What do the trees know.sway, sway, swaymore quotes

# english: fun

In Silico Flurries: Computing a world of snow. Scientific American. 23 December 2017

# daily quotation server archives

In the late 90’s I started (a good decade for starts) a daily quotation server project at www.quoteserver.ca. The domain is now defunct—some pages are partially viewable at the Way Back Machine.

Below is the list of quotes I had collected by the end of the life of the project. Most are about love—duh—and a few are jolly jests from funny trenches. You know, that place where mustard gas makes your eyes water.

The quotes weren’t scraped from quote archives—each is meaningful and hand-picked.

Each one of my webpages has a quote rotation on the top right. These are particularly special, picked often during times when I am feeling overwhelmed—in a good or bad way. Here, they are all listed

#### Give me a number of games.

Drive, driven. Gave, given.
—Yello

#### can you hear the rain?

Without an after or a when.
—Papercut feat. Maiken Sundby

#### sway, sway, sway

What do the trees know.
—Laleh

#### drift deeper into the sound

Embrace me, surround me as the rush comes.
—Motorcycle

—Coeur de Pirate

#### safe at last

Safe, fallen down this way, I want to be just what I am.
—Cocteau Twins

#### let it go

I'm not real and I deny I won't heal unless I cry.
—Cocteau Twins

#### aim high

And she looks like the moon. So close and yet, so far.
—Future Islands

#### don't rehearse

And whatever I do will become forever what I've done.
—Wislawa Szymborska

#### be apart

Sun is on my face ...a beautiful day without you.
—Royskopp

Love itself became the object of her love.
—Jonathan Safran Foer

#### get nowhere

Here we are now at the middle of the fourth large part of this talk.
—Pepe Deluxe

#### choose four words

Twenty — minutes — maybe — more.
—Naomi

—Hooverphonic

#### break flowers

Thoughts rearrange, familiar now strange.
—Holly Golightly & The Greenhornes

#### try to figure it out

This love's a nameless dream.
—Cocteau Twins

#### get lost in questions

Where am I supposed to go? Where was I supposed to know?
—Violet Indiana

#### burn something

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash
—Leonard Cohen

#### find a way to love

This love loves love. It's a strange love, strange love.
—Liz Fraser

#### go there

listen; there's a hell of a good universe next door: let's go.
—e.e. cummings

#### get cranky

Lips that taste of tears, they say, are the best for kissing.
—Dorothy Parker

#### think & dance

Tango is a sad thought that is danced.
—Enrique Santos Discépolo

## purpose of quotations

If Geoffrey O’Brien’s statement

"Quotes are the furniture of my life."

in the NYT article We Are What We Quote applies, then too many people are living in empty spaces.

In fact, thinking back to the last time I heard someone quote something takes my mind too far back. Far too far. But it was a good one—my esteemed colleague Robin Coope reminded me of this Leonard Cohen gem, from the song Anthem.

"There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in."

## other attempts at herding words and lines

If you enjoy words, I invite you to peruse words I have tried to coin and my writing.

## the quote archive

And now for full list of 1,600 other things worth reading. Such as everything Dorothy Parker has written and ... yes, even the Pinky and Brain quotes, which are a special kind of special.

Quote collections about love, heart, desire, life, death, god, mind, science.

Feeling lucky? Read 10 random quotes. Well, will you, punk?

