Secular Masque "'Tis Well An Old Age Is Out"
by John Dryden

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"'Tis Well An Old Age Is Out"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In this little masque Dryden has several of the ancient pagan deities appear: Chronos, the elderly god of time, carrying his scythe appears as the Grim Reaper; Janus, the Roman god of the new year, who looks both forward and backward with his two faces; Diana, the chaste goddess of the hunt and the moon; Mars, the god of war, vaunting of arms and honor; Venus, the goddess of love; and Momus, a god of pleasure. Each of the deities speaks, admitting fatigue and defeat. Then Momus speaks to the gods and goddesses, concluding with the following lines:


MOMUS
All, all, of a piece throughout;
Thy Chase had a Beast in View;
Thy Wars brought nothing about:
Thy Lovers were all untrue.
'Tis well an Old Age is out,
And time to begin a New.