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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Changed
By Charles Stuart Calverley (1831–1884)
 
I KNOW not why my soul is racked;
  Why I ne’er smile, as was my wont:
I only know that, as a fact,
            I don’t.
 
I used to roam o’er glen and glade,        5
  Buoyant and blithe as other folk,
And not unfrequently I made
            A joke.
 
A minstrel’s fire within me burned;
  I’d sing, as one whose heart must break,        10
Lay upon lay—I nearly learned
            To shake.
 
All day I sang; of love and fame,
  Of fights our fathers fought of yore,
Until the thing almost became        15
            A bore.
 
I cannot sing the old songs now!
  It is not that I deem them low;
’Tis that I can’t remember how
            They go.        20
 
I could not range the hills till high
  Above me stood the summer moon:
And as to dancing, I could fly
            As soon.
 
The sports, to which with boyish glee        25
  I sprang erewhile, attract no more:
Although I am but sixty-three
            Or four.
 
Nay, worse than that, I’ve seemed of late
  To shrink from happy boyhood—boys        30
Have grown so noisy, and I hate
            A noise.
 
They fright me when the beech is green,
  By swarming up its stem for eggs;
They drive their horrid hoops between        35
            My legs.
 
It’s idle to repine, I know;
  I’ll tell you what I’ll do instead:
I’ll drink my arrowroot, and go
            To bed.        40
 
 
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