Let these poems on aging and getting older inspire you to be thankful and encouraged every year you are alive. The poems may make you smile, but there is wisdom in the verses. Great reflections to think
about if your age is getting you down! Life is too short to worry about your age, live every day and be happy!
Age ne'er can rightly measured be,
Nor thought of, even.
Unless we count the days and years,
As true love given!
Will Not Grow Old
It was an old distorted face
An uncouth visage rough and wild,
Yet from behind with laughing grace,
Peeped the fresh beauty of a child.
Behind gray hairs and furrowed brow
And withered look that life puts on
Each as he wears it, comes to know
How the child hides and is not gone.
For while the inexorable years
To saddened features fit their mould.
Beneath the work of time and tears
Waits something that will not grow old.
Poet: Alice Cary
Sitting by my fire alone.
When the winds are rough and cold,
And I feel myself grow old
Thinking of the summers flown.
I have many a harmless art
To beguile the tedious time:
Sometimes reading some old rhyme
I already know by heart;
Sometimes singing over words
Which in youth's dear day gone by
Sounded sweet, so sweet that I
Had no praises for the birds.
Then, from off its secret shelf
I from dust and moth remove
The old garment of my love.
In the which I wrap myself.
And a little while am vain;
But its rose hue will not bear
The sad light of faded hair;
So I fold it up again,
More in patience than regret:
Not a leaf the forest through
But is sung and whispered to:
I shall wear that garment yet.
When We Are Old
Poet: F. W. Sanderson
When are we old? and how and where,
When gray hairs steal in unaware?
May it be known by signs of care,
Or children's children here and there?
'Tis by the heart the secret's told,
'Tis by the smile we're young or old,
'Tis as the life its joy shall hold,
It is the laugh reveals the soul.
Old Age Is Not
Poet: Catherine Pulsifer
Old age is not the sum of years, nor birthdates thirty, fifty, seventy told,
It's choosing to extinguish dreams, letting passion lose its hold.
True aging settles in our souls, when new goals no longer thrive,
When we cease dancing with life’s rhythm, reducing merely to survive.
Yet if the heart keeps striving for each dawn's alluring bountiful chase,
If zest for new beginnings burn bright, old age has no trace.
The spirit ever youthful stays when curiosity and joy unfold,
For you're as young as your fiery hope; no age can make you old.
Let Me But Live
Poet: Henry VanDyke
Let me but live my life from year to year,
With forward face and unreluctant soul;
Not hurrying to, nor turning from, the goal;
Not mourning for the things that disappear
In the dim past, nor holding back in fear
From what the future veils; but with a whole
And happy heart, that pays its toll
To Youth and Age, and travels on with cheer.
So let the way wind up the hill or down,
O'er rough or smooth, the journey will be joy:
Still seeking what I sought when but a boy,
New friendship, high adventure, and a crown,
My heart will keep the courage of the quest,
And hope the road's last turn will be the best.
I once knew all the birds that came
And nested in our orchard trees;
For every flower I had a name -
My friends were woodchucks, toads and bees
I knew where thrived in yonder glen
What plants would soothe a stone-bruised toe -
Oh, I was very learned then;
But that was very long ago!
I knew the spot upon the hill
Where checkerberries could be found,
I knew the rushes near the mill
Where pickerel lay that weighed a pound!
I knew the wood, - the very tree
Where lived the poaching, saucy crow,
And all the woods and crows knew me -
But that was very long ago.
And pining for the joys of youth,
I tread the old familiar spot
Only to learn this solemn truth:
I have forgotten, am forgot.
Yet here's this youngster at ray knee
Knows all the things I used to know;
To think I once was wise as he -
But that was very long ago.
I know it's folly to complain
Of whatsoe'er the Fates decree;
Yet were not wishes all in vain,
I tell you what my wish should be:
I'd wish to be a boy again,
Back with the friends I used to know;
For I was, oh! so happy then -
But that was very long ago!
Poet: Margaret E. Sangster
Is it parting with the roundness
Of the smoothly moulded cheek?
Is it losing from the dimples
Half the flashing joy they speak?
Is it fading of the lustre
From the wavy, golden hair?
Is it finding on the forehead
Graven lines of thought and care?
Is it dropping, as the rose-leaves
Drop their sweetness overblown,
Household names that once were dearer,
More familiar than our own?
Is it meeting on the pathway
Faces strange and glances cold,
While the soul with moan and shiver
Whispers sadly, "Growing old "?
Is it frowning at the folly
Of the ardent hopes of youth?
Is it cynic melancholy
At the rarity of truth?
Is it disbelief in loving?
Selfish hate, or miser's greed?
Then such blight of Nature's noblest
Is a "growing old" indeed.
But the silver thread that shineth
Whitely in the thinning trees,
And the pallor where the bloom was,
Need not tell of bitterness:
And the brow's more earnest writing
Where it once was marble fair,
May be but the spirit's tracing
Of the peace of answered prayer.
If the smile has gone in deeper,
And the tears more quickly start,
Both together meet in music
Low and tender in the heart;
And in others' joy and gladness,
When the life can find its own,
Surely angels learn to listen
To the sweetness of the tone.
