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FORGETFULNESS
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[ Also see Absence Idleness Indifference Memory Neglect Oblivion Past Promises Remembrance Thought Time ]

When I forget that the stars shine in air--
  When I forget that beauty is in stars--
    When I forget that love with beauty is--
      Will I forget thee: till then all things else.
      - Philip James Bailey

To forget is the great secret of strong creative natures; to forget is the way nature herself who knows no past and who at every hour begins the mysteries of her untiring labors afresh.
      - Honore de Balzac

Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down.
      - Hector Berlioz

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
      - Bible, Psalms (ch. CXXXVII, v. 5)

All things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.
      - Elias Canetti, Die Provinz der Menschen

But my thoughts ran a wool-gathering; and I did like the countryman, who looked for his ass while he was mounted on his back.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra),
        Don Quixote (pt. II, ch. LVII)   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

There is nothing--no, nothing--innocent or good, that dies and is forgotten; let us hold to that faith or none. An infant, a prattling child, dying in the cradle, will live again in the better thoughts of those that loved it, and play its part through them in the redeeming actions of the world, though its body be burnt to ashes or drowned in the deep sea.
      - Charles Dickens

We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.
      - Joan Didion

Nobody is forgotten when it is convenient to remember him.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

Quit the world, and the world forgets you.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

The pyramids themselves, doting with age, have forgotten the names of their founders.
      - Thomas Fuller (1),
        Holy and Profane States--Of Tombs
         (maxim VI)

Fill with Forgetfulness, fill high! Yet stay--
  --'Tis from the past we shadow forth the land
    Where smiles, long lost, again shall light our way,
      --Though the past haunt me as a spirit--yet I ask not to forget!
      - Mrs. Felicia D. Hemans

A man must get a thing before he can forget it.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Medical Essays
         (300)

The wind blows out, the bubble dies;
  The spring entomb'd in autumn lies;
    The dew dries up; the star is shot;
      The flight is past--and man forgot.
      - attributed to Henry King,
        also credited to Francis Beaumont in a periodical published about 1828

God of our fathers, known of old,
  Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
    Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
      Dominion over palm and pine--
        Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
          Lest we forget--lest we forget!
      - Rudyard Kipling, Recessional Hymn

The tumult and the shouting dies,
  The captains and the kings depart;
    Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
      A humble and a contrite heart.
        Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet
          Lest we forget,--lest we forget.
      - Rudyard Kipling, Recessional Hymn

God and I both knew what it meant once; now God alone knows.
      - Friedrich O. Klopstock,
        in C. Lombroso's "The Man of Genius", pt. I, ch. 2 (1891)

Space, like time, engenders forgetfulness; but it does so by setting us bodily free from our surroundings and giving us back our primitive, unattached state.
      - Thomas Mann

Forget thyself to marble.
      - John Milton

Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls his watery labyrinth, which whoso drinks forgets both joy and grief.
      - John Milton

Forgotten? No, we never do forget:
  We let the years go; wash them clean with tears,
    Leave them to bleach out in the open day,
      Or lock them careful by, like dead friends' clothes,
        Till we shall dare unfold them without pain,--
          But we forget not, never can forget.
      - Dinah Maria Mulock (used pseudonym Mrs. Craik),
        A Flower of a Day

Mistakes remember'd are not faults forgot.
      - Robert Henry Newell (used pseudonym Orpheus C. Kerr),
        The Orpheus C. Kerr Papers--Second Series--Columbia's Agony
         (st. 9)

Blessed are the forgetful; for they get the better even of their blunders.
      - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

God and the Doctor we alike adore
  But only when in danger, not before;
    The danger o'er, both are alike requited,
      God is forgotten, and the Doctor slighted.
      - John Owen ("British Martial"), Epigram

To the sick man, the physician when he enters seems to have three faces, those of a man, a devil, and a god. When the physician first comes and announces the safety of the patient, then the sick man says: "Behold a God or a guardian angel."
  [Lat., Intrantis medici facies tres esse videntur
    Aegrotanti; hominis, Daemonis, atque Dei.
      Cum primum accessit medicus dixitque salutem,
        "En Deus aut custos angelus," aeger ait.]
      - John Owen (2), Works (The Physician)


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