Time To Be Wise

A poem by Walter Savage Landor

Yes; I write verses now and then,
But blunt and flaccid is my pen,
No longer talk’d of by young men
As rather clever;
In the last quarter are my eyes,
You see it by their form and size;
Is it not time then to be wise?
Or now or never.

Fairest that ever sprang from Eve!
While Time allows the short reprieve,
Just look at me! would you believe
’T was once a lover?
I cannot clear the five-bar gate;
But, trying first its timber’s state,
Climb stiffly up, take breath, and wait
To trundle over.

Through gallopade I cannot swing
The entangling blooms of Beauty’s spring:
I cannot say the tender thing,
Be ’t true or false,
And am beginning to opine
Those girls are only half divine
Whose waists yon wicked boys entwine
In giddy waltz.

I fear that arm above that shoulder;
I wish them wiser, graver, older,
Sedater, and no harm if colder,
And panting less.
Ah! people were not half so wild
In former days, when, starchly mild,
Upon her high-heel’d Essex smil’d
The brave Queen Bess.

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