Friday, December 10


Austin Burgess Higgins At Birth


Say! what is life? 'Tis to be born
A hapless babe; to greet the light
With a sharp wail, as if the morn
Foretold a cloudy morn and night;
To weep, to sleep and weep again,
With sunny smiles between; and then; --

And then apace the infant grows
To be a laughing, sprightly boy,
Happy despite his little woes;
Were he but conscious of his joy,
To be, in short, from two to ten,
A merry, moody child; and then; --

And then, in coat and trousers clad,
To learn to say the decalogue;
And break it -- an unthinking lad,
With mirth and mischief all agog,
A truant oft; by field and fen
To capture butterflies; and then; --

And then, increased in strength and size,
To be anon, a youth, full grown,
A hero in his mother's eyes;
A young Apollo in his own,
To imitate the ways of men
In fashionable sins; and then; --

And then, at last, to be a man;
To fall in love, too woo, to wed;
With seething brain to scheme and plan;
To gather gold, or toil for bread;
To sue for fame, with tongue or pen;
To gain or lose the prize; and then; --

And then in gray and wrinkled eld,
To mourn the speed of life's decline;
To praise the scenes his youth beheld,
And dwell in memory of Lang Syne;
To dream awhile with darkened ken,
Then drop into his grave; and then; --

(John G. Saxe)