Paying Calls


I went by footpath and by stile
      Beyond where bustle ends,
Strayed here a mile and there a mile
      And called upon some friends.

On certain ones I had not seen
      For years past did I call,
And then on others who had been
      The oldest friends of all.

It was the time of midsummer
      When they had used to roam;
But now, though tempting was the air,
      I found them all at home.

I spoke to one and other of them
      By mound and stone and tree
Of things we had done ere days were dim,
      But they spoke not to me.


Thomas Hardy.