Time is a concept referring to the perceived flow of actions and events from the past to future, or to its measurement. In Physics it is also referred to as "the fourth dimension" of a space-time continuum.
- See also: Eternity
- Arranged alphabetically by author
- Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.
- How can I tell that the past isn't a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?
- Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
- Anonymous; earliest citation was by Bill Banze (1982 Sept. 7). "<bnews.mork-cb.130> Time flies...". net.jokes. (Google Groups). , according to Fred R. Shapiro, (2006) in The Yale Book of Quotations, p. 498 -- though Shapiro garbles the date to July 9. (But it is also attributed, apparently without basis, to Groucho Marx).
- Time makes me stronger
Well,there's nothing more to say.
- Time is not a reality [hupostasis], but a concept [noêma] or a measure [metron]…
- Antiphon the Sophist, Truth.
- Remember that time slurs over everything, let all deeds fade, blurs all writings and kills all memories. Except are only those which dig into the hearts of men by love.
- Aristotle, Free Translation from the French version of a letter named "The Letter of Aristotle to Alexander on the Policy toward the Cities". Basis for translation: Lettre d’Aristote à Alexandre sur la politique envers les cités, Arabic text edition and translated/edited by Józef Bielawski and Marian Plezia (Warsaw: Polish Academy of Sciences, 1970), page 72.
- O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.
- W. H. Auden "As I Walked Out One Evening" (1937).
- I see the Four-fold Man.
The Humanity in deadly sleep,
And its fallen Emanation. The Spectre & its cruel Shadow.
I see the Past, Present & Future, existing all at once
Before me; O Divine Spirit sustain me on thy wings!
- William Blake, Jerusalem The Emanation of the Giant Albion (c. 1803–1820) Ch. 1, plate 15, lines 6-9
- Eternity is in love with the productions of time.
- William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, "Proverbs of Hell".
- Time can't be measured in days the way money is measured in pesos and centavos, because all pesos are equal, while every day, perhaps every hour, is different.
- Jorge Luis Borges, "Juan Muraña", in Brodie's Report (1970); tr. Andrew Hurley, Collected Fictions (1998)
- Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.
- Jorge Luis Borges, "The Threatened", The Book of Sand [El Libro de arena] (1975)
- The Garden of Forking Paths is an incomplete, but not false, image of the universe as Ts'ui Pên conceived it. In contrast to Newton and Schopenhauer, your ancestor did not believe in a uniform, absolute time. He believed in an infinite series of times, in a growing, dizzying net of divergent, convergent and parallel times. This network of times which approached one another, forked, broke off, or were unaware of one another for centuries, embraces all possibilities of time. We do not exist in the majority of these times; in some you exist, and not I; in others I, and not you; in others, both of us.
- Variant translation: This web of time — the strands of which approach one another, bifurcate, intersect or ignore each other through the centuries — embrace every possibility.
- Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths (1958) as translated by Donald A. Yates
- Time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures.
- Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths (1958) as translated by Donald A. Yates
- And yet, and yet … Negar la sucesión temporal, negar el yo, negar el universo astronómico, son desesperaciones aparentes y consuelos secretos. Nuestro destino no es espantoso por irreal: es espantoso porque es irreversible y de hierro. El tiempo es la sustancia de que estoy hecho. El tiempo es un río que me arrebata, pero yo soy el río; es un tigre que me destroza, pero yo soy el tigre; es un fuego que me consume, pero yo soy el fuego. El mundo desgraciadamente es real; yo, desgraciadamente, soy Borges.
- And yet, and yet . . . Denying temporal succession, denying the self, denying the astronomical universe, are apparent desperations and secret consolations. Our destiny is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire. The world, unfortunately, is real; I, unfortunately, am Borges.
- "A New Refutation of Time" (1946) ["Nueva refutación del tiempo"]
- Variant translations:
- And yet, and yet... Denying temporal succession, denying the self, denying the astronomical universe, are obvious acts of desperation and secret consolation. Our fate (unlike the hell of Swedenborg or the hell of Tibetan mythology) is not frightful because it is unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and ironclad. Time is the thing I am made of. Time is a river that sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that tears me apart, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire. The world, unfortunately, is real; I, unfortunately, am Borges.
- Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
- Jorge Luis Borges, Otras inquisiciones (1952); first translated by Ruth L. C. Simms as Other Inquisitions, 1937–1952 (1964)
- Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived. After all Number One, we're only mortal.
- Seize the time... Live now. Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.
- Time is not bought ready-made at the watchmaker's.
- Jacob Bronowski, Science and Human Values (1956).
- You shouldn't chase after the past or place expectations on the future. What is past is left behind. The future is as yet unreached. Whatever quality is present you clearly see right there, right there.
- Buddha, Bhaddekaratta Sutta: An Auspicious Day, MN 131, (1997) translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
- Yet Time, who changes all, had altered him
In soul and aspect as in age; years steal
Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb;
And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.
- When Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet.
- O Time! the beautifier of the dead,
Adorner of the ruin, comforter
And only healer when the heart hath bled—
Time! the corrector where our judgments err,
The test of truth, love, sole philosopher,
For all besides are sophists, from thy thrift
Which never loses though it doth defer—
Time, the avenger! unto thee I lift
My hands, and eyes, and heart, and crave of thee a gift.
- Spared and blessed by Time,
- Time ripens all things. No man is born wise.
- There is a time for some things, and a time for all things; a time for great things, and a time for small things.
- With the magnificence of eternity before us, let time, with all its fluctuations, dwindle into its own littleness.
- Thomas Chalmers, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 584.
- In the spirit of faith let us begin each day, and we shall be sure to " redeem the time " which it brings to us, by changing it into something definite and eternal. There is a deep meaning in this phrase of the apostle, to redeem time. We redeem time, and do not merely use it. We transform it into eternity by living it aright.
- James Freeman Clarke, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 583.
- If you are living in the past or in the future, you will never find a meaning in the present.
- Time,— that black and narrow isthmus between two eternities.
- Charles Caleb Colton, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 582.
- A butterfly
Fluttering over the vendor's
Dry flowers of spring
Only two days it flies
Caught by the lost boy
- For Peng Fajardo by Shane Castro in The Now.
- Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.
- Ray Cummings, The Girl in the Golden Atom (1922), p. 46.
- He is changing times and seasons, removing kings and setting up kings.
- The whole time of my life may be divided into an infinity of parts, each of which is in no way dependent on any other; and, accordingly, because I was in existence a short time ago, it does not follow that I must now exist, unless in this moment some cause create me anew as it were,—that is, conserve me.
- The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.
- Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
- Lots of things take time, and time was Momo's only form of wealth.
- Michael Ende in Momo (1973).
- All dwelling in one house are strange brothers three,
as unlike as any three brothers could be,
yet try as you may to tell brother from brother,
you'll find that the trio resemble each other.
The first isn't there, though he'll come beyond doubt.
The second's departed, so he's not about.
The third and the smallest is right on the spot,
And manage without him the others could not.
Yet the third factor with which to be reckoned
Because the first brother turns into the second.
You cannot stand back and observe number three,
For one of the others is all you will see.
So tell me, my child, are the three of them one?
Or are there but two? Or could there be none?
Just name them, and you will at once realize
That each rules a kingdom of infinite size.
They rule it together and are it as well.
In that, they're alike, so where do they dwell?
- The best general means to insure the profitable employment of our time, is to accustom ourselves to living in continual dependence upon the Spirit of God and His law, receiving, every instant, whatever He is pleased to bestow; consulting Him in every emergency requiring instant action, and having recourse to Him in our weaker moments when virtue seems to fail.
- François Fénelon, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 583.
- Time is money.
- Benjamin Franklin, Advice to Young Tradesmen (1748).
- Dost thou love life? then do not squander time; for that is the stuff life is made of.
- Benjamin Franklin, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 582.
- Look up here! It appears that the time has finally come for you to start your adventure! You will encounter many hardships ahead... That is your fate. Don't feel discouraged, even during the toughest times!
- "Kaepora Gaebora", The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank you would sit and watch its flowing. Yet the timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness, And knows that 'yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream.
- And is not time even as love is, undivided and paceless? But if in you thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons, And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.
- Thirty days hath November,
April, June, and September,
February hath xxviii alone,
And all the rest have xxxi.
- Richard Grafton, Abridgement of the Chronicles of Englande (1570); 8vo; "A rule to knowe how many dayes every moneth in the yeare hath."
- Variations include:
- Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
February eight-and-twenty all alone,
And all the rest have thirty-one:
Unless that leap-year doth combine,
And give to February twenty-nine.
- Return from Parnassus (London, 1606).
- Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
All the rest have thirty-one
Excepting February alone:
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine,
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine.
- Thirty days has September,
April, June, and November;
All the rest have thirty-one,
Except for second month alone:
To which we donate twenty-eight,
'Till leap year brings us twenty-nine.
- Common in New England States.
- Fourth, eleventh, ninth, and sixth,
Thirty days to each affix;
Every other thirty-one,
Except the second month alone.
- Common in Chester Co., Pa., among the Friends; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 524.
- Thirty days hath September,
- Time is a game played beautifully by children.
- Heraclitus, as quoted in Fragments (2001) translated by Brooks Haxton
- Old Tune, in whose banks we deposit our notes,
Is a miser who always wants guineas for groats;
He keeps all his customers still in arrears
By lending them minutes and charging them years.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Poems of the Class of '29, Our Banker (1874).
- Observe a method in the distribution of your time. Every hour will then know its proper employment, and no time will be lost
- Bishop George Horne, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 583.
- The present is the necessary product of all the past, the necessary cause of all the future.
- The present is the child, and the necessary child, of all the past, and the mother of all the future.
- Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
- We celebrate the past to awaken the future.
- "...we must think and act not only for the moment but for our time. I am reminded of the story of the great French Marshal Lyautey, who once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow-growing and would not reach maturity for a hundred years. The Marshal replied, 'In that case, there is no time to lose, plant it this afternoon.'"
- We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.
- But Goethe tells us in his greatest poem that Faust lost the liberty of his soul when he said to the passing moment: "Stay, thou art so fair." And our liberty, too, is endangered if we pause for the passing moment, if we rest on our achievements, if we resist the pace of progress. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past are certain to miss the future.
- Speech at Paulskirche in Frankfurt, West Germany, 25 June 1963; as printed in John Fitzgerald Kennedy, The Burden and the Glory (1964), p. 115
- Variant: Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.
- Documents on International Affairs, 1963, Royal Institute of International Affairs, ed. Sir John Wheeler Wheeler-Bennett, p. 36
- Variant: But Goethe tells us in his greatest poem that Faust lost the liberty of his soul when he said to the passing moment: "Stay, thou art so fair." And our liberty, too, is endangered if we pause for the passing moment, if we rest on our achievements, if we resist the pace of progress. For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.
- There are those who regard this history of past strife and exile as better forgotten. But, to use the phrase of Yeats, let us not casually reduce "that great past to a trouble of fools." For we need not feel the bitterness of the past to discover its meaning for the present and the future.
- The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter — and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing
- The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly — and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
- (1859 edition).
- Time: a great engraver, or eraser.
- Yahia Lababidi (b. 1973), Egyptian-Lebanese essayist and poet. Signposts to Elsewhere (2008).
- There is only one thing in your life YOU can be sure of. That one thing is this moment, now. The last moment has gone forever. The next moment has not come. YOU can become fully conscious only when you are living in the moment. To begin to live in the moment you have to know it exists and understand it. To understand it you have to observe it in relation to yourself and in relation to life. When you understand it, when you become conscious, you will see it is all that exists. To see this is to glimpse reality.
- The more you observe life in relation to yourself the more you will see the fact that you are hardly ever correct when you think about something in the future. The future exists only in imagination; and that is why, no matter how hard you try to imagine it, you will not be able to predict the future with total certainty.
- Time, like a preacher in the days of the Puritans, turned the hour-glass on his high pulpit, the church belfry.
- How awful that silent, unceasing footfall of receding days is when once we begin to watch it! Inexorable, passionless— though hope and fear may pray, " Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon, and thou moon in the valley of Ajalon," — the tramp of the hours goes on. The poets paint them as a linked chorus of rosy forms, garlanded and clasping hands as they dance onwards. So they may be to some of us at some moments. So they may seem as they approach; but those who come hold the hands of those that go, and that troop have no rosy light upon their limbs, their garlands are faded, the sunshine falls not upon the gray and shrouded shapes, as they steal ghostlike through the gloom.
- Alexander Maclaren, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 584.
- Non est, crede mihi, sapientis dicere ‘Vivam’:
Sera nimis vita est crastina: vive hodie.
- Believe me, wise men don’t say ‘I shall live to do that’, tomorrow's life is too late; live today.
- Variant translation: Tomorrow will I live, the fool does say; Today itself's too late; the wise lived yesterday.
- Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), I, 15.
- The first thing necessary for a constructive dealing with time is to learn to live in the reality of the present moment. For psychologically speaking, this present moment is all we have. The past and future have meaning because they are part of the present: a past event has existence now because you are thinking of it at this present moment, or because it influences you so that you, as a living being in the present, are that much different. The future has reality because one can bring it into his mind in the present. Past was the present at one time, and the future will be the present at some coming moment. To try to live in the "when" of the future or the "then" of the past always involves an artificiality, a separating one's self from reality; for in actuality one exists in the present. The past has meaning as it lights up the present, and the future as it makes the present richer and more profound.
- Rollo May, Man's Search for Himself (1953), p. 227.
- Day and night,
Seed-time and harvest, heat and hoary frost
Shall hold their course, till fire purge all things new.
