Last modified on 27 January 2015, at 21:38


Obscurity is the state of being unknown or the quality of being difficult to understand.


  • Content thyself to be obscurely good.
  • Like beauteous flowers which vainly waste their scent
    Of odours in unhaunted deserts.
  • How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
    The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
  • Yet was he but a squire of low degree.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book IV, Canto VII, Stanza 15.
  • Eo magis præfulgebat quod non videbatur.
    • He shone with the greater splendor, because he was not seen.
    • Tacitus, Annales (AD 117), III. 76.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 565.
  • I give the fight up; let there be an end,
    A privacy, an obscure nook for me,
    I want to be forgotten even by God.
  • As night the life-inclining stars best shows,
    So lives obscure the starriest souls disclose.
    • George Chapman, Hymns and Epigrams of Homer, The Translator's Epilogue, line 74.
  • Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
    And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
    • Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard, Stanza 14.
  • Yet still he fills affection's eye,
    Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind.
  • Some write their wrongs in marble: he more just,
    Stoop'd down serene and wrote them on the dust,
    Trod under foot, the sport of every wind,
    Swept from the earth and blotted from his mind,
    There, secret in the grave, he bade them lie,
    And grieved they could not 'scape the Almighty eye.
  • Bene qui latuit, bene vixit.
    • He who has lived obscurely and quietly has lived well.
    • Ovid, Tristium, III, 4, 25.
  • Ut sæpe summa ingenia in occulto latent!
    • How often the highest talent lurks in obscurity!
    • Plautus, Captivi, I, 2, 62.
  • Thus let me live, unseen, unknown,
    Thus unlamented let me die;
    Steal from the world, and not a stone
    Tell where I lie.
  • She dwelt among the untrodden ways
    Beside the springs of Dove,
    A maid whom there were none to praise
    And very few to love.

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about:
Look up obscurity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary