C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


I have immortal longings in me.


The mere aspiration is partial realization.

Anna Cora Mowatt.

The movement of the species is upward.


By steps we may ascend to God.


O that I had wings like a dove!


It is but a base, ignoble mind that mounts no higher than a bird can soar.


The heavens are as deep as our aspirations are high.


No man can ever rise above that at which he aims.

Rev. A. A. Hodge.

A man—be the heavens ever praised!—is sufficient for himself.


There is not a single heart but has its moments of longing.


Too low they build who build beneath the stars.


We cannot of ourselves estimate the degree of our success in what we strive for.


Oh for a muse of fire that would ascend the highest heaven of invention!


Aspirations after the holy,—the only aspiration in which the human soul can be assured that it will never meet with disappointment.

Maria M’Intosh.

Man ought always to have something which he prefers to life; otherwise life itself will appear to him tiresome and void.


There is no sorrow I have thought more about than that,—to love what is great, and try to reach it, and yet to fail.

George Eliot.

O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee; my soul thirsteth for Thee; my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.


It is not to taste sweet things, but to do noble and true things, and vindicate himself under God’s heaven as a God-made man, that the poorest son of Adam dimly longs.


The heart is a small thing, but desireth great matters. It is not sufficient for a kite’s dinner, yet the whole world is not sufficient for it.


We learn to treasure what is above this earth; we long for revelation, which nowhere burns more purely and more beautifully than in the New Testament.


  • Father! forgive the heart that clings
  • Thus trembling to the things of time,
  • And bid my soul, on angel’s wings
  • Ascend into a purer clime.
  • Jane Roscoe.

    It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.

    George Eliot.

    What we truly and earnestly aspire to be, that in some sense we are. The mere aspiration, by changing the frame of the mind, for the moment realizes itself.

    Mrs. Jameson.

    The negro king desired to be portrayed as white. But do not laugh at the poor African; for every man is but another negro king, and would like to appear in a color different from that with which Fate has bedaubed him.

    Heinrich Heine.

    There must be something beyond man in this world. Even on attaining to his highest possibilities, he is like a bird beating against his cage. There is something beyond, O deathless soul, like a sea-shell, moaning for the bosom of the ocean to which you belong!


    Did you ever hear of a man who had striven all his life faithfully and singly towards an object, and in no measure obtained it? If a man constantly aspires, is he not elevated? Did ever a man try heroism, magnanimity, truth, sincerity, and find that there was no advantage in them, that it was a vain endeavor?


    Aspiration, worthy ambition, desires for higher good for good ends, all these indicate a soul that recognizes the beckoning hand of the good Father, who would call us homeward toward Himself.

    J. G. Holland.