1
Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight.
Make me a child again just for to-night.
Rock Me to Sleep
2
I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.
A Better Ressurrection
3
My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall — the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.
A Better Ressurrection
4
Talk what you please of future spring
And sun-warm’d sweet to-morrow: —
Stripp’d bare of hope and everything,
No more to laugh, no more to sing,
I sit alone with sorrow.
A Daughter of Eve
5
For I am bound with fleshly bands,
Joy, beauty, lie beyond my scope;
I strain my heart, I stretch my hands,
And catch at hope.
De Profundis
6
Rest, rest, for evermore
Upon a mossy shore;
Rest, rest at the heart’s core
Till time shall cease:
Sleep that no pain shall wake;
Night that no morn shall break
Till joy shall overtake
Her perfect peace.
Dream Land
7
"We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"
Hobbling down the glen.
Goblin Market
8
Come back to me, who wait and watch for you:
Or come not yet, for it is over then,
And long it is before you come again,
So far between my pleasures are and few.
Monna Innominata: A Sonnet of Sonnets, i
9
Howbeit, to meet you grows almost a pang
Because the pang of parting comes so soon;
My hope hangs waning, waxing, like a moon
Between the heavenly days on which we meet:
Ah me, but where are now the songs I sang
When life was sweet because you call’d them sweet?
Monna Innominata: A Sonnet of Sonnets, i
10
If only I could recollect it, such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow;
It seem’d to mean so little, meant so much;
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand — Did one but know!
Monna Innominata: A Sonnet of Sonnets, ii
11
Thus only in a dream we are at one,
Thus only in a dream we give and take
The faith that maketh rich who take or give;
If thus to sleep is sweeter than to wake,
To die were surely sweeter than to live,
Though there be nothing new beneath the sun.
Monna Innominata: A Sonnet of Sonnets, iii
12
In contact, lo! the flint and steel,
By sharp and flame, the thought reveal
That he the metal, she the stone,
13
Take not God’s name in vain: select a time when it will have effect.
14
Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.
The Clod and the Pebble
15
Love seeketh only self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.
The Clod and the Pebble
16
Her suffering ended with the day,
Yet lived she at its close,
And breathed the long, long night away
In statue-like repose.
A Death Bed
17
But when the sun in all his state
Illumed the eastern skies,
She passed through Glory’s morning gate,
A Death Bed
18
Those golden palaces, those gorgeous halls,
With furniture superfluously fair;
Those stately courts, those sky encount’ring walls
Evanish all like vapours in the air.
The Tragedy of Darius, IV iii
19
Give me somewhere to stand, and I will move the earth.
20
Plausible impossibilities should be preferred to unconvincing possibilities.
21
Shall any gazer see with mortal eyes,
Or any seeker know by mortal mind?
Veil after veil will lift — but there must be
Veil upon veil behind.
The Light of Asia, VIII
22
What is Truth? said jesting Pilate, but would not stay for an answer.
Of Truth
23
It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant perhaps the one is as painful as the other.
Of Death
24
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
Of Studies
25
Now the day is over,
The night is drawing nigh,
Steal across the sky.
Now the day is over
26
You can fool some of the people all of the time,
and all of the people some of the time;
but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
27
He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man.
The Hermit
28
If there were dreams to sell
Some cost a passing-bell
Some a light sigh.
Dream-Pedlary
29
Woman would be more charming if one could fall into her arms without falling into her hands.
30
Piping down valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child.
Songs of Innocence
31
Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.
Love’s Secret
32
Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau;
Mock on, mock on, ’tis all in vain!
You throw the sand against the wind,
And the wind blows it back again.
Mock on, mock on, Voltaire
33
To see a World in a grain of sand,
And Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
Auguries of Innocence
34
Little fly, thy summer’s play
My careless hand hath brushed away.
Am not I a fly like thee,
Or art not thou a man like me.
For I dance, and drink, and sing
Till some blind hand doth brush my wing.
If that is life, and strength, and breath
And the word of thought is death
Then am I a happy fly?
If I live, or if I die.
35
The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
But the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.
Light
36
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies,
When love is done.
Light
37
The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just’s umbrella.
Sichel, Sands of Time
38
So sweet love seemed that April morn.
When first we kissed beside the thorn,
So strangely sweet, it was not strange
We thought that love could never change.
So Sweet Love Seemed
39
But I can tell—let truth be told—
That love will change in growing old;
Though day by day is nought to see,
So delicate his motions be.
So Sweet Love Seemed
40
My delight and thy delight
Walking, like two angels white,
In the gardens of the night.
My Delight and thy Delight
41
When first we met we did not guess
That Love would prove so hard a master.
Triolet
42
No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubles sphere;
I see Heaven’s glories shine,
And Faith shines equal, arming me from fear.
Last Lines
43
Thought earth and man were gone,
And stars and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.
Last Lines
44
I do not love thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this alone I know full well,
I do not love thee, Doctor Fell.
45
Sleep is a death, O make me try
By sleeping, what it is to die,
And as gently lay my head
On my grave, as now my bed.
Religio Medici, part II
46
’Yes,’ I answered you last night;
’No,’ this morning, sir, I say.
Colours seen by candle-light
Will not look the same by day.
47
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breath and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
Sonnets from the Portuguese
48
I love thee with the love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Sonnets from the Portuguese
49
Good, to forgive;
Best, to forget!
Living, we fret;
Dying, we live.
La Saisiaz
50
I never saw a Purple Cow
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.
The Purple Cow
51
Ah, yes, I wrote the ’Purple Cow’—
I’m sorry, now, I wrote it!
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’ll kill you if you quote it!
Cinq Ans Apres
52
An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.
53
Life is one long process of getting tired.
Note Books
54
When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years.
When we two parted
55
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?—
with silence and tears.
When we two parted
56
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
She Walks in Beauty
57
My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone.
On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year
58
As a white candle
In a holy place,
So is the beauty
Of an aged faced.
The Old Woman
59
What is Hope? A smiling rainbow
Tis not here, still yonder, yonder:
Never urchin found it yet.
Cui Bono
60
What is Man? A foolish baby,
Vainly strives, and fights, and frets;
Demanding all, deserving nothing;
One small grave is what he gets.
Cui Bono
61
The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
To talk of many things;
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
62
Days and moments quickly flying
Blend the living with the dead;
Soon shall you and I be lying
Each within our narrow bed.
Hymn
63
Silent enim leges inter arma.
[For laws are dumb in the midst of arms.]
Pro Milone
64
Salus populi suprema est lex.
[The good of the people is the highest law.]
De Legibus
65
Cedant arma togae, concedant laurea laudi.
[Let arms give place to the civic gown,
and the laurel-wreath to praise.]
De Officiis
66
Here sparrows build upon the trees,
And stockdove hides her nest;
The leaves are winnowed by the breeze
Into a calmer rest:
The blackcap’s song was very sweet,
That used the rose to kiss;
My Early Home
67
The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound.
The Ancient Mariner
68
Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide, wide sea!
The Ancient Mariner
69
The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie;
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
The Ancient Mariner
70
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
The Ancient Mariner
71
He preyeth best who loveth best
All things both great and small.
The Ancient Mariner
72
A sight to dream of, not to tell!
Christabel
73
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
Kubla Khan
74
Imitation is the sincerest of flattery
Lacon, No 217
75
Thou art a liar of the first magnitude.
Love for Love, II. v.
76
Love in her sunny eyes doth basking play;
Love walk the pleasant mazes of her hair;
Love does on both her lips for ever stray,
And sows and reaps a thousand kisses there:
In all her outward parts Love’s always seen;
But oh! he never went within.
The Change
77
But what is a woman?—only one of Nature’s agreeable blunders.
Who’s the Dupe? II. ii.
78
Books cannot always please, however good;
Minds are not ever craving for their food.
The Borough, letter xxiv. Schools, 402
79
Nessun maggior dolore,
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
Nella miseria.
[No greater sorrow than to recall in our misery
a time when we were happy.]
Comedy, Inferno, v. 121
80
Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walk the night in her silver shoon.
Silver
81
Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.
82
History is philosophy derived from examples.
Ars Rhetorica
83
Listen to the water-mill;
Through the livelong day,
How the clicking of its wheel
Wears the hours away!
The Lesson of the Water-Mill
84
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And weltering in his blood.
Alexander’s Feast, 77
85
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Newspaper interview
86
Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions,
they pass no criticisms.
Scenes of Clerical Life. Mr. Gilfil’s Love Story, vii.
87
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
The Hollow Men
88
Both in riding and driving along;
If you keep to the left, you are sure to be right,
If you keep to the right you are wrong.
89
The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and staunch he stands;
And the little toy solder is red with rust,
And his musket moulds in his hands;
Little Boy Blue
90
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
And the soldier was passing fair,
And that was the time when our Little boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.
Little Boy Blue
91
I came like Water, and like Wind I go.
92
Mon centre cede, ma droite recule, situation excellente. J’attaque!
Message to Joffere, First Battle of the Marne, Sept. 1914
93
C’est plus qu’un crime; c’est une faute.
Of the murder of the Duc d’Enghien by Napoleon in 1804
94
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood; and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
95
Now to the banquet we press;
Now for the eggs and the ham;
Now for the mustard and cress,
Now for the strawberry jam!
The Sorcerer
96
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Echoes, iv. In Memoriam R.T.H.Bruce, 1846-99
97
I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn.
I remember, I remember
98
I remember, I remember
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Where close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ’tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from heav’n
Than when I was a boy.
I remember
99
Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
[Seize the day, counting as little as possible on tomorrow.]
Odes, I. xi. 8
100
"Will you walk into my parlour?" said a spider to a fly:
"’Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show when you are there."
The Spider and the Fly
101
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Ode on a Grecian Urn, 5.
102
I give the all—I can no more,
Tho’poor the offering be;
My heart and lute are all the store
That I can bring to thee.
Lodoiska, III. i.
103
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
Trees
104
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Trees
105
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
The Arrow and the Song
106
Why are her eyes so bright, so bright,
Why do her lips control
The kisses of a summer night
When I would love her soul?
Any Lover, Any Lass
107
There’s a Friend for little children
Above the bright blue sky,
A Friend who never changes,
Whose love can never die.
Hymn
108
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light.
A Few Figs from Thistles, First Fig
109
Then awake!—the heavens look bright, my dear,
This never too late for delight, my dear,
And the best of all ways
To lengthen our days,
Is to steal a few hours from the night, my dear!
Irish Melodies. The Young May Moon
110
I feel like one
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
And all but he departed!
National Airs. Oft in the Stilly Night
111
I know a little garden close
Set thick with lily and red rose,
Where I would wander if I might
From dewy dawn to dewy night,
And have one with me wandering.
The Life and Death of Jason, IV. 577.
112
Busy, curious, thirsty fly,
Drink with me, and drink as I.
Busy, Curious, Thirsty Fly
113
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
A Dream Within a Dream
114
Take thy beak from out my heart, and
take my form from off my door!
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
The Raven
115
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown,
Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
Ode on Solitude
116
Where’er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade
Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade:
Where’er you tread, the blushing flowers shall rise
And all things flourish where you turn your eyes.
Pastorals. Summer, 73.
117
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.
Essay on Man, Epistle i. 267.
118
I’m on the sea! I’m on the sea!
I am where I would ever be,
With the blue above and the blue below,
And silence whereso’er I go.
The Sea
119
Tirez le rideau, la farce est jouee.
120
Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope’s true gage,
And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.
The Pilgrimage
121
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bend with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
A Birthday
122
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
A Birthday
123
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then, moves on.
Fog
124
Like the dew on the mountain,
Like the foam on the river,
Like bubble on the fountain
Thou art gone, and for ever!
The Lady of the Lake, iii. 16. Coronach.
125
When I was green in judgement, cold in blood,
To say as I said then!
Anthony and Cleopatra, I.vi.73
126
Doubt the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.
Hamlet, II.ii.116
127
How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!
Julius Caesar, III. i. 111
128
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
Merchant of Venice, IV. i. 184
129
Therefore Jew, though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.
Merchant of Venice, IV. i. 184
130
If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly.
Macbeth, I. vii. 1.
131
I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself
And falls on the other.
Macbeth, I. vii. 25.
132
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
Macbeth, V. i. 19.
133
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.
134
I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright.
135
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?
Love’s Philosophy
136
I am the daughter of the earth and water,
And the nursling of the sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
The Cloud
137
I fear thy kisses, gentle maiden,
Thou needest not fear mine;
My spirit is too deeply laden
Ever to burden thine.
I Fear Thy Kisses
138
And Sleep shall obey me,
And visit thee never,
And the Curse shall be on thee
For ever and ever.
The Curse of Kehama, II. 14.
139
Noir comme le diable,
Chaud comme l’enfer,
Pur comme un ange,
Doux comme l’amour.
[Black like the devil,
Hot like hell,
Pure like an angel,
Soft like love.]
Recipe for coffee
140
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
141
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
The Charge of the Light Brigade
142
But what am I?
An infant crying in the night:
An infant crying for the light:
And with no language but a cry.
In Memoriam, liv.
143
O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee.
The Kingdom of God
144
A thousand ages in thy sight
Are like an evening gone,
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.
Psalm, xc.
145
I am not arguing with you—I am telling you.
The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, 51.
146
She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight.
She was a Phantom of Delight
147
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees.
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
I wandered Lonely as a Cloud
148
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
149
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
150
What we gave, we have;
What we left, we lost.
151
First it rained, and then it snew,
Then it friz, and then it thew
And then it friz again.
152
It does not need that a poem should be long,
Every word was once a poem.
153
Words are easy, like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find.
154
Sleep—Death without dying—living, but not life.
155
If my dear, you seek to slumber
Count of stars an endless number;
If you still continue wakeful,
Count the drops that make a lakeful;
Then if vigilance yet above you
Hover, count the times I love you;
And if slumber still repel you
Count the times I do not tell you.
156
Death is sometimes a punishment, sometimes a gift;
To many it has come as a favor.
157
The prince who kept the world in awe,
The judge whose dictate fix’d the law;
The rich, the poor, the great, the small,
Are levelled; death confounds ’em all.
158
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me,
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
159
Tomorrow is a satire of today,
And it shows its weakness
160
Nothing begins, and nothing ends
That is not paid with moan;
For we are born in other’s pain,
And perish in our own.
161
Only two things are infinite, the universe and
human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
162
We are here on earth to do good to others.
What the others are here for, I don’t know.
163
The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true.
164
I hate people. People make me pro-nuclear.
165
I turned down a date once because I was looking
for someone a little closer to the top of the
food chain.
166
I don’t mind sleeping on an empty stomach provided it isn’t my own.
167
The mirror over my bed reads: Objects appear larger than they are.
168
The three stages of a man’s life:
1. He believes in Santa Claus;
2. He doesn’t believe in Santa Claus;
3. He is Santa Claus.
169
There are three reasons why lawyers are replacing rats as laboratory research animals. One is that they’re plentiful, another is that lab assistants don’t get attached to them, and the third is that there are some things rats just won’t do.
170
The upper crust is a bunch of crumbs held together by dough.
171
If it tastes good, it’s trying to kill you.
172
I smell a rat. Did you bake it or fry it?
173
Cannibals aren’t vegetarians, they’re humanitarians.
174
I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals;
I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants.
175
If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.
176
Bach in an hour. Offenbach sooner.
(Sign on music store door)
177
When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.
178
My karma ran over your dogma.
179
Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of witnesses.
180
The trouble with dawn is that it comes too early in the day.
181
Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.
182
Open your mouth only to change feet.
183
Isn’t Muamar Khadafy the sound a cow makes when sneezing?
184
Diplomat: One who thinks twice before saying nothing.
185
A few men are satisfied even when they get what they deserve.
186
Men and pins are useless when they lose their heads.
187
When a man says money can do anything, that settles it: he hasn’t any.
188
Archeological trip: Bone voyage.
189
Some folks give pleasure by coming into the room, others by coming out.
190
We are young only once, after that we need some other excuse.
191
Keep your feet on the ground and you won’t have far to fall.
192
Moderate abilities consistently applied can always compete with flashes of genius.
193
confidence, n: The feeling you sometimes have before you fully understand the situation.
194
People can be divided into three categories:
- those who make things happen,
- those who watch things happen,
- those who wonder what happened.
195
Tact: Getting your point across without stabbing someone else.
196
Great minds discuss theories, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.
197
Egoism is the art of seeing qualities in yourself which others cannot.
198
Some folks are like blisters; they don’t show up until the work is finished.
199
Quiet people aren’t the only ones who don’t say much.
200
Ignorance is prolonged infancy, only deprived of its charm.
201
Don’t assume importance, and you’ll never lose it.
202
When you are right you can afford to keep your temper, when you are wrong you can’t afford to lose it.
203
Mud thrown usually represents ground lost.
204
(In a window of a water-bed shop)
205
Never give a man up until he has failed at something he likes.
206
Some people cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go.
207
Pediatrician: a man with little patience.
208
The wise carry their knowledge as they do their watches, not for displaying but for their own use.
209
Rich foods are like destiny. They, too, shape our ends.
210
Character is much more easily kept than recovered.
211
Smile: a curve that can set many things straight.
212
Paradox: medical lingo for two physicians.
213
Horse sense is what keeps horses from betting on people.
214
Hanging: a suspended sentence.
215
A man is as big as the things that annoy him.
216
A pessimist views the world through woes-coloured glasses.
217
A man who boasts that he is selfmade is a horrible example of unskilled labour.
218
He who will not answer to the rudder must answer to the rocks.
219
Economy is too late at the bottom of the purse.
220
It is often best to be silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.
221
Successful acupuncture: a jab well done.
222
The end of schooling merely marks the beginning of education.
223
Carpenter’s Sign: You should see what I saw.
224
Sarcasm: barbed ire.
225
Conceit may puff a man up, but it will never hold him down.
226
Modesty is the clothing of talent.
227
Macho does not prove mucho.
228
There is no wholly satisfactory substitute for brains, but silence does pretty well.
229
Where ignorance is bliss ’tis folly to be wise.
230
Some people know more than they understand.
231
Each time I begin thinking the world is moving too fast, I go to the post office.
232
No use of putting your foot down, when you haven’t got a leg to stand on.
233
Only some of us can learn from other people’s experiences. The rest of us have to be the other people.
234
The trouble with some people is that they are educated beyond their intelligence.
235
Profanity is a device that makes ignorance audible.
236
The only job where you start at the top is digging a hole.
237
Anybody who sleeps like a baby doesn’t have one.
238
The time to make friends is before you need them.
239
People usually get what’s coming to them, unless it’s been mailed.
240
The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
241
It isn’t what we start, it’s what we finish.
242
Some people grow under responsibility, others merely swell.
243
Conceit is God’s gift to little men.
244
Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are and doing things as they ought to be done.
245
adolescent, n: a teenager that acts like a baby when you don’t treat him like an adult.
246
A word of advice: don’t give it.
247
Be wiser than other people if you can, but do not tell them so.
248
Underwater basketball team: 20,000 leagues under the sea.
249
Unemployed court jester: Nobody’s fool.
250
If ignorance isn’t bliss, I don’t know what is.
251
Only a mediocre writer is always at his best.
252
A contractor erected a building for optometrists; it became a sight for sore eyes.
253
Genius has limitations, stupidity is boundless.
254
A good part of success consists getting along with those whom you can’t get a head of.
255
Reputation is a bubble which a man bursts when he tries to blow it for himself.
256
Metal dog leashes were first sold only in chain stores.
257
An optimist is one who figures that when his shoes wear out he will be back on his feet.
258
Regret is insight that comes a day too late.
259
A halo has to fall only a few inches in order to become a noose.
260
Politicians are like ships—noisiest when lost in a fog.
261
Gossip: Mouth-to-mouth recitation.
262
Nothing is work unless you’d rather be doing something else.
263
epitaph, n: a statement that usually lies above about the one who lies beneath.
264
Is a belly-dancer a waist of energy?
265
Most of us carry our own stumbling block around with us; we camouflage it with a hat.
266
Life without a friend is like death without a witness.
267
Truth may be clear as a bell, but it isn’t always tolled.
268
If ignorance is bliss, why are there not more happy people?
269
The fellow who believes in following the crowd always ends up in the rear.
270
It is what we think we already know that often prevents us from learning.
271
It’s all right to hold a conversation, but you should let go of it now and then.
272
Love comes unseen, we only see it go.
273
"Well, it’s better than being the first."
274
You are young only once, but we can remain immature indefinitely.
275
The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly.
It is simply indifferent.
A Sensible Man’s View of Religion
276
277
Down with imperatives!
278
If English made any sense, lackadaisical would mean a shortage of flowers
279
When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults.
280
Science is a cemetery of dead ideas.
281
All men have one entrance into life, and the like going out.
282
Tobacco is a filthy weed,
From the devil does it proceed.
It makes a chimney of your nose.
283
I am therefore I think: now that’s putting Descartes before the horse.
284
The road to wisdom, well, it’s plain and simple to express: err and err and err again, but less and less and less.
285
c: 299,793 km/sec. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.
286
All life is a struggle in the dark ... This dread and
darkness of the mind cannot be dispelled by the
sunbeams, the shining shafts of day, but only by
an understanding of the outward form and inner
workings of nature. And now to business,
I will explain ...
On the Nature of the Universe
287
Begin at the beginning ... then go on till you come to the end then stop.
288
For wheresoe’er I turn my ravish’d eyes,
Lay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise,
Poetic fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground.
289
Rhodora! if the sages as thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being.
290
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
The Tyger
291
The woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep.
292
Our life is frittered away by detail ... Simplify, simplify.
293
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night,
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see,
And in short measures life may perfect be.
294
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledges word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
I Have a Randezvous with Death
295
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship as weather’d every rack, the prize is sought and won.
O Captain! My Captain!
296
And they wonder, as waiting these long years through,
In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue
Since he kissed them and put them there.
Little Boy Blue
297
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain.
298
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Trees
299
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only, how did you die?
How Did You Die?
300
What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it has sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.
Waiting
301
And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.
The Spider and the Fly
302
A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.
The Day is Done
303
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
If
304
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
Solitude
305
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Solitude
306
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Solitude
307
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Solitude
308
Be hald, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are to decline your nectared wine,
But all you must drink life’s gall.
Solitude
309
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
Solitude
310
Thus alone can we attain
To those turrets, where the eye
Sees the world as one vast plain,
And one boundless reach of sky.
The Builders
311
Politics is for the moment.
An equation is for eternity.
312
[Romeo] Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.
[Mercutio] No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so
wide as a church-door; but ’tis enough, ’twill serve.
Romeo & Juliet, Act III, Scene I
313
314
The head never rules the heart, but
just becomes the partner in crime.
315
The heart is forever inexperienced.
316
When a young man complains that a young lady
has no heart, it is a pretty certain sign
that she has his.
317
When the last ding-dong of doom has clanged
and faded from the last worthless rock hanging
tideless in the last red and dying evening, ...
even then there will still be one more sound:
that of his [man’s] puny, inexhaustible voice,
still talking.
1950 Nobel acceptance speech
318
Wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.
319
Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn’t watching.
320
321
If he were any more stupid, he’d have to be watered twice a week.
322
If you give him a penny for this thoughts, you’d get change.
323
One neuron short of a synapse.
324
Some drink from the fountain of knowledge,
