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Impotently   Listen
adverb
Impotently  adv.  In an impotent manner.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Impotently" Quotes from Famous Books



... swept over Clay at the thought of a possibly fatal termination to the night's adventure. He groaned at the mockery of having found his life only to lose it now, when it was more precious to him than it had ever been, and to lose it in a silly brawl with semi-savages. He cursed himself impotently and ...
— Soldiers of Fortune • Richard Harding Davis

... semi-genteel squares and terraces westward by Copenhagen Street, or, best of all, mounting to the Regent's Canal, where we paused to lean over the bridge and watch flotillas of ducks steer under us, or little white dogs dash, impotently furious, from stem to stern of the great, lazy barges painted in a crude vehemence of vermilion and azure. These were happy hours, when the spectre of Religion ceased to overshadow us for a little while, when my Father forgot the Apocalypse and dropped ...
— Father and Son • Edmund Gosse

... impetuous and impatient young hero in such an encounter with the foremost statesman of the age? He had arrived, with all the self-confidence of a conqueror; he did not know that he was to be played upon like a pipe—to be caught in meshes spread by his own hands—to struggle blindly—to rage impotently—to ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... half-acquiesced in but fifteen short hours ago is no longer thought of, for what the Ministers propose to do now interests no one. After impotently attempting to deal with questions for which they were in no wise fitted they have resigned themselves to the inevitable, and have become mere pawns like the rest of us. Fortunately the men who are men begin to work with frenzied energy, rushing about collecting food and materials. S——, the ...
— Indiscreet Letters From Peking • B. L. Putman Weale

... their shins in the darkness that encompassed them beyond the circle of the bonfires. Behind them McIvor was hallooing to his scattered followers at the top of his lungs and cursing impotently between hollers as he poked about at the edge of ...
— Every Man for Himself • Hopkins Moorhouse

... Northern troops. Staunton alone was yet unoccupied. But Staunton was closely threatened; and north of Harrisonburg the blue-coated cavalry were riding far and wide. While the women and old men looked impotently on, village and mill and farm were at the mercy of the invaders. Already the Federal commissaries had laid hands on herds and granaries. It is true that the Northerners waged war like gentlemen; yet for all that the patriotism of the Valley soldiers ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... even the man Cazeau suspected him. And then,—when the public confession of the Abbe Vergniaud came under discussion,—the Pope had gathered together all the visible remains of physical force his attenuated frame could muster, and had hurled himself impotently against the wall of opposing fact with such frail fury as almost to suggest the celebrated simile of "a reed shaken with the wind". In vain had the Cardinal pleaded for Vergniaud's pardon; in vain ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... precisely three minutes to twelve—for I had just consulted my watch—that the great idea surged into my brain. At four minutes to twelve I had been grumbling impotently at Providence. By two minutes to twelve I had determined upon a manly and ...
— Love Among the Chickens - A Story of the Haps and Mishaps on an English Chicken Farm • P. G. Wodehouse

... to be off, tossed impatient heads, straining impotently at the tightened rein. On a given word they sprang forward with a thundering rush of hoofs, swooping down upon the pegs at lightning speed, the men's faces level with the flying manes, their lance-heads skimming the ground. Followed the stirring moment of impact, the long-drawn ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... stooping white-clad figure in the bow: "Let go!" There was an answering splash, a sudden rasp of hawser, the booms swung idle, and the yacht imperceptibly settled into her berth. The wheel turned impotently; and, absent-minded, John Woolfolk locked it. He dropped his long form on a carpet-covered folding chair near by. He was tired. His sailor, Poul Halvard, moved about with a noiseless and swift efficiency; he rolled and cased the jib, and then, ...
— Wild Oranges • Joseph Hergesheimer

... a cry she awoke, shivering and half-sobbing, to feel herself the loneliest of little mortals—to long impotently for her father's touch, her father's kiss,—to pray to that dimly-radiant phantom of her mother's loveliness which was pictured on her brain, and anon to stretch out her pretty rounded arms with a soft ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... administration in the Netherlands, is evidently to be ascribed to the lukewarmness of the nobility in opposing it. If the minister had been sure of the nobles he might have despised the fury of the mob, which would have impotently dashed itself against the dreaded barriers of the throne. The sufferings of the citizens lingered long in tears and sighs, until the arts and the example of the nobility called forth a louder ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... half-suppressed oath was ended with an indignant sigh. Here and there too,—contrasting the redecorated, refurnished, and smiling shops—heaps of rubbish before the gate of some haughty mansion testified the abasement of fortifications which the owner impotently resented as a sacrilege. Through such streets and such throngs did the party we accompany wend their way, till they found themselves amidst crowds assembled before the entrance of the Capitol. The officers there ...
— Rienzi • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... stood Monceux, in all the pomp of his shrievalty, with his councilmen and aldermen. Master Simeon, with face leaner than ever and inturning eyes, glared impotently at the chief ...
— Robin Hood • Paul Creswick

... and beheld a young sparrow, with a yellow ring around its beak and down on its head. It had fallen from the nest (the wind was rocking the trees of the alley violently), and sat motionless, impotently expanding its barely-sprouted ...
— A Reckless Character - And Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... in Algiers, which had grown hateful to us both, accompanied me to London. As, however, the weather was rough, and she was a very bad sailor, I saw little of her on the voyage. For my own part, I enjoyed the stormy days, the howling winds and the infuriated waves dashing impotently over the steamer. They filled me with a sense of conflict and of amusement. It is always good to see man triumphing over the murderous forces of nature. It puts one in conceit with ...
— Simon the Jester • William J. Locke

... his right arm, and the empty sleeve fell back from the stump, which burned and throbbed impotently. There was will enough in it to conquer the whole world for her. There was that aching love which mothers feel in his breast for her, as though his heart ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 20, August 1877 • Various

