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To Time

 Time! on whose arbitrary wing
The varying hours must flag or fly,
Whose tardy winter, fleeting spring,
But drag or drive us on to die---
Hail thou! who on my birth bestowed
Those boons to all that know thee known;
Yet better I sustain thy load,
For now I bear the weight alone.
I would not one fond heart should share The bitter moments thou hast given; And pardon thee---since thou couldst spare All that I loved, to peace or Heaven.
To them be joy or rest---on me Thy future ills shall press in vain; I nothing owe but years to thee, A debt already paid in pain.
Yet even that pain was some relief; It felt, but still forgot thy power: The active agony of grief Retards, but never counts the hour.
In joy I've sighed to think thy flight Would soon subside from swift to slow; Thy cloud could overcast the light, But could not add a night to Woe; For then, however drear and dark, My soul was suited to thy sky; One star alone shot forth a spark To prove thee---not Eternity.
That beam hath sunk---and now thou art A blank---a thing to count and curse Through each dull tedious trifling part, Which all regret, yet all rehearse.
One scene even thou canst not deform--- The limit of thy sloth or speed When future wanderers bear the storm Which we shall sleep too sound to heed.
And I can smile to think how weak Thine efforts shortly shall be shown, When all the vengeance thou canst wreak Must fall upon---a nameless stone.

by George (Lord) Byron
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