CANTO THE TWELFTH.
I. Of all the barbarous middle ages, that Which is most barbarous is the middle age Of man ! it is — I really scarce know what ; But when we hover between fool and sage, And don't know justly what we would be at — A period something like a printed page, Black letter upon foolscap, while our hair Grows grizzled, and we are not what we were ; — II. Too old for Youth, — too young, at thirty-five, To herd with boys, or hoard with good threescore,- I wonder people should be left alive ; But since they are, that epoch is a bore : Love lingers still, although 't were late to wive : And as for other love, the illusion 's o'er ; And Money, that most pure imagination. Gleams only through the dawn of its creation.^ III. O Gold ! Why call we misers miserable ? ^ Theirs is the pleasure that can never pall ; . [See letter to Douglas Kinnaird, dated Genoa, January 18, 1823.] . [Johnson would not believe that "a complete miser' is a happy man." "That," he said, " is flying in the face of all the world, who have called an avaricious man a miser, because he is miserable. No, sir; a man who both spends and saves money is the happiest man, because he has both enjoyments." — Boswell's Life of Johnson, 1876, p.60s.]