Whoever you are, holding me now in hand, Without one thing, all will be useless, I give you fair warning, before you attempt me further, I am not what you supposed, but far different. Who is he that would become my follower? Who would sign himself a candidate for my affections? The way is
My 71st Year
After surmounting threescore and ten,
With all their chances, changes, losses, sorrows,
My parents' deaths, the vagaries of my life, the many tearing passions of me, the war of '63 and '4,
As some old broken soldier, after a long, hot, wearying march, or as haply after battle,
At twilight, hobbling, answering yet to company roll-call, Here, with vital voice,
Reporting yet, saluting yet the Officer over all.
This poem is in the public domain.