Free Classic Literature
Litscape.com provides free access to great works of classic literature. These works are presented in a friendly format for your reading pleasure. All works are indexed by title, first line, last line, and moral (for fables). New pieces are added frequently, so visit often. Enjoy!
Not till that last day, the day that closes our mortal existence, shall we fully understand the brevity of time. Yet time is our life; its passage is our death. The moment we began to live, that moment we began to die. We forget too often that the departure of time means the departure of our life. When the warm blood flows full and strong through all the swelling veins, and full-robed joy animates body and mind; when in the series of our days and years there occurs no startling circumstance to arrest our notice or awake our thought, we forget that we are not moored, but are ever gliding, though we notice not our motion, down the stream of time.
Chas. R. Stoddard
How absolute and omnipotent is the silence of night! And yet the stillness seems almost audible! From all the measureless depths of air around us comes a half-sound, a half-whisper, as if we could hear the crumbling and falling away of earth and all created things, in the great miracle of nature, decay and reproduction, ever beginning, never ending, - the gradual lapse and running of the sand in the great hour-glass of Time.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Take all reasonable advantage of that which the present may offer you. It is the only time which is ours. Yesterday is buried forever, and tomorrow we may never see.
One of the illusions is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday.
Abridge your hopes in proportion to the shortness of the span of human life; for while we converse, the hours, as if envious of our pleasure, fly away. Enjoy, therefore, the present time, and trust not too much to what tomorrow may produce.
There is no moment like the present: not only so, but moreover, there is no moment at all, that is, no instant force and energy, but in the present. The man who will not execute his resolutions when they are fresh unon him can have no hope from them afterwards; they will be dissipated, lost, and perish in the hurry and skurry of the world, or sunk in the slough of indolence.
We should so live and labor in our time that what came to us as seed may go to the next generation as blossom, and that what came to us as blossom may go to them as fruit. This is what we mean by progress.
Henry Ward Beecher
Make use of time, if thou lovest eternity; know yesterday cannot be recalled, tomorrow cannot be assured; today is only thine; Which if thou procrastinate, thou losest; which lost, is lost forever. One today is worth two tomorrows.
Our brains are seventy-year clocks. The angel of life winds them up at once for all, then closes the cases, and gives the key into the hand of the angel of resurrection.
Tic-tac, tic-tac! go the wheels of thought; our will cannot stop them; madness only makes them go faster. Death alone can break into the case, and, seizing the ever-swinging pendulum which we call the heart, silence at last the clicking of the terrible escapement we have carried so long beneath our aching foreheads.
The long sleep of death closes our scars, and the short sleep of life our wounds. Sleep is the half of time which heals us.
For my own part, I had rather be old only a short time than be old before I really am so.
Character is made up of small duties faithfully performed - of self-denials, of self-sacrifices, of kindly acts of love and duty.
Never to tire, never to grow cold; to be patient, sympathetic, tender; to look for the budding flower and the opening heart; to hope always; like God, to love always - this is duty.
There are few wild beasts more to be dreaded than a communicative man having nothing to communicate.
The secret of making one's self tiresome is not to know when to stop.
It is always easy to shut a book, but not quite so easy to get rid of a lettered coxcomb.
The man who prates about the cruelty of angling will be found invariably to beat his wife.
Comprehensive Word Analysis, New to Litscape.com
Litscape.com now offers a comprehensive word analysis section, where each word has a dedicated page offering:
- Definitions, where available.
- Quotations relevant to the word, where available. These are little bits of potted wisdom by some of the worlds greatest authors and other famous people. For example, there are over 1600 great quotations about love all in one place. Pick your word and pick your favorites.
- Patterns of word growth (how you can make the word from other words, and how you can make other words using the word).
- Charts of all words within the letters of the word, and the word as it appears as a sequence within other words.
- Find the best plays for Scrabble® or Words with Friends™ using the letters of the word. The score in these games depends not only on the letters of the word, but where you play it. These charts give you the scores for that word and all words within, at all possible board positions. Sort by score to get your best plays. If you enter the random letters on your rack (8 letters max), it will also tell you your best plays.
