Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
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Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
 
Edmund Clarence Stedman. 1833–1906
 
182. Si Jeunesse Savait!
 
WHEN the veil from the eyes is lifted 
  The seer's head is gray; 
When the sailor to shore has drifted 
  The sirens are far away. 
Why must the clearer vision,         5
  The wisdom of Life's late hour, 
Come, as in Fate's derision, 
  When the hand has lost its power? 
Is there a rarer being, 
  Is there a fairer sphere  10
  
Where the strong are not unseeing, 
  And the harvests are not sere; 
Where, ere the seasons dwindle, 
  They yield their due return; 
Where the lamps of knowledge kindle  15
  While the flames of youth still burn? 
O, for the young man's chances! 
  O, for the old man's will! 
Those flee while this advances, 
  And the strong years cheat us still.  20
 
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