while others merely gargle.
325
Takes him 1 and 1/2 hours to watch 60 minutes.
326
belomancy, n.: The use of arrows to predict the future. The outcome of the Battle of Hastings was decided by belomancy.
327
acerebral, adj.: Without a brain. It is common knowledge, for example, that all Terriers are acerebral.
328
I don’t have a license to kill. I have a learner’s permit.
329
330
331
Stop repeat offenders. Don’t re-elect them!
332
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent and reboot.
Order shall return.
333
ABORTED effort:
Close all that you have.
334
First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
so beautifully
335
With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
336
The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao, until
You bring fresh toner.
337
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
338
A crash reduces
to a simple stone.
339
Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
Windows is like that.
340
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
341
You step in the stream,
but the water has moved on.
342
Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.
343
Having been erased,
The document you’re seeking
Must now be retyped.
344
Rather than a beep
Or a rude error message,
345
Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.
346
Save the whales! Trade them for valuable prizes.
347
Jack Kevorkian for White House physician.
348
Man with one chopstick go hungry.
349
Life is a fatal, sexually transmitted disease.
350
And now I am, as one could be
A mindful sanctity of light.
Pen in hand and paper free,
Imagination once more in flight.
351
Sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason.
352
People demand freedom of speech to make up for
the freedom of thought which they avoid.
353
The opposite of a correct statement is a
false statement. The opposite of a profound
truth may well be another profound truth.
354
We all agree that your theory is crazy, but is it crazy enough?
355
When I am working on a problem I never think
the problem. But when I have finished, if the
solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
356
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
357
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous
breakdown is the belief that one’s work
is terribly important.
358
A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation.
Saki
359
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
360
I heard someone tried the monkeys-on-typewriters bit trying for the plays of William Shakespeare, but all they got was the collected works of Francis Bacon.
361
Three o’clock is always too late or too early
for anything you want to do.
362
A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his
clients to plant vines.
363
The object of war is not to die for your country but
to make the other bastard die for his.
364
Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.
365
You can get more with a kind word and a gun
than you can with a kind word alone.
366
Men and nations behave wisely once they have
exhausted all the other alternatives.
367
The artist is nothing without the gift,
but the gift is nothing without work.
368
...the fog is rising.
last words
369
And now, I am dying beyond my means.
sipping champagne on his deathbed
370
Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.
Time Enough for Love
371
He’s probably just hibernating.
372
So, you’re a cannibal.
373
Why am I standing on a plastic sheet?
374
Why is the rest of the Star Trek landing party wearing different colours?
375
I wonder where the mother bear is.
376
I hope they speak English.
377
This doesn’t taste right.
378
That’s odd.
379
Hey, that’s not a violin!
380
How’s he gonna read that magazine rolled up like that?
381
Did you hear thunder? Oh well... hurry up and putt.
382
Let’s split up. We’ll cover more ground.
383
Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.
1949
384
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
385
My own suspicion is that the universe is not only stranger than we suppose, but stranger than we can suppose.
386
Never mistake motion for action.
387
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; and optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
388
Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.
389
The primary purpose of the Data statement is to give names
to constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793
at every appearance, the variable Pi can be given that value
with a Data statement and used instead of the longer form
of the constant. This also simplifies modifying the program,
should the value of pi change.
390
Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with a part of another; people are friends in spots.
391
The most dangerous thing in the world is to try to leap a chasm in two jumps.
392
Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change—this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.
393
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
394
A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth glancing at.
395
Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.
396
In America, anybody can be president. That’s one of the risks you take.
397
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
chairman of IBM, 1943
398
If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?
399
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Usually falsely attributed to Charles H. Duell. There is actually no record of anyone ever making this statement.
400
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
401
One ought, everyday, to hear a song, read a fine poem, and, if possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
402
No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.
403
To change one’s life:
1. Start immediately
2. Do it flamboyantly
3. No exceptions
404
Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
405
You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.
406
I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
407
Education is an admirable thing, but it’s well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
408
I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.
409
Three can keep a secret if two are dead.
410
Smile. Tomorrow will be worse.
411
It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another—It’s one damn thing over and over.
412
The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.
413
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.
414
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
415
Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.
416
The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.
The Discovery of the Future
417
Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
418
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is Music.
419
The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
Proverbs of Hell
420
Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.
421
Things that must be together to work usually can’t be shipped together.
422
The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
423
Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.
424
I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of.
425
Solitude: A good place to visit, but a poor place to stay.
Henry Wheeler Shaw
426
Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.
London Assurance, II.i
427
Sometimes I think we’re alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we’re not. In either case the idea is quiet staggering.
428
Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun.
429
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
Calvin & Hobbes, Bill Watterson
430
Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somwhere nearby.
431
Don’t be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.
432
I’ve been through many strange confusions,
Splitting myself into too many faces.
Now the mirror’s broken,
I can see the worms behind.
Apollo
433
Even in the presence of others he was completely alone.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
434
The worst day fishing is better than the best day working.
435
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice.
436
Love is a word that is constantly heard,
Hate is a word that is not.
Love, I am told, is more precious than gold.
Love, I have read, is hot.
But hate is the verb that to me is superb,
And Love but a drug on the mart.
Any kiddie in school can love like a fool,
But Hating, my boy, is an Art.
437
A mind is like a parachute; it only works when it is open.
438
Truth, like the sun, cannot be directly observed.
439
Of all the gods, Beauty is the most heartless, and the mirror is her sword.
440
Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think.
441
Wit is educated insolence.
442
You can’t be truly rude until you understand good manners.
443
Subtlety is the art of saying what you think and getting out of the way before it is understood.
444
Tact is the ability to tell a man he has an open mind when he has a hole in his head.
445
Coruscate, coruscate, globule vivific.
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star" for logophiles.
446
Common sense and a sense of humour are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humour is just common sense, dancing.
447
Minus solum, cum quam solus esset.
[I am never less alone than when alone.]
448
Reality is that which refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.
449
Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.
The Prydain Chronicles
450
Get your mind out of the gutter—it’s blocking my view.
451
Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.
452
God must love stupid people, He made so many of them.
453
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
454
Cigarette, n.: A fire at one end, a fool at the other, and a bit of tobacco in between.
455
A rose by any other name still has thorns.
456
A cynic is a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
457
If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.
458
Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.
459
The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.
460
Every great thinker is someone else’s moron.
461
When you’re arguing with a fool, make sure he isn’t doing the same thing.
462
Never wrestle a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.
463
Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.
464
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
465
This isn’t right. This isn’t even wrong.
466
He is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death.
467
Is this seat free? Yes. But if you sit down, this seat will also be free.
468
When you’re away, I’m restless, lonely,
Wretched, bored, dejected; only
Here’s the rub, my darling dear,
I feel the same when you’re here.
469
She wore too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.
Penguin Plays
470
I’d call him a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse.
471
Common sense is what tells you that the world is flat.
472
Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
473
Is it possible to grow wiser without knowing it? One hopes so. We all hope so.
474
An empty man is full of himself.
475
Those who fear death most are those who enjoy life least.
476
The more corrupt a society, the more numerous its laws.
477
When the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box.
478
You long for success? Start at the bottom; dig down.
479
If you want to bake an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe.
480
Anything that begins well, ends badly.
Anything that begins badly, ends worse.
481
Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.
482
Under capitalism man exploits man; under socialism the reverse is true.
483
He who wants the rose must respect the thorn.
484
Most of our so-called reasoning consists of finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.
485
The secret source of humour itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humour in heaven.
486
It is a most mortifying reflection for a man to consider what he has done, compared to what he might have done.
Boswell’s Life
487
The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.
488
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are a few.
489
We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.
490
Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.
491
Truth never hurts the teller.
492
The greatest of all faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
493
Slight not what’s near, when aiming at what’s far.
494
The supernatural is the natural not yet understood.
495
It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.
496
Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
497
Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.
498
It is the empty can that makes the most noise—but only if it is kicked.
499
Let him that would move the world first move himself.
500
Yield to temptation—it may not pass your way again.
in Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein
501
The superfluous is very necessary.
502
Marriage is the death of hope.
503
It is impossible to love and be wise.
504
A diplomat is a man who always remembers a women’s birthday but never her age.
505
The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
506
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.
507
Too clever is dumb.
508
He who laughs, lasts.
509
Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.
510
The cruelest lies are often told in silence.
511
Do unto others, then get away fast!
512
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
513
All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.
514
Some lemmings stay behind.
515
You don’t get to chose how you’re going to die, or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live now.
516
Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope.
517
Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll need them on your way down.
518
The strength of women is the facade of weakness, the weakness of men is the facade of strength.
519
It is said that for money you can have everything, but you cannot. You can buy food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; knowledge, but not wisdom; glitter, but not beauty; fun, but not joy; acquaintances, but not friends; servants, but not faithfulness; leisure, but not peace. You can have the husk of everything for money, but not the kernel.
520
Every man is a moon; he has one side no one sees.
521
The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the life too closely examined may not be lived at all.
522
Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.
523
Calvin: Sometimes when I’m talking, my words can’t keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we think faster than we speak.
Hobbes: Probably so that we can think twice.
524
At six o’clock we cleaned our cells,
At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
525
A conscience is what hurts when everything else feels good.
526
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the show?
527
Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall down an open manhole cover and die.
528
Procrastination means never having to say you’re sorry.
529
Never hit a man with glasses; hit him with your fist.
530
A king’s castle is his home.
531
Hire a teenager while they still know it all.
532
What the hell... go and put all your eggs in one basket.
533
Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.
534
Chicken Little only has to be right once.
535
Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics.
536
The real world is a special case.
537
Skydiving, n: Good ’till the last drop.
538
After all is said and done, usually more is said.
539
Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.
540
A man who smiles when things go wrong knows whom to blame.
541
If you can’t walk softly, just use the stick.
542
Men always want to be a woman’s first love—women like to be a man’s last romance.
543
Who, being loved, is poor?
544
Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
In Memoriam
545
Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne caonnait point.
[The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.]
Pensees
546
In our age ... men seem more than ever prone to confuse wisdom with knowledge, and knowledge with information, and to try to solve problems of life in terms of engineering.
547
program, n.: a magic spell cast over a computer allowing it to turn one’s input into error messages; v.: to engage in a pasttime similar to banging one’s head against a wall, but with fewer opportunities.
548
Real programmers don’t comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.
549
Three most dangerous things in the world
- programmer with a soldering iron,
- hardware type with a program patch,
- user with an idea.
550
The best computer is a man, and it’s the only one that can be mass-produced by unskilled labour.
551
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
552
The best way to accelerate a Macintosh is at 9.8 m/s2.
553
The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
554
Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.
555
If you sat a monkey down in front of a keyboard, the first thing typed would be a UNIX command.
556
% ar m God
ar: God does not exist
557
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
558
Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And plunged it deep into the VAX;
Don’t you envy people who
Do all the things YOU want to do?
559
A baby is an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no responsibility at the other.
560
My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.
561
God made the integers; all else is the work of Man.
562
A chubby man with a white beard and a red suit will approach you soon. Avoid him. He’s a Commie.
563
Succumb to natural tendencies. Be hateful and boring.
564
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.
565
What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away.
566
For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin, real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
567
For when I was a babe and wept and slept,
Time crept;
When I was a boy and laughed and talked,
Time walked;
Then when the years saw me a man,
Time ran,
But as I older grew, Time flew.
568
But time shall come that all shall changed be,
And from thenceforth, no more change shall see.
569
They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?
Neither Out Far Nor In Deep
570
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
After Apple-Picking
571
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
After Apple-Picking
572
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
After Apple-Picking
573
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe it coming on,
Or just some human sleep.
After Apple-Picking
574
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Fire and Ice
575
When they said repent
I wonder what they meant.
The Future
576
Love’s the only engine of survival.
The Future
577
The Maestro says it’s Mozart
But it sounds like bubble gum
When you’re waiting
For the miracle to come.
Waiting for the Miracle
578
It’s coming from the feel
That it ain’t exactly real,
Or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there.
Democracy
579
I love the country but I can’t stand the scene.
Democracy
580
So I knelt there at the delta,
At the alpha and the omega,
At the cradle of the river and the seas.
Light as a Breeze
581
And you know that she’s half crazy
But that’s why you want to be there.
Suzanne
582
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, "You must not ask for so much."
And a pretty women leaning in her darkened door,
She cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more."
Bird on a Wire
583
Who by avalanche, who by powder,
Who for his greed, who for his hunger
And who shall I say is calling?
Who by Fire
584
But I have grown older and
You have grown colder and
Nothing is very much fun anymore.
One of my Turns, The Wall
585
A stick, a stone.
It’s the end of the road
It’s the rest of the stump,
It’s a little alone.
Water of March
586
And the riverbank talks
Of the waters of March
It’s the end of the strain,
It’s the joy in your heart.
Water of March
587
A float, a drift,
A flight, a wing,
A hawk, a quail,
The promise of spring.
Water of March
588
The bed of the well,
The end of the line,
The dismay in the face,
It’s a loss, it’s a find.
Water of March
589
The path of excess leads to the tower of wisdom.
590
The pleasure of satisfying a savage instinct, undomesticated
by the Ego, is incomparably much more intense than the one
of satisfying a tamed instinct. The reason is becoming the
enemy that prevents us from a lot of possibilities of pleasure.
591
If you believe in the light, it’s because of obscurity.
If you believe in happiness it’s because of unhappiness.
If you believe in God, then you have to believe in the Devil.
Church of Notre Dame, Paris
592
Tell me, nymphs! what power divine
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?
593
Soon shall the winter’s foil be here;
Soon shall these icy ligatures unbind and melt—
...Thou shalt perceive the simple shows,
the delicate miracles of earth...
Soon Shall The Winter’s Foil Be Here
594
Mine are the night and morning
The pits of air, the gulf of space
The sportive sun, the gibbous moon
The innumerable days.
Song of Nature
595
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death.
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not
wait at the end to arrest it.
Song of Myself
596
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
The Journals
597
The last of summer is delight.
Deterred by retrospect.
598
The method of nature: who could ever analyze it?
The Method of Nature
599
The woman that deliberates is lost.
Cato, IV.i.31
600
Thus I live in the world rather as a spectator of mankind than as one of the species.
The Spectator, 1
601
In all thy humours, whether grave or mellow,
Thou’rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow;
Hast so much wit, and mirth, and spleen about thee,
There is no loving with thee, nor without thee.
The Spectator, 68
602
If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink;
Good wine—a friend—or being dry—
Or lest we should be bye and bye—
Or any other reason why.
Reasons for Drinking
603
L’embarras des richesses.
[The more alternatives, the more difficult the choice.]
Title of comedy
604
Four ducks on a pond,
A grass-bank beyond,
A blue sky of spring,
White clouds on the wing:
What a little thing
To remember for years—
To remember with tears!
A Memory
605
More will mean worse.
Encounter
606
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
607
I feel no pain dear mother now
But oh, I am so dry!
O take me to a brewery
And leave me there to die
608
Love me little, love me long,
Is the burden of my song.’,
609
O God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I have a soul!
610
Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing is best.
611
See the happy moron,
He doesn’t give a damn.
I wish I were a moron.
My God! Perhaps I am!
612
There is a lady sweet and kind,
Was never a face so pleased my mind;
I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die.
613
When I was a little boy, I had but a little wit,
Tis a long time ago, and I have no more yet;
Nor ever ever shall, until that I die,
For the longer I live the more fool am I.
614
L’amour est aveugle; l’amitie ferme les yeux.
[Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.]
615
Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant.
[Hail Caesar; we who are about to die salute you.]
616
Sic transit gloria mundi.
[Thus passes the glory of the world.]
617
With women the heart argues, not the mind.
Merope, 1.341
618
He bears the seed of ruin in himself.
Merope, 1.856
619
Not deep the Poet sees, but wide.
Resignation, 1.214
620
Miracles do not happen.
Literature and Dogma
621
I am past thirty, and three parts iced over.
Letter to A.H. Clough
622
I do hope I shall enjoy myself with you ... I am
partial to ladies if they are nice I suppose it is
my nature. I am not quite a gentleman but you would
hardly notice it.
The Young Visitors
623
Weep for the lives your wishes never led.
624
I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars to squawking
As I Walked Out One Evening
625
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or today.
As I Walked Out One Evening
626
O plunge your hands in water
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you’ve missed.
As I Walked Out One Evening
627
Private faces in public places
Are wiser and nicer
Than public faces in private places.
Collected Poems, II 1927-1932, Shorts
628
A poet’s hope: to be,
like some valley cheese,
local, but prized elsewhere.
Collected Poems, XII, 1958-1971, Shorts II
629
Out on the lawn I lie in bed,
A Summer Night
630
The sky is darkening like a stain;
Something is going to fall like rain,
And it won’t be flowers.
The Witnesses
631
One half of the world cannot understand the
pleasures of the other.
Emma, Ch. 9
632
I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice,
though not in principle. [Mr. Darcy]
Pride and Prejudice, Ch. 58
633
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in
doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts,
he shall end in certainties.
634
Silence is the virtue of fools.
De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum, 31
635
The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship.
De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum, 37
636
Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set.
Of Beauty
637
There is no excellent beauty that hath not some
strangeness in the proportion.
Of Beauty
638
He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to
fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises,
either of virtue or mischief.
Of Marriage and Single Life
639
Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom
extinguished.
Of Nature in Men
640
take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to
weigh and consider.
Of Studies
641
and writing an exact man.
Of Studies
642
Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the
mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral,
grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
Of Studies
643
Suspicions amongst thoughts are like bats amongst
birds, they ever fly by twilight.
Of Suspicion
644
A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure.
Of Truth
645
I do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but
only the stroke of death.
An Essay on Death
646
We should count time by heart-throbs.
Festus
647
Writers, like teeth, are divided into incisors and grinders.
648
To die will be an awfully big adventure.
Peter Pan, III
649
For when the wine is in, the wit is out.
Catechism
650
If there were dreams to sell,
And the crier rung the bell,
Dream-Pedlary
651
A musicologist is a man who can read music but can’t hear it.
652
There is always something rather absurd about the past.
1880
653
The Socratic manner is not a game at which two can play.
Zuleika Dobson, ch. 15
654
Only the insane take themselves quite seriously.
655
Muss es sein? Es muss sein.
[Must it be? It must be.]
656
Physicians of the utmost fame
Were called at once, but when they came
They answered, as they took their fees,
There is no cure for this disease.
Henry King
657
I am a sundial, and I make a botch
Of what is done far better by a watch.
On a Sundial
658
Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few.
659
He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov’d by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov’d
Shall never be by woman lov’d.
Auguries of Innocence, 29
660
A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
Auguries of Innocence, 53
661
What is it men in women do require?
The lineaments of gratified desire.
What is it women do in men require?
The lineaments of gratified desire.
MS. Notebooks, 1793, p.99
662
Soon as she was gone from me,
A traveller came by,
Silently, invisibly:
He took her with a sigh.
MS. Notebooks
663
O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
The Sick Rose
664
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
The Tyger
665
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
The Tyger
666
Children of the future age,
Know that in a former time,
Love, sweet love, was thought a crime.
A Little Girl Lost
667
I was angry with my friend
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
A Poison Tree
668
It hurts because I like you.
669
Cruelty has a human heart,
And Jealousy a human face;
Terror the human form divine,
And Secrecy the human dress.
Songs of Innocence and of Experience
670
Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by Incapacity.
Proverbs of Hell
671
He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.
Proverbs of Hell
672
If the doors of perception were cleansed everything
would appear as it is, infinite.
A Memorable Fancy, pl. 14
673
I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
London
674
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.
London
675
But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.
London
676
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.
Song of Myself
677
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;
She Was a Phantom of Delight
678
A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.
She Was a Phantom of Delight
679
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
680
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.
681
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you waiting at that door.
Up-Hill
682
Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
Up-Hill
683
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
Remember
684
That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.
Into My Heart an Air That Kills
685
Fate is not an eagle, it creeps like a rat.
The House in Paris, pt.II, ch.2
686
There is another man within me, that’s angry with me,
rebukes, commands, and dastards me.
Religio Medici, i.7
687
The devil’s most devilish when respectable.
Aurora Leigh, bk. vii
688
A minute’s success pays the failure of years.
Apollo and the Fates, prologue
689
He said true things but called them by wrong names.
Bishop Blougram’s Apology, 1.996
690
No, when the fight begins within himself,
A man’s worth something.
Bishop Blougram’s Apology, 1.693
691
You may forget the one with whom you have laughed,
but never the one with whom you have wept.
692
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the
person doing it.
693
A fierce vindictive scribble of red.
Easter Day, xv
694
So, I gave her eyes my own eyes to take,
My hand sought hers as in earnest need,
And round she turned for my noble sake,
And gave me herself indeed.
A Light Woman
695
Where my heart lies, my brain lies also.
One Word More, xiv
696
Paracelsus, pt. iii, i.363
697
In the great right of an excessive wrong.
The Ring and the Book, bk.iii, i.1055
698
Only I discern—
Infinite passion, and the pain
Of finite hearts that yearn.
Two in the Campagna, 12
699
Le genie n’est qu’une plus grande aptitude a la patience.
[Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience.]
700
Every thing, said Epictetus, hath two handles, the one
to be held by, the other not.
Democritus to the Reader, pt.ii, 3, memb. 3
701
L’amour vient de l’aveuglement,
L’amitie de la connaissance.
[Love comes from blindness, friendship from knowledge]
Histoire Amoureuse de Gaules
702
L’absence est a l’amour ce qu’est au feu le vent;
Il eteint le petit, il allume le grand.
[Absence is to love what wind is to fire;
it extinguishes the small, it enkindles the great.]
Histoire Amoureuse de Gaules
703
The most perfect humour and irony is generally quite unconscious.
Life and Habit, ch. 2
704
It has, I believe, been often remarked, that a hen is
only an egg’s way of making another egg.
Life and Habit, ch. 8
705
It costs a lot of money to die comfortably.
706
An Apology for the Devil: It must be remembered that
we have only heard one side of the case. God has written
all the books.
Note Books
707
To live is like to love—all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it.
Note Books
708
I do not mind lying but I hate inaccuracy.
Note Books
709
They would have been equally horrified at hearing the Christian religion doubted, and at seeing it practiced.
Note Books
710
The advantage of doing one’s praising for oneself is
that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right
places.
A Way of All Flesh
711
In her first passion woman loves her lover,
In all others all she loves is love.
Don Juan, c.iii, st. 3
712
All tragedies are finish’d by a death,
All comedies are ended by a marriage.
Don Juan, c.iii, st. 9
713
A lady of a ’certain age’, which means
Certainly aged.
Don Juan, c.iii, st. 69
714
Tis strange—but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction.
Don Juan, c.iii, st. 101
715
The petrifications of a plodding brain.
English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, i.416
716
Friendship is Love without his wings!
Hours of Idleness. L’Amitie
717
More happy, if less wise.
The Island, c.ii, st. 11
718
So, we’ll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
So, We’ll Go No More a Roving
719
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.
So, We’ll Go No More a Roving
720
Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.
[Men willingly believe what they wish.]
De Bello Gallico, iii. 18
721
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Hallowed Ground
722
Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the beauteous land.
And the little moments,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
Of eternity.
Little Things
723
What are the wild waves saying
Sister, the whole day long,
That ever amid our playing,
I hear but their low lone song?
What are the Wild Waves Saying?
724
Moi, je serai autocrate: c’est mon metier.
Et le bon Die me perdoneera: c’est son metier.
[I shall be an autocrat: that’s my trade. And the
good Lord will forgive me: that’s his.]
725
Nam risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.
[For there is nothing sillier than a silly laugh.]
Carmina, xxxix
726
Odi et amo: quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
Nescio, set fieri sentio et excrucior.
[I hate and I love: why I do so you may well ask.
I do not know, but I feel it happen and am in agony.]
Carmina, lxxxv
727
Da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
Dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
Deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
[Give me a thousand kisses, thena hundred, then
another thousand, then a second hundred, then yet
another thousand, then a hundred.]
Carmina, v
728
What shall become of us without any barbarians?
Those people were a kind of solution.
Expecting the Barbarians
729
Vivre est un maladie dont le sommeil nous soulage
toutes les 16 heures. C’est un pallatif. La mort
est le remede.
[Living is an illness to which sleep provides
relief every sixteen hours. It’s a palliative.
The remedy is death.]
Maximes et Pensees, ch. 2
730
L’amour, tel qu’il existe dans la societe, n’est que
l’echange de deux fantaisies et le contact de deux
epidermes.
[Love, in the form in which it exists in society, is
nothing by the exchange of two fantasies and the
superficial contact of two bodies.]
Maximes et Pensees, ch. 6
731
I recommend you to take care of the minutes: for the
hours will take care of themselves.
732
and do not merely pull it out and strike it; merely
to show that you have one.
733
Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds.
734
Cunning is the dark sanctuary of incapacity.
735
As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss.
736
I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.
737
So much they talk’d, so very little said.
738
O tempora, O mores!
[Oh, the times! Oh, the manners!]
In Catilinam
739
I cannot sing the old songs
I sang long years ago,
For heart and voice would fail me,
And foolish tears would flow.
Fireside Thoughts
740
The horrible pleasure of pleasing inferior people.
Amours de Voyage, c. I, xi
741
And almost every one when age,
Disease, or sorrows strike him,
Inclines to think there is a God,
Or something very like Him.
Dipsychus, sc. vi
742
Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
Approves all forms of competition.
The Latest Decalogue
743
That out of sight is out of mind
Is true of most we leave behind.
Songs in Absence, That Out of Sight
744
Vivre est une chute horizontale.
[Life is falling sideways.]
Opium
745
Her very frowns are fairer far,
Than smiles of other maidens are.
746
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.
Love
747
No man was ever yet a great poet, without
being at the same time a profound philosopher.
748
His heart runs away with his head.
Who Wants a Guinea
749
When you have nothing to say, say nothing.
Lacon
750
Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared,
for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man
Lacon
751
If you would be known, and not know, vegetate in a village; if you would know, and not be known, live in a city.
Lacon
752
Lacon
753
Careless she is with artful care,
Affecting to seem unaffected.
Amoret
754
She likes herself, yet others hates
For that which in herself she prizes;
And while she laughs at them, forgets
She is the thing that she despises.
Amoret
755
No mask like open truth to cover lies,
As to go naked is the best disguise.
The Double Dealer, V.vi
756
Women are like tricks by light of hand,
Which, to admire, we should not understand.
Love for Love, IV.xxi
757
To find a young fellow that is neighter a wit
in his own eye, nor a fool in the eye of the
world, is a very hard task.
758
Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d,
Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d.
The Mourning Bride
759
You were about to tell me something, child—
but you left off before you began.
The Old Bachelor, IV.viii
760
Wou’d I were free from this restraint,
Or else had hopes to win her;
Wou’d she cou’d make me a saint,
Or I of her a sinner.
Song: Pious Selinda Goes to Prayers
761
Un premier mouvement ne fut jamais un crime.
[A first impulse was never a crime.]
Horace, V.iii
762
Fill all the glasses there, for why
Should every creature drink but I,
Why, man of morals, tell me why?
Drinking
763
Men deal with life as children with their play,
Who first misuse, then cast their toys away.
Hope, i.127
764
A tale should be judicious, clear, succinct;
The language plain, and incidents well link’d;
Tell not as new what ev’ry body knows;
And, new or old, still hasten to a close.
Charity, i.235
765
The pipe, with solemn interposing puff,
Makes half a sentence at a time enough;
The dozing sages drop the drowsy strain,
Then pause, and puff—and speak, and pause again.
Charity, i.245
766
With awe around these slient walks I tread:
These are the lasting mansions of the dead.
The Library, i.105
767
Secrets with girls, like loaded guns with boys,
Are never valued till they make a noise.
The Parish Register, xi, The Maid’s Story
768
It is better to wear out than to rust out.
769
listen: there’s a hell of a good
universe next door; let’s go.
770
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
Leisure
771
The best of men cannot suspend their fate:
The good die early, and the bad die late.
Character of the late Dr. S. Annesley
772
Youth, what man’s age is like to be doth show;
We may our ends by our beginnings show.
Of Prudence
773
Time goes, you say? Ah no!
Alas, Time stays, we go.
774
Love built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies.
Elegies
775
Love is a growing or full constant light;
And his first minute, after noon, is night.
776
When I died last, and Dear, I die
As often as from thee I go,
Though it be but an hour ago,
And lovers’ hours be full eternity.
The Legacy
777
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
Choruses from "The Rock"
778
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
779
What is a communist? One who hath yearnings for
equal division of unequal earnings.
Epigram
780
Snowy, Flowy, Blowy,
Showery, Flowery, Bowery,
Hoppy, Croppy, Droppy
Breezy, Sneezy, Freezy.
The Twelve Months
781
Bonjour tristesse
Tu es inscrite dans les lignes du plafond.
you are inscribed in the lines of the ceiling.]
A peine defiguree
782
I like a church; I like a cowl;
I love a prophet of the soul;
And on my heart monastic aisles
Fall like sweet strains, or pensive smiles;
Yet not for all his faith can see,
Would I that cowled churchman be.
The Problem
783
So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
So near is God to man,
When Duty whispers low, Thou must,
The youth replies, I can.
Voluntaries, iii
784
Make yourself necessary to someone.
Conduct of Life
785
A person seldom falls sick, but the bystanders are
animated with a faint hope that he will die.
786
Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and
plain dealing.
Essays, xii. Art
787
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Essays, x. Circles
788
The years teach much which the days never know.
Essays, xiv. Experience
789
The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to
have a friend is to be one.
Essays, vi. Friendship
790
It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a
young person, "Always do what you are afraid to do."
Essays, viii. Heroism
791
Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words.
Essays, xiii. The Poet
792
Good men must not obey the laws too well.
Essays, xix. Politics
793
In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.
Essays, vii. Prudence
794
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is
true for you in your private heart is true for all men—
that is genius.
Essays, ii. Self-Reliance
795
I like the silent church before the service begins,
better than any preaching.
Essays, ii. Self-Reliance
796
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not been discovered.
Fortune of the Republic
797
We are always getting ready to live, but never living.
Journals
798
I hate quotations.
799
Old age brings along with its ugliness the comfort
that you will soon be out of it,—which ought to be a
substantial relief to such discontented pendulums as we
are. To be out of the war, out of debt, out of the
drought, out of the blues, out of the dentist’s hands, out
of the second thoughts, mortifications, and remorses
that inflict such twinges and shooting pains,—out of
the next winter, and the high prices, and company
below your ambition,—surely these are soothing hints.
800
Every hero becomes a bore at last.
Representative Men
801
Hitch your wagon to a star.
Civilization
802
We boil at different degrees.
Eloquence
803
Si jeuness savoit; si vieillesse pouvout.
[If youth knew; if age could.]
Les Premices
804
There is no ’royal road’ to geometry.
805
Says little, thinks less, and does—nothing at all, faith.
806
Aimwell: Then you understand Latin, Mr. Bonniface?
Bonniface: Not I, Sir, as the saying is, but he talks
it so very fast that I’m sure it must be good.
807
I hate all that don’t love me, and slight all that do.
The Constant Couple
808
I describe not men, but manners; not an individual,
but a species.
Joseph Andrews, bk. iii, ch. i
809
Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.
Love in Several Masques
810
Half to forget the wandering and the pain,
Half to remember days that have gone by,
And dream and dream that I am home again!
811
O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
Student of our sweet English tongue,
Read out my words at night, alone:
I was a poet, I was young.
812
Death hath so many doors to let out life.
The Custom of the Country, II.ii
813
Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment,
Chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.
[Love’s pleasure lasts but a moment,
love’s sorrow lasts all through life.]
Celestine
814
He is not only dull in himself, but the cause
of dullness in others.
815
The sense of being well-dressed gives a feeling of
inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow.
816
Tempt not the stars, young man, thou canst not play
With the severity of fate.
The Broken Heart
817
Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition.
818
The so-called white races are really pinko-grey.
A Passage to India, ch. 7
819
At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty,
the wit; and at forty, the judgement.
Poor Richard’s Almanac
820
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
Acquainted with the Night
821
They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars—on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.
Desert Places
822
To err is human, not to, animal.
The White-tailed Hornet
823
Poetry is what gets lost in the translation.
824
In the affulent society no useful distinction can be
The Affulent Society
825
The idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
All centuries but this, and every country but his own.
826
Life is a joke that’s just begun.
827
Things are seldom what they seem,
828
Take heart, fair days will shine;
Take any heart, take mine!
829
Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat.
830
Es bildet ein Talent sich in der Stille,
Sich ein Charakter in dem Strom der Welt.
[Talent develops in quiet places,
character in the full current of human life.]
Torquato Tasso
831
Ohne Hast, aber ohne Rast.
[Without haste, but without rest.]
832
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another’s trouble
Ye Wearie Wayfarer
833
Let the scintillations of your wit be like
the coruscations of summer lightning, lambent
but innocuous.
834
The best way to get the better of temptation is just
to yield to it.
Mystifications
835
Most men make little other use of their speech than to
give evidence against their own understanding.
Of Folly and Fools
836
Anger is never without argument, but seldom with a good one.
Of Anger
837
Malice is of a low stature, but it hath very long arms.
Of Malice and Envy
838
The best way to suppose what may come,
is to remember what is past.
Miscellaneous, "Experience"
839
Perfection is the child of Time.
Works
840
Partir c’est mourir un peu,
C’est mourir a ce qu’on aime:
On laisse un peu de soi-meme
En toute heure et dans tout lieu.
[To go away is to die a little,
It is to die to that which one loves:
One leaves behind a part of oneself
Everywhere and always.]
Seul
841
If, of all words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are, ’It might have been,
More sad are these we daily see:
It is, but hadn’t ought to be!
Mrs. Judge Jenkins
842
What do you mean funny? Funny-peculiar or funny-ha-a?
The Housemaster, Act III
843
Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles,
with sniffles predominating.
844
Everything flows and nothing stays.
845
You can’t step twice into the same river.
846
Don’t tell my mother I’m living in sin,
Don’t tell the old folks know:
Don’t tell my twin that I breakfast on gin,
He’d never survive the blow.
Don’t Tell My Mother
847
He that lives in hope danceth without music.
Outlandish Proverbs, 1006
848
Look not on pleasures as they come, but go.
The Church Porch, lxxvii
849
I dare not ask a kiss;
I dare not beg a smile;
Lest having that, or this,
I might grow proud the while.
No, no, the utmost share
Of my desire, shall be
Only to kiss the air,
That lately kissed thee.
To Electra
850
Tis a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again.
Try and Try Again
851
The life so short, the craft so long to learn.
Aphorisms, I.i
852
Wisdom has taught us to be calm and meek,
To take one blow, and turn the other cheek;
It is not written what a man shall do
If the rude caitiff smite the other too!
Non-Resistance
853
A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.
The Professor at the Breakfast Table
854
Change is not made without inconvenience, even
from worse to better.
855
I wish you would read a little poetry sometimes.
The Dolly Dialogues, No. 22
856
His foe was folly and his weapon wit.
857
Difficile est proprie communia dicere.
[It is hard to utter common notions in an individual way.]
Ars Poetica
858
I, a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made.
Last Poems
859
The candles burn their sockets,
The blinds let through the day,
The young man feels his pockets
And wonders what’s to pay.
Eight O’Clock
860
Experience has taught me, when I am shaving of a
morning, to keep watch over my thoughts, because, if
a line of poetry strays into my memory, my skin
bristles so that the razor ceases to act.
The Name and Nature of Poetry
861
Some hold translations not unlike to be
The wrong side of a Turkey tapestry.
Familiar Letters, bk.i, let.6
862
This life at best is but an inn,
And we the passengers.
Familiar Letters, bk.ii, let.73
863
It’s more than a game. It’s an institution. [Cricket.]
Tom Brown’s Schooldays, ch.7
864
On resiste a l’invasion des armees; on ne resiste pas
a l’invasion des idees.
[A stand can be made against invation by an army; no
stand can be made against invasion by an idea.]
Histoire d’un Crime, La Chute, X
865
Jesus a pleure, Voltaire a souri; c’est de cette larme
divine and de ce sourire humain qu’est faite la
douceur de la civilisation actuelle.
[Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. Of that divine tear and
of that human smile the sweetness of present civilisation
is composed.]
866
Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.
Of Tragedy
867
Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in:
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.
Rondeau
868
Stolen sweets are always sweeter,
Stolen kisses much completer,
Stolen looks are nice in chapels,
Song of Fairies Robbing an Orchard
869
A pleasure so exquisite as almost to amount to pain.
870
The great tragedy of Science—the slaying of a
beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
Biogenesis and Abiogenesis
871
Some experience of popular lecturing had convinced me that the necessity of making things plain to uninstructed people was one of the very best means of clearing up the obscure conrners in one’s own mind.
Man’s Place in Nature
872
If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?
On Elementary Instruction in Physiology
873
Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and
the beacons of wise men.
Science and Culture
874
Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than
reasoned errors.
Science and Culture
875
It is the customary fate of new truths to begin
as heresies and to end as superstitions.
Science and Culture
876
I am too much of a skeptic to deny the
possibility of anything.
877
In nature there are neither rewards
nor punishments—there are consequences.
Lectures & Essays
878
A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp
tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with
constant use.
Rip Van Winkle
879
I am always at a loss to know how much
to believe of my own stories.
Tales of a Traveller
880
There is a certain relief in change, even
though it be from bad to worse; as I have
found in travelling in a stage-coach, that it
is often a comfort to shift one’s position
and be bruised in a new place.
Tales of a Traveller
881
I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it
for hours. I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting
rid of it nearly breaks my heart.
Three Men in a Boat
882
I know you: solitary griefs,
Desolate passions, aching hours.
The Precept of Silence
883
Cheer up, the worst is yet to come.
Shooting Stars
884
Round numbers are always false.
885
Then, with no throbs of fiery pain,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.
Of Gray’s Odes
886
Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not
obliged to find you an understanding.
887
An odd thought strikes me:—we shall receive
no letters in the grave.
888
Wheresoe’er I turn my view,
All is strange, yet nothing new;
Endless labour all along,
Endless labour to be wrong.
Anecdotes of Johnson
889
What is written without effort is in general read
without pleasure
890
Every quotation contributes something to the stability
or enlargement of the language.
891
Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.
892
893
Language is the dress of thought.
894
True happiness
Consists not in the multitude of friends,
But in the worth and choice.
895
Underneath this stone doth lie
As much beauty as could die;
Which in life did harbour give
To more virtue than doth live.
Epitaph on Elizabeth L.H.
896
Suns, that set, may rise again;
But if once we lose this light,
This with us perpetual night.
Volpone
897
"Pone seram, cohibe." Sed quis custodiet ipsos
Custodes? Cauta est et ab illis incipit uxor.
["Bolt her in, keep her indoors." But who is
to guard the guards themselves? Your wife
arranges accordingly and begins with them.]
Satires
898
...weil Gluckseligkeit nicht ein Ideal der Vernunft,
sondern der Einbildung ist.
[...because hapiness is not an ideal of reason
but of imagination.]
899
Aus so krummem Holze, als woraus der Mensch
gemacht ist, kann nichts ganz gerades
gezimmert werden.
[Our of the crooked timber of humanity no
straight thing can ever be made.]
900
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Endymion, bk.i, 1.1
901
To Sorrow,
And thought to leave her far away behind;
But cheerly, cheerly,
She loves me dearly;
She is so constant to me, and so kind.
Emdymion, bk.iv, 1.173
902
In pale contented sort of discontent.
Lamia
903
O for a life of sensations rather than of thoughts!
904
There is an awful warmth about my heart
905
Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed.
Evening Hymn
906
It is a fine thing to be out on the hills alone.
A man can hardly be a beast or a fool alone
on a great mountain.
907
Nothing to breathe but air,
Quick as a flash ’tis gone;
Nowhere to fall but off,
Nowhere to stand but on!
The Pessimist
908
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If
909
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.
If
910
If you can dream—and not make derams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.
If
911
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
If
912
If you can walk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but too much;
If
913
Tous est dit et l’on vient trop tard depuis plus
de sept mille ans qu’il y a des hommes et qui pensent.
[Everything has been said, and we are more than seven
thousand years of human thought too late.]
Les Caracteres
914
I strove with ; for was worth my strife;
Nature I loved, and, next to Nature, Art;
I warmed both hands before the fire of life;
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.
Finis
915
I loved him not; and yet now he is gone
I feel I am alone.
I check’d him while he spoke; yet, could he speak,
Alas! I would not check.
The Maid’s Lament
916
States, like men, have their growth, their manhood,
their decrepitude, their decay.
Pollio and Calvus
917
Fleas know not whether they are upon the body
of a giant or upon one of ordinary size.
918
Two men look out through the same bars:
One sees the mud, and one the stars.
A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts
919
Lava quod est sordidum,
Riga quod est aridum,
Sana quod est saucium.
Flecte quod est rigidum,
Fove quod est frigidum,
Rege quod est devium.
[Wash what is dirty, water what is dry,
heal what is wounded. Bend what is stiff,
warm what is cold, guide what goes off the road.]
920
What are days for?
Days are where we live
They come they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in;
Where can we live but days?
Days
921
Perhaps being old is having lighted rooms
People you know, yet can’t quite name.
The Old Fools
922
C’est une grande habilete que de
savoir chacher son habilete.
[The height of cleverness is to be able to
conceal it.]
Reflexions ou Sentences et Maximes Morales
923
On n’est jamais si malheureux qu’on croit, ni si
heureux qu’on espere.
[We are never as unhappy as we believe, or as
happy as we hope.]
Sentences et Maximes de Morale
924
Gestern liebt’ ich,
Heute leid’ ich,
Morgen sterb’ ich:
Dennoch denk’ ich
Heut und morgen
Gern an gestern.
[Yesterday I loved, today I suffer, tomorrow I die:
but I still think fondly, today and tomorrow, of yesterday.]
Lied aus dem Spanischen
925
Term, holidays, term, holidays, till we leave school,
and then work, work, work till we die.
Surprised by Joy
926
It is one thing to show a man that he is in an error,
and another to put him in possession of truth.
An Essay Concerting Human Understanding
927
All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many
points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.
An Essay Concerting Human Understanding
928
There was a little girl
Right in the middle of her forehead,
When she was good
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
929
Fun is fun but no girl wants to laugh all the time.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
930
When once the itch of literature comes over a man,
nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen.
Handy Andy
931
Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib und Gesang,
Der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang.
[Who loves not woman, wine, and song
Remains a fool his whole life long.]
932
If all the earth were paper white
And all the sea were ink
Twere not enought for me to write
As my poor heart doth think.
Works
933
Deceive boys with toys, but men with oaths.
934
Where admire, ’tis useless to excel;
Where are beaux, ’tis vain to be a belle.
Soliloquy of a Beauty in the Country
935
Nothing is so useless as a general maxim.
Machiavelli
936
I shall cheerfully bear the reproach of having
descended below the dignity of history.
History of England
937
Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here.
At the Back of the North Wind
938
Yo vivo en paz con los hombres
y en guerra con mis entranas.
[I am living at peace with men and at war with my innards.]
Campos de Castilla
939
You are offered a piece of bread and butter
that feels like a damp handkerchief and sometimes,
when cucumber is added to it, like a wet one.
Vestal Fire
940
Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd’hui.
[That virgin, vital, fine day: today.]
Plusieurs Sonnets
941
Lost, yesterday, somewhere between Sunrise and
Sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond
minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.
Lost, Two Golden Hours
942
Consider what you think jsutice quires, and decide
accordingly. But never give your reasons; for your
judgement will probably be right, but your reasons will
certainly be wrong.
943
Non est, crede mini, sapientis dicere ’Vivam’:
Sera nimis vita est crastina: vive hodie.
[Believe me, wise men don’t say ’I shall live to do that,
tomorrow’s life’s too late; live today.]
944
Laudant illa sed ista legunt.
[They praise those works, but they’re not the ones they read.]
945
Difficilis facilis, iucundus acerbus es idem:
Nec tecum possum vivere nec sine te.
[Difficult or easy, pleasant or bitter, you are the same
you: I cannot live with you—nor without you.]
946
Either he’s dead or my watch has stopped.
947
Quant’ e bella giovinezza
Che si fugge tuttavia!
Chi vuol esser lieto, sia:
Di doman non c’e certezza.
[How beautiful is youth, that is always slipping away!
Whoever wants to be happy, let him be so: about
tomorrow there’s no knowing.]
Trionfo di Bacco ed Arianna
948
Genius does what it must, and Talent does what it can.
Last Words of a Sensitive Second-Rate Poet
949
He may live without books,—what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without hope,—what is hope but deceiving?
He may live without love,—what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?
Lucile
950
Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.
Autobiography
951
After all, my erstwhile dear,
My no longer cherished,
Need we say it was not love,
Just because it perished?
Passer Mortuus Est
952
Ah, la belle chose que de saviour quelque chose.
[Ah, it’s a lovely thing, to know a thing or two.]
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
953
On ne meurt qu’une fois, et c’est pour si longtemps!
[One dies only once, and it’s for such a long time!]
Le Depit Amoureux
954
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.
Lolita, ch. 1
955
If I have seen further it is by standing
on the shoulders of giants.
Letter to Robert Hooke
956
Wie ich den Philosophen verstehe, als einen
furchtbaren Explosionsstoff, vor dem Alles in Gefahr ist.
[What I understand by ’philosopher’: a terrible
explosive in the presence of which everything is in
danger.]
Ecce Homo
957
Gott ist tot: aber so wie die Art der Menschen ist,
wird es vielleicht noch jahrtausendlang Hohlen geben,
in denen man seinen Schatten zeigt.
[God is dead: but considering the state the species Man
is in, there will perhaps be caves, for ages yet, in which
Ecce Homo
958
Wer mit Ungeheuren kampft, mag zusehn, dass er
nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange
in einen Abrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in
dich hinein.
[He who fights with monsters might take care lest he
thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long
into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.]
Ecce Homo
959
Der Witz ist das Epigramm auf den Tod eines Gefuhls.
[Wit is the epitaph of an emotion.]
Ecce Homo
960
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.
[No more things should be presumed to exist than are
absolutely necessary.]
Quodlibeta
961
All animals are equal but some animals are more
equal than others.
Animal Farm
962
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot
stamping on a human face—for ever.
1984
963
O death! I know it—’tis my famulus—
Thus turns to naught my fairest bliss!
That visions in abundance such as this
Must be disturbed by that dry prowler thus!
Faust
964
To make your dreams come true, live on the edge of reality.
965
A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
966
I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it, and the bloom is gone.
967
There are two tragedies in life.
One is to lose your heart’s desire.
The other is to gain it.
968
Life is short, live it up.
969
A police state is a place where everything that is forbidden is compulsory.
970
I find that alcohol when taken in sufficient quantities can bring about all the effects of drunkeness.
971
Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you. Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours.
972
Identity is no museum piece sitting stock-still in a display case, but rather the endlessly astonishing synthesis of the contradictions of everyday life.
973
Prepare thoroughly.
Go to the sacred places.
Wait.
Look.
Feel.
Then shoot!
974
Inopem me copia fecit.
Metamorphoses
975
Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor.
[I see the better way, and approve it; I follow the worse.]
Metamorphoses
976
Qui finem quaeris amoris,
Cedet amor rebus; res age, tutus eris.
[You who seek an end of love, love will yield to business: be busy, and you will be safe.]
Remedia Amoris
977
All the world is queer save thee and me,
and even thou art a little queer.
978
As the sin that was sweet in the sinning
Is foul in the ending thereof,
As the heat of the summer’s beginning
Is past in the winter of love:
O coldness, ineffably gray!
O hear us, our handmaid unheeding,
And take it away!
Swinburne
979
It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be
mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist
in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in
professing to believe what one does not believe.
The Age of Reason
980
The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately. One step above the sublime, makes the ridiculous; and one step above the ridiculous, makes the sublime again.
The Age of Reason
981
La derniere chose qu’on trouve en faisant un ouvrage, est de savoir celle qu’il faut mettre la premiere.
[The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first.]
Pensees
982
L’homme n’est qu’un roseau, le plus faible de la nature;
mais c’est un roseau pensant.
[Man is only a reed, the weakest thing in nature;
but he is a thinking reed.]
Pensees
983
Dans les champs de l’observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits prepares.
[Where observation is concerned, chance favours only the prepared mind.]
984
To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.
Conclusion
985
"I saw you take his kiss!" "’Tis true."
"O modesty!" "’Twas strictly kept:
He thought me asleep; at least, I know
He thought I thought he thought I slept."
The Angel in the House
986
In research the horizon recedes as we advance, and is no nearer at sixty than it was at twenty. As the power of endurance weakens with age, the urgency of the pursuit grows more intense ... And research is always incomplete.
Isaac Casaubon
987
I never had a piece of toast
particularly long and wide,
But fell upon the sanded floor,
And always on the buttered side.
Chambers’s Journal
988
Mid pleasures and palaces thought we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There’s no place like home! there’s no place like home!
Clari, the Maid of Milan
989
"I distinguish the pictureseque and the beautiful, and I
add to them, in the laying out of grounds, a third and
distinct character, which I call unexpectedness."
"Pray, sir," said Mr. Milestone, "by what name do you
distinguish the character, when a person walks round
the grounds for the second time?"
990
He remembered too late on this thorny green bed,
Much that well may be thought cannot wisely be said.
Crotchet Castle
991
Foeda est in coitu et brevis voluptas
Et taedet Veneris statim peractae.
[Delight of lust is gross and brief
992
My soul, do not seek immortal life, but exhaust
the realm of the possible.
993
Sal Atticum.
[Attic wit.]
Historia Naturalis
994
Keeping time, time time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells.
The Bells
995
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
The Raven
996
Take thy beak from out my heart,
and take thy form from off my door!
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
The Raven
997
A brain of feathers, and a heart of lead.
998
Teach him how to live,
And, oh! still harder lesson! how to die.
Death
999
Literature is news that STAYS news.
1000
One of the pleasures of middle age is to find out that
one WAS right, and that one was much righter than
one knows at say 17 or 23.
1001
Oh, one world at a time!
in response to question about afterlife
1002
La vie humaine commence de l’autre cote du desespoir.
[Human life begins on the other side of despair.]
Les Mouches, III,2
1003
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
1004
Rien n’empeche le bonheur comme la souvenir du bonheur.
[Nothing prevents hapiness like the moemory of happiness.]
L’immoraliste
1005
Speak when you are angry and you will make the
best speech you will ever regret.
1006
The human doesn’t see things as they are, but as he is.
1007
Ce que me separait, me distinguait des autres, importait;
ce que personne d’autre que moi ni disait ni se pouvait dire,
c’etait ce que j’avais a dire.
[That which separated and distnguished me from others, mattered.
That which no one else said or could say, was what I had to say.]
L’immoraliste
1008
If I am I because I am I, then I am I and you are you.
But if I am I because you are you, and you are you because
I am I, then I am not I and you are not you.
1009
A memory is what is left when something happens and
does not completely unhappen.
1010
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what
you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day;
you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
1011
Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people
wanting to be important.
1012
Few things are harder to put up with than a good example.
1013
Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling,
and instinct, not by rule.
1014
The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.
1015
A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.
1016
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
1017
There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
1018
When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
1019
If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.
1020
The liar at any rate recognizes that recreation, not instruction, is the aim of conversation, and is a far more civilized being than the blockhead who loudly expresses his disbelief in a story which is told simply for the amusement of the company.
1021
Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed.
1022
When a woman marries again it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk it.
1023
Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
1024
It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
1025
When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
1026
The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
1027
When you love someone all your saved-up wishes start coming out.
1028
Friendship often ends in love; but love in friendship—never.
1029
I have loved badly, loved the great
Too soon, withdrawn my words too late;
And eaten in an echoing hall
Alone and from a chipped plate
The words that I withdrew too late.
1030
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.
Fatal Interview, xxx
1031
A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species
of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and
enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel
tenderly drowsy.
1032
Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the
imagination and bottling the common-sense.
1033
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
1034
There is no remedy for love but to love more.
1035
Where the spender thinks it went.
Nobody was ever meant
To remember or invent
What he did with every cent.
1036
And the wisdom of the wise, and the experience of the ages,
may be preserved by quotation.
1037
It’s not that age brings childhood back again,
Age merely shows what children we remain.
1038
Age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
1039
A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.
1040
It’s the things I might have said that fester.
1041
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.
1042
Of course I lie to people. But I lie altruistically—
for our mutual good. The lie is the basic building
block of good manners. That may seem mildly shocking
to a moralist—but then what isn’t?
1043
Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure;
Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.
1044
They never taste who always drink;
They always talk, who never think.
Upon this Passage in Scaligerana
1045
He that begins to live, begins to die.
1046
Thou art my way; I wander, if thou fly;
Thou art my light; if hid, how blind am I!
Thou art my life; if thou withdraw, I die.
Hugo de Anima, bk.iii, No.7
1047
Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and
you reap a character. Sow a character, and you
reap a destiny.
1048
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.
The Waking
1049
But there are moments which he calls his own,
Then, never less alone than when alone,
Those whom he loved so long and sees no more,
Loved and still loves—not dead—but gone before,
He gathers round him.
Human Life 1.755
1050
Go—you man call it madness, folly;
You shall not chase my gloom away
There’s such a charm in melancholy,
I would not, if I could, be gay.
To-, 1814
1051
It doesn’t much signify whom one marries, for one is
sure to find next morning that it was someone else.
Table Talk
1052
Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.
Echo
1053
In the bleak mid-winter
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
Long ago.
Mid-Winter
1054
The hope I dreamed of was a dream,
Was but a dream; and now I wake,
Exceeding comfortless, and worn, and old,
For a dream’s sake.
Mirage
1055
A proverb is one man’s wit and all men’s wisdom.
1056
Alors, c’est ca l’Enfer. Je n’aurais jamais cru...
Vous vous rappelez: le soufre, le bucher, le gril...
Ah! quelle plaisanterie. Pas besoin de gril, l’Enfer,
c’est les Autres.
[So that’s what Hell is. I’d never have believed it...
Do you remember, brimstone, the stake, the gridiron?...
What a joke! No need of a gridiron. Hell, it’s other people.]
Huis Clos
1057
As I grow older and older,
And totter towards the tomb,
I find that I care less and less
Who goes to bed with whom.
That’s Why I Never Read Modern Novels
1058
Architecture in general is frozen music.
Philosophie der Kunst
1059
Television? The word is half Latin and half Greek.
No good can come of it.
1060
Eternal law has arranged nothing better than this,
that it has given us one way in to life, but many ways out.
Epistulae Morales
1061
Ah! the clock is always slow;
It is later than you think.
Ballads of a Bohemian. Spring, ii
1062
In a dream you are never eighty.
Old
1063
Words may be false and full of art,
Sighs are the natural language of the heart.
Psyche
1064
Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear.
All’s Well That Ends Well, V.iii.19
1065
I wish you all joy of the worm.
Anthony and Cleopatra, V.ii.260
1066
I know that a woman is a dish for the gods, if the
devil dress her not.
Anthony and Cleopatra, V.ii.274
1067
Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;
For in my youth I never did apply
Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood.
As You Like It, I.iii.47
1068
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
And then from hour to hour, we rot and rot:
And thereby hangs a tale.
As You Like It, I.vii.26
1069
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
As You Like It, I.vii.139
1070
I do desire we may be better strangers.
As You Like It, I.vii.276
1071
Jaques: I do not like her name.
Orlando: There was no thought of pleasing you when
she was christened.
As You Like It, I.vii.283
1072
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Hamlet, I.iii.58
1073
Brevity is the soul of wit.
Hamlet, II.ii.90
1074
Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?
Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret
me, you cannot play upon me.
Hamlet, III.ii.393
1075
Diseases desperate grown,
By desperate appliances are reliev’d,
Or not at all.
Hamlet, IV.iii.9
1076
A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king,
and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
Hamlet, IV.iii.29
1077
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.
Hamlet, V.ii.360
1078
It would be argument for a week, laughter for a
month, and a good jest for ever.
Henry IV, Part I, I.ii.104
1079
I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse: borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable.
Henry IV, Part II, I.ii.268
1080
Let the end try the man.
Henry IV, Part II, II.ii.52
1081
Commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways.
Henry IV, Part II, III.v.124
1082
O God! methinks it were a happy life,
To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
To carve out dials, quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run,
How many make the hour full complete;
How many hours bring about the day;
How many days will finish up the year;
How many years a mortal man may live.
Henry VII, Part III, II.v.21
1083
His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing.
Henry VIII, IV.ii.41
1084
Nor stony tower, nor wall of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
Julius Caesar, I.iii.93
1085
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.
Julius Caesar, II.i.63
1086
A poem begins with a lump in the throat.
1087
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like Arabs,
And silently steal away.
1088
Beauty never slumbers;
All is in her name;
But the rose remembers
The dust from which it came.
1089
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
1090
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
And I’ll not look for wine.
To Celia
1091
Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are born to Sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.
Auguries of Innocence
1092
For the crown of our life as it closes
Is darkness, the fruit there of dust;
No thorns go as deep as the rose’s,
And love is more cruel than lust.
Time turns the old days to derision,
Our loves into corpses or wives;
And marriage and death and division
Make barren our lives.
Dolores
1093
For this is Wisdom, to love, to live
To take what fate, or the Gods may give.
To ask no question, to make no prayer,
To kiss the lips and caress the hair,
Speed passion’s ebb as you greet its flow
To have,—to hold—and—in time,—let go!
1094
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Times is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.
To the Virgins to Make Much of Time
1095
Girl with the burning golden eyes,
And red-bird song, and snowy throat:
I bring you gold and silver moons,
And diamond stars, and mists that float.
I bring you moons and snowy clouds,
I bring you prarie skies to-night
To feebly praise your golden eyes
And red-bird song, and throat so white.
To Gloriana
1096
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be.
The last of life, for which the first was made.
Rabbi Ben Ezra
1097
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
1098
Her eyes the glowworm lend thee,
The shooting stars attend thee;
And the elves also,
Whose little eyes glow
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.
The Night Piece to Julia
1099
Here are fruits, flowers, leaves and branches,
And here is my heart which beats only for you.
Romances sans Paroles
1100
I believe that if I should die,
And you were to walk near my grave,
From the very depths of the earth
1101
I have loved many, the more and the few—
I have loved many that I might love you.
1102
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy, golden storm,
yes many loved before us, I know we are not new,
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you,
but now it’s come to distances and both of us must try,
your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.
Hey That’s No Way to Say Good-bye
1103
I shall go the way of the open sea,
To the lands I knew before you came,
And the cool ocean breezes shall blow from me
1104
I walked beside the evening sea
And dreamed a dream that could not be;
The waves that plunged along the shore
Said only: "Dreamer, dream no more!"
1105
I want to die while you love me,
While yet you hold me fair,
While laughter lies upon my lips,
And lights are in my hair.
1106
I’ve lived to bury my desires,
And see my dreams corrode with rust;
Now all that’s left are fruitless fires
That burn my empty heart to dust.
1107
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If every wife was happy with a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.
To My Dearest and Loving Husband
1108
If I could take your troubles
I would toss them into the sea,
But all these things I’m finding
Are impossible for me.
I cannot build a mountain
Or catch a rainbow fair,
But let me be what I know best,
A friend that is always there.
A True Friend
1109
Life, like a dome of many-colored glass,
Stains the white radiance of eternity.
1110
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!
The Highwayman
1111
Love me sweet
With all thou art
Feeling, thinking, seeing;
Love me in the
Lightest part,
Love me in full
Being.
1112
Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
And men below, and saints above:
For love is heaven, and heaven is love.
1113
Music I heard with you was more than music,
Now that I am without you, all is so desolate;
And all that once was so beautiful is dead.
1114
Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odors, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
Music, When Soft Voices Die
1115
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the beloved’s bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.
Music, When Soft Voices Die
1116
My love came back to me
Under the November tree
Shelterless and dim.
He put his hand upon my shoulder,
He did not think me strange or older,
Nor I, him.
All Souls’ Night
1117
And two or three had charm,
But charm and face were in vain.
Because the mountain grass
Cannot keep the form
Where the mountain hare has lain.
Memory
1118
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.
Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
1119
Rest not! Life is sweeping by; go and dare before you die.
Something mighty and sublime, leave behind to conquer time.
1120
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness.
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another.
Only a look and a voice; then darkness again and a silence.
Tales of a Wayside Inn
1121
Some reckon their age by years,
Some measure their life by art;
But some tell their days by the flow of their tears
And their lives by the moans of their hearts.
1122
sweet springtime is my time is your time is our time
for springtime
is love time
and viva sweet love.
1123
The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings.
Joy
1124
The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart.
1125
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
1126
These bursting yellow pears I hold,
In burning hands so lately cold,
My quiet autumn day confound;
I feel my fingers pressing round
In quick delight—old thoughts renew...
Ah, who’s to say when summer’s through?
1127
They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate:
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.
Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longham
1128
They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longham
1129
Thou art gone from my gaze like a beautiful dream,
And I seek thee in vain by the meadow and stream.
Thou Art Gone
1130
Though they go mad they shall be sane.
Though they sink through the sea, they shall rise again.
Though lovers be lost, love shall not,
And death shall have no dominion.
1131
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go, — so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his boot or shone his face
I say, "There is no memory of him here!"
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
Time Does Not Bring Relief
1132
Trusty, dusky, vivid, true,
With eyes of gold and bramble-dew,
The great artificer made my mate.
My Wife
1133
Twice or thrice I loved thee
Before I knew thy face or name
So in a voice, so in shapeless flame,
Angels affect us oft, and worshipped be.
Air and Angels
1134
Two souls with but a single thought,
Two hearts that beat as one.
Ingomar the Barbarian
1135
Western wind, when wilt thou blow,
The small rain down can rain?
Christ, if my love were in my arms
And I in my bed again!
1136
When the tea is brought at five o’clock
And all the neat curtains are drawn with care,
The little black cat with bright green eyes
Is suddenly purring there.
Milk for the Cat
1137
Years steal
Fire from the mind as vigor from the limb,
And life’s enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.
Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
1138
My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
Like a feather on the back of my hand.
1139
A grave is such a quiet place.
1140
Better to die, and sleep
The never-waking sleep, than linger on
And dare to live when the soul’s life is gone.
Ajax
1141
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
Holy Sonnets X
1142
Don’t strew me with roses after I’m dead.
When Death claims the light of my brow
No flowers of life will cheer me: instead
You may give me my roses now!
1143
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
1144
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
1145
Dying is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it fells like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
1146
In my beginning is my end.
East Coker
1147
In any man who dies there dies with him,
His first snow and kiss and fight...
Not people die but worlds die in them.
1148
The way is lonely, let me feel them now.
If I Should Die To-Night
1149
Moon, worn thin to the width of a quill,
In the dawn clouds flying,
How good to go, light into light, and still
Giving light, dying.
1150
Babies haven’t any hair;
Old men’s heads are just as bare;
Between the cradle and the grave
Lies a haircut and a shave.
1151
The dead they sleep a long, long sleep;
The dead they rest, and their rest is deep;
The dead have peace, but the living weep.
1152
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted—"Open then the Door!"
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more.
Rubaiyat, III, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
1153
I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.
Rubaiyat, XVIII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
1154
Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.
Rubaiyat, XXI, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
1155
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sand Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and—sans End.
Rubaiyat, XXIII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
1156
With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour’d it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d—
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."
Rubaiyat, XXVIII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
1157
What, without asking, hither hurried whence?
And, without asking, whither hurried hence!
Another and another Cup to drown
The Memory of this Impertinence!
Rubaiyat, XXX, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
1158
And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in the Nothing all Things end in—Yes—
Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art but what
Thou shalt be—Nothing—Thou shalt not be less.
Rubaiyat, XLVII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
1159
And Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits—and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!
Rubaiyat, LXXII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
1160
Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
And those that after some To-morrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries,
"Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There."
Rubaiyat, XXVII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1161
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
Came out by the same door as in I went.
Rubaiyat, XXX, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1162
There was the Door to which I found no Key:
There was the Veil through which I could not see:
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There was—and then no more of Thee and Me.
Rubaiyat, XXXV, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1163
Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute;
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after, or bitter, Fruit.
Rubaiyat, LVI, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1164
If so, by striking from the Calendar
Rubaiyat, LIX, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1165
Oh threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain—This Life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies;
The Flower that once is blown for ever dies.
Rubaiyat, LXVI, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1166
Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass’d the door of Darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.
Rubaiyat, LXVII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1167
We are no other than a moving row
Of visionary Shapes that come and go
Round with this Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show;
Rubaiyat, LXXIII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1168
Impotent Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days;
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.
Rubaiyat, LXXIV, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1169
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
Rubaiyat, LXXVI, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1170
And this I know: whether the one True Light
Kindle to Love, or Wrath-consume me quite,
One Flash of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.
Rubaiyat, LXXXIII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1171
Oh if the World were but to re-create,
That we might catch ere closed the Book of Fate,
And make The Writer on a fairer leaf
Inscribe our names, or quite obliterate!
Rubaiyat, CVI, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
1172
Then, every day was a week, each month a year. A season was a decade, and every year a life.
1173
The rain fell with that impression of gentle remorselessness west coast rain sometimes apears to possess when it has already been raining for some days and might well go on raining for several more.
1174
...skimming the scummy surface of our effervescent present in preference to plumbing the adumbrate depths of the underlying past.
1175
love is a little white bird
and the flight of it so fast
you can’t see it
and you know it’s there
only by the faint whirr of its wings
and the hush song coming so low to your ears
you fear it might be silence
and you listen keen and you listen long
and you know it’s more than silence
for you get the hush song so lovely
it hurts and cuts into your heart
and what you want is to give more than you can get
and you’d like to write it but it can’t be written
and you’d like to sing it but you don’t dare try
because the little white bird sings it better than you can
Little Word, Little White Bird
1176
Into the earth I sank till I
Full six feet under ground did lie,
And sank no more,—there is no weight
Renascence
1177
I have but to continue at your side.
So wanton, light and false, my love, are you,
I am most faithless when I most am true.
Sonnets, x
1178
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And oaths were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,—
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.
Sonnets, xi
1179
Yours is a face of which I can forget
The colour and the features, every one,
The words not ever, and the smiles not yet;
But in your day this moment is the sun
Upon a hill, after the sun has set.
Sonnets, xv
1180
Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
That you may hail anew the bird and rose
When I come back to you, as summer comes.
Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
Even your summer in another clime.
Sonnets, xxvii
1181
I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year;
And you must welcome from another part
Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
Sonnets, xxvii
1182
This have I known always: Love is no more
Than the wide blossom which the wind assails,
Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore,
Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales:
Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at every turn.
Sonnets, xxix
1183
And I am made aware of many a week
I shall consume, remembering in what way
And what divine absurdities you say:
Till all the world, and I, and surely you,
Will now I love you, whether or not I do.
Sonnets, xl
1184
Think not for this, however, the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity,—let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.
Sonnets, xli
1185
She told, in secret and with whispering,
How he had flashed a mirror in her eyes;
And as she told, it struck her with surprise
That this was not so wonderful a thing.
But what’s the odds?—It’s pretty nice to know
You’ve got a friend to keep you company everywhere you go.
Sonnets from an Ungrafted Tree, ix
1186
But it would strike her sometimes, making the tea:
She had kept that kettle boiling all night long, for company.
Sonnets from an Ungrafted Tree, xiv
1187
Deep is the pond-although the edge be shallow,
Frank is the sun, revealing fish and stone,
Climbing ashore to turtle-head and mallow—
Black at the center beats a heart unknown.
Desolate dreams pursue me out of sleep;
Weeping I wake; waking, I weep, I weep.
Fatal Interview, xxxiii
1188
The heart once broken is a heart no more,
And is absolved from all a heart must be;
All that it signed or chartered heretofore
Is cancelled now, the bankrupt heart is free;
Fatal Interview, l
1189
Heart in my breast,
This half a year now since you broke in two;
The world’s forgotten well, if the world knew.
Fatal Interview, l
1190
I cannot starve thee out: I am thy prey
And thou shalt have me; but I dare defend
That I can stave thee off; and I dare say,
What with the life I lead, the force I spend,
I’ll be but bones and jewels on that day,
And leave thee hungry even in the end.
Sonnets, cxxviii
1191
My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.
Travel
1192
The larger streams run still and deep,
Noisy and swift the small brooks run;
Among the mullein stalks the sheep
Go up the hillside in the sun,
Pensively,—only you are gone,
You that alone I cared to keep.
Song of a Second April
1193
Stranger, pause and look;
From the dust of ages
List this little book,
Turn the tattered pages,
Read me, do not let me die!
All that once was I!
The Poet and His Book
1194
Suffer me to take your hand.
Suffer me to cherish you
Till the dawn is in the sky.
Whether I be false or true,
Death comes in a day or two.
Mariposa
1195
I know a man that’s a braver man
And twenty men as kind,
And what are you, that you should be
The one man in my mind?
The Philosopher
1196
Yet women’s ways are witless ways,
As any sage will tell,—
And what am I, that I should love
So wisely and so well?
The Philosopher
1197
