George Henry Borrow (5 July 1803 – 26 July 1881) was an English author who wrote novels and travelogues based on his own experiences around Europe. Over the course of his wanderings, he developed a close affinity with the Romani people of Europe. They figure prominently in his work. His best known book is The Bible in Spain; Lavengro is autobiographical, and Romany Rye is about his time with the ... more »
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George Borrow Poems
Ode To A Mountain
How lovely art thou in thy tresses of foam, And yet the warm blood in my bosom grows chill, When yelling thou rollest thee down from thy home,
The Deceived Merman (From The Old Danish...
Fair Agnes alone on the sea-shore stood, Then rose a Merman from out the flood: “Now, Agnes, hear what I say to thee,
King Christian stood beside the mast; Smoke, mixt with flame, Hung o’er his guns, that rattled fast Against the Gothmen, as they pass’d:
Aager And Eliza (From The Old Danish)
Have ye heard of bold Sir Aager, How he rode to yonder isle; There he saw the sweet Eliza, Who upon him deign’d to smile.
The Hail-Storm (From The Norse)
When from our ships we bounded, I heard, with fear astounded, The storm of Thorgerd’s waking, From Northern vapours breaking;
Ode (From The Gaelic)
“Is luaimnach mo chodal an nochd.” Oh restless, to night, are my slumbers; Life yet I retain, but not gladness;
This is Denmark’s holyday; Dance, ye maidens! Sing, ye men! Tune, ye harpers!
May Asda is gone to the merry green wood; Like flax was each tress on her temples that stood; Her cheek like the rose-leaf that perfumes the air;
What darkens, what darkens?—’t is heaven’s high roof: What lightens?—’t is Heckla’s flame, shooting aloof:
Lines To Six-Foot Three
A lad, who twenty tongues can talk And sixty miles a day can walk; Drink at a draught a pint of rum, And then be neither sick nor dumb
Roseate colours on heaven’s high arch Are beginning to mix with the blue and the gray, Sol now commences his wonderful march,
From Allan Cunningham
Sing, sing, my friend; breathe life again Through Norway’s song and Denmark’s strain: On flowing Thames and Forth, in flood,
Fridleif And Helga
The woods were in leaf, and they cast a sweet shade; Among them walk'd Helga, the beautiful maid. The water is dashing o'er yon little stones;
A sultry eve pursu'd a sultry day; Dark streaks of purple in the sky were seen, And shadows half conceal'd the lonely way;
Quotationsmore quotations »
I have always been a friend to hero-worship; it is the only rational one, and has always been in use amongst civilized peoplethe worship of spirits is synonymous with barbarismit is mere f...George Borrow (1803-1881), British author. An elderly individual, in Lavengro, ch. 23 (1851).
''If you must commit suicide ... always contrive to do it as decorously as possible; the decencies, whether of life or of death, should never be lost sight of.''George Borrow (1803-1881), British author. An "elderly individual," in Lavengro, ch. 23 (1851).
''There's night and day, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon, and stars, brother, all sweet things; there's likewise a wind on the heath. Life is very sweet, brother; who would wish to die?''George Borrow (1803-1881), British author. Jasper, in Lavengro, ch. 25 (1851).
''I am invariably of the politics of the people at whose table I sit, or beneath whose roof I sleep.''George Borrow (1803-1881), British author. The Bible in Spain, ch. 16 (1843).
Comments about George Borrow
Ode To A Mountain
How lovely art thou in thy tresses of foam,
And yet the warm blood in my bosom grows chill,
When yelling thou rollest thee down from thy home,
’Mid the boom of the echoing forest and hill.
The pine-trees are shaken—they yield to thy shocks,
And spread their vast ruin wide over the ground,
The rocks fly before thee—thou seizest the rocks,
And whirl’st them like pebbles contemptuously round.
The sun-beams have cloth’d thee in glorious dyes,
They streak with the tints of the heavenly bow
Those hovering columns of vapour that rise
Forth from the bubbling ...