The Answer

Sweet is the memory of youthful days;
Sweet are thy strains that, struck from Petrarch's shell,
Lull the fond echoes of Valclusa's dell;
Sweet is thy friendly voice, the note of praise.
Now have we trod Life's steep and thorny ways,
And many a melancholy tale can tell
Of pains and miseries on the road that dwell;
Unlike the flowery paths where Fancy plays.
Since those delightful hours, too quickly flown!
Distant and various though our course has been,
Thy track in Senates, Halls, and Courts, has shone,
Mine in the shadowy vale has pass'd unseen;
Alas! too surely both, for we are men,
Life's pangs and sad impertinence have known.
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