Herman Melville

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

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''Appalling is the soul of a man! Better might one be pushed off into the material spaces beyond the uttermost orbit of our sun, than once feel himself fairly afloat in himself.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XXI, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
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  • ''Boy, take my advice, and never try to invent any thing but—happiness.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "The Happy Failure" (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). Spoken by the failed inventor.
  • ''Vivenza was a braggadocio in Mardi; the only brave one ever known.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 146, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Vivenza, an allegorical representation of the United States.
  • ''Bless my soul, Sir, will you Britons not credit that an American can be a gentleman, & have read the Waverly Novels, tho every digit may have been in the tar-bucket?''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. letter, Mar. 25, 1848, to his publisher, John Murray. Correspondence, vol. 14, The Writings of Herman Melville, ed. Lynn Horth (1993). In performing his duties as a common sailor, Melville would have dipped his hand in tar.
  • ''Students of history are horror-struck at the massacres of old; but in the shambles, men are being murdered to-day.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 161, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Read from a scroll.
  • ''One would like to know, what were foes made for except to be used?''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XV, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
  • ''man rebounds whole aeons back in nature.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. poet, novelist. The House-Top (l. 16). . . Selected Poems of Herman Melville. Hennig Cohen, ed. (1991) Fordham University Press.
  • ''The two great things yet to be discovered are these—The Art of rejuvenating old age in men, & oldageifying youth in books.—Who in the name of the trunk-makers would think of reading Old Burton were his book published for the first to day.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. letter, Apr. 5, 1849, to Evert A. Duyckinck. Correspondence, vol. 14, The Writings of Herman Melville, ed. Lynn Horth (1993).
  • ''Yet, rather, are we scabbards to our souls. And the drawn sword of genius is more glittering than the drawn cimeter of Saladin.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 32, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
  • ''If there be any thing a man might well pray against, that thing is the responsive gratification of some of the devoutest prayers of his youth.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. I, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).

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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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