I grow weary of being gone from my home and family, and therefore wax magniloquent. Lest I become a bore, I shall quote one of my favorite poems, which I had to have memorized in high school, and never forgot:
Come my friends,
tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order, smite
the sounding furrows, for my purpose holds
to sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides, and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are -
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
And not to yield.
These words, written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson as the closing lines of the poem Ulysses, were caused by my high school Latin and Humanities teacher, Mr. Lawry Anderson, to be memorized by everyone in the class. We recited the poem together, daily, over and over, line by line. As the years have gone by, I have read parallel meanings in the words, and they continue to be a source of strength and inspiration for me.
I hope anyone reading this, who may feel the weight of years, of time and maturity, will re-read Tennyson's words, and think of Ulysses, who found strength "not to yield", and, after years of war, made it back home to his family.