- He who cannot find time to consult his Bible will one day find he has time to be sick; he who has no time to pray must find time to die; he who can find no time to reflect is most likely to find time to sin; he who cannot find time for repentance will find an eternity in which repentance will be of no avail; he who cannot find time to work for others may find an eternity in which to suffer for himself.
- Hannah More, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 583.
- There is a road that turning always
Cuts off the country of Again.
Archers stand there on every side
And as it runs time's deer is slain
And lies where it has lain.
- Don't waste your time, or time will waste you.
- Now, if the passions had no hold on us, a week and a hundred years would amount to the same.
- Being successful doesn’t make you manage your time well. Managing your time well makes you successful!
- Time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away
- Idleness makes hours pass slowly and years swiftly. Activity makes the hours short and the years long.
- Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living, 1938-12-10
- Years following years steal something ev'ry day.
At last they steal us from ourselves away.
- Alexander Pope, Imitations of Horace (1733 to 1738), Book II, Epistle 2, line 72.
- Hours are golden links, God's token
Reaching heaven; but one by one
Take them, lest the chain be broken
Ere the pilgrimage be done.
- Adelaide Anne Procter, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 583.
- All investigations of Time, however sophisticated or abstract, have at their true base the human fear of mortality.
- Time is the school in which we learn, Time is the fire in which we burn.
- Delmore Schwartz in "Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day".
- Urbes constituit ætas: hora dissolvit: momento fit cinis: diu sylva.
- An age builds up cities: an hour destroys them. In a moment the ashes are made, but a forest is a long time growing.
- Seneca, Quæstionum Naturalium, Book III. 27.
- Nemo tam divos habuit faventes,
Crastinum ut possit sibi polliceri.
- Nobody has ever found the gods so much his friends that he can promise himself another day.
- Seneca, Thyestes, 619.
- Let's take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time
Steals ere we can effect them.
- And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
Says very wisely, "It is ten o'clock:
Thus we may see," quoth he, "how the world wags."
- Time travels in divers paces with divers persons. I'll tell you who Time ambles withal, who Time trots withal, who Time gallops withal, and who he stands still withal.
- Time is the old justice that examines all such offenders, and let Time try.
- There's a time for all things.
- William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors, Act II, scene 2, line 66.
- Time, that takes survey of all the world,
Must have a stop.
- See the minutes, how they run,
How many make the hour full complete;
How many hours bring about the day;
How many days will finish up the year;
How many years a mortal man may live.
- So many hours must I take my rest;
So many hours must I contemplate.
- Minutes, hours, days, months, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ah, what a life were this!
- Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides;
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
- If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow and which will not;
Speak then to me.
- Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.
- 'Gainst the tooth of time
And razure of oblivion.
- We should hold day with the Antipodes,
If you would walk in absence of the sun.
- Time goes on crutches till love have all his rites.
- Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.
- Time's the king of men,
He's both their parent, and he is their grave,
And gives them what he will, not what they crave.
- O, call back yesterday, bid time return.
- I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
Are clamorous groans, which strike upon my heart,
Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans
Show minutes, times, and hours.
- Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
A great-sized monster of ingratitudes;
Those scraps are good deeds past; which are devour'd
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
- Time is like a fashionable host
That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand,
And with his arms outstretch'd, as he would fly
Grasps in the comer: welcome ever smiles.
- Beauty, wit,
High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating time.
- The end crowns all,
And that old common arbitrator, Time,
Will one day end it.
- The whirligig of time brings in his revenges.
- Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.
- Make use of time, let not advantage slip;
Beauty within itself should not be wasted:
Fair flowers that are not gather'd in their prime
Rot and consume themselves in little time.
- The flow of time is always cruel... its speed seems different for each person, but no one can change it... A thing that does not change with time is a memory of younger days...
- "Sheik", The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- It is something that grows over time... a true friendship. A feeling in the heart that becomes even stronger through time...The passion of friendship will soon blossom into a righteous power and through it, you'll know which way to go...
- "Sheik", The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- Time passes, people move...Like a river's flow, it never ends. A childish mind will turn to noble ambition...Young love will become deep affection... The clear water's surface reflects growth...
- "Sheik", The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- Time, time, time, see what's become of me,
While I looked around,
For my possibilities;
I was so hard to please.
But look around, leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter.
- Paul Simon in "Hazy Shade Of Winter".
- Time's tide will smother you ... and I will too.
- There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven — A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.
- Come, sir, is time really so precious? Mine isn't. If yours is, all the more tempting to steal a little.
- Make use of time, if thou valuest eternity. Yesterday cannot be recalled; to-morrow cannot be assured; to-day only is thine, which, if thou procrastinatest, thou losest, which loss is lost forever.
- Jeremy Taylor, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 582.
- Diem adimere aegritudinem hominibus.
- Psychological time does not conform to Einstein's physical time. If... my future can be my friend's past, and if my neighbor's past can be my present, then the past cannot be completed and the future is not yet to be made. Past and future must coexist with the present. Like a landscape extending as far as the eye can see, physical time exists in its entirety at once. The canvas of time stretches from the horizon of the past to the horizon of the future. All distinction between past, present and future is but an illusion. ...physical time neither flows nor passes. It exists as a single entity; it simply is.
- Trinh Xuan Thuan, Chaos and Harmony (2001)
- This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel,
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
- Who has time? Who has time? But then if we never take time, how can we have time?
- When your legs get weaker time starts running faster.
- Mikhail Turovsky (b. 1933), Russian-American artist and aphorist. Itch of Wisdom Cicuta Press (1986).
- We all have our time machines, don't we? Those that take us back are memories. Those that carry us forward are dreams.
- Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus.
- But meanwhile time flies; it flies never to be regained.
- Virgil, Georgics (c. 29 BC), III. 284.
- Omnia fert aetas, animum quoque.
- The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in the particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "So it goes."
- Billy writing a letter to a newspaper describing the Tralfamadorians
- Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Or The Children's Crusade : A Duty-dance with Death (1969)
- What is time? It is a serpent which eats its tail [...].
- Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions, Or Goodbye Blue Monday! (1973)
- Time is liquid. One moment is no more important than any other and all moments quickly run away.
- Well, I do not mind telling you I have been at work upon this geometry of Four Dimensions for some time. Some of my results are curious. For instance, here is a portrait of a man at eight years old, another at fifteen, another at seventeen, another at twenty-three, and so on. All these are evidently sections, as it were, Three-Dimensional representations of his Four-Dimensioned being, which is a fixed and unalterable thing.
- If I am recalling an incident very vividly I go back to the instant of its occurrence; I become absent minded, as you say. I jump back for a moment. Of course we have no means of staying back for any length of time any more than a savage or an animal has of staying six feet above the ground. But a civilized man is better off than the savage in this respect. He can go up against gravitation in a balloon, and why should we not hope that ultimately he may be able to stop or accelerate his drift along the Time Dimension; or even to turn about and travel the other way?
