I am not old,—I cannot be old,

Though threescore years and ten
Have wasted away, like a tale that is told,

The lives of other men :

I am not old ; though friends and foes

Alike have gone to their graves,
And left me alone to my joys or my woes,

As a rock in the midst of the waves :

I am not old, I cannot be old,

Though tottering, wrinkled, and gray ; Though my eyes are dim, and my marrow is cold,

Call me not old to-day.

For, early memories round me throng,

Old times, and manners, and men,
As I look behind on my journey so long

Of threescore miles and ten;

I look behind, and am once more young,

Buoyant, and brave, and bold, And my

heart can sing, as of yore it sung, Before they called me old.

I do not see her—the old wife there

Shrivelled, and haggard, and gray, But I look on her blooming, and soft, and fair,

As she was on her wedding-day :

I do not see you, daughters and sons,

In the likeness of women and men,
But I kiss you now as I kissed you once,

My fond little children then :

And, as my own grandson rides on my knee,

Or plays with his hoop or kite,
I can well recollect I was merry as he-

The bright-eyed little wight!

'Tis not long since,-it cannot be long,–

My years so soon were spent, Since I was a boy, both straight and strong,

Yet now am I feeble and bent.

A dream, a dream,-it is all a dream!

A strange, sad dream, good sooth; For old as I am, and old as I seem,

My heart is full of youth :

Eye hath not seen, tongue hath not told,

And ear hath not heard it sung, How buoyant and bold, though it seem to grow old,

Is the heart, for ever young ;

For ever young,—though life's old age

Hath every nerve unstrung ; The heart, the heart is a heritage

That keeps the old man young!


Away with false fashion, so calm and so chill,

Where pleasure itself cannot please ;
Away with cold breeding, that faithlessly still

Affects to be quite at its ease ;
For the deepest in feeling is highest in rank,

The freest is first in the band,
And nature's own Nobleman, friendly and frank,

Is a man with his heart in his hand !

Fearless in honesty, gentle yet just,

He warmly can love,—and can hate, Nor will he bow down with his face in the dust

To Fashion's intolerant state : For best in good breeding, and highest in rank,

Though lowly or poor in the land, Is nature's own Nobleman, friendly and frank,

The man with his heart in his hand !

His fashion is passion, sincere and intense,

His impulses, simple and true,
Yet tempered by judgment, and taught by good sense,

And cordial with me, and with
For the finest in manners, as highest in rank,

It is you, man ! or you, man! who stand
Nature's own Nobleman, friendly and frank,-

A man with his heart in his hand !



Never give up! it is wiser and better

Always to hope, than once to despair;
Fling off the load of Doubt's cankering fetter,

And break the dark spell of tyrannical care :
Never give up! or the burthen may sink you,

Providence kindly has mingled the cup, And in all trials or troubles, bethink you,

The watchword of life must be, Never give up!

« ElőzőTovább »