The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
— Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (quatrain 51 in his 1st edition)
I have known this for more years than I can remember, so I was surprised to hear one of my friends had never heard of it.
(But then you were surprised that I dislike Dickens; for me it is depression writ large.
For you then – who would never agree that this is better than Dickens. Though of course it is.)