Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
                A spirit pure as hers,
Is always pure, even while it errs:
As sunshine, broken in the rill,
Though turned astray, is sunshine still.
        Alas! how light a cause may move
Dissension between hearts that love!
Hearts that the world in vain had tried,
And sorrow but more closely tied;
That stood the storm, when waves were rough,
Yet in a sunny hour fall off.
        Alas! too well, too well they know
The pain, the penitence, the woe
That passion brings down on the best,
The wisest and the loveliest.
        All that’s bright must fade—
  The brightest still the fleetest;
All that’s sweet was made
  But to be lost when sweetest.
        Amaranths such as crown the maids
That wander through Zamara’s shades.
                And be their rest unmov’d
By the white moonlight’s dazzling power:
None, but the loving and belov’d,
Should be awake at this sweet hour.
        And conscience, truth and honesty are made
To rise and fall, like other wares of trade.
        And music too—dear music! that can touch
Beyond all else the soul that loves it much—
Now heard far off, so far as but to seem
Like the faint, exquisite music of a dream.
        And see—the Sun himself!—on wings
Of glory up the East he springs.
Angel of Light! who from the time
Those heavens began their march sublime,
Hath first of all the starry choir
Trod in his Maker’s steps of fire!
        And then her look—Oh, where’s the heart so wise
Could, unbewilder’d, meet those matchless eyes?
Quick, restless, strange, but exquisite withal,
Like those of angels.
        And violets, transform’d to eyes,
Inshrined a soul within their blue.
        And when once the young heart of a maiden is stolen,
The maiden herself will steal after it soon.
        Anemones and seas of gold,
  And new-blown lilies of the river,
And those sweet flow’rets that unfold
  Their buds on Camadera’s quiver.
        Angel of light! who from the time
Those heavens began their march sublime,
Hath first of all the starry choir
Trod in his Maker’s steps of fire!
        As down in the sunless retreats of the ocean
  Sweet flowers are springing no mortal can see,
So deep in my soul the still prayer of devotion
  Unheard by the world, rises silent to Thee.
        As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets,
The same look which she turn’d when he rose.
                    Bastard Freedom waves
Her fustian flag in mockery over slaves.
        Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly to-day,
Were to change by to-morrow, and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy-gifts fading away!
Thou would’st still be ador’d, as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
And, around the dear ruin, each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still!
        Better to dwell in freedom’s hall,
With a cold damp floor and mouldering wall,
Than bow the head and tend the knee
In the proudest palace of slaverie.
        Blest power of sunshine! genial day!
What balm, what life is in thy ray;
To feel thee is such real bliss,
That had the world no joy but this,
To sit in sunshine calm and sweet,—
It were a world too exquisite,
For man to leave it for the gloom,
The deep cold shadow of the tomb.
        But Faith, fanatic Faith, once wedded fast
To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last.
        But soon, the prospect clearing,
  By cloudless starlight on he treads
And thinks no lamp so cheering
  As that light which heaven sheds.
        Come, rest in this bosom, my own stricken deer!
Tho’ the herd hath fled from thee, thy home is still here;
Here is still the smile that no cloud can o’ercast,
And the heart and the hand all thy own to the Last!
        Enough, that we are parted—that there rolls
A flood of headlong fate between our souls,
Whose darkness severs me as wide from thee
As hell from heaven, to all eternity!
        Even now, as, wandering upon Erie’s shore,
I hear Niagara’s distant cataract roar,
I sigh for England—oh! these weary feet
Have many a mile to journey, ere we meet.
        Every season hath its pleasures;
  Spring may boast her flowery prime,
Yet the vineyard’s ruby treasures
  Brighten Autumn’s sob’rer time.
        For, bless the gude mon, gin he had his ain way,
  He’d na let a cat on the Sabbath say “mew;”
Nae birdie maun whistle, nae lambie maun play,
An’ Phœbus himsel’ could na travel that day,
  As he’d find a new Joshua in Andie Agnew.
        Go where glory waits thee;
But while fame elates thee,
O, still remember me.
When the praise thou meetest,
To thine ear is sweetest,
O, then remember me.
        Good-bye—my paper’s out so nearly,
I’ve only room for, Yours sincerely.
        Hath the pearl less whiteness
  Because of its birth?
Hath the violet less brightness
  For growing near earth?
        Here still is the smile that no cloud can o’ercast,
And the heart, and the hand, all thy own to the last.
        How calm—how beautiful comes on
The stilly hour, when storms have gone,
When warring winds have died away
And clouds, beneath the dancing ray
Melt off and leave the land and sea,
Sleeping in bright tranquillity.
        How dear to me the hour when daylight dies,
And sunbeams melt along the silent sea,
For then sweet dreams of other days arise,
And memory breathes her vesper sigh to thee.
