More Songs from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey


 

WHEN I WAS TWENTY


 

IT was June, and I was twenty.
All my wisdom, poor but plenty,
Never learned Festina lente.
Youth is gone, but whither went he?

Madeline came down the orchard

5
With a mischief in her eye,
Half demure and half inviting,
Melting, wayward, wistful, shy.

Four bright eyes that found life lovely,
And forgot to wonder why;

10
Four warm lips at one love-lesson,
Learned by heart so easily.

We gained something of that knowledge
No man ever yet put by,
But his after days of sorrow

15
Left him nothing but to die.

Madeline went up the orchard,
Down the hurrying world went I;
Now I know love has no morrow,
Happiness no by-and-by.

20

Youth is gone, but whither went he?
All my wisdom, poor but plenty,
Never learned Festina lente.
It was June, and I was twenty.