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 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about March

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Welcome to my page of quotations about the month of March. Here in the desert, our third month of the year brings temperatures that can feel more like summer, but it is beautiful nonetheless! Wildflowers and green return to the buzzing earth; mornings and evenings are heavenly, as are the breezes. I've spent much time over the years going through old books picking out excerpts about this lovely month, and I gleefully present them here for all to enjoy. Happy springtime to you! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g

December days were brief and chill,
The winds of March were wild and drear,
And, nearing and receding still,
Spring never would, we thought, be here.
~Arthur Hugh Clough (1819–1861)

Our life is March weather, savage and serene in one hour. We go forth austere, dedicated, believing in the iron links of Destiny, and will not turn on our heel to save our life: but a book, or a bust, or only the sound of a name, shoots a spark through the nerves, and we suddenly believe in will... ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Representative Men: Seven Lectures, "IV: Montaigne; Or, the Skeptic," 1849, published 1850

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens (1812–1870), Great Expectations

January grey is here,
Like a sexton by her grave;
February bears the bier,
March with grief doth howl and rave...
~Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822), "Dirge for the Year"

Despite March's windy reputation, winter isn't really blown away; it is washed away. It flows down all the hills, goes swirling down the valleys and spills out to sea. Like so many of this earth's elements, winter itself is soluble in water.... It is a wet world, winter's harsh grip beginning to relax.... An outcropping ledge on the hillside sheds its beard of icicles and becomes a seep spring that drips into a shallow pool that feeds a growing runlet. ~"Washing Winter Away," The New York Times, 1964 March 17th

As through the poplar's gusty spire
The March wind sweeps and sings,
I sit beside the hollow fire,
And dream familiar things;
Old memories wake, faint echoes make
A murmur of dead Springs...
~"Long Ago," in Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, Conducted by William and Robert Chambers, 1868 October 24th

February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March. ~J.R. Stockton

April Fool, n.  The March fool with another month added to his folly. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Word Book, 1906 (entries 1881–1906)

Now when the primrose makes a splendid show,
And lilies face the March-winds in full blow,
And humbler growths as moved with one desire
Put on, to welcome spring, their best attire...
~William Wordsworth, "Poor Robin," March 1840  ["Poor robin" is a wild geranium — Geranium Robertianum — also known as herb-Robert. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

And so by degrees the winter wore away... and the chill, bitter, windy, early spring came round. The comic almanacks give us dreadful pictures of January and February; but, in truth, the months which should be made to look gloomy in England are March and April. Let no man boast himself that he has got through the perils of winter till at least the seventh of May. ~Anthony Trollope (1815–1882), The Chronicles of Barsetshire, Vol. III: Doctor Thorne, "Chapter XLVII: How the Bride Was Received, and Who Were Asked to the Wedding," 1858

March brings breezes loud and shrill,
Stirs the dancing daffodil.
~Sara Coleridge (1802–1852), "The Months," Pretty Lessons In Verse, For Good Children; With Some Lessons in Latin, In Easy Rhyme, 1834

February makes a bridge and March breakes it. ~Witts Recreations, Selected from the Finest Fancies of Moderne Muses, with a Thousand Outlandish Proverbs (edited by George Herbert, 1593–1633)

He stands like a warder stout and strong,
In the open gate of the year...
~J.J. Britton (1832–1913), "March"

      Missing springtime is like missing a woman. You never really noticed her and then she was gone, and all that she was returns and makes the separation even more painful.
      I think I read this somewhere. "Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn."
      ~Lewis Grizzard (1946–1994), "Covering the arrival of spring"

March, when days are getting long,
Let thy growing hours be strong
To set right some wintry wrong.
~Caroline May, 1887

To wellcome her the Spring breath's forth
Elisian sweets; March strews the Earth
With violetts and posies,
The Sunne renews his fainting fires,
Aprill putts on her best attires,
And May her crown off Roses.
~Most assuredly written by Edmund Waller, c.1638–9  [About Dorothèa, i.e. Lady Dorothy Sidney, i.e. Saccharissa, his object of unrequited love. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

I hear the sparrow's ditty
      Anear my study door;
      A simple song of gladness
      That winter days are o'er;
      My heart is singing with him,
      I love him more and more....
Oh, Spring is surely coming,
      Her couriers fill the air;
      Each morn are new arrivals,
      Each night her ways prepare;
      I scent her fragrant garments,
      Her foot is on the stair.
~John Burroughs (1837–1921), "A March Glee," c.1902

The stormy March has come at last,
With wind, and cloud, and changing skies;
I hear the rushing of the blast,
That through the snowy valley flies...
For thou, to northern lands again,
The glad and glorious sun dost bring,
And thou hast joined the gentle train
And wear'st the gentle name of Spring.
~William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878), "March"

I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might
Become your time of day... daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes...
O, these I lack,
To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend,
To strew him o'er and o'er!
~William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale [IV, 4, Perdita]

It is the first mild day of March:
Each minute sweeter than before...
There is a blessing in the air,
Which seems a sense of joy to yield
To the bare trees, and mountains bare,
And grass in the green field...
We from to-day, my Friend, will date
The opening of the year.
Love, now an universal birth,
From heart to heart is stealing,
From earth to man, from man to earth:
—It is the hour of feeling.
~William Wordsworth (1770–1850), "To My Sister"

These, marching softly, thus in order went,
And after them, the Months all riding came;
First, sturdy March, with Brows full sternly bent,
And armed strongly, rode upon a Ram,
The same which over Hellespontus swam:
Yet in his Hand a Spade he also hent,
And in a Bag all sorts of Seeds ysame,
Which on the Earth he strowed as he went,
And fill'd her Womb with fruitful Hope of Nourishment.
~Edmund Spenser, The Fairy-Queen, 1590s

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