Time’s Reversals
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.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (lane@elcore.net)
Created April 14, 2001; not revised.