Littell's Living Age/Volume 133/Issue 1721/A Little While


Such a little while, such a little while
At our own inconstancy should we sigh or smile?

Blind and deaf the tyrant, Love, who rules our inner life
He neither heeds nor hears the toss and tumult of the strife.

Raising one to sure calm height, to dash another down;
Gathering flowers from new-made graves, to wreathe the bridal crown.

Blessing here with perfect faith, tender, strong and true;
Blighting there some radiant bloom, fresh blossoms to renew.

Wrenching purest ties in twain, wounding, searing, healing —
All the weakness of our hearts day by day revealing.

Helpless human life goes on, as the wheel revolves,
Passing our poor struggles o'er, crushing our resolves.

What avails to strive or wail? better to beguile
Each swift hour, with all it gives - for a little while.

Gather roses while they blow, catch the sunbeams passing;
Every moment, shine or shade, the great stream is glassing.

Such a little while ago, such a little while!
And I dreamt that life was lit but by your joyous smile.

Such a little while ago, and you thought or swore —
Given a loving look of mine, and hope would ask no more.

Now, can you quite remember your glory in your choice?
Can I recall the old sweet thrill that answered to your voice?

In sooth, we scarcely can, dear; all passed like April's smile;
Such a little while ago, such a little while!

We'll owe it kindly memories, that happy dream we dreamt;
It had no inner claim to be from Love's strange laws exempt.

Yet recollect it tenderly, for in its brief bright reign
Was many a joy whose subtle charm we shall not find again.

The spell was woven deftly, it was potent to beguile;
Such a little while ago, such a little while!

Victoria Magazine.