97+ Best William Morris Quotes: Exclusive Selection

William Morris was a British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. Profoundly inspirational William Morris quotes will get you through anything when the going gets tough and help you succeed in every aspect of life.

If you’re searching for quotes by famous poets that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of famous William Wordsworth quotes, greatest Allen Ginsberg quotes and best Bertolt Brecht quotes.

Famous William Morris Quotes

Dreamer of dreams, born out of my due time,Why should I strive to set the crooked straight? — William Morris

No man is good enough to be another’s master. — William Morris

I half wish that I had not been born with a sense of romance and beauty in this accursed age. — William Morris

Protect, detect, react and deter. For example, firewalls are only of any real use if you master them and take action when you notice something wrong. — William Morris

Artists cannot help themselves; they are driven to create by their nature, but for that nature to truly thrive, we need to preserve the precious habitat in which that beauty can flourish. — William Morris

My work is the embodiment of dreams in one form or another. — William Morris

Earth, left silent by the wind of night,Seems shrunken ‘neath the gray unmeasured height. — William Morris

Speak not, move not, but listen, the sky is full of gold. No ripple on the river, no stir in field or fold, All gleams but naught doth glisten, but the far-off unseen sea. Forget days past, heart broken, put all memory by! No grief on the green hillside, no pity in the sky, Joy that may not be spoken fills mead and flower and tree. — William Morris

Mastership hath many shifts whereby it striveth to keep itself alive in the world. And now hear a marvel: whereas thou sayest these two times that out of one man ye may get but one man’s work, in days to come one man shall do the work of a hundred men – yea, of a thousand or more: and this is the shift of mastership that shall make many masters and many rich men. — William Morris

One man with an idea in his head is in danger of being considered a madman: two men with the same idea in common may be foolish, but can hardly be mad; ten men sharing an idea begin to act, a hundred draw attention as fanatics, a thousand and society begins to tremble, a hundred thousand and there is war abroad, and the cause has victories tangible and real; and why only a hundred thousand? Why not a hundred million and peace upon the earth? You and I who agree together, it is we who have to answer that question. — William Morris

O thrush, your song is passing sweet, But never a song that you have sung Is half so sweet as thrushes sang When my dear love and I were young. — William Morris

Love is enough: though the world be a-waning, And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining. — William Morris

Not on one strand are all life’s jewels strung. — William Morris

So I say, if you cannot learn to love real art; at least learn to hate sham art and reject it. It is not because the wretched thing is so ugly and silly and useless that I ask you to cast it from you; it is much more because these are but the outward symbols of the poison that lies within them; look through them and see all that has gone to their fashioning, and you will see how vain labour, and sorrow, and disgrace have been their companions from the first-and all this for trifles that no man really needs! — William Morris

I pondered all these things, and how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. — William Morris

What is an artist but a workman who is determined that, whatever else happens, his work shall be excellent? — William Morris

Speak but one word to me. — William Morris

A world made to be lost, -A bitter life ‘twixt pain and nothing tost. — William Morris

Beauty, which is what is meant by art, using the word in its widest sense, is, I contend, no mere accident to human life, which people can take or leave as they choose, but a positive necessity of life. — William Morris

If i were asked to say what is at once the most important production of Art and the thing most to be longed for, I should answer, A beautiful House. — William Morris

Ornamental pattern work, to be raised above the contempt of reasonable men, must possess three qualities: beauty, imagination and order. — William Morris

Simplicity of life, even the barest, is not a misery, but the very foundation of refinement. — William Morris

From out the throng and stress of lies, from out the painful noise of sighs, one voice of comfort seems to rise: It is the meaner part that dies. — William Morris

So with this Earthly Paradise it is, If ye will read aright, and pardon me, Who strive to build a shadowy isle of bliss Midmost the beating of the steely sea… — William Morris

History has remembered the kings and warriors, because they destroyed; art has remembered the people, because they created. — William Morris

In Prison Wearily, drearily, Half the day long, Flap the great banners High over the stone; Strangely and eerily Sounds the wind’s song, Bending the banner-poles. While, all alone, Watching the loophole’s spark, Lie I, with life all dark, Feet tethered, hands fettered Fast to the stone, The grim walls, square lettered With prisoned men’s groan. Still strain the banner-poles Through the wind’s song, Westward the banner rolls Over my wrong. — William Morris

I know a little garden close Set thick with lily and red rose, Where I would wander if I might From dewy dawn to dewy night. And have one with me wandering. — William Morris

It is the childlike part of us that produces works of the imagination. When we were children time passed so slow with us that we seemed to have time for everything. — William Morris

A pattern is either right or wrong…it is no stronger than its weakest point. — William Morris

