C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
A daughter of the gods, divinely tall,And most divinely fair.
A land of promise, a land of memory,A land of promise flowing with the milkAnd honey of delicious memories!
A little garden square and wall’d;And in it throve an ancient evergreen,A yew-tree, and all round it ran a walkOf shingle, and a walk divided it.
A love still burning upward, giving lightTo read those laws, an accent very lowIn blandishment, but a most silver flowOf subtle-paced counsel in distress,Right to the heart and brain, tho’ undescried,Winning its way with extreme gentlenessThro’ all the outworks of suspicious pride;A courage to endure and to obey:A hate of gossip parlance and of sway,Crown’d Isabel, thro’ all her placid life,The queen of marriage, a most perfect wife.
A rosebud set with little wilful thorns,And sweet as English air could make her, she.
Ah Christ, that it were possibleFor one short hour to seeThe souls we loved, that they might tell usWhat and where they be.
Ah! well away!Seasons flower and fade.
All in the wild March-morning I heard the angels call;It was when the moon was setting, and the dark was over all;The trees began to whisper, and the wind began to roll,And in the wild March-morning I heard them call my soul.
All the past of Time revealsA bridal dawn of thunder-peals,Whenever Thought hath wedded Fact.
An accent very lowIn blandishment, but a most silver flowOf subtle-pacèd counsel in distress,Right to the heart and brain, though undiscried,Winning its way with extreme gentlenessThrough all the outworks of suspicion’s pride.
And a million horrible bellowing echoes brokeFrom the red-ribb’d hollow behind the wood,And thunder’d up into heaven.
And from his ashes may be madeThe violet of his native land.
And grasps the skirts of happy chance,And breasts the blows of circumstance.
And in my breastSpring wakens too; and my regretBecomes an April violet,And buds and blossoms like the rest.
And lives to clutch the golden keys,To mould a mighty state’s decrees,And shape the whisper of the throne.
And out of darkness came the handsThat reach thro’ nature, moulding men.
And so the Word had breath, and wroughtWith human hands the creed of creedsIn loveliness of perfect deeds,More strong than all poetic thought.
And statesmen at her council metWho knew the seasons when to takeOccasion by the hand, and makeThe bounds of freedom wider yet.
And the stately ships go onTo their haven under the hill;But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,And the sound of a voice that is still.
And Thought leapt out to wed with Thought,Ere Thought could wed itself with Speech.
As the husband is, the wife is:Thou art mated with a clown,And the grossness of his natureWill have weight to drag thee down.
As thro’ the land at eve we went,And pluck’d the ripen’d ears,We fell out, my wife and I,We fell out I know not why,And kiss’d again with tears.And blessings on the falling outThat all the more endears,When we fall out with those we loveAnd kiss again with tears!For when we came where lies the childWe lost in other years,There above the little grave,Oh, there above the little grave,We kiss’d again with tears.
Ask me no more; thy fate and mine are seal’d;I strove against the stream and all in vain:Let the great river take me to the main:No more, dear love, for at a touch I yield;Ask me no more.
At last I heard a voice upon the slopeCry to the summit, “Is there any hope?”To which an answer pealed from that high land,But in a tongue no man could understand;And on the glimmering limit far withdrawn,God made Himself an awful rose of dawn.
Authority forgets a dying king,Laid widow’d of the power in his eyeThat bow’d the will.
Banner of England, not for a season,O banner of Britain, has thouFloated in conquering battle or flapt to the battle-cry!Never with mightier glory than when we had rear’d thee on high,Flying at top of the roofs in the ghastly siege of Lucknow—Shot thro’ the staff or the halyard, but ever we raised thee anew,And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew.
Beat upon mine, little heart! beat, beat!Beat upon mine! you are mine, my sweet!All mine from your pretty blue eyes to your feet,My sweet!
But light as any wind that blowsSo fleetly did she stir,The flower, she touch’d on, dipt and rose,And turned to look at her.
But O! for the touch of a vanish’d hand,And the sound of a voice that is still!
But what am I?An infant crying in the night;An infant crying for the light,And with no language but a cry.
***but whileI breathe Heaven’s air, and Heaven looks down on me,And smiles at my best meanings, I remainMistress of mine own self and mine own soul.
