Lament for Prytherch

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When I was young, when I was young!
Were you ever young, Prytherch, a rich farmer:
Cows in the byre, sheep in the pen. A brown egg under each hen,
The barns oozing corn like honey?
You are old now; time’s geometry
Upon your face by which we tell
Your sum of years has with sharp care
Conspired and crossed your brow with grief.
Your heart that is dry as a dead leaf
Undone by frosts’s cruel chemistry
Clings in vain to the bare bough
Where once in April a bird sang.

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