(Sam at Bag End)
The children pass by careless as they run along the lane,
And they think that I am like the sheltering Tree
Down below us in the meadow, tempered with the wind and rain,
For it seems to them that I will always be.
I have walked along the edges of their summers sweet and few,
I have lived upon the borders of their days,
Like the starlight and the morning and the eventide and dew,
The moss-clad stones and ancient-traveled ways.
I am old, I tell the children in the quiet of my mind,
And my winters now are longer than my springs;
But in my dreams are Elven-bells and soon it will be time;
I am old, but I remember many things.
I walk and smoke my customary pipeful in the sun,
As they play unheeding of tomorrow’s call.
All will be as it has been and thus they go about their fun,
And the Tree will stand forever golden-tall.
My knees are stiff, I use a stick to help me as I go,
Cheered of soul to hear child-laughter on the Hill;
But the Tree that shades their merriment is younger than they know
And the heart that set it there is younger still.
C. Baillie / '03