... they were passing over the basin of Imenge, and the tribes scattered over the adjacent hills were impotently menacing the Victoria with their weapons. Finally, she sped along as far as the last undulations of the country which precede Rubeho. These form the last and loftiest chain of the mountains ...
— Five Weeks in a Balloon • Jules Verne

... the driver threw his weight on the left rein and swung them sharply in that direction. For a few feet they traveled evenly enough but when they were still some distance from the bank, the horse on the left sank quickly to his shoulders, lunged, stood on his hind legs and pawed the air impotently, and then ...
— The Range Boss • Charles Alden Seltzer

... impotently, trying to see through the reek. At first, it was impossible to make out anything. Then, as I stared, I saw something below, to my left, that moved. I looked intently toward it, and, presently, made out another, and then another—three dim shapes that appeared to be climbing ...
— The House on the Borderland • William Hope Hodgson

... the eyes were blue and faded, and red about the rims with over-much study. The top part of the face above the cheek-bones was noble; but the lower part fell away to a mouth and chin which were amiable and undecided. At the hour of Tabs' arrival, he was flinging up his hands and spluttering impotently, an inexpert swimmer in ...
— The Kingdom Round the Corner - A Novel • Coningsby Dawson

... broth and my hotter anger, I came nigh to choking, whereupon he rose and, seeing the bowl empty, took it from me and thereafter set another pillow to my back, the while I reviled him impotently. ...
— Martin Conisby's Vengeance • Jeffery Farnol

... invisible constables for help. But her pangs were childish compared with Morsfield's, who, with the rage of a conceited schemer tricked and the fury of a lover beholding the rape of his beautiful, bellowed impotently at Weyburn and the coachman out of hearing, 'Stop! you!' He was in the state of men who believe that there is a virtue in imprecations, and he shot loud oaths after them, shook his fist, cursed his friend Cumnock, whose name he vociferated as a summons to him,—generally the baffled ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... understand him, and her eyes questioned whether he was ill. He read the query. That was it, he thought impotently. They had all three of them been possessed by that, the fear that he ...
— The Prisoner • Alice Brown

... squalls,—while a small female apprentice, by way of chorus, in costume and gesture absurdly caricaturing her prima donna, (a sort of Cossitollah marchioness, indeed, for some Dick Swiveller of the Sahibs,) shuffles rheumatically with her feet, or impotently dislocates her slender arms, or pounds insanely on a cracked tomtom, or jangles her clumsy cymbals, while the squatting bearers cry, "Wah wah!" and clap their sweaty hands,—our poor old glee-maiden of Cossitollah ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I., No. 3, January 1858 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... or be for ever accursed for a coward. The rod was withdrawn on the instant, and Finn's whole great bulk crashed against the partition, as he answered Killer with a roar of defiance. The great Wolfhound stood erect on his hind-feet, snapping at the air with foaming jaws, and tearing impotently at the iron-sheathed partition with his powerful claws. The boss applauded vigorously, and gave ...
— Finn The Wolfhound • A. J. Dawson

... fury of the combat lasted, when the Prussian battalions were hurling their human waves in columns against the rocky defences of Gravelotte, only for them to fall back impotently, like the broken foam and spent wash of billows which have assailed in vain the precipitous peaks of some cliff-defended coast that repels their every attack; when the sharp clash of steel met opposing steel and galloping thud of flying squadrons, urged on with savage ...
— Fritz and Eric - The Brother Crusoes • John Conroy Hutcheson

... that, impotently, pathetically, like an old lion with its teeth drawn. He prowled moodily around, looking for an enemy on whom to vent his anger. But he could find no tangible force that opposed him. He could see nothing on ...
— Never-Fail Blake • Arthur Stringer

... he paused. There were so many enemies, he knew not which to pursue first. But straight ahead, in the very middle of the open, and far from any shelter, he saw a huddled group of children and nurses fleeing impotently and aimlessly. Shrill cries came from the cluster, which danced with colors, scarlet and yellow and blue and vivid pink. To the mad buffalo, these were the most conspicuous and the loudest of his foes, and therefore the most dangerous. ...
— Kings in Exile • Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

... that at a propitious moment, in a characteristic sudden assault, the armies of the Central Empires will invade and conquer Palestine, Egypt and India, and take what they will in Africa and Asia, while British, Japanese, and American and French navies impotently rage in useless control ...
— Face to Face with Kaiserism • James W. Gerard

... group of familiar dark faces, and the look they cast backward was not one of longing for the fleshpots of Egypt. The colonel saw Grandison point him out to one of the crew of the vessel, who waved his hand derisively toward the colonel. The latter shook his fist impotently—and ...
— The Wife of his Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line, and - Selected Essays • Charles Waddell Chesnutt

... fear and hate of Crothers grew in her heart as she impotently suffered for the children, but Crothers was as gentle and kind to her as any wise and considerate father could have been. He was patient with her bungling and errors; he did not turn her off to his ...
— A Son of the Hills • Harriet T. Comstock

... Blair looked impotently about the room, but his former companions had returned to their game. Filling in the silence, the dull clatter of chips mingled with the drunken snores of the man on ...
— Ben Blair - The Story of a Plainsman • Will Lillibridge

... hooked on the winch chain, and passed the word to the deck above. Somebody alive to the jest turned on steam, and of a sudden Cranze was plucked aloft, and hung there under the derrick-sheave, struggling impotently, like some insane jumping-jack. ...
— A Master of Fortune • Cutcliffe Hyne

