English Poet and Prose Writer
Walter Savage Landor
English Poet and Prose Writer
Years, many parti-colour’d years, some have crept on, and some have flown since first before me fell those tears I never could see fall alone. Years, not so many, are to come, years not so varied, when from you one more will fall: when, carried home, I see it not, nor hear Adieu.
Welcome, old friend! These many years have we lived door by door; the fates have laid aside their shears perhaps for some few more. I was indocile at an age when better boys were taught, but thou at length hast made me sage, if I am sage in aught. Little I know from other men, too little they know from me, but thou hast pointed well the pen that writes these lines to thee. Thanks for expelling Fear and Hope, one vile, the other vain; one's scourge, the other's telescope, I shall not see again. Rather what lies before my feet my notice shall engage-- He who hath braved Youth's dizzy heat dreads not the frost of Age.
You should indeed have longer tarried by the roadside before you married.
Well I remember how you smiled to see me write your name upon the soft sea-sand . . . "O! what a child! You think you're writing upon stone! I have since written what no tide shall ever wash away, what men unborn shall read o'er ocean wide and find Ianthe's name again.
You smiled, you spoke, and I believed, by every word and smile deceived. Another man would hope no more; nor hope I what I hoped before: but let not this last wish be vain; deceive, deceive me once again!
What is companionship where nothing that improves the intellect is communicated, and where the larger heart contracts itself to the model and dimension of the smaller?
What is reading but silent conversation.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
When a cat flatters ... he is not insincere: you may safely take it for real kindness.
When a woman hath ceased to be quite the same to us, it matters little how different she becomes.
When she kissed me once in a play, rubies were less bright than they; and less bright were those which shone in the palace of the Sun. Will they be as bright again? Not if kiss'd by other men.
When the buds began to burst, long ago, with Rose the First I was walking; joyous then far above all other men, till before us up there stood Britonferry's oaken wood, whispering, "Happy as thou art, happiness and thou must part." Many summers have gone by since a Second Rose and I (Rose from the same stem) have told this and other tales of old. She upon her wedding day carried home my tenderest lay: from her lap I now have heard gleeful, chirping, Rose the Third. Not for her this hand of mine rhyme with nuptial wreath shall twine; cold and torpid it must lie, mute the tongue, and closed the eye.
When the mind loses its feeling for elegance, it grows corrupt and groveling, and seeks in the crowd what ought to be found at home.
We fancy that our afflictions are sent us directly from above; sometimes we think it in piety and contrition, but oftener in moroseness and discontent.
Wherever there is excessive wealth, there is also in its train excessive poverty, as where the sun is highest, the shade is deepest.
We must not indulge in unfavorable views of mankind, since by doing it we make bad men believe that they are no worse than others, and we teach the good that they are good in vain.
Why, why repine, my pensive friend, at pleasures slipp'd away? Some the stern Fates will never lend, and all refuse to stay. I see the rainbow in the sky, the dew upon the grass, I see them, and I ask not why they glimmer or they pass. With folded arms I linger not to call them back; 'twere vain; in this, or in some other spot, I know they'll shine again.
We often fancy that we suffer from ingratitude, while in reality we suffer from self-love.
Wisdom consisteth not in knowing many things, nor even in knowing them thoroughly; but in choosing and in following what conduces the most certainly to our lasting happiness and true glory.
We often say things because we can say them well, rather than because they are sound and reasonable.