Come, Time, and teach me many years,I do not suffer in dream;For now so strange do these things seem,Mine eyes have leisure for their tears.
—Current among menLike coin, the tinsel clink of compliment.
Dear as remembered kisses after death,And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feignedOn lips that are for others; deep as love,Deep as first love; and wild with all regret,O death in life! the days that are no more.
Death has madeHis darkness beautiful with thee.
Dip down upon the northern shore,O sweet new year, delaying long;Thou doest expectant nature wrong,Delaying long; delay no more.
Every man at time of Death,Would fain set forth some saying that may liveAfter his death and better humankind;For death gives life’s last word a power to live,And, like the stone-cut epitaph, remainAfter the vanished voice, and speak to men.
Evolution ever climbing after some ideal goodAnd Reversion ever dragging Evolution in the mud.
First pledge our Queen this solemn night,Then drink to England, every guest;That man’s the best CosmopoliteWho loves his native country best.
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and PlaceThe flood may bear me far,I hope to see my Pilot face to faceWhen I have crossed the bar.
Go, little letter, apace, apace,Fly to the light in the valley below—Tell my wish, to her dewy blue eye.
Gone—flitted away,Taken the stars from the night and the sun from the day!Gone, and a cloud in my heart.
Happy heWith such a mother! faith in womankindBeats with his blood, and trust in all things highComes easy to him, and though he trip and fall,He shall not blind his soul with clay.
He clasps the crag with hooked hands;Close to the sun in lonely lands,Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls:He watches from his mountain walls,And like a thunderbolt he falls.
His gain is loss; for he that wrongs his friendWrongs himself more, and ever bears aboutA silent court of justice in his breast,Himself a judge and jury, and himselfThe prisoner at the bar, ever condemned.
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 built my soul a lordly pleasure-house,Wherein at ease for aye to dwell.
I chatter, chatter, as I flow,To join the brimming river,For men may come and men may go,But I go on forever.
I do but sing because I must,And pipe but as the linnets sing.
I heard******the great echo flapAnd buffet round the hills from bluff to bluff.
I readOf that glad year that once had been,In those fall’n leaves which kept their green,The noble letters of the dead:And strangely on the silence brokeThe silent-speaking words.
I take possession of man’s mind and deed,I care not what the sects may brawl;I sit as God, holding no form of creed,But contemplating all.
I watch’d the little circles die;They past into the level flood.
In time there is no present,In eternity no future,In eternity no past.
Is there evil but on earth? Or pain in every peopled sphere?Well, be grateful for the sounding watchword “Evolution” here.
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
It seem’d so hard at first, mother, to leave the blessed sun,And now it seems as hard to stay—and yet His will be done!But still I think it can’t be long before I find release;And that good man, the clergyman, has told me words of peace.
Jewels five-words-long,That on the stretch’d forefinger of all TimeSparkle for ever.
Kings have no such couch as thine,As the green that folds thy grave.
Late, late, so late! but we can enter still.Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.
Large elements in order brought,And tracts of calm from tempest made,And world-wide fluctuation sway’d,In vassal tides that follow’d thought.
Love took up the harp of Life, and smote on all the chords with might;Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling, pass’d in music out of sight.
Love’s arms were wreathed about the neck of Hope,And Hope kiss’d Love, and Love drew in her breathIn that close kiss and drank her whisper’d tales.They say 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 trodThe same old paths where Love had walked with Hope,And Memory fed the soul of Love with tears.
Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro’ the mellow shade,Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid.
Men may rise on stepping-stonesOf their dead selves to higher things.
More things are wrought by prayerThan this world dreams of. Wherefore let thy voiceRise like a fountain for me night and day.For what are men better than sheep or goatsThat nourish a blind life within the brain,If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayerBoth for themselves and those who call them friend?
Morn in the white wake of the morning starCame furrowing all the orient into gold.
My people too were scared with eerie sounds,A footstep, a low throbbing in the walls,A noise of falling weights that never fell,Weird whispers, bells that rang without a hand,Door-handles turn’d when none was at the door,And bolted doors that open’d of themselves;And on betwixt the dark and light had seenHer, bending by the cradle of her babe.
My words are only words, and, movedUpon the topmost froth of thought.
Never morning woreTo evening but some heart did break.