... Beginning, Middle, and End, whose face is turned on all sides, the Source of life and death, is but to present other men with symbols by which we vainly endeavor to communicate to them the same vague ideas which men in all ages have impotently struggled to express. And it may be doubted whether we have succeeded either in communicating, or in forming in our own minds, any more distinct and definite and true and adequate idea of the Deity, with ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... rumpled hair; to speak to him in that state, while soap, water, brush and towel, were all within reach, was more than the mother (or the woman either, for that matter) had the self-denial to do! So, before it had well begun, the maternal lecture ended impotently ...
— Hide and Seek • Wilkie Collins

... the kind, intervened from one side, Shand from the other. Joe's arms were promptly pinned behind him. He struggled impotently, tears of rage ...
— The Huntress • Hulbert Footner

... voice, and, immediately after, the woman appeared in the doorway; but she was forced aside by Edward Dunsack. Gerrit's quick resentment flared at such an unmannered intrusion, and he moved ungraciously forward. The servant explained impotently, "I told him ...
— Java Head • Joseph Hergesheimer

... took deliberate aim with the stolen Winchester and fired, meaning to kill; but he miscalculated the range a bit and Thurston crumpled down with a bullet in his thigh. The revolver was empty now and fell smoking at his feet. So he lay and cursed impotently while he watched the marauders ride out of sight up ...
— The Lure of the Dim Trails • by (AKA B. M. Sinclair) B. M. Bower

... foot impotently, and was about to run back by the way he had come when a voice spoke in the shadows; and at the sound of the voice, the sword fell from the man's hand and he reeled back as ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

... feeling once more secure, because the man who hesitated not to sacrifice vast myriads of human lives to accomplish his own aggrandizement, was now bound, and, like a tiger in chains, could do nought save growl impotently. ...
— Elizabeth Fry • Mrs. E. R. Pitman

... dignity, towards freedom, towards knowledge, every ennobling desire of the heart, every redeeming whisper of conscience. Those that have peered into that abyss, where the dreams of Panslavism, of universal conquest, mingled with the hate and contempt for Western ideas, drift impotently like shapes of mist, know well that it is bottomless; that there is in it no ground for anything that could in the remotest degree serve even the lowest interests of mankind—and certainly no ground ...
— Notes on Life and Letters • Joseph Conrad

... soft Capri grass, with the pink cistus flowers brushing her hot cheeks, Lorna raged impotently against the tragedy of a fate which was changing the dearest friendship of her life into a feud. Irene!—the only one at school who had sympathized and understood her, who had behaved with a delicacy and kindness such ...
— The Jolliest School of All • Angela Brazil

... a foot or so nearer that of the mild lady; Monsieur de Lussigny took instant advantage of the move to establish himself close to Miss Betty. Aristide turned one ear politely to Mrs. Errington's discourse, the other ragingly and impotently to the whispered ...
— The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol • William J. Locke

... that their cause is black, In puling prose and rhyme, Talk hatefully of love, and tack Hypocrisy to crime; Who smile and smite, engross the gorge Or impotently frown; And call us "rebels" with King George, As if they wore ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... Derek chafed impotently. These unsought allies were making a difficult situation a thousand times worse. A more acute observer than young Mr Martyn, he noted the tight lines about his mother's mouth and knew them for the danger-signal they were. Endeavoring ...
— The Little Warrior - (U.K. Title: Jill the Reckless) • P. G. Wodehouse

... and now understood the pallor on the upturned faces of the crowd. He looked at the house again. The whole street was wrapped in a crimson mist; the falling streams of water which the firemen still continued to direct on the blaze were hissing impotently, and seemed only to feed the fire. In the crowd that watched there was hardly a sound; one could almost hear men's hearts beating as they waited for the conclusion of the tragedy which they knew to be inevitable. But further down the street, where it was not understood ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... of the pain, he reached again. The skin blistered on his hands, and for a long, horrible instant he groped impotently. The flame was raging by now, two or three pitch-laden spruce chunks blazing fiercely at once, and it seemed wholly likely that the cabin itself would catch fire. But he ...
— The Snowshoe Trail • Edison Marshall

... that she might not like it. I am afraid it has reached her by some other means; and thus we may account for various attacks by her on her venerable townsman since his decease...What are we to think of the scraps of letters between her and Mr. Hayley, impotently attempting to undermine the noble pedestal on which the publick opinion has ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... his strong arms and brought her back, with her bright hair fluttering against his lips, and Van Alen, raging impotently, stood and watched him. ...
— The Gay Cockade • Temple Bailey

... pursued towards the Kafir nation by the colonists and the public authorities of the colony, through a long series of years, the Kafirs had ample justification of the late war; they had to resent, and endeavour justly, though impotently, to avenge a series of encroachments; they had a perfect right to hazard the experiment, however hopeless, of extorting by force that redress which they could not expect otherwise to obtain, and the claim of sovereignty over the new province must be renounced. It rests upon a ...
— The Settler and the Savage • R.M. Ballantyne

... disposed to recognize as above himself, he would scatter acts of political grace in a sardonic wantonness of clemency. There was no other way left now to enjoy his power but by seeing his crushed adversaries crawl impotently into the light of day out of the dark, noisome cells of the Collegio. Their harmlessness fed his insatiable vanity, and they could always be got hold of again. It was the rule for all the women of their families to present thanks afterwards in a special audience. The incarnation ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... Intelligence and Peace are natural kindred: the ancient Republics were Military and aggressive only because they tolerated and cherished Human Slavery; and it is this which recently fomented hostilities between the two Republics of North America, and now impotently threatens the internal peace of our own. Liberty, if thorough and consistent, always did and must incline to Peace; while Despotism, being founded in and only maintainable by Force, inevitably fosters a martial spirit, organizes Standing Armies, and finds ...
— Glances at Europe - In a Series of Letters from Great Britain, France, Italy, - Switzerland, &c. During the Summer of 1851. • Horace Greeley

