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To Time

2005-11-14 00:00

  Time! on whose arbitrary wing

  The varying hours must flag or fly,

  Whose tardy winter, fleeting spring,

  But drag or drive us on to die——

  Hail thou! who on my birth bestowed

  Those boons to all that know thee known;

  Yet better I sustain thy load,

  For now I bear the weight alone.

  I would not one fond heart should share

  The bitter moments thou hast given;

  And pardon thee——since thou couldst spare

  All that I loved, to peace or Heaven.

  To them be joy or rest——on me

  Thy future ills shall press in vain;

  I nothing owe but years to thee,

  A debt already paid in pain.

  Yet even that pain was some relief;

  It felt, but still forgot thy power:

  The active agony of grief

  Retards, but never counts the hour.

  In joy I've sighed to think thy flight

  Would soon subside from swift to slow;

  Thy cloud could overcast the light,

  But could not add a night to Woe;

  For then, however drear and dark,

  My soul was suited to thy sky;

  One star alone shot forth a spark

  To prove thee——not Eternity.

  That beam hath sunk——and now thou art

  A blank——a thing to count and curse

  Through each dull tedious trifling part,

  Which all regret, yet all rehearse.

  One scene even thou canst not deform——

  The limit of thy sloth or speed

  When future wanderers bear the storm

  Which we shall sleep too sound to heed.

  And I can smile to think how weak

  Thine efforts shortly shall be shown,

  When all the vengeance thou canst wreak

  Must fall upon——a nameless stone.

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