Quiet poet, your words are so softly written
On this lined white paper
It seems they could be breathed away.
William, how did you know your verse
Would be so lasting--the rhyme and the love
Still living in this slim red volume
Warm in my hands?
How quickly some words slip from us,
Whispers of life or love, hope or despair
Words that are here and gone, forever.
Yet what lives in these lines of his
That they seem etched in granite?
Are they full of Great Truths? Perhaps
Even the Meaning of Life? Or of Love?
Yet just read this, and know, that
Love lingers long when immortalized in words:
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.