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


Time is the chrysalis of eternity.


Time is an herb that cures all diseases.


Time is the Life of the Soul.


Time’s abyss, the common grave of all.


Time is the greatest of innovators.


Time tries the troth in everything.


Time is the herald of truth.


I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.


The inaudible and noiseless foot of time.


Time is the nurser and breeder of all good.


Time wasted is existence; used, is life.


Time is the wisest counsellor.


Old Time, the clock setter, that bald sexton, Time.


Time makes more converts than reason.

Thomas Paine.

We should count time by heart-throbs.

James Martineau.

The use of time is fate.


Time stoops to no man’s lure.


Time is the greatest remedy for anger.


When time itself shall be no more.


We take no note of time but from its loss.


And panting Time toil’d after him in vain.

Samuel Johnson.

Who loses a day loses life.


Art is Long, and Time is fleeting.


If you have time don’t wait for time.


Time has only a relative existence.


Rich with the spoils of time.


They that drive away time spur a free horse.

Robert Mason.

The happier the time, the quicker it passes.

Pliny the Younger.

These are the times that try men’s souls.

Thomas Paine.

Thou nursest all, and murderest all, that are.


The sublime is contained in a grain of dust.


To choosy time is to save time.


Time,—the most independent of all things.


Time passes, Time the consoler, Time the anodyne.


Time, which strengthens friendship, weakens love.

La Bruyère.

Time that devours all things.


He who gains time gains everything.

Earl of Beaconsfield.

Every day travels toward death; the last only arrives at it.

Alexander Smith.

Thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.


Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.


Time is generally the best medicine.


The hours fly along in a circle.


Time stands with impartial law.


One day is pressed on by another.


Alas! the fleeting years are passing away.


Time steals away without any inconvenience.


That old bald cheater, Time.

Ben Jonson.

Time is itself an element.


Time will run back and fetch the age of gold.


The swift hour flies on double wings.


In records that defy the tooth of time.


The longest day soon comes to an end.

Pliny the Younger.

Time conquers all, and we must Time obey.


The irreclaimable time flies.


O, call back yesterday, bid time return.


Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.


Time goes on crutches till love have all his rites.


Time rolls his ceaseless course.


Thus at Time’s humming loom I ply.


The clock upbraids me with the waste of time.


His time’s forever, everywhere his place.

Abraham Cowley.

Nae man can tether time or tide.


What does not destructive time destroy?


Man seems to be deficient in nothing so much as he is in time.


Time,—that black and narrow isthmus between two eternities.


Thou shoreless flood, which in thy ebb and flow claspest the limits of mortality.


As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.


The end crowns all; and that old common arbitrator, Time, will one day end it.


The great rule of moral conduct is, next to God, to respect time.


Whatever passes away is too vile to be the price of time, which is itself the price of eternity.


O time! whose verdicts mock our own, the only righteous judge art thou!

T. W. Parsons.

Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth, and delves the parallels in beauty’s brow.


One always has time enough, if one will apply it well.


Think with terror on the slow, the quiet power of time.


Time never bears such moments on his wing as when he flies too swiftly to be marked.

Joanna Baillie.

Time is, after all, the greatest of poets; and the sons of Memory stand a better chance of being the heirs of Fame.


Those that dare lose a day are dangerously prodigal; those that dare misspend it, desperate.

Bishop Hall.

Time antiquates antiquities, and hath an art to make dust of all things.

Sir Thomas Browne.

Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.


The velocity with which time flies is infinite, as is most apparent to those who look back.


Time destroys the speculations of man, but it confirms the judgment of nature.


Time well employed is Satan’s deadliest foe; it leaves no opening for the lurking fiend.


Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.


Time, O my friend, is money! Time wasted can never conduce to money well managed.


  • What’s past, and what’s to come, is strew’d with husks,
  • And formless ruin of oblivion.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Come what come may;
  • Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.
  • Shakespeare.

