George Borrow

(1803-1881 / England)

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George Henry Borrow (5 July 1803 – 26 July 1881) was an English author who wrote novels and travelogues based on his own experiences around Europe. Over the course of his wanderings, he developed a close affinity with the Romani people of Europe. They figure prominently in his work. His best known book is The Bible in Spain; Lavengro is autobiographical, and Romany Rye is about his time with the ... more »

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  • I have always been a friend to hero-worship; it is the only rational one, and has always been in use amongst civilized people—the worship of spirits is synonymous with barbarism—it is mere f...
    George Borrow (1803-1881), British author. An elderly individual, in Lavengro, ch. 23 (1851).
  • ''If you must commit suicide ... always contrive to do it as decorously as possible; the decencies, whether of life or of death, should never be lost sight of.''
    George Borrow (1803-1881), British author. An "elderly individual," in Lavengro, ch. 23 (1851).
  • ''There's night and day, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon, and stars, brother, all sweet things; there's likewise a wind on the heath. Life is very sweet, brother; who would wish to die?''
    George Borrow (1803-1881), British author. Jasper, in Lavengro, ch. 25 (1851).
  • ''I am invariably of the politics of the people at whose table I sit, or beneath whose roof I sleep.''
    George Borrow (1803-1881), British author. The Bible in Spain, ch. 16 (1843).
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Best Poem of George Borrow

The Deceived Merman (From The Old Danish)

Fair Agnes alone on the sea-shore stood,
Then rose a Merman from out the flood:

“Now, Agnes, hear what I say to thee,
Wilt thou my leman consent to be?”

“O, freely that will I become,
If thou but take me beneath the foam.”

He stopp’d her ears, and he stopp’d her eyes,
And into the ocean he took his prize.

The Merman’s leman was Agnes there,—
She bore him sons and daughters fair:

One day by the cradle she sat and sang,
Then heard she above how the church bells rang:

She went to the Merman, and kiss’d his brow;
“Once more to church I...

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