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We look before and after,
And pine for what is not;
With some pain is fraught;
Shelley. Oh! it is ecstacy in early days, When youth is ours—before the scorching rays Of manhood's noon hath swept away the dew, That glitters in the eye when life is new, Yielding a freshness to the joyous scene, That makes the sky more blue, the earth more greenTo stand as now-upon the desert sea,
Forgetting earth and all that therein lowers; For then the soul unto eternity
Looks, and awhile the better world is ours: But it is otherwise in after years; The dews that were in youth are changed to tears; And though as blue the heavens—the earth as green, Alas! we see them not as we have seen.
Mrs. E. Thomas.
The sixth age shifts . Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon; With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in the sound. Last scene of all That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion; Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.
Shakspere. I have lived long enough: my way of life Has fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf; And that which should accompany old age, As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have; but, in their stead, Curses, not loud, but deep, mouth-honour, breath, Which the poor heart would fain cling to, but dare not.
Though now this grained face of mine be hid
Youth no less becomes
Shakspere. Age sits with decent grace upon his visage, And worthily becomes his silver locks; He wears the marks of many years well spent, Of virtue, truth well tried, and wise experience.
Rowe. What is age But the holy place of life, chapel of ease To all men's wearied miseries? and to rob That of her ornament it is accurst, As from a priest to steal a holy vestment, Aye, and convert it to a sinful covering.- Massinger.
Life ebbs from such old age, unmark'd and silent,
These are the effects of doting age.
And on this forehead, where your verse has said,
-I left him in a green old age,
Yet time, who changes all, had alter'd him
Now then the ills of age, its pains, its care,
Rightly it is said
On which 'tis not impossible to set
What is youth?-a dancing billow,
Winds behind and rocks before;
On a flat and lazy shore. Wordsworth.
Thus fares it still in our decay,
And yet the wiser mind
Than what it leaves behind. Wordsworth.
Let no one judge the worth of life, save he
Bid me not trust her hoary parent's smile!
And like night upon the plain,
With dolour and with pain:
So mirthful, and so brief;
Come, like frost upon the leaf.- Robert Nicol. 28
ALCHEMY. ALDERMAN. ALEXANDRINE.
Which set the chemist on To search that secret natured stone, Which, the philosophers have told, When found, turns all things into gold; But being hunted and not caught, Oh! sad reverse! turns gold to naught. - Arbuthnot.
ALEXANDRINE. THEN, at the last, and only couplet fraught With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, A needless alexandrine ends the song, And, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.