I was telling my mother about this poem, how remarkable I found it:  in theme and trope it reminds me of Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas, but is completely its own: a little more terse, more formal, more contained–and therefore more intense.

Old Walls

When the year has turned on its mountain as the summer
     stars begin to grow faint and the wren wakes into
singing I am waiting among the loosening stones
     of the enclosure beyond the lower door of the far barn
the green stitchwort shines in the new light as though is were
     still spring and no footprint leads through it any longer
the one apple tree has not grown much in its corner
     the ivy has taken over the east wall toward the oak woods
and crept into the brid cherry here I listened
     to the clack of the old man’s hoe hilling the potatoes
in his dry field below the ash trees and here I looked up
     into the quince flowers opening above the wall
and I wanted to be far away like the surface
     of a river I knew and here I watched the autumn light
and though this was where I might choose to be buried
     here I struggled in the web and went on weaving it
with every turn and here I went on yielding
     too much credit to an alien claim and here I came
to myself in a winter fog with ice on the stones
     and I went out through the gap in the wall and it was done
and here I thought I saw myself as I had once been
     and I was certain that I was free of an old chain.

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I found this poem in The New Yorker, but don’t have the date of issue.  Other W.S. Merwin poems are at The New Yorker web site, and of course one may purchase W.S. Merwin’s poetry books. 
For those of you that don’t take this terribly seriously, here is a send-up by James de Ford.

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