2 v^yTj^ 3fâ€” %^^ ^
cA;OFCAUF0Â«^ ^OFCAUFOff^^ ^UNIVERS/^ ^1
^J3l39NYS(n^ */JiaAINa-3tf^ %0JI1V3J0'
^wmo/t:. ^mimo/t:^ .\weuniver%. ^i
^iir'^ iiir"^ i^txf^^ t/
Henry W. Longfellow.
It has been the aim of the compiler of this
little book to present a Dictionary of Poetical
Quotations which will be a ready reference to
many of the most familiar stanzas and lines
of the chief poets of the English language,
with a few selections from Continental writers;
and also some less familiar selections from
more modern poets, which may in time become
classic, or which at least have a contemporary
interest. Readers of English literature are
aware that the few great poets of our language
have struck perhaps every chord of human
sentiment capable of illustration in verse, and
even these few have borrowed the ideas, and
sometimes almost the exact words, of prede-
cessors or contemporaries.
But often old ideas in a new dress are wel-
come to readers who might not have been
attracted by the old forms ; and each genera-
tion has its peculiar modes of expression if not
its new lines of thought. It is hoped that this
mingling of the old and the new will not be
without interest. To carry out the plan of
making this a "handy" dictionary of quotations
and, at the same time, as comprehensive as the
space permitted, it has been necessary to conhne
the illustration of the topics selected to brief
extracts from each author. Of course, in all
books of quotations the great name of Shake-
speare hlls the largest space ; and the compiler
of this book, as well as all students of Shake-
speare, is under obligation to the painstaking
compilers of the concordances to this poet, and
especially to Mr. Bartlett's monumental work.
To many other compilers of quotations, espe-
cially to the Poetical Quotations of Anna L.
Ward (published by Messrs. T. Y. Crowell &
Co.), the author is under obligations; while
he has made an independent examination of
the more recent poets, as well as many of the
older ones. The topics illustrated number
2138, selected from the writings of 255 authors.
The indexes, which will be found full and
complete, were prepared by Mrs. Grace E.
Powers, who has also rendered valuable assist-
ance in preparing the copy for the press and
in reading the proofs.
G. W. P.
HANDY DICTIONARY OF POETI-
Abash'd the devil stood,
And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
Virtue in her shape how lovely.
1 Milton: Par. Zos^ Bk. iv., Line 846.
To happy convents bosom'd deep in vines,
Where slumber abbots purple as their wines.
2 Pope: Dunciad, Bk. iv., Line SOL
I give this heavy weight from off my head,
And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand,
The pride of kingly sway from out my heart;
AVith mine own tears I wash away ray balm,
AVith mine own hands I give away my crown,
With mine own tongue deny my sacred state.
With mine own breath release all duteous oaths.
3 Shaks. : Richard II., Act iv., Sc. L
So spake the seraph Abdiel, faithful found;
Among the faithless, faithful only he.
4 Milton : Par. Lost, Bk. v., Line 896.
Z DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS.
I profess not talking : only this,
Let each man do his best.
5 SiiAKS. : 1 Henry IV., Act v., Sc. 2.
What ! keep a week away ! Seven days and nights ?
Eight score eiglit hours? and lovers' absent hours,
More tedious tlian the dial eight score times?
O weary reckoning !
6 Shaks. : Othello, Act iii., Sc. 4.
Though lost to sight, to memory dear
Thou ever wilt remain.
7 George Linley: Song, TlioiKjh Lost to S'kjIU.
Condemn"'d whole years in absence to deplore.
And image charms he must behold no more.
8 Pope: Eloisa to A., Line 36L
O last love ! O first love 1
My love with the true heart,
To think I have come to this your home.
And yet â€” we are apart !
9 Jean Ingelow: Sailing Beyond Seas.
'Tis said that absence conquers love ;
But oh believe it not !
I've tried, alas ! its power to prove.
But thou art not forgot.
Frederick W. Thomas: Absence Conquers
Against diseases here the strongest fence
Is the defensive virtue abstinence.
11 Herrick: Aph. Abstinence.
DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS. 6
Thou thread, thou thimble,
Thou yard, three quarters, half-yard, quarter, nail,
Thou ilea, thou nit, thou winter cricket thou :
Away thou rag, thou quantity, thou remnant.
12 Shaks. : 2a?Â«. of the S., Act iv., Sc. 3.
As the unthought-on accident is guilty
Of what we wildly do, so we profess
Ourselves to be the slaves of chance, and flies
Of every wind that blows.
