Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Thomas Bailey
Aldrich
1836
1907

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

Author Quotes

No man has ever yet succeeded in painting an honest portrait of himself in an autobiography, however sedulously he may have set to work about it. In spite of his candid purpose he omits necessary touches and adds superfluous ones. At times he cannot help draping his thought, and the least shred of drapery becomes a disguise. It is only the diarist who accomplishes the feat of self-portraiture, and he, without any such end in view, does it unconsciously. A man cannot keep a daily record of his comings and goings and the little items that make up the sum of his life, and not inadvertently betray himself at every turn. He lays bare his heart with a candor not possible to the self-consciousness that inevitably colors premeditated revelation.

The ocean moans over dead men's bones.

Till then, good-night! You wish the time were now? And I. You do not blush to wish it so? You would have blush'd yourself to death to own so much a year ago. What! both these snowy hands? ah, then I'll have to say, Good-night again.

When the Sultan Shah-Zaman goes to the city Ispahan, even before he gets so far as the place where the clustered palm-trees are, at the last of the thirty palace-gates the pet of the harem, Rose-in-Bloom, orders a feast in his favorite room--glittering square of colored ice, sweetened with syrup, tinctured with spice, creams, and cordials, and sugared dates, Syrian apples, Othmanee quinces, limes and citrons and apricots, and wines that are known to Eastern princes.

Books that have become classics -- books that have had their day and now get more praise than perusal -- always remind me of retired colonels and majors and captains who, having reached the age limit, find themselves retired on half pay.

Hebe's here, May is here! The air is fresh and sunny; and the miser-bees are busy hoarding golden honey.

O harp of life, so speedily unstrung!

The poplars showed the white of their leaves, the amber grain shrunk in the wind,--and the lightning now is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain!

Up from the dark the moon begins to creep; and now a pallid, haggard face lifts she above the water-line: thus from the deep a drowned body rises solemnly.

When to soft Sleep we give ourselves away, and in a dream as in a fairy bark drift on and on through the enchanted dark to purple daybreak--little thought we pay to that sweet bitter world we know by day.

But I, in the chilling twilight stand and wait at the portcullis, at thy castle gate, longing to see the charmed door of dreams turn on its noiseless hinges, delicate sleep!

Here is woe, a self and not the mask of woe.

O Liberty, white Goddess! is it well to leave the gates unguarded? On thy breast fold Sorrow's children, soothe the hurts of Fate, lift the down-trodden, but with hand of steel stay those who to thy sacred portals come to waste the gifts of Freedom.

The possession of gold has ruined fewer men than the lack of it.

Upon the cunning loom of thought we weave our fancies, so and so.

Whenever a new scholar came to our school, I used to confront him at recess with the following words: 'My name's Tom Bailey: what's your name?' If the name struck me favorably, I shook hands with the new pupil cordially; but if it didn't I would turn on my heel, for I was particular in this point. Such names as Higgins, Wiggins, and Spriggins were deadly affronts to my ear; while Langdon, Wallace, Blake, and the like, were passing words to my confidence and esteem.

But when the sun in all his state, illumed the eastern skies, she passed through glory's morning gate, and walked in Paradise.

How fugitive and brief is mortal life between the budding and the falling leaf.

October turned by maple's leaves to gold; The most are gone now; here and there one lingers; Soon these will slip from the twig's weak hold, Like coins between a dying miser's fingers.

The possession of unlimited power will make a despot of almost any man. There is a possible Nero in the gentlest human creature that walks.

We knew it would rain, for the poplars showed the white of their leaves, the amber grain shrunk in the wind,--and the lightning now is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain.

Wide open and unguarded stand our gates, named of the four winds, North, South, East and West; portals that lead to an enchanted land? Here, it is written, Toil shall have its wage and Honor honor, and the humblest man stand level with the highest in the law. Of such a land have men in dungeons dreamed and with the vision brightening in their eyes gone smiling to the fagot and the sword. O Liberty, white Goddess! is it well to leave the gates unguarded? On thy breast fold Sorrow?s children, soothe the hurts of Fate, lift the down-trodden, but with hand of steel stay those who to thy sacred portals come to waste the gifts of Freedom.

Civilization is the lamb's skin in which barbarism masquerades.

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.

Only the sea intoning, only the wainscot-mouse, only the wild wind moaning over the lonely house.

Author Picture
First Name
Thomas Bailey
Last Name
Aldrich
Birth Date
1836
Death Date
1907
Bio

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