When Faith turns false and Fancy grows unkind,
And Fortune, more from fickleness than spite,
Takes the keen savour out of all delight,
And of sweet pulp leaves only bitter rind,
Then I the load of living leave behind,
Fleeing where, far from human sound and sight,
Over brown furrows wheels the lapwing white,
And whistles tunely with the winter wind.
For Nature's frank indifference woundeth less
Than Man's feigned smiles and simulated tears:
She is at least the egoist she appears,
Scorning to proffer or entice caress;
And, through the long reiterated years,
Endures her doom with uncomplainingness.

More verses by Alfred Austin

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