As in a dream I came to a window,
Peered into it hard and long,
Saw black hair, laughter and joy,
Heard the rhythms of youth’s bright song.
And staring deeper in that trance I saw
Bright black hair turn dull and grey,
And caught in the physical tyranny of time
The bloom of youth fade far away.
Words then came softly to my ear:
“Youth’s dew drop moment cannot last;
But for its grace raise your voice and sing
Knowing that it will all too swiftly pass.”
A pause, and then the voice began again:
“The outward bloom quickly fades away
But do not be sad and do not mourn;
The inner self grows each passing day.
“Youth has beauty in its shining hair;
Age has beauty of a different kind:
Awareness, knowledge, a sense of choice,
A deeper, wiser, more reflective mind.
“Now listen carefully,” the voice now said,
“The greatest beauty lies deeper still:
In character developed piece by piece
Through revelation and resolve’s strong will.”
The vision faded, the dream was gone,
The window was no longer near,
But as I turned I thought upon
Eyes old and dim or young and clear,
Thought on knowledge that comes with years,
On the characteristics of the wise,
On beauteous things we should most desire,
On how character shines in older eyes.
And went then from that dreamlike place
Beginning at last to comprehend
A deeper and more abiding truth:
A beauty of mind can the years transcend.