Careful Words

desire (n.)

desire (v.)

O'er her warm cheek and rising bosom move

The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.

Thomas Gray (1716-1771): The Progress of Poesy. I. 3, Line 16.

Every man has business and desire,

Such as it is.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.

True love's the gift which God has given

To man alone beneath the heaven:

It is not fantasy's hot fire,

Whose wishes soon as granted fly;

It liveth not in fierce desire,

With dead desire it doth not die;

It is the secret sympathy,

The silver link, the silken tie,

Which heart to heart and mind to mind

In body and in soul can bind.

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832): Lay of the Last Minstrel. Canto v. Stanza 13.

Hope! thou nurse of young desire.

Isaac Bickerstaff (1735-1787): Love in a Village. Act i. Sc. 1.

  [Desire] is a perpetual rack, or horsemill, according to Austin, still going round as in a ring.

Robert Burton (1576-1640): Anatomy of Melancholy. Part i. Sect. 2, Memb. 3, Subsect. 11.

Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.

John Dryden (1631-1701): Alexander's Feast. Line 160.

She was a form of life and light

That seen, became a part of sight,

And rose, where'er I turn'd mine eye,

The morning-star of memory!

Yes, love indeed is light from heaven;

A spark of that immortal fire

With angels shared, by Alla given,

To lift from earth our low desire.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: The Giaour. Line 1127.

Hereafter, in a better world than this,

I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): As You Like It. Act i. Sc. 2.

  Some might consider him as too fond of fame; for the desire of glory clings even to the best men longer than any other passion.

Tacitus (54-119 a d): Historiae. iv. 6.

  The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Of Goodness.

  The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Of Goodness.

  The gratitude of most men is but a secret desire of receiving greater benefits.

Isaac De Benserade (1612-1691): Maxim 298.

The desire of the moth for the star,

Of the night for the morrow,

The devotion to something afar

From the sphere of our sorrow.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822): One Word is too often profaned.

  The grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.

Old Testament: Ecclesiastes xii. 5.

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,

Uttered or unexpressed,—

The motion of a hidden fire

That trembles in the breast.

James Montgomery (1771-1854): What is Prayer?

It must be so,—Plato, thou reasonest well!

Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,

This longing after immortality?

Or whence this secret dread and inward horror

Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the soul

Back on herself, and startles at destruction?

'T is the divinity that stirs within us;

'T is Heaven itself that points out an hereafter,

And intimates eternity to man.

Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!

Joseph Addison (1672-1719): Cato. Act v. Sc. 1.

Heav'n but the Vision of fulfill'd Desire,

And Hell the Shadow of a Soul on fire.

Omar Khayyam (1048-1131): Rubáiyát. Stanza lxvii.