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

Love (Noun)

Love is like the rose: so sweet, that one always tries to gather it in spite of the thorns.

Love is like the sunbeam that gleams through the shower
And kisses off gently the dews from the flower;
That cheers up the blossoms and bids them be gay,
And lends the fragrance that perfumes the day.

Love, like a cough, can’t be hidden.

Love, like fire, cannot subsist without continual movement; as soon as it ceases to hope and fear, it ceases to exist.

Like threads of silver seen through crystal beads let love through good deeds show.
—Edwin Arnold

Love is like the rose,
And a month it may not see,
Ere it withers where it grows.
—Philip James Bailey

In love, a woman is like a lyre that surrenders its secrets only to the hand that knows how to touch its strings.
—Honoré de Balzac

The wrongs of love, like the notes of a solvent debtor, bear interest.
—Honoré de Balzac

Love is like youth, he thirsts,
He scorns to be his mother’s page;
But when the proceeding times assuage
The former heate, he will complaine,
And wish those pleasant houres againe.
—Francis Beaumont

Luv is like the measles, one kant alwus tell when one ketched it and ain’t ap tew hav it severe but onst, and then it ain’t kounted much unless it strikes inly.
—Josh Billings

Love is like the wild rose-briar;
Friendship like the holly-tree.
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms,
But which will bloom most constantly?
The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again,
And who will call the wild-briar fair?
Then, scorn the silly rose-wreath now,
And deck thee with the holly’s sheen,
That, when December blights thy brow
He still may leave thy garland green.
—Emily Brontë

Women’s love, like lichens on a rock, will still grow where even charity can find no soil to nurture itself.
—C. N. Bovée

Love, like death, levels all ranks and lays the shepherd’s crook beside the sceptre.
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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.
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Oh, my luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
Oh, my luve is like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
—Robert Burns

Love is increased by injuries, as the Sunbeams are more gracious after a cloud.
—Robert Burton

As the Sun is in the Firmament, so is Love in the world.
—Robert Burton

Love is a fire that burns and sparkles
In men as naturally as in charcoals.
—Samuel Butler

All love at first, like generous wine,
Ferments and frets, until ’tis fine;
But when ’tis settled on the lye,
And from the impurer matter free,
Becomes the richer still, the older,
And proves the pleasanter, the colder.
—Samuel Butler

Love-passions are like parables, by which men still mean something else.
—Samuel Butler

Love in your heart as idly burns
As fire in antique Roman urns.
—Samuel Butler

Love, like the cold bath, is never negative, it seldom leaves us where it finds us; if once we plunge into it, it will either heighten our virtues or inflame our vices.
—C. C. Colton

Love, like death, a universal leveller of mankind.
—William Congreve

Love, like a greedy hawk, if we give way,
Does over-gorge himself with his own prey.
—Abraham Cowley

Love, like a scene, at distance should appear,
But marriage views the gross daubed landscape near.
—John Dryden

Love, like fire, when once kindled, is soon blown into a flame.
—Henry Fielding

Look as it is with some true April day,
Whose various weather stores the world with flowers;
The sun his glorious beams doth fair display,
Then rains and shines again, and straight it lowers,
And twenty changes in one hour doth prove;
So, and more changing is a woman’s love.
—Phineas Fletcher

Love is most like an owl that cannot fly, though wings he has, and lurks in every hole. Beware of him; the villain, old in sin, shuns the front door, and by the back comes in.
—Theofilo Folengo

Love like a little bird is made, that hops about from bough to bough:
Into my bosom it has strayed and at my heart is pecking now.
—Carlo Goldoni

Love is like a landscape which doth stand,
Smooth at a distance, rough at hand.
—Robert Hegge

Love, like the opening of heaven to the saints, shows for a moment, even to the dullest man, the possibilities of the race.
—Arthur Helps

Love rushed through him as a river in flood.
—Maurice Hewlett

O, love, love, love!
Love is like a dizziness;
It winna let a poor body
Gang about his bizziness.
—James Hogg

Love is like a well profound,
From which two souls have right to draw,
And in whose waters will be drowned,
The one who takes the other’s law.
—Josiah Gilbert Holland

Love is like spring: it laughs through the cold and the snow; it perfumes the night and flourishes under graves.
—Arsène Houssaye

Love is like epidemic diseases, the more one is afraid of it, the more is one exposed to it.
—Arsène Houssaye

Love’s like the measles—all the worse when it comes late in life.
—Douglas Jerrold

Love is like medical science—the art of assisting Nature.
—Claude F. Lallemand

Love, like beauty, strong to lure;
Love, like joy, makes man her thrall,
Strong to please and conquer all.
—Ernst Lange

