Martin Farquhar Tupper

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There is no error so crooked, but it hath in it some lines of truth; Nor is any poison so deadly, that it serveth not some wholesome use.

Martin Farquhar Tupper (July 17, 1810 – November 1880) was an English writer, and poet, and the author of Proverbial Philosophy.

Quotes[edit]

Proverbial Philosophy (1838-1849)[edit]

Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.
Tell me, ye that strive in vain to cramp and dwarf the soul,
Wherefore should it cease to be, and when shall essence die?
Naples sitteth by the sea, keystone of an arch of azure,
Crowned by consenting nations peerless queen of gayety…
  • Error is a hardy plant; it flourisheth in every soil;
    In the heart of the wise and good, alike with the wicked and foolish;
    For there is no error so crooked, but it hath in it some lines of truth;
    Nor is any poison so deadly, that it serveth not some wholesome use.
    • Of Truth in Things False
  • There is a limit to enjoyment, though the sources of wealth be boundless
    And the choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation.
    • Of Compensation
  • Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.
    • Of Discretion
  • A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.
    • Of Reading
  • A babe in the house is a well-spring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love, a resting place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men.
    • Of Education
  • God, from a beautiful necessity, is Love in all he doeth,
    Love, a brilliant fire, to gladden or consume
    :
    The wicked work their woe by looking upon love, and hating it:
    The righteous find their joys in yearning on its loveliness for ever.
    • Of Immortality
  • Tell me, ye that strive in vain to cramp and dwarf the soul,
    Wherefore should it cease to be, and when shall essence die?
    • Of Immortality
  • If the mind is wearied by study, or the body worn with sickness,
    It is well to lie fallow for a while, in the vacancy of sheer amusement ;
    But when thou prosprest in health, and thine intellect can soar untired,
    To seek uninstructive pleasure is to slumber on the couch of indolence.
    • Of Recreation
  • Wait, thou child of hope, for Time shall teach thee all things.
    • Of Good in Things Evil
  • Clamorous pauperism feasteth
    While honest Labor, pining, hideth his sharp ribs.
    • Of Discretion
  • Who can wrestle against Sleep? — Yet is that giant very gentleness.
    • Of Beauty
  • Naples sitteth by the sea, keystone of an arch of azure,
    Crowned by consenting nations peerless queen of gayety
    :
    She laugheth at the wrath of Ocean, she mocketh the fury of Vesuvius,
    She spurneth disease, and misery, and famine, that crowd her sunny streets.
    • Of Death
  • O fair, false city, thou gay and gilded harlot!
    Wo for thy wanton heart, wo for thy wicked hardness!
    Wo unto thee, that the lightsomeness of life, beneath Italian suns,
    Should meet the solemnity of death, in a sepulchre so foul and fearful!
    • Of Death

Nature's Nobleman (1844)[edit]

Away with false fashion, so calm and so chill,
Where pleasure itself cannot please...
For the deepest in feeling is highest in rank,
The freest is first of the band,
Nature's own Nobleman, friendly and frank,
Is a man with his heart in his hand!
  • Away with false fashion, so calm and so chill,
    Where pleasure itself cannot please
    ;
    Away with cold breeding, that faithlessly still
    Affects to be quite at its ease;
    For the deepest in feeling is highest in rank,
    The freest is first of the band,
    Nature's own Nobleman, friendly and frank,
    Is a man with his heart in his hand!
  • Fearless in honesty, gentle yet just,
    He warmly can love, and can hate
    ;
    Nor will he bow down, with his face in the dust,
    To Fashion's intolerant state;
  • His fashion is passion, sincere and intense, —
    His impulse is simple and true
    ;
    Yet temper'd by judgment, and taught by good sense,
    And cordial with me and with you.

A Thousand Lines (1846)[edit]

  • I am not old, — I cannot be old,
    Though threescore years and ten
    Have wasted away, like a tale that is told,
    The lives of other men:

    I am not old ; though friends and foes
    Alike have gone to their graves,
    And left me alone to my joys or my woes,
    As a rock in the midst of the waves.

