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.