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[321]

For around this sixteenth lustre
Of our friend's, such memories cluster
Of the days that lie behind it, full of glories and regrets,
Days that brought their toils and troubles,
Lit by some irradiant bubbles
Which became prismatic opals in the sun that never sets.

Picnics have we held together
Sailing in the summer weather,
Sitting low to taste the chowder on the sands of Newport Bay,
And that wonderful charade, sir,
You know well, sir, that you made, sir,
When so many years of earnest did invite an hour of play. ...

He shall rank now with the sages
Who survive in classic pages,
English, German, French and Latin, Greek, so weary to construe;
Did he con his Epictetus
Ere he came to-night to greet us?
He, δώριστος in reverence, among the learned few.

He may climb no more the mountain,
But he still employs the fountain
Pen from whose incisive point pure Helicon may flow,
And his “Yesterdays” so cheerful
Charm the world so wild and tearful,
And the Devil calls for copy, and he never answers “No.”

Do I speak for everybody,
When I utter this rhapsody,
To induce our friend to keep his pace in following Life's incline;
Never slacken, but come on, sir,
Eighty-four years I have won, sir;
Still the olive branch shall bless you, still the laurel wreath entwine!

So, you scribbling youths and lasses,
Elders, too, fill high your glasses!
Let the toast be Wentworth Higginson, of fourscore years possest;
If the Man was good at twenty,
He is four times that now, ain't he?
We declare him four times excellent, and better than his best.


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