Alfred Austin (May 30, 1835 – June 2, 1913) was an English poet who was appointed Poet Laureate in 1896 upon the death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
A FAREWELL TO YOUTH
Ere that I say farewell to youth, and take
The homely road that leads to life’s decline,
Let me be sure again I shall not pine
To taste the bliss you bid me to forsake:
That Spring’s returning raptures will not wake
Too late repentance for abjuring mine,
Nor the old sweets I pledge me to resign
Behind them leave the bitterness of ache.
Yet is there nothing of one’s generous prime
To bear me kindred company to the end,
Some passionate longing, some belief sublime,
Some wrong to right, some failure to befriend?
Leave me but these, I care not where I wend,
But down life’s slope go hand-in-hand with Time.
Should fickle hands in far-off days
No longer stroke thy hair,
And lips that once were proud to praise
Forget to call thee fair,
Sigh but my name, and though I be
Mute in the churchyard mould,
I will arise and come to thee,
And worship as of old.
And should I meet the wrinkled brow,
Or find the silver tress,
What were’t to me, it would be thou,
I could not love thee less.
‘Gainst love time wages bootless strife,
What now is would be then;
The cry that brought me back to life
Would make thee young again.