Some beam might start, some sudden false alarm
Might snatch a victim from the altar's harm;—
But, chained a captive at your chariot wheel,
To fail just now were hardly mercantile;
Promise to pay, you must endure the shock;—
There is no quarter after two o'clock.
No bright Aurora, with her cheerful smiles,
The evening minstrel on his way beguiles;—
Child of the Dawn, she bids her coursers fly
Through rosier blushes to the morning sky.
While thus the fingers of relentless Time
Hold hard and heavy at the reins of rhyme,
Thy leaden wings, O sleep-compelling power,
I hear descending from their shadowy bower;—
Spare, spare thy influence, cease thy drowsy calls
A few brief moments, till the curtain falls.
In boyhood's hour you bade my fluttering sail2
Spread its light canvas to the morning gale;