Verse > Anthologies > Francis T. Palgrave, ed. > The Golden Treasury
Francis T. Palgrave, ed. (1824–1897). The Golden Treasury.  1875.
T. Campbell
CCLXXXIII. The River of Life
THE more we live, more brief appear 
  Our life's succeeding stages; 
A day to childhood seems a year, 
  And years like passing ages. 
The gladsome current of our youth,         5
  Ere passion yet disorders, 
Steals lingering like a river smooth 
  Along its grassy borders. 
But as the careworn cheek grows wan, 
  And sorrow's shafts fly thicker,  10
Ye stars, that measure life to man, 
  Why seem your courses quicker? 
When joys have lost their bloom and breath, 
  And life itself is vapid, 
Why, as we reach the Falls of Death  15
  Feel we its tide more rapid? 
It may be strange—yet who would change 
  Time's course to slower speeding, 
When one by one our friends have gone, 
  And left our bosoms bleeding?  20
Heaven gives our years of fading strength 
  Indemnifying fleetness; 
And those of youth, a seeming length, 
  Proportion'd to their sweetness. 

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