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Idyll   /ˈaɪdəl/   Listen
Idyll

noun
1.
An episode of such pastoral or romantic charm as to qualify as the subject of a poetic idyll.
2.
A musical composition that evokes rural life.  Synonyms: idyl, pastoral, pastorale.
3.
A short poem descriptive of rural or pastoral life.  Synonyms: bucolic, eclogue, idyl.



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"Idyll" Quotes from Famous Books



... In my description of the Lotus Club, for instance, I felt instinctively that Madame de Verneuil would wince at the sound of tripe; I conveyed to her my own childish impression of the magnificence of Paragot's bedchamber, and the story of our wanderings became an Idyll of No Man's Land. ...
— The Beloved Vagabond • William J. Locke

... victim of Diaz as though I had never been she. She was for me one of those ladies that have loved and are dead. The simplicity of her mind and her situation, compared with my mind and my situation, seemed unbearably piteous to me. Why, I knew not. The pathos of that brief and vanished idyll overcame me like some sad story of an antique princess. And then, magically, I saw the pathos of my present position in it as in a truth-revealing mirror. My fame, and my knowledge and my experience, my trained imagination, my skill, my ...
— Sacred And Profane Love • E. Arnold Bennett

... its slender rose-coloured spire grew to know them well. The villas of the cardinals and the princes—the Villa Pamfili mirrored in its fountains and its lakes, all sweetness and grace, where every shady grove seems to harbour some noble idyll; the Villa Albani, cold and silent as a church, with its avenues of sculptured marble and centenarian trees; where in the vestibules, under the porticos and between the granite pillars, Caryatides and Hermes, symbols of immobility, gaze at the immutable symmetry of ...
— The Child of Pleasure • Gabriele D'Annunzio

... peacefully. The sky seemed a deeper blue through the willow-branches. The tender green of the grass was wonderfully refreshing to the eyes. The cow had a beautiful coat of glossy brown that shone in the sunlight. I abandoned myself to the charm of the little idyll that was spread out before me and forgot the war ...
— Combed Out • Fritz August Voigt

... "single-speech") high as a poet. But I fear that Dr. Grosart's attribution of it to him is based on little external and refuted by all internal evidence. His best certain thing is the pretty "Phillida and Corydon" idyll, which may be found in England's Helicon or in Mr. Ward's Poets. But I own that I can never read this latter without thinking of two lines of Fulke Greville's in the same metre and on ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... expletives would resound through the hall. In all, Morris was the central figure, impatient, boisterous, with his thick-set figure, unkempt hair, and untidy clothing, but with the keenest appreciation and sympathy for any manifestation of beauty in literature or in art. But this idyll was short-lived. Ill-health in the Burne-Jones family was followed by an illness which befell Morris himself; and the demand of the growing business and the need for the master to be nearer at hand forced him to leave Upton. The Red ...
— Victorian Worthies - Sixteen Biographies • George Henry Blore

... we not to point out that there are frequent oases of sweetness and beauty set in the wastes of incredible foulness which overspread so widely the pages of Rousseau's "Confessions." Here, for example, is an idyll of vagabondage that might almost make one willing to play tramp one's self, if one by so doing ...
— Classic French Course in English • William Cleaver Wilkinson

... choral society, trained by an official of the Venetian arsenal, seemed like a real lagoon idyll. They generally sang only three-part naturally harmonized folk-songs. It was new to me not to hear the higher voice rise above the compass of the alto, that is to say, without touching the soprano, thereby imparting to the sound of the chorus a manly youthfulness ...
— A Wanderer in Venice • E.V. Lucas

... It can disentangle the lower strands from the higher in that motley collection of national literature which, extending over many generations of authorship, streaked with strayed fragments of Aramaic, varying from the idyll of Ruth to the apocalyptic dreams of Daniel, and deprived by Job and Ecclesiastes of even a rambling epical unity, is naturally obnoxious to criticism when put forward as one uniform Book, still more when ...
— Chosen Peoples • Israel Zangwill

... and fell, or conquered. . .a great all-inclusive strength of song, which is as a battle march to warriors, or as the refreshment of brooks and dates to the spent and toiling soldiers on their way, is more than the pretty idyll, whose sweet and plaintive story pleases the idle ...
— Introduction to Robert Browning • Hiram Corson

