Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Age and Youth
By Lee Wilson Dodd
HOW little wisdom in how many years—
How little wisdom and how much of pain!
And now the slack knees tremble, the eye blears,
And mist-wreaths blur the mirror of the brain.
And Memory, in her niche, with fumbling fingers        5
Plucks at old dreams mislaid which crumble soon;
And there is naught she touches now that lingers;
And her lamp smokes and dims, a clouded moon.
And Youth, a long way off, looks sidewise over
Into the place of shadow, and stops singing        10
The immemorial lay of Love’s true lover;
While, for a space, Hope’s hand grows tried of clinging
To his limp hand, and droops careless and cold
Along the grass—and even Youth seems old.
And even Youth seems old?… But Youth is old,        15
Old as the springtide, as the April flowers.
Youth’s infinite history is a tale thrice told—
Aeons but mask them in Youth’s counted hours.
That rosebud, and the dew upon that rose,
Lack but the memory of all ages past;        20
The wavering snowflake knows not—but God knows
The winters it has lasted and shall last!
Yes, Youth is old … and Age is ever young—
A new thing in its season, a new thing;
New, and more terrible than ever tongue        25
Of fool or poet has dared to say or sing!
Yet not more terrible than Youth, that seems
A dreamer’s dream of some dead dreamer’s dreams.

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