    • The Song of Seventy
  • I am not old, — I cannot be old,
    Though tottering, wrinkled, and gray ;
    Though my eyes are dim, and my marrow is cold,
    Call me not old to-day.
    • The Song of Seventy
  • A dream, a dream, — it is all a dream,
    A strange, sad dream, good sooth;
    For old as I am, and old as I seem,
    My heart is full of youth.
    • The Song of Seventy
  • Eye hath not seen, tongue hath not told,
    And ear hath not heard it sung,
    How buoyant and bold, though it seem to grow old,
    Is the heart, forever young; —

    Forever young, — though life's old age
    Hath every nerve unstrung:
    The heart, the heart, is a heritage
    That keeps the old man young!

    • The Song of Seventy

Ballads for the Times (1851)[edit]

Never give up! it is wiser and better
Always to hope, than once to despair.
Over the hills he comes sublime,
Bridegroom of Earth, and brother of Time!
"Let byegones be byegones,"— they foolishly say,
And bid me be wise and forget them;
But old recollections are active to-day,
And I can do nought but regret them.
None, none but an angel or God can declare
"I now can forgive and forget."
  • Never give up! it is wiser and better
    Always to hope, than once to despair.
    Fling off the load of Doubt's cankering fetter,
    And break the dark spell of tyrannical care.
  • For life, good youth, hath never an ill
    Which hope cannot scatter, and faith cannot kill;
    And stubborn realities never shall bind
    The free-spreading wings of a cheerful mind.
    • Forty, l. 29-32.
  • Who shall guess what I may be?
    Who can tell my fortune to me?
    For, bravest and brightest that ever was sung
    May be — and shall be — the lot of the young!
    • The Song of Sixteen, l. 1-4.
  • How gladly would I wander through some strange and savage land,
    The lasso at my saddle-bow, the rifle in my hand,
    A leash of gallant mastiffs bounding by my side,
    And, for a friend to love, the noble horse on which I ride!
    Alone, alone—yet not alone, for God is with me there,
    The tender hand of Providence shall guide me everywhere,
    While happy thoughts and holy hopes, as spirits calm and mild,
    Shall fan with their sweet wings the hermit-hunter of the wild!
    • Adventure, l. 1-8.
  • Open the casement, and up with the Sun!
    His gallant journey is just begun;
    Over the hills his chariot is roll'd,
    Banner'd with glory, and burnish'd with gold,—
    Over the hills he comes sublime,
    Bridegroom of Earth, and brother of Time!
    • Activity, l. 1-6.
  • Hush,—for the halo of calmness is spreading
    Over my spirit as mild as a dove;
    Hush,—for the angel of comfort is shedding
    Over my body his vial of love;
    Hush,—for new slumbers are over me stealing,
    Thus would I court them again and again,
    Hush,—for my heart is intoxicate,—reeling
    In the swift waltz of my beautiful brain!
    • Sloth, l. 25-32.
  • The dews of Hermon rest upon thee now,
    Fair saint and martyr! and yet once again
    Faith, hope and charity, like gracious rain,
    Fall on thy consecrated virgin brow.
    • Reconsecrated (15 May 1850), l. 1-4.
  • Rise! ye gallant youth of Britain,
    Gather to your country's call,
    On your hearts her name is written,
    Rise to help her, one and all!
    • Rule, Britannia!, l. 1-4.
  • "Let byegones be byegones," — they foolishly say,
    And bid me be wise and forget them;
    But old recollections are active to-day,
    And I can do nought but regret them.
    • Byegones, l. 1-4.
  • When streams of unkindness, as bitter as gall,
    Bubble up from the heart to the tongue,
    And Meekness is writhing in torment and thrall,
    By the hands of Ingratitude wrung, —
    In the heat of injustice, unwept and unfair,
    While the anguish is festering yet,
    None, none but an angel or God can declare
    "I now can forgive and forget."
    • Forgive and Forget, l. 1-8.

External links[edit]

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