30 Greatest Poems about Time

The lesson I mainly learned throughout my existence is how important time is. Especially now that I’m already an adult, spending a day without productively doing anything makes me feel guilty about how much time I’m already wasting.

These are thirty (30) greatest poems about time that you might also relate to, and if you are interested in this topic, these poems are for you.

Keep reading!

Time 1

The ticking – ticking – ticking of the clock!
That vexed me so last night! “For though Time keeps
Such drowsy watch,” I moaned, “he never sleeps,
But only nods above the world to mock
Its restless occupant, then rudely rock
It as the cradle of a babe that weeps!”
I seemed to see the seconds piled in heaps
Like sand about me; and at every shock
O’ the bell, the piled sands were swirled away
As by a desert-storm that swept the earth
Stark as a granary floor, whereon the gray
And mist-bedrizzled moon amidst the dearth
Came crawling, like a sickly child, to lay
Its pale face next mine own and weep for day.

James Whitcomb Riley

Time 2

Wait for the morning! Ah! We wait indeed
For daylight, we who toss about through stress
Of vacant-armed desires and emptiness
Of all the warm, warm touches that we need,
And the warm kisses upon which we feed
Our famished lips in fancy! May God bless
The starved lips of us with but one caress
Warm as the yearning blood our poor hearts bleed…!
A wild prayer! Bite thy pillow, praying so –
Toss this side, and whirl that, and moan for dawn;
Let the clock’s seconds dribble out their woe,
And Time be drained of sorrow! Long ago
We heard the crowing cock, with answer drawn
As hoarsely sad at throat as sobs… Pray on!

James Whitcomb Riley


From “Irene”

To-morrow’s action! can that hoary wisdom,
Borne down with years, still doat upon to-morrow!
The fatal mistress of the young, the lazy,
The coward and the fool, condemned to lose
An useless life in waiting for to-morrow,
To gaze with longing eyes upon to-morrow,
Till interposing death destroys the prospect.
Strange that this general fraud from day to day
Should fill the world with wretches, undetected!
The soldier, laboring through a winter’s march,
Still sees to-morrow drest in robes of triumph;
Still to the lover’s long-expecting arms
To-morrow brings the visionary bride.
But thou, too old to bear another cheat,
Learn that the present hour alone is man’s.

Samuel Johnson

Three Days

So much to do: so little done!
Ah! yesternight I saw the sun
Sink beamless down the vaulted gray,—
The ghastly ghost of YESTERDAY.

So little done: so much to do!
Each morning breaks on conflicts new;
But eager, brave, I ’ll join the fray,
And fight the battle of TO-DAY.

So much to do: so little done!
But when it ’s o’er,—the victory won,—
Oh! then, my soul, this strife and sorrow
Will end in that great, glad TO-MORROW.

James Roberts Gilmore

Time the Supreme

From “Night Thoughts,” Night I.

The bell strikes one: we take no note of time,
But from its loss. To give it, then, a tongue,
Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke,
I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright,
It is the knell of my departed hours:
Where are they? With the years beyond the flood.
It is the signal that demands despatch;
How much is to be done! my hopes and fears
Start up alarmed, and o’er life’s narrow verge
Look down—on what? a fathomless abyss;
A dread eternity; how surely mine!
And can eternity belong to me,
Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour?

*        *        *        *        *
Time the supreme!—Time is eternity;
Pregnant with all eternity can give;
Pregnant with all that makes archangels smile.
Who murders time, he crushes in the birth
A power ethereal, only not adored.
Ah! how unjust to Nature and himself,
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
Like children babbling nonsense in their sports,
We censure Nature for a span too short;
That span too short, we tax as tedious too;
Torture invention, all expedients tire,
To lash the lingering moments into speed,
And whirl us (happy riddance!) from ourselves.
Art, brainless Art! our furious charioteer
(For Nature’s voice, unstifled, would recall),
Drives headlong towards the precipice of death!
Death, most our dread; death, thus more dreadful made:
O, what a riddle of absurdity!
Leisure is pain; takes off our chariot wheels:
How heavily we drag the load of life!
Blest leisure is our curse: like that of Cain,
It makes us wander; wander earth around
To fly that tyrant, Thought. As Atlas groaned
The world beneath, we groan beneath an hour.
We cry for mercy to the next amusement:
The next amusement mortgages our fields;
Slight inconvenience! prisons hardly frown,
From hateful Time if prisons set us free.
Yet when Death kindly tenders us relief,
We call him cruel; years to moments shrink,
Ages to years. The telescope is turned.
To man’s false optics (from his folly false)
Time, in advance, behind him hides his wings,
And seems to creep, decrepit with his age;
Behold him when past by: what then is seen
But his broad pinions, swifter than the winds?
And all mankind, in contradiction strong,
Rueful, aghast, cry out on his career.

Edward Young

Time, Beauty’s Friend

“Is she still beautiful?” I asked of one
Who of the unforgotten faces told
That for long years I had not looked upon –
“Beautiful still – but she is growing old”;
And for a space I sorrowed, thinking on
That face of April gold.

Then up the summer night the moon arose,
Glassing her sacred beauty in the sea,
That ever at her feet in silver flows;
And with her rising came a thought to me –
How ever old and ever young she grows,
And still more lovely she.

Thereat I smiled, thinking on lovely things
That dateless and immortal beauty wear,
Whereof the song immortal tireless sings,
And Time but touches to make lovelier;
On Beauty sempiternal as the Spring’s –
So old are all things fair.

Then for that face I cast aside my fears,
For changing Time is Beauty’s changeless friend,
That never reaches but for ever nears,
Tireless the old perfections to transcend,
Fairness more fair to fashion with the years,
And loveliest to end.

Richard Le Gallienne

Time: An Enigma

Ever eating, never cloying,
All-devouring, all-destroying,
Never finding full repast
Till I eat the world at last.

Jonathan Swift

Those Days have Gone.

Those days have gone, those happy days,
When we two loved to roam,
Beside the rivulet that strays,
Near by my rustic home.
Yes, they have fled, and in the past,
We’ve left them far behind,
Yet dear I hold, those days of old,
When you were true and kind.

You dreamed not then of wealth or fame,
The world was bright and fair,
I seldom knew a grief or game,
That you, too, did not share.
And though I mourn my hapless fate,
In mem’ry’s store I find,
And dearly hold those days of old,
When you were true and kind.

Say, can the wealth you now possess,
Such happiness procure,
As did our youthful pleasures bless,
When both our hearts were pure?
No, – and though wandering apart,
I strive to be resigned;
And dearer hold those days of old,
When you were true and kind.

And if your thoughts should turn to me,
With one pang of regret,
Know that this heart, still beats for thee,
And never will forget;
Those tender links of long ago
Are round my heart entwined,
And dear I hold those days of old,
When you were true and kind.

John Hartley


From “Night Thoughts,” Night I.

Be wise to-day; ’t is madness to defer;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is pushed out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time;
Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
If not so frequent, would not this be strange?
That ’t is so frequent, this is stranger still.
Of man’s miraculous mistakes this bears
The palm, “That all men are about to live,”
Forever on the brink of being born.
All pay themselves the compliment to think
They one day shall not drivel: and their pride
On this reversion takes up ready praise;
At least, their own; their future selves applaud:
How excellent that life they ne’er will lead!
Time lodged in their own hands is folly’s veils;
That lodged in Fate’s, to wisdom they consign;
The thing they can’t but purpose, they postpone:
’T is not in folly not to scorn a fool,
And scarce in human wisdom to do more.
All promise is poor dilatory man,
And that through every stage. When young, indeed,
In full content we sometimes nobly rest,
Unanxious for ourselves, and only wish,
As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise.
At thirty, man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty, chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought,
Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies the same.
And why? Because he thinks himself immortal.
All men think all men mortal but themselves;
Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate
Strikes through their wounded hearts the sudden dread;
But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air,
Soon close; where passed the shaft, no trace is found.
As from the wing no scar the sky retains,
The parted wave no furrow from the keel,
So dies in human hearts the thought of death:
Even with the tender tears which Nature sheds
O’er those we love, we drop it in their grave.

Edward Young

Till To-Morrow.

