Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SHADOW OF THE YEARS, by BERTON BRALEY



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THE SHADOW OF THE YEARS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I'm still retaining my slenderness, my hair is thick and you'd never guess
Last Line: You're willing to leave before the dance is over!
Subject(s): Old Age; Wrinkles


I'm still retaining my slenderness, my hair is thick and you'd never guess
To look at my face that I was patriarchal,
I can hold my own in a handball game and there's plenty of vigor in my frame
And my eyes retain a lot of youthful sparkle;
But nevertheless I'm getting old and this is the way the fact is told:
Though I'm gamboling like a lambkin in the clover,
The years are making their mark on me and this is the sign that all can see,
I'm willing to leave before a dance is over!

I shake a mean and a lightsome hoof and seldom if ever I hold aloof
From joining the crowd that trips in syncopation,
But where I formerly danced all night and hated to go with the morning light,
Although my brow was streaming with perspiration,
To-day I need no urging to quit as the early hours of the morning flit.
From my home and bed I'm ceasing to be a rover,
There isn't a wrinkle on my brow but age is stealing upon me now;
I'm willing to leave before the dance is over!

You may kid yourself as much as you please and boast of your youthful grace and
ease
But age has stolen upon you in a measure
When, instead of the evening seeming brief, that "Home Sweet Home" tune brings
relief
And you greet the final strains with grateful pleasure.
And you'll know still more how your years advance when you do not wait for the
final dance
For this is true from Timbuctoo to Dover,
That though you're spryer than other men be sure you are rapidly ageing when
You're willing to leave before the dance is over!





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