Past, Present, Future.

I mused while I turn’d on a feverish bed,1
Recalling the changes I’ve seen ;2
There is so much of grief and of grievance,” I said,3
In the things and the thoughts that have been,4
That they canker the budding of hope with their blight,5
And o’ershadow the future with memory’s night.”6
Then I counted the joys, and the beautiful dreams,7
Of the sunshine and stars of the past,8
In the glory-gilt twilight of youth-time, which seems9
To echo back bliss to the last :10
And I said, “ Life’s a blessing, and man should be blest,11
And the sorrows of life are but shadows at best.”12
It seem’d that I stood on the verge of the tomb,13
While the flapping of ravens I heard ;14
I felt the sweet calm between gladness and gloom,15
And patiently waited the word16
The word which should bid me descend, but my breast17
Was still as the snows on the mountains that rest.18
Too much I’ve enjoyed on life’s journey, to close19
My pilgrimage free from regret ;20
And I’ve suffered too much from its wants and its woes,21
Their scourgings and stings to forget :22
So come when it will the decree from on high,23
I am willing to live—but contented to die.24