I SAW him once before,

As he passed by the door;

And again

The pavement stones resound,

As he totters o'er the ground

With his cane.

They say that in his prime,

Ere the pruning-knife of Time

Cut him down,

Not a better man was found

By the Crier on his round

Through the town.

But now he walks the streets,

And he looks at all he meets

Sad and wan;

And shakes his feeble head,

That it seems as if he said,

“They are gone.”

The mossy marbles rest

On the lips that he has prest

In their bloom;

And the names he loved to hear

Have been carved for many a year

On the tomb.

My grandmamma has said—

Poor old lady, she is dead

Long ago—

That he had a Roman nose,

And his cheek was like a rose

In the snow.

But now his nose is thin,

And it rests upon his chin

Like a staff;

And a crook is in his back,

And a melancholy crack

In his laugh.

I know it is a sin

For me to sit and grin

At him here;

But the old three-cornered hat,

And the breeches and all that,

Are so queer!

And if I should live to be

The last leaf upon the tree

In the spring,

Let them smile, as I do now,

At the old forsaken bough

Where I cling.

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