Love, like the flower that courts the sun’s kind ray,
Will flourish only in the smiles of day.
—John Langhorne

True love, like the eye, can bear no flaw.
—Johann Caspar Lavater

Love, like the lark, while soaring sings;
Wouldst have him spread again his wings?
What careth he for higher skies
Who on the heart of harvest lies,
And finds both sun and firmament
Closed in the round of his content?
—William James Linton

Loue is likened to the Emerald which cracketh rather then consenteth to any disloyaltie, and can there be any greater villany then being secreat not to be constant, or being constant not to be secret.
—John Lyly

Love gotten with witchcraft, is as unpleasant as fish taken with medicines unwholesome.
—John Lyly

Love is like a charming romance which is read with avidity, and often with such impatience that many pages are skipped to reach the denouement sooner.
—Thomas Maréchal

Love, like arm’d Death, is strong.
—Edward Moore

’Tis love, like the sun, that gives light to the year,
The sweetest of blessings that life can give;
Our pleasures it brightens, drives sorrow away,
Gives joy to the night, and enlivens the day.
—Edward Moore

Ah! love is like a tender flower
Hid in the opening leaves of life,
Which, when the springtide calls, has power,
To scorn the elemental strife.
—Lewis Morris

Love, like the creeping vine, withers if it has nothing to embrace.

Love before marriage is like a too short preface before a book without end.
—J. Petit-Senn

Love, like death, makes all distinction void.
—Matthew Prior

Love, like men, dies oftener of excess than hunger.
—John Paul Richter

Love’s as cunnin’ a little thing as a hummin’-bird upon the wing.
—James Whitcomb Riley

Love is like a red-currant wine—it first tastes sweet, but afterward shuddery.
—Thomas William Robertson

True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.
—François de La Rochefoucauld

Love, like other little boys,
Cries for hearts, as they for toys.
—Earl of Rochester

Love, like flowers, endureth but a spring.
—Pierre de Ronsard

Love is like a lovely rose the world’s delight.
—Christina Georgina Rossetti

Love is like the moon: when it does not increase, it decreases.

Love is like a child,
That longs for everything that he can come by.
—William Shakespeare

Love like a shadow flies, when substance love pursues;
Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.
—William Shakespeare

Love, that comes too late,
Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
To a great sender turns a sour offence,
Crying, that’s good that’s gone.
—William Shakespeare

Love is like understanding, that grows bright
Gazing on many truths; ’tis like thy light, Imagination.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley

Love like air is widely given;
Power nor chance can these restrain;
Truest, noblest gifts of heaven!
Only purest in the plain.
—William Shenstone

Love is an April’s doubting day:
Awhile we see the tempest lower;
Anon the radiant heaven survey,
And quite forget the flitting shower.
—William Shenstone

Love is like a tune that’s played, and life a tale that’s told.
—William Wetmore Story

True love, like the lightning that flashes, must kindle from eye to eye and strike into the heart.
—Franz von Suppé

Love is awful as immortal death.
—Franz von Suppé

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
—Old Testament

The love of a woman is like a mushroom,—it grows in one night and will serve somewhat pleasantly next morning for breakfast, but afterwards waxes fulsome and unwholesome.
—Cyril Tourneur

Emotional effusions are like licorice-root. When you take your first suck at it, it doesn’t seem so bad, but it leaves a very bad taste in your mouth afterward.
—Ivan Turgenev

In love as in war, a fortress that parleys is half taken.
—Marguerite de Valois

Love … like a pirate, takes you by spreading false colors.
—Sir John Vanbrugh

Love, like virtue, is its own reward.
—Sir John Vanbrugh

Love, like fortune, turns upon a heel, and is very much given to rising and falling.
—Sir John Vanbrugh

Love, my sweet Lidi! resembles the fugitive shadows of morning; shorter and shorter they grow and at length disappear.
—Mihaly Vitkovics

Love’s like a torch which, if secur’d from blasts,
Will fainter burn, but then it longer lasts:
Expos’d to storms of jealousy and doubt,
The blaze grows greater, but ’tis sooner out.
—William Walsh

Love, like a bird, hath perch’d upon a spray
For thee and me to hearken what he sings.
—William Watson

Love … as pure as Angel-worship, when the just
And beautiful of Heaven are bow’d in prayer!
—John Greenleaf Whittier

Love as strong as that which binds the peopled Universe.
—John Greenleaf Whittier

Love is a lamp unseen, burning to waste, or, if its light is found, nursed for our idle hour, then idly broken.
—N. P. Willis

Love, like ambition, dies as ’tis enjoyed.
—Thomas Yalden