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


Blush, happy maiden, when you feel
The lips which press love’s glowing seal;
But as the slow years darklier roll,
Grown wiser, the experienced soul
Will own as dearer far than they
The lips which kiss the tears away.
Elizabeth Akers Allen—Kisses.

But is there nothing else,
That we may do but only walk? Methinks,
Brothers and sisters lawfully may kiss.
Beaumont and Fletcher—A King and No King. Act IV. Sc. 4.

Kiss till the cows come home.
Beaumont and Fletcher—Scornful Lady. Act II. Sc. 2.

Remember the Viper:—’twas close at your feet,
How you started and threw yourself into my arms;
Not a strawberry there was so ripe nor so sweet
As the lips which I kiss’d to subdue your alarms.
Bloomfield—Nancy. St. 4.

***And when my lips meet thine
Thy very soul is wedded unto mine.
H. H. Boyesen—Thy Gracious Face I Greet with Glad Surprise.

Thy lips which spake wrong counsel, I kiss close.
E. B. Browning—Drama of Exile. Sc. Farther on, etc. L. 992.

I was betrothed that day;
I wore a troth kiss on my lips I could not give away.
E. B. Browning—Lay of the Brown Rosary. Pt. II.

First time he kiss’d me, he but only kiss’d
The fingers of this hand wherewith I write;
And ever since it grew more clean and white.
E. B. Browning—Sonnets from the Portuguese. Sonnet XXXVIII.

Something made of nothing, tasting very sweet,
A most delicious compound, with ingredients complete;
But if as on occasion the heart and mind are sour,
It has no great significance, it loses half its power.
Mary E. Buell—The Kiss.

Comin’ through the rye, poor body,
Comin’ through the rye,
She draigl’t a’ her petticoatie,
Comin’ through the rye
Gin a body meet a body
Comin’ through the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body
Need a body cry?
Burns. Taken from an old song, The Bobtailed Lass. Found in Ane Pleasant Garden of Sweet-scented Flowers. Also in Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum, in the British Museum. Vol. V. P. 430. Ed. 1787. While it seems evident that the river Rye is referred to, the Editor of the Scottish American decides it is a field of grain that is meant, not the river.

Jenny, she’s aw weet, peer body,
Jenny’s like to cry;
For she hes weet her petticoats
In gangin’ thro’ the rye,
Peer body.
Said to be the joint production of Miss Blamire and Miss Gilpin, before 1794.

Come, lay thy head upon my breast,
And I will kiss thee into rest.
Byron—The Bride of Abydos. Canto I. St. 11.

A long, long kiss, a kiss of youth, and love.
Byron—Don Juan. Canto II. St. 186.

When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are past—
For years fleet away with the wings of the dove—
The dearest remembrance will still be the last,
Our sweetest memorial the first kiss of love.
Byron—The First Kiss of Love. St. 7.

Kisses kept are wasted;
Love is to be tasted.
There are some you love, I know;
Be not loath to tell them so.
Lips go dry and eyes grow wet
Waiting to be warmly met,
Keep them not in waiting yet;
Kisses kept are wasted.
Edmund Vance Cooke—Kisses Kept Are Wasted.

If a body meet a body going to the Fair,
If a body kiss a body need a body care?
James C. Cross. Written for the pantomime, Harlequin Mariner. (1796).

Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part.

Kisses honeyed by oblivion.
George Eliot—The Spanish Gypsy. Bk. III. L. 251 from end of Bk.

It was thy kiss, Love, that made me immortal.
Margaret W. Fuller—Dryad Song.

The kiss you take is paid by that you give:
The joy is mutual, and I’m still in debt.
Geo. Granville (Lord Lansdowne)—Heroic Love. Act V. Sc. 1.

Tell me who first did kisses suggest?
It was a mouth all glowing and blest;
It kissed and it thought of nothing beside.
The fair month of May was then in its pride,
The flowers were all from the earth fast springing,
The sun was laughing, the birds were singing.
Heine—Book of Songs. New Spring. Prologue. No. 25. St. 2.

Give me a kisse, and to that kisse a score;
Then to that twenty, adde a hundred more;
A thousand to that hundred; so kiss on,
To make that thousand up a million;
Treble that million, and when that is done,
Let’s kisse afresh, as when we first begun.
Herrick—Hesperides. To Anthea.

What is a kisse? Why this, as some approve:
The sure sweet cement, glue, and lime of love.
Herrick—Hesperides. A Kiss.

Then press my lips, where plays a flame of bliss,—
A pure and holy love-light,—and forsake
The angel for the woman in a kiss,
At once I wis,
My soul will wake!
Victor Hugo—Come When I Sleep.

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.
Leigh Hunt—Jenny Kissed Me. (“Jenny” was Mrs. Carlyle.)

Drink to me only with thine eyes
And I’ll not ask for wine
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I will pledge with mine.
Ben Jonson—The Forest. To Celia.

A soft lip,
Would tempt you to eternity of kissing!
Ben Jonson—Volpone; or, the Fox. Act I. Sc. 1.

Favouritism governed kissage,
Even as it does in this age.
Kipling—Departmental Ditties. General Summary.

My lips the sextons are
Of thy slain kisses.
George Eric Lancaster—In Pygmalion in Cyprus. P. 18. (Ed. 1880).

When she kissed me once in play,
Rubies were less bright than they;
And less bright were those which shone
In the palace of the Sun.
Will they be as bright again?
Not if kiss’d by other men.
Walter Savage Landor—Rubies.

What is a kiss? Alacke! at worst,
A single Dropp to quenche a Thirst,
Tho’ oft it prooves, in happie Hour,
The first swete Dropp of our long Showre.
Leland—In the Old Time.

Says he—“I’d better call agin;”
Says she—“Think likely, Mister!”
Thet last word pricked him like a pin,
An’—Wal, he up an’ kist her.
Lowell—The Courtin’.

The kiss, in which he half forgets even such a yoke as yours.
Macaulay—Lays of Ancient Rome. Virginia. L. 138.

Why do I not kiss you, Philænis? you are bald. Why do I not kiss you, Philænis? you are carrotty. Why do I not kiss you, Philænis? you are one-eyed. He who kisses you, Philænis, sins against nature.
Martial—Epigrams. Bk. II. Ep. 33.

I throw a kiss across the sea,
I drink the winds as drinking wine,
And dream they all are blown from thee,
I catch the whisper’d kiss of thine.
Joaquin Miller—England. 1871. Introduction.

I rest content; I kiss your eyes,
I kiss your hair in my delight:
I kiss my hand and say “Good-night.”
Joaquin Miller—Songs of the Sun-Lands. Isles of the Amazons. Pt. V. Introd. St.

One kiss the maiden gives, one last,
Long kiss, which she expires in giving.
Moore—Lalla Rookh. Paradise and the Peri. L. 200.

Kiss—kiss—thou hast won me,
Bright, beautiful sin.
Motherwell—The Demon Lady.

How should great Jove himself do else than miss
To win the woman he forgets to kiss.
Coventry Patmore—De Natura Deorum.

Drink to me with thine eyes alone; or if thou wilt, having put it to thy lips, fill the cup with kisses, and so give it me.
Philostratus—Epistles. 24.

A kiss, when all is said, what is it?
… a rosy dot
Placed on the “i” in loving; ’tis a secret
Told to the mouth instead of to the ear.
Rostand—Cyrano de Bergerac.

Young gentlemen, pray recollect, if you please,
Not to make appointments near mulberry trees.
Should your mistress be missing, it shows a weak head
To be stabbing yourself, till you know she is dead.
Young ladies, you should not go strolling about
When your ancient mammas don’t know you are out;
And remember that accidents often befall
From kissing young fellows through holes in the wall!
J. G. Saxe—Pyramus and Thisbe.

Give me kisses! Nay, ’tis true
I am just as rich as you;
And for every kiss I owe,
I can pay you back, you know.
Kiss me, then,
Every moment—and again.
J. G. Saxe—To Lesbia.

Thou knowest the maiden who ventures to kiss a sleeping man, wins of him a pair of gloves.
Scott—Fair Maid of Perth. Ch. V.

Yet whoop, Jack! kiss Gillian the quicker,
Till she bloom like a rose, and a fig for the vicar!
Scott—Lady of the Lake. VI. 5.

Strangers and foes do sunder, and not kiss.
All’s Well That Ends Well. Act II. Sc. 5. L. 91.

We have kiss’d away
Kingdoms and provinces.
Antony and Cleopatra. Act III. Sc. 10. L. 5.

And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch of holy bread.
As You Like It. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 17.

O, a kiss,
Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss
I carried from thee, dear.
Coriolanus. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 44.

Or ere I could
Give him that parting kiss, which I had set
Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father
And like the tyrannous breathing of the north
Shakes all our buds from growing.
Cymbeline. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 33.

I understand thy kisses, and thou mine,
And that’s a feeling disputation.
Henry IV. Pt. I. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 205.

It is not a fashion for the maids in France to kiss before they are married.
Henry V. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 286.

Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss,
As seal to this indenture of my love.
King John. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 19.

Take, O take those lips away,
That so sweetly were foresworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn;
But my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, but sealed in vain.
Measure for Measure. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 1. This stanza, with an additional one, is found in Beaumont and Fletcher’s Rollo. Act V. 2. Possibly a ballad current in Shakespeare’s time. Malone and other editors claim it is by Shakespeare.

But, thou know’st this,
’Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.
Pericles. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 78.

Teach not thy lips such scorn; for they were made
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
Richard III. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 172.

Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
Which in their summer beauty kiss’d each other.
Richard III. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 12.

And steal immortal blessing from her lips;
Who, even in pure and vestal modesty,
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin.
Romeo and Juliet. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 36.

This done, he took the bride about the neck
And kiss’d her lips with such a clamorous smack
That at the parting, all the church did echo.
Taming of the Shrew. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 179.

I’ll take that winter from your lips.
Troilus and Cressida. Act IV. Sc. 5. L. 23.

Why, then we’ll make exchange; here, take you this,
And seal the bargain with a holy kiss.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 6.

Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
Of laughter with a sigh?
Winter’s Tale. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 287.

Kiss me, so long but as a kiss may live;
And in my heartless breast and burning brain
That word, that kiss shall all thoughts else survive,
With food of saddest memory kept alive.
Shelley—Adonais. St. 26.

As in the soft and sweet eclipse,
When soul meets soul on lover’s lips.
Shelley—Prometheus Unbound.

My lips till then had only known
The kiss of mother and of sister,
But somehow, full upon her own
Sweet, rosy, darling mouth,—I kissed her.
E. C. Stedman—The Door-Step.

My love and I for kisses played;
She would keep stakes: I was content;
But when I won she would be paid;
This made me ask her what she meant.
Pray, since I see (quoth she) “your wrangling vain,
Take your own kisses; give me mine again.”
Dr. William Strode. Verses in Gentleman’s Magazine, July, 1823. “Wrangling vayne,” or “wrangle in vane.” Also found in Dryden—Miscellany. Poems pub. 1716, with three lines added by Dryden.

Lord! I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing.
Swift—Polite Conversation. Dialogue II.

Once he drew
With one long kiss my whole soul thro’
My lips, as sunlight drinketh dew.
Tennyson—Fatima. St. 3.

And our spirits rushed together at the touching of the lips.
Tennyson—Locksley Hall. St. 19.

Girl, when he gives you kisses twain,
Use one, and let the other stay;
And hoard it, for moons may die, red fades,
And you may need a kiss—some day.
Ridgely Torrence—House of a Hundred Lights.

A kiss from my mother made me a painter.
Benjamin West.