Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
III. Adversity
The Approach of Age
George Crabbe (1754–1832)
From “Tales of the Hall”

SIX years had passed, and forty ere the six,
When Time began to play his usual tricks:
The locks once comely in a virgin’s sight,
Locks of pure brown, displayed the encroaching white;
The blood, once fervid, now to cool began,        5
And Time’s strong pressure to subdue the man.
I rode or walked as I was wont before,
But now the bounding spirit was no more;
A moderate pace would now my body heat,
A walk of moderate length distress my feet.        10
I showed my stranger guest those hills sublime,
But said, “The view is poor, we need not climb.”
At a friend’s mansion I began to dread
The cold neat parlor and the gay glazed bed;
At home I felt a more decided taste,        15
And must have all things in my order placed.
I ceased to hunt; my horses pleased me less,—
My dinner more; I learned to play at chess.
I took my dog and gun, but saw the brute
Was disappointed that I did not shoot.        20
My morning walks I now could bear to lose,
And blessed the shower that gave me not to choose.
In fact, I felt a languor stealing on;
The active arm, the agile hand, were gone;
Small daily actions into habits grew,        25
And new dislike to forms and fashions new.
I loved my trees in order to dispose;
I numbered peaches, looked how stocks arose;
Told the same story oft,—in short, began to prose.

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