The Season of Youth

The Season of Youth
(Ecclesiastes, ix. 7, 9 ; xi 9.) 

Rejoice, mortal man, in the noon of thy prime! 
Ere thy brow shall be traced by the ploughshare of time, 
Ere the twilight of age shall encompass thy way, 
And thou droop'st, like the flowers, to thy rest in the clay. 

Let the banquet be spread, let the wine-cup go round, 
Let the joy-dance be wove, let the timbrels resound, 
While the spring-tide of life in thy bosom is high, 
And thy spirit is light as a lark in the sky. 

Let the wife of thy love, like the sun of thy day, 
Throw a radiance of joy o'er thy pilgrimage way — 
Ere the shadows of grief come, like night, from the west, 
And thou weep'st o'er the flower that expired on thy breast. 

Rejoice, mortal man, in the noon of thy prime! 
But muse on the power and the progress of time; 
For thy life shall depart with the joy it hath given, 
And a judgment of justice awaits thee in heaven. 
William Knox

The Lonely Hearth, The Songs of Israel, Harp of Zion, and other poems (London: John Johnstone, 1847)

William Knox

William Knox has been saved from obscurity by the lasting fame of his poem 'Mortality', which was a favourite of American President Abraham Lincoln. 

Read more about this poet