To Penelope Brice

Shall clamorous youth alone our lyres engage ?
Go, look at Brice and learn the charms of age !
What though thy vigour slumbers in thy years ?
What though thy brow a trace of ruin wears ?
Yet it is ruin lovely in decay,
And time has added where it took away.
Here homeless Charity a home doth find,
Here Goodness comes and leaves her frowns behind,
And genial Wit to friendship fast allied,
And Wisdom ripe by long experience tried,
And Hope that panting for a happier sphere
Soars from the clouds that still attend her here.
For little recks it how the morn may shine,
Kind Fate cheats many with a dawn divine ;
And bright as fancy decks the coming day,
Still doubt and chance beset the wanderer's way :
And youth must know the storms of many a sea,
And only age from every storm is free ;
Nor until evening comes with cloudless skies
Can certain peace within the heart arise.

But thou hast weathered all the storms we fear-
That evening's thine, and evening's rest is near.
And as the swan the envy of the shore
Still sings its sweetest ere it sings no more,
So thy last tones their matchless music give,
And e'en in dying teach us how to live.

by Richard Crawley

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