... bowed his head and touched his lips to that hand ... and felt it snatched swiftly away, and started back, aghast, the idyll roughly dissipated, the castle of his dreams falling in thunders round ...
— The Lone Wolf - A Melodrama • Louis Joseph Vance

... the poet who has sung the myths and legends dear to the German race. The sensuous and voluptuous libertine is enchanted by the eroticism of the "Roman Elegies." The domesticated reader is drawn by that chaste idyll, Herman and Dorothea. The Spinozist and Pantheist are attracted by the general tendencies of his philosophy. The Christian is at liberty to interpret "Faust" in a sense which is favourable to his religion. The Liberal ...
— German Problems and Personalities • Charles Sarolea

... fell upon the low shelves full of costly books, but he had no desire to open them. Even the carefully chosen pictures that hung above them seemed to have lost their attraction. He paused for a moment before an idyll of Corot—a dance of nymphs around some forgotten altar in a vaporous glade—and looked at it curiously. There was something rapturous and serene about the picture, a breath of spring-time in the misty trees, ...
— The Mansion • Henry Van Dyke

... thus passed his hours within the unfinished fragments of a dwelling builded for posterity, and amongst the still relics of remote generations, Love and Youth were weaving their warm eternal idyll on the sunny ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... which flowers and leaves are employed certainly much antedate the Christian era. Theocritus (Idyll III.) describes one in which a poppy petal is used, and he also refers to another form of love-divination by aid of the ...
— Current Superstitions - Collected from the Oral Tradition of English Speaking Folk • Various

... was in nothing more remarkable than in its proof of the many-sidedness of the author. He offered mediaeval romance, and classical perfection touched with the romantic spirit, and domestic idyll, of which The May Queen is probably the most popular example. The "mysterious being," conversant with "the spiritual world," might have been expected to disdain topics well within the range of Eliza Cook. He did ...
— Alfred Tennyson • Andrew Lang

... Provence. Possibly he was led astray also by his desire to create an epic poem, in which a visit to the lower regions is a necessity. The entire episode is impossible and uninteresting, and is a blot in the beautiful idyll. Later on, this desire to insert the supernatural leads the poet to interrupt the action of his poem, while the three Maries relate to the unconscious Mireio at great length the story of their coming from Jerusalem to Provence. Interesting as folklore, ...
— Frederic Mistral - Poet and Leader in Provence • Charles Alfred Downer

... Mrs. Brown's celebrated Manuscript. The kind of spell indicated was practised by Hera upon Alcmena, before the birth of Heracles. Analogous is the spell by binding witch-knots, practised by Simaetha on her lover, in the second Idyll of Theocritus. Montaigne has some curious remarks on these enchantments, explaining their power by what is now called "suggestion." There is a Danish parallel to "Willie's Ladye," ...
— A Collection of Ballads • Andrew Lang

... moments in which we need calm, and not when our faculties aspire after movement and exercise. A morbid mind will find its cure in them, a sound soul will not find its food in them. They cannot vivify, they can only soften. This defect, grounded in the essence of the pastoral idyll, has not been remedied by the whole art of poets. I know that this kind of poem is not without admirers, and that there are readers enough who prefer an Amyntus and a Daphnis to the most splendid masterpieces of the epic or the dramatic muse; but in them it is less the ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... with a serious, sweet luminance in her eyes—and he was suddenly thrilled by her glance, and moved by a desire to turn her romantic idyll into something of reality. This feeling was merely the physical one of an amorously minded man,—he knew, or thought he knew, women well enough to hold them at no higher estimate than that of sex-attraction,—yet, ...
— Innocent - Her Fancy and His Fact • Marie Corelli

... us quickly," cried Isobel, with a show of intense interest, when Courtenay had gone. She had decided on a line of conduct, and meant to follow it carefully. The more sympathy she extended towards her friend's love idyll, the less likelihood was there of disagreeable developments in other respects. That trick of calculating gush was Isobel's chief failing. She was so wrapped up in self that her own interests governed every thought. ...
— The Captain of the Kansas • Louis Tracy

... to know that here is another lesson in art and architecture by Bernard Maybeck. Here again is poetry in architecture, of a different order from the noble theme of Maybeck's Fine Arts Palace, but none the less poetry. This is a sylvan idyll, telling of lofty trees, cool shades, and secret bowers of fern and vine and wild flower, in the moist and tangled redwood forests. There is little used but rough-barked tree trunks, but what delicate ...
— The Jewel City • Ben Macomber