Nothing lost of all we planted
In the time of budding leaves;
Only some things bound in bundles
And set by our precious sheaves;
Only treasure kept in safety,
Out of reach and out of rust,
Till we clasp it grown the richer
Through the glory of our trust.
On the gradual sloping pathway,
As the passing years decline.
Gleams a golden love-light falling
Far from upper heights divine.
And the shadows from that brightness
Wrap them softly in their fold,
Who unto celestial whiteness
Walk, by way of growing old.
They soon grow old who grope for gold
In marts where all is bought and sold:
Who live for self and on some shelf
In darkened vaults hoard up their pelf;
Cankered and crusted o'er with mould
For them their youth itself is old.
They ne'er grow old who gather gold
Where spring awakes and flowers unfold;
Where suns arise in joyous skies,
And fill the soul within their eyes.
For them the immortal bards have sung;
For them old age itself is young.
Age Is Opportunity
Is it too late? Ah, nothing's too late
Till the tired heart shall cease to palpitate.
Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles
Wrote his grand "Oedipus," and Simonides
Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers,
When each had numbered more than four-score years;
And Theophrastus at fourscore and ten
Had but begun his "Characters of Men";
Chaucer at Woodstock, with the Nightingales,
At sixty wrote the "Canterbury Tales";
Goethe at Weimar, toiling to the last,
Completed "Faust" when eighty years were past.
What then? Shall we sit idly down and say,
"The night hath come; it is no longer day"?
The night hath not yet come; we are not quite
Cut off from labor by the failing light;
Something remains for us to do or dare.
Even the oldest tree some fruit may bear;
For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress;
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
We Are Growing Old
Poet: Lida M. Smith
We are growing old - how the thought will rise,
As a glance is backward cast!
We note our wrinkles with weary sighs;
The luster is dim in our once bright eyes.
Life's sun is sinking fast;
The lengthening shadows along our path
Warn us the evening's near;
And just before us death's river flows;
When the hour is still and our souls repose.
The lap of its waves we hear.
But why need we care? Just across its tide
Lieth the land of rest;
Sometimes we hear, mid life's storms and calms,
The soft wind's murmur amid its palms,
And the anthems of the blest;
And oft we hear with our spirit care,
When the winds of heaven breathe low,
Sounding from Salem's gold-paved street
The echoing tread of our loved ones' feet,
Who left us long ago.
And often we see, with spirit eyes,
Through sunset's mystic bar,
In the vast, dim distance the shadowing gleam
Of the city of light and life's fair stream,
Through the golden gates ajar.
Oh, the flowers of spring are fair to see,
Yet sweet doth the fall rose blow,
And grander than morning's radiance fair,
When dewy blossoms perfume the air,
To sunset's golden glow.
We mourn not the vanished days of spring ,.
We care not we're growing old.
In the fear of the Lord let us pass each day;
Then let them speed away, away,
Swift as a tale that's told.
We are looking away from this desert land
To the happy home of the blest,
Patiently waiting year by year,
Till the glad sweet summons our souls shall hear,
"Come, enter into rest."
Oh, don't be sorrowful, darling!
Now, don't be sorrowful, pray;
For, taking the year together, my dear,
There isn't more night than day.
It's rainy weather, my loved one;
Time's wheels they heavily run;
But taking the year together, my dear,
There isn't more cloud than sun.
We're old folks now, companion;
Our heads they are growing gray;
But taking the year all round, my dear,
You always will find the May.
We've had our May, my darling,
And our roses, long ago;
And the time of the year is come, my dear,
For the long dark nights and the snow.
But God is God, my faithful,
Of night as well as of day;
And we feel and know that we can go
Wherever he leads the way.
Ay, God of night, my darling!
Of the night of death so grim;
And the gate that from life leads out, good wife,
Is the gate that leads to Him.
Poet: Lucy Larcom
Old, - we are growing old;
Going on through a beautiful road,
Finding earth a more blessed abode,
Nobler work by our hands to be wrought,
Freer paths for our hope and our thought.
Because of the beauty the years unfold,
We are cheerfully growing old.
Old, - we are growing old.
Going up where the sunshine is clear,
Watching grander horizons appear
Out of clouds that enveloped our youth.
Standing firm on the mountains of truth.
Because of the glory the years unfold,
We are joyfully growing old.
The World And I
Poet: Nellie Olson
Upon the shingly beach I dream,
A boy, with bare feet tucked in sand,
And longing look to sea;
Nor mind the roaring waters sweep
On troubled bosom at my feet
The fragments of a wreck.
To me the world is young,
And clearly shines the o'er-arched sky;
The pebbles, freshly washed, to me
Are bright as rubies are!
The world is young!
The world and I are young!
IN OLD AGE
A trembling shadow of the past,
I totter down the lane.
About me heaps the drifting snow;
The heavy branches, bending low,
Bow stately as I pass;
The lusty breeze, ice-ladened sweeps
Athwart the lonely lane,
Nor stops to spare my heavy years
Nor cheer my heart-felt pain.
Upon my head the fingers of the frost
Have left a hoary crest,
While upon the wintry blast
I hear the message carried - rest.
The world is old!
The world and I are old!