I am growing old: I have kept youth too long,
But I dare not let them know it now.
I have done the heart of youth a grievous wrong,
Round them a fierce, wide, crazy noon
Heaves with crushed lips and glowing sides
Against the huge and drowsy sun.
Are you my songs, importunate of praise?
Be still, remember for your comforting
That sweeter birds have had less leave to sing
To twilight heads comes Death as comes a friend.
As with the gentle fading of the year
Did he forget? . . . I do not remember,
All I had of him once I still have to-day;
He was lovely to me as the word, 'amber,'
O, MANDRAGORA, many sing in praise
Of life, and death, and immortality,--
Of passion, that goes famished all her days,--
Of Faith, or fantasy;
FAREWELL is said! Yea, but I cannot take
All that my Greeting gave.
In you hath Hope her doom and Joy her grave;
REEDS, snake-like, coiled in the mist
Where the low fog drives:
The muddy cough of the stream that strives
To free its throat from the clot of reed,
WHO shall forget till his last hour be come,--
Until the useful service of the dust
Hath drawn the emptying cerements in and in;--
Until the Earth hath eaten love and lust,