Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894 / United States)
Thoughtful in youth, but not austere in age;
Calm, but not cold, and cheerful though a sage;
Too true to flatter and too kind to sneer,
And only just when seemingly severe;
So gently blending courtesy and art
That wisdomâ€™s lips seemed borrowing friendshipâ€™s heart.
Taught by the sorrows that his age had known
In othersâ€™ trials to forget his own,
As hour by hour his lengthened day declined,
A sweeter radiance lingered oâ€™er his mind.
Cold were the lips that spoke his early praise,
And hushed the voices of his morning days,
Yet the same accents dwelt on every tongue,
And love renewing kept him ever young.
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