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Meeting with Time, 'Slack thing,' said I,

'Thy scythe is dull; whet it, for shame.'

'No marvel, sir,' he did reply,

'If it at length deserve some blame;

But where one man would have me grind it,

Twenty for one too sharp do find it.'

'Perhaps some such of old did pass,

Who above all things loved this life;

To whom thy scythe a hatchet was,

Which now is but a pruning knife.

CHRIST's coming hath made man thy debtor,

Since by thy cutting he grows better.

'And in His blessing thou art blest;

For where thou only wert before

An executioner at best,

Thou art a gardener now; and more,

An usher to convey our souls

Beyond the utmost stars and poles.

'And this is that makes life so long,

While it detains us from our GOD;

E'en pleasures here increase the wrong,

And length of days lengthens the rod.

Who wants the place where GOD doth dwell,

Partakes already half of hell.

'Of what strange length must that needs be,

Which e'en eternity excludes!'

Thus far Time heard me patiently;

Then chafing said: 'This man deludes;

What do I here before his door?

He doth not crave less time, but more.'

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