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Philip James Bailey

1816–1902. English poet. { Encyclopedia Britannica }

At a Glance

Rilla of Ingleside (1)

Festus: A Poem (1839 poem)

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most—feels the noblest—acts the best.
Life’s but a means unto an end—that end,
Beginning, mean and end to all things—God. (p. 49)

Rilla of Ingleside, chapter 5 (“we should count time by heart-throbs”).


Philip James Bailey, Festus: A Poem, fifth edition (London: Chapman and Hall, 1854). Online at

Published on 14 October 2020; last updated on 3 June 2021. Please contact the site owner with additions, corrections, questions, and suggestions.