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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.


A courage to endure and to obey.

A day may sink or save a realm.

A lie which is all a lie may be met and fought with outright / But a lie which is part a truth is a harder matter to fight.

A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies.

A man is not as God, / But then most godlike being most a man.

A simple maiden in her flower, / Is worth a hundred coats of arms.

A smile abroad is oft a scowl at home.

A sorrow’s crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.

A truth / Looks freshest in the fashion of the day.

An infant crying in the night, / An infant crying for the light; / And with no language but a cry.

As the husband is, the wife is: / Thou art mated with a clown, / And the grossness of his nature / Will have weight to drag thee down.

Battering the gates of heaven with storms of prayer.

Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay.

Better not be at all / Than not be noble.

But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand, / And the sound of a voice that is still.

By blood a king, in heart a clown.

Cast all your cares on God; that anchor holds.

Clear and bright it should be ever, / Flowing like a crystal river; / Bright as light, and clear as wind.On the Mind.

Courage, sir, / That makes man or woman look their goodliest.

Cursed be the social ties that warp us from the living truth.

Death is sure / To those that stay and those that roam.

Dower’d with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn, / The love of love.Of the poet.

Earn well the thrifty months, nor wed / Raw Haste, half-sister to Delay.

Either sex alone is half itself.

Every cloud that spreads above / And veileth love, itself is love.

Every worm beneath the moon / Draws different threads, and late and soon / Spins, toiling out his own cocoon.

Eyes not down-dropp’d nor over-bright, but fed with the clear-pointed flame of chastity.

Fame with men, / Being but ampler means to serve mankind, / Should have small rest or pleasure in herself, / But work as vassal to the larger love, / That dwarfs the petty love of one to one.

Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null.

For men at most differ as heaven and earth, / But women, worst and best, as heaven and hell.

For men may come and men may go, / But I go on for ever.

Forward, forward let us range, / Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.

From yon blue heaven above us bent, / The grand old gardener and his wife / Smile at the claims of long descent.

Full seldom doth a man repent, or use / Both grace and will to pick the vicious quitch / Of blood and custom wholly out of him, / And make all clean, and plant himself afresh.

Gentleness, when it weds with manhood, makes a man.

Gently comes the world to those / That are cast in gentle mould.

God gives us love. Something to love / He lends us; but when love is grown / To ripeness, that on which it throve / Falls off, and love is left alone.

Great deeds cannot die; / They with the sun and moon renew their light, / For ever blessing those that look on them.

Great is song used to great ends.

Have I not earn’d my cake in baking of it?

He had never kindly heart, / Nor ever cared to better his own kind, / Who first wrote satire with no pity in it.

He makes no friend who never made a foe.

He scarce is knight, yea, but half-man, nor meet / To fight for gentle damsel, he who lets / His heart be stirr’d with any foolish heat / At any gentle damsel’s waywardness.

He that wrongs his friend / Wrongs himself more, and ever bears about / A silent court of justice in his breast, / Himself the judge and jury, and himself / The prisoner at the bar, ever condemned.

He that, ever following her (Duty’s) commands, / On with toil of heart and knees and hands, / Thro’ the long gorge to the far light has won / His path upward, and prevail’d, / Shall find the toppling crags of Duty scaled, / Are close upon the shining tablelands / To which our God Himself is moon and sun.

He wrought all kind of service with a noble ease / That graced the lowliest act in doing it.

Her eyes are homes of silent prayer.

Hold thou the good; define it well.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end, / To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use, / As though to breathe were life.

Howe’er it be, it seems to me / ’Tis only noble to be good. / Kind hearts are more than coronets, / And simple faith than Norman blood.

I can but trust that good shall fall / At last—far off—at last, to all.

I cannot love thee as I ought, / For love reflects the thing beloved; / My words are only words, and move / Upon the topmost froth of thought.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow / To join the brimming river, / For men may come and men may go, / But I go on for ever.

I do but sing because I must, / And pipe but as the linnets sing.

I hold it truth, with him who sings / To one clear harp in divers tones, / That men may rise on stepping-stones / Of their dead selves to higher things.

