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We blame th' idolatrous divine

Who gilds and decorates his shrine,

The Deity neglected;

Yet our self-adoration blind

Is body-worship-to the mind

No reverence directed.

Greybeards there are, who thinking art Can conquer nature, play the part

Of adolescent friskers;

Swindlers and counterfeits of truth,

They strive to cheat us by false youth,

False teeth, hair, eyebrows, whiskers.

While to the frame due care I give,

No Masquerader will I live,

To no disguises pander;

But rather seek to save from blight

My mind in all its pristine plight

Of cheerfulness and candour.

A youthful cheer sustains us old,

As arrows best their course uphold

Wing'd by a lightsome feather.-

Happy the young old man who thus

Bears, like a human arbutus,

Life's flowers and fruit together.

To dark oblivion I bequeath

The ruddy cheek, brown hair, white teeth,

And eyes that brightly twinkle;

Crows' feet may plough with furrows deep

My features, if I can but keep

My mind without a wrinkle.

Young, I was never free--my soul

Still master'd by the stern control

Of some tyrannic passion;

While my poor body, servile tool!

The livery wore of fop and fool,
An abject slave of fashion.

Thanks to thy welcome touch, old age!

Which strongest chains can disengage,

The bondsman 's manumitted :

Released from labour, thraldom, strife,

I pasture in the park of life,

Unsaddled and unbitted.

If drawn for the Militia-callid

On Juries, where the heart is gall’d

With crime, chicane, disaster,

“Begone,” I cry—"avaunt! avast!

Thank heaven! I'm sixty, and at last

Am of myself free master.”

An actor once in every strife

That agitates the stage of life,

A lover, fearer, hater,

Now in senility's snug box

I sit, aloof from all their shocks,

A passive, pleased spectator.

Free-traders, Chartists, Puseyites !
Your warfare, with its wrongs and rights,

In me no rage arouses ;

I read the news, and cry, if hurt

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My friends, my home--still fill my heart

With undiminish'd rapture.

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