Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
882. Post-Meridian
By Wendell Phillips Garrison

WHEN in thy glass thou studiest thy face,
Not long, nor yet not seldom, half repelled
And half attracted; when thou hast beheld
Of Time’s slow ravages the crumbling trace,
(Deciphered now with many an interspace        5
The characters erewhile that Beauty spelled),
And in thy throat a choking fear hath swelled
Of Love, grown cold, eluding thy embrace:
Couldst thou but read my gaze of tenderness—
Affection fused with pity—precious tears        10
Would bring relief to thy unjust distress;
Thy visage, even as it to me appears,
Would seem to thee transfigured; thou wouldst bless
Me, who am also, Dearest! scarred with years.

AGE cannot wither her whom not gray hairs
Nor furrowed cheeks have made the thrall of Time;
For Spring lies hidden under Winter’s rime,
And violets know the victory is theirs.
Even so the corn of Egypt, unawares,
Proud Nilus shelters with engulfing slime;        20
So Etna’s hardening crust a more sublime
Volley of pent-up fires at last prepares.
O face yet fair, if paler, and serene
With sense of duty done without complaint!
O venerable crown!—a living green,        25
Strength to the weak, and courage to the faint—
Thy bleaching locks, thy wrinkles, have but been
Fresh beads upon the rosary of a saint!


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