Let dotards grieve for childhood’s days,1
And only those look back2
Whose wasted wealth or shattered health3
Betrays a shameless track :4
I cannot join in mourning time5
For ever passed away6
For whilst I look on Nature’s book7
I’m thankful for to-day !8
The trees are still as fresh and green9
As ever branches were,10
And still, in primal vigour seen,11
They wave their arms in air ;12
The rivers sing the self-same song13
That they have sung for aye,14
Whose burden, as they glide along,15
Is, ‘ God is here to-day !’16
There’s not a bird upon the bough,17
Or leaf upon the tree,18
But in the summer twilight now19
As sweetly sings to me :20
The bleakest wind that winter blows21
Can chase disease away,22
And shower blessings in the snows23
That hide the earth to-day.24
And everywhere a thousand gifts25
Invite us to rejoice26
To grieve no more the days of yore,27
But raise a thankful voice :28
That tell us, though the world were fair29
In years removed for aye,30
The earth and sky, and sea and air,31
As lovely are to-day.32
Then tell me not that childhood’s days33
Alone are fraught with joy34
That manhood’s fancy cannot raise35
The structures of the boy :36
The childish mind is lost in dreams37
Of pictures far away,38
But man beholds majestic themes39
In wonders of to-day.40
Oh ye whose eyes upbraiding rise,41
Pronouncing fate unjust42
Who walk the earth with cherished hopes43
Low trailing in the dust44
Discard a false unmanly thrall,45
Nor own so weak a sway,46
But hope in Him who gave you all,47
And thank Him for to-day !48