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Tho' some folk that fain would be wise,
Aboon a' that in history's laid doun,

Will threep that its little save lies,

I've been telling 'bout auld Granny Broun. BLIND JOHN, OR THE LIFE AND AGE OF MAN.

The morn is fair, and old blind John

Has tottered to the door,
And seats him on the moss-grown stone,

Beneath the hawthorn hoar;
He leans his head upon his hand,

His elbow on his knee,
For he is burdened with the weight

Of three score years and three.

But hill and dale are laughing with

The joyous voice of Spring,
The flowers are forth, and happy trains

Of birds upon the wing;
Benlomond's dofFd his winter's cap,

And Cartha's vales are gay, And gowaus gather in the lap,

Of lovely laughing May.

The blackbird's singing on the bough,

The lark is in the blue,
And happy schoolboys mimicking

The voice of the cuckoo.
John leans and listens, for his heart

Has still some tone of yore,
And moralizes till his eyes,

With tears are running o'er.

"I once was joyous as yourselves,

It seems but yesterday,
Since I was in these very woods,

A happy boy at play,
Aye! laugh and shout ye merry elves,

Be happy while ye can, Nor listen while blind John runs o'er,

The life and age of Man.

"In youth our hearts are lighted up, With hope's delusive beam,

And earth is an enchanted place,
And life a joyous dream.

There's beauty underneath our feet,
There's music in the air,

There's glory in the heavens above,
And rapture everywhere.

"But Time steals on with noiseless tread,

And tho' the happy boy
May feel a change, 'tis still to him

A change from joy to joy;
Then hopes of high achievements start,

Of great things to be done, Of undiscovered treasures vast,

Of battles to be won.

"The heroes of the present time,

Are paltry, poor and small,
He will go forth, and he shall be

A hero worth them all;
And then what dreams of happiness,

What visions rich and rare,
What gorgeous towers and palaces,

What castles in the air.

"Then love alights upon his heart,

With all its joys and pains,
His pulse beats madly, and the blood

Is leaping in his veins;

He sees but those love beaming eyes,

And all beside is dim,
O she is fair and beautiful!

Worth all the world to him.

"He drinks the strange mysterious draught,

The sweeter for its pain,
And reels delirious with a joy,

He'll never taste again;
For time steals on, and oh how soon

His visions melt away,
And clouds are louring in the sky,

While yet 'tis noon of day.

"And see he sadly sits at last,

With children on his knee,
And he would fain forget his cares,

Amid their mirth and glee;
But he must up, for he's the staff

On which the helpless lean, And he will make their lot in life,

More blest than his has been.

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