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O, Time!

From the Rock Island Argus, February 15, 1913.
 By S. E. Kiser.

 Backward, turn backward, O time, in your flight!
 Give me conceit again, just for tonight;
 Carry me back to the days when I wore
 Loud clothes and in fact, was a gay sophomore;
 Smooth from my forehead all traces of care
 Cover my poll with a thatch of dark hair;
 Put all the doubts that assail me to sleep
 Give back the self-love I neglected to keep.
 Tired of the hollow, the base and untrue.
 I long to be somewhere around 22,
 With the boundless conceit that enlivened me then,
 When I fancied I wielded a masterful pen;
 When I thought that the things which I wrote were sublime,
 And was sure that my fame must endure through all time—
 When I proudly believed that my wisdom was deep
 And that genius was resting when I went to sleep.
 Turn backward, O time, for tonight, won’t you please
 And let me be gladdened by youth’s ecstasies?
 Permit me to have the cock-sureness of yore
 That I had when I strutted, a proud sophomore,
 Believing I knew all a mortal might know
 And sure I was chosen to lead here below;
 Oh put all the doubts that perplex me to sleep,
 Give back the conceit I’ve neglected to keep.

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