fold (up) (one's) tent

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fold (up) (one's) tent

To quit, withdraw, or disengage (from something), especially quietly or discreetly. After allegations of embezzlement, the CEO decided to fold his tent and take an early retirement. You're going to have a lot of setbacks in life, so don't just fold up your tent and go home at the first sign of failure.
See also: fold, tent
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fold one's tent

Quietly depart, as in It's late, so let's fold our tents. This term is a partial quotation of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "The Day is Done" (1844): "And the night shall be filled with music, And the cares that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, And quietly steal away."
See also: fold, tent
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fold our tents, (let us)

Quietly depart, go home. This term comes from Longfellow’s poem “The Day Is Done” (1844): “And the night shall be filled with music, And the cares, that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, And as silently steal away.” Today it is often used jocularly, as in “Come on, it’s after eleven. Time to fold our tents.”
See also: fold
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
And the night shall be filled with music, And the cares that infest the day Shall fold their tents like the Arabs, And as silently steal away.
'I will request maybe tomorrow the Philippine contingent to fold their tents and come home,' he said.
He selects various episodes in a variety of conflicts with reasonably wide geographic representation to illustrate why some armies persist while others fold their tents and steal quietly away.
Maybe some people panic when they don't know how to fold their tents or pack their things, so they just leave."
Those who remain private are under immense pressure, both financial and regulatory, and many will fold their tents. In addition to rigid price controls on their fees, there are never-ending requirements for documentation via the electronic health record of personal clinical details, to be used eventually to direct care centrally.
And it will have to be done by force, because the protesters will not just fold their tents and creep off home.
More than 70 percent of Air Force soldiers, officers and pilots in Sana'a and other governorates are still on strike," he explained.Major Sadeq Al-Moradi, an Air Force officer, said there are indicators that Al-Ahmar will soon step down.He told the Yemen Times that the protesters didn't give up, but that "they took a 'revolutionary break' for 15 days."He pointed out that the protesters decided to fold their tents and leave the place after Hadi asked them to leave for security reasons."If these days pass without Al-Ahmar's resignation, we will return stronger and with a new approach," he said, and indicated that the protesters would stage further events and use other forms of pressure if Al-Ahmar's resistance continued.
* A continuing stream of small and mid-sized businesses in all sectors will fold their tents, move or redesign themselves.
As more firms fold their tents or navigate layoffs, caution and honest conservatism are now more important than ever.
But about mid-March, the contenders need to fold their tents and head home.
Companies looking to fold their tents nonetheless may be contractually committed to another year or two of building cinemas.
Recruiters tell me that when they explain about a vacation policy of one week the first year, candidates visibly fold their tents. Even a new graduate expects three weeks.
"Your campaign showed how easy it is for these people just to fold their tents and move on and then reappear again under a different identity," he said.
He said the independents would then be left to "fold their tents and fade into the sunset."