Today in the US we celebrate Presidents' Day -- including the birthday of George Washington (on February 22, 1732). In the 1970s, telling stories to my young children, I became fascinated by the allegations that the story of George Washington's admission that he cut down a cherry tree was a story invented after our first President's death (in 1799). (See The life of George Washington : with curious anecdotes, equally honourable to himself and exemplary to his young countrymen by M. L Weems). Our lives are too short! -- expressed somewhat gloomily in the following life-counting stanza by Isaac Watts (1674-1748).
OUR days, alas ! our mortal days,
Are short and wretched too !
" Evil and few !" the Patriarch says,
And well the Patriarch knew !
'Tis but at best, a narrow bound,
That Heaven allots to men ;
And pains and sins run through the round,
Of three-score years and ten !