Since Tenderness to Age Belongs

Mr Hayley com. Mrs Flaxman

Since tenderness to age belongs,
And truth may grace a veteran’s songs,
Dear Nancy will not disregard
Her septuagenary bard,
Presuming, in a faithful line,
To boast he’s still her Valentine.

Yet will not critics sternly say
“Old man assume no part so gay!”

Horace, I own, and graver sages
Whose word our full assent engages,
Tell us that years which flit away,
Steal something from us every day;
And time indeed so slyly flits,
He often robs us of our wits.

Sincere old gentlemen declare,
They feel they’re not the men they were:
And your true servant must confess,
His faculties grow less and less:
Yet trust me, ’tis my firm belief,
Tho’ time may be a subtle thief,
Tho’ gathering years conspire dear Nancy,
To steal the plumage of my fancy;
They ne’er can made your bard untrue,
And rob him of his love for you.

Love, like our sculptor, too sublime
To fear the ravages of time,
In truth’s pure fane (to Heaven the portal!)
May rightly feel, “He is immortal.”

February 14th