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1 Am not apt to grieve at anything.

But when I see old age in infancy.

The body wasted, and the mind decayed,

I must perforce be sad, a little sad!—

1 follow up the current of my life,

And trace myself thereto; and when I think

I may be witless in my childishness,

1 cannot help but feel a bitter sorrow.

There was an old man dwelling hereabouts,
A year or two ago, perchance you knew him?
And yet I know not how you should at all,—
He might be ninety, or an hundred, sir;—
He had forgot his age, and all his kin,
And those who knew him in his early days
Wen dead, or absent, or oblivious of it;
He stood alone, like some decaying tree!
The leaves of love had fallen from his boughs.
The blossoms of affection passed away,
The ripe fruits dropped into the dust of Earth.
And Death had garnered them, and he was left
A monumental mockery of Life.

P faith, he was a sight to look upon,
Humpbacked and double, leaning on his stall!
His hair was scattered, very thin and white,
Like the last snow of winter! Time had ploughed
His crooked furrows o'er his wrinkled brow;
The sharp lines of old troubles scarred his checks
Sallow and sunken; and his pale blue eyes
!Heaven was not bluer once) were bleared and dim;
His voice was cracked and feeble, and his laugh
Was but a bitter jest at morriment.

He lived hard by us, with a family
Who kept him out of pity—till he died;
He loved to sit for hours in vacancy,
In lonely chambers, where the autumn sun
Stole through the lifted curtains on the floor;
The children used to come behind his chair
And climb the back and pat his faded cheek.
And sleek his scattered tresses o'er his brow;
He hardly heeded it, and when he did,
Turning around a moment with a smile,
He soon relapsed into his former state
And went off in his ancient doze again.
One day he rallied, and the powers of Life
Rose boldly in the crumbling citadel,
And battled with the stern besieger, Death!
He left Iils chair, and sauntered o'er the house.
I An idle walker, with his hands behind;)
248

Pausing before the portraits on the walls.

The playmates of his boyhood, dead and gone;

He 1mwed to this and that, and muttered o'er

A thousand things connected with their youth.

And told old stories to the wondering folks,

Dull, tedious stories, pointless everywhere.

The sun shone out; he took his hat and staff.

And tottered o'er the bleak and fading fields;

The children followed him, and gathered flower.-:

(A few frail antumn violets were left

Along the sheltered sides of sunny hills;)

They tied a nosegay in his button-hole,

And then he shouted like a little lad.

And chased them down the pathways, but, alas'—

He could not catch the youngest, tiny Bess .

Who tottered as she ran! The night drew near.

And he came home a-coughing bitterly.

Spent and exhausted with a deadly cold!

When prayers were said, he knelt with all the rest,

(A thing he had not done for years before,)

And said, as if by rote, as children do,

The Lord's Prayer and the Creed, and when he went

To bed that night, he kissed the family

And chattered in a sweet simplicity.

Next morn, the ground was knec-dcep in the snow. And he could walk no longer in the fields, And he sat down and wept like any boy, Robbed of a littlo promised holiday! And after that, the old familiar friends He used to know, the babe he used to kiss. The miniature he wore around his neck, (It was his dear dead wife's,) were all forgot: Oblivion wrapt his memory in a shroud, And laid it in his grove. He lingered on Till the New Year, and then he fell asleep! The gossips bore the news about the town. And all came flocking to his burial; I saw him in his coffin, white and calmHis hands enfolded on his aged breast, a Holding a little bunch of winter flowers! He had no relatives to follow him And weep around his grave; but, standing then-. I felt the old relationship of Adam, And turned away to hide my gushing tears, Praying the Lord to keep me through my youth. And if I lived, to watch above my age. And take me to himself in Paradise!

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SUNG BY MISS JULIA DALY IN THE OPERA OP GUY MANNERING.

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