Whiles in the early Winter eve We pass amid the gathering night Some homestead that we had to leave Years past; and see its candles bright Shine in the room beside the door Where we were merry years agone But now must never enter more, As still the dark road drives us on. E’en so the world of men may turn At even of some hurried day And see the ancient glimmer burn Across the waste that hath no way; Then with that faint light in its eyes A while I bid it linger near And nurse in wavering memories The bitter-sweet of days that were. — William Morris

So long as the system of competition in the production and exchange of the means of life goes on, the degradation of the arts will go on; and if that system is to last for ever, then art is doomed, and will surely die; that is to say, civilization will die. — William Morris

Pray but one prayer for me ‘twixt thy closed lips. — William Morris

Death have we hated, knowing not what it meant; Life we have loved, through green leaf and through sere, Though still the less we knew of its intent. — William Morris

Don’t think too much of style. — William Morris

I love art, and I love history, but it is living art and living history that I love. It is in the interest of living art and living history that I oppose so-called restoration. What history can there be in a building bedaubed with ornament, which cannot at the best be anything but a hopeless and lifeless imitation of the hope and vigor of the earlier world? — William Morris

When he understands, as few others do, something of his home that is funny, or sad, or tragic, or cruel, or beautiful, or true, he knows he must do so as a stranger. — William Morris

Let dead hearts tarry and trade and marry, And trembling nurse their dreams of mirth, While we the living our lives are giving To bring the bright new world to birth. — William Morris

I think the thing that impressed me is (AT&T CEO Michael) Armstrong’s strategic vision and the fact that he’s got John Malone (TCI’s chairman) to go along. There’s a real commitment to build a new AT&T. — William Morris

By God! I will not tell you more to-day, Judge any way you will — what matters it? — William Morris

There was a knight came riding by In early spring, when the roads were dry; And he heard that lady sing at the noon, Two red roses across the moon. — William Morris

If a chap can’t compose an epic poem while he’s weaving tapestry, he had better shut up, he’ll never do any good at all. — William Morris

Nothing should be made by man’s labour which is not worth making, or which must be made by labour degrading to the makers. — William Morris

Love is Enough Love is enough: though the world be a-waning, And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining, Though the skies be too dark for dim eyes to discover The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming thereunder, Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder, And this day draw a veil over all deeds passed over, Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter: The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover. — William Morris

Talk of inspiration is sheer nonsense; there is to such thing. It is mere a matter of craftsmanship. — William Morris

Fellowship is heaven, and lack of fellowship is hell; fellowship is life, and lack of fellowship is death; and the deeds that ye do upon the earth, it is for fellowship’s sake that ye do them. — William Morris

The greatest foe to art is luxury, art cannot live in its atmosphere. — William Morris

He did not die in the night, / He did not die in the day, / But in the morning twilight / His spirit passed away. — William Morris

Another thing much too commonly seen, is an aberration of the human mind which otherwise I should have been ashamed to warn you of. It is technically called carpet-gardening. Need I explain it further? I had rather not, for when I think of it, even when I am quite alone, I blush with shame at the thought. — William Morris

I hope that we shall have leisure from war, — war commercial, as well as war of the bullet and the bayonet; leisure from the knowledge that darkens counsel; leisure above all from the greed of money, and the craving for that overwhelming distinction that money now brings: I believe that, as we have even now partly achieved liberty , so we shall achieve equality , and best of all, fraternity , and so have leisure from poverty and all its griping, sordid cares. — William Morris

If you cannot learn to love real art, at least learn to hate sham art and reject it. — William Morris

If there is a reason for keeping the wall very quiet, choose a pattern that works all over without pronounced lines…Put very succinctly, architectural effect depends upon a nice balance of horizontal, vertical and oblique. No rules can say how much of each; so nothing can really take the place of feeling and good judgement. — William Morris

The past is not dead, it is living in us, and will be alive in the future which we are now helping to make. — William Morris

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. — William Morris

We are potentially vulnerable in just about anything we do anywhere. — William Morris

When Socialism comes, it may be in such a form that we won’t like it. — William Morris

The reward of labour is life. Is that not enough? — William Morris

Free men must live simple lives and have simple pleasures. — William Morris

It has become an article of the creed of modern morality that all labour is good in itself — a convenient belief to those who live on the labour of others. But as to those on whom they live, I recommend them not to take it on trust, but to look into the matter a little deeper. — William Morris

I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few. — William Morris

Do not be afraid of large patterns, if properly designed they are more restful to the eye than small ones: on the whole, a pattern where the structure is large and the details much broken up is the most useful…very small rooms, as well as very large ones, look better ornamented with large patterns. — William Morris

Give me love and work – these two only. — William Morris

A good way to rid one’s self of a sense of discomfort is to do something. That uneasy, dissatisfied feeling is actual force vibrating out of order; it may be turned to practical account by giving proper expression to its creative character. — William Morris

