See him quake and see him tremble,
See him gasp for breath.
Nay, dear, he does not dissemble,
This is really Death.
He is weak, and worn, and wasted,
Bear him to his bier.
All there is of life he's tasted--
He has lived a year.
He has passed his day of glory,
All his blood is cold,
He is wrinkled, thin, and hoary,
He is very old.
Just a leaf's life in the wild wood,
Is a love's life, dear.
He has reached his second childhood
When he's lived a year.
Long ago he lost his reason,
Lost his trust and faith--
Better far in his first season
Had he met with death.
Let us have no pomp or splendour,
No vain pretence here.
As we bury, grave, yet tender,
Love that's lived a year.
All his strength and all his passion,
All his pride and truth,
These were wasted, spendthrift fashion,
In his fiery youth.
Since for him life holds no beauty
Let us shed no tear,
As we do the last sad duty--
Love has lived a year.
Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.
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