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Page 181

CHAPTER V
PRIVATE LETTERS 1848-1857

To AGE.(1)
Welcome, old friend ! These many years
Have we lived door by door :
The Fates have laid aside their shears
Perhaps for some few more.

I was indocil at an age
When better boys were taught,
But thou at length hast made me sage,
If I am sage in aught.

Little I know from other men,
Too little they from me,
But thou hast pointed well the pen
That writes these lines to thee.

Thanks for expelling Fear and Hope,
One vile, the other vain ;
One's scourge, the other's telescope,
I shall not see again.

Rather what lies before my feet
My notice shall engage,
He who hath braved Youth's dizzy heat
Dreads not the frost of Age.

1 Published in the Examiner, June 5, 1852, in "Last Fruit," and in Works, 1876, viii. P. 221

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