Tears

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Tears are the secretions of the glands that clean and lubricate the eyes. Strong emotions, such as sorrow or elation, along with irritation of eye, may lead to an increased production of tears, or crying. The process of yawning may also result in increased lacrimation.

Quotes[edit]

  • She was a good deal shock'd; not shock'd at tears,
    For women shed and use them at their liking;
    But there is something when man's eye appears
    Wet, still more disagreeable and striking.
  • Thrice he assay'd, and, thrice in spite of scorn,
    Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth.
  • The glorious Angel, who was keeping
    The gates of Light, beheld her weeping;
    And, as he nearer drew and listen'd
    To her sad song, a tear-drop glisten'd
    Within his eyelids, like the spray
    From Eden's fountain, where it lies
    On the blue flow'r, which—Bramins say—
    Blooms nowhere but in Paradise.
  • Sweet tears! the awful language, eloquent
    Of infinite affection; far too big
    For words.
  • But woe awaits a country, when
    She sees the tears of bearded men.
  • I had not so much of man in me,
    And all my mother came into my eyes,
    And gave me up to tears.
  • I am about to weep; but, thinking that
    We are a queen, or long have dream'd so, certain
    The daughter of a king, my drops of tears
    I'll turn to sparks of fire.
  • I did not think to shed a tear
    In all my miseries; but thou hast forc'd me,
    Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
  • No, I'll not weep:
    I have full cause of weeping; but this heart
    Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws
    Or ere I'll weep.
  • There she shook
    The holy water from her heavenly eyes,
    And clamour moisten'd.
  • When we are born we cry that we are come
    To this great stage of fools.
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear (1608), Act IV, scene 6, line 186. Marston, in his observations on King Lear, quotes this from Dryden's translation. of Lucretius. See Drake—Memorials of Shakespeare. 336.
  • My plenteous joys,
    Wanton in fullness, seek to hide themselves
    In drops of sorrow.
  • Did he break into tears?
    In great measure.
    A kind overflow of kindness: there are no faces truer than those that are so washed.
  • If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,
    Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.
  • One, whose subdu'd eyes,
    Albeit unused to the melting mood,
    Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
    Their medicinal gum.
  • Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
    Sham'd their aspect with store of childish drops.
  • The liquid drops of tears that you have shed
    Shall come again, transform'd to orient pearl,
    Advantaging their loan with interest
    Of ten times double gain of happiness.
  • Then fresh tears
    Stood on her cheeks, as doth the honey-dew
    Upon a gather'd lily almost wither'd.
  • The big round tears run down his dappled face;
    He groans in anguish.
  • Lorenzo! hast thou ever weigh'd a sigh?
    Or studied the philosophy of tears?—
    * * * * *
    Hast thou descended deep into the breast,
    And seen their source? If not, descend with me,
    And trace these briny riv'lets to their springs.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night V, line 516.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 780-83.
  • Fons lacrymarum.
    • Fountains of tears.
    • Æschylus, 'Agamemnon, 861. Jeremiah, IX, 1. Sophocles, Antigones, 803.
  • We weep when we are born,
    Not when we die!
    • Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Metempsychosis. Phrase found in Les Paroles Remarquables, les Bon Mots et les Maximes Orientaux, Ed. by Galland (1694).
  • Dear Lord, though I be changed to senseless clay,
    And serve the Potter as he turn his wheel,
    I thank Thee for the gracious gift of tears!
  • Filius istarum lacrymarum.
    • A child of those tears.
    • Augustine of Hippo, Confessions, Book III. 12. "It cannot be, that a child of those tears (of mine) shall perish." Words of his mother when St. Augustine was influenced by the Manichean Heresy.
  • And friends, dear friends,—when it shall be
    That this low breath is gone from me,
    And round my bier ye come to weep,
    Let One, most loving of you all,
    Say, "Not a tear must o'er her fall;
    He giveth His beloved sleep."
  • Thank God for grace,
    Ye who weep only! If, as some have done,
    Ye grope tear-blinded in a desert place
    And touch but tombs,—look up! Those tears will run
    Soon in long rivers down the lifted face,
    And leave the vision clear for stars and sun.
  • So bright the tear in Beauty's eye,
    Love half regrets to kiss it dry.
    • Lord Byron, Bride of Abydos (1813), Canto I, Stanza 8.
  • Oh! too convincing—dangerously dear—
    In woman's eye the unanswerable tear!
    That weapon of her weakness she can wield,
    To save, subdue—at once her spear and shield.
  • What gem hath dropp'd, and sparkles o'er his chain?
    The tear most sacred, shed for other's pain,
    That starts at once—bright pure—from Pity's mine,
    Already polish'd by the hand divine!
  • There is a tear for all who die,
    A mourner o'er the humblest grave.
    • Lord Byron, Elegiac Stanzas, On the Death of Sir Peter Parker, Bart.
  • A stoic of the woods,—a man without a tear.
  • For Beauty's tears are lovelier than her smile.
  • We look through gloom and storm-drift
    Beyond the years:
    The soul would have no rainbow
    Had the eyes no tears.
  • Nihil enim lacryma citius arescit.
    • Nothing dries sooner than a tear.
    • Cicero, Ad Herrenium, II, 31, 50. De Inventione. I. 56 (quoting Apollonius).
