Herman Melville

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

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''In some things, we Americans leave to other countries the carrying out of the principle that stands at the head of our Declaration of Independence.''
    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). Referring to the equal treatment afforded black people in England.
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  • ''Be mine the tomb that swallowed up Pharaoh and all his hosts; let me lie down with Drake, where he sleeps in the sea.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 19, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''Forty years after a battle it is easy for a noncombatant to reason about how it ought to have been fought. It is another thing personally and under fire to have to direct the fighting while involved in the obscuring smoke of it.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (posthumous), ch 21, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962). A sham quotation.
  • ''Eternity is not ours by right; and, alone, unrequited sufferings here, form no title thereto.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 175, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
  • ''That great America on the other side of the sphere, Australia.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 24, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''There is nothing namable but that some men will, or undertake to, do it for pay.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (posthumous), ch 21, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962).
  • ''Niggards are oftentimes neat.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 94, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
  • ''Amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for ever centrally disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets of unwaning woe revolve round me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 87, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''Poor people make a very poor business of it when they try to seem rich.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 3, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''Soldier or sailor, the fighting man is but a fiend; and the staff and body-guard of the Devil musters many a baton.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 75, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).

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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 Mound By The Lake

The grass shall never forget this grave.
When homeward footing it in the sun
After the weary ride by rail,
The stripling soldiers passed her door,
Wounded perchance, or wan and pale,
She left her household work undone -
Duly the wayside table spread,
With evergreens shaded, to regale
Each travel-spent and grateful one.

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