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When First I Came Here

 WHEN first I came here I had hope, 
Hope for I knew not what.
Fast beat My heart at the sight of the tall slope Or grass and yews, as if my feet Only by scaling its steps of chalk Would see something no other hill Ever disclosed.
And now I walk Down it the last time.
Never will My heart beat so again at sight Of any hill although as fair And loftier.
For infinite The change, late unperceived, this year, The twelfth, suddenly, shows me plain.
Hope now,--not health nor cheerfulness, Since they can come and go again, As often one brief hour witnesses,-- Just hope has gone forever.
Perhaps I may love other hills yet more Than this: the future and the maps Hide something I was waiting for.
One thing I know, that love with chance And use and time and necessity Will grow, and louder the heart's dance At parting than at meeting be.

by Edward Thomas
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