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Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


[Entstanden zwischen 1833 und 1849; veröffentlicht 1850.)

STRONG Son of God, immortal Love,

Whom we, that have not seen thy face,

By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;

Thine are these orbs of light and shade;

Thou madest Life in man and brute;

Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou hast made.

Thou wilt not leave us in the dust;

Thou madest man, he knows not why,

He thinks he was not made to die;
And thou hast made him: thou art just.

Thou seemest human and divine,

The highest, holiest manhood, thou:

Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Our wills are ours, to make them thine.

Our little systems have their day;

They have their day and cease to be:

They are but broken lights of thee, And thou, O Lord, art more than they. We have but faith: we cannot know;

For knowledge is of things we see;

And yet we trust it comes from thee, A beam in darkness: let it grow. Let knowledge grow from more to more,

But more of reverence in us dwell;

That mind and soul, according well,
May make one music as before,
But vaster. We are fools and slight;

We mock thee when we do not fear:

But help thy foolish ones to bear; Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light. Forgive what seem’d my sin in me;

What seem'd my worth since I began;

For merit lives from man to man, And not from man, O Lord, to thee.

Forgive my grief for one removed,

Thy creature, whom I found so fair.

I trust he lives in thee, and there I find him worthier to be loved.

Forgive these wild and wandering cries,

Confusions of a wasted youth;

Forgive them where they fail in truth, And in thy wisdom make me wise.



Dark house, by which once more I stand

Here in the long unlovely street,

Doors, where my heart was used to beat So quickly, waiting for a hand,

A hand that can be clasp'd no more

Behold me, for I cannot sleep,

And like a guilty thing I creep At earliest morning to the door.

He is not here; but far away

The noise of life begins again,

And ghastly thro' the drizzling rain
On the bald street breaks the blank day.


A happy lover who has come

To look on her that loves him well,

Who 'lights and rings the gateway bell, And learns her gone and far from home;

He saddens, all the magic light

Dies off at once from bower and hall,

And all the place is dark, and all The chambers emptied of delight:

So find I every pleasant spot

In which we two were wont to meet,

The field, the chamber and the street, For all is dark where thou art not.

Yet as that other, wandering there

In those deserted walks, may find

A flower beat with rain and wind, Which once she foster'd up with care;

So seems it in my deep regret,

O my forsaken heart, with thee

And this poor flower of poesy Which little cared for fades not yet.

But since it pleased a vanish'd eye,

I go to plant it on his tomb,

That if it can it there may bloom, Or dying, there at least may die.


'Tis well; 'tis something; we may stand

Where he in English earth is laid,

And from his ashes may be made The violet of his native land.

'Tis little; but it looks in truth

As if the quiet bones were blest

Among familiar names to rest And in the places of his youth.

Come then, pure hands, and bear the head

That sleeps or wears the mask of sleep,

And come, whatever loves to weep, And hear the ritual of the dead.

Ah yet, ev'n yet, if this might be,

I, falling on his faithful heart,

Would breathing thro' his lips impart The life that almost dies in me;

That dies not, but endures with pain,

And slowly forms the firmer mind,

Treasuring the look it cannot find, The words that are not heard again.


The path by which we twain did go,

Which led by tracts that pleased us well,

Thro’ four sweet years arose and fell, From flower to flower, from snow to snow:

And we with singing cheer'd the way,

And, crown'd with all the season lent,

From April on to April went,
And glad at heart from May to May:

But where the path we walk'd began

To slant the fifth autumnal slope,

As we descended following Hope, There sat the Shadow fear'd of man;

Who broke our fair companionship,

And spread his mantle dark and cold,

And wrapt thee formless in the fold, And dulld the murmur on thy lip,

And bore thee where I could not see

Nor follow, tho' I walk in haste,

And think, that somewhere in the waste The Shadow sits and waits for me.

My own dim life should teach me this,
That life shall live for evermore,

Else earth is darkness at the core,
And dust and ashes all that is;

This round of green, this orb of flame,

Fantastic beauty; such as lurks

In some wild Poet, when he works Without a conscience or an aim.

What then were God to such as I?

'Twere hardly worth my while to choose

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