Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
575. Si Jeunesse Savait!
By Edmund Clarence Stedman
WHEN the veil from the eyes is lifted
  The seer’s head is gray;
When the sailor to shore has drifted
  The sirens are far away.
Why must the clearer vision,        5
  The wisdom of Life’s late hour,
Come, as in Fate’s derision,
  When the hand has lost its power?
Is there a rarer being,
  Is there a fairer sphere        10
Where the strong are not unseeing,
  And the harvests are not sere;
Where, ere the seasons dwindle,
  They yield their due return;
Where the lamps of knowledge kindle        15
  While the flames of youth still burn?
O, for the young man’s chances!
  O, for the old man’s will!
Those flee while this advances,
  And the strong years cheat us still.        20


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