Old age is gentle as an autumn morn;
The harvest over, you will put the plough
Into another, stronger hand, and watch
The sowing you were wont to do.
Is like an alabaster room, with soft
White curtains. All is light, but light so mild,
So quiet, that it cannot hurt.
Are hushed, for life is wild no more with strife,
Nor breathless uphill work, nor heavy with
The brewing tempests, which have torn away
So much, that nothing more remains to fear.
What once was hope, is gone. You know. You saw
The worst, and not a sigh is left of all
The heavy sighs that tore your heart, and not
A tear of all those tears that burnt your cheeks,
And ploughed the forrows into them.
How others work again and weep again,
And hope and fear. Thy alabaster room
With marble floor and dainty hangings has
A look so still, that others wonder why
They feel it churchlike. All thy life is here;
Thy life hath built the vault and paved it, and
Thy hands have woven yonder curtains that
Surround thy seat, a shady sunshine.
Is feeble not to thee, as all thy wishes
Are silent and demand no effort. Age
is kind to thee, allows thee all the rest
That never came, when life was hard and toilsome.
Receive it with a smile and clothe thyself
In white, in Nature's silver crown, and sing
A lullaby of promise and of comfort.
Tell them that life is precious, after work,
And after grief and after all the deaths,
And not a loathsome burden of a life.
Old age is like a room of alabaster,
The curtains silken; thou art priest and Druid!
No mystery for thee, but Light from heaven!