Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Sorrow

"Thou canst not tell how rich a dowry sorrow gives the soul, how firm a faith and eagle sight of God." - Dean Alford, fully Clarence "Dean" Alford

"Real joy seems dissonant from the human character in its present condition; and if it be felt, it must come from a higher region, for the world is shadowed by sorrow; thorns array the ground; the very clouds, while they weep fertility on our mountains, seem also to shed a tear on man’s grave who departs, unlike the beauties of summer, to return no more; who fades unlike the sons of the forest, which another summer beholds new clothed, when he is unclothed and forgotten." - Dwight Douglas Andrews

"Human sorrow springs from three things: to want before it is due; to want more than your share; to want what belongs to others." - Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat

"Sorrow comes soon enough without despondency. It does a man no good to carry around a lightning-rod to attract trouble." - Arthur Aughey

"Piety and selfless deeds elevate the inhabitants of this earth to exalted spiritual estates... self-serving acts reduce them to the realms beneath, of sorrow and pain, rebirths among birds and vermin, or out of the wombs of pigs and beasts of the wild, or among trees. Action is a function of character, which in turn is controlled by custom. This is the whole substance of the secret. This knowledge is the ferry across the ocean of hell to beatitude. For all the animate and inanimate objects in this world... are transitory, like dream. The gods on high, the mute trees and stones, are but apparitions in the fantasy. Good and evil attaching to a person are perishable as bubbles. In the cycles of time they alternate. The wise are attached to neither." - Brahma-Vaivarta Purana NULL

"Do not become attached to the things you like, do not maintain aversion to the things you dislike. Sorrow, fear and bondage come from one's likes and dislikes." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"Happiness follows sorrow, sorrow follows happiness, but when one no longer discriminates between happiness and sorrow, a good deed and a bad deed, one is able to realize freedom." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"He who beholds in all beings in the self and the self in all beings, he never turns away from it. When to a man who understands, the self has become all things, what sorrow, what trouble can there be to him who once beheld that unity?" - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"The child’s grief throbs against the round of its little heart as heavily as the man’s sorrow; and the one finds as much delight in his kite or drum as the other in striking the springs of enterprise or soaring on the wings of fame." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"For how might sweetness ever have been known to him who never tasted bitterness? Felicity exists for those alone who first have suffered sorrow and distress... By opposites does one in wisdom grow." - Geoffrey Chaucer

"Our hearts must not only be broken with sorrow, but be broken from sin, to constitute repentance." - Orville Dewey

"He who can suppress a moment's anger may prevent a day of sorrow. To rule one's anger is well; to prevent it is still better." - Tyron Edwards

"Quiet and sincere sympathy is often the most welcome and efficient consolation to the afflicted. Said a wise man to one in deep sorrow, "I did not come to comfort you; God only can do that; but I did come to say how deeply and tenderly I feel for you in your affliction."" - Tyron Edwards

"There is no sorrow I have though more about than that, to love what is great, and try to reach it, and yet to fail." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"I walked a mile with Pleasure, She chattered all the way; But left me none the wiser, For all she had to say. I walked a mile with Sorrow And ne’er a word said she; But, oh, the things I learned from her When Sorrow walked with me!" - Robert Browning Hamilton

"Whole years of joy glide unperceived away, while sorrow counts the minutes as they pass." - William Havard

"Sorrow is sin’s echo, and as the echo answers the voice best where there are broken walls and ruined buildings to return it, so is sorrow when reverberated by a broken ruined heart." - Philip Henry

"The sorrow which calls for help and comfort is not the greatest, nor does it come from the depths of the heart." -

"There’ll be no night in Heav’n, In that blest world above; No anxious toil, no weary hours; For labor there is love. There’ll be no sorrow there, There’ll be no sorrow there, In Heav’n above, where all is love, There’ll be no sorrow there. There’ll be no grief in Heav’n, For life is one glad day, And tears are those of former things Which all have passed way. There’ll be no sin in Heav’n; Behold that blessèd throng, All holy in their spotless robes, All holy in their song." - Frederick Dan Huntington

"Only one-fourth of the sorrow in each man's life is caused by outside uncontrollable elements, the rest is self-imposed by failing to analyze and act with calmness." -

"Bashfulness may sometimes exclude pleasure, but seldom opens any avenue to sorrow or remorse." -

"Resentment is a union of sorrow with malignity; a combination of a passion which all endeavor to avoid with a passion which all concur to detest." -

