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Sae dear that joy was bought, John,
To the land o' the leal.
Oh! haud ye leal and true, John,
To the land o' the leal.
Now fare ye weel, my ain John,
WHAT is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The lustre of the eye?
Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?
Yes, but not this alone.
- LADY NAIRNE.
Is it to feel our strength
Not our bloom only, but our strength — decay?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Yes, this, and more! but not,
Ah, 'tis not what in youth we dream'd 'twould be!
'Tis not to have our life
Mellow'd and soften'd as with sunset glow,
'Tis not to see the world
As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes,
And heart profoundly stirr'd;
And weep, and feel the fulness of the past,
It is to spend long days
And not once feel that we were ever young.
In the hot prison of the present, month
To month with weary pain.
It is to suffer this,
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel.
Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
It is last stage of all —
When we are frozen up within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves,
To hear the world applaud the hollow ghost
Which blamed the living man.
- MATTHEW ARNOLD.
TO MY GRANDMOTHER.
THIS Relative of mine,
By the canvas may be seen
Beneath a summer tree,
Has a charm;
Her ringlets are in taste;
What an arm! . . . what a waist
Her lips are sweet as love;
They are parting! Do they move?
Are they dumb?
Her eyes are blue, and beam
What funny fancy slips
Fair Sorceress in paint,
That good-for-nothing Time
Saw this Lady, in my youth,
Her locks, as white as snow, Once shamed the swarthy crow:
That fowl's avenging sprite
Her rounded form was lean,
With her needles would she sit,
Ah, perishable clay;
Her charms had dropt away
But if she heaved a sigh
With a burthen, it was, "Thy
In travail, as in tears,
With the fardel of her years
she was borne
Where the weary and the worn
Are at rest.
Oh, if you now are there,
This nether world agrees
You'll all the better please
- FREDERICK LOCKER-LAMPSON.
DOES the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day? From morn till night, my friend.
But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin. May not the darkness hide it from my face? You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Yea, beds for all who come.
- CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.