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Decay is the process or result of deteriorating in condition, of being gradually decomposed.


  • You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
    Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
    Of two such lessons, why forget
    The nobler and the manlier one?
    You have the letters Cadmus gave—
    Think ye he meant them for a slave?
  • A gilded halo hovering round decay.
  • Leaves grow green to fall,
    Flowers grow fair to fade,
    Fruits grow ripe to rot —
    All but for passing made.
  • The body politic, as well as the human body, begins to die as soon as it is born, and carries in itself the causes of its own destruction.
  • As is the bud bit with an envious worm,
    Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air,
    Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.
  • Fires that shook me once, but now to silent ashes fall'n away.
    Cold upon the dead volcano sleeps the gleam of dying day.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 181-82.
  • He that loves a rosy cheek,
    Or a coral lip admires,
    Or from star-like eyes doth seek
    Fuel to maintain his fires;—
    As old Time makes these decay,
    So his flames must waste away.
  • A worm is in the bud of youth,
    And at the root of age.
  • An age that melts with unperceiv'd decay,
    And glides in modest innocence away.
  • There seems to be a constant decay of all our ideas; even of those which are struck deepest, and in minds the most retentive, so that if they be not sometimes renewed by repeated exercises of the senses, or reflection on those kinds of objects which at first occasioned them, the print wears out, and at last there remains nothing to be seen.
    • John Locke, Human Understanding, Book II, Chapter 10.
  • All that's bright must fade,—
    The brightest still the fleetest;
    All that's sweet was made
    But to be lost when sweetest.
  • I shall be like that tree,—I shall die at the top.
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