“The only pretty ring time . . .”
--As You Like It V.3
Could any of us then have understood,
In that now-faded spring when golden boughs
Of poorly-kept forsythia wove nets
Along our paths, and April lilacs bloomed
In mourning or in promise at the gate—
Could we have recognized in our own lives
The vestiges of such an ancient flame
As stirred the heart of one Italian boy
Or doomed a queen, and made Augustin weep?
The overwhelming question, like a Boston fog,
Surrounded, choked, or even blinded us:
And yet eluded us—or we fled it.
Love, more than youth, is wasted on the young:
But fear can master us at any age.