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Blow winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks.
You sulph’rous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head. And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ th’ world.
Crack nature’s molds, all germens spill at once
That makes ingrateful man.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
King Lear, Act 3, sc. 2, l. 1ff (3.2.1-11) [Lear] (1606)
Added on 25-Sep-23 | Last updated 25-Sep-23
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Farmers, pray for summers with lots of rain,
And winters with lots of sun.

[Humida solstitia atque hiemes orate serenas,

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Georgics [Georgica], Book 1, l. 100ff (1.100) (29 BC) [tr. Ferry (2015)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Swaines pray for winters faire, and summers wet.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

Ye Swains, invoke the Pow'rs who rule the Sky,
For a moist Summer, and a Winter dry.
[tr. Dryden (1709), ll. 146-147]

Ye husbandmen! intreat the gods by pray'r
For wat'ry solstices, and winters fair.
[tr. Nevile (1767)]

Swains! pray for wintry dust, and summer rain.
[tr. Sotheby (1800)]

Pray, ye swains, for moist summers and serene winters.
[tr. Davidson (1854)]

For winters dry, and showery summers, pray.
[tr. Blackmore (1871), l. 116]

Pray for showery summers and dry winters, husbandmen.
[tr. Wilkins (1873)]

Pray for wet summers and for winters fine,
Ye husbandmen.
[tr. Rhoades (1881)]

Now pay thy vows: be this the ploughman’s prayer:
Bright be the winter day, and moist the summer air.
[tr. King (1882), ll. 99-100]

Pray, ye swains, for moist summers and serene winters.
[tr. Bryce (1897)]

Pray for dripping midsummers and clear winters, O husbandmen.
[tr. Mackail (1899)]

Pray for wet summers and for winters fine,
Ye husbandmen.
[tr. Greenough (1900)]

For drizzling summers and sunny winters, husbandmen, pray.
[tr. Way (1912)]

For summers moist and windless winters fair
Pray heaven, ye farmer-folk.
[tr. Williams (1915)]

For moist summers and sunny winters, pray, farmers!
[tr. Fairclough (Loeb) (1916)]

Wet midsummers and fair winters are what the farmer
Should ask for.
[tr. Day-Lewis (1940)]

Pray for wet midsummers, farmer friends,
And clear, cold winter skies.
[tr. Bovie (1956)]

Wet skies in midsummer and clear in winter
Farmers should pray for.
[tr. Wilkinson (1982)]

Farmers, pray for moist summers and mild winters.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

Farmers pray for wet summers and winters with clear blue skies.
[tr. Lembke (2004)]

The countryman should pray for wet summers and mild winters.
[tr. Fallon (2006)]

For humid summers and winters mild, pray, O farmers.
[tr. Johnson (2009)]

O farmers, pray that your summers be wet and your winters clear.

Added on 19-Jul-23 | Last updated 25-Oct-23
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After 3 days men grow weary,
of a wench, a guest, and weather rainy.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard (1733)

See Plautus.
Added on 5-Jun-23 | Last updated 5-Jun-23
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Weather means more when you have a garden. There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it’s soaking in around your green beans.

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Marcelene Cox (1900-1998) American writer, columnist, aphorist
“Ask Any Woman” column, Ladies’ Home Journal (1944-09)
Added on 30-May-23 | Last updated 30-May-23
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It was one of those perfect autumn days so common in stories and so rare in the real world.

Patrick Rothfuss
Patrick Rothfuss (b. 1973) American author
The Name of the Wind, ch. 2 “A Beautiful Day” (2007)
Added on 10-Apr-23 | Last updated 10-Apr-23
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A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.

Catherine II (1762-1796) Russian empress [Catherine the Great; b. Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst]
Letter to Baron Friedrich von Grimm (29 Apr 1775)

In the Collections of the Imperial Society of Russian History, Vol. 23, Catherine the Great, Letters to Grimm, quoted in Gamaliel Bradford, Daughters of Eve (1930).
Added on 27-Dec-21 | Last updated 27-Dec-21
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A cloudy day, or a little sunshine, have as great an influence on the constitutions as the most real blessings or misfortunes.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist, poet, statesman
The Spectator #162 (5 Sep 1711)
Added on 27-Oct-21 | Last updated 27-Oct-21
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And speech he has learned, and thought
So swift, and the temper of mind
To dwell within cities, and not to lie bare
Amid the keen, biting frosts
Or cower beneath pelting rain;
Full of resource against all that comes to him
is Man. Against Death alone
He is left with no defence.

[καὶ φθέγμα καὶ ἀνεμόεν φρόνημα καὶ ἀστυνόμους
ὀργὰς ἐδιδάξατο καὶ δυσαύλων
πάγων ὑπαίθρεια καὶ δύσομβρα φεύγειν βέλη
παντοπόρος: ἄπορος ἐπ᾽ οὐδὲν ἔρχεται
τὸ μέλλον: Ἅιδα μόνον φεῦξιν οὐκ ἐπάξεται.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, l. 354ff, Stasimon 1, Strophe 2 [Chorus] (441 BC) [tr. Kitto (1962)]

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

Language and lofty thought,
And dispositions meet for order'd cities,
These he hath taught himself; -- and how to shun
The shafts of comfortless winter, --
Both those which smite when the sky is clear,
And those which fall in showers; --
with plans for all things,
Planless in nothing, meets he the future!
Of death alone the avoidance
No foreign aid will bring.
[tr. Donaldson (1848)]

Speech and the wind-swift speed of counsel and civic wit,
He hath learnt for himself all these; and the arrowy rain to fly
And the nipping airs that freeze, 'neath the open winter sky.
He hath provision for all: fell plague he hath learnt to endure;
Safe whate'er may befall: yet for death he hath found no cure.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