        How sweet the answer Echo makes
          To music at night,
When, roused by lute or horn, she wakes,
And far away, o’er lawns and lakes,
          Goes answering light.
        I find the doctors and the sages
Have differ’d in all climes and ages,
And two in fifty scarce agree
On what is pure morality.
        If I speak to thee in friendship’s name,
  Thou think’st I speak too coldly;
If I mention Love’s devoted flame,
  Thou say’st I speak too boldly.
        In vain we fondly strive to trace
The soul’s reflection in the face;
In vain we dwell on lines and crosses,
Crooked mouths and short probosces;
Boobies have looked as wise and bright
As Plato and the Stagyrite
And many a sage and learned skull
Has peeped through windows dark and dull.
        It seem’d as if each thought and look
  And motion were that minute chain’d
Fast to the spot such root she took,
And—like a sunflower by a brook,
  With face upturn’d—so still remain’d!
        It was an evening bright and still
As ever blush’d on wave or bower,
Smiling from heaven, as if nought ill
Could happen in so sweet an hour.
        Just prophet, let the damn’d one dwell
Full in the sight of Paradise,
Beholding heaven and feeling hell.
        Life is a waste of wearisome hours,
  Which seldom the rose of enjoyment adorns,
And the heart, that is soonest awake to the flowers,
  Is always the first to be touch’d by the thorns.
        Like a young eagle who has lent his plume,
To fledge the shaft by which he meets his doom,
See their own feathers pluck’d, to wing the dart,
Which rank corruption destines for their heart!
        Like ships that have gone down at sea,
When heaven was all tranquillity.
        Like tulip-beds of different shape and dyes,
Bending beneath the invisible west-wind’s sighs.
        Long, long be my heart with such memories fill’d!
Like the vase, in which roses have once been distill’d—
You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will,
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.
        Martyrs! who left for our reaping
  Truths you had sown in your blood—
Sinners! whom long years of weeping
  Chastened from evil to good—
*        *        *        *        *
Say, through what region enchanted
  Walk ye, in Heaven’s sweet air?
Say, to what spirits ’tis granted,
  Bright souls, to dwell with you there?
        Music!—O! how faint, how weak,
Language fades before thy spell!
Why should Feeling ever speak,
When thou can’st breathe her soul so well?
Friendship’s balmy words may feign—
Love’s are even more false than they;
Oh! ’tis only music’s strain
Can sweetly soothe, and not betray.
        My birthday!—what a different sound
  That word had in my youthful ears;
And how each time the day comes round,
  Less and less white its mark appears.
            My only books
    Were woman’s looks,
And folly’s all they’ve taught me.
        Never does a wilder song
Steal the breezy lyre along,
When the wind in odors dying,
Wooes it with enamor’d sighing.
        Not more the rose, the queen of flowers,
Outblushes all the bloom of bower,
Than she unrivall’d grace discloses;
The sweetest rose, where all are roses.
        Now in his Palace of the West,
  Sinking to slumber, the bright Day,
Like a tired monarch fann’d to rest,
  ’Mid the cool airs of Evening lay;
While round his couch’s golden rim
  The gaudy clouds, like courtiers, crept—
Struggling each other’s light to dim,
  And catch his last smile e’er he slept.
        O woman! whose form and whose soul
Are the spell and the light of each path we pursue;
Whether sunn’d in the tropics, or chill’d at the pole,
If woman be there, there is happiness too.
        O! ever thus from childhood’s hour,
I’ve seen my fondest hopes decay;
I never loved a tree or flower,
But ’twas the first to fade away!
        O, the Shamrock, the green, immortal Shamrock!
  Chosen leaf
  Of bard and chief,
Old Erin’s native Shamrock.
        Oft in the stilly night
  E’er slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond memory brings the light
  Of other days around me.
        Oh! if there be, on this earthly sphere,
A boon, an offering heaven holds dear,
’Tis the last libation Liberty draws
From the heart that bleeds and breaks in her cause.
        Oh! let not tears embalm my tomb,
None but the dews by twilight given!
Oh! let not sighs disturb the gloom
None but the whispering winds of heaven.
        Oh! that a dream so sweet, so long enjoy’d,
Should be so sadly, cruelly destroy’d!
        Oh, colder than the wind that freezes
  Founts, that but now in sunshine play’d,
Is that congealing pang which seizes
  The trusting bosom, when betray’d.
        Oh, for a tongue to curse the slave,
Whose treason, like a deadly blight,
Comes o’er the councils of the brave,
And blasts them in their hour of might—!
        Oh, the heart, that has truly loved, never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close,
As the sun-flower turns on her god, when he sets,
The same look which she turn’d when he rose.
