Francis William Bourdillon

(22 March 1852 – 13 January 1921 / Runcorn, Cheshire)

Old And Young Poem by Francis William Bourdillon


LONG ago, on a bright spring day,
I passed a little child at play;
And as I passed, in childish glee
She called to me, “Come and play with me!”

But my eyes were fixed on a far-off height
I was fain to climb before the night;
So, half-impatient, I answered, “Nay!
I am too old, too old to play.”

Long, long after, in Autumn time—
My limbs were grown too old to climb—
I passed a child on a pleasant lea,
And I called to her, “Come and play with me!”

But her eyes were fixed on a fairy-book;
And scarce she lifted a wondering look,
As with childish scorn she answered, “Nay!
I am too old, too old to play!”

Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

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