Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
        A foot more light, a step more true,
Ne’er from the heath-flower dashed the dew.
        A garland for the hero’s crest,
And twined by her he loves the best;
To every lovely lady bright,
What can I wish but faithful knight?
To every faithful lover, too,
What can I wish but lady true?
And knowledge to the studious sage;
And pillow soft to head of age.
To thee, dear school-boy, whom my lay
Has cheated of thy hour of play,
Light task and merry holiday!
To all, to each, a fair good-night,
And pleasing dreams and slumber light!
        Ah, County Guy, the hour is nigh,
  The sun has left the lea,
The orange flower perfumes the bower,
  The breeze is on the sea.
          All live by seeming.
The beggar begs with it, and the gay courtier
Gains land and title, rank and rule, by seeming;
The clergy scorn it not, and the bold soldier
Will eke with it his service.—All admit it,
All practise it; and he who is content
With showing what he is, shall have small credit
In church, or camp, or state.—So wags the world.
        And better had they ne’er been born,
Who read to doubt, or read to scorn.
              And dar’st thou then
To beard the lion in his den,
  The Douglas in his hall?
        And let our barks across the pathless flood
Hold different courses.
        And scenes, long past, of joy and in pain,
Came wildering o’er his aged brain.
        And the stern joy which warriors feel
In foemen worthy of their steel.
        As hope and fear alternate chase
Our course through life’s uncertain race.
        Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d,
From wandering on a foreign strand!
        But woe awaits a country, when
She sees the tears of bearded men.
        Chance will not do the work—Chance sends the breeze;
But if the pilot slumber at the helm,
The very wind that wafts us towards the port
May dash us on the shelves.—The steersman’s part is vigilance,
Blow it or rough or smooth.
        Come forth, old man,—thy daughter’s side
  Is now the fitting place for thee:
When time has quell’d the oak’s bold pride,
The youthful tendril yet may hide.
  The ruins of the parent tree.
        Come one, come all! this rock shall fly
From its firm base as soon as I.
                        Contentions fierce,
Ardent, and dire, spring from no petty cause.
        Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour’d and unsung.
        England was merry England, when
Old Christmas brought his sports again.
’Twas Christmas broach’d the mightiest ale;
’Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man’s heart through half the year.
                    *  *  *  for ne’er
Was flattery lost on Poet’s ear;
A simple race! they waste their toil
For the vain tribute of a smile.
        From the white-thorn the May-flower shed
Its dewy fragrance round our head;
Not Ariel lived more merrily
Under the blossom’d bough than we.
        Hard toil can roughen form and face,
And want can quench the eye’s bright grace.
        He that climbs the tall tree has won right to the fruit,
He that leaps the wide gulf should prevail in his suit.
        Heap on more wood! the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.
        Her blue eyes sought the west afar,
For lovers love the western star.
        Here eglantine embalm’d the air,
Hawthorne and hazel mingled there;
The primrose pale, and violet flower,
Found in each cliff a narrow bower;
Fox-glove and nightshade, side by side,
Emblems of punishment and pride,
Group’d their dark hues with every stain
The weather-beaten crags retain.
        Here is neither want of appetite nor mouths,
Pray heaven we be not scant of meat or mirth.
        High minds, of native pride and force,
Most deeply feel thy pangs, Remorse!
Fear, for their scourge, mean villains have,
Thou art the torturer of the brave!
        His face was of that doubtful kind,
That wins the eye but not the mind.
        His soul, like bark with rudder lost,
On passion’s changeful tide was tost;
Nor vice nor virtue had the power
Beyond th’ impression of the hour;
And O, when passion rules, how rare
The hours that fall to virtue’s share!
        Hope and fear alternate chase
Our course through life’s uncertain race.
        I cannot tell how the truth may be;
I say the tale as ’twas said to me.
        I’ll dream no more—by manly mind
Not even in sleep is will resigned.
My midnight orisons said o’er,
I’ll turn to rest, and dream no more.
        In man’s most dark extremity
Oft succor dawns from Heaven.
