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ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING QUOTES

English poet (1806-1861)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning quote

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, Sonnets from the Portuguese

God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers,
And thrusts the thing we have prayed for in our face,
A gauntlet with a gift in 't.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, Aurora Leigh

I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, Sonnets

The Devil's most devilish when respectable.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, Aurora Leigh

"Yes," I answered you last night;
"No," this morning, sir, I say.
Colours seen by candle-light
Will not look the same by day.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, The Lady's Yes

God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, Sonnets from the Portuguese

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, Aurora Leigh

Knowledge by suffering entereth;
And Life is perfected by Death.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, A Vision of Poets

The denial of contemporary genius is the rule rather than the exception. No one counts the eagles in the nest, till there is a rush of wings; and lo! they are flown.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, letter to Robert Browning, Feb. 17, 1845

I have done most of my talking by post of late years--as people shut up in dungeons take up with scrawling mottoes on the walls.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, letter to Robert Browning, Feb. 3, 1845

God only, who made us rich, can make us poor.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, "No. XXIV," Sonnets from the Portuguese

Unless you can muse in a crowd all day
On the absent face that fixed you;
Unless you can love, as the angels may,
With the breadth of heaven betwixt you;
Unless you can dream that his faith is fast,
Through behoving and unbehoving;
Unless you can die when the dream is past —
Oh, never call it loving!

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, "A Woman's Shortcomings"

God only, who made us rich, can make us poor.

I have wondered at you sometimes, not for daring, but for bearing to trust your noble works into the great mill of the rank, popular playhouse, to be ground to pieces between the teeth of vulgar actors and actresses. I, for one, would as soon have my soul among lions.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, letter to Robert Browning, Feb. 17, 1845

Books, books, books!
I had found the secret of a garret room
Piled high with cases in my father’s name;
Piled high, packed large,--where, creeping in and out
Among the giant fossils of my past,
Like some small nimble mouse between the ribs
Of a mastodon, I nibbled here and there
At this or that box, pulling through the gap,
In heats of terror, haste, victorious joy,
The first book first. And how I felt it beat
Under my pillow, in the morning’s dark,
An hour before the sun would let me read!
My books!

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, Aurora Leigh

I remember, when I was a child and wrote poems in little clasped books, I used to kiss the books and put them away tenderly because I had been happy near them, and take them out by turns when I was going from home, to cheer them by the change of air and the pleasure of the new place. This, not for the sake of the verses written in them, and not for the sake of writing more verses in them, but from pure gratitude.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, letter to Robert Browning, Feb. 27, 1845

The exchange of sympathy for gratitude is the most princely thing!

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, letter to Robert Browning, Jan. 11, 1845

Of writing many books there is no end;
And I who have written much in prose and verse
For others' uses, will write now for mine,—
Will write my story for my better self,
As when you paint your portrait for a friend,
Who keeps it in a drawer and looks at it
Long after he has ceased to love you, just
To hold together what he was and is.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, Aurora Leigh

Whatever's lost, it first was won.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, De Profundis

Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,
Ere the sorrow comes with years?
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers—
And that cannot stop their tears.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, "The Cry of the Children"

Every wish
Is like a prayer—with God.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, Aurora Leigh

The great chasm between the thing I say, and the thing I would say, would be quite dispiriting to me, in spite even of such kindnesses as yours, if the desire did not master the despondency.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, letter to Robert Browning, Jan. 15, 1845

Anybody is qualified, according to everybody, for giving opinions upon poetry. It is not so in chemistry and mathematics. Nor is it so, I believe, in whist and the polka. But then these are more serious things.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, letter to Robert Browning, Feb. 17, 1845

The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the winds at play.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, "Out in the Fields"

Nay, if there's room for poets in the 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, at Roncesvalles.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, Aurora Leigh

God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.

Utterance is the evidence of foregone study.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, letter to Robert Browning, Feb. 17, 1845

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
"I love her for her smile —her look —her way
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day" -
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,—
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou may'st love on, through love's eternity.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, "No. XIV," Sonnets from the Porguguese

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Poems - a collection of poetry by the English poet.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Bibliography - a selected bibliography.


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