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Chapter & Verse

A correspondence for not-so-famous lost words

July-August 2005

Mike Kempson requests a source for the following exchange, possibly from an old poem: “It was just the other day that the Gray Swan sailed away.” “The other day? ’Twas 20 years ago!”

“die a little each day” (May-June). Thomas Finucane suggests as a possible source “a prominent subtext in geriatric medicine,” the following excerpt from Shakespeare’s King Lear: “O, our lives’ sweetness!/That we the pain of death would hourly die/Rather than die at once!” (5.3.184-6).

“heights of joy, depths of sorrow” (May-June). John Hostage and Helmuth Joel both suggested in reply Clara’s song, from the second scene of the third act of Goethe’s play Egmont.

Send inquiries and answers to “Chapter and Verse,” Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138.