Sundial mottos

Sundial mottos are quotations reflecting the sentiments of its maker or owner of a sundial, a device for measuring the time of day by the length of shadows cast by the sun against an object.


  • True as the dial to the sun,
    Although it be not shin'd upon.
  • Carve out dials, quaintly, point by point
    Thereby to set the minutes, how they run,
    How many make the Hour full, complete,
    How many hours bring about the Day.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 767-68.
  • I go away and come again each day,
    But thou shalt go away and ne'er return.
    • Anonymous. Found on Sun Dial in England.
  • Vivite, ait, fugie.
    • Live ye, he says, I flee.
    • Bishop Atterbury's Sun Dial.
  • True as the needle to the pole,
    Or as the dial to the sun.
  • Amende to-day and slack not,
    Deythe cometh and warneth not,
    Tyme passeth and speketh not.
    • Sun Dial at Moccas Hall near Hereford, belonging to Sir George Cornewall (1630).
  • "Horas non numero nisi serenas."
    There stands in the garden of old St. Mark
    A sun dial quaint and gray.
    It takes no heed of the hours which in dark
    Pass o'er it day by day.
    It has stood for ages amid the flowers
    In that land of sky and song.
    "I number none but the cloudless hours,"
    Its motto the live day long.
  • Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.
    • Ephesians, IV. 26.
  • Give God thy heart, thy service, and thy gold;
    The day wears on, and time is waxing old.
    • Sun Dial in the Cloister-garden of Gloucester Cathedral.
  • Our life's a flying shadow, God's the pole,
    The index pointing at Him is our soul;
    Death the horizon, when our sun is set,
    Which will through Christ a resurrection get.
    • Sun Dial inscription once on the South wall of Glasgow Cathedral.
  • The night cometh when no man can work.
    • John, IX. 9.
  • Thou breathing dial! since thy day began
    The present hour was ever mark'd with shade.
    • Landor, Miscellaneous Poems (1846), Volume VIII, p. 92.
  • Horas non numero nisi serenas.
    • I count only the hours that are serene.
    • Maurice Maeterlinck, Measure of the Hours, mentioned as found by Hazlitt on a Sun Dial near Venice.
  • L'heure de la justice ne sonne pas
    Aux cadrans de ce monde:

    The hour of justice does not strike
    On the dials of this world.
    • Maurice Maeterlinck, Measure of the Hours, motto on a Sun Dial on a church at Tourette-sur-Loup.
  • Let others tell of storms and showers,
    I'll only mark your sunny hours.
    • On a Sun Dial at Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
  • Once at a potent leader's voice I stayed;
    Once I went back when a good monarch prayed;
    Mortals, howe'er we grieve, howe'er deplore,
    The flying shadow will return no more.
  • The Natural Clock-work by the mighty ONE
    Wound up at first, and ever since have gone.
    • Part of Sun Dial motto on the South Porch of Seaham Church, Durham, England.
  • As the long hours do pass away,
    So doth the life of man decay.
    • Inscription on a Sun Dial in the garden of the Royal hotel at Sevenoaks, Kent, England.
  • If o'er the dial glides a shade, redeem
    The time for lo! it passes like a dream;
    But if 'tis all a blank, then mark the loss
    Of hours unblest by shadows from the cross.
    • On a Sun Dial in a churchyard at Shenstone, England.
  • I mark my hours by shadow;
    Mayest thou mark thine
    By sunshine.
  • Begone about your business.
    • On a Sun Dial once in The Temple, London.
  • Hours fly,
    Flowers die.
    New days,
    New ways,
    Pass by.
    Love stays.
  • Time is
    Too Slow for those who Wait,
    Too Swift for those who Fear,
    Too Long for those who Grieve,
    Too Short for those who Rejoice,
    But for those who Love
    • Time is not.
    • Henry Van Dyke, Motto for Katrina's Sun Dial. In Mrs. Spencer Trask's Garden of Yaddo, Saratoga Springs.
  • In the day, do the day's work.
    • Sun Dial against the residence of Spencer Wells, Hamstead, England.
  • With warning hand I mark Time's rapid flight,
    From Life's glad morning to its solemn night;
    Yet, through the dear Lord's love, I also show
    There's light above me by the shade I throw.

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