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...exceptions; but they show How far the gulf-stream of our youth may flow Into the arctic regions of our lives. Where little else than life itself survives.
As the barometer foretells the storm While still the skies are clear, the weather warm, So something in us, as old age draws near, Betrays the pressure of the atmosphere. The nimble mercury, ere we are aware, Descends the elastic ladder of the air; The telltale blood in artery and vein Sinks from its higher levels in the brain;Whatever poet, orator, or sage may say of it, old age is still old age.It is the waning, not the crescent moon; The dusk of evening, not the blaze of noon: It is not strength, but weakness; not desire, But its surcease; not the fierce heat of fire, The burning and consuming element, But that of ashes and of embers spent, In which some living sparks we still discern, Enough to warm, but not enough to burn.
What then? Shall we sit idly down and say The night hath come; it is no longer day? The night hath not yet come; we are not quite Cut off from... Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
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