When high Zeus first peopled earth

WHEN high Zeus first peopled earth, 
As sages say, 
All were children of one birth, 
Helpless nurslings. Doves and bees 
Tended their soft infancies : 
Hand to hand they tossed the ball, 
And none smiled to see the play, 
Nor stood aside 
In pride 
And pleasure of their youthful day. 

Then all waxed gray, 
Mourning in companies the winter dearth : 
Whatever they saw befall 
Their neighbours, they 
Felt in themselves ; so lay 
On life a pall. 

Zeus at the confusion smiled, 

And said, "From hence 
Man by change must be beguiled ; 
Age with royalties of death. 
Childhood sweeter than its breath, 

Will be won, if we provide 
Generation's difference." 

Wisely he planned ; 

The tiny hand 
In eld's weak palm found providence, 

And each through influence 
Of things beholden and not borne grew mild ; 
Youths by the old man's side 

Their turbulence 

To crystal sense 

Saw clarified. 

Dear, is not the story's truth 

Most manifest ? 
Had our lives been twined, forsooth, 
We had never had one heart : 
By Time set a space apart, 
We are bound by such close ties 
None can tell of either breast 
The native sigh 
Who try 
To learn with whom the Muse is guest. 

How sovereignly I'm blest 
To see and smell the rose of my own youth 
In thee : how pleasant lies 

My life, at rest 
From dream, its hope expressed 
Before mine eyes.