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Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
I see thee daily weaker grow—
'Twas my distress that brought thee low,
My Mary!

Thy needles, once a shining store,
For my sake restless heretofore,
Now rust disused, and shine no more;
My Mary!

For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil

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The same kind office for me still,

Thy sight now seconds not thy will,
My Mary!


But well thou play'dst the housewife's part,

And all thy threads with magic art

Have wound themselves about this heart,
My Mary!


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Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,
My Mary!

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No voice divine the storm allay'd,
No light propitious shone,

When, snatch'd from all effectual aid,
We perish'd, each alone :

But I beneath a rougher sea,

And whelm'd in deeper gulfs than he.


W. Cowper


In the downhill of life, when I find I'm declining,
May my fate no less fortunate be

Than a snug elbow-chair will afford for reclining,
And a cot that o'erlooks the wide sea;


With an ambling pad-pony to pace o'er the lawn,
While I carol away idle sorrow,


And blithe as the lark that each day hails the dawn
Look forward with hope for Tomorrow.

With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade too,
As the sunshine or rain may prevail ;


And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade too,

With a barn for the use of the flail :

A cow for my dairy, a dog for my game,

And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;

I'll envy no Nabob his riches or fame,


Or what honours may wait him Tomorrow.

From the bleak northern blast may my cot be completely Secured by a neighbouring hill;

And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly
By the sound of a murmuring rill:


And while peace and plenty I find at my board,
With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,

With my friends may I share what Today may afford,
And let them spread the table Tomorrow.

And when I at last must throw off this frail cov'ring
Which I've worn for three-score years and ten,

On the brink of the grave I'll not seek to keep hov'ring,
Nor my thread wish to spin o'er again :

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But my face in the glass I'll serenely survey,

And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow;
As this old worn-out stuff, which is threadbare Today,
May become Everlasting Tomorrow.

J. Collins



Life! I know not what thou art,

But know that thou and I must part;
And when, or how, or where we met
I own to me's a secret yet.

Life! we've been long together

Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
'Tis hard to part when friends are dear –
Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;

-Then steal away, give little warning,

Choose thine own time;

Say not Good Night, but in some brighter clime

Bid me Good Morning.


A. L. Barbauld



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