How young I am! Ah! heaven, this curse of youth
   Doth mock me from my mirror with great eyes,
And pulsing veins repeat the unwelcome truth,
   That I must live, though hope within me dies.

So young, and yet I have had all of life.
   Why, men have lived to see a hundred years,
Who have not known the rapture, joy, and strife
   Of my brief youth, its passion and its tears.

Oh! what are years? A ripe three score and ten
   Hold often less of life, in its best sense,
Than just a twelvemonth lived by other men,
   Whose high-strung souls are ardent and intense.

But having seen all depths and scaled all heights,
   Having a heart love thrilled, and sorrow wrung,
Knowing all pains, all pleasures, all delights,
   Now I would die--but cannot, being young.

Nothing is left me, but supreme despair;
   The bitter dregs that tell of wasted wine.
Come furrowed brow, dull eye, and frosted hair
   Companions fit for this old heart of mine.

Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.

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