Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.
Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.
I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.
The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary.
I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty.
The death of a beautiful woman, is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.
Beautiful Woman Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.
We loved with a love that was more than love.
Stupidity is a talent for misconception.
The true genius shudders at incompleteness – and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.
All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.
I have no faith in human perfectability. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.
Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.
There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
The ninety and nine are with dreams, content but the hope of the world made new, is the hundredth man who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true.
Man’s real life is happy, chiefly because he is ever expecting that it soon will be so.
Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger portion of the truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant.
If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.
Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term Art, I should call it ‘the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.’ The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of ‘Artist.’
I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity.
To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness.
It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.
The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led.
I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.
I need scarcely observe that a poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. The value of the poem is in the ratio of this elevating excitement.
There are few cases in which mere popularity should be considered a proper test of merit; but the case of song-writing is, I think, one of the few.
In one case out of a hundred a point is excessively discussed because it is obscure; in the ninety-nine remaining it is obscure because it is excessively discussed.
It is the nature of truth in general, as of some ores in particular, to be richest when most superficial.
With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.
Of puns it has been said that those who most dislike them are those who are least able to utter them.
I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect – in terror.
In criticism I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.