The voices of the village boys
Ring from the football field,
Now high, now low, depending on
Whether a play has failed.
The foliage on the trees is new,
The spring is fresh and bright,
And once I would have envied those
Whose youth is still in flight.
But now I do not want their years,
The wearying years ahead;
I would not now be young again
Despite what Greeks have said.
The world has turned around for me,
Its joys do not delight,
And even on a brilliant day
I sense oncoming night.
Alas for youth when darkness comes;
It comes on fierce and fast;
Then village voices woebegone
In cities cruel and vast.
The middle life is like a death,
Boys changed to artful men;
The loveless world grows very cold,
With God beyond its ken.
I do not like the things I see,
Much less the things to come;
A rich society of cheats
Portends a slave-state slum.
My heart is elsewhere, and I long
For a perpetual spring,
That greener, far more youthful world,
Where Christ is King.