ALFRED AUSTIN QUOTES

English poet (1835-1913)

Alfred Austin quote

We are all alike, and we love to keep passion aglow at our feet,
Like one that sitteth in shade and complacently smiles at the heat.

ALFRED AUSTIN, "A Woman's Apology", Soliloquies in Song

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Tags: passion


Show me your garden, provided it be your own, and I will tell you what you are like.

ALFRED AUSTIN, The Garden that I Love

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Tags: gardening


Why from the plain truth should I shrink?
In woods men feel; in towns they think.
Yet, which is best? Thought, stumbling, plods
Past fallen temples, vanished gods,
Altars unincensed, fanes undecked,
Eternal systems flown or wrecked;
Through trackless centuries that grant
To the poor trudge refreshment scant,
Age after age, pants on to find
A melting mirage of the mind.
But feeling never wanders far,
Content to fare with things that are.

ALFRED AUSTIN, "A Defence of English Spring", Lyrical Poems

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Life seems like a haunted wood, where we tremble and crouch and cry.

ALFRED AUSTIN, "A Woman's Apology", Soliloquies in Song

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In vain would science scan and trace
Firmly her aspect. All the while,
There gleams upon her far-off face
A vague unfathomable smile.

ALFRED AUSTIN, "Nature and the Book", At the Gate of the Convent and Other Poems

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Where has thou been all the dumb winter days
When neither sunlight was nor smile of flowers,
Neither life, nor love, nor frolic,
Only expanse melancholic,
With never a note of thy exhilarating lays?

ALFRED AUSTIN, "A Spring Carol", Soliloquies in Song

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Tags: winter


So, timely you came, and well you chose,
You came when most needed, my winter rose.
From the snow I pluck you, and fondly press
Your leaves 'twixt the leaves of my leaflessness.

ALFRED AUSTIN, "My Winter Rose", Lyrical Poems

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He is dead already who doth not feel
Life is worth living still.

ALFRED AUSTIN, "Is Life Worth Living?", Lyrical Poems

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For there is no gardening without humility, an assiduous willingness to learn, and a cheerful readiness to confess you were mistaken. Nature is continually sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.

ALFRED AUSTIN, The Garden that I Love

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The decay of authority is one of the most marked features of our time. Religion, politics, art, manners, speech, even morality, considered in its widest sense, have all felt the waning of traditional authority, and the substitution for it of individual opinion and taste, and of the wavering and contradictory utterances of publications ostensibly occupied with criticism and supposed to be pronouncing serious judgments. By authority I do not mean the delivery of dogmatic decisions, analogous to those issued by a legal tribunal from which there is no appeal, that have to be accepted and obeyed, but the existence of a body of opinion of long standing, arrived at after due investigation and experience during many generations, and reposing on fixed principles or fundamentals of thought. This it is that is being dethroned in our day, and is being supplanted by a babel of clashing, irreconcilable utterances, often proceeding from the same quarters, even the same mouths.

ALFRED AUSTIN, The Bridling of Pegasus

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There are many excellent persons who accept as poetry any sentiment, or any opinion expressed in metre with which they happen to agree. But neither sound opinion nor wholesome sentiment suffices to produce that exceedingly delicate and subtle thing which alone is rightly termed poetry, and, in abandoning lofty themes, and descending to humbler ones, writers of verse unquestionably expose themselves to the danger not only of not rising above the level of their subject, but even of sinking below it.

ALFRED AUSTIN, The Bridling of Pegasus

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I urge every one, every now and again at least, to lay down the novel and open the poem: but let it be a poem that will enlarge one's conception of life, that will help one to think loftily, and to feel nobly, will teach us that there is something more important to ourselves even than ourselves, something more important and deserving of attention than one's own small griefs and own petty woes, the vast and varied drama of History, the boundless realm of the human imagination, and the tragic interests and pathetic struggles of mankind.

ALFRED AUSTIN, The Bridling of Pegasus

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Tags: history


In truth, if I were asked to say briefly what Pessimism is, I should say it is disappointed Egotism; and the description will hold good, whether we apply it to an individual, to a community, or to an age.

ALFRED AUSTIN, The Bridling of Pegasus

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Our modern pessimists cannot see a tree, a flower, or a mountain, but straightway they drop into what I may call a falling sickness, and all the beauty of the woods, fields, and sky merely suggests to them a picturesque background for their own superior sighs and sorrows.

ALFRED AUSTIN, The Bridling of Pegasus

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Action helps thought, and thought helps action. By action thought is rendered more masculine, attains to greater breadth, and acquires a certain nobleness and dignity. Thanks to thought, action may become more definite, more precise, more fruitful.

ALFRED AUSTIN, The Bridling of Pegasus

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Tags: thought


Have you never, when waves were breaking, watched children at sport on the beach,
With their little feet tempting the foam-fringe, till with stronger and further reach
Than they dreamed of, a billow comes bursting, how they turn and scamper and screech!

ALFRED AUSTIN, "A Woman's Apology", Soliloquies in Song

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Your voice would have silenced merle and thrush,
And the rose outbloomed would have blushed to blush,
And Summer, seeing you, paused, and known
That the glow of your beauty outshone its own.

ALFRED AUSTIN, "My Winter Rose", Lyrical Poems

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'Tis true among fields and woods I sing,
Aloof from cities--that my poor strains
Were born, like the simple flowers you bring,
In English meadows and English lanes.

ALFRED AUSTIN, prelude, Soliloquies in Song

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Tags: poetry


Though my verse but roam the air
And murmur in the trees,
You may discern a purpose there,
As in music of the bees.

ALFRED AUSTIN, "A Birthday", Lyrical Poems

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No verse which is unmusical or obscure can be regarded as poetry whatever other qualities it may possess.

ALFRED AUSTIN, The Bridling of Pegasus: Prose Papers on Poetry

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