Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton

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Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton (8 November, 183124 November, 1891) was an English statesman, serving as Viceroy of India; and poet, under the pen name of Owen Meredith.

Sourced[edit]

Genius does what it must, talent does what it can.
  • Only by knowledge of that which is not thyself, shall thyself be learned.
    • "Γνωθι Σεαυτον" ("Know Thyself"), in The Poetical Works of Owen Meredith (1867), Vol. I, p. 247.
  • The world is filled with folly and sin,
    And Love must cling, where it can, I say:
    For Beauty is easy enough to win;
    But one is n't loved every day.
    • Changes, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Art is Nature made by Man
    To Man the interpreter of God.
    • The Artist, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • The things which must be must be for the best.
    • Imperfection, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Oh, moment of sweet peril, perilous sweet!When woman joins herself to man.
    • The Wanderer, Prologue, Stanza 1, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • The ages roll
    Forward; and forward with them draw my soul
    Into Time’s infinite sea.
    And to be glad or sad I care no more;
    But to have done and to have been before
    I cease to do and be!
    • The Wanderer, Book iv, Stanza 9, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Genius does what it must, talent does what it can.
    • Last Words, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
Robert Bulwer-Lytton

Lucile (1860)[edit]

  • We may live without poetry, music and art;
    We may live without conscience and live without heart;
    We may live without friends; we may live without books;
    But civilized man can not live without cooks.
    He may live without books,—what is knowledge but grieving?
    He may live without hope—what is hope but deceiving?
    He may live without love,—what is passion but pining?
    But where is the man that can live without dining?
    • Part i, canto ii.
  • Those true eyes
    Too pure and too honest in aught to disguise
    The sweet soul shining through them.
    • Part ii, canto ii. Compare: "Ils sont si transparents qu’ils laissent voir votre âme" (translated: Eyes so transparent that through them the soul is seen), Theophile Gautier, The Two Beautiful Eyes.
  • The man who seeks one thing in life and but one
    May hope to achieve it before life is done;
    But he who seeks all things, wherever he goes
    Only reaps from the hopes which around him he sows
    A harvest of barren regrets.
    • Part ii, canto ii.
  • Thought alone is eternal.
    • Part ii, canto vi.
  • Let any man show the world that he feels
    Afraid of its bark and ’t will fly at his heels:
    Let him fearlessly face it, ’t will leave him alone:
    But ’t will fawn at his feet if he flings it a bone.
    • Part ii, canto vii.
  • The world is a nettle; disturb it, it stings.
    Grasp it firmly, it stings not.
    • Part iii, canto ii. Quoted by Walt Whitman in Roaming in Thought.

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