Youth and Age

" TELL me, what's Love? " said Youth, one day,
To drooping Age, who crost his way. —
" It is a sunny hour of play,
" For which repentance dear doth pay;
" Repentance! Repentance!
" And this is Love, as wise men say. "

" Tell me, what 's Love? " said Youth once more,
Fearful, yet fond, of Age's lore. —
" Soft as a passing summer's wind,
" Wouldst know the blight it leaves behind?
" Repentance! Repentance!
" And this is Love — when love is o'er. "

" Tell me, what 's Love? " said Youth again,
Trusting the bliss, but not the pain.
" Sweet as a May tree's scented air —
" Mark ye what bitter fruit 't will bear,
" Repentance! Repentance!
" This, this is Love — sweet Youth, beware. "

Just then, young Love himself came by,
And cast on Youth a smiling eye;
Who could resist that glance's ray?
In vain did Age his warning say,
" Repentance! Repentance! "
Youth laughing went with Love away.
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