Poems by Isaac Rosenberg/Of Any Old Man

OF ANY OLD MAN

Wreck not the ageing heart of quietness
With alien uproar and rude jolly cries,
Which (satyr-like to a mild maiden's pride)
Ripen not wisdom but a large recoil;
Give them their withered peace, their trial grave,
Their past youth's three-scored shadowy effigy.
Mock them not with your ripened turbulence,
Their frost-mailed petulance with your torrid wrath,
When, edging your boisterous thunders, shivers one word
(Pap to their senile sneering, drug to truth,
The feigned rampart of bleak ignorance)
"Experience"—crown of naked majesties,
That tells us naught we know not, but confirms.
O think, you reverend shadowy austere,
Your Christ's youth was not ended when he died.