Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2022
“And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.”—Deuteronomy, xxxiv.7.
How lightly o’er thy guarded head
The lapse of silent years had sped,
How poor the spoils of time,
To leave thee thus, in life's last stage,
A living greenness in old age
So splendid and sublime.
Thy natural vigour unimpair’d,
An eye whose lustre still declar’d
Age could not dim its ray,
How brightly must thy sun have set,
Which on the verge of night had yet
The radiance of noon-day.
Had age so vigorous and serene
E’en in that distant era been
A thing regarded not,
Not thus had history's page unroll’d
Thy triumph o’er decay, and told
Thy proud, peculiar lot.
But thus conspicuously was shown
Vigour and brightness not thy own.
To life's last parting hour,
That Israel in that wond’rous sign
Of might more glorious far than thine,
Should own Jehovah's power.
That we, who sooner reach life's close,
May in our weakness yet repose
On his eternal truth,
Who, if to Him alone we live,
In age unto the soul can give
Spring's renovated youth.