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

Immolated

Children of my happier prime,
When One yet lived with me, and threw
Her rainbow over life and time,
Even Hope, my bride, and mother to you!
O, nurtured in sweet pastoral air,
And fed on flowers and light and dew
Of morning meadows -spare, ah, spare
Reproach; spare, and upbraid me not
That, yielding scarce to reckless mood,

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