dedicate this mirror to Aphrodite.
For it will not show me as I was,
and I will not look upon myself as I am.
Kieran Hardy nominates the lament of Andromache
Our child is still but a little fellow,
child of ill-fated parents, you and me.
How can he grow up to manhood?
Before that, the city shall be overthrown.
Walter De La Mare
Slim cunning hands at rest, and cozening eyes,
Under this stone one loved too wildly lies;
How false she was, no granite could declare;
Nor all earth’s flowers, how fair.
Asked about it, who would not repent
Of all he ever did and never meant..
I find this by Auden very sad
Lay your sleeping head my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral;
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.
But probably saddest of all is the optimistic section from Tennyson's 'In Memoriam'. ('Ring out wild bells...') Because he is hoping for so many things that never happened. He's consoling himself for his friend's death by saying 'it will get better'. But now, 150 years later, we see that none of it has come to pass, and things are still as bad as they were.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease
Ring out the narrow lust of gold
Ring out the thousand wars of old
Ring in a thousand years of peace.