    As every thread of gold is valuable, so is every minute of time.


    The curtains of Yesterday drop down, the curtains of To-morrow roll up; but Yesterday and To-morrow both are.


    He is a good time-server that improves the present for God’s glory and his own salvation.

    Thomas Fuller.

    No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any.

    Thomas Jefferson.

  • Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow,—
  • Such as creation’s dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
  • Byron.

    The vicious count their years; the virtuous their acts.

    Dr. Johnson.

  • Redeem the misspent time that’s past,
  • And live this day as ’twere thy last.
  • Ken.

  • Noiseless falls the foot of time
  • That only treads on flowers.
  • Spencer.

    How slowly the hours pass to the unhappy.


  • Forever haltless hurries Time, the Durable to gain.
  • Be true, and thou shalt fetter Time with everlasting chain.
  • Schiller.

  • Time shakes the stable tyranny of thrones,
  • And tottering empires rush by their own weight.
  • Armstrong.

    Time is a wave which never murmurs, because there is no obstacle to its flow.

    Mme. Swetchine.

    He briskly and cheerfully asked him how a man should kill time.


    Well, Time is the old justice that examines all such offenders, and let Time try.


    We see time’s furrows on another’s brow; how few themselves in that just mirror see!


    It is only necessary to give to each thing the time which it claims.

    Angelo Pandolfini.

    Time is a great ocean which, like the other ocean, overflows with our remains.


    Time steals on and escapes us, like the swift river that glides on with rapid stream.


    “Time restores all things.” Wrong! Time restores many things, but eternity alone restores all.

    Joseph Roux.

    How long the night seems to one kept awake by pain.


    Each passing year robs us of some possession.


    Stones are hollowed out by the constant dropping of water.


    Time, the prime minister of death! there’s nought can bribe his honest will.


    Great events are the hour-hands of time, while small events mark the minutes.


    Triumph not, O Time! strong towers decay, but a great name shall never pass away.

    Park Benjamin.

    The slow sweet hours that bring us all things good.


    The quarter of an hour before dinner is the worst that suitors can choose.


    Time is the shower of Danae; each drop is golden.

    Mme. Swetchine.

    Time hath often cured the wound which reason failed to heal.


  • Time, that takes survey of all the world,
  • Must have a stop.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Time is lord of thee:
  • Thy wealth, thy glory, and thy name are his.
  • Thomas Love Peacock.

    All must yield to the weight of years; conquest is not difficult for time.


  • But how many moments are already past!
  • Ah! who thinks of those that are past?
  • Lessing.

  • When Youth and Pleasure meet
  • To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet.
  • Byron.

    Time on his head has snowed, yet still ’tis borne aloft.


    A fig for Time! Use him well, and he’s a hearty fellow.


    You may be more prodigal of time than of money.

    Mme. Necker.

    Let time that makes you homely, make you sage.


    The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.


    We must improve our time; time goes with rapid foot.


    The wheel of time rolls downward through various changes.

    Silius Italicus.

    No time is too short for the wicked to injure their neighbors.


  • How short our happy days appear!
  • How long the sorrowful!
  • Jean Ingelow.

  • Like a dart the present glances,
  • Silent stands the past sublime.
  • Schiller.

    I see that time divided is never long, and that regularity abridges all things.

    Abel Stevens.

  • To wind the mighty secrets of the past,
  • And turn the key of time.
  • Henry Kirk White.

  • So many hours must I take my rest;
  • So many hours must I contemplate.
  • Shakespeare.

    Eternity gives nothing back of what one leaves out of the minutes.


    To the true teacher, time’s hourglass should still run gold-dust.

    Douglas Jerrold.

    The flood of time is setting on; we stand upon its brink.


    Old Time, who changes all below to wean men gently for the grave.

    Mrs. Norton.

    Time is like money? the less we have of it to spare, the farther we make it go.

    H. W. Shaw.

  • See Time has touched me gently in his race,
  • And left no odious furrows in my face.
  • Crabbe.

