James Russell Lowell

(22 February 1819 – 12 August 1891 / Cambridge, Massachusetts)

James Russell Lowell Quotes

  • ''I have always been of the mind that in a democracy manners are the only effective weapons against the bowie-knife.''
    James Russell Lowell (1819-91), U.S. poet, editor. Letter, March 4, 1873.
    25 person liked.
    23 person did not like.
  • ''What men prize most is a privilege, even if it be that of chief mourner at a funeral.''
    James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), U.S. poet, editor. Address, October 6, 1884, Birmingham, England. "Democracy," Democracy and Other Addresses (1886).
    22 person liked.
    19 person did not like.
  • ''It is mediocrity which makes laws and sets mantraps and spring-guns in the realm of free song, saying thus far shalt thou go and no further.''
    James Russell Lowell (1819-91), U.S. poet, editor. "Elizabethan Dramatists, Omitting Shakespear: John Webster," Lowell's Early Prose Writings (1902).
    19 person liked.
    22 person did not like.
  • ''Freedom is the only law which genius knows.''
    James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), U.S. poet, editor. "Elizabethan Dramatists, Omitting Shakespeare: John Webster" (1843), in Lowell's Early Prose Writings (1902).
    18 person liked.
    26 person did not like.
  • ''Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.''
    James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), U.S. poet, editor. "Nationality in Literature," North American Review (July 1849). Reviewing Longfellow's Kavanagh.
    23 person liked.
    19 person did not like.
  • ''The mind can weave itself warmly in the cocoon of its own thoughts, and dwell a hermit anywhere.''
    James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), U.S. poet, editor. originally published in Atlantic Monthly (Boston, Jan. 1869). On a Certain Condescension in Foreigners, vol. 3, Literary Essays (1890).
    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • ''Let us be of good cheer, however, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never come.''
    James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), U.S. poet, editor. speech, Oct. 6, 1884, Birmingham, England. "On Democracy," Democracy and Other Addresses (1886).
    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • ''Compromise makes a good umbrella but a poor roof.''
    James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), U.S. poet, editor. speech, Oct. 6, 1884, Birmingham, England. "On Democracy," published in Democracy and Other Addresses (1886).
    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • ''Every man feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.''
    James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), U.S. poet, editor. Originally published in North American Review (Boston, July 1867). Rousseau and the Sentimentalists, Among My Books (1870).
    5 person liked.
    4 person did not like.

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Best Poem of James Russell Lowell

Above And Below

I

O dwellers in the valley-land,
Who in deep twilight grope and cower,
Till the slow mountain's dial-hand
Shorten to noon's triumphal hour,
While ye sit idle, do ye think
The Lord's great work sits idle too?
That light dare not o'erleap the brink
Of morn, because 'tis dark with you?

Though yet your valleys skulk in night,
In God's ripe fields the day is cried,
And reapers, with their sickles bright,
Troop, singing, down the mountain-side:
Come up, and feel what health there is
In the frank Dawn's delighted eyes,
As, bending ...

Read the full of Above And Below

Sonnet

The Maple puts her corals on in May,
While loitering frosts about the lowlands cling,
To be in tune with what the robins sing,
Plastering new log-huts 'mid her branches gray;
But when the Autumn southward turns away,
Then in her veins burns most the blood of Spring,
And every leaf, intensely blossoming,
Makes the year's sunset pale the set of day.
O Youth unprescient, were it only so

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