W. H. Auden - But I Can’t

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 grow, /
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 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 (october 1940)