... action, and the fury which convulsed her face, effectually terrified me, and disengaging myself from her grasp, I screamed as loud as I could for help; the blind woman continued to pour out a torrent of abuse upon me, foaming at the mouth with rage, and impotently shaking her clenched fists towards me. I heard Lord Glenfallen's step upon the stairs, and I instantly ran out; as I past him I perceived that he was deadly pale, and just caught the words, "I hope that demon has not hurt you?" I made some answer, I forget what, and he ...
— Two Ghostly Mysteries - A Chapter in the History of a Tyrone Family; and The Murdered Cousin • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... the porch, and Lusk was in the room. "So I've got you!" he said. He had no weapon, but made a dive under the bed and came up with a carbine. The two men locked, wrenching impotently, and fell together. The carbine's loud shot rang in the room, but did no harm; and McLean lay sick and panting upon ...
— Lin McLean • Owen Wister

... escape. Caracalla had the exits closed. Those who escaped were naked; to bribe the guards they were forced to strip themselves to the skin. In the circus a vestal caught his eye. He tried to violate her, and failing impotently, had her buried alive. "Caracalla knows that I am a virgin, and knows why," the girl cried as the earth swallowed her, but there was no one there ...
— Imperial Purple • Edgar Saltus

... stand. Just in the nick of time he sprang aside in a bound that carried him a full thirty feet. Another such, another and another, and then he went capering off frivolously down the woody aisles, while the bear lumbered impotently after him. ...
— The Backwoodsmen • Charles G. D. Roberts

... Young Germans, with the more influential of whom he soon quarreled, looked upon him as a renegade; so that there was a peculiar inappropriateness in the notorious decree of the Bundesrat at Frankfurt, voted December 10, 1835, and impotently forbidding the circulation in Germany of the writings of the Young Germans: Heine, Gutzkow, Laube, Wienbarg, and Mundt—in that order. But the occupants of insecure thrones have a fine scent for the odor of sedition, and Heine was an untiring sapper and miner ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VI. • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... shop and out to the living-room, Mrs. Whipp following impotently, talking in a high, ...
— In Apple-Blossom Time - A Fairy-Tale to Date • Clara Louise Burnham

... idea fixed in his mind, he got stiffly to his bruised feet, readjusted the sheepskin and began wearily to climb higher. When the sun tinged all the hilltops golden yellow, he turned and shook his fist impotently at the camp far beneath him. Then he ...
— The Happy Family • Bertha Muzzy Bower

... the base of the enormous pectoral fin, clinging with maniacal strength, mad with fear. Striking out to little purpose, save to help buoy himself, blinded by the flying scud and broken crests, Rainey felt himself upreared, swept impotently on and slammed against the slimy hulk, just close enough to Sandy to grasp him by the collar, as the whale, stung by a killer's tearing at its oily tongue, flailed with its fin and the two of them slid down its body, ...
— A Man to His Mate • J. Allan Dunn

... they call the High— By which the Duffer thinks to live or die, Lift not your hands to IT for help, for it As impotently froths as you ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume II. (of X.) • Various

... Hilary impotently, looking from one to the other, "where have you been?" (She pronounced ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VII. (of X.) • Various

... lassoes were tautened, and the youngster thrown over on his side. The Joven, grinning cheerfully, then forced a thong of raw hide into his unwilling pupil's mouth, whilst the young horse, half-mad with terror, rolled his eyes impotently. The Joven, standing astride over the fallen animal, half-dancing on his toes in his canvas shoes, would shout to the men to slacken the heel- rope, and then to let go the head-rope. As the terrified animal struggled to his feet, the Joven slipped nimbly on ...
— Here, There And Everywhere • Lord Frederic Hamilton

... lay awake and raged impotently against her complicity with the unhappiness of that distasteful girl and her more than distasteful mother. In her revolt against it she renounced the interest she had felt in that silly boy, and his ridiculous ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... boy lifted his right arm and waved it soundlessly. He lifted his left—but there was no waving flourish. Instead it fell impotently almost before it was lifted. On the stoop the old man still sat motionless, his eyes ...
— Dawn • Eleanor H. Porter

... assault, the Spider drub! Worse than Tarantula venom hath the bite Of this Conkiferous Ogre, which to fight Herschelles did adventure! Thump! Bang! Whack! The web is burst, the Spider's on his back, All impotently spluttering poisonous spleen Let's hope such monster may no more be seen. And let us hail great Herschelles, whose skill The high-nosed horror hath availed to kill. Blow, Infants, blow the pipe, and thump the tabor, In honour ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, April 2, 1892 • Various

... at the apoplectic old aristocrat gagged on the ground, whose eyes were starting impotently from his head. "I have made an appointment here with a thoroughly nice young fellow. An old friend. Jasper Drummond his name is—you may have met him this afternoon at the Beaumonts. He can scarcely come though till ...
— The Club of Queer Trades • G. K. Chesterton

... explosion of terrifying oaths Lighthouse Harry thrust a shell into the breech of the quick-firing gun. Without waiting to aim it, he tugged at the trigger. Nothing happened! He threw open the breech and gazed impotently at the base of the shell. It was untouched. The ship was ringing with cries of anger, of hate, with rat-like squeaks ...
— The Red Cross Girl • Richard Harding Davis

... still May sunshine against an old grey tomb of carved stone. Two angels with spread wings upheld the defaced inscription. Above it, over it, round it, like desire impotently defying death, a flood of red roses clambered and clung. Were they trying to wake some votary who slept below? A great twisted sentinel cypress kept its own dark counsel. Against its shadow Fay's figure ...
— Prisoners - Fast Bound In Misery And Iron • Mary Cholmondeley

