Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Old Age
By Edmund Waller (1606–1687)
 
THE SEAS are quiet when the winds give o’er;
So calm are we when passions are no more.
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes        5
Conceal that emptiness which age decries.
 
The soul’s dark cottage, batter’d and decay’d,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time hath made:
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home.        10
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view
That stand upon the threshold of the new.
 
 
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