At the age of just shy of 18 I was enamoured of Shakespear's "Seven Ages of Man" and decided to write my own interpretation of it. I was proud of it then and I'm still, over 56 years later, proud of it now. Here it is:
Man – His Ages
A baby is a miracle,
A gift of God.
A baby is the heartbeat of the next generation,
With the body of man and the soul from God.
Watch the mother cuddle it, protect it, and love it.
Listen as the father guides it, and speaks to defend it.
A YOUNG CHILD
A young child is a rainbow,
With each color as a measuring stick of growth.
With this age comes the ability to love, to hate, and to fear.
A puppy can bring love,
A strong opinion can bring hate,
And a darkened barren room can bring fear.
A rainbow has its dark colors,
Signifying sorrow, misfortune, and disaster.
The young child cannot understand sorrow or misfortune,
But to this child, a disaster can be the collapse of a sand castle,
Just built on the beach.
So too, does a rainbow have its bright bands.
Giving the child the gaiety of life,
The brightness of seeing things as they appear,
And the carefreeness of a breeze.
The young child is a pattern of everything good.
THE YOUNG ADULT
With early adulthood comes more difficulties.
Youth now has eyes that are just beginning to see
Hate is understood and very often felt,
Misfortune is questioned, privacy asked,
Leaving sorrow still a puzzle.
Learning becomes the existence of progress for a young mind.
A mind begins to flower,
And the heart prepares to bloom.
Light burdens balance the character,
And goodwill and understanding pave the way of the youth,
Toward advancing age, yet to come.
The war of the mind,
And the war of hate transforms the youth into a soldier.
A soldier is brave, with the determination to win his cause.
Gray is the dark mind when the hands control the weapon.
Good is the weapon,
Evil is the foe.
Love creates good,
Hate brews evil.
The soldier will love to fight,
A better one will fight to love.
A youth forced to adulthood by a reality.
When he pursues his enemy his mind is active,
Plotting, realizing, and hoping.
Death is his goal,
Life is his reward.
In the spring nature blooms.
The soldier is home from his battle,
And his heart is light again.
Love is a story, a mystery of hidden feelings,
And a wonderful puzzle.
The young lover writes his own story,
With a pen as sharp as his feeling for the one he loves.
Feelings of his blossoming heart are his sole means of existence.
This puzzle called love is given him to solve,
But his heart tells him to remain in a questioning state.
He is a toy – a plaything.
His head is light, he walks on a cloud,
Giving all of himself, freely, asking nothing in return.
A life is made complete,
And a soul becomes one – united with another.
THE GROWN ADULT
The years advance and the youth becomes an adult.
The baby is no more,
And love is a concrete reality.
Memories are peaceful thoughts,
And the adult sees the youth of their own,
Fly from the nest and travel Life’s cycle.
Day in, day out, the same things are done that have been done for years.
A man becomes a husband, a father, a man.
A woman becomes a wife, a mother, a woman.
Hate gives way to understanding,
And fear is conquered.
Misfortune and sorrow are tolerated.
Night brings thanks to God for each blessing,
And day dawns with new hopes.
Old age is a double life.
With night bringing darkness and doubt,
And day bringing light and hope.
Old eyes see less sharply,
And old ears become dull to sound.
A hand that once held with care a delicate flower,
Now trembles and is gnarled with the marks of time.
A tongue that once spoke beautiful words,
Finds difficulty in grasping a phrase clearly.
And once sweet lips,
Now forget the tenderness of a sweet kiss.
The old have known all of Life’s joys and sorrows,
And they wait for the Beckoning Hand to guide them to…a pretty sleep
They are not afraid,
They have lived.