On the Shortness of Time

Original Text: 
Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, "The Love Sonnets of Proteus," "Part IV. -- Vita Nova," (The Love Sonnets of Proteus), Poems (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1923): 87. PR 4149 B8A17
1If I could live without the thought of death,
2Forgetful of time's waste, the soul's decay,
3I would not ask for other joy than breath,
4With light and sound of birds and the sun's ray.
5I could sit on untroubled day by day
6Watching the grass grow, and the wild flowers range
7From blue to yellow and from red to grey
8In natural sequence as the seasons change.
9I could afford to wait, but for the hurt
10Of this dull tick of time which chides my ear.
11But now I dare not sit with loins ungirt
12And staff unlifted, for death stands too near.
13I must be up and doing -- ay, each minute.
14The grave gives time for rest when we are in it.
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
The Love Songs of Proteus (London: Kegan Paul, 1881): 103. PR 4149 B8L6 1881 Robarts Library
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: