The Old Year

See how soon doth fade,
The dark locks from the forehead where they wave
Silver gleams round the temples gently lave
'Tis where age hath laid
His fingers, and hath marked them for the grave.

Yet the hoary hair
Is hallowed when it decks a noble head.
And the year that is now so nearly sped
In its snow is fair
And honoured, and will find a fitting bed.
You have seen the hair
Of children falling down in ringlets white
Watched it grow more fair,
As day grows when the sun comes clear and bright.

Growing to the brown
Of manhood, that should come with coming years,
Deepening as maturity appears,
While youth's touches drown
Before you, and you see no cause for tears.

For the strength of man
Is better than the freshness of the child
As the bloom than the bud young, sweet and mild.
But 'tis short—this span
Of manhood—e'er of strength we are beguiled.

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