My hand hath lost its cunning,
My eyes are growing dim,
So my Muse's fount stops running,
With this tiny Birthday hymn.
Woodbridge: 3rd Feb., 1848.
My Dear Friend,
Thy praise nearly forty years ago reconciled me to my first poetical efforts. Do I hope too much in desiring to obtain it for what my prove my last? I expect I shall provoke a smile from thee in talking of old age at sixty-four; but forty years of clerkship and hardship together have well-nigh used me up and worn me out.
Believe me ever respectfully thine,