        In the lost battle,
  Borne down by the flying,
Where mingles war’s rattle
  With groans of the dying.
        It [true love] is the secret sympathy,
The silver link, the silken tie,
Which heart to heart, and mind to mind
In body and in soul can bind.
        Just at the age ’twixt boy and youth,
When thought is speech, and speech is truth.
        Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e’er untie the filial band
That knits me to thy rugged strand!
        Lightly from fair to fair he flew,
And loved to plead, lament, and sue,—
Suit lightly won, and short-lived pain,
For monarchs seldom sigh in vain.
        Like the dew on the mountain,
  Like the foam on the river,
Like the bubble on the fountain,
  Thou art gone, and forever!
        Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
And men below, and saints above;
For love is heaven, and heaven is love.
        Love, to her ear, was but a name,
Combin’d with vanity and shame;
Her hopes, her fears, her joys, were all
Bounded within the cloister wall.
        Necessity—thou best of peacemakers,
As well as surest promoter of invention.
        O Caledonia! stern and wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child!
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e’er untie the filial band,
That knits me to thy rugged strand!
        O woman! in our hours of ease,
Uncertain, coy, and hard to please,
And variable as the shade
By the light quivering aspen made;
When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering angel thou!
        O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive.
        O! many a shaft, at random sent,
Finds mark the archer little meant!
And many a word, at random spoken,
May soothe or wound a heart that’s broken!
        Oh, on that day, that wrathful day,
When man to judgment wakes from clay,
Be Thou, O Christ, the sinner’s stay,
Though heaven and earth shall pass away.
        On his bold visage middle age
Had slightly press’d its signet sage,
Yet had not quenched the open truth
And fiery vehemence of youth;
Forward and frolic glee was there,
The will to do, the soul to dare.
        Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Morn of toil, nor night of waking.
        Soldier, rest! thy warfare o’er,
Dream of fighting fields no more;
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Morn of toil, nor night of waking.
        Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife!
  To all the sensual world proclaim,
One crowded hour of glorious life
  Is worth an age without a name.
        Still from the sire the son shall hear
Of the stern strife, and carnage drear,
  Of Flodden’s fatal field,
When shiver’d was fair Scotland’s spear,
  And broken was her shield!
        The harper smiled, well pleased; for ne’er
Was flatt’ry lost on poet’s ear:
A simple race! they waste their toil
For the vain tribute of a smile.
        The rose is fairest when ’tis budding new,
And hope is brightest when it dawns from fears;
The rose is sweetest wash’d with morning dew,
And love is loveliest when, embalmed in tears.
        The soul too soft its ills to bear,
Has left our mortal hemisphere,
And sought in better world the meed
To blameless life by heaven decreed.
        The summer dawn’s reflected hue
To purple changed Loch Katrine blue,
Mildly and soft the western breeze
Just kiss’d the lake, just stirr’d the trees,
And the pleased lake, like maiden coy,
Trembled but dimpled not for joy.
        The tear down childhood’s cheek that flows,
Is like the dewdrop on the rose;
When next the summer breeze comes by,
And waves the bush, the flower is dry.
        The wind breath’d soft a lover’s sigh,
And, oft renew’d, seem’d oft to die
  With breathless pause between,
O who, with speech of war and woes,
Would wish to break the soft repose
  Of such enchanting scene!
        Though varying wishes, hopes, and fears,
Fever’d the progress of these years,
Yet now, days, weeks, and months but seen
The recollection of a dream.
        Thus aged men, full loth and slow,
The vanities of life forego,
And count their youthful follies o’er,
Till memory lends her light no more.
        Thus pleasures fade away;
Youth, talents, beauty, thus decay,
And leave us dark, forlorn, and gray.
        Time rolls his ceaseless course. The race of yore,
Who danced our infancy upon their knee,
And told our marvelling boyhood legends store,
Of their strange ventures happ’d by land or sea,
How are they blotted from the things that be!
