When in fair childhood's far-off lands I played beneath Sol's golden rays.
I thought myself immortal then and never spared a thought for death,
For I was just a lad of ten, but now I'm old and short of breath.
With little time ahead of me, my mind turns backwards to the past,
And days of glory do I see of happy times I thought would last.
But Time, the one who mocks us all, will have her way as years pass by,
We are but captives in Time's thrall and 'tis appointed that we die.
But in my mind I'm young once more, surrounded by my childhood friends,
And things are as they were before in mystic time that never ends.
There's Tom and Jim and Joe and Bill, restored to youth once more in dreams,
We play again upon that hill which rang with laughs and joyous screams.
Then they grew up and went their way; they met and married loving wives,
They gave their all in work and play, they led such rich, fulfilling lives.
There was so much I meant to do, but never seemed to find the time,
And now I sit here whilst I rue that I'm no longer in my prime.
But then as if freed from a trance my reverie comes to a close.
In mirrored-glass I catch a glance and wonder if that old man knows
When he was young he had it all, the whole wide-world lay at his feet;
He should have conquered and stood tall - but now I stoop low in defeat.
My friends are gone, dead many years, and I am left to face my fate,
I try to hold back stinging tears and know I've left things far too late.
I should have made more of my life and not just let it slip away,
And raw regret cuts like a knife for things unsaid I meant to say.
Regret for things I meant to do, but sadly, madly, left undone.
The women that I meant to woo, who might have borne to me a son.
I sat and watched life pass me by as I was left upon the shelf,
And then it was too late to try and I blame no one but myself.
So one truth now I realize, that life is like a bitter pill,
And as I dab tears from my eyes I dream once more of that green hill,
Remembering with poignant joy the happy lad I was at ten -
And wish I was a little boy, if only for one day again.