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


These lovely lamps, these windows of the soul.

Du Bartas.

The eyes are the amulets of the mind.

W. R. Alger.

Her eyes are homes of silent prayer.


The eye sees what it brings the power to see.


Glances are the first billets-doux of love.

Ninon de Lenclos.

Eyes that droop like summer flowers.

Miss L. E. Landon.

Soul-deep eyes of darkest night.

Joaquin Miller.

Women read each other at a single glance.


In one soft look what language lies!


She has an eye that could speak, though her tongue were silent.

Aaron Hill.

Hell trembles at a heaven-directed eye.

Bishop Ken.

In woman’s eye the unanswerable tear.


Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes.


A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind.


Sweet, silent rhetoric of persuading eyes.

Sir W. Davenant.

My eyes make pictures, when they are shut.


The eyes are the pioneers that first announce the soft tale of love.


Like a star glancing out from the blue of the sky!


The eyes of women are Promethean fires.


An eye like Mars, to threaten or command.


Men of cold passions have quick eyes.


Those blue violets, her eyes.


I prize the soul that slumbers in a quiet eye.

Eliza Cook.

Heart on her lip and soul within her eyes.


Eyes bright, with many tears behind them.


Flaw-seeing eyes, like needle points.


Stabbed with a white wench’s black eye.


He travels with his eyes.

Dr. Walter Harte.

Large, musing eyes, neither joyous nor sorry.

Mrs. Browning.

Ah! the soft starlight of virgin eyes.


What a soul, twenty fathom deep, in her eyes!

Leigh Hunt.

Such eyes as may have looked from heaven, but never were raised to it before!


Love, anger, pride and avarice all visibly move in those little orbs.


A wanton eye is a messenger of an unchaste heart.

St. Augustine.

Love looketh from the eye, and kindleth love by looking.


Faster than his tongue did make offense, his eye did heal it up.


Drink to me only with thine eyes, and I will pledge with mine.

Ben Jonson.

For brilliancy, no gem compares with the eyes of a beautiful woman.

Dr. J. V. C. Smith.

The heart’s hashed secret in the soft dark eye.

L. E. Landon.

Sometimes from her eyes I did receive fair speechless messages.


Eyes not down-dropped nor overbright, but fed with the clear-pointed flame of chastity.


What an eye she has! methinks it sounds a parley of provocation.


Who has a daring eye tells downright truths and downright lies.


The eye strays not while under the guidance of reason.

Publius Syrus.

And eyes disclosed what eyes alone could tell.


Where is any author in the world teaches such beauty as a woman’s eye?


Tell me, sweet eyes, from what divinest star did ye drink in your liquid melancholy?


Persuasive, yet denying eyes, all eloquent with language of their own.


Windows, white and azure-laced with blue of heaven’s own tinct.


Eyes that displace the neighbor diamond, and outface that sunshine by their own sweet grace.


The curious questioning eye, that plucks the heart of every mystery.

Grenville Mellen.

Our eyes when gazing on sinful objects are out of their calling and God’s keeping,


The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands.


A withered hermit, fivescore winters worn, might shake off fifty, looking in her eye.


  • We credit most our sight; one eye doth please
  • Our trust far more than ten ear witnesses.
  • Herrick.

  • His eye was blue and calm, as is the sky
  • In the serenest noon.
  • Willis.

    A heaven of dreams in her large lotus eyes, darkly divine.

    Gerald Massey.

    ’Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark our coming, and look brighter when we come.


    Pure vestal thoughts in the translucent fane of her still spirit.


  • The flash of his keen black eyes
  • Forerunning the thunder.
  • Longfellow.

    Those laughing orbs, that borrow from azure skies the light they wear.

    Frances S. Osgood.

  • Within her tender eye
  • The heaven of April, with its changing light.
  • Longfellow.

  • Where did you get your eyes so blue?
  • Out of the sky as I came through.
  • Geo. MacDonald.

  • And thy deep eyes, amid the gloom,
  • Shine like jewels in a shroud.
  • Longfellow.

  • Eyes so transparent,
  • That through them one sees the soul.
  • Théophile Gautier.

    Her eye in silence hath a speech which eye best understands.


