Goethe on ageing, 2

People always fancy that we
must become old to be prudent;
but, in fact, with increasing years
we have much to do to keep
ourselves as smart as we were.

Man meint immer, man müsse alt
werden, um gescheit zu sein;
im Grunde aber hat man bei
zunehmenden Jahren zu tun,
sich so klug zu erhalten,
als man gewesen ist.

-Conversations of Goethe with Eckermann and Soret, February 17, 1831
Translation by Goethe Global.

No. 3979