Literary Quotations
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LOVE QUOTES


Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Hamlet

Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.

LEO TOLSTOY, War and Peace

Mystery and disappointment are not absolutely indispensable to the growth of love, but they are, very often, its powerful auxiliaries.

CHARLES DICKENS, Nicholas Nickleby

Camaraderie—usually occurring through similarity of pursuits, is unfortunately seldom superadded to love between the sexes, because men and women associate, not in their labours, but in their pleasures merely. Where, however, happy circumstance permits its development, the compounded feeling proves itself to be the only love which is strong as death—that love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown, beside which the passion usually called by the name is evanescent as steam.

My heart, my heart, be whole and free:
Love is thine only enemy.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Caesar and Cleopatra

Love lends wings to our desires.

ALEXANDRE DUMAS, The Count of Monte Cristo

A love grown old is not the love once new.

GEOFFREY CHAUCER, The Canterbury Tales

Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, A Midsummer Night's Dream

What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, The Brothers Karamazov

Love, that is all the earth to lovers — love, that mocks time and space,
Love, that is day and night — love, that is sun and moon and stars,
Love, that is crimson, sumptuous, sick with perfume,
No other words but words of love, no other thought but love.

WALT WHITMAN, Leaves of Grass

Men and women consume one another rapidly in what is called "the act of love," or else settle down to a mild habit of conjugality. We seldom find a mean between these two extremes.

ALBERT CAMUS, The Plague

Psychology lures even most serious people into romancing, and quite unconsciously.

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, The Brothers Karamazov

Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,
Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Romeo and Juliet

My love is like a stone tied round my neck; it's dragging me down to the bottom; but I love my stone. I can't live without it.

ANTON CHEKHOV, The Cherry Orchard

All love is sweet,
Given or returned. Common as light is love,
And its familiar voice wearies not ever.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, Prometheus Unbound

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and the never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that's lovely is
but a brief, dreamy, kind of delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.
W. B. YEATS, Never Give All The Heart
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, A Midsummer Night's Dream

One is easily fooled by that which one loves.

MOLIÈRE, Tartuffe

Can we only love
Something created in our own imaginations?
Are we all in fact unloving and unloveable?
Then one is alone, and if one is alone
Then lover and beloved are equally unreal
And the dreamer is no more real than his dreams.

T. S. ELIOT, The Cocktail Party

If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Romeo and Juliet

Love, unconquerable,
Waster of rich men, keeper
Of warm lights and all-night vigil
In the soft face of a girl:
Sea-wanderer, forest-visitor!
Even the pure immortals cannot escape you,
And mortal man, in his one day's dusk,
Trembles before your glory.

SOPHOCLES, Antigone

Who are those we love? Only those whom we do not hate.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Caesar and Cleopatra

To thoroughly understand the world, to explain it, to despise it, may be the thing great thinkers do. But I'm only interested in being able to love the world, not to despise it, not to hate it and me, to be able to look upon it and me and all things with love and admiration and great respect.

HERMANN HESSE, Siddhartha

And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, A Midsummer Night's Dream

They ought to find out how to vaccinate for love, like smallpox.

LEO TOLSTOY, Anna Karenina

Love goes toward love, as schoolboys from their books,
But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Romeo and Juliet

Nothing that we love over-much
Is ponderable to our touch.
W. B. YEATS, Towards Break of Day

They are carnal both of them, love and death, and thus their terror and their great magic!

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

Love is only known by him who hopelessly persists in love.

FRIEDRICH SCHILLER, Don Carlos

Love ... is very materially assisted by a warm and active imagination: which has a long memory, and will thrive, for a considerable time, on very slight and sparing food.

CHARLES DICKENS, Nicholas Nickleby

There is no bitterness to be compared
With that between two people who once loved.

EURIPIDES, Medea

Love, whether newly born, or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world.

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, The Scarlet Letter

Poor little thing! She's gasping for love like a carp on a kitchen table gasping for water.

GUSTAVE FLAUBERT, Madame Bovary

To be in love is not the same as loving. You can be in love with a woman and still hate her.

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, The Brothers Karamazov

To men of a certain type
The suspicion that they are incapable of loving
Is as disturbing to their self-esteem
As, in cruder men, the fear of impotence.

T. S. ELIOT, The Cocktail Party

It is not reason that governs love.

MOLIÈRE, The Misanthrope

O hell! to choose love with another's eye.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, A Midsummer Night's Dream

There is a great life-giving, warming power called Love, which exists in human hearts dumb and unseen, but which has no real life, no warming power, till set free by expression.

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, Little Foxes

The endeavor is vain, you cannot annihilate that eternal relic of the human heart, love.

VICTOR HUGO, Les Misérables

When love is in excess it brings a man no honor nor worthiness.

