Old Ben

Sad is old Ben Tristlewaite,
Now his day is done,
And all his children
Far away are gone.

He sits beneath his jasmined porch,
His stick between his knees,
His eyes fixed, vacant,
On his moss-grown trees.

Grass springs in the green path,
His flowers are lean and dry,
His thatch hangs in wisps against
The evening sky.

He has no heart to care now,
Though the winds will blow
Whistling in his casement,
And the rain drip through.

He thinks of his old Bettie,
How she would shake her head and say,
" You'll live to wish my sharp old tongue
Could scold — some day. "

But as in pale high autumn skies
The swallows float and play,
His restless thoughts pass to and fro,
But nowhere stay.

Soft, on the morrow, they are gone;
His garden then will be
Denser and shadier and greener,
Greener the moss-grown tree.
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