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Mourning is, in the simplest sense, synonymous with grief over the death of someone. The word is also used to describe a cultural complex of behaviors in which the bereaved participate or are expected to participate. Customs vary between different cultures and evolve over time, though many core behaviors remain constant.


  • Si vis me flere, dolendum est
    Primum ipsi tibi.
    • If you wish me to weep, you must mourn first yourself.
    • Horace, Ars Poetica (18 BC), CII.
  • Weep not for the dead with a fruitless recalling,
    Their soul on the wings of the morning hath fled;
    Mourn rather for those whom yet life is enthralling,
    Ah! weep for the living—weep not for the dead.
  • Mongol General: Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.
Mongol General: That is good! That is good.
  • Seems, madam! Nay, it is; I know not "seems."
    'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
    Nor customary suits of solemn black,
    Nor windy suspiration of forced breath.
    No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
    Nor the dejected 'haviour of the visage,
    Together with all forms, modes, shapes of grief,
    That can denote me truly; these indeed seem,
    For they are actions that a man might play,
    But I have that within which passeth show;
    These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
  • 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 (1834), Part I, Act I, scene 5.
  • He mourns the dead who lives as they desire.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 24.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 533.
  • O! sing unto my roundelay,
    O! drop thy briny tear with me.
    Dance no more at holiday,
    Like a running river be;
    My love is dead,
    Gone to his death bed
    All under the willow tree.
  • Each lonely scene shall thee restore;
    For thee the tear be duly shed;
    Belov'd till life can charm no more,
    And mourn'd till Pity's self be dead.
  • It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting.
    • Ecclesiastes, VII. 2.
  • When I am dead, no pageant train
    Shall waste their sorrows at my bier,
    Nor worthless pomp of homage vain
    Stain it with hypocritic tear.
  • Forever honour'd, and forever mourn'd.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book XXII, line 422. Pope's translation.
  • Let us weep in our darkness—but weep not for him!
    Not for him—who, departing, leaves millions in tears!
    Not for him—who has died full of honor and years!
    Not for him—who ascended Fame's ladder so high.
    From the round at the top he has stepped to the sky.
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