W. H. Davies Quotes

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.

No matter where the body is, the mind is free to go elsewhere.

Now shall I walk or shall I ride? ‘Ride,’ Pleasure said; ‘Walk,’ Joy replied.

I turned my head and saw the wind,
Not far from where I stood,
Dragging the corn by her golden hair,
Into a dark and lonely wood.

As long as I love Beauty I am young.

Teetotallers lack the sympathy and generosity of men that drink.

I love thee for a heart that’s kind–not for the knowledge in thy mind.

When on a summer’s morn I wake,
And open my two eyes,
Out to the clear, born-singing rills
My bird-like spirit flies.

To hear the Blackbird, Cuckoo, Thrush,
Or any bird in song;
And common leaves that hum all day
Without a throat or tongue.

And when Time strikes the hour for sleep,
Back in my room alone,
My heart has many a sweet bird’s song –
And one that’s all my own.

Yes, I will spend the livelong day
With Nature in this month of May;
And sit beneath the trees, and share
My bread with birds whose homes are there;
While cows lie down to eat, and sheep
Stand to their necks in grass so deep;
While birds do sing with all their might,
As though they felt the earth in flight.

When I had money, money, O! I knew no joy till I went poor; For many a false man as a friend Came knocking all day at my door.

What sweet, what happy days had I,When dreams made Time Eternity!


It was the rainbow gave thee birth, and left thee all her lovely hues.

Pleasure’s a Moth, that sleeps by day And dances by false glare at night; But Joy’s a Butterfly, that loves To spread its wings in Nature’s light.

Peace to these little broken leaves, That strew our common ground; That chase their tails, like silly dogs, As they go round and round. For though in winter boughs are bare, Let us not once forget Their summer glory, when these leaves Caught the great Sun in their strong net; And made him, in the lower air, Tremble – no bigger than a star!

But cats to me are strange, so strange I cannot sleep if one is near.

And hear the pleasant cockoo, loud and long – The simple bird that thinks two notes a song.

I cannot see the short, white curls
Upon the forehead of an Ox,
But what I see them dripping with
That poor thing’s blood, and hear the ax;
When I see calves and lambs, I see
Them led to death; I see no bird
Or rabbit cross the open field
But what a sudden shot is heard;
A shout that tells me men aim true,
For death or wound, doth chill me through.