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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

John Collins

361. To-Morrow

IN the downhill of life, when I find I’m declining,

May my fate no less fortunate be

Than a snug elbow-chair can 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 to-morrow.

With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade too.

As the sun-shine 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,

Nor what honours may wait him to-morrow.

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 to-morrow.

And when I at last must throw off this frail covering,

Which I’ve worn for three-score years and ten,

On the brink of the grave I’ll not seek to keep hovering,

Nor my thread wish to spin o’er again:

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

And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow;

And this old worn-out stuff which is threadbare today,

May become everlasting to-morrow.