I am eighty today; yes eighty years old.
I number the paths I have trod,
For my health and my strength and vigor of life
I daily give thanks to my God.
Eight decades today in the morning they say,
In a little log house by a run,
In the edge of the woods where the sugar trees stood,
I first saw the light of the sun.
In Ohio so great, that wonderful state,
Where great men and wisemen are born,
On August fourteen, eighteen forty-two,
They hailed me a son of the morn.
In ninteen twenty-two, God's mercy in view,
At this acme of eighty I stand,
I mark every year by a joy or a tear,
As a gift from his bountiful hand.
The wife of my youth, from her mansion above,
The sequel of a dutiful life,
Still brightens my dreams by the light of her love,
The unspeakable love of a wife.
The sons we so love and the daughters so dear,
Who from our happiness came,
By the labors and strife of useful life
Shed honors upon my name.
They gather no more as they did of yore,
Within the parental fold,
They are scattered wide on life's surging tide,
They, too, are growing old.
Another there is who abides with me now,
Whose love is the joy of my life;
On her strength do I lean, to her faith do I bow,
My devoted, affectionate wife.
The "three score and ten" accorded to man,
As the days of their years upon earth
Was not spoken of man to limit his span
To seventy years from his birth.
For to Moses who wrote (his language I quote
From that beautiful ninety first psalm),
Twelve decades he sped while yet Isreal he led
Thru the Red Sea and Arabian palms,
And away from Pharaoh's rod,
To Canaan so blest, where Nebshe rests,
On that beautiful mountain of God.
Yes--I am eighty years old, and as onward I go
In the paths that others have trod,
I feel in my heart the wonderful part
That friends and relations have done
By their faith and their cheers
To brighten the course I have run
And I daily give thanks to my God.
A. J. Abbott
Santa Fe, New Mexico
August 14th, 1922