IN sunlight or in
starlight, against the slow procession of the seasons, when these frail
hands of mine grow tired of holding the golden ball of life – O little
gods of the hills and rivers, grant me happily to grow old.
… And, being old, to sit beside my own hearthstone (a faithful dog or cat
curled at my feet), smiling a little, sighing a little, turning the
tattered leaves of memory which is all I shall have left, or deserve.
Beyond the window, if God is good, there will be a line of blue hills,
near enough to stir the aged blood -- yet not too near, in case the call
to wander along remembered paths should become too strong. . . .
For the hills that were once mine will belong to others then -- the young,
the strong, the brave; and I, in my world of shadows, must be content to
have it so. My day will be done, my rest earned, my place already prepared
in the quiet earth which shall take me again unto itself.
. . . And you, dear Shadows, who have heard and understood the faery
flutings,and the sad songs -- you, too, will be old, older than I -- or
perhaps you will already be gathered into the sunset.
It is a sad time, the gloaming of life -- and yet. . . . This be our
comfort. That though we ourselves must pass like cloud-shadows into the
Unknown, the hills that we loved will remain, a challenge and an
inspiration to the yet unborn.
"Over the sea to Skye." A seascape from