Herman Melville

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

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''"what has cast such a shadow upon you" "The negro."''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Benito Cereno" (1855), 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). First Amasa Delano, then Benito Cereno.
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  • ''The shadows of things are greater than themselves; and the more exaggerated the shadow, the more unlike the substance.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 117, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
  • ''Meditation and water are wedded for ever.''
    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).
  • ''Surrounded as we are by the wants and woes of our fellow-men, and yet given to follow our own pleasures, regardless of their pains, are we not like people sitting up with a corpse, and making merry in the house of the dead?''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 37, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''Ah! the best righteousness of our man-of-war world seems but an unrealized ideal, after all; and those maxims which, in the hope of bringing about a Millennium, we busily teach to the heathen, we Christians ourselves disregard.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 76, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''Backward and forward, eternity is the same; already we have been the nothing we dread to be.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 78, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanga, the philosopher.
  • ''All truth is profound.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 41, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''As well hate a seraph, as a shark.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 13, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
  • ''Death is only a launching into the region of the strange Untried; it is but the first salutation to the possibilities of the immense Remote, the Wild, the Watery, the Unshored.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 112, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''You know nothing till you know all; which is the reason we never know any thing.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 26, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).

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Best Poem of Herman Melville

America

I

Where the wings of a sunny Dome expand
I saw a Banner in gladsome air-
Starry, like Berenice's Hair-
Afloat in broadened bravery there;
With undulating long-drawn flow,
As rolled Brazilian billows go
Voluminously o'er the Line.
The Land reposed in peace below;
The children in their glee
Were folded to the exulting heart
Of young Maternity.

II

Later, and it streamed in fight
When tempest mingled with the fray,
And over the spear-point of the shaft
I saw the ambiguous lightning play.
Valor with Valor strove, and died:
Fierce ...

Read the full of America

Gettysburg

O Pride of the days in prime of the months
Now trebled in great renown,
When before the ark of our holy cause
Fell Dagon down-
Dagon foredoomed, who, armed and targed,
Never his impious heart enlarged
Beyond that hour; God walled his power,
And there the last invader charged.

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