How do you feel when a nineteen-year-old kid tells you from the bottom of his heart that he’s gotten too old for this kind of shit?
— Michael Herr. Dispatches
But you’re so tired your mind is weak. When death comes into your head you don’t have the strength to push it aside. You’re just so fucking tired. Nineteen-year-old bodies with thirty-five-year-old minds. That was twice our age. Here I am now fast approaching it and I see what a young motherfucker I really was. I felt so much older and tired than I had a right to be within my physical frame.
— Mark Baker. Nam
…when i am old and passing slow,
crawling through some dried mud bed in search of water,
will i remember when i soared like tawodi the hawk?
i was a hawk!
will i remember the lifting wind and the long reach of muscles, and
claws that opened as i struck?
will i want to remember?
— Scott CS Stone. Song of the Wolf
He’s fat and he’s soft, and he’s wearing your clothes, and he’s gotten too old, and he was born on your birthday, and you’re afraid if you stop running he’ll catch up with you.
— Jerry Cronin, for Nike
When all the world is young, lad
And all the trees are green:
And every goose a swan, lad
And every lass a queen;
Then hey for boot and horse, lad
And round the world away:
Young blood must have its course, lad
And every dog his day.
When all the world is old, lad
And all the trees are brown:
And all the sport is stale, lad,
And all the wheels run down:
Creep home and take your place there,
The spent and maimed among:
God grant you find a face there
You loved when you were young.
— Charles Kingsley. Young and Old
But I was so much older
Than I’m younger
Than I’m now…
— from the Bob Dylan song My Back Pages
Chebubulin looked into Chekov’s eyes. Tania watched closely. She saw the fearlessness of age in the old man’s face. She understood the nature of his courage, knew it to be simple resignation. He had nothing left to lose now that he had lost his son, nothing left except the days that make up a life that has given up its gravity. Tania looked at Chekov. She saw him match the old man’s stare, the daring of youth in his eyes, with not enough of life seen yet to understand what he stood to lose.
— David Robbins. War of the Rats
Too old to cry,
But too young to be too old.
Too young to die,
But too old to be too young.