As we the withered ferns
By the roadway lying,
Time, the jester, spurns
All our prayers and prying --
Because he was a butcher and thereby
Did earn an honest living (and did right),
I would not have you think that Reuben Bright
Was any more a brute than you or I;
She fears him, and will always ask
What fated her to choose him;
She meets in his engaging mask
All reason to refuse him.
In dreams I crossed a barren land,
A land of ruin, far away;
Around me hung on every hand
A deathful stillness of decay;
Down by the flash of the restless water
The dim White Ship like a white bird lay;
Laughing at life and the world they sought her,
And out she swung to the silvering bay.
(SAINT HELENA, 1821)
Take it away, and swallow it yourself.
Withal a meagre man was Aaron Stark, --
Cursed and unkempt, shrewd, shrivelled, and morose.
A miser was he, with a miser's nose,
And eyes like little dollars in the dark.
Time was when his half million drew
The breath of six per cent;
But soon the worm of what-was-not
Fed hard on his content;
Old Archibald, in his eternal chair,
Where trespassers, whatever their degree,
Were soon frowned out again, was looking off
Across the clover when he said to me: