C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Conspicuous by his absence.


  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder;
  • Isle of Beauty, fare thee well!
  • T. H. Bayley.

    Judicious absence is a weapon.

    Charles Reade.

    Thinking of thee, still thee, till thought grew pain.


    I dote on his very absence.


    Absence is all love’s crime.

    Beaumont and Fletcher.

    It is absence that tries fidelity.

    Mrs. J. Hunter.

    The absent feel and fear every ill.


    Achilles absent, was Achilles still.


    I believe absence is a great element of charm.


    Short absence quickens love; long absence kills it.


  • In the hope to meet
  • Shortly again, and make our absence sweet.
  • Ben Jonson.

    Authors and lovers always suffer some infatuation, from which only absence can set them free.

    Dr. Johnson.

    Where’er I roam, whatever realms to see, my heart, untravelled, fondly turns to thee.


  • There’s little pleasure in the house
  • When our gudeman’s awa.
  • W. J. Mickle.

  • Ever absent, ever near;
  • Still I see thee, still I hear;
  • Yet I cannot reach thee. dear!
  • Francis Kazinczy.

    ’Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark our coming, and look brighter when we come.


  • Wives in their husbands’ absences grow subtler,
  • And daughters sometimes run off with the butler.
  • Byron.

  • Thou art gone from my gaze like a beautiful dream,
  • And I seek thee in vain by the meadow and stream.
  • George Linley.

  • The joys of meeting pay the pangs of absence,
  • Else who could bear it?
  • Rowe.

    As contraries are known by contraries, so is the delight of presence best known by the torments of absence.


  • All days are nights to see till I see thee,
  • And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Condemned whole years in absence to deplore,
  • And image charms he must behold no more.
  • Pope.

    Your absence of mind we have borne, till your presence of body came to be called in question by it.

    Charles Lamb.

  • ’Tis said that absence conquers love;
  • But oh! believe it not.
  • I’ve tried, alas! its power to prove,
  • But thou art not forgot.
  • Frederick W. Thomas.

  • Days of absence, sad and dreary;
  • Clothed in sorrow’s dark array,—
  • Days of absence, I am weary;
  • She I love is far away.
  • Rousseau.

  • I have this while with leaden thoughts been press’d;
  • But I shall, in a more continuate time,
  • Strike off this score of absence.
  • Shakespeare.

  • 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.
  • George Linley.

  • Ye flowers that droop forsaken by the spring;
  • Ye birds that left by summer cease to sing;
  • Yet trees that fade when autumn heats remove,
  • Say, is not absence death to those who love?
  • Pope.

  • 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.
  • Goldsmith.

  • 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.
  • Shakespeare.

    Not to understand a treasure’s worth till time has stole away the slighted good, is cause of half the poverty we feel, and makes the world the wilderness it is.


  • O thou who dost inhabit in my breast,
  • Leave not the mansion so long tenantless;
  • Lest growing ruinous the building fall,
  • And leave no memory of what it was.
  • Shakespeare.

  • 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?
  • Frances Anne Kemble.

  • In my Lucia’s absence
  • Life hangs upon me, and becomes a burden;
  • I am ten times undone, while hope, and fear,
  • And grief, and rage and love rise up at once,
  • And with variety of pain distract me.
  • Addison.

  • What I keep a week away? seven days and nights?
  • Eight score hours? and lovers’ absent hours,
  • More tedious than the dial eight score times?
  • O weary reckoning!
  • Shakespeare.

    Absence extinguishes small passions and increases great ones, as the wind will blow out a candle and blow in a fire.

    La Rochefoucauld.

  • 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!
  • Moore.

  • 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!
  • Seraphim,
  • Her to hymn,
  • Might leave their portals;
  • And at my feet learn
  • The harping of mortals!
  • Francis Thompson.