Frederick Locker-Lampson (Фредерик Локер-Лэмпсон)

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:

  1. To My Grandmother
  2. Old Letters
  3. The Russet Pitcher
  4. The Enchanted Rose
  5. Susannah

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