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[20]

Sixty and six: or, a fountain of youth.

Fons, delicium domus. Martial.

joy of the morning,
Darling of dawning,
Blithe little, lithe little daughter of mine!
While with thee ranging
Sure I'm exchanging

Sixty of my years for six years like thine.
Wings cannot vie with thee,
Lightly I fly with thee

Gay as the thistle-down over the lea.
Life is all magic,
Comic or tragic,

Played as thou playest it daily with me.
Floating and ringing,
Thy merry singing [21]
Comes when the light comes, like that of the birds.
List to the play of it!
That is the way of it;
All's in the music and nought in the words.
Glad or grief-laden,
Schubert or Haydn,
Ballad of Erin or merry Scotch lay;
Like an evangel,
Some baby-angel
Brought from sky-nursery stealing away.

Surely I know it,
Artist nor poet
Guesses my treasure of jubilant hours.
Sorrows, what are they?
Nearer or far, they
Vanish in sunshine, like dew from the flowers.
Years, I am glad of them;
Would that I had of them
More and yet more, while thus mingled with thine
Age, I make light of it,
Fear not the sight of it,
Time's but our playmate, whose toys are divine.

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