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O FOR one hour of youthful joy!

Give back my twentieth spring ! I'd rather laugh a bright-haired boy

Than reign a gray-beard king !

Off with the wrinkled spoils of age !

Away with learning's crown! Tear out life's wisdom-written page,

And dash its trophies down!

One moment let my life-blood stream

From boyhood's fount of flame ! Give me one giddy, reeling dream

Of life all love and fame!

— My listening angel heard the prayer,

And, calmly smiling, said, “If I but touch thy silvered hair,

Thy hasty wish hath sped.

“But is there nothing in thy track

To bid thee fondly stay,
While the swift seasons hurry back

To find the wished-for day ? ”

- Ah, truest soul of womankind !

Without thee, what were life? One bliss I cannot leave behind :

I'll take — my — precious — wife!

— The angel took a sapphire pen

And wrote in rainbow dew, “The man would be a boy again,

And be a husband too !”

—“And is there nothing yet unsaid

Before the change appears ? Remember, all their gifts have fled

With those dissolving years !”

Why, yes ; for memory would recall

My fond paternal joys;
I could not bear to leave them all ;

I'll take — my — girl — and — boys!

The smiling angel dropped his pen, —

“Why this will never do ; The man would be a boy again,

And be a father too!”

And so I laughed, — my laughter woke

The household with its noise, — And wrote my dream, when morning broke,

To please the gray-haired boys.


Flash out a stream of blood-red wine !

For I would drink to other days ; And brighter shall their memory shine,

Seen flaming through its crimson blaze. The roses die, the summers fade;

But every ghost of boyhood's dream By Nature's magic power is laid

To sleep beneath this blood-red stream.

It filled the purple grapes that lay

And drank the splendors of the sun Where the long summer's cloudless day

Is mirrored in the broad Garonne; It pictures still the bacchant shapes

That saw their hoarded sunlight shed, The maidens dancing on the grapes, —

Their milk-white ankles splashed with red. Beneath these waves of crimson lie,

In rosy fetters prisoned fast,
Those flitting shapes that never die,

The swift-winged visions of the past.
Kiss but the crystal's mystic rim,

Each shadow rends its flowery chain,
Springs in a bubble from its brim

And walks the chambers of the brain.

Poor Beauty ! time and fortune's wrong

No form nor feature may withstand, -
Thy wrecks are scattered all along,

Like emptied sea-shells on the sand;
Yet, sprinkled with this blushing rain,

The dust restores each blooming girl,
As if the sea-shells moved again

Their glistening lips of pink and pearl.

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Here lies the home of schoolboy life,

With creaking stair and wind-swept hall,
And, scarred by many a truant knife,

Our old initials on the wall ;
Here rest — their keen vibrations mute -

The shout of voices known so well,
The ringing laugh, the wailing flute,

The chiding of the sharp-tongued bell.


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