On The Hurry Of This Time

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With slower pen men used to write,
Of old, when "letters" were "polite";
In Anna's, or in George's days,
They could afford to turn a phrase,
Or trim a straggling theme aright.

They knew not steam; electric light
Not yet had dazed their calmer sight; -
They meted out both blame and praise  
With slower pen.

Too swiftly now the hours take flight!
What's read at morn is dead at night;
Scant space have we for Art's delays,
Whose breathless thought so briefly stays,
We may not work - ah! would we might! -
With slower pen.

© Henry Austin Dobson