Love and Age

By Thomas Love Peacock


I PLAY'D with you 'mid cowslips blowing,
         When I was six and you were four;
When garlands weaving, flower-balls throwing,
         Were pleasures soon to please no more.
Through groves and meads, o'er grass and heather,
         With little playmates, to and fro,
We wander'd hand in hand together;
         But that was sixty years ago.

You grew a lovely roseate maiden,
         And still our early love was strong;
Still with no care our days were laden,
         They glided joyously along;
And I did love you very dearly,
         How dearly words want power to show;
I thought your heart was touch'd as nearly;
         But that was fifty years ago.

Then other lovers came around you,
         Your beauty grew from year to year,
And many a splendid circle found you
         The centre of its glimmering sphere.
I saw you then, first vows forsaking,
         On rank and wealth your hand bestow;
O, then I thought my heart was breaking!--
         But that was forty years ago.

And I lived on, to wed another:
         No cause she gave me to repine;
And when I heard you were a mother,
         I did not wish the children mine.
My own young flock, in fair progression,
         Made up a pleasant Christmas row:
My joy in them was past expression;
         But that was thirty years ago.

You grew a matron plump and comely,
         You dwelt in fashion's brightest blaze;
My earthly lot was far more homely;
         But I too had my festal days.
No merrier eyes have ever glisten'd
         Around the hearth-stone's wintry glow,
Than when my youngest child was christen'd;
         But that was twenty years ago.

Time pass'd. My eldest girl was married,
         And I am now a grandsire gray;
One pet of four years old I've carried
         Among the wild-flower'd meads to play.
In our old fields of childish pleasure,
         Where now, as then, the cowslips blow,
She fills her basket's ample measure;
         And that is not ten years ago.

But though first love's impassion'd blindness
         Has pass'd away in colder light,
I still have thought of you with kindness,
         And shall do, till our last good-night.
The ever-rolling silent hours
         Will bring a time we shall not know,
When our young days of gathering flowers
         Will be an hundred years ago.

DayPoems Poem No. 545
<a href="">Love and Age by Thomas Love Peacock</a>

The DayPoems Poetry Collection,
Timothy Bovee, editor

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