Reference > Quotations > Frank J. Wilstach, comp. > A Dictionary of Similes
Frank J. Wilstach, comp.  A Dictionary of Similes.  1916.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
  Blind agony, like a scorpion, stung by his own rage.  1
                Pulseless arteries
Are like the fibres of a cloud instinct
With light.
  Awful as silence.  3
  Beams like flowers.  4
Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,
The splendor of its prime.
  Black as a cormorant.  6
  Blind as love.  7
  Blue as the overhanging heaven.  8
  Break like a bursting heart.  9
  Bright as all between cloudless skies and windless streams.  10
  Bright as Spring.  11
  Burst like morning on dream, or like heaven on death.  12
Bursts like one sound from ten thousand streams
Of a tempestuous sea.
  Calm as a cradled child in dreamless slumber bound.  14
  Calm as a slumbering babe.  15
  Calm as an angel in the dragon’s den.  16
  Calm as death.  17
  Calm, radiant, like the phantom of the dawn.  18
Ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no objects worth its constancy.
Circles around it, like the clouds that swim
Round the high moon in a bright sea of air.
                Circles round,
Like the soft waving wings of noonday dreams.
  As clear as when a veil of light is drawn o’er evening hills.  22
  Cold as dew to drooping leaves.  23
  Cold, like a frozen chaos.  24
As silent lightning leaves the starless night.
  Common as light is love, and its familiar voice wearies not ever.  26
  Companionless as the last cloud of an expiring storm.  27
  Countless … as leaves on autumn’s tempest shed.  28
  Cries like the blood of Abel from the dust.  29
Curling like tendrils of the parasite
Around a marble column.
  Dance, Like wingèd stars.  31
  Dance like white plumes upon a hearse.  32
  Dart around, as light from the meridian sun.  33
As human heart to human heart may be.
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.
Like corpses in a charnel.
  Deep as night and Heaven.  37
  Descending …
Like the spring whose breath is blending
All blasts of fragrance into one.
                Sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruined cell,
Or the mournful surges
That ring the dead seaman’s knell.
  Disappear, as if all had vanished through the sky.  40
  Driven, like the alternations of an ever-changing wind over an Æolean lyre, which move it by their motion to ever-changing melody.  41
                Eyes as fair
As star-beams among the twilight trees.
                His faint eyes,
Like dew upon a sleeping flower.
  Thine eyes are like the deep, blue boundless heaven.  44
  Eyeless as old Destiny.  45
  Fade …
Like stars half quenched in mists of silver dew.
  Fade like vapor.  47
Like a brief dream of unremaining glory.
  Failing like an unreplenished stream.  49
  Fail like the trances of the summer air.  50
  Fair as breathing marble.  51
  Eyes as fair as star-beams among twilight trees.  52
  Fair as the fabulous asphodels.  53
  Fairer than any wakened eyes behold.  54
  Fair, like stars when the moon is awakened.  55
Far as the remotest line
That bounds imagination’s flight.
  Burning far, like the light of an unmeasured star.  57
  Feasting like fiends upon the infidel dead.  58
  Feed on us, as worms devour our body.  59
Fell, like ocean’s feathery spray
Dashed from the boiling surge
Before the vessel’s prow.
  Fell, like the unseen blight of a smiling day.  61
  Fine as light.  62
Fired, as by a spell.  63
  Firm as the world’s centre.  64
  Fixed and indispensable as the majestic laws that rule yon rolling orbs.  65
  Flashed like a strong inspiration.  66
  Fled at will, as in a wingèd chariot.  67
Like insect tribes before the northern gale.
Like the brief glory which dark Heaven inherits
From the false dawn, which fades ere it is spread
Upon the night’s devouring darkness.
Like vultures frightened from Imus
Before an earthquake’s tread.
  Flee like a dream’s dim imagery.  71
  Flee, like mist from the tempest’s might.  72
  Flung as foam from a ship’s swiftness.  73
Like spendor-winged moths about a taper.
  Flowed like light amid the shadows of the sea cast from one cloudless star.  75
Like a flock of rooks at a farmer’s gun
Night’s dreams and terrors, every one,
Fled from the brains which are their prey.
  Foamed like a wounded thing.  77
  Folded like thoughts in a dream.  78
  Free in spirit as the mountain.  79
  Full as a cup with the vine’s burning dew.  80
Like flocks of clouds in spring’s delightful weather.
  Ghastly as a tyrant’s dream.  82
Like islands on a dark blue sea.
  Glows like solid amethyst.  84
  Glowing like the vital morn.  85
  Grey, like a storm-extinguished day.  86
  Green as the forest’s night.  87
Like a pale flower by some sad maiden cherished.
  Grow like weeds on a neglected tomb.  89
  Hung like bees on mountain-flowers.  90
  Hang like night on heaven above me.  91
  Hiss as of a rushing wind.  92
  Horned like the crescent moon.  93
  Howling, like a slaughtered town.  94
As the majestic laws
That rule yon rolling orbs.
Like sunlight through acacia woods at even.
  Joyous as the morning ray.  97
            Keen as the engine
Which tortures and which kills.
Kings are like stars,—they rise and set, they have
The worship of the world, but no repose.
