The Quote Garden ™
I dig old books. ™
[Y]ou are my poem; you are all my poems, and far the most beautiful of all. ~Octave Mirbeau, A Chambermaid's Diary / Le Journal d'une Femme de Chambre, 1900, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker
My soul is so knit to yours that it is but a divided life I live without you. ~George Eliot (1819–1880), Adam Bede, 1859 (Dinah)
There is a sickness in my channelled blood,—
Not of the spirit or the mind alone,
Outlasting far the dominance of a mood,
Eating corrosive into flesh and bone.
And what shall medicine this mortal ill
I know not, nor the surgeons truly know.
They tap and peer and pry their foolish fill,—
But still the dizzy humors ebb and flow.
And yet I somehow feel that did you lay
Your hand upon my heart and bid it beat,
There might come back my youth's unwearied day,
And all the world-paths call my healèd feet.
For in a world where soul and body mesh,
Surely so much the spirit may mould the flesh?
~Arthur Davison Ficke, Sonnets of a Portrait-Painter, 1914
Before beginning [work], I must write you one line of love, my dear little lunatic. I love you—do you understand, I love you! This is a profession of faith which comprises all my duty and integrity. I love you, ergo, I am faithful to you, I see only you, think only of you, speak only to you, touch only you, breathe you, desire you, dream of you; in a word, I love you! that means everything. ~Juliette Drouet, letter to Victor Hugo, 1833
In that last kiss I gave her all my soul,
My being and my breathing and the whole
Of what I am and what I am to be.
~John Robinson Jeffers, "Northward-Bound"
You'll tell me about the Sleeping Beauty and I'll unbosom myself about the Beast, and we'll exchange heart‑aches and be, oh, so happy together. Let's have a fairy story all of our own. ~Lloyd Osbourne, "ffrenches First," 1902
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach...
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Translations: Sonnets from the Portuguese," №. XLII, 1850
When you're in love you never really know whether your elation comes from the qualities of the one you love, or if it attributes them to her; whether the light which surrounds her like a halo comes from you, from her, or from the meeting of your sparks. ~Natalie Clifford Barney (1876–1972), translated from French by Anna Livia
The sunset put the sky afire
And made the ocean marvelous;
But fiercer was the fire in us,
The fire of our desire.
~John Robinson Jeffers, "Morgengabe"
He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began. ~Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, 1877, translated by Constance Garnett
Since it is evening,
and sailing weather,
let us set out for
the dream together.
~Humbert Wolfe, "A Little Music," This Blind Rose, 1928
With his arm on her shoulders, all the channels of her blood began to sing like the network of the streams and rivers of the earth. She laid her head on the hair of his breast. She heard the heart and the faint cracking of that basket of ribs which carried the heart like a beautiful fruit on leaves. ~Jean Giono (1895–1970), Regain, 1930, translated from the French by Henri Fluchè and Geoffrey Myers, Harvest, 1939 [a little altered –tg]
When love is not madness, it is not love. ~Pedro Calderón de la Barca
...I can forget my very existence in a deep kiss of you. ~Byron Caldwell Smith (1849–1877), letter to Kate Stephens (1853–1938)
To have you always near to go to, to speak to, to touch and to love as I would... Fire flames along my veins at the thought... ~Kate Stephens, A Woman's Heart, 1906
'My love, like a vine, clasps its tendrils about thee,
And desolate, lone, were my being without thee;
Oh, we'll walk hand in hand through life's changeable weather,
And when death's summons come, we'll obey it together!
~Florence Percy (Elizabeth Anne Chase Akers Allen, 1832–1911), "A Lullaby," Forest Buds, from the Woods of Maine, 1855
I felt as if a little winged soul sprang from each one of our embraces and flew heavenward with cries of jubilation and joy. ~Juliette Drouet, letter to Victor Hugo, 1851 October 23rd, 10.45 p.m.
...Let the world know, if there was ever love:
Mine for you...
The hours I spend with you I look upon as a sort of perfumed garden.... Other men it is said have seen angels but I have seen thee and thou art enough. A light, a beauty, a grace — how often I have used these words. Divine vision, if not divine to all men divine at least to me... ~George Moore, letter to Maud Cunard
I need so much the quiet of your love,
After the day's loud strife;
I need your calm all other things above,
After the stress of life.
I crave the haven that in your dear heart lies,
After all toil is done;
I need the starshine of your heavenly eyes,
After the day's great sun!
~Charles Hanson Towne, "At Nightfall," The Quiet Singer and Other Poems, 1908
I've felt for the first time in my life the joyful consciousness that I am truly loved by a truly good man, one that with all my heart I can love and honor... one who loves me for myself alone, and with an unselfish, patient, gentle affection such as I never thought to waken in a human heart... a man in whom I can trust without fear, in whose principles I have perfect faith, in whose large, warm, loving heart my own restless soul can find repose. ~Anna Alcott Pratt, 1859
Our hearts beat so near
That when your heart stirs,
Mine will hear it.
