Why Sit'st Thou By That Ruin'd Hall?

A poem by Walter Scott

"Why sit'st thou by that ruin'd hall,
Thou aged carle so stern and grey?
Dost thou its former pride recall,
Or ponder how it pass'd away?"

"Know'st thou not me?" the Deep Voice cried;
"So long enjoy'd, so oft misused,
Alternate, in thy fickle pride,
Desired, neglected, and accused!

"Before my breath, like blazing flax,
Man and his marvels pass away!
And changing empires wane and wax,
Are founded, flourish, and decay,

"Redeem mine hours, the space is brief,
While in my glass the sand-grains shiver,
And measureless thy joy or grief,
When Time and thou shalt part for ever!"

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