How few, all weak and wither’d, of their force
Wait, on the verge of dark eternity,
Like stranded wrecks, the tide returning hoarse,
To sweep them from our sight!
        ’Tis an old tale, and often told;
  But did my fate and wish agree,
Ne’er had been read, in story old,
Of maiden true betray’d for gold,
  That loved, or was avenged, like me!
        To all, to each, a fair good night,
And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light.
        Upon the gale she stoop’d her side,
And bounded o’er the swelling tide,
  As she were dancing home;
The merry seamen laugh’d to see
Their gallant ship so lustily
  Furrow the green-sea foam.
        Vengeance to God alone belongs;
But, when I think of all my wrongs,
My blood is liquid flame.
        We often praise the evening clouds,
  And tints so gay and bold,
But seldom think upon our God,
  Who tinged these clouds with gold.
        Welcome, grave stranger, to our green retreats,
Where health with exercise and freedom meets.
        What skilful limner e’er would choose
To paint the rainbow’s varying hues,
Unless to mortal it were given
To dip his brush in dyes of heaven?
        What various scenes, and O! what scenes of Woe,
  Are witness’d by that red and struggling beam!
The fever’d patient, from his pallet low,
  Through crowded hospitals beholds it stream;
The ruined maiden trembles at its gleam,
  The debtor wakes to thought of gyve and jail,
The love-lorn wretch starts from tormenting dream;
  The wakeful mother, by the glimmering pale,
Trims her sick infant’s couch, and soothes his feeble wail.
        When musing on companions gone,
We doubly feel ourselves alone.
        When true friends meet in adverse hour,
’Tis like a sunbeam through a shower;
A watery ray an instant seen,
The darkly closing clouds between.
        When, musing on companions gone,
We doubly feel ourselves alone.
        Who o’er the herd would wish to reign,
Fantastic, fickle, fierce, and vain?
Vain as the leaf upon the stream,
And fickle as a changeful dream;
Fantastic as a woman’s mood,
And fierce as Frenzy’s fever’d blood—
Thou many-headed monster thing,
Oh, who would wish to be thy king?
        With dying hand, above his head,
He shook the fragment of his blade,
  And shouted “Victory!—
Charge, Chester, charge! on, Stanley on!”
Were the last words of Marmion.
        Within that awful volume lies
The mystery of mysteries!
Happiest they of human race,
To whom God has granted grace
To read, to fear, to hope, to pray,
To lift the latch and force the way;
And better had they ne’er been born,
Who read to doubt, or read to scorn.
        Woe to the youth whom fancy gains
Winning from reason’s hand the reins.
        Woman’s faith, and woman’s trust,
Write the characters in dust.
  A man may with more impunity be guilty of an actual breach, either of real good breeding or good morals, than appear ignorant of the most minute points of fashionable etiquette.  79
  Affection can withstand very severe storms of rigor, but not a long polar frost of downright indifference. Love will subsist on wonderfully little hope, but not altogether without it.  80
  Ambition breaks the ties of blood, and forgets the obligations of gratitude.  81
  Blood is thicker than water.  82
  Breathes there a man, with soul so dead, who never to himself hath saith, This is my own, my native land!  83
  But there’s a gude time coming.  84
  But with the morning cool reflections came.  85
  Courtesy of temper, when it is used to veil churlishness of deed, is but a knight’s girdle around the breast of a base clown.  86
  Cutting honest throats by whispers.  87
  Dinna curse him, sir; I have heard a good man say that a curse was like a stone flung up to the heavens, and maist like to return on his head that sent it.  88
  Do not Christians and Heathens, Jews and Gentiles, poets and philosophers, unite in allowing the starry influences?  89
  Equity judgeth with lenity, laws with extremity. In all moral cases, the reason of the law is the law.  90
  Every hour has its end.  91
  Fat, fair, and forty.  92
  For deadly fear can time outgo, and blanch at once the hair.  93
  For monarchs seldom sigh in vain.  94
  From my experience, not one in twenty marries the first love; we build statues of snow and weep to see them melt.  95
  Give me an honest laugher.  96
  Greatness of any kind has no greater foe than a habit of drinking.  97
  Guilt, though it may attain temporal splendor, can never confer real happiness; the evil consequences of our crimes long survive their commission, and, like the ghosts of the murdered, forever haunt the steps of the malefactor; while the paths of virtue, though seldom those of worldly greatness, are always those of pleasantness and peace.  98
  Hail to the Chief who in triumph advances.  99
  He that follows the advice of reason has a mind that is elevated above the reach of injury; that sits above the clouds, in a calm and quiet ether, and with a brave indifferency hears the rolling thunders grumble and burst under his feet.  100
  He that would soothe sorrow must not argue on the vanity of the most deceitful hopes.  101
  He who indulges his sense in any excesses renders himself obnoxious to his own reason; and, to gratify the brute in him, displeases the man, and sets his two natures at variance.  102
  His eyebrow dark, and eye of fire, showed spirit proud, and prompt to ire.  103
  Hope is brightest when it dawns from fears.  104
  How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child’s board. It is like the aged man reclining under the shadow of the oak which he has planted.  105
  If a faultless poem could be produced, I am satisfied it would tire the critics themselves, and annoy the whole reading world with the spleen.  106
  In love quarrels the party that loves the most is always most willing to acknowledge the greater fault.  107
  In lover’s quarrels, the party that loves most is always most willing to acknowledge the greater fault.  108
  Is death the last sleep? No, it is the last final awakening.  109
  It is a great disgrace to religion, to imagine that it is an enemy to mirth and cheerfulness, and a severe exacter of pensive looks and solemn faces.  110
  It is more difficult to look upon victory than upon battle.  111
  Jock, when ye hae naething else to do, ye may be aye sticking in a tree; it will be growing, Jock, when ye’re sleeping.  112
  Like the last beam of evening thrown on a white cloud, just seen and gone.  113
  Literature is a great staff, but a sorry crutch.  114
  Love is loveliest when embalmed in tears.  115
  Many of our cares are but a morbid way of looking at our privileges.  116
  Mystery has great charms for womanhood.  117
  No scene of mortal life but teems with mortal woe.  118
  Profan’d the God-given strength, and marr’d the lofty line.  119
  Ridicule, the weapon of all others most feared by enthusiasts of every description, and which, from its predominance over such minds, often checks what is absurd, and fully as often smothers that which is noble.  120
  Sea of upturned faces.  121
  See yonder rock from which the fountain gushes; is it less compact of adamant, though waters flow from it? Firm hearts have moister eyes.  122
  Sensibility is nature’s celestial spring.  123
  Sleep in peace, and wake in joy.  124
  Soldier, rest! thy warfare o’er, dream of fighting fields no more.  125
  Some feelings are to mortals given with less of earth in them than heaven.  126
  Sordid selfishness doth contract and narrow our benevolence, and cause us, like serpents, to infold ourselves within ourselves, and to turn out our stings to all the world besides.  127
  Still are the thoughts to memory dear.  128
  Stranger is a holy name.  129
  Strike while the iron is hot.  130
  Teach self-denial, and make its practice pleasurable, and you create for the world a destiny more sublime than ever issued from the brain of the wildest dreamer.  131
  Tears are the softening showers which cause the seed of heaven to spring up in the human heart.  132
  The happy combination of fortuitous circumstances.  133
  The legendary tablets of the past.  134
  The lover’s pleasure, like that of the hunter, is in the chase, and the brightest beauty loses half its merit, as the flower its perfume, when the willing hand can reach it too easily. There must be doubt; there must be difficulty and danger.  135
  The man, whom I call deserving the name, is one whose thoughts and exertions are for others rather than himself.  136
  The most learned, acute, and diligent student cannot, in the longest life, obtain an entire knowledge of this one volume.  137
  The paths of virtue, though seldom those of worldly greatness, are always those of pleasantness and peace.  138
  The play bill which is said to have announced the tragedy of Hamlet, the character of the Prince of Denmark being left out.  139
  The progress of a private conversation betwixt two persons of different sexes is often decisive of their fate, and gives it a turn very distinct perhaps from what they themselves anticipated. Gallantry becomes mingled with conversation, and affection and passion come gradually to mix with gallantry. Nobles, as well as shepherd swains, will, in such a trying moment, say more than they intended; and queens, like village maidens, will listen longer than they should.  140
