If I were physically immortal, I'd not stand
toes in the water on a shifting strand
for a minute or an hour of a summer day.
Not now, but later is a time to play.
Nor endless summers of golden sun,
an hour of light then day is done.
I'd do and do and store ahead all that I'd rather do instead.
A moment's leisure before I go to bed.
A future, not yet known, prompted mortal fears.
So I worked the summer and autumn of the years.
Now winter grips and takes me by the hand,
snow whitens widow's peaks as well as land.
What fun it might have been, had I but known
immortal youth is soon a flower blown.
Go out and play, enjoy the pleasure of the day!
Put by the tools, set work aside for now,
lest youth be squandered at keyboard or at plough.