Just a rainy day or two
And a bitter word.
Why do I remember you
As a singing bird?
Souvenir
1198
And why should I be cold, my lad,
And why should you repine,
Because I love a dark head
That never will be mine?
The Betrothal
1199
I might as well be easing you
As lie alone in bed
And waste the night in wanting
The Betrothal
1200
You might as well be calling yours
What never will be his,
And one of us be happy.
There’s few enough as is.
The Betrothal
1201
If I could have
Two things in one:
The peace of the grave,
And the light of the sun.
Moriturus
1202
Oh, little leaves that are so dumb
Against the shrieking city air,
I watch you when the wind has come,—
I know what sound is there.
City Trees
1203
Such hope is mine, if this indeed be true,
I dread no more the first white in my hair,
Or even age itself, the easy shoe,
The cane, the wrinkled hands, the special chair:
Time, doing this to me, may alter too
My anguish, into something I can bear.
Sonnet
1204
With what a peaceful sound it dips
Into the stream; how gently, too,
From the wet blade the water drips.
I knew a ferryman before.
But he was not so old as you.
He spoke from unembittered lips,
With careless eyes on the bright sea
One day, such bitter words to me
As age and wisdom never knew.
Sappho Crosses the Dark River into Hades
1205
Time can make soft that iron wood.
The tallest trunk that ever stood,
In time, without a dream to keep,
Crawls in beside the root to sleep.
The Leaf and the Tree
1206
Man has places in his heart which do not yet exist,
and into them enters suffering in order that
they may have existence.
1207
Live in each season as it passes;
breate the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influences of each.
Huckleberries
1208
If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears,
however measured or far away.
Walden
1209
I learned this, at least, by my experiement;
that if one advances confidently in the
direction of his dreams, and endeavors
to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Walden
1210
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could
not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die,
discover that I had not lived.
Walden
1211
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
1212
I loved you once, nor can this heart be quiet,
For it would seem that love still lingers there,
But do not you be further troubled by it;
I would in no wise hurt you, oh my dear.
I Loved You Once
1213
I loved you without hope, a mute offender;
What jealous pangs, what shy despairs I knew!
A love as deep as this, as true, as tender,
God grant another may yet offer you.
I Loved You Once
1214
The billows play, the mast bends, creaking,
The wind, impatient, moans and sighs...
It is not joy that it is seeking,
No it’s from happiness it flies.
The Sail
1215
We only, while around all weary grow,
Unwearied stand,
And midst the fickle changes others konw,
Love—hand in hand.
The Water’s Edge
1216
Love, if you love me,
Lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
The getting out
Of the tiredness, the fatuousness,
The semi-lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
With a decent happiness.
The Rain
1217
O woman perilous, alluring climes!
O, shall I worship, too, your snow and rime,
Discover sharper joys than ice and steel?
Troubled Sky
1218
I have heard the song of the blossoms and the old chant of the sea,
And seen strange lands from under the arched white sails of ships;
But the loveliest things of beauty God ever has showed to me,
Are her voice, and her hair, and eyes, and the dear red curve of her lips.
Beauty
1219
I looked and saw your eyes
As a traveller sees the stream
In the shadow of the wood;
And I said, "My faint heart sights
Ah me! to longer there,
To drink deep and to dream
In that sweet solitude."
1220
I looked and saw your heart
As a seeker sees the gold
In the shadow of the stream;
And I said, "Ah me! what art
Should win the immortal prize,
Whose want must make life cold
And Heaven a hollow dream?"
1221
I looked and saw your love
As a diver sees the perl
In the shadow of the sea;
And I murmured, not above
My breath, but all apart,—
"Ah! you can love, true girl,
And is your love for me?"
1222
Even for you I shall not weep
When I at last, at last am dead,
No turn and sorrow in my sleep
Finis
1223
Even of you I shall not dream
Beneath the waving graveyard grass,
One with the soul of wind and stream
I shall not heed you if you pass.
Finis
1224
Even for you I would not wake,
Too bitter were the tears I knew,
Too dark the road I need must take—
The road that winds away from you.
Finis
1225
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.
A Ditty
1226
His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides:
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.
A Ditty
1227
I throw the apple; if thou love me true
Take it and give what willing maidens do;
But if thy thoughts be other than I pray,
Take’t all the same and think how things decay.
I Throw the Apple
1228
Heart lives in the figure, so
What if gloom pervades the present?
All is fleeting, all will go;
What is gone will then be pleasant.
Should This Life Sometime Deceive You
1229
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
The Critic as Artist
1230
Only the shallow know themselves.
Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young
1231
The clever people never listen, and the stupid people never talk.
A Woman of No Importance
1232
What people call insincerity is simply a method by which we can multiply our personalities. Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.
The Critic as Artist
1233
The condition of perfection is idleness; The aim of perfection is youth.
Phrases and Philosopies for the Use of the Young
1234
The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life’s tragedy.
A Woman of No Importance
1235
Ah, clear they see and true they say
That one shall weep, and one shall stray
For such is Love’s unvarying law....
I never thought, I never saw
That I should be the first to go;
How pleasant that it happened so!
Surprise
1236
Into love and out again,
Thus I went, and thus I go.
Well and bitterly I know
All the songs were ever sung,
All the words were ever said;
Could it be, when I was young,
Some one dropped me on my head?
Theory
1237
Should they whisper false of you.
Never trouble to deny;
Should the words they say be true,
Weep and storm and swear they lie.
1238
I must go on, till ends my rope,
Who from my birth was cursed with hope.
A heart in half is chaste, archaic;
But mine resembles a mosaic—
The thing’s become ridiculous!
Why am I so? Why am I thus?
1239
New love, new love, shall I be forsaken?
One shall go a-wandering, and one of us must sigh.
Sweet it is to slumber, but how shall be awaken—
Whose will be the broken heart, when dawn comes by?
The Last Question
1240
The sun’s gone dim, and
The moon’s turned blak;
For I love him, and
He didn’t love back.
Two-Volume Novel
1241
If wild my breast and sore my pride,
I bask in dreams of suicide;
If cool my heart and high my head,
I think, "How lucky are the dead!"
Rhyme Against Living
1242
And why with you, my love, my lord,
Am I spectacularly bored,
Yet do you up and leave me—then
I scream to have you back again.
On Being a Woman
1243
If I had a shiny gun,
I could have a world of fun
Speeding bullets through the brains
Of the folk who give me pains;
Frustration
1244
Or had I some poison gas,
I could make the moments pass
Bumping off a number of
People whom I do not love.
Frustration
1245
Hope it was that tutored me,
And Love that taught me more;
And now I learn at Sorrow’s knee
The self-same lore.
1246
Who flings me silly talk of May
Shall meet a bitter soul;
For June was nearly spent away
Before my heart was whole.
The False Friends
1247
How shall I wail, that wasn’t meant for weeping?
Love has run and left me, oh, what then?
Dream, then, I must, who never can be sleeping;
What if I should meet Love, once again?
Convalenscent
1248
How shall I be mating
Who have looked above—
Living for a hating,
Dying of a love?
The Dark Girl’s Rhyme
1249
Why it is no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.
One Perfect Rose
1250
By the time you swear you’re his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying—
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.
Unfortunate Coincidence
1251
A new moon madness and a love of rain.
The Godmother
1252
There’s little in taking or giving,
There’s little in water or wine;
This living, this living, this living
Was never a project of mine.
Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
The gain of one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
And love is a paremanent flop,
And work is the province of cattle,
And rest’s for a clam in a shell,
So I’m thinking of throwing the battle—
Would you kindly direct me to hell?
Coda
1253
It costs me never a stab nor squirm
To tread by chance upon a worm.
"Aha, my little dear," I say,
"Your clan will pay me back one day."
Thoughts for a Sunshiny Morning
1254
The first time I died, I walked my ways;
I followed the file of limping days.
The next time I died, they laid me deep.
They spoke worn words to hallow my sleep.
Epitaph, extracts
1255
They tossed me petals, they wreathed me fern,
They weighted me down with a marble urn.
And I lie here warm, and I lie here dry,
And watch the worms slip by, slip by.
Epitaph
1256
If, with the literate, I am
Impelled to make an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all asume that Oscar said it.
On Oscar Wilde’s mastery of the epigram
1257
Lips that taste of tears, they say,
Are the best for kissing.
Threnody
1258
Oh, sad are winter nights, and slow;
And sad’s a song that’s dumb;
And sad it is to lie and know
Another dawn will come.
The Small Hours
1259
Once, when I was young and true,
Broke my brittle heart in two;
Love is for unlucky folk,
Love is but a curse.
Once there was a heart I broke;
And that, I think, is worse.
A Very Short Song
1260
Joy stayed with me a night—
Young and free and fair—
And in the morning light
He left me there.
Then Sorrow came to stay,
And lay upon my breast
He walked with me in the day.
And knew me best.
Light of Love
1261
Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.
Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.
Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.
Inventory
1262
All of the blundering words I’ve spoken,
Little whilte love, forgive, forgive.
Once you went out, my heart fell, broken.
(Nevertheless, a girl must live.)
Now at Liberty
1263
Over young are you to guide me,
And your blood is slow and sleeping.
If you must, then sit beside me....
Tell me, why have I been weeping?
Pattern
1264
Oh, it is, then, Utopian
To hope that I may meet a man
Who’ll not relate, in accents suave,
The tales of girls he used to have?
De Profundis
1265
But I am old; and good and bad
Are woven in a crazy plaid.
I sit and say, "The world is so;
And he is wise who lets it go.
A battle lost, a battle won—
The difference is small, my son."
The Veteran
1266
I’ll never be a bride,
Nor yet celibate,
So I’m living now with Pride—
A cold bedmate.
He must not hear nor see,
Nor could he forgive
That Sorrow still visits me
Each day I live.
Light of Love
1267
Love has gone a-rocketing.
That is not the worst;
I could do without the thing,
And not be the first.
Joy has gone the way it came.
That is nothing new;
I could get along the same—
Many people do.
Wail
1268
This is what I vow:
He shall have my heart to keep,
Sweetly will we stir and sleep...
thi sis what I pray:
Keep him by me tenderly;
Keep him sweet in pride of me...
This is what I know:
Lovers’ oaths are thin as rain;
Love’s a harbinger of pain...
Somebody’s Song, extracts
1269
...Swift the measured sands may run;
Love like this is never done;
He and I are welded one:
This is what I vow.
...Keep me from the old distress;
Let me, for our happiness,
Be the one to love the less:
This is what I pray.
...Ever is my heart a-thirst,
Ever is my love accurst;
He is neither last nor first:
This is what I know.
Somebody’s Song, extracts
1270
You will be frail and musty
Whilst I am young and lusty
Braggart
1271
Let him see your passion is
Ever tenderer than his....
Go and bless your star above,
Thus are you, and thus is Love.
Tender though the love he bore,
You had loved a little more....
Thus Love is, and thus you are.
To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady, extracts
1272
If I seek a lovelier part,
Where I travel goes my heart;
Where I stray my thought must go;
With me wanders my desire.
Best to sit and watch the snow,
Turn the lock, and poke the fire.
Hearthside
1273
If it shine or if it rain,
Little will I care or know.
Days, like drops upon a pane,
Slip, and join, and go.
The New Love
1274
Because your eyes are slant and slow,
Because your hair is sweet to touch,
My heart is high again; but oh,
I doubt if this will get me much.
Prophetic Soul
1275
One whose ways are all discreet,
One who murmurs that his wife
Is the lodestar of his life,
One who keeps assuring you
That he never was untrue,
Never loved another one ...
Social Note
1276
If he whistles low and clear
When the insistent moon is near
And the secret stars are known—
Just because some words were true? ...
Lady, I was told them too!
1277
Then if my friendships break and bend,
There’s little need to cry
The while I know that every foe
Is faithful till I die.
The Heal
1278
Travel, trouble, music, art,
A kiss, a frock, a rhyme—
I never said they feed my heart,
But still they pass my time.
Faute de Mieux
1279
She’s passing fair; but so demure is she,
So quiet is her gown, so smooth her hair,
That few there are who note her and agree
She’s passing fair.
Alas, no lover ever stops to see;
The best that she is offered is the air.
Yet—if the passing mark is minus D—
She’s passing fair.
Roundel
1280
When you rehearse your list of loves to me,
Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed.
And you laugh back, nor can you ever see
the thousand little deaths my heart has died.
1281
And you believe, so well I know my part,
That I am gay as morning, light as snow,
And all the straining things within my heart
You’ll never know.
1282
And when, in search of novelty, you stray,
Oh, I can kiss you blithely as you go....
And what goes on, my love, while you’re away,
You’ll never know.
1283
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore;
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I ponder on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men....
I’m due to fall in love again.
Symptom Recital
1284
And this, O love, my pitiable plight
Whenever from my circling arms you stray;
This little world of mine has lost its light....
I hope to God, my dear, that you can say
The same to me.
Rondeau Redouble
1285
Oh, both my shoes are shiny new,
And pristine is my hat;
My dress is 1922....
My life is all like that.
Autobiography
1286
Woman wants monogamy;
Man delights in novelty.
Love is woman’s moon and sun;
Man has other forms of fun.
WOman lives but in her lord;
Count to ten, and man is bored.
With this the gist and sum of it,
What earthly good can come of it?
General Review of the Sex Situation
1287
Oh, gallant was the first love, and glittering and fine;
The second love was water, in a clear white cup;
The third love was his, and the fourth was mine;
And after that, I always get them all mixed up.
Pictures in the Smoke
1288
Up, and out, and on; and then
Ever back to bed again,
Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall—
I’m a fool to rise at all!
Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom
1289
Gone are the raptures that once we knew,
Now you are finding a new joy greater—
Well, I’ll be doing the same thing, too,
Sooner or later.
Nocturne
1290
Some men break your heart in two,
Some men fawn and flatter,
Some men never look at you;
And that cleans up the matter.
Experience
1291
So silent I when Love was by
He yawned, and turned away;
But Sorrow clings to my apron-strings,
I have so much to say.
Anecdote
1292
My door is grave in oaken strength,
The cool of linen calms my bed,
And there at night I stretch my length
And envy no one but the dead.
Story of Mrs. W-
1293
And each of us will sigh, and start
And lay a hand above a heart,
And dry a pretty tear.
The Dramatists
1294
I know I have been happiest at your side;
But what is done, is done, and all’s to be.
And small the good, the llinger dolefully—
Gayly it lived, and gallantly it died.
I Know I Have Been Happiest
1295
Strange, that from lovely dreamings of the dead
I shall come back to you, who hurt me most.
I’ll be so new and inexpert a ghost.
Perhaps you will not know that I am near—
And that will break my ghostly heart, my dear.
I Shall Come Back
1296
Yet this the need of woman, this her curse:
To range her little gifts, and give, and give,
Because the throb of giving’s sweet to bear.
TO you, who never begged me vows or verse,
My gift shall be my absence, while I live;
But after that, my dear, I cannot swear.
I Know I Have Been Happiest
1297
Dig for me the narrow bed.
Now I am bereft.
All my pretty hates are dead,
And what have I left?
Wail
1298
Dearest one, when I am dead
Never mount the quiet hill
Where the copper leaves are still,
As my heart is, on the tree
Standing at my narrow bed.
Prayer for a Prayer
1299
And now I have another lad!
No longer need you tell
How all my nights are slow and sad
For loving you too well.
The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse
1300
Drink and dance and laugh and lie,
Love, the reeling midnight through,
For tomorrow we shall die!
(But, alas, we never do.)
The Flaw in Paganism
1301
There was a bird, brought down to die;
They said, "A hundred fill the sky—
There was a girl, whose lover fled;
I did not wait, the while they said,
Solace
1302
She hated bleak and wintry things alone.
All that was warm and quick, she loved too well—
A light, a flame, a heart against her own;
It is forever bitter cold, in Hell.
Tombstones in the Starlight: The Pretty Lady
1303
He’d have the best, and that was too good;
No barrier could hold, before his terms.
He lies below, correct in cypress wood,
And entertains the most exclusive worms.
Tombstones in the Starlight: The Very Rich Man
1304
The man she had was kind and clean
And well enough for every day,
But, oh, dear friends, you should have seen
The one that got away!
Tombstones in the Starlight: The Fisherwoman
1305
Her name, cut clear upon this marble cross,
Shines, as it shone when she was still on earth;
While tenderly the mild, agreeable moss
Obscures the figures of her date of birth.
Tombstones in the Starlight: The Actress
1306
The bird that feeds from off my palm
Is sleek, affectionate, and calm,
But double, to me, is worth the thrush
A-flickering in the elder-bush.
Ornithology for Beginners
1307
Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses.
News Item
1308
For contrition is hollow and wraithful,
And regret is no part of my plan,
And I think (if my memory’s faithful)
There was nothing more fun than a man!
The Little Old Lady in Lavender Silk
1309
For now I am my own. And that is best.
Therefore, I am immeasurably grateful
To you, for proving shallow, false, and hateful.
Sonnet for the End of a Sequence
1310
There’s honester eyes than your blue eyes,
There’s better a mile than such as you.
But when did I say that I was wise,
And when did I hope that you were true?
Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song
1311
Show me a love was done and through,
Tell me a kiss escaped its debt!
Women and elephants never forget.
1312
You are brief and frail and blue—
Little sisters, I am, too.
You are Heaven’s masterpieces—
Little loves, the likeness ceases.
Sweet Violets
1313
No moonbeam cuts the air; a sapphire light
Rolls lazily, and slips again to rest.
There is no edged thing in all this night,
Save in my breast.
Midnight
1314
Every love’s the love before
In a duller dress.
That’s the measure of my lore—
Here’s my bitterness:
Would I knew a little more,
Or very much less!
Summary
1315
Never serious be, nor true,
And your wish will come to you—
And if that makes you happy, kid,
You’ll be the first it ever did.
1316
In May my heart was breaking—
Oh, wide the wound, and deep!
And bitter it beat at waking,
And sore it split in sleep.
And when it came November,
I sought my heart, and sighed,
"Poor thing, do you remember?"
"What heart was that?" it cried.
Autumn Valentine
1317
Her mind lives tidily, apart
From cold and noise and pain,
And bolts the door against her heart,
Out wailing in the rain.
Interior
1318
"Then we will have tonight!" we said.
The morrow touched our eyes, and found
Us walking firm above the ground,
Our pulses quick, our blood alight.
Tomorrow’s gone—we’ll have tonight!
On Cheating the Fiddler
1319
Oh, it is sure as it is sad
And what’s a girl, to dare impore
Her dear be hers forevermore?
Though he be tried and he be bold,
And swearing death should he be cold,
He’ll run the path the others went....
But you, my sweet, are different.
Incurable
1320
Let another cross his way—
She’s the one will do the weeping!
Little need I fear he’ll stray
Since I have his heart in keeping—
Let another hail him dear—
Little chance that he’ll forget me!
Only need I curse and fear
Her he loved before he met me.
Mortal Enemy
1321
and eyes big love-crumbs,
and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you so quite new
7
1322
i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quiet new a thing.
7
1323
we are so both and oneful
night cannot be so sky
sky cannot be so sunful
i am through you so i
49
1324
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
92
1325
if you like my poems let them
walk in the evening, a little behind you
then people will say
"Along this road i saw a princess pass
on her way to meet her lover (it was
toward nightfall) with all ignorant servants."
1326
Brevity is the soul of lingerie.
1327
Sorrow is tranquility remembered in emotion.
Sentiment
1328
Darkness is to space what silence is to sound, i.e. the interval.
1329
A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man.
1330
Knowledge is a polite word for dead but not buried imagination.
1331
Look at the fingers of your hands if you want
to know how things that are different can be the same.
1332
The simple lack of her is more to me than others’ presence.
1333
How can I believe in God when just last week I got
my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?
1334
Man is a god in ruins.
1335
Man is certainly stark mad. He cannot make a worm, and yet
he will be making gods by dozens.
1336
If I had been the Virgin Mary, I would have said "No."
1337
It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day
to day basis.
1338
There is more to life than increasing its speed.
1339
Dying is one of the few things that can be done
as easily lying down.
1340
I have no monument than why I have one.
1341
Early one June morning in 1872 I murdered my father—
an act which made a deep impression on me at the time.
1342
There is no money in poetry, but then there is no poetry
in money, either.
1343
The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous,
the sensible man hardly anything.
1344
Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.
1345
Cabbage: A vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.
1346
To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
1347
Egotist: A person more interested in himself than in me.
1348
A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.
1349
Except during the nine months before he draws his
first breath, no man manages his affairs as well
as a tree does.
1350
To my embarrassment I was born in bed with a lady.
1351
A child is a curly, dimpled lunatic.
1352
Sex is the biggest nothing of all time.
1353
Love is the delightful interval between meeting
a beautiful girl and discovering that she looks
1354
The heaviest object in the world is the body
of the woman you have ceased to love.
1355
A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.
1356
The reverse side also has a reverse side.
1357
Oh, this age! How tasteless and ill-bred it is!
1358
It is sometimes expedient to forget who we are.
1359
The 100% American is 99% an idiot.
1360
And that’s the world in a nutshell—an appropriate
receptacle.
1361
The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that
he really is very good, in spite of all the
people who say he is very good.
1362
A manuscript, like a fetus, is never improved
by showing it to somebody before it is completed.
1363
Boy meets girl; girl gets boy into pickle;
boy gets pickle into girl.
1364
Every novel should have a beginning, a muddle, and an end.
1365
Never read a book that is not a year old.
1366
What an ugly beast is the ape, and how like us.
1367
One more drink and I’ll be under the host.
1368
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity
to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
1369
I would have made a good Pope.
1370
The only reason I would take up jogging is so
that I could hear heavy breathing again.
1371
Punctuality is the thief of time.
1372
I’m in a phone booth at the corner of Walk and Don’t Walk.
1373
Any fool can make a rule.
1374
I don’t care what is written about me so long
as it isn’t true.
1375
If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody,
come sit next to me.
1376
Many a man owes his success to his first wife and
his second wife to his success.
1377
I haven’t been wrong since 1961, when I thought I made
a mistake.
1378
If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but
if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
1379
Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy?
I don’t know and I don’t care.
1380
What is true is what I can’t help believing.
1381
So little time and so little to do.
1382
Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.
1383
Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.
1384
One should never know too precisely whom one has married.
1385
Some things have to be believed to be seen
1386
God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness
shows through.
1387
I was the best I ever had.
1388
Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
1389
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure
the operation of life.
1390
I am a deeply superficial person.
1391
Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.
1392
No sane man will dance.
1393
Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in
nature has a function.
1394
It’s better to be wanted for murder than not
to be wanted at all.
1395
When smashing monuments, save the pedestals—
they always come in handy.
1396
Stay with me; I want to be alone.
1397
I can’t seem to bring myself to say, "Well, I guess
I’ll be toddling along." It isn’t that I can’t toddle.
It’s that I can’t guess I’ll toddle.
1398
All professions are conspiracies against the laity.
1399
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
1400
Peace, n.: In international affairs, a period of cheating
between two periods of fighting.
1401
The gods too are fond of a joke.
1402
Which is it, is man one of God’s blunders or is
God one of man’s?
1403
Millions long for immortality who don’t know what
to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
1404
Women are like elephants to me. I like to look at them
but I wouldn’t want to own one.
1405
Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without
1406
Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message
and get back to you.
1407
Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
Walden
1408
Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?
1409
I am not young enough to know everything.
1410
Idealism is what preceeds experience; cynicism is what follows.
1411
The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite
of talking is waiting.
1412
In America, you can always find a party. In Russia,
the party always finds you.
1413
A gentleman is a man who can play the accordion but doesn’t.
1414
I never travel without my dairy. One should always have something sensational to read.
1415
The odds against there being a bomb on a plane
are a million to one, and against two bombs a
million times a million to one. Next time you fly,
cut the odds and take a bomb.
1416
Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the
sky as well as the earth!
1417
Men have become the tools of their tools.
1418
1419
What luck for rulers that men do not think.
1420
The reason there are so few female politicians
is that it is too much trouble to put makeup on two faces.
1421
Those who are too smart to engage in politics
are punished by being governed by those who
are dumber.
1422
Very few things happen at the right time and
the rest do not happen at all. The conscientious
historian will correct these defects.
1423
1424
The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist
man and ultimately defeat him.
1425
A committee is a cul-de-sac down which
ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.
1426
Never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed person.
1427
Either I’ve been missing something or nothing
has been going on.
1428
The world is a madhouse, so it’s only right that it is patrolled by armed idiots.
1429
Love loves for ever,
And finds a sort of joy in pain,
And gives with nought to take again,
And loves too well to end in vain:
Is the gain small then?
Love laughs at "never",
Outlives our life, exceeds the span
Appointed to mere mortal man:
All which love is and does and can
Is all in all then.
1430
Watching the shied core
Striking the basket, skidding across the floor,
Shows less and less of luck, and more and more.
Of failure spreading back up the arm
Earlier and earlier, the unraised hand calm,
The apple unbitten in the palm.’,
1431
Morning at last: there in the snow
Your small blunt footprints come and go.
Night has left no more to show,
Not the candle, half-drunk wine,
Or touching joy; only this sign
Of your life walking into mine.
But when they vanish with the rain
What morning woke to will remain,
Whether as happiness or pain.
1432
Oderint dum metuant.
[Let them hate, as long as they fear.]
Atreus
1433
You can’t say civilization doesn’t advance. In every war they kill you in a new way.
1434
You are not thinking. You are merely being logical.
[Spoken to Einstein]
1435
To do is to be.
1436
To be is to do.
1437
By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
1438
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
1439
The past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.
1440
For everything, there is a first time.
1441
All things are difficult before they are easy.
1442
Are you going places or just being taken?
1443
Nature uses as little as possible of anything.
1444
The smallest thing, well done, becomes artistic.
1445
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing.
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms.
Strong and content I travel the open road.
1446
In every parting there is an image of death.
1447
Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.
1448
Journeys end in lovers meeting.
Twelfth Night (Act II, Scene III)
1449
What we see is mainly what we look for.’,
1450
Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.
[For knowledge itself is power.]
