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The Seven Ages of Man

(from "as you like it")

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts beeing seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling an puking in his nurse's arms:
And then the winning school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel;
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side;
His youthful hose well sav'd, a worl too wide
For his shrunk shanks; and his big manly voice,
Turning again towards childish treble, pipes
Ad whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends his strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion:
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.


William Shakespeare . 1564-1616
 
 






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The Seven Ages of Man - William Shakespeare - poetry, poems

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