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Quotations about Rainbows


I've been with the painters of rainbows,
Who ply their bright trade in the skies
With fleecy white cloudlets for brushes
And the souls of the flowers for dyes.
~George M. P. Baird, "The Theft of Thistledown: A Faery Interlude," 1915

...beautiful as the rainbow, that smiling daughter of the storm... ~C. C. Colton

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
      So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old...
~William Wordsworth, 1802

O, beautiful rainbow; — all woven of light! —
There's not in thy tissue, one shadow of night;
Heaven surely is open when thou dost appear,
And, bending above thee, the angels draw near,
And sing, — "The rainbow! the rainbow!
The smile of God is here."
~Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, "The Rainbow," 1834

      The rainbow,
Thy promise, God, on high!
~Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, "The Rainbow," 1834

Rainbows apologize for angry skies. ~Sylvia A. Voirol, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1981

Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life!
The evening beam that smiles the clouds away,
And tints to-morrow with prophetic ray!
~Lord Byron

Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You

O Hope, divinest gift!
Thy token, deluge-won,
Is woven of the dews of earth,
Its hues are of the sun;—
'Tis spread before me now,
O'er-arching wintry skies;—
Hail, beauteous Rainbow! thou art come
To gladden weeping eyes...
~Caroline E. Richardson, "After Parting," c.1832

I get so excited over sunsets and rainbows etc, when you see them it's like you can shut out the real world and envelop yourself in a beauty that almost makes it feel like fantasy. ~Mrs. Ron Harris, 2011

The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little stardust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched. ~Henry David Thoreau, "Higher Laws," Walden, or Life in the Woods, 1854

God loves an idle rainbow,
No less than labouring seas.
~Ralph Hodgson

Don't miss all the beautiful colors of the rainbow while looking for that pot of gold. ~Author unknown

When the lamp is shattered
The light in the dust lies dead —
When the cloud is scattered
The rainbow's glory is shed....
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

What skilful limner e'er would choose
To paint the rainbow's varying hues,
Unless to mortal it were given
To dip his brush in dyes of heaven?
~Walter Scott

The white light of the divine purpose streams down from heaven to be broken up by these human prisms into all the colors of the rainbow. Take your own color in the pattern and be just that. ~Charles R. Brown, Finding Ourselves, 1935

Mild arch of promise! on the evening sky
Thou shinest fair with many a lovely ray,
Each in the other melting. Much mine eye
Delights to linger on thee; for the day
Changeful and many-weather'd, seem'd to smile.
Flashing brief splendour through the clouds awhile,
Which deepen'd dark anon and fell in rain:
But pleasant is it now to pause, and view
Thy various tints of frail and watery hue,
And think the storm shall not return again...
~Robert Southey, "To the Evening Rainbow"

How oft,—be witness, Guardian of our days!...
The sky besprinkled o'er with rainbow hues,
As if angelic wings had wanton'd there;...
~Robert Montgomery, "Death," A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell; &c. &c., 1829

Friendship is like a rainbow between two hearts. ~Author unknown

The day, though still raining softly, got very wonderful as we rode on: the sun kept shining faintly through the thin clouds and seemed always ready to break out, and the whole sky was suffused with the light of it, as you may have seen it in a stormy sunset in England, only this lasted for hours instead of a few minutes: two wonderful rainbows came out as we rode; the second one of which was beyond everything of the sort I ever saw... ~William Morris, 1871 July 31st, A Journal of Travel in Iceland

As on the driving cloud the shiny bow,
      That gracious thing made up of tears and light,
      Mid the wild rack and rain that slants below
      Stands smiling forth, unmoved and freshly bright;—
As though the spirits of all lovely flowers,
      Inweaving each its wreath and dewy crown,
      Or ere they sank to earth in vernal showers,
      Had built a bridge to tempt the angels down.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834), "The Two Founts," stanzas addressed to a lady on her recovery with unblemished looks, from a severe attack of pain

The rainbow, "the bridge of the gods," proved to be the bridge to our understanding of light — much more important. ~Isaac Asimov

Triumphal arch, that fill'st the sky
      When storms prepare to part,
      I ask not proud Philosophy
      To teach me what thou art—
Still seem, as to my childhood's sight,
      A midway station given
      For happy spirits to alight
      Betwixt the earth and heaven.
~Thomas Campbell (1777–1844), "To the Rainbow"

Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine—
Unweave a rainbow...
~John Keats, "Lamia," 1819

With humble Love she meets his wrathful Eyes,
And makes her sovereign Beauty bow;
Cheerful she smiles upon the grizly Form;
So shines the setting Sun on adverse Skies,
And paints a Rainbow on the Storm.
~Isaac Watts (1674–1748), "The Disappointment and Relief"

Can all that Optics teach, unfold
      Thy form to please me so,
And when I dreamt of gems and gold
      Hid in thy radiant bow?
When Science from Creation's face
      Enchantment's veil withdraws,
What lovely visions yield their place
      To cold material laws!
And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
      But words of the Most High,
Have told why first thy robe of beams
      Was woven in the sky.
~Thomas Campbell (1777–1844), "To the Rainbow"

Not in the time of pleasure
      Hope doth set her bow;
But in the sky of sorrow,
      Over the vale of woe.
Through gloom and shadow look we
      On beyond the years:
The soul would have no rainbow
      Had the eyes no tears.
~John Vance Cheney, "Tears," 1892

...chaos of color, like a shattered rainbow... ~G.K. Chesterton

How glorious is thy girdle cast
O'er mountains, tower, and town,
Or, mirror'd in the ocean vast,
A thousand fathoms down!
~Thomas Campbell (1777–1844), "To the Rainbow"

I look back on it as if through rainbows, the bit of sunshine hers, the tears my own. ~Thomas Carlyle, 1866

A rainbow appeared
in a sudden squall
and big fat rain drops
started to fall.
~Derek Jarman (1942–1994), "Iridescence," Chroma: A Book of Colour — June '93, 1994

God's glowing covenant. ~Hosea Ballou, quoted in Maturin M. Ballou, Pearls of Thought, 1882

We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter. ~Mark Twain

Hung on the shower that fronts the golden west
The rainbow bursts like magic on mine eyes,
In hues of elden promise there imprest,
Frail in its date, eternal in its guise—
The Vision is so lovely, that I feel
My heart endued with beauty like its own,
And taking an indissoluble seal
From what is here a moment, and is gone;
It lies so soft on the full-breasted storm,
New-born o' the middle air, and dewy-pure,
And trick'd in Nature's choicest garniture;
What can be seen of lovelier dye or form?
While all the groves assume a ghastly stain,
Caught from the leaden rack and shining rain.
~Charles Tennyson-Turner

The varying seasons ever roll, and run
Into each other, like that arc of light,
Born of the shower and coloured by the sun—
Which spans the heavens when April skies are bright...
~John Critchley Prince, "Autumnal Sonnets," Autumn Leaves: Original Poems, 1856

Although it was early in the day, the sun was well up. As we walked the new land that was all agleam with shimmering dew, my eyes feasted upon those places where the sun danced and glided and arranged in layers the colors that formed a glorious rainbow over the northeastern part of the forest, the Arch of Iris produced by last night's rain and this morning's sun, as though the goddess herself had come to lead her favorite peacock over the tops of the evergreens. ~R. D. Lawrence (1921–2003), The North Runner, 1979

When thou dost shine darkness looks white and fair,
Form turn to Musick, clouds to smiles and air:
Rain gently spends his honey-drops, and pours
Balm on the cleft earth, milk on grass and flowers.
Bright pledge of peace and Sun-shine! the sure tye
Of thy Lord's hand, the object of His eye!
~Henry Vaughan (1622–1695), "The Rain-bow"

A rainbow on Friday is the best of luck. It will cure a broken promise. ~Folk-Lore from Maryland, collected by Annie Weston Whitney and Caroline Canfield Bullock, 1925

Many things happen rain or shine, but rainbows are so special they happen rain AND  shine! ~Terri Guillemets

'T is sweet to listen as the night-winds creep
From leaf to leaf; 't is sweet to view on high
The rainbow, bas'd on ocean, span the sky...
~Lord Byron

The best way to live your life is to go to the other side of the rainbow young, but at a very old age. ~Craig D. Slovak

the sky it cries
and the sun pats it dry
with a rainbow up on high
~Terri Guillemets

I'll dip my brush into the sunrise, and the sunset, and the rainbow. ~Rudolf Besier, The Barretts of Wimpole Street: A Comedy in Three Acts, 1930 (Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett)

Mark how the forest now hath doffed its green,
And Nature dons her cloak of many hues;
Now reigns the holy beauty of Decay!
How calmly sleeps the lake: the coloured woods
Reflected on its face in thousand tints...
Like rainbows wreck'd, all the gay woods do sing...
~James Rigg, "The Poet's Ramble in October," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897

Leroy bet me I couldn't find a pot of gold at the end, and I told him that was a stupid bet because the rainbow was enough. ~Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle, 1973,

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
~Irish blessing

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.
~Irish blessing

Life is not always fair — sometimes you get a splinter sliding down a rainbow. ~Terri Guillemets

Such a beautiful world God gave to us,
      With its sunshine, its trees and flowers;
      And fleecy white clouds and the skies of blue,
      Its rainbows and April showers!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham (1880–1971), "Such a Beautiful World"

Sally felt as though a rainbow was shining in Sylvia's soul and out through the rain clouds in her eyes. ~Etta Merrick Graves, The Castle Builder, 1916

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh, why can't I?
~E. Y. "Yip" Harburg (1896–1981), "Over the Rainbow," 1939 ♫

The flower offered of itself
And eloquently spoke
Of Gods
In languages of rainbows
And secret silence...
~Phillip Pulfrey, Love, Abstraction and other Speculations,

In youth, we clothe ourselves with rainbows, and go as brave as the zodiac. In age, we put out another sort of perspiration,—gout, fever, rheumatism, caprice, doubt, fretting, and avarice. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), "Fate," The Conduct of Life

...after-storm birds singing the color into rainbows... ~Terri Guillemets

Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud. ~Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter, 2008,

Riding on gardenias embracing rainbows... ~Claudia Adrienne Grandi, 1974

Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. ~Carl Sandburg

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