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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.

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