Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Thomas Bailey

American Author, Poet, Playwright, Novelist, Travel Writer and Editor

Author Quotes

All the panes are hung with frost wild wizard-work of silver lace.

Good night! I have to say good night, to such a host of peerless things!

It was pleasant to me to get a letter from you the other day. Perhaps I should have found it pleasanter if I had been able to decipher it. I don't think that I mastered anything beyond the date (which I knew) and the signature (which I guessed at).

The air is full of hints of grief, strange voices touched with pain--the pathos of the falling leaf and rustling of the rain.

These Winter nights against my window-pane Nature with busy pencil draws designs of ferns and blossoms and fine spray of pines, oak-leaf and acorn and fantastic vines, which she will make when summer comes again--quaint arabesques in argent, flat and cold, like curious Chinese etchings.

What probing deep Has ever solved the mystery of sleep?

All's one to her; above her fan she'd make sweet eyes to Caliban.

Gracious to all, to none subservient, without offense he spoke the word he meant.

My father invested his money so securely in the banking business that he was never able to get any of it out again.

The happy bells shall ring Marguerite; the summer birds shall sing Marguerite; you smile but you shall wear orange blossoms in your hair, Marguerite.

They fail, and they alone, who have not striven

What thought is folded in thy leaves! What tender thought, what speechless pain! I hold thy faded lips to mine, thou darling of the April rain.

And who are you? cried one agape, Shuddering in the gloaming light. I know not said the second Shape, I only died last night.

Great orators who are not also great writers become very indistinct historical shadows to the generation immediately following them. The spell vanishes with the voice.

Night is a stealthy, evil Raven, wrapt to the eyes in his black wings.

The laurels of an orator who is not a master of literary art wither quickly.

This one sits shivering in Fortune's smile, taking his joy with bated, doubtful breath. This other, gnawed by hunger, all the while laughs in the teeth of Death.

When friends are at your hearthside met, Sweet courtesy has done its most If you have made each guest forget That he himself is not the host.

At the beginning of the twentieth century barbarism can throw off its gentle disguise, and burn a man at the stake as complacently as in the Middle Ages.

Great thoughts in crude, unshapely verse set forth lose half their preciousness, and ever must, unless the diamond with its own rich dust be cut and polished, it seems little worth.

No bird has ever uttered note that was not in some first bird's throat; Since Eden's freshness and man's fall No rose has been original.

The man who suspects his own tediousness has yet to be born.

Though I be shut in darkness, and become insentient dust blown idly here and there, I count oblivion a scant price to pay for having once had held against my lip life's brimming cup of hydromel and rue--for having once known woman's holy love and a child's kiss, and for a little space been boon companion to the Day and Night, Fed on the odors of the summer dawn, and folded in the beauty of the stars. Dear Lord, though I be changed to senseless clay, and serve the potter as he turns his wheel, I thank Thee for the gracious gift of tears!

When I behold what pleasure is Pursuit, what life, what glorious eagerness it is, then mark how full Possession falls from this, how fairer seems the blossom than the fruit,--I am perplext, and often stricken mute. Wondering which attained the higher bliss, the wing'd insect, or the chrysalis it thrust aside with unreluctant foot.

Black Tragedy lets slip her grim disguise and shows you laughing lips and roguish eyes; but when, unmasked, gay Comedy appears, how wan her cheeks are, and what heavy tears!

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Thomas Bailey
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American Author, Poet, Playwright, Novelist, Travel Writer and Editor