Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE PROMENADE, by JOHN LAWSON STODDARD

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ON THE PROMENADE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O joyous idler in the sun
Last Line: O youthful dreams that come no more!
Subject(s): Fate; Health; Tears; Wealth; Youth; Destiny; Riches; Fortunes

O joyous idler in the sun,
In pity slacken here thy pace!
A lad, whose course is nearly run,
Is watching thee with wistful face.

The glow of health upon thy cheek,
The youthful ardor in thy gait,
Appear to him, so frail and weak,
The bitter irony of Fate.

Thou art to him the vision fair
Of all he once had hoped to be;
What wonder, then, that in despair
His longing glances follow thee?

Let not the gulf too deep appear
Between thy fortune and his own!
Thou didst not see that falling tear,
Nor hear his low, half-stifled moan.

The pang of age compared with youth,
Or hunger with the spendthrift's wealth,
Gnaws not with such a cruel tooth
As that of pain confronting health.

Yet must the strong ship breast the wave,
The wreck lie rotting on the shore;
O hopes that perish in the grave!
O youthful dreams that come no more!

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