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.
Thy happy nature from the painful thought
With instinct turns, and scarcely canst thou bear
To hear me name the Grave: Thou knowest not
How large a portion of my heart is there!