Queen Caroline to Her Guests

Dear friends, stay!
Lamplit wafts of wit keep sorrow
In the purlieus of to-morrow:
Dear friends, stay!

Haste not away!
Even now may Time be weaving
Tricks of ravage, wrack, bereaving:
Haste not away!

Through the pane,
Lurking along the street, there may be
Heartwrings, keeping hid till day be,
Through the pane.

Check their reign:
Since while here we are the masters,
And can barricade dim disasters:
Check their reign!

Give no ear
To those ghosts withoutside mumming,
Mouthing, threatening, " We are coming!"
Give no ear!

Sheltered here
Care we not that next day bring us
Pains, perversions! No racks wring us
Sheltered here.

Homeward gone,
Sleep will slay this merrymaking;
No resuming it at waking,
Homeward gone.

After dawn
Something sad may be befalling;
Mood like ours there's no recalling
After dawn!

Morrow-day
Present joy that moments strengthen
May be past our power to lengthen,
Morrow-day!

Dear friends, stay!
Lamplit wafts of wit keep sorrow
In the limbo of to-morrow:
Dear friends, stay!
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