Edward Thomas

When first

When first I came here I had hope, 
Hope for I knew not what. Fast beat 
My heart at sight of the tall slope 
Or grass and yews, as if my feet 

Only by scaling its steps of chalk 
Would see something no other hill 
Ever disclosed. And now I walk 
Down it the last time. Never will 

My heart beat so again at sight 
Of any hill although as fair 
And loftier. For infinite 
The change, late unperceived, this year, 

The twelfth, suddenly, shows me plain. 
Hope now,—not health nor cheerfulness, 
Since they can come and go again, 
As often one brief hour witnesses,— 

Just hope has gone forever. Perhaps 
I may love other hills yet more 
Than this: the future and the maps 
Hide something I was waiting for. 

One thing I know, that love with chance 
And use and time and necessity 
Will grow, and louder the heart's dance 
At parting than at meeting be.