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 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Dry Eyes

O brother! I would weep,
But my dry eyes seem to shed dust for tears.
~V. A. R., "The King's Death," Poems, 1867

My old, withered, dry eyes, are full of tears yet. ~Abraham Lincoln, letter to William H. Herndon, 1848 eyes so dry that they fairly seemed to creak from lack of moisture. ~Charles d'Emery, "With a Camera in Foreign Lands," 1924

...the dry eyes of agony... ~Washington Frothingham, 1865

My eyes were dry as marbles... ~Neal Matthews, in Popular Photography, 2008

All day a strong onion promotes the tears pouring,
With dry eyes all night she is pleasantly snoring...
~"The Seven Ages of Woman," Sixth Age, in The Sociable Songster, edited by J. E. Carpenter, 1867

Take care, Lucie, your eyes are so dry that if you go near a candle they may well catch fire, and then you'll have nothing left under your eyelids but two little piles of ashes! ~Sylvie Germain, The Medusa Child, 1992, translated from the French by Liz Nash, 1994

Oi-oi, the thin quail voices of the old women. The dry old women, past childbearing, with the dry eyes and the dry breasts and the dry tears. ~Fannie Hurst, "Seven Candles," 1923

...dry eyes... which ached for the relief of a tear. ~Vsevolod Ivanov (1895–1963), "The Child," translated from the Russian by Veronica Dewey, 1925

She pressed her dry eyes against the white cool linen of the pillow...Then she jumped out of bed and began to walk about her narrow bedroom. ~John Dos Passos, Streets of Night, 1923

...her eyes are dry and burning, her head feels confused... ~Katharine S. Macquoid, "Mathurin's Wooing," 1885

...All these young birds
With gay and painted wing, and noisy twitter,
They have a love that passes as their plumage.
The older ones, though aged in voice and color,
Have a more faithful wing; are better, tho' not handsome.
Well do we love. Our steps are heavy; our eyes are dry;
Our foreheads wrinkled! Hearts have no wrinkles though.
~Victor Hugo, Hernani, 1829, translated 1883

My eyes are so dry that the salt in my tears feels like someone's cutting at my naked eyeball with razorblades. ~Charlotte Byrd, Unknown, 2018

They also describe a scratchy feeling in the conjunctiva, as if a foreign body were present. They may have soreness, dryness, and photophobia... Such patients might complain, as did one... "My eyes are so dry that they send out sparks" (1940s). ~Martin A. Shearn, Sjögren's Syndrome, 1971

Those whom great weight of years had bow'd,
      Grey hairs... eyes so dry...
~Robert Forbes, 1746  [excerpted out of context —tg]

Presently, I looked out onto the morning street, and I was vaguely aware through the mist that floated before my dry eyes (for tears were denied me) of a carriage driving up to the doorway. ~Grant Allen, Miss Cayley's Adventures, 1899

He comes not — sore grief cannot weep,
My dry eyes are withheld from sleep...
~W. W. Crane, "Love Says He Can't Be Dead," 1863

FRIAR. — Oh, my dears! You bring the tears of pleasure into my dry eyes. Come to my heart. Seed thrown on the fields of love and innocence cannot but give good crop. The arrow of love shall break down the sword and knife of hate. I have faith! ~Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, adapted for the Italian stage by Ernesto Rossi, 1876

She clasped her handkerchief in a tight little ball with one withered palm, and blinked her hot, dry eyes. ~Louise Forsslund, "The Knight of Gentle Folly," 1906

My eyes are so dry that cracking them open is agonizing. ~Tammara Webber, Good for You, 2011 eyes were dry and prickly... ~Catherine Banner, The Eyes of a King, 2009

It was Marguerite, older and more decrepit than ever. She had been there since dawn, mute, motionless, like an oak bent by the storm, straining her dry eyes towards the horizon. ~"The Bride of Moustoirac," translated from the French by Anne I. Wilbur, 1854

      At the age of thirty she came a grave, staid middle-aged woman... shunning all society, and companionship, without a friend or an interest in the wide world...
      We all grow better or worse as we get on in life, softer or harder. Esther Eyre got worse and harder... And this was the life she had led for ten more years — two-and-twenty years past that affectionate, gratified girl of eighteen.
      At forty, her nights were often sleepless and she gazed out the window with hard, dry eyes... ~Marguerite A. Power, "The Wedding-Dress," 1857  [modified —tg]

Her eyes were dry; burning dry; the lids choked with something that felt like hot sand, and hurt. ~May Sinclair, Mary Olivier: A Life, 1919

Dryness, with distressing pain, worse at night... Dryness of the eyes in the morning, which are difficult to open, with smarting between the lids, as from dust... Lids agglutinated at night. Burning dryness in the lids and eyes... ~Timothy Field Allen, M.D., "Lycopodium," A Primer of Materia Medica for Practitioners of Homœopathy, 1892

Eyes, dryness, with sensation of sand, with photophobia and lachrymation. ~Myron H. Adams, M.D., A Practical Guide to Homeopathic Treatment, 1913

XEROMA. Abnormal dryness of the eye due to a peculiar degeneration of the conjunctiva or cornea which prevents the eyeball from being wetted by the tears, and makes the surface appear dry and lustreless. ~Alexander Duane, M.D., A Dictionary of Medicine and the Allied Sciences, 1896

      LACRYMAL XEROMA OR XEROPHTHALMIA. There are two kinds of xeroma, or dryness of the eye, the one lacrymal and the other conjunctival... We are not surprised to meet with xeroma in old people, either by itself, or attendant on amaurosis...
      We may regard the xeroma which occasionally attends deep grief, as a purely nervous or sympathetic phenomenon... The influence of music has sometimes been very remarkable in removing the xeroma attendant on grief. ~William Mackenzie, M.D., A Practical Treatise on the Diseases of the Eye, 1830

His eyes were dry, and yet Mabel felt as if those eyes were drowned with unshed tears. ~Duriya Kasubhai, The Strange Encounter, 2020

      I asked Sandy how he'd come to interest himself in the act of sticking needles into people. He told me that eight years before, he'd suffered from bloodshot eyes, eyes so dry they were painful, and that no doctors seemed to be able to fix it.
      "I was at this party one night and someone told me about this guy who could do acupuncture and that I ought to try it. I figured why not? I went down there the next day, downtown to this old guy, and he told me to lie down. Then he put two needles in the points of my ears, took a drop of blood from my forehead, and handed me a mirror. My eyes were perfect, all cleared up!" ~Eve Babitz, "Needles in the Land of Fruits and Nuts," 1975

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published 2023 Feb 7
last saved 2023 Aug 15