quotations about youth
Youth is the pollen
That blows through the sky
And does not ask why.
STEPHEN VINCENT BENET, John Brown's Body
Youth's the season made for joys,
Love is then our duty.
JOHN GAY, The Beggar's Opera
The young have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things--and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning.... All their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything; they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else.
It takes a very long time to become young.
PABLO PICASSO, Saturday Review, 1959
The Youth of a Nation are the trustees of Posterity.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI, Sybil
The whims of youth break all the rules.
HOMER, The Iliad
The tempests of youth are mingled with days of brilliant sunshine.
LUC DE CLAPIERS, MARQUIS DE VAUVENARGUES, Reflections and Maxims
The youth is no longer a youth, but a man,
When the first of his dreams is dead.
WILLIAM HERBERT CARRUTH, Ghosts of Dreams
[It] is the juvenal period of life when friendships are formed, and habits established, that will stick by one.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Alexander Hamilton, Sep. 1, 1796
Only to children children sing,
Only to youth will spring be spring.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON, The Harp
Time misspent in youth is sometimes all the freedom one ever has; that is why the gods are always young.
ANITA BROOKNER, A Misalliance
The elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time.
MARK TWAIN, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
In this sad world of ours sorrow comes to all, and to the young it comes with bittered agony because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to expect it.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to Fanny McCullough, Dec. 23, 1862
No one who is young is ever going to be old.
JOHN STEINBECK, East of Eden
Age hath its quiet calm, and youth enjoyeth not for haste.
MARTIN FARQUHAR TUPPER, Proverbial Philosophy
I lived in a brilliantly lit haze, shifting and flickering according to my changing desires. Of course, that is only a description of being young.
DORIS LESSING, The Golden Notebook
The mirror of my youth will never lie.
BARBARA O'SULLIVAN, "The Mirror of My Youth", The Steel Mirror: Sonnets and Poems
Youth is the leaven that keeps all these questioning, testing attitudes fermenting in the world. If it were not for this troublesome activity of youth, with its hatred of sophisms and glosses, its insistence on things as they are, society would die from sheer decay.
RANDOLPH BOURNE, "Youth", The Atlantic Monthly, April 1912
In youth men are apt to write more wisely than they really know or feel; and the remainder of life may be not idly spent in realizing and convincing themselves of the wisdom which they uttered long ago.
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, preface, The Snow-Image
To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.
OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray