William Morris Quotes

Had she come all the way for this, To part at last without a kiss? Yea, had she borne the dirt and rain That her own eyes might see him slain Beside the haystack in the floods?
William Morris (1834-1896), British poet. The Haystack in the Floods (l. 1-5). . . Oxford Book of Narrative Verse, The. Iona Opie and Peter Opie, eds. (1983) Oxford University Press.
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I love art, and I love history, but it is living art and living history that I love.... It is in the interest of living art and living history that I oppose so-called restoration. What history can there be in a building bedaubed with ornament, which cannot at the best be anything but a hopeless and lifeless imitation of the hope and vigour of the earlier world?
William Morris (1834-1896), British artist, writer, printer. Lecture, 1882. "The History of Pattern-Designing," vol. 22, The Collected Works of William Morris (1910-1915).
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Simplicity of life, even the barest, is not a misery, but the very foundation of refinement; a sanded floor and whitewashed walls and the green trees, and flowery meads, and living waters outside; or a grimy palace amid the same with a regiment of housemaids always working to smear the dirt together so that it may be unnoticed; which, think you, is the most refined, the most fit for a gentleman of those two dwellings?
William Morris (1834-1896), British artist, writer, printer. "The Lesser Arts," Hopes and Fears for Art (1882). Morris's first public lecture, "The Decorative Arts: Their Relation to Modern Life and Progress."
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This land is a little land; too much shut up within the narrow seas, as it seems, to have much space for swelling into hugeness: there are no great wastes overwhelming in their dreariness, no great solitudes of forests, no terrible untrodden mountain-walls: all is measured, mingled, varied, gliding easily one thing into another: little rivers, little plains, swelling, speedily- changing uplands, all beset with handsome orderly trees; little hills, little mountains, netted over with the walls of sheep- walks: all is little; yet not foolish and blank, but serious rather, and abundant of meaning for such as choose to seek it: it is neither prison nor palace, but a decent home.
William Morris (1834-1896), British artist, writer, printer. repr. In Collected Works, vol. 22. "The Lesser Arts," Hopes and Fears for Art (1882). "Some people praise this homeliness overmuch," Morris added.
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I know a little garden-close Set thick with lily and red rose, Where I would wander if I might From dewy dawn to dewy night,
William Morris (1834-1896), British poet. The Life and Death of Jason (l. 1-8). . . Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1918. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (New ed., rev. and enl., 1939) Oxford University Press.
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Of rich men it telleth, and strange is the story How they have, and they hanker, and grip far and wide; And they live and they die, and the earth and its glory Has been but a burden they scarce might abide.
William Morris (1834-1896), British artist, writer, printer. "The Message of the March Wind," The Pilgrims of Hope (1885).
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