What was done to him was like what happens on the train, when you think you are moving forward, but are moving backward, and suddenly find out the real direction.
"Yes, it was all not right," he said to himself, "but never mind. I can, I can do 'right.' But what is 'right'?" he asked himself and suddenly grew still.
--from The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Greater life hath no man than this
Greater life hath no man than this:
that an old man lies down in love
with an old lady friend.
For passion to soar so high
When skin, it droops so low:
What great life you have, my dear!
80 years, you passed without me
80 years, I’ll never know.
So much faith it takes to meet her
When all’s soon drawing to a close—
All the poets being wrong.
But of your lovely life so grand:
That I may have a slice so small!
To fall in love with you, my dear.
80 years, I do not know you
And in a few years, we’ll be gone.
Greater life hath no man than this.