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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

      Sexagenarius Loquitur

    FROM our youth to our age
    We have passed each stage
           In old immemorial order,
    From primitive days
    Through flowery ways
           With love like a hedge as their border.
    Ah, youth was a kingdom of joy,
           And we were the king and the queen,
                  When I was a year
                  Short of thirty, my dear,
           And you were just nearing nineteen.

    But dark follows light
    And day follows night
           As the old planet circles the sun;
    And nature still traces
    Her score on our faces
           And tallies the years as they run.
    Have they chilled the old warmth in your heart?
           I swear that they have not in mine,
                  Though I am a year
                  Short of sixty, my dear,
           And you are—well, say thirty-nine.


Sexagenarius Loquitur appeared in Conan Doyle's 1911 collection Songs of the Road. It can be found in:
  • Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Poems of Arthur Conan Doyle: Collected Edition. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, W., 1922.

    Best known for his Sherlock Holmes stories, Conan Doyle describes his poetic contributions in the foreword of his collected edition of poetry:

        IF it were not for the hillocks
               You'd think little of the hills;
        The rivers would seem tiny
               If it were not for the rills.
        If you never saw the brushwood
               You would under-rate the trees;
        And so you see the purpose
               Of such little rhymes as these.