HERE as we sit and idly talk,

The backlog burning bright behind us,

I smile again, and sigh, perhaps,

To think how fifty years may find us.

You 'll call me formal "Mr." then,

Yourself be Mrs. That or T'other;

A heavy father, too, I'll be,

And you, perchance, a staid grandmother.

And twice or thrice a year, mayhap,

We 'll meet at dinner, rout, or party,

Smile blandly, say a word or two,

With greeting that's not over hearty.

But then let's hope we 'll drop our pride,

Our wall of stiffness lose its mortar,

Our hearts be touched by somewhat, - say,

My youngest flirting with your daughter.

And soon we 'll speak of bygone days,

Of dearest friends, now dead or scattered,

Of hopes dispelled and visions fled, -

A rising tear? - as if it mattered!

A rosebud once - a century since, -

A bit of hair - O kindly feeling!

O pleasant memories, fond and fair!

O youth again upon us stealing!

Ah, Jenny! when relentless Time

Our youth has swept away forever,

We 'll keep our youthful hearts, I pray;

Our faith, our hope, shall leave us never!

And then we 'll know, while Memory brings

Back days of friendship and affection,

Age loses pleasures, but it gains

The sweet, sad joy of Retrospection.