RECOGITABO TIBI OMNES ANNOS MEOS
Time! where didst thou those years inter
Which I have seen decease?
My soul's at war, and truth bids her
Find out their hidden sepulchre,
To give her troubles peace.
Pregnant with flowers doth not the Spring
Like a late bride appear?
Whose feather'd music7474music, used here plurally for musicians only bring
Caresses, and no requiem sing
On the departed year?
The Earth, like some rich wanton heir
Whose parents coffin'd lie,
Forgets it once look'd pale and bare,
And doth for vanities prepare,
As the Spring ne'er should die.
The present hour, flatter'd by all,
Reflects not on the last;
But I, like a sad factor7575factor, business-manager, shall
To account my life each moment call,
And only weep the past.
My memory tracks each several way
Since reason did begin
Over my actions her first sway:
And teacheth me that each new day
Did only vary sin.
Poor bankrupt Conscience! where are those
Rich hours but farm'd to thee?
How carelessly I some did lose,
And other to my lust dispose,
As no rent-day should be!
I have infected with impure
Disorders my first years.
But I'll to penitence inure
Those that succeed. There is no cure
Nor antidote but tears.