the mill cannot grind with the water that is past
1616 T. DRAXE Adages 151 The water that is past, cannot make the mill goe.
1640 G. HERBERT Outlandish Proverbs no. 153 The mill cannot grind with the water that’s past.
1856 R. C. TRENCH Poems 197 Oh seize the instant [present] time; you never will With waters once passed by impel the mill.
1980 G. RICHARDS Red Kill xiv. It did no good to think back. The mill cannot grind with the water that is past, as the old people in the mountains used to say.
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