The day was a year at first
When children ran in the garden;
The day shrank down to a month
When the boys played ball.
The day was a week thereafter
When young men walked in the garden;
The day was itself a day
When love grew tall.
The day shrank down to an hour
When old men limped in the garden;
The day will last forever
When it is nothing at all.
Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1948.
Theodore Spencer (1902 -1949) was widely known as a Shakespearen scholar and literary critic before he published his first book of poetry in 1941. Three more books fellowed before his death at the age of forty-six.