Youth and Age

When in our blithest youth we sing,
We sing our saddest — slack the string
Of music into saddest key,
And sob, with voices quavering
In pangs of melody.

When in maturer years —
When grown acquaint with sighs and tears —
Our voices ring a lighter tone,
Our perverse harp peals o'er the moan —
A paean of hope that lifts and cheers.

And last, in age's bleak extreme,
With youth, life, love, all — all a dream,
What glad songs leap
To our glad lips — what raptures gleam
In the old eyes — too glad to weep.
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