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Love Songs In Age

 She kept her songs, they kept so little space, 
 The covers pleased her: 
One bleached from lying in a sunny place, 
One marked in circles by a vase of water, 
One mended, when a tidy fit had seized her, 
 And coloured, by her daughter - 
So they had waited, till, in widowhood 
She found them, looking for something else, and stood 

Relearning how each frank submissive chord 
 Had ushered in 
Word after sprawling hyphenated word, 
And the unfailing sense of being young 
Spread out like a spring-woken tree, wherein 
 That hidden freshness sung, 
That certainty of time laid up in store 
As when she played them first.
But, even more, The glare of that much-mentionned brilliance, love, Broke out, to show Its bright incipience sailing above, Still promising to solve, and satisfy, And set unchangeably in order.
So To pile them back, to cry, Was hard, without lamely admitting how It had not done so then, and could not now.

by Philip Larkin
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