During Wind and Rain

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.