Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Frederick George Scott b. 1861


I SAW Time in his workshop carving faces;

Scattered around his tools lay, blunting griefs,

Sharp cares that cut out deeply in reliefs

Of light and shade; sorrows that smooth the traces

Of what were smiles. Nor yet without fresh graces

His handiwork, for ofttimes rough were ground

And polished, oft the pinched made smooth and round;

The calm look, too, the impetuous fire replaces.

Long time I stood and watched; with hideous grin

He took each heedless face between his knees,

And graved and scarred and bleached with boiling tears.

I wondering turned to go, when, lo! my skin

Feels crumpled, and in glass my own face sees

Itself all changed, scarred, careworn, white with years.