Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, REMEMBRANCE, by ROBERT SOUTHEY

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REMEMBRANCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Man hath a weary pilgrimage
Last Line: The days that are no more.
Subject(s): Aging; Memory; Youth

MAN hath a weary pilgrimage
As through the world he wends;
On every stage, from youth to age,
Still discontent attends;
With heaviness he casts his eye
Upon the road before,
And still remembers with a sigh
The days that are no more.

To school the little exile goes,
Torn from his mother's arms, --
What then shall soothe his earliest woes,
When novelty hath lost its charms?
Condemn'd to suffer through the day
Restraints which no rewards repay,
And cares where love has no concern,
Hope lengthens as she counts the hours
Before his wish'd return.
From hard control and tyrant rules,
The unfeeling discipline of schools,
In thought he loves to roam,
And tears will struggle in his eye,
While he remembers with a sigh
The comforts of his home.

Youth comes; the toils and cares of life
Torment the restless mind;
Where shall the tired and harass'd heart
Its consolation find?
Then is not Youth, as Fancy tells,
Life's summer prime of joy?
Ah no! for hopes too long delay'd
And feelings blasted or betray'd,
Its fabled bliss destroy;
And Youth remembers with a sigh
The careless days of Infancy.

Maturer Manhood now arrives,
And other thoughts come on,
But with the baseless hopes of Youth
Its generous warmth is gone;
Cold, calculating cares succeed,
The timid thought, the wary deed,
The dull realities of truth;
Back on the past he turns his eye,
Remembering, with an envious sign,
The happy dreams of Youth.
So reaches he the latter stage
Of this our mortal pilgrimage,
With feeble step and slow;
New ills that latter stage await,
And old Experience learns too late
That all is vanity below.
Life's vain delusions are gone by;
Its idle hopes are o'er;
Yet Age remembers with a sigh
The days that are no more.

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