„Art indeed is long, but life is short.“

Upon the Death of Lord Hastings (1649), last line
Variant: "Art is long, and time is fleeting." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, A Psalm of Life (1839).

Last update May 22, 2020. History
Andrew Marvell photo
Andrew Marvell35
English metaphysical poet and politician 1621 - 1678

Related quotes

Horace photo

„Art is long, life is short.“

—  Horace Roman lyric poet -65 - -8 BC

Seneca's (De Brevitate Vitae, 1.1) Latin translation of the Greek by Hippocrates.
Misattributed
Original: (la) Ars longa, vita brevis.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe photo

„Art is long, life short; judgment difficult, opportunity transient.“

—  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe German writer, artist, and politician 1749 - 1832

Die Kunst ist lang, das Leben kurz, das Urteil schwierig, die Gelegenheit flüchtig.
Bk. VII, Ch. 9
Cf. Hippocrates, Ars longa vita brevis, Aphorisms 1:1
Wilhelm Meister's Lehrjahre (Apprenticeship) (1786–1830)

Geoffrey Chaucer photo
Robert A. Heinlein photo

„Life is short, but the years are long.“

—  Robert A. Heinlein, book Methuselah's Children

Part of the secret "call and response" codewords by which members of the long-lived Howard Families can identify others:
: Life is short.
But the years are long.
Not while the evil days come not.
Methuselah's Children (1958)

Richard Bach photo
Martha Gellhorn photo
Anatole France photo

„Life is too short, and Proust is too long.“

—  Anatole France French writer 1844 - 1924

Apparently an invention by Maurice Sachs; see discussion in Quotes about Proust.
Misattributed

William Shakespeare photo
Philip K. Dick photo
Conor McGregor photo

„Prizefighting is short. Get in. Get rich. Get out. But martial arts is for life. It's for life.“

—  Conor McGregor Irish mixed martial artist and boxer 1988

UFC 178 post-event press conference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAAC34JzxS0 (September 2014), Ultimate Fighting Championship, Zuffa, LLC
2010s, 2014

Hippocrates photo

„Life is short, and Art long; the crisis fleeting; experience perilous, and decision difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and externals cooperate.“

—  Hippocrates ancient Greek physician -460 - -370 BC

Ὁ βίος βραχὺς, ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρὴ, ὁ δὲ καιρὸς ὀξὺς, ἡ δὲ πεῖρα σφαλερὴ, ἡ δὲ κρίσις χαλεπή. Δεῖ δὲ οὐ μόνον ἑωυτὸν παρέχειν τὰ δέοντα ποιεῦντα, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸν νοσέοντα, καὶ τοὺς παρεόντας, καὶ τὰ ἔξωθεν.
1:1, Variant translation: Art is long; life is short; opportunity is fleeting; judgement is difficult; experience is deceitful. Compare: "The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne", Geoffrey Chaucer, The Assembly of Fowles, line 1.
Aphorisms
Original: (el) Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile. Nec vero solum seipsum praestare oportet oportuna facientem: sed et assidentes, et exteriora.

W. Somerset Maugham photo

„Life isn't long enough for love and art.“

—  W. Somerset Maugham, book The Moon and Sixpence

Source: The Moon and Sixpence (1919), Ch. 21, p. 80

Paulo Coelho photo
Paulo Coelho photo

„Life is too short, or too long, for me to allot myself the luxury of living it so badly.“

—  Paulo Coelho, book Eleven Minutes

Variant: Life is too short, or too long, for me to allow myself the luxury of living it so badly.
Source: Eleven Minutes

Seneca the Younger photo

„It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough.“

—  Seneca the Younger, Moral Essays

De Brevitate Vitae ("On the Shortness of Life", trans. John W. Basore), Ch. 1
Moral Essays
Original: (la) Non exiguum temporis habemus, sed multum perdidimus. Satis longa vita.

Luís de Camões photo

„That more would he serve, if life
Were not so short for love so long.“

—  Luís de Camões Portuguese poet 1524 - 1580

Mais servira, se não fora
Para tão longo amor tão curta a vida.
tr. Norwood Andrews
Lyric poetry, Não pode tirar-me as esperanças, Sete anos de pastor Jacob servia

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