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William Schwenck Gilbert (Уильям Швенк Гильберт)

Songs of a Savoyard. The Coming By-and-By

Sad is that woman’s lot who, year by year,
Sees, one by one, her beauties disappear;
As Time, grown weary of her heart-drawn sighs,
Impatiently begins to “dim her eyes”!—
Herself compelled, in life’s uncertain gloamings,
To wreathe her wrinkled brow with well-saved “combings”—
Reduced, with rouge, lipsalve, and pearly grey,
To “make up” for lost time, as best she may!

   Silvered is the raven hair,
      Spreading is the parting straight,
   Mottled the complexion fair,
      Halting is the youthful gait,
   Hollow is the laughter free,
      Spectacled the limpid eye,
   Little will be left of me,
      In the coming by-and-by!

Fading is the taper waist—
   Shapeless grows the shapely limb,
And although securely laced,
   Spreading is the figure trim!
Stouter than I used to be,
   Still more corpulent grow I—
There will be too much of me
   In the coming by-and-by!

William Schwenck Gilbert's other poems:
  1. The Bab Ballads. The Sensation Captain
  2. The Bab Ballads. The Periwinkle Girl
  3. The Bab Ballads. The Ghost, the Gallant, the Gael, and the Goblin
  4. Songs of a Savoyard. Proper Pride
  5. The Bab Ballads. Sir Guy the Crusader

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