Not an old man — a little past his prime
Perhaps , and weary , ready to retire
A few years early , and make much of time
Shaping retirement to his heart’s desire :
A house , arranged for comfort and delight ;
A garden full of flowers for him to tend ;
The countryside , the stars and owls by night ,
His dogs , his books , his welcome for a friend.
He pushed aside the thought that life might seem
Lonely , so much retired , no kin , no wife :
And God was with him : he possessed his dream
One long bright day , slept , and went home to life .
His friends are those who turning from his grave
Help , for his sake , the gentle and the brave .
[April or May 1968. On Milton Ching]