You must have read Stefan Zweig’s Balzac.
If not, read
The chapter on Madame De Berney right now.
Madame was forty five,
When the young Balzac was madly in love.
This woman old enough to be his mother.
He was always cold towards young women,
No matter how much
They glowed like roses wrought from fire.
If burn one must, surely a furnace is the only way,
A candle flame merely provides dissatisfying singe marks.
This he had believed all his life.
He wrote it too,
‘The woman of forty
Will do everything for you.
The woman of twenty
Read it, as you read you will feel
You are inside another Arabian Night.
Let me know afterwards.
One day then I will tell you all –
How in my life too,
I chanced upon a dancer, her body poured from golden flames.
When she was forty five,
I would hear a songbird even if a mere crow had cawed.