  • Words that weep and tears that speak.
  • And the tear that is wiped with a little address,
    May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.
  • No radiant pearl, which crested Fortune wears,
    No gem that twinkling hangs from Beauty's ears,
    Not the bright stars which Night's blue arch adorn,
    Nor rising suns that gild the vernal morn,
    Shine with such lustre as the tear that flows
    Down Virtue's manly cheek for others' woes.
  • What precious drops are those,
    Which silently each other's track pursue,
    Bright as young diamonds in their infant dew?
    • John Dryden, The Conquest of Grenada, Part II, Act III, scene 1.
  • Weep no more, nor sigh, nor groan,
    Sorrow calls no time that's gone:
    Violets plucked the sweetest rain
    Makes not fresh nor grow again.
    • John Fletcher, Queen of Corinth, Act IV, scene 1. Not in original folio. Said to be spurious.
  • The tear forgot as soon as shed,
    The sunshine of the breast.
  • Ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears.
  • And weep the more, because I weep in vain.
  • Never a tear bedims the eye
    That time and patience will not dry.
  • Accept these grateful tears! for thee they flow,
    For thee, that ever felt another's woe!
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book XIX, line 319. Pope's translation.
  • My tears must stop, for every drop
    Hinders needle and thread.
  • Oh! would I were dead now,
    Or up in my bed now,
    To cover my head now
    And have a good cry!
  • Si vis me flere, dolendum est
    Primum ipsi tibi.
    • If you wish me to weep, you yourself must first feel grief.
    • Horace, Ars Poetica (18 BC), V. 102.
  • Hinc illæ lacrymæ.
    • Hence these tears.
    • Horace, Epistles, I, 19, 41. Terence, Andria, I, 1, 99.
  • If the man who turnips cries,
    Cry not when his father dies,
    'Tis a proof that he had rather
    Have a turnip than his father.
    • Samuel Johnson, ridiculing Lope de Vega's lines, "Se acquien los leones vence," etc.
  • On parent knees, a naked new-born child
    Weeping thou sat'st while all around thee smiled;
    So live, that sinking in thy last long sleep
    Calm thou may'st smile, while all around thee weep.
    • Sir William Jones, taken from Enchanted Fruit, Six Hymns to Hindu Deities. See sketch prefixed to his Poetical Works. (1847). Also in his Life, p. 110.
  • E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
    That falls through the clear ether silently.
    • John Keats, To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent.
  • All kin' o' smily round the lips
    An' teary roun' the lashes.
  • Tell me, ye wingèd winds
    That round my pathway roar,
    Know ye not some spot
    Where mortals weep no more?
  • Without the meed of some melodious tear.
  • O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
    The thochts o' bygane years
    Still fling their shadows ower my path,
    And blind my een wi' tears.
  • Peter deny'd
    His Lord and cry'd.
    • New England Primer (1777).
  • If you go over desert and mountain,
    Far into the country of Sorrow,
    To-day and to-night and to-morrow,
    And maybe for months and for years;
    You shall come with a heart that is bursting
    For trouble and toiling and thirsting,
    You shall certainly come to the fountain
    At length,—to the Fountain of Tears.
  • Interdum lacrymæ pondera vocis habent.
    • Tears are sometimes as weighty as words.
    • Ovid, Epistolæ Ex Ponto, III, 1, 158.
  • Flere licet certe: flendo diffundimus iram:
    Perque sinum lacrimæ, fluminis instar enim.
    • Truly it is allowed us to weep: by weeping we disperse our wrath; and tears go through the heart, even like a stream.
    • Ovid, Heroides, 8, 61.
  • Est quædam flere voluptas;
    Expletur lacrymis egeriturque dolor.
    • It is some relief to weep; grief is satisfied and carried off by tears.
    • Ovid, Tristium, IV, 3, 37.
  • Behold who ever wept, and in his tears
    Was happier far than others in their smiles.
    • Petrarch, The Triumph of Eternity!, line 95. (Charlemont).
  • Sweet drop of pure and pearly light;
    In thee the rays of Virtue shine;
    More calmly clear, more mildly bright,
    Than any gem that gilds the mine.
  • The tear, down childhood's cheek that flows,
    Is like the dewdrop on the rose;
    When next the summer breeze comes by
    And waves the bush, the flower is dry.
  • Heaven is not gone, but we are blind with tears,
    Groping our way along the downward slope of Years!
  • Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
    Tears from the depths of some divine despair.
  • Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
    And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
    In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
    The gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.
  • Two aged men, that had been foes for life,
    Met by a grave, and wept—and in those tears
    They washed away the memory of their strife;
    Then wept again the loss of all those years.
  • The tears of the young who go their way, last a day;
    But the grief is long of the old who stay.
  • Sunt lacrymæ rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.
    • Tears are due to human misery, and human sufferings touch the mind.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), I. 462.
  • Tears are the silent language of grief.
    • Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique portatif ("A Philosophical Dictionary") (1764), Tears.
  • When summoned hence to thine eternal sleep,
    Oh, may'st thou smile while all around thee weep.
  • Yet tears to human suffering are due;
    And mortal hopes defeated and o'erthrown
    Are mourned by man, and not by man alone.

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