Mark how it snows! How fast the valley fills

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This is a poem by Isaac Watts, 1706, from his Horae Lyricae, Book 2, No. 13.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

TO WILLIAM BLACKBOURN, ESQ.
CASIMIR, LIB. It. OD. 2. IMITATED.
Qua tegit canas modo bruma valles, &c.

1. Mark how it snows! how fast the valley fills;
And the sweet groves the hoary garment wear;
Yet the warm sun-beams, bounding from the hills,
Shall melt the veil away, and the young green appear.

2. But when old age has on your temples shed
Her silver frost, there's no returning sun;
Swift flies our autumn, swift our summer's fled,
When youth, and love, and spring, and golden joys are gone.

3. Then cold, and winter, and your aged snow,
Stick fast upon you; not the rich array,
Not the green garland, nor the rosy bough,
Shall cancel or conceal the melancholy gray.

4. The chase of pleasures is not worth the pains,
While the bright sands of health run wasting down;
And honor calls you, from the softer scenes,
To sell the gaudy hour for ages of renown.

5. 'Tis but one youth, and short, that mortals have;
And one old age dissolves our feeble frame:
But there's a heavenly art to elude the grave;
And with the hero-race immortal kindred claim.

6. The man that has his country's sacred tears
Bedewing his cold hearse, has lived his day:
Thus, Blackbourn, we should leave our names our heirs;
Old time and waning moons sweep all the rest away.

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