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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

For an Old Poet

By Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855–1896)

WHEN he is old and past all singing,

Grant, kindly Time, that he may hear

The rhythm through joyous Nature ringing,

Uncaught by any duller ear.

Grant that, in memory’s deeps still cherished,

Once more may murmur low to him

The winds that sung in years long perished,

Lit by the suns of days grown dim.

Grant that the hours when first he listened

To bird-songs manhood may not know,

In fields whose dew for lovers glistened,

May come back to him ere he go.

Grant only this, O Time most kindly,

That he may hear the song you sung

When love was new—and, hearkening blindly,

Feign his o’er-wearied spirit young.

With sound of rivers singing round him,

On waves that long since flowed away,

Oh, leave him, Time, where first Love found him,

Dreaming To-morrow in To-day!