... ignore or to despise. He was not a frothy orator who made his appeal to the masses, but the leader of the trained thinkers of the revolutionary party, a political rebel who, instead of fulminating wildly and impotently after the manner of his kind, expressed his theories in clear, reasonable and logical form. It is easy, but unprofitable, to sneer at the futility of some of Godwin's conclusions or to complain of the aridity of his style. His Political Justice remains, nevertheless, a ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... they afforded him a stubbornness which declined to recognize either the authority of the favorite or the authority of the favorite's master. By the time that Grenville had been two years in office the King hated him as {72} bitterly as he had ever hated Pitt. If Bute was impotently furious to find himself discarded and despised by his intended tool, the King was still more exasperated to find that the King's servant proposed to be the King's master. Grenville was a good lawyer and a good man of ...
— A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume III (of 4) • Justin McCarthy and Justin Huntly McCarthy

... and free! Fast in my linen prison I press On impassable bars, or emptily Laugh in my great loneliness. And still in the white neat bed I strive Most impotently against that gyve; Being less now than a thought, even, To you alone with your hills ...
— The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke • Rupert Brooke

... Arras, and, for the first time, a town that had been systematically and ruthlessly shelled. There are no words in any tongue I know to give you a fitting picture of the devastation of Arras. "Awful" is a puny word, a thin one, a feeble one. I pick impotently at the cover-lid of my imagination when I try to frame language to make you understand what it was I saw when I came to Arras on ...
— A Minstrel In France • Harry Lauder

... unquestionably good in climbing Mount Everest. The accomplishment of such a feat will elevate the human spirit. It will give men—and especially us geographers—a feeling that we really are getting the upper hand on the Earth, that we are acquiring a true mastery of our surroundings. As long as we impotently creep about at the foot of these mighty mountains and gaze on their summits without attempting to ascend them, we entertain towards them a too excessive feeling of awe. We are almost afraid of them. We have a secret fear that they, the ...
— The Heart of Nature - or, The Quest for Natural Beauty • Francis Younghusband

... motives with your wife's is blasphemy," cried the other. "Her deed held the glory of self-sacrifice, that you might gain enlightenment; while you, railing impotently here, giving out affront against the gods, are as the wild beast on the mountain that cannot bear the arrow ...
— The Dragon Painter • Mary McNeil Fenollosa

... multitude which swayed to and fro like the tempest tossed waves of ocean; the main body continued for hours, loading the air with hoarse murmurs or angry shouts; detachments breaking off from time to time to rush with frantic speed and hurl themselves successively but impotently upon the iron doors and stone walls of ...
— A Sketch of the Causes, Operations and Results of the San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1856 • Stephen Palfrey Webb

... racked soul as one who lay and listened with staring eyes which mocked; for there was a thought which would not leave her, which was, that it could hear, that it could see through the glazing on its blue orbs, and that knowing itself bound by the moveless irons of death and dumbness it impotently raged and cursed that it could not burst them and shriek out its vengeance, rolling forth among her worshippers at ...
— A Lady of Quality • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... her anger and despair stormed through her veins again with yet greater violence, but this time George Goring was forgotten and all its waves broke impotently against that adversary whose diabolical power she was so impotent to resist, who might return to-morrow, to-day for ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... to beat the Turk and liberate the Russian. It is all pure poetry now, the wrecked lighters stuck in the sand, the sweep of Ocean Beach, the rounds of Suvla Bay. You see it one day, and all the sea is impotently angry, raging against a shore which does not reply; you see it another, and it is lapped in an eternal peace; you see it as it is going to look hundreds of years hence, when all the cemeteries are fitted ...
— Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921 • Stephen Graham

... grass. The combatants were the more easy to be distinguished, because the one was stripped to the ridi and the other wore a holoku (sacque) of some lively colour. The first was uppermost, her teeth locked in her adversary's face, shaking her like a dog; the other impotently fought and scratched. So for a moment we saw them wallow and grapple there like vermin; then the mob closed and ...
— In the South Seas • Robert Louis Stevenson

... men stood impotently watching her for a moment. Then Honey broke into roars of delight. "Oh, you kid!" he called appreciatively to her. "She had her nerve with her to sit still all the time, knowing that we were creeping up on her, didn't she?" ...
— Angel Island • Inez Haynes Gillmore

... impotently—"Hannah—" His vision blurred so that he couldn't see her clearly; it was as if, indistinct before him, she were already fading from his life. "I never went to hurt you," he continued in a curious detachment from his suffering. "You were ...
— The Happy End • Joseph Hergesheimer

... humanity. Morality is the law of life, from its bare preservation to its supreme fruition. There is a high pretension in morality which is the necessary consequence of its motive. But man is not, on that account, in need of those reminders of failure which are so easy to offer, and which are so impotently true; he needs rather new symbols of faith, through which his heart may be renewed, and his courage fortified to proceed with an undertaking of which he cannot see the end. Faith and courage ...
— The Moral Economy • Ralph Barton Perry

... slowly moving along. Her image quivers in the darkness before Foma, like the modest flame of a wax candle. And it dies out and disappears in the darkness. Pelagaya is quickly going somewhere along a straight road. There Sophya Pavlovna Medinskaya is standing, her hands hanging impotently, just as she stood in her drawing-room when he saw her last. Her eyes were large, but some great fright gleams in them. Sasha, too, is here. Indifferent, paying no attention to the jostling, she is stoutly going ...
— Foma Gordyeff - (The Man Who Was Afraid) • Maxim Gorky

... the ground that "a ten-mile journey without a ticket is the only romantic experience left in a drab world." That was a delightful bit of rationalisation. The real reason for my delinquency lay in my unconscious. As a child I impotently rebelled against the authority of parents and teachers. Later in life I unconsciously identified the railway company with the authorities of my infancy. Authority said: "Don't do that or you will be smacked"; the railway company put up a notice ...
— A Dominie in Doubt • A. S. Neill

