Quotes by Lord Byron

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George Gordon (Noel) Byron, 6th Baron Byron (January 22, 1788April 19, 1824) was an Anglo-Scottish poet and leading figure in Romanticism. Among his best-known works are the narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don ... more

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In her first passion, a woman loves her lover, in all the others all she loves is love.

A mistress never is nor can be a friend. While you agree, you are lovers; and when it is over, anything but friends.
The heart will break, but broken live on.
Like the measles, love is most dangerous when it comes late in life.
But what is Hope? Nothing but the paint on the face of Existence; the least touch of truth rubs it off, and then we see what a hollow-cheeked harlot we have got hold of.
Man's love is of man's life a part; it is a woman's whole existence. In her first passion, a woman loves her lover, in all the others all she loves is love.
The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain.
My turn of mind is so given to taking things in the absurd point of view, that it breaks out in spite of me every now and then.
Friendship is Love without his wings!
Sorrow is knowledge, those that know the most must mourn the deepest, the tree of knowledge is not the tree of life.
I have always laid it down as a maxim --and found it justified by experience --that a man and a woman make far better friendships than can exist between two of the same sex --but then with the condition that they never have made or are to make love to each other.
All farewells should be sudden, when forever.
In solitude, where we are least alone.
And, after all, what is a lie? 'Tis but the truth in masquerade.
There is no instinct like that of the heart.
Hatred is the madness of the heart.
The busy have no time for tears.
It is useless to tell one not to reason but to believe --you might as well tell a man not to wake but sleep.
I stood among them, but not of them; in a shroud of thoughts which were not their thoughts.
Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; the best of life is but intoxication.
If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. As to that regular, uninterrupted love of writing. I do not understand it. I feel it as a torture, which I must get rid of, but never as a pleasure. On the contrary, I think composition a great pain.
All tragedies are finished by a death, all comedies by a marriage.
A woman who gives any advantage to a man may expect a lover -- but will sooner or later find a tyrant.
When we think we lead we are most led.
Think not I am what I appear.
It is very certain that the desire of life prolongs it.
Though I love my country, I do not love my countrymen.
Sleep hath its own world, and a wide realm of wild reality. And dreams in their development have breath, and tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy.
Keep thy smooth words and juggling homilies for those who know thee not.
To have joy one must share it. Happiness was born a twin.
The mind can make substance, and people planets of its own with beings brighter than have been, and give a breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
The dew of compassion is a tear.
The poor dog, in life the firmest friend. The first to welcome, foremost to defend.
But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
The power of thought, the magic of the mind.
Who loves, raves.
Lovers may be -- and indeed generally are -- enemies, but they never can be friends, because there must always be a spice of jealousy and a something of Self in all their speculations.
I think the worst woman that ever existed would have made a man of very passable reputation -- they are all better than us and their faults such as they are must originate with ourselves.
We are all selfish and I no more trust myself than others with a good motive.
Where there is mystery, it is generally suspected there must also be evil.
As long as I retain my feeling and my passion for Nature, I can partly soften or subdue my other passions and resist or endure those of others.
The good old times -- all times when old are good.
There is no such thing as a life of passion any more than a continuous earthquake, or an eternal fever. Besides, who would ever shave themselves in such a state?
I really cannot know whether I am or am not the Genius you are pleased to call me, but I am very willing to put up with the mistake, if it be one. It is a title dearly enough bought by most men, to render it endurable, even when not quite clearly made out, which it never can be till the Posterity, whose decisions are merely dreams to ourselves, has sanctioned or denied it, while it can touch us no further.
I have had, and may have still, a thousand friends, as they are called, in life, who are like one's partners in the waltz of this world --not much remembered when the ball is over.
Our thoughts take the wildest flight: Even at the moment when they should arrange themselves in thoughtful order.
Romances I never read like those I have seen.
Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter. Sermons and soda water the day after.
Life's enchanted cup sparkles near the brim.
The best way will be to avoid each other without appearing to do so -- or if we jostle, at any rate not to bite.
