The years which since thy birth have pass'd away
May well to thy young retrospect appear
A measureless extent:—like yesterday
To me, so soon they fill'd their short career.
To thee discourse of reason have they brought,
With sense of time and change; and something too
Of this precarious state of things have taught,
Where Man abideth never in one stay;
And of mortality a mournful thought.
And I have seen thine eyes suffused in grief.
When I have said that with autumnal grey
The touch of eld hath mark'd thy father's head;
That even the longest day of life is brief,
And mine is falling fast into the yellow leaf.