Home  »  A Dictionary of Similes  »  Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Frank J. Wilstach, comp. A Dictionary of Similes. 1916.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Absolute as the art which built the Parthenon.

As absurd as for an epic poet to disdain the composition of a perfect epigram, or a consummate musician the melody of a faultless song.

Agree like a bell and its clapper.

Antique as the statues of the Greeks.

Bashful as a maid.

Beautiful as Absalom.

Bend on me thy tender eyes,
As stars look on the sea.

Blazed like a sun over the startled East.

Blind as fortune.

Blushing like a sea-shell.

Boundless as the ocean.

Bright, like a flash of sunlight.

Brooded … like a hen over a chalk egg.

Cheeks full and swollen, like a ploughboy’s.

Clear as a commonplace.

His projects are clear to my eyes; clear as if he dwelt in glass.

Colorless as a statue.

Individual concessions are like political, when you once begin, there is no saying where you will stop.

Contagious, like the gladness of a happy child.

Cower and shrink as Pariah before Brahma.

He crouched as the panther crouches for its deadly spring.

Crumpled … like a creditor’s unwelcome bill.

Curse away!
And let me tell thee, Beauseant, a wise proverb
The Arabs have,—“Curses are like young chickens,
And still come home to roost.”

As dead to the life I once lived as if the Styx rolled between it and me.

As dead to you as the dust of your fathers.

Deadly as the viper of Sumatra.

Dim … as in a dream.

Distort one’s features like a paralytic stroke.

Earnest as a seer who invokes the dead.

Easily as a nurse leads a docile child.

Elastic as all flesh.

Eyes like the summer’s light blue sky.

Beautiful eyes in the face of a handsome woman are like eloquence to speech.

Faithful as wax to one settled impression.

Fantastic … as the sports of a Naiad.

Firm in his sinew as the hind leg of a stag.

Fled from his thoughts like a sickly dream.

Flitted … fitfully as an April sunbeam.

Flutter … like sparrows round an owl.

Formal and precise, like rooms which we enter and leave, not those in which we settle and dwell.

Free and winding as a poet’s thought through his verse.

As glibly as a top kept in vivacious movement by the perpetual application of the lash.

As good as a show.

Happy as the kine in the fields.

Our ideas, like orange-plants, spread out in proportion to the size of the box which imprisons the roots.

Idle as the stroke of a cane on the hide of rhinoceros.

Impassable, as the veil of the Image of Sais.

Impressionable as an Æolian harp to the rise or fall of a passing wind.

Irresistible as the needle to the pole.

Kind as cream.

Knowledge is like capital: the more there is in a country, the greater the disparities in wealth between one man and another.

Lips with such sweetness in their honeyed deeps
As fills the rose in which the fairy sleeps.

As lone as a churchyard.

Long as an epic.

Face as long as an undertaker’s.

Love, like death, levels all ranks and lays the shepherd’s crook beside the sceptre.

Love’s very much like bathing. At first we go souse to the bottom, if we’re not drowned, then we gather pluck, grow calm, strike out gently, and make a deal pleasanter thing of it afore we’re done.

Man is like a book … the commonality only look to his binding.

Mild as an English summer lingering on the brink of autumn.

Misfortunes are like the creations of Cadmus, they destroy one another.

Mutely as birds skim through air.

Fine natures are like fine poems,—a glance at the first two lines suffices for a guess into the beauty that waits you if you read on.

A novel, like a bundle of wood, the more fagots it contains the greater its value.

Old as Paradise.

Oratory, like the drama, abhors lengthiness; like the drama, it must keep doing.

Pale as a spectre.

Patiently as the spider weaves the broken web.

A felicitous pause
A pause as of a thoughtful reasoner.

Like the rainbow,
Peace rests upon the earth, but its arch is lost in heaven.

Pure as the sky.

Rampant, like the split-eagle of the Austrian Empire.

Repose, like that of a sphinx.

Respectable as a long face.

Sacred as a shrine.

Sacred as the crocodiles were to the ancient Egyptians.

Safe as the Bank of England.

Stood severe … like a Greek temple at mid-day in a southern clime.

A pang as sharp as ever wrenched confession from the lips of a prisoner in the cells of the Inquisition.

Shifting as the tints of the rainbow.

Shrewish to a jest as a woman to advice.

Slips on like the lapse of water.

Smooth as a spirit’s wing.

Sobbing, as if the body and soul were torn.

Sober as if he had supped with Diogenes.

Soft as a sofa.

Solemn as despair.

Sound as a rock.

Spreads like fire.

Spreading his hands and all of his fingers, like the threads of a spider’s web.

Sprang like sparks from an anvil.

Steadfast as the light of a diamond.

Stern as Vengeance.

Still as if spell-bound.

Still as the moonbeam.

Stoops like a bow.

Straight to its aim as the aim of the rifle-ball of a Tyrolese.

Strong as the voice of Fate.

Flashed suddenly … as love of youth at first sight.

As bad taste as a wig from the barber’s on the head of a marble statue of Apollo.

Thoughts, like nuns, ought not to go abroad without a veil.

Thoughts, like waves that glide by night, are stillest when they shine.

Tight as a bow-string.

Hang together like bees or Scotchmen.

Trembling like an ague.

Turbulent as a children’s ball at Christmas.

Unbidden as the dews.

Undulating like diluvian billows fixed into stone in the midst of their stormy swell.

Crept stealthily and unseen, like earth-worms to a carcase.

Ever varies, she can pass from gay to severe, from fancy to science—quick as thought passes from the dance of a leaf, from the tint of a rainbow, to the theory of motion, the problem of light.

Vindictive as a parrot.

Watchful as a spider sits in his web.

Watchful as the step of a mother by the couch of her sick child.

Wept like a baffled child.

Welcome as a child left in the haunting dark welcomes the entrance of light.

White as death.

White, as if she lived on blanched almonds.

Legends wild as those culled on shores licked by Hydaspes.

Yawned much as a bored tiger does in the face of a philosophical student of savage manners in the zoölogical gardens.