Careful Words

possession (n.)

Bliss in possession will not last;

Remembered joys are never past;

At once the fountain, stream, and sea,

They were, they are, they yet shall be.

James Montgomery (1771-1854): The Little Cloud.

Fie on possession,

But if a man be vertuous withal.

Geoffrey Chaucer (1328-1400): Canterbury Tales. The Frankeleines Prologue. Line 10998.

Possession is eleven points in the law.

Colley Cibber (1671-1757): Woman's Wit. Act i.

  Man's best possession is a sympathetic wife.

Euripides (484-406 b c): Antigone. Frag. 164.

  An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.

Pliny The Younger (61-105 a d): Letters. Book ii. Letter xv. 1.

Life is not to be bought with heaps of gold:

Not all Apollo's Pythian treasures hold,

Or Troy once held, in peace and pride of sway,

Can bribe the poor possession of a day.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): The Iliad of Homer. Book ix. Line 524.

For it so falls out

That what we have we prize not to the worth

Whiles we enjoy it, but being lack'd and lost,

Why, then we rack the value; then we find

The virtue that possession would not show us

Whiles it was ours.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Much Ado about Nothing. Act iv. Sc. 1.