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The concupiscence of the eyes touches the soul at a higher level than that of the flesh, and is consequently even more subtle and dangerous. ~ Frederic Harton
The eyes have one language everywhere. ~ George Herbert

Eyes are the organs of vision.

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In every object there is inexhaustible meaning; the eye sees in it what the eye brings means of seeing. ~ Thomas Carlyle
Why has not man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, Man is not a Fly. ~ Alexander Pope
The fringed curtains of thine eye advance,
And say what thou seest yond. ~ William Shakespeare in The Tempest
Everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. ~ John the Evangelist


  • A gray eye is a sly eye,
    And roguish is a brown one;
    Turn full upon me thy eye,—
    Ah, how its wavelets drown one!
    A blue eye is a true eye;
    Mysterious is a dark one,
    Which flashes like a spark-sun!
    A black eye is the best one.
    • William R. Alger, "Mirtsa Schaffy on Eyes", Poetry of the Orient (1865), p. 228.
  • Not in mine eyes alone is Paradise.
  • Parean l'occhiaje anella senza gemme.
    • Their eyes seem'd rings from whence the gems were gone.
    • Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio (1321), XXIII. 31.


  • There are whole veins of diamonds in thine eyes,
    Might furnish crowns for all the Queens of earth.
  • Dark eyes adventure bring; the blue serene
    Do promise Paradise: and yours are green.
    • Hilaire Belloc, "On Eyes", epigram in essay "On 'And'" in On (1923), London, Methuen, p. 181. Also in Collected Verse (1958).
  • The night has a thousand eyes,
    And the day but one;
    Yet the light of the bright world dies
    With the dying sun.
  • The learned compute that seven hundred and seven millions of millions of vibrations have penetrated the eye before the eye can distinguish the tints of a violet.
  • The Chinese say that we Europeans have one eye, they themselves two, all the world else is blinde.
  • Her eye (I'm very fond of handsome eyes)
    Was large and dark, suppressing half its fire
    Until she spoke, then through its soft disguise
    Flash'd an expression more of pride than ire,
    And love than either; and there would arise,
    A something in them which was not desire,
    But would have been, perhaps, but for the soul,
    Which struggled through and chasten'd down the whole.
  • With eyes that look'd into the very soul—
    * * * * * *
    Bright—and as black and burning as a coal.


  • In every object there is inexhaustible meaning; the eye sees in it what the eye brings means of seeing.
    • Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution. A History (1837), Volume I, p. 5. People's ed. Heroes and Hero-Worship, The Hero as Poet; Miscellaneous Essays, Volume VI; Review of Vernhagen von Ense's Memoirs, P. 241. Same idea in Goethe's Zahme Xeniem, III.


  • Turn my eyes away from worthless things.


  • And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit our the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?
  • T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1917)


  • Look babies in your eyes, my pretty sweet one.
    • John Fletcher, The Loyal Subject, (licensed 16 November 1618; revised c. 1633; published 1647).


  • The concupiscence of the eyes touches the soul at a higher level than that of the flesh, and is consequently even more subtle and dangerous.
    • Frederic Harton, The Elements of the Spiritual Life: A Study in Ascetical Theology (1960), p. 10.
  • The eyes have one language everywhere.


  • Everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
  • Before the throne was something resembling a glassy sea, like crystal. In the midst of the throne and around the throne were four living creatures that were full of eyes in front and behind. The first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature was like a young bull, and the third living creature had a face like a man’s, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.


  • The lamp of the body is your eye. When your eye is focused, your whole body is also bright; but when it is envious, your body is also dark.


  • Those true eyes
    Too pure and too honest in aught to disguise
    The sweet soul shining through them.
    • Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Lucile (1860), Part II, Canto II, Stanza 3.
  • When I consider how my light is spent,
    Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
    And that one talent which is death to hide
    Lodged with me useless.


  • Which eyes should I look for, to find the ultimate unreasoned answer?
  • I know you'll speak no truth at this time.
    I've to be guided
    solely by your silence, your eyes and
    the inaudible appeals of your heart.
  • Eyes that obstruct the road can be removed
    but what happens when hearts block the passage?
  • The dream too thinks twice,
    gets filtered to go soft
    to be seated on children's eyes.
  • Why has not man a microscopic eye?
    For this plain reason, Man is not a Fly.
    Say, what the use, were finer optics giv'n,
    T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heav'n?
  • Bright as the sun her eyes the gazers strike,
    And, like the sun, they shine on all alike.


  • The eye projects and focuses the inner image (idea) onto the physical world in the same manner that a motion picture camera transfers an image onto a screen. The mouth creates words. The ears create sound. The difficulty in understanding this principle is due to the fact that we’ve taken it for granted that the image and sound already exist for the senses to interpret. Actually the senses are the channels of creation by which idea is projected into material expression.


