Friday, July 24, 2009

A Farewell to Arms

His golden locks time hath to silver turn'd;
O time too swift, of swiftness never ceasing!
His youth 'gainst time and age had ever spurn'd,
But spurn'd in vain; youth waineth by increasing:
Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.

His helmet now shall make a hive for bees,
And lovers' sonnets turned to holy psalms,
A man-at-arms must serve now on his knees,
And feed on prayers, which are Age's alms:
But though from court to cottage he depart,
His saint is sure of his unspotted heart.

And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
He'll teach his swains this carol for a song-
'Blest be the hearts that wish my sovereign well,
Curst be the souls that wish her any wrong.'
Goddess, allow this aged man his right
To be your beadsman now that was your knight.

-George Peel-

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