The Seven Ages of Man

All the world's a stage,

All the world's a movie set,

And all the men and women merely players.

And all the men and women merely actors.

They have their exits and their entrances,

They have their exits and their entrances

And one man in his time plays many parts,

One person, in their time, has many roles,

His acts being the seven ages. At first the infant,

Their roles being the seven ages. The first the salad days,

Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.

Forming friendships and playing games.

Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel

Then the lively brains,

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Secondary school and starting university.

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Discovery and learning. And then travel and time,

Sighing like furnace, with woeful ballad

In their twenties, the perfect age, the peak of youth.

Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier

Time to see the world. Then into adulthood

Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,

Full of thoughts of the future.

Jealous in honor, sudden, and quick in quarrel,

Forever home, family, career, and money,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Planning and maturing.

Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,

Grown up. And then the decisions,

In fair round belly with good capon lined,

With change, high pressure, and occasionally crisis.

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Unexpected happenings

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

through the midlife.

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,

into the weathered elder,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,

in the period of calm,

His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide

with youthful days behind,

For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,

hitting high wages for years of commitment.

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

Pre-retirement years

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

Cruise ships, ancient ruins, luxury trains, and tour buses.

That ends his strange eventful history,

The age of gray nomads.

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Full of curiosity and Sunday newspapers.

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Ideal time to embark on personal projects.

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