Quotes About Pearls

Many authors have quotes about pearls in their writings.

Pearl Stories
Romantic Pearl Poems
More Quotes on Pearls

Here we start off with a quote by John Bunyun from his "author's apology" of his popular book called Pilgrim's Progress.

My children and I enjoyed reading this book out loud during our homeschooling.

We read both parts...Christian's adventure and also his wife's, Christiana's.

Click on picture for more pearl photos.

Quotes about pearls:

John Bunyan

in "Author's Apology to PILGRIM'S PROGRESS, 1678"

"If that a Pearl may in a Toad's head dwell,
And may be found too in an Oyster-shell;
If things that promise nothing do contain
What better is than GoLd: who will disdain,
That have an inkling of it, there to look,
That they may find it? Now my little Book
(Though void of all those Paintings that may make
It with this or the other man to take)
Is not without those things that do excel
What do in brave, but empty notions dwell."

"Sound words I know Timothy is to use,
And old Wives" Fables he is to refuse;
But yet grave Paul him nowhere doth forbid
The use of Parables; in which lay hid
That Gold, those Pearls, and precious stones that were
Worth digging for, and that with greatest care."

Pilgrim's Progress--Second Part

In the second part of Pilgrim's Progress when Christian's wife, Christiana, and their four boys along with Mercy, make the journey to the Celestial City, their guide, Mr. Great-Heart, said this about the Valley of Humiliation:

"And tho' Christian had the hard hap to meet here with Apollyon, and to enter with him a brisk encounter, yet I must tell you, that in former times men have met with Angels here, have found Pearls here, and have in this place found the words of Life."

Quotes about pearls:

Vachel Lindsay

(1879–1931), U.S. poet.
The Congo (l. 84–86)

Coal-black maidens with pearls in their hair,
Knee skirts trimmed with the jassamine sweet,
And bells on their ankles and little black feet.

(Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford University Press.)

Quotes about pearls:

Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803–1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher.

“Love,” Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).

Not always can flowers, pearls, poetry, protestations, nor even home in another heart, content the awful soul that dwells in clay.

“Sea-Shore,” May-Day and Other Pieces (1867).

Rich are the sea-gods:Mwho gives gifts but they?
They grope the sea for pearls, but more than pearls:
They pluck Force thence, and give it to the wise.
Every wave is wealth to Daedalus,
Wealth to the cunning artist who can work
This matchless strength. Where shall he find, O waves!
A load your Atlas shoulders cannot lift?

Quotes about pearls:

James Russell Lowell


These pearls of thought in Persian gulfs were bred,
Each softly lucent as a rounded moon;
The diver Omar plucked them from their bed,
FitzGerald strung them on an English thread.

(In a Copy of Omar Khayyam.)

Quotes about pearls:

William Shakespeare

(1564–1616),British dramatist, poet.
Ariel, in The Tempest, act 1, sc. 2, l. 397-405

Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! Now I hear them—ding-dong bell.

(Ariel’s best-known song, for Ferdinand’s benefit, misleading him about his father, who is not dead. The idea of change or transformation is important in the play.)

Quotes about pearls:

Robert Herrick

(1591–1674), British poet.
To Daffodils (l. 15–19)

We die,
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer’s rain;
Or as the pearls of morning’s dew.

(Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250–1918. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (New ed., rev. and enl., 1939) Oxford University Press)

Quotes about pearls:

Robert Frost

(1874–1963), U.S. poet.
“Going for Water.”

A note as from a single place,
A slender tinkling fall that made
Now drops that floated on the pool
Like pearls, and now a silver blade.

Quotes about pearls:

A.E. (Alfred Edward) Housman

(1859–1936), British poet. repr. In The Collected Poems of A.E. Housman (1939).
A Shropshire Lad, no. 13 (1896).

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies,
But keep your fancy free.”
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

Quotes about pearls:

Sir William Jones

A Persian Song of Hafiz.

Go boldly forth, my simple lay,
Whose accents flow with artless ease,
Like orient pearls at random strung.

Quotes about pearls:

John Dryden

All for Love. Prologue.

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow; he who would search for pearls must dive below.

Quotes about pearls:

Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas

Second Week, Third Day, Part 1

Will change the pebbles of our puddly thought to orient pearls.

Quotes about pearls:

Robert Browning

(1812–1889), British poet.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin (l. 202–207)

Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.

(The Poems; Vol. 1 [Robert Browning]. John Pettigrew, ed. (1981) Penguin.)

Gerard Manley Hopkins

(1844–1889), British poet, Jesuit priest.
Letter, Oct. 17, 1881, to Richard Watson Dixon.

I hold with the old-fashioned criticism that Browning is not really a poet, that he has all the gifts but the one needful and the pearls without the string; rather one should say raw nuggets and rough diamonds.

( Gerard Manley Hopkins: Selected Letters, ed. Catherine Phillips (1991).)

Alexander Blok

(1880–1921), Russian poet.
“The Twelve,” sct. 12 (1918), trans. by Gerard Shelley (1942).

And before, with banner red,
Through the blizzard snow unseen,
All unharmed by hail of lead,
With a step like snow so light,
Showered in myriad pearls of snow.
Crowned in wreath of roses white,
Christ leads onward as they go.

(Last lines of poem, referring to twelve guards during the October Revolution)

Read more classic quotes about pearls here.

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