Old Song

written by

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TIS a dull sight
 To see the year dying,
When winter winds
 Set the yellow wood sighing:
 Sighing, O sighing!

When such a time cometh
 I do retire
Into an old room
 Beside a bright fire:
 O, pile a bright fire!

And there I sit
 Reading old things,
Of knights and lorn damsels,
 While the wind sings—
 O, drearily sings!

I never look out
 Nor attend to the blast;
For all to be seen
 Is the leaves falling fast:
 Falling, falling!

But close at the hearth,
 Like a cricket, sit I,
Reading of summer
 And chivalry—
 Gallant chivalry!

Then with an old friend
 I talk of our youth—
How ’twas gladsome, but often
 Foolish, forsooth:
 But gladsome, gladsome!

Or, to get merry,
 We sing some old rhyme
That made the wood ring again
 In summer time—
 Sweet summer time!

Then go we smoking,
 Silent and snug:
Naught passes between us,
 Save a brown jug—

And sometimes a tear
 Will rise in each eye,
Seeing the two old friends
 So merrily—
 So merrily!

And ere to bed
 Go we, go we,
Down on the ashes
 We kneel on the knee,
 Praying together!

Thus, then, live I
 Till, ’mid all the gloom,
By Heaven! the bold sun
 Is with me in the room
 Shining, shining!

Then the clouds part,
 Swallows soaring between;
The spring is alive,
 And the meadows are green!

I jump up like mad,
 Break the old pipe in twain,
And away to the meadows,
 The meadows again!


© Edward Fitzgerald