This sonnet appears immediately before Mary Shelley's 'The Mortal Immortal' in its first publication in The Keepsake for 1834, p. 70.
by Sir Egerton Brydges, Bart.
YEARS pass away; the worthy die, and leave
No successors their virtues to replace:
We win our way by trouble and by care;
Yet when 'tis past, it seems an arrow's flight.
For friends departed we are left to grieve,
And would again the course they ran, retrace;
For much that once was rugged, now seems fair
When memory clothes it with a soften'd light.
We cannot hope again; whence chilling age
Runs cold and feeble in our palsied veins;
No new affections will our hearts engage;
No sound of joyance in the distance reigns;
And when the cloud of darkness is before,
The rays behind us but afflict the more!