  Knotted like water-snakes.  100
  Lay, like winds that die in water.  101
  Leaner than fleshless misery.  102
  Leaves … as silent lightning leaves the starless night.  103
Life, like a dome of many-colored glass,
Stains the white radiance of eternity.
  Lingering like an unloved guest.  105
  Lone as incarnate death.  106
  Loud as the clank of an ironmonger.  107
  Loud as the voice of nature.  108
Love is like understanding, that grows bright
Gazing on many truths; ’tis like thy light, Imagination.
            Melt away,
Like dissolving spray.
  Melt, like cloud to cloud.  111
                Melts away
Like moonlight in the heaven of spreading day.
                Mix them up
Like self-destroying poisons in one cup.
Moveless, as a long-forgotten lyre
Suspended in the solitary dome
Of some mysterious and deserted fane.
Multitudinous as the desert sand
Borne on the storm.
  Murmured like a noontide bee.  116
  Murmuring like the ocean roar.  117
  Numerous as leaves that strew the autumnal gale.  118
My being overflowed, like a golden chalice to bright wine
Which else had sunk into the thirsty dust.
  Pale as yonder waning moon.  120
        Pale—like the white shore
Of Albion.
  Passed, like a cloud on the blast.  122
  Peeps like a star o’er ocean’s western edge.  123
Piercing, like the morn, now it has darted
Its lustre on all hidden things.
Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate’er it touches.
            Powerless as the wind
That passeth idly by.
  Pure as speechless infancy.  127
  Pursued like raging hounds.  128
                Quiver …
Like weeds unfolding in the ocean.
  Radiant as the air around a star.  130
  Radiant, like the phantoms of the dawn.  131
Raged within me, like a scorpion’s nest
Built in my entrails.
  Rejoicing like a cloud of morn.  133
  Rises as ocean at the enchantment of the moon.  134
  Roar as of an ocean foaming.  135
  Rosy as the morn.  136
  Circles round, like the soft waving wings of noonday dreams.  137
  Scattered like foam on the torrent.  138
        Like a glow-worm golden
          In a dell of dew,
        Scattering unbeholden
          Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view.
  Scattered, like a cloud of summer dust.  140
  Sharp as a bayonet.  141
  Shifted like restless clouds.  142
  Shone like mountains in the morn.  143
  Shine like obelisks of fire.  144
  Shine like pyramids of fire.  145
  Shone like the reflex of a thousand minds.  146
A deep silence, like the fearful calm
That slumbers in the storm’s portentous pause.
  Silent as a corpse.  148
  Sinless as Eden.  149
Slumbering quietly,
Like forms which sculptors carve.
  Smiles, which spread like radiance from the cloud-surrounded moon.  151
  Soft as an Incarnation of the Sun.  152
  Soft as sleep.  153
  Soft as the thoughts of budding love.  154
  Softer than the West wind’s sigh.  155
                Many a speck,
Like the water-snake’s belly and the toad’s back.
  Speckled like a toad.  157
  Sped, like some swift cloud that wings the wide air’s wilderness.  158
  Spread like a quenchless fire.  159
Like radiance from the cloud-surrounded morn.
  Springest like a cloud of fire.  161
  Stand like flame transferred to marble.  162
  Still as a brooding dove.  163
  Strange as a dreamer’s mad imagings.  164
  Stream like a comet’s flashing hair.  165
  Strewn … like bridal chamber floors.  166
  Swallowed Persia, as the sand does foam.  167
  Sway, as the calm joy of flowers, and living leaves before the wind.  168
Like waves before the tempest.
  Sweet as a summer night without a breath.  170
  Sweet as if angels sang.  171
  Her looks were sweet as Heaven’s when loveliest in Autumn eves.  172
  Swells like a sail before a favouring breeze.  173
  Swift as a cloud between the sea and sky.  174
  Swift as fire.  175
  Swift as greyhounds.  176
  Swift as leaves on autumn’s tempest shed.  177
  Swift as smoke from a volcano springs.  178
  Swift as twinkling beams.  179
  Swifter than summer’s flight.  180
  Swifter than youth’s delight.  181
  Swim like beams through floating clouds.  182
  Thin as Fraud.  183
  Thunder as of earthquake coming.  184
                Mutual hate tied,
Like two dark serpents tangled in the dust.
  Tottering … like lean herds pursued by gadflies.  186
Towering like rocks of jet
Crowned with a diamond wreath.
Like ten thousand clouds which flow
With one wide wind.
  Twinkling like a dawn out of a speckled cloud.  189
  Universal as the light.  190
Like a star of Heaven,
In the broad daylight,
Thou art unseen.
  Uprise, like a tempestuous ocean.  192
As ocean’s moon looks on the moon in heaven.
  Vanish, like smoke before the tempest’s stream.  194
  Voice … is soft like solitude’s.  195
Like the head and the skin of a dying man.
Like the world’s rejected guest.
Small at first, and weak and frail
Like the vapor of a vale.
White with the whiteness of what is dead,
Like troops of ghosts on the dry wind past.
Worlds on worlds are rolling ever
From creation to decay,
Like the bubbles on a river,
Sparkling, bursting, borne away.
Check out our other writing samples, like our resources on Offshore Drilling Essay, Obama Essay, Nervous System Essay.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.