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[ Also see Affliction Cowardice Cowards Desolation Despondency Disappointment Expectation Fear Grief Hell Hope Melancholy Misery Misfortune Oblivion Regret Remorse Sadness Sorrow ]

O God! O God! How weary, stale, fiat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!
      - William Shakespeare

Oh, break, my heart! poor bankrupt, break at once!
  To prison, eyes, ne'er look on liberty!
    Vile earth, to earth resign; end motion here;
      And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier!
      - William Shakespeare

Sick in the world's regard, wretched and low.
      - William Shakespeare

O that this too too sullied flesh would melt,
  Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew,
    Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
      His canon 'gainst self-slaughter.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at I, ii)

They have tied me to a stake. I cannot fly,
  But bear-like I must fight the course.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Macbeth at V, vii)

If thou dost slander her and torture me,
  Never pray more; abandon all remorse;
    On horror's head horrors accumulate;
      Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amazed;
        For nothing canst thou to damnation add
          Greater than that.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Othello at III, iii)

O, break, my heart! poor bankrout, break at once!
  To prison, eyes; ne'er look on liberty!
    Vile earth, to earth resign; end motion here,
      And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier!
      - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
         (Juliet at III, ii)

Discomfort guides my tongue
  And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
         (Salisbury at III, ii)

But, O thou tyrant,
  Do not repent these things, for they are heavier
    Than all thy woes can stir. Therefore betake thee
      To nothing but despair.
      - William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
         (Paulina at III, ii)

He who has never hoped can never despair.
      - George Bernard Shaw

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound
         (act I, l. 24)

. . . then black despair
  The shadow of a starless night, was thrown
    Over the world in which I moved alone.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley,
        Revolt of Islam--Dedication (st. 6)

He that despairs measures Providence by his own little contracted model.
      - Bishop Robert South

Disordered nerves are the origin of much religious despair, when the individual does not suspect it; and then the body and mind have a reciprocal influence upon each other, and it is difficult to tell which influences the other most. The physician is often blamed, when the fault lies with the minister. Depression never benefits body or soul. We are saved by hope.
      - Ichabod Smith Spencer

God has prohibited despair.
      - Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine (Soimonoff)

The fact that God has prohibited despair gives misfortune the right to hope all things, and leaves hope free to dare all things.
      - Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine (Soimonoff)

It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent.
      - Jeremy Taylor

It is late before the brave despair.
      - James Thomson (1)

Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation.
      - James Thurber

Despair is the greatest of our errors.
      - Luc de Clapier de Vauvanargues

Despair is infidelity and death.
      - John Greenleaf Whittier

Alas for him who never sees
  The stars shine through his cypress-trees
    Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
      Nor looks to see the breaking day
        Across the mournful marbles play!
      - John Greenleaf Whittier, Snow-Bound
         (l. 204)

Some noble spirits mistake despair for content.
      - Nathaniel Parker Willis

The fear that kills, and hope that is unwilling to be fed.
      - William Wordsworth

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