With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on. — William Morris

The wind is not helpless for any man’s need, Nor falleth the rain but for thistle and weed. — William Morris

Forsooth, brethren, fellowship is heaven and lack of fellowship is hell; fellowship is life and lack of fellowship is death; and the deeds that ye do upon the earth, it is for fellowship’s sake that ye do them. — William Morris

What is this the sound and rumor? What is this that all men hear, Like the wind in hollow valleys when the storm is drawing near, Like the rolling of the ocean in the eventide of fear? ‘Tis the people marching on — William Morris

what I mean by Socialism is a condition of society in which there should be neither rich nor poor, neither master nor master’s man, neither idle nor overworked, neither brain­slack brain workers, nor heart­sick hand workers, in a word, in which all men would be living in equality of condition, and would manage their affairs unwastefully, and with the full consciousness that harm to one would mean harm to all-the realisation at last of the meaning of the word commonwealth. — William Morris

I am going your way, so let us go hand in hand. You help me and I’ll help you. We shall not be here very long … so let us help one another while we may. — William Morris

Slayer of the winter, art thou here again? O welcome, thou that bring’st the summer nigh! The bitter wind makes not the victory vain. Nor will we mock thee for thy faint blue sky. — William Morris

Masters, I have to tell a tale of woe, A tale of folly and of wasted life, Hope against hope, the bitter dregs of strife, Ending, where all things end, in death at last. — William Morris

Forgetfulness of grief I yet may gain;In some wise may come ending to my pain;It may be yet the Gods will have me glad!Yet, Love, I would that thee and pain I had! — William Morris

We are only the trustees for those who come after us. — William Morris

To happy folkAll heaviest words no more of meaning bearThan far-off bells saddening the Summer air. — William Morris

Yea, I have looked, and seen November there; The changeless seal of change it seemed to be, Fair death of things that, living once, were fair; Bright sign of loneliness too great for me, Strange image of the dread eternity, In whose void patience how can these have part, These outstretched feverish hands, this restless heart? — William Morris

All rooms ought to look as if they were lived in, and to have so to say, a friendly welcome ready for the incomer. — William Morris

There is no single policy to which one can point and say – this built the Morris business. I should think I must have made not less than one thousand decisions in each of the last ten years. The success of a business is the result of the proportion of right decisions by the executive in charge. — William Morris

Between complete socialism and communism there is no difference whatever in my mind.Communism is in fact the completion of socialism; when that ceases to be militant and becomes triumphant, it will be communism. — William Morris

No pattern should be without some sort of meaning. — William Morris

Late February days; and now, at last, Might you have thought that Winter’s woe was past; So fair the sky was and so soft the air. — William Morris

A man at work, making something which he feels will exist because he is working at it and wills it, is exercising the energies of his mind and soul as well as of his body. Memory and imagination help him as he works. — William Morris

Apart from the desire to produce beautiful things, the leading passion of my life has been and is hatred of modern civilization. — William Morris

Join hope to our hope and blend sorrow with sorrow, And seek for men’s love in the short days of life. — William Morris

the false reports are, of course, calculated to do the agency severe harm. — William Morris

I was pretty worried about him for a while. — William Morris

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. — William Morris

It is for him that is lonely or in prison to dream of fellowship, but for him that is of a fellowship to do and not to dream. — William Morris

Art made by the people for the people, as a joy to the maker and the user, — William Morris

Investigators need to understand the technology and know what to ask for, — William Morris

Architecture would lead us to all the arts, as it did with earlier mean: but if we despise it and take no note of how we are housed, the other arts will have a hard time of it indeed. — William Morris

And the deeds that ye do upon this earth, it is for fellowship’s sake that ye do them. — William Morris

You may hang your walls with tapestry insread of whitewash or paper; or you may cover them with mosaic; or have them frescoed by a great painter: all this is not luxury, if it be done for beauty’s sake, and not for show: it does not break our golden rule: Have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. — William Morris

There is no excuse for doing anything which is not strikingly beautiful. — William Morris

If we feel the least degradation in being amorous, or merry or hungry, or sleepy, we are so far bad animals & miserable men. — William Morris

I have said as much as that the aim of art was to destroy the curse of labour by making work the pleasurable satisfaction of our impulse towards energy, and giving to that energy hope of producing something worth its exercise. — William Morris

Large or small, [the garden] should be orderly and rich. It should be well fenced from the outside world. It should by no means imitate either the willfulness or the wildness of nature, but should look like a thing never to be seen except near the house. It should, in fact, look like part of the house. — William Morris

The largest thing that these young black men and women stood for was to tell young black people that there is no obstacle that you can’t overcome. That you can achieve your dreams. That hard work and perseverance and education will pay off, but you’ll have to sacrifice to attain that. — William Morris

The heart desires, the hand refrains. The Godhead fires, the soul attains. — William Morris

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