  • Thou tell'st me there is murder in mine eye;
    'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,
    That eyes, that are the frail'st and softest things,
    Who shut their coward gates on atomies,
    Should be call'd tyrants, butchers, murderers!
  • The image of a wicked heinous fault
    Lives in his eye: that close aspect of his
    Does show the mood of a much troubled breast.
  • You have seen
    Sunshine and rain at once. * * * those happy smilets,
    That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
    What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,
    As pearls from diamonds dropp'd.
  • Her eyes, like marigolds, had sheath'd their light;
    And, canopied in darkness, sweetly lay,
    Till they might open to adorn the day.
  • Her eyes in heaven
    Would through the airy region stream so bright,
    That birds would sing and think it were not night.
  • If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
    And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
    The age to come would say, "This poet lies;
    Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces."
  • Her two blue windows faintly she up-heaveth,
    Like the fair sun, when in his fresh array
    He cheers the morn, and all the earth relieveth;
    And as the bright sun glorifies the sky,
    So is her face illumin'd with her eye.
  • When you look into eyes, forget about romance, creation, and the windows into the soul. With their molecules, genes, and tissues derived from microbes, jellyfish, worms, and flies, you see an entire menagerie.
    • Neil Shubin, Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body.
  • The sight of you is good for sore eyes.



  • Neo: Why do my eyes hurt?
Morpheus: You've never used them before.
  • The Matrix, written by Andrew and Lana Wachowski (1999)

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 246-50.
  • In her eyes a thought
    Grew sweeter and sweeter, deepening like the dawn,
    A mystical forewarning.
  • The mind has a thousand eyes,
    And the heart but one;
    Yet the light of a whole life dies
    When love is done.
  • Thine eyes are springs in whose serene
    And silent waters heaven is seen.
    Their lashes are the herbs that look
    On their young figures in the brook.
  • There are eyes half defiant,
    Half meek and compliant;
    Black eyes, with a wondrous, witching charm
    To bring us good or to work us harm.
  • Oculi, tanquam, speculatores, altissimum locum obtinent.
    • The eyes, like sentinels, hold the highest place in the body.
    • Cicero, De Nat. Deorum, Book II. 56.
  • The love light in her eye.
  • In the twinkling of an eye.
    • I Corinthians, XV. 52. Merchant of Venice, Act II, scene 2.
  • Eyes, that displaces
    The neighbor diamond, and out-faces
    That sun-shine by their own sweet graces.
  • He kept him as the apple of his eye.
    • Deuteronomy, XXXII. 10.
  • With affection beaming in one eye and calculation shining out of the other.
  • And pictures in our eyes to get
    Was all our propagation.
  • A suppressed resolve will betray itself in the eyes.
    • George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (1860), Book V, Chapter XIV.
  • An eye can threaten like a loaded and levelled gun, or can insult like hissing or kicking; or, in its altered mood, by beams of kindness, it can make the heart dance with joy.
  • Eyes are bold as lions,—roving, running, leaping, here and there, far and near. They speak all languages. They wait for no introduction; they are no Englishmen; ask no leave of age or rank; they respect neither poverty nor riches, neither learning nor power, nor virtue, nor sex, but intrude, and come again, and go through and through you in a moment of time. What inundation of life and thought is discharged from one soul into another through them!
  • Scitum est inter cæcos luscum requare posse.
    • Among the blind the one-eyed man is king.
    • Erasmus, Adagia, Dignitas et Excellentia et Inequalitas, sub-division, Excel. et Ineq. (about 1500). Proverbs collected by Michael Apostolios, Cent. VII. 31. Latin given as: Cæcorum in patria luscus rex imperat omnis. Taken from the Greek. See Chiliades—Adagiorum, fifth centuria, third Chilias No. 96. Earliest use probably in G. Fullenius—Comedye of Acolastus, translation. by John Palsgrave from the Latin. (1540). Quoted by Edmund Campion—Rationes Decom. (1581). Carlyle, Frederick the Great, Book 4, Chapter II. Quoted as: Beati monoculi in regione cæcorum. Blessed are the one-eyed in the country of the blind. Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651). Also in Miscellanæ, Part II. Fourth Ed., p. 342. Juvenal—Satire X. 227, gives it as: Ambes Perdidit ille oculus et luscis invidet.
  • To sun myself in Huncamunca's eyes.
    • Henry Fielding, The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great, Act I, scene 3.
  • Ils sont si transparents qu'ils laissent voir votre ame.
    • Eyes so transparent,
      That through them one sees the soul.
    • Theophile Gautier, The Two Beautiful Eyes.
  • Tell me, eyes, what 'tis ye're seeking;
    For ye're saying something sweet,
    Fit the ravish'd ear to greet.
    Eloquently, softly speaking.
  • On woman Nature did bestow two eyes,
    Like Hemian's bright lamps, in matchless beauty shining,
    Whose beams do soonest captivate the wise
    And wary heads, made rare by art's refining.
  • Wenn ich in deine Augen seh'
    So schwindet all' mein Leid und Weh.
    • Whene'er into thine eyes I see,
      All pain and sorrow fly from me.
    • Heinrich Heine, Lyrisches Intermezzo, IV.
  • Die blauen Veilchen der Aeugelein.
    • Those blue violets, her eyes.
    • Heinrich Heine, Lyrisches Intermezzo, XXXI.
  • I everywhere am thinking
    Of thy blue eyes' sweet smile;
    A sea of blue thoughts is spreading
    Over my heart the while.
  • The ear is a less trustworthy witness than the eye.
  • Her eyes the glow-worme lend thee,
    The shooting starres attend thee;
    And the elves also,
    Whose little eyes glow
    Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.
  • We credit most our sight; one eye doth please
    Our trust farre more than ten eare-witnesses.
  • It is an active flame that flies
    First to the babies in the eyes.
  • Dark eyes—eternal soul of pride!
    Deep life in all that's true!
    * * * *
    Away, away to other skies!
    Away o'er seas and sands!
    Such eyes as those were never made
    To shine in other lands.
  • I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak but as the constitution is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am.
    • Speaker Lenthal to Charles I. As quoted by Wendell Phillips, Under the Flag, Boston (April 21, 1861).
  • Der Blick des Forschers fand
    Nicht selten mehr, als er zu finden wünschte.
  • As President, I have no eyes but constitutional eyes; I cannot see you.
  • And thy deep eyes, amid the gloom,
    Shine like jewels in a shroud.
  • I dislike an eye that twinkles like a star. Those only are beautiful which, like the planets, have a steady, lambent light,—are luminous, but not sparkling.
  • O lovely eyes of azure,
    Clear as the waters of a brook that run
    Limpid and laughing in the summer sun!
  • Since your eyes are so sharpe, that you cannot onely looke through a milstone, but cleane through the minde.
  • The light of the body is the eye.
    • Matthew, VI. 22.
  • Where did you get your eyes so blue?
    Out of the sky as I came through.
  • Among the blind the one-eyed blinkard reigns.
  • And looks commercing with the skies,
    Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes.
  • Ladies, whose bright eyes
    Rain influence.
  • Si vous les voulez aimer, ce sera, ma foi, pour leurs beaux yeux.
    • If you wish to love, it shall be, by my faith, for their beautiful eyes.
    • Molière, Les Précieuses Ridicules, XVI.
  • And violets, transform'd to eyes,
    Inshrined a soul within their blue.
  • Eyes of most unholy blue!
    • Thomas Moore, Irish Melodies, By that Lake whose Gloomy Shore.
  • Those eyes, whose light seem'd rather given
    To be ador'd than to adore—
    Such eyes as may have looked from heaven,
    But ne'er were raised to it before!
    • Thomas Moore, Loves of the Angels, Third Angel's Story, Stanza 7.
  • And the world's so rich in resplendent eyes,
    'Twere a pity to limit one's love to a pair.
  • All German cities are blind, Nuremberg alone sees with one eye.
    • Frederich Nüchter, Albrecht Dürer, p. 8. English Translation by Lucy D. Williams. (Given as a saying in Venice).
  • Thou my star at the stars are gazing
    Would I were heaven that I might behold thee with many eyes.
    • Plato, from Greek Anthology.
  • Pluris est oculatus testis unus, quam auriti decem.
    Qui audiunt, audita dicunt; qui vident, plane sciunt.
    • One eye-witness is of more weight than ten hearsays. Those who hear, speak of what they have heard; those who see, know beyond mistake.
    • Plautus, Truculentus, II. 6. 8.
  • The eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
    • Proverbs, XVII. 24.
  • Dark eyes are dearer far
    Than those that mock the hyacinthine bell.
  • Thine eyes are like the deep, blue, boundless heaven
    Contracted to two circles underneath
    Their long, fine lashes; dark, far, measureless,
    Orb within orb, and line through line inwoven.
  • Think ye by gazing on each other's eyes
    To multiply your lovely selves?
  • So when thou saw'st in nature's cabinet
    Stella thou straight'st look'st babies in her eyes.
  • But have ye not heard this,
    How an one-eyed man is
    Well sighted when
    He is among blind men?
    • John Skelton, Why come ye not to Courte? (writing against Wolsey).
  • Were you the earth dear love, and I the skies
    My love would shine on you like to the sun
    And look upon you with ten thousand eyes
    Till heaven waxed blind and till the world were done.
  • The Father of Heaven.
    Scoop, young Jesus, for her eyes,
    Wood-browned pools of Paradise—
    Young Jesus, for the eyes,
    For the eyes of Viola.
    Tint, Prince Jesus, a
    Duskèd eye for Viola!
  • But optics sharp it needs, I ween,
    To see what is not to be seen.
  • How blue were Ariadne's eyes
    When, from the sea's horizon line,
    At eve, she raised them on the skies!
    My Psyche, bluer far are thine.
  • Blue eyes shimmer with angel glances.
    Like spring violets over the lea.
  • The harvest of a quiet eye,
    That broods and sleeps on his own heart.
  • For this is what Jehovah of armies says, who after being glorified has sent me to the nations that were plundering you: ‘Whoever touches you touches the pupil of my eye.

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