Beautiful are the youth
whose rich emotions flash and burn,
whose lithe bodies filled with energy and grace
sway in their happy dance of life;
and beautiful likewise are the mature
who have learned compassion and patience, charity and wisdom,
though they
be rarer far than beautiful youth.
But most beautiful and most rare is a gracious old age
which has drawn from life the skill to take its varied strands:
the harsh
advance of age, the pang of grief,
the passing of dear friends, the loss of strength,
and with them insight weave them
into a rich and gracious pattern all its own.
This is the greatest skill of all,
to take the bitter with the sweet and make it beautiful,
to take the whole of life in all its moods,
its strengths and weaknesses,
and of the whole make one great and celestial harmony.