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Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained. ~ William Blake

Desire is a strong wish or craving.


  • Everyone believes very easily whatever they fear or desire.
    • Jean de La Fontaine, As quoted in Subcontact : Slap the Face of Fear and Wake Up Your Subconscious‎ (2001) by Dian Benson, p. 149
    • Variant: Everyone believes very easily whatever he fears or desires.
  • The ultimate meaning of desire is death.
    • Rene Girard, in Mensonge romantique et vérité romanesque [Deceit, Desire and the Novel : Self and Other in Literary Structure] (1961), p. 290.
  • Science ... cannot conceive of any means of achieving that escape from desires we call "contentment" otherwise than through the satisfaction of those desires; it has not yet learnt that there is no limit to the multiplication of desires, nor that, since different people's desires are often mutually incompatible, an indefinite multiplication of desires increases conflict as well as discontent.
  • Nitimur in vetitum semper, cupimusque negata.
    • We are always striving for things forbidden, and coveting those denied us.
    • Ovid, Amorum (16 BC), III. 4. 17.
  • The really clever thing, in affairs of this sort, is not to win a woman already desired by everyone, but to discover such a prize while she is still unknown.
  • Anywhere you go,desire is desire. The sun cannot bleach it, nor the tide wash it away...
  • Had doting Priam checked his son's desire,
    Troy had been bright with fame and not with fire.
  • There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 189.
  • Passing into higher forms of desire, that which slumbered in the plant, and fitfully stirred in the beast, awakes in the man.
  • Nil cupientium
    Nudus castra peti.
    • Naked I seek the camp of those who desire nothing.
    • Horace, Carmina, Book III. 16. 22.
  • Velle suum cuique est, nec voto vivitur uno.
    • Each man has his own desires; all do not possess the same inclinations.
    • Persius, Satires, V, 53.
  • As the hart panteth after the water-brooks.
    • Psalms. XLII. 1.
  • Oh! could I throw aside these earthly bands
    That tie me down where wretched mortals sigh—
    To join blest spirits in celestial lands!
    • Petrarch, To Laura in Death, Sonnet XLV.
  • The desire of the moth for the star,
    Of the night for the morrow,
    The devotion to something afar
    From the sphere of our sorrow.
  • We grow like flowers, and bear desire,
    The odor of the human flowers.

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