Not from successful love alone,
Nor wealth, nor honor’d middle age, nor victories of politics or war;
But as life wanes, and all the turbulent passions calm,
As gorgeous, vapory, silent hues cover the evening sky,
As softness, fullness, rest, suffuse the frame, like fresher, balmier air,
As the days take on a mellower light, and the apple at last hangs
really finish’d and indolent-ripe on the tree,
Then for the teeming quietest, happiest days of all!
The brooding and blissful halcyon days!
[Whitman realized that aging leads to the best time of life. My grandmother said that her 50’s was the best time of her life. She was old enough to be done with the folly of youth, but young enough to enjoy her wisdom and the time she had left. She never mentioned if her 60’s 70’s and 80’s were better than her 50’s. I hope they were, and I hope they will be for me. Ed.]