Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  Time and Death

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

William Henry Whitworth

Time and Death

I SAW old Time, destroyer of mankind;

Calm, stern, and cold he sate, and often shook

And turn’d his glass, nor ever car’d to look

How many of life’s sands were still behind.

And there was Death, his page, aghast to find

How tremblingly, like aspens o’er a brook,

His blunted dart fell harmless; so he took

His master’s scythe, and idly smote the wind.

Smite on, thou gloomy one, with powerless aim!

For Sin, thy mother, at her dying breath

Wither’d that arm, and left thee but a name.

Hope clos’d the grave, when He of Nazareth,

Who led captivity His captive, came

And vanquish’d the great conquerors, Time and Death.