Meditations Sacrae
1451
Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are born to Sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.
Auguries of Innocence
1452
Girl with the burning golden eyes,
And red-bird song, and snowy throat:
I bring you gold and silver moons,
And diamond stars, and mists that float.
I bring you moons and snowy clouds,
I bring you prarie skies to-night
To feebly praise your golden eyes
And red-bird song, and throat so white.
To Gloriana
1453
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but if you replace the P with an O, my name would be Oinky, wouldn’t it?’,
1454
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but balancing a family, and a career? Ooh, it’s all too much for me.’,
1455
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but isn’t Regis Philbin already married?’,
1456
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but pants with horizontal stripes make me look chubby.’,
1457
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but if we didn’t have ears, we’d look like weasels.’,
1458
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but why would anyone want a depressed tongue?’,
1459
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but what if the chicken won’t wear the nylons?’,
1460
People don’t turn down money. It’s what separates us from the animals.
1461
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but if they called them "sad meals", kids wouldn’t buy them.’,
1462
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but how do we get all seven dwarves to shave their legs.’,
1463
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but "instant karma" always gets so lumpy.’,
1464
Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on.
1465
What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don’t understand it. You see my physics students don’t understand it... That is because I don’t understand it. Nobody does.
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
1466
Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?
A Brief History of Time
1467
Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.
1468
Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
Justice the founder of my fabric moved:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.
Before me things create were , save things
Eternal, and eternal I shall endure.
All hope abandon, ye who enter here.
The Divine Comedy
1469
Avarice, envy, pride,
Three fatal sparks, have set the hearts of all
On Fire.
The Divine Comedy
1470
All human things are subject to decay,
And, when Fate summons, monarchs must obey;
This Flecknoe found, who like Augustus young
Was call’d to empire, and had govern’d long:
In prose and verse, was own’d, without dispute
Through all the realms of nonsense, absolute.
Mac Flecknoe
1471
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory out of desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in a forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
The Waste Land
1472
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass’d;
And the eyes of the sleepers wax’d deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
The Destruction of Sennacherib
1473
Beauty is but a flower,
Which wrinkles will devour;
Brightness falls from the air;
Queens have died young and fair;
Dust hath closed Helen’s eye.
I am sick, I must die;
Lord have mercy on us.
Song in Time of Pestilence
1474
Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow—
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in ,
Is it therefore the less gone?
A Dream Within A Dream
1475
Angels and ministers of grace defend us.
Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damned,
Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked, or charitable,
Thou com’st in such a questionable shape,
That I will speak to thee.
Hamlet
1476
To die, to sleep—
To sleep, perchance to dream, ay there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause; there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
Hamlet
1477
Nothing but blackness above
And nothing that moves but the cars...
God, if you wish for our love,
Fling us a handful of stars!
Caliban in the Coal Mines
1478
The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
1479
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love on another.
1480
Love can sometimes be magic. But magic can sometimes ... just be an illusion.
1481
Lookin back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so.
1482
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved—loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
1483
To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be.
1484
The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.
1485
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. ’Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
1486
There are three things men can do with women: love them, suffer for them, or turn them into literature.
1487
Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.
1488
To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.
1489
Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.
1490
Perfect love is rare indeed—for to be a lover will require that you continually have the subtlety of the very wise, the flexibility of the child, the sensitivity of the artist, the understanding of the philosopher, the acceptance of the saint, the tolerance of the scholar and the fortitude of the cretin.
1491
Nunc scio quit sit amor.
[Now I know what love is.]
1492
I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
1493
A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."
War is Kind
1494
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Four Quartets
1495
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.
Essays: First Series, Essay XII, "Art"
1496
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
1497
Is not a kiss the very autograph of love?
1498
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, con a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
Notebook of Lazarus Long
1499
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1500
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.
Sea Feaver
1501
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
Sea Fever
1502
I must down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life.
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
Sea Fever
1503
Explanations exist; they have existed for all times, for there is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
The Divine Afflatus
1504
What a great artist dies with me.
1505
I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
1506
When we walk to the edge of all the light you have
and take the step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid for us to stand upon,
or we will be taught to fly.
Faith
1507
We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.
1508
Nothing contributes so much to tranquilizing the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.
1509
The age is dull and mean. Men creep,
Not walk; with blood too pale and tame
To pay the debt we owe to shame;
Buy cheap, sell dear; eat, drink, and sleep
Down-pillowed, deaf to moaning want;
Pay tithes for soul-insurance; keep
Six day to Mammon, one to Cant.
For Righteousness’ Sake
1510
I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street.
As I Walked Out One Evening
1511
It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
And the deep river ran on.
As I Walked Out One Evening
1512
Genius is applying the originality of youth to the experience of maturity.
1513
Perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell.
1514
Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex and intelligent behaviour. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple and stupid behaviour.
1515
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that is is too low and we reach it.
1516
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where schools got all the money they needed and the military had to hold bake sales to buy bombers?’,
1517
Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.
1518
In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.
1519
Faith: not wanting to know what is true.
1520
America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
1521
It is easier to be a lover than a husband for the simple reason that it is more difficult to be wiity every day than to say pretty things from time to time.
1522
Escape me?
Never—
Beloved!
While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world
contains us both,
Me the loving and you
the loth,
While the one eludes, must
the other persue.
1523
Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away.
1524
It is a stupidity second to , to busy one-self with the correction of the world.
The Misanthrope
1525
You may have genius. The contrary is, of course, probable.
1526
God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.
1527
Church: A place in which gentlemen who have never been to Heaven brag about it to people who will never get there.
A Book of Burlesques
1528
Clergyman: A ticket speculator outside the gates of Heaven.
A Book of Burlesques
1529
Fine: A bribe paid by a rich man to escape the lawful penalty of his crime.
A Book of Burlesques
1530
Idealist: One who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
A Book of Burlesques
1531
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time.
A Book of Burlesques
1532
Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.
A Book of Burlesques
1533
Sunday School: A prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
A Book of Burlesques
1534
If the average man is made in God’s image, then a man such as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God, and so God may be jealous of him, and eager to see his superiority perish with his bodily frame. All animal breeders know how difficult it is to maintain a fine strain. The universe seems to be in a conspiracy to encourage the endless reproduction of peasants and Socialists, but a subtle and mysterious opposition stands eternally against the reproduction of philosophers.
In Defense of Women
1535
A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.
1536
I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.
1537
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
1538
The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.
1539
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
1540
A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there—even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity.
1541
When I can look Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange—my youth.
1542
Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstacy
Give all you have been, or could be.
Barter
1543
Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.
1544
Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And childrens’s faces looking up
Holding wonder in a cup.
Barter
1545
Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love all year round, madam; that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals.
1546
I try to catch at many a tune
Like petals of light fallen from the moon,
Broken and bright on a dark lagoon.
But they float away—for who can hold
Youth, or perfume or the moon’s gold?
Old Tunes
1547
So the old tunes float in my mind,
And go from me leaving no trace behind,
Like fragrance borne on the hush of the wind.
but in the instant the airs remain
I know the laughter and the pain
Of times that will not come again.
Old Tunes
1548
I love my hour of wind and light,
I love men’s faces and their eyes,
I love my spirit’s veering flight
Like swallows under evening skies.
Swallow Flight
1549
They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains
the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.
Last Poems, 1933
1550
Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe.
Life, the Universe and Everything
1551
Mathematics is not a careful march down a well-cleared highway, but a journey into a strange wilderness, where the explorers often get lost. Rigour should be a signal to the historian that the maps have been made, and the real explorers have gone elsewhere.
Mathematics and History, Mathematical Intelligencer, v. 4, no. 4
1552
Referee’s report: This paper contains much that is new and much that is true. Unfortunately, that which is true is not new and that which is new is not true.
1553
Life is a school of probability.
World of Mathematics by J.R. Newman (ed.) [quoted]
1554
What is now proved was once only imagin’d.
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
1555
It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.
Sartor Resartus III
1556
Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.
Orthodoxy, ch. 2
1557
The measure of our intellectual capacity is the capacity to feel less and less satisfied with our answers to better and better problems.
A Mathematician’s Miscellany by J.E. Littlewood [quoted]
1558
The mathematician may be compared to a designer of garments, who is utterly oblivious of the creatures whom his garments may fit. To be sure, his art originated in the necessity for clothing such creatures, but this was long ago; to this day a shape will occasionally appear which will fit into the garment as if the garment had been made for it. Then there is no end of surprise and delight.
1559
Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.
Discours de la Methode
1560
I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery.
La Geometrie
1561
In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.
Mathematical Circles Adieu by H. Eves [quoted]
1562
Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities.
The World of Mathematics by J.R. Newman [quoted]
1563
We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two. We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about ’and’.
Mathematical Maxims and Minims by N. Rose [quoted]
1564
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
The World of Mathematics by J.R. Newman [quoted]
1565
A Mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.
1566
A formal manipulator in mathematics often experiences the discomforting feeling that his pencil surpasses him in intelligence.
In Mathematical Circles
1567
Natural selection is a mechanism for generating an exceedingly high degree of improbability.
1568
To call in the statistician after the experiment is done may be no more than asking hm to perform a postmortem examination: he may be able to say what the experiment died of.
Indian Statistical Congress
1569
Few, but ripe.
[His motto]
1570
Should I refuse a good dinner simply because I do not understand the process of digestion?
[Criticized for using formal mathematical manipulations, without understanding how they worked.]
1571
Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.
Time Enough for Love
1572
Physics is much too hard for physicists.
Hilbert by C. Reid [quoted]
1573
Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cocksure of many things that are not so.
Calculus Gems by G. Simmons [quoted]
1574
He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts — for support rather than illumination.
Treasury of Humorous Quotations
1575
Medicine makes people ill, mathematics make them sad and theology makes them sinful.
1576
We think in generalities, but we live in details.
The Viking Book of Aphorisms by W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger [quoted]
1577
There is no nature at an instant.
1578
What if angry vectors veer
There’s never need to fear
Violence of the poor world’s abstract storm.
Lillaby in Encounter
1579
It can be shown that a mathematical web of some kind can be woven about any universe containing several objects. The fact that our universe lends itself to mathematical treatment is not a fact of any great philosophical significance.
The Viking Book of Aphorisms by W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger [quoted]
1580
Thought is only a flash between two long nights, but this flash is everything.
The World of Mathematics by J.R. Newman [quoted]
1581
Be thou my friend forever blest
Have friends selected from the best
Have all the sweethearts you desire
but be my sweetheart for this hour.
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
1582
For many miles divide us,
And you I cannot see
Remember oh Remember
Who wrote these lines to Thee.
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
1583
The rose of the valley may wither
The flowers of the forest decay
But friendship shall bloom forever
When all other charms fade away.
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
1584
Remember me and beare in mind
A truthful friend is hard to find
The path of sorrow and that alone
Leads to a place where sorrow is unknown.
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
1585
Friends must meet and friends must part,
For months and perhaps forever.
Forgetfulness may do its part,
But I will forget thee never.’,
1586
As sure as your wedding day,
A broom you I will send.
In sunshine use the brushy part,
In storms use the other end.
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
1587
Desire not to live long but to live well,
How long we live not years, but actions tell.
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
1588
As you go down the
Stream of life in your
Little canoe, I hope
You will have a jolley
Time, with plenty of
Room for two,
Love is to the human
Heart as sunshine is
To flowers, And friendship
Is the fairest thing in
This cold world of ours.
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
1589
The magic of first love is our ignorance that it can never end.
1590
The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.
1591
Henceforth there will be such a oneness between us that when one weeps
the other will taste salt.
1592
Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
1593
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
1594
Don’t wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.
1595
We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love—first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.
1596
I do not want to believe that death is the gateway to another life. For me, it is a closed door. I do not say it is a step we must all take, but that it is a horrible and dirty adventure.
1597
Punishment without judgment is bearable. It has a name, besides, that guarantees our innocence: it is called misfortune.
1598
Only evil can reach its limits and reign absolutely.
1599
To insure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough, a police force is needed as well.
1600
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
1601
Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.
1602
We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible.
1603
Within you I lose myself
Without you I find myself
Wanting to be lost again.
1604
Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.
1605
Yet the timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness, and knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.
Prophet
1606
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
Prophet
1607
Every attempt to employ mathematical methods in the study of chemical questions must be considered profoundly irrational and contrary to the spirit of chemistry... if mathematical analysis should ever hold a prominent place in chemistry — an aberration which is happily almost impossible — it would occasion a rapid and widespread degeneration of that science.
Cours de Philosophie Positive (1830)
1608
Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl.
1609
Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.
1610
Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof.
1611
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
1612
The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.
1613
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
1614
If you don’t imitate what the teacher wants you get a bad grade. Here, in college, it was more sophisticated, of course; you were supposed to imitate the teacher in such a way as to convince the teacher you were not imitating, but taking the essence of the instruction and going agead with it on your own.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1615
This surprising result supported a hunch he had had for a long time: that the brighter, more serious students were the least desirous of grades, possibly because they were more interested in the subject matter of the course, whereas the dull or lazy students were the most desirous of grades, possibly because grades told them if they were getting by.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1616
Montains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1617
You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1618
To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1619
Every step’s an effort, both physically and spiritually, because he imagines his goal to be external and distant.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1620
He had already done this with his statement that lack of knowledge of what Quality is constitutes incompetence. It’s an old rule of logic that the competence of a speaker has no relevance to the truth of what he says, and so talk of incompetence was pure sand.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1621
Zen is the "spirit of the valley," not the mountain. The only Zen you find on the tops of moutains is the Zen you bring up there.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1622
You go up the moutaintop and all you’re gonna get is a great big heavy stone tablet handed to you with a bunch of rules on it.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1623
One thing about piorneers that you don’t hear mentioned is that they are invariably, by their nature, messmakers. They go forging ahead, seeing only their noble, distant goal, and never notice any of the crud and debris they leave behind them. Someone else gets to clean that up and it’s not a very glamorous or interesting job.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1624
One geometry can not be more true than another; it can only be more convenient. Geometry is not true, it is advantageous.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1625
This isn’t a rare scene in science or technology. This is the commonest scene of all. Just plain stuck. In traditional maintenance this is the worst of all moments, so bad that you have avoided even thinking about it before you come to it.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1626
Romantic reality is the cutting edge of experience. It’s the leading edge of the train of knowledge that keeps the whole train on the track. Traditional knowledge is only the collective memory of where that leading edge has been.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1627
The real ugliness lies in the relationship beteween the people who produce the technology and the things they produce, which results in a similar relationship between the people who use the technology and the things they use.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1628
You have to be awfully stylish yourself not to get sick of it once in a while. It’s the style that gets you; technological ugliness syruped over with romantic phoniness in an effort to produce beauty and profit by people who, though stylish, don’t know where to start becase no one has ever told them there’s such a thing as Quality in this world and it’s real, not style.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1629
Quality isn’t something you lay on top of subjects and objects like tinsel on a Christmas tree. Real Quality must be the source of the subjects and objects, the cone from which the tree must start.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
1630
Art is Science in Love.
1631
Delicacy is the furthest expression of Passion.
1632
Nature is a tableau to the Scientist;
a prism to the Artist;
1633
How delicious is the winning
Of a kiss at Love’s beginning.
Song
1634
Something made of nothing, tasting very sweet,
A most delicious compound, with ingredients complete;
But if, as on occasion, the heart and mind are sour,
It has no great significance, and loses half its power.
The Kiss
1635
What is a kiss? Why this, as some approve:
The sure sweet cement, glue, and lime of love.
Hesperides
1636
Tis a secret
Told to the mouth instead of to the ear.
[speaking of a kiss]
Cyrano de Bergerac
1637
Lips go dry and eyes grow wet
Waiting to be warmly met.
Keep them not in waiting yet;
Kisses kept are wasted.
Kisses Kept Are Wasted
1638
A man had given all other bliss,
And all his worldly worth for this,
To waste his whole heart in one kiss
Upon her perfect lips.
Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere
1639
Though I know he loves me,
His kiss was not so wonderful
As all the dreams I had.
The Kiss
1640
Alas! how easily things go wrong!
A sigh too much or a kiss too long,
And there follows a mist and a weeping rain,
And life is never the same again.
Phantastes
1641
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.
Eternity
1642
The kiss you take is better than you give;
Therefore no kiss.
Henry VIII
1643
"May I print a kiss on your lips?" I said,
And she nodded her full permission;
So we went to press and I rather guess
We printed a full edition.
A Full Edition
1644
Strephon kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.
Strephon’s kiss was lost in jest,
Robin’s lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin’s eyes
Haunts me night and day.
The Look
1645
It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.
1646
A pedestal is as much a prison as any small space.
1647
A superior pilot uses his superior judgment to avoid situations which require the use of his superior skill.
1648
An idiot with a computer is a faster, better idiot.
1649
Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.
1650
"There is no use in trying," she said: "one can"t believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven"t had much practice," said the Queen. "when I was our age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I"ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Alice in Wonderland
1651
I drank coffee in titrated doses. It was a tricky business, requiring the finely tuned judgment of a skilled anesthesiologist. There was a tiny range within which coffee was effective, short of which it was useless, and beyond which, fatal.
The Writing Life
1652
There is neither a proportional relationship, nor an inverse one, between a writer’s estimation of a work in progress and its actual quality. The feeling that the work is magnificent, and the feeling that it is abominable, are both mosquitoes to be repelled, ignored, or killed, but not indulged.
The Writing Life
1653
Out of a human population on earth of four and a half billion, perhaps twenty people can write a serious book in a year. Some people lift cars, too.
The Writing Life
1654
Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.
1655
We never touch but at points.
1656
No one worth possessing can be quite possessed.
1657
Friendship is love minus sex and plus reason. Love is friendship plus sex and minus reason.
1658
Spartans, stoics, heroes, saints and gods use a short and powerful speech.
1659
A speech is like a love affair. Any fool can start it, but to end it requires considerable skill.
1660
Immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control affairs.
1661
This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.
The Waking
1662
A poet is, after all, a sort of scientist, but engaged in a qualitative science in which nothing is measurable. He lives with data that cannot be numbered, and his experiments can be done only once. The information in a poem is, by definition, not reproducible. He becomes an equivalent of scientist, in the act of examining and sorting the things popping in [to his head], finding the marks of remote similarity, points of distant relationship, tiny irregularities that indicate that this one is really the same as that one over there only more important. Gauging the fit, he can meticulously place pieces of the universe together, in geometric configurations that are as beautiful and balanced as crystals.
The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher
1663
By her just standard, which is still the same:
Unerring nature, still divinely bright,
One clear, unchanged, and universal light,
Life, force, and beauty must to all impart,
At once the source, and end, and test of art.
Essay On Criticism
1664
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
1665
How often people speak of art and science as though they were two entirely different things, with no interconnection. An artist is emotional, they think, and uses only his intuition; he sees all at once and has no need of reason. A scientist is cold, they think, and uses only his reason; he argues carefully step by step, and needs no imagination. That is all wrong. The true artist is quite rational as well as imaginative and knows what he is doing; if he does not, his art suffers. The true scientist is quite imaginative as well as rational, and sometimes leaps to solutions where reason can follow only slowly; if he does not, his science suffers.
The Roving Mind (Ch 25)
1666
I want to fall in love with him again. I never stopped loving him - I've always loved him and always will - but our life together is verging on monotony. Love can withstand this, but for lust, it's fatal.
1667
So she had to satisfy herself with the idea of love - loving the loving of things whose existence she didn't care at all about. Love itself became the object of her love. She loved herself in love, she loved loving love, as love loves loving, and was able, in that way, to reconcile herself with a world that fell so short of what she would have hoped for. It was not the world that was the great and saving lie, but her willingness to make beautiful and fair, to live a once-removed life, in a world once-removed from the one in which everyone else seemed to exist.
Everything is Illuminated
1668
You'd be wrong to think that it's just a slapdash quiz
taken in makeshift accommodations. Oh no.
I'm standing on the set and I see how strong it is.
The props are surprisingly precise.
The machine rotating the stage has been around even longer.
The farthest galaxies have been turned on.
Oh no, there's no question, this must be the premiere,
And whatever I do
will become forever what I've done.
Life While-You-Wait
1669
loving
is the most
creative
force in the universe.
the memory of loving,
the most
destructive.
How to Survive the Loss of a Love
1670
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.
Prophet
1671
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
Letters on Love (Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties)
1672
Life is short. But death is very, very long.
Quicksand
1673
The future can give us no memories.
Quicksand
1674
In the world of thought ... everywhere is open country.
Quicksand
1675
So, what do the trees know
Oh, letting their leaves go
So, what do the trees see
Oh, that is beyond me.
Sway (Colors)
VIEW ALL

