Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


Young men soon give and soon forget affronts;
Old age is slow in both.
Addison—Cato. Act II. Sc. 5.

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—Youth and Calm. L. 19.

Young men are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for counsel; and fitter for new projects than for settled business.
Bacon—Of Youth and Age.

I was between
A man and a boy, A hobble-de-hoy,
A fat, little, punchy concern of sixteen.
R. H. Barham—Aunt Fanny.

Smiling always with a never fading serenity of countenance, and flourishing in an immortal youth.
Isaac Barrow—Duty of Thanksgiving. Works. Vol. I. P. 66.

Our youth we can have but to-day;
We may always find time to grow old.
Bishop Berkeley—Can Love be Controlled by Advice?

Young fellows will be young fellows.
Bickerstaff—Love in a Village. Act II. Sc. 2.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Laurence Binyon—For the Fallen. Sept., 1915.

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away: poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene
That men call age, and those who would have been
Their sons, they gave their immortality.
Rupert Brooke—The Dead. (1914).

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 side; he will be the younger man of the two.
Bulwer-Lytton—What Will He Do With It? Bk. II. Heading of Ch. XV.

Ah! happy years! once more who would not be a boy!
Byron—Childe Harold. Canto II. St. 23.

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—Don Juan. Canto V. St. 98.

And both were young, and one was beautiful.
Byron—The Dream. St. 2.

Youth is to all the glad season of life; but often only by what it hopes, not by what it attains, or what it escapes.
Carlyle—Essays. Schiller.

As I approve of a youth that has something of the old man in him, so I am no less pleased with an old man that has something of the youth. He that follows this rule may be old in body, but can never be so in mind.
Cicero—Cato; or, An Essay on Old Age.

Prima commendiato proficiscitur a modestia tum pietate in parentes, tum in suos benevolentia.
The chief recommendation [in a young man] is modesty, then dutiful conduct toward parents, then affection for kindred.
Cicero—De Officiis. II. 13.

Teneris, heu, lubrica moribus ætas!
Alas! the slippery nature of tender youth.
Claudianus—De Raptu Proserpinæ. III. 227.

Life went a-Maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy;
When I was young!
When I was young?—Ah, woful when!
Coleridge—Youth and Age.

A young Apollo, golden haired,
Stands dreaming on the verge of strife,
Magnificently unprepared
For the long littleness of life.
Mrs. Cornford—On Rupert Brooke. (1915).

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—Tirocinium. L. 296.

Youth, what man’s age is like to be, doth show;
We may our ends by our beginnings know.
Sir John Denham—Of Prudence. L. 225.

Youth should watch joys and shoot them as they fly.
Dryden—Aureng-Zebe. Act III. Sc. 1.

Olympian bards who sung
Divine ideas below,
Which always find us young,
And always keep us so.
Emerson—Essays. The Poet. Introduction.

Angelicus juvenis senibus satanizat in annis.
An angelic boyhood becomes a Satanic old age.
Erasmus—Fam. Coll. Quoted as a proverb invented by Satan.

Si jeunesse savoit, si vieillesse pouvoit.
H. Étienne—Les Premices. “Si jeune savoit, et vieux pouvoit, / Jamais disette n’y auroit. If youth but knew, and age were able, / Then poverty would be a fable.” Proverb of the Twelfth Century.

Youth holds no society with grief.
Euripides. L. 73.

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—Trivia. Bk. II. L. 145.

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—Bard. Pt. II. St. 2.

The insect-youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honied spring,
And float amid the liquid noon!
Gray—Ode on the Spring. St. 3. L. 5.

Over the trackless past, somewhere,
Lie the lost days of our tropic youth,
Only regained by faith and prayer,
Only recalled by prayer and plaint,
Each lost day has its patron saint!
Bret Harte—Lost Galleon. Last stanza.

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.
Hazlitt—Table Talk. The Feeling of Immortality in Youth.

Ah, youth! forever dear, forever kind.
Homer—Iliad. Bk. XIX. L. 303. Pope’s trans.

Youth! youth! how buoyant are thy hopes! they turn,
Like marigolds, toward the sunny side.
Jean Ingelow—The Four Bridges. St. 56.

