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
I, who have not cried since my childhood , I cry now like a child because of all that I shall never have. I cry over lost beauty and grandeur. I love everything that I should have embraced.Henri Barbusse, in The Inferno (1917), L'Enfer, as translated by Edward J. O'Brien (1918), Ch. XVII
What we've doneinthis country inthepast fewdecades is socialize the cost of growing old and privatize the cost of childhood.1991 In the Washington Post, 22 Feb.
She was cut off fromthe past and therefore did not live in the present. But suddenly, as she stood close against a pine tree and breathed in its sharp, bitter scent, a clear space opened to her childhood, as though a wind had sprung fromthesea, clearing a mist.It wasnot a memory from the past, it was the past itself, as alive, as real; and she knew that she and the child of forty years ago were the same person.D(onald) M(itchell) Thomas
We cannot rekindle the morning beams of childhood; we cannot recall the noontide glory of youth; we cannot bring back the perfect day of maturity; we cannot fix the evening rays of age in the shadowy horizon; but we can cherish that goodness which is the sweetness of childhood, the joy of youth, the strength of maturity, the honor of old age, and the bliss of saints.henry giles
Under a forehead roughly comparable to that of the Javanese or the Piltdown man are visible a pair of tiny pig eyes, lit up alternately by greed and concupiscence. His nose, broken in childhood by a self-inflicted blow with a hockey stick, has a prehensile tip, ever quick to smell out an insult; at the least suspicion of an affront, Perelman, who has the pride of a Spanish grandee, has been known to whip out his sword-cane and hide in the nearest closet.s. j. perelman
If someone were to expound that godliness is to belong to childhood in the temporal sense and thus dwindle and die with the years as childhood does, is to be a happy frame of mind that cannot be preserved but only recollected; if someone were to expound that repentance as a weakness of old age accompanies the decline of one’s powers, when the senses are dulled, when sleep no longer strengthens but increases lethargy-this would be ungodliness and foolishness.Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits, Hong p. 12
His reluctance to pay for elaborate or expensive equipment, perhaps the result of an impoverished childhood, had established the legendary "sealing wax-and-string" tradition of the Cavendish , where everyday materials were ingeniously used to make and patch up experimental equipment, with sealing wax proving particularly useful for vacuum seals.j. j. thomson
As we are so wonderfully done with each other We can walk into our separate sleep on floors of music where the milkwhite cloak of childhood lies"As We Are So Wonderfully Done With Each Other"
To have even known such a man as he was is an inestimable boon. To have been with him for so long as a child, to have known so intimately the man who above all others has understood childhood, is indeed a memory on which to look back with thanksgiving and with tears.Page 3 (The Story of Lewis Carroll (1899))
Study is the bane of childhood, the oil of youth, the indulgence of adulthood, and a restorative in old age.Walter Savage Landor in: Thomas Chi Oil USA, OilUSA.Co, 1 December 2011, p.7
Incest is rape by extortion. Thus the child's very childhood becomes a weapon used to control her.E. Sue Blume, in Secret Survivors (1998), p. 6
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