Wise utterance and wind-swift thought, and city-moulding mind,
And shelter from the clear-eyed power of biting frost,
He hath taught him, and to shun the sharp, roof-penetrating rain, --
Full of resource, without device he meets no coming time;
From Death alone he shall not find reprieve;
No league may gain him that relief.
[tr. Campbell (1873)]

Speech and thought fast as the wind and the moods that give order to a city he has taught himself, and how to flee the arrows of the inhospitable frost under clear skies and the arrows of the storming rain. He has resource for everything. Lacking resource in nothing he strides towards what must come. From Death alone he shall procure no escape.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

And speech, and wind-swift thought, and all the moods that mould a state, hath he taught himself; and how to flee the arrows of the frost, when 'tis hard lodging under the clear sky, and the arrows of the rushing rain; yea, he hath resource for all; without resource he meets nothing that must come: only against Death shall he call for aid in vain.
[tr. Jebb (1917)]

Words also, and thought as rapid as air,
He fashions to his good use; statecraft is his,
And his the skill that deflects the arrows of snow,
The spears of winter rain: from every wind
He has made himself secure -- from all but one:
In the late wind of death he cannot stand.
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939)]

The use of language, the wind-swift motion of brain
He learnt; found out the laws of living together
In cities, building him shelter against the rain
And wintry weather.
There is nothing beyond his power. His subtlety
Meeteth all chance, all danger conquereth.
For every ill he hath found its remedy,
Save only death.
[tr. Watling (1947), l. 295ff]

Language, and thought like the wind
and the feelings that make the town,
he has taught himself, and shelter against the cold,
refuge from rain. He can always help himself.
He faces no future helpless. There's only death
that he cannot find an escape from.
[tr. Wyckoff (1954)]

And speech and thought, quick as the wind
and the mood and mind for law that rules the city --
all these he has taught himself
and shelter from the arrows of the frost
when there's rough lodging under the cold clear sky
and the shafts of lashing rain --
ready, resourceful man!
Never without resources
never an impasse as he marches on the future --
only Death, from Death alone he will find no rescue.
[tr. Fagles (1982)]

Language and a mind swift as the wind
For making plans --
These he has taught himself --
And the character to live in cities under law.
He's learned to take cover from a frost
And escape sharp arrows of sleet.
He has the means to handle every need,
Never steps toward the future without the means.
Except for Death: He's got no relief from that.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]

Both language and thought swift as wind
and impulses that govern cities,
he has taught himself, as well as how
to escape the shafts of rain
while encamped beneath open skies.
All resourceful, he approaches no future thing
to come without resource. From Hades alone
he will not contrive escape.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett (2002)]

And man has learnt speech and thought, swifter than the wind he mastered
And learnt to govern his cities well
And this omniscient being has learnt how to avoid the blasts of the wild open air: the arrows of the freezing night, the dreadful wind driven piercing gale!
He’s prepared for all events bar Death and from Death he can find no escape.
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

He’s taught himself speech and wind-swift thought,
trained his feelings for communal civic life,
learning to escape the icy shafts of frost,
volleys of pelting rain in winter storms,
the harsh life lived under the open sky.
That’s man -- so resourceful in all he does.
There’s no event his skill cannot confront --
other than death -- that alone he cannot shun.
[tr. Johnston (2005), l. 405ff]

He taught himself language and wind-like thought and city-ruling urges, how to flee the slings of frost under winter's clear sky and the arrows of stormy rain, ever-resourceful. Against no possibility is he at a loss. For death alone he finds no aid.
[tr. Thomas (2005)]

Added on 29-Apr-21 | Last updated 9-May-21
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Our life is March weather, savage and serene in one hour.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Montaigne; or, The Skeptic,” Representative Men, Lecture 4 (1850)
Added on 3-Mar-20 | Last updated 19-Feb-22
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It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.

P. D. James (1920-2014) British mystery writer [Phyllis Dorothy James White]
“Rhesus Positive,” A Taste for Death (1986)
Added on 8-Oct-14 | Last updated 8-Oct-14
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Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers.

Thomas Tusser (1524-1580) English poet and farmer
A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry, “April’s Husbandry” (1557)
Added on 3-Apr-14 | Last updated 3-Apr-14
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The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]

Frequently attributed to Twain, but undocumented in any of his writings. The origin of the phrase seems to be in a letter from Horace Walpole to Mary Berry (29 Jul 1789), attributing a quip to the English actor James Quin:

Quin, being once asked if he had ever seen so bad a winter, replied, “Yes, just such an one last summer!” -- and here is its youngest brother!

Twain, in turn, mentioned the observation in a letter to Lucius Fairchild (28 Apr 1880), using it to denigrate Paris, France:

For this long time I have been intending to congratulate you fervently upon your translation to -- to -- anywhere -- for anywhere is better than Paris. Paris the cold, Paris the drizzly, Paris the rainy, Paris the Damnable. More than a hundred years ago, somebody asked Quin, "Did you ever see such a winter in all your life before?" "Yes," said he, "last summer." I judge he spent his summer in Paris.

When "coldest winter ... summer" phrase first achieved popularity in that form (around 1900 or earlier), the targeted city was Duluth, Minnesota, followed by other cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin, before being grafted onto San Francisco and, again, Mark Twain.

More discussion about this quotation:
Added on 23-Oct-13 | Last updated 31-Jan-22
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Rain, rain. The good rain, like a bad preacher, does not know when to leave off.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (1834-04-23)
Added on 28-Nov-12 | Last updated 27-Mar-23
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