Elizabeth Barrett Browning Quotes

All men are possible heroes: every age, Heroic in proportions, double-faced, Looks backward and before, expects a morn And claims an epos. Ay, but every age Appears to souls who live in it (ask Carlyle) Most unheroic.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 5 (1857).
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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? Art's life,—and where we live, we suffer and toil.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 4, l. 1151-7 (1857).
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Since when was genius found respectable?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 6, l. 275 (1857).
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What's this, Aurora Leigh, You write so of the poets and not laugh? Those virtuous liars, dreamers after dark, Exaggerators of the sun and moon, And soothsayers in a tea-cup? I write so Of the only truth-tellers, now left to God,— The only speakers of essential truth, Opposed to relative, comparative, And temporal truths;... The only teachers who instruct mankind, From just a shadow on a charnel-wall.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk.1, l. 853-64 (1857).
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Men get opinions as boys learn to spell, By reiteration chiefly.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 6 (1857).
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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 (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 1 (1857).
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He, in his developed manhood, stood, A little sunburnt by the glare of life.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 4, l. 1139-40 (1857). Referring to Aurora's cousin, Romney Leigh.
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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.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. "Aurora Leigh," bk. 1 (1857).
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At painful times, when composition is impossible and reading is not enough, grammars and dictionaries are excellent for distraction.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Letter, April 1839, to Mary Russell Mitford. Cited in Elizabeth Barrett to Miss Mitford (1954).
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But since he had The genius to be loved, why let him have The justice to be honored in his grave.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), British poet. Crowned and Buried, st. 27.
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