"Sorrow is the mere rust of the soul. Activity will cleanse and brighten it." -

"Tears are often to be found where there is little sorrow, and the deepest sorrow without any tears." -

"After the death of a close relative, thoughts of sorrow and pain frequently enter a person’s mind even after the mourning period. When such thoughts arise, one should try to strengthen oneself to accept the Almighty’s judgment. Every time you successfully conquer self-pitying thoughts, you elevate yourself." - Yechezkail Levenstein

"Sorrow is not evil, since it stimulates and purifies." - Guiseppe Mazzini

"True sorrow makes a silence in the heart." - Robert Nathan

"Joys are our wings; sorrow our spurs." -

"Sorrow causes more absence of mind and confusion than so-called levity." -

"Remorse is the consciousness of doing wrong with no sense of love; penitence the same consciousness with the feeling of sorrow and tenderness added." -

"There’s no way to make sorrow light But in the noble bearing; be content; Blows given from heaven are our due punishment; All shipwrecks are not drownings; you see buildings Made fairer from their ruins." - William Rowley

"He that would soothe sorrow must not argue on the vanity of the most deceitful hopes." -

"Love is nothing but joy accompanied with the idea of an external cause, and hatred is nothing but sorrow with the accompanying idea of an external cause. We see too that he who loves a thing necessarily endeavors to keep it before him and to preserve it, and, on the other hand, he who hates a thing necessarily endeavors to remove and destroy it." -

"Love toward a thing eternal and infinite feeds the mind with pure joy, and is wholly free from sorrow; this is to be greatly desired and strenuously sought for." -

"No one can hate God... The idea of God which is in us is adequate and perfect, and therefore insofar as we contemplate God do we act, and consequently no sorrow can exist with the accompanying idea of God; that is to say, no one can hate God." -

"If there is an evil in this world, it is sorrow and heaviness of heart. The loss of goods, of healthy, of coronets and mitres, is only evil as they occasion sorrow; take that out, the rest is fancy, and dwelleth only in the head of man." - Lawrence Sterne, alternatively Laurence Sterne

"Solitary we must be in life's great hours of moral decisions; solitary in pain and sorrow; solitary in old age and in our going forth at death. Fortunate the man who has learned what to do in solitude and brought himself to see what companionship he may discover in it, what fortitude, what content." - William L. Sullivan

"Real sorrow is almost as difficult to discover as real poverty. An instinctive delicacy hides the rays of the one and the wounds of the other." - Madame Swetchine, fully Anne Sophie Swetchine née Sophia Petrovna Soïmonov or Soymanof

"When to a man who understands, the self has become all things, what sorrow, what trouble can there be to him who once beheld that unity?" - Vaga Saneyi Samhita Upanishad

"Mere sorrow, which weeps and sits still, is not repentance. Repentance is sorrow converted into action; into a movement toward a new and better life." - M. R. Vincent

"Sorrow's best antidote is employment." -

"Only those who have suffered and endured greatly have achieved greatly... Man has ever risen nearer to God by the alter-stairs of pain and sorrow." - Samuel Adler

"Poetry is the sister of sorrow; every man that suffers and weeps, is a poet; every tear is a verse; and every heart a poem." - Father Andre

"Night brings out stars, as sorrow shows us truths." - Gamaliel Bailey

"A man's sorrow runs uphill; true it is difficult for him to bear, but it is also difficult for him to keep." - Djuna Chappell Barnes

"What a power has Death to awe and hush the voices of this earth! How mute we stand when that presence confronts us, and we look upon the silence he has wrought in a human life! We can only gaze, and bow our heads, and creep with our broken stammering utterances under the shelter of some great word which God has spoken, and in which we see through the history of human sorrow the outstretching and overshadowing of the eternal arms." - W. W. Battershall

"Honest work bears a lovely face for it is the father of pleasure and the mother of good fortune. It is the keystone of prosperity and the sire of fame. And best of all, work is relief from sorrow and the handmaiden of happiness." - Eugene P. Bertin, fully Eugene Peter Bertin

"Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps." - William Blake

"When some one sorrow, that is yet reparable, gets hold of your mind like a monomania, when you think, because Heaven has denied you this or that on which you had set your heart, that all your life must be a blank, oh, then diet yourself well on biography - the biography of good and great men." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"Guilt is the very nerve of sorrow." - Horace Bushnell