Monday, April 30, 2012


Old Age

John Milton (1608-1674), Paradise Lost 11.538-546:
This is old age; but then thou must outlive
Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change
To withered weak and gray; thy senses then
Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forego,
To what thou hast, and for the air of youth
Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign
A melancholy damp of cold and dry
To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume
The balm of life.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Journals (Spring? 1864):
Old age brings along with its uglinesses the comfort that you will soon be out of it—which ought to be a substantial relief to such discontented pendulums as we are. To be out of the war, out of debt, out of the drouth, out of the blues, out of the dentist's hands, out of the second thoughts, mortifications & remorses that inflict such twinges & shooting pains, out of the next winter, & the high prices, & company below your ambition, surely these are soothing hints. And, harbinger of this, what an alleviator is sleep, which muzzles all these dogs for me every day! Old Age. 'Tis proposed to call an indignation meeting.

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