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Louise Imogen Guiney

  • Character demonstrates itself in trifles.

  • The hand betrays the heart ...

  • No pleasure or success in life quite meets the capacity of our hearts. We take in our good things with enthusiasm, and think ourselves happy and satisfied; but afterward, when the froth and foam have subsided, we discover that the goblet is not more than half-filled with the golden liquid that was poured into it.

  • Life is a breathing-space between two eternities, a holiday with appalling realities behind and before.

  • Family traits, like murder, will out. Nature has but so many molds ...

  • A guest should be permitted to graze, as it were, in the pastures of his host's kindness, left even to his own devices, like a rational being, and handsomely neglected.

  • Idleness, simon-pure, from which all manner of good springs like seed from a fallow soil, is sure to be misnamed and misconstrued ...

  • Youth, ah, Youth! all men's desire and sorrow.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "Youth," The White Sail ()
  • Youth is slipping, dripping, pearl on pearl, away.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "A Passing Song," The White Sail ()
  • Beyond the cheat of Time, here where you died, you live; / You pace the garden walk, secure and sensitive; / You linger on the stair: Love's lonely pulses leap! / The harpsichord is shaken, the dogs look up from sleep.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "The Light of the House," The White Sail ()
  • O glorious tide, O hospitable tide / On whose moon-heaving breast my head hath lain ...

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "Sleep," The White Sail ()
  • [Death:] The one inexorable thing!

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "A Friend's Song for Simoisius," A Roadside Harp ()
  • For when by night the May wind blows / The lilac-blooms apart, / The memory of his first love / Is shaken on his heart.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "A Song of the Lilac," A Roadside Harp ()
  • For better than fortune's best / Is mastery in the using, / And sweeter than anything sweet / The art to lay it aside!

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "A Talisman," A Roadside Harp ()
  • Open, Time, and let him pass / Shortly where his feet would be!

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "Open, Time," A Roadside Harp ()
  • A short life in the saddle, Lord! / Not long life by the fire.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "The Knight Errant," A Roadside Harp ()
  • High above hate I dwell: / O storms! farewell.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "The Sanctuary," The Martyrs' Idyl ()
  • With fatal, fatal Love a girlhood goes.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "Joan's Youth," The Martyrs' Idyl ()
  • For the hewn oak a century fair, / A wound in earth, an ache in air.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "Arboricide," The Martyrs' Idyl ()
  • Quotations (such as have point and lack triteness) from the great old authors are an act of filial reverence on the part of the quoter, and a blessing to a public grown superficial and external.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • in Scribner's Magazine ()
  • Very few can be trusted with an education.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • in Alice Brown, Louise Imogen Guiney ()
  • I am not in the least given to any violent interest in womankind, however, such as has addled the country's brains of late. Give me a manandwoman world: 'tis good enough!

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • 1894, in Grace Guiney, ed., Letters of Louise Imogen Guiney, vol. 1 ()
  • Life is legal tender, and individual character stamps its value. We are from a thousand mints, and all genuine. Despite our infinitely diverse appraisements, we make change for one another. So many ideals planted are worth the great gold of Socrates; so many impious laws broken are worth John Brown.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • 1887, in Grace Guiney, ed., Letters of Louise Imogen Guiney, vol. 1 ()
  • My own passion, all my life, has been non-collecting.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • 1900, in Grace Guiney, ed., Letters of Louise Imogen Guiney, vol. 1 ()
  • The one thing the matter with him is just 'nerves': and that is never understood properly, never prescribed for properly, never even sympathised with properly, in England. And yet it is more terrible, if not checked, than almost any form of disease, and completely cancels one's energy and usefulness. Only it can always be checked, thank the Lord. It always makes for the best people, the crystals of the human race.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • 1900, in Grace Guiney, ed., Letters of Louise Imogen Guiney, vol. 1 ()
  • The fears of what may come to pass, / I cast them all away, / Among the clover scented grass, / Among the new-mown hay.

    • Louise Imogen Guiney,
    • "The Walk," in Francis Xavier Talbot, ed., The America Book of Verse ()

Louise Imogen Guiney, U.S. poet, writer, editor, literary scholar

(1861 - 1920)