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


Now that the sun is gleaming bright,
Implore we, bending low,
That He, the Uncreated Light,
May guide us as we go.
Attributed to Adam de Saint Victor. Old Latin Hymn said to have been sung at the death-bed of William the Conqueror.

Corruption springs from light: ’tis one same power
Creates, preserves, destroys; matter whereon
It works, on e’er self-transmutative form,
Common to now the living, now the dead.
Bailey—Festus. Sc. Water and Wood.

Misled by Fancy’s meteor-ray,
By passion driven;
But yet the light that led astray,
Was light from Heaven.
Burns—The Vision.

For I light my candle from their torches.
Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy. Pt. III. Sect. II. Memb. 5. Subsec. 1.

Hinc lucem et pocula sacra.
Hence light and the sacred vessels.
Motto of Cambridge University.

Light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful.
Emerson—Nature. Ch. III.

I shall light a candle of understanding in thine heart, which shall not be put out.
II Esdras. XIV. 25.

Light (God’s eldest daughter!).
Fuller—The Holy and Profane States. Bk. III. Of Building.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis. I. 3.

Against the darkness outer
God’s light his likeness takes,
And he from the mighty doubter
The great believer makes.
R. W. Gilder—The New Day. Pt. IV. Song XV.

Mehr Licht!
More light!
Said to be the last words of Goethe.

Wo viel Licht is, ist starker Schatten.
Where there is much light, the shadows are deepest.
Goethe—Götz von Berlichingen. I. 24.

Blasted with excess of light.
Gray—Progress of Poesy.

Like our dawn, merely a sob of light.
Victor Hugo—La Legende des Siécles.

The true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
John. I. 9.

He was a burning and a shining light
John. V. 35.

Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.
John. XII. 35.

The Light that Failed.
Kipling—Title of Story.

The prayer of Ajax was for light;
Through all that dark and desperate fight,
The blackness of that noonday night.
Longfellow—The Goblet of Life. St. 8.

Fra l’ ombre un lampo solo
Basta al nocchier fugace
Che già ritrova il polo,
Già riconosce il mar.
In the dark a glimmering light is often sufficient for the pilot to find the polar star and to fix his course.
Metastasio—Achille. 1. 6.

With thy long levell’d rule of streaming light.
Milton—Comus. L. 340.

He that has light within his own clear breast
May sit i’ th’ centre and enjoy bright day;
But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts
Benighted walks under the mid-day sun.
Milton—Comus. L. 381.

Where glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom.
Milton—Il Penseroso. L. 79.

But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight;
Casting a dim religious light.
Milton—Il Penseroso. L. 155. Compare Euripides—Bacchæ. 486.

Hail, holy light! offspring of heaven firstborn!
Or of th’ eternal co-eternal beam,
May I express thee unblam’d? since God is light
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate!
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk III. L. 1.

Dark with excessive bright.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. III. L. 380.

And from her native east,
To journey through the aery gloom began,
Spher’d in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun
Was not.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. VII. L. 245.

There swift return
Diurnal, merely to officiate light
Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. VIII. L. 21.

And this I know; whether the one True Light
Kindle to Love, or Wrath consume me quite,
One flash of it within the Tavern caught
Better than in the temple lost outright.
Omar Khayyam—Rubaiyat. St. 77. FitzGerald’s trans.

Where art thou, beam of light? Hunters from the mossy rock, saw ye the blue-eyed fair?
Ossian—Temora. Bk. VI.

Ex luce lucellum.
Out of light a little profit.
Pitt’s description of the Window Tax. Also suggested by Robert Lowe, Chancellor, as a motto for matchboxes, when the British Government introduced a match tax, 1871.

Those having lamp will pass them on to others.
Plato—Republic. 328.

Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night:
God said, “Let Newton be!” and all was light.
Pope—Epitaph Intended for Sir Isaac Newton.

Nur der Gewissenswurm schwärmt mit der Eule. Sünder und böse Geister scheun das Licht.
Only the worm of conscience consorts with the owl. Sinners and evil spirits shun the light.
Schiller—Liebe und Cabale. V. I.

Light seeking light doth light of light beguile:
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes
Love’s Labour’s Lost. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 77.

But it is not necessary to light a candle to the sun.
Algernon Sidney—Discourses on Government. Ch. II. Sec. XXIII.

’Twas a light that made
Darkness itself appear
A thing of comfort.
Southey—The Curse of Kehama. Padalon. St. 2.

An unreflected light did never yet
Dazzle the vision feminine.
Sir Henry Taylor—Philip Van Artevelde. Pt. I. Act I. Sc. 5. L. 88.

Thy prayer was “Light—more Light”—while Time shall last
Thou sawest a glory growing on the night,
But not the shadows which that light would cast,
Till shadows vanish in the Light of Light.
Tennyson—Inscription on the Window in memory of Caxton, in St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, London.

Where God and Nature met in light.
Tennyson—In Memoriam. Pt. CXI. St. 5.

A remnant of uneasy light.
Wordsworth—The Matron of Jedborough, and Her Husband.

The light that never was on sea or land,
The consecration, and the poet’s dream.
Wordsworth—Elegiac Stanzas. Suggested by a picture of Peele Castle in a storm.

But ne’er to a seductive lay let faith be given;
Nor deem that “light that leads astray” is light from Heaven.
Wordsworth—To the Sons of Burns.