Walter Savage Landor

Walter Savage

English Poet and Prose Writer

Author Quotes

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.

The hypallage, of which Virgil is fonder than any other writer, is much the gravest fault in language.

There are proud men of so much delicacy that it almost conceals their pride, and perfectly excuses it.

Truth, like the juice of the poppy, in small quantities, calms men; in larger, heats and irritates them, and is attended by fatal consequences in its excess.

Proud word you never spoke, but you will speak four not exempt from pride some future day. Resting on one white hand a warm wet cheek, over my open volume you will say, 'this man loved me'—then rise and trip away.

Tears, O Aspasia, do not dwell long upon the cheeks of youth. Rain drops easily from the bud, rests on the bosom of the maturer flower, and breaks down that one which hath lived its day.

The laws are at present, both in form and essence, the greatest curse that society labours under.

There is a gravity which is not austere nor captious, which belongs not to melancholy nor dwells in contraction of heart: but arises from tenderness and hangs upon reflection.

Twenty years hence my eyes may grow if not quite dim, yet rather so, still yours from others they shall know twenty years hence. Twenty years hence though it may hap that I be called to take a nap in a cool cell where thunderclap was never heard. there breathe but o'er my arch of grass a not too sadly sighed alas, and I shall catch, ere you can pass, that winged word.

Religion is the eldest sister of philosophy: on whatever subjects they may differ, it is unbecoming in either to quarrel, and most so about their inheritance.

Tell me not what too well I know about the bard of Sirmio. Yes, in Thalia’s son such stains there are—as when a Grace sprinkles another’s laughing face with nectar, and runs on.

The leaves are falling; so am I; the few late flowers have moisture in the eye; so have I too. Scarcely on any bough is heard joyous, or even unjoyous, bird the whole wood through. Winter may come: he brings but nigher his circle (yearly narrowing) to the fire where old friends meet. Let him; now heaven is overcast, and spring and summer both are past, and all things sweet.

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Walter Savage
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English Poet and Prose Writer