# Statistics vs Machine Learning

Tue 03-04-2018
We conclude our series on Machine Learning with a comparison of two approaches: classical statistical inference and machine learning. The boundary between them is subject to debate, but important generalizations can be made.

Inference creates a mathematical model of the datageneration process to formalize understanding or test a hypothesis about how the system behaves. Prediction aims at forecasting unobserved outcomes or future behavior. Typically we want to do both and know how biological processes work and what will happen next. Inference and ML are complementary in pointing us to biologically meaningful conclusions.

Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Statistics vs machine learning. (read)

Statistics asks us to choose a model that incorporates our knowledge of the system, and ML requires us to choose a predictive algorithm by relying on its empirical capabilities. Justification for an inference model typically rests on whether we feel it adequately captures the essence of the system. The choice of pattern-learning algorithms often depends on measures of past performance in similar scenarios.

Bzdok, D., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2018) Points of Significance: Statistics vs machine learning. Nature Methods 15:233–234.

Bzdok, D., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2017) Points of Significance: Machine learning: a primer. Nature Methods 14:1119–1120.

Bzdok, D., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2017) Points of Significance: Machine learning: supervised methods. Nature Methods 15:5–6.

# Happy 2018 $\pi$ Day—Boonies, burbs and boutiques of $\pi$

Wed 14-03-2018

Celebrate $\pi$ Day (March 14th) and go to brand new places. Together with Jake Lever, this year we shrink the world and play with road maps.

Streets are seamlessly streets from across the world. Finally, a halva shop on the same block!

A great 10 km run loop between Istanbul, Copenhagen, San Francisco and Dublin. Stop off for halva, smørrebrød, espresso and a Guinness on the way. (details)

Intriguing and personal patterns of urban development for each city appear in the Boonies, Burbs and Boutiques series.

In the Boonies, Burbs and Boutiques of $\pi$ we draw progressively denser patches using the digit sequence 159 to inform density. (details)

No color—just lines. Lines from Marrakesh, Prague, Istanbul, Nice and other destinations for the mind and the heart.

Roads from cities rearranged according to the digits of $\pi$. (details)

The art is featured in the Pi City on the Scientific American SA Visual blog.

Check out art from previous years: 2013 $\pi$ Day and 2014 $\pi$ Day, 2015 $\pi$ Day, 2016 $\pi$ Day and 2017 $\pi$ Day.

# Machine learning: supervised methods (SVM & kNN)

Thu 18-01-2018
Supervised learning algorithms extract general principles from observed examples guided by a specific prediction objective.

We examine two very common supervised machine learning methods: linear support vector machines (SVM) and k-nearest neighbors (kNN).

SVM is often less computationally demanding than kNN and is easier to interpret, but it can identify only a limited set of patterns. On the other hand, kNN can find very complex patterns, but its output is more challenging to interpret.

Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Machine learning: supervised methods (SVM & kNN). (read)

We illustrate SVM using a data set in which points fall into two categories, which are separated in SVM by a straight line "margin". SVM can be tuned using a parameter that influences the width and location of the margin, permitting points to fall within the margin or on the wrong side of the margin. We then show how kNN relaxes explicit boundary definitions, such as the straight line in SVM, and how kNN too can be tuned to create more robust classification.

Bzdok, D., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2018) Points of Significance: Machine learning: a primer. Nature Methods 15:5–6.

Bzdok, D., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2017) Points of Significance: Machine learning: a primer. Nature Methods 14:1119–1120.

# Human Versus Machine

Tue 16-01-2018
Balancing subjective design with objective optimization.

In a Nature graphics blog article, I present my process behind designing the stark black-and-white Nature 10 cover.

Nature 10, 18 December 2017

# Machine learning: a primer

Thu 18-01-2018
Machine learning extracts patterns from data without explicit instructions.

In this primer, we focus on essential ML principles— a modeling strategy to let the data speak for themselves, to the extent possible.

The benefits of ML arise from its use of a large number of tuning parameters or weights, which control the algorithm’s complexity and are estimated from the data using numerical optimization. Often ML algorithms are motivated by heuristics such as models of interacting neurons or natural evolution—even if the underlying mechanism of the biological system being studied is substantially different. The utility of ML algorithms is typically assessed empirically by how well extracted patterns generalize to new observations.

Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Machine learning: a primer. (read)

We present a data scenario in which we fit to a model with 5 predictors using polynomials and show what to expect from ML when noise and sample size vary. We also demonstrate the consequences of excluding an important predictor or including a spurious one.

Bzdok, D., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2017) Points of Significance: Machine learning: a primer. Nature Methods 14:1119–1120.