The Approach of Age
From Tales of the Hall
Six years had passed, and forty ere the six,
When Time began to play his usual tricks:
The locks once comely in a virgin's sight,
Locks of pure brown, displayed the encroaching white;
The blood, once fervid, now to cool began,
And Time's strong pressure to subdue the man.
I rode or walked as I was wont before,
But now the bounding spirit was no more;
A moderate pace would now my body heat,
A walk of moderate length distress my feet.
I showed my stranger guest those hills sublime,
But said, "The view is poor, we need not climb."
At a friend's mansion I began to dread
The cold neat parlor and the gay glazed bed;
At home I felt a more decided taste,
And must have all things in my order placed.
I ceased to hunt; my horses pleased me less,—
My dinner more; I learned to play at chess.
I took my dog and gun, but saw the brute
Was disappointed that I did not shoot.
My morning walks I now could bear to lose,
And blessed the shower that gave me not to choose.
In fact, I felt a languor stealing on;
The active arm, the agile hand, were gone;
Small daily actions into habits grew,
And new dislike to forms and fashions new.
I loved my trees in order to dispose;
I numbered peaches, looked how stocks arose;
Told the same story oft,—in short, began to prose.
George Crabbe, 1754-1832