On Growing Old

Be with me, Beauty, for the fire is dying;
My dog and I are old, too old for roving.
Man, whose young passion sets the spindrift flying,
Is soon too lame to march, too cold for loving.
I take the book and gather to the fire,
Turning old yellow leaves; minute by minute
The clock ticks to my heart. A withered wire,
Moves a thiun ghost of music in the spinet.
I cannot sail your seas, I cannot wander
Your cornland, nor your hill-land, nor your valleys
Ever again, nore share the battle yonder
Where the young knight the broken squadron rallies.
Only stay quiet while my mind remembers
The beauty of fire from the beauty of embers.

Beauty, have pity! for the strong have power,
The rich their wealth, the beautiful their grace,
Summer of man its sunlight and its flower.
Spring-time of man, all April in a face.
Only, as in the jostling in the Strand,
Where the mob thrusts, or loiters, or is loud,
The beggar with the saucer in his hand
Asks only a penny from the passing crowd,
So, from this glittering world with all its fashion,
Its fire, and play of men, its stir, its march,
Let me have wisdom, Beauty, wisdom and passion,
Bread to the soul, rain when the summers parch.
Give me but these, and though the darkness close
Even the night will blossom as the rose.

by John Masefield

Other poems of MASEFIELD (44)

Comments (9)

Heil Hans, yes master.
The three spelling errors did not at all prohibit me to enjoy the poem thoroughly. It is a wonderful piece of poetry, extremely well written and very rich in meaning. PS to Juan and Adeline: if the spelling is so much on your nerve, just copy it and paste it in word, correct the spelling and go on and fully enjoy the poem. :) Always look at the bright side of life :)
I am old. The last four lines are welcomed.
A thoughtful poem and a positive finish. The poem really rings in the mind.
Put aside the misspellings and your devotion to SPELLCHECK, please, and tell us how someone's error in scanning the poem on the computer 'detracts from the TRUE meaning of the poem'? What do you think the true meaning is, as opposed to a false meaning? Perhaps you were distracted from concentrating, is that it?
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