The Soul's Quest and Other Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

TIME


 

I SAW Time in his workshop carving faces;
    Scattered around his tools lay, blunting griefs,
    Sharp cares that cut out deeply in reliefs
Of light and shade; sorrows that smooth the traces
Of what were smiles. Nor yet without fresh graces
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    His handiwork, for ofttimes rough were ground
    And polished, oft the pinched made smooth and round;
The calm look, too, the impetuous fire replaces.

Long time I stood and watched; with hideous grin
    He took each heedless face between his knees,

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        And graved and scarred and bleached with boiling tears.
I wondering turned to go, when, lo! my skin
    Feels crumpled, and in glass my own face sees
        Itself all changed, scarred, careworn, white with years.

1886.