If I Could Tell You

Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to stay
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose the lions all get up and go.
And all the brooks and soldiers run away;
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know.

– W.H.Auden

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2 responses to “If I Could Tell You

  1. Adam

    Love this poem – love Auden too – my personal favourite being The One More Loving:

    Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
    That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
    But on earth indifference is the least
    We have to dread from man or beast.

    How should we like it were stars to burn
    With a passion for us we could not return?
    If equal affection cannot be,
    Let the more loving one be me.

    Admirer as I think I am
    Of stars that do not give a damn,
    I cannot, now I see them, say
    I missed one terribly all day.

    Were all stars to disappear or die,
    I should learn to look at an empty sky
    And feel its total dark sublime,
    Though this might take me a little time

  2. standingonthebrink

    I love this one – couldn’t, though, remember what it was called to put it up here. Thank you πŸ™‚

    xxx

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