    Time is precious; but truth is more precious than time.


    The crutch of Time accomplishes more than the club of Hercules.

    Balthasar Gracian.

    I am satisfied to trifle away my time, rather than let it stick by me.


    River is time in water; as it came, still so it flows, yet never is the same.

    Barton Holyday.

    For time consecrates, and what is gray with age becomes religion.


    Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time.

    Victor Hugo.

  • Time, as he passes us, has a dove’s wing,
  • Unsoil’d, and swift, and of a silken sound.
  • Cowper.

  • Nothing is there to come, and nothing past,
  • But an eternal Now does always last.
  • Abraham Cowley.

    Who knows what may be slumbering in the background of time!


    Grief counts the seconds; happiness forgets the hours.

    De Finod.

    I dislike clocks with second-hands; they cut up life into too small pieces.

    Mme. de Sévigné.

  • Long is the calm brain active in creation;
  • Time only strengthens the fine fermentation.
  • Goethe.

  • Threefold the stride of Time, from first to last!
  • Loitering slow, the Future creepeth.
  • Schiller.

    O Time! Time! how it brings forth and devours! And the roaring flood of existence rushes on forever similar, forever changing!


    Time is like a river, in which metals and solid substances are sunk, while chaff and straws swim upon the surface.


    Remorseless time! fierce spirit of the glass and scythe,—what power can stay him in his silent course, or melt his iron heart with pity!

    George D. Prentice.

    Time is the king of men; he is both their parent, and he is their grave, and gives them what he will, not what they crave.


    Time destroys the groundless conceits of man, but confirms that which is founded on nature and reality.


    Time is a continual over-dropping of moments, which fall down one upon the other and evaporate.


    Time knows not the weight of sleep or weariness, and night’s deep darkness has no chain to bind his rushing pinion.

    George D. Prentice.

    Time will bring to light whatever is hidden; it will conceal and cover up what is now shining with the greatest splendor.


    Man has here two and a half minutes,—one to smile, one to sigh, and half an one to love; for in the midst of this minute he dies.


    Time, with all its celerity, moves slowly on to him whose whole employment is to watch its flight.


    Who shall contend with time,—unvanquished time, the conqueror of conquerors and lord of desolation?

    H. K. White.

    Time has been given only for us to exchange each year of our life with the remembrance of truth.

    St. Martin.

    Time is the measurer of all things, but is itself immeasureable; and the grand discloser of all things, but is itself undisclosed.


    Nobody has ever found the gods so much his friends that he can promise himself another day.

    Look not mournfully into the past; it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present; it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear, and with a manly heart.

    Beauty, wit, high birth, vigor of bone, desert in service, love, friendship, charity, are subjects all to envious and calumniating time.


    Day follows on the murkiest night, and, when the time comes, the latest fruits will ripen.


    Part with it as with money, sparing; pay no moment but in purchase of its worth: and what its worth ask death-beds; they can tell.


    God is the only being who has time enough; but a prudent man, who knows how to seize occasion, can commonly make a shift to find as much as he needs.


    Twenty ages sunk in eternal night. They are without movement, without light, and without noise.


    Time is given us that we may take care for eternity; and eternity will not be too long to regret the loss of our time if we have misspent it.


    Time is the greatest of all tyrants. All we go on towards age, he taxes our health, limbs, faculties, strength, and features.

    John Foster.

    Imitate time; it destroys everything slowly; it undermines, it wears away, it detaches, it does not wrench.


    Observe a method in the distribution of your time. Every hour will then know its proper employment, and no time will be lost.

    Bishop Horne.

    Time, the corrector when our judgments err, the test of truth and love; sole philosopher, for all besides are sophists.


    Time is a blooming field; nature is ever teeming with life; and all is seed, and all is fruit.


    If you could throw as an alms to those who would use it well the time that you fritter away, how many beggars would become rich!

