The Paradox of Time

    (A Variation on Ronsard)

    "Le temps s'en va, le lemps s'en va, ma dame!
    Las! le temps non: mais NOUS nous en allons!"

    TIME goes, you say? Ah no!
    Alas, Time stays, we go;
    Or else, were this not so,
    What need to chain the hours,
    For Youth were always ours?
    Time goes, you say?--ah no!

    Ours is the eyes' deceit
    Of men whose flying feet
    Lead through some landscape low;
    We pass, and think we see
    The earth's fixed surface flee:--
    Alas, Time stays,--we go!

    Once in the days of old,
    Your locks were curling gold,
    And mine had shamed the crow.
    Now, in the self-same stage,
    We've reached the silver age;
    Time goes, you say?--ah no!

    Once, when my voice was strong,
    I filled the woods with song
    To praise your "rose" and "snow";
    My bird, that sang, is dead;
    Where are your roses fled?
    Alas, Time stays,--we go!

    See, in what traversed ways,
    What backward Fate delays
    The hopes we used to know;
    Where are our old desires?--
    Ah, where those vanished fires?
    Time goes, you say?--ah no!

    How far, how far, O Sweet,
    The past behind our feet
    Lies in the even-glow!
    Now, on the forward way,
    Let us fold hands, and pray;
    Alas, Time stays,--we go!

    Austin Dobson (1840-1921)

English poet and essayist Austin Dobson was educated at Beaumaris Grammar School and at Strasbourg, entered the Board of Trade, where he served from 1856 to 1901, with Sir Edmund William Gosse as colleague and close friend. An accomplished writer of verse of the lighter kind, with a particular fondness for French forms such as the triolet and the rondeau; many of his favorite poems evoke the courtly elegance of French society of the 18th century. The Paradox of Time is from his, Proverbs in Porcelain (1877).

Time is an interesting subject. Since the beginning there has been the quest for order and perfection. Science studied the Earth's orbit around the Sun and the Moon's orbit around the Earth. These constants bring about order in terms of days, months, years and seasons. Within these conventions discoveries were made about time. You didn't think time was invented did you? It was already there, all we have to do is to understand it. To that end many ingenious inventions have been created. Time pieces which bring discipline, consistency, order and an understanding of our world. The subject is called horology. This has become one of humanity's obsessions. The bringing about of mechanical design and the genius combined with pure artistic inspiration, we call them watchmakers.

Many scientists, philosophers, artists and poets have tried to unravel the mysteries of time and how it affects lives. How time dictate lives; can man alter and control it or are we hapless against the march of days as that '...Time, a maniac scattering dust!" ( Alfred Lord Tennyson). I ask myself, what is time and where does it go? I give gifts of time, make time, save time and lose time. I live in real time, at times on borrowed time, but know if I serve time it's hard time. I work full-time, then double-time during drive time to a time-share, hoping to have the time of our lives. Oh and of course there is; Once upon a time.....William Blake mused about time; he said:

    To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower.
    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.
A family conversation about time:

Me to Number Two Son: Have you heard anything about IE 5.05 or 6.0?
Number Two Son: I've heard it takes forever to download.
Hubby: You could start the download when you go to bed.
Me to Hubby : I think he means it will take four minutes instead of two.
Hubby to Number Two Son: Is this real time or computer time?

A bit beyond perception's reach I sometimes believe I see that Life is two locked boxes, each containing the other's key.

Philosphical Grook

I've decided to no longer allow this sort to thing to give me a headache, but I can honestly say that I feel more like I do right now than I did when I first started this write up.


Public Domain text taken from:

CST Approved.

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