Last Poems

by A.E. Housman


When summer's 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 here's an end of roaming
    On eves when autumn nighs:
The ear too fondly listens
    For summer's parting sighs,
    And then the heart replies.

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