I ask'd an aged man, a man of cares,
Wrinkled and curved, and white with hoary hairs:
"Time is the warp of life," he said;
The young, the fair, the gay, to weave 't
I ask'd the ancient, venerable dead—
Sages who wrote, and warriors who bled:
From the cold grave a hollow murmur
"Time sow'd the seed we reap in this
I ask'd a dying sinner, ere the tide
Of life had left his veins: "Time?" he
"I've lost it! Ah, the treasure!" and he
I ask'd the golden sun and silver spheres,
Those bright chronometers of days and years:
They answer'd: "Time is but a meteor's
And bade me for Eternity prepare.
I ask'd the Seasons, in their annual round,
Which beautify or desolate the ground;
And they replied (no oracle more wise):
"'Tis Folly's blank, and Wisdom's
I ask'd a spirit lost, but oh! the shriek
That pierced my soul! I shudder while I speak.
It cried, "A particle! a speck! a mite
Of endless years—duration infinite!"
Of things inanimate, my dial I
Consulted, and it made me this reply:
"Time is the season fair of living
The path of glory, or the path of hell."
I ask'd my Bible, and methinks it said:
"Time is the present hour—the past is
Live! live to-day; to-morrow never yet
On any human being rose or set."
I ask'd old Father Time himself at last,
But in a moment he flew swiftly past—
His chariot was a cloud, the viewless wind
His noiseless steeds, which left no trace behind.
I ask'd the mighty Angel who shall stand
One foot on sea, and one on solid land;
"By Heaven!" he cried, "I swear the
Time was," he cried, "but time shall be no