Blushing is the involuntary reddening of a person's face due to embarrassment or emotional stress, though it has been known to come from being lovestruck, or from some kind of romantic stimulation. It is thought that blushing is the result of an overactive sympathetic nervous system. Severe blushing is common in people who suffer social anxiety in which the person experiences extreme and persistent anxiety in social and performance situations.
- An Arab, by his earnest gaze,
Has clothed a lovely maid with blushes;
A smile within his eyelids plays
And into words his longing gushes.
- William R. Alger, "Love Sowing and Reaping Roses", Poetry of the Orient (1883), p. 295.
- Girls blush, sometimes, because they are alive,
Half wishing they were dead to save the shame.
The sudden blush devours them, neck and brow;
They have drawn too near the fire of life, like gnats,
And flare up bodily, wings and all.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh (1856), Book II, line 732.
- I pity bashful men, who feel the pain
Of fancied scorn and undeserved disdain,
And bear the marks upon a blushing face,
Of needless shame, and self-impos'd disgrace.
- William Cowper, Conversation (1782), line 347.
- Bello è il rossore, ma è incommodo qualche volta.
- The blush is beautiful, but it is sometimes inconvenient.
- Carlo Goldoni, Pamela (c. 1750), I. 3.
- What betraying things blushes are ! Like sealing wax in the juvenile riddle, a blush "burns to keep a secret."
- The apple blossoms' shower of pearl,
The pear tree’s rosier hue,
As beautiful as woman's blush,
As evanescent too.
- Letitia Elizabeth Landon, The London Literary Gazette (5th April 1823), 'April'. Also included in The Vow of the Peacock (1835)
- Such was the colour—when her cheek
Spoke what the lip might never speak.
The crimson flush which could confess
All that we hoped—but dared not guess.
That blush which through the world is known
To love, and to the rose alone—
- Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1834 (1833), 'The Zenana'
- I will go wash;
And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
Whether I blush or no.
- Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes,
That banish what they sue for.
- By noting of the lady I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions
To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames.
In angel whiteness beat away those blushes.
- Where now I have no one to blush with me,
To cross their arms and hang their heads with mine.
- William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece (1594), line 792.
- Two red fires in both their faces blazed;
She thought he blush'd, * * *
And, blushing with him, wistly on him gazed.
- William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece (1594), line 1, 353.
- And bid the cheek be ready with a blush
Modest as morning when she coldly eyes
The youthful Phœbus.
- Come, quench your blushes and present yourself
That which you are, mistress o' the feast.
- Man is the Only Animal that Blushes. Or needs to.
- The man that blushes is not quite a brute.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VII, line 496.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 73-74.
- So sweet the blush of bashfulness,
E'en pity scarce can wish it less!
- Lord Byron, Bride of Abydos (1813), Canto 1, Stanza 8.
- Blushed like the waves of hell.
- Lord Byron, Detail's Drive, Stanza 5.
- 'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone, which fades so fast,
But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere youth itself be past.
- Lord Byron, Stanzas for Music.
- Pure friendship's well-feigned blush.
- Lord Byron, Stanzas to Her who can Best Understand Them, Stanza 12.
- We griev'd, we sigh'd, we wept; we never blushed before.
- Abraham Cowley, Discourse concerning the Government of Oliver Cromwell, Works, p. 60. (Ed. 1693). Quoted in house of Commons by Sir Robert Peel repelling an attack by William Cobbett.
- Once he saw a youth blushing, and addressed him, "Courage, my boy; that is the complexion of virtue."
- Diogenes Laertius, Diogenes, VI.
- A blush is no language: only a dubious flag-signal which may mean either of two contradictories.
- George Eliot, Daniel Deronda (1876), Book V, Chapter XXXV.
- The rising blushes, which her cheek o'er-spread,
Are opening roses in the lily's bed.
- John Gay, Dione, Act II, scene 3.
- Blushing is the colour of virtue.
- Matthew Henry, Commentaries, Jeremiah III.
- Such a blush
In the midst of brown was born,
Like red poppies grown with corn.
- Thomas Hood, Ruth.
- Les hommes rougissent moins de leur crimes que de leurs faiblesses et de leur vanité.
- Men blush less for their crimes than for their weaknesses and vanity.
- Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, II.
- L'innocence à rougir n'est point accoutumée.
- Innocence is not accustomed to blush.
- Molière, Don Garcie de Navarre, II. 5.
- While mantling on the maiden's cheek
Young roses kindled into thought.
- Thomas Moore, Evenings in Greece, Evening II. Song.
- From every blush that kindles in thy cheeks,
Ten thousand little loves and graces spring
To revel in the roses.
- Nicholas Rowe, Tamerlane, Act I, scene 1.
- Yet will she blush, here be it said,
To hear her secrets so bewrayed.
- The Passionate Pilgrim (attributed to William Shakespeare), Part XIX, line 351.
- Erubuit: salva res est.
- He blushes: all is safe.
- Terence, Adelphi, IV. 5. 9.