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Old Fitz, who from your suburb grange

Where once I tarried for a while,

Glance at the wheeling Orb of change,

And greet it with a kindly smile;

Whom yet I see as there you sit

Beneath your sheltering garden-tree,

And watch your doves about you flit,

And plant on shoulder, hand and knee,

Or on your head their rosy feet,

As if they, knew your diet spares

Whatever moved in that full sheet

Let down to Peter at his prayers:

Who live on milk and meal and grass;

And once for ten long weeks I tried

Your table of Pythagoras,

And seem'd at first "a thing enskied"

(As Shakespeare has it) airy-light

To float above the ways of men,

Then fell from that half-spiritual height

Chill'd, till I tasted flesh again

One night when earth was winter-black,

And all the heavens flash'd in frost:

And on me, half-asleep, came back

That wholesome heat the blood had lest,

And set me climbing icy capes

And glaciers, over which there roll'd

To meet me long-arm'd vines with grapes

Of Eshcol hugeness; for the cold

Without, and warmth within me, wrought

To mould the dream; but none can say

That Lenten fare makes Lenten thought,

Who reads your golden Eastern lay,

Than which I know no version done

In English more divinely well;

A planet equal to the sun

Which cast it, that large infidel

Your Omar; and your Omar drew

Full-handed plaudits from our best

In modern letters, and from two,

Old friends outvaluing all the rest.

Two voices heard on earth no more;

But we old friends are still alive,

And I am nearing seventy-four,

While you have touch'd at seventy-five,

And so I send a birthday line

Of greeting; and my son, who dipt

In some forgotten book of mine

With sallow scraps of manuscript,

And dating many a year ago,

Has hit on this, which you will take

My Fitz, and welcome, as I know

Less for its own than for the sake

Of one recalling gracious times,

When, in our younger London days,

You found some merit in my rhymes,

And I more pleasure in your praise.

1 Epilogue by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

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