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 the knee.... Ah, no; the years O! And the rotten rose is ripped 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 raindrop plows.