Treasure Island

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861 / Durham / England)

Quotations

  • ''What was he doing, the great god Pan,
    Down in the reeds by the river?
    Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
    Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
    And breaking the golden lilies afloat
    With the dragon-fly on the river.''
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. A Musical Instrument (l. 1-6). . . Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1918. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (New ed., rev. and enl., 1939) Oxford University Press.
    197 person liked.
    152 person did not like.
  • ''What monster have we here?
    A great Deed at this hour of day?
    A great just Deed—and not for pay?
    Absurd,—or insincere.''
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. A Tale of Villafrance, st. 4.
  • ''Nay, if there's room for poets in this world
    A little overgrown (I think there is),
    Their sole work is to represent the age,
    Their age, not Charlemagne's,—this live, throbbing age.
    That brawls, cheats, maddens, calculates, aspires,
    And spends more passion, more heroic heat,
    Betwixt the mirrors of its drawing-rooms,
    Than Roland with his knights.''
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 5 (1857).
  • ''The man, most man,
    Works best for men: and, if most man indeed,
    He gets his manhood plainest from his soul.''
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. "Aurora Leigh," bk. 9 (1857).
  • ''A good neighbour, even in this,
    Is fatal sometimes, cuts your morning up
    To mince-meat of the very smallest talk,
    Then helps to sugar her bohea at night
    With your reputation.''
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 4 (1857).
  • ''Measure not the work
    Until the day's out and the labour done,
    Then bring your gauges.''
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 5, l. 76-78 (1857).
  • ''The world's male chivalry has perished out,
    But women are knights-errant to the last;
    And, if Cervantes had been greater still,
    He had made his Don a Donna.''
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 7 (1857).
  • ''Whoso loves
    Believes the impossible.''
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 5, l. 408 (1857).
  • ''Hurt a fly!
    He would not for the world: he's pitiful
    To flies even. "Sing," says he, "and tease me still,
    If that's your way, poor insect."''
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 4 (1857). Of Aurora's cousin Romney Leigh.
  • ''This race is never grateful: from the first,
    One fills their cup at supper with pure wine,
    Which back they give at cross-time on a sponge,
    In bitter vinegar.''
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 8 (1857).

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Sonnet XVII

My poet, thou canst touch on all the notes
God set between his After and Before,
And strike up and strike off the general roar
Of the rushing worlds a melody that floats
In a serene air purely. Antidotes
Of medicated music, answering for
Mankind's forlornest uses, thou canst pour
From thence into their ears. God's will devotes
Thine to such ends, and mine to wait on thine.

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