Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
By Charles Stuart Calverley
I KNOW not why my soul is rack’d:
  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 infrequently I made
            A joke.
A minstrel’s fire within me burn’d.
  I’d sing, as one whose heart must break,        10
Lay upon lay: I nearly learn’d
            To shake.
All day I sang; of love, of 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;
’T is 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 seem’d 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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