The Widow to her Hour Glass: a Tale


COME, friend, I’ll turn thee up again:
Companion of the lonely hour!
Spring thirty times hath fed with rain
And cloath’d with leaves my humble bower,
Since thou hast stood5
In frame of wood,
On Chest or Window by my side:
At every Birth still thou wert near,
Still spoke thine admonitions clear—
And, when my Husband died,10
I’ve often watch’d thy streaming sand
And seen the growing Mountain rise,
And often found Life’s hopes to stand
On props as weak in Wisdom’s eyes:
Its conic crown15
Still sliding down,
Again heap’d up, then down again;
The sand above more hollow grew,
Like days and years still filt’ring through,
And mingling joy and pain.20
While thus I spin and sometimes sing
(For now and then my heart will glow)
Thou measur’st Time’s expanding wing:
By thee the noontide hour I know:
Though silent thou,25
Still shalt thou flow,
And jog along thy destin’d way:
But when I glean the sultry fields,
When Earth her yellow Harvest yields,
Thou get’st a Holiday.30
Steady as Truth, on either end
Thy daily task performing well,
Thou’rt Meditation’s constant friend,
And strik’st the Heart without a Bell:
Come, lovely May!35
Thy lengthen’d day
Shall gild once more my native plain;
Curl inward here, sweet Woodbine flow’r;—
‘Companion of the lonely hour,
I’ll turn thee up again.’ [1] 40


[1] [1st edn, 1st state adds note:] There is something very pleasing in the lyric stanza here used. It is a very harmonious and characteristic form of versification: which, after having slept, if I mistake not, above a century, is here happily reviv’d. The turn of thought is natural, affecting, and poetic. C. L.] omitted in 1st edn, 2nd state and later edns BACK