Robert Southey


English Poet Laureate of the Romantic school tradition

Author Quotes

It has been more wittily than charitably said that hell is paved with good intentions; they have their place in heaven also.

Mild arch of promise! on the evening sky Thou shinest fair with many a lovely ray, Each in the other melting.

St. Austin might have returned another answer to him that asked him, What God employed himself about beofre the world was made? He was making hell.

There is no security in a good disposition if the support of good principles ? that is to say, of religion, of Christian faith ? be wanting. It may be soured by misfortune, it may be corrupted by wealth, it may be blighted by neediness, it may lose all its original brightness, if destitute of that support.

What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy-dog tails, and such are little boys made of.

It is certain that all the evils in society arise from want of faith in God, and of obedience to His laws; and it is no less certain that by the prevalence of a lively and efficient belief they would all be cured. If Christians in any country, yea, if any collected body of them, were what they might, and ought, and are commanded to be, the universal reception of the gospel would follow as a natural and a promised result. And in a world of Christians, the extinction of physical evil might be looked for, if moral evil, that is, in Christian language, sin, were removed.

My days among the Dead are past; around me I behold, where'er these casual eyes are cast, the mighty minds of old; my never-failing friends are they, with whom I converse day by day.

Take away love, and not physical nature only, but the heart of the moral world, would be palsied.

There was a time when I believed in the persuadability of man, and had the mania of man-mending. Experience has taught me better. The ablest physician can do little in the great lazar-house of society. He acts the wisest part who retires from the contagion.

What are young women made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice, and such are young women made of.

It is not in the heyday of health and enjoyment, it is not in the morning sunshine of his vernal day, that man can be expected feelingly to remember his latter end, and to fix his heart upon eternity. But in after-life many causes operate to wean us from the world: grief softens the heart; sickness searches it; the blossoms of hope are shed; death cuts down the flowers of the affections; the disappointed man turns his thoughts toward a state of existence where his wiser desires may be fixed with the certainty of faith; the successful man feels that the objects which he has ardently pursued fail to satisfy the cravings of an immortal spirit; the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness, that he may save his soul alive.

My name is Death: the last best friend am I.

The arts babblative and scribblative.

There was not, on that day a speck to stain The azure heaven; the blessed sun alone, In unapproachable divinity, Career'd, rejoicing in his fields of light.

What blockheads are those wise persons who think it necessary that a child should comprehend everything it reads!

It is only our mortal duration that we measure by visible and measurable objects; and there is nothing mournful in the contemplation for one who knows that the Creator made him to be the image of his own eternity, and who feels that in the desire for immortality he has sure proof of his capacity for it.

My notions about life are much the same as they are about travelling; there is a good deal of amusement on the road, but, after all, one wants to be at rest.

The history of any private family, however humble, could it be fully related for five or six generations, would illustrate the state and progress of society better than the most elaborate dissertation.

They sin who tell us Love can die: with Life all other passions fly, all others are but vanity.

What will not woman, gentle woman dare, when strong affection stirs her spirit up?

It is with words as with sunbeams - the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.

My notions of life are much the same as they are about traveling; there is a good deal of amusement on the road; but, after all, one wants to be at rest.

The laws are with us, and God on our side.

This is the first heavy loss which you have ever experienced; hereafter the bitterness of the cup will have passed away, and you will then perceive its wholesomeness. This world is all to us till we suffer some such loss, and every such loss is a transfer of so much of our hearts and hopes to the next; and they who live long enough to see most of their friends go before them feel that they have more to recover by death than to lose by it. This is not the mere speculation of a mind at ease. Almost all who were about me in my childhood have been removed. I have brothers, sisters, friends, father, mother, and child, in another state of existence; and assuredly I regard death with very different feelings from what I should have done if none of my affections were fixed beyond the grave. To dwell upon the circumstances which, in this case, lessen the evil of separation would be idle; at present you acknowledge, and in time you will feel them.

Whatever strengthens our local attachments is favorable both to individual and national character. Our home, our birth-place, our native land,?think for awhile what the virtues are which arise out of the feelings connected with these words, and if you have any intellectual eyes you will then perceive the connection between topography and patriotism. Show me a man who cares no more for one place than another, and I will show you in that same person one who loves nothing but himself. Beware of those who are homeless by choice: you have no hold on a human being whose affections are without a tap-root. The laws recognize this truth in the privileges they confer upon freeholders; and public opinion acknowledges it also in the confidence which it reposes upon those who have what is called a stake in the country. Vagabond and rogue are convertible terms; and with how much propriety may any one understand who knows what are the habits of the wandering classes, such as gipsies, tinkers, and potters.

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English Poet Laureate of the Romantic school tradition