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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,
'Tis well; 'tis something; we may stand
'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
Ah yet, ev'n yet, if this might be,
That dies not, but endures with pain,
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,
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 dull'd the murmur on thy lip,
And bore thee where I could not see
And think, that somewhere in the waste The Shadow sits and waits for me..
My own dim life should teach me this,
This round of green, this orb of flame,
What then were God to such as I? 'Twere hardly worth my while to choose
Of things all mortal, or to use A little patience ere I die;
'Twere best at once to sink to peace,
Yet if some voice that man could trust
Might I not say? "Yet even here,
But for one hour, O Love, I strive To keep so sweet a thing alive:" But I should turn mine ears and hear
The moanings of the homeless sea,
The sound of streams that swift or slow Draw down Æonian hills, and sow The dust of continents to be;
And Love would answer with a sigh,
O me, what profits it to put
An idle case? If Death were seen
Mere fellowship of sluggish moods,
Had bruised the herb and crush'd the grape, And bask'd and batten'd in the woods.
Oh yet we trust that somehow good
To pangs of nature, sins of will,
That nothing walks with aimless feet;
That not a worm is cloven in vain;
Behold, we know not anything;
I can but trust that good shall fall At last-far off-at last, to all, And every winter change to spring.
So runs my dream: but what am I?
The wish, that of the living whole
No life may fail beyond the grave, Derives it not from what we have The likest God within the soul?
Are God and Nature then at strife,
So careful of the type she seems, So careless of the single life;
That I, considering everywhere
I falter where I firmly trod,
And falling with my weight of cares Upon the great world's altar-stairs That slope thro' darkness up to God,
I stretch lame hands of faith, and grope,
"So careful of the type?" but no.
"Thou makest thine appeal to me:
I bring to life, I bring to death: The spirit does but mean the breath: I know no more." And he, shall he,
Man, her last work, who seem'd so fair, Such splendid purpose in his eyes, Who roll'd the psalm to wintry skies, Who built him fanes of fruitless prayer,