Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOURS AND GRACES, by EDITH MATILDA THOMAS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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HOURS AND GRACES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How long they have been passing by my place
Last Line: The grace that softens the last hour shall be.

HOW long they have been passing by my place!
As in a frieze antique they trained along.
Alternately an Hour and then a Grace,
How many vanished of that drifting throng!
The first I knew not -- scarce shall know the last;
But each has wrought its change as on it passed.

Hostile the Hours -- but this how could I know?
Each from a secret quiver drew a dart,
Frowning or smiling on me, aimed its blow.
Ofttimes 'twas long ere I would feel the smart;
Although a slow corrosion, working still,
Might leave a wasting wound in soul or will.

Hostile the Hours, for so Time missioned them;
But every Grace aboundingly was kind,
And brought a gift, of flower, or sunlit gem,
Nepenthe in a glass, or balm to bind
And lull the deepest hurt within Time's power --
Almost for this I loved the wounding Hour.

The Hours and Graces -- now they grow a dream,
A frieze antique the unseen Fates unwind,
That into shadow dips or catches gleam.
Hostile the Hours, but every Grace is kind --
I doubt not kindest of them all, for me,
The Grace that softens the last Hour shall be.

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