A Comparison

The lapse of time and rivers is the same,
Both speed their journey with a restless stream,

The lapse of time and rivers is the same,
Both speed their journey with a restless stream.
The silent pace, with which they steal away
No wealth can bribe, no prayers persuade to stay.

Alike irrevocable both when past
And a wide ocean swallows both at last.
Though each resemble each in every part,
A difference strikes at length the musing heart:

Streams never flow in vain - where streams abound
How laughs the land with various plenty crown’d!
But time, that should enrich the nobler mind,
Neglected leaves a dreary waste behind.

~ William Cowper