Leigh Hunt

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There are two worlds: the world that we can measure with line and rule, and the world we feel with our hearts and imagination.

James Henry Leigh Hunt (October 19, 1784August 28, 1859) was an English poet and essayist.

Quotes[edit]

Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me;
Say I'm growing old, but add
Jenny kissed me.
The same people who can deny others everything are famous for refusing themselves nothing.
Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream,
And times and things, as in that vision, seem
Keeping along it their eternal stands.
  • Jenny kissed me when we met,
    Jumping from the chair she sat in;
    Time, you thief, who love to get
    Sweets into your list, put that in.
    Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
    Say that health and wealth have missed me;
    Say I'm growing old, but add
    Jenny kissed me.
  • Oh for a seat in some poetic nook,
    Just hid with trees and sparkling with a brook!
    • Politics and Poetics
  • The two divinest things this world has got,
    A lovely woman in a rural spot!
    • Poem The Story of Rimini, iii, 257
  • With spots of sunny openings, and with nooks
    To lie and read in, sloping into brooks.
    • The Story of Rimini
  • She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled;
    He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild:
    The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regained his place,
    Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face.
    "By God!" said Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he sat:
    "No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that."
  • Stolen sweets are always sweeter,
    Stolen kisses much completer,
    Stolen looks are nice in chapels,
    Stolen, stolen, be your apples.
    • Song of Fairies Robbing an Orchard.
    • Confer Colley Cibber: "Stolen sweets are best."
  • The same people who can deny others everything are famous for refusing themselves nothing.
  • It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands,
    Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream,
    And times and things, as in that vision, seem
    Keeping along it their eternal stands.
    • A Thought of the Nile
  • and then we wake,
    And hear the fruitful stream lapsing along
    Twixt villages, and think how we shall take
    Our own calm journey on for human sake.
    • A Thought of the Nile
  • There are two worlds: the world that we can measure with line and rule, and the world we feel with our hearts and imagination.
    • As quoted in The Farmer's Wife, Vol. 36 (1933), p. 72

Abou Ben Adhem[edit]

It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!
A poem inspired by the Sufi muslim Ibrahim ibn Adham, also presented as "Abou Ben Adhem and the Angel", as published in The Poetical Works of Leigh Hunt (1846)
  • Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace
    ,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An Angel writing in a book of gold:

    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the Presence in the room he said,
    "What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord
    Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."

    "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
    Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one who loves his fellow men.
    "

    The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
    And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!

The Town: Its Memorable Characters and Events (1848)[edit]

  • Fishes do not roar; they cannot express any sound of suffering; and therefore the angler chooses to think they do not suffer, more than it is convenient for him to fancy. Now it is a poor sport that depends for its existence on the want of a voice in the sufferer, and of imagination in the sportsman.
    • Revised edition, London, Smith, Elder & Co., 1889, p. 114

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