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The meaning and origin of the expression: Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all

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It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all'?

The proverbial saying 'It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all' has a straightforward literal meaning. Even the pain of a lost love is worth bearing if one can first experience the joy of love.

What's the origin of the phrase 'It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all'?

better to have loved and lostThe line 'It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all' comes from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem In Memoriam:27, 1850:

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Alfred Lord Tennyson is now remembered as a rather dour old sage of the Victorian era. Nevertheless, he gave us two commonly used lines about love. As well as 'It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all' he also wrote of 'a young man's fancy' in his 1842 poem Locksley Hall:

In the spring a livelier iris changes on the burnished dove;
In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

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