Poetry of Kansas

How Life Seems at Forty

The world has changed___or is it I?___
      Since twenty years ago.
Some lowly things are lifted high.
      Some high things are brought low.
Some aims I once thought worth pursuing
      Today I disavow;
Some things I once was fond of doing
      Are tasteless to me now.
I spurn the praise of certain folks
      Whose praise I fondly sought;
I see no fun in certain jokes
      That once were prime, I thought.
I have no use for certain facts
      That then I highly prized;
I find no good in certain acts
      I then with zest advised.
Our college boys have younger looks___
      At least, so I surmise___
And know far less of learned hooks,
      And are not half so wise.
Quite young is forty now for men.
      Though once "twas old as sin":
And what would be a bald head then,
      Is now "hair somewhat thin".
I see one pretty girl, these years,
      Where once I saw a score
And many a former sage appears,
      Today, but just a bore.
There once was time for sport, so dear,
      So joyous to the soul;
But shortened is each recent year,
      And work employs the whole.
Ten thousand was a princely store,
      A fortune for a count;
A hundred thousand now, and more,
      Is but a small amount.
Ah, this old world has changed throughout
      While twenty years have flown;___
The world or I___but who can doubt
      That I have held my own?

___John Edward Everett

Quillings In Verse
John Edward Everett
(Smith Center: ___. 1912)
Page 27

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January 4, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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