Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thoughts on Turning 59

Today is my birthday. 59 years have passed since I made my entrance; almost in a cab as my parents did not own a car at the time; and it has been a wonderful ride ever since. But at 59 you start to look back and wonder about what you have accomplished in the time allotted, and hopefully you don’t find yourself falling too short of the intended mark.

I’m fairly content with my life. I would have liked to work for a few more years, but that just wasn't in the cards. So, when I add it all up, I’m pretty satisfied. Here are two poems; one by Hartley Coleridge, kin to Samuel Taylor Coleridge; and the other by yours truly. I believe I have posted them here before. But, since it’s my birthday; and my blog; I get to post them again if I want to.

The first speaks of regret at not having lived up to your own expectations. The other speaks of being content with what you have done, even if it falls short of what others expect of you. Naturally, I identify more with the latter, and is probably why I wrote it in the first place.

“Long Time a Child” by Hartley Coleridge  (1759)

Long time a child, and still a child, when years
Had painted manhood on my cheek, was I, -
For yet I lived like one not born to die;
A thriftless prodigal of smiles and tears,
No hope I needed, and I knew no fears.

But sleep, though sweet, is only sleep, and waking,
I waked to sleep no more, at once o'ertaking
The vanguard of my age, with all arrears
Of duty on my back. Nor child, nor man,
Nor youth, nor sage, I find my head is gray,
For I have lost the race I never ran:

A rathe December blights my lagging May;
And still I am a child, though I be old,
Time is my debtor for the years untold.

“Could’ve” by Robert Williams

I could’ve been much more than I am,
A King, or a Prince, not just a mere man.
But I spent my life doing just all that I could,
to get through the years doing not what I should.

And so in the finish, the questions I’ll ask;
Alone late at night in mirror’s mask;
Are “What if I weren't the man that I see?”, and
“Who would I be now – If I weren't me?”

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