The Nightingale and the Rose

by

Oscar Wilde

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Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet edition of The Nightingale and the Rose published in 2008.
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The Nightingale and the Rose Quotes

Here at last is a true lover…Night after night have I sung of him, though I knew him not: night after night have I told his story to the stars, and now I see him. His hair is as dark as the hyacinth-blossom, and his lips are as red as the rose of his desire.

Related Characters: The Nightingale (speaker), The Student
Related Symbols: The Red Rose
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

Surely Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds, and dearer than fine opals. Pearls and pomegranates cannot buy it, nor is it set forth in the market-place. It may not be purchased of the merchants, nor can it be weighed out in the balance for gold.

Related Characters: The Nightingale (speaker), The girl
Related Symbols: The Red Rose
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

"He is weeping for a red rose," said the Nightingale.

"For a red rose?" they cried; "how very ridiculous!" and the little Lizard, who was something of a cynic, laughed outright.

Related Characters: The Nightingale (speaker), The Lizard (speaker), The Student
Related Symbols: The Red Rose
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

If you want a red rose…you must build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with your own heart's-blood. You must sing to me with your breast against a thorn. All night long you must sing to me, and the thorn must pierce your heart, and your life-blood must flow into my veins, and become mine.

Related Characters: The Rose-tree (speaker), The Nightingale
Related Symbols: The Red Rose
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

The Student looked up from the grass and listened, but he could not understand what the Nightingale was saying to him, for he only knew the things that are written down in books.

Related Characters: The Nightingale, The Student
Related Symbols: The Red Rose
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

She has form…but has she got feeling? I am afraid not. In fact, she is like most artists; she is all style, without any sincerity. She would not sacrifice herself for others. She thinks merely of music, and everybody knows that the arts are selfish. Still, it must be admitted that she has some beautiful notes in her voice. What a pity it is that they do not mean anything, or do any practical good.

Related Characters: The Student (speaker), The Nightingale
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

Bitter, bitter was the pain, and wilder and wilder grew her song, for she sang of the Love that is perfected by Death, of the Love that dies not in the tomb.

Related Characters: The Nightingale
Related Symbols: The Red Rose
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

What a wonderful piece of luck…here is a red rose! I have never seen any rose like it in all my life. It is so beautiful that I am sure it has a long Latin name.

Related Characters: The Student (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Red Rose
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

The daughter of the Professor was sitting in the doorway winding blue silk on a reel, and her little dog was lying at her feet.

Related Characters: The girl
Related Symbols: Silk
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

What a silly thing Love is…It is not half as useful as Logic, for it does not prove anything, and it is always telling one of things that are not going to happen, and making one believe things that are not true. In fact, it is quite unpractical, and…in this age to be practical is everything.

Related Characters: The Student (speaker)
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

So he returned to his room and pulled out a great dusty book, and began to read.

Related Characters: The Student
Related Symbols: The Dusty Book
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.