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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

A Comparison

William Cowper (1731–1800)

THE LAPSE of time and rivers is the same,

Both speed their journey with a restless stream;

The silent pace with which they steal away,

No wealth can bribe, no prayers persuade to stay;

Alike irrevocable both when past,

And a wide ocean swallows both at last.

Though each resemble each in every part,

A difference strikes at length the musing heart;

Streams never flow in vain; where streams abound

How laughs the land with various plenty crowned!

But time, that should enrich the nobler mind,

Neglected, leaves a dreary waste behind.