make hay while the sun shines
In medieval times, when forecasting the weather several days in advance was more difficult, farmers would have to take several days to cut, dry, and collect hay depending on the weather conditions. Attested since 1546, originally a Tudor expression, and used figuratively since 1673.
- In the imperative form this verb is used as a proverb.
- Gregory Y. Titelman, Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings, 1996, ISBN 0-679-44554-4, p. 225.