Behind every ring of the old cliché
“We’re not getting any younger,”
Heard constantly today —
Is a terrible secret
Which, baffling the modern mind,
Lies concealed inveterate.
The surface truth, plainly enough,
Admits not of gainsay or dissent,
Seems to well conclude the stuff.
Yet gradually does it appear,
To focused reason, to rooted thinking,
That few errors indeed are more dear
Than this: supposing little children,
Like sad small adults, sunken and downtrodden;
Oppressed by the burden —
The burden of approaching expiration:
The old serpent with his death,
And his gospel of acquisition.
For with the laughter in falsetto
That filters down the hall
To our tired ears comes also:
News that falsifies the old cliché
By reminding the dull adults,
That slow-witted cretinous company —
Recalling to their minds
What bad theory took away
And cliché unjustly confined —
That we’re all getting younger
Indeed every last one,
Whose destiny is bound up with the young’uns.
For a newborn babe,
In becoming a three-year-old,
His awakened mind lacks naught but age;
Or a cute little girl
On the verge of being well and truly
A young woman, for all men a flag unfurled.
‘Tis simply true that a child youth gains
Brains and body age
But hardly become decrepit or tamed:
O the child in growing youth gains
In him society procreates
In his flowering the cliché faints.
Every parent, no matter how aged
Or oppressed and dragged down
Need only think to his child as a babe
To say to himself in all truth
That “younger indeed I’m getting:
The babe in my arms was proof.”