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TO THE SAME
The twentieth year is well-nigh past
My Mary !
Partakers of thy sad decline
My Mary! And still to love, though prest with ill, In wintry age to feel no chill, With me is to be lovely still,
My Mary! But ah! by constant heed I know How oft the sadness that I show Transforms thy smiles to looks of woe,
My Mary! And should my future lot be cast With much resemblance of the past, Thy worn-out heart will break at last
My Mary !
Obscurest night involved the sky,
The Atlantic billows roar'd,
Wash'd headlong from on board,
Than he with whom he went,
With warmer wishes sent, He loved them both, but both in vain, Nor him beheld, nor her again.
Xot long beneath the whelming brine,
Expert to swim, he lay; Nor soon he felt his strength decline,
Or courage die away ; But waged with death a lasting strife, Supported by despair of life.
He shouted : nor his friends had faild
To check the vessel's course,
That, pitiless perforce,
Some succour yet they could afford ;
And such as storms allow, The cask, the coop, the floated cord,
Delay'd not to bestow. But he (they knew) nor ship nor shore, Whate'er they gave, should visit more.
Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he
Their haste himself condemn,
Alone could rescue them ;
He long survives, who lives an hour
In ocean, self-upheld ;
His destiny repellid;
At length, his transient respite past,
His comrades, who before
Could catch the sound no more ; For then, by toil subdued, he drank The stifling wave, and then he sank.
No poet wept him ; but the page
of narrative sincere,
Is wet with Anson's tear :
Descanting on his fate,
A more enduring date :
No light propitious shone,
We perish'd, each alone :
In the downhill of life, when I find I'm declining,
May my fate no less fortunate be
And a cot that o’erlooks the wide sea ;
While I carol away idle sorrow,
Look forward with hope for Tomorrow. With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade
too, As the sunshine or rain may prevail ; And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade
And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;
From the bleak northern blast may my cot be com
pletely Secured by a neighbouring hill ; And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly
By the sound of a murmuring rill :
With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,
And let them spread the table Tomorrow. And when I at last must throw off this frail cov'ring
Which I've worn for three-score years and ten, On the brink of the grave l’ll not seek to keep
hov'ring, Nor my thread wish to spin o'er again : But my face in the glass I'll serenely survey,
And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow; As this old worn-out stuff, which is threadbare Today, May become Everlasting Tomorrow.
Life! I know not what thou art,
Life! we've been long together
Choose thine own time;
A. L. Barbauld