After All Is Said And Done
Posted by Elyse Bruce on July 20, 2010
George William (“A. E.”) Russell wrote and published a poem in 1913, entitled Epilogue wherein the phrase “after all is said and done” was contained in the first stanza of the poem.
Well, when all is said and done
Best within my narrow way
May some angel of the sun
Muse memorial o’er my clay.
In the William and Mary Quarterly magazine of 1916, there is a reference to James Rumsey in the book Letters of James Rumsey, Inventor of the Steamboat having used the phrase in 1792. It was also recorded in 1560 according to The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms but there was no mention of who published this phrase at that time.
But the phrase is far older than that, going back to Aesop (ca. 620 – 564 BC), the pre-eminent teller of fables. It’s the moral of his fable “The Tortoise and the Hare” the moral being:
“After all is said and done, more is said than done.”