During Wind and Rain
by Thomas Hardy
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.