... claim him or not. Stormy weather and in the rainy season we lay snug under the shelter I had made out of the old canoe, and I used to tell him lies about my friends at home. And after a storm we would go round the island together to see if there was any drift. It was a kind of idyll, you might say. If only I had had some tobacco it would have been ...
— The Country of the Blind, And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... most precious relic of Germanic Folksepic. A powerful story it is of sin and suffering: corresponding to the world itself and just as the primitive mind of a people loves to represent it. The story begins as a lovely idyll ...
— Legends of the Rhine • Wilhelm Ruland

... lay on the table, and on a shelf beside the bed College prizes and medals, while everywhere were the roses he loved. His peasant mother stood beside the body of her scholar son, whose hopes and thoughts she had shared, and through the window came the bleating of distant sheep. It was the idyll of ...
— Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush • Ian Maclaren

... of this day of his. From bathing in pastoral he had been suddenly soused into tragedy's seething-pot. His idyll of the tanned gipsy, with her glancing eyes and warm lips, had been spattered out with a brushful of blood; the scene was changed from sunny life to wan death. Here were the staring eyes of a dead man, and his mouth twisted awry in its last agony. He could not away with the shock, nor ...
— The Spanish Jade • Maurice Hewlett

... of literature to which most favour was shown, and which flourished more vigorously than any other. The pastoral, and the metrical epistle, were now first introduced. The former was based on the Theocritean idyll, but does not seem to have been well adapted to Roman treatment; the latter was of two kinds; it was either a real communication on some subject of mutual interest, as that of Horace, or else an imaginary expression of feeling put into the mouth of a mythical hero or heroine, ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... generation, and if we find no direct guidance in his muse, this is no reason why criticism should pass him over, nor why there may not be something peculiarly valuable in the noble freedom and genuine modernism of his poetic spirit, to an age that is apparently only forsaking the clerical idyll of one school, for the reactionary mediaevalism or paganism, intrinsically meaningless ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I - Essay 3: Byron • John Morley

... little idyll is taken from the Book of Ruth, chapter iii, in which Ruth the Moabitess is described as lying at the feet of Boaz, the kinsman of her dead husband, Mahlon the Hebrew, in order that she might claim from him that he should ...
— La Legende des Siecles • Victor Hugo

... instinctive collaboration of everybody concerned, intellect and taste hold festival, and the associations of reality are exchanged for the associations of imagination. So understood, society is a form of poetry; the cultivated classes deliberately recompose the idyll of the past and the buried world of Astrea. Paradox or no, I believe that these fugitive attempts to reconstruct a dream whose only end is beauty represent confused reminiscences of an age of gold haunting the human heart, or rather aspirations toward a ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... volume is concerned with ballads of romance and chivalry; but it is useless to press too far the appropriateness of this title. The Nutbrown Maid, for instance, is not a true ballad at all, but an amoebaean idyll, or dramatic lyric. But, on the whole, these ballads chiefly tell of life, love, death, and human passions, of revenge and ...
— Ballads of Romance and Chivalry - Popular Ballads of the Olden Times - First Series • Frank Sidgwick

... commonplace and obscure life. She was so pretty, so sweet! such a good manager, dressing upon nothing, and making things seem luxurious with only one flower! M. Violette existed only on this dear and cruel souvenir, living his humble idyll over again in ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... Cabarus, the native minstrel, you must read for yourself, for I cannot give a faint idea of the eloquence with which their fairyland is portrayed. And if the plot ends as artificially as it began, and with an unnecessary tragedy thrown in, I suppose for the sake of that idyll in the very nesting-place of idylls I must shrug my shoulders and forgive. After all, it does not matter much who Fifine really was, nor what happened to her. Suffice it that Mr. BERNARD CAPES has ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, July 22, 1914 • Various

... The ingenuous idyll is soon over. The females, who grow more numerous from day to day, inspect the premises; they buzz outside the glass galleries and the reed dwellings; they go in, stay for a while, come out, go in again ...
— The Wonders of Instinct • J. H. Fabre

