(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

Any Poet At Any Time

Time, thou supreme inexorable Judge,
Whom none can bribe, and none can overawe,
Who unto party rancour, private grudge,
Calmly opposeth equitable law,
Before whom advocacy vainly strives
To make the better cause to seem the worse,
To thy Tribunal, when our jangling lives
Are husht, I leave the verdict on my verse.
Irrevocably then wilt thou proclaim
What should have been, what now must ever be,
If in oblivion perish should my name,
Or shine aloft in mighty company.
I to my kind proffering of my poor best,
Remit to Time's arbitrament the rest.

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