When my hair is thin and silvered,
and my time of toil is through;
when I've many years behind me,
and ahead of me a few;
I shall want to sit, I reckon,
sort of dreaming in the sun;
and recall the roads I've traveled
and the many things I've done.
I hope there'll be no picture
that I'll hate to look upon;
when the time to paint it better
or to wipe it out, is gone.
I hope there'll be no vision
of a hasty word I've said
that has left a trail of sorrow,
like a whip welt, sore and red.
And I hope my old age dreaming
will bring back no bitter scene
of a time when I was selfish,
or a time when I was mean.
When I'm getting old and feeble,
and I'm far along life's way,
I don't want to sit regretting
any bygone yesterday.
I am painting now the picture
that I'll want someday to see;
I am filling in a canvas
that will soon come back to me.
Though nothing great is on it,
and though nothing there is fine,
I shall want to look it over
when I'm old, and call it mine.
So I do not dare to leave it
while the paint is warm and wet,
with a single thing upon it
that I later will regret.