The exuberant years of life will not return,
The morning of the day does not repeat itself.
Seize your time and brace yourself up,
For time does not stop to wait for you.
Tao Yuanming (365-427), poet of the Jin Dynasty
Do something worthy while you are young, for youth does not stay long.
Meng Jiao (751-814), poet of the Tang Dynasty
As a child’s mind is focused, he is not apt to forget what he learns; as an adult’s mind is divided, what he has learned easily escapes his memory.
Baopuzi by Ge Hong (284-364) of the East Jin Dynasty
Life is finite, but knowledge is infinite.
Zhuangzi by Zhuang Zhou (c. 369-286 BC) and his followers of the Warring States Period
A sage cherishes an inch of time instead of a foot of jade, because time is hard to attain and easy to lose.
Huainanzi by Prince Huainan Liu An (179-122 BC) and some of his followers of the Western Han Dynasty
The Master, standing by the river, said, “Time passes by like this, flowing away day and night.”
The Analects, A Confucian classic recording the words and deeds of Confucius and his dialogues with his disciples
The days gone by are fading further and further away, and old age is getting nearer day by day.
Collection of 19 Poems by anonymous poet(s) of the Han Dynasty
The existence of man between heaven and earth is like a white colt bolting past a chink.
Zhuangzi by Zhuang Zhou (369-286 BC) and his followers of the Warring States Period
How can the young stay young for good,
Even oceans can become cropland.
Li He (790-846), poet of the Tang Dynasty
All rivers flow into the East Sea.
They never flow back to the west.
If you do not work hard when young,
It’s no use crying over spilt milk when old.
An anonymous poet of the Han Dynasty