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Crook-backed he was, tooth-shaken, and blear-eyed,
Went on three feet and sometime crept on four,
With old lame bones that rattled by his side;
His scalp all piled, and he with eld forelore,
His wither'd fist still knocking at death's door;
Fumbling and drivelling as he draws his breath;
For brief, the shape and messenger of death.
So mayest thou live till, like ripe fruit, thou drop
Into thy mother's lap, or be with ease
Gathered, not harshly plucked, for death mature.
This is old age, but then thou must outlive
Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change
To withered, weak, and grey.
O my coevals! remnants of yourselves!
Poor human ruins, tottering o'er the grave!
Shall we, shall aged men, like aged trees,
Strike deeper their vile root, and closer cling,
Still more enamoured of this wretched soil?
Shall our pale, withered hands be still stretched out,
Trembling at once with eagerness and age?
With avarice and convulsions griping hard?
Grasping at air! For what has earth beside?
Man wants but little, nor that little long:
How soon must he resign his very dust,
Which frugal nature lent him for an hour!-Young.
Age should fly concourse, cover in retreat
Defects of judgment, and the will subdue;
Walk thoughtful on the silent solemn shore
Of that vast ocean it must sail so soon;
And put good works on board; and wait the wind
That shortly blows us into worlds unknown.-Young.
But were death frightful, what has age to fear?
If prudent, age should meet the friendly foe,
And shelter in his hospitable gloom.
The seas are quiet when the winds are o'er,
So calm are we, when passions are no more!
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.
Clouds of affection from our youthful eyes
Conceal the emptiness which age descries:
The soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed,
Lets in new lights through chinks that time has made.
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home;
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the new.
The fruits of age, less fair, are yet more sound
Than those a brighter season pours around;
And, like the stores autumnal suns mature,
Through wintry regions unimpaired endure.-Cowper.
Age, by long experience well informed,
Well read, well tempered, with religion warmed,
That fire abated which impels rash youth,
Proud of his speed, to overshoot the truth,
As time improves the grape's authentic juice,
Mellows and makes the speech more fit for use,
And claims a reverence, in his shortening day,
That 't is an honour and a joy to pay. Cowper.
The grace, the gentleness of virtuous age!
Though solemn, not austere; though wisely dead
To passion, and the wildering dreams of hope,
Not unalive to tenderness and truth,
The good old man is honoured and revered,
And breathes upon the young-limbed race around
A grey and venerable charm of years.
Robert Montgomery. Youth, with swift feet, walks onward in the way,
The land of joy lies all before his eyes; Age, stumbling, lingers slower day by day, Still looking back, for it behind him lies.
Frances Ann Kemble.
Oh! Youth is firmly bound to earth,
When hope beams on each comrade's glance: His bosom-chords are tuned to mirth,
Like harp-strings in the cheerful dance;
But Age has felt those ties unbound,
Which fixed him to that spot of ground
Where all his household comforts lay;
He feels his freezing heart grow cold,
He thinks of kindred in the mould,
And cries, amid his grief untold,
“I would not live alway.”
He passeth calmly from that sunny morn,
Where all the buds of youth are newly born,
Through varying intervals of onward years,
Until the eve of his decline appears;
And while the shadows round his path descend,
And down the vale of age his footsteps tend,
Peace o'er his bosom sheds her soft control,
And throngs of gentlest memories charm the soul;
Then, weaned from earth, he turns his steadfast eye
Beyond the grave, whose verge he falters nigh,
Surveys the brightening regions of the blest,
And, like a wearied pilgrim, sinks to rest.
Willis G. Clark. The aged christian stands upon the shore
Of Time, a storehouse of experience,
Filled with the treasures of rich heavenly lore;
I love to sit and hear him draw from thence
Sweet recollections of his journey past,
A journey crowned with blessings to the last.
Mrs. St. Leon Loud.
Why should old age escape unnoticed here,
That sacred era to reflection dear?
That peaceful shore where passion dies away,
Like the last wave that ripples o’er the bay;
O, if old age were cancelled from our lot,
Full soon would man deplore the unhallowed blot!
Life's busy day would want its tranquil even,
And earth would lose her stepping-stone to Heaven.
ALMIGHTY. I am the Almighty God.--Genesis, xvii. 1.
If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.
Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.
For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.--Job, xxii. 23, 25, 26.
And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty.--Ezekiel, i. 24.
THESE are thy glorious works, Parent of good;
Almighty! this thy univeral frame,
Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable! who sitt'st above the heavens,
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels! for ye behold him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing: ye in heaven,
On earth, join all ye creatures to extol
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
What though th' Almighty's regal throne
High o'er yon azure heaven's exalted dome,
By mortal eye unkenned; where east, nor west,
Nor south, nor blustering north has breath to blow:
Albeit he then with angels and with saints
Holds conference, and to his radiant host
E'en face to face, stands visibly confest;
Yet know that not in presence nor in power,
Shines he less perfect here: 't is man's dim eye
That makes the obscurity. Christopher Stuart.
Tell me, hast ever thought upon the Being
Whom we Almighty call? Hast ever sent
Thy prayerful thoughts unto His holy throne?
And felt His power, and trembled at the thought?
If not, I cannot call thee man! thou art.
A stone, a clod, a dull insensate thing.-old Play.
Almighty Father, gracious Lord,
Kind "guardian of my days,
Thy mercies let my heart record
In songs of grateful praise.
In life's first dawn, my tender frame,
Was thy indulgent care,
Long ere I could pronounce thy name,
Or breathe the infant prayer.
Each rolling year new favours brought
From thy exhaustless store;
But ah! in vain my lab'ring thought,
Would count thy mercies o'er.
While sweet reflection, through my days,
Thy bounteous hand would trace;
Still dearer blessings claim my praise,
The blessings of thy grace.
Almighty Father of mankind,
On thee my hopes remain;
And, when the day of trouble comes,
I shall not trust in vain.
Thou art our kind preserver, from
The cradle to the tomb,
And I was cast upon thy care,
E'en from my mother's womb.
Thou wilt not cast me off, when age
And evil days descend;
Thou wilt not leave me in despair
To mourn my latter end.
Therefore in life I'll trust in thee,
In death I will adore;
And after death will sing thy praise,
When time shall be no more.