Long have I longed, till I am tired
Of longing and desire;
Farewell my points in vain desired,
My dying fire;
Farewell all things that die and fail and tire.

Springtide and youth and useless pleasure
And all my useless scheming,
My hopes of unattainable treasure,
Dreams not worth dreaming,
Glow-worms that gleam but yield no warmth in gleaming,

Farewell all shows that fade in showing:
My wish and joy stand over
Until to-morrow; Heaven is glowing
Through cloudy cover,
Beyond all clouds loves me my Heavenly Lover.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Till To-Morrow.

Good night! good night! – the golden day
Has veiled its sunset beam,
And twilight’s star its beauteous ray
Has mirrored in the stream; –
Low voices come from vale and height,
And murmur soft, good night! good night!

Good night! – the bee with folded wings
Sleeps sweet in honeyed flowers,
And far away the night-bird sings
In dreamy forest bowers,
And slowly fades the western light
In deepening shade, – good night! good night!

Good night! good night! – in whispers low
The ling’ring zephyr sighs,
And softly, in its dreamy flow,
The murm’ring brook replies;
And, where yon casement still is bright,
A softer voice has breathed good-night!

Good night! – as steals the cooling dew
Where the young violet lies,
E’en so may slumber steal anew
To weary human eyes,
And softly steep the aching sight
In dewy rest – good night! good night!

Pamela S. Vining, (J. C. Yule)


There was a young woman named Sue,
Who wanted to catch the 2:02;
Said the trainman, “Don’t hurry
Or flurry or worry;
It’s a minute or two to 2:02.”


Ave atque Vale

Farewell, my Youth! for now we needs must part,
For here the paths divide;
Here hand from hand must sever, heart from heart,—
Divergence deep and wide.

You ’ll wear no withered roses for my sake,
Though I go mourning for you all day long,
Finding no magic more in bower or brake,
No melody in song.

Gray Eld must travel in my company
To seal this severance more fast and sure.
A joyless fellowship, i’ faith, ’t will be,
Yet must we fare together, I and he,
Till I shall tread the footpath way no more.

But when a blackbird pipes among the boughs,
On some dim, iridescent day in spring,
Then I may dream you are remembering
Our ancient vows.

Or when some joy foregone, some fate forsworn,
Looks through the dark eyes of the violet,
I may re-cross the set, forbidden bourne,
I may forget

Our long, long parting for a little while,
Dream of the golden splendors of your smile,
Dream you remember yet.

Rosamund Marriott Watson

The Ballad of Dead Ladies

From the French by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Tell me now in what hidden way is
Lady Flora the lovely Roman?
Where ’s Hipparchia, and where is Thais,
Neither of them the fairer woman?
Where is Echo, beheld of no man,
Only heard on river and mere,—
She whose beauty was more than human?
But where are the snows of yester-year?

Where ’s Heloise, the learned nun,
For whose sake Abeillard, I ween,
Lost manhood and put priesthood on?
(From love he won such dule and teen!)
And where, I pray you, is the Queen
Who willed that Buridan should steer
Sewed in a sack’s mouth down the Seine?
But where are the snows of yester-year?

White Queen Blanche, like a queen of lilies,
With a voice like any mermaiden,—
Bertha Broadfoot, Beatrice, Alice,
And Ermengarde the lady of Maine,—
And that good Joan whom Englishmen
At Rouen doomed and burned her there,—
Mother of God, where are they then?
But where are the snows of yester-year?

Nay, never ask this week, fair lord,
Where they are gone, nor yet this year,
Except with this for an overword,—
But where are the snows of yester-year?

François Villon

The Approach of Age

Sonnet XII.

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silvered o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard;
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake,
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing ’gainst Time’s scythe can make defence,
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

William Shakespeare

The Old Year and the New

Last night at twelve, amid the knee-deep snows,
A child of Time accepted his repose,—
The eighteen hundred fifty-sixth of grace,
With sudden chance, fell forward on his face.

Solemn and slow the winter sun had gone,
Sailing full early for the port of dawn;
Across broad zones of the ethereal sea,
With even rate he voyaged far and free,
While the cone-shadow of the earth swept round
The other half of heaven’s embracing bound—
A weird and mystic dial-hand to mark,
From orb to orb, along the shuddering arc,
Measured to music of the sphery chime,
The noiseless process of eternal time.

I walked in doubt and dread—as if the weight
Of all the impending heaven upon me sate:
The crisp snow creaked, my breath pushed stiffly out,
And keen frost-sparkles merrily glanced about;
The clear cold stars reached down a frory ray,
Like a fine icicle accrete of spray,
That pricked my blood with many a light attack
Of Lilliput lances in my front and back,
For every several nerve alive to feel
The eager season had some shrewd appeal.

And so the fields I gained, and there I found
The fresh dry snow laid by that querulous sound,
And all grew still as death. Within my breast
Hushing the noisy heart-beat, on I pressed.

The punctual shadow to the summit drew;
Twelve strokes of lighter silence fell like dew,
Audible to the spirit, and behold,
The vision of the Dead Year was unrolled.
Full length he leaned aslant the slumbering snow,
Which clad all things in Chinese weeds of woe,
Easing his fall—that not a breath might mar
The listening awe that yearned from snow to star.

But over him a spirit fair doth smile,
As fain all grief with gladness to beguile;
A torch he bears to light the world anew—
O blithe Young Year, but keep thy promise true!

William Cleaver Wilkinson

The Death of the old Year

Full knee-deep lies the winter snow,
And the winter winds are wearily sighing:
Toll ye the church-bell sad and slow,
And tread softly and speak low,
For the old year lies a-dying.
Old year, you must not die;
You came to us so readily,
You lived with us so steadily,
Old year, you shall not die.

He lieth still: he doth not move:
He will not see the dawn of day.
He hath no other life above.
He gave me a friend, and a true true-love,
And the New-year will take ’em away.
Old year, you must not go;
So long as you have been with us,
Such joy as you have seen with us,
Old year, you shall not go.

He frothed his bumpers to the brim;
A jollier year we shall not see.
But, though his eyes are waxing dim,
And though his foes speak ill of him,
He was a friend to me.
Old year, you shall not die;
We did so laugh and cry with you,
I ’ve half a mind to die with you,
Old year, if you must die.

He was full of joke and jest,
But all his merry quips are o’er.
To see him die, across the waste
His son and heir doth ride post-haste,
But he ’ll be dead before.
Every one for his own.
The night is starry and cold, my friend,
And the New-year, blithe and bold, my friend,
Comes up to take his own.

How hard he breathes! over the snow
I heard just now the crowing cock.
The shadows flicker to and fro:
The cricket chirps: the light burns low:
’T is nearly twelve o’clock.
Shake hands before you die.
Old year, we ’ll dearly rue for you:
What is it we can do for you?
Speak out before you die.

His face is growing sharp and thin.
Alack! our friend is gone.
Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,
And waiteth at the door.
There ’s a new foot on the floor, my friend,
And a new face at the door, my friend,
A new face at the door.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A Fancy from Fontenelle

“De mémoires de Roses on n’a point vu mourir le Jardinier.”
The rose in the garden slipped her bud,
And she laughed in the pride of her youthful blood,
As she thought of the Gardener standing by—
“He is old—so old! And he soon must die!”

The full Rose waxed in the warm June air,
And she spread and spread till her heart lay bare;
And she laughed once more as she heard his tread—
“He is older now! He will soon be dead!”

But the breeze of the morning blew, and found
That the leaves of the blown Rose strewed the ground;
And he came at noon, that Gardener old,
And he raked them gently under the mold.

And I wove the thing to a random rhyme:
For the Rose is Beauty; the Gardener, Time.

Austin Dobson

What is the Grass?

From “The Song of Myself”

A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them,
It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out of their mothers’ laps,
And here you are the mothers’ laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues,
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her, it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.

* * * *
My foothold is tenoned and mortised in granite,
I laugh at what you call dissolution,
And I know the amplitude of time.

Walt Whitman

Time Flies

On drives the road – another mile! and still
Time’s horses gallop down the lessening hill
O why such haste, with nothing at the end!
Fain are we all, grim driver, to descend
And stretch with lingering feet the little way
That yet is ours – O stop thy horses, pray!

