How one grows old I cannot tell:
Are these my hands, so long and thin ?
My voice is like a tuneless bell;
All day the spiders spin and spin
Betwixt me and the sun. Betimes
I have a fancy to be glad;
I hear strange burdens of old rhymes,
And blare of trumpets. Once I had
Such fame dark Lucius’ face grew white,
That night on Lessoyne’s trampled field,
When through the dusk, athwart his flight,
The lions grinned upon my shield.
But if I wake, or if I sleep,
And dream an idle dream, God wot,
Would I were dead, and buried deep!
Anon a voice calls, “ Lancelot!
“ Sir Lancelot! ” I lift my face, —
The world is very gray and cold;
Then comes a whisper out of space,
“ He groweth old; he groweth old.”
W. W. Young.