How young I am! Ah! heaven, this curse of youth
Doth mock me from my mirror with great eyes,
And pulsing veins repeat the unwelcome truth,
That I must live, though hope within me dies.
So young, and yet I have had all of life.
Why, men have lived to see a hundred years,
Who have not known the rapture, joy, and strife
Of my brief youth, its passion and its tears.
Oh! what are years? A ripe three score and ten
Hold often less of life, in its best sense,
Than just a twelvemonth lived by other men,
Whose high-strung souls are ardent and intense.
But having seen all depths and scaled all heights,
Having a heart love thrilled, and sorrow wrung,
Knowing all pains, all pleasures, all delights,
Now I would die--but cannot, being young.
Nothing is left me, but supreme despair;
The bitter dregs that tell of wasted wine.
Come furrowed brow, dull eye, and frosted hair
Companions fit for this old heart of mine.
Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.
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