Alternatively titled 'Dying Speech of an Old Philosopher', and one of Landor's best known works. Landor has written a number of short, epigrammatic poems, of which this is my favourite - for some other nice examples see <[broken link] http://utl1.library.utoronto.ca/www/utel/rp/authors/landor.html> I don't care too much for his longer poems, though - they lack the concentrated beauty of the short ones, and tend to lose me early on. Biographical Note: Educated at Rugby School and at the University of Oxford, both of which he left after disagreement with school officials, Landor spent a lifetime quarreling with his father, neighbours, wife, and any authorities at hand who offended him. [casts a particularly ironic light on the poem - m.] Paradoxically, though, he won the friendship of literary men from Robert Southey, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Charles Lamb among the Romantics to Charles Dickens and Robert Browning. A proficient classicist from boyhood, he wrote many of his English works originally in Latin. He wrote lyrics, plays, and heroic poems, but Imaginary Conversations, 2 vol. (1824; vol. 3, 1828; and thereafter sporadically to 1853), was his great work. Of writers who might be called surviving classicists, the most notable is Walter Savage Landor, whose detached, lapidary style is seen at its best in some brief lyrics and in a series of erudite Imaginary Conversations, which began to appear in 1824. -- Encyclopaedia Britannica And finally, a second opinion: Walter Savage Landor Upon the work of Walter Landor I am unfit to write with candor. If you can read it, well and good; But as for me, I never could. -- Dorothy Parker m.