The sweetest dreams, it seems to me, that we can ever know,
Are those the fancy brings to us of days of long-ago,
When rainbow-tinted pictures all are like a mirage flung
Upon the canvas memory weaves--of days when we were young.
The step may falter, eye be dim--the brow may wrinkles wear,
And underneath the crumbling mould our friends be sleeping there--
But oh, these visions come to us as to the rose the dew,
And while with raptured gaze we look the heart seems ever new.
Oh, when perhaps at last we're left a laggard on life's stage,
This is the mellowed draught we quaff our longings to assuage--
As sweet as that from Paradise the smiling Houris hand
The Prophet's faithful followers when at its gates they stand!
If one last prayer were left to me for my declining days,
Its form should be that I might hear the chimes that memory plays,
And when at last upon my grave the wavy grass had sprung,
Some passer-by could truly say "His heart was ever young!"