Sir Roger told them, with the air of a man who would not give his judgement
rashly, that much might be said on both sides. Joseph Addison In The Spectator, no.122, 20 Jul.
And nowe in the winter, when men kill the fat swine They get the
bladder and blow it great and thin, With many beans and
peason put within: It ratleth,
soundeth, and shineth clere and fayre While it is throwen
and caste up in the ayre, Each one contendeth
and hath a great delite With foote and with
hands the bladder for to smite; If it fall to
grounde, they lifte it up agayne, But this waye to
labour they count in no payne. Anonymous Medieval verse, one
of the earliest descriptions of football in England.
am very fond of fresh air and royalties. Daisy Mary Margaret Ashford TheYoung Visiters, or Mr Salteena's Plan, ch.5.
would like to be the air that inhabits you
for a moment only. I would like
to be that unnoticed and that necessary.
Margaret Eleanor Atwood True Stories,'Variation on the Word Sleep'.
Some thirty inches from my nose The frontier of my
Person goes, And all the
untilled air between Is private pagus or
demesne. Stranger, unless
with bedroom eyes I beckon you to
fraternize, Beware of rudely
crossing it: I have no gun, but
I can spit. W(ystan) H(ugh) Auden 'Prologue: The Birth of Architecture',
Purpose apart, perched like an umpire, dozes, Dreams golden balls
whirring through indigo. Clay blurs the
whitewash but day still encloses The albinos, bonded
in their flick and flow. Playing in musicked
gravity, the pair Score liquid Euclids in
foolscaps of air. Margaret Avison Winter Sun,'Tennis'.
We wove a web in childhood, A web of sunny air;
We dug a spring in
infancy Of water pure and
fair; We sowed in youth a
mustard seed, We cut an almond
rod; We are now grown up
to riper age Are they withered
in the sod? Charlotte Bronte« 'We Wove a Web in Childhood'.
I should die, thinkonly this of me: That there's some
corner of a foreign field That is for ever
England. There shall be In that rich dust a
richer dust concealed; A dust whom England
bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her
flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of
England's, breathing English air, Washed by the
rivers, blest by suns of home. Rupert Chawner Brooke 'The Soldier'.
We redesigned everything but the air in the tires. Philip Caldwell Of the development of the Taurus, which was to
become America's best-selling car. In Fortune, 3 Apr.
The creation of music is just as natural as the air we breathe.I
believemusic isreallya freething, and any way you can enjoy it,
you should. Ornette Coleman Sleeve-note, Something Else!
Belove' d, what are names but air? Choose thou
whatever suits the line; Call me Sappho,
call me Chloris, Call me Lalage or
Doris, Only, only call
meThine. Samuel Taylor Coleridge 'Names', a translation from G E Lessing's German
original (first published in
the Morning Post,1803).
Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed bat With short shrill
shriek flits by on leathern wing, Or where the beetle
winds His small but
sullen horn, As oft he rises
midst the twilight path, Against the pilgrim
borne in heedless hum. William Collins Odes on Several Descriptive and Allegoric Subjects,'Ode
to Evening', l.9^14.
While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont, And bathe thy
breathing tresses, meekest Eve! While Summer loves
to sport Beneath thy
lingering light; While sallow Autumn
fills thy lap with leaves, Or Winter, yelling
through the troublous air, Affrights thy
shrinking train, And rudely rends
thy robes. William Collins Odes on Several Descriptive and Allegoric
Subjects,'Ode to Evening', l.41^8.
The evil of it is, that it is a world wrapped up in too much jeweller's cotton
and fine wool, and cannot hear the rushingofthelarger
worlds, and cannot seethemasthey circle round the
sun. It is a deadened world, and its growth is sometimes
unhealthy for want of air. CharlesJohn Huffam Dickens ^3 Of the world of fashion. Bleak House, ch.2.
wrestle everywhere All dayamong the
crowded air I hear the silver
before the morn Such transport
breaks upon the town I think it that
'New Life!' Emily Elizabeth Dickinson c.1860 Complete Poems, no.157 (first published1891).
Inebriate of Airam I And Debauchee of
endless summer days From inns of Molten
Blue Emily Elizabeth Dickinson c.1860 Complete Poems, no.214 (first published1861).
will not look upon the quickening sun, But straight her
beauty to my sense shall run; The air shall note
her soft, the fire most pure; Water suggest her
clear, and the earth sure; Time shall not lose
our passages. John Donne c.1595 Elegies, no.12,'His Parting from Her'.
