Youth and Age.

With cheerful step the traveller1
Pursues his early way,2
When first the dimly-dawning east3
Reveals the rising day.4
He bounds along his craggy road,5
He hastens up the height,6
And all he sees and all he hears7
Administer delight.8
And if the mist, retiring slow,9
Roll round its wavy white,10
He thinks the morning vapours hide11
Some beauty from his sight.12
But when behind the western clouds13
Departs the fading day,14
How wearily the traveller15
Pursues his evening way !16
Sorely along the craggy road17
His painful footsteps creep ;18
And slow, with many a feeble pause19
He labours up the steep.20
And if the mists of night close round,21
They fill is soul with fear,22
He dreads some unseen precipice,23
Some hidden danger near.24
So cheerfully does youth begin25
Life’s pleasant morning stage ;26
Alas ! the evening traveller feels27
The fears of weary age !28