Here you will find the Poem A Poets Eightieth Birthday of poet Alfred Austin
``He dieth young whom the Gods love,''was said By Greek Menander; nor alone by One Who gave to Greece his English song and sword Re-echoed is the saying, but likewise he ``Who uttered nothing base,''and from whose brow, By right divine, the laurel lapsed to yours,- Great sire, great successor,-in verse confirmed The avowal of ``the Morning-Star of Song,'' Happiest is he that dieth in his flower. Yet can it be that it is gain, not loss, To quit the pageant of this life before The heart hath learnt its meaning; leave half-seen, Half-seen, half-felt, and not yet understood, The beauty and the bounty of the world; The fertile waywardness of wanton Spring, Summer's deep calm, the modulated joy Of Autumn conscious of a task fulfilled, And home-abiding Winter's pregnant sleep, The secret of the seasons? Gain, to leave The depths of love unfathomed, its heights unscaled, Rapture and woe unreconciled, and pain Unprized, unapprehended? This is loss, Loss and not gain, sheer forfeiture of good, Is banishment from Eden, though its fruit Remains untasted. Interpret then the oracle, ``He dies young Whom the Gods love,''for Song infallible Hath so pronounced! . . . Thus I interpret it: The favourites of the Gods die young, for they, They grow not old with grief and deadening time, But still keep April moisture in their heart May's music in their ears. Their voice revives, Revives, rejuvenates, the wintry world, Flushes the veins of gnarled and knotted age, And crowns the majesty of life with leaves As green as are the sapling's. Thrice happy Poet! to have thus renewed Your youth with wisdom,-who, though life still seems To your fresh gaze as frolic and as fair As in the callow season when your heart Was but the haunt and pairing-place and nest Of nightingale and cuckoo, have enriched Joy's inexperienced warblings with the note Of mellow music, and whose mind mature, Laden with life's sustaining lessons, still Gleams bright with hope; even as I saw, to-day, An April rainbow span the August corn. Long may your green maturity maintain Its universal season; and your voice, A household sound, be heard about our hearths, Now as a Christmas carol, now as the glee Of vernal Maypole, now as harvest song. And when, like light withdrawn from earth to heaven, Your glorious gloaming fades into the sky, We, looking upward, shall behold you there, Shining amid the young unageing stars.