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these humourous verses by Saxe, the American poet :

I'M GROWING OLD. My days pass pleasantly away;

My nights are blest with sweetest sleep; 'I feel no symptoms of decay ;

I have no cause to mourn nor weep; My foes are impotent and shy;

My friends are neither false nor cold-
And yet, of late, I often sigh-

I'm growing old!
My growing talk of olden times,

My growing thirst for early news,
My growing apathy to rhymes,

My growing love of easy shoes,
My growing hate of crowds and noise,

My growing fear of taking cold-
All whisper in the plainest voice-

I'm growing old !
I'm growing fonder of my staff;

I'm growing dimmer in the eyes;
I'm growing fainter in my laugh;

I'm growing deeper in my sighs ;
I'm growing careless in my dress;

I'm growing frugal of my gold;
I'm growing wise ; I'm growing-yes-

I'm growing old !
I see it in my changing taste;

I see it in my changing hair ;
I see it in my growing waist ;

I see it in my growing heir;
A thousand signs proclaim the truth,

As plain as truth was ever told,
That, even in my vaunted youth,

I'm growing old !

Ah me! my very laurels breathe

The tale in my reluctant ears,
And every boon the hours bequeath

But makes me debtor to the years!
E'en flattery's honeyed words declare

The secret she would fain withhold,
And tells me in “How young you are:"

I'm growing old!
Thanks for the years !-whose rapid Alight

My sombre muse too sadly sings;
Thanks for the gleams of golden light

That tint the darkness of their wings;
The light that beams from out the sky,

Those heavenly mansions to unfold,
Where all are blest, and none may sigh,

I'm growing old !
Many of the best poets have sung-

This world is set for to deceive us even,

Pride is the net, and covetise is the train ;
For no reward (except the joy of Heaven)

Would I be young unto this world again.
The ship of faith, tempestuous wind and rain

Drive in the sea of lollardry that blaws;
My youth is gone, and I am glad and fain :
Honour, with age, to every virtue draws.

Walter KENNEDY, 15th Century.
So writes Henry Peacham-
Though age be short, and man doth, as the sun,

His journey finish in a little space,
The way is wide, an honest course begun;

And great the glories of a virtuous race,
That, at the last, do our just labours crown

With threefold wreath-love, honour,and renown. The fact has hardly been estimated as it deserves, that scholarship and brain-energy within judicious limits are highly favourable to long life.

Isaac D’Israeli (who himself worked and studied, serene and cheerful, to the age of eighty-two) says:“Let it be a source of consolation, if not of triumph, in a long studious life of true genius, to know that the imagination may not decline with the vigour of the frame that holds it; there has been no old age for many men of genius. .... The old age of the literary character retains its enjoyments and usually its powers—a happiness which accompanies no other.”

Even yet I am learning," was a device which Michael Angelo applied to his own vast genius in his ninetieth year. “ A man of letters in his sixtieth year once told me, It is but of late years that I have learned the right use of books, and the art of reading."

Our later birthdays may be said to commence at fifty, though some of the very best years of active human life are not unfrequently realised beyond that date. Ben Jonson justifies himself for being in

Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love;
Though I now write fifty years,
I have had and have my peers ;
Poets, though divine, are men-
Some have loved as old again.
And it is not always face,
Clothes, or fortune gives the grace;
Or the feature, or the youth ;
But the language and the truth,
With the ardour and the passion,
Gives the lover weight and fashion.


Lord Chancellor Hatton, at the age of fifty and more, was an ardent lover of “Good Queen Bess," whom on various occasions he entertained at his manor house of Stoke Pogis.

Full oft within the spacious walls,

When he had fifty winters o'er him, My grave lord keeper led the brawls;

The seals and maces danced before him.

His bushy beard, and shoe-strings green,

His high-crown'd hat, and satin doublet, Moved the stout heart of England's Queen,

Though Pope and Spaniard could not trouble it.

But this is the period when all that is perishable in the passion of love usually decays, often to the soul's immense advantage.

I had a heart that doted once in passion's boundless


And though the tyrant I abjured, I could not break

his chain; But now that Fancy's fire is quench’d, and ne'er

can burn anew, I've bid adieu to love for life-adieu! adieu! adieu !

I've known, if ever mortal knew, the spells of

beauty's thrall; And if my song has told them not, my soul has felt

them all; But Passion robs my peace no more, and Beauty's

witching sway Is now to me a star that's fallen-a dream that's Hail ! welcome tide of life, when no tumultuous

passed away.

billows roll, How wondrous to myself appears this halcyon calm

of soul ! The wearied bird blown o’er the deep would

sooner quit its shore Than I would cross the gulf again that time has

brought me o'er. Why say they angels feed the flame? Oh! spirits of

the skies ! Can love like ours, that dotes on dust, in heavenly

bosoms rise ? Ah, no! the hearts that best have felt its power,

the best can tell, That peace on earth itself begins when love has bid farewell.


Many hearts that have been wild and wilful are now regretful and repentant. In looking back unto my follies past,

While I the present with times past compare, And think how many hours I then did waste

Painting on clouds, and building in the air, I sigh within myself, and say in sadness, This thing, which fools call love, is nought but madness.

* * * * How vain is youth, that, crossd in his desire,

Doth fret and fume, and inwardly repine,
As though 'gainst heaven itself he would conspire

And with his frailty 'gainst his fate combine,
Who of itself continues constant still,
And doth us good ofttimes against our will.

J. C., 1628.

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