A Highland Regiment/Old Age

IN the old years that creep on us so fast.
  When Time goes by us with a halting tread,
Shall we sit still and ponder at the last
  The young swift years of love that will be dead ?
Shall we look back upon the passionate years.
  Where in a maze our younger figures move,
Instinct with half-forgotten hopes and fears.
  And gaze anew on the mirage of love ?

Yes, we two, like old actors at the play.
  Watching the beating of a tinsel heart,
Will laugh and weep, and clap our hands, and say,
  " How sadly that young lover played his part
That loved her true and dared not tell her so,
  And she that loved him dared not let him see,"
And we shall watch the hurts of long ago,
  And clap our hands at our old tragedy.

For we shall understand, remembering
  How he spoke thus and she would answer so,
And then we shall see clearly everything
  That was so dark in youth's old puppet-show,
And gazing on the far-ofE stage where stand
  The misty figures that were you and I,
Each in the darkness will stretch out a hand
  To touch the hand of love before we die.

Oxford, 1914