Quotes About Life


Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think. - La Bruyere.

As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters. -- Seneca.

Life.—Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort.—Sir Humphry Davy.

Catch, then, O 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.
Life's but a means unto an end, that end,
Beginning, mean, and end to all things—God.

In the midst of life we are in death.—Church Burial Service.

Life in itself is neither good nor evil, it is the scene of good or evil, as you make it.—Montaigne.

Since every man who lives is born to die,
And none can boast sincere felicity,
With equal mind what happens let us bear,
Nor joy nor grieve too much for things beyond our care.
Nor love thy life nor hate; but what thou liv'st
Live well; how long or short permit to heaven.

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.—Psalm 90:10.

[Pg 161]A handful of good life is worth a bushel of learning.—George Herbert.

Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.—Charlotte Bronte.

That man lives twice that lives the first life well.—Herrick.

He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best; and he whose heart beats the quickest lives the longest.—James Martineau.

Life is probation: mortal man was made
To solve the solemn problem—right or wrong.
—John Quincy Adams.

Live virtuously, my lord, and you cannot die too soon, nor live too long.—Lady Rachel Russell.

Our life contains a thousand springs,
And dies if one be gone;
Strange that a harp of thousand strings
Should keep in tune so long.
—Dr. Watts.

And he that lives to live forever never fears dying.—William Penn.

We live in deeds, not years; in thought, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives,
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
This is the state of man; to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honors thick upon him:
The third day, comes a frost, a killing frost;
And,—when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a ripening,—nips his root,
And then he falls.

[Pg 162]The end of life is to be like unto God; and the soul following God, will be like unto Him; He being the beginning, middle, and end of all things.—Socrates.

For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow.—Job 8:9.

You and I are now nearly in middle age, and have not yet become soured and shrivelled with the wear and tear of life. Let us pray to be delivered from that condition where life and nature have no fresh, sweet sensations for us.—James A. Garfield.

It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.—Dr. Johnson.

I slept and dreamed that life was beauty;
I woke and found that life was duty.
—Ellen Sturgis Hooper.

The truest end of life is to know the life that never ends.—William Penn.

Let those who thoughtfully consider the brevity of life remember the length of eternity.—Bishop Ken.


Let observation, with extensive view,
Survey mankind from China to Peru;
Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life.
_The Vanity of Human Wishes_. DR. S. JOHNSON.

It matters not how long we live, but how.
_Festus, Sc. Wood and Water_. P.J. BAILEY.

Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou liv'st
Live well; how long or short permit to heaven.
_Paradise Lost, Bk, XI_. MILTON.

All is concentred in a life intense,
Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,
But hath a part of being.
_Childe Harold, Canto III_. LORD BYRON.

Life for delays and doubts no time does give,
None ever yet made haste enough to live.
_Martial, Liber II_. A. COWLEY.

Learn to live well, that thou may'st die so too;
To live and die is all we have to do.
_Of Prudence_. SIR J. DENHAM.

"Live, while you live," the epicure would say,
"And seize the pleasures of the present day;"
"Live while you live," the sacred preacher cries,
"And give to God each moment as it flies."
"Lord, in my views let both united be;
I live in _pleasure_, when I live to _Thee_."
_"Dum vivimus vivamus." (Motto of his Family Arms.)_

A man's ingress into the world is naked and bare,
His progress through the world is trouble and care;
And lastly, his egress out of the world, is nobody knows where.
If we do well here, we shall do well there;
I can tell you no more if I preach a whole year.
_Eccentricities, Vol. I_. J. EDWIN.

A little rule, a little sway,
A sunbeam in a winter's day,
Is all the proud and mighty have
Between the cradle and the grave.
_Grongar Hill_. J. DYER.

So may'st thou live, till like ripe fruit thou drop
Into thy mother's lap
_Paradise Lost, Bk. XI_. MILTON.

Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife!
To all the sensual world proclaim,
One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name.
_Old Mortality: Chapter Head_. SIR W. SCOTT.

Let us (since life can little more supply
Than just to look about us, and to die)
Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man;
A mighty maze! but not without a plan.
_Essay on Man, Epistle I_. A. POPE.

The world's a theatre, the earth a stage
Which God and nature do with actors fill.
_Apology for Actors_. T. HEYWOOD.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life is but a walking shadow; a poor player.
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
_Macbeth, Act v. Sc. 5_ SHAKESPEARE.

The web of our life is of a mingled
Yarn, good and ill together.
_All's Well that Ends Well, Act iv. Sc. 3_. SHAKESPEARE.

And what's a life?--a weary pilgrimage,
Whose glory in one day doth fill the stage
With childhood, manhood, and decrepit age.
_What is Life_? P. QUARLES.

An elegant sufficiency, content,
Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
Ease and alternate labor, useful life,
Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven!
_The Seasons: Spring_. J. THOMSON.

On life's vast ocean diversely we sail,
Reason the card, but passion is the gale.
_Essay on Man, Epistle II_. A. POPE.

I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
_Julius Cęsar, Act i. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life at a pin's fee.
_Hamlet, Act i. Sc. 4_. SHAKESPEARE.

"Life is not lost," said she, "for which is bought
Endlesse renowne."
_Faėrie Queene, Bk. III. Canto XI_. E. SPENSER.

Our life is scarce the twinkle of a star
In God's eternal day.
_Autumnal Vespers_. B. TAYLOR.

There taught us how to live; and (oh, too high
The price for knowledge!) taught us how to die.
_On the Death of Addison_. T. TICKELL.

Our life contains a thousand springs,
And dies if one be gone.
Strange! that a harp of thousand strings
Should keep in tune so long.
_Hymns and Spiritual Songs_. DR. I. WATTS.


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