Thou grave old Time Piece, many a time and oft
I've been your debtor for the time of day;
And every time I cast my eyes aloft,
And swell the debt--I think 'tis time to pay.
Thou, like a sentinel upon a tower,
Hast thou still announced "the enemy's" retreat,
And now that I have got a leisure hour,
Thy praise, thou old Repeater, I'll repeat.
A very striking object, all must own,
For years you've been, and may for years remain,
And though fierce storms around your head have blown,
Your form erect, and clear and mellow tone,
Despite their violence, you still retain.
A "double face," some foolishly believe,
Of gross deception is a certain sign;
But thy four faces may their fears relieve,
For who can boast so frank a life as thine.
You ne'er disguised your thoughts for purpose mean,
You ne'er conceal'd your knowledge from the crowd,
Like knaves and asses that I've sometimes seen,
But what you knew with fearlessness avow'd.
Time, with his scythe, could never mow you down,
Though you could cut him up in fragments small--
Showing his halves and quarters to the town,
Old Quarter Master General for us all.
Though unambitious, still the highest place
All ranks and classes cheerfully resign,
And "looking up to thee," feel no disgrace