I never whisper’d a private affair / Within the hearing of cat or mouse, / No, not to myself in the closet alone, / But I heard it shouted at once from the top of the house; / Everything came to be known.

If all the world were falcons, what of that? / The wonder of the eagle were the less, / But he not less the eagle.

If I be dear to some one else, / Then I should be to myself more dear.

If there be / A devil in man, there is an angel too.

In a boundless universe / Is boundless better, boundless worse.

In true marriage lies / Nor equal, nor unequal: each fulfils / Defect in each, and always thought in thought, / Purpose in purpose, will in will, they grow, / The single pure and perfect animal, / The two-ceil’d heart beating, with one full stroke, / Life.

Is there no stoning save with flint and rock?

It is better to fight for the good than to rail at the ill.

It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

It is the flash that murders; the poor thunder never harm’d head.

It is the little rift within the lute / That by and by will make the music mute, / And, ever widening, slowly silence all.

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, / And see the great Achilles whom we knew.

Jealousy / Hath in it an alchemic force to fuse / Almost into one metal love and hate.

Jewels five words long, / That on the stretch’d forefinger of all time / Sparkle for ever.

Judge thou me by what I am, / So shalt thou find me fairest.

Kind hearts are more than coronets, and simple faith than Norman blood.

Knave! because thou strikest as a knight; / Being but knave, I hate thee all the more.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.

Knowledge is of things we see; / And yet we trust it comes from thee, / A beam in darkness; let it grow.

Let her (woman) make herself her own, / To give or keep, to live, and learn, and be, / All that not harms distinctive womanhood.

Let knowledge grow from more to more, / But more of reverence in us dwell.

Let never maiden think, however fair, / She is not finer in new clothes than old.

Let rumours be, when did not rumours fly?

Let the great world spin forever down the ringing grooves of change.

Let there be thistles, there are grapes; / If old things, there are new; / Ten thousand broken lights and shapes, / Yet glimpses of the true.

Let Whig and Tory stir their blood; / There must be stormy weather; / But for some true result of good, / All parties work together.

Life is not as idle ore, / But iron dug from central gloom, / And heated hot with burning fears, / And dipt in baths of hissing tears, / And battered with the shocks of doom / To shape and use.

Little flower—if I could understand / What you are, root and all, and all in all, / I should know what God and man is.

Live thou! and of the grain and husk, the grape, / And ivy berry, choose; and still depart / From death to death thro’ life and life, and find / Nearer and ever nearer Him, who wrought / Not Matter, nor the finite-infinite, / But this main miracle, that thou art thou, / With power on thine own act and on the world.

Love lieth deep; Love dwells not in lip-depths; / Love laps his wings on either side the heart / … Absorbing all the incense of sweet thoughts, / So that they pass not to the shrine of sound.

Love should have some rest and pleasure in himself, / Not ever be too curious for a boon, / Too prurient for a proof against the grain / Of him ye say ye love.

Love took up the harp of life, and smote on all the chords with might; / Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling, passed in music out of sight.

Lust of gain, in the spirit of Cain, is it better or worse / Than the heart of the citizen hissing in war on his own hearthstone?

Make knowledge circle with the winds; / But let her herald, Reverence, fly / Before her to whatever sky / Bear seed of men and growth of minds.

Make thee my knight? my knights are sworn to vows / Of utter hardihood, utter gentleness, / And, loving, utter faithfulness in love, / And uttermost obedience to the king.

Man am I grown, a man’s work must I do. / Follow the deer? follow the Christ, the King, / Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King— / Else wherefore born?

Man dreams of fame while woman wakes to love.

Man for the field and woman for the hearth; / Man for the sword and for the needle she: / Man with the head and woman with the heart: / Man to command and woman to obey; / All else confusion.

Man is not as God, / But then most godlike, being most a man.

Man’s word is God in man.

Manners are not idle, but the fruit / Of loyal nature and of noble mind.

Men at most differ as heaven and earth, / But women, worst and best, as heaven and hell.

Men may rise on stepping-stones / Of their dead selves to higher things.

Men will forget what we suffer, and not what we do.

Merit lives from man to man.

Mockery is the fume of little hearts.

More things are wrought by prayer / Than this world dreams of.

Mother, a maiden is a tender thing, / And best by her that bore her understood.

My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure.

Nature counts nothing that she meets with base, / But lives and loves in every place.

Never morning wore / To evening, but some heart did break.

Never yet / Was noble man but made ignoble talk.

Nine tithes of times / Face-flatterer and backbiter are the same.

No compound of this earthly ball / Is like another all in all.

No more subtle master under heaven / Than is the maiden-passion for a maid, / Not only to keep down the base in man, / But teach high thought, and amiable words / And courtliness, and the desire of fame, / And love of truth, and all that makes a man.

Not once or twice in our rough island-story, / The path of duty was the way to glory: / He that walks it, only thirsting / For the right, and learns to deaden / Love of self, before his journey closes / He shall find the stubborn thistle bursting / Into glossy purples, which outredden / All voluptuous garden-roses.

Not to desire or admire, if a man could learn it, were more / Than to walk all day like the sultan of old in a garden of spice.

O guard thy roving thoughts with jealous care, for speech is but the dial-plate of thought; and every fool reads plainly in thy words what is the hour of thy thought.

O purblind race of miserable men! / How many among us at this very hour / Do forge a lifelong trouble for ourselves, / By taking true for false, or false for true; / Here, thro’ the feeble twilight of this world / Groping, how many, until we pass and reach / That other, where we see as we are seen!

O Thou, / Passionless bride, divine Tranquillity, / … Thou carest not / How roughly men may woo thee, so they win!

O well for him whose will is strong! / He suffers, but he will not suffer long; / He suffers, but he cannot suffer wrong.

O yet we trust that somehow good / Will be the final goal of ill.

Obedience is the bond of rule.

Often a man’s own angry pride / Is cap-and-bells for a fool.

Oh,… for a man with heart, head, hand. / … Whatever they call him, what care I, / Aristocrat, democrat, autocrat—one / Who can rule and dare not lie!

On God and godlike men we build our trust.

One God, one law, one element, / And one far-off divine event, / To which the whole creation moves.

One shriek of hate would jar all the hymns of heaven: / True Devils with no ear, they howl in tune / With nothing but the Devil!

Our echoes roll from soul to soul, / And grow for ever and for ever.

Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great.

Poor men, when Yule is cold, / Must be content to sit by little fires.

Read my little fable: / He that runs may read. / Most can raise the flowers now, / vox all have got the seed.

Ring out the old, ring in the new, / Ring, happy bells, across the snow!

Scorn’d, to be scorn’d by one that I scorn, / Is that a matter to make me fret? / That a calamity hard to be borne?

Seem I not as tender to him / As any mother? / Ay, but such a one / As all day long hath rated at her child, / And vext his day, but blesses him asleep.

Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control, / These three alone lead life to sovereign power. / Yet not for power (power of herself / Would come uncall’d for), but to live by law, / Acting the law we live by without fear; / And, because right is right, to follow right, / Were wisdom in the scorn of consequence.

Short swallow-flights of song, that dip / Their wings in tears and skim away.

Sin is too dull to see beyond himself.

Sir Fine-face, Sir Fair-hands; but see thou to it / That thine own fineness, Lancelot, some fine day / Undo thee not.

Smile (Fortune), and we smile, the lords of many lands; / Frown, and we smile, the lords of our own hands; / For man is man and master of his fate.

So careful of the type she seems, / So careless of the single life.

So much to do, / So little done, such things to be.

Sooner earth / Might go round heaven, and the strait girth of Time/ Inswathe the fulness of Eternity, / Than language grasp the infinite of Love.

Sorrow’s crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.

Statesmen that are wise / Shape a necessity, as sculptor clay, / To their own model.

Strong Son of God, immortal Love, / Whom we that have not seen Thy face, / By faith, and faith alone, embrace, / Believing where we cannot prove.

Sweet is true love though given in vain, / And sweet is death that puts an end to pain.

Take the showers as they fall, / … Enough if at the end of all / A little garden blossom.

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean, / Tears from the depth of some divine despair / Rise in the heart and gather in the eyes, / In looking on the happy autumn fields, / And thinking of the days that are no more.

