- It’s no use crying over spilt evils. It’s better to mop them up laughing.
- Gypsy and Ginger (1920)
Pan-Worship and Other Poems (1908)
- In Arcady there lies a crystal spring
Ring'd all about with green melodious reeds
Swaying seal'd music up and down the wind.
Here on its time-defaced pedestal
The image of a half-forgotten God
Crumbles to its complete oblivion.
- O evanescent temples built of man
To deities he honoured and dethroned!
Earth shoots a trail of her eternal vine
To crown the head that men have ceased to honour.
Beneath the coronal of leaf and lichen
The mocking smile upon the lips derides
Pan's lost dominion; but the pointed ears
Are keen and prick'd with old remember'd sounds.
All my breast aches with longing for the past!
Thou God of stone, I have a craving in me
For knowledge of thee as thou wert in old
Enchanted twilights in Arcadia.
- Of troubles know I none,
Of pleasures know I many —
I rove beneath the sun
Without a single penny.
- Vagrant Songs, II
- Old sundial, you stand here for Time:
For Love, the vine that round your base
Its tendrils twines, and dares to climb
And lay one flower-capped spray in grace
Without the asking on your cold
Unsmiling and unfrowning face.
- Time And Love
- Upon your shattered ruins where
This vine will flourish still, as rare,
As fresh, as fragrant as of old.
Love will not crumble.
- Time And Love
- Dropt tears have hastened your decay
And brought you one step nigher death;
And you have heard, unthrilled, unmoved,
The music of Love's golden breath
And seen the light in eyes that loved.
- Time And Love
- You think you hold the core and kernel
Of all the world beneath your crust,
Old dial ? But when you lie in dust,
This vine will bloom, strong, green, and proved.
Love is eternal.
- Time And Love
Nursery Rhymes of London Town (1916)
- King's Cross!
What shall we do?
His Purple Robe
Is rent in two!
- King's Cross
- The little White Chapel is ringing its bell
With a ring-a-ding-dong,
All day long
- Water, Loo! water, Loo! fetch me some water!
There isn't a drop for a mile and a quarter!
The ground is so hard and the ground is so dry
I'm frightened my little red rose-bush will die.
- In Fleet Street, in Fleet Street, the People are so fleet
They barely touch the cobble-stones with their nimble feet!
- Fleet Street
More Nursery Rhymes of London Town (1917)
- Bugsby's reach is long as time,
His reach is wide as wind is,
He can pick you nettles in Greenwich Marsh
And docks in the East Indies.
- Bugsby's Reach
- My harp and I a-wandering
Went over Snowdon Mountain,
From Anglesey to Swansea Bay
It sang like any fountain.
- The Welsh Harp
- Out upon you, Jerry! Jerry, you're a pity!
Jerry, turn about and plant a garden in the City!
- The Garden City
- Once she kissed me with a jest,
Once with a tear —
O where's the heart was in my breast,
And the ring was in my ear?
- Kentish Town
Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard (1922)
- Romance gathers round an old story like lichen on an old branch. And the story of Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard is so old now — some say a year old, some say even two. How can the children be expected to remember?
- Every man's life (and ... every woman's life), awaits the hour of blossoming that makes it immortal ... love is a divinity above all accidents, and guards his own with extraordinary obstinacy.
- No love-story has ever been told twice. I never heard any tale of lovers that did not seem to me as new as the world on its first morning.
- I will fight for you, yes, and you will fight for me. And if you have sacrificed joy and courage and beauty and wisdom for my sake, I will give them all to you again; and yet you must also give them to me, for they are things in which without you I am wanting. But together we can make them.
- 'In love there are no penalties and no payments, and what is given is indistinguishable from what is received.' And he bent his head and kissed her long and deeply, and in that kiss neither knew themselves, or even each other, but something beyond all consciousness that was both of them.
- He loved her, both for her fault and her redemption of it, more than he had ever thought that he could love her; for he had believed that in their kiss love had reached its uttermost. But love has no uttermost, as the stars have no number and the sea no rest.
- Of what use to destroy the children of evil? It is evil itself we must destroy at the roots.
- Women are so strangely constructed that they have in them darkness as well as light, though it be but a little curtain hung across the sun. And love is the hand that takes the curtain down, a stronger hand than fear, which hung it up. For all the ill that is in us comes from fear, and all the good from love.
- The world never knows, and cannot for the life of it imagine, what this man sees in that maid and that maid in this man. The world cannot think why they fell in love with each other. But they have their reason, their beautiful secret, that never gets told to more than one person; and what they see in each other is what they show to each other; and it is the truth. Only they kept it hidden in their hearts until the time came. And though you and I may never know why this lane is called Shelley's, to us both it will always be the greenest lane in Sussex, because it leads to the special secret I spoke of.
Morning Has Broken (1931)
- Morning has broken,
Like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the Word!
- Sweet the rain's new fall,
Sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dewfall
On the first grass.
- Praise with elation,
Praise every morning,
Of the new day!
The New Book of Days (1961)
- From the blood of Medusa
His hoof of heaven
Like melody rang.
- Pegasus, St. 1, p. 181
- He could not be captured,
He could not be bought,
His running was rhythm,
His standing was thought;
With one eye on sorrow
And one eye on mirth,
He galloped in heaven
And gambolled on earth
And only the poet
With wings to his brain
Can mount him and ride him
Without any rein,
The stallion of heaven,
The steed of the skies,
The horse of the singer
Who sings as he flies.
- Pegasus, St. 3 & 4, p. 181
Quotes about Farjeon
- I was a little overworked. I had been reading a great number of manuscripts in the preceding weeks, and the mere sight of typescript was a burden to me. But before I had read five pages of Martin Pippin, I had forgotten that it was a manuscript submitted for my judgment. I had forgotten who I was and where I lived. I was transported into a world of sunlight, of gay inconsequence, of emotional surprise, a world of poetry, delight, and humor. And I lived and took my joy in that rare world, until all too soon my reading was done.
My most earnest wish is that there may be many minds and imaginations among the American people who will be able to share that pleasure with me. For every one who finds delight in this book I can claim as a kindred spirit.
- J. D. Beresford in the Introduction to Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard (1922)
- An author is known by the worlds he creates. The measure of his greatness is the degree of clarity and the consistency with which he builds his spirit’s habitation, the depth and height it offers the reader who enters it. Eleanor Farjeon’s world is construed of fantasy, romance, and an abounding yea-saying joy in the experience of life. It is the stuff that dreams are made of, and as dangerous as dynamite except for those who have genius in their blood, a compassionate heart, a sense of wonder at the multitudinous miracles to be met in one day’s living in this world, and the blessed proportion of wit, humor and nonsense. All these she has.
- Frances Claire Sayers in "Eleanor Farjeon’s Room with a View" in The Horn Book (October 1956)