Much I desired when Youth did fire my veins,
To join fair combat with some foe august;
And more I dreaded sloth and creeping rust
Than any meed of martyr scorns and pains.
How would my heart beat quick at clarion strains;
All to the God of battle would I trust--
As one who, midst the hissing barbs and dust,
From some swift Argive chariot flung the reins!
But now my pulse is slowed, my veins are cold,
O Spirit of the leafage silver-green--
Now let thy cool sweet shadow intervene,
That I no more the strenuous day behold;
So fold me, as the flocks that rest in fold,
While Hesper makes the darkening sky serene.