What Gentle Zephyrs Fan

Poem (ed: it's James Whitcomb Riley, some of the verses are left out)

To Benj. F. Johnson

The Old Man

Lo! steadfast and serene,
In patient pause between
The seen and the unseen,
What gentle zephyrs fan
You silken silver hair, -
And what diviner air
Breathes round you like a prayer,
  Old Man?

Can you, in nearer view
Ol Glory, pierce the blue
Of happy Heaven through;
And, listening mutely, can
Your sense, dull to us,
Hear Angel - voices thus,
In chrous glorious - Old Man?

In your reposeful gaze
The dusk of Autumn days
Is blent with April haze,
As when of old began
The bursting of the bud
Of rosy babyhood -
When all the world was good,
  Old Man.
Found in "The African Queen" by C.S. Forester. Published by The Modern Library, 1940.


  1. Spend is to spent as blend is is blent. Marvelous.

  2. This edition of African Queen has the original final chapter written by Forester, which was omitted by his original publisher. A good read.