My days are but the tombs of buried hours ;
Which tombs are hidden in the piled years ;
But from the mounds there spring up many flowers,
Whose beauty well repays their cost of tears.
Time, like a sexton, pileth mould on mould,
Minutes on minutes till the tombs are high ;
But from the dust there fall some grains of gold,
And the dead corpse leaves what will never die--
It may be but a thought, the nursling seed
Of many thoughts, of many a high desire ;
Some little act that stirs a noble deed,
Like breath rekindling a smouldering fire :
They only live who have not lived in vain,
For in their works their life returns again.