Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
III. “Long time a child”
By Hartley Coleridge (1796–1849)
LONG time a child, and still a child, when years
  Had painted manhood on my cheek, was I;
  For yet I lived like one not born to die:
  A thriftless prodigal of smiles and tears,
No hope I needed, and I knew no fears.        5
  But sleep, though sweet, is only sleep; and waking,
  I waked to sleep no more; at once o’ertaking
  The vanguard of my age, with all arrears
Of duty on my back.—Nor child, nor man,
  Nor youth, nor sage, I find my head is gray,        10
  For I have lost the race I never ran;
A rathe December blights my lagging May;
  And still I am a child, though I be old:
  Time is my debtor for my years untold.

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