    Elizabeth, Queen of Roumania.

    Time, as a river, hath brought down to us what is more light and superficial, while things more solid and substantial have been immersed.


  • Backward, turn backward, O Time in your flight!
  • Make me a child again, just for to-night!
  • Elizabeth Akers Allen.

  • The bell strikes one. We take no note of time,
  • But from its loss. To give it then a tongue,
  • Is wise in man.
  • Young.

  • Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides;
  • Who covers faults, at last shame them derides.
  • Shakespeare.

    I never knew the old gentleman with the scythe and hour-glass bring anything but gray hairs, thin cheeks, and loss of teeth.


    Nor do they speak properly who say that time consumeth all things; for time is not effective, nor are bodies destroyed by it.

    Sir T. Browne.

    Still on it creeps, each little moment at another’s heels, till hours, days, years, and ages are made up.

    Joanna Baillie.

    But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day and the race a life.

    Benj. Disraeli.

  • ***So often do the spirits
  • Of great events stride on before the events,
  • And in to-day already walks to-morrow.
  • Coleridge.

  • Swift, speedy Time, feathered with flying hours,
  • Dissolves the beauty of the fairest brow.
  • Samuel Daniel.

    Time, to the nation as to the individual, is nothing absolute; its duration depends on the rate of thought and feeling.


    Loitering slow, the future creepeth; arrow-swift, the present sweepeth; and motionless forever stands the past.


  • Seven hours to law, to soothing slumber seven,
  • Ten to the world allot, and all to heaven.
  • Sir Wm. Jones.

  • When time is flown, how it fled
  • It is better neither to ask nor tell,
  • Leave the dead moments to bury their dead.
  • Owen Meredith.

  • Time eftsoon will tumble
  • All of us together like leaves in a gust,
  • Humbled indeed down into the dust.
  • Joaquin Miller.

  • While man is growing, life is in decrease,
  • And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb;
  • Our birth is nothing but our death begun.
  • Young.

  • How many ages hence
  • Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
  • In states unborn and accents yet unknown.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Who well lives, long lives: for this age of ours
  • Should not be numbered by years, daies, and hours.
  • Du Bartas.

    Nothing lies on our hands with such uneasiness as time. Wretched and thoughtless creatures! In the only place where covetousness were a virtue we turn prodigals.


    There are no fragments so precious as those of time, and none are so heedlessly lost by people who cannot make a moment, and yet can waste years.


    As nothing truly valuable can be attained without industry, so there can be no persevering industry without a deep sense of the value of time.

    Mrs. Sigourney.

    Time sheds a softness on remote objects or events, as local distance imparts to the landscape a smoothness and mellowness which disappear on a nearer approach.

    W. B. Clulow.

    We sleep, but the loom of life never stops; and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up to-morrow.


    Opinions, theories, and systems pass by turns over the grindstone of time, which at first gives them brilliancy and sharpness, but finally wears them out.


    A year! A life! What are they! The telling of a tale, the passing of a meteor, a dim speck seen for a moment on time’s horizon dropping into eternity.


    Time is painted with a lock before, and bald behind, signifying thereby, that we must take time (as we say) by the forelock, for when it is once passed there is no recalling it.


    Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever!

    Horace Mann.

    Make use of time, if thou valuest eternity. Yesterday cannot be recalled; to-morrow cannot be assured; to-day only is thine, which, if thou procrastinatest, thou losest; which loss is lost forever.

    Jeremy Taylor.

  • Let’s take the instant by the forward top;
  • For we are old, and on our quick’st decrees
  • The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time
  • Steals ere we can effect them.
  • Shakespeare.

  • O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
  • Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
  • When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
  • Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
  • Shakespeare.

  • Gather ye rosebuds white ye may,
  • Old time is still a-flying;
  • And this same flower that smiles to-day,
  • To-morrow will be dying.
  • Herrick.

  • Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
  • So do our minutes hasten to their end;
  • Each changing place with that which goes before,
  • In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
  • Shakespeare.

    Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly until he knows that every day is Doomsday.


  • And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
  • Says very wisely, “It is ten o’clock:
  • Thus we may see,” quoth he, “how the world wags.”
  • Shakespeare.

  • Minutes, hours, days, months, and years,
  • Pass’d over to the end they were created,
  • Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
  • Ah, what a life were this!
  • Shakespeare.

  • Make use of time, let not advantage slip;
  • Beauty within itself should not be wasted:
  • Fair flowers, that are not gather’d in their prime
  • Rot and consume themselves in little time.
  • Shakespeare.

  • O Time! Why dost not pause? Thy scythe so dirty
  • With rust, should surely cease to hack and hew.
  • Reset it; shave more smoothly, also slower,
  • If but to keep thy credit as a mower.
  • Byron.

  • Come, Time, and teach me many years,
  • I do not suffer in dream;
  • For now so strange do these things seem,
  • Mine eyes have leisure for their tears.
  • Tennyson.

  • Ever eating, never cloying,
  • All-devouring, all-destroying,
  • Never finding full repast,
  • Till I eat the world at last.
  • Swift.

    Time, the cradle of hope, but the grave of ambition, is the stern corrector of fools, but the salutary counselor of the wise, bringing all they dread to the one, and all they desire to the other.


  • We push time from us, and we wish him back;
  • *****
  • Life we think long and short; death seek and shun.
  • Young.

  • The more we live, more brief appear
  • Our life’s succeeding stages;
  • A day to childhood seems a year,
  • And years like passing ages.
  • Campbell.

    Know the true value of time; match, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination; never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day.

    Earl of Chesterfield.

  • Procrastination is the thief of time:
  • Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
  • And to the mercies of a moment leaves
  • The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
  • Young.

  • The present is our own; but while we speak,
  • We cease from its possession, and resign
  • The stage we tread on, to another race,
  • As vain, and gay, and mortal as ourselves.
  • Thomas Love Peacock.

  • Time, still as he flies, adds increase to her truth,
  • And gives to her mind what he steals from her youth.
  • Edward Moore.

  • This day was yesterday to-morrow nam’d:
  • To-morrow shall be yesterday proclaimed:
  • To-morrow not yet come, not far away,
  • What shall to-morrow then be call’d? To-day.
  • Owen.

  • Time has laid his hand
  • Upon my heart, gently, not smiting it,
  • But as a harper lays his open palm
  • Upon his harp, to deaden its vibrations.
  • Longfellow.

  • Day and night,
  • Seedtime and harvest, heat and hoary frost
  • Shall hold their course, till fire purge all things new.
  • Milton.

  • A handful of red sand from the hot clime
  • Of Arab deserts brought,
  • Within this glass becomes the spy of Time,
  • The minister of Thought.
  • Longfellow.

  • Like wind flies Time ’tween birth and death;
  • Therefore, as long as thou hast breath,
  • Of care for two days hold thee free:
  • The day that was and is to be.
  • Omar Khayyám.

  • Hours are golden links, God’s token
  • Reaching heaven; but one by one
  • Take them, lest the chain be broken
  • Ere the pilgrimage be done.
  • A. A. Proctor.

  • Think’st thou existence doth depend on time?
  • It doth; but actions are our epochs; mine
  • Have made my days and nights imperishable,
  • Endless, and all alike.
  • Byron.

    Time hurries on with a resistless, unremitting stream, yet treads more soft than e’er did midnight thief, that slides his hand under the miser’s pillow and carries off the prize.


    Time, whose tooth gnaws away everything else, is powerless against truth; and the lapse of more than two thousand years has not weakened the force of these wise words.


  • Catch! then, Oh, catch, the transient hour;
  • Improve each moment as it flies;
  • Life’s a short summer—man a flower—
  • He dies—alas! how soon he dies!
  • Dr. Johnson.