The bearing and the training of a child is woman’s wisdom.

The Churchmen fain would kill their Church, / As the Churches have killed their Christ.

The crowd … if they find / Some stain or blemish in a name of note, / Not grieving that their greatest are so small, / Inflate themselves with some insane delight, / And judge all Nature from her feet of clay, / Without the will to lift their eyes, and see / Her godlike head crown’d with spiritual fire / And touching other worlds.

The folly of all follies / Is to be love-sick for a shadow.

The greater man the greater courtesy.

The man should make the hour, not this the man.

The old order changeth, yielding place to new, / And God fulfils himself in many ways, / Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.

The proud man often is the mean.

The right ear, that is fill’d with dust, / Hears little of the false or just.

The sin that practice burns into the blood, / And not the one dark hour which brings remorse, / Will brand us, after, of whose fold we be.

The thrall in person may be free in soul.

The woman’s cause is man’s: they rise or sink / Together.

Theirs not to make reply, / Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do or die.

There are enough unhappy on this earth.

There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.

There’s no glory like his who saves his country.

They said that Love would die when Hope was gone, / And Love mourn’d long, and sorrow’d after Hope; / At last she sought out Memory, and they trod / The same old paths where Love had walk’d with Hope, / And Memory fed the soul of Love with tears.

They, sweet soul, that most impute a crime / Are pronest to it, and impute themselves, / Wanting the mental range; or low desire / Not to feel lowest makes them level all; / Yea, they would pare the mountain to the plain, / To leave an equal baseness.

Thine is the right, for thine the might.

Things seen are mightier than things heard.

Tho’ men may bicker with the things they love, / They would not make them laughable in all eyes, / Not while they loved them.

Tho’ world on world in myriad myriads roll / Round us, each with different powers, / And other form of life than ours, / What know we greater than the soul?

Though much is taken, much abides.

’Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all.

’Tis only noble to be good; / Kind hearts are more than coronets, / And simple faith than Norman blood.

To do him any wrong was to beget / A kindness from him, for his heart was rich, / Of such fine mould, that if you sow’d therein / The seed of Hate, it blossom’d Charity.

Too much mercy is want of mercy.

Too much wit / Makes the world rotten.

Trust me not at all or all in all.

Truth, or clothed or naked let it be.

Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or frown; / With that wild wheel we go not up or down; / Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great.

Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all.

Unto him who works, and feels he works, / This same grand year (the Golden Year) is ever at the doors.

Was, and is, and will be, are but “is.”

We are ancients of the earth / And in the morning of the times.

We cannot be kind to each other here for an hour; / We whisper, and hint, and chuckle, and grin at a brother’s shame; / However we brave it out, we men are a little breed.

We needs must love the highest when we see it, / Not Lancelot, nor another.

Weeds make dunghills gracious.

What are men better than sheep or goats, / That nourish a blind life within the brain, / If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer / Both for themselves and those who call them friend?

What rights are his that dare not strike for them?

What was once to me / Mere matter of the fancy, now has grown / The vast necessity of heart and life.

Who are wise in love, love most, say least.

Who shuts love out shall be shut out from love.

Who walks through fire will hardly heed the smoke.

Whose faith has centre everywhere, / Nor cares to fix itself to form.

Woman is not undevelopt man, / But diverse; could we make her as the man, / Sweet love were slain: his dearest bond is this / Not like to like, but like in difference.

Woman is the lesser man.

Woman’s cause is man’s; they rise or sink / Together, dwarfed or godlike, bond or free.

Words, like Nature, half reveal / And half conceal the soul within.

Worse than being fool’d / Of others, is to fool one’s self.

Ye think the rustic cackle of your bourg / The murmur of the world.

Yea, let all good things await / Him who cares not to be great, / But as he serves or serves the state.

Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs, / And the thoughts of men are widen’d by the process of the suns.

Yet this grief / Is added to the griefs the great must bear, / That howsoever much they may desire / Silence, they cannot weep behind a cloud.

You said your say; / Mine answer was my deed.

You wise, / To call him shamed, who is but overthrown?