13 Shaks. : Wint. Tale, Act iv., Sc. 3.
Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field.
14 Shaks.: Othello, Act i., Sc. 3.
Our wanton accidents take root, and grow
To vaunt themselves God's laws.
Charles Kingsley: Saints' Tragedy,
15 Act ii., Sc. 4.
By many a happy accident.
MiDDLETON : No Wit, No Help, Like a Wo-
16 mans, Act ii., Sc. 2.
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head.
Accuse not Nature : she hath done her part ;
Do thou but thine.
18 Milton : Par. Lost, Bk. viii., Line 561.
DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS.
Great things thro' greatest hazards are achiev'd,
And then tliey shine.
Beaumont and Fletcher : Loyal Subject,
19 Act i., Sc. 5.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' lang syne ?
20 Burns: Auld Lang Syne.
Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.
21 Shaks. : Othello, Act ii., Sc. 3.
Of every noble action, the intent
Is to give worth reward â€” vice punishment.
Beaumont and Fletcher : Captain,
22 Act v., Sc. 5.
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.
James Shirley : Death's Final Conquest,
23 Sc. iii.
Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws
Makes that and th' action fine.
24 Herbert: The Elixir.
DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS. O
If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly.
25 Shaks. : Macbeth, Act i., Sc. 7.
AVise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
26 Shaks. : 3 Henry VI., Act v., Sc. 4.
A strutting player, â€” whose conceit
Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich
To hear the wooden dialogue and sound
'Twixt his stretched footing and the scaffoldage.
27 Shaks. : TroiL and Cress., Act i., Sc. 3.
The world's a theatre, the earth a stage
Which God and Nature do with actors fill.
28 Thomas Heywood : Apology for Actors.
All things are ready, if our minds be so.
29 Shaks. : Henry V., Act iv., Sc. 3.
And the tear that is wiped with a little address
May be foUow'd perhaps by a smile.
30 CowPER : The Rose.
Adieu, adieu I my native shore
Fades o'er the waters blue.
31 Byron : Ch. Harold, Canto i., St. 13
6 DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS.
Adieu, she cried, and waved her lily hand.
Gay: Sweet William's Fareioell to
32 Black-eyed Susan.
Season your admiration for a while.
33 Shaks. : Hamlet, Act i., Sc. 2.
The holy time is quiet as a nun
Breathless with adoration.
34 Wordsworth : // is a Beauteous Evening.
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the prinnose peeps beneath the thorn.
35 Goldsmith : Des. Village, Line 232.
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
But is when unadorn'd, adorn'd the most.
36 Thomson: Seasons, Autumn, Line 204.
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
AVears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt.
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
37 Shaks.: As You Like It, Act ii., Sc. 1.
DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS. 7
A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity,
We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry ;
But were we burthen'd with like weight of pain,
As much, or more, we should ourselves complain.
38 Shaks. : Com. of Errors, Act ii., Sc. 1.
I am not now in fortune's power :
He that is down can fall no lower.
Butler : Hudibras, Pt. i., Canto iii.,
39 Line 877.
For of fortunes sharpe adversite.
The worst kind of infortune is this, â€”
A man that hath been is prosperite,
And it remember whan it passed is.
Chaucer: Troilus and Creseide, Bk. iii.,
40 Line 1625.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judg-
41 Shaks. : Hamlet, Act i., Sc. 3.
Know when to speak â€” for many times it brings
Danger, to give the best advice to kings.
42 Herrick : Aph. Caution in Council.
The worst men often give the best advice.
43 Bailey : Festus, Sc. A Village Feast.
*Twas good advice, and meant, my son, Be good.
44 Crabbe : The Learned Boy.
8 DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS.
There atfectation, with a sickly mien,
Shows in her cheek the roses of eighteen ;
Practis'd to lisp, and hang the head aside;
Faints into airs, and languishes with pride;
On the rich quilt sinks with becoming woe,
Wrapt in a gown, for sickness, and for show.
45 Pope : R. of the Lock, Canto iv., Line -Ji
Why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on.
46 Shaks. : Hamlet, Act i., Sc. 2.
Affection is a coal that must be cool'd,
Else, suifer'd, it will set the heart on fire.
47 Shaks.: Fenu.s rtnr/ .1., Line 387.
Affliction is the good man's shining scene;
Prosperity conceals his brightest ray;
As night to stars, woe lustre gives to man.
48 Young : Night Thoughts, Night ix., Line 406.
Now let us thank the Eternal Power : convinced
That Heaven but tries our virtue by affliction.
49 John Brown : Barbarossa, Act v., Sc. 3.
Young men soon give and soon forget affronts;
Old age is slow in both.
50 Addison: Cato, Act ii., Sc. 0.
DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS. y
When the age is in, the wit is out.
51 Shaks. : Much Ado, Act iii., Sc. 5.
His silver hairs
Will purchase us a good opinion,
And buy men's voices to commend our deeds;
It shall be said, â€” his judgment rul'd our hands.
52 Shaks. : Jul. Ccesar, Act ii., Sc. 1.
Manhood, when verging into age, grows thought-
53 Capel Lofft's Aphorisms. Published in 1812.
I am declin'd into the vale of years.
54 Shaks. : Othello, Act iii., Sc. 3.
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety ; other women
Cloy th' appetites they feed ; but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies.
55 Shaks. : Ant. and Cleo., Act ii., Sc. 2.
An old man, broken with the storms of State,
Is come to lay his weary bones among ye;
Give hira a little earth for charity !
56 Shaks. : Henry VIII., Act iv., Sc. 2.
We see time's furrows on another's brow^ , . .
How few themselves in that just mirror see !
57 Young : Night Thoughts, Night v., Line 627.
10 DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS.
O, sir! I must not tell my age.
They say women and music should never be dated.
58 Goldsmith: She Sloops to Con., Act iii.
What is the worst of woes that wait on ai^e?
What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?
To view each loved one blotted from life's page,
And be alone on earth as I am now.
59 Byuon: Ch. Harold, Canto ii., St. 98.
Old age comes on apace to ravage all the clime.
60 Beattie : The MinMrel, Bk. i., St. 25.
But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.
61 Wordsworth : To a Young Lady.
A solitary shriek, the bubbling cry
Of some strong swimmer in his agony.
62 Byron : Don Juan, Canto ii., St. 53.
Could we forbear dispute and practise love,
We should agree as angels do above.
G3 Waller : Divine Love, Canto iii.
Where order in variety we see,
And where, though all things differ, all agree.
G4 Pope: Windsor Forest, Line 13.
Better have failed in the high aim, as I,
Than vulgarly in the low aim succeed.
65 Robert Browning: The Inn Album, \y.
DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS. 11
When he speaks,
The air, a chartered libertine, is still.
66 Shaks. : Henry V., Act i., Sc. 1.
I have a kind of alacrity in sinking.
67 Shaks. : Mer. W. of W., Act iii., Sc. 5.
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale.
68 Milton: L'ylZ/e^rro, Line 100.
A Rechabite poor Will must live,
And drink of Adam's ale.
69 Prior : The Wandering Pilgrim.
A needless Alexandrine ends the song.
That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length
70 Pope : E. on Criticism, Pt. ii., Line 156.
Alone, alone, â€” all, all alone ;
Alone on a wide, wide sea.
71 Coleridge: The Ancient Mariner, Pt. iv.
But look! Amazement on thy mother sits;
O step between her and her fighting soul :
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
72 Shaks. : Hamlet, Act iii., Sc. 4.
1- DICTIONAKY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS.
Pretty ! in amber to observe the forms
Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms !
Tlie things, we know, are neitlier rich nor rare,
But wonder how the devil they got there.
73 Pope: Epis. to Arbuthnot, Line 1Q9.
Fling away ambition ;
By that sin fell the angels : how can man then,
The image of his JNlaker, hope to win by it?
74 Shaks. : Henry VII L, Act iii., Sc. 2.
I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,
And falls on the other.
75 Shaks. : Macbeth, Act i., Sc. 7.
Ambition has but one reward for all :
A little power, a little transient fame,
A grave to rest in, and a fading name.
76 William Winter : Queen's Domain.
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell :
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.
77 Milton : Par. Lost, Bk. i., Line 262.
Such joy ambition finds.
78 Milton : Par. Lost, Bk. iv.. Line 92.
America! half brother of the world I
With something good and bad of every land ;
Greater than thee have lost their seat â€”
Greater scarce none can stand.
79 Bailey : Festus, Sc. The Surface.
DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS. 13
Where eldest Night
And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal anarchy amidst the noise
Of endless wars, and by confusion stand.
80 Milton : Par. Lost, Bk. ii.. Line 894
The sap which at the root is bred
In trees, through all the boughs is spread ;
But virtues which in parents shine
Make not like progress through the line.
81 Waller: 7o Zelinda.
AVhat can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards?
Alas ! not all the blood of all the Howards.
82 Pope : Essay on Man, Epis. iv., Line 215.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
83 Pope : E. on Criticism, Pt. iii., Line 66.
The angels come and go, the messengers of God.
84 R. H. Stoddard : Hymn to the Beautiful.
The good he scorn'd
â€¢ Stalk'd oif reluctant, like an ill-used ghost,
Not to return ; or if it did, in visits
Like those of angels, short and far between.
85 Blair : The Grave, Pt. ii., Line 586.
Anger 's my meat ; I sup upon myself,
And so shall starve with feeding.
86 Shaks. : Coriolanus, Act iv., Sc. 2.
Never anger made good guard for itself.
87 Shaks.: Ant. and Cleo., Act iv., Sc. 1
14 DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS.
The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait.
88 SnAKS. : Much Ado, Act iii., Sc. 1.
'T w^as merry when
You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
Did hang a salt-fish on his hook, which he
With fervency drew up.
89 Shaks. : Ant. and Cieo., Act ii., Sc. 5.
Peace, brother, be not over-exquisite
To cast the fashion of uncertain evils;
For, grant they be so, while they rest unknown,
What need a man forestall his (late of grief.
And run to meet what he would most avoid?
90 Milton : Comus, Line 359.
O good old man ! how well in thee appears
The constant service of the antique world.
When service sweat for duty, not for meedl
Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
Where none will sweat, but for promotion.
91 Shaks. : As You Like It, Act ii., Sc. 3.
Nor rough, nor barren, are the winding ways
Of hoar antiquity, but strewn with flowers.
Warton : Written on a Blank Leaf of
92 DugdaWs Monasticon.
In lazy apathy let stoics boast
Their virtue fix'd ; 't is fixed as in a frost.
93 Pope ; Essay on Man, Epis. i\., Line lOL
DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS. 15
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not expressed in fancy ; rich, not gaudy :
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
94 Shaks. : Hamlet, Act i., Sc. 3.
How fading are the joys we dote upon 1
J^ike apparitions seen and gone.
95 John Nokris: The Parting.
I have done the state some service, and they know it.
No more of that ; I pray you in your letters,
AVhen you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me as 1 am, nothing extenuate.
Nor set down aught in malice.
96 Shaks. : Othello, Act v., Sc. 2.
All that glisters is not gold,
Gilded tombs do worms infold.
97 Shaks. ; M. of Venice, Act ii., Sc. 7.
Appearances to save, his only care;
So things seem right no matter what they are.
98 Churchill: Rosciad, L\i\q 2^^.
Now good digestion wait on appetite,
And health on both.
99 Shaks. : Macbeth, Act iii., Sc. 4.
His thirst he slakes at some pure neighboring
Nor seeks for sauce where appetite stands cook.
100 Churchill : Gotham, iii., Line 133,
16 DICTIOXARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIOXS.
I would applaud thee to the very echo,
Tliat should applaud again.
101 SiiAKS. : Macbeth, Act v., Sc. 3
Oh popular applause ! what heart of man
Is proof against thy sweet, seducing charms?
102 CowPER : Task, Bk. ii., Line 481.
The applause of list'ning senates to command.
103 Gray: Elegy, St. 16.
Whanne that Aprille with his shoures sote
The droughte of March hath perced to the rote.
Chaucer: Canterbury Tales, Prologue,
104 Line 1.
April cold with dropping rain
Willows and lilacs brings again,
The whistle of returning birds,
And trumpet-lowing of the herds.
105 Emerson: May-day, JAne 12i.
When aince Aprile has fairly come,
An' birds may bigg in winter's lum,
An' pleisure's spreid for a' and some
O' whatna state,
Ix)ve, wi' her auld recruitin' drum,
Than taks the gate.
Robert Louis Stevenson: Underwoods,
106 Bk. ii., iil
In arguing, too, the parson owned his skill.
For e'en though vanquish'd, he could argue still.
107 Goldsmith: Des. Village; Line 2\l
DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS. 17
'Tis from high life high characters are drawn ;
A saint iii crape is twice a saint in lawn.
108 Pope: Moral Essays, Epis. i., Line 135.
Seraphs share with thee
Knowledge : But art, O man, is thine alone !
109 Schiller: Artists, St. 2c
Art is the child of Nature ; yes,
Her darling child, in whom we trace
The features of the mother's face,
Her aspect and her attitude.
110 Longfellow i Ke'ramos.
In framing an artist, art hath thus decreed,
To make some good, but others to exceed.
111 Shaks. : Pericles, Act ii., Sc. 3.
Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd
A pillar of state.
1 12 Milton : Par. Lost, Bk. ii., Line 300.
'Tis he, T ken the manner of his gait;
He rises on the toe ; that spirit of his
In aspiration lifts him from the earth.
113 Shaks. : Trail, and Cress., Act iv., Sc. 5.
18 DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS.
rU make assurance double sure,
And take a bond ol" late.
Ill: 811AKS. : Macbeth, Act iv., Sc. 1.
By night an atheist half believes a God.
115 Young : Night Thoughts, Night v., Line 17G.
Ancient of days ! august Athena 1 where,
Where are thy men of might, thy grand in soul?
Gone â€” glinunering through the dream of things
Pirst in the race that led to glory's goal>
They won, and pass'd away.
116 Byron : Ch. Harold, Canto ii., St. 2.
Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
117 Milton: Par. Regained, Bk. iv., Line 240.
The attempt and not the deed
118 Shaks. : Macbeth, Act ii., Sc. 2.
The tongues of dying men
Enforce attention like deep harmony.
119 S11AK8. : Richard II., Act ii., Sc. 1.
Still govern thou my song,
Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
120 Milton : Par. Lost, Bk. vii., Line 30.
DICTIOXARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS. 19
Rejoice ! ye fields, rejoice ! and wave with gold,
"When August round her precious gifts is flinging;
Lo ! the crushed wain is slowly homeward rolled :
The sunburnt reapers jocund lays are singing.
121 RjJSKi^: The Months.
Aurora now, fair daughter of the dawn,
Sprinkled with rosy light the dewy lawn.
122 Pope : Iliad, Bk. viii., Line 1.
Most authors steal their works, or buy ;
Garth did not write his own Dispensary,
123 Pope : E. on Criticism, Pt. iii., Line 59.
No author ever spar'd a brother.
124 Gay : Fables, The Elephant and the Bookseller.
How many great ones may remember'd be,
Which in their days most famously did flourish.
Of whom no word we hear, nor sign now see,
But as things wip'd out with a sponge do perish.
125 Spenser : Ruins of Time, St. 52.
]\Ian, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority.
Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd,
His glassy essence â€” like an angry ape.
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep !
126 Shaks.: M.for M., Act ii., Sc: 2.
20 DICTIONARY OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS.
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness !
Close bosom friend of the maturing sun ;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
AVith fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core.
127 Keats: To Autumn.
Divinest autumn ! who may paint thee best,
Forever changeful o'er the changeful globe ?
Who guess thy certain crown, thy favorite crest,
The fashion of thy many-colored robe?
128 K. II. Stoddard: Autumn.
Autumn wins you best by this its mute
Appeal to sympathy for its decay.
129 Robert Browning : Paracelsus, Sc. i.
The lands are lit
With all the autumn blaze of Golden Rod;
And everywhere the Purple Asters nod
And bend and wave and flit.
130 Helen Hunt: Asters ajid Golden Rod.
I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn.
131 Hood :^'lM;umn.
The lust of gold succeeds the rags of conquest :
The lust of gold, unfeeling and remorseless 1
The last corruption of degenerate man.
132 Dr. J0HN8ON : Irene, Act i., Sc. 1
DICTIOXARY OF PI
So for a good old-gentlemanlj vKqf,j^ o[A
I think I must take up with ava^*^^'^/^, (__ |_t B v\^5^
133 Byrox: Don Juanj- Csinto^
Of which all old men sicken, â€” avarice.
13-1 MiDDLETON : Roaring Girl, Act i., Sc. 1.
Awkward, embarrassed, stiff, without the skill
Of moving gracefully, or standing still,
One leg, as if suspicious of his brother.
Desirous seems to run away from t'other.
135 Churchill : Rosciad, Line 438.
Jove lifts the golden balances that show
The fates of mortal men, and things below.
136 Pope: Iliad, Bk. xxii., Line 271.
I saw her at a county ball ;
There when the sound of flute and fiddle
Gave signal sweet in that old hall.