I roughly recall that the motto of the U.S. Postal Service is in
part, "Neither snow nor rain nor dark of night . . ." How does the
rest go? Who wrote it? And where does it appear?
Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. Postal Service has no
The familar sentence you are thinking of is this:
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these
couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
This is commonly misidentified as the creed of our mail
carriers, but actually it is just the inscription found on the General
Post Office in New York City at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street.
Here's how the official Web site of the U.S. Postal Service
describes the origin of the inscription.
This inscription was supplied by William Mitchell Kendall of
the firm of McKim, Mead & White, the architects who designed the
New York General Post Office. Kendall said the sentence appears in
the works of Herodotus and
describes the expedition of the Greeks against the Persians under
Cyrus, about 500 B.C. The
Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers, and the
sentence describes the fidelity with which their work was done.
Professor George H. Palmer of Harvard University supplied the
translation, which he considered the most poetical of about seven
translations from the Greek.
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