O Tempora Mutantur!
“O cruel Time! O tyrant Time! Whose winter all the streams of rhyme, The flowing waves of Love sublime, In bitter passage freezes. I only see the scrambling goat, The lotos on the water float, While an old shepherd with an oat Pipes to the autumn breezes.” Mr M. Collins. Yes! here, once more, a traveller, I find the Angel Inn, Where landlord, maids, and serving-men, Receive me with a grin: They surely can’t remember me, My hair is grey and scanter; I’m chang’d, so chang’d since I was here— “O tempora mutantur!” The Angel’s not much alter’d since That sunny month of June, Which brought me here with Pamela To spend our honey-moon! I recollect it down to e’en The shape of this decanter. We’ve since been both much put about— “O tempora mutantur!” Aye, there’s the clock, and looking-glass Reflecting me again; She vow’d her Love was very fair— I see I’m very plain. And there’s that daub of Prince Leboo, ’Twas Pamela’s fond banter To fancy it resembled me— “O tempora mutantur!” The curtains have been dyed; but there, Unbroken, is the same, The very same cracked pane of glass On which I scratch’d her name. Yes! there’s her tiny flourish still, It used to so enchant her To link two happy names in one— “O tempora mutantur!” * * * * * What brought this wand’rer here, and why Was Pamela away? It may be she had found her grave, Or he had found her gay. The fairest fade; the best of men May meet with a supplanter;— How natural, how trite the cry, “O tempora mutantur!”
Frederick Locker-Lampson’s other poems:
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