Quotes by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Moulton) (March 6, 1806 June 29, 1861) was a member of the Barrett family and one of the most respected poets of the Victorian era. more

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

Who so loves believes the impossible.
If you desire faith, then you have faith enough.
God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers and thrust the thing we have prayed for in our face, like a gauntlet with a gift in it.
Books, books, books 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!
It is not merely the likeness which is precious... but the association and the sense of nearness involved in the thing... the fact of the very shadow of the person lying there fixed forever! It is the very sanctification of portraits I think -- and it is not at all monstrous in me to say that I would rather have such a memorial of one I dearly loved, than the noblest Artist's work ever produced.
The Greeks said grandly in their tragic phrase, Let no one be called happy till his death; to which I would add, Let no one, till his death be called unhappy.
We all have known good critics, who have stamped out poet's hopes; Good statesmen, who pulled ruin on the state; Good patriots, who, for a theory, risked a cause; Good kings, who disemboweled for a tax; Good Popes, who brought all good to jeopardy; Good Christians, who sat still in easy-chairs; And damned the general world for standing up. Now, may the good God pardon all good men!
Since when was genius found respectable?
What is genius but the power of expressing a new individuality?
The devil's most devilish when respectable.
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.
The beautiful seems right by force of beauty, and the feeble wrong because of weakness.
At painful times, when composition is impossible and reading is not enough, grammars and dictionaries are excellent for distraction.
What is art but life upon the larger scale, the higher. When, graduating up in a spiral line of still expanding and ascending gyres, it pushes toward the intense significance of all things, hungry for the infinite?
A woman's always younger than a man at equal years.
A woman cannot do the thing she ought, which means whatever perfect thing she can, in life, in art, in science, but she fears to let the perfect action take her part and rest there: she must prove what she can do before she does it, -- prate of woman's rights, of woman's mission, woman's function, till the men (who are prating, too, on their side) cry, A woman's function plainly is... to talk. Poor souls, they are very reasonably vexed!
Happy are all free peoples, too strong to be dispossessed. But blessed are those among nations who dare to be strong for the rest!
Let no one till his death be called unhappy. Measure not the work until the day's out and the labor done.
The man, most man, works best for men: and, if most man indeed, he gets his manhood plainest from his soul.
Women know the way to rear up children (to be just). They know a simple, merry, tender knack of tying sashes, fitting baby-shoes, and stringing pretty words that make no sense. And kissing full sense into empty words.
A good neighbor sometimes cuts your morning up to mince-meat of the very smallest talk, then helps to sugar her bohea at night with your reputation.
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.
Men get opinions as boys learn to spell by reiteration chiefly.
And lips say God be pitiful, who never said, God be praised.
The works of women are symbolical. We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight, producing what? A pair of slippers, sir, to put on when you're weary -- or a stool. To stumble over and vex you... curse that stool! Or else at best, a cushion, where you lean and sleep, and dream of something we are not, but would be for your sake. Alas, alas! This hurts most, this... that, after all, we are paid the worth of our work, perhaps.
How many desolate creatures on the earth have learnt the simple dues of fellowship and social comfort, in a hospital.
I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless.
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.
Experience, like a pale musician, holds a dulcimer of patience in his hand.
Girls blush, sometimes, because they are alive, half wishing they were dead to save the shame. The sudden blush devours them, neck and brow; They have drawn too near the fire of life, like gnats, and flare up bodily, wings and all. What then? Who's sorry for a gnat or girl?
What monster have we here? A great Deed at this hour of day? A great just deed -- and not for pay? Absurd -- or insincere?
For 'Tis not in mere death that men die most.
But the child's sob curses deeper in the silence than the strong man in his wrath!
I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.
Still mine! maternal rights serene Not given to another! The crystal bars shine faint between The souls of child and mother.
Measure not the work until the day's out and the labor's done.
He, in his developed manhood, stood, a little sunburn by the glare of life.
. . . this cheek and brow, Whose paleness, burne'd in with heats of thought, Would make an angel smile to see how ill Clay thrust from Paradise consorts with mind-

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