    Time passes cold and indifferent over us; it knows nothing of our joys or sorrows; it leads us with ice-cold hand deeper and deeper into the labyrinth.

    Ludwig Tieck.

    Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past, even while we attempt to define it, and, like the flash of the lightning, at once exists and expires.


    God, who is liberal in all his other gifts, shows us, by the wise economy of His providence, how circumspect we ought to be in the management of our time, for He never gives us two moments together.


    There is nothing of which we are apt to be so lavish as of time, and about which we ought to be more solicitous, since without it we can do nothing in this world. Time is what we want most, but what, alas! we use worst.

    William Penn.

    Time is like a ship which never anchors; while I am on board, I had better do those things that may profit me at my landing, than practice such as shall cause my commitment when I come ashore.


  • Out upon Time! it will leave no more
  • Of the things to come than the things before!
  • Out upon Time! who forever will leave
  • But enough of the past for the future to grieve.
  • Byron.

    What is time? The shadow on the dial, the striking of the clock, the running of the sand—day and night, summer and winter, months, years, centuries—these are but arbitrary and outward signs, the measure of time, not time itself. Time is the life of the soul.


    Our lives are either spent in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do. We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end to them.


  • O Time! the beautifier of the dead,
  • Adorner of the ruin, comforter
  • And only healer when the heart hath bled—
  • Time! the corrector where our judgments err,
  • The test of truth, love,—sole philosopher!
  • Byron.

  • Time is eternity,
  • Pregnant with all eternity can give;
  • Pregnant with all that makes Archangels smile.
  • Who murders time, he crushes in the birth
  • A power ethereal, only not adored.
  • Young.

  • Time is hastening on, and we
  • What our fathers are shall be,—
  • Shadow-shapes of memory!
  • Joined to that vast multitude
  • Where the great are but the good.
  • Whittier.

  • Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days,
  • Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes,
  • And marching single in an endless file.
  • To each they offer gifts after his will,
  • Bread, kingdoms, stars, and sky that holds them all.
  • Emerson.

  • Time is like a fashionable host,
  • That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand;
  • And with his arms outstretch’d, as he would fly,
  • Grasps in the comer: Welcome ever smiles,
  • And farewell goes out sighing.
  • Shakespeare.

  • 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.

    Our acts of kindness we reserve for our friends, our bounties for our dependants, our riches for our children and relations, our praises for those who appear worthy of them, our time we give all to the world; we expose it, I may say, a prey to all mankind.


  • See the minutes how they run,
  • How many make the hour full complete;
  • How many hours bring about the day;
  • How many days will finish up the year;
  • How many years a mortal man may live.
  • Shakespeare.

  • However we pass Time, he passes still,
  • Passing away whatever the pastime,
  • And, whether we use him well or ill,
  • Some day he gives us the slip for the last time.
  • Lord Lytton.

    If time, like money, could be laid by while one was not using it, there might be some excuse for the idleness of half the world, but yet not a full one. For even this would be such an economy as the living on a principal sum, without making it purchase interest.


    Observe a method in the distribution of your time. Every hour will then know its proper employment, and no time will be lost. Idleness will be shut out at every avenue, and with her that numerous body of vices that make up her train.

    Bishop Horne.

    The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depends upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance—and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty.


    Time is but a stream I go a fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom, and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper, fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars.


  • A wonderful stream is the River Time,
  • As it runs through the realms of Tears,
  • With a faultless rhythm, and a musical rhyme,
  • And a broader sweep, and a surge sublime
  • As it blends with the ocean of Years.
  • Benjamin F. Taylor.

    Time is scytheless and toothless; it is we who gnaw like the worm; we who smite like the scythe. It is ourselves who abolish, ourselves who consume; we are the mildew and the flame, and the soul of man is to its own work as the moth that frets when it cannot fly, and as the hidden flame that blasts where it cannot illumine.


