Home  »  A Dictionary of Similes  »  Robert Southey

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

Robert Southey

Advance, like sheep before the wolf.

Bent, like a rainbow.

Black as Erebus and Night.

Blasts like a pestilence.

Blithe as swallows,
Wheeling in the summer sky at close of day.

Bounteous as the air which fed Israel.

Brain like liquid lead.

Bright as mountain snow.

Bright as the summer lightning when it spreads its glory o’er the midnight heaven.

Calm like duty.

Change like the face of fortune.

Cheerful … as the green winter of the holly-tree.

Curved like the crescent moon.

Down-curving like the falling wave.

Departed like a gleam, that for a moment in the heavy sky
Is opened when the storm is hurrying by.

The inward din,
Like a hundred braziers working in
A caldron with their hammers.

Down, like a plummet.

Driven … like leaves before the autumnal wind.

Erect, like pillars of the temple.

Fade, like the hopes of youth.

Faint as the far-off clouds of evening.

Fearlessly, like a happy child, too innocent to fear.

Fell fast, as the seared leaves that from the trembling tree the autumn whirlwind shakes.

Fell like ripe grass before the mower’s scythe.

Fierce as a famished wolf.

Fine as silkworm’s thread.

Fine as the gleamy gossamer that spreads its filmy web-work o’er the tangled mead.

Like the stone eyeballs of the statue fixed.

Like a mirror sparkling to the sun with dazzling splendor, flashed.

Like spectres from the sight of morning, fled.

Floating like the streamers in the wind.

Face ghastly … like a dead man’s by the sepulchral lamp.

Lurid gleam, like the reflection of a sulphur fire.

Gliding like a vision o’er the ground.

Good as a sermon.

Innocence is like a polished armor; it adorns and defends.

Light as a lady’s plumes.

Light as a robe of peace.

Light as a warrior’s summer-garb in peace.

Loose, like a Comet’s refluent tresses, hung her heavenly hair dispersed.

Loud as the summer forest in the storm, as the river that roars among rocks.

Loud, as when the tempest-tossed forest roars to the roaring wind.

Loud as when the wintry whirlwinds blow.

Lovely as a budding rose.

Lovely as nymphs.

Lovely as the youthful dreams of Hope.

Low as the softest breath that passes in summer at evening
O’er the Æolian strings, felt there when nothing is moving,
Save the thistle-down, lighter than air, and the leaf of the aspen.

Manfully, like one who speaks the honest truth.

Murmur … as when at twilight hour the summer breeze moves o’er the elmy vale.

Like children under wise paternal sway.

Passed away like summer clouds.

Pure as an infant’s thoughts.

Red, as it had drunk the evening beams.

Like sea-birds in the sunny main, rock idly.

Rolled like the willowy and tumultuous sea.

Rolling like a wreath of snow.

Like sheep from the wolf, scattering.

Shone like a single star, serene in a night of darkness.

Shone like silver in the sunshine.

Shone like the brook that o’er its pebbled course runs glittering gayly to the noontide sun.

Shone like the waves that glow around a midnight keel in liquid light.

Shook like a palsied limb.

Smile … like sunshine opening through a shower in vernal skies.

A smile
Sweet as good Angels wear when they present
Their mortal charge before the throne of Heaven.

Smooth as the level lake, when not a breeze
Dies o’er the sleeping surface.

Spreads, like the round ocean, girdled with the sky.

Steadfast as the everlasting rocks.

Swore like any trooper.

Swift as an arrow in its flight.

Swift as a falling meteor.

Swift as the bittern soars on spiral wing.

Swift away like fabrics in the summer’s clouds.

Swished his tail,
As a gentleman swishes a cane.

A fastidious taste is like a squeamish appetite; the one has its origin in some disease of the mind, as the other has in some ailment of the stomach.

Tender as a youthful mother’s joy.

Thick as the snowflakes.

Thick as the stars that stud the wintry sky.

Triumphant like a God.

Undisturbed as Justice.

Unfelt, like the release of death.

Vanish like a vision of the night.

Whelmed like the Egyptian tyrant’s impetuous host.

White … like the flying cloud at noon.

White as the swan’s breast.

With words as with sunbeams,—the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.

Zigzag like lightning.