The poplars are fell'd, and adieu to the shade

First Line The poplars are fell'd, and adieu to the shade
Author William Cowper
Date 1785

Lyric [Nature]. 

Transcribed from C., W., "The Poplar Field." The Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 55, no. 1, January 1785, p. 53. ProQuest, [ProQuest document ID] 8811030. 



The poplars are fell'd, and adieu to the shade

And the whispering sound of the cool colonade.

The winds play no longer, and sing in their leaves,

Nor the Ouse in its bosom their image receives.


Twelve years had elapsed since I last took a view

Of my favourite field and the bank where they grew;

When behold on their sides in the grass they were laid,

And I sat on the trees under which I has thray'd. 


The blackbird has sought out another retreat,

Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat;

And the scene where his notes have oft charm'd me before,

Shall resound with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.


My fugitive years are all hast'ning away,

And I must, alas! lie as lowly as they,

With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head,

Ere another such grove rises up in their stead.


The change both my heart and my fancy employs;

I reflect on the frailty of man and his joys.

Short-liv'd as we are, yet our pleasures, we see,

Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.