« PředchozíPokračovat »
Weep out thy sacred grief
Here on my heart:
Soon to depart;
Breathe each loved name They have but left the fold,
We did the same.
E'en though they all are gone,
Smile, darling, smile!
Softly with me, “They have but flown away,
Birds must be free !"
A Anden werden en stage women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
I'm growing careless of my dress;
I'm growing frugal of my gold; I'm growing wise; I'm growing.– yes,
I'm growing old! I see it in my changing taste;
I see it in my changing hair;
I see it in my growing heir;
As plain as truth was ever told,
I'm growing old! Ah me! my very laurels breathe
The tale in my reluctant ears, And every boon the hours bequeath
But makes me debtor to the years! E'en Flattery's honeyed words declare
The secret she would sain withhold, And tells in "How young you are!"
I'm growing old!
If you would make the aged happy, lead them to feel that there is still a place for them
where they can be useful. When you see their powers failing, do not notice it. It is enough for them to feel it without a reminder. Do not humiliate them by doing things after them. Accept their offered services, and do not let them see you taking off the dust their poor eyesight has left undisturbed, or wiping up the liquid their trembling hands have spilled; rather let the dust remain, and the liquid stain the carpet, than rob them of their self-respect by seeing you cover their deficiencies. You may give them the best room in your house, you may garnish it with pictures and flowers, you may yield them the best seat in your churchpew, the easiest chair in your parlor, the highest seat of honor at your table; but if you lead or leave them to feel that they have passed their usefulness, you plant a thorn in their bosom that will rankle there while life lasts. If they are capable of doing nothing but preparing your kindlings, or darning your stockings, indulge them in those things, but never let them feel that it is because they can do nothing else; rather that they do this so well.
Do not ignore their taste and judgment. It may be that in their early days, and in the circle where they moved, they were as much sought and honored as you are now; and until you arrive at that place, you can ill imagine your feelings should you be considered entirely void of these qualities, be regarded as essential to no one, and your opinions be unsought, or discarded if given. They may have been active and successful in the training of children and youth in the way they should go; and will they not feel it keenly, if no attempt is made to draw from this rich experience ?
Indulge them as far as possible in their old habits. The various forms of society in which they were educated may be as dear to them as yours are now to you; and can they see them slighted or disowned without a pang? If they relish their meals better by turning their tea into the saucer, having their butter on the same plate with their food, or eating with both knife and fork, do not in word or deed imply to th that the customs of their days are obnoxious in good society; and that they are stepping down from respectability as they descend the hillside of life. Always bear in mind that the customs of which you are now so tenacious may be equally repugnant to the next generation.
In this connection I would say, do not notice the pronunciation of the aged. They speak as they were taught, and yours may be just as uncourtly to the generations following. I was once taught a lesson on this subject, which I shall never forget while memory holds its sway. I was dining, where a father brought his son to take charge of a literary institution. He was intelligent, but had not received the early advantages which he had labored hard to procure for his son; and his language was quite a contrast to that of the cultivated youth. But the attention and deference he gave to his father's quaint though wise remarks, placed him on a higher pinnacle in my mind, than he was ever placed by his world-wide reputation as a scholar and writer.
Left Alone at Eighty.
THAT did you say, dear-breakfast?
Somehow I've slept too late.
Go tell them not to wait.
My old hands tremble sore.
Lies t'other side of the door.
And threw the stem away.
And planted it where she stood;
“Asleep in this bit of wood."
Put up the old pipe deary
I couldn't smoke to-day:
And don't know what to say.
And lonesome out o' door-
In all my life before.
I can't rest, dear, I cannot rest;
Let the old man have his will,
The house is so deathly still;—
She has left ajar for me;
So used to each other, you see.
She made me a better man;
Our lover's life began.
And out of the seven not one
Would be proud to call his son.
The bees go humming the whole day long,
And the first June rose has blown;
Too old to be left alone!
Oh precious lips so white!
You were out of my reach last night.
Oh, well, dear Lord, I'll be patient!
But I feel sore broken up;
To drain such a bitter cup.
And four good men beside;
You've cut the flower. You're very kind;
She rooted it last May.