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Yes, long, indeed, I've known him at a distance, And now my lifted door latch shows him here; I take his shrivelled hand without resistance, And find him smiling as his step draws near. What though of gilded baubles he bereaves us, Dear to the heart of youth, to manhood's prime; Think of the calm he brings, the wealth he leaves us, The hoarded spoils, the legacies of time! Altars once flaming, still with incense fragrant, Passion's uneasy nurslings rocked asleep, Hope's anchor faster, wild desire less vagrant, Life's flow less noisy, but the stream how deep! Still as the silver cord gets worn and slender, Its lightened task work tugs with lessening strain, Hands get more helpful, voices, grown more tender, Soothe with their softened tones the slumberous brain.