Herman Melville

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

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''If you begin the day with a laugh, you may, nevertheless, end it with a sob and a sigh.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 33, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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  • ''Your Englishman is rather reserved, and your Yankee, he does not fancy that sort of thing in anybody but himself.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 53, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). On the coolness between crewmen.
  • ''To be a born American citizen seems a guarantee against pauperism; and this, perhaps, springs from the virtue of a vote.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 41, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''They were in the jelly of youth.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 83, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969). Referring to adolescent boys.
  • ''Fathoms down, fathoms down, how I'll dream fast asleep.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. poet, novelist. Billy Budd, Foretopman (l. 28). . . Selected Poems of Herman Melville. Hennig Cohen, ed. (1991) Fordham University Press.
  • ''This were to be truly immortal;Mto be perpetuated in our works, and not in our names.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 142, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
  • ''A laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 5, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''Though gilded and golden, the serpent of vice is a serpent still.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 46, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''Of all insults, the temporary condescension of a master to a slave is the most outrageous and galling. That potentate who most condescends, mark him well; for that potentate, if occasion come, will prove your uttermost tyrant.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 66, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''A true military officer is in one particular like a true monk. Not with more self-abnegation will the latter keep his vows of monastic obedience than the former his vows of allegiance to martial duty.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (c. 1889), ch. 21, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962).

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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

Shiloh - A Requiem

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh --
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched one stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh--

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