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We look before and after,
And pine for what is not;
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Oh! it is ecstacy in early days,


When youth is ours-before the scorching rays
Of manhood's noon hath swept away the dew,
That glitters in the eye when life is new,
Yielding a freshness to the joyous scene,

That makes the sky more blue, the earth more green—
To stand as now-upon the desert sea,

Forgetting earth and all that therein lowers;

For then the soul unto eternity

Looks, and awhile the better world is ours:

But it is otherwise in after years;

The dews that were in youth are changed to tears; And though as blue the heavens-the earth as green, Alas! we see them not as we have seen.

Mrs. E. Thomas.


THE sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon;

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in the sound. Last scene of all
That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.

I have lived long enough: my way of life
Has fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud, but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain cling to, but dare not.



Though now this grained face of mine be hid
In safe consuming winter's drizzled snow,
And all the conduits of my blood froze up;
Yet hath my night of life some memory,
My wasting lamp some fading glimmer left,
My dull deaf ears a little use to hear.

Youth no less becomes

The light and careless livery that it wears,
Than settled age his sables and his weeds,
Importing health and graveness.

Beshrew my jealousy!

It seems it is as proper to our age



To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions,
As it is common to the younger sort

To lack discretion.



Age sits with decent grace upon his visage,
And worthily becomes his silver locks;
He wears the marks of many years well spent,
Of virtue, truth well tried, and wise experience.

What is age

But the holy place of life, chapel of ease
To all men's wearied miseries? and to rob
That of her ornament it is accurst,

As from a priest to steal a holy vestment,


Aye, and convert it to a sinful covering.—Massinger.

Life ebbs from such old age, unmark'd and silent,
As the slow neap-tide leaves yon stranded galley.
Late she rock'd merrily at the least impulse
That wind or wave could give; but now her keel
Is settling on the sand, her mast has ta'en
An angle with the sky, from which it shifts not.
Each wave receding shakes her less and less,
Till bedded on the strand, she shall remain
Useless as motionless.

These are the effects of doting age.

Old Play.

Vain doubts, and idle cares, and over caution.


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And on this forehead, where your verse has said,
The loves delighted, and the graces played,

Insulting age will trace his cruel way,

And leave sad marks of his destructive sway.

Fresh hopes are hourly sown

In furrow'd brows: to gentle life's descent,
We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain:
We take fair days in winter for the spring;
And turn our blessings into bane.



—I left him in a green old age,

And looking like the oak, worn, but still steady
Amidst the elements, whilst younger trees
Fell fast around him.

Yet time, who changes all, had alter'd him
In soul and aspect, as in age: years steal
Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb:


And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the_brim.


Thus aged men, full loth and slow,
The vanities of life forego,

And count their youthful follies o'er,
Till memory lends her light no more.

Now then the ills of age, its pains, its care,
The drooping spirit for its fate prepare;
And each affection failing, leaves the heart
Loosed from life's charm, and willing to depart.



This heart, by age and grief congeal'd,
Is no more sensible of love's endearments,
Than are our barren rocks to morn's sweet dew,
That calmly trickles down their rugged cheeks.

Rightly it is said

That man descends into the. vale of years;

Yet have I thought that we might also speak,
And not presumptuously, I trust, of age,
As of a final eminence, though bare
In aspect and forbidding, yet a point


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On which 'tis not impossible to set
In awful sovereignty-a place of power—
A throne.

What is youth?-a_dancing billow,
Winds behind and rocks before;
Age? a drooping, tottering willow,
On a flat and lazy shore.

Thus fares it still in our decay,


And yet the wiser mind

Mourns less for what age takes away,

Than what it leaves behind.


Let no one judge the worth of life, save he

Whose head is white with time. The youthful spirit Set on the edge o' the world hath but one sight, And looks for beauty in the years to come;

But like double-fronted Janus, looks


All ways, and ponders wisely on the past.-Procter.

Bid me not trust her hoary parent's smile!
I cannot, for I read foul falsehoods there.
Oh, Guzman! pity never wore grey hairs,

But died in'ts youth! Trust not in furrowed brow;
For time digs pits where hate and cunning sleep;
And sixty winter winds can ne'er pass by,
And leave the heart still warm. Age is a grave,
Where kindness, and quelled passion, and mute love,
Lie hand in hand-cold-dead, perhaps forgotten!

Like mist upon the lea,

And like night upon the plain,
Old age comes o'er the heart,
With dolour and with pain:
Blithe youth is like a smile,

So mirthful, and so brief;
Soon wrinkles on the cheek


Come, like frost upon the leaf.-Robert Nicol.





To solemnize this day the glorious sun
Stays in his course and plays the alchemist,
Turning, with splendour of his precious eye,
The meagre, cloddy earth to glittering gold.

O he sits high in all the people's hearts!
And that which would appear offence in us,
His countenance, like richest alchemy,
Will change to virtue and to worthiness.-Shakspere.

Princes do but play us; compared to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.

Which set the chemist on

To search that secret natured stone,
Which, the philosophers have told,
When found, turns all things into gold;

But being hunted and not caught,


Oh! sad reverse! turns gold to naught.—Arbuthnot.


THOUGH my own alderman conferred my bays,
To me committing their eternal praise;
Their full-fed heroes, their pacific mayors,
Their annual trophies, and their monthly wars.

Oh! prudence, if by friends in council swayed,
I had thy saving institutes obeyed;
And lost to every love by love of self,
A wretch like * * * living but on pelf;
Then happy in a coach, or turtle feast,


I might have been an alderman at least.-Chatterton.


THEN, at the last, and only couplet fraught
With some unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needless alexandrine ends the song,

And, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.


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