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

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)

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update Sept. 19, 2020. History
Robert A. Heinlein photo
Robert A. Heinlein521
American science fiction author 1907 - 1988

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„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.

Andrew Marvell photo

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

—  Andrew Marvell English metaphysical poet and politician 1621 - 1678

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).

William Shakespeare 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

Geoffrey Chaucer photo
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)

Paulo Coelho photo
Adlai Stevenson photo

„To my way of thinking it is not the years in your life but the life in your years that count in the long run.“

—  Adlai Stevenson mid-20th-century Governor of Illinois and Ambassador to the UN 1900 - 1965

Address at Princeton University, "The Educated Citizen" (22 March 1954).
Variant: It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts.
"If I Were Twenty-One" in Coronet (December 1955).
This has also been paraphrased "What matters most is not the years in your life, but the life in your years" and misattributed to Abraham Lincoln and Mae West
Context: All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. All change is the result of a change in the contemporary state of mind. Don't be afraid of being out of tune with your environment, and above all pray God that you are not afraid to live, to live hard and fast. To my way of thinking it is not the years in your life but the life in your years that count in the long run. You'll have more fun, you'll do more and you'll get more, you'll give more satisfaction the more you know, the more you have worked, and the more you have lived. For yours is a great adventure at a stirring time in the annals of men.

Nigel Cumberland photo

„Life is too short to spend too long at work and also to waste your time while in the workplace.“

—  Nigel Cumberland British author and leadership coach 1967

Source: Your Job-Hunt Ltd – Advice from an Award-Winning Asian Headhunter (2003), Successful Recruitment in a Week (2012) https://books.google.ae/books?idp24GkAsgjGEC&printsecfrontcover&dqnigel+cumberland&hlen&saX&ved0ahUKEwjF75Xw0IHNAhULLcAKHazACBMQ6AEIGjAA#vonepage&qnigel%20cumberland&ffalse, Managing Teams in a Week (2013) https://books.google.ae/books?idqZjO9_ov74EC&printsecfrontcover&dqnigel+cumberland&hlen&saX&ved0ahUKEwjF75Xw0IHNAhULLcAKHazACBMQ6AEIIDAB#vonepage&qnigel%20cumberland&ffalse, Secrets of Success at Work – 50 techniques to excel (2014) https://books.google.ae/books?id4S7vAgAAQBAJ&printsecfrontcover&dqnigel+cumberland&hlen&saX&ved0ahUKEwjF75Xw0IHNAhULLcAKHazACBMQ6AEIJjAC#vonepage&qnigel%20cumberland&ffalse, p.36

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

Arthur Schopenhauer photo

„Life is short and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth.“

—  Arthur Schopenhauer German philosopher 1788 - 1860

Source: The World as Will and Representation, Vol 1

Viktor E. Frankl photo

„Life is short, short, brother!
Ain't it the truth?“

—  Yip Harburg American song lyricist 1896 - 1981

"Ain't It the Truth" originally written for Cabin in the Sky (1943), but pulled from the show, and later included in Jamaica (1957) - Lena Horne version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMSyXuvNpeM
Context: Life is short, short, brother!
Ain't it the truth?
And there is no other
Ain't it the truth?
You gotta rock that rainbow while you still got your youth!
Oh! Ain't it the solid truth?

W. Somerset Maugham photo

„I made up my mind long ago that life was too short to do anything for myself that I could pay others to do for me.“

—  W. Somerset Maugham British playwright, novelist, short story writer 1874 - 1965

"1941", p. 336
A Writer's Notebook (1946)

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