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


Youth comes but once in a lifetime.


Keep true to the dreams of thy youth.


We must be young to do great things.


Everything is pretty that is young.


Reckless youth makes rueful age.


Wine and youth are fire upon fire.


From thoughtless youth to ruminating age.


Youth holds no society with grief.


In youth we learn; in age we understand.

Marie Ebner-Eschenbach.

Alas! the slippery nature of tender youth.


Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.


Towering in confidence of twenty-one.

Sam’l Johnson.

The atrocious crime of being a young man.

William Pitt.

Youth is a continual intoxication; it is the fever of reason.

La Rochefoucauld.

Young fellows will be young fellows.


Youth should be a savings-bank.

Madame Swetchine.

To be young was very heaven!


Ah, youth! forever dear, forever kind.


And both were young, and one was beautiful.


We have some salt of our youth in us.


No young man believes he shall ever die.

John Hazlitt.

He wears the rose of youth upon him.


Too young for woe, though not for tears.

Washington Irving.

The youthful freshness of a blameless heart.

Washington Irving.

It is so beautiful to die young!

André Chénier.

Youth is everywhere in place.


A youth of frolic, an old age of cards.


Youth is life’s beautiful moment.


The youth of the soul is everlasting and eternity is youth.


Like virgin parchment, capable of any inscription.


  • Young men soon give and soon forget affronts;
  • Old age is slow in both.
  • Addison.

    Ah! happy years! once more who would not be a boy!


    That exuberant age when all fresh fancies are fevers.

    Miss Braddon.

    The fresh and buoyant sense of being that bounds in youth’s yet careless breast.


  • A youth to whom was given
  • So much of earth, so much of heaven.
  • Wordsworth.

  • The spirit of a youth
  • That means to be of note, begins betimes.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Our youth we can have but to-day;
  • We may always find time to grow old.
  • Bishop Berkeley.

  • My salad days;
  • When I was green in judgment.
  • Shakespeare.

    Young men think old men fools, and old men know young men to be so.


    And made youth younger, and taught life to live.


    The humor of youth, which ever thinks that good whose goodness it sees not.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    Youth should watch joys and shoot them as they fly.


    Youth is not the era of wisdom; let us therefore have due consideration.


    Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.


    Let nothing foul to either eye or ear reach those doors within which dwells a boy.


    Live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life.


    Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.


    When we are out of sympathy with the young, then I think our work in this world is over.

    George MacDonald.

    In the lexicon of youth which fate reserves for a bright manhood, there is no such word as fail.


    No boy is well prepared for rough climbing, unless he is well shod with Christian principles.

    T. L. Cuyler.

    The greatest part of mankind employ their first years to make their last miserable.

    La Bruyère.

    It is a truth but too well known, that rashness attends youth, as prudence does old age.


  • We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow;
  • Our wiser sons, no doubt, will think us so.
  • Pope.

    To be young is surely the best, if the most precarious, gift of life.


    If youth be a defect, it is one that we outgrow only too soon.


  • Youth! youth! how buoyant are thy hopes! they turn,
  • Like marigolds, toward the sunny side.
  • Jean Ingelow.

    O youth! thou often tearest thy wings against the thorns of voluptuousness.

    Victor Hugo.

    Wise men, like wine, are best when old; pretty women, like bread, are best when young.


    I am young, it is true; but in noble souls valor does not wait for years.


    Grieve not that I die young. Is it not well to pass away ere life has lost its brightness?

    Lady Flora Hastings.

    Agreeable surprises are the perquisites of youth.


    So live, that thy young and glowing breast can think of death without a sigh.

    Eliza Cook.

    Youth might be wise; we suffer less from pains than pleasures.


    While memory watches o’er the sad review of joys that faded like the morning dew.


    Secure their religion; season their younger years with prudent and pious principles.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    I love the soul that dares tread the temptations of his years beneath his youthful feet.

    Dr. Watts.

    Shall not a man have his spring as well as the plants?


    To be famous when you are young is the fortune of the gods.


    South is eminently the fittest season for establishing habits of industry.

    Dr. Parr.

    Whom the gods love die young, was said of yore.


    I resemble the poplar,—that tree which, even when old, still looks young.


    Deal mildly with his youth; for young hot colts, being raged, do rage the more.


    Young men are apt to think themselves wise enough, as drunken men are to think themselves sober enough.


  • The insect-youth are on the wing,
  • Eager to taste the honied spring,
  • And float amid the liquid noon!
  • Gray.

    All of us who are worth anything spend our manhood in unlearning the follies or expiating the mistakes of youth.


  • Standing with reluctant feet,
  • Where the brook and river meet,
  • Womanhood and childhood fleet!
  • Longfellow.

    There is a feeling of Eternity in youth which makes us amends for everything. To be young is to be as one of the immortals.


    The heart of youth is reached through the senses; the senses of age are reached through the heart.

    Rétif de la Bretonne.

    Youth is not like a new garment which we can keep fresh and fair by wearing sparingly. Youth, while we have it, we must wear daily; and it will fast wear away.

    John Foster.

    The destiny of any nation at any given time depends on the opinions of its young men under five-and-twenty.


    Who can blame me if I cherish the belief that the world is still young,—that there are great possibilities in store for it?


    Rash, inexperienced youth holds itself a chosen instrument, and allows itself unbounded license.


    Beautiful as sweet! and young as beautiful! and soft as young! and gay as soft! and innocent as gay!


    A man that is young in years may be old in hours, if he have lost no time; but that happeneth rarely.


  • How beautiful is youth! how bright it gleams
  • With its illusions, aspirations, dreams!
  • Book of Beginnings, Story without End,
  • Each maid a heroine, and each man a friend!
  • Longfellow.

  • What is that to him that reaps not harvest of his youthful joys,
  • Though the deep heart of existence beat forever like a boy’s?
  • Tennyson.

  • For youth no less becomes
  • The light and careless livery that it wears,
  • Than settled age his sables, and his weeds
  • Importing health and graveness.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Be it a weakness, it deserves some praise,
  • We love the play-place of our early days.
  • The scene is touching, and the heart is stone,
  • That feels not at that sight, and feels at none.
  • Cowper.

    If the world does improve on the whole, yet youth must always begin anew, and go through the stages of culture from the beginning.


    Women are only told that they resemble angels when they are young and beautiful; consequently, it is their persons, not their virtues, that procure them homage.

    Phœbe Cary.

  • I remember, I remember
  • How my childhood fleeted by,—
  • The mirth of its December,
  • And the warmth of its July.
  • Praed.

    And now he shook away the snow of time from the winter-green of memory, and beheld the fair years of his childhood uncovered, fresh, green, and balmy, standing afar off before him.


    Every street has two sides, the shady side and the sunny. When two men shake hands and part, mark which of the two takes the sunny sides; he will be the younger man of the two.


    For the short-lived bloom and contracted span of brief and wretched life is fast fleeting away! While we are drinking and calling for garlands, ointments, and women, old age steals swiftly on with noiseless step.


  • Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
  • While proudly rising o’er the azure realm
  • In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes,
  • Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm.
  • Gray.

  • Her years
  • Were ripe, they might make six-and-twenty springs;
  • But there are forms which Time to touch forbears,
  • And turns aside his scythe to vulgar things.
  • Byron.

  • Hail, blooming Youth!
  • May all your virtues with your years improve,
  • Till in consummate worth you shine the pride
  • Of these our days, and succeeding times
  • A bright example.
  • Wm. Somerville.

    I love the acquaintance of young people; because, in the first place, I do not like to think myself growing old. In the next place, young acquaintances must last longest, if they do last; and then, sir, young men have more virtue than old men; they have more generous sentiments in every respect.

    Dr. Johnson.

    It is not easy to surround life with any circumstances in which youth will not be delightful; and I am afraid that, whether married or unmarried, we shall find the vesture of terrestrial existence more heavy and cumbrous the longer it is worn.


    A man that is young in years may be old in hours, if he have lost no time; but that happeneth rarely. Generally, youth is like the first cogitations, not so wise as the second; for there is a youth in thoughts as well as in ages; and yet the invention of young men is more lively than that of old, and imaginations stream into their minds better, and, as it were, more divinely.


  • O happy unown’d youths! your limbs can bear
  • The scorching dog-star and the winter’s air,
  • While the rich infant, nurs’d with care and pain,
  • Thirsts with each heat and coughs with every rain!
  • Gay.

  • There is nothing can equal the tender hours
  • When life is first in bloom,
  • When the heart like a bee, in a wild of flowers,
  • Finds everywhere perfume;
  • When the present is all and it questions not
  • If those flowers shall pass away,
  • But pleased with its own delightful lot,
  • Dreams never of decay.
  • Bohn.

    At almost every step in life we meet with young men from whom we anticipate wonderful things, but of whom, after careful inquiry, we never hear another word. Like certain chintzes, calicoes, and ginghams, they show finely on their first newness, but cannot stand the sun and rain, and assume a very sober aspect after washing day.


    Among all the accomplishments of youth there is none preferable to a decent and agreeable behavior among men, a modest freedom of speech, a soft and elegant manner of address, a graceful and lovely deportment, a cheerful gravity and good-humor, with a mind appearing ever serene under the ruffling accidents of human life.


  • Crabbed age and youth cannot live together;
  • Youth is full of pleasance, age is full of care;
  • Youth like summer morn, age like winter weather;
  • Youth like summer brave, age like winter bare.
  • Youth is full of sport, age’s breath is short;
  • Youth is nimble, age is lame;
  • Youth is hot and bold, age is weak and cold;
  • Youth is wild, and age is tame.
  • Age, I do abhor thee; youth I do adore thee.
  • Shakespeare.

  • I can remember, with unsteady feet,
  • Tottering from room to room, and finding pleasure
  • In flowers, and toys, and sweetmeats, things which long
  • Have lost their power to please; which when I see them,
  • Raise only now a melancholy wish
  • I were the little trifler once again,
  • Who could be pleas’d so lightly.
  • Southey.

  • Youth, that pursuest with such eager pace
  • Thy even way,
  • Thou pantest on to win a mournful race:
  • Then, stay! oh, stay!
  • Pause and luxuriate in thy sunny plain;
  • Loiter,—enjoy:
  • Once past, Thou never wilt come back again,
  • A second Boy.
  • Richard Monckton Milnes.

  • Youth dreams a bliss on this side death.
  • It dreams a rest, if not more deep,
  • More grateful than this marble sleep;
  • It hears a voice within it tell:
  • Calm’s not life’s crown, though calm is well.
  • ’Tis all perhaps which man acquires,
  • But ’tis not what our youth desires.
  • Matthew Arnold.