        One of those passing rainbow dreams,
Half light, half shade, which fancy’s beams
Paint on the fleeting mists that roll,
In trance or slumber, round the soul!
        Our hearts, my love, were form’d to be
The genuine twins of sympathy,
They live with one sensation:
In joy or grief, but most in love,
Like chords in unison they move,
And thrill with like vibration.
        Our rocks are rough, but smiling there
The acacia waves her yellow hair,
Lonely and sweet, nor loved the less
For flow’ring in a wilderness.
        Playful blushes, that seemed nought
But luminous escapes of thought.
        Pleasure’s the only noble end
To which all human powers should tend;
And virtue gives her heavenly lore,
But to make pleasure please us more!
Wisdom and she were both design’d
To make the senses more refined,
That man might revel free from cloying,
Then most a sage, when most enjoying!
        Prayer moves the hand that moves the universe.
Holy beginning of a holy cause,
When heroes, girt for freedom’s combat, pause
Before high Heaven, and, humble in their might,
Call down its blessing on that coming fight.
        Rose of the desert! thus should woman be
Shining uncourted, lone and safe, like thee.
        Rose of the garden! such is woman’s lot—
Worshipp’d while blooming—when she fades, forgot.
        Rose! thou art the sweetest flower,
That ever drank the amber shower;
Rose! thou art the fondest child
Of dimpled Spring, the wood-nymph wild.
        Shall I ask the brave soldier, who fights by my side
  In the cause of mankind, if our creeds agree?
Shall I give up the friend I have valued and tried,
  If he kneel not before the same altar with me?
From the heretic girl of my soul should I fly,
  To seek somewhere else a more orthodox kiss?
No! perish the hearts, and the laws that try
  Truth, valor, or love, by a standard like this!
        So life’s year begins and closes;
  Days, though short’ning, still can shine;
What though youth gave love and roses,
  Age still leaves us friends and wine.
                        Steals timidly away,
Shrinking as violets do in summer’s ray.
        Sunflowers by the sides of brooks,
Turn’d to the sun.
        Take all the pleasure of all the spheres,
And multiply each through endless years,
One minute of Heaven is worth them all.
        That holy shame, which ne’er forgets
What clear renown it us’d to wear;
Whose blush remains when virtue sets,
To show her sunshine has been there.
        The glorious Angel, who was keeping
The gates of Light, beheld her weeping;
And, as he nearer drew and listen’d
To her sad song, a tear-drop glisten’d
Within his eyelids, like the spray
  From Eden’s fountain, where it lies
On the blue flow’r, which—Bramins say—
  Blooms nowhere but in Paradise.
        The harp that once through Tara’s halls
  The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls,
  As if that soul were fled.
        The love of gold that meanest rage,
And latest folly of man’s sinking age,
Which, rarely venturing in the van of life,
While nobler passions wage their heated strife,
Comes skulking last with selfishness and fear
And dies collecting lumber in the rear!
        The rose distils a healing balm
The beating pulse of pain to calm.
        Then should some cloud pass over
The brow of sire or lover,
    Think ’tis the shade
    By Victory made
Whose wings right o’er us hover!
        There’s a bliss beyond all that the minstrel has told,
When two, that are link’d in one heavenly tie,
With heart never changing, and brow never cold,
Love on thro’ all ills, and love on till they die.
One hour of a passion so sacred is worth
Whole ages of heartless and wandering bliss;
And oh! if there be an Elysium on earth,
It is this—it is this!
        They may rail at this life—from the hour I began it,
  I’ve found it a life full of kindness and bliss;
And, until they can show me some happier planet,
  More social and bright, I’ll content me with this.
                    Thinkest thou
That I could live, and let thee go,
Who art my life itself?—no—no.
        This narrow isthmus ’twixt two boundless seas,
The past, the future—two eternities.
        Thou art, O God, the life and light
  Of all this wondrous world we see;
Its glow by day, its smile by night,
  Are but reflections caught from Thee!
Where’er we turn thy glories shine,
  And all things fair and bright are thine!
                        Thou little know’st
What he can brave, who, born and nurst
In danger’s paths, has dared her worst!
Upon whose ear the signal-word
  Of strife and death is hourly breaking;
Who sleeps with head upon the sword
  His fever’d hand must grasp in waking.
          ’Tis not in fate to harm me,
While fate leaves thy love to me;
  ’Tis not in joy to charm me,
Unless that joy be shar’d with thee.
        ’Tis sweet to think that where’er we rove
  We are sure to find something blissful and dear;
And that when we’re far from the lips we love,
  We’ve but to make love to the lips we are near.
        Weep on; and, as thy sorrows flow,
I’ll taste the luxury of woe.
        Well—peace to thy heart, tho’ another’s it be;
And health to that cheek, tho’ it bloom not for me.
