Quotes about the past:
- The past and future are veiled; but the past wears the widow's veil; the future, the virgin's.
- Jean Paul, as quoted in Treasury of Thought (1872) by Maturin M. Ballou, p. 521.
- If you are living in the past or in the future, you will never find a meaning in the present.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 581-83.
- Therefore Agathon rightly says: "Of this alone even God is deprived, the power of making things that are past never to have been."
- The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause.
- No traces left of all the busy scene,
But that remembrances says: The things have been.
- Samuel Boyse, The Deity.
- But how carve way i' the life that lies before,
If bent on groaning ever for the past?
- Robert Browning, Balaustion's Adventure.
- Thou unrelenting past.
- William Cullen Bryant, To the Past.
- The light of other days is faded,
And all their glories past.
- Alfred Bunn, The Maid of Artois.
- The age of chivalry is gone.
- Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France.
- John Anderson, my jo, John,
When we were first acquent,
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonny brow was brent.
- Robert Burns, John Anderson.
- Gone—glimmering through the dream of things that were.
- The best of prophets of the future is the past.
- Lord Byron, Letter. Jan. 28, 1821.
- The Present is the living sum-total of the whole Past.
- Thomas Carlyle, Essays, Characteristics.
- O, to bring back the great Homeric time,
The simple manners and the deeds sublime:
When the wise Wanderer, often foiled by Fate,
Through the long furrow drave the ploughshare straight.
- Mortimer Collins, letter to the Rt. Hon. B. Disraeli, M. P. Pub. anon. 1869. "Ploughing his lonely furrow." Used by Lord Rosebery. July, 1901.
- Listen to the Water-Mill:
Through the live-long day
How the clicking of its wheel
Wears the hours away!
Languidly the Autumn wind
Stirs the forest leaves,
From the field the reapers sing
Binding up their sheaves:
And a proverb haunts my mind
As a spell is cast,
"The mill cannot grind
With the water that is past."
- Sarah Doudney, Lesson of the Water-Mill.
- Not heaven itself upon the past has power;
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.
- John Dryden, Imitation of Horace, Book III. Ode XXIX, line 71.
- Ils sont passés ces jours de fête.
- The days of rejoicing are gone forever.
- Jacques Du Lorens, Le Tableau Parlant.
- Oh le bon temps où étions si malheureux.
- Oh! the good times when we were so unhappy.
- Alexandre Dumas, Le Chevalier d'Harmental, II. 318.
- Un jeune homme d'un bien beau passé.
- A young man with a very good past.
- Heine of Alfred de Musset. Quoted by Swinburne, Miscellanies, p. 233.
- O Death! O Change! O Time!
Without you, O! the insufferable eyes
Of these poor Might-Have-Beens,
These fatuous, ineffectual yesterdays.
- William Ernest Henley, Rhymes and Rhythms, XIII.
- Praise they that will times past, I joy to see
My selfe now live: this age best pleaseth mee.
- Robert Herrick, The Present Time Best Pleaseth.
- O God! Put back Thy universe and give me yesterday.
- Henry Arthur Jones, Silver King.
- Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth.
- Charles Kingsley, Life, Volume II, Chapter XXVIII.
- Enjoy the spring of love and youth,
To some good angel leave the rest;
For time will teach thee soon the truth,
There are no birds in last year's nest.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, It is not always May.
- We remain
Safe in the hallowed quiets of the past.
- James Russell Lowell, The Cathedral, line 234.
- Prisca juvent alios; ego me nunc denique natum Gratulor.
- The good of other times let people state;
I think it lucky I was born so late.
- Ovid, Ars Amatoria, III. 121. Translation by Sydney Smith.
- The good of other times let people state;
- Weep no more, lady, weep no more,
Thy sorrowe is in vaine,
For violets pluckt, the sweetest showers
Will ne'er make grow againe.
- O there are Voices of the Past,
Links of a broken chain,
Wings that can bear me back to Times
Which cannot come again;
Yet God forbid that I should lose
The echoes that remain!
- Adelaide Anne Procter, Voices of the Past.
- In tanta inconstantia turbaque rerum nihil nisi quod preteriit certum est.
- In the great inconstancy and crowd of events, nothing is certain except the past.
- Seneca, De Consolatione ad Marciam, XXII.
- What's past is prologue.
- The past Hours weak and gray
With the spoil which their toil
From the conquest but One could foil.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound (1820), Act IV, scene 1.
- I need not ask thee if that hand, now calmed,
Has any Roman soldier mauled and knuckled,
For thou wert dead, and buried and embalmed,
Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled:
Antiquity appears to have begun
Long after that primeval race was run.
- Horace Smith, Address to the Mummy in Belzoni's Exhibition.
- Oh, had I but Aladdin's lamp
Tho' only for a day,
I'd try to find a link to bind
The joys that pass away.
- Charles Swain, Oh, Had I but Aladdin's Lamp.
- Oh seize the instant time; you never will
With waters once passed by impel the mill.
- Richard Chenevix Trench, Poems (Ed. 1865), p. 303. Proverbs, Turkish and Persian.
- Many a woman has a past; but I am told she has at least a dozen, and that they all fit.
- Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, Act I. A Woman with a Past. Title of a Novel by Mrs. Berens. Pub. 1886.
- Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower.
- William Wordsworth, Ode, Intimations of Immortality, Stanza 10.
- For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago.
- William Wordsworth, The Solitary Reaper.
- That awful independent on to-morrow!
Whose work is done; who triumphs in the past;
Whose yesterdays look backward with a smile
Nor, like the Parthian, wound him as they fly.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 322.
- "The past is utterly indifferent to its worshipers."
- "Not to know what happened before we were born is always to remain a child; to know, and blindly to adopt that knowledge as an implicit rule of life, is never to be a man."
- "No hand can make the clock strike for me the hours that are passed."
- "The present is only intelligible in the light of the past."
- "Study the past if you would divine the future."
- "The best of prophets of the future is the past."
- "Many classes are always praising the by-gone time, for it is natural that the old should extol the days of their youth; the weak, the area of their strength; the sick, the season of their vigor; and the disappointed, the springtide of their hopes!"
- "Some are so very studious of learning what was done by the ancients that they know not how to live with the moderns."
- "Do not attempt to change the past, but instead, seek to make the future"
- "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."
- "The past always looks better than it was. It's only pleasant because it isn't here."
- Finley Peter Dunne (Mr Dooley).
- "We are tomorrow's past."
- "The past isn't often the picnic we remember it to have been."
- "One only remembers part of the past. Truth is always changing, especially when it is related to the past."
- Derek Tangye, British author. From his autobiography, The Way to Minak (1968), Ch. XVI, p. 166.
- Klopsch, Louis, 1852-1910 (1896). Many Thoughts of Many Minds.