Questions and Answers

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Questions and Answers  (1852) 
by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Where, oh where are the visions of morning,
  Fresh as the dews of our prime?
Gone, like tenants that quit without warning,
  Down the back entry of time.

Where, oh where are life's lilies and roses,
  Nursed in the golden dawn's smile?
Dead as the bulrushes round little Moses,
  On the old banks of the Nile.

Where are the Marys, and Anns, and Elizas,
  Loving and lovely of yore?
Look in the columns of old Advertisers,—
  Married and dead by the score.

Where the gray colts and the ten-year-old fillies,
  Saturday's triumph and joy?
Gone, like our friend πόὂας ὠκὺς Achilles,
  Homer's ferocious old boy.

Die-away dreams of ecstatic emotion,
  Hopes like young eagles at play,
Vows of unheard-of and endless devotion,
  How ye have faded away!

Yet, though the ebbing of Time's might river
  Leave our young blossoms to die,
Let him roll smooth in his current forever,
  Til the last pebble is dry.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.