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


It is folly to shiver over last year’s snow.


Regrets over the past should chasten the future.

James Ellis.

Something will be gathered from the tablets of the most faultless day for regrets.

Mrs. Sigourney.

Hopes and regrets are the sweetest links of existence.

L. E. Landon.

There is an aching that is worse than any pain.

George MacDonald.

Let us not burthen our remembrance with a heaviness that’s gone.


One of the sweetest pleasures of a woman is to cause regret.


  • For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
  • The saddest are these: “It might have been!”
  • Whittier.

  • Thou wilt lament
  • Hereafter, when the evil shall be done
  • And shall admit no cure.
  • Homer.

  • Keen were his pangs, but keener far to feel,
  • He nursed the pinion, which impell’d the steel.
  • Byron.

    Could not all this flesh keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell! I could have better spared a better man.


    We often regret we did not do otherwise, when that very otherwise would, in all probability, have done for us.


  • For who, alas! has lived,
  • Nor in the watches of the night recalled
  • Words he has wished unsaid and deeds undone.
  • Samuel Rogers.

  • O lost days of delight, that are wasted in doubting and waiting!
  • O lost hours and days in which we might have been happy!
  • Longfellow.

    Why is it that a blessing only when it is lost cuts as deep into the heart as a sharp diamond? Why must we first weep before we can love so deeply that our hearts ache?


    A wrong act followed by just regret and thoughtful caution to avoid like errors, makes a man better than he would have been it he had never fallen.

    Horatio Seymour.

    The present only is a man’s possession; the past is gone out of his hand wholly, irrevocably. He may suffer from it, learn from it,—in degree, perhaps, expiate it; but to brood over it is utter madness.

    Miss Mulock.

    The business of life is to go forward; he who sees evil in prospect meets it in his way, and he who catches it by retrospection turns back to find it. That which is feared may sometimes be avoided, but that which is regretted to-day may be regretted again to-morrow.

    Dr. Johnson.

  • A feeling of sadness and longing
  • That is not akin to pain,
  • And resembles sorrow only
  • As the mist resembles the rain.
  • Longfellow.

  • Dear as remembered kisses after death,
  • And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
  • On lips that are for others; deep as love,
  • Deep as first love; and wild with all regret,
  • O death in life! the days that are no more.
  • Tennyson.

  • When I remember something which I had,
  • But which is gone, and I must do without,
  • I sometimes wonder how I can be glad,
  • Even in cowslip time when hedges sprout;
  • It makes me sigh to think on it,—but yet
  • My days will not be better days, should I forget.
  • Jean Ingelow.