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When First I Came Here
WHEN first I came here I had hope,
Hope for I knew not what.
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
And now I walk
Down it the last time.
My heart beat so again at sight
Of any hill although as fair
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.
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.
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