The View

The view is fine from fifty,
Experienced climbers say;
So, overweight and shifty,
I turn to face the way
That led me to this day.

Instead of fields and snowcaps
And flowered lanes that twist,
The track breaks at my toe-caps
And drops away in mist.
The view does not exist.

Where has it gone, the lifetime?
Search me. What’s left is drear.
Unchilded and unwifed, I’m
Able to view that clear:
So final. And so near.

by Philip Larkin

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