The Clock of the Years

And the Spirit said,
"I can make the clock of the years go backward,
But am loth to stop it where you will."
And I cried, "Agreed
To that. Proceed:
It's better than dead!"

He answered, "Peace";
And called her up--as last before me;
Then younger, younger she grew, to the year
I first had known
Her woman-grown,
And I cried, "Cease!--

Thus far is good--
It is enough--let her stay thus always!"
But alas for me. He shook his head:
No stop was there;
And she waned child-fair,
And to babyhood.

Still less in mien
To my great sorrow became she slowly,
And smalled till she was nought at all
In his checkless griff;
And it was as if
She had never been.

"Better," I plained,
"She were dead as before! The memory of her
Had lived in me; but it cannot now!"
And sternly his voice:
"It was your choice
To mar the ordained."
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