  • And violets, transform’d to eyes,
  • Inshrined a soul within their blue.
  • Moore.

  • Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
  • Than twenty of their swords.
  • Shakespeare.

    A suppressed resolve will betray itself in the eyes.

    George Eliot.

    There is no end of affection taken in at the eyes only.


  • Bright as the sun her eyes the gazers strike,
  • And, like the sun, they shine on all alike.
  • Pope.

  • The harvest of a quiet eye,
  • That broods and sleeps on his own heart.
  • Wordsworth.

  • Blue eyes shimmer with angel glances,
  • Like spring violets over the lea.
  • Constance F. Woolson.

  • With eyes that look’d into the very soul—
  • *****
  • Bright—and as black and burning as a coal.
  • Byron.

    The eyes of other people are the eyes that ruin us.


    His eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming.


  • The eye sees not itself
  • But by reflection, by some other things.
  • Shakespeare.

    Folded eyes see brighter colors than the open ever do.

    Mrs. Browning.

  • Her eye in heaven
  • Would through the airy region stream so bright,
  • That birds would sing, and think it were not night.
  • Shakespeare.

    The eyes are the windows of a woman’s heart; you may enter that way!

    Eugene Sue.

    A lamp is lit in woman’s eye, that souls, else lost on earth, remember angels by.

    N. P. Willis.

    Eyes and ears, two trade pilots ’twixt the dangerous shores of will and judgment.


  • Thine eyes are springs in whose serene
  • And silent waters heaven is seen.
  • William Cullen Bryant.

    Her deep blue eyes smile constantly, as if they had by fitness won the secret of a happy dream she does not care to speak.

    Mrs. Browning.

    The eye of Paul Pry often finds more than he wished to find.


    The eyes, being in the highest part, have the office of sentinels.


    This little member can behold the earth, and in a moment view things as high as heaven.


  • But her’s, which through the crystal tears gave light,
  • Shone like the moon in water seen by night.
  • Shakespeare.

    Eyes raised toward heaven are always beautiful, whatever they be.


    Beautiful eyes in the face of a handsome woman are like eloquence to speech.


    His eyebrow dark, and eye of fire, showed spirit proud, and prompt to ire.

    Sir Walter Scott.

    Women’s glances express what they dare not speak.

    Alphonse Karr.

  • In her eyes a thought
  • Grew sweeter and sweeter, deepening like the dawn,—
  • A mystical forewarning.
  • T. B. Aldrich.

    True eyes, too pure and too honest in aught to disguise the sweet soul shining through them.

    Owen Meredith.

  • In those sunk eyes the grief of years I trace,
  • And sorrow seems acquainted with that face.
  • Ickell.

  • Dear eyes!—do not my heart forsake,
  • Shine, like the stars within the lake,—
  • Shine, and the darksome shadows break.
  • Augustine J. H. Dugane.

  • Deep brown eyes running over with glee;
  • Blue eyes are pale, and gray eyes are sober;
  • Bonnie brown eyes are the eyes for me.
  • Constance F. Woolson.

  • O lovely eyes of azure,
  • Clear as the waters of a brook that run
  • Limpid and laughing in the summer sun!
  • Longfellow.

    Eyes of most unholy blue!


    I dislike an eye that twinkles like a star. Those only are beautiful, which, like the planets, have a steady, lambent light—are luminous, but not sparkling.


    Gradual as the snow, at heaven’s breath, melts off and shows the azure flowers beneath, her lids unclosed, and the bright eyes were seen.


    All the gazers on the skies read not in fair heaven’s story expresser truth or truer glory than they might in her bright eyes.

    Ben Jonson.

    Where such radiant lights have shone, no wonder if her cheeks be grown sunburnt with lustre of their own.

    John Cleaveland.

    The eye is the inlet to the soul, and it is well to beware of him whose visual organs avoid your honest regard.

    Hosea Ballou.

    The balls of sight are so formed that one man’s eyes are spectacles to another to read his heart with.


    When there is love in the heart there are rainbows in the eyes, which cover every black cloud with gorgeous hues.


    One of the most wonderful things in nature is a glance; it transcends speech; it is the bodily symbol of identity.


