A Celebration of Women Writers

"Stanzas to Time." by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
From: Robinson, Mrs. M. Poems. London: J. Bell, 1791. pp. 157-158.

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[Page 157]

STANZAS

TO

TIME.

CAPRICIOUS foe to human joy,
  Still varying with the fleeting day;
With thee the purest raptures cloy,
  The fairest prospects fade away;
Nor worth, nor pow'r thy wings can bind,
  All earthly pleasures fly with THEE;
Inconstant as the wav'ring wind
  That plays upon the summer sea.

I court thee not, ungentle guest,
  For I have e'er been doom'd to find
Life's gayest hours but idly drest,
  With sweets that pall the sick'ning mind:
When smiling HOPE with placid mien,
  Around my couch did fondly play;
Too oft thy aëry form I've seen,
  On DOWNY pinions glide away.

But when, perplex'd with pain or care,
  My couch with THORNS was scatter'd round;
When the pale priestess of DESPAIR
  My mind in fatal spells had bound;

[Page 158]

When the dull hours no joy could bring,
  No bliss my weary fancy prove;
I mark'd thy leaden, pond'rous wing,
  With TARDY pace, unkindly move.

IF SUCH THY GIFTS, O Time! for thee
  My sated heart shall ne'er repine;
I bow content to FATE'S decree,
  And with thy thorns thy roses twine;
Yet e'er thy fickle reign shall end,
  The balmy sweets of FRIENDSHIP'S hour,
I'll with my cup of sorrow blend,
  And smile, REGARDLESS OF THY POW'R.

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