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.


May 13th,1974