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Thomas Hardy : During Wind and Rain

	They sing their dearest songs—
	He, she, all of them—yea,
	Treble and tenor and bass,
		And one to play;
	With the candles mooning each face. . . .
		Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

	They clear the creeping moss—
	Elders and juniors—aye,
	Making the pathways neat
		And the garden gay;
	And they build a shady seat. . . .
		Ah, no; the years, the years;
See, the white storm-birds wing across.

	They are blithely breakfasting all—
	Men and maidens—yea,
	Under the summer tree,
		With a glimpse of the bay,
	While pet fowl come to knee. . . .
		Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.

	They change to a high new house,
	He, she, all of them—aye,
	Clocks and carpets and chairs
		On the lawn all day,
	And brightest things that are theirs. . . .
		Ah, no ; the years, the years;
Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs. 

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)	1917

 
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