The Bijou

The Bijou;

or Annual of Literature and the Arts

compiled by William Fraser

London: William Pickering,


[Page 144] page image and link
Youth and Age
By S. T. Coleridge, Esq.
VERSE, a breeze mid blossoms straying, 1
Where Hope clings feeding like a bee, 2
Both were mine! Life went a maying 3
With Nature Hope and Poesy. 4
When I was young! 5
When I was young? — Ah, woful when! 6
Ah, for the change 'twixt now and then! 7
This house of clay not built with hands, 8
This body that does me grievous wrong 9
O'er hill and dale and sounding sands, 10
How lightly then it flashed along: — 11
Like those trim boats, unknown of yore, 12
On winding lakes and rivers wide, 13
That ask no aid of sail or oar, 14
That fear no spite of wind or tide! 15
Nought cared this body for wind or weather, 16
When youth and I lived in't together. 17

Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like, 18
Friendship is a sheltering tree; 19
O the joys that come down shower like 20
Of Beauty, Truth and Liberty. 21

[Page 145] page image and link
Ere I was old! 22
Ere I was old? Ah woful ere, 23
Which tells me youth's no longer here! 24
O youth for years so merry and sweet, 25
'Tis known that thou and I were one, 26
I'll think it but a false conceit, 27
It cannot be that thou art gone! 28
Thy vesper bell hath not yet toll'd, 29
And thou wert, aye a masker bold. 30
What strange disguise hast now put on, 31
To make believe that thou art gone? 32
I see these locks in silvery slips, 33
This dragging gait, this altered size; — 34
But spring tide blossoms on thy lips, 35
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes! 36
Life is but thought, so think I will 37
That youth and I are house-mates still. 38

from The Bijou, 1828, pp. 144-145
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