quotations about despair
We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth New Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Major General Philip Schuyler, Jul. 15, 1777
What we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.
GEORGE ELIOT, Middlemarch
Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
AMBROSE BIERCE, The Devil's Dictionary
The Disappointment of Manhood succeeds to the delusion of Youth: let us hope that the heritage of Old Age is not Despair.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI, Vivian Grey
He who has never hoped can never despair.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Caesar and Cleopatra
We are not, however, a species that can choose the baggage with which we must travel. In spite of our best intentions, we always find that we have brought along a suitcase or two of darkness and despair.
There is something sustaining in the very agitation that accompanies the first shocks of trouble, just as an acute pain is often a stimulus, and produces an excitement which is transient strength. It is in the slow, changed life that follows--in the time when sorrow has become stale, and has no longer an emotive intensity that counteracts its pain--in the time when day follows day in dull unexpectant sameness, and trial is a dreary routine--it is then that despair threatens; it is then that the peremptory hunger of the soul is felt, and eye and ear are strained after some unlearned secret of our existence, which shall give to endurance the nature of satisfaction.
GEORGE ELIOT, The Mill on the Floss
Despair is vinegar from the wine of hope.
AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought
Despair is good. Despair can be the nadir of one life and the starting point of an ascent into another, better one.
When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., A Testament of Hope
In the belly of Leviathan ... one can either despair and perish, or be cheerful and persevere.
There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and to have recovered hope.
Despair puts the last touch not only to our misery but also to our weakness.
LUC DE CLAPIERS, MARQUIS DE VAUVENARGUES, Reflections and Maxims
Despair was so familiar to me; it could be banished by the sight of a beautiful mannikin in the window. It could be dispelled by the spectacle of lights surrounding a tower. It could be lifted by the great ghostly shape of St. Patrick's coming into view. And then despair would come again.
ANNE RICE, Memnoch the Devil
Despair snuffs the sun from the firmament.
AMOS BRONSON ALCOTT, Table Talk
Despair has its own calms.
Desperation is energized despair.
Despair ... is like a gas, odourless, tasteless, without nourishment. You breathe it in, your limbs relax, you cease to care, even at the moment when the steel touches your throat.
- Who turns away from gazing at the sun
- Sees its dusk images fill all the air.
- It is not otherwise when Hope is done:
- Her darkling phantoms make the heaven of Despair.
EDITH MATILDA THOMAS, "When Hope Is Done"
Goals incapable of attainment have driven many a man to despair, but despair is easier to get to than that -- one need merely look out of the window, for example.
DONALD BARTHELME, "And Then"
Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.
J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Fellowship of the Ring
The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.
MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY, The Fall of Atlantis
- Thus repuls'd, our final hope
- Is flat despair.
JOHN MILTON, Paradise Lost
A despairing heart is the true prophet of approaching evil; his actions may weave the webs of Fortune, but not break them.
FRANCIS QUARLES, Enchiridion
Though thou drewest a sword at thy friend, yet despair not: for there may be a returning to favour.
- Consider how the desperate fight;
- Despair strikes wild, but often fatal too--
- And in the mad encounter wins success.
Despair is the destruction of all hope, the deathless sting, that refines the torment of the finally impenitent and lost. It is that undying worm, that unquenchable fire, so graphically described in Holy Writ. Reader, if you desire an insurance against the iron grasp of despair, you can obtain it without money and without price, by applying to the immaculate Redeemer. He stands, with open arms, to receive, and keep in safety, all who believe in His name and put their trust in Him, for time and eternity. Then you may hope on and hope ever. Then you will have a sheet anchor to your soul, that will enable you to outride the storms of time, and at last, be moored in the haven of eternal rest.
LEVI CARROLL JUDSON, The Probe
Despair gives courage to a coward.
The wise maketh every thing the means of advantage; and with the same countenance beholdeth he all the faces of fortune: he governeth the good, he conquereth the evil; he is unmov'd in all. Presume not in prosperity, neither despair thou in adversity.
ROBERT DODSLEY, The Economy of Human Life
When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall.
MOHANDAS GANDHI, An Autobiography; Or, the Story of My Experiments with Truth