- Time is a waste of money.
- Oscar Wilde, Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young (1894).
- A word of the faith that never balks,
Here or henceforward it is all the same to me, I accept Time absolutely.
It alone is without flaw, it alone rounds and completes all,
That mystic baffling wonder alone completes all.
- Ungodly men by their words and deeds summoned death;
considering him a friend, they pined away,
and they made a covenant with him,
because they are fit to belong to his party.
For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves,
"Short and sorrowful is our life,
and there is no remedy when a man comes to his end,
and no one has been known to return from Hades.
Because we were born by mere chance,
and hereafter we shall be as though we had never been;
because the breath in our nostrils is smoke,
and reason is a spark kindled by the beating of our hearts.
When it is extinguished, the body will turn to ashes,
and the spirit will dissolve like empty air.
Our name will be forgotten in time,
and no one will remember our works;
our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud,
and be scattered like mist
that is chased by the rays of the sun
and is overcome by its heat.
For our allotted time is the passing of a shadow,
and there is no return from our death,
because it is sealed up and no one turns back."
Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray,
for their wickedness blinded them.
- Nought treads so silent as the foot of Time;
Hence we mistake our autumn for our prime.
- Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-28), Satire V, line 497.
- The bell strikes one. We take no note of time
But from its loss: to give it then a tongue
Is wise in man.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night I, line 55.
- Procrastination is the thief of time:
Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night I, line 390.
- Time is eternity;
Pregnant with all eternity can give;
Pregnant with all that makes archangels smile.
Who murders Time, he crushes in the birth
A power ethereal, only not adorn'd.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 107.
- Time wasted is existence, used is life.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 149.
- We push time from us, and we wish him back;
* * * * * *
Life we think long and short; death seek and shun.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 174.
- In leaves, more durable than leaves of brass,
Writes our whole history.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 275.
- We see time's furrows on another's brow,
* * * * *
How few themselves in that just mirror see!
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night V, line 627.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 792-801.
- Six years—six little years—six drops of time.
- Matthew Arnold, Mycerinus, Stanza 11.
- Modo, et modo, non habebent modum.
- By-and-by has no end.
- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book VIII. 5. 12.
- Backward, flow backward, O full tide of years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears,
Toil without recompense—tears all in vain,
Take them and give me my childhood again.
I have grown weary of dust and decay,
Weary of flinging my heart's wealth away—
Weary of sowing for others to reap;
Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep.
- A. M. W. Ball, Rock me to Sleep, Mother. Attributed to Elizabeth Akers Allen. See Northern Monthly, Volume II. 1868. Pub. by Allen line Bassett, Newark, N. J. Appendix to March, Volume II. 1868. Ball shows proof that he wrote it in 1856–7. Produces witness who saw it before 1860. Mrs. Allen says she wrote it in Italy, 1860. It was published in The Knickerbocker Magazine, May, 1861.
- Backward, turn backward, then time in your flight;
Make me a child again just for tonight.
Mother, come back from the echoeless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore.
- A. M. W. Ball, Rock me to Sleep, Mother.
- Why slander we the times?
Have days and years, that we
Thus charge them with iniquity?
If we would rightly scan,
It's not the times are bad, but man.
- Dr. J. Beaumont, Original Poems.
- Wherever anything lives, there is, open somewhere, a register in which time is being inscribed.
- Le temps fuit, et nous traîne avec soi:
Le moment où je parle est déjà loin de moi.
- Time flies and draws us with it. The moment in which I am speaking is already far from me.
- Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, Épîtres, III. 47.
- What's not destroyed by Time's devouring hand?
- Bramston, Art of Politicks.
- Think not thy time short in this world, since the world itself is not long. The created world is but a small parenthesis in eternity, and a short interposition, for a time, between such a state of duration as was before it and may be after it.
- Sir Thomas Browne, Christian Morals, Part III, XXIX.
- Time was made for slaves.
- John B. Buckstone, Billy Taylor.
- Time is money.
- Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Money, Act III, scene 3.
- Behind, he hears Time's iron gates close faintly,
He is now far from them;
For he has reached the city of the saintly,
The New Jerusalem.
- Rev. James D. Burns, Poem of a Death Believer, in the Vision of Prophecy.
- Some wee short hour ayont the twal.
- Robert Burns, Death and Dr. Hornbook.
- Nae man can tether time or tide.
- Robert Burns, Tam o' Shanter.
- How slowly time creeps till my Phœbe returns!
While amidst the soft zephyr's cool breezes I burn.
Methinks if I knew whereabouts he would tread,
I could breathe on his wings and 'twould melt down the lead.
Fly swifter, ye minutes, bring hither my dear,
And rest so much longer for 't when she is here.
- John Byrom, A Pastoral.
- The good old times—all times when old are good—
- Lord Byron, Age of Bronze.
- Thinkst thou existence doth depend on time?
It doth; but actions are our epochs; mine
Have made my days and nights imperishable,
Endless, and all alike.
- Lord Byron, Manfred, Act II, scene 1.
- Out upon Time! it will leave no more
Of the things to come than the things before!
Out upon Time! who forever will leave
But enough of the past for the future to grieve.
- Lord Byron, Siege of Corinth, Stanza 18.
- He more we live, more brief appear
Our life's succeeding stages;
A day to childhood seems a year,
And years like passing ages.
- Thomas Campbell, A Thought Suggested by the New Year.
- Time's fatal wings do ever forward fly;
To every day we live, a day we die.
- Thomas Campion, Come, Cheerful Day.
- That great mystery of TIME, were there no other; the illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called Time, rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing ocean tide, on which we and all the Universe swim like exhalations, like apparitions which are, and then are not: this is forever very literally a miracle; a thing to strike us dumb,—for we have no word to speak about it.
- Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship (1840), Lecture I.
- No ay memoria à quien el tiempo no acabe, ni dolor que nuerte no le consuma.
There is no remembrance which time does not obliterate, nor pain which death does not put an end to.
- I recommend you to take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves.
- Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, letter (Oct. 4, 1746).
- Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day.
- Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Letters to his Son. Dec. 26, 1749.
- Opinionum enim commenta delet dies; naturæ judicia confirmat.
- Time destroys the groundless conceits of men; it confirms decisions founded on reality.
- Cicero, De Natura Deorum, II. 2.
- O tempora! O mores!
- O what times (are these)! what morals!
- Cicero, Orationes in Catilinam, I. 2.
- No! no arresting the vast wheel of time,
That round and round still turns with onward might,
Stern, dragging thousands to the dreaded night
Of an unknown hereafter.
- Charles Cowden Clarke, Sonnet, The Course of Time.
- Hours are Time's shafts, and one comes winged with death.
- On the clock at Keir House, near Denblane, the Seat of Sir William Stirling Maxwell.
- Sex horas somno, totidem des legibus æquis
Quatuor orabis, des epulisque duas;
Quod superest ultra sacris largire Camœnis.
