Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
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Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
 
Love and Age
By Thomas Love Peacock
 
I PLAY’D with you ’mid cowslips blowing,
  When I was six and you were four;
When garlands weaving, flower-balls throwing,
  Were pleasures soon to please no more.
Thro’ groves and meads, o’er grass and heather,        5
  With little playmates, to and fro,
We wander’d hand in hand together;
  But that was sixty years ago.
 
You grew a lovely roseate maiden,
  And still our early love was strong;        10
Still with no care our days were laden,
  They glided joyously along;
And did I love you very dearly—
  How dearly words want power to show;
I thought your heart was touched as nearly;        15
  But that was fifty years ago.
 
Then other lovers came around you,
  Your beauty grew from year to year,
And many a splendid circle found you
  The center of its glittering sphere.        20
I saw you then, first vows forsaking,
  On rank and wealth your hand bestow;
O, then, I thought my heart was breaking,—
  But that was forty years ago.
 
And I lived on, to wed another:        25
  No cause she gave me to repine;
And when I heard you were a mother,
  I did not wish the children mine.
My own young flock, in fair progression,
  Made up a pleasant Christmas row:        30
My joy in them was past expression;—
  But that was thirty years ago.
 
You grew a matron plump and comely,
  You dwelt in fashion’s brightest blaze;
My earthly lot was far more homely;        35
  But I too had my festal days.
No merrier eyes have ever glisten’d
  Around the hearth-stone’s wintry glow,
Then when my youngest child was christen’d:—
  But that was twenty years ago.        40
 
Time past. My eldest girl was married,
  And now I am a grandsire grey;
One pet of four years old I’ve carried
  Among the wild-flower’d meads to play.
In our old fields of childish pleasure,        45
  Where now, as then, the cowslips blow,
She fills her basket’s ample measure,—
  But that is not ten years ago.
 
But tho’ first love’s impassion’d blindness
  Has pass’d away in colder light,        50
I still have thought of you with kindness,
  And shall do, till our last good-night.
The ever-rolling silent hours
  Will bring a time we shall not know,
When our young days of gathering flowers        55
  Will be an hundred years ago.
 
 
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