Litscape.com Exclusive Word Finder Tools
Litscape.com has the best word finder tools anywhere, making it easier to find words you are looking for. Our exclusive collection of live dictionary word search tools lets you search for words matching your specifications in a variety of word lists. These searches are extremely fast and the results are exhaustive. The results can be sorted alphabetically from the start and the end of the words, by length, by Scrabble® scores, and by Words With Friends™ scores. These tools are a valuable resource for writers, poets, teachers, students, and everyone who enjoys word games.
Simply select your word list, enter your letters, and press
Get Words. Adjust the display controls to sort the results in various ways, and alter how they are displayed.
Word List Updates
- Updated! Litscape Default Censored Word List 127,354 Words
- Enable Censored Word List 170,705 Words
- Enable Uncensored Word List 171,297 Words
- New! Scrabbleable Censored Word List 120,237 Words
- New! Scrabbleable Uncensored Word List 120,649 Words
- Updated! Mammoth Censored Word List 287,391 Words
- Updated! Mammoth Uncensored Word List 288,218 Words
Word Finder Tools
- Words Starting With. Find words starting with your letters.
- Words Ending With. Find words ending with your letters.
- Words Containing Sequence. Find words containing a particular sequence of letters.
- Words Made From. Find words made from certain letters, exclusively.
- Word Anagrams. Find anagram words in any set of letters.
- Words Containing Only. Find all words in any set of letters.
- Words Containing Only + 1 Blank. Find all words in any set of letters + 1 blank tile
- Words Containing Only + 2 Blanks. Find all words in any set of letters + 2 blank tiles
- Words Containing Minimally. Find all words that contain, minimally, the letters you specify.
- Match Words By Pattern. Find all words that match a particular pattern, using letters and the wildcard characters ? and *. (Crossword puzzles).
- Match Word Soundex. Find all words that match the soundex of a particular word.
- Match Word Metaphone. Find all words that match the metaphone of a particular word.
Browse Extensive Word Lists
Litscape.com offers extensive sets of wordlists, organized by word starts, word ends, word lengths, and anagram sets.
Put the dictionary under a microscope. Visit Wordiscope.com.
Spokenby Helen Hunt Jackson
Counting the hours by bells and lights
We rose and sank;
The waves on royal banquet-heights
Tossed off and drank
Their jewels made of sun and moon,
White pearls at midnight, gold at noon.
Achievements by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Trust in thine own untried capacity
As thou wouldst trust in God Himself. Thy soul
Is but an emanation from the whole.
Thou dost not dream what forces lie in thee,
Vast and unfathomed as the grandest sea.
Thy silent mind o'er diamond caves may roll,
Go seek them - but let guiding will control
Those passions which thy favouring winds can be.
Avenging and Bright Fell The Swift Sword Of Erin by Thomas Moore
Avenging and bright fell the swift sword of Erin,
On him who the sons of Usna betray'd;
For ev'ry fond eye he hath waken'd a tear in,
A drop from his heart-wounds shall weep o'er her blade.
By the red cloud that hung over Conor's dark dwelling,
When Ulad's three champions lay sleeping in gore;
By the pillows of war which, so often, high swelling,
Have wafted these heroes to victory's shore! --
Cold And Quiet by Jean Ingelow
Cold, my dear, -- cold and quiet.
In their cups on yonder lea,
Cowslips fold the brown bee's diet;
So the moss enfoldeth thee.
Constancy by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
I will be true. Mad stars forsake their courses,
And, led by reckless meteors, turn away
From paths appointed by Eternal Forces;
But my fixed heart shall never go astray
Like those calm worlds whose sun-directed motion
Is undisturbed by strife of wind or sea,
So shall my swerveless and serene devotion
Sweep on for ever, loyal unto thee.
Contentment by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Little I ask; my wants are few;
I only wish a hut of stone,
(A very plain brown stone will do,)
That I may call my own; --
And close at hand is such a one,
In yonder street that fronts the sun.
Daily Trials by Oliver Wendell Holmes
O there are times
When all this fret and tumult that we hear
Do seem more stale than to the sexton's ear
His own dull chimes.
