Quotations about   middle age

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Upon the journey of my life midway,
I found myself within a darkling wood,
Where from the straight path I had gone astray.

[Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita,
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.]

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 1 “Inferno,” Canto 1, l. 1ff (1.1-3) (1320) [tr. Minchin (1885)]
    (Source)

Opening words of the work. (Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

When in my middle State of Life I found
Myself entangl'd in a wood obscure,
Having the right path miss'd ...
[tr. Rogers (1782)]

When life had labour'd up her midmost stage,
And, weary with her mortal pilgrimage,
Stood in suspense upon the point of Prime;
Far in a pathless grove I chanc'd to stray ...
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 1]

In the midway of this our mortal life,
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray
Gone from the path direct.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

Midway the journey of our life along,
I found me in a gloomy woodland dell,
The right road all confounded with the wrong.
[tr. Dayman (1843)]

In the middle of the journey of our life I [came to] myself in a dark wood [where] the straight way was lost.
[tr. Carlyle (1849)]

Halfway through our mortal life I found
In a dark forest's wild and rugged ground,
Where the right way was lost in shaggy wood,
A rude and savage woodland solitude.
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

In our life's journey at its midway stage
I found myself within a wood obscure,
Where the right path which guided me was lost.
[tr. Johnston (1867)]

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straight-forward pathway had been lost.
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

Halfway upon the road of our life, I came to myself amid a dark wood where the straight path was confused.
[tr. Butler (1885)]

Midway upon the road of our life I found myself within a dark wood, for the right way had been missed.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

Midway on the journey of our life I found myself within a darksome wood, for the right way was lost.
[tr. Sullivan (1893)]

Midway upon the road of our life's journey
I found myself within a dark wood faring;
For the straight way was lost by misadventure.
[tr. Griffith (1908)]

In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost.
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

Midway life's journey I was made aware
That I had strayed into a dark forest,
And the right path appeared not anywhere.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

Midway this way of life we're bound upon,
I woke to find myself in a dark wood,
Where the right road was wholly lost and gone.
[tr. Sayers (1949)]

Midway in our life's journey, I went astray
from the straight road and woke to find myself
alone in a dark wood.
[tr. Ciardi (1954)]

Midway in the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost.
[tr. Singleton (1970)]

Midway along the journey of our life
I woke to find myself in some dark woods,
for I had wandered off from the straight path.
[tr. Musa (1971)]

When I had journeyed half of our life's way,
I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1980)]

Half way along the road we have to go,
I found myself obscured in a great forest,
Bewildered, and I knew I had lost the way.
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

Midway on our life's journey, I found myself
In dark woods, the right road lost.
[tr. Pinsky (1994)]

In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost.
[tr. Durling (1996)]

In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

At one point midway on our path in life,
I came around and found myself now searching
through a dark wood, the right way blurred and lost.
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2006)]

Midway in the journey of our life
I came to myself in a dark wood,
for the straight way was lost.
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

Halfway along the road of this our life
I woke to find myself in a wood so dark
That straight and honest ways were gone, and light
Was lost.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

At the mid-point of the path through life, I found
Myself lost in a wood so dark, the way
Ahead was blotted out.
[tr. James (2013)]

Added on 9-Sep-22 | Last updated 9-Sep-22
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

[O]ne man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
As You Like It, Act 2, sc. 7, l. 149ff [Jaques] (1599)
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Added on 27-Jun-22 | Last updated 27-Jun-22
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More quotes by Shakespeare, William

When we are children, we have childish interests, but do young men miss them? And when we are middle-aged, do we want what young men want? Similarly, old men are not remotely involved in the needs of middle age; they have their own. Therefore we may argue that as the concerns of each earlier stage of life fade away, so eventually do those of old age. And when that happens, we have had enough of life and we are ready for death.

[Omnino, ut mihi quidem videtur studiorum omnium satietas vitae facit satietatem. Sunt pueritiae studia certa: num igitur ea desiderant adulescentes? Sunt ineuntis adulescentiae: num ea constans iam requirit aetas, quae media dicitur? Sunt etiam eius aetatis: ne ea quidem quaeruntur in senectute. Sunt extrema quaedam studia senectutis: ergo, ut superiorum aetatum studia occidunt, sic occidunt etiam senectutis; quod cum evenit, satietas vitae tempus maturum mortis affert.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Cato Maior de Senectute [Discourse on Old Age], ch. 20 / sec. 76 (44 BC) [tr. Cobbold (2012)]
    (Source)

Original Latin. Alt. trans.:

Truly me thinks that the satiety of all things makes also a satiety of life. There are certain studies in children, shall young men desire them? there are others in youth, shall age require them? and there be studies in the last age: therefore as the studies of former ages fail, so do the studies of old age, so that when the satiety or fulnesse of life commeth, it bringeth also a fit time for death.
[tr. Austin (17th C)]