... which the militia were "draughted" would expire December 9. To M'Clure's representations the national government, which was responsible for the general defence, replied impotently by renewing its draught on the state government for another thousand militia. But, wrote Armstrong, if you cannot raise volunteers, "what are you to expect from militia draughts, with their constitutional ...
— Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812 - Volume 2 • Alfred Thayer Mahan

... remedy for every ill, a balm for every wound. But now she was safe, out of harm's way. She had no responsibilities worth a rap. She had everything an old woman ought to desire. And yet the silly old woman felt a lack, as she impotently watched Rachel leave the kitchen. Perhaps she wanted her eye blacked, or the menace of a policeman, or a child down with diphtheria, to remind her that the ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... finding their weapons useless, they suddenly snatched him up, one at either arm and either leg, and two grasping him by the head-piece, and darted away with him, carrying his bulging metal body between them like a battering ram, while he kicked and struggled impotently. ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, May, 1930 • Various

... table, and, with his long lean legs and arms, looking like a monstrous and horrible spider, began to work the heavy bow across the long strings. He had rehearsed it to perfection. In performance, something happened. His artist's nerve had gone. His fingers fumbled impotently for the stops. His professional experience saved a calamitous situation. With an acrobat's stride he reached the stage, telescoped fiddle and bow to normal proportions, and after a lightning nod to the chef d'orchestre, played ...
— The Mountebank • William J. Locke

... nostrils, chest, lay a pressure as of mighty waters. Rapidly as he walked, he felt himself all the while to be lying fathoms deep in those waters, face downwards, with drooped head, held motionless there while something within him struggled impotently to rise to the surface. The weight that held him down, almost to bursting, was as the ...
— Corporal Sam and Other Stories • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... picked impotently at the bonds of the sleeping monster. But Davies was aboard again, and stirred him with a deft touch or two, till he crashed into the water ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... Brown hesitated impotently; then of a sudden he came forward swiftly and extended his hand, first to one and ...
— Where the Trail Divides • Will Lillibridge

... a great crying out of many people of the lower sort that crowded the terrace before the garden. Now the rain fell, and all was desolation. A yeoman in brown fustian ran bending his head before the tempestuous rain. A rook, blown impotently backwards, essayed slowly to cross towards the western trees. Her eyes followed him until a great gust blew him in a wider curve, backwards and up, and when again he steadied himself he was no more than a blot on the ...
— The Fifth Queen Crowned • Ford Madox Ford

... vividly portrayed by Durham and his commissioners still persisted—unsuitable immigrants, over-crowded ships, disease which spread from ship to land and overcrowded the local hospitals, wretched and poverty-stricken masses lingering impotently at Quebec, and a straggling line of westbound settlers, who obtained work and land with difficulty and after many sorrows.[28] Sydenham had none of Gibbon Wakefield's doctrinaire enthusiasm on the subject; and, as he said, the inducements, to parishes and landlords to send ...
— British Supremacy & Canadian Self-Government - 1839-1854 • J. L. Morison

... be over. Once the NX-1 was dragged into that dark cavern there'd be no chance of escaping to warn the world above, of saving the submarine. What now? The question brought beads of sweat to his tormented brow. He, Keith Wells, standing impotently by while his ship, the pride of the service, was hauled inch by ...
— Astounding Stories, February, 1931 • Various

... Aristobulus, and Aristobulus himself who after some time succeeded in escaping from captivity, excited during the governorship of Aulus Gabinius (697-700) three different revolts against the new rulers, to each of which the government of the high-priest Hyrcanus installed by Rome impotently succumbed. It was not political conviction, but the invincible repugnance of the Oriental towards the unnatural yoke, which compelled them to kick against the pricks; as indeed the last and most dangerous of these revolts, for which the withdrawal of the Syrian army of occupation ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... nothing for us poor ship-wrecked wretches to do than to gaze impotently on our heroic brethren still struggling against the storm. The waves run high, but it ...
— With Steyn and De Wet • Philip Pienaar

... city was a giant munitions plant. The Nansalians built factories there and laughed while the armies of Sator raged impotently at the magnetic barrier. They tried sending missiles through, but the induction heating in every metal part of the bombs either caused them to explode instantly or to drop ...
— Islands of Space • John W Campbell

... a pretty, lively scene. For background the long straggling town; in the foreground the motley groups of bathers, the far-reaching smooth surface of the lake; and, beyond, the broad Atlantic, thundering impotently upon the barricade of sandhills that makes possible ...
— Faces and Places • Henry William Lucy

... the darkness came suddenly back upon her, enveloping her, overwhelming her—a darkness that could be felt. For a little she fought against it frantically, impotently. Then her feet seemed to totter over the edge of a dreadful, formless silence. She knew ...
— The Way of an Eagle • Ethel M. Dell

... was by this time so far broken that he followed his new acquaintance to a neighbouring pond, growling threateningly but impotently. ...
— More William • Richmal Crompton

... before he knew what he was doing, had obeyed. The surprise was complete and irremediable. Coming on the top crest of his murderous intentions, he had walked straight into an ambuscade, and now stood, with his hands impotently ...
— The Ebb-Tide - A Trio And Quartette • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... All through the day and during the long, long hours of the awful night, in pain and suffering from his lopped-off limb and bruises, had he lain on his hard bed with clenched hands, blaspheming and impotently raging in his agony and despair. No prayer, however, dawned in his ruthless heart, or was breathed from his brutal lips; but curses upon curses came thick and fast, till his tongue refused to give them ...
— Captain Brand of the "Centipede" • H. A. (Henry Augustus) Wise