- Six hours in sleep, in law's grave study six,
Four spend in prayer, the rest on nature fix.
- Edward Coke introduced this as "ancient verses" in Institutes of the Laws of England, Book II, Chapter I. Section 85. See also Gilbert's Law of Evidence. (1784). "Sex horis dormire sat est juvenique senique: / Septem vix pigro; nulli concedimus octo." Six hours in sleep is enough for youth and age. Perhaps seven for the lazy, but we allow eight to no one. Version from Collectio Salernitans. Ed. De Renzi, Volume II, line 130.
- Six hours in sleep, in law's grave study six,
- Now is the accepted time.
- II Corinthians, VI. 2.
- Time means a lot to me because, you see, I, too, am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing and simplifying. If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of.
- Bruce Lee, Striking Thoughts (2000), p. 10; Here Lee paraphrases a much older English proverb: If you care for life, don't waste your time; for time is what life is made of. (as quoted in Bordighera and the Western Riviera (1883) by Frederick Fitzroy Hamilton, p. 189).
- Touch us gently, Time!
Let us glide adown thy stream
Gently,—as we sometimes glide
Through a quiet dream!
- Barry Cornwall, A Petition to Time.
- Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise,
He who defers this work from day to day,
Does on a river's bank expecting stay,
Till the whole stream, which stopped him, should be gone,
That runs, and as it runs, for ever will run on.
- Abraham Cowley, The Danger of Procrastination, translation of Horace. 1, Epistle II. 4.
- Nothing is there to come, and nothing past,
But an eternal Now does always last.
- Abraham Cowley, Davideis, Book I, line 361.
- His time's forever, everywhere his place.
- Abraham Cowley, Friendship in Absence, Stanza 3.
- Time, as he passes us, has a dove's wing,
Unsoil'd, and swift, and of a silken sound.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book IV, line 211.
- See Time has touched me gently in his race,
And left no odious furrows in my face.
- George Crabbe, Tales of the Hall (1819), Book XVII. The Widow, Stanza 3.
- Swift speedy Time, feathered with flying hours,
Dissolves the beauty of the fairest brow.
- Samuel Daniel, Delia.
- Che'l perder tempo a chi più sa più spiace.
- The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.
- Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio (1321), III. 78.
- Old Time, that greatest and longest established spinner of all!… his factory is a secret place, his work is noiseless, and his Hands are mutes.
- Charles Dickens, Hard Times, I. 14.
- But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day and the race a life.
- Time, to the nation as to the individual, is nothing absolute; its duration depends on the rate of thought and feeling.
- John William Draper, History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume I, Chapter I.
- When Time shall turne those Amber Lockes to Gray.
- Michael Drayton, England's Heroical Epistles.
- Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own;
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today.
- John Dryden, Imitation of Horace (1685), Book III, Ode 29 line 65-68.
- (Time) with his silent sickle.
- John Dryden, Astræa Redux, line 110.
- And write whatever Time shall bring to pass
With pens of adamant on plates of brass.
- John Dryden, Palamon and Arcite.
- Who well lives, long lives: for this age of ours
Should not be numbered by years, daies and hours.
- Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Divine Weeks and Workes, Second Week, Fourth Day, Book II.
- To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
- Ecclesiastes, III. 1.
- Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.
- Ecclesiastes, VII. 10.
- Let us leave hurry to slaves.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essay on Manners.
- Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude, Work and Days.
- Dilatio damnum habet, mora periculum.
- Procrastination brings loss, delay danger.
- Erasmus, Adolescens.
- The four eights, that ideal of operative felicity, are here (New Zealand) a realized fact.
- J. A. Froude, Oceana, Chapter XIV. The four eights are explained in a footnote to be "Eight to work, eight to play, eight to sleep, and eight shillings a day".
- I count my time by times that I meet thee;
These are my yesterdays, my morrows, noons,
And nights, these are my old moons and my new moons.
Slow fly the hours, fast the hours flee,
If thou art far from or art near to me:
If thou art far, the bird's tunes are no tunes;
If thou art near, the wintry days are Junes.
- R. W. Gilder, The New Day, Part IV. Sonnet VI.
- So schaff' ich am sausenden Webstuhl der Zeit.
- Thus at Time's humming loom I ply.
- Ein stiller Geist ist Jahre lang geschäftig;
Die Zeit nur macht die feine Gährung kräftig.
- Long is the calm brain active in creation;
Time only strengthens the fine fermentation.
- Long is the calm brain active in creation;
- Mein Vermächtniss, wie herrlich weit und breit;
Die Zeit ist mein Vermächtniss, mein Acker ist die Zeit.
- My inheritance, how wide and fair
Time is my estate; to Time I'm heir.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister's Travels. Translation by Carlyle in Sartor Resartus. "My inheritance how lordly wide and fair; / Time is my fair seed-field, to Time I'm heir." Carlyle's version in Chartism, Chapter X. "Mein Erbteil wie herrlich, weit und breit; / Die Zeit ist mein Besitz, mein Acker ist die Zeit." Goethe—Westöstliche Divan, VI. Buch der Sprüche. (Original version).
- My inheritance, how wide and fair
- Die Zeit ist selbst ein Element.
- Time is itself an element.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Sprüche in Prosa, III.
- Rich with the spoils of time.
- Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard, Stanza 13.
- I made a posy while the day ran by;
Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
My life within this band.
But time did beckon to the flowers, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,
* And wither'd in my hand.
- George Herbert, The Temple, Life.
- Thus times do shift; each thing his turne does hold;
New things succeed, as former things grow old.
- Robert Herrick, Ceremonies for Candlemas Eve.
- Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a flying,
And this same flower that smiles to-day,
To-morrow will be dying.
- Robert Herrick, Hesperides, 208. Same found in Ausonius—Idyllia. 14.
- But what says the Greek? "In the morning of life, work; in the midday, give counsel; in the evening, pray."
- Hesiod, Fragments.
- Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
Ætas: carpe diem.
- While we are speaking envious time will have fled. Seize the present day.
- Horace, Carmina, Book I. 11. 7.
- Carpe diem, quam minime credula postero.
- Enjoy the present day, trusting very little to the morrow.
- Horace, Carmina, Book I. 11. 8.
- Eheu fugaces Postume, Postume,
Labuntur anni, nec pietas moram
Rugis et instanti senectæ
Afferet, indomitæ que morti.
- Poetumus, Postumus, the years glide by us:
Alas! no piety delays the wrinkles,
Nor the indomitable hand of Death.
- Horace, Carmina, Book II. 14. 1.
- Poetumus, Postumus, the years glide by us:
- Damnosa quid non imminuit dies?
- What does not destructive time destroy?
- Horace, Carmina, Book III. 6. 45.
- Quidquid sub terra est, in apricum proferet ætas;
Defodiet condetque nitentia.