By living long we come to a Satiety in all things besides and this should naturally lead us to a Satiety of Life itself. Children we see have their particular Diversions; and does Youth, when past Childhood, pursue or desire the same? Youth also has its peculiar Exercises; and does full Manhood require these as before? Or has Old Age the same Inclinations that prevailed in more vigorous Years? We ought then to conclude, That as there is a Succession of Pursuits and Pleasures in the several Stages of Life, the one dying away, as the other advances and takes Place; so in the same Manner are those of Old Age to pass off in their Turn. And when this Satiety of Life has fully ripen'd us, we are then quietly to lie down in Death, as our last Resting-Place, where all Anxiety ends, and Cares and Fears subsist no more.
[tr. Logan (1734)]

The distaste with which, in passing through the several stages of our present being, we leave behind us the respective enjoyments peculiar to each; must necessarily, I should think, in the close of its latest period, render life itself no longer desirable. Infancy and youth, manhood and old age, have each of them their peculiar and appropriate pursuits. But does youth regret the toys of infancy, or manhood lament that no longer as a taste for the amusements of youth? The season of manhood has also its suitable objects, that are exchanged for others in old age; and these too, like all the preceding, become languid and insipt in their turn. Now when this state of absolute satiety is at length arrived; when we have enjoyed the satisfactions peculiar to old age, till we have no longer any relish remaining for them; it is then that death may justly be considered as a mature an seasonable event.
[tr. Melmoth (1773)]

In fine, satiety of life, as it seems to me, creates satiety of pursuits of every kind. There are certain pursuits belonging to boyhood; do grown-up young men therefore long for them? There are others appertaining to early youth; are they required in the sedate period of life which we call middle age? This, too, has its own pursuits, and they are not sought in old age. As the pursuits of earlier periods of life fail, so in like manner do those of old age. When this period is reached, satiety of life brings a season ripe for death.
[tr. Peabody (1884)]

On the whole, as it seems to me indeed, a satiety of all pursuits causes a satiety of life. There are pursuits peculiar to boyhood; do therefore young men regret the loss of them? There are also some of early youth; does that now settled age, which is called middle life, seek after these? There are also some of this period; neither are they looked for by old age. There are some final pursuits of old age; accordingly, as the pursuits of the earlier parts of life fall into disuse, so also do those of old age; and when this has taken place, satiety of life brings on the seasonable period of death.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

As a general truth, as it seems to me, it is weariness of all pursuits that creates weariness of life. There are certain pursuits adapted to childhood: do young men miss them? There are others suited to early manhood: does that settled time of life called "middle age" ask for them? There are others, again, suited to that age, but not looked for in old age. There are, finally, some which belong to old age. Therefore, as the pursuits of the earlier ages have their time for disappearing, so also have those of old age. And when that takes place, a satiety of life brings on the ripe time for death.
[tr. Shuckburgh (1895)]

To put it in a word, it seems to me
'Tis weariness of all pursuits that makes
A weary age. We have pursuits as boys,
Do young men want them? Others yet there are
Suited to growing years, are they required
By those who've reached what's termed "the middle age"?
That too enjoys its own, but are they fit
For us old me? We have our own of course,
And as the others end, just so do ours,
And when it happens, weariness of life
Proclaims that ripeness which precedes our death.
[tr. Allison (1916)]

Undoubtedly, as it seems to me at least, satiety of all pursuits causes satiety of life. Boyhood has certain pursuits: does youth yearn for them? Early youth has its pursuits: does the matured or so-called middle stage of life need them? Maturity, too, has such as are not even sought in old age, and finally, there are those suitable to old age. Therefore as the pleasures and pursuits of the earlier periods of life fall away, so also do those of old age; and when that happens man has his fill of life and the time is ripe for him to go.
[tr. Falconer (1923)]

It seems to me you have had enough of life when you have had your fill of all its activities. Little boys enjoy certain things, but older youths to not yearn for these. Young adulthood has its delights, but middle age does not desire them. There are also pleasures of middle age, but these are not sought in old age. And so, justas the pleasures of earlier ages fall away, so do those of old age. When this happens, you have had enough of life, and it is time for you to pass on.
[tr. Freeman (2016)]
Added on 15-Dec-20 | Last updated 15-Dec-20
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More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

In youth, the years stretch before one so long that it is hard to realize that they will ever pass, and even in middle age, with the ordinary expectation of life in these days, it is easy to find excuses for delaying what one would like to do but does not want to; but at last a time comes when death must be considered.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) English novelist and playwright [William Somerset Maugham]
The Summing Up, ch. 3 (1938)
Added on 22-Jun-16 | Last updated 22-Jun-16
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More quotes by Maugham, W. Somerset

Middle age is when you stop criticizing the older generation and start criticizing the younger one.

Lawrence J Peter
Lawrence J. Peter (1919-1990) American educator, management theorist
Peter’s Quotations (1977)
Added on 13-Oct-11 | Last updated 3-Apr-20
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More quotes by Peter, Lawrence J.