Alfred Edward Housman

Last Poems. 39. When Summerís End Is Nighing

When summerís end is nighing
        And skies at evening cloud,
I muse on change and fortune
        And all the feats I vowed
        When I was young and proud.

The weathercock at sunset
        Would lose the slanted ray,
And I would climb the beacon
        That looked to Wales away
        And saw the last of day.

From hill and cloud and heaven
        The hues of evening died;
Night welled through lane and hollow
        And hushed the countryside,
        But I had youth and pride.

And I with earth and nightfall
        In converse high would stand,
Late, till the west was ashen
        And darkness hard at hand,
        And the eye lost the land.

The year might age, and cloudy
        The lessening day might close,
But air of other summers
        Breathed from beyond the snows,
        And I had hope of those.

They came and were and are not
        And come no more anew;
And all the years and seasons
        That ever can ensue
        Must now be worse and few.

So hereís an end of roaming
        On eves when autumn nighs:
The ear too fondly listens
        For summerís parting sighs,
        And then the heart replies.

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