All the world’s a mass of folly,
Youth is gay, age melancholy:
Youth is spending, age is thrifty,
Mad at twenty, cold at fifty;
Man is nought but folly’s slave,
From the cradle to the grave.
W. H. Ireland—Modern Ship of Fools. (Of the Folly of all the World.)

Towering in confidence of twenty-one.
Samuel Johnson—Letter to Bennet Langton. Jan., 1758.

When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green;
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen;
Then hey, for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away;
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog his day.
Charles Kingsley—Water Babies.

Our youth began with tears and sighs,
With seeking what we could not find;
We sought and knew not what we sought;
We marvel, now we look behind:
Life’s more amusing than we thought.
Andrew Lang—Ballade of Middle Age.

Flos juvenum (Flos juventutis).
The flower of the young men (the flower of youth).
Livy. VIII. 8; XXXVII. 12.

Youth comes but once in a lifetime.
Longfellow—Hyperion. Bk. II. Ch. X.

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

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—Morituri Salutamus. L. 66.

In its sublime audacity of faith,
“Be thou removed!” it to the mountain saith,
And with ambitious feet, secure and proud,
Ascends the ladder leaning on the cloud!
Longfellow—Morituri Salutamus.

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;
Once past, Thou never wilt come back again,
A second Boy.
Richard Monckton Milnes—Carpe Diem.

’Tis now the summer of your youth: time has not cropped the roses from your cheek, though sorrow long has washed them.
Edward Moore—The Gamester. Act III. Sc. 4.

The smiles, the tears
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken.
Moore—Oft in the Stilly Night.

Dissimiles hic vir, et ille puer.
How different from the present man was the youth of earlier days!
Ovid—Heroides. IX. 24.

The atrocious crime of being a young man.
William Pitt to Walpole. Boswell’s Life of Johnson. March 6, 1741.

When the brisk minor pants for twenty-one.
Pope—Epistle I. Bk. I. L. 38.

We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow;
Our wiser sons, no doubt, will think us so.
Pope—Essay on Criticism. Pt. II. L. 238.

De jeune hermite, vieil diable.
Of a young hermit, an old devil.
Rabelais—Pantagruel. Quoted, as a “proverbe authentique.”

My salad days;
When I was green in judgment.
Antony and Cleopatra. Act I. Sc. 5. L. 73.

The spirit of a youth
That means to be of note, begins betimes.
Antony and Cleopatra. Act IV. Sc. 4. L. 26.

The chariest maid is prodigal enough,
If she unmask her beauty to the moon;
Virtue itself ’scapes not calumnious strokes.
The canker galls the infants of the spring,
Too oft before their buttons be disclosed;
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth,
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Hamlet. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 36. “Infants of the spring” found also in Love’s Labour’s Lost. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 100.

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.
Hamlet. Act IV. Sc. 7. L. 79.

Is in the very May-morn of his youth,
Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.
Henry V. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 120.

He that is more than a youth, is not for me, and he that is less than man, I am not for him.
Much Ado About Nothing. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 40.

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.
The Passionate Pilgrim. St. 12.

Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime:
So thou through windows of thine age shall see,
Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.
Sonnet III.

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—The Chase. Bk. III. L. 389.

Age may have one side, but assuredly Youth has the other. There is nothing more certain than that both are right, except perhaps that both are wrong.
Stevenson—Crabbed Age.

For God’s sake give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself.
Stevenson—Crabbed Age.

Youth is wholly experimental.
Stevenson—To a Young Gentleman.

Youth should be a savings-bank.
Madame Swetchine.

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—Locksley Hall. St. 70.

What unjust judges fathers are, when in regard to us they hold
That even in our boyish days we ought in conduct to be old,
Nor taste at all the very things that youth and only youth requires;
They rule us by their present wants not by their past long-lost desires.
Terence—The Self-Tormentor. Act I. Sc. 3. F. W. Ricord’s trans.

The next, keep under Sir Hobbard de Hoy:
The next, a man, no longer a boy.
Tusser—Hundred Points of Husbandry.

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very Heaven!
Wordsworth—The Prelude. Bk. XI.

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

Youth is not rich in time; it may be poor;
Part with it as with money, sparing; pay
No moment but in purchase of its worth,
And what it’s worth, ask death-beds; they can tell.
Young—Night Thoughts. Night II. L. 47.