I know that two and two make four -- and should be glad to prove it too if I could -- though I must say if by any sort of process I could convert 2 and 2 into five it would give me much greater pleasure.
What a strange thing man is; and what a stranger thing woman.
There is something to me very softening in the presence of a woman, some strange influence, even if one is not in love with them, which I cannot at all account for, having no very high opinion of the sex. But yet, I always feel in better humor with myself and every thing else, if there is a woman within ken.
Though sages may pour out their wisdom's treasure, there is no sterner moralist than pleasure.
There is no sterner moralist than pleasure.
The beginning of atonement is the sense of its necessity.
Sincerity may be humble, but she cannot be servile.
Society is now one polished horde, formed of two mighty tribes, the Bores and Bored.
Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.
Nothing can confound a wise man more than laughter from a dunce.
For pleasures past I do not grieve, nor perils gathering near; My greatest grief is that I leave nothing that claims a tear.
The place is very well and quiet and the children only scream in a low voice.
History is the devil's scripture.
All who joy would win must share it. Happiness was born a Twin.
Tempted fate will leave the loftiest star.
Fame is the thirst of youth.
I am about to be married, and am of course in all the misery of a man in pursuit of happiness.
Death, so called, is a thing which makes men weep, and yet a third of life is passed in sleep.
Here lies interred in the eternity of the past, from whence there is no resurrection for the days -- whatever there may be for the dust -- the thirty-third year of an ill-spent life, which, after a lingering disease of many months sank into a lethargy, and expired, January 22d, 1821, A.D. leaving a successor inconsolable for the very loss which occasioned its existence.
America is a model of force and freedom and moderation -- with all the coarseness and rudeness of its people.
As falls the dew on quenchless sands, blood only serves to wash ambition's hands.
And yet a little tumult, now and then, is an agreeable quickener of sensation; such as a revolution, a battle, or an adventure of any lively description.
To withdraw myself from myself has ever been my sole, my entire, my sincere motive in scribbling at all.
If we must have a tyrant, let him at least be a gentleman who has been bred to the business, and let us fall by the axe and not by the butcher's cleaver.
Truth is always strange, stranger than fiction.
Oh Time! the beautifier of the dead, adorer of the ruin, comforter and only healer when the heart hath bled... Time, the avenger!
Between two worlds life hovers like a star, twixt night and morn, upon the horizon's verge.
I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.
It is singular how soon we lose the impression of what ceases to be constantly before us. A year impairs, a luster obliterates. There is little distinct left without an effort of memory, then indeed the lights are rekindled for a moment --but who can be sure that the Imagination is not the torch-bearer?
Roll on, deep and dark blue ocean, roll. Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain. Man marks the earth with ruin, but his control stops with the shore.
Opinions are made to be changed --or how is truth to be got at?
Pythagoras, Locke, Socrates -- but pages might be filled up, as vainly as before, with the sad usage of all sorts of sages, who in his life-time, each was deemed a bore! The loftiest minds outrun their tardy ages.
Whenever I meet with anything agreeable in this world it surprises me so much -- and pleases me so much (when my passions are not interested in one way or the other) that I go on wondering for a week to come.
As to Don Juan, confess that it is the sublime of that there sort of writing; it may be bawdy, but is it not good English? It may be profligate, but is it not life, is it not the thing? Could any man have written it who has not lived in the world? and tooled in a post-chaise? in a hackney coach? in a Gondola? against a wall? in a court carriage? in a vis a vis? on a table? and under it?
I have simplified my politics into an utter detestation of all existing governments; and, as it is the shortest and most agreeable and summary feeling imaginable, the first moment of an universal republic would convert me into an advocate for single and uncontradicted despotism. The fact is, riches are power, and poverty is slavery all over the earth, and one sort of establishment is no better, nor worse, for a people than another.
Self-love for ever creeps out, like a snake, to sting anything which happens to stumble upon it.
It is true from early habit, one must make love mechanically as one swims; I was once very fond of both, but now as I never swim unless I tumble into the water, I don't make love till almost obliged.