Not once or twice in our rough island story,The path of duty was the way to glory.
Now is done thy long day’s work;Fold thy palms across thy breast,Fold thine arms, turn to thy restLet them rave.
Now rings the woodland loud and long,The distance takes a lovelier hue,And drowned in yonder living blueThe lark becomes a sightless song.
O Blackbird! sing me something well:While all the neighbors shoot thee round,I keep smooth plats of fruitful ground,Where thou may’st warble, eat and dwell.
O friendship, equal-poised control,O heart, with kindliest motion warm,O sacred essence, other form,O solemn ghost, O crowned soul!
O love, they die, in yon rich sky,They faint on hill or field or river:Our echoes roll from soul to soul,And grow forever and forever.Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.
O sorrow, wilt thou rule my blood,But sometimes lovely, like a bride,And put thy harsher moods aside,If thou wilt have me wise and good.
O we fell out, I know not why,And kiss’d again with tears.
Oh, see thee old and formal, fitted to thy petty part,With a little hoard of maxims preaching dawn a daughter’s heart!
Once more the heavenly powerMakes all things new,And domes the red-plough’d hillsWith loving blue;The blackbirds have their wills,The throstles too.
One God, one law, one element,And one far-off divine event,To which the whole creation moves.
Our father’s dust is left aloneAnd silent under other snows.
Philip.Madam, a day may sink or save a realm.Mary.A day may save a heart from breaking too.
Quiet, Robin, quiet!You lovers are such clumsy summer-flies,Forever buzzing at your lady’s face.
Read my little fable:He that runs may read.Most can raise the flowers now,For all have got the seed.
Ring out the darkness of the land,Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,Ring, happy bells, across the snow.
Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control,These three alone lead life to sovereign power.
Shall eagles not be eagles? wrens be wrens?If all the world were falcons, what of that?The wonder of the eagle were the less,But he not less the eagle.
Shall Error in the round of timeStill father Truth?
She is coming, my own, my sweet;Were it ever so airy a tread,My heart would hear her and beat,Were it earth in an earthy bed;My dust would hear her and beat,Had I lain for a century dead;Would start and tremble under her feet,And blossom in purple and red.
She sleeps: her breathings are not heardIn palace chambers far apart,The fragrant tresses are not stirr’dThat lie upon her charmed heart.She sleeps: on either hand upswellsThe gold fringed pillow lightly prest:She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwellsA perfect form in perfect rest.
Short swallow-flights of song, that dipTheir wings in tears, and skim away.
SighsWhich perfect Joy, perplexed for utterance,Stole from her sister Sorrow.
Slow sail’d the weary mariners and saw,Betwixt the green brink and the running foam,Sweet faces, rounded arms, and bosoms prestTo little harps of gold; and while they musedWhispering to each other half in fear,Shrill music reach’d them an the middle sea.
Steps with a tender foot, light as on air,The lovely, lordly creature floated on.
Sweet is every sound,Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is sweet;Myriads of rivulets hurrying through the lawn,The moan of doves in immemorial elms,And murmuring of innumerable bees.
That a lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies;That 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.
The bearing and the training of a childIs woman’s wisdom.
The bee buzz’d up in the heat,“I am faint for your honey, my sweet.”The flower said, “Take it, my dear,For now is the Spring of the year,So come, come!”“Hum!”And the bee buzz’d down from the heat.
The dreamDreamed by a happy man, when the dark east,Unseen, is brightening to his bridal morn.
The garden lies,A league of grass, wash’d by a slow broad stream.
The grand old name of gentlemanDefam’d by every charlatanAnd soil’d with all ignoble use.
The great world’s altar-stairsThat slope thro’ darkness up to God.
The linden broke her ranks and rentThe woodbine wreaths that bind her,And down the middle buzz! she wentWith all her bees behind her!The poplars, in long order due,With cypress promenaded,The shock-head willows two and twoBy rivers gallopaded.
The Lord let the house of a brute to the soul of a man,And the man said, “Am I your debtor”?And the Lord—“Not yet: but make it as clean as you can,And then I will let you a better.”
The night comes on that knows not morn,When I shall cease to be all alone,To live forgotten, and love forlorn.
The Sabbaths of Eternity,One Sabbath deep and wide.
