]

Old books as, you well know, are books of the world's youth, and new books are the fruits of its age.
      - [Books]

One kindly deed may turn
  The fountain of thy soul
    To love's sweet day-star, that shall o'er thee burn
      Long as its currents roll.
      - [Kindness]

One of the greatest pleasures of childhood is found in the mysteries which it hides from the skepticism of the elders, and works up into small mythologies of its own.
      - [Children]

One word can charm all wrongs away,--
  The sacred name of Wife.
      - [Wives]

One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
      - [Learning]

Our brains are seventy year clocks. The Angel of Life winds them up once for all, then closes the case, and gives the key into the hands of the Angel of the Resurrection.
      - [Thought]

Our old mother nature has pleasant and cheery tones enough for us when she comes in her dress of blue and gold over the eastern hill-tops; but when she follows us upstairs to our beds in her suit of black velvet and diamonds, every creak of her sandals and every whisper of her lips is full of mystery and fear.
      - [Nature]

Poetry uses the rainbow tints for special effects, but always keeps its essential object in the purest light of truth.
      - [Poetry]

Poets are never young, in one sense. Their delicate ear hears the far-off whispers of eternity, which coarser souls must travel towards for scores of years before their dull sense is touched by them. A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.
      - [Poets]

Poor conquer'd lion--from that haughty glance
  Still speaks the courage unsubdued by time,
    And in the grandeur of thy sullen tread
      Lives the proud spirit of thy burning clime.
      - [Lions]

Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.
      - [Money]

Scarce one tall frigate walks the sea
  Or skirts the safer shores
    Of all that bore to victory
      Our stout old Commodores.
      - at a dinner given to Admiral Farragut
        [Navy]

Science is a good piece of furniture for a man to have in an upper chamber, provided he has common sense on the ground floor.
      - [Science]

Science--in other words, knowledge--is not the enemy of religion; for, if so, then religion would mean ignorance. But it is often the antagonist of school-divinity.
      - [Science]

Shun such as lounge through afternoons and eves,
  And on thy dial write--"Beware of thieves!"
    Felon of minutes, never taught to feel
      The worth of treasures which thy fingers steal;
        Pick my left pocket of its silver dime,
          But spare the right,--it holds my golden time.
      - [Theft]

Silence! the pride of reason.
      - [Silence]

Simple creatures, whose thoughts are not taken up, like those of educated people, with the care of a great museum of dead phrases, are very quick to see the live facts which are going on about them.
      - [Discernment]

Society is a strong solution of books. It draws the virtue out of what is best worth reading, as hot water draws the strength of tea-leaves.
      - [Society]

Stick to your aim;, the mongrel's hold will slip,
  But only crow-bars loose the bull-dog's lip;
    Small as he looks, the jaw that never yields,
      Drags down the bellowing monarch of the fields.
      - [Perseverance]

Still singing as they shine.
      - [Stars]

Stillness of person and steadiness of features are signal marks of good breeding. Vulgar persons can't sit still, or, at least, they must work their limbs or features.
      - [Quiet]


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