EURIPIDES, Medea

Love, from its awful throne of patient power
In the wise heart, from the last giddy hour
Of dread endurance, from the slippery, steep,
And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs
And folds over the world its healing wings.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, Prometheus Unbound

Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a heaven in hell’s despair.
WILLIAM BLAKE, The Clod and the Pebble
Love seeketh only Self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a hell in heaven’s despite.
WILLIAM BLAKE, The Clod and the Pebble
O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
W. B. YEATS, Brown Penny

Every girl has a right to be loved.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Pygmalion

For there's one thing, my lords, it's safe to say;
Lovers must each be ready to obey
The other, if they would long keep company.
Love will not be constrained by mastery;
When mastery comes the god of love anon
Stretches his wings and farewell! he is gone.

GEOFFREY CHAUCER, The Canterbury Tales

Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all.

TONI MORRISON, Beloved

Nothing one does in bed is immoral if it helps to perpetuate love.

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ, Love in the Time of Cholera

It is to the credit of human nature that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates.

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, The Scarlet Letter

Casting aspersions on those we love always does something to loosen our ties. We shouldn't maltreat our idols: the gilt comes off on our hands.

GUSTAVE FLAUBERT, Madame Bovary

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.

VICTOR HUGO, Les Misérables

Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.

LEO TOLSTOY, War and Peace

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, A Midsummer Night's Dream

O tyrant love, to what do you not drive the hearts of men.

VIRGIL, The Aeneid

Love is not love
When it is mingled with regards that stand
Aloof from the entire point.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, King Lear

A few drops sprinkled on the torch of love make the flame blaze the brighter.

SIR WALTER SCOTT, Ivanhoe

Love knows no virtue, no merit; it loves and forgives and tolerates everything because it must. We are not guided by reason, nor do the assets or blemishes that we discover tempt us to devotion or intimidate us. It is a sweet, mournful, mysterious power that drives us, and we stop thinking, feeling, wishing, we let ourselves drift along and never ask where we are drifting.

LEOPOLD VON SACHER-MASOCH, Venus in Furs

Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Twelfth Night

When one loves, one always believes in love.

ALEXANDRE DUMAS, The Three Musketeers

Somehow love gives even to a dull man the knowledge of his lover's heart.

ANTHONY HOPE, The Prisoner of Zenda

There's beggary in the love that can be reckoned.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Antony and Cleopatra

I'll tell you what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter.

CHARLES DICKENS, Great Expectations

Love in the young requires as little of hope as of desire to feed upon.

WILLIAM FAULKNER, Light in August

The weak would never enter the kingdom of love, which is a harsh and ungenerous kingdom.

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ, Love in the Time of Cholera

Love is our response to our highest values.

AYN RAND, Atlas Shrugged

All at once we were madly, clumsily, shamelessly, agonizingly in love with each other; hopelessly, I should add, because that frenzy of mutual possession might have been assuaged only by our actually imbibing and assimilating every particle of each other's soul and flesh.

VLADIMIR NABOKOV, Lolita

When love enters, the whole spiritual constitution of a man changes, is filled with the Holy Ghost, and almost his form is altered.

D.H. LAWRENCE, Sons and Lovers

Love kindled by virtue always kindles another, provided that its flame appear outwardly.

DANTE ALIGHIERI, The Divine Comedy

You cannot deny that love lasts for only a brief moment, uniting two beings as a single being that is capable of only one thought, one sensation, one will.

LEOPOLD VON SACHER-MASOCH, Venus in Furs

Love makes the air light.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit, Run

A fellow that lives in a windmill has not a more whimsical dwelling than the heart of a man that is lodged in a woman. There is no point of the compass to which they cannot turn, and by which they are not turned, and by one as well as another; for motion, not method, is their occupation. To know this, and yet continue to be in love, is to be made wise from the dictates of reason, and yet persevere to play the fool by the force of instinct.

WILLIAM CONGREVE, The Way of the World

Love becomes greater and nobler in calamity.

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ, Love in the Time of Cholera

Is it love that connects us, is that what it is? I never knew that the feeling I have is regular old love because it's so--intricate. Perhaps there is another name for it, one we don't yet know. I used to think that love was simple and noticeable, like rain falling, so that just as you'd look at your skin and say Water, you would also wake in the morning and say Love. But it has been underneath, this new and old thing I feel, subterranean, silent and steady, like blood, rushing along and along without often making itself known.

JANE HAMILTON, A Map of the World

At the bottom of every frozen heart there is a drop or two of love.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

If you were blind you would hardly have fallen in love in the first place. But now, do you truly wish to see the beloved in the cold clarity of the visual apparatus? It may be in your better interest to throw a veil over the gaze, so as to keep her alive in her archetypal, goddesslike form.

J. M. COETZEE, Disgrace

"To fall for," "to be fallen for"--I feel in these words something unspeakably vulgar, farcical, and at the same time extraordinarily complacent. Once these expressions put in an appearance, no matter how solemn the place, the silent cathedrals of melancholy crumble, leaving nothing but an impression of fatuousness. It is curious, but the cathedrals of melancholy are not necessarily demolished if one can replace the vulgar "What a messy business it is to be fallen for" by the more literary "What uneasiness lies in being loved."

OSAMU DAZAI, No Longer Human

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