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Till all things end in the long dust of death.
To-morrow also even as one of them;
And there is nothing new under the sun: Until the ancient race of Time be run, The old thorns shall grow out of the old stem, And morning shall be cold and twilight grey.
SLEEP, let me sleep, for I am sick of care;
Soft as the whisper of a summer sea.
Pluck me no rose that groweth on a thorn,
And primroses that open to the moon.
Listen, the music swells into a song,
A simple song I loved in days of yore; The echoes take it up and up along The hills, and the wind blows it back again.Peace, peace, there is a memory in that strain Of happy days that shall return no more.
Oh peace! your music wakeneth old thought,
Have patience with me, friends, a little while:
Sweet thought that I may yet live and grow green,
That leaves may yet spring from the withered root,
THERE REMAINETH THEREFORE A REST FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
[New Poems 1896. — 12 July 1853.]
"Ye have forgotten the exhortation."
COME, blessed sleep, most full, most perfect, come:
Till light be dark to me from pole to pole,
Lap me from all the world and weariness: Come, secret sleep, with thine unuttered psalm, Safe sheltering in a hidden cool recess:
Come, heavy dreamless sleep, and close and press Upon mine eyes thy fingers dropping balm.
“Which speaketh unto you as unto children.”
ART thou so weary then, poor thirsty soul?
Till night come down with blessed slumber deep As love, and seal thine eyes no more to weep Through long tired vigils while the planets roll. Have patience, for thou too shalt sleep at length,
Lapt in the pleasant shade of Paradise.
My Hands that bled for thee shall close thine eyes, My Heart that bled for thee shall be thy rest: I will sustain with everlasting strength,
And thou, with John, shalt lie upon My breast.
[Goblin Market etc. 1862. 18 December 1854.]
COME to me in the silence of the night;
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.
O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet, Whose wakening should have been in Paradise, Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet; Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.
Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago.
THE HEART KNOWETH ITS OWN BITTERNESS. [New Poems 1896; Str. 1 und 7 (mit starken Abweichungen) in Verses 1893. 27 August 1857.]
WHEN all the over-work of life
Is finished once, and fast asleep
Forgetful of the thorny scourge,
How can we say 'enough' on earth
'Enough' with such a craving heart?
But still have bartered part for part.
I used to labour, used to strive
All else what matters, good or ill?
To give, to give, not to receive!
But king with king to give the whole. I long for one to stir my deep
I have had enough of help and giftI long for one to search and sift Myself, to take myself and keep.
You scratch my surface with your pin,
You stroke me smooth with hushing breath:Nay pierce, nay probe, nay dig within,
Probe my quick core and sound my depth. You call me with a puny call,
You talk, you smile, you nothing do: How should I spend my heart on you, My heart that so outweighs you all?
Your vessels are by much too strait:
Were I to pour, you could not hold.Bear with me: I must bear to wait,
A fountain sealed through heat and cold.
Not in this world of hope deferred,
Here harvests fail, here breaks the heart: