Alphonse de Lamartine

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To love for the sake of being loved is human, but to love for the sake of loving is angelic.

Alphonse Marie Louise Prat de Lamartine (Alphonse-Marie-Louis de Prat de Lamartine) (October 21, 1790 - February 28, 1869) was a French writer, poet, and politician.


  • O time, arrest your flight! and you, propitious hours, arrest your course! Let us savor the fleeting delights of our most beautiful days!
    • The Lake, st. 6 (1820)
  • I say to this night: "Pass more slowly"; and the dawn will come to dispel the night.
    • The Lake, st. 8 (1820)
  • Let us love the passing hour, let us hurry up and enjoy our time.
    • The Lake, st. 9 (1820)
  • Love alone was left, as a great image of a dream that was erased.
    • The Valley, st. 9 (1820)
  • Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires, man is a fallen god who remembers the heavens.
    • Méditations Poétiques, Sermon 2 (1820)
  • What is our life but a succession of preludes to that unknown song whose first solemn note is sounded by death?
    • Méditations Poétiques, Second series, Sermon 15 (1820)
  • Experience is the only prophesy of wise men.
    • Speech at Mâcon (1847)
  • To love for the sake of being loved is human, but to love for the sake of loving is angelic.
    • Graziella, Pt. IV, ch. 5 (1849)
  • The more I see of the representatives of the people, the more I admire my dogs.
    • From Count d'Orsay's Letter to John Forster (1850)
  • Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.
    • "L'Isolement", Méditations Poétiques (1820)


  • A conscience without God is like a court without a judge.
  • Grief knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can; and common sufferings are far stronger links than common joys.
  • If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.
  • Private passions tire and exhaust themselves, public ones never.
  • Providence conceals itself in the details of human affairs, but becomes unveiled in the generalities of history.
  • There is a woman at the begining of all great things.
  • Our only truth is our sorrow.
  • What crime have we commited in order to be born?
  • God is nothing but a dream word, in order to explain the existence of the world.
  • I am tired of museums - these cemeteries of art.

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