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Quotes regarding Absence.


  • No friend to Love like a long voyage at sea.
  • ABSENT, adj. Peculiarly exposed to the tooth of detraction; vilifed; hopelessly in the wrong; superseded in the consideration and affection of another.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • The heart may think it knows better: the senses know that absence blots people out. We have really no absent friends.
  • Wives in their husband's absences grow subtler,
    And daughters sometimes run off with the butler.
  • Absence! is not the soul torn by it
       From more than light, or life, or breath?
    'Tis Lethe's gloom, but not its quiet,—
       The pain without the peace of death!
  • Friends, though absent, are still present.
    • Cicero, De Amicitia ("On Friendship") (44 B.C.), Chapter 7.
  • It takes time for the absent to assume their true shape in our thoughts. After death they take on a firmer outline and then cease to change.
    • Colette, The Captain, Earthly Paradise (1966).
  • The absent are never without fault, nor the present without excuse.
  • Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
    My heart untravelled, fondly turns to thee;
    Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
    And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
  • Achilles absent, was Achilles still.
  • In the hope to meet
    Shortly again, and make our absence sweet.
    • Ben Jonson, Underwoods (1640), Miscellaneous Poems. LIX.
  • Cum autem sublatus fuerit ab oculis, etiam cito transit a mente.
    • [To-day man is, and to-morrow he will be seen no more.] But when he (man) shall have been taken from sight, he quickly goes also out of mind.
    • Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ (c .1418), Book I, Chapter XXIII. 1.
  • Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated.
  • Your absence of mind we have borne, till your presence of body came to be called in question by it.
    • Charles Lamb, "Amicus Redivivus", Last Essays of Elia (1833).
  • … absence is
    The moonlight of affection;
  • Absence and death are the same—only that in death there is no suffering.
  • With what a deep devotedness of woe
    I wept thy absence—o'er and o'er again
    Thinking of thee, still thee, till thought grew pain,
    And memory, like a drop that, night and day,
    Falls cold and ceaseless, wore my heart away!
  • Absentes tinnitu aurium præsentire sermones de se receptum est.
    • It is generally admitted that the absent are warned by a ringing in the ears, when they are being talked about.
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia (c. 77–79), Book 28, Section 5.
  • Semper in absentes felicior aestus amantes.
    • Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
    • Propertius Elegies II, xxxiii, 43.
  • Condemned whole years in absence to deplore,
    And image charms he must behold no more.
  • Absenti nemo ne nocuisse velit.
    • Let no one be willing to speak ill of the absent.
    • Sextus Propertius, Elegiæ (Elegies) (c. 24 B.C.), II, xix, 32. Reported by Chilo in Life by Diogenes Laertius (modified by Thucydides, II, 45).
  • The absent are like children; they are helpless to defend themselves.
  • L'absence diminue les médiocres passions et augmente les grandes, comme le vent éteint les bougies et allume le feu.
    • Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire.
    • François de La Rochefoucauld, Maximes (1665), #276.
  • Absences are a good influence in love and keep it bright and delicate.
  • Greater things are believed of those who are absent.
  • Conspicuous by his absence.
    • Tacitus, Annals (117), Book III, 76.
  • 'Tis said that absence conquers love;
       But oh believe it not!
    I've tried, alas! its power to prove,
       But thou art not forgot.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 2-3.
  • Absent in body, but present in spirit.
    • I Corinthians, V, 3.
  • Ever absent, ever near;
    Still I see thee, still I hear;
    Yet I cannot reach thee, dear!
  • What shall I do with all the days and hours
    That must be counted ere I see thy face?
    How shall I charm the interval that lowers
    Between this time and that sweet time of grace?
  • For with G. D., to be absent from the body is sometimes (not to speak it profanely) to be present with the Lord.
  • Oft in the tranquil hour of night,
    When stars illume the sky,
    I gaze upon each orb of light,
    And wish that thou wert by.
  • Thou art gone from my gaze like a beautiful dream,
    And I seek thee in vain by the meadow and stream.
  • For there's nae luck about the house;
    There's nae luck at aw;
    There's little pleasure in the house
    When our gudeman's awa.
    • Attributed to W. J. Mickle, There's Nae Luck Aboot the House, Ballad of Cumnor Hall. Claimed for Jean Adam. Evidence in favor of Mickle. Claimed also for MacPherson. Manuscript copy found among his papers after his death.
  • Days of absence, sad and dreary,
    Clothed in sorrow's dark array,—
    Days of absence, I am weary;
    She I love is far away.
  • Among the defects of the bill [Lord Derby's] which are numerous, one provision is conspicuous by its presence and another by its absence.
    • Lord John Russell, Address to the Electors of the City of London (April 6, 1859). Phrase used by Lord Brougham. Quoted by Chenier in one of his tragedies. Idea used by Henry Labouchère in Truth, Feb. 11. 1886, and by Earl Granville, Feb. 21, 1873. Lady Brownlow, Reminiscences of a Septuagenarian.
  • All days are nights to see till I see thee,
    And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.
  • How like a winter hath my absence been
    From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
    What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
    What old December's bareness everywhere.
  • Præfulgebant Cassius atque
    Brutus eo ipso, quod effigies eorum non videbantur.
    • Cassius and Brutus were the more distinguished for that very circumstance that their portraits were absent.
    • Tacitus, Annals, Book III, Chapter 76; from the funeral of Junia, wife of Cassius and sister to Brutus, when the insignia of twenty illustrious families were carried in the procession.
  • Since you have waned from us,
    Fairest of women!
    I am a darkened cage
    Songs cannot hymn in.
    My songs have followed you,
    Like birds the summer;
    Ah! bring them back to me,
    Swiftly, dear comer!
    Her to hymn,
    Might leave their portals;
    And at my feet learn
    The harping of mortals!


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