At My Looking-Glass.

I loved thee well in ‘ salad days,’1
For ever flown,2
O faithful friend, whose honest face3
Reflects my own.4
Nor do I mete thee scanter praise5
(Sincerity is hard to find),6
Now Time has distanced in the race,7
And left me panting far behind8
Heigh-ho !—9
Another weary mile or so.10
How well I recollect the hours11
I used to spend12
Before thee once—in years gone by,13
My trusty friend.14
Oh, April youth ! Oh, sun and showers !15
Pray, don’t expect me to confess16
How long I took to knot my tie,17
The day that I proposed to Jess.18
(Alack !19
She boxed my ears—and married Jack.)20
And now I wear—well, never mind,21
(Time’s ruthless shears !)22
And Jess—why, bless you, she’s been dead23
These twenty years !24
The fruit of Life is gone—the rind25
Is somewhat bitter to the taste.26
Oh, vain regrets for pleasures fled27
For days when I possessed—a waist.28
But stay ;29
I’ll brush the sorry imps away.30
Ah, if some scientific man31
Would but invent32
A looking-glass wherein to find33
One’s moral bent,34
A tell-tale mirror—there to scan35
Each petty failing that appears36
The cynic furrows of the mind,37
That gather with increasing years.38
Ah, well,39
I fear those glasses would not—sell.40