''The roaring of the wind is my wife and the stars through the window pane are my children. The mighty abstract idea I have of beauty in all things stifles the more divided and minute domestic happiness.''
''With a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration.''
''"If I should die," said I to myself, "I have left no immortal work behind me—nothing to make my friends proud of my memory—that I have loved the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had had time I would have made myself remembered."''
''Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?''
''Who would wish to be among the commonplace crowd of the little famous—who are each individually lost in a throng made up of themselves?''
''You speak of Lord Byron and me—there is this great difference between us. He describes what he sees—I describe what I imagine. Mine is the hardest task.''
''I would jump down Etna for any public good—but I hate a mawkish popularity.''
''My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk.''
''I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.''
''Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity—it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.''
''There is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music.''
''Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.''
''We hate poetry that has a palpable design upon us—and if we do not agree, seems to put its hand in its breeches pocket. Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.''
''It appears to me that almost any man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy citadel.''
''The Public ... a thing I cannot help looking upon as an enemy, and which I cannot address without feelings of hostility.''
''I always made an awkward bow.''
''Call the world if you please "the vale of soul-making." Then you will find out the use of the world.''
''Praise or blame has but a momentary effect on the man whose love of beauty in the abstract makes him a severe critic on his own works.''
''I equally dislike the favour of the public with the love of a woman—they are both a cloying treacle to the wings of independence.''
''Health is my expected heaven.''
''For the sake of a few fine imaginative or domestic passages, are we to be bullied into a certain philosophy engendered in the whims of an egotist?''
''I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion—I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more—I could be martyred for my religion—Love is my religion—I could die for that.''
''There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify—so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish.''
''I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections, and the truth of imagination.''
''Though a quarrel in the streets is a thing to be hated, the energies displayed in it are fine; the commonest man shows a grace in his quarrel.''
''The only means of strengthening one's intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing—to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts. Not a select party.''
''Land and sea, weakness and decline are great separators, but death is the great divorcer for ever.''