The bell tolls twelve, each bronzèd sounding ringing
In ears, in hearts; tell Time’s swift-footed passing.
The minds that hear doth tell the limbs to quick,
And whips sting donkeys working on the stick
As moons and suns make seas’ tides ebb and swell,
Earth’s complicated magnets strong repel
The sailor’s south, the guide through stormy whirlpool
With sails ablow, and ropes high bundled handful.
As water drips through holes in drilled-through clay,
Winds chill, trees bare, and felled leaves pave the way
While month by month, each year slips quitely by,
Like birds that fly at dusk back to the sky.
Fifteen years and half that I have past,
Too short a time for many things to last.