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Belated Bard

by
 The songs I made from joy of earth
 In wanton wandering,
Are rapturous with Maytime mirth
 And ectasy of Spring.
But all the songs I sing today Take tediously the ear: Novemberishly dark are they With mortuary fear.
For half a century has gone Since first I rang a rhyme; And that is long to linger on The tolerance of Time.
This blue-veined hand with which I write Yet answers to my will; Though four-score years I count to-night I am unsilent still.
"Senile old fool!" I hear you say; "Beside the dying fire You huddle and stiff-fingered play Your tired and tinny lyre.
" Well, though your patience I may try, Bear with me yet awhile, And though you scorn my singing I Will thank you with a smile.
For I such soul-delighting joy Have found in simple rhyme, Since first a happy-hearted boy I coaxed a word to chime, That ere I tryst with Mother Earth Let from my heart arise A song of youth and starry mirth .
.
.
Then close my eyes.

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