Ere that I say farewell to youth, and take

The homely road that leads to life’s decline,

Let me be sure again I shall not pine

To taste the bliss you bid me to forsake:

That Spring’s returning raptures will not wake

Too late repentance for abjuring mine,

Nor the old sweets I pledge me to resign

Behind them leave the bitterness of ache.

Yet is there nothing of one’s generous prime

To bear me kindred company to the end,

Some passionate longing, some belief sublime,

Some wrong to right, some failure to befriend?

Leave me but these, I care not where I wend,

But down life’s slope go hand-in-hand with Time.

Alfred Austin
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