With thinning ranks and footsteps slow
Up Age’s bare bleak hill we go
Death is the enemy of life
We are the soldiers in the strife.
Times dread artillery takes its count
As slowly painfully we mount
It happens oft that old age ends
Its days at last among new friends.
O’ tis a picture sweet to see
A young child on an old man’s knee
One fresh from God unstained, unmarred
The other spent and battle scarred.
The worn old man whose locks snow white
Forecast the coming on of night
The baby curls, the cherub charms
The new moon in the old moon’s arms.
Soft baby cheeks to grandad prest
Soft hands in toil worn hands caressed
Age holding childhood by the hand
How beautiful, sadly grand!
December’s snow, the flowers of May
The Sunset and the Dawn of day
The innocent, the reconciled
The old man and the little child.
MICHAEL MULLIN, ‘The Bard of Foremass’,
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.
Sent 12th April 48
Won one guinea in Independent
(Baby & Granda)