Tomorrow, didst thou say!

First Line Tomorrow, didst thou say!
Author Nathaniel Cotton
Date c1791

Imitation; Epigraph [Imitation, parody; Historical subjects; Literature; Latin poetry].

Transcribed from Cotton, Nathaniel. "Tomorrow." Various pieces in verse and prose. By the late Nathaniel Cotton, M.D. many of which were never before published. In two volumes. Vol. 1, 1791, pp. 72–74. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, GALE|CB0128488762. 



Tomorrow, didst thou say!

Methought I heard Horatio say, Tomorrow.

Go to—I will not hear of it—Tomorrow!

'Tis a sharper, who stakes his penury

Against thy plenty—who takes thy ready cash,

And pays thee nought but wishes, hopes, and promises,

The currency of idiots. Injurious bankrupt,

That gulls the easy creditor!—Tomorrow!

It is a period nowhere to be found

In all the hoary registers of time,

Unless perchance in the fool's calendar.

Wisdom disclaims the word, nor holds society

With those who own it. No, my Horatio,

'Tis Fancy's child, and Folly is its father;

Wrought of such stuff as dreams are; and baseless

As the fantastic visions of the evening.


But soft, my friend—arrest the present moments;

For be assur'd, they all are arrant tell-tales;

And tho' their flight be silent, and their path trackless

As the wing'd couriers of the air,

They post to heaven, and there record thy folly.

Because, tho' station'd on the important watch,

Thou, like a sleeping, faithless sentinel,

Didst let them pass unnotic'd, unimprov'd.

And know, for that thou slumber'dst on the guard,

Thou shalt be made to answer at the bar

For every fugitive: and when thou thus

Shalt stand impleaded at the high tribunal

Of hood-winkt justice, who shall tell thy audit?


Then stay the present instant, dear Horatio;

Imprint the marks of wisdom on its wings.

'Tis of more worth than kingdoms! far more precious

Than all the crimson treasures of life's fountain!—

Oh! let it not elude thy grasp, but, like

The good old patriarch upon record,

Hold the fleet angel fast until he bless thee.