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The Chilterns

 Your hands, my dear, adorable,
Your lips of tenderness
-- Oh, I've loved you faithfully and well,
Three years, or a bit less.
It wasn't a success.
Thank God, that's done! and I'll take the road, Quit of my youth and you, The Roman road to Wendover By Tring and Lilley Hoo, As a free man may do.
For youth goes over, the joys that fly, The tears that follow fast; And the dirtiest things we do must lie Forgotten at the last; Even Love goes past.
What's left behind I shall not find, The splendour and the pain; The splash of sun, the shouting wind, And the brave sting of rain, I may not meet again.
But the years, that take the best away, Give something in the end; And a better friend than love have they, For none to mar or mend, That have themselves to friend.
I shall desire and I shall find The best of my desires; The autumn road, the mellow wind That soothes the darkening shires.
And laughter, and inn-fires.
White mist about the black hedgerows, The slumbering Midland plain, The silence where the clover grows, And the dead leaves in the lane, Certainly, these remain.
And I shall find some girl perhaps, And a better one than you, With eyes as wise, but kindlier, And lips as soft, but true.
And I daresay she will do.

by Rupert Brooke
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