There is something pagan in me that I cannot shake off. In short, I deny nothing, but doubt everything.
Smiles form the channel of a future tear.
I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone.
It is not one man nor a million, but the spirit of liberty that must be preserved. The waves which dash upon the shore are, one by one, broken, but the ocean conquers nevertheless. It overwhelms the Armada, it wears out the rock. In like manner, whatever the struggle of individuals, the great cause will gather strength.
Sighing that Nature formed but one such man, and broke the die.
The reason that adulation is not displeasing is that, though untrue, it shows one to be of consequence enough, in one way or other, to induce people to lie.
But I hate things all fiction... there should always be some foundation of fact for the most airy fabric -- and pure invention is but the talent of a liar.
Folly loves the martyrdom of fame.
Your letter of excuses has arrived. I receive the letter but do not admit the excuses except in courtesy, as when a man treads on your toes and begs your pardon -- the pardon is granted, but the joint aches, especially if there is a corn upon it.
I have seen a thousand graves opened, and always perceived that whatever was gone, the teeth and hair remained of those who had died with them. Is not this odd? They go the very first things in youth and yet last the longest in the dust.
For the sword outwears its sheath, and the soul wears out the breast. And the heart must pause to breathe, and love itself have rest.
Oh! too convincing -- dangerously dear -- In woman's eye the unanswerable tear!
What an antithetical mind! -- tenderness, roughness -- delicacy, coarseness -- sentiment, sensuality -- soaring and groveling, dirt and deity -- all mixed up in that one compound of inspired clay!
No ear can hear nor tongue can tell the tortures of the inward hell!
All are inclined to believe what they covet, from a lottery-ticket up to a passport to Paradise.
He who surpasses or subdues mankind, must look down on the hate of those below.
I always looked to about thirty as the barrier of any real or fierce delight in the passions, and determined to work them out in the younger ore and better veins of the mine --and I flatter myself (perhaps) that I have pretty well done so --and now the dross is coming.
Adversity is the first path to truth.
What men call gallantry, and gods adultery, is much more common where the climate's sultry.
Women hate everything which strips off the tinsel of sentiment, and they are right, or it would rob them of their weapons.
Every day confirms my opinion on the superiority of a vicious life -- and if Virtue is not its own reward I don't know any other stipend annexed to it.
I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind instead of reading about them, and of the bitter effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an Islander, that I think there should be a law amongst us to set our young men abroad for a term among the few allies our wars have left us.
I swims in the Tagus all across at once, and I rides on an ass or a mule, and swears Portuguese, and have got a diarrhea and bites from the mosquitoes. But what of that? Comfort must not be expected by folks that go a pleasuring.
For in itself a thought, a slumbering thought, is capable of years, and curdles a long life into one hour.
When one subtracts from life infancy (which is vegetation), sleep, eating and swilling, buttoning and unbuttoning -- how much remains of downright existence? The summer of a dormouse.
Though women are angels, yet wedlock's the devil.
But as to women, who can penetrate the real sufferings of their she condition? Man's very sympathy with their estate has much of selfishness and more suspicion. Their love, their virtue, beauty, education, but form good housekeepers, to breed a nation.
I am as comfortless as a pilgrim with peas in his shoes -- and as cold as Charity, Chastity or any other Virtue.
Are we aware of our obligations to a mob? It is the mob that labor in your fields and serve in your houses -- that man your navy, and recruit your army -- that have enabled you to defy the world, and can also defy you when neglect and calamity have driven them to despair. You may call the people a mob; but do not forget that a mob too often speaks the sentiments of the people.
I have imbibed such a love for money that I keep some sequins in a drawer to count, and cry over them once a week.
Yes! Ready money is Aladdin's lamp.
Ready money is Aladdin's lamp.
Switzerland is a curst, selfish, swinish country of brutes, placed in the most romantic region of the world.
Like other parties of the kind, it was first silent, then talky, then argumentative, then disputatious, then unintelligible, then altogether, then inarticulate, and then drunk. When we had reached the last step of this glorious ladder, it was difficult to get down again without stumbling.
