Mary Robinson ( )

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 powr thy wings can bind,
All earthly pleasures fly with THEE;
Inconstant as the wavring wind
That plays upon the summer sea. 

I court thee not, ungentle guest,
For I have eer been doomd to find
Lifes gayest hours but idly drest,
With sweets that pall the sickning mind:
When smiling HOPE with placid mien,
Around my couch did fondly play;
Too oft thy aery form Ive seen,
On DOWNY pinions glide away. 

But when, perplexd with pain or care,
My couch with THORNS was scatterd round;
When the pale priestess of DESPAIR
My mind in fatal spells had bound; 
When the dull hours no joy could bring,
No bliss my weary fancy prove;
I markd thy leaden, pondrous wing,
With TARDY pace, unkindly move. 

IF SUCH THY GIFTS, O Time! for thee
My sated heart shall neer repine;
I bow content to FATES decree,
And with thy thorns thy roses twine;
Yet eer thy fickle reign shall end,
The balmy sweets of FRIENDSHIPS hour,
Ill with my cup of sorrow blend,

Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. Ode to Melancholy
  2. Ode to Valour
  3. Sonnet 9. Ye, Who in Alleys Green
  4. Sonnet 24. O Thou! Meek Orb
  5. Stanzas Written under an Oak in Windsor Forest

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