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Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made :
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “ A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be
Not that, amassing flowers,
Youth sighed “ Which rose make ours,
Which lily leave and then as best recall ?”
Not that, admiring stars,
It yearned “ Nor Jove, nor Mars ;
Mine be some figured flame which blends, transcends
Not for such hopes and fears,
Annulling youth's brief years,
Do I remonstrate, — folly wide the mark !
Rather I prize the doubt
Low kinds exist without,
Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark.
Poor vaunt of life indeed,
Were man but formed to feed
On joy, to solely seek and find and feast:
Such feasting ended, then
As sure an end to men;
Irks care the crop-full bird ? Frets doubt the maw-
. 5. Rejoice we are allied To That which doth provide And not partake, effect and not receive ! A spark disturbs our clod; Nearer we hold of God Who gives, than of His tribes that take, I must believe.
Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns earth's smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand, but go!
Be our joys three parts pain !
Strive, and hold cheap the strain ;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the
For thence - a paradox
Which comforts while it mocks —
Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail:
What I aspired to be,
And was not, comforts me:
A brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the
What is he but a brute
Whose flesh hath soul to suit,
Whose spirit works lest arms and legs want play?
To man, propose this test -
Thy body at its best,
How far can that project thy soul on its lone way?
Yet gifts should prove their use :
I own the Past profuse
Of power each side, perfection every turn :
Eyes, ears took in their dole,
Brain treasured up the whole ;
Should not the heart beat once “ How good to live and
10. Not once beat“ Praise be Thine! I see the whole design, I, who saw Power, shall see Love perfect too: Perfect I call Thy plan : Thanks that I was a man! Maker, remake, complete, - I trust what Thou shalt do!”
For pleasant is this flesh ;
Our soul, in its rose-mesh
Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest:
Would we some prize might hold
To match those manifold
Possessions of the brute, - gain most, as we did best