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Lost love

Posted by Masakim on April 09, 2002

In Reply to: Lost love posted by Gary on April 09, 2002

: : : on this site it says it was originally from Butler... but wasn't it also in a poem by lord tennyson? which was first...?

: : IT IS BETTER TO HAVE LOVED AND LOST, THAN NEVER TO HAVE LOVED AT ALL - "The pleasures of love are still greater than the pain of its loss. The saying was first used in this form by the English poet Alfred Tennyson , but has a precursor in a play by William Congreve.1700. It is better to have been left than never to have been loved - William Congreve, 'The Way of the World.' 1850 - 'Tis better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all. --- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 'In Memorium.'" From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

: Yes, that's right. I've checked the Butler attribution and it is incorrect. I'll update the entry in the database on this.


Say what you will, 'tis better to be left than never to have lov'd.
--William Congreve, _The Way of the World_ , II. I.

Better to love amiss than nothing to have lov'd.
--George Crabbe, _Tales_ , xiv

'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
--Alfred Tennyson, _In Memoriam A.H.H._ , XXVII. 44

'And yet,' he said, 'I was very fond of her till she took to drinking.'
'Perhaps; but is it not Tennyson who had said "'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all"?'
--Samuel Butler, _The Way of All Flesh_ , lxxvii