Walter Savage Landor

Walter Savage

English Poet and Prose Writer

Author Quotes

Stand close around, ye Stygian set, with Dirce in one boat conveyed, or Charon, seeing, may forget that he is old and she a shade.

The habitude of pleasing by flattery makes a language soft; the fear of offending by truth makes it circuitous and conventional

The virtuous man meets with more opposites and opponents than any other.

To Robert Browning - There is delight in singing, though none hear beside the singer; and there is delight in praising, though the praiser sits alone and see the praised far off him, far above. Shakespeare is not our poet, but the world's, therefore on him no speech! and brief for thee, Browning! Since Chaucer was alive and hale no man hath walked along our roads with step so active, so inquiring eye, or tongue so varied in discourse. But warmer climes give brighter plumage, stronger wing; the breeze of Alpine heights thou playest with, borne on beyond Sorrento and Amalfi, where the Siren waits thee, singing song for song.

Study is the bane of boyhood, the aliment of youth, the indulgence of manhood, and the restorative of age.

The happiest of pillows is not that which love first presses! it is that which death has frowned on and passed over.

The wise become as the unwise in the enchanted chambers of Power, whose lamps make every face the same color.

To say nothing of its holiness or authority, the Bible contains more specimens of genius and taste than any other volume in existence.

Past are three summers since she first beheld the ocean; all around the child await some exclamation of amazement here. She coldly said, her long-lasht eyes abased, is this the mighty ocean? is this all? That wondrous soul Charoba once possest,— capacious, then, as earth or heaven could hold, soul discontented with capacity,— is gone (I fear) forever. Need I say she was enchanted by the wicked spells of Gebir, whom with lust of power inflamed the western winds have landed on our coast? I since have watcht her in lone retreat, have heard her sigh and soften out the name.

Such is our impatience, our hatred of procrastination in everything but the amendment of our practices and the adornment of our nature, one would imagine we were dragging time along by force, and not he us.

The happy man is he who distinguishes the boundary between desire and delight, and stands firmly on the higher ground,—he who knows that pleasure is not only not possession, but is often to be lost, and always to be endangered by it.

The worse of ingratitude lies not in the ossified heart of him who commits it, but we find it in the effect it produces on him against whom it was committed.

To write as your sweet mother does is all you wish to do. Play, sing, and smile for others, Rose! Let others write for you. Or mount again your Dartmoor grey, and I will walk beside, until we reach that quiet bay which only hears the tide. Then wave at me your pencil, then at distance bid me stand, before the cavern’d cliff, again the creature of your hand. And bid me then go past the nook to sketch me less in size; there are but few content to look so little in your eyes. Delight us with the gifts you have, and wish for none beyond: to some be gay, to some be grave, to one (blest youth!) be fond. Pleasures there are how close to Pain, and better unpossest! Let poetry’s too throbbing vein lie quiet in your breast.

Past ruined Ilion Helen lives, Alcestis rises from the shades. Verse calls them forth; 'tis verse that gives immortal youth to mortal maids. Soon shall oblivion's deepening veil hide all the peopled hills you see, the gay, the proud, while lovers hail these many summers you and me.

Such is our impatience, such our hatred of procrastination, to everything but the amendment of our practices and the adornment of our nature, one would imagine we were dragging Time along by force, and not he us.

The happy never say, and never hear said, farewell.

The writing of the wise are the only riches our posterity cannot squander.

Truth is a point, the subtlest and finest; harder than adamant; never to be broken, worn away or blunted. Its only bad quality is, that it is sure to hurt those who touch it; and likely to draw blood, perhaps the life blood of those who press earnestly upon it.

Political men, like goats, usually thrive best among inequalities.

Tanagra! think not I forget thy beautifully-storey’d streets; be sure my memory bathes yet in clear Thermodon, and yet greets the blythe and liberal shepherd boy, whose sunny bosom swells with joy when we accept his matted rushes upheaved with sylvan fruit; away he bounds, and blushes. I promise to bring back with me what thou with transport wilt receive, the only proper gift for thee, of which no mortal shall bereave in later times thy mouldering walls, until the last old turret falls; a crown, a crown from Athens won! A crown no god can wear, beside Latona’s son. There may be cities who refuse to their own child the honours due, and look ungently on the Muse; but ever shall those cities rue the dry, unyielding, niggard breast, offering no nourishment, no rest, to that young head which soon shall rise disdainfully, in might and glory, to the skies. Sweetly where cavern’d Dirce flows do white-arm’d maidens chaunt my lay, flapping the while with laurel-rose the honey-gathering tribes away; and sweetly, sweetly, Attick tongues lisp your Corinna’s early songs; to her with feet more graceful come the verses that have dwelt in kindred breasts at home. O let thy children lean aslant against the tender mother’s knee, and gaze into her face, and want to know what magic there can be in words that urge some eyes to dance, while others as in holy trance look up to heaven; be such my praise! Why linger? I must haste, or lose the Delphick bays.

The heart that has once been bathed in love's pure fountain retains the pulse of youth forever.

There are no fields of amaranth on this side of the grave: there are no voices, O Rhodopè! that are not soon mute, however tuneful: there is no name, with whatever emphasis of passionate love repeated, of which the echo is not faint at last.

Truth sometimes corner unawares upon Caution, and sometimes speaks in public as unconsciously as in a dream.

Prose on certain occasions can bear a great deal of poetry: on the other hand, poetry sinks and swoons under a moderate weight of prose; and neither fan nor burned feather can bring her to herself again.

Teach him to live unto God and unto thee; and he will discover that women, like the plants in woods, derive their softness and tenderness from the shade.

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Walter Savage
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English Poet and Prose Writer