Written for a picture.
I love to look on a scene like this,
Of wild and careless play,
And persuade myself that I am not old,
And my locks are not yet gray;
For it stirs the blood in an old man's heart,
And makes his pulses fly,
To catch the thrill of a happy voice,
And the light of a pleasant eye.
I have walked the world for fourscore years;
And they say that I am old,
That my heart is ripe for the reaper, Death,
And my years are well nigh told.
It is very true; it is very true;
I'm old, and "I bide my time;"
But my heart will leap at a scene like this,
And I half renew my prime.
Play on, play on; I am with you there,
In the midst of your merry ring;
I can feel the thrill of the daring jump,
And the rush of the breathless wing,
I hide with you in the fragrant hay,
And I whoop the the smother'd call,
And my feet slip up on the seedy floor,
And I care not for the fall.
I am willing to die when my time shall come,
And I shall be glad to go;
For the world at best is a weary place,
And my pulse is getting low;
But the grave is dark, and the heart will fail
In treading its gloomy way;
And it wiles my heart from its dreariness,
To see the young so gay.