Sands of time (idiom)
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The sands of time is an English idiom relating the passage of time to the sand in an hourglass. The image of the sand being emptied in the hourglass creates a visual metaphor for the limited duration of the human lifespan.
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- While it is well enough to leave footprints on the sands of time, it is even more important to make sure they point in a commendable direction.
- James Branch Cabell, Beyond Life (1919) Ch. VI : Which Values the Candle, § 2, p. 173
- Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives.
- Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time
- 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 Napoléon Bonaparte to his Minister of the Interior on the Poor Laws, published in The Press (1 February 1868)