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William Morris quotes (showing 1-30 of 37)

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
William Morris
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
William Morris
“...I do not want art for a few; any more than education for a few; or freedom for a few... ”
William Morris
“History has remembered the kings and warriors, because they destroyed; art has remembered the people, because they created.”
William Morris
“A good way to rid one's self of a sense of discomfort is to do something. That uneasy, dissatisfied feeling is actual force vibrating out of order; it may be turned to practical account by giving proper expression to its creative character.”
William Morris
“The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”
William Morris
“Apart from the desire to produce beautiful things, the leading passion of my life has been and is hatred of modern civilization.”
William Morris
“With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on.”
William Morris, The Well At The World's End: Volume I
“Nothing should be made by man's labour which is not worth making, or which must be made by labour degrading to the makers.”
William Morris

O love, turn from the changing sea and gaze,
Down these grey slopes, upon the year grown old,
A-dying 'mid the autumn-scented haze
That hangeth o'er the hollow in the wold,
Where the wind-bitten ancient elms infold
Grey church, long barn, orchard, and red-roofed stead,
Wrought in dead days for men a long while dead.

Come down, O love; may not our hands still meet,
Since still we live today, forgetting June,
Forgetting May, deeming October sweet? -
- Oh, hearken! hearken! through the afternoon
The grey tower sings a strange old tinkling tune!
Sweet, sweet, and sad, the toiling year's last breath,
To satiate of life, to strive with death.

And we too -will it not be soft and kind,
That rest from life, from patience, and from pain,
That rest from bliss we know not when we find,
That rest from love which ne'er the end can gain?
- Hark! how the tune swells, that erewhile did wane!
Look up, love! -Ah! cling close, and never move!
How can I have enough of life and love?”
William Morris
“It is the childlike part of us that produces works of the imagination. When we were children time passed so slow with us that we seemed to have time for everything.”
William Morris
“We are only the trustees for those who come after us.”
William Morris, William Morris by Himself: Designs and Writings
“Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
William Morris
“Whiles in the early Winter eve
We pass amid the gathering night
Some homestead that we had to leave
Years past; and see its candles bright
Shine in the room beside the door
Where we were merry years agone
But now must never enter more,
As still the dark road drives us on.
E'en so the world of men may turn
At even of some hurried day
And see the ancient glimmer burn
Across the waste that hath no way;
Then with that faint light in its eyes
A while I bid it linger near
And nurse in wavering memories
The bitter-sweet of days that were.”
William Morris, The House of the Wolfings
“Now let us go, love, down the winding stair,
With fingers intertwined...”
William Morris, The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems
“Nothing useless can be truly beautiful.”
William Morris
“If a chap can't compose an epic poem while he's weaving tapestry, he had better shut up, he'll never do any good at all.”
William Morris
“I cannot suppose there is anybody here who would think it either a good life, or an amusing one, to sit with one's hands before one doing nothing - to live like a gentleman, as fools call it.”
William Morris, Useful Work versus Useless Toil
“Do not be deceived by the outside appearance of order in our plutocratic society. It fares with it as it does with the older norms of war, that there is an outside look of quite wonderful order about it; how neat and comforting the steady march of the regiment; how quiet and respectable the sergeants look; how clean the polished cannon ... the looks of adjutant and sergeant as innocent-looking as may be, nay, the very orders for destruction and plunder are given with a quiet precision which seems the very token of a good conscience; this is the mask that lies before the ruined cornfield and the burning cottage, and mangled bodies, the untimely death of worthy men, the desolated home.”
William Morris
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"- 1834”
William Morris
“...everything made by man's hands has a form, which must be either beautiful or ugly; beautiful if it is in accord with Nature, and helps her; ugly if it is discordant with Nature, and thwarts her; it cannot be indifferent...”
William Morris
“I pondered all these things, and how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name.”
William Morris
“...[Nature] ever bearing witness against man that he has deliberately chosen ugliness instead of beauty...”
William Morris
“Love makes clear the eyes that else would never see: "Love makes blind the eyes to all but me and thee.”
William Morris, Poems By The Way & Love Is Enough
“Count on, rest not, for hope is dead.”
William Morris, Poems By The Way & Love Is Enough
“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”
William Morris
“The lost and found the Cause hath crowned, The Day of Days is here.”
William Morris, Poems By The Way & Love Is Enough
“Let some word reach my ears and touch my heart,”
William Morris, Poems By The Way & Love Is Enough
“Even though great were this cruelty, oppression, and tyranny, though numerous were the oft-victorious clans of the many-familied Erinn; though numerous their kings, and their royal chiefs, and their princes; though numerous their heroes and champions, and their brave soldiers, their chiefs of valour and renown and deeds of arms; yet not one of them was able to give relief, alleviation, or deliverance from that oppression and tyranny, from the numbers and multitudes, and the cruelty and the wrath of the brutal, ferocious, furious, untamed, implacable hordes by whom that oppression was inflicted, because of the excellence of their polished, ample, treble, heavy, trusty, glittering corslets; and their hard, strong, valiant swords; and their well-riveted long spears, and their ready, brilliant arms of valour besides; and because of the greatness of their achievements and of their deeds, their bravery, and their valour, their strength, and their venom, and their ferocity, and because of the excess of their thirst and their hunger for the brave, fruitful, nobly-inhabited, full of cataracts, rivers, bays, pure, smooth-plained, sweet grassy land of Erinn"—(pp. 52-53).”
William Morris, The Story of the Volsungs, (Volsunga Saga) With Excerpts from the Poetic Edda
“Thus then lived this folk in much plenty and ease of life, though not delicately nor desiring things out of measure. They wrought with their hands and wearied themselves; and they rested from their toil and feasted and were merry: to-morrow was not a burden to them, nor yesterday a thing which they would fain forget: life shamed them not, nor did death make them afraid.”
William Morris, The Roots of the Mountains

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