Shakespeare and Time

time cogs type 10
The only books left by those who once lived at The Old Coach Inn in THE TIME THAT NEVER WAS, Book One of SWIDGERS series, were the plays of William Shakespeare. Not exactly what would be everyone’s first choice. And certainly not William or Granny. But, anyway, here’s The Bard himself on the subject of Time…

“Time’s glory is to command contending kings,To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light.”

“Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides: Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.”

“Nothing ‘gainst Times scythe can make defence.”

“Short Time seems long in sorrows’ sharp sustaining.”

“I wasted Time, now Time doth waste me.”

“And a man’s life’s no more than to say ‘One’”

“What is past is prologue.”

“Time’s the king of men; he’s both their parent and he is their grave, and gives them what he will, not what they crave.”

“O, call back yesterday, bid Time return.”

“Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, So do our minutes hasten to their end; Each changing place with that which goes before, In sequent to all forwards do contend. We are Time’s subjects, and Time bids be gone.”

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”


“Time is like a fashionable host

That slight shakes his parting guest by the hand,

And with his arm out-stretche’d, as he would fly,

Grasps in the comer.”


“At Christmas I no more desire a rose

Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth;

But like of each thing in that season grows.”


“Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,

My love shall in my verse ever live young.”


“There are many events in the womb of Time which will be delivered.”


“If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grains will grow and which will not, speak then unto me.”

“O time, thou must untangle this, not I. It is too hard a knot for me t’untire.”


“Thus we play the fool with Time and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.”

O excellent! I love long life better than figs.


“Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had liv’d a blessed time; for, from this instant,
There’s nothing serious in mortality:
All is but toys; renown, and grace is dead;
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.”


“Let life be short: else shame will be too long.”


“The sands are number’d that make up my life;
Here must I stay, and here my life must end.”


“O gentlemen, the time of life is short!
To spend that shortness basely were too long,
If life did ride upon a dial’s point,
Still ending at the arrival of an hour.”


“This day I breathed first: time is come round,
And where I did begin there shall I end;
My life is run his compass.”


“And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe.
And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;
And thereby hangs a tale.”


“Reason thus with life:
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep.”


“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’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.”


“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.


“The time of life is short; to spend that shortness basely were too long.”

“A man can die but once.”


“Time goes on crutches till love have all his rites.”

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