Alas! how deeply painful is all payment!
Poetry should only occupy the idle.
I by no means rank poetry high in the scale of intelligence --this may look like affectation but it is my real opinion. It is the lava of the imagination whose eruption prevents an earthquake.
I like his holiness very much, particularly since an order, which I understand he has lately given, that no more miracles shall be performed.
What a strange thing is the propagation of life! A bubble of seed which may be spilt in a whore's lap, or in the orgasm of a voluptuous dream, might (for aught we know) have formed a Caesar or a Bonaparte -- there is nothing remarkable recorded of their sires, that I know of.
I should be very willing to redress men wrongs, and rather check than punish crimes, had not Cervantes, in that all too true tale of Quixote, shown how all such efforts fail.
This sort of adoration of the real is but a heightening of the beau ideal.
My attachment has neither the blindness of the beginning, nor the microscopic accuracy of the close of such liaisons.
I am always most religious upon a sunshiny day...
The king-times are fast finishing. There will be blood shed like water, and tears like mist; but the peoples will conquer in the end. I shall not live to see it, but I foresee it.
The dead have been awakened -- shall I sleep? The world's at war with tyrants -- shall I crouch? the harvest's ripe -- and shall I pause to reap? I slumber not; the thorn is in my couch; Each day a trumpet soundeth in mine ear, its echo in my heart.
They never fail who die in a great cause.
Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.
Science is but the exchange of ignorance for that which is another kind of ignorance.
I should like to know who has been carried off, except poor dear me -- I have been more ravished myself than anybody since the Trojan war.
If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom.
The Cardinal is at his wit's end -- it is true that he had not far to go.
With just enough of learning to misquote.
Who surpasses or subdues mankind, must look down on the hate of those below.
This is the patent age of new inventions for killing bodies, and for saving souls. All propagated with the best intentions.
I am sure of nothing so little as my own intentions.
The way to be immortal (I mean not to die at all) is to have me for your heir. I recommend you to put me in your will and you will see that (as long as I live at least) you will never even catch cold.
It has been said that the immortality of the soul is a grand peut-tre --but still it is a grand one. Everybody clings to it --the stupidest, and dullest, and wickedest of human bipeds is still persuaded that he is immortal.
Man is born passionate of body, but with an innate though secret tendency to the love of Good in his main-spring of Mind. But God help us all! It is at present a sad jar of atoms.
And having wisdom with each studious year, in meditation dwelt, with learning wrought, and shaped his weapon with an edge severe, sapping a solemn creed with solemn sneer.
I cannot help thinking that the menace of Hell makes as many devils as the severe penal codes of inhuman humanity make villains.
So for a good old-gentlemanly vice, I think I must take up with avarice.
Who tracks the steps of glory to the grave?
I do detest everything which is not perfectly mutual.
I have a notion that gamblers are as happy as most people, being always excited; women, wine, fame, the table, even ambition, sate now and then, but every turn of the card and cast of the dice keeps the gambler alive -- besides one can game ten times longer than one can do any thing else.
Yet, Freedom! yet thy banner, torn, but flying, streams like the thunderstorm against the wind.
A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless it be lobster salad and Champagne, the only true feminine and becoming viands.
We have progressively improved into a less spiritual species of tenderness -- but the seal is not yet fixed though the wax is preparing for the impression.
Constancy... that small change of love, which people exact so rigidly, receive in such counterfeit coin, and repay in baser metal.
My great comfort is, that the temporary celebrity I have wrung from the world has been in the very teeth of all opinions and prejudices. I have flattered no ruling powers; I have never concealed a single thought that tempted me.
I awoke one morning and found myself famous.
Posterity will never survey a nobler grave than this: here lie the bones of Castlereagh: stop, traveler, and piss.
Prolonged endurance tames the bold.
A thousand years may scare form a state. An hour may lay it in ruins.
He scratched his ear, the infallible resource to which embarrassed people have recourse.
Thy decay's still impregnate with divinity.
It is very iniquitous to make me pay my debts -- you have no idea of the pain it gives one.
That low vice, curiosity!
Critics are already made.
A man must serve his time to every trade save censure -- critics all are ready made.
The drying up a single tear has more of honest fame, than shedding seas of gore.
O Gold! I still prefer thee unto paper, which makes bank credit like a bark of vapor.
Why I came here, I know not; where I shall go it is useless to inquire -- in the midst of myriads of the living and the dead worlds, stars, systems, infinity, why should I be anxious about an atom?
There's naught, no doubt, so much the spirit calms as rum and true religion.
Her great merit is finding out mine -- there is nothing so amiable as discernment.
This place is the Devil, or at least his principal residence, they call it the University, but any other appellation would have suited it much better, for study is the last pursuit of the society; the Master eats, drinks, and sleeps, the Fellows drink, dispute and pun, the employments of the undergraduates you will probably conjecture without my description.
Men are the sport of circumstances when it seems circumstances are the sport of men.
I have a great mind to believe in Christianity for the mere pleasure of fancying I may be damned.
Out of chaos God made a world, and out of high passions comes a people.
The lapse of ages changes all things -- time, language, the earth, the bounds of the sea, the stars of the sky, and every thing about, around, and underneath man, except man himself.
It is by far the most elegant worship, hardly excepting the Greek mythology. What with incense, pictures, statues, altars, shrines, relics, and the real presence, confession, absolution, -- there is something sensible to grasp at. Besides, it leaves no possibility of doubt; for those who swallow their Deity, really and truly, in transubstantiation, can hardly find any thing else otherwise than easy of digestion.
Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's name in print; A book's a book, although there's nothing in it.
The reading or non-reading a book will never keep down a single petticoat.
Dreading that climax of all human ills the inflammation of his weekly bills.
A bargain is in its very essence a hostile transaction do not all men try to abate the price of all they buy? I contend that a bargain even between brethren is a declaration of war.
What makes a regiment of soldiers a more noble object of view than the same mass of mob? Their arms, their dresses, their banners, and the art and artificial symmetry of their position and movements.
The Angels were all singing out of tune, and hoarse with having little else to do, excepting to wind up the sun and moon or curb a runaway young star or two.
I would rather have a nod from an American, than a snuff-box from an emperor.
My time has been passed viciously and agreeably; at thirty-one so few years months days hours or minutes remain that Carpe Diem is not enough. I have been obliged to crop even the seconds -- for who can trust to tomorrow?
A lady of a certain age, which means certainly aged.
I shall soon be six-and-twenty. Is there anything in the future that can possibly console us for not being always twenty-five?
It was one of the deadliest and heaviest feelings of my life to feel that I was no longer a boy. From that moment I began to grow old in my own esteem --and in my esteem age is not estimable.
What is the worst of woes that wait on age? What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow? To view each loved one blotted from life's page, And be alone on earth, as I am now.
Of all the barbarous middle ages, that which is most barbarous is the middle age of man! it is -- I really scarce know what; but when we hover between fool and sage, and don't know justly what we would be at -- a period something like a printed page, black letter upon foolscap, while our hair grows grizzled, and we are not what we were.
It is odd but agitation or contest of any kind gives a rebound to my spirits and sets me up for a time.
So much alarmed that she is quite alarming, All Giggle, Blush, half Pertness, and half Pout.
I am acquainted with no immaterial sensuality so delightful as good acting.
No more we meet in yonder bowers Absence has made me prone to roving; But older, firmer hearts than ours, Have found monotony in loving.
The fact is that my wife if she had common sense would have more power over me than any other whatsoever, for my heart always alights upon the nearest perch.
What should I have known or written had I been a quiet, mercantile politician or a lord in waiting? A man must travel, and turmoil, or there is no existence.
Nothing so fretful, so despicable as a Scribbler, see what I am, and what a parcel of Scoundrels I have brought about my ears, and what language I have been obliged to treat them with to deal with them in their own way; -- all this comes of Authorship.
In general I do not draw well with literary men -- not that I dislike them but I never know what to say to them after I have praised their last publication.
Oh who can tell, save he whose heart hath tried