Yet, sister dear, if we indeed had grace
To win from Time one lasting halting-place,
Which out of all life’s valleys would we choose,
And, choosing – which with willingness would lose?
Would we as children be content to stay,
Because the children are as birds all day;

Or would we still as youngling lovers kiss,
Fearing the ardours of the greater bliss?
The maid be still a maid and never know
Why mothers love their little blossoms so
Or can the mother be content her bud
Shall never open out of babyhood?

Ah yes, Time flies because we fain would fly,
It is such ardent souls as you and I,
Greedy of living, give his wings to him –
And now we grumble that he uses them!

Richard Le Gallienne

The Petrified Fern

In a valley, centuries ago,
Grew a little fern-leaf, green and slender,
Veining delicate and fibres tender;
Waving when the wind crept down so low.
Rushes tall, and moss, and grass grew round it,
Playful sunbeams darted in and found it,
Drops of dew stole in by night, and crowned it,
But no foot of man e’er trod that way;
Earth was young, and keeping holiday.

Monster fishes swam the silent main,
Stately forests waved their giant branches,
Mountains hurled their snowy avalanches,
Mammoth creatures stalked across the plain;
Nature revelled in grand mysteries,
But the little fern was not of these,
Did not number with the hills and trees;
Only grew and waved its wild sweet way,
No one came to note it day by day.

Earth, one time, put on a frolic mood,
Heaved the rocks and changed the mighty motion
Of the deep, strong currents of the ocean;
Moved the plain and shook the haughty wood,
Crushed the little fern in soft moist clay,—
Covered it, and hid it safe away.
O, the long, long centuries since that day!
O, the changes! O, life’s bitter cost,
Since that useless little fern was lost!

Useless? Lost? There came a thoughtful man
Searching Nature’s secrets, far and deep;
From a fissure in a rocky steep
He withdrew a stone, o’er which there ran
Fairy pencillings, a quaint design,
Veinings, leafage, fibres clear and fine.
And the fern’s life lay in every line!
So, I think, God hides some souls away,
Sweetly to surprise us, the last day.

Mary L. Bolles Branch

The Making of Man

As the insect from the rock
Takes the color of its wing;
As the boulder from the shock
Of the ocean’s rhythmic swing
Makes itself a perfect form,
Learns a calmer front to raise;
As the shell, enamelled warm
With the prism’s mystic rays,
Praises wind and wave that make
All its chambers fair and strong;
As the mighty poets take
Grief and pain to build their song:
Even so for every soul,
Whatsoe’er its lot may be,—
Building, as the heavens roll,
Something large and strong and free,—
Things that hurt and things that mar
Shape the man for perfect praise;
Shock and strain and ruin are
Friendlier than the smiling days.

John White Chadwick

Time Long Past.

Like the ghost of a dear friend dead
Is Time long past.
A tone which is now forever fled,
A hope which is now forever past,
A love so sweet it could not last,
Was Time long past.

There were sweet dreams in the night
Of Time long past:
And, was it sadness or delight,
Each day a shadow onward cast
Which made us wish it yet might last –
That Time long past.

There is regret, almost remorse,
For Time long past.
‘Tis like a child’s beloved corse
A father watches, till at last
Beauty is like remembrance, cast
From Time long past.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

The Ascent of Man

He stood upon the earth, and turned
To gaze on sky and land and sea,
While in his ear the whisper burned,
“Behold, these all belong to thee!”

O wondrous call to conquests new!
O thrill of blood! O joy of Soul!
O peaks with ever-widening view!
O race, with still-receding goal!

He heard; he followed, evermore
Stumbling and falling, wandering far,
Yet still advancing, while before
His footsteps shone the guiding star.

He cleft the seas; the torrent loud
He harnessed to his need or whim;
He bade the lightning of the cloud
Run with his words, and toil for him.

He pierced the rock; he scaled the steep;
Destroyed; created; brought to light
The secrets of the deepest deep,
The glories of the highest height!

The future and the past he scanned;
With sense refined and vision keen,
Explored, beyond this lower land,
The treasures of a realm unseen.

