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18 Quotes That Encapsulate the Bittersweet End of Summer

“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” So wrote Henry James, one of the greatest novelists in the English language and a man who obviously appreciated the glory of summertime.

For many of us, summer is a season of relaxation, a time for ice cream and beaches, road trips and music festivals, and long hazy days lounging in the sunshine. Sure, there are those who dislike the heat and can’t wait for autumn, but for the rest of us, summer is hard to beat — with the only downside being its inevitable end.

It can be hard not to feel a bit down when the back-to-school displays begin popping up in stores and we notice that first hint of a chill in the air. So to validate those emotions and help beat the end-of-season blues, here are 18 quotes about the end of summer, with feelings ranging from the bittersweet to the brightly optimistic.

‘Tis the last rose of Summer, / Left blooming alone; / All her lovely companions / Are faded and gone.
Thomas Moore

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As pearls slip off a silken string and fall into the sea, / These rounded summer days fall back into eternity. / Into the deep from whence they came; into the mystery — / At set of sun each one slips back as pearls into the sea.
Virna Sheard

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When summer opens, I see how fast it matures, and fear it will be short; but after the heats of July and August, I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.
John Burroughs

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Here is the ghost / Of a summer that lived for us, / Here is a promise / Of summers to be.
William Ernest Henley

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If you are not out at the right instant, the summer may go by and you not see it. How much of the year is spring and fall! how little can be called summer!
Henry David Thoreau

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Summer gathers up her robes of glory, / And like a dream of beauty glides away.
Sarah Helen Whitman

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The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year — the days when summer is changing into fall — the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.
E.B. White

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Summer ends, and autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night.
Hal Borland

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If it could only be like this always — always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe.
Evelyn Waugh

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August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.
Sylvia Plath

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This morning, the sun endures past dawn. I realize that it is August: the summer’s last stand.
Sara Baume

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Spring passes / and one remembers one’s innocence; / summer passes / and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Yoko Ono

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The end-of-summer winds make people restless.
Sebastian Faulks

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To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall.
Ann Patchett

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The morning had dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer.
George R.R. Martin

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Every perfect summer's gotta say goodnight.
Lorde

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It’s always summer somewhere.
Lilly Pulitzer

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Featured image credit: nito/ Shutterstock

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About the Author
Tony Dunnell
Tony is an English writer of non-fiction and fiction living on the edge of the Amazon jungle.
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