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AS ONE OLDSTER TO ANOTHER

Well, yes the old bones ache. There were easier

Beds thirty years back. Sleep, then importunate,

Now with reserve doles out her favours;

Food disagrees; there are draughts in houses.

Headlong, the down night train rushes on with us,

Screams through the stations…how many more? Is it

Time soon to think of taking down one’s

Case from the rack? Are we nearly there now?

Yet neither loss of friends, nor an emptying

Future, nor England tamed and the ruin of

Long-builded hopes thus far have taught my

Obstinate heart a sedate deportment.

Still beauty calls as once in the mazes of

Boyhood. The bird-like soul quivers. Into her

Flash darts of unfulfill’d desire and

Pierce with a bright, unabated anguish.

Armed thus with anguish, joy met us even in

Youth—who forgets? This side of the terminus,

Then, now, and always, thus, and only

Thus, were the doors of delight set open.

From Poems

Poems. Copyright © 1964 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Preface copyright © 1964 by Walter Hooper. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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