The Metamorphose by James Barclay

With rolling time that all things change,
Has oft been said, and oft been sung:
One instance more; the difference strange
‘Twixt WITWOUD old, and WITWOUD young!

In youth, compound of curls and lace,
Of giggle, fidget, and of froth;
One simper dimpled in his face,
No butterfly more void of wrath.

Pleas’d with himself, with all well-pleas’d,
The flutterer scarce could give offence:
Or if he teaz’d, with nought he teaz’d,
But simple, pure, impertinence.

Now view him in declining age,
Assume the four satyric frown:
On friends and foes discharge his rage,
The very SCARECROW of the town.

So Flies, in frisk, and buzz, and play,
That harmless through the summer past,
When ready to be swept away,
Grow blind, and sting us at the last.


Date: 1770

By: James Barclay (1746/7-1774)

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