901. 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 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.

Source: Thomas Hardy: The Complete Poems

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