    There is a lore simple and sure, that asks no discipline of weary years—the language of the soul, told through the eye.

    Mrs. Sigourney.

    The eyes have a property in things and territories not named in any title-deeds, and are the owners of our choicest possessions.


    Eyes will not see when the heart wishes them to be blind. Desire conceals truth as darkness does the earth.


    Those eyes, soft and capricious as a cloudless sky, whose azure depth their color emulates, must needs be conversant with upward looks—prayer’s voiceless service.


    Since your eyes are so sharpe, that you cannot onely looke through a milstone, but cleane through the minde.


    The eyes of a man are of no use without the observing power. Telescopes and microscopes are cunning contrivances, but they cannot see of themselves.

    Paxton Hood.

    Her eyes, like marigolds, had sheathed their light, and, canopied in darkness, sweetly lay, till they might open to adorn the day.


    Beneath her drooping lashes slept a world of eloquent meaning; passionate but pure, dreamy, subdued, but, oh, how beautiful!

    Mrs. Osgood.

  • With eyes
  • Of microscopic power, that could discern
  • The population of a dew-drop.
  • James Montgomery.

  • There are whole veins of diamonds in thine eyes,
  • Might furnish crowns for all the Queens of earth.
  • Bailey.

    Guns, swords, batteries, armies and ships of war are set in motion by man for the subjugation of an enemy. Women bring conquerors to their feet with the magic of their eyes.

    Dr. J. V. C. Smith.

    Speech is a laggard and a sloth; but the eyes shoot out electric fluid that condenses all the elements of sentiment and passion in one single emanation.

    Horace Smith.

    When a man speaks the truth in the spirit of truth, his eye is as clear as the heavens. When he has base ends, and speaks falsely, the eye is muddy, and sometimes asquint.


    Satan turned Eve’s eye to the apple, Achan’s eye to the wedge of gold, Ahab’s eye to Naboth’s vineyard, and then what work did he make with them!

    Rev. J. Alleine.

    Lovers are angry, reconciled, entreat, thank, appoint, and finally speak all things, by their eyes.


    Men are born with two eyes, but with one tongue, in order that they should see twice as much as they say.


    The learned compute that seven hundred and seven millions of millions of vibrations have penetrated the eye before the eye can distinguish the tints of a violet.


  • How blue were Ariadne’s eyes
  • When, from the sea’s horizon line,
  • At eve, she raised them on the skies!
  • My Psyche, bluer far are thine.
  • Aubrey De Vere.

  • There are eyes half defiant,
  • Half meek and compliant;
  • Black eyes, with a wondrous, witching charm
  • To bring us good or to work us harm.
  • Phœbe Cary.

    O, the eye’s light is a noble gift of heaven! All beings live from light; each fair created thing, the very plants, turn with a joyful transport to the light.


    Crows pick out the eyes of the dead when they are no longer of any use. But flatterers destroy the souls of the living by blinding their eyes.


    Little eyes must be good-tempered or they are ruined. They have no other resource. But this will beautify them enough. They are made for laughing, and should do their duty.

    Leigh Hunt.

    People forget that it is the eye which makes the horizon, and the rounding mind’s eye which makes this or that man a type or representative of humanity with the name of hero or saint.


    Some eyes threaten like a loaded and levelled pistol, and others are as insulting as hissing or kicking; some have no more expression than blueberries, while others are as deep as a well which you can fall into.


    Somebody once observed—and the observation did him credit, whoever he was—that the dearest things in the world were neighbors’ eyes, for they cost everybody more than anything else contributing to housekeeping.

    Albert Smith.

  • Those laughing orbs, that borrow
  • From azure skies the light they wear,
  • Are like heaven—no sorrow
  • Can float o’er hues so fair.
  • Mrs. Osgood.

  • And then her look—Oh, where’s the heart so wise
  • Could, unbewilder’d, meet those matchless eyes?
  • Quick, restless, strange, but exquisite withal,
  • Like those of angels.
  • Moore.

    Why was the sight to such a tender ball as the eye confined, so obvious and so easy to be quenched, and not, as feeling, through all parts diffused, that she might look at will through every pore?


