young William Carlos Williams

To Wish Myself Courage 
by William Carlos Williams
[from The Tempers (1913)]

On the day when youth is no more upon me
I will write of the leaves and the moon in a tree top!
I will sing then the song, long in the making–
When the stress of youth is put away from me.

How can I ever be written out as men say?
Surely it is merely an interference with the long song–
This that I am now doing.

But when the spring of it is worn like the old moon
And the eaten leaves are lace upon the cold earth–
Then I will rise up in my great desire–
Long at the birth–and sing me the youth-song!

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