        Wert thou all that I wish thee, great, glorious and free,
First flower of the earth, and first gem of the sea.
        What would the rose with all her pride be worth,
Were there no sun to call her brightness forth?
        When I remember all
  The friends so link’d together,
I’ve seen around me fall,
  Like leaves in wintry weather
I feel like one who treads alone
  Some banquet hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled, whose garlands dead,
  And all but he departed.
        When time who steals our years away
  Shall steal our pleasures too,
The mem’ry of the past will stay
  And half our joys renew.
          Where bastard Freedom waves
Her fustian flag in mockery over slaves.
        While her laugh, full of life, without any control,
But the sweet one of gracefulness, rung from her soul;
And where it most sparkled, no glance could discover
In lips, cheek or eyes, for it brightened all over—
Like any fair lake that the breeze was upon,
When it breaks into dimples, and laughs in the sun.
        Whose hearts in every thought are one,
Whose voices utter the same wills,
Answering, as echo doth, some tone
Of fairy music ’mong the hills,
So like itself we seek in vain
Which is the echo; which the strain.
        With all my soul, then let us part,
Since both are anxious to be free;
And I will send you home your heart,
If you will send back mine to me!
        With what a deep devotedness of woe
I wept thy absence—o’er and o’er again
Thinking of thee, still thee, till thought grew pain,
And memory, like a drop that, night and day,
Falls cold and ceaseless, wore my heart away!
        Yes—rather plunge me back in pagan night,
And take my chance with Socrates for bliss,
Than be the Christian of a faith like this,
Which builds on heavenly cant its earthly sway,
And in a convert mourns to lose a prey.
        Yet, no—not words, for they
  But half can tell love’s feeling;
Sweet flowers alone can say
  What passion fears revealing:
A once bright rose’s wither’d leaf,
  A tow’ring lily broken—
Oh, these may paint a grief
  No words could e’er have spoken.
  A philosopher being asked what was the first thing necessary to win the love of a woman, answered, Opportunity!  104
  Allowing everything that can be claimed for the superior patience and self-command of women, still the main solution of their enduring pain better than men is their having less physical sensibility.  105
  Assurance never failed to get admission into the houses of the great.  106
  But the trail of the serpent is over them all.  107
  Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.  108
  Eyes of most unholy blue!  109
  Gradual as the snow, at heaven’s breath, melts off and shows the azure flowers beneath, her lids unclosed, and the bright eyes were seen.  110
  Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish: earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.  111
  How dear to my soul is the mild twilight hour!  112
  Humility—that low, sweet root from which all heavenly virtues shoot.  113
  It is quite cruel that a poet cannot wander through his regions of enchantment without having a critic forever, like the Old Man of the Sea, upon his back.  114
  It was whispered balm, it was sunshine spoken!  115
  Like the plants that throw their fragrance from the wounded part, breathe sweetness out of woe.  116
  Lips in whose rosy labyrinth, when she smiled, the soul was lost.  117
  Music!—O, how faint, how weak, language fades before thy spell!  118
  Such eyes as may have looked from heaven, but never were raised to it before!  119
  Sweet flowers alone can say what passion fears revealing.  120
  That star on life’s tremulous ocean.  121
  The cheek may be tinged with a warm sunny smile, though the cold heart to ruin runs darkly the while.  122
  The fresh and buoyant sense of being that bounds in youth’s yet careless breast.  123
  The heart that is soonest awake to the flowers is always the first to be touched by the thorns.  124
  There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.  125
  There is nothing half so sweet in life as love’s young dream.  126
  There’s nothing true but heaven.  127
  Thinking of thee, still thee, till thought grew pain.  128
  This moment is a flower too fair and brief.  129
  This narrow isthmus ’twixt two boundless seas.  130
  Though an angel should write, still ’tis devils must print.  131
  Though it is pleasant weaving nets, it is wiser to make cages.  132
  Through the shadowy past, like a tomb-searcher, memory ran, lifting each shroud that time had cast o’er buried hopes.  133
  ’Tis the last rose of summer, left blooming alone.  134
  To sigh, yet feel no pain.  135
  To-morrow the dreams and flowers will fade.  136
  What a power there is in innocence! whose very helplessness is its safeguard: in whose presence even passion himself stands abashed, and stands worshipper at the very altar he came to despoil.  137
  When pleasure, like the midnight flower that scorns the eye of vulgar light, begins to bloom for sons of night and maids who love the moon.  138
  Where there is room in the heart, there is always room in the house.  139
  Whose every little ringlet thrilled, as if with soul and passion filled!  140
  Whose wit in the combat, gentle as bright, ne’er carried a heart-stain away on its blade.  141
  Without one glimpse of reason or of heaven.  142
  Young roses kindled into thought.  143

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