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Poem by Frederick Locker-Lampson


O Tempora Mutantur!


    O cruel Time!  O tyrant Time!
    Whose winter all the streams of rhyme,
    The flowing waves of Love sublime,
       In bitter passage freezes.
    I only see the scrambling goat,
    The lotos on the water float,
    While an old shepherd with an oat
       Pipes to the autumn breezes.

    Mr M. Collins.

Yes! here, once more, a traveller,
   I find the Angel Inn,
Where landlord, maids, and serving-men,
   Receive me with a grin:
They surely cant remember me,
   My hair is grey and scanter;
Im changd, so changd since I was here
   O tempora mutantur!

The Angels not much alterd since
   That sunny month of June,
Which brought me here with Pamela
   To spend our honey-moon!
I recollect it down to een
   The shape of this decanter.
Weve since been both much put about
   O tempora mutantur!

Aye, theres the clock, and looking-glass
   Reflecting me again;
She vowd her Love was very fair
   I see Im very plain.
And theres that daub of Prince Leboo,
   Twas Pamelas fond banter
To fancy it resembled me
   O tempora mutantur!

The curtains have been dyed; but there,
   Unbroken, is the same,
The very same cracked pane of glass
   On which I scratchd her name.
Yes! theres her tiny flourish still,
   It used to so enchant her
To link two happy names in one
   O tempora mutantur!

* * * * *

What brought this wandrer here, and why
   Was Pamela away?
It may be she had found her grave,
   Or he had found her gay.
The fairest fade; the best of men
   May meet with a supplanter;
How natural, how trite the cry,
   O tempora mutantur!



Frederick Locker-Lampson


Frederick Locker-Lampson's other poems:
  1. To My Grandmother
  2. The Garter
  3. My Mistress's Boots
  4. The Castle in the Air
  5. The Pilgrims of Pall Mall


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