... rang and muffled by the fog a voice proclaimed itself—a voice which I knew. I felt Weymouth writhing impotently beside me; heard him mumbling incoherently; and I knew that he, too, ...
— The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... for a moment. A recollection of the chance that he had impotently and unaccountably thrown away returned to him. He tried to laugh, albeit with a glowing cheek, over the momentary bashfulness which he thought had overtaken him, and which must have made him ridiculous in her eyes. He even took a few ...
— The Bell-Ringer of Angel's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... men should overawe a whole town, should slay sheriff, justice, mayor, and nearly every official in the town, forge a royal letter with the king's seal, and then lock the gates and escape safely. There was no doubt of the fact, and the king raged impotently against his own foolish mercy in giving them a free pardon. It had been granted, however, and he could do nought but grieve over the ruin they had wrought in Carlisle. At last he sprang up, for he could endure the ...
— Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race • Maud Isabel Ebbutt

... yellow tongues go licking up the smaller branches. While he stood looking, the ravaging flames had devoured leaves and twigs and a dead branch or two, and left the bush a charred, smoking, dead thing that waved its blackened stubs of branches impotently in the wind. Alone it had stood, alone it had died ...
— The Lookout Man • B. M. Bower

... artist may give the reins to his imagination, and plunge at once into all the luxuries of the superlative. But to this pleasure there was one drawback. The thing had been done so often that superlatives had lost their value, and it had come to pass that the strongest language sounded impotently in the palled ears of the public. What idea can, in its own nature, be more harrowing to the soul than that of a TREMENDOUS SACRIFICE? but what effect would arise now-a-days from advertising a sale under such a heading? Every little milliner about ...
— The Struggles of Brown, Jones, and Robinson - By One of the Firm • Anthony Trollope

... happened. A wide-open River Press, flapping impotently in the embrace of a willow, caught the eye of Banjo, a little blaze— faced bay who bore the captive. He squatted, ducked backward so suddenly that his reins slipped from Slim's fingers and lowered his ...
— Chip, of the Flying U • B. M. Bower

... but there was something in the insane lightness of his eyes and the agony of hers that stifled the ribaldry in its birth. His face was as pale as hers, a pallor that was accentuated by dark hair, matted impotently over his forehead. But there was a careless, debonair charm about the fellow that made him stand out apart from ...
— The Parts Men Play • Arthur Beverley Baxter

... down at the white folds of the sheet that draped him, and clenched his hands impotently. "No gun! Not even a pocket-knife. Nothing but my bare hands!" ...
— Astounding Stories, July, 1931 • Various

... something of the same look forming about the eyes of both—that look that told of men who struggled gamely under the sentence of death, refusing to think or to fear, and waiting, waiting, impotently. Blake looked at the colonel with a carefully emotionless gaze. "It's hell in ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930 • Various

... retire. Grey Town awoke to sudden municipal vigour, and the town put on a modern, up-to-date appearance, in keeping with a new commercial activity. Those who had flourished under the old system retired to their holes, impotently cursing the new regime. Their triumph over Denis Quirk had proved a veritable disaster to Ebenezer Brown and ...
— Grey Town - An Australian Story • Gerald Baldwin

... fall impotently on the body of the man who now grappled with him, face to face, Hector Hall throwing himself into the tangle from the rear. Mackenzie, seeing his assault shaping for a speedy end in his own defeat, now attempted to break away and seek shelter in the dark ...
— The Flockmaster of Poison Creek • George W. Ogden

... the winter he tried on her a course of flirtation which he had learned very well in his Sophomore year. But German girls do not flirt. His arrows sank in feebly, impotently, as if her attention had the despairing resistance of a sandbag. Unperturbed she made nothing of it. He felt that she thought he was silly or had the rickets. So he ...
— Villa Elsa - A Story of German Family Life • Stuart Henry

... bulwark, a lonely figure in the midst of all this lively bustle, and wished impotently that he could have let well enough alone—and by well enough he doubtless meant both the champagne and Mrs. Campbell—thus preserving the pleasant relations of yesterday. A steamship soon becomes the world itself to its passengers, ...
— All Aboard - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... coming ages will. So long as there are men fit for it, quorum odium virtute relicta placet, it will never be wanting. It is a barbarous envy, to take from those men's virtues which, because thou canst not arrive at, thou impotently despairest to imitate. Is it a crime in me that I know that which others had not yet known but from me? or that I am the author of many things which never would have come in thy thought but that I taught them? It is new but a foolish way you have found out, that whom you cannot equal or ...
— Discoveries and Some Poems • Ben Jonson

... of suffering himself, tired of impotently watching the sufferings of his wife, and appalled at the thought of what was in store ...
— The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists • Robert Tressell

... could have been filled from weekend to week-end from New York; but not with Graingers and Pendletons and Stranger; not with those around the walls of whose fortresses the currents of modernity still swept impotently; not with those who, while not contemning pleasure, still acknowledged duty; not with those whose assured future was that for which she might have sold her soul itself. Social free lances, undoubtedly, and unattached men; those who lived in ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... a danged sight more'n that, now I'm tellin' yuh!" raved Applehead impotently. "I ain't sayin' nothin' agin Luck, but they's goin' to be some danged plain speakin' done on some subjects when he comes back, and given' squaws a free rein and lettin' 'em ride rough-shod over everybody and everything is ...
— The Heritage of the Sioux • B.M. Bower

... never anticipated. Bruce Carmyle seemed to be creeping into her life like an advancing tide. There appeared to be no eluding him. Wherever she turned, there he was, and she could do nothing but rage impotently. The situation was ...
— The Adventures of Sally • P. G. Wodehouse

... rise on his elbow. Sundown supported his head, questioning him, for he knew that Sinker had but little time left to speak. The wounded man writhed impotently, then quieted. ...
— Sundown Slim • Henry Hubert Knibbs