- Time will bring to light whatever is hidden; it will cover up and conceal what is now shining in splendor.
- Horace, Epistles, I. 6. 24.
- Singula de nobis anni prædantur euntes.
- Each passing year robs us of some possession.
- Horace, Epistles, II. 2. 55.
Memento cita mors venit, aut victoria læta.
- In the hour's short space comes swift death, or joyful victory.
- Horace, Satires, Book I. 1. 7.
- How short our happy days appear!
How long the sorrowful!
- Jean Ingelow, The Mariner's Cave, Stanza 38.
- To the true teacher, time's hour-glass should still run gold-dust.
- Douglas Jerrold, Specimens of Jerrold's Wit, Time.
- My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle.
- Job, VII. 6.
- And panting Time toil'd after him in vain.
- Samuel Johnson, Prologue on Opening the Drury Lane Theatre, line 6.
- Seven hours to law, to soothing slumber seven,
Ten to the world allot, and all to heaven.
- Sir William Jones, Ode in Imitation of Alcæus. See Lord Teignmouth, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Sir William Jones. Letter to Charles Chapman. Aug. 30, 1784. Also Errata, p. 251. "The muses claim the rest," or "the muse claims all beside" are the changes made by Jones, according to Andrew Amos, Four Lectures on the Advantages of a Classical Education, London, 1846, p. 78.
- That old bald cheater, Time.
- Ben Jonson, The Poetaster, Act I, scene 5.
- The noiseless foot of Tune steals swiftly by
And ere we dream of manhood, age is nigh.
- Juvenal, Satires, IX. 129. Gifford's translation.
- Time, that aged nurse
Rocked me to patience.
- John Keats, Endymion (1818), Book I.
- Time's waters will not ebb nor stay.
- John Keble, Christian Year. First Sunday after Christmas.
- Memento semper finis, et quia perditum non redit tempus.
- Remember always your end, and that lost time does not return.
- Thomas à Kempis, Book I, Chapter XXV. 11.
- Time, which strengthens Friendship, weakens Love.
- Jean de La Bruyère, The Characters or Manners of the Present Age (1688), Chapter IV.
- Vingt siècles descendus dans l'éternelle nuit.
Y sont sans mouvement, sans lumière et sans bruit.
- Twenty ages sunk in eternal night. They are without movement, without light, and without noise.
- Lemoine, Œuvres Poétiques, Saint Louis.
- Potius sero quam nunquam.
- Better late than never.
- Livy, IV, II. 11. Bunyan—Pilgrim's Progress, Part I. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, IX. 9. Matthew Henry—Commentaries. Matthew XXI. Murphy—School for Guardians, Act I. Tusser—Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry. An Habitation enforced.
- Time has laid his hand
Upon my heart, gently, not smiting it,
But as a harper lays his open palm
Upon his harp, to deaden its vibrations.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Golden Legend.
- Alas! it is not till Time, with reckless hand, has torn out half the leaves from the Book of Human Life to light the fires of human passion with, from day to day, that man begins to see that the leaves which remain are few in number.
- A handful of red sand from the hot clime
Of Arab deserts brought,
Within this glass becomes the spy of Time,
The minister of Thought.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sand of the Desert in an Hour-Glass.
- What we want, we have for our pains
The promise that if we but wait
Till the want has burned out of our brains,
Every means shall be present to state;
While we send for the napkin the soup gets cold,
While the bonnet is trimming the face grows old,
When we've matched our buttons the pattern is sold,
And everything comes too late—too late.
- FitzHugh Ludlow, Too Late.
- Volat hora per orbem.
- The hours fly around in a circle.
- Marcus Manilius, Astronomica, I. 641.
- Æquo stat fœdare tempus.
- Time stands with impartial law.
- Marcus Manilius, Astronomica, III. 360.
- But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near.
- Andrew Marvell, To his coy Mistress.
- Such phantom blossoms palely shining
Over the lifeless boughs of Time.
- E. L. Masters, Spoon River Anthology, Russell Kincaid.
- The signs of the times.
- Matthew, XVI. 3.
- Time is a feathered thing,
And, whilst I praise
The sparkling of thy looks, and call them rays,
Leaving behind him as he flies
An unperceivèd dimness in thine eyes.
- Jasper Mayne, Time.
- However we pass Time, he passes still,
Passing away whatever the pastime,
And, whether we use him well or ill,
Some day he gives us the slip for the last time.
- Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), The Dead Pope.
- Who can undo
What time hath done? Who can win back the wind?
Reckon lost music from a broken lute?
Renew the redness of a last year's rose?
Or dig the sunken sunset from the deep?
- Owen Meredith, Orval, or the Fool of Time, Second Epoch, scene 1. Said to be a translation of a French translation of The Inferno. See Saturday Review. London. Feb. 27, 1869.
- When time is flown, how it fled
It is better neither to ask nor tell,
Leave the dead moments to bury their dead.
- Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Wanderer, Book IV. Two out of the Crowd, Stanza 17.
- Time, eftsoon will tumble
All of us together like leaves in a gust,
Humbled indeed down into the dust.
- Joaquin Miller, Fallen Leaves Down into the Dust, Stanza 5.
- Time will run back and fetch the age of gold.
- John Milton, Hymn on the Nativity, line 135.
- Le temps … souverain médecin de nos passions.
- Time is the sovereign physician of our passions.
- Time softly there
Laughs through the abyss of radiance with the gods.
- W. V. Moody, The Fire-Bringer, Act I.
- A wonderful stream is the river of Time
As it runs through the realms of tears,
With a faultless rhythm and musical rhyme,
And a broader sweep and a surge sublime,
And blends with the ocean of years.
- Appeared in Moore's Rural New Yorker (May 31, 1856), probably from Whyte Melville's Uncle John.
- Time, still as he flies, adds increase to her truth,
And gives to her mind what he steals from her youth.
- Edward Moore, The Happy Marriage.
- Surely in a matter of this kind we should endeavor to do something, that we may say that we have not lived in vain, that we may leave some impress of ourselves on the sands of time.
- From an alleged Letter of Napoleon to his Minister of the Interior on the Poor Laws. Pub. in The Press, Feb. 1, 1868.
- For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
- Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode, We are the Music Makers.
- Labitur occulte, fallitque volubilis ætas,
Ut celer admissis labitur amnis aquis.
- Time steals on and escapes us, like the swift river that glides on with rapid stream.
- Ovid, Amorum (16 BC), I. 8. 49.
- Dum loquor hora fugit.
- While I am speaking the hour flies.
- Ovid, Amorum (16 BC), Book I. 11. 15.
- Tempore difficiles veniunt ad aratra juvenci;
Tempore lenta pati frena docentur equi.
- In time the unmanageable young oxen come to the plough; in time the horses are taught to endure the restraining bit.
- Ovid, Ars Amatoria, Book I. 471.
- Nec, quæ præteriit, iterum revocabitur unda:
Nec, quæ præteriit, hora redire potest.