... grew suppler and more docile, answered more truly to the individuality behind it. He told her of his bringing up, of his wandering with the sheep on the mountains, of his reading among the heather, of 'Lias and his visions, of Hannah's cruelties and Louie's tempers—that same idyll of peasant life to which Dora had listened months before. But how differently told! Each different listener changes the tale, readjusts the tone. But here also the tale pleased. Elise, for all her leanings towards new schools in art, had the Romantic's ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Sam had said to her in the lane yesterday; of his clean-cut face, and the look in his eyes—so vastly superior to any look that ever came into the eyes of Bream Mortimer. She was telling herself that her relations with Sam were an idyll; for, being young and romantic, she enjoyed this freshet of surreptitious meetings which had come to enliven the stream of her life. It was pleasant to go warily into deep lanes where forbidden love lurked. She cast a swift side-glance at her father—the ...
— Three Men and a Maid • P. G. Wodehouse

... report, it was this picture of the Syracusan Bride which decided his future election as a full member of the Academy; but as a matter of fact, it was in 1869 that this election took place. The picture, let us add, was suggested to the painter by a passage in the second Idyll of Theocritus: "And for her then many other wild beasts were going in procession round about, and among them a lioness." The Painter's Honeymoon and a Portrait of Mrs. James Guthrie were also exhibited this year; and the wall-painting of The Wise and Foolish ...
— Frederic Lord Leighton - An Illustrated Record of His Life and Work • Ernest Rhys

... to the explaining the manner of introducing Revenge into Pastoral, is what we find in the sixth Idyll of Theocritus. Polyphemus's Mistress had been unkind; and how do's he propose to take Revenge: Why, he will not take notice of her as she walk's before his Cave to be seen, and pelt's his flock. After which follow's the most simple, and I had almost ...
— A Full Enquiry into the Nature of the Pastoral (1717) • Thomas Purney

... time when she most needed the support and guidance of a helping hand. Moreover, the episode was over; so at least both he and Daisy resolutely persuaded themselves. There had been a lapse—a vain and futile lapse—into the long-cherished idyll of their romance. It must never recur. It never should recur. It must be covered over and forgotten as speedily as might be. They had come to their senses again. They were ready, not only to thrust away the evil that had dominated them, but to ignore it utterly as ...
— The Way of an Eagle • Ethel M. Dell

... But the idyll did not end in the marriage for which Fox and the Lennoxes hoped. It is said that the King was jealous of Lord Newbottle; it is said that a sense of duty to his place and to his people made him resolve to subdue and ...
— A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume III (of 4) • Justin McCarthy and Justin Huntly McCarthy

... his scorn; indeed, for ten minutes or so he had uttered no word or sound; but there was something in the pose of his ungainly body which strangely suggested that of a great dog preparing to spring. Presently the violinist recalled what he termed a "charming idyll ...
— Tales of Chinatown • Sax Rohmer

... which in the Letter to D'Alembert the patriot holds up to the admiration of his countrymen and the envy of foreigners. The writer is in Sparta, but he tempers his Sparta with a something from Charmettes. Never before was there so attractive a combination of martial austerity with the grace of the idyll. And the interest of these pictures is much more than literary; it is historic also. They were the original version of those great gatherings in the Champ de Mars and strange suppers of fraternity during the progress of the Revolution ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... eroticism and much nudity, but there is nothing whatever immoral in either. Innocence and beauty are so apparent that no one can think of evil. When we look at the antique statues of the Greek sculptors; when we read Homer, especially the story of Ares and Aphrodite; when we read the bucolic idyll of Daphnis and Chloe, we can no longer have any doubt on the point. It is not nudity, it is not the natural description of sexual life, but the obscene intention of the artist, his improper and often venal object, which has a ...
— The Sexual Question - A Scientific, psychological, hygienic and sociological study • August Forel

... her capacious bosom. She made her free of the cabbages and charcoal. She provided her, at a risible charge, with succulent meals. She told her tales of her father and mother, of her neighbours, of the domestic differences between the concierge and his wife (soothing idyll for an Ariadne!), of the dirty thief of a brigadier of gendarmes, of her bodily ailments—her body was so large that they were many; of the picturesque death, through apoplexy, of the late M. Bidoux; the brave ...
— The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol • William J. Locke

... Enoch Arden, a domestic idyll, written in 1864, made a great hit. It was followed by several plays—Queen Mary, Harold, Becket and others—all finely written, but none appealing to the great public. Up to his last years Tennyson remained the real laureate of his people, his words always tinged ...
— Modern English Books of Power • George Hamlin Fitch



Words linked to "Idyll" :   composition, episode, opus, piece, piece of music, musical composition



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