Our hearts speak so loud
That all the world must know.
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Love-songs," 1915
I am a wild, reckless, perhaps dishonourable fellow, but I have one soft spot in my heart, and that is for you. ~Florence Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, 1894 #badboys
But we loved with a love that was more than love... ~Edgar Allan Poe, "Annabel Lee," 1849
...I must see you again — die in your arms or live in your embrace. ~Byron Caldwell Smith (1849–1877), letter to Kate Stephens (1853–1938)
I wish you were not more than three spans long so that I might enfold you, kiss you, press you against my heart and unblushing tell you all that warms my lips and now emboldens my pen. ~Kate Stephens, A Woman's Heart, 1906
I have told you and I told you truly that I love you too much. You engross my thoughts too entirely to allow me to think anything else. You not only employ my mind all day, but you intrude on my sleep. I meet you in every dream and when I wake I cannot close my eyes again for ruminating on your sweetness. ~Alexander Hamilton, letter to Elizabeth Schuyler, 1780
Life is but shadow.
Only you, my Beloved, are more real than shadow.
~Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff
A purple light hovers round my head. The air of love is in the room... The flowers of Hope and Joy springing up in my mind, recall the time when they first bloomed there. The years that are fled knock at the door and enter... I am as when my life began. The rainbow is in the sky again... Oh! if I am deceived, let me be deceived still. Let me live in the Elysium of those soft looks; poison me with kisses, kill me with smiles... ~William Hazlitt, "On Great and Little Things," Table-Talk, 1822 [The footnote to this passage: "I beg the reader to consider this passage merely as a specimen of the mock-heroic style, and as having nothing to do with any real facts or feelings." —tg]
I have the one right every woman in the world possesses — to give herself, body and soul, to the man she loves! ~E. Phillips Oppenheim, The Hillman, 1915
Who, being loved, is poor? ~Oscar Wilde
Your lips upon my white
Arm in the slow moonlight
Are like a spoken prayer.
My loosened hair
Is over all your cheek...
A breath is in the room
As though a rose found bloom;
A sound is in our ears
As though a wild bird trilled
Far off, in gardens dim
With dusk of fading years...
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Communion," Youth Riding, 1919
Life was intended to be lived in twos... Would the bird sing half as sweetly did he not have his mate listening to him? A man's life is only half lived till he finds his mate to listen to his song of love. ~Etta Merrick Graves, The Castle Builder, 1916
You swung meteor-like into the gloom of my solitude.
You glanced and darkness rolled clear —
Rolled back to the beginning in the primal wood,
And I saw, dear.
~Cave Outlaw (1900–1996), "Phases," Each Day, 1942
Come to me, come with me! I am not rich, I am a gambler, and something of a bad fellow, I dare say, but I love you, and will give your starving soul what it longs for. I will make you happy — absolutely, immensely happy! We will dream our lives away in the good old Spanish fashion: 'Amar, amar, amar hasta morir!' And when we have nothing left, I shall still have your eyes, and your sweet, sweet lips. And you have me, body and soul for ever! I adore you. ~Anita Vivanti Chartres (1866–1942), The Hunt for Happiness, 1896 [A little altered. Don Pedro to Lea. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
When God is thundering the last world into oblivion,
And quenching the farthest star,
And putting blackness around,
We two will cling to each other.
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Love-songs," 1915
Stars encircle me when your lips lean down to mine, there is the sound of many waters falling. There is the murmur of a million nightingales, — and the flash of brilliant lightning. ~Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff
There can be no happiness greater than that I enjoyed this afternoon with you, clasped in your arms, your voice mingling with mine, your eyes in mine, your heart upon my heart, our very souls welded together. ~Juliette Drouet, letter to Victor Hugo, 1835
Your eyes are two miracles,
And I who have seen them,
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Songs of a Girl: XX," Youth Riding, 1919
If I look into your eyes a sudden fire burns in my veins. ~Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff
My heart beats faster as you take my hand, my love grows stronger as you touch my soul. ~A.C. Van Cherub, 2009
I am the prisoner of my love for thee.
Fettered in fondness, bound in loving bond,
Imprisoned in ties of loving fantasy
With ne'er a thought, desire, or dream beyond
Love's bondaged hours of intimacy fond.
Alone art thou impow'red to set me free;
Thy lips my sole release and liberty...
~Blanche Shoemaker, "The Prisoner," The Song of Youth, 1905
How my memory treasures every sweet stray moment of our past — handclasp, kiss and heart-beat, the passion of those dear unfathomable eyes, the rustle of garments, the gliding steps and lingering farewells! ~Byron Caldwell Smith (1849–1877), letter to Kate Stephens (1853–1938)
I send you a kiss for those quivering lips, and an embrace for that warm, sweet body for every day of your dear life. ~Kate Stephens, A Woman's Heart, 1906
Two lovers in the rain have no need of an umbrella. ~Japanese proverb
For me, there is no man on this earth but you. The others I perceive only through your love.... I do not know how to employ either my body or my soul, away from you. I only come to life again in your presence. I need your kisses upon my lips, your love in my soul. ~Juliette Drouet, letter to Victor Hugo, 1835
For, you see, each day I love you more,
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.
~Rosemonde Gérard (1871–1953), translated from French
The most beautiful view is the one I share with you. ~Author unknown
You cannot imagine how happy your letter made me. No creature expresses, because no creature feels, the tender affections so perfectly as you do; and, after all one's philosophy, it must be confessed that the knowledge that there is some one that takes an interest in one's happiness, something like that which each man feels in his own, is extremely gratifying. We love, as it were, to multiply the consciousness of our existence, even at the hazard of what Montagu described so pathetically one night upon the New Road, of opening new avenues for pain and misery to attack us. ~William Godwin, letter to Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, 1797 June 10th, Etruria
No, you cannot live on kisses,
Though the honeymoon is sweet,
Harken, brides, a true word this is,—
Even lovers have to eat.
~Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron, "June," A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina's Best Recipes, 1917
Your love is warmer than summer sunshine, your voice more gentle than the whispering breeze. My soul basks in the tender glow of yours, and finds comfort there. ~Catherine Hart, Night Flame, 1989
If we have nothing more now,
We have had this:
The keen joy of our bodies,
The white, unearthly bliss
Of peace beyond all passion,
Beyond all pain;
Tears which have healed the wounds that
We opened time and again;
Days, when each casual greeting
Was a new thrill;
Nights, when love touched and took us
Almost against our will;
Hours of beauty and banter—
A cry and a kiss…
Let the earth crumble beneath us.
We have had this!
~Louis Untermeyer, "Enough," The New Adam, 1920
All commands from your lips are sweet.... ~Byron Caldwell Smith (1849–1877), letter to Kate Stephens (1853–1938)
It is in your love that I have bathed, it is the wine of your love that I have drunk... ~Octave Mirbeau, A Chambermaid's Diary, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1900
But, oh, how much a heart can hold. ~Coventry Patmore, "Rejected," The Angel in the House, 1854
Nobody has ever measured, even the poets, how much a heart can hold. ~Zelda Fitzgerald (1900–1948), as quoted in Nancy Milford, Zelda, 1970
"We will never be separated again," he said, tenderly; and Margaret clung to him as if her whole soul demanded the fulfilment of that promise. ~August Bell, "Quicksands of Love," 1887
i like my body when it is with your
body... ~E.E. Cummings (1894–1962)
There is no Heaven—this is the best;
O hold me closer to your breast;
Let your face lean upon my face,
That there no longer shall be space
Between our lips, between our eyes.
I feel your bosom's fall and rise.
~Amy Levy, "Christopher Found," c.1884
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.
~William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, c.1594 [II, 7, Julia]
There he lay—that recreant knight,
And a dark-eyed eastern damsel
Chained him in a bondage sweet;
Drunken with her flush of beauty,
All his world lay at her feet.
~J.J. Britton (1832–1913), "The False Knight"
To lovers, I devise their imaginary world, with whatever they may need, as the stars of the sky, the red, red roses by the wall, the snow of the hawthorn, the sweet strains of music, and aught else they may desire to figure to each other the lastingness and beauty of their love. ~Williston Fish, "A Last Will," 1898
Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs. ~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, c.1594 [I, 1, Romeo]
Some year, my sweet, when everything is old,
When we have won our laurel wreaths of gray
And all the flame and splendor die away
And love is a dim tale that has been told
Out of a book illumined all in gold
And scarlet, we shall smile upon today...
~Gerald Raftery (1905–1986), "Letter," 1938
You who have given me everything, you whose soul is so marvelously twin with mine... ~Octave Mirbeau, A Chambermaid's Diary, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1900
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, c.1594 [II, 2, Juliet]
Your mother... Ah, dear love, if she were on earth I should put my arms about her and kiss her for bringing you into the world, for giving me the greatest gift one woman can bring another. ~Kate Stephens, A Woman's Heart, 1906
I could walk forever and a mile with one beautiful girl. ~A.C. Van Cherub, c.1989
When soul meets soul on lovers' lips... ~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Moon," Prometheus Unbound, 1820
[T]hat embrace was a foretaste of heaven. ~R.E.M., "Eva Huntingdon," 1850
Last saved 2023 Oct 27 Fri 15:12 CDT