An Ode from Horace
Still cruel and swaggering with the gifts of Venus,
The day’s not far
When, stealing unawares, a beard will mar
Insouciance; that shoulder-rippling hair
Fall; and the skin
Now pinker than the pinkest petal in
A bed of roses
Suffer a rude and bristling metamorphosis.
You’ll say, ‘Alas’
(Seeing the changed face in the looking-glass),
‘Why as a boy
Did I spurn the wisdom that I now enjoy?
How now graft back
To wiser cheeks the rosiness they lack?’