Poem of the day

Grapes, Wine, and Vinegar
by William Allingham (1824-1889)

Weary and wasted, nigh worn-out,
⁠         You sigh and shake white hairs, and say,
⁠         “Ah, you will find the truth one day
Of life and nature, do not doubt!”

Age rhymes to sage, and let us give
⁠         The hoary head its honours due:
⁠         Grant youth its privileges too,
And notions how to think and live.

Which has more chance to see aright
⁠         The many-colour’d shows of time,
⁠         Fresh human eyes in healthy prime
Or custom-dull’d and fading sight?

Gone from the primrose and the rose
⁠         Their diversely delicious breath,
⁠         Since no fine wafting visiteth
An old, perhaps a snuffy, nose!

Youth has its truth: I’d rather trust,
⁠         Of two extremes, the ardent boy,
⁠         Excess of life and hope and joy,
Than this dejection and disgust.

Vinegar of experience — “drink!”
⁠         Why so, and set our teeth on edge?
⁠         Nay, even grant what you allege,
We’ll not anticipate, I think.

Who miss’d, or loses, earlier truth,
⁠         Though old, we shall not count him sage:
⁠         Rare the strong mellow’d wine of age
From sunshine-ripen’d grapes of youth.

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