Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OEDIPUS AT COLONUS: OLD AGE, by SOPHOCLES

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

OEDIPUS AT COLONUS: OLD AGE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: What man is he that yearneth
Last Line: Blown from night and the north.
Subject(s): Old Age

What man is he that yearneth
For length unmeasured of days?
Folly mine eye discerneth
Encompassing all his ways.
For years over-running the measure
Shall change thee in evil wise:
Grief drawth nigh thee; and pleasure,
Behold, it is hid from thine eyes.
This to their wage have they
Which overlive their day.
And He that looseth from labour
Doth one with other befriend,
Whom bride nor bridesmen attend,
Song, nor sound of the tabor,
Death, that maketh an end.

Thy portion esteem I highest,
Who wast not ever begot;
Thine next, being born who diest
And straightaway again art not.
With follies light as the feather
Doth Youth to man befall;
Then evils gather together,
There wants not one of them all -
Wrath, envy, discord, strife,
The sword that seeketh life.
And sealing the sum of trouble
Doth tottering Age draws nigh,
Whom friends and kinsfolk fly,
Age, upon whom redouble
All sorrows under the sky.

This man, as me, even so,
Have the evil days overtaken;
And like as a cape sea-shaken
With tempest at earth's last verges
And shock of all winds that blow,
His head the seas of woe,
The thunders of awful surges
Ruining overflow;
Blown from the fall of even,
Blown from the dayspring forth,
Blown from the noon in heaven,
Blown from night and the North.

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