I would not like to live to be very old,
To be stripped cold and bare
Of all my leafage that was green and gold
In the delicious air.
I would not choose to live to be left alone,
The children gone away,
And the true love that I have leant upon
No more my staff and stay.
I would not live to stretch my shrivelled hands
To an old fire died low,
Minding me of the long-lost happy lands
And children long ago.
Let me be gone while I am leafy yet
And while my birds still sing,
Lest leafless, birdless, my dull heart forget
That ever it had Spring.