Lines by Robert Southey.

[From an Unpublished Autograph.]

The days of Infancy are all a dream,1
How fair, but oh ! how short they seem2
’Tis Life’s sweet opening Spring !3
The days of Youth advance :4
The bounding limb, the ardent glance,5
The kindling soul they bring6
It is Life’s burning Summer time.7
Manhood—matured with wisdom’s fruit,8
Reward of Learning’s deep pursuit9
Succeeds, as Autumn follows Summer’s prime.10
And that, and that, alas ! goes by ;11
And what ensues ?  The languid eye,12
The failing frame, the soul o’ercast ;13
’Tis Winter’s sickening, withering blast,14
Life’s blessed season—for it is the last.15