The Day’s Not Far

Young Ligurinus,
Still cruelly swaggering with the gifts of Venus,
The day’s not far
When, stealing unawares, a beard will mar
That debonair
Insouciance; that shoulder-rippling hair
Fall; and the skin,
Now pinker than the pinkest petal in
A bed of roses,
Suffer a rude and bristling metamorphosis.
You’ll say, “Alas”
(Seeing the changed face in the looking-glass),
“Why as a boy
Did I spurn the wisdom that I now enjoy?
How now graft back
To wiser cheeks the rosiness that they lack?”

(Horace, Ode XI, Book IV, Michie)