The Flight Of Youth

Hartley Coleridge

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YOUTH, thou art fled, -- but where are all the charms
Which, though with thee they came, and passed with thee,
Should leave a perfume and sweet memory
Of what they have been? All thy boons and harms
Have perished quite. Thy oft-revered alarms
Forsake the fluttering echo. Smiles and tears
Die on my cheek, or, petrified with years,
Show the dull woe which no compassion warms,
The mirth none shares. Yet could a wish, a thought,
Unravel all the complex web of age, --
Could all the characters that Time hath wrought
Be clean effaced from my memorial page
By one short word, the word I would not say; --
I thank my God because my hairs are gray.

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