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The Touch of Time

J. Le Gay Brereton

TIME, who with soft pale ashes veils the brand
    Of many a hope that flared against the sky
    To plant its heaven-storming banners high,
Has touched you with no desecrating hand;
Your beauty wins a ripeness sweet and bland
    As opulent summer, and your glancing eye
    Glows with a deeper lustre, and your sigh
Of love is still my clamouring heart’s command.

Yet what if all your fairness were defaced,
    Wilted by passionate whirlwinds, battle-scarred,
        Your skin of delicate satin hard and dry?
Still you would be the laughing girl who graced
    A gloomy manhood, by forebodings marred,
        In the deep wood where still we love to lie.

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