  • Expect, but fear not, Death: Death cannot kill,
  • Till Time (that first must seal his patent) will.
  • Would’st thou live long? keep Time in high esteem:
  • Whom gone, if thou canst not recall, redeem.
  • Quarles.

  • His golden locks Time hath to silver turned,
  • O time too swift! O swiftness never ceasing!
  • His youth ’gainst Time and Age hath ever spurned,
  • But spurned in vain! Youth waneth by increasing.
  • George Peele.

  • Time rides with the old
  • At a great pace. As travellers on swift steeds
  • See the near landscape fly and flow behind them,
  • While the remoter fields and dim horizons
  • Go with them, and seem wheeling round to meet them,
  • So in old age things near us slip away,
  • And distant things go with us.
  • Longfellow.

  • Old Time, in whose banks we deposit our notes,
  • Is a miser who always wants guineas for groats;
  • He keeps all his customers still in arrears
  • By lending them minutes and charging them years.
  • O. W. Holmes.

    Time sadly overcometh all things, and is now dominant, and sitteth upon a sphinx, and looketh unto Memphis and old Thebes, while his sister Oblivion reclineth semi-somnous on a pyramid, gloriously triumphing, making puzzles of Titanian erections, and turning old glories into dreams.

    Sir Thomas Browne.

    Alas! it is not till Time, with reckless hand, has torn out half the leaves from the Book of Human Life to light the fires of human passion with, from day to day, that man begins to see that the leaves which remain are few in number.


    Think not thy time short in this world, since the world itself is not long. The created world is but a small parenthesis in eternity, and a short interposition, for a time, between such a state of duration as was before it and may be after it.

    Sir Thomas Browne.

  • I made a posy while the day ran by;
  • Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
  • My life within this band.
  • But time did beckon to the flowers, and they
  • By noon most cunningly did steal away,
  • And wither’d in my hand.
  • Herbert.

    That great mystery of time, were there no other; the illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called time, rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing ocean-tide, on which we and all the universe swim like exhalations, like apparitions which are, and then are not: this is forever very literally a miracle; a thing to strike us dumb, for we have no word to speak about it.


    The best general means to insure the profitable employment of our time is to accustom ourselves to living in continual dependence upon the Spirit of God and His law, receiving, every instant, whatever He is pleased to bestow; consulting Him in every emergency requiring instant action, and having recourse to Him in our weaker moments when virtue seems to fail.


    In the spirit of faith let us begin each day, and we shall be sure to “redeem the time” which it brings to us, by changing it into something definite and eternal. There is a deep meaning in this phrase of the apostle, to redeem time. We redeem time, and do not merely use it. We transform it into eternity by living it aright.

    J. F. Clarke.

    The time which passes over our heads so imperceptibly makes the same gradual change in habits, manners and character as in personal appearance. At the revolution of every five years we find ourselves another and yet the same—there is a change of views and no less of the light in which we regard them; a change of motives as well as of action.

    Walter Scott.

  • Time is a feathered thing,
  • And, whilst I praise
  • The sparkling of thy looks, and call them rays,
  • Takes wing,
  • Leaving behind him as he flies
  • An unperceivèd dimness in thine eyes.
  • Jasper Mayne.

  • Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
  • Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
  • A great-sized monster of ingratitudes;
  • Those scraps are good deeds past; which are devour’d
  • As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
  • As done.
  • Shakespeare.

    If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality, since lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough always proves little enough. Let us then be up and doing, and doing to the purpose; so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity.


    How silent, how spacious, what room for all, yet without place to insert an atom—in graceful succession, in equal fullness, in balanced beauty, the dance of the hours goes forward still. Like an odor of incense, like a strain of music, like a sleep, it is inexact and boundless. It will not be dissected, nor unraveled, nor shown.


  • Hour after hour departs,
  • Recklessly flying;
  • The golden time of our hearts
  • Is fast a-dying:
  • O, how soon it will have faded!
  • Joy droops, with forehead shaded;
  • And Memory starts.
  • John Hamilton Reynolds.

