An Autograph

O’er the wet sands an insect crept
Ages ere man on earth was known—
And patient Time, while Nature slept,
The slender tracing turned to stone.

’T was the first autograph: and ours?
Prithee, how much of prose or song,
In league with the creative powers,
Shall ’scape Oblivion’s broom so long.

by James Russell Lowell

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