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To his devoted heart*|
Who, young, had loved his ageing mate for life,
In late lone years Time gave the elder’s part,
Time gave the bridegroom’s boast, Time gave a younger wife.
A wilder prank and plot|
Time soon will promise, threaten, offering me
Impossible things that Nature suffers not
A daughter’s riper mind, a child’s seniority.
Oh, by my filial tears|
Mourned all too young, Father! On this my head
Time yet will force at last the longer years,
Claiming some strange respect for me from you, the dead.
Nay, nay! Too new to know|
Time’s conjuring is, too great to understand.
Memory has not died; it leaves me so
Leaning a fading brow on your unfaded hand.
* Dr. Johnson outlived by thirty years his wife,|
who was twenty years his senior.
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Created April 14, 2001; not revised.