Backward, flow backward, O full tide of years! I am so weary of toil and of tears, Toil without recompense tears all in vain, Take them and give me my childhood again. I have grown weary of dust and decay, Weary of flinging my heart's wealth away Weary of sowing for others to reap; Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep.A. M. W. Ball, Rock me to Sleep, Mother. Attributed to Elizabeth Akers Allen. See Northern Monthly, Volume II. 1868. Pub. by Allen line Bassett, Newark, N. J. Appendix to March, Volume II. 1868. Ball shows proof that he wrote it in 1856–7. Produces witness who saw it before 1860. Mrs. Allen says she wrote it in Italy, 1860. It was published in The Knickerbocker Magazine, May, 1861.
Do you know anyone who wouldsecretly, sincerely, in his innermost selfreally prefer to return to childhood?1980 The Clear Light of Day, ch.1.
If I could only live at the pitch that is near madness When everything is as it was in my childhood Violent, vivid and of infinite possibility.1947 'If I Could Only Live at the Pitch That Is Near Madness'.
Anyone who has read Yeats’s wonderful Autobiography will remember his Sligo shabby, shadowed, half country and half sea, full of confused romance, superstition, poverty, eccentricity, unrecognized anachronism, passion and ignorance and the little boy’s misery. Yeats was treated well but was bitterly unhappy; he prayed that he would die, and used often to say to himself: “When you are grown up, never talk as grown-up people do of the happiness of childhood.”Randall Jarrell
Remember your own childhood. That complete certainty you had, looking at the grown-ups, that you would never be like that. It was a lonely feeling, but euphoric, too.1994 Interview with Sarah Gristwood in The Times Magazine, 'Jane Campion: A Childhood',1 Jan.
There can be no doubt that the young of today have to be protected against certain poisonous effects inherent in present-day civilization. Five social diseases surround them, even in early childhood. There is the decline in fitness due to modern methods of locomotion; the decline in initiative due to the widespread disease of spectatoritis; the decline in care and skill due to the weakened tradition of craftsmanship; the decline in self-discipline due to the ever-present availability of tranquilizers and stimulants, and the decline in compassion, which William Temple called "spiritual death."kurt hahn
If peradventure, Reader, it has been thy lot to waste the golden years of thy life thy shining youth in the irksome confinement of an office; to have thy prison days prolonged through middle age down to decrepitude and silver hairs, without hope of release or respite; to have lived to forget that there are such things as holidays, or to remember them but as the prerogatives of childhood; then, and then only, will you be able to appreciate my deliverance.Charles Lamb
Death is a stage in human progress, to be passed as we would pass from childhood to youth, or from youth to manhood, and with the same consciousness of an everlasting nature.Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 177.
Oh, be assured, fellow teachers, that there is no time in life so favorable to sound conversion as early childhood.Theodore L. Cuyler, p. 572. (Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895))
I had thought, seeing how bitter is that wind That shakes the shutter, to have brought to mind All those that manhood tried, or childhood loved Or boyish intellect approved, With some appropriate commentary on each; Until imagination brought A fitter welcome; but a thought Of that late death took all my heart for speech.William Butler Yeats, "In Memory Of Major Robert Gregory", st. 12, The Wild Swans at Coole, (1919).
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