Time looked me in the eyes while passing by
The milestone of the year. That piercing gaze
Was both an accusation and reproach.
No speech was needed. In a sorrowing look
More meaning lies than in complaining words,
And silence hurts as keenly as reproof.

Oh, opulent, kind giver of rich hours,
How have I used thy benefits! As babes
Unstring a necklace, laughing at the sound
Of priceless jewels dropping one by one,
So have I laughed while precious moments rolled
Into the hidden corners of the past.
And I have let large opportunities
For high endeavour move unheeded by,
While little joys and cares absorbed my strength.

And yet, dear Time, set to my credit this:
Not one white hour have I made black with hate,
Nor wished one living creature aught but good.

Be patient with me. Though the sun slants west,
The day has not yet finished, and I feel
Necessity for action and resolve
Bear in upon my consciousness. I know
The earth's eternal need of earnest souls,
And the great hunger of the world for Love.
I know the goal to high achievement lies
Through the dull pathway of self-conquest first;
And on the stairs of little duties done
We climb to joys that stand thy test. O Time,
Be patient with me, and another day,
Perchance, in passing by, thine eyes may smile.

Poems of Progress and New Thought Pastels by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1911.

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