Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
 
III. Adversity
“What can an old man do but die?”
Thomas Hood (1799–1845)
 
      SPRING it is cheery,
      Winter is dreary,
Green leaves hang, but the brown must fly;
      When he ’s forsaken,
      Withered and shaken,        5
What can an old man do but die?
 
      Love will not clip him,
      Maids will not lip him,
Maud and Marian pass him by;
      Youth it is sunny,        10
      Age has no honey,—
What can an old man do but die?
 
      June it was jolly,
      O for its folly!
A dancing leg and a laughing eye!        15
      Youth may be silly,
      Wisdom is chilly,—
What can an old man do but die?
 
      Friends they are scanty,
      Beggars are plenty,        20
If he has followers, I know why;
      Gold ’s in his clutches
      (Buying him crutches!)—
What can an old man do but die?
 
 
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