... Ross read no more, for the tall printer, seemingly incapable of coherent speech, kicked the desk impotently, threw his arms above his head, and, his companions confidently looking to see him foam at the mouth, lost his balance and toppled over backward, his extensive legs waving wildly in the air as he struck the ...
— The Gentleman From Indiana • Booth Tarkington

... have great intrigues of the world have a yoke upon their necks and cannot look back. And he that covets many things greedily and snatches at high things ambitiously that despises his neighbor proudly and bears his crosses peevishly or his prosperity impotently and passionately he that is a prodigal of his precious time and is tenacious and retentive of evil purposes is not a man disposed to this exercise: he hath reason to be afraid of his own memory and ...
— The Principles of English Versification • Paull Franklin Baum

... front of her, consummated and expressed in warm red tracery. Then she knew. It was the window of St. Francis Xavier. Her mind gripped at it, clung to it finally, and she felt herself calling again endlessly, impotently—Kieth—Kieth! ...
— Flappers and Philosophers • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... of the stick about eighteen inches from the glaring, lidless eyes. With incredible speed the poised head shot forth. Ajax laughed. The snake was recoiling, as he struck it on the neck. Instantly it writhed impotently. My brother set the heel of his heavy boot upon the skull, crushing it into ...
— Bunch Grass - A Chronicle of Life on a Cattle Ranch • Horace Annesley Vachell

... silent for some time, listening to the low irregular breathing of the creature on the bed and watching the rustle of the bed-clothes as it impotently struggled to free itself from confinement. Then ...
— A Stable for Nightmares - or Weird Tales • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... mother on you!" he screamed impotently, and shook with rage and terror. "You'll see, you will! You let me ...
— Fanny Herself • Edna Ferber

... they call the Sky, Whereunder crawling coop'd we live and die, Lift not your hands to It for help—for It As impotently moves as you ...
— Persian Literature, Volume 1,Comprising The Shah Nameh, The - Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan • Anonymous

... pulled the ears of one, or stroked its nose. She had been, and was, the intimate friend of many men and women who were "doing things" in the world. But she had never felt within herself the power to create anything original, and was far too intelligent, far too aristocratic in mind, to struggle impotently to be what she was not meant to be, or to fight against her own clearly ...
— The Way of Ambition • Robert Hichens

... of unbelief and vast surprise dawned on his face. Followed a sharp, convulsive shudder. And in that moment, without warning, he saw Death. He looked clear-eyed and steady, as if pondering, then turned to Polly. His hand moved impotently, as if to reach hers, and when he found it, his fingers could not close. He gazed at her with a great smile that slowly faded. The eyes drooped as the life went out, and remained a face of quietude and repose. The ukulele clattered to the ...
— The Turtles of Tasman • Jack London

... anxious about this great addition of aviation to the destructive power of modern scientific warfare. Bearing its terrors in mind, we may even impotently seek to check its advance, but the appeal of flying is too deep, its elimination is now impossible, and granted that war is inevitable, it must be accepted for good or ill. Fortunately, although with the other great scientific additions, chemical warfare and the submarine, its potentialities ...
— Aviation in Peace and War • Sir Frederick Hugh Sykes

... haltingly to Pleydon, who listened with a flattering interest. "I expect you're laughing at me inside," she ended impotently. "And the other, the Greek Victory," he added, "is the goddess of the other world, of the spirit. It's quaint a ...
— Linda Condon • Joseph Hergesheimer

... she called passionately, as she beat Keenan impotently back with her naked hands. "Help me, quick! Can't you see I need you? Can't you ...
— Phantom Wires - A Novel • Arthur Stringer

... a part of the weight, while the ferryman pulled it and himself across. We met several more in the course of the next few minutes, before which we all bowed down into the bottom of the boat, while the hawser scraped, grumbling impotently, ...
— Noto, An Unexplored Corner of Japan • Percival Lowell

... mean, I—" Branch's eyes were glued upon the child in horrified fascination. He choked and stammered and waved his hands impotently. ...
— Rainbow's End • Rex Beach

... plausible now that a prince, "all dressed up in shiny Prince Clothes," would come riding up on a creamy white horse, lift her to the saddle in front of him and gallop off, calling her "My beautiful darling!" while Madmasel, her uncle, and Betsy, the cook, danced up and down on the front piazza impotently shouting "Help!" She suspected then, when it was too late, that certain people would bitterly wish they had acted in a different manner. If this did not happen soon, she meant to go into a convent where she would not be forever told things for her own good by those ...
— The Seeker • Harry Leon Wilson

... and apparently awaiting burial under the accumulating sand,—the mute, melancholy sphinxes of the Jubilee, with their unsolved riddle, "Why did we come?" At intervals, the heavens shook out fierce, sudden showers of rain, that scattered the surging masses, and sent them flying impotently hither and thither for shelter where no shelter was, only to gather again, and move aimlessly and comfortlessly to and fro, like a ...
— Suburban Sketches • W.D. Howells

... companion wearing the badge of our most noble order. I should not have been as there is no moral distinction between a thief and a spy." Encouraged by his own words, he tore the medal from its resting place, while Carrick groaned impotently. ...
— Trusia - A Princess of Krovitch • Davis Brinton

... museum. So a flower looks between the cold pages of a botanist's album, so a bird sings in his case: for life is to do that for which we were created, and if that be the praise of God in His sanctuary, to stand impotently by under the gaze of innumerable unbelievers in a museum is to die. And truly this is a shame in Italy that so many fair and lovely things have been torn out of their places to be catalogued in a gallery. It were a thousand times better that they were allowed to fade quietly ...
— Florence and Northern Tuscany with Genoa • Edward Hutton



Words linked to "Impotently" :   helplessly, impotent



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