Herman Melville

(1 August 1819 – 28 September 1891 / New York City, New York)

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''Come a stove boat and a stove body when they will, for stave my soul, Jove himself cannot.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 7, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
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  • ''Were civilization itself to be measured by some of its results, it would seem perhaps better for what we call the barbarous part of the world to remain unchanged.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Typee (1846), ch. 3, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 1, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1968).
  • ''One of the coolest and wisest hours a man has, is just after he awakes in the morning.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Bartleby" (1853), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987).
  • ''We die of too much life.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 180, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
  • ''There is all of the difference in the world between paying and being paid.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 1, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''When a companion's heart of itself overflows, the best one can do is to do nothing.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Poor Man's Pudding and Rich Man's Crumbs" (1854), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987).
  • ''Benevolent desires, after passing a certain point, can not undertake their own fulfillment without incurring the risk of evils beyond those sought to be remedied.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Supplement." "Battle-Pieces" (1866), p. 465, Collected Poems of Herman Melville, ed. Howard P. Vincent (1947).
  • ''This mortal air is one wide pestilence, that kills us all at last.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 178, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
  • ''The scythe that advances forever and never needs whetting.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Rip Van Winkle's Lilac." "Weeds and Wildings" (posthumous), p. 286, Collected Poems of Herman Melville, ed. Howard P. Vincent (1947). Referring to time.
  • ''Our institutions have a potent digestion, and may in time convert and assimilate to good all elements thrown in, however originally alien.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Supplement." "Battle-Pieces" (1866), p. 465, Collected Poems of Herman Melville, ed. Howard P. Vincent (1947).

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Best Poem of Herman Melville

Art

In placid hours well-pleased we dream
Of many a brave unbodied scheme.
But form to lend, pulsed life create,
What unlike things must meet and mate:
A flame to melt--a wind to freeze;
Sad patience--joyous energies;
Humility--yet pride and scorn;
Instinct and study; love and hate;
Audacity--reverence. These must mate,
And fuse with Jacob's mystic heart,
To wrestle with the angel--Art.

Read the full of Art

The Berg (A Dream)

I saw a ship of material build
(Her standards set, her brave apparel on)
Directed as by madness mere
Against a solid iceberg steer,
Nor budge it, though the infactuate ship went down.
The impact made huge ice-cubes fall
Sullen in tons that crashed the deck;
But that one avalanche was all--
No other movement save the foundering wreck.

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