Fifty and Fifteen

Fifty and Fifteen

Featured in Vol 2., No.4 of The Atlantic Monthly. Author not attributed.

Fifty and Fifteen

With gradual gleam the day was dawning,
    Some lingering stars were seen,
  When swung the garden-gate behind us,–
    He fifty, I fifteen.

  The high-topped chaise and old gray pony
    Stood waiting in the lane:
  Idly my father swayed the whip-lash,
    Lightly he held the rein.

  The stars went softly back to heaven,
    The night-fogs rolled away,
  And rims of gold and crowns of crimson
    Along the hill-tops lay.

  That morn, the fields, they surely never
    So fair an aspect wore;
  And never from the purple clover
    Such perfume rose before.

  O'er hills and low romantic valleys
    And flowery by-roads through,
  I sang my simplest songs, familiar,
    That he might sing them too.

  Our souls lay open to all pleasure,–
    No shadow came between;
  Two children, busy with their leisure,–
    He fifty, I fifteen.

       * * * * *

  As on my couch in languor, lonely,
    I weave beguiling rhyme,
  Comes back with strangely sweet remembrance
    That far-removed time.

  The slow-paced years have brought sad changes,
    That morn and this between;
  And now, on earth, my years are fifty,
    And his, in heaven, fifteen.