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A RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW.
Oh, when I was a tiny boy
My mates were blithe and kind! -
To cast a look behind !
A hoop was an eternal round
A top a joyous thing ;-
And careful thoughts the string !
My marbles — once my bag was stor’d, -
With Theseus for a taw!
And harness'd to the law !
My kite — how fast and far it flew !
My pleasure from the sky! 'Twas paper'd o'er with studious themes, The tasks I wrote — my present dreams
Will never soar so high !
My joys are wingless all and dead;
My fights soon find a fall;
And seldom with a call !
My football 's laid upon the shelf ;
The world knocks to and fro;-
My arrows and my bow!
No more in noontide sun I bask;
My head 's ne'er out of school :
And friends grown strangely cool !
The very chum that shared my cake
It makes me shrink and sigh:-
Though these should meet his eye!
No skies so blue or so serene
As cloth'd the play-ground tree !
That change resides in me!
O, for the garb that mark'd the boy,
Well ink'd with black and red;
Repose upon my head !
O, for the riband round the neck!
My book and collar both !:
A boy of larger growth?
O for that small, small beer anew !
That wash'd my sweet meals down ;
A fag for all the town!
O for the lessons learn'd by heart !
Should mark those hours again ;
Some sugar in the cane !
The Arabian Nights rehears'd in bed !
By stealth, 'twixt verb and noun !
Exactly like Miss Brown !
The omne bene - Christmas come!
Merit had prizes then!
Without the silver pen!.
Then home, sweet home! the crowded coach —
The winding horns like rams'!
No satis' to the 'jams!' —
When that I was a tiny boy
My mates were blithe and kind!
To cast a look behind!