Until he stood with regal brow,—
No more, as on the primal sod,
A creature yet ungrown, but now
Lord of two worlds, and child of God!

Rossiter Worthington Raymond

Time’s Lesson.

Mine enemy is growing old, —
I have at last revenge.
The palate of the hate departs;
If any would avenge, —
Let him be quick, the viand flits,
It is a faded meat.
Anger as soon as fed is dead;
‘T is starving makes it fat.

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

Time To Go.

They know the time to go!
The fairy clocks strike their inaudible hour
In field and woodland, and each punctual flower
Bows at the signal an obedient head
And hastes to bed.

The pale Anemone
Glides on her way with scarcely a good-night;
The Violets tie their purple nightcaps tight;
Hand clasped in hand, the dancing Columbines,
In blithesome lines,

Drop their last courtesies,
Flit from the scene, and couch them for their rest;
The Meadow Lily folds her scarlet vest
And hides it ‘neath the Grasses’ lengthening green;
Fair and serene,

Her sister Lily floats
On the blue pond, and raises golden eyes
To court the golden splendor of the skies,–
The sudden signal comes, and down she goes
To find repose,

In the cool depths below,
A little later, and the Asters blue
Depart in crowds, a brave and cheery crew;
While Golden-rod, still wide awake and gay,
Turns him away,

Furls his bright parasol,
And, like a little hero, meets his fate.
The Gentians, very proud to sit up late,
Next follow. Every Fern is tucked and set
‘Neath coverlet,

Downy and soft and warm.
No little seedling voice is heard to grieve
Or make complaints the folding woods beneath;
No lingerer dares to stay, for well they know
The time to go.

Teach us your patience, brave,
Dear flowers, till we shall dare to part like you,
Willing God’s will, sure that his clock strikes true,
That his sweet day augurs a sweeter morrow,
With smiles, not sorrow.

Susan Coolidge (Sarah Chauncey Woolsey)

The Years

To-night I close my eyes and see
A strange procession passing me,
The years before I saw your face
Go by me with a wistful grace;
They pass, the sensitive, shy years,
As one who strives to dance, half blind with tears.

The years went by and never knew
That each one brought me nearer you;
Their path was narrow and apart
And yet it led me to your heart,
Oh, sensitive, shy years, oh, lonely years,
That strove to sing with voices drowned in tears.

Sara Teasdale


Years, many parti-colour’d years,
Some have crept on, and some have flown
Since first before me fell those tears
I never could see fall alone.

Years, not so many, are to come,
Years not so varied, when from you
One more will fall: when, carried home,
I see it not, nor hear Adieu.

Walter Savage Landor

The Years.

“Time in advance behind him hides his wings.” – YOUNG.

As comes amain the glossy flying raven,
That with unwavering wing, breast on the view,
Cleaves slow the lucid air beneath the blue,
And seems scarce other than a figure graven –
Ha! now the sweeping pinions flash as levin,
And all their silken cordage whistles loud! –
Lo, the departing flight, like fleck of cloud,
Is swallowed quick by the awaiting heaven!

So lag and tarry, to the youth, the years
In their oncoming from the brooding sky,
Till bursts at middle life their rushing speed
All breathless with the world of hopes and fears;
And, lo, departing, the Eternal Eye
Winks them to moments in His endless brede!

Theodore Harding Rand

Yesterday And To-Morrow

Yesterday I held your hand,
Reverently I pressed it,
And its gentle yieldingness
From my soul I blessed it.

But to-day I sit alone,
Sad and sore repining;
Must our gold forever know
Flames for the refining?

Yesterday I walked with you,
Could a day be sweeter?
Life was all a lyric song
Set to tricksy meter.

Ah, to-day is like a dirge,–
Place my arms around you,
Let me feel the same dear joy
As when first I found you.

Let me once retrace my steps,
From these roads unpleasant,
Let my heart and mind and soul
All ignore the present.

Yesterday the iron seared
And to-day means sorrow.
Pause, my soul, arise, arise,
Look where gleams the morrow.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

So, here is the greatest compilation of poems about time.

Let me know which one is your favorite! 😉


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