Oh! First Time Came

By Charles Swain

Oh! first Time came in crimson shoes—
With little roses blue and yellow,
He came with playthings, to amuse,
And I was then a happy fellow:
In dancing soles he next skipped by,
With song and music, sweet and sprightly,
While Love’s eyes o’er Time’s shoulder nigh,
Smiled forth, like stars of heaven, nightly.
Again Time called in boots and spurs,
And rode as if his days were numbered;
The next in slippers, lined with furs,
In elbow-chair he sat and slumbered:
I heard the distant music play,
I thought of hours of love and dancing,
But Time grew slower, day by day,
As if with hearse and plume advancing.
Ah me! but once sweet Childhood comes,
But once bright Youth to love may guide us,
Time, year to year, like lightning sums,
And age and darkness stand beside us:
Ah well! old Time, life’s but a day—
With some few gleams our path adorning;
The night will come, whate’er we say—
It cannot always, Time, be morning.

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