Heinrich Heine


German Poet, Satirist, Journalist and Literary Critic

Author Quotes

Oh what lies lurk in kisses!

So we keep asking, over and over, until a handful of earth stops our mouths ? but is that an answer?

The fountain of love is the rose and the lily, the sun and the dove.

The pearly treasures of the sea, the lights that spatter heaven above, more precious than these wonders are my heart-of-hearts filled with your love. The ocean's power, the heavenly sights cannot outweigh a love filled heart. And sparkling stars or glowing pearls pale as love flashes, beams and darts. So, little, youthful maiden come into my ample, feverish heart for heaven and earth and sea and sky do melt as love has melt my heart.

This was but a prelude; where books are burnt human-beings will be burnt in the end

When the heroes go off the stage, the clowns come on.

You're lovely as a flower, so pure and fair to see; I look at you, and sadness comes stealing over me.

Oh what lies there are in kisses! And their guile so well prepared! Sweet the snaring is; but this is sweeter still, to be ensnared.

Society is a republic. When an individual endeavors to lift himself above his fellows, he is dragged down by the mass, either by means of ridicule or of calumny. No one shall be more virtuous or more intellectually gifted than others. Whoever, by the irresistible force of genius, rises above the common herd is certain to be ostracized by society, which will pursue him with such merciless derision and detraction that at last he will be compelled to retreat into the solitude of his thoughts.

The fundamental evil of the world arose from the fact that the good Lord has not created money enough.

The Romans would never have found time to conquer the world if they had been obliged first to learn Latin.

This, too, is why our life in childhood is so full of infinite significance. Then, all is of equal importance to us; we hear all, we see all, all impressions affect us equally; while, when more advanced in years, we act with more definite ends, busy ourselves more exclusively with details, and laboriously exchange the pure gold of intuition for the paper-money of book definitions, and our lives gain in breadth what they lose in depth and intensity. Now we are grown-up and people of consequence, we are always getting into new houses.... Even our clothes are strange to us, we hardly know how many buttons has the very coat on our back.

When the leeches have sucked enough blood, one simply has to sprinkle some salt on their backs and they fall off ? But you, my friend, how can I get rid of you?

Oh, fair, oh sweet and holy as dew at morning tide, I gaze on thee, and yearnings, sad in my bosom hide.

Starless and cold is the night: the sea is foaming, and over the sea, flat on his belly, lies the formless wind from the north, in secret, grumbling furtively, like a grumpy misery back in good humor, chattering gaily to the waters, telling many mad stories, stories of giants, miraculous slayings, the ancient sagas of Norway. In between, he smiles and howls till the echoes are heard of the old magic spells of the Edda, and runic rhymes, so mystical, so magically powerful, that the white children of the waves spring up and dance for joy, wildly drunk. Meanwhile, along the sea-shore, over the wave-washed sand, a stranger walks, with a step wilder still than the wind and waves. Where he treads fire flashes, mussels crack; he wraps himself in his grey cloak and swiftly goes through the hurrying night ? surely lit by the little light that shimmers and glimmers so gloriously from the fisherman?s lonely hut. Father and brother are on the sea and quiet alone in the hut remains the fisherman?s daughter, the fisherman?s beautiful daughter. She sits by the hearth, and listen to the kettle, with its sweet whistle, and throws the crackling brushwood upon the fire, and blows upon it, so that red flickering lights magically shine upon the angelic face, and on the delicate white shoulders, that lurk and peep out of the grey coarse chemise, and on her anxious little hands that cling so close about her skirt. Suddenly open the door springs, and enters in the stranger out of the night. Love-sure his eye rests upon the pale and trembling girl. He throws his coat upon the floor, and, smiling, says: ?you see, my child, I keep my word; I come, and with me comes the old times when the gods of the sky Came down to the daughters of men, and embraced the daughters of men, and from them begot a race of sceptred kings and heroes, wonders of the world. But be amazed no more, my child, because of my divinity, and please, make me some tea with rum. We also freeze, the immortal gods, easily catching a godly cold, and an immortal cough.?

The future smells of Russian leather, of blood, of godlessness and of much whipping. I advise our grandchildren to come into the world with very thick skin on their backs.

The same fact that Boccaccio offers in support of religion might be adduced in behalf of a republic: "It exists in spite of its ministers."

Those blue violets, her eyes.

When words leave off, music begins.

One should forgive one's enemies, but not before they are hanged.

Still is the night, it quiets the streets down, in that window my love would appear; she's long since gone away from this town, but this house where she lived still remains here. A man stands here too, staring up into space, and wrings his hands with the strength of his pain: it chills me, when I behold his pale face for the moon shows me my own features again! You spirit double, you specter with my face. Why do you mock my love-pain sot that tortured me here, here in this place so many nights, so long ago?

The gazelles so gentle and clever skip lightly in frolicsome mood.

The sea appears all golden beneath the sun-lit sky.

Thy letter sent to prove me, inflicts no sense of wrong; no longer wilt thou love me,-- thy letter, though is long.

When'er into thine eyes I see, all pain and sorrow fly from me.

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German Poet, Satirist, Journalist and Literary Critic