From the Evening Star, August 8, 1913. By Walt Mason.
When a man grows old and his feet are cold, and his heart is much the same, then he oft looks back on his winding track, with something of grief and shame. “If we could again,” sigh the ancient men, “but travel that sunlit ground, we would shun the breaks and the dire mistakes which in our past lives abound.” The old men sit by the wall and twit themselves with the things they’ve done, but it’s no avail, for they’re tired and frail, and their race is nearly run. The old men say, when the young that way are passing in joyous throngs, “Oh, youth beware of the gin and snare,” and the answer is heedless songs. For the young are bold and the pilgrims old are dotards, they lightly say; they themselves must learn of the lights that burn to lead them in swamps astray. And the counsel sage of the man of age is idle as gusts of air; he talks in vain of the farers slain in the swamps of the great despair. For the youth must break his own path and make his camp where he thinks it best; he must dree his weird till his silvered beard lies hoar on his withered breast.