Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald
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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
361. To-Morrow
 
John Collins (d. 1808(?))
 
 
IN the downhill of life, when I find I’m declining,
  May my fate no less fortunate be
Than a snug elbow-chair can afford for reclining,
  And a cot that o’erlooks the wide sea;
With an ambling pad-pony to pace o’er the lawn,        5
  While I carol away idle sorrow,
And blithe as the lark that each day hails the dawn,
  Look forward with hope for to-morrow.
 
With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade too.
  As the sun-shine or rain may prevail;        10
And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade too,
  With a barn for the use of the flail:
A cow for my dairy, a dog for my game,
  And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;
I’ll envy no nabob his riches or fame,        15
  Nor what honours may wait him to-morrow.
 
From the bleak northern blast may my cot be completely
  Secured by a neighbouring hill;
And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly
  By the sound of a murmuring rill:        20
And while peace and plenty I find at my board,
  With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,
With my friends may I share what today may afford,
  And let them spread the table to-morrow.
 
And when I at last must throw off this frail covering,        25
  Which I’ve worn for three-score years and ten,
On the brink of the grave I’ll not seek to keep hovering,
  Nor my thread wish to spin o’er again:
But my face in the glass I’ll serenely survey,
  And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow;        30
And this old worn-out stuff which is threadbare today,
  May become everlasting to-morrow.
 

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