Herman Melville

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

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''All the rest was indefinite, as the soundest advice ever is.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 93, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). With reference to advice.
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  • ''Man, "poor player," succeeds better in life's tragedy than comedy.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Israel Potter (1855), ch. 24, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 8, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1982).
  • ''Life folded Death; Death trellised Life; the grim god wived with youthful Life, and begat him curly-headed glories.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 102, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''Man was not made to succumb to the villain Woe.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. III, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
  • ''Never joke at funerals, or during business transactions.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Israel Potter (1855), ch. 7, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 8, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1982). Spoken by a fictional Benjamin Franklin.
  • ''Doubts of all things earthly, and intuitions of some things heavenly; this combination makes neither believer nor infidel, but makes a man who regards them both with equal eye.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 85, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''The pleasure of leaving home, care-free, with no concern but to enjoy, has also as a pendant the pleasure of coming back to the old hearthstone, the home to which, however traveled, the heart still fondly turns, ignoring the burden of its anxieties and cares.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Traveling" (1859-60), 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). A lecture.
  • ''In the case of pirates, say, I would like to know whether that profession of theirs has any peculiar glory about it. It sometimes ends in uncommon elevation, indeed; but only at the gallows.''
    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).
  • ''The food of thy soul is light and space; feed it then on light and space. But the food of thy body is champagne and oysters; feed it then on champagne and oysters; and so shall it merit a joyful resurrection, if there is any to be.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XXII, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
  • ''The women, who had congregated in the groves, set up the most violent clamors, as they invariably do here as elsewhere on every occasion of excitement and alarm, with a view of tranquilizing their own minds and disturbing other people.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Typee (1846), ch. 17, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 1, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1968). On the occasion of minor hostilities between the Typees and a neighboring tribe.

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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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