[Page 304]


1 THE lapse of time and rivers is the same,
2 Both speed their journey with a restless stream,
3 The silent pace with which they steal away,
4 No wealth can bribe, no pray'rs persuade to stay,
5 Alike irrevocable both when past,
6 And a wide ocean swallows both at last.
7 Though each resemble each in ev'ry part,
8 A difference strikes at length the musing heart;
9 Streams never flow in vain; where streams abound,
10 How laughs the land with various plenty crown'd!
11 But time that should enrich the nobler mind,
12 Neglected, leaves a dreary waste behind.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): A COMPARISON.
Themes: carpe diem
Genres: heroic couplet; philosophic poetry

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Source edition

Cowper, William, 1731-1800. Poems: by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. London: printed for J. Johnson, 1782, p. 304. [4],367,[1]p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T14895; OTA K027775.000) (Page images digitized by the University of California Libraries.)

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