So passeth, in the passing of a day, Of mortal life the leaf, the bud, the flower, No more doth flourish after first decay, That erst was sought to deck both bed and bower, Of manya lady, and many a paramour: Gather therefore the rose, whilst yet is prime, For soon comes age, that will her pride deflower: Gather the rose of love, whilst yet is time, Whilst loving thou mayst love' d be with equal crime.Edmund Spenser: 1590 The Faerie Queen, bk.2, canto12, stanza 75.
All human things are subject to decay, And, when fate summons, monarchs must obey.john dryden: 1678 MacFlecknoe (published1682), l.1-2.
My God, I heard this day, That none doth build a stately habitation, But that he means to dwell therein. What house more stately hath there been, Or can be, than is Man? to whose creation All things are in decay.George Herbert: 'Man', collected in The Temple, Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations (published posthumously,1633).
I have always looked upon decayas being just as wonderful an expression of life as growth.Henry Valentine Miller: 1947 The Wisdom of the Heart,'Reflections on Writing'.
Can a society in which thought and technique are scientific persist for a long period, as, for example, ancient Egypt persisted, or does it necessarily contain within itself forces which must bring either decay or explosion?Russell, Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl: 1949 'Can a Scientific Community Be Stable?', Lloyd Roberts lecture to the Royal Society of Medicine, 29 Nov.
Ispenttwo hourswiththat great man,Dr Johnson, who is sinking into the grave bya gentle decay.john wesley: 1783 Journal entry,18 Dec.
Probably the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing- fields of Eton, but the opening battles of all subsequent wars have been lost there.One of the dominant facts in English life during the past three-quarters of a century has been the decay of ability in the ruling class.George pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair Orwell: 1941The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius, pt.4.
People can say what they like about the decay of Christianity; the religious system that produced green Chartreuse can never really die.Saki pseudonym of Hector Hugh Munro: 1904 Reginald,'Reginald on Christmas Presents'.
Awit should no more be sincerethana woman constant; one argues a decay of parts, as t'other of beauty.william congreve: 1700 The Way of the World, act1, sc.6.
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.Percy Bysshe Shelley: 1819 'Ozymandias'.
Words strain, Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, Under the tension, slip, slide, perish, Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place, Will not stay still.T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot: 1935 Four Quartets,'Burnt Norton', pt.5.
I am very glad that I see Rome while it yet exists; before a great number of years are elapsed, I question whether it will be worth seeing. Between the ignorance and poverty of the present Romans, every thing is neglected and falling to decay.Walpole, Horace, 4th Earl of Orford: 1740 Letter. Collected in P Cunningham (ed) The Letters of HoraceWalpole, Fourth Earl of Orford (1857-9).
I've seen the smiling of Fortune beguiling, I've felt all its favours and found its decay; Sweet was its blessing, kind its caressing, But now it is fled, fled far, far away.Richard Cobden: 1765 'The Flowers of the Forest'.
Earth has waited for them, All the time of their growth Fretting for their decay: Now she has them at last.Isaac Rosenberg: 1917 'Dead Man's Dump'.
An accountof the decadence occupying the trough between the two world wars introduces us to a moronic inferno of insipidityand decay.1950 Rude Assignment, ch.31.
We took away their countryand their means of support, broke up their mode of living, their habits of life, introduced disease and decayamong them and it was for this and against this they made war.Could anyone expect less?Philip Henry Sheridan: c.1870 Quoted inThomas C Leonard Above the Battle (1978).
Iamnot yet so lost inlexicographyastoforgetthat words arethe daughters of earth, and thatthings arethesons of heaven. Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but thesigns of ideas: Iwish, however, that the instrument might be less apt to decay, and that signs might be permanent, like the things which they denote.Samuel known as Dr Johnson Johnson: 1755 A Dictionary of the English Language, preface.
One day I wrote her name upon the strand, But came the waves and washe' d it away; Again I wrote it with a second hand, But came the tide, and made my pains his prey. 'Vain man,'said she,'that doest in vain assay A mortal thing so to immortalise, For I my self shall like to this decay, And eke my name be wipe' d out likewise.' 'Not so,'quod I,'let baser things devise To die in dust, but you shall live by fame: My verse your virtues rare shall eternise, And in the heavens write your glorious name. Where when as death shall all the world subdue, Our love shall live, and later life renew.'Edmund Spenser: 1595 Amoretti, sonnet 75.
What man that sees the ever-whirling wheel Of Change, the which all mortal things doth sway, But that thereby doth find, and plainly feel, How mutability in them doth play Her cruel sports, to many men's decay?Edmund Spenser: 1609 The Faerie Queen,'Mutability', canto 6, stanza1.
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey Where wealth accumulates and men decay: Princes and lords may flourish or may fade; A breath can make them, as a breath has made; But a bold peasantry, their country's pride, When once destroyed, can never be supplied.Oliver Goldsmith: 1770 The Deserted Village, l.51-6.
To that high Capital, where kingly Death Keeps his pale court in beauty and decay, He came.Percy Bysshe Shelley: 1821Adonais, stanza 7.
The woods decay, the woods decayand fall, The vapours weep their burthen to the ground, Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath, And after manya summer dies the swan. Me only cruel immortality Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms, Here at the quiet limit of the world.Tennyson: 1860 'Tithonus' (revised1864),1.1-7.
When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults and they enter society, one of the politer names of Hell. That is why we dread children, even if we love them. They show us the state of our decay.brian aldiss: Billion Year Spree : The History of Science Fiction (1973); and the revised edition: Trillion Year Spree : The History of Science Fiction (1986)
Ever since my childhood, I was haunted by the search for perfection. An imperfectly cut paper literally made me ill, I would guillotine it. My collages came undone, they became blistered. I then introduced death and decay in my compositions. I reacted by avoiding any precision from one day to another. Instead of cutting the paper, I would tear it with my hands.hans arp: p. 431 (Jours effeuillés: Poèmes, essaies, souvenirs, 1966)
And this is where it went. In places all around the eastern Mediterranean the sea is separated from the mainland by strips of flat marshy land like this. Made up of the soil that once clothed the hills beyond. All this was deposited during the last 2000 years. This is the marsh that now separates the sea from the city of Ephesus. These ruined buildings mark the edge of the quay where once merchant ships lay moored. As the harbour died, so did the trade upon which the city's wealth was based, and so, well, ultimately did Ephesus itself. What was once one of the most splendid cities in the Roman Empire fell into decay and was abandoned.david attenborough: 50 min 10 sec