The air isnot sofull of motes, of atoms, asthe church is of mercies. John Donne Sermons,'Christmas Day,1624'.
Neat Marlowe, bathed in theThespian springs, Had in him those
brave translunary things That the first
poets had; his raptures were All air and fire,
which made his verses clear, For that fine
madness still he did retain Which rightly
should possess a poet's brain. Michael Drayton 'To My Most Dearly Loved Henry Reynolds, Esquire,
of Poets and Poesie'.
My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us, the world is
full of it and you simply take as much as you require. Sir Edward Elgar Quoted in R J
Buckley Sir Edward Elgar (1905), ch.4.
Because these wings are no longer wings to fly But merely vans to
beat the air The air which is
now thoroughly small and dry Smaller and dryer
than the will. T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot 'Ash Wednesday'.
Clear the air! clean the sky! wash the wind! take the stonefromthestone,
taketheskinfromthearm, takethe muscle from bone,
and wash them. T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot Murder in the Cathedral, pt.2.
Dust in the air suspended Marks the place
where a story ended. T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot Four Quartets,'Little Gidding', pt.2.
The dove descending breaks the air With flame of
incandescent terror Of which the
tongues declare The one discharge
from sin and error. T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot Four Quartets,'Little Gidding', pt.4.
must confess I am a fop in my heart; ill customs influence my very
senses, and I have been so used to affectation that
without the help of the air of the court what is natural
cannot touch me. Sir George Etherege Letter to Mr Poley,12 Jan.
dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair, Floating, like a
vapour, on the soft summer air. Stephen Collins Foster 'Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair'.
Fromthefirst place of liquid darkness, within thesecond place of air and
light, I set down the following record with itsmixture of
fact and truths and memories oftruths and its direction
always toward theThird Place, where the starting point
is myth. Janet Paterson also known as Jean PatersonFrame Frame To the Is-land, ch.1,'In the Second Place'.
Courage is in the air in bracing whiffs. Robert Lee Frost 'For John F Kennedy: His Inauguration', 20 Jan.
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd
wind slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman
homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the
world to darkness and to me. Now fades the
glimmering landscapes on the sight, And all the air a
solemn stillness holds, Save where the
beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy
tinklings lull the distant folds. Thomas Gray Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, l.1^8.
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt and small, In blast-beruffled
plume, Had chosen thus to
fling his sail Upon the growing
gloom. So little cause for
carollings Of such ecstatic
sound Was written on
terrestrial things Afar or nigh
around, That I could think
there trembled through 382 His happy
good-night air Some blessed Hope,
whereof he knew And I was unaware. Thomas Hardy 'The Darkling Thrush'.
Wild air, world-mothering air, Nestling me
everywhere. Gerard Manley Hopkins 'The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air We
Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies! O look at all the
fire-folk sitting in the air! The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels
there! Gerard Manley Hopkins 'The Starlight Night'.
Into my heart an air that kills From yon far
country blows: What are those blue
remembered hills, What spires, what
farms are those? A(lfred) E(dward) Housman A Shropshire Lad, no.40.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on
his wrist? And what has he
been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore
ishewearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking
him to prison for the colour of his hair. A(lfred) E(dward) Housman 'Additional Poems',
no.18, in Collected Poems (1939).
Luftslotter,de er safi nemme at ty o u" nd i, de.Og nemme at bygge ogsafi . Castles
intheairtheyare so easy totake refuge in. And so easy to build, too.
HenrikJohan Ibsen Bygmester Solness (The Master Builder), act 3.
serious house on serious earth it is, In whose blent air
all our compulsions meet, Are recognised, and
robed as destinies. Philip Arthur Larkin 'Church Going'.
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows Nothing, and is
nowhere, and is endless. Philip Arthur Larkin 'High Windows'.
Get yourroom full of good air, thenshut up thewindows and keep it. It
will keep for years. Anyway, don't keep using your lungs
all the time. Let them rest. Stephen Butler Leacock Literary Lapses,'How to Live to Be 200'.
We'll all go together when we go, Every Hottentot and
every Eskimo, When the air
becomes uranious, We'll all go
simultaneous, Yes, we'll all go
together when we go. Tom (Thomas Andrew) Lehrer 'We'll All Go Together When We Go', satirical
The air moves like a river and carries the clouds with it; just as running
water carries all the things that float upon it. Leonardo daVinci Notebooks. Quoted in
Vincent Cronin The Flowering of the Renaissance (1969).
Just as a stone flung into the water becomes the centre and cause of many
circles, and as sound diffuses itself in circles in the air;
so any object, placed in the luminous atmosphere,
diffuses itself in circles, and fills the surrounding air
with infinite images of itself. Leonardo daVinci Quoted in Irma A
Richter (ed) Selections from the Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
O, he flies through the air with the greatest of ease, This daring young
man on the flying trapeze. George pseudonym of Joseph Saunders Leybourne 'The DaringYoung Man on the Flying Trapeze'.
shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I
knew not where. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 'The Arrow and the Song'.
When I lie
tangled in her hair, And fettered to her
eye; The Gods, that
wanton in the air Know no such
liberty. Richard Lovelace Lucasta,'To Althea, from Prison'.
Gentlemen know that fresh air should be kept in its proper placeout of
doorsand that,God having given us indoors
and out-of-doors, we should not attempt to do away
with that distinction. Dame (Emilie) Rose Macaulay Crewe Train, pt.1, ch.5.
The American character looks always as if it just had a rather bad haircut,
which gives it, in our eyes at any rate, a greater humanity
than the European, which even among its beggars
has an all too professional air. Joseph R(aymond) McCarthy 'America the Beautiful', in Commentary, Sep.
Wildness and silence disappeared fromthe countryside, sweetness fell from
the air, not because anyone wished them to vanish or
fall but because throughways had to floor the meadows
with cement to carry the automobiles which
advancing technology produced. Archibald MacLeish 'The Great American Frustration', in the Saturday
Review, 9 Jul.
Todayart is moving in a direction of which our fathers would never even
have dreamed.We stand before the new pictures as in
a dream and we hear the apocalyptic horsemen in the
air. Franz Marc Subscription prospectus of the Blaue Reiter
You stars that reigned at my nativity, Whose influence
hath allotted death and hell, Now draw up Faustus
like a foggy mist, Into the entrails
of yon labouring cloud, That when you vomit
forth into the air, My limbs may issue
from your smoky mouths, So that my soul may
but ascend to heaven. Christopher Marlowe c.1592 Doctor Faustus (published1604), act 5, sc.2.
For some time I watch the coming of the night Above is the glistening
galaxy of childhood, now hidden in the Western world by air
pollution and the glare of artificial light; for my
children's children, the power, peace and healing of the
night will be obliterated. Peter Matthiessen Of the night sky in Nepal. The Snow Leopard,'Northward,
wind sways in the pines, And below Not a breath of
wild air; Still as the mosses
that glow On the flooring and
over the lines Of the roots here
and there. The pine tree drops
its dead; Theyare quiet, as
under the sea. Overhead, overhead Rushes life in a
race, As the clouds the
clouds chase; And we go, And we drop like
the fruits of the tree, Even we, Even so. George Meredith A Reading of Earth,'Dirge in the Woods'.
systems! Away with a corrupt world! Let us breathe the air of
the Enchanted island.Golden lie the meadows; golden run
the streams; red gold is on the pine-stems. The
sun's coming down to earth, and walks the fields and the
waters. The sun is coming down to earth, and the
fields and the waters shout to him golden shouts. George Meredith The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, ch.19.
Thus I hurl My dazzling spells
into the spongyair. John Milton Comus, A Mask, l.153^4.
And filled the air with barbarous dissonance. John Milton Comus, A Mask, l.550.
Beholding the bright countenance of truth in the
quiet and still air of
delightful studies. John Milton The Reason of Church Government, bk.2,
introduction, 'Plans and
The pure marble air. John Milton Paradise Lost (published1667), bk.3, l.564.
having learnt, thou hast attained the sum Of wisdom; hope no
higher, though all the stars Thou knew'st by
name, and all th'ethereal powers, All secrets of the
deep, all nature's works, Or works of God in
heav'n, air, earth, or sea, And all the riches
of this world enjoy'dst, And all the rule,
one empire; onlyadd Deeds to thy
knowledge answerable, add faith, Add virtue,
patience, temperance, add love, By name to come
called charity, the soul Of all the rest:
then wilt thou not be loath To leave this
Paradise, but shalt possess A paradise within thee, happier far. John Milton Michael to Adam. Paradise Lost (published1667),
them bestow on every airth a limb, Then open all my
veins that I may swim To thee, my Maker,
in that crimson lake; Then place my
parboiled head upon a stake, Scatter my ashes,
strew them in the air Lord! since thou
knowest where all these atoms are, I'm hopeful thou'lt
recover once my dust, And confident
thou'lt raise me with the just. James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose 'Lines Composed on the Eve of his Execution'.
The man lies late since he has lost his job, smokes on one
elbow, letting his coughs fall thinly into an air
too poor to rob. Edwin George Morgan 'Glasgow Sonnets, I'.
Beauty is but a flower Which wrinkles will
devour; Brightness falls
from the air; Queens have died
young and fair; Dust hath close' d
Helen's eye. I am sick, I must
die. Lord, have mercy on
us! Thomas Nashe 'A Litany in Time of Plague'.
PoetryontheairsoundsliketheMusesinstripedtrousers. George pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair Orwell 'Poetry and the Microphone'.
let my feet spend as little time on the ground as possible.From the
air, fast down, and from the ground, fast up. JesseJames Cleveland Owens Quoted in Colin
Jarman The Guinness Dictionary of Sports Quotations (1990).
The whole wide world is a cathedral; I stand inside, the
air is calm, And from afar at
times there reaches My ear the echo of
a psalm. Boris Pasternak When It Clears Up (translated by Lydia Pasternak
The people die so, that now it seems theyare fain to carry the dead to
be buried by daylight, the nights not sufficing to do it
in. And my Lord Mayor commands people to be within
at 9 at night, all (as they say) that the sick may have
liberty to go abroad for ayre. Samuel Pepys Diary entry,12 Aug.
Your anger was a climate I inhabited like a desert in a
dry frigid weather of high thin air and
ivory sun, sand dunes the wind
lifted into stinging clouds that blinded
and choked me where the only ice
was in the blood. Marge Piercy Stone, Paper, Knife,'TheWeight'.
People ask me why I ride with my bottom in the air.Well, I've got to put it
somewhere. Lester Keith Piggott Quoted in
ColinJarmanThe Guinness Dictionary of Sports Quotations (1990).
Out of the ash I rise with my red
hair And I eat men like
air. Sylvia Plath 'Lady Lazarus', published posthumously byTed Hughes
Happy the man, whose wish and care A few paternal
acres bound, Content to breathe
his native air, In his own ground. Alexander Pope 'Ode on Solitude'.
Tawny are the leaves turned but they still hold, And it is harvest;
what shall this land produce? A meagre hill of
kernels, a runnel of juice; Declension looks
from our land, it is old. Therefore let us
assemble, dry, gray, spare, And mild as yellow
air. John Crowe Ransom Chills and Fever,'Antique Harvesters'.
Information, freefrominterestorprejudice, freefromthe vanity of the
writer or the influence of a Government, is as necessary to the
human mind as pure air and water to the human body. William Rees-Mogg, Baron Rees-Mogg Christian Science Monitor, 22 Sep.
was born into wealth and there was nothing I could do about it. It was
there like food or air. David Rockefeller In Merchants and Masterpieces,WETA TV broadcast, 31 Dec.
Lyndon gave me that instead of the Hawaii air route.
Laurance S Rockefeller Of the Medal of
Freedom which he received from President Johnson after
Eastern Airlines failed to receive permission to fly a coveted route.
Quoted in Peter Collier and David Horowitz The Rockefellers (1978).
conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who hasnever
learned towalk forwards. A reactionary is a somnambulist
walking backwards. A radical is a man with both feet
planted firmly in the air. Franklin D(elano) Roosevelt Radio broadcast, Oct.
Beneath is spread like a green sea The waveless plain
of Lombardy, Bounded by the
vaporous air, Islanded by cities
fair; Underneath Day's
azure eyes, Ocean's
nursling,Venice lies, A peopled labyrinth
of walls, Amphitrite's
destined halls. Percy Bysshe Shelley 'Lines written amongst the Euganean Hills', l.90^7.
am the daughter of Earth and Water, And the nursling of
the Sky; I pass through the
pores of the ocean and shores; I change, but I
cannot die, For after the rain
when with never a stain The pavilion of
Heaven is bare, And the winds and
sunbeams with their convex gleams Build up the blue
dome of air, I silently laugh at
my own cenotaph, And out of the
caverns of rain, Like a child from
the womb, like a ghost from the tomb, I arise and unbuild
it again. Percy Bysshe Shelley 'The Cloud'.
You will see Coleridgehe who sits obscure In the exceeding
lustre and the pure Intense irradiation
of a mind, Which, through its
own internal lighting blind, Flags wearily
through darkness and despair A cloud-encircled
meteor of the air, A hooded eagle
among blinking owls You will see
Huntone of those happy souls Which are the salt
of the earth, and without whom This world would
smell like what it isa tomb. Percy Bysshe Shelley 'Letter to Maria Gisborne' l.202^11.
And the rose like a nymph to the bath addressed, Which unveiled the
depth of her glowing breast, Till, fold after
fold, to the fainting air The soul of her
beautyand love lay bare. Percy Bysshe Shelley 'The Sensitive Plant', pt.1, l.29^32.
cannot remember things I once read A few friends, but
theyare in cities. Drinking cold
snow-water from a tin cup Looking down for
miles Through high still
air. Gary Sherman Snyder Riprap,'Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout'.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life, Who wore at their
hearts the fire's centre. Born of the sun
they travelled a short while towards the sun, And left the vivid
air signed with their honour. Sir Stephen Harold Spender 'I Think Continually ofThose'.
He had been
eight years upon a project for extracting sun-beams out of
cucumbers, which were to be put into vials hermetically
sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement
summers. Jonathan Swift Gulliver'sTravels,'A Voyage to Laputa, etc.'ch.5.
Ah, yet would God this flesh of mine might be Where air might
wash and long leaves cover me; Where tides of
grass break into foam of flowers, Or where the wind's
feet shine along the sea. Algernon Charles Swinburne 'LausVeneris'.
I thought I could not breathe in that fine air That pure severity
of perfect light I yearned for
warmth and colour which I found In Lancelot. Tennyson Idylls of the King,'Guinevere', l.640^3.
As I came through the desert thus it was, As I came through
the desert: All was black, In heaven no single
star, on earth no track; A brooding hush
without a stir or note; The air so thick it
clotted in my throat. James pseudonym 'BV',ByssheVanolis Thomson The City of Dreadful Night, pt.4.
It is essential that broadcasting be surrounded
with such safeguards as will
prevent the air becoming what might be described as an
atmospheric billboard. Sir Henry Thornton Address to theAdvertising Clubs of theWorld, Philadelphia, 21
Jun. Quoted in E AustinWeir The Struggle for National
Broadcasting in Canada (1965).
Que ton vers soit la bonne aventure EŁ parse au
vent crispe du matin Qui va fleurant la
menthe et le thym. Et tout le reste
est litte rature. May your verse be a
glorious adventure Strewn by the crisp
morning air Which helps the mint
and the thyme grow. Everything else is
mere literature. Paul Verlaine Jadis et nague' re,'Art poe tique'.
Outside the open window The morning air is
all awash with angels. Richard Wilbur Things ofThisWorld,'Love Calls Us to theThings
Fabulous the insects Stud the air Or walk on running
water, Klee-drawn saints And bright as
angels are. Anne Wilkinson The HangmanTies the Holly,'InJune and Gentle Oven'.
The feelings withwhichwe facethisnewage of right
and opportunity sweep
across our heartstrings like some air out of God's own
presence, where justice and mercyare reconciled, and the
judge and the brother are one. (Thomas) Woodrow Wilson Inaugural address, 4 Mar.
Liberty isthemotherof virtue, and if women be, by their very constitution,
slaves, and not allowed to breathe the sharp invigorating
air of freedom, they must ever languish like
exotics, and be reckoned beautiful flaws in nature. Mary also known as Mrs Godwin Wollstonecraft AVindication of the Rights ofWoman, pt.1, ch.2.
Earth hath not anything to show more fair: Dull would he be of
soul who could pass by A sight so touching
in its majesty: This City now doth
like a garment wear The beauty of the
morning; silent, bare, Ships, towers,
domes, theatres, and to the sky; All bright and
glittering in the smokeless air. Never did sun more
beautifully steep In his first
splendour, valley, rock, or hill; Ne'er saw I, never
felt, a calm so deep! The river glideth
at his own sweet will; Dear God! the very
houses seem asleep; And all that mighty
heart is lying still! William Wordsworth Of London.'Composed uponWestminster Bridge', complete poem.
of all Roses,Rose of all the World! The tall
thought-woven sails, that flap unfurled Above the tide of
hours, trouble the air, And God's bell
buoyed to be the water's care. W(illiam) B(utler) Yeats 'The Rose of Battle', l.1^4. Collected in The Rose
Half close your eyelids, loosen your hair, And dream about the
great and their pride; They have spoken against you everywhere, But weigh this song
with the great and their pride; I made it out of a
mouthful of air, Their children's
children shall say they have lied. W(illiam) B(utler) Yeats 'HeThinks ofThose who have Spoken Evil of His
Beloved', complete poem. Collected
in TheWind Among the Reeds (1899).