Poems 1912-1913

The Old Vicarage, Grantchester

Beauty and Beauty


Mary and Gabriel


The Busy Heart


The Chilterns


The Night Journey

The Way That Lovers Use

The Funeral of Youth: Threnody


The Chilterns

Your hands, my dear, adorable,
   Your lips of tenderness
-- Oh, I've loved you faithfully and well,
   Three years, or a bit less.
   It wasn't a success.

Thank God, that's done! and I'll take the road,
   Quit of my youth and you,
The Roman road to Wendover
   By Tring and Lilley Hoo,
   As a free man may do.

For youth goes over, the joys that fly,
   The tears that follow fast;
And the dirtiest things we do must lie
   Forgotten at the last;
   Even Love goes past.

What's left behind I shall not find,
   The splendour and the pain;
The splash of sun, the shouting wind,
   And the brave sting of rain,
   I may not meet again.

But the years, that take the best away,
   Give something in the end;
And a better friend than love have they,
   For none to mar or mend,
   That have themselves to friend.

I shall desire and I shall find
   The best of my desires;
The autumn road, the mellow wind
   That soothes the darkening shires.
   And laughter, and inn-fires.

White mist about the black hedgerows,
   The slumbering Midland plain,
The silence where the clover grows,
   And the dead leaves in the lane,
   Certainly, these remain.

And I shall find some girl perhaps,
   And a better one than you,
With eyes as wise, but kindlier,
   And lips as soft, but true.
   And I daresay she will do.