To Mrs. J.S. Blackie

Dear Friend, once, in a dream, I, looking o'er
The Past, saw the Four Seasons slow advance
Dancing, and, dancing, each her cognizance
So gave and took that neither dancer bore
Her sign, but in another's symbol wore
An amulet to lessen or enhance
Herself: till as they fast and faster dance
I see a dance and lose the dancing four.
Thus thy dear Poet, at his sportive will,
Commingling every seasonable mood
Of old and young, and the peculiar ill
Of each still healing with the other's good,
Bends to a circle life's proverbial span
Where childhood, youth, and age are unity in man.

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