Ding dong! ding dong!
The world is in a simmer like a sea
Over a pent volcano, -- woe is me
All the day long!
Endure by Achsa White Sprague
Strikes it coldly on the heart --
Endure, endure, be what thou art?
Never bend beneath the load,
Never falter on the road,
Onward, proudly, through the strife,
'Tis the corner-stone of life;
Make your happiness secure,
Endure, endure, endure, endure!
Endymion by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The rising moon has hid the stars;
Her level rays, like golden bars,
Lie on the landscape green,
With shadows brown between.
And silver white the river gleams,
As if Diana in her dreams,
Had dropt her silver bow
Upon the meadows low.
Epitaph On Holy Willie by Robert Burns
Here Holy Willie's sair worn clay
Tak's up its last abode;
His soul has ta'en some other way,
I fear, the left-hand road.
False Poets And True by Thomas Hood
Look how the lark soars upward and is gone,
Turning a spirit as he nears the sky!
His voice is heard, but body there is none
To fix the vague excursions of the eye.
So, poets' songs are with us, though they die
Obscured and hid by Death's oblivious shroud,
And earth inherits the rich melody,
Like raining music from the morning cloud.
Fishing by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Oh, of course, it's bliss -- but how hot it is
And the rock I'm sitting on grows harder every minute;
Still the fisher waits, trying various baits,
But the baskets at his side, I see, have nothing in them.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
Lost At Sea by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
The face that Carlo Dolci drew
Looks down from out its leafy hood --
The holly berries, gleaming through
The pointed leaves, seem drops of blood.
Above the cornice, round the hearth,
Are evergreens and spruce-tree boughs;
'T is Christmas morning: Christmas mirth
And joyous voices fill the house.
Love's Extravagance by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Could I but measure my strength, by my love,
Were I as strong, as my heart's love is true,
I would pull down the stars, from the heavens above,
And weave them all into a garland for you.
And brighter, and better, your jewels should be
Than any proud queen's, that e'r dwelt o'er the sea.
Ay! richer and rarer, your gems, love, should be
Than any rare jewels that come from the sea.
Mistakes by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
God sent us here to make mistakes,
To strive, to fail, to re-begin,
To taste the tempting fruit of sin,
And find what bitter food it makes,
Momus, God Of Laughter by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Wisdom wearies, Love has wings --
Wealth makes burdens, Pleasure stings,
Glory proves a thorny crown --
So all gifts the gods throw down
Bring their pains and troubles after;
All save Momus, god of laughter.
He alone gives constant joy,
Hail to Momus, happy boy!
O Lay Thy Hand In Mine, Dear! by Gerald Massey
O lay thy hand in mine, dear!
We're growing old, we're growing old;
But Time hath brought no sign, dear,
That hearts grow cold, that hearts grow cold.
'T is long, long since our new love
Made life divine, made life divine;
But age enricheth true love,
Like noble wine, like noble wine.
Rain And Wind by Madison Julius Cawein
I hear the hoofs of horses
Galloping over the hill,
Galloping on and galloping on,
When all the night is shrill
With wind and rain that beats the pane --
And my soul with awe is still.
Remember The Alamo by Rose Hartwick Thorpe
Two student lads one morning met
Under the blue-domed Texas skies;
Strangers by birth and station, yet
Youth's heart lies close beneath youth's eyes.
A thousand miles lay 'twixt their homes,
Watered by many a crystal stream;
Dame Nature reared a thousand domes,
And spread a thousand plains between.
They met, clasped hands, scorned bolt and bar,
Which cautious age puts on the heart;
Shared room and purse, then wandered far
By quiet ways and busy mart.
By San Antonio's winding stream,
Through narrow streets, the two lads passed,
Saw antique ruins, like some dream
Of ancient times.
Sand Of The Desert In An Hour-Glass by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A handful of red sand, from the hot clime
Of Arab deserts brought,
Within this glass becomes the spy of Time,
The minister of Thought.
How many weary centuries has it been
About those deserts blown!
How many strange vicissitudes has seen,
How many histories known!
Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen
It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
The Beautiful Land Of Nod by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Come, cuddle your head on my shoulder, dear,
Your head like the golden-rod,
And we will go sailing away from here
To the beautiful Land of Nod.
Away from life's hurry, and flurry, and worry,
Away from earth's shadows and gloom,
To a world of fair weather we'll float off together,
Where roses are always in bloom.
The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe
Hear the sledges with the bells,
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars, that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells --
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
The Bells of Lynn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
O curfew of the setting sun! O Bells of Lynn!
O requiem of the dying day! O Bells of Lynn!
From the dark belfries of yon cloud-cathedral wafted,
Your sounds aërial seem to float, O Bells of Lynn!
Borne on the evening wind across the crimson twilight,
O'er land and sea they rise and fall, O Bells of Lynn!
The Family by Bayard Taylor
Dear Love, whatever fate
The flying years unfold,
There's none can dissipate
The happiness we hold.
Whatever cloud may rise,
The very storms grow mild
Where bend the blissful skies
O'er Husband, Wife, and Child.
The Favorite Flower by Celia Thaxter
O the warm, sweet, mellow summer noon,
The golden calm and the perfumed air,
The chirp of birds and the locust's croon,
The rich flowers blossoming still and fair.
The old house lies 'mid the swarming leaves
Steeped in sunshine from porch to eaves,
With doors and windows thrown open wide
To welcome the beauty and bloom outside.
The Flowers In The Cemetery by Hannah Flagg Gould
Night falls around us, like a mourner's veil;
But, though our beauties in the dimness fade,
Still does the pure, free essence we exhale
Ascend and penetrate the deepest shade.
If thus the better part of those you weep,
From death and darkness, rose to life and light;
Then lift your hearts from all that earth could keep
To that blest world where you may re-unite.
Such is the part that we, the humble Flowers,
Perform; and such the solace we would give
To man, who, while we bloom our few short hours,
Has yet a whole eternity to live!
The House Of Clouds by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I would build a cloudy House
For my thoughts to live in:
When for earth too fancy-loose,
And too low for Heaven!
Hush! I talk my dream aloud --
I build it bright to see, --
I build it on the moonlit cloud
To which I looked with thee.
The Husband Speaks by Elizabeth Stoddard
Dearest though I have sung a many songs,
Yet have I never sung one from my heart,
Save to thee only -- and such private songs
Are as the silent, secret kiss of Love!
My heart, I say, so sacred was, and is,
I kept, I keep it, from all eyes but thine,
Because it is no longer mine, but thine,
Given thee forever, when I gave myself
That winter morning -- was it years ago?
The Iron Pen by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I thought this Pen would arise
From the casket where it lies -
Of itself would arise, and write
My thanks and my surprise.
The Mother's Pride by James Nack
Yes, she is beautiful indeed!
The soft blue eyes, the golden hair,
The brow where pleasant thoughts we read,
The radiant smile, the winning air,
The cherub form of perfect grace,
Whose fairy steps in music glide --
And oh! that sweet, that heavenly face!
Well may she be her mother's pride!
The Old Clock On The Stairs by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Somewhat back from the village street
Stands the old-fashioned country-seat;
Across its antique portico
Tall poplar trees their shadows throw,
And from its station in the hall
An ancient timepiece says to all,
For ever -- never!
Never -- for ever!
Halfway up the stairs it stands,
And points and beckons with its hands
From its case of massive oak,
Like a monk, who, under his cloak,
Crosses himself, and sighs, alas!
With sorrowful voice to all who pass, --
For ever -- never!
Never -- for ever!
The Rock-A-By Lady by Eugene Field
The Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby street
Comes stealing; comes creeping;
The poppies they hang from her head to her feet,
And each hath a dream that is tiny and fleet --
She bringeth her poppies to you, my sweet,
When she findeth you sleeping!
The Rose by James Whitcomb Riley
It tossed its head at the wooing breeze;
And the sun, like a bashful swain,
Beamed on it through the waving trees
With a passion all in vain, --
For my rose laughed in a crimson glee,
And hid in the leaves in wait for me.
The honey-bee came there to sing
His love through the languid hours,
And vaunt of his hives, as a proud old king
Might boast of his palace-towers:
But my rose bowed in a mockery,
And hid in the leaves in wait for me.
The Salt Sea-Wind by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
When Venus, mother and maker of blisses,
Rose out of the billows, large-limbed, and fair,
She stood on the sands and blew sweet kisses
To the salt sea-wind as she dried her hair.
The Sandpiper by Celia Thaxter
Across the narrow beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I;
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit, --
One little sandpiper and I.
The Soul's Expression by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
With stammering lips and insufficient sound,
I strive and struggle to deliver right
That music of my nature, day and night,
With dream and thought and feeling, interwound,
And inly answering all the senses round
With octaves of a mystic depth and height,
Which step out grandly to the infinite
From the dark edges of the sensual ground!
The Wife Speaks by Elizabeth Stoddard
Husband, to-day could you and I behold
The sun that brought us to our bridal morn
Rising so splendid in the winter sky
(We thought fair spring returned), when we were wed;
Could the shades vanish from these fifteen years,
Which stand like columns guarding the approach
To that great temple of the double soul
That is as one -- would you turn back, my dear,
And, for the sake of Love's mysterious dream,
As old as Adam and as sweet as Eve,
Take me, as I took you, and once more go
Towards that goal which none of us have reached?
Thou Art, O God by Thomas Moore
Thou art, O God, the life and light
Of all this wond'rous world we see;
Its glow by day, its smile by night,
Are but reflections caught from Thee.
Where'er we turn Thy glories shine,
And all things fair and bright are Thine!
Tis Sweet To Think by Thomas Moore
Oh! 'tis sweet to think, that, where'er we rove,
We are sure to find something blissful and dear,
And that, when we're far from the lips we love,
We have but to make love to the lips we are near!
The heart, like a tendril, accustom'd to cling,
Let it grow where it will, cannot flourish alone,
But will lean to the nearest and loveliest thing
It can twine with itself, and make closely its own.
Then oh! what pleasure, where'er we rove,
To be sure to find something still that is dear,
And to know, when far from the lips we love,
We have but to make love to the lips we are near.
To A Blank Sheet Of Paper by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Take, then, this treasure to thy trust,
To win some idle reader's smile,
Then fade and moulder in the dust,
Or swell some bonfire's crackling pile.
To Autumn by John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Was, Is, And Yet-To-Be by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Was, Is, and Yet-to-Be
Were chatting over a cup of tea.
In tarnished finery smelling of must,
Was talked of people long turned to dust;
Of titles and honours and high estate,
All forgotten or out of date;
We Are Seven by William Wordsworth
-- A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?
Wedded Love by James Nack
I every day a tender lay
Shall waken to her name,
And every night to throne of might
Shall kneel to bless the same;
For years and years, through smiles and tears,
I'll prize her all above;
And well shall this insure the bliss
That hails our wedded love.
What Love Is by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Love is the centre and circumference;
The cause and aim of all things - 'tis the key
To joy and sorrow, and the recompense
For all the ills that have been, or may be.
What We Need by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
But we want women, strong of soul, yet lowly,
With that rare meekness, born of gentleness,
Women whose lives are pure and clean and holy,
The women whom all little children bless.
Brave, earnest women, helpful to each other,
With finest scorn for all things low and mean;
Women who hold the names of wife and mother
Far nobler than the title of a Queen.
Oh, these are they who mould the men of story,
These mothers, ofttimes shorn of grace and youth,
Who, worn and weary, ask no greater glory
Than making some young soul the home of truth;
Who sow in hearts all fallow for the sowing
The seeds of virtue and of scorn for sin,
And, patient, watch the beauteous harvest growing
And weed out tares which crafty hands cast in.
Woman by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Give us that grand word
woman once again,
And let's have done with
lady: one's a term
Full of fine force, strong, beautiful, and firm,
Fit for the noblest use of tongue or pen;
And one's a word for lackeys. One suggests
The Mother, Wife, and Sister! One the dame
Whose costly robe, mayhap, gives her the name.