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

O blest retirement! friend to life's decline--
  Retreats from care, that never must be mine
    How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these,
      A youth of labour with an age of ease!
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village
         (l. 97)

Alike all ages: dames of ancient days
  Have led their children through the mirthful maze,
    And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore,
      Has frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller (l. 251)

At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.
      - Henry Grattan

Slow-consuming age.
      - Thomas Gray,
        Ode to a Distant Prospect of Eton College
         (st. 9)

The mental powers acquire their full robustness when the cheek loses its ruddy hue, and the limbs their elastic step; and pale thought sits on manly brows, and the watchman, as he walks his rounds, sees the student's lamp burning far into the silent night.
      - Thomas Guthrie (1)

We are to seek wisdom and understanding only in the length of days.
      - Robert Hall

Can man be so age-stricken that no faintest sunshine of his youth may re visit him once a year? It is impossible. The moss on our time-worn mansion brightens into beauty; and the good old pastor, who once dwelt here, renewed his prime and regained his boyhood in the genial breeze of his ninetieth spring. Alas for the worn and heavy soul, if, whether in youth or age, it has outlived its privilege of springtime sprightliness!
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne

There is a quiet repose and steadiness about the happiness of age, if the life has been well spent. Its feebleness is not painful. The nervous system has lost its acuteness. But, in mature years we feel that a burn, a scald, a cut, is more tolerable than it was in the sensitive period of youth.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

To be happy, we must be true to nature, and carry our age along with us.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Struggle and turmoil, revel and brawl--
  Youth is the sign of them, one and all.
    A smoldering hearth and a silent stage--
      These are a type of the world of Age.
      - William Ernest Henley,
        Of Youth and Age--Envoy

Men, like peaches and pears, grow sweet a little while before they begin to decay.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

To be seventy years young is something far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
        on the seventieth birthday of Julia Ward Howe, May 27, 1889

You hear that boy laughing? You think he's all fun;
  But the angels laugh, too, at the good he has done.
    The children laugh loud as they troop to his call.
      And the poor man that knows him laughs loudest of all!
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Boys
         (st. 9)

The Grecian ladies counted their age from their marriage, not their birth.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios")

A green old age, unconscious of decays,
  That proves the hero born in better days.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad
         (bk. XXIII, l. 925), (Pope's translation)

When he's forsaken,
  Wither'd and shaken,
    What can an old man do but die?
      - Thomas Hood, Ballad

It is time for thee to be gone, lest the age more decent in its wantonness should laugh at thee and drive thee of the stage.
  [Lat., Tempus abire tibi est, ne . . .
    Rideat et pulset lasciva decentius aetas.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
        Epistles (bk. II, 2, 215)

Boys must not have th' ambitious care of men,
  Nor men the weak anxieties of age.
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
        Of the Art of Poetry

Either a peaceful old age awaits me, or death flies round me with black wings.
  [Lat., Seu me tranquilla senectus
    Exspectat, seu mors atris circumvolat alis.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Satires
         (bk. II, l. 57)

Up to forty a woman has only forty springs in her heart. After that age she has only forty winters.
      - Arsene Houssaye

A woman is as old as she looks before breakfast.
      - Edgar Watson Howe

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.
      - Victor Hugo

No man is ever old enough to know better.
      - Holbrook Jackson

Age is rarely despised but when it is contemptible.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Cautious age suspects the flattering form, and only credits what experience tells.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

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