To the Sun-Dial

Original Text: 
Poems of Religion and Society (Auburn: Derby and Miller, 1850): 38. Internet Archive
Under the Window of the Hall of the House of
Representatives of the United States
1Thou silent herald of Time's silent flight!
2    Say, could'st thou speak, what warning voice were thine?
3    Shade, who canst only show how others shine!
4Dark, sullen witness of resplendent light
5In day's broad glare, and when the moontide bright
6    Of laughing fortune sheds the ray divine,
7    Thy ready favors cheer us--but decline
8The clouds of morning and the gloom of night.
9Yet are thy counsels faithful, just, and wise;
10    They bid us seize the moments as they pass--
11Snatch the retrieveless sunbeam as it flies,
12    Nor lose one sand of life's revolving glass--
13Aspiring still, with energy sublime,
14By virtuous deeds to give eternity to Time.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: