Open, Time

By Louise Imogen Guiney 1861–1920
Open, Time, and let him pass
Shortly where his feet would be!
Like a leaf at Michaelmas
Swooning from the tree,

Ere its hour the manly mind
Trembles in a sure decrease,
Nor the body now can find
Any hold on peace.

Take him, weak and overworn;
Fold about his dying dream
Boyhood, and the April morn,
And the rolling stream:

Weather on a sunny ridge,
Showery weather, far from here;
Under some deep-ivied bridge,
Water rushing clear:

Water quick to cross and part,
(Golden light on silver sound),
Weather that was next his heart
All the world around!

Soon upon his vision break
These, in their remembered blue;
He shall toil no more, but wake
Young, in air he knew.

He has done with roods and men.
Open, Time, and let him pass,
Vague and innocent again,
Into country grass.

Source: American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century (The Library of America, 1993)

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Poet Louise Imogen Guiney 1861–1920

Subjects Time & Brevity, Living

 Louise Imogen Guiney

Biography

Louise Imogen Guiney is known for her lyrical, Old English-style poems that often recall the literary conventions of seventeenth-century English poetry. Informed by her religious faith, Guiney's works reflect her concern with the Catholic tradition in literature and often emphasize moral rectitude and heroic gallantry. Today Guiney is praised for her scholarship in both her poetry and in her numerous literary and historical . . .

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SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Living

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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