  The race of mankind would perish, did they cease to aid each other. From the time that the mother binds the child’s head till the moment that some kind assistant wipes the death-damp from the brow of the dying, we cannot exist without mutual help. All, therefore, that need aid have a right to ask it from their fellow-mortals; no one who holds the power of granting can refuse it without guilt.  141
  The sickening pang of hope deferred.  142
  The stern joy that warriors feel in foemen worthy of their steel.  143
  The sun never sets on the immense empire of Charles V.  144
  The tear down childhood’s cheek that flows is like the dew-drop on the rose.  145
  The time which passes over our heads so imperceptibly makes the same gradual change in habits, manners and character as in personal appearance. At the revolution of every five years we find ourselves another and yet the same—there is a change of views and no less of the light in which we regard them; a change of motives as well as of action.  146
  The willow which bends to the tempest often escapes better than the oak, which resists it; and so, in great calamities, it sometimes happens that light and frivolous spirits recover their elasticity and presence of mind sooner than those of a loftier character.  147
  Their flag was furled, and mute their drum.  148
  There are those to whom a sense of religion has come in storm and tempest; there are those whom it has summoned amid scenes of revelry and idle vanity; there are those, too, who have heard its “still small voice” amid rural leisure and placid retirement. But perhaps the knowledge which causeth not to err is most frequently impressed upon the mind during the season of affliction.  149
  There never did and never will exist anything permanently noble and excellent in a character which was a stranger to the exercise of resolute self-denial.  150
  Those faces which have charmed us most escape us the soonest.  151
  Those who are too idle to read, save for the purpose of amusement, may in these works acquire some acquaintance with history, which, however inaccurate, is better than none.  152
  Those who follow the banners of Reason are like the well-disciplined battalions which, wearing a more sober uniform and making a less dazzling show than the light troops commanded by Imagination, enjoy more safety, and even more honor, in the conflicts of human life.  153
  Though wit be very useful, yet unless a wise man has the keeping of it, that knows when, where, and how to apply it, it is like wild-fire, that flies at rovers, runs hissing about, and blows up everything that comes in its way, without any respect or discrimination.  154
  Time rolls his ceaseless course.  155
  To that dark inn, the Grave!  156
  To the timid and hesitating everything is impossible because it seems so.  157
  To the very last, he [Napoleon] had a kind of idea; that, namely, of la carriere ouverte aux talent—the tools to him that can handle them.  158
  Treason seldom dwells with courage.  159
  We build statues of snow, and weep to see them melt.  160
  We do that in our zeal our calmer moment would be afraid to answer.  161
  We shall never learn to feel and respect our real calling and destiny, unless we have taught ourselves to consider everything as moonshine, compared with the education of the heart.  162
  What an ornament and safeguard is humor! Far better than wit for a poet and writer. It is a genius itself, and so defends from the insanities.  163
  What can they see in the longest kingly line in Europe, save that it runs back to a successful soldier?  164
  When a man has not a good reason for doing a thing, he has one good reason for letting it alone.  165
  When dark December glooms the day, and takes our autumn joys away.  166
  Where lives the man that hath not tried how mirth can into folly glide, and folly into sin?  167
  Who loves not more the night of June than cold December’s gloomy noon?  168
  Whose lenient sorrows find relief, whose joys are chastened by their grief.  169
  With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.  170
  With every change his features played, as aspens show the light and shade.  171
  Without courage there cannot be truth, and without truth there can be no other virtue.  172
  Yet what cam they see in the longest kindly line in Europe, save that it runs back to a successful soldier?  173

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