If wisdom be ascribed to age,
I surely am the greatest sage;
For my antiquity I trace,
Higher than any Welchman's race:
I was with Adam at the first,
I witnessed his return to dust;
With Noah too I did embark,
To make the voyage in the ark;
And all the famous men of old,
Whose feats are either sung or told,
With me their early course begun,
And closed with me their setting sun.
To all, my lessons I impart
Seeking to mend each wayward heart;
And my assistance ever lend
To those who will themselves befriend,
But such as would my influence shun,
Sooner or later are undone;
They often wish me far away,
And blame and chide my lingering stay;
Yet when their wish is crowned at last,
And weeks, and months, and years are past,
They strangely of my flight complain,
And vainly wish me back again.
But when my presence is neglected,
And all my favours are rejected,
I leave the doubters to deplore,
For I return to them no more.
What am I?