    The eye observes only what the mind, the heart, and the imagination are gifted to see; and sight must be reinforced by insight before souls can be discerned as well as manners, ideas as well as objects, realities and relations as well as appearances and accidental connections.


  • If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
  • And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
  • The age to come would say, “This poet lies;
  • Such heavenly touches ne’er touch’d earthly faces.”
  • Shakespeare.

    Men with gray eyes are generally keen, energetic, and at first cold; but you may depend upon their sympathy with real sorrow. Search the ranks of our benevolent men and you will agree with me.

    Dr. Leask.

    A woman with a hazel eye never elopes from her husband, never chats scandal, never finds fault, never talks too much nor too little—always is an entertaining, intellectual, agreeable and lovely creature.

    Frederic Saunders.

    Thou tell’st me there is murder in my eye: ’tis pretty, sure, and very probable that eyes—that are the frailest and softest things, who shut their coward gates on atomies—should be called tyrants, butchers, murderers!


    The eye is continually influenced by what it cannot detect; nay, it is not going too far to say that it is most influenced by what it detects least. Let the painter define, if he can, the variations of lines on which depend the change of expression in the human countenance.


    None but those who have loved can be supposed to understand the oratory of the eye, the mute eloquence of a look, or the conversational powers of the face. Love’s sweetest meanings are unspoken; the full heart knows no rhetoric of words, and resorts to the pantomime of sighs and glances.


    The eye is the window of the soul, the mouth the door. The intellect, the will, are seen in the eye; the emotions, sensibilities, and affections, in the mouth. The animals look for man’s intentions right into his eyes. Even a rat, when you hunt him and bring him to bay, looks you in the eye.

    Hiram Powers.

    Ahab cast a covetous eye at Naboth’s vineyard, David a lustful eye at Bathsheba. The eye is the pulse of the soul; as physicians judge of the heart by the pulse, so we by the eye; a rolling eye, a roving heart. The good eye keeps minnte time, and strikes when it should; the lustful, crochet-time, and so puts all out of tune.

    Rev. T. Adams.

  • Dark eyes—eternal soul of pride!
  • Deep life in all that’s true!
  • *****
  • Away, away to other skies!
  • Away o’er seas and sands!
  • Such eyes as those were never made
  • To shine in other lands.
  • Leland.

    The eye speaks with an eloquence and truthfulness surpassing speech. It is the window out of which the winged thoughts often fly unwittingly. It is the tiny magic mirror on whose crystal surface the moods of feeling fitfully play, like the sunlight and shadow on a still stream.


  • Thine eyes are like the deep, blue, boundless heaven
  • Contracted to two circles underneath
  • Their long, fine lashes; dark, far, measureless,
  • Orb within orb, and line through line inwoven.
  • Shelley.

  • I never saw an eye so bright,
  • And yet so soft as hers;
  • It sometimes swam in liquid light,
  • And sometimes swam in tears;
  • It seem’d a beauty set apart
  • For softness and for signs.
  • Mrs. Welby.

    That fine part of our construction, the eye, seems as much the receptacle and seat of our passions as the mind itself; and at least it is the outward portal to introduce them to the house within, or rather the common thoroughfare to let our affections pass in and out.


    The intelligence of affection is carried on by the eye only; good-breeding has made the tongue falsify the heart, and act a part of continued restraint, while nature has preserved the eyes to herself, that she may not be disguised or misrepresented.


    What a curious workmanship is that of the eye, which is in the body, as the sun in the world; set in the head as in a watch-tower, having the softest nerves for receiving the greater multitude of spirits necessary for the act of vision!


    It is wonderful indeed to consider how many objects the eye is fitted to take in at once, and successively in an instant, and at the same time to make a judgment of their position, figure, and color. It watches against our dangers, guides our steps, and lets in all the visible objects, whose beauty and variety instruct and delight.


    We lose in depth of expression when we go to inferior animals for comparisons with human beauty. Homer calls Juno ox-eyed; and the epithet suits well with the eyes of that goddess, because she may be supposed, with all her beauty, to want a certain humanity. Her large eyes look at you with a royal indifference.

    Leigh Hunt.

    Whatever of goodness emanates from the soul, gathers its soft halo in the eyes; and if the heart be a lurking-place of crime, the eyes are sure to betray the secret. A beautiful eye makes silence eloquent, a kind eye makes contradiction assent, an enraged eye makes beauty a deformity; so you see, forsooth, the little organ plays no inconsiderable, if not a dominant, part.

    Frederick Saunders.

  • Say, what other metre is it
  • Than the meeting of the eyes?
  • Nature poureth into nature
  • Through the channels of that feature
  • Riding on the ray of sight,
  • Fleeter far than whirlwinds go,
  • Or for service, or delight,
  • Hearts to hearts their meaning show.
  • Emerson.

    If the eye were so acute as to rival the finest microscope, and to discern the smallest hair upon the leg of a gnat, it would be a curse, and not a blessing to us; it would make all things appear rugged and deformed; the most finely polished crystal would be uneven and rough; the sight of our own selves would affright us; the smoothest skin would be beset all over with rugged scales and bristly hair.


  • Her eye (I am very fond of handsome eyes),
  • Was large and dark, suppressing half its fire
  • Until she spoke, then through its soft disguise
  • Flash’d an expression more of pride than ire,
  • And love than either; and there would arise,
  • A something in them which was not desire,
  • But would have been, perhaps, but for the soul,
  • Which struggled through and chasten’d down the whole.
  • Byron.

    Large eyes were admired in Greece, where they still prevail. They are the finest of all when they have the internal look, which is not common. The stag or antelope eye of the Orientals is beautiful and lamping, but is accused of looking skittish and indifferent. “The epithet of ‘stag-eyed,’” says Lady Wortley Montagu, speaking of a Turkish love-song, “pleases me extremely; and I think it a very lively image of the fire and indifference in his mistress’ eye.”

    Leigh Hunt.

  • A gray eye is a sly eye,
  • And roguish is a brown eye,—
  • Turn full upon me thy eye,—
  • Ah, how its wavelets drown one!
  • A blue eye is a true eye;
  • Mysterious is a dark one,
  • Which flashes like a spark-sun!
  • A black eye is the best one.
  • W. R. Alger.

  • Long while I sought to what I might compare
  • Those powerful eyes, which light my dark spirit;
  • Yet found I nought on earth, to which I dare
  • Resemble th’ image of their goodly light.
  • Not to the sun, for they do shine by night;
  • Nor to the moon, for they are changed never;
  • Nor to the stars, for they have purer sight;
  • Nor to the fire, for they consume not ever;
  • Nor to the lightning, for they still persever;
  • Nor to the diamond, for they are more tender;
  • Nor unto crystal, for nought may they sever;
  • Nor unto glass, such baseness might offend her;
  • Then to the Maker’s self the likest be;
  • Whose light doth lighten all that here we see.
  • Spenser.

    A pair of bright eyes with a dozen glances suffice to subdue a man; to enslave him, and inflame; to make him even forget; they dazzle him so that the past becomes straightway dim to him; and he so prizes them that he would give all his life to possess them. What is the fond love of dearest friends compared to his treasure? Is memory as strong as expectancy, fruition as hunger, gratitude as desire?


    A beautiful eye makes silence eloquent, a kind eye makes contradiction an assent, an enraged eye makes beauty deformed. This little member gives life to every other part about us; and I believe the story of Argus implies no more than that the eye is in every part; that is to say, every other part would be mutilated were not its force represented more by the eye than even by itself.


  • Those eyes that were so bright, love,
  • Have now a dimmer shine;
  • But what they’ve lost in light, love,
  • Is what they gave to mine.
  • And still those orbs reflect, love,
  • The beams of former hours,
  • That ripen’d all my joys, love,
  • And tinted all my flowers.
  • Hood.

    Eyes are bold as lions, roving, running, leaping, here and there, far and near. They speak all languages; they wait for no introduction; they are no Englishmen; ask no leave of age or rank; they respect neither poverty nor riches, neither learning nor power, nor virtue, nor sex, but intrude, and come again, and go through and through you in a moment of time. What inundation of life and thought is discharged from one soul into another through them!