James Russell Lowell Quotes

Most popular James Russell Lowell Quotes

Not failure, but low aim, is crime.
— James Russell Lowell

failure goals aspiration

A man's mind is known by the company it keeps.


Granting our wish one of Fates saddest jokes is!


Such power there is in clear-eyed self-restraint.
— James Russell Lowell


Who speaks the truth stabs Falsehood to the heart.


Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof.


Fashion must be forever new, or she becomes insipid.
— James Russell Lowell
The foolish and the dead never change their opinions.
— James Russell Lowell

opinions flexible thinking

A wise skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.


The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions.

opinions foolishness changing people

Each year to ancient friendships adds a ring, as to an oak.
— James Russell Lowell
No man is born into the World whose Work is not born with him.
— James Russell Lowell
If youth be a defect, it is one that we outgrow only too soon.
— James Russell Lowell


One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.


He gives only the worthless gold
Who gives from a sense of duty.
— James Russell Lowell

Giving duty

On one issue at least, men and women agree; they both distrust women.
— James Russell Lowell

men and women

There are two kinds of weakness, that which breaks and that which bends.


What a sense of security in an old book which Time has criticized for us!


Stories now, to suit a public taste, must be half epigram, half pleasant vice.
— James Russell Lowell
Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.


Blessed are they who have nothing to say and who cannot be persuaded to say it.
— James Russell Lowell


Blessed are they who have nothing to say, and who cannot be persuaded to say it.
— James Russell Lowell

holding your tongue

Talent is that which is in a man's power; genius is that in whose power a man is.

genius talent talent & genius

Solitude is as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character.

solitude character

In general those who nothing have to say contrive to spend the longest time in doing it.
— James Russell Lowell
From the days of the first grandfather, every man has remembered a golden age behind him!
— James Russell Lowell
In creating, the only hard thing is to begin: a grass blade's no easier to make than an oak.
— James Russell Lowell


The mind can weave itself warmly in the cocoon of its own thoughts, and dwell a hermit anywhere.


A weed is no more than a flower in disguise,
Which is seen through at once, if love give man eyes.
Nature fits all her children with something to do,
He who would write and can't write can surely review.

critics reviews

If God made poets for anything, it was to keep alive the traditions of the pure, the holy, and the beautiful.


Let us be of good cheer, however, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never come.
— James Russell Lowell


Be noble, and the nobleness that lies in other men, sleeping but never dead, will rise in majesty to meet thine own.
— James Russell Lowell
Every man feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.


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


Pope had a sense of the neat rather than of the beautiful. His nature delighted more in detecting the blemish than in enjoying its charm.
The only faith that wears well and holds its colour in all weathers is that which is woven of conviction and set with the sharp mordant of experience.
— James Russell Lowell


It was in making education not only common to all, but in some sense compulsory on all, that the destiny of the free republics of America was practically settled.
— James Russell Lowell

America education