William Cowper

26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire

Horace, Book I. Ode Ix.

Seest thou yon mountain laden with deep snow,
The groves beneath their fleecy burden bow,
The streams congeal'd, forget to flow,
Come, thaw the cold, and lay a cheerful pile
Of fuel on the hearth;
Broach the best cask and make old winter smile
With seasonable mirth.

This be our part -- let Heaven dispose the rest;
If Jove command, the winds shall sleep,
That now wage war upon the foamy deep,
And gentle gales spring from the balmy west.

E'en let us shift to-morrow as we may,
When to-morrow's passed away,
We at least shall have to say,
We have lived another day;
Your auburn locks will soon be silver'd o'er,
Old age is at our heels, and youth returns no more.
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