Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


Love lent me wings; my path was like a stair;
A lamp unto my feet, that sun was given;
And death was safety and great joy to find;
But dying now, I shall not climb to Heaven.
Michael Angelo—Sonnet LXIII. After Sunset.

Nunc ille vivit in sinu Abraham.
Now he [Nebridius] lives in Abraham’s bosom.
St. Augustine—Confessions. Bk. IX. 3. De Anima. Bk. IV. 16. 24. He explains that Abraham’s bosom is the remote and secret abode of quiet. Founded on Luke. XVI. 23.

Spend in pure converse our eternal day;
Think each in each, immediately wise;
Learn all we lacked before; hear, know, and say
What this tumultuous body now denies;
And feel, who have laid our groping hands away;
And see, no longer blinded by our eyes.
Rupert Brooke—New Numbers.

God keeps a niche
In Heaven, to hold our idols; and albeit
He brake them to our faces, and denied
That our close kisses should impair their white,—
I know we shall behold them raised, complete,
The dust swept from their beauty, glorified,
New Memnons singing in the great God-light.
E. B. Browning—Sonnet. Futurity with the Departed.

All places are distant from heaven alike.
Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy. Pt. II. Sec. III. Memb. 4.

In hope to merit Heaven by making earth a Hell.
Byron—Childe Harold. Canto I. St. 20.

To appreciate heaven well
’Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
Will Carleton—Farm Ballads. Gone with a Handsomer Man.

The road to heaven lies as near by water as by land.
Jeremy Collier—Eccl. Hist. Ed. 1852. IV. 241. Friar Elston’s words, when threatened with drowning by Henry VIII, according to Stow, quoted by Gasquet. Same idea ascribed to Sir Humphry Gilbert when his ship was wrecked off Newfoundland. (1583). Idea taken from an Epigram of Leonidas of Tarentum. See Stobæus—Greek Anthology. Jacob’s appendix. No. 48.

Heaven means to be one with God.
Confucius, quoted by Canon Farrar. Sermons. Eternal Hopes. What Heaven Is. Last line.

Where tempests never beat nor billows roar.
Cowper—On the Receipt of My Mother’s Picture.

And so upon this wise I prayed,—
Great Spirit, give to me
A heaven not so large as yours
But large enough for me.
Emily Dickinson—A Prayer.

Nor can his blessed soul look down from heaven,
Or break the eternal sabbath of his rest.
Dryden—The Spanish Friar. Act V. Sc. 2.

Since heaven’s eternal year is thine.
Dryden—Elegy on Mrs. Killegrew. L. 15.

’Twas whispered in Heaven, ’twas muttered in hell
And echo caught faintly the sound as it fell.
On the confines of earth ’twas permitted to rest,
And the depths of the ocean its presence confessed.
Catherine M. Fanshawe—Enigma. (The letter H.) (“’Twas in Heaven pronounced, it was muttered in hell.” In the original MS.)

Where billows never break, nor tempests roar.
Garth—Dispensary. Canto III. L. 226.

While resignation gently slopes the way;
And, all his prospects brightening to the last,
His heaven commences ere the world be past.
Goldsmith—The Deserted Village. L. 110.

They had finished her own crown in glory, and she couldn’t stay away from the coronation.
Gray—Enigmas of Life.

Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy!
Ear hath not heard its deep songs of joy;
Dreams cannot picture a world so fair—
Sorrow and death may not enter there;
Time doth not breathe on its fadeless bloom,
For beyond the clouds, and beyond the tomb,
It is there, it is there, my child!
Felicia D. Hemans—The Better Land.

All this, and Heaven too!
Philip Henry—Matthew Henry’s Life of Philip Henry. P. 70.

Just are the ways of heaven; from Heaven proceed
The woes of man; Heaven doom’d the Greeks to bleed.
Homer—Odyssey. Bk. VIII. L. 128. Pope’s trans.

Nil mortalibus arduum est;
Cœlum ipsum petimus stultitia.
Nothing is difficult to mortals; we strive to reach heaven itself in our folly.
Horace—Carmina. Bk. I. 3. 37.

There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary be at rest.
Job. III. 17.

In my father’s house are many mansions.
John. XIV. 2.

Sperre dich, so viel du willst!
Des Himmels Wege sind des Himmels Wege.
Struggle against it as thou wilt, yet Heaven’s ways are Heaven’s ways.
Lessing—Nathan der Weise. III. 1.

Booth led boldly with his big bass drum
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)
The Saints smiled gravely, and they said “He’s come.”
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)
Nicholas Vachel Lindsay—General Booth Enters Heaven.

The heaven of poetry and romance still lies around us and within us.
Longfellow—Drift-Wood. Twice-Told Tales.

When Christ ascended
Triumphantly from star to star
He left the gates of Heaven ajar.
Longfellow—Golden Legend. Pt. II.

We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;
Amid these earthly damps
What seem to us but sad, funereal tapers
May be heaven’s distant lamps.
Longfellow—Resignation. St. 4.

Cedit item retro, de terra quod fuit ante,
In terras; et, quod missum est ex ætheris oreis,
Id rursum cæli relatum templa receptant.
What came from the earth returns back to the earth, and the spirit that was sent from heaven, again carried back, is received into the temple of heaven.
Lucretius—De Rerum Natura. II. 999.

Heaven to me’s a fair blue stretch of sky,
Earth’s jest a dusty road.

Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.
Matthew. VI. 20.

It were a journey like the path to heaven,
To help you find them.
Milton—Comus. L. 302.

The hasty multitude
Admiring enter’d, and the work some praise,
And some the architect: his hand was known
In heaven by many a tower’d structure high,
Where scepter’d angels held their residence,
And sat as princes.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. I. L. 730.

A heaven on earth.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. IV. L. 208.

The starry cope
Of heaven.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. IV. L. 992.

Though in heav’n the trees
Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines
Yield nectar.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. V. L. 426.

Heaven open’d wide
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound
On golden hinges moving.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. VII. L. 205.

There is a world above,
Where parting is unknown;
A whole eternity of love,
Form’d for the good alone;
And faith beholds the dying here
Translated to that happier sphere.

A Persian’s Heaven is eas’ly made,
’Tis but black eyes and lemonade.
Moore—Intercepted Letters. Letter VI.

The way to heaven out of all places is of like length and distance.
Sir Thomas More—Utopia.

There’s nae sorrow there, John,
There’s neither cauld nor care, John,
The day is aye fair,
In the land o’ the leal.
Lady Nairne—The Land o’ the Leal.

A sea before
The Throne is spread;—its pure still glass
Pictures all earth-scenes as they pass.
We, on its shore,
Share, in the bosom of our rest,
God’s knowledge, and are blest.
Cardinal Newman—A Voice from Afar.

Heav’n but the Vision of fulfill’d Desire.
And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire.
Omar Khayyam—Rubaiyat. St. 67. FitzGerald’s trans.

A day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tente of wickedness.
Psalms. LXXXIV. 10.

The blessed Damozel lean’d out
From the gold bar of Heaven:
Her eyes knew more of rest and shade
Of waters still’d at even;
She had three lilies in her hand,
And the stars in her hair were seven.
Rossetti—The Blessed Damozel. (Version in Oxford Ed. of Golden Treasury.)

It was the rampart of God’s house
That she was standing on;
By God built over the sheer depth,
The which is Space begun;
So high, that looking downward thence,
She scarce could see the sun.
Rossetti—The Blessed Damozel.

Non est ad astra mollis e terris via.
The ascent from earth to heaven is not easy.
Seneca—Hercules Furens. CCCCXXXVII.

Heaven’s face doth glow.
Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 48.

Sure he’s not in hell; he’s in Arthur’s bosom, if ever man went to Arthur’s bosom.
Henry V. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 8. Richard II. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 104.

Were it not good your grace could fly to heaven?
The treasury of everlasting joy.
Henry VI. Pt. II. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 17.

And, father cardinal, I have heard you say
That we shall see and know our friends in heaven:
If that be true, I shall see my boy again;
For since the birth of Cain, the first male child,
To him that did but yesterday suspire,
There was not such a gracious creature born.
King John. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 76.

There’s husbandry in heaven;
Their candles are all out.
Macbeth. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 5.

Well, God’s above all; and there be souls must be saved, and there be souls must not be saved.
Othello. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 105.

All places that the eye of heaven visits,
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
Richard II. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 275.

For the selfsame heaven
That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.
Richard III. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 285.

Straight is the way to Acheron,
Whether the spirit’s race is run
From Athens or from Meröe:
Weep not, far from home to die;
The wind doth blow in every sky
That wafts us to that doleful sea.
J. A. Symonds. Trans. P. 37 in Tomson’s Selections from the Greek Anthology, in the Canterbury Poets. (Greek is found in Palantine Anthology. No. 3.)

Who seeks for Heaven alone to save his soul
May keep the path, but will not reach the goal;
While he who walks in love may wander far,
Yet God will bring him where the blessed are.
Henry Van Dyke—Story of the Other Wise Man. V.

So all we know of what they do above
Is that they happy are, and that they love.
Edmund Waller—On the Death of Lady Rich.

For all we know
Of what the blessed do above
Is, that they sing, and that they love.
Edmund Waller—Song. While I Listen to Thy Voice. St. 2.

I have been there, and still would go;
’Tis like a little heaven below.
Isaac Watts—Divine Songs. 28.

There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign;
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain.
Isaac Watts—Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Bk. II. 66.

One eye on death, and one full fix’d on heaven.
Young—Night Thoughts. Night V. L. 838.