Half of my life is gone, and I have let
The years slip from me and have not fulfilled
The aspirations of my youth, to build
Some tower of stone with lofty parapet.
Not indolence, nor pleasure not the fret
Of restless passions that would not be stilled,
But sorrow, and a care that almost killed,
Kept me from what I may accomplish yet;
Though, half-way up the hill, I see the Past
Lying beneath me with its sounds and sights, —
A city in the twilight dim and vast,
With smoking roffs, soft bells, and gleaming lights, —
And hear above me on the autumnal blast
The cataract of Death far thundering from the heights.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
* Mezzo Camin, halfway up the road. [Italian] Dante uses this phrase in Divine Commedia to signify the middle of his life, a period of lost ideals, moral disillusionment, and wasted efforts.