Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes

A good soldier, like a good horse, cannot be of a bad color.

I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.

Why should he talk, whose presence lends a grace – To every table where he shows his face!

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down! Long has it waved on high, And many an eye has danced to see That banner in the sky; Beneath it rung the battle shout, And burst the cannon’s roar; The meteor of the ocean air Shall sweep the clouds no more. Her deck, once red with heroes’ blood, […]

If I were a literary Pope sending out an Encyclical, I would tell these inexperienced young persons (who have literary aspirations) that nothing is so frequent as to mistake an ordinary human gift for a special and extraordinary endowment… Nobody except editors and school teachers and here and there a literary man knows how common […]

When you write in prose you say what you mean. When you write in rhyme you say what you must.

An artist that works in marble or colors has them all to himself and his tribe, but the man who molds his thoughts in verse has to employ the materials vulgarized by everybody’s use, and glorify them by his handling.

Poets are never young in one sense. Their delicate ear hears the far off whispers of eternity, which courser souls must travel toward for scores of years before their dull sense is touched by them.

It is by no means certain that our individual personality is the single inhabitant of these our corporeal frames… We all do things both awake and asleep which surprise us.

Nothing can be so perfect while we possess it as it will seem when remembered.