OTHERS because you did not keep
That deep-sworn vow have been friends of mine;
Yet always when I look death in the face,
I KNOW that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
I WHISPERED, 'I am too young,'
And then, 'I am old enough';
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
---Those dying generations---at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
MUCH did I rage when young,
Being by the world oppressed,
But now with flattering tongue
It speeds the parting guest.
Old fathers, great-grandfathers,
Rise as kindred should.
If ever lover's loneliness
Came where you stood,
My Soul: I summon to the winding ancient stair;
Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
Upon the breathless starlit air,
THE angels are stooping
Above your bed;
They weary of trooping
With the whimpering dead.
HERE at right of the entrance this bronze head,
Human, superhuman, a bird's round eye,
Everything else withered and mummy-dead.
I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey