The nearer the dawnthe darker the night.
A boy's will is the wind's will, And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.
Sadly as some old mediaeval knightGazed at the arms he could no longer wield,The sword two-handed and the shining shieldSuspended in the hall, and full in sight,While secret longings for the lost delightOf tourney or adventure in the fieldCame over him, and tears but half concealedTrembled and fell upon his beard of white,So I behold these books upon their shelf,My ornaments and arms of other days;Not wholly useless, though no longer used,For they remind me of my other self,Younger and stronger, and the pleasant waysIn which I walked, now clouded and confused.
It is the mystery of the unknownThat fascinates us; we are children stillWayward and wistful; with one hand we clingTo the familiar things we call our own,And with the other, resolute of will,Grope in the dark for what the day will bring
Write on your doors the saying wise and old,"Be bold! be bold!" and everywhere-- "Be bold;Be not too bold!" Yet better the excessThan the defect; better the more than less;Better like Hector in the field to die,Than like a perfumed Paris turn and fly,
For age is opportunity no less Than youth itself, though in another dress, And as the evening twilight fades away The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
Wisely the Hebrews admit no Present tense in their language;While we are speaking the word, it is is already the Past.
It is too late! Ah, nothing is too lateTill the tired heart shall cease to palpitate.Cato learned Greek at eighty; SophoclesWrote his grand Oedipus, and SimonidesBore off the prize of verse from his compeers,When each had numbered more than fourscore years,And Theophrastus, at fourscore and ten,Had but begun his Characters of Men.Chaucer, at Woodstock with the nightingales,At sixty wrote the Canterbury Tales;Goethe at Weimar, toiling to the last,Completed Faust when eighty years were past,These are indeed exceptions; but they showHow far the gulf-stream of our youth may flowInto the arctic regions of our lives.Where little else than life itself survives.
If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.
O, never from the memory of my heartYour dear, paternal image shall depart,Who while on earth, ere yet by death surprised,Taught me how mortals are immortalized;How grateful am I for that patient careAll my life long my language shall declare.