Half of my life is gone, and I have let
The years slip by form me and have not fulfilled
The aspiration of my youth, to build
Some tower of song with lofty parapet.
Not indolence, nor pleasure, nor the fret
Of restless passions that would not be stilled,
But sorry, and a care that almost killed,
Kept me from what I may accomplish yet;
Though, halfway up the hill, I see the Past
Lying beneath me with its sounds and sights, -
A city in the twilight dim and vast,
With smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights, -
And hear above me on the autumnal blast
The cataract of Death far thundering from the heights.

("Mezzo Cammin", Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Selected Poems, 1988)

Mezzo Cammin footnote: Written at the age of thirty-five – half the life span allotted to humankind in the Bible – while on the verge of leaving Europe for home. The title is taken from the opening line of Dante’s Inferno: “Midway in the journey of our life.”