Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DIAL, by THOMAS COLE (1801-1848)

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THE DIAL, by            
First Line: Gray hairs, unwelcome monitors, begin
Last Line: And treads again the dim & dubious way.

Gray hairs, unwelcome monitors, begin
To mingle with the locks that shade my brow
And sadly warn me that I stand within
That pale uncertain called the middle age.
Upon the billows head which soon must bow
I reel; and gaze into the depths where rage
No more the wars 'twixt Time & Life as now,
And gazing swift, descend towards that great Deep
Whose secrets the Almighty One doth keep.
I am as one on mighty errand bound
Uncertain is the distance -- fixed the hour;
He stops to gaze upon the Dial's round
Trembling & earnest; when a rising cloud
Casts its oblivious shadow & no more
The gnomon tells what he would know and loud
Thunders are heard & gathering tempests lower.
Lamenting mispent time he hastes away
And treads again the dim & dubious way.

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