THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH QUOTES

American poet and novelist (1836-1907)

Thomas Bailey Aldrich quote

Night is a stealthy, evil Raven, wrapped to the eyes in his black wings.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "Day and Night"

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Tags: night


What is lovely never dies, But passes into other loveliness, star-dust, or sea-foam, flower or winged air.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "A Shadow of the Night"

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Tags: beauty


Books that have become classics -- books that have had their day and now get more praise than perusal -- always remind me of retired colonels and majors and captains who, having reached the age limit, find themselves retired on half pay.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, Ponkapog Papers

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Tags: books


Though I be shut in darkness, and become insentient dust blown idly here and there, I count oblivion a scant price to pay for having once had held against my lip life's brimming cup of hydromel and rue--for having once known woman's holy love and a child's kiss, and for a little space been boon companion to the Day and Night, Fed on the odors of the summer dawn, and folded in the beauty of the stars. Dear Lord, though I be changed to senseless clay, and serve the potter as he turns his wheel, I thank Thee for the gracious gift of tears!

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "Two Moods"

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Tags: life, death


A glance, a word -- and joy or pain befalls.... How slight the links are in the chain that binds us to our destiny!

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "Kismet"

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Tags: destiny


Civilization is the lamb's skin in which barbarism masquerades.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, Ponkapog Papers

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Tags: civilization


All the best sands of my life are somehow getting into the wrong end of the hourglass. If I could only reverse it!

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, Ponkapog Papers

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Tags: age, old age


Up from the dark the moon begins to creep; and now a pallid, haggard face lifts she above the water-line: thus from the deep a drowned body rises solemnly.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "Moonrise at Sea"

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Tags: moon


Or light or dark, or short or tall, she sets a spring to snare them all; all's one to her--above her fan, she'd make sweet eyes at Caliban.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "Coquette"

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Tags: women, flirting


It was pleasant to me to get a letter from you the other day. Perhaps I should have found it pleasanter if I had been able to decipher it. I don't think that I mastered anything beyond the date (which I knew) and the signature (which I guessed at).

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, letter to Professor E. S. Morse, c. 1889

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This one sits shivering in Fortune's smile, taking his joy with bated, doubtful breath. This other, gnawed by hunger, all the while laughs in the teeth of Death.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "Pessimist and Optimist"

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Tags: pessimism, optimism


Day is a snow-white Dove of heaven that from the East glad message brings.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "Day and Night"

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Tags: morning


So precious life is! Even to the old, the hours are as a miser's coins!

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "Broken Music"

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Tags: life, old age


O harp of life, so speedily unstrung!

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "Two Moods"

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Tags: life, death


The thing one reads and likes, and then forgets, is of no account. The thing that stays, and haunts one, and refuses to be forgotten, that is the sincere thing.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, Ponkapog Papers

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Tags: reading, books


Since Eden's freshness and man's fall, no rose has been original.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "Originality"

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Tags: originality


I like to have a thing suggested rather than told in full. When every detail is given, the mind rests satisfied, and the imagination loses the desire to use its own wings. The partly draped statue has a charm which the nude lacks. Who would have those marble folds slip from the raised knee of the Venus of Melos?

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, Ponkapog Papers

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Tags: writing


At the beginning of the twentieth century barbarism can throw off its gentle disguise, and burn a man at the stake as complacently as in the Middle Ages.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, Ponkapog Papers

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Great orators who are not also great writers become very indistinct historical shadows to the generation immediately following them. The spell vanishes with the voice.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, Ponkapog Papers

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Tags: writing


What is more cheerful, now, in the fall of the year, than an open-wood-fire? Do you hear those little chirps and twitters coming out of that piece of apple-wood? Those are the ghosts of the robins and blue-birds that sang upon the bough when it was in blossom last Spring. In Summer whole flocks of them come fluttering about the fruit-trees under the window: so I have singing birds all the year round.

THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, "Miss Mehetabel's Son", The Atlantic Monthly, Jun. 1873

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Tags: birds