The One White Hair

A poem by Walter Savage Landor

The wisest of the wise
Listen to pretty lies
And love to hear them told;
Doubt not that Solomon
Listen’d to many a one,
Some in his youth, and more when he grew old.

I never was among
The choir of Wisdom’s song,
But pretty lies lov’d I
As much as any king,
When youth was on the wing,
And (must it then be told?) when youth had quite gone by.

Alas! and I have not
The pleasant hour forgot
When one pert lady said,
“O Walter! I am quite
Bewilder’d with affright!
I see (sit quiet now) a white hair on your head!”

Another more benign
Snipp’d it away from mine,
And in her own dark hair
Pretended it was found…
She leap’d, and twirl’d it round…
Fair as she was, she never was so fair!

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