- Neither will the wave which has passed be called back; nor can the hour which has gone by return.
- Ovid, Ars Amatoria, Book III. 63.
- Ludit in humanis divina potentia rebus,
Et certam præsens vix habet hora fidem.
- Heaven makes sport of human affairs, and the present hour gives no sure promise of the next.
- Ovid, Epistolæ Ex Ponto, IV. 3. 49.
- Tempora labuntur, tacitisque senescimus annis;
Et fugiunt fræno non remorante dies.
- Time glides by, and we grow old with the silent years; and the days flee away with no restraining curb.
- Ovid, Fasti, VI. 771.
- Assiduo labuntur tempora motu,
Non secus ad flumen. Neque enim consistere flumen.
Nec levis hora potest.
- Time glides by with constant movement, not unlike a stream. For neither can a stream stay its course, nor can the fleeting hour.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, XV. 180.
- Tempus edax rerum.
- Time that devours all things.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, XV. 234.
- Temporis ars medicina fere est.
- Time is generally the best medicine.
- Ovid, Remedia Amoris. 131.
- These are the times that try men's souls.
- Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1.
- Let time that makes you homely, make you sage.
- Thomas Parnell, An Elegy to an Old Beauty, line 35.
- Time, the foe of man's dominion,
Wheels around in ceaseless flight,
Scattering from his hoary pinion
Shades of everlasting night.
- Thomas Love Peacock, The Genius of the Thames, Part II, Stanza 42.
- The present is our own; but while we speak,
We cease from its possession, and resign
The stage we tread on, to another race,
As vain, and gay, and mortal as ourselves.
- Thomas Love Peacock, Time, line 9.
- Man yields to death; and man's sublimest works
Must yield at length to Time.
- Thomas Love Peacock, Time, line 65.
- Time is lord of thee:
Thy wealth, thy glory, and thy name are his.
- Thomas Love Peacock, Time, line 71.
- His golden locks Time hath to silver turned,
O time too swift! O swiftness never ceasing!
His youth 'gainst Time and Age hath ever spurned,
But spurned in vain! Youth waneth by increasing.
- George Peele, Sonnet, Polyhymnia. Another version published in Seger's Honor Military and Civil (1602).
- Seize time by the forelock.
- Pittacus of Mitylene, Thales of Miletus.
- Tanto brevius omne, quanto felicius tempus.
- The happier the time, the quicker it passes.
- Pliny the Younger, Epistles, VII. 14.
- From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime
Out of Space—out of Time.
- Edgar Allen Poe, Dreamland, line 7.
- Time conquers all, and we must time obey.
- Alexander Pope, Winter, line 88.
- Gone! gone forever!—like a rushing wave
Another year has burst upon the shore
Of earthly being—and its last low tones,
Wandering in broken accents in the air,
Are dying to an echo.
- George D. Prentice, Flight of Years.
- A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
- Psalms. XC. 4.
- We spend our years as a tale that is told.
- Psalms. XC. 9.
- Expect, but fear not, Death: Death cannot kill,
Till Time (that first must seal his patent) will.
Would'st thou live long? keep Time in high esteem:
Whom gone, if thou canst not recall, redeem.
- Francis Quarles, Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man, Epistle 6.
- Dum deliberamus quando incipiendum sit, incipiere jam serum est.
- Whilst we deliberate how to begin a thing, it grows too late to begin it.
- Quintilian, XII. 6. 3.
- He briskly and cheerfully asked him how a man should kill time.
- François Rabelais, Works, Book IV, Chapter LXIII.
- E'en such is time! which takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, and all we have;
And pays us naught but age and dust,
Which, in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days.
And from which grave, and earth, and dust,
The Lord will raise me up, I trust.
- Sir Walter Raleigh. Written in his Bible. Cayley's Life of Raleigh, Volume II, Chapter IX.
- Hour after hour departs,
The golden time of our hearts
Is fast a-dying:
O, how soon it will have faded!
Joy droops, with forehead shaded;
And Memory starts.
- John Hamilton Reynolds, Hour After Hour.
- Time, like a flurry of wild rain,
Shall drift across the darkened pane!
- C. G. D. Roberts, The Unsleeping.
- By many a temple half as old as Time.
- Samuel Rogers, Italy.
- To vanish in the chinks that Time has made.
- Samuel Rogers, Italy, Pæstum, line 59.
- Que pour les malheureux l'heure lentement fuit!
- How slowly the hours pass to the unhappy.
- Bernard-Joseph Saurin, Blanche et Guiscard, V, 5.
- Tag wird es auf die dickste Nacht, und, kommt
Die Zeit, so reifen auch die spät'sten Früchte.
- Day follows on the murkiest night, and, when the time comes, the latest fruits will ripen.
- Friedrich Schiller, Die Jungfrau von Orleans, III. 2. 60.
- O, wer weiss
Was in der Zeiten Hintergrunde schlummert.
- Who knows what may be slumbering in the background of time!
- Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlos, I. 1. 44.
- Time flies on restless pinions—constant never.
Be constant—and thou chainest time forever.
- Friedrich Schiller, Epigram.
- Spät kommt ihr—doch ihr kommt!
- You come late, yet you come!
- Friedrich Schiller, Piccolomini, I. 1. 1.
- Dreifach ist der Schritt der Zeit:
Zögernd kommt die Zukunft hergezogen,
Pfeilschnell ist das Jetzt entflogen,
Ewig still steht die Vergangenheit.
- Threefold the stride of Time, from first to last:
Loitering slow, the Future creepeth—
Arrow-swift, the Present sweepeth—
And motionless forever stands the Past.
- Friedrich Schiller, Sprüche des Confucius.
- Threefold the stride of Time, from first to last:
- Doch zittre vor der langsamen,
Der stillen Macht der Zeit.
- Yet tremble at the slow, silent power of time.
- Friedrich Schiller, Wallenstein's Tod, I. 3. 32.
- Upon my lips the breath of song,
Within my heart a rhyme,
Howe'er time trips or lags along,
I keep abreast with time!
- Clinton Scollard, The Vagrant.
- Time rolls his ceaseless course.
- Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake, Canto III, Stanza 1.
- Infinita est velocitas temporis quæ magis apparet respicientibus.
The swiftness of time is infinite, which is still more evident to those who look back upon the past.
- Seneca, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XLIX.
- Volat ambiguis
Mobilis alis hora.
- The swift hour flies on double wings.
- Seneca, Hippolytus, 1141.
- Nullum ad nocendum tempus angustum est malis.
- No time is too short for the wicked to injure their neighbors.
- Seneca, Medea, 292.
- Yet, do thy worst, old Time; despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet XIX.
- Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow.
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet LX.
- O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet LXV.
- The flood of time is rolling on;
We stand upon its brink, whilst they are gone
To glide in peace down death's mysterious stream.
Have ye done well?
