| Therefore Agathon rightly says: Of this alone even God is deprived, the power of making things that are past never to have been.|
AristotleEthics. Bk. VI. Ch. II. R. W. Brownes trans. Same idea in MiltonParadise Lost. 9. 926. PindarOlympia. 2. 17. Pliny the ElderHistoria Naturalis. 2. 5. 10.
| The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause.|
Henri BergsonCreative Evolution. Ch. I.
|No traces left of all the busy scene,|
But that remembrances says: The things have been.
Samuel BoyseThe Deity.
|But how carve way i the life that lies before,|
If bent on groaning ever for the past?
Robert BrowningBalaustions Adventure.
|Thou unrelenting past.|
BryantTo the Past.
|The light of other days is faded,|
And all their glories past.
Alfred BunnThe Maid of Artois.
|The age of chivalry is gone.|
BurkeReflections on the Revolution in France.
|John Anderson, my jo, John,|
When we were first acquent,
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonny brow was brent.
| Goneglimmering through the dream of things that were.|
ByronChilde Harold. Canto II. St. 2.
|The best of prophets of the future is the past.|
ByronLetter. Jan. 28, 1821.
| The Present is the living sum-total of the whole Past.|
|O, to bring back the great Homeric time,|
The simple manners and the deeds sublime:
When the wise Wanderer, often foiled by Fate,
Through the long furrow drave the ploughshare straight.
Mortimer CollinsLetter to the Rt. Hon. B. Disraeli, M. P. Pub. anon. 1869. Ploughing his lonely furrow. Used by Lord Rosebery. July, 1901.
|Listen to the Water-Mill:|
Through the live-long day
How the clicking of its wheel
Wears the hours away!
Languidly the Autumn wind
Stirs the forest leaves,
From the field the reapers sing
Binding up their sheaves:
And a proverb haunts my mind
As a spell is cast,
The mill cannot grind
With the water that is past.
Sarah DoudneyLesson of the Water-Mill.
|Not heaven itself upon the past has power;|
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.
DrydenImitation of Horace. Bk. III. Ode XXIX. L. 71.
|Ils sont passés ces jours de fête.|
The days of rejoicing are gone forever.
Du LorensLe Tableau Parlant.
|Oh le bon temps où étions si malheureux.|
Oh! the good times when we were so unhappy.
DumasLe Chevalier dHarmental. II. 318.
|Un jeune homme dun bien beau passé.|
A young man with a very good past.
Heine of Alfred de Musset. Quoted by SwinburneMiscellanies. P. 233.
|O Death! O Change! O Time!|
Without you, O! the insufferable eyes
Of these poor Might-Have-Beens,
These fatuous, ineffectual yesterdays.
HenleyRhymes and Rhythms. XIII.
|Praise they that will times past, I joy to see|
My selfe now live: this age best pleaseth mee.
HerrickThe Present Time Best Pleaseth.
| O God! Put back Thy universe and give me yesterday.|
Henry Arthur JonesSilver King.
| Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth.|
Charles KingsleyLife. Vol. II. Ch. XXVIII.
|Enjoy the spring of love and youth,|
To some good angel leave the rest;
For time will teach thee soon the truth,
There are no birds in last years nest.
LongfellowIt is not always May.
| We remain|
Safe in the hallowed quiets of the past.
LowellThe Cathedral. L. 234.
|Prisca juvent alios; ego me nunc denique natum Gratulor.|
The good of other times let people state;
I think it lucky I was born so late.
OvidArs Amatoria. III. 121. Trans. by Sydney Smith.
|Weep no more, lady, weep no more,|
Thy sorrowe is in vaine,
For violets pluckt, the sweetest showers
Will neer make grow againe.
Thos. PercyReliques. The Friar of Orders Gray. See FletcherThe Queen of Corinth. Act III. Sc. 2.
|O there are Voices of the Past,|
Links of a broken chain,
Wings that can bear me back to Times
Which cannot come again;
Yet God forbid that I should lose
The echoes that remain!
Adelaide A. ProcterVoices of the Past.
| In tanta inconstantia turbaque rerum nihil nisi quod preteriit certum est.|
In the great inconstancy and crowd of events, nothing is certain except the past.
SenecaDe Consolatione ad Marciam. XXII.
|Whats past is prologue.|
Tempest. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 253.
|The past Hours weak and gray|
With the spoil which their toil
From the conquest but One could foil.
ShelleyPrometheus Unbound. Act IV. Sc. 1.
|I need not ask thee if that hand, now calmed,|
Has any Roman soldier mauled and knuckled,
For thou wert dead, and buried and embalmed,
Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled:
Antiquity appears to have begun
Long after that primeval race was run.
Horace SmithAddress to the Mummy in Belzonis Exhibition.
|Oh, had I but Aladdins lamp|
Tho only for a day,
Id try to find a link to bind
The joys that pass away.
Charles SwainOh, Had I but Aladdins Lamp.
|The eternal landscape of the past.|
TennysonIn Memoriam. Pt. XLVI.
|Oh seize the instant time; you never will|
With waters once passed by impel the mill.
TrenchPoems. (Ed. 1865). P. 303. Proverbs, Turkish and Persian.
| Many a woman has a past; but I am told she has at least a dozen, and that they all fit.|
Oscar WildeLady Windermeres Fan. Act I. A Woman with a Past. Title of a Novel by Mrs. Berens. Pub. 1886.
|Though nothing can bring back the hour|
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower.
WordsworthOde. Intimations of Immortality. St. 10.
|For old, unhappy, far-off things,|
And battles long ago.
WordsworthThe Solitary Reaper.
|That awful independent on to-morrow!|
Whose work is done; who triumphs in the past;
Whose yesterdays look backward with a smile
Nor, like the Parthian, wound him as they fly.
YoungNight Thoughts. Night II. L. 322.