A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own.
A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds.
All of us who are worth anything, spend our manhood in unlearning the follies, or expiating the mistakes of our youth.
Change is certain. Peace is followed by disturbances; departure of evil men by their return. Such recurrences should not constitute occasions for sadness but realities for awareness, so that one may be happy in the interim.
Concerning God, freewill and destiny: Of all that earth has been or yet may be, all that vain men imagine or believe, or hope can paint or suffering may achieve, we descanted.
Death is the veil which those who live call life; They sleep, and it is lifted.
Familiar acts are beautiful through love.
Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.
First our pleasures die – and then our hopes, and then our fears – and when these are dead, the debt is due dust claims dust – and we die too.
Government is an evil; it is only the thoughtlessness and vices of men that make it a necessary evil. When all men are good and wise, government will of itself decay.
History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man.
I have drunken deep of joy, And I will taste no other wine tonight.
I think that the leaf of a tree, the meanest insect on which we trample, are in themselves arguments more conclusive than any which can be adduced that some vast intellect animates Infinity.
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
In a drama of the highest order there is little food for censure or hatred; it teaches rather self-knowledge and self-respect.
Is it not odd that the only generous person I ever knew, who had money to be generous with, should be a stockbroker.
Love is free; to promise for ever to love the same woman is not less absurd than to promise to believe the same creed; such a vow in both cases excludes us from all inquiry.
Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder.
Man’s yesterday may never be like his morrow; Nought may endure but Mutability.
Music, when soft voices die Vibrates in the memory.
Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.
O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?
Obscenity, which is ever blasphemy against the divine beauty in life, is a monster for which the corruption of society forever brings forth new food, which it devours in secret.
Only nature knows how to justly proportion to the fault the punishment it deserves.
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.
Poetry is a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it.
Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.
Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.
Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
Reason respects the differences, and imagination the similitudes of things.
Revenge is the naked idol of the worship of a semi-barbarous age.
Soul meets soul on lovers’ lips.
The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.
The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys.
The more we study the more we discover our ignorance.
The pleasure that is in sorrow is sweeter than the pleasure of pleasure itself.
The soul’s joy lies in doing.
There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!
There is no real wealth but the labor of man.
Tragedy delights by affording a shadow of the pleasure which exists in pain.
Twin-sister of Religion, Selfishness.
War is the statesman’s game, the priest’s delight, the lawyer’s jest, the hired assassin’s trade.
We look before and after, And pine for what is not; Our sincerest laughter With some pain is fraught; Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
When a thing is said to be not worth refuting you may be sure that either it is flagrantly stupid – in which case all comment is superfluous – or it is something formidable, the very crux of the problem.
When my cats aren’t happy, I’m not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they’re just sitting there thinking up ways to get even.