179 Best Quotes by Famous Poets

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Here are the 179 best handpicked quotes by famous poets categorized:

  • Deep quotes by famous poets
  • Inspirational quotes by famous poets

So if you’re looking for the best collection of quotes by famous poets, then you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s jump right in!

573 Best Poet Quotes (Handpicked)

My Favorite Quote by a Famous Poet

To be great is to be misunderstood.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Deep Quotes by Famous Poets

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
–T. H. Bayly

Nothing that glitters is gold.
–Mark Twain

For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
–A. Pope

Prosperity is the best protector of principle.
–Mark Twain

We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.
–Mark Twain

Great minds that are healthy are never considered geniuses, while this sublime qualification is lavished on brains that are often inferior but are slightly touched by madness.
–Guy de Maupassant

When the fight begins within himself,
A man ‘s worth something.
–Robert Browning

Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul!
Sweetener of life! and solder of society!
–Robert Blair

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

When Shakespeare is charged with debts to his authors, Landor replies, “Yet he was more original than his originals. He breathed upon dead bodies and brought them into life.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

No man can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself.
–James Russell Lowell

Great truths are portions of the soul of man;
Great souls are portions of eternity.
–James Russell Lowell

The maid who modestly conceals her beauties, while she hides, reveals: Gives but a glimpse, and fancy draws whate’er the Grecian Venus was.
–E. Moore

There is no greater sorrow than to be mindful of the happy time in misery.
–Henry W. Longfellow

To bear is to conquer our fate.
–Walter Savage Landor

The bravest are the tenderest,—
The loving are the daring.
–Bayard Taylor

Beauty stands in the admiration only of weak minds led captive. Cease to admire, and all her plumes fall flat and shrink into a trivial toy, at every sudden slighting quite abashed.

The seed ye sow, another reaps;
The wealth ye find, another keeps;
The robes ye weave, another wears;
The arms ye forge, another bears.
–P. B. Shelley

My crown is in my heart, not on my head;
Not decked with diamonds and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen: my crown is called content;
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.

Good to forgive:
Best to forget.
–R. Browning

Forgiveness to the injured does belong;
But they ne’er pardon who have done the wrong.
–J. Dryden

‘Tis liberty alone that gives the flower of fleeting life its lustre and perfume; And we are weeds without it.
–W. Cowper

Freedom needs all her poets; it is they
Who give her aspirations wings,
And to the wiser law of music sway
Her wild imaginings.
–J. R. Lowell

Friendship is the cement of two minds,
As of one man the soul and body is;
Of which one cannot sever but the other
Suffers a needful separation.
–G. Chapman

The best of prophets of the Future is the Past.
–Lord Byron

There is no remedy for time misspent;
No healing for the waste of idleness,
Whose very languor is a punishment
Heavier than active souls can feel or guess.
–Sir A. De Vere

The fraud of men was ever so Since summer first was leafy.

Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
–W. Cowper

All things I thought I knew; but now confess
The more I know I know, I know the less.
–J. Owen

If little labor, little are our gaines:
Man’s fortunes are according to his paines.
–R. Herrick

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
–A. Pope

Measure your mind’s height by the shade it casts!
–R. Browning

Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.
–P. B. Shelley

Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop Than when we soar.
–W. Wordsworth

Politicians neither hate nor love.
–Lord Chesterfield

Absolute freedom could be the worst of perils.
–George Meredith

Greater our successes, the greater the slaves we become.
–George Meredith

Is it not strange that people can laugh, amuse themselves, be joyful under that eternal certainty of death? If this death were only probable, one could then have hope; but no, it is inevitable, as inevitable as that night follows the day.
–Guy de Maupassant

Beware the fury of a patient man.
–John Dryden

Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
–Henry W. Longfellow

Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force; that thoughts rule the world.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

People do not think as they speak, and do not speak as they act|
–Guy de Maupassant

Love and war have been compared—Both require strategy.
–George Meredith

A man may play the fool in everything else, but not in poetry.
–Michel de Montaigne

It is by little things that we know ourselves.
–Oliver Wendell Holmes

In childhood FEAR’s the lesson first we know!
–Jean de La Fontaine

People never desire all till they have gotten a great deal.
–Lord Chesterfield

Success is counted sweetest by those who ne’er succeed.
–Emily Dickinson

When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.

Truth is the highest thing that man may keep.

Affliction is the good man’s shining scene;
Prosperity conceals his brightest ray;
As night to stars, woe lustre gives to man.
–E. Young

To love, it is to be all made of sighs and tears.

Know when to speake; for many times it brings danger to give the best advice to kings.
–R. Herrick

As you are old and reverend, you should be wise.

Though absent, present in desires they be;
Our souls much further than our eyes can see.
–M. Drayton

That light we see is burning in my hall. How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

We must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.

Rather than be less cared not to be at all.

For Art is Nature made by Man
To Man the interpreter of God.
–Lord Lytton (Owen Meredith)

In the elder days of Art. Builders wrought with greatest care each minute and unseen part; For the gods see everywhere.
–H. W. Longfellow

Around the mighty master came the marvels which his pencil wrought, those miracles of power whose fame is wide as human thought.
–J. G. Whittier

It is not strength, but art, obtains the prize,
And to be swift is less than to be wise.
‘Tis more by art, than force of numerous strokes.
–Homer (Pope, Translator)

Authority intoxicates, and makes mere sots of magistrates;
The fumes of it invade the brain, and make men giddy, proud, and vain.
–S. Butler

Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.

Thou who hast the fatal gift of beauty.
–Lord Byron

The beautiful are never desolate;
But some one always loves them—God or man.
If man abandons, God himself takes them.
–P. J. Bailey

There’s nothing that allays an angry mind so soon as a sweet beauty.
–Beaumont & Fletcher

The beautiful seems right by force of beauty, and the feeble wrong because of weakness.
–E. B. Browning

Beauty is Nature’s coin, must not be hoarded.
But must be current, and the good thereof
Consists in mutual and partaken bliss.
Unsavory in th’ enjoyment of itself:
If you let slip time, like a neglected rose,
It withers on the stalk with languished head.

Dreams, books, are each a world; And books, we know, are a substantial world, both pure and good; Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood, Our pastime and our happiness will grow.
–W. Wordsworth

Some books are drenched sands,
On which a great soul’s wealth lies all in heaps,
Like a wrecked argosy.
–Alex. Smith

Worthy books are not companions—they are solitudes:
We lose ourselves in them and all our cares.
–P. J. Bailey

When one is past, another care we have;
Thus woe succeeds a woe, as wave a wave.
–R. Herrick

Let the world slide, let the world go:
A fig for care, and a fig for woe!
If I can’t pay, why I can owe,
And death makes equal the high and low.
–J. Heywood

That power which erring men call Chance.

Chance will not do the work—Chance sends the breeze;
But if the pilot slumber at the helm,
The very wind that wafts us towards the port
May dash us on the shelves.—The steersman’s part is vigilance,
Blow it or rough or smooth.
–Sir W. Scott

But war’s a game which, were their subjects wise,
Kings would not play at.
–W. Cowper

War is the statesman’s game, the priest’s delight,
The lawyer’s jest, the hired assassin’s trade,
And to those royal murderers whose mean thrones
Are bought by crimes of treachery and gore.
–P. B. Shelley

Poetry is itself a thing of God;
He made his prophets poets; and the more
We feel of poesie do we become
Like God in love and power.
–P. J. Bailey

Prayer moves the Hand which moves the world.
–J. C. Wallace

In prayer the lips ne’er act the winning part without the sweet concurrence of the heart.
–R. Herrick

Promise is most given when the least is said.
–G. Chapman

Be wise with speed:
A fool at forty is a fool indeed.
–E. Young

A simple, fireside thing, whose quiet smile can warm earth’s poorest hovel to a home.
–J. R. Lowell

Man is but half without woman; and as do idolaters their heavenly gods, we deify the things that we adore.
–P. J. Bailey

Men are April when they woo, December when they wed.

Unless above himself he can erect himself, how poor a thing is man!
–S. Daniel

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.

How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice.
–S. Johnson

Who reasons wisely is not therefore wise;
His pride in reasoning, not in acting, lies.
–A. Pope

While Reason drew the plan, the Heart informed the moral page and Fancy lent it grace.
–J. Thomson

Minds that have nothing to confer find little to perceive.

He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend.
–H. Taylor

Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear.

They truly mourn, that mourn without a witness.
–R. Baron

Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
–A. Pope

Inspirational Quotes by Famous Poets

When change itself can give no more,
‘Tis easy to be true.
–Sir C. Sedley

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

Calamity is man’s true touchstone.
–Beaumont & Fletcher

By adversity are wrought the greatest work of admiration,
And all the fair examples of renown out of distress and misery are grown.
–S. Daniel

Aromatic plants bestow
No spicy fragrance while they grow;
But crushed or trodden to the ground,
Diffuse their balmy sweets around.
–O. Goldsmith

The Good are better made by Ill,
As odors crushed are sweeter still.
–S. Rogers

The worst men often give the best advice.
Our deeds are sometimes better than our thoughts.
–P. J. Bailey

The spring, like youth, fresh blossoms doth produce,
But autumn makes them ripe and fit for use:
So Age a mature mellowness doth set
On the green promises of youthful heat.
–Sir J. Denham

The worst is not So long as we can say, this is the worst.

Strange! that a harp of thousand strings
Should keep in tune so long.
–I. Watts

Years steal Fire from the mind, as vigor from the limb;
And life’s enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.
–Lord Byron

Endurance is the crowning quality,
And patience all the passion of great hearts.
–J. R. Lowell

Passions are likened best to floods and streams,
The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb.
–Sir W. Raleigh

All love may be expelled by other love,
As poisons are by poisons.
–J. Dryden

The miserable have no other medicine, but only hope.

Worse than a bloody hand is a bloody heart.
–P. B. Shelley

No greater grief than to remember days of joy when misery is at hand.

Religion, virtue, truth, whate’er we call
A blessing—Freedom is the pledge of all.
–W. Cowper

Oh, how portentous is prosperity!
How comet-like, it threatens while it shines.
–E. Young

Good nature and good sense must ever join;
To err is human, to forgive divine.
–A. Pope

Forgotten? No, we never do forget:
We let the years go; wash them clean with tears.
–D. M. Mulock Craik

Dreams are the children of an idle brain.

Our doubts are traitors And make us lose the good we oft might win
by fearing to attempt.

The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

None think the great unhappy, but the great.
–E. Young

Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.

Cowards are cruel, but the brave Love mercy, and delight to save.
–J. Gay

Affliction’s sons are brothers in distress;
A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss
–R. Burns

Dreams are but interludes, which fancy makes;
When monarch reason sleeps, this mimic wakes.
–J. Dryden

A witty woman is a treasure; a witty beauty is a power.
–George Meredith

But a great success is full of temptations.
–George Meredith

Every failure is a step advanced.
–George Meredith

Expectations dupe us, not trust.
–George Meredith

Love of pleasure keeps us blind children.
–George Meredith

No heart to dare is no heart to love!
–George Meredith

No word is more lightly spoken than shame.
–George Meredith

You can master pain, but not doubt.
–George Meredith

Freedom is the first essential of the artistic mind.
–Gilbert Parker

We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.
–Mark Twain

When in doubt, tell the truth.
–Mark Twain

Science only needed a spoonful of supposition to build a mountain.
–Mark Twain

In the long analysis of the ages it is the truth that counts.
–Mark Twain

Talent is that which is in a man’s power; genius is that in whose power a man is.
–James Russell Lowell

There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat.
–James Russell Lowell

A wise scepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.
–James Russell Lowell

It may be glorious to write thoughts that shall glad the two or three
High souls, like those far stars that come in sight Once in a century.
–James Russell Lowell

The leaves of memory seemed to make a mournful rustling in the dark.
–Henry W. Longfellow

For Time will teach thee soon the truth,
There are no birds in last year’s nest!
–Henry W. Longfellow

When change itself can give no more, ‘T is easy to be true.
–Charles Sedley

Beggars must be no choosers.
–Beaumont and Fletcher

Look, then, into thine heart, and write!
–Henry Longfellow

Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in?
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thought is the property of him who can entertain it, and of him who can adequately place it.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Man is his own star; and that soul that can be honest is the only perfect man.
–John Fletcher

I find the medicine worse than the malady.
–John Fletcher

In fact, it is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as it is to invent.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

But woman’s grief is like a summer storm,
Short as it violent is.
–Joanna Baillie

Business now is to shine, not to weigh.
–Lord Chesterfield

In country villages each step is seen.
–Jean de La Fontaine

All want to reach old age and grumble when they get it.
–Oliver Wendell Holmes

Beware the silent one of an assembly!
–George Meredith

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learned to dance.
–Alexander Pope

Boys who can appreciate brave deeds are capable of doing them.
–George Meredith

A high wind will make a dead leaf fly like a bird.
–George Meredith

The hearing ear is always found close to the speaking tongue.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

After a big blow, a very little one scarcely counts.
–George Meredith

Ask not why, where reason never was.
–George Meredith

A madman gets madder when you talk reason to him.
–George Meredith

The silent organ loudest chants The master’s requiem.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

I do not find that the age or country makes the least difference; no, nor the language the actors spoke, nor the religion which they professed, whether Arab in the desert or Frenchman in the Academy. I see that sensible men and conscientious men all over the world were of one religion.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

All thoughts that mould the age begin deep down within the primitive soul.
–James Russell Lowell

All men now are free and equal,
All are noble from their birth.
–H. Heine (J.E. Wallis, Translator)

Let no man think that the world has been waiting for him as its deliverer.

A word to the wise is enough. We leave Heaven to the angels and the spirits.
–H. Heine

The poor man eats when he can, the rich man when he wills. The issue gives the title to the work.

Tears are sometimes more eloquent than words.

Laugh, if you are wise.

And from his tongue flowed words sweeter than honey.

Help yourself, and Heaven will help you.
–La Fontaine

The heart will break, yet brokenly live on.

The May of life blooms once, and never blooms again.