The Old Man in Spring
By Bertolt Brecht
Oh back in my day when I was a youngster
Spring was lovelier than it is today
And that the lovely girls back then were lovelier
Is the only thing that cheers us old men on their way.
Ask your mother: she thinks the same as I do
Nobody knows what’s what before they’re old.
The old have seen a lot and I can tell you
Yours is the age of iron and ours was gold.
It must be true that corn and meadow now
Are not so green and gold as they were then
For if it isn’t true and if they are, how
Would I be able still to visit them?
But that the sun today is ever colder
Than were the splendid suns of yesteryear
Is not a good thing for as you get older
Each year you love the sunshine more and more.
Back then our lives and loves and poetry
Were something else—not what they are today
We’re the only thing that’s still the same. Well, tell me
Who likes you changing once your hair’s gone gray?
—Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956)