XVII: The Westminster Play

Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd

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Not from the youth-illumined stage alone
Is gladness shed; it breathes around from all
Whose names imprinted on each honour'd wall
Speak deathless boyhood; on whose hearts the tone
That makes a classic phrase familiar grown
New by its crisp expression, seem to fall
From distant years; while shouting striplings, still
On life's gay verge, make younger bosoms thrill
With proud delight which lately charm'd their own;
While richest humour strangely serves to fill
Worn eyes with child-like tears; for memory lifts
Time's curtain from the soul's remotest stage,
And sympathy makes strangers share the gifts
That clasp in golden meshes youth and age.

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