Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mezzo Cammin

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.

The title refers to the opening of one of the most famous poems in literature:

La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy)
Dante Alighieri
Inferno: Canto I

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
che la diritta via era smarrita.

In the middle of the journey of our life, I found myself in a dark wood with the right road lost.

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