Half my life is gone, and I have let
__The years slip from me and have not fulfilled
__The aspiration of my youth, to build
__Some tower of song with lofty parapet.
Not indolence, nor pleasure, nor 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 roofs, 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 (1842)