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[ Also see Aging Ancestry Antiquity Babies Birth Birthday Decay Experience Middle Age Old Age Past Ruins Time Youth ]

Whatever poet, orator, or sage
  May say of it, old age is still old age.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Morituri Salutamus (l. 264)

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.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Morituri Salutamus (l. 281)

The course of my long life hath reached at last,
  In fragile bark o'er a tempestuous sea,
    The common harbor, where must rendered be,
      Account of all the actions of the past.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Old Age

And the bright faces of my young companions
  Are wrinkled like my own, or are no more.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Spanish Student (act III, sc. 3)

Most long lives resemble those threads of gossamer, the nearest approach to nothing unmeaningly prolonged, scarce visible pathways of some worm from his cradle to his grave.
      - James Russell Lowell

The ages roll
  Forward; and forward with them, draw my soul
    Into time's infinite sea.
      And to be glad, or sad, I care no more;
        But to have done, and to have been, before I cease to do and be.
      - Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton ("Owen Meredith"),
        The Wanderer
         (bk. IV, A Confession and Apology, st. 9)

Age is not all decay; it is the ripening, the swelling, of the fresh life within, that withers and bursts the husk.
      - George MacDonald, The Marquis of Lossie
         (ch. XL)

Age is getting to know all the ways the world turns, so that if you cannot turn the world the way you want, you can at least, get out of the way so you won't get run over.
      - Miriam Makeba

Tell me what you find better, or more honorable than age. Is not wisdom entailed upon it? Take the pre-eminence of it in everything; and in an old friend, in old wine, in an old pedigree.
      - Shackerley Marmion (Shakerley Marmion)

What find you better or more honorable than age? . . . Take the preeminence of it in everything;--in an old friend, in old wine, in an old pedigree.
      - Shackerley Marmion (Shakerley Marmion),
        Antiquary (act II, sc. 1)

When you try to conceal your wrinkles, Polla, with paste made from beans, you deceive yourself, not me. Let a defect, which is possibly but small, appear undisguised. A fault concealed is presumed to be great.
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (bk. III, ep. 42)

Set is the sun of my years;
  And over a few poor ashes,
    I sit in my darkness and tears.
      - Gerald Massey, A Wail

A woman telling her true age is like a buyer confiding his final price to an Armenian rug dealer.
      - Mignon McLaughlin

So may'st thou live, till like ripe fruit thou drop
  Into thy mother's lap, or be with ease
    Gather'd not harshly pluck'd, for death mature.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. XI, l. 535)

Age, when it does not harden the heart and sour the temper, naturally returns to the milky disposition of infancy. Time has the same effect upon the mind as on the face. The pre-dominant passion, the strongest feature, becomes more conspicuous from the others retiring.
      - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

As I approach a second childhood, I endeavor to enter into the pleasures of it.
      - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Age imprints more wrinkles a in the mind, than it does in the face, and souls are never, or very rarely seen, that in growing old do not smell sour and musty. Man moves all together, both towards his perfection and decay.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Old age is a lease nature only signs as a particular favor, and it may be, to one, only in the space of two or three ages; and then with a pass to boot, to carry him through, all the traverses and difficulties she has strewed in the way of his long career.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

So Life's year begins and closes;
  Days, though short'ning, still can shine;
    What though youth gave love and roses,
      Age still leaves us friends and wine.
      - Thomas Moore, Spring and Autumn

The enthusiasm of old men is singularly like that of infancy.
      - Gerard de Nerval

Remember that some of the brightest drops in the chalice of life may still remain for us in old age. The last draught which a kind Providence gives us to drink, though near the bottom of the cup, may, as is said of the draught of the Roman of old, have at the very bottom, instead of dregs, most costly pearls.
      - W.A. Newman

A man's maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play.
      - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Down his neck his reverend lockes
  In comelye curles did wave;
    And on his aged temples grewe
      The blossomes of the grave.
      - Old Ballad

We age inevitably:
  The old joys fade and are gone:
    And at last comes equanimity and the flame burning clear.
      - James Oppenheim, New Year's Eve

Old age brings us to know the value of the blessings which we have enjoyed, and it brings us also to a very thankful perception of those which yet remain. Is a man advanced in life? The ease of a single day, the rest of a single night, are gifts which may be subjects of gratitude to God.
      - William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

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