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Revolt of Islam, Canto XII, Stanza 27.
- Unfathomable Sea! whose waves are years,
Ocean of Time, whose waters of deep woe
Are brackish with the salt of human tears!
Thou shoreless flood, which in thy ebb and flow
Claspest the limits of mortality!
And sick of prey, yet howling on for more,
Vomitest thy wrecks on its inhospitable shore,
Treacherous in calm, and terrible in storm,
Who shall put forth on thee,
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Time.
- Per varios præceps casus rota volvitur ævi.
- The wheel of time rolls downward through various changes.
- Silius Italicus, Punica, VI. 121.
- For time would, with us, 'stead of sand,
Put filings of steel in his glass,
To dry up the blots of his hand,
And spangle life's page as they pass.
Since all flesh is grass ere 'tis hay,
O may I in clover lie snug,
And when old Time mow me away,
Be stacked with defunct Lady Mugg!
- Horace and James Smith, Rejected Addresses, The Beautiful Incendiary, by the Hon. W. S. 10.
- For the next inn he spurs amain,
In haste alights, and skuds away,
But time and tide for no man stay.
- William Somervile, The Sweet-Scented Miser, line 98.
- Time wears all his locks before,
Take thou hold upon his forehead;
When he flies he turns no more,
And behind his scalp is naked.
Works adjourn'd have many stays,
Long demurs breed new delays.
- Robert Southwell, Loss in Delay.
- Goe to my Love where she is carelesse layd
Yet in her winter's bowere not well awake;
Tell her the joyous time will not be staid
Unlesse she doe him by the forelock take.
- Edmund Spenser, Amoretti, LXX.
- Gather the rose of love whilst yet is time.
- Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Book III, Canto XII, Stanza 75.
- Too late I staid, forgive the crime,
Unheeded flew the hours;
How noiseless falls the foot of Time
That only treads on flow'rs!
What eye with clear account remarks
The ebbing of his glass,
When all its sands are diamond sparks
That dazzle as they pass?
Ah! who to sober measurement
Time's happy swiftness brings,
When birds of Paradise have lent
Their plumage for his wings?
- W. R. Spenser, To the Lady Anne Hamilton.
- Long ailments wear out pain, and long hopes joy.
- Stanisław Leszczyński (King of Poland), Maxims.
- Even when all the worlds have frozen or exploded, and all the suns gone dead and cold, there'll still be time. Oh, God, what for?
- Olaf Stapledon, Sirius
- I see that time divided is never long, and that regularity abridges all things.
- Abel Stevens, Life of Madame de Staël, Chapter XXXVIII.
- In time take time while time doth last, for time
Is no time when time is past.
- Written on the title page of Manuscript account book of Nicholas Stone, mason to James I. In the Soane Museum.
- Nick of Time!
- Sir John Suckling, The Goblins, Act V.
- Ever eating, never cloying,
Never finding full repast,
Till I eat the world at last.
- Jonathan Swift, On Time.
- Lauriger Horatius
Quam dixisti verum;
Fugit euro citius
Tempus edax rerum.
- Laurel crowned Horatius
True, how true thy saying,
Swift as wind flies over us
Time devouring, slaying.
- Anon. Translation by John Addington Symonds.
- Laurel crowned Horatius
- A wonderful stream is the River Time,
As it runs through the realms of Tears,
With a faultless rhythm, and a musical rhyme,
And a broader sweep, and a surge sublime
As it blends with the ocean of Years.
- Benjamin F. Taylor, The Long Ago.
- He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend:
Eternity mourns that. 'Tis an ill cure
For life's worst ills to have no time to feel them.
- Sir Henry Taylor, Philip Van Artevelde, Act I, scene 5.
- Come, Time, and teach me many years,
I do not suffer in dream;
For now so strange do these things seem,
Mine eyes have leisure for their tears.
- Every moment dies a man,
Every moment one is born.
- Alfred Tennyson, Vision of Sin, Stanza 9. ("Minute" for "moment" in early Ed.) "Every minute dies a man, / And one and one-sixteenth is born." Parody on Tennyson by a Statistician.
- Heu! universum triduum!
- Alas! three whole days to wait!
- Terence, Works, II. 1. 17. (Sometimes "totum" given for "universum").
- I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity;
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then
Round the half-glimpsed turrets slowly wash again.
- Francis Thompson, Hound of Heaven, line 143.
- Once in Persia reigned a king
Who upon his signet ring
Graved a maxim true and wise,
Which if held before the eyes
Gave him counsel at a glance
Fit for every change and chance.
Solemn words, and these are they:
"Even this shall pass away."
- Theodore Tilton, The King's Ring. (All Things Shall Pass Away).
- Time tries the troth in everything.
- Thomas Tusser, Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandrie, The Author's Epistle, Chapter I.
- The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time has made.
- Edmund Waller, On the Divine Poems, Epilogue.
- To wind the mighty secrets of the past,
And turn the key of time.
- Henry Kirk White, Time, line 249.
- And let its meaning permeate
Whatever comes, This too shall pass away.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox, This too shall pass away.
- He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.
- Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Gray, Chapter III.
- Our time is a very shadow that passeth away.
- Wisdom of Solomon, II. 5.
- Delivered from the galling yoke of time.
- William Wordsworth, Laodamia.
- Therefore fear not to assay
To gather, ye that may,
The flower that this day
Is fresher than the next.
- Thomas Wyatt, That the Season of Enjoyment is Short.
- In records that defy the tooth of time.
- Edward Young, The Statesman's Creed.
The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)
- Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 232-233.
- It would certainly be a very great mistake to suppose that this Court does not attend to lapse of time.
- Lord Langdale, M.R., Att.-Gen. v. Pilgrim (1849), 12 Beav. 61.
- This I take notice of, only to shew an uncertainty as to time.
- Parker, L.C.J., Purchase's Case (1710), 16 How. St. Tr. 686.
- The time makes no difference in the reason of the thing.
- Wilmot, J., Rex v. Inhabitants of Christchurch (1759), 2 Burr. Part IV. 949.
- Examining by hours is not so unprecedented. It was the old custom among the Romans to examine by the hour-glass.
- Marlay, L.C.J., Trial of Mary Heath (1744), 18 How. St. Tr. 23. See Jory, 30.
- As for myself, whenever I sit upon the Bench (which is much oftener than I appear at the Bar), I always give the advocates as much water as they require; for I look upon it as the height of presumption to pretend to guess before a cause is heard what time it will require, as to set limits to an affair before one is acquainted with its extent, especially as the first and most sacred duty of a Judge is patience, which, indeed, is itself a very considerable part of justice. But the advocate will say many things that are useless. Granted. Yet is it not better to hear too much than not to hear enough? Besides, how can you know that the things are useless till you have heard them?
- Attributed to Pliny by Lord Mackenzie, Studies in Roman Law, with Comparative Views of the Laws of France, England and Ireland, London, 1861, Blackwood.