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

Gods (The)

Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a flea, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.


The gods play games with men as balls.


The gods my protectors.


Who hearkens to the gods, the gods give ear.


I would the gods had made thee poetical.


Speak of the gods as they are.


The matchless Ganymede, divinely fair.


The world is the mighty temple of the gods.


  • As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;
  • They kill us for their sport.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Jove weighs affairs of earth in dubious scales,
  • And the good suffers while the bad prevails.
  • Homer.

  • Shakes his ambrosial curls, and gives the nod,
  • The stamp of fate, and sanction of the god.
  • Homer.

  • The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
  • Make instruments to plague us.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Some thoughtlessly proclaim the Muses nine:
  • A tenth is Sappho, maid divine.
  • Greek Anthology.

    The more we deny ourselves, the more the gods supply our wants.


    Cease to think that the decrees of the gods can be changed by prayers.


    Ye immortal gods! where in the world are we?


    For the gods, instead of what is most pleasing, will give what is most proper. Man is dearer to them than he is to himself.


    The gods and their tranquil abodes appear, which no winds disturb, nor clouds bedew with showers, nor does the white snow, hardened by frost, annoy them; the heaven, always pure, is without clouds, and smiles with pleasant light diffused.


  • In the elder days of Art,
  • Builders wrought with greatest care
  • Each minute and unseen part;
  • For the gods see everywhere.
  • Longfellow.

  • As sweet and musical
  • As bright Apollo’s lute, strung with his hair;
  • And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
  • Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Say, Bacchus, why so placid? What can there be
  • In commune held by Pallas and by thee?
  • Her pleasure is in darts and battles: thine
  • In joyous feasts and draughts of rosy wine.
  • Greek Anthology.

  • With ravish’d ears
  • The monarch hears,
  • Assumes the god,
  • Affects to nod,
  • And seems to shake the spheres.
  • Dryden.

  • The gods
  • Grow angry with your patience. ’Tis their care
  • And must be yours, that guilty men escape not:
  • As crimes do grow, justice should rouse itself.
  • Ben Jonson.

  • The son of Saturn gave
  • The nod with his dark brows. The ambrosial curls
  • Upon the Sovereign One’s immortal head
  • Were shaken, and with them the mighty mount,
  • Olympus trembled.
  • Homer.

  • High in the home of the summers, the seats of the happy immortals,
  • Shrouded in knee-deep blaze, unapproachable; there ever youthful
  • Hebé, Harmonié, and the daughter of Jove, Aphrodité,
  • Whirled in the white-linked dance, with the gold-crowned Hours and Graces.
  • Charles Kingsley.

    When a man is laboring under the pain of any distemper, it is then that he recollects there are gods, and that he himself is but a man; no mortal is then the object of his envy, his admiration, or his contempt, and having no malice to gratify, the tales of slander excite not his attention.

    Pliny the Younger.

  • Janus am I; oldest of potentates!
  • Forward I look and backward and below
  • I count—as god of avenues and gates—
  • The years that through my portals come and go.
  • I block the roads and drift the fields with snow,
  • I chase the wild-fowl from the frozen fen;
  • My frosts congeal the rivers in their flow,
  • My fires light up the hearths and hearts of men.
  • Longfellow.

  • Creator Venus, genial power of love,
  • The bliss of men below, and gods above!
  • Beneath the sliding sun thou runn’st thy race,
  • Dost fairest shine, and best become thy place;
  • For thee the winds their eastern blasts forbear,
  • Thy mouth reveals the spring, and opens all the year;
  • Thee, goddess, thee, the storms of winter fly,
  • Earth smiles with flowers renewing, laughs the sky.
  • Dryden.