The heart is a vital muscular organ in humans and other animals which pumps blood through the body's arteries and veins. The word itself, and stylized depictions of hearts have long been used as symbols of love, and to refer to the spiritual, emotional, moral, or intellectual core or soul of human beings. More generally the word can refer to the center, or essential core of any physical or non-physical entities or ideas.
- A man's first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart; his next to escape the censures of the world: if the last interferes with the former, it ought to be entirely neglected; but otherwise there cannot be a greater satisfaction to an honest mind, than to see those approbations which it gives itself seconded by the applauses of the public: a man is more sure of his conduct, when the verdict which he passes upon his own behaviour is thus warranted and confirmed by the opinion of all that know him.
- Charity is a virtue of the heart, and not of the hands.
- Joseph Addison, The Guardian (1713), No. 166.
- My voice is still for war.
Gods! Can a Roman senate long debate
Which of the two to choose, slavery or death?
No, let us rise at once,
Gird on our swords, and,
At the head of our remaining troops, attack the foe,
Break through the thick array of his throng'd legions,
And charge home upon him.
Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest,
May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage.
- When love once pleas admission to our hearts,
(In spite of all the virtue we can boast),
The woman that deliberates is lost.
- Joseph Addison, Cato, A Tragedy (1713), Act IV, scene i; the last line has often been misreported as "He who hesitates is lost", a sentiment inspired by it but not penned by Addison, as reported in They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions (1989) by Paul F. Boller, Jr. and John George, p. 3.
- O ye powers that search
The heart of man, and weigh his inmost thoughts,
If I have done amiss, impute it not!
The best may err, but you are good.
- Joseph Addison, Cato, A Tragedy (1713), Act IV, scene iv
- My favoured temple is an humble heart.
- Philip James Bailey, Festus (1813), scene Colonnade and Lawn.
- "All the same," said the Scarecrow, "I shall ask for brains instead of a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one."
- L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- "I shall take the heart," returned the Tin Woodman; "for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world."
- L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer.
- Robert Burns, My Heart's in the Highlands, from an old song, The Strong Walls of Derry.
- Maid of Athens, ere we part,
Give, oh, give me back my heart!
- Lord Byron, Maid of Athens, Stanza 1.
- His heart was one of those which most enamour us,
Wax to receive, and marble to retain.
- Lord Byron, Beppo (1818), Stanza 34.
- Whatever pretended pessimists in search of notoriety may say, most people are naturally kind, at heart.
- A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.
- Thomas Carlyle, "The Works of Thomas Carlyle" (1839), Vol. 15, p. 260.
- Alma de esparto y corazon de encina.
- My heart is wax to be moulded as she pleases, but enduring as marble to retain.
- Miguel de Cervantes, The Little Gypsy.
- No command of art,
No toil, can help you hear;
Earth's minstrelsy falls clear
But on the listening heart.
- John Vance Cheney, The Listening Heart.
- Some hearts are hidden, some have not a heart.
- George Crabbe, The Borough (1810), Letter XVII
- "There are strings," said Mr. Tappertit, "…in the human heart that had better not be wibrated."
- Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, Chapter XXII.
- The heart asks pleasure first,
And then, excuse from pain;
And then, those little anodynes
That deaden suffering;
And then, to go to sleep;
And then, if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor,
The liberty to die.
- Emily Dickinson, Poems (Ed. 1891), IX.
- All these things shall love do unto you
that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only
love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing floor,
Into the seasonless world where you
shall laugh, but not all of your laughter,
and weep, but not all of your tears.
- Meine Ruh ist hin,
Mein Herz ist schwer.
- Ganz unbefleckt geniesst sich nur das Herz.
- Only the heart without a stain knows perfect ease.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Iphigenia auf Tauris, IV. 4. 123.
- Doch ein gekränktes Herz erholt sich schwer.
- A wounded heart can with difficulty be cured.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Torquato Tasso, IV. 4. 24.
- There is an evening twilight of the heart,
When its wild passion-waves are lulled to rest.
- Fitz-Greene Halleck, Twilight.
- Great literature, past or present, is the expression of great knowledge of the human heart; great art is the expression of a solution of the conflict between the demands of the world without and that within.
- Edith Hamilton, The Greek Way (1930).
- Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.
- Learned Hand, in "The Spirit of Liberty" - a speech at "I Am an American Day" ceremony, Central Park, New York City (21 May 1944).
- I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore.
- I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
Because the flesh will get weak
And the ashes will scatter
So I'm thinkin' about forgiveness
Even if you don't love me anymore.
- Don Henley, in "The Heart of the Matter", on The End of the Innocence (1989).
- The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
- I, Jehovah, am searching the heart,
Examining the innermost thoughts,
To give to each one according to his ways,
According to the fruitage of his works.
- I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
- Book of Job 29:13.
- Let not your heart be troubled.
- Gospel of John 14:1.
- Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our Chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Ta Hool Hool Shute is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are - perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the Sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.
- Chief Joseph, speech in surrendering to General Nelson Appleton Miles after long evading a pursuit nearly to the border of Canada (5 October 1877).
- Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen closely.
- Last words of Littlefoot's Mother, in The Land Before Time (1988).
