ERE I sit with eighty years Buried somewhere in my bones. I can only see the world Move along in monotones. All the peril of the sun And the laughter too are done. (Hear the fools there in the passage Talk of larger vision won!) Grace o' God, can they not see That the wisdom comes too late? Oh, my heart is bitter full Of reflections delicate On the beauty that is truth, On the art that saves, forsooth. (Hear the fools there in the passage Mourn the blindness of their youth!) I have lived the utter life, Loved the color, loved the word, Let no light die unresisting, Let no far flute fail unheard. All my days and nights are lit With a secret exquisite (Hear the little voice come calling All the weary pain of it!) Little voice that used to laugh, Little voice that used to sing— Somewhere in those eighty years— Lullaby and love-longing. I must listen, I must weep For the voice I could not keep. (Oh, the silence of the darkness Where was breath of her asleep!) Here they come to bring me praise, Here they come, there they go, Lauding loud the work I've done, Books a-many in a row. And they envy me and sigh, And they think those books are I. Fools there, with some heart to love you, Pass the larger wisdom by!
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