The shadow cloak’d from head to foot,Who keeps the keys of all the creeds.
The slender acacia would not shakeOne long milk-bloom on the tree;The white lake-blossom fell into the lakeAs the pimpernel dozed on the lea;But the rose was awake all night for your sake,Knowing your promise to me;The lilies and roses were all awake,They sighed for the dawn and thee.
The smell of violets, hidden in the green,Pour’d back into my empty soul and frameThe times when I remembered to have beenJoyful and free from blame.
The splash and stirOf fountains spouted up and showering downIn meshes of the jasmine and the rose:And all about us peal’d the nightingale,Rapt in her song, and careless of the snare.
The time draws near the birth of Christ:The moon is hid; the night is still;The Christmas bells from hill to hillAnswer each other in the mist.
The woods are hush’d, their music is no more;The leaf is dead, the yearning past away;New leaf, new life—the days of frost are o’er;New life, new love, to suit the newer day:New loves are sweet as those that went before:Free love—free field—we love but while we may.
Their meetings made December June,Their every parting was to die.
Theirs not to make reply,Theirs not to reason why,Theirs but to do and die.
Then came your new friend: you began to change—I saw it and grieved.
There has fallen a splendid tearFrom the passion-flower at the gate.She is coming, my dove, my dear;She is coming, my life, my fate;The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near;”And the white rose weeps, “She is late;”The larkspur listens, “I hear; I hear;”And the lily whispers, “I wait.”
There is no land like England,Whate’er the light of day be;There are no hearts like English hearts,Such hearts of oak as they be;There is no land like England,Whate’er the light of day be:There are no men like Englishmen,So tall and bold as they be!And these will strike for England,And man and maid be freeTo foil and spoil the tyrantBeneath the greenwood tree.
There lives more faith in honest doubt,Believe me, than in half the creeds.
This barren verbiage current among men,Light coin, the tinsel clink of compliment.
Thou bringest the sailor to his wife,And travell’d men from foreign lands,And letters unto trembling hands;And, thy dark freight, a vanish’d life.
Thou bringest******letters unto trembling hands.
To be true to each other, let ’appen what mayTill the end o’ the dayAn the last lod hom.
To-morrow yet would reap to-day,As we bear blossoms of the dead;Earn well the thrifty months, nor wedRaw Haste, half-sister to Delay.
We keep the day. With festal cheer,With books and music, surely weWill drink to him, whate’er he be,And sing the songs he loved to hear.
Well, well, be it so, thou strongest thief of all,For thou hast stolen my will, and made it thine.
What is that to him that reaps not harvest of his youthful joys,Though the deep heart of existence beat forever like a boy’s?
When in the down I sink my head,Sleep, Death’s twin-brother, times my breath.
Who loves not knowledge? Who shall railAgainst her beauty? May she mixWith men and prosper! Who shall fixHer pillars? Let her work prevail.
Who would beA mermaid fair,Singing alone,Combing her hairUnder the sea,In a golden curlWith a comb of pearl,On a throne?I would be a mermaid fair;I would sing to myself the whole of the day;With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;And still as I comb I would sing and say,“Who is it loves me? who loves not me?”
Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?The gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.
With roses musky-breathed,And drooping daffodilly,And silver-leaved lily,And ivy darkly-wreathed,I wove a crown before her,For her I love so dearly.
Yet I doubt not thro’ the ages one increasing purpose runs,And the thoughts of men are widen’d with the process of the suns.
Yonder cloudThat rises upward always higher,A looming bastion fringed with fire.
A courage to endure and to obey.
A day for God to stoop, and man to soar.
A lie that is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies.
A simple maiden in her flower is worth a hundred coats-of-arms.
A trifle makes a dream, a trifle breaks.
Ah! when shall all men’s good be each man’s rule, and universal peace lie like a shaft of light across the land?
All life needs for life is possible to will.
All things human change.
An obedient wife commands her husband.
And every dew-drop paints a bow.
As the husband is, the wife is; thou art mated with a clown.
Battering the gates of heaven with storms of prayer.
Bearing a life-long hunger in his heart.
Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay.
But O for the touch of a vanished hand, and the sound of a voice that is still!
But the jingling of the guinea helps the hurt that Honor feels.
By blood a king, in heart a clown.
Cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, cannon in front of them, volleyed and thundered.
Cast all your care on God; that anchor holds.
Cursed be the social lies that warp us from the living truth!
Eyes not down-dropped nor overbright, but fed with the clear-pointed flame of chastity.
Fancy light from fancy caught.
Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null, dead perfection; no more.
Feet like sunny gems on our English green.
For I’m to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I’m to be Queen o’ the May.
From yon blue heaven above us bent, the grand old gardener and his wife smile at the claims of long descent.
God and Nature met in light.
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.
God’s finger touched him, and he slept.
Half light, half shade, she stood a sight to make an old man young.
Happy he with such a mother! Faith in womankind beats with his blood, and trust in all things high comes easy to him; and though he trip and fall he shall not blind his soul with clay.
He makes no friend who never made a foe.
He that runs may read.
Her eyes are homes of silent prayer.
I am a part of all that I have met.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink life to the lees.
I know transplanted human worth will bloom to profit otherwise.
In after-dinner talk, across the walnuts and the wine.
In lands of palm and southern pine; in lands of palm, of orange-blossom, of olive, aloe, and maize, and wine.
In that fierce light which beats upon a throne.
In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
It is hard to wive and thrive both in a year.
Jewels five words long, that on the stretched forefinger of all Time sparkle forever.
Kind hearts are more than coronets, and simple faith than Norman blood.
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
Let the great world spin forever down the ringing grooves of change.
Like a great phantom slowly sweeping through the sky.
Lo! now, what hearts have men! they never mount as high as woman in her selfless mood.
Love lieth deep; love dwells not in lip-depths.
Love reflects the thing beloved.
Man is man, and master of his fate.
Marriages are made in heaven.
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.
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Music, which gentler on the spirit lies than tired eyelids upon tired eyes.
Never morning wore to evening but some heart did break.
No rock so hard but that a little wave may beat admission in a thousand years.
Nor is he the wisest man who never proved himself a fool.
Nothing in nature is unbeautiful.
O good gray head which all men knew.
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 Love, O fire! once he drew with one long kiss my whole soul through my lips, as sunlight drinketh dew.
O, yet we trust that somehow good will be the final goal of ill!
Oh that eternal want of peace which vexes public men!
Our spirits rushed together at the touching of the lips.
Our wills are ours to make them Thine.
Our wills are ours, we know not how.
Pure vestal thoughts in the translucent fane of her still spirit.
Rain, rain, and sun! a rainbow in the sky!
Raw Haste, half-sister to Delay.
Rise, happy morn! rise, holy morn!
Robed in the long night of her deep hair.
Silence, beautiful voice.
Smit with exceeding sorrow unto Death.
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
Stared in her eyes and chalk’d her face.
Sweet girl graduates, in their golden hair.
Sweet is true love, though given in vain.
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.
That a sorrow’s crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.
The bearing and training of a child is woman’s wisdom.
The boyhood of the year.
The eternal landscape of the past.
The flower she touched on dipped and rose.
The garden of the mind.
The great world spins forever down the ringing grooves of change.
The mystery of folded sleep.
The night comes on that knows no morn.
The noonday quiet holds the hill.
The parting of a husband and wife is like the cleaving of a heart; one half will flutter here, one there.
The silent snow possessed the earth, and calmly fell our Christmas-eve.
The slow sweet hours that bring us all things good.
The sweet forget-me-nots that grow for happy lovers.
The tender grace of a day that is dead will never come back to me.
The woman’s cause is man’s. They rise or sink together; dwarfed or god-like, bond or free; if she be small, slight-natured, miserable, how shall men grow?
There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.
There sinks the nebulous star we call the Sun.
There’s no glory like his who saves his country.
Thinking of the days that are no more.
Thoroughly to believe in one’s own self, so one’s self were thorough, were to do great things.
’Tis held that sorrow makes us wise.
’Tis only noble to be good.
Weakness to be wroth with weakness.
What was once to me mere matter of the fancy now has grown the vast necessity of heart and life.
Whatever crazy sorrow saith, no life that breathes with human breath has ever truly longed for death.
Wheresoe’er thou move, good luck shall fling her old shoe after.
With a little hoard of maxims preaching down a daughter’s heart.
Woman is the lesser man.