  • Time’s glory is to calm contending kings,
  • To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light,
  • To stamp the seal of time in aged things,
  • To wake the morn and sentinel the night,
  • To wrong the wronger till he render right,
  • To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours,
  • And smear with dust their glittering golden towers.
  • Shakespeare.

    Time is the most subtle yet the most insatiable of depredators, and by appearing to take nothing is permitted to take all; nor can it be satisfied until it has stolen the world from us, and us from the world. It constantly flies, yet overcomes all things by flight; and although it is the present ally, it will be the future conqueror of death.


    The hours of a wise man are lengthened by his ideas, as those of a fool are by his passions. The time of the one is long, because he does not know what to do with it; so is that of the other, because he distinguishes every moment of it with useful or amusing thoughts—or, in other words, because the one is always wishing it away, and the other always enjoying it.


    He who cannot find time to consult his Bible will one day find he has time to be sick; he who has no time to pray must find time to die; he who can find no time to reflect is most likely to find time to sin; he who cannot find time for repentance will find an eternity in which repentance will be of no avail; he who cannot find time to work for others may find an eternity in which to suffer for himself.

    Hannah More.

    There is nothing that we can properly call our own but our time, and yet everybody fools us out of it who has a mind to do it. If a man borrows a paltry sum of money, there must needs be bonds and securities, and every common civility is presently charged upon account. But he who has my time thinks he owes me nothing for it, though it be a debt that gratitude itself can never repay.


    Tobacco, coffee, alcohol, hashish, prussic acid, strychnine, are weak dilutions; the surest poison is time. This cup which nature puts to our lips, has a wonderful virtue, surpassing that of any other draught. It opens the senses, adds power, fills us with exalted dreams, which we call hope, love, ambition, science; especially it creates a craving for larger draughts of itself.


    Time is never more misspent than while we declaim against the want of it; all our actions are then tinctured with peevishness. The yoke of life is certainly the least oppressive when we carry it with good-humor; and in the shades of rural retirement, when we have once acquired a resolution to pass our hours with economy, sorrowful lamentations on the subject of time misspent and business neglected never torture the mind.


  • Time rolls his ceaseless course. The race of yore,
  • Who danced our infancy upon their knee,
  • And told our marvelling boyhood legends store,
  • Of their strange ventures happ’d by land or sea,
  • How are they blotted from the things that be!
  • How few, all weak and wither’d, of their force
  • Wait, on the verge of dark eternity,
  • Like stranded wrecks, the tide returning hoarse,
  • To sweep them from our sight!
  • Scott.

  • “Where is the world?” cries Young, at eighty. “Where
  • The world in which a man was born?” Alas!
  • Where is the world of eight years past? ’Twas there—
  • I look for it—’tis gone, a globe of glass
  • Cracked, shivered, vanished, scarcely gazed on ere
  • A silent change dissolves the glittering mass.
  • Statesmen, chiefs, orators, queens, patriots, kings,
  • And dandies, all are gone on the wind’s wings.
  • Byron.

  • O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
  • Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
  • When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
  • Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
  • O fearful meditation! where, alack,
  • Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
  • Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
  • Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
  • Shakespeare.

    To-day, to-morrow, every day, to thousands the end of the world is close at hand. And why should we fear it? We walk here, as it were, in the crypts of life; at times, from the great cathedral above us, we can hear the organ and the chanting choir; we see the light stream through the open door, when some friend goes up before us; and shall we fear to mount the narrow staircase of the grave that leads us out of this uncertain twilight into life eternal?


  • E’en such is time! which takes in trust
  • Our youth, our joys, and all we have;
  • And pays us naught but age and dust,
  • Which, in the dark and silent grave,
  • When we have wandered all our ways,
  • Shuts up the story of our days.
  • And from which grave, and earth, and dust,
  • The Lord will raise me up, I trust.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh.