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