GAZING upon these volumes, row on row,

The garnered wisdom of a bygone age,

And rising upon these, the glowing page

Of those whose rising star doth not yet bow

To the chill hand of age, which, here below,

Nips the fresh flowers of poet and of sage,

I seem like a poor birdling in a cage

Watching a lovely rose that wide doth blow,

And spreads its leaves to heaven, pure and still:

And we but smell its sweets, pass heedless by,

Or, haply, nestling like some honey-bee

Within its inmost breast, we drink our fill,

But soon, brain-sick, we fall away and die,

Alas! alas! that death so soon should be.

B. W. W.