Sonnet XXV

By George Santayana 1863–1952 George Santayana
As in the midst of battle there is room
For thoughts of love, and in foul sin for mirth;
As gossips whisper of a trinket’s worth
Spied by the death-bed’s flickering candle-gloom;
As in the crevices of Caesar’s tomb
The sweet herbs flourish on a little earth:
So in this great disaster of our birth
We can be happy, and forget our doom.
For morning, with a ray of tenderest joy
Gilding the iron heaven, hides the truth,
And evening gently woos us to employ
Our grief in idle catches. Such is youth;
Till from that summer’s trance we wake, to find
Despair before us, vanity behind.

Source: American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century (The Library of America, 1993)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet George Santayana 1863–1952

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Living, Youth, Growing Old, Disappointment & Failure, Time & Brevity

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 George  Santayana

Biography

George Santayana was a Spanish-born American philosopher who is regarded as one of the most important thinkers of the first half of the twentieth century, and one of the most prominent champions of critical realism. He was also a critic, dramatist, educator, essayist, novelist, and poet. His first published work was a book of poetry titled Sonnets and Other Verses. An opponent of the contemporary philosophical methods, which . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Youth, Growing Old, Disappointment & Failure, Time & Brevity

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.