- Wo das Herz reden darf braucht es keiner Vorbereitung.
- When the heart dares to speak, it needs no preparation.
- Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Mina von Barnhelm, V. 4.
- For his heart was in his work, and the heart
Giveth grace unto every Art.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Building of the Ship (1849), line 7.
- Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
- Gospel of Matthew 6:21.
- For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
- Better to have the poet's heart than brain,
Feeling than song.
- George MacDonald, Within and Without, Part III, scene 9, line 30.
- The heart is like an instrument whose strings
Steal nobler music from Life's many frets:
The golden threads are spun thro' Suffering's fire,
Wherewith the marriage-robes for heaven are woven:
And all the rarest hues of human life
Take radiance, and are rainbow'd out in tears.
- Gerald Massey, Wedded Love.
- But the beating of my own heart
Was all the sound I heard.
- Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton (Lord Houghton), The Brookside.
- And when once the young heart of a maiden is stolen,
The maiden herself will steal after it soon.
- Thomas Moore, Ill Omens
- Zwei Kammern hat das Herz.
Die Freude und der Schmerz.
- Two chambers hath the heart.
Live Joy and Pain apart.
- Hermann Neumann, Das Herz; translation by T. W. H. Robinson; found in Echoes from Kottabos; another translation by Ernest Radford, is Chambers Twain.
- Two chambers hath the heart.
- Yonkers that have hearts of oak at fourscore yeares.
- Old Meg of Herefordshire (1609).
- Oh, the heart is a free and a fetterless thing,—
A wave of the ocean, a bird on the wing.
- Julia Pardoe, The Captive Greek Girl.
- We must never say, even in fun, that we are disheartened, because someone might take us at our word.
- Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living (5 August 1940).
- The incense of the heart may rise.
- John Pierpont, Every Place a Temple.
- The heart knoweth his own bitterness.
- Proverbs, 14:10.
- A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.
- Proverbs 15:13.
- He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
- Proverbs 15:15.
- A man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps.
- Proverbs 16:9.
- The thoughts of a man’s heart are like deep waters,
But the discerning man draws them out.
- Proverbs 20:5 (New World Translation).
- He fashioneth their hearts alike.
- Psalms 33:15.
- The heart is a small thing, but desireth great matters. It is not sufficient for a kite's dinner, yet the whole world is not sufficient for it.
- Francis Quarles, Emblems, Book I. Hugo de Anima.
- This house is to be let for life or years,
Her rent is sorrow, and her income tears;
Cupid, 't has long stood void; her bills make known,
She must be dearly let, or let alone.
- Francis Quarles, Emblems, Book II. Epigram X.
- The head is always the dupe of the heart.
- François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims. No. 105.
- My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.
- Christina G. Rossetti, A Birthday.
- Malebranche dirait qu'il n'y a plus une âme:
Nous pensons humblement qu'il reste encor des cœurs.
- Malebranche would have it that not a soul is left; we humbly think that there still are hearts.
- Edmond Rostand, Chantecler, Prélude.
- C'est toujours un mauvais moyen de lire dans le cœur des autres que d'affecter de cacher le sien.
- It is always a poor way of reading the hearts of others to try to conceal our own.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions, II.
- Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
- Nicht Fleisch und Blut; das Herz macht uns zu Vätern und Söhnen.
- It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.
- Friedrich Schiller, Die Räuber, I. 1.
- Even at this sight
My heart is turn'd to stone: and while 'tis mine,
It shall be stony.
- The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand.
- He hath a heart as sound as a bell and his tongue is the clapper, for what his heart thinks his tongue speaks.
- I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at; I am not what I am.
- Worse than a bloody hand is a hard heart.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Cenci (1819), Act V, scene 2.
- All great and extraordinary actions come from the heart. There are seasons in human affairs, when qualities fit enough to conduct the common business of life, are feeble and useless; and when men must trust to emotion, for that safety which reason at such times can never give.
- Sydney Smith, Elementary Sketches of Moral Philosophy (1849), Lecture XXVIL: On Habit
- My heart, the bird of the wilderness, has found its sky in your eyes.
- Rabindranath Tagore, Gardener, 31.
- Never morning wore
To evening, but some heart did break.
- L'oreille est le chemin du cœur.
- The ear is the avenue to the heart.
- Voltaire, Réponse au Roi de Prusse.
- La bouche obéit mal lorsque le cœur murmure.
- The mouth obeys poorly when the heart murmurs.
- Voltaire, Tancrède, I. 4.
- He is the Answerer,
What can be answer'd he answers, and what cannot be answer'd he shows how it cannot be answer'd.
Whichever the sex, whatever the season or place, he may go freshly and gently and safely by day or by night,
He has the pass-key of hearts, to him the response of the prying of hands on the knobs.
His welcome is universal, the flow of beauty is not more welcome or universal than he is,
The person he favors by day or sleeps with at night is blessed.
- Who, for the poor renown of being smart,
Would leave a sting within a brother's heart?
- Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